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Ooey, gooey goodness.

16 May

Frozen bread dough was very popular in the 70s and 80s. I remember making both garlic bread and gooey sweet rolls using Rhodes Frozen Dough in a bundt pan. I was looking for a special treat to make for my grandchildren who are in town this weekend – and was delighted find Bake Breads from Frozen Dough (1980) by Sylvia Ogren tucked away on a shelf in my kitchen. The cover is missing – proof it was used a lot – so it was easy to miss! The Butterscotch Bubble Loaf was exactly what I was itching to try. I’ll include the recipe here – but I must be honest – and share that I found an almost identical recipe but one that was far easier to make and took far less preparation. Note, both work. The alternate recipe allowed me to sleep in this morning – and still have warm, gooey butterscotch rolls for the kids!

Butterscotch Bubble Loaf

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 loaf frozen white bread dough or 1 pound dinner rolls

1 package 3 to 3 1/2 ounce butterscotch pudding and pie filling mix (not instant)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Generously butter 12-cup bundt pan. Cut partially thawed loaf into 25 pieces or use frozen rolls. Place pieces in pan. Sprinkle with pudding mix, brown sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle with remaining butter. Cover; let rise in warm place until light or doubled in size, 3 to 4 hours. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 30 to 60 seconds. Turn onto plate which has been lined with wax paper.

Alternate recipe:

20 frozen bread dinner rolls

1 3.5 ounce package regular butterscotch pudding (not instant)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

Grease a bundt pan. Place the 20 rolls around the pan. Sprinkle 1/2 package butterscotch pudding over rolls. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top. Melt the butter and mix with the brown sugar. Drizzle over rolls.

Cover with a damp cloth and let rise overnight. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (my batch needed an extra 10 minutes!). Cook for about 10 minutes and then cover with aluminum foil. The top browns fast! The aluminum foil will help them to cook throughout and not brown the top quite as fast. But cook for the whole time or else the rolls on the bottom will be doughy!

Like a trip to Greece.

16 May

Salad season is in full bloom. Perfect time to take advantage of what will soon be a plethora of fresh vegetables to to add to your favorite salad. I found this recipe for a Greek salad in an older WW cookbook. It’s from Weight Watchers Favorite Recipes (1988). I’ll be honest. I surmised from the get-go that the dressing ingredients would not be sufficient to “dress” the salad. But I was so very wrong. Key is to assemble and chill the salad several hours before you plan to eat it. The cold lettuce coupled with just those few dressing ingredients = an authentic, tangy Greek salad – just like you might find in your favorite restaurant – or in Greece!

Greek Country Salad

2 cups torn lettuce leaves

4 ounces drained canned chick-peas (garbanzo beans)

1 medium tomato, cut into wedges

½ medium cucumber, thinly sliced

½ medium green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

12 pitted black olives, sliced

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons drained capers, rinsed

1 teaspoon each white wine vinegar and lemon juice

½ teaspoon chopped fresh dill

Dill sprig

In a medium salad bowl, combine lettuce, chickpeas, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and olives, top with feta cheese. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

To serve, in a small bowl combine remaining ingredients except dill sprig, mixing well; pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Garnish with dill sprig.

Makes two servings.

6 points on Blue BUT the recipe is geared for two and there was ample salad for three!

Artichokes. A rite of Spring.

14 May

Buying, cooking and eating an artichoke is my rite of spring. Sure you might find artichokes in your grocery store throughout the year – but they are generally at their all-time freshest in the spring. Sadly I struggled to find any decent ones this spring.

Artichokes are the ultimate finger-food. I prefer them simply cooked and either dipped into melted butter, leave by leave, or into a mayo-based sauce. And yes, you need to use your teeth to catch every delicious bite of the cooked artichoke. Sure you can stuff them with breadcrumbs and anything else you like, but if you haven’t indulged in a freshly prepared artichoke previously, start with one au natural! I found this basic preparation in The All-New Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Wilma Lord Perkins (1972). This popular cookbook is still available in bookstores and on used book sites.

Artichokes

Allow 1 per person.

Wash thoroughly. Cut off the stem close to the leaves. Pull off the tough outer leaves. Cut off the prickly tops with scissors. Put in a deep saucepan with 1½ inches of boiling water (I have one of those collapsible metal steamer inserts that I use so the artichokes are not directly in the water). Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar. Cover the pan. Cook until you can easily pull on an outer leaf (25 to 45 minutes – my artichoke was on the small side so it was ready in not quite 25 minutes) Drain upside down. Set upright on a serving dish. Serve hot with individual dishes of melted butter or Hollandaise in which to dip each leaf as it is eaten. Or serve cold with a Vinaigrette sauce or mayonnaise seasoned with lemon juice and prepared mustard. I made a sauce with a ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s Garlic Aioli Mustard.

Stalking me.

14 May

Okay, so I’ve posted asparagus recipes before. Just like I’ve posted endless potato recipes. I crave variety. So I’m always going to embrace a new method of preparing some of my favorite foods! This recipe for asparagus is as easy as they come. Toss those stalks and simply bake in the oven while you’re preparing dinner. And voila! Tasty, fork-tender, gorgeously green asparagus!

I found this recipe in The Jewish Low-Cholesterol Cookbook by Roberta Leviton (1978) – a cookbook I remember reviewing in my Kansas City Star days! You can still find this book on used book sites.

Baked Herbed Asparagus

1 pound fresh asparagus

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons oil

½ teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

Dash garlic powder

Snap off and discard the lower tough portions of the stalks. Pour the oil into an 8-inch square baking dish and tilt the dish to cover the bottom with oil. Place the asparagus spears in the dish and roll them around to coat them with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake covered at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Egg Foo Yum, er Yung

12 May

I am a huge fan of egg foo yung. I’ve tried dozens of recipes over the years trying to duplicate the thick round patties served in Chinese restaurants. So when I saw yet another version, I knew I had to try it. Sadly, it produces flat as a pancake egg foo yung patties like all the others I’ve prepared – but hey, they are delicious with a molasses-sweetened sauce I’ve never tried before. I save soup chicken just for egg foo yung (and fried rice). Already seasoned and easy to chop up right from the freezer.

I found this recipe in The Complete Book of Oriental Cooking by Myra Waldo (1960), one in a series of ethnic cookbooks I have in my collection.

Egg Foo Yung

4 eggs

1½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¾ cup chopped onions

1 cup cooked pork or chicken or shrimp, chopped

1 cup bean sprouts

4 tablespoons chopped scallions

2 tablespoons soy sauce

¾ cup oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 ½ cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons molasses or dark corn syrup

Lightly beat the eggs, salt and pepper. Stir in onions, meat or fish, scallions and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Heat the oil in a skillet. use a ladle or ¼ cup of the mixture and drop into oil. Fry until browned on both sides. Drain.

Mix the cornstarch to a paste with a little broth. Combine in a saucepan with the broth, molasses and remaining soy sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring steadily until thickened. Pour over egg foo yung.

Finger-lickin’ chicken.

12 May

Chicken Kiev is one of my all-time favorites chicken dishes. What’s not to like about a crispy coating outside with a river of seasoned butter inside? I found an easy recipe version in Cooking the Russian Way (1986) by Gregory & Rita Plotkin, another one of the easy menu ethnic cookbooks from Lerner Publications. Apparently a Russian chef invented Chicken Kiev in the early 1800s. Kiev is the capital of Ukraine but Chicken Kiev did not get its name from there. It got its name when it was marketed for Russian restaurants in Europe and America!

Chicken Kiev

4 boneless chicken breasts (I used 2 pound)

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ cup butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ cup chopped fresh parsley (or 3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes)

6 eggs

2 cups  bread crumbs

Vegetable oil

Place each piece of meat between 2 pieces of wax paper and beat with a meat hammer to flatten. Remove paper and sprinkle both sides of meat with salt and pepper. In  a small bowl, mash butter with a fork and stir in garlic and parsley. Divide into 4 equal portions. Place a piece of meat on a flat surface. Place one portion of the butter mixture on the chicken breasts’ wider end. Fold each side over the butter and roll up the breast tightly. Do the same with the other 3 breads. In a  shallow dish, beat eggs well.  Pour bread crumb into another shallow dish. Dip a piece of chicken into eggs, coating thoroughly, then roll in bread crumbs until completely covered. Repeat 4 times with the same piece of meat and set aside. Do the same with the other 3 breasts. In a large frying pan, heat 1 inch oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Carefully place chicken in pan with tongs and fry, turning frequently, unto meat turns golden brown. Remove from pan with tongs and drain on paper towel.

Cook’s note: The bigger the chicken breasts, the longer it will take to cook through. I ended up using my air fryer to finish cooking all four breasts – and next time, would probably use the air fryer for the entire preparation.

Flavorful fritters.

11 May

I’ve included several recipes from cookbooks I inherited from my beloved Great Aunt Nellie. And today’s recipe comes from what I believe is the last of those books. The cookbook is called Tam-Tov – Good Taste in Cooking (1964). and was created by the Women’s League of Temple of Aaron Synagogue in St. Paul, Minnesota. The cover is well-worn, proof that this was a special book for my Aunt Nellie. Tam tov is Yiddish (roughly translated) for “good taste.”

Corn Fritters

Beat 2 eggs, stir in ½ cup milk. Sift together 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt, and add to egg mixture. Add 1 cup drained whole kernel corn.  Drop by spoonful onto hot fat (I used only a couple of tablespoons of canola oil).

Oops….I mistakenly posted pancakes instead of fritters!

Mimosa for mom.

9 May

Happy Mothers’ Day to all you moms out there! Celebrating your status as a mom – or celebrating your mom – maybe both? A mimosa is the perfect way to honor your role as mom – or other moms in your life. I found this very basic recipe in The Silver Palate Cookbook (1979) by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins. Note, you don’t have to buy fancy champagne to make this cocktail. I keep small bottles of California Extra Dry Champagne in my frig – for occasions like Mothers’ Day or other celebratory brunches.  I love this drink – and note, it’s traditionally served in a tall champagne flute.

This cookbook is still available on Amazon and in bookstores.

Mimosa

Champagne

Fresh orange juice

Fresh mint leaves (garnish), optional

Fill each glass two-thirds full with Champagne. Top each off with orange juice and garnish.

Flowers by Todd!

Nothing flat about this pancake.

8 May

I obtained a copy of Grandma Rose’s Book of Sinfully Delicious Snacks, Nibbles, Noshes & Other Delights (1978) by Rose Naftalin when I was reviewing cookbooks for the Kansas City Star years ago. Rose Naftalin was a chef, restaurateur and cookbook author. She founded and ran popular restaurants in Toledo, Ohio, and Portland, Oregon – known for their cinnamon rolls, cheesecakes and other baked goods. Her recipe for pancakes is indeed special – thanks to the addition of sour cream and whipped egg whites. If you haven’t already figured out what to make for Mom (or yourself) tomorrow – I highly recommend these delightful pancakes.

Copies of this book are still available on Amazon and other book sites. Rose Naftalin was 101 when she passed away in 1998.

My Family’s Favorite Pancake

6 eggs, separated

3 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups sour cream

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil*

Preheat griddle (or frying pan). In a bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are thick. Gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the melted butter. Sift the dry ingredients. Add to the yolk mixture, alternately with the sour cream, to which the baking soda has been added. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff. Fold them into the batter.

Important note: Once you have the batter mixed, never beat it again. Brush canola or vegetable oil on griddle or frying pan. To make the pancakes, carefully take a large tablespoon at a time from the bottom of the batter bowl. Place batter on the hot griddle. Cook on one side, then turn over once. Grease the grill for the first batch of pancakes only.

Serve with warmed maple syrup or with fresh fruit.

*Use more if necessary. I cooked these on a stovetop griddle and 1 tablespoon did the trick for the whole batch!

Not your average cookie.

7 May

Despite my aversion to baking, I do love to eat cookies – which means I need to bake ’em once in awhile. I love it when I can find a simple recipe – and yet the results are surprisingly stellar! I found this recipe for out-of-the ordinary oatmeal cookies in Cookery for Entertaining (1979) by Marlene Sorosky. It requires merely five ingredients – more than likely ingredients you readily have on hand! Warning – they are addictive. Good news is they freeze well. They definitely live up to their name – delicate, buttery, lacy cookies with a sweet crunch! I bought this cookbook originally for the food styling tips – e.g. the watermelon “whale” on its cover. It’s still available on used book sites.

Lacy Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups rolled oats, quick or regular

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease baking sheets (I skip this step and use parchment paper); set aside. Place oats, brown sugar and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add butter or margarine to oat mixture. Stir in beaten egg; mix well. Drop batter by half-teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand 1 minute before removing from baking sheet. They will become crisp as they cool. May be frozen.

Makes about 40 cookies.