Sunday, August 1, 2010

Aunt Sandy's Brownies

This is my Aunt Sandy's brownie Recipe. It has been tested and approved. Along with her recipe is her notes. Here it is as she sent it too me.....

Here is the much heralded Brownie Recipe. It is my original recipe, and I always make it in a large kettle. And usually I double it. But here is the single recipe. I like the blend of the 2 chocolates. With all semi-sweet chocolate, brownies can be cloyingly sweet, and with all unsweetened chocolate, there can be a bitter after-taste. And all the boxed brownie mixes that I have tried have a strange after-taste.*

Aunt Sandy's Brownies

2 2 ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
2 2 ounce squares semi sweet chocolate
2/3 cup butter

I put the sticks of butter into the saucepan and put the chocolate squares on top of the butter. Then I melt it over low heat, stirring often when the butter
starts to melt. When the mixture is smooth, beat in...

2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, one at a time

Then add after sifting together:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Beat until smooth, then add at least a cup of coursely chopped nuts - either pecans or walnuts.

Pour into greased and floured 9"X13" pan, bake at 350 degrees (or 325 for glass baking pan) for about 30 minutes. A toothpick stuck in middle should come out clean. Top with powdered sugar, and cut when cool. Only one unbreakable rule:DON'T INHALE WHEN YOU TAKE A BITE. IT ISN'T A GOOD IDEA WHEN EATING SOMETHING WITH POWDERED SUGAR.

I hope you like them.

With love, Aunt Sandy

*The only exception for brownie mixes (for me) is to bake them according to directions, and when they come out of the oven to sprinkle over the top a package of Andes Creme de Menthe chips. (I get mine at Wal Mart) These are fast, and cheap-sort of- and great for pot-lucks. But I still like mine better overall.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cream cheese pound cake

3 sticks butter room temp
1 8oz package Philadelphia brand cream cheese room temp.
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325*F Lightly spray and flour 10 inch tube pan.

Place butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. add sugar, increase speed to high and beat until light and airy, 5 minutes. add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. add the vanilla, then the flour and salt all at once. beat just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours.

Place the pan on a cake rack and cool for 20 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan let cool, serve room temp.

I like Philadelphia cream cheese because it contains less water than store brands. I also find depending on the oven I have to bake this 15 to 30 minutes longer than the recipe calls for , usually an hour and a half or more. Don't increase the temp to try to make cooking tome less it will just burn the edges and that is one of the best parts.

I love to have this the day after I make it, toasted with coffee is the best breakfast ever. Yum!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Citrus~Ginger Couscous

This recipe is adapted from Heidi Swansons

Served this at Heidi's (not Swasons) 40th birthday party a couple weeks ago, it all just came together and a few folks have requested the recipe so here it is.

2 cups Israeli Couscous
4 1/2 cups boiling seasoned water (I used McKays Chicken)
1 cup fresh peas (blanched, chilled), or frozen if not in season.
Goat Cheese
1 Medium Orange, zest and juice
1 shallot, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan, freshly shredded ( I used more )
2 TBLS rice wine vinegar
2 TBLS honey
1 inch of peeled fresh ginger, finely minced
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
several big pinches of sea salt

Add couscous to water, cover until all broth is absorbed.

For Dressing:
Combine orange juice, zest, shallot vinegar, honey, ginger, and Parmesan in bowl, whisk in olive oil, taste, season to your taste.

Fluff couscous, add peas, and crumbled goat cheese, add dressing, Chill, and Enjoy.

I suppose any fresh green veggie could be substituted, this is fast, easy and delicious.

* not all the dressing is needed in this recipe

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fresh fruit Tart

The first time I made this was in August 2000, it was in the August issue of Victoria. I did not know who Ina Garten was or that this was going to be a recipe that would torment me for years... I lost it when we moved from our apartment in Nebraska into our house and could not find it again until we moved into our house here in Florida. It was gone for over 4 years and I refused to try any others because I knew it would not be as good as this one was. It was one that I liked to make and loved, loved, loved, the crust. It holds up well and does not get soggy.

Use fruit from the following list: Raspberries; blueberries; strawberries; grapes; peaches; pears; kiwis; mangoes; papayas; fresh figs; apricots; plums; limes; lemons

Tart shell
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until just combined then beat in the vanilla. In another bowl sift the flower and salt. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time to the butter mixture, beating on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and shape it onto a flat disk. Press the dough into 10 inch round or 9 inch square false bottom tart pan, making sure that the finished edge is flat. Chill until firm.
3. Butter one side of a square of aluminum foil; fit inside the tart and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. To weigh it down, spread a hand full of dried beans or rice on the foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil (and beans or rice), prick the tart all over with the tines of a fork, and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Pastry cream
3 extra large egg yolks at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cognac or brandy (I use extra vanilla)

1. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light yellow and falls back into the bowl in a ribbon. On low speed beat in the cornstarch. Bring the milk to a boil in a large saucepan and with the mixer on low, slowly our it into the egg mixture. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
2. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wish or wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. bring to a boil and cook on moderately low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Taste to be sure the cornstarch is cooked. Remove from the heat, mix in the butter, vanilla, cream, and cognac, and strain into a bowl. Plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold. Makes about 1 cup

1. Spread the tart shell with pastry cream, smooth the filling into an even layer. Group each fruit to make a casual arrangement. place the larger fruit first and then use the berries to dill in the spaces. Use brightly colored fruit, such as halved strawberries or small bunch of red grapes, near the middle to give the design focus and height.

6 to 8 servings

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

I made this salad again this week, it has been a month or so since the last time I made it. I was reminded how refreshing it is and how much I love it. I thought I would post it with the hopes that you all will give this yummy salad a try. There is a lot of chopping, I know, but it keeps well and with a good slice of bread it makes a quick and healthy meal.

2 cans black-eyed peas (Drain & rinse well)
4 green onions, finely chopped (I use more)
1/2 c. celery, diced (I use more)
2/3 c. red pepper, diced (I use more)
1/2 c. parsley chopped (I use more)
1 jalapeƱo pepper minced
1/2 c. yellow banana peppers (canned)

1/4 c. vinegar (I use more)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 t. Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper to taste

Pasta with Tomato and Peas

This has become one of our family favorites. I made it last night by request of Paige. The photo is not a great photo but the pasta was very yummy! I do not use all the herbs as listed in the recipe I use an italian salt mix I have used for years, so use what you have and please try this recipe. I find that you need to use more of the pasta water than listed in the recipe. You will be amazed how easy and quick this is to make. Enjoy!

Pasta with Tomato and Peas
Recipe Giada De Laurentiis

1 pound linguine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Romano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, carrots, salt, and pepper. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water. Stir to melt the tomato paste and create a sauce, adding more pasta water if necessary. Stir in the oregano, thyme, and parsley. Gently fold in the cooked pasta, peas, and the cheeses, adding more reserved pasta water if necessary. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Texas Sheet cake

This is a recipe that Stacy's grandma use to make all the time, there was never any left over... ever!

Mix in large bowl
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon Salt

Heat the following in sauce pan until hot and butter is melted
1 cup waater
2 sticks butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
add to the above and mix well

Beat eggs and add remaining ingredients
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

pour into large cookie sheet and bake at 400° for 20 minutes

Frosting-Mix frosting while cake is baking

Heat the following untill the butter is melted and just short of a boil
1 stick butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons Milk

add the above to 1 pound powered sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla

when mixed well add
1 cup walnuts

Pour frosting over hot cake as soon as you take if from the oven

Best-Ever Bread-and Butters

The ice cubes help keep the thin cucumber slices from breaking

4 quarts. sliced cucumbers (40-50)
1/2 cups salt
2 quarts sliced onions
Ice cubes.
Gently stir salt into thinly sliced cucumbers. Cover with ice cubes; let stand 2 or 3 hours or until cucumbers are crisp and cold. Add more ice if it melts; drain. Add onions.

1 quart vinegar
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ginger
t teaspoon turmeric (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)

Combine the above - vinegar through the white pepper - in large kettle, and bring quickly to a boil, and boil 10 minutes.
Add cucumber and onion slices and bring to boiling point. I cook them until all the slices look translucent. I am usually making at least 2 batches at once so they don't cook evenly without a bit of help.) Pack at once in hot jars. ( I sterilize mine in the oven at 250 for at least 10 minutes, and turn the oven off) The recipe says to prosses in boiling water bath for 30 minutes. I don't do that. But otherwise, I follow this recipe to a T. Sometimes I have left out the turmeric or the pepper, but I didn't like them as well, and am back to the original recipe once more. The recipe says it makes 8 pints. I'm not sure of that. I only know I make them most every year because I LOVE to put them into potato salad. To me, itmakes potato salad. Otherwise, I don't even like to eat them, because to me, the only good pickles to eat are dill pickles, and the only ones of them I like are Milwaukee Dills from the grocery store. If you ever find a really crisp dill pickle recipe, send it to me, because I don't like "flabby" dills, and I am tired of trying recipes and not liking them.

Sometimes, if I have a bit more cucumbers than the recipe calls for, I make a double recipe of the cooked vinegar/sugar mixture with all the spices. I have thought at times that there was not enough "juice" for the pickles. Maybe though, it is just because I don't give them the boiling water bath that I try to be sure that juice covers the pickles.

Yesterday's recipes

When an e-mail arrived from my Aunt Sandy I was so delighted to get her recipe for Best-Ever Bread-and Butters that I decided that I would love to start a blog with family recipes and some tried and true ones from friends. I would like to do this to try to preserve our families love of food.