Pass the bowl of… a family “Go-To” Dish

If you have any white rice laying around…(my dad is hispanic so we ALWAYS have white rice) This is a great way to make a yummy snack/ meal in less than 10 minutes. My grandmother used to make this for my dad when he was a child and it is still a favorite of his to this day. If I make one for myself… I HAVE to make one for my dad. 

Just for some background on the type of rice we use…
We use a regular white rice (not ready rice) and make it with a little oil, water, salt and one whole green onion. We remove the onion once the rice is done. 

For one serving, all you will need is:

  • 1/4 cup of cooked white rice.
  • one egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • oil (we use corn oil for this)

The directions are as simple as this…

  1. Pour about 3 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan and heat up the oil on medium heat.
  2. Scramble the egg with the rice and a pinch of salt in a bowl. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the pan and spread it out into an even circle.
  4. Cover and fry on medium heat until the sides and the bottom are golden brown. 
  5. Repeat process on the other side.

AND THAT’S IT!

If you’re skeptical… try it at least once… no harm done. I can just about promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good this really is. 

You can also choose to add other ingredients such as hash, ham, sausage, peppers, cheese, etc… you can add just about any ingredient you want. We like it plain. Just as it is. :) Enjoy. 


Please, pass the…
Super Moist Banana Bread







































For this recipe, it is extremely IMPORTANT to plan ahead. The bananas need to be very, very, ripe. (This means almost mush already) You will need a VERY large bowl as this recipe makes 3 loaves of banana bread. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups white flour 
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 scant teaspoons salt 
  • 6 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10 very ripe bananas
  • 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 15 oz. can cream of coconut
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of roughly chopped toasted nuts - I used pecans.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease three standard 9x5 loaf pans. 
  2. Place nuts on a cookie sheet, baste them with melted butter and place in oven for about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Cream butter and sugars in a large bowl. 
  4. Mix in eggs. 
  5. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. 
  6. Mash bananas thoroughly in a third bowl and stir in pineapple, cream of coconut, and vanilla. 
  7. Fold the contents of all three bowls together in the largest bowl you’re using. 
  8. Fold in the nuts. 
  9. Pour batter into the prepared pans. 
  10. Bake for about an hour and 15 minutes. 

Let the bread cool on a rack and turn out of the pans after about fifteen minutes.
Let cool almost completely before slicing.
The bread will be very dense and moist.


One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Glory of Love
Big Bill Broonzy
Big Bill Broonzy Sings Folk Songs

Some more lovely cooking ambiance. 


Please, pass the…
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake







































This is almost exactly the same recipe as the New York Style Cheesecake recipe I posted here. A friend requested this variation for his birthday. As you can see…this turns out to be one lovely cheesecake.   

Ingredients
Crust:

  • 2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Filling:

  • 4-8oz. packages full fat cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 5 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups white chocolate chips.

 Raspberry Sauce

  • 10 oz. frozen raspberries. 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  3. Grease 9 inch spring form pan with butter. 
  4. Melt the butter for crust then mix with sugar and graham cracker crumbs. 
  5. Press into bottom of spring form pan and up the sides about an inch.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and place in your refrigerator. 
  7. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick.
  8. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds. Set aside.
  9. Mix cream cheese, sugar and flour on MEDIUM speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of your bowl as needed.
  10. Add the eggs one at a time while mixing on LOW speed, making sure each egg is incorporated. 
  11. Add cream, lemon zest, vanilla, and melted white chocolate. Continue mixing on LOW speed until combined.
  12. Pour 1/2 mixture over crust.
  13. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter.  Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect. 
  14. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and spoon 3 more tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl with knife again. 
  15. Place in your oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. 
  16. Reduce heat to 250 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  17. Turn oven off, open the door and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 30 minutes. This will slow down the cooling process of the cheesecake helping to keep it’s consistency and prevent cracking.
  18. Take your cheesecake out and run a knife around the edges.
  19. Let the cheesecake cool completely to room temperature in a place without drafts.
  20. Refrigerate cheesecake for 8 hours before consuming!

Please Pass the….Salsa!!

After a successful “Salsa Throwdown” at work this past week… the time has come to post the recipe I had promised everyone. Unfortunately, I did not get to take a picture of this one. Maybe you can make it and post your own picture so people get the idea of what it should look like.  

This recipe is SUPER simple and is made using ingredients already in your kitchen.
It takes minutes to make and people seemed to really like it. If you want a really chunky or mild salsa.. this probably isn’t the recipe for you. 

Ingredients: ( to make 1 blender of salsa)

  • 15 oz can or jar of Diced Tomatoes 
  • 15 oz can or jar of Stewed Tomatoes 
  • 1 large white onion (quartered)
  • 2 to 4  jalapeños/serranos/or habaneros ( I went with 4 jalapeños)
  • 1 very small bunch cliantro
  • 1-2 4oz cans of green chilies
  • ¼ tsp season salt
  • 2-4 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper
  • ¼ tsp sazón with cumin
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Divide and peel garlic – add all garlic and peppers to nonstick skillet and heat – just enough so they are a little blackened
  2. Add to blender:
    1 can tomatoes (either one)
    ½ tsp chili powder
    ¼ tsp season salt
    ¼ tsp onion powder
    ¼ tsp black pepper
    ¼ tsp red pepper
    ¼ tsp cumin
  3. Break up Cilantro, add to blender and blend ingredients so far.
  4. Add other can of tomatoes and ½ onion – blend
  5. Add other ½ onion and all of the garlic – blend
  6. Add peppers until spiciness desired, salt and more spice to taste, if needed.
  7. Add 1 tsp lime juice and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar – blend

Please, pass the… Apple Crisp!!

I doubled the ingredients from the original recipe because I love the topping so much. The original recipe is in the link. Note: The ingredients for the topping are already doubled  in the recipe below.
Topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh or ground nutmeg (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
Filling:
6 cups Granny Smith Apples or other firm, tart-tasting apple (peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks)
1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar  
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. 
Butter or spray with a non-stick cooking spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) deep dish pie plate or an 8 x 8 x 2 inch (20 x 20 x 5 cm) baking dish. (Can also make eight individual ramekins.) 
Topping: Place all the topping ingredients (flour, sugars, spices, butter, oats, and nuts) in a food processor and process until the mixture is crumbly (looks like coarse meal) and there are no large pieces of butter visible. (This can also be done with two knives or your fingertips.) Set aside while you prepare the filling.
Filling:Place the apple chunks in a large bowl, along with the berries (if using) and lemon zest. Toss with the lemon juice and sugar. Transfer to your prepared baking dish. 
Spread the topping evenly over the apples.
Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes (20- 25 minutes for individual ramekins) or until bubbly and the topping is golden brown. (If you insert the tip of a sharp knife into a chunk of apple, it should be tender, not mushy.) 
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
 
Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.
Makes 4 - 6 servings.

Please, pass the… 
Apple Crisp!!




















I doubled the ingredients from the original recipe because I love the topping so much. The original recipe is in the link. Note: The ingredients for the topping are already doubled in the recipe below.



Topping:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

Filling:

  • 6 cups Granny Smith Apples or other firm, tart-tasting apple (peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks)
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries (optional)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar  
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. 
  2. Butter or spray with a non-stick cooking spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) deep dish pie plate or an 8 x 8 x 2 inch (20 x 20 x 5 cm) baking dish. (Can also make eight individual ramekins.) 
  3. Topping: Place all the topping ingredients (flour, sugars, spices, butter, oats, and nuts) in a food processor and process until the mixture is crumbly (looks like coarse meal) and there are no large pieces of butter visible. (This can also be done with two knives or your fingertips.) Set aside while you prepare the filling.
  4. Filling:Place the apple chunks in a large bowl, along with the berries (if using) and lemon zest. Toss with the lemon juice and sugar. Transfer to your prepared baking dish. 
  5. Spread the topping evenly over the apples.
  6. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes (20- 25 minutes for individual ramekins) or until bubbly and the topping is golden brown. (If you insert the tip of a sharp knife into a chunk of apple, it should be tender, not mushy.) 
  7. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.

Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.

Makes 4 - 6 servings.


Oh Johnny!
Andrews Sisters
The Very Best of the Andrews Sisters

A cooking ambiance favorite of mine…
Oh Johnny! by the Andrews Sisters 


…if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should be as content with Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu and seaweed slime.
Edward Abbey

Please, pass the… Turtle Brownies with Chocolate Ganache Topping

Brownies:
3 ounces (90 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (105 grams) light brown sugar
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Caramel Topping:
40 Kraft caramels (10 ounces) (280 grams), unwrapped
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 cups (200 grams) pecan halves, toasted
or
Homemade Caramel Topping:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) light corn syrup
5 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (200 grams) pecan halves, toasted
Ganache Topping:
2 ounces (55 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream 
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x  33 cm) rectangular baking pan. 
Brownies: Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the brownie batter.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugars until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the melted chocolate mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and, on low speed, beat in the flour and salt.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or just until the brownies are barely firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. 
Caramel: Place the unwrapped caramels and cream in a saucepan and melt, over low heat (stirring frequently), until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted pecans, making sure all the pecans are coated with caramel. Spread the caramel topping evenly over the still warm brownies and let cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate brownies for about an hour or until the brownies are firm.
If making Homemade Caramel Topping: In a three quart heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, stop stirring, and cook the mixture until it turns a golden caramel color, about 10 - 12 minutes. (Swirl the pan as needed so the caramel cooks evenly.) Remove from heat and carefully add the cream and vanilla (the mixture will sputter and steam so be careful). Stir in the pecans and immediately pour over the still warm brownie layer, spreading evenly. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate brownies for about an hour or until the brownies are firm.
Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat (alternatively, heat the cream in the microwave). Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. 
Remove the brownies from the refrigerator and, using a fork, drizzle the Ganache over the brownies in a zigzag pattern. Cover and refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Using a sharp knife, cut the brownies into 48 bars.
Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, or in the freezer for longer storage.
Makes about 48 brownies.
Note: To toast pecans - Bake in a 350 degree F (177 degree C) oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant

Please, pass the… 
Turtle Brownies with Chocolate Ganache Topping




















Brownies:

  • 3 ounces (90 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (105 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Caramel Topping:

  • 40 Kraft caramels (10 ounces) (280 grams), unwrapped
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups (200 grams) pecan halves, toasted

or

Homemade Caramel Topping:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) light corn syrup
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (200 grams) pecan halves, toasted

Ganache Topping:

  • 2 ounces (55 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream 

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x  33 cm) rectangular baking pan. 
  2. Brownies: Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the brownie batter.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugars until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the melted chocolate mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and, on low speed, beat in the flour and salt.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or just until the brownies are barely firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. 
  5. Caramel: Place the unwrapped caramels and cream in a saucepan and melt, over low heat (stirring frequently), until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted pecans, making sure all the pecans are coated with caramel. Spread the caramel topping evenly over the still warm brownies and let cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate brownies for about an hour or until the brownies are firm.
  6. If making Homemade Caramel Topping: In a three quart heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, stop stirring, and cook the mixture until it turns a golden caramel color, about 10 - 12 minutes. (Swirl the pan as needed so the caramel cooks evenly.) Remove from heat and carefully add the cream and vanilla (the mixture will sputter and steam so be careful). Stir in the pecans and immediately pour over the still warm brownie layer, spreading evenly. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate brownies for about an hour or until the brownies are firm.
  7. Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat (alternatively, heat the cream in the microwave). Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. 
  8. Remove the brownies from the refrigerator and, using a fork, drizzle the Ganache over the brownies in a zigzag pattern. Cover and refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Using a sharp knife, cut the brownies into 48 bars.
  9. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, or in the freezer for longer storage.

Makes about 48 brownies.

Note: To toast pecans - Bake in a 350 degree F (177 degree C) oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant