romantic suppers and sweets

Shrimp pasta

I failed to post this column on time as I became ill shortly before the holiday! Sorry to all my followers! Here it is, new and improved!

Valentine’s Day means expressing your love for your spouse, partner, family, and friends. What better way than to say it with food you lovingly prepare? Here are two suppers and two desserts to consider.

pasta with shrimp, tomatoes and feta cheese
Who said you can’t serve seafood with cheese? Ever have a tuna melt? Crab and swiss? Here’s delicious exception perfect for a Valentine Day supper.

ingredients

  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb raw large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
  • 1 Tbs each white wine and balsamic vinegar
  • ½ to 1 lb pasta (I usually make only half a pound since I like a higher shrimp-to-pasta ratio using linguine or bowties.)
  • 15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 (6-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese

directions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook shrimp, garlic and white wine for 4-5 minutes or until shrimp is pink. Do NOT overcook!
  2. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon and set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until al dente; drain and keep warm.
  3. While pasta is cooking, place diced tomatoes and halved grape tomatoes with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, and basil over medium heat into wine mixture in skillet until tender—10 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, toss hot pasta with shrimp, tomato mixture, and feta. Feta will melt slightly. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and a crusty bread.

 

Chicken feta beans toms

greek chicken tenders with veggies
Prefer chicken? This dish is packed with flavors sure to spark up any evening!

for the chicken

  • 2 Tbs plus 1 tsp olive or avocado oil, divided
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 1.5 lb chicken tenders
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 3­/4 Tbs balsamic vinegar (do not substitute)
  • 1 cup grape/cherry tomatoes, halved

for the greek dressing

  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/2 tsp black pepper

directions

  1. Sauté mushrooms in large frying pan with 1 tsp of the oil, until just browning. Remove from pan, set aside.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium­-high, add green beans. Sauté until green beans are cooked, but still a bit crunchy. Remove from the pan, set aside.
  3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs oil over medium-­high, add chicken, salt, and pepper.
  4. Cook chicken 3­-4 minutes on both sides and remove once browned & cooked though. Remove from pan, set aside. Whisk all dressing ingredients together.
  5. In the same skillet, lower heat to medium, add dressing, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Stir and heat until bubbling.
  6. Toss in mushrooms, and green beans then the cooked chicken and tomatoes. Stir to heat through. Serve over rice or pasta.

 

easy chocolate bar fondue
This takes on a romantic hue when served with champagne. If made ahead, keep the chocolate warm in a double boiler till ready to serve.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound milk or dark chocolate bars, broken into pieces
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 1 store-bought angel food cake, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces dried fruit, such as pineapple slices and figs

directions

  1. In a small saucepan, over low heat, warm the cream and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts. Transfer the fondue to a warm serving bowl or fondue pot.
  2. Serve immediately with forks for dipping strawberries, angel food cake, or whatever you like.

 

chocolate-cinnamon pudding with raspberries
So easy to put this together ahead of time. Kids will especially love the flavors.

ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 Tbs packed brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups fresh raspberries, or frozen raspberries, thawed

directions

  1. Combine the cocoa, cinnamon, cornstarch, and 2/3 cup of brown sugar in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in milk and 1/2 cup of cream.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until pudding is thick and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  4. Whip remaining cream in a separate bowl with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form.
  5. Pour pudding into individual ramekins or a large bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Serve warm or chill for at least two hours. Top with raspberries and whipped cream.

your turn
Hope you enjoy these romantic dishes! Here is a PDF you can print out for your recipe collectionRomantic Suppers and Sweets Blog 2-16

the great pumpkin (belated)

NOTE: This post was almost ready to go live when I fell on Turkey Day eve and broke a couple of ribs. I was in excruciating pain for a couple of months, and I needed another month after that to return fully to my pre-fall energy level. I am finally back in the groove and have a full plate since my husband retired from the VA the end of January, all the paperwork that accompanies said retirement (a federal job means many, many forms!), and now tax time is here again. Oh joy! So I cannot promise prompt updates, but I will try my best. I will add a printable PDF of this post in the next week or so. Thanks for your patience!

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My mother’s pumpkin pie recipe is the best!

I’m getting nervous with all this talk about pumpkin shortages, aren’t you? I don’t know if I can take the stress, but I will admit, I stashed about six cans of pumpkin in my cupboard last fall. How come I was so psychic? I guess I’ll muddle through and will still be able to make my mother’s wonderful pie for the holidays. In the meantime, I’m making these great desserts. Step aside, Charlie Brown! I’m stalking the Great Pumpkin!

pumpkin pie cookies        
These are a pumpkin version of thumbprint (jam-filled) cookies we all know and love, but with a giant twist. I don’t normally buy white chocolate chips as they are so overprocessed, but they are essential to keeping the pumpkin filling from becoming too gooey or runny. Raw sugar is a coarse granule with a molasses-y flavor. All this comes together to become a totally unexpected fall treat.

ingredients
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 or 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or softened cream cheese
2 Tbsp pumpkin (Steal from the can used for the filling)
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Domino Demerara raw sugar for rolling, available in the sugar aisle

filling
3/4 cup plain pumpkin puree (Libby’s or One Pie), NOT pie filing
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp half-and- half
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted in a double boiler

directions
Preheat oven to 375°. Cream together butter and sugars. Once combined, mix in egg and vanilla. Beat for about 2 minutes, until completely smooth. Add in yogurt or cream cheese and pumpkin, mix for one minute. Sift together flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Slowly add into the wet mixture. Beat until combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight if you need to.

Make the filling: whip together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, half-and-half, and the melted white chocolate chips. Taste and adjust if you like it sweeter. Roll cookies into a golf-ball-size, roll through raw sugar, than place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. With your finger, press a small dent into the center of the dough. Fill with pumpkin pie filling mixture. Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool before serving. Makes about 2 ½ dozen cookies.

dark chocolate pumpkin spice muffins
These muffins have no oil or butter in them. The moisture comes from the applesauce. Amazing! Go stock up on canned pumpkin NOW! LOL
P.S. You will gain back all the calories the oil might rack up if you ice them with the cream cheese frosting. Oh, well!

ingredients
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cup plain pumpkin puree (Libby’s or One Pie are best)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top

directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices. Once blended, add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Spoon batter into muffin tin liners about three-quarters- full. Let filled pan stand for about a half hour. Bake for about 22 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon sugar and serve! Makes 12 muffins. Top with cream cheese frosting.

cream cheese frosting

ingredients (can be halved)
2 pounds cream cheese, softened (1)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened  (1)
3 cups confectioners’ sugar (1 ½)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (1)

directions
Sift all confectioner’s sugar into a large bowl to eliminate lumps. Beat cream cheese, butter, and 1 cup sifted sugar with a mixer on medium-slow speed until combined. With machine running, add remaining 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes more.

Cook’s Note:  Cream cheese frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature and beat before using.

I was excited to gain ten more followers last week with my veggie blog post! Log on and follow my blog so you never miss a new post. You can also print out all my recipes and add them to your personal journal. Food is one of life’s best pleasures. Happy eating!

Here’s a PDF you can print out for your recipe file: CJ-great pumpkin

bits & basics – part 2

Here are some more cooking basics I continue to make over and over. My basics are foundations for more elaborate dishes with ingredients added to spice up my repertoire in the kitchen. You can do the same to save time and effort.

Basic Nine-Day Coleslaw  If you’re a coleslaw lover like I am, you’ll find this recipe valuable. It is mayonnaise-free, really does keep for nine days, makes a ton of slaw, and is great to bring to a potluck.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs cabbage
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lite olive oil
  • 2 tsp table salt (or 4 tsp kosher salt)
  • 2 Tbs mustard seed

Directions

Chop cabbage, pepper and onion and set aside in a large bowl. Place the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and pour over vegetables. Toss well to coat. Place in container or jar and store in refrigerator. Best after sitting one day. Optional additions are raisins, shredded carrots, or green onions.

Basic Fruit Cobbler  This is so easy to throw together. You can use most kinds of fruit or berries—whatever is in season, but it is best with apples or peaches.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups peeled and sliced fruit
  • 1½ cups sugar (divided)
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Pour ¾ cup of the sugar over fruit, mix lightly and set aside. Mix remaining sugar, flour, baking powder, milk, and salt till blended. Place butter in a casserole dish and set in oven. When butter is melted, remove dish from oven, pour in batter, and top with fruit, spreading evenly. Bake 1 hour.

Basic Barbecue Sauce  I find bottled barbecue sauce way too sweet and loaded with all kinds of unpronounceable ingredients. This recipe is delicious, and you control how sweet it will be. You can make large batches and put it up in jars to give as gifts (be sure to check your canner instructions).

  • Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs balsamic or apple cider vinegar
  • 6 Tbs lemon juice
  • 5 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 Tbs (or less) brown sugar
  • ½ tsp celery seed
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste
  • Liquid Smoke to taste (optional but very nice if used sparingly)

Directions

Prepare onions and garlic. Place tomato paste in a large saucepan. Add water gradually till well blended. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Adjust salt, pepper, and sugar. Refrigerate in jars. Use within two weeks or so, or freeze in several small containers to extend shelf life.

Basic Roasted Vegetables  What shouts “comfort food” more than oven-roasted veggies? Well, maybe mac and cheese, but really, this is so easy to make and you might even get your kids to eat them.

You can use any root vegetable like potatoes, beets, carrots, as well as apples, onions, fennel bulb, winter squash, and even cauliflower and brussels sprouts.

First, preheat your oven to 425°. Depending on the hardness of the vegetable, you’ll want to cut them according to how long they need to cook. For example, cut carrots and parsnips thin and potato a bit thicker. Apples will not take as long as squash.

You can cut your veggies into chunks or slices. Spread them out on a large cookie sheet with sides. Drizzle with oil (I like extra virgin but you can use whatever you prefer), and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven for about 40 minutes, flipping around about half way through, or till browned around the edges. Test doneness with a fork. Remove the cooked pieces to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm. Return any undone pieces to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes or till done. Serve as a side dish with anything. A drizzle of lemon juice and cracked pepper makes it even more yummy. Honey mustard dressing tastes great on this, too.

I added two bonus recipes on my blog last time—basic crepes and basic brown butter sauce—so be sure to log on to get them, and while you’re at it, download a printable PDF, Cook’s Journal-TIPS pt 2 of this post, too!

“them that works hard eats hearty!” (part 2)

The Pennsylvania Dutch are known for their hard-working lifestyle where almost everything is done by hand. Imagine doing the family laundry in a tub? And can you appreciate the work that goes into plowing fields while walking behind a team of horses?

The bright side is that once you’ve expended all that energy, you can eat pretty much anything you want! This is one of the reasons the Amish and Mennonites are famous for their amazing desserts and breads. Here are a few of my favorites.

shoo-fly pie
While working at a commercial blood bank in West Philadelphia, I would go on a weekly “blood delivery run” to a Pottstown hospital that sat right on the edge of Amish country. Roadside stands were a welcome site, and I always stopped to buy a shoo-fly pie. If you like molasses, you’ll love this, but I warn you, it is an unconventional way to make a pie!

Ingredients
9-inch unbaked pie shell (easy crust recipe follows)
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup boiling water
¾ cup molasses
½ cup brown sugar
1½ cups flour
¼ cup butter, margarine, or lard, softened

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, dissolve soda in boiling water, then stir in molasses.
2. In another bowl, combine sugar, flour and butter, and use your fingers to rub together to make crumbs.
3. Place a third of the crumbs into the pie shell and gently ladle all the molasses mixture over it.
4. Place remaining crumbs on top to cover evenly. Do not stir. Bake 35 minutes or until nicely browned.

pat-a-pan pie crust
This amazing crust needs NO mixing bowls and rolling pins! You mix and pat it in your pie pan. So easy and so Amish! If dough is too “short” and crumbly, add more milk a teaspoon or two at a time till dough holds together well.

Ingredients
1½ cups of flour
1½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil
3 Tbs cold milk

Directions
1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the pie pan and mix with fingertips until evenly blended.
2. In a measuring cup combine the oil and milk and beat until creamy.
3. Pour all at once over the flour mixture. Mix with a fork until the flour mixture is completely moistened.
4. Pat the dough with your fingers, first at the sides of the plate and then across the bottom.
5. Flute the edges. Shell is now ready to be filled.
6. If you are preparing a shell to fill later or your recipe requires a prebaked crust, preheat oven to 425°.
7. Prick the surface of the pastry with a fork and bake 15 minutes. Use pie weights or check often and prick more if needed.

amish coffee cake
This is quick, delicious, and needs no eggs!

Ingredients
1¼ cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour milk, buttermilk, or sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
For the Topping: ½ cup brown sugar mixed with 1 Tbs cinnamon

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Then add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
2. Pour into a greased 13×9 inch pan. Sprinkle topping on top of batter.
3. Bake 45-55 minutes till edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

amish half-a-pound cake
This starts out in a cold oven—no preheating needed—and so nice for warm weather baking. You just need to remember to set the eggs and milk out on the counter for a couple of hours to warm them up a tad.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1½ cups sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup milk (room temperature)
½ tsp mace or nutmeg

Directions
1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 20 minutes.
2. Pour into a greased tube pan and place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 350° and bake for 1 hour till golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
3. Cool 20 minutes before removing from pan.
4. Run a knife around the perimeter and tube sides to loosen, then invert on a plate.
5. Dust top with powdered sugar.

jan hagels
These cookies are delicious as a treat year round. They are so easy to make and the almond flavor is wonderful.

Ingredients
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add egg yolk and almond extract. Stir in flour.
  3. Turn dough on to an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 jelly roll pan or a similar size cookie sheet with raised sides. Spread evenly to edges.
  4. Beat egg white till foamy with very soft peaks. Spread over dough, sprinkle nuts over entire top. Combine 1 Tbs sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over top.
  5. Bake 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Cut into diamond shapes. Finish cooling in pan before removing to a plate to serve. Yummy! 

potluck supper apple cake
Most Amish farms include an apple orchard or at least a few trees, since apples are a staple in their diet. This makes a large size dessert and is great if you need to use up some fresh apples, and even if you don’t. Everyone will love it. Serves 15-18.

Ingredients
4 cups diced apples
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with grease and flour.
  2. Do not use an electric mixer. In a mixing bowl, combine apples cinnamon, and sugar thoroughly. 
  3. Add eggs, oil, vanilla, soda, and salt. Stir gently.
  4. Add flour then nuts. Turn into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

PRINT THIS POST Amish pt 2 blog

puddin’ and pie

bread_pudding2

I grew up eating a lot of desserts, and Mom loved to make puddings and pies—chocolate pudding, butterscotch pudding, tapioca, rice, and bread pudding, apple pies, peach pies, and cream pies. What a lucky kid! I have many of her recipes and a few from friends as well. I published the first four in the newspaper, and I’ve added some bonus recipes here to round it all out.

pumpkin bread pudding

The idea behind bread pudding is using up leftover or stale bread, but I never seem to have much of that lying around. So I usually buy good bread like challah (when available), Arnold, or Pepperidge Farms because it is more dense and doesn’t turn to mush when blended with wet ingredients. It is also important to dry the crumbled or cubed bread on a cookie sheet in a 250-degree oven for about 45 minutes. It tastes a lot better than stale bread.

I recently read a tip to make the pumpkin less “canned” and that is to cook the pumpkin with the spices in a saucepan for a bit to blend those flavors before you add it to the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 16-oz can plain pumpkin (do not use fresh)
  • 6 cups dry bread cubes
  • ½ cup Xante currants or raisins (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions

  1. Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan or dish. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, ending with the raisins and nuts.
  3. Let stand 10 minutes. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Let cool 10 minutes before serving, Delicious with vanilla ice cream!

radio pudding

Mom never made this one. I got the recipe from a friend many years ago. She was Canadian and said it originated there, named so because someone heard the recipe on the radio.  It is probably a wartime or postwar dish. If anyone knows the real story, write to me at the paper.

Ingredients for the pudding

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the sauce

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 cups boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×9-inch glass baking dish.
  2. Mix pudding’s dry ingredients and slowly stir in milk and vanilla.
  3. Pour batter into baking dish and sprinkle evenly with raisins.
  4. Prepare sauce with ingredients listed, mixing well. Carefully ladle over top of batter.
  5. Put a cookie sheet in the oven before placing dish in case it boils over. Bake 30-40 minutes. Serve warm.

pineapple pudding

Never served as a dessert in our house, this is a side dish for Christmas or Easter and easily doubled if you’re feeding a crowd. It’s very rich and yummy and goes well with ham or pork especially. My oldest son always asks for it when we get together for holiday meals.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 slices cubed, oven-dried good bread like Arnold or Pepperidge Farms
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 4 eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a glass bread loaf pan or casserole dish.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well.
  3. Mix in pineapple, bread cubes, and vanilla.
  4. Pour mixture into dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  5. Bake 1 hour or till a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Kids will love this!

 helen’s streusel cream peach pie

I grew up in Philadelphia, and we had peach trees in our back yard. What a heavenly gift every year when bushels of juicy peaches landed in our kitchen. Mom would work for weeks putting up preserves and stacking peach pies in our freezer. In the dead of winter, we would enjoy the fruits of that harvest recalling warm days of summer baked into those wonderful pies. Well, with all this below-zero weather lately, I don’t think we’ll be seeing too many peach trees popping up through the sod anytime, so we’ll have to make our own memories and bake a peach pie that doesn’t require fresh fruit, but you can certainly use fresh if you have it. You can use frozen peaches, too.

Ingredients

  • 2 15-oz canned peaches packed in juice very well drained or 4 cups sliced fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs butter, softened
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs half & half, cream, or evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked pie shell

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Arrange peaches in pie shell. Sprinkle with white sugar, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Beat egg and cream. Pour over peaches.
  4. In a medium bowl mix flour, brown sugar, and butter with your fingers till crumbly. Sprinkle over pie.
  5. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake till crumbs are brown and filling is set.

penny’s rice pudding

This is a classic rice pudding from a friend of my mother. A variation, if I’m feeling ambitious that is, is to separate the eggs, put the yolks into the pudding, and then beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form and fold them into the cooled pudding. It really lightens up the dish and make it seem more elegant somehow.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice (long-grain white is best)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 qt whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1  12-oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Nutmeg and/or cinnamon

Directions

  1. Place rice in water in a large saucepan with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, reduce heat to very low, cover and cook till almost tender—about 20 minutes.
  2. While rice is cooking, mix eggs, canned milk, sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. When rice is done, mix in whole milk, stir well, then add egg mixture. Return to heat.
  3. Over medium high heat, cook just under a boil for 25 minutes. Add spices and raisins if desired.
  4. Cool, then refrigerate. Pudding tastes best the next day.

chocolate bread pudding

Simply delicious with a minimum of ingredients, this is so easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Half & Half
  • 5-6 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 9 cups 1-inch cubed firm texture white bread
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch of salt

Directions 

  1. Prepare an 8×8 inch square baking pan by coating bottom and sides with soft butter. Heat oven to 325°.
  2. Bring Half & Half to a simmer in a heavy saucepan, then turn off heat.
  3. Place chocolate, shaved or broken into small pieces, in a large, heatproof bowl. Add 1 cup of the Half & Half and stir to melt chocolate.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Slowly whisk in chocolate mixture.
  5. Strain through a fine strainer and skim off froth. Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture.
  6. Place bread cubes in the large bowl and pour larger amount of egg and chocolate mixture over, folding gently so cubes are not broken up.
  7. Transfer to baking dish, spreading out evenly. Pour reserved 1/2 cup of chocolate mixture over top.
  8. Bake 50 minutes or until firm to the touch. Serve warm with whipped cream or caramel sauce.