Sunday, September 10, 2017

Corn Salsa

(Found in my search for a Trader Joe's copycat recipe)

4 ears of sweet corn (kernels removed and reserved, husks discarded)
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 cup distilled white vinegar
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 and ½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp. cumin seeds
1 red onion, minced
1 and ½ tsp. ground red pepper (add an extra tsp. ground red pepper if you like your salsa more spicy)

  1. Toss the sweet corn kernels and chopped red pepper together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, water, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds. Pace the pan over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Reduce the liquid to a simmer. Add the chopped onion and ground red pepper. Simmer until the onion becomes translucent, about 10 minutes. To the simmering liquid, add the sweet corn and chopped red pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the corn salsa to a non-reactive container, pressing down lightly to pack the corn. Gently pour the remaining cooking liquid from the saucepan over the packed salsa just until it is covered. Refrigerate for a day before serving (to allow the flavors to develop).
  4. Serve with chips for dipping.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gin and Tonic Sorbet

310g sugar 
310g water 
8 tbsp gin 
375 ml tonic water 
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 egg white

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, remove from heat and allow it to cool completely.
Add the gin, tonic, the lime juice and the zest. Stir and taste and add more lime juice if you think it needs it. Chill in the fridge.
Then either churn it for 15 minutes or still-freeze it by pouring it into a food-safe plastic box and putting it in the coldest part of your freezer for an hour to an hour and a half until it forms a slush when you beat it.
At this point, beat the egg white with a fork to loosen it and combine it with the sorbet mix. Then either churn for another 10 minutes until it’s slushy, or if using the still-freeze method, repeat the freeze-and-beat step twice more at 30-60 minute intervals.
Pour into a container and freeze.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Thai Curry Soup

  • 2 ounces, weight rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass (if you can't find it just add an extra tablespoon of lime juice)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 can reduced fat coconut milk, 14 ounce can
  • 1 cup peeled and deveined shrimp (or shredded cooked chicken)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cups chopped cilantro
  • ½ cups fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bag baby spinach, 6 ounce bag
Heat oil in saucepan, add onions and cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in garlic, lemon grass and ginger until aromatic — about 1 minute. Add the curry paste and stir. Pour in 1/2 of the chicken broth and stir until curry paste is dissolved, add the rest of the broth along with soy sauce and sugar. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, covered.

Stir in the noodles, coconut milk, shrimp(or chicken), and lime juice. Cook until shrimp is pink and done. Stir in cilantro, mushrooms and spinach until softened. 

Makes 4-6 servings

Beer Chicken Marinade

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion(reconstituted from dried works)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1½ cups beer(we used Dos Equis, anything light would work well)
  • 4 pounds of raw chicken

Combine everything except for the beer and chicken in a large measuring cup, slowly add the beer.  Put the chicken into a zip top bag and slowly pour in the marinade.  Seal the bag and let rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but overnight is better.

Note:  This marinade also freezes well with chicken, if you don't need 4 pounds at a time, just omit the parsley until you thaw the chicken.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Blackberry Cream Cheese Crumb Cake

Source: Sally's Baking Addiction


  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (166g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping cup (125g) fresh or frozen blackberries (do not thaw)
  • one 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened to room temperature

Crumb Topping

  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 (62g) cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
  2. Make the cake: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and 3/4 cup granulated sugar together on high speed until creamy and combined, about 2 minutes. On medium-high speed, add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Turn the mixer on low speed and beat until completely combined. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the blackberries.
  3. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar together until combined. Spoon and spread over cake batter. It's a thick cream cheese topping, so do your best to spread around. Set aside.
  5. Make the crumb topping: Combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles pea sized crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over cream cheese layer.
  6. Bake the cake for 60-65 minutes or until it no longer jiggles in the center. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out *mostly* clean. A few moist crumbs are ok. I like to loosely cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil at the 30 minute mark to prevent over-browning.
  7. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing and serving. I like to place it in the refrigerator after 30 minutes of cooling at room temperature. This speeds things up.
  8. Slice and serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

  9. Notes: 
  • We used a pint of fresh blueberries, which was good.
  • It took at least 15 minutes longer in the oven than the directions said.
  • A toothpick wasn't a great indication of doneness.  Bake it until the center no longer jiggles.
  • We ate it cold (refrigerated) the next day and that was really good.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Foolproof Cooked Buttercream

Less sweet than regular buttercream, but without the endless beating of the Pioneer Woman recipe.

Yield: Enough to cover an 8" cake as pictured

  • 6 3/4 tablespoons (2.1 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 1.5 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

  1. 1.
    Whisk together flour and sugar in a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk. Place saucepan over low heat and bring to a boil, whisking continuously, then cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Pour the pudding onto a clean heatproof plate or shallow container. Immediately cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly against the pudding's surface.  Cool.
  2. 2.
    In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle, or in a mixing bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the butter until smooth and fluffy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the cooled pudding one tablespoon (or so...) at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and salt and beat until buttercream looks thick, smooth, and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  3. 3.
    Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container or a zipper-lock bag for up to one week. To use buttercream that has been refrigerated, first allow to come to room temperature then beat until smooth and spreadable again. Cakes or cupcakes decorated with buttercream generally keep up to 3 days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve buttercream at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tater Tot Hotdish

Serves 6 to 8

Be sure to buy the cylinder-shaped frozen tater tots (not crispy crowns or coins). Do not thaw the tots or the vegetables; they go into the hotdish frozen. For the best browned and crunchy tater tots, bake in a 13 by 9-inch Pyrex dish (deeper dishes inhibit browning). Don’t be tempted to turn on your broiler; Pyrex cannot withstand the broiler’s direct heat. Depending on the dish, you may have about 1 cup of tater tots leftover. Serve with ketchup.

1½ pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
1 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole milk
1½ cups chicken broth
3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (1½ cups)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 (2-pound) bag frozen tater tots

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Cook beef, mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until nearly all liquid has evaporated, 25 to 28 minutes, breaking up beef with spoon.

2. Stir in flour until no dry spots remain and cook for 1 minute. Stir in milk and broth, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in Parmesan. Transfer to 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

3. Sprinkle peas and corn evenly over beef mixture. Lightly place tater tots in even layer over top, but do not press into mixture (you may have extra). Bake until tater tots are deep golden brown and filling is bubbling, 35 to 38 minutes, rotating dish halfway through baking. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

To Make Ahead

Hotdish can be prepared through step 2: Let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, cover with aluminum foil and bake until hot in center, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove foil, stir, sprinkle evenly with peas and corn, place tater tots on top, and bake as directed in step 3.

NOTES: This is a test recipe.

  • I made a half batch with a pound of hamburger.
  • Used dried thyme instead of fresh
  • Missed the direction to layer the veggies (and I mixed them into the meat mixture).
  • We all liked it a lot!  The sauce is much better than canned soup and there are none of those nasty little carrot cubes.  I'd make it again.