Tuesday, August 3, 2010


An afternoon tea wouldn't be a proper tea without scones. There are cream scones made with heavy cream, which are very rich. I prefer a more American biscuit type of scone with the addition of dried fruit such as currants or raisins. In fact, if you research scones you will find dozens of different of kinds, with apples, buttermilk or a savory type with cheese, just to name a few.
Scones were first started in Scotland in the early 1500's as a quick bread made from oats and griddle baked. The Scottish quick bread took it's name from the 'Stone of Destiny or Skone, where Scottish kings were crowned.
Scones became popular and an essential part of the fashionable ritual of taking tea in England when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861), one late afternoon, ordered the servants to bring tea and some sweet breads, which included scones. She was so delighted by this, that she ordered it every afternoon and what now has become an English tradition is the "Afternoon Tea Time" (precisely at 4:00 p.m.). Scones are still served daily with the traditional clotted cream* topping in Britain. See below for a recipe for Devonshire Cream and Currant Scones.
Devonshire Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
Place heavy cream and confectioners sugar in chilled mixing bowl and beat on low speed until stiff peaks form. Fold in sour cream until well combined.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Keeps two days.
Currant Scones
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup raisins soaked for 30 minutes in brandy or orange juice to plump
3 eggs, divided
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk, divided
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, I prefer a convection oven preheated to 425 degrees*. Spray or grease a baking sheet. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until pieces are pea size. Drain raisins and pat dry, add to flour mixture. In a medium bowl beat eggs lightly with 1 cup milk. Add to flour mixture, stir just until mixed.**
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently. Pat or roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2" to 3" shapes, circles, triangles. hearts or shape of your choice. Grease and dip cutter into flour before cutting each scone. Place one inch apart on baking sheet.***
*If you use a convection oven, baking time may vary.
**The dough can be made in a food processor, either way, don't over process.
***One other method of baking is pat dough into 9"round cake pan, cut with knife into 8 wedges, the wedges will come apart after baked.
In a small bowl, combine 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk, brush onto scones. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm with strawberry jam*, butter and or clotted cream*.
*Strawberry jam is just one choice, lemon curd or other types of jam or apple butter are also good.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It is so hot here these days, I understand it is very hot all over the country. Salsa seems to be a hot weather favorite. I usually make fresh salsas this time of the year, using fresh tomatoes, chili's, onions, garlic and cilantro. My hair dresser Ron gave me his recipe. He always made up a large match every year and one year he send out questionnaires for people to judge the salsa. He received rave reviews, so he and his son considered putting it on the market. They decided against that, now he just shares with his friends. Ron and I talk everything from sports to food when I'm getting my hair cut and he was so kind to share the recipe.
If you want to make this up to give your friends, or just have on hand, I suggest you double or triple the recipe and bottle it in fruit jars.
Ron's Salsa

28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 can original Rotel Tomatoes
3 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 tsp onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro*
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped bottled jalapenos
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Mix together for serving or heat to boiling and put in sterile jars for canning.

*I like cilantro and I don't think dried has much flavor. If I were making to serve immediately I would add fresh cilantro.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


These cookies may be my all time favorite. I make them about 1 inch wide, so they are a perfect bite of sweetness, with a lemon tang.

Tea parties are best if dishes can be made ahead, requiring as little last minute preparation as possible. These lemon cookies are perfect. The dough can be made up and kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days. The cookies can be baked and frozen for a month or so. After icing them, they will keep in airtight tin for a day or two.
Actually they are very good iced for a week or so, but I recommend icing them no earlier than a day ahead for a special occasion.

Lemon Melt Away Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Lemon Frosting, (see recipe below)
In a large bowl at low speed, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and mix until fluffy. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, beat well. Add flour and cornstarch into butter mixture, mix well until blended.
Divide dough in half and shape each half into 8"x1" roll. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, approximately 1 to 2 hours. (I found that this dough will keep for a few days. I haven't tried this, but I think you could probably freeze these rolls. That way you could bake one roll and save the other one for another day.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With a sharp knife, cut each roll into 1/4 inch slices. Place on cookies on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned, top should not brown. Remove from oven, carefully remove baking sheet and cool on wire racks. When cool spread top of cookies with Lemon Frosting.
Lemon Frosting
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
Combine butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and confectioner's sugar, stir until mixed.
Additional lemon juice may be needed to get frosting thin enough.
Yields 4 dozen cookies

Monday, June 28, 2010


The ladies that attended the tea are pictured below, hats and all.
It was a pleasure researching, testing and preparing the dishes for the tea. I included a picture of the blackboard that displayed the menu. Everyone followed along with the menu and even picked up on an item I failed to serve. I don't have a good handwriting, so I asked my friend Sally to do this for me.

The Menu is as follows:

May Wine



Cheese Biscuits

Chicken Salad

Olive Tea Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches


Current Scones

Lemon Curd

Strawberry Jam

Clotted Cream


Strawberry Tarts

High Tea Lemon cookies

Black Forrest Cookies

Scottish Petticoat Tails


My first experience with Cucumber Sandwiches was on a trip to London in the late 1960s, from our home in Bonn, Germany. We had a week in London and decided we had to see everything, since we might never get back. We toured everyday, many out of the city to places like Oxford and Strafford on Avon. At night we went to stage shows, arrived home around midnight and back on a tour early the next morning. On one of the tours we were starving, seems the tour didn't stop for lunch. My husband Dale darted into a tea room and bought two of the only kind of sandwiches they had, cucumber. They were like heaven, even though anything would of tasted great at that stage of our hunger, these sandwiches still are a favorite with Dale and me.

Cucumber Sandwiches

1/2 or desired amount of an English/hot house cucumber
1/2 cup of unsalted butter softened
1/2 cup coarsely chopped watercress if available, I used about 1/4 cup dill
1 loaf of white or whole wheat, or both, thinly sliced bread, Pepperidge Farm makes the thinnest sliced bread. The bread works best is frozen before making the sandwiches.
Salt to taste.

I prefer not to peel English cucumbers, but you may if you wish. Slice very thin.
spread the bread with butter, sprinkle with dill or watercress and salt if needed.

At this point you need to decide how you plan to cut the sandwiches. I used 2 inch biscuit cutter and placed the cucumber slices on a circle of bread. If you prefer to make sandwiches and slice in to triangles, remove the crust before spreading the bread with butter.

Sandwiches may be made several hours before serving. Place waxed paper between layers and cover and seal tightly with plastic wrap.

Makes about 8 whole sandwiches, 16 halves, 24 circles or 32 quarters.
If you are doing this for a party and have a bunch of stuff to do, invite a friend to help. I actually gave this job to my daughter Melissa and my friend Emily.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I'm sure most of you thought by now, I would never be back. I truly don't know where Spring went. Once the snow melted and things began to warm up, I went to the garden, my passion until the weather gets hot or cold. Now that it is hot, I can get back to recipes. I have some good ones for you to try now and next spring.

One of the things that took some of my time, was an English afternoon tea for 6 that I sold at a fund raiser for PEO. I did quite a lot of research and testing for this and I must say things turned out very well. All the time I was doing the preparation, my mind kept drifting back to the 2 years we lived at Pycard's Hall, Reed by Bury St. Edward, Suffolk, England, that was our actual address for receiving mail, no numbers at all. Reed was a village of about 100 people, one pub, The Plough and a Norman church that hadn't been active for at least 200 years. Some of you won't be interested in putting on a tea, but the recipes will work for many occasions and are certainly worth trying. I will put the tea recipes in a special category, Afternoon Tea, instead of desserts, sandwiches or bread, etc.. I hope you will enjoy them as much as the guests and my husband.

Thank you for your patience, I hope I can make up for this long delay.


Friday, April 2, 2010


Kristen on right is married to my nephew Rob. They have three lovely daughters, from left to right, Samantha, Taylor and Brittaney. Kristen is a wonderful cook and shares this great recipe. Poblano peppers may be my new favorite pepper.

Spring is finally here, since we had 12 inches of snow on the first day of spring, I couldn't very well take pictures of spring flowers in front of my stone cottage until now.
Kristen's Cream of Roasted Corn and Poblano Pepper Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 uncooked chicken breasts, cubed
2 cups whipping cream
1 to 2 cans chicken broths
1 1/2 teaspoons chicken base
2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons cilantro
2 tablespoons white pepper (for my taste, I prefer 1 tablespoon or less white pepper)
2 or 3 tablespoons cumin
2 roasted poblano pepper, chopped*
2 roasted ears of corn, cut from cob (if not in season, cook frozen corn in a dry skillet until it begins to brown.
Saute vegetables, garlic and chicken. Once cooked add cream, broth and spices. simmer for 10 minutes. Add peppers and corn. Mix well. Puree half of the soup mixture and return to pot.
Serves 6 to 8
*To roast pepper, use either the grill of an open flame on a gas stove. Place pepper on grate and continue to turn until all the skin has blackened. Place peppers in a brown paper bag and close top for 20 to 30 minutes, remove pepper and peel skin off. Remove seeds and chop.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


This is a grain that I hadn't tried before. Kamut is an ancient grain that is only raised organically. I first heard it mentioned as a very important health food by Dr. Oz on Good Morning America.
I like grains in salads or used as a substitute for rice. We all need more fiber in our diet and this is a good one to try.

Kamut and Wild Rice Salad
1 cup kamut*
1 cup wild rice
1 cup dried cranberries
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup extra light olive oil
1/4 red or white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
dash Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper
Place kamut in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Soak overnight. Drain kamut and add 1 cup fresh water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 50-60 minutes, until tender. Drain off water if there is any left in pan. Remove from heat and cool.
Wash wild rice and bring to boil in a sauce pan with 3 cups water. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 40-50 minutes or until tender. Do not over cook. Drain the wild rice and cool. Put in a large bowl, wild rice, kamut, dried cranberries, carrots, onions and parsley. Set aside.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the rice mixture and stir well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. May be made a day or two ahead.
I garnish with orange slices.
Serves 8 as a salad or 4 as a main course.
I purchased the kamut from our local health food store. The store carries bulk grains.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


My salad bowl of lettuce on my deck.
Continuing from Chili Lime Vinaigrette, this is a good vegetable salad with a a salad dressing included, but the Chili Lime Vinaigrette would work very well.
My dear friend Mikey from Austin gave me this recipe several years ago. It is a great dish with grilled meat or add some grilled chicken sliced and make a one dish meal.
Sort of Mexican, certainly all the ingredients can be found there. When we have the spa lunch in Ixtapan de la Sal, we always have sliced jicama on the table as an appetizer served with a salad dressing type dip.
Black Bean and Corn Salad
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 or 4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups diced, peeled jicama
2 cups whole kernel corn, fresh cut from cob , cooked about 2 minutes , or frozen corn thawed or 1 (15 ounce) can of corn drained. All these will work, of course fresh is the best, for fresh add a little salt and sugar to cooking water.
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
Leafy lettuce
Making dressing:
In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients until well blended.
Add the salad ingredients, except lettuce. Toss to mix and coat with dressing. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour for the flavors to develop.
Serve on lettuce.
I like this served at room temperature.
Serves 10


We had a wonderful time with our friends in Mexico. It was so nice to see the sun after the bad winter we have all had. Our friends from Virginia have had a miserable winter and they were really happy to see the sun.
We go to a golf and spa resort in the mountains, about 6500 feet, southwest of Mexico City. It is an agriculture area, where vegetables and flowers are grown and probably some we buy in our grocery stores.
Every morning we were served a dish of fresh assorted fruit and a large glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. At lunch and dinner we always had a great salad. Why was it so much fresher than the salads we make at home. We decided because it wasn't from a bag. I have bought leafy lettuce and washed myself since I have been home and it does taste fresher to me than the bagged. For a really fresh salad, I bought some lettuce sets at the nursery and made a salad bowl arrangement for the table on my deck. I will just snip off leaves for a salad and it will continue to grow until it gets really hot. By giving the pot a little less afternoon sun, you might keep it going well into the summer. A fresh start of lettuce can be done in the late summer for a fall salad bowl.
This recipe is a very simple dressing, but a great fresh salad addition.
Chili Lime Vinaigrette
Juice of 4 limes (2 tablespoons = 1 nice sized fresh lime)
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup oil*
Salt and pepper
*I use olive oil for most salad dressings, but for this one I use a high quality vegetable oil, such as canola oil.
This is a good dressing for all fresh greens salad or a mixed salad. I use vegetables as follows: lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, green onions, black olives and anything with a southwestern flavor.
For a different flavor, use the lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper and change the seasoning. Garlic, fresh chopped basil, and olive oil. Add some orange juice along with lime juice, canola oil and substitute honey to taste for sugar for a fruit, nuts and lettuce salad. Use what ever pleases your taste.

Monday, February 22, 2010


This may be my all time favorite dessert. I found the recipe over 30 years ago in a Pine Bluff Junior League cookbook called 'Southern Accent'. I don't know how many printings this wonderful cookbook has had to date, but it may be available still today. I carried it in my antique/gift shop in Old Town Hampton, Virginia, in the early 1980s.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped

Mix crumbs, sugar and butter, press into 9" pie pan. Chill.


1 quart vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped

Beat ice cream and peanut butter until soft. Fold in whipped cream., Turn into prepared crust, freeze until firm.

Serves 6 to 9

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This recipe is form Cathy, pictured with her family in St. Louis this past Thanksgiving. Cathy is related by marriage and I always love when she serves this for a family get-together. It has become a family favorite around my house. Not your usual to dry chicken spaghetti, this one is moist and has a southwestern flare.
Chicken Spaghetti
3 pounds frozen chicken tenders or fresh boned chicken breasts
1 large onion to cook with chicken
1 large onion chopped for recipe
2 large celery stalks, diced
3 cloves garlic minced or to taste
1/2 pound of fresh white mushrooms, sliced or 8 ounces canned mushrooms
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel
2 bricks of chili, found in grocery near lunch meat*
4 ounce can chopped black olives
1 pound package of grated cheddar cheese
Cook chicken in water with large onion quartered until just done. Dice cooked chicken and set aside.
Saute onion, celery and garlic in butter or oil. Mix in fresh mushrooms and cook a few minutes. Add tomatoes, Rotel and chili. Cook spaghetti separately. Add cooked spaghetti to mix and put into greased roasting pan. Add olives and chicken and toss.
Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and cheese melts..
*Some of my friends from other states other than Arkansas, have had trouble finding brick chili, at this writing, I can't remember the brand, I'll find that out. I did google brick chili and found several recipes for brick chili, a possibility, more to come on this.
To freeze, I leave off cheese. After freezing, I bake for about 1 hours (or until hot) and then add the cheese and bake for 30 minutes longer.
This serves a bunch, at least 12. I have made it up and divided into two pans and frozen one pan for future use.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Mary, a good friend and fellow volunteer at Community Meals gave me this recipe. She has brought it to potlucks and it is always a hit. I made it for dinner last night, served it with poached salmon and fingerling potatoes, a simple but tasty supper. I did find the chopping to be a little slow, but since everything else was fast, that was okay. You could chop everything except the apples and toss with the vinaigrette a few hours ahead. Add apples half an hour or so before serving.
Mary is in our group going to a spa in Mexico this month. With all the snow and cold weather, I'm looking so forward to this trip. We'll be in the mountains, 6500 feet, southwest of Mexico City. The weather is usually in the high 70s and dry this time of the year. A lot of fruit, vegetables and flowers are grown in this area, a nice place to eat and enjoy the wonderful vegetation.
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Vinaigrette
Prepare a vinaigrette the following ingredients:
1/4 cups olive oil
3 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
(if the flavor is a little sharp for you, add 1/2 teaspoon sugar)
Mix with a whisk and set aside.
8 large Brussels sprouts, ( 2 cups) remove the cores by cutting in quarters and julienne
1/2 cup of julienned red peppers, 1 inch long
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion strips, 1 inch long
1/2 cup julienned apple strips, 1 inch long
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Mix together with vinaigrette. Transfer to serving bowl or platter. Garnish with apple wedges.
Serves 4

Monday, February 8, 2010


For those that are following this blog, you may not realize that I have started a second blog called 'Recipes from the Past'. It is sort of a family thing, but the recipes are just as good as the ones on this blog. I just posted a recipe for 'Grand Prize Chili', I also served this along with 'White Chili' at our super bowl party. I have listed this blog under favorite blogs, so just click on the link found on the upper right side of the recipe.

White Chili

1 pound dried white beans, I used small navy beans, any white will do
14 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt, if stock is salty, add salt according to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (4-ounces) can chopped green chilies, drained
2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, I used 1 tablespoon dried, but fresh when available would be better*
2 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen white shoepeg corn, if unavailable, use small, sweet corn
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and diced
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
4 green onions thinly sliced
Chopped cilantro

Combine beans, stock, half the onions, garlic and salt in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beans are very tender. Add more chicken broth as needed.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add remaining onions, chilies, cumin, oregano, coriander, cloves and cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly. Cook 10 minutes. Fold corn into mixture. Continue cooking 12 minutes. Combine corn mixture. Continue cooking 12 minutes. Combine corn mixture, bean mixture and chicken.

I took out a cup or two of chili and mashed up beans to provide a little thickening, this optional.

Serve with cheese, onions and cilantro sprinkled on top.

This recipe is from 'Stop and Smell the Rosemary', one of my favorite cookbooks. It was put together by the Junior League of Houston.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Green Lemon Chicken Soup is my daughter, Melissa's favorite soup. The soup's formal name is Augolemono, I assume that is Greek and therefore not easy to pronounce.
When we lived in the village of Oberursel, Germany at to foot of the Taunus Mountains, Melissa was 7 or 8 years old and loved to go to the top of the Taunus and eat in the restaurant at the ski resort. One of the soups they served was chicken with egg (Huhnsuppa mit Ei) or something like that . This recipe is close. My uncle Harry from Kentucky was quite the gourmet and in a men's cooking group. I found the recipe in a cookbook this group put together.

Chicken Soup with Egg

12 cups chicken stock (homemade is the best, but store bought will work)
1/2 cup white rice
4 eggs
Juiced of 4 lemons
Grated zest of 2 of the lemons
Bring chicken stock to a boil. Gradually add rice and slowly cook for about 30 minutes or until it is very soft.
Separate the egg whites and the yellows. Mix the egg yokes with lemon juice and zest. *
Slowly stir 2 cups of hot chicken stock into egg and lemon mixture. Pour this slowly into the hot stock, stirring rapidly to prevent curdling.
Beat egg whites until they are stiff, but not dry. Fold into the soup. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
My preferred method is to beat the eggs, without separating, with the lemon juice and zest, then mix with hot soup, and beat into the soup. There my be some bits of cooked white.
I sometimes add a cup or so of cubed chicken breasts. This makes a hardier soup.


This appetizer is often called Texas Caviar. I really don't have a recipe for this, but when I serve it I'm often asked for the recipe. So I'll write the basics. Actually that is a good way to cook. Learn the basic ingredients of any recipe and go from there. One of my favorite cooking shows on Food Network was 'Jamie at Home' with Jamie Oliver. He uses a knob of butter and handful of something else. If you practice measuring with your hand, such as how a teaspoon of salt looks and feels in the palm of your hand, you will never have to measure salt in a teaspoon again. Baking is a case where measuring is required, at least for me, but for most recipes, taste is the way to go.
This is a great Super Bowl dish.
Black-Eyed Pea Salsa
1 large bag (about 4 cups) frozen black-eyed peas or purple hull peas
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic minced
cumin to taste ( try 1 to 1/2 teaspoon)
Olive oil
Lemon or lime juice
Salt to taste
Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
Cook peas according to package directions (don't over cook). Drain .
Mix together, peppers, garlic, cumin, olive oil, lemon or lime juice, and salt.
Add to peas and blend.
Add tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and more salt, oil and/or lemon or lime juice to taste.
Optional additions:
Black olives, sliced, chopped avocados and cooked fresh or frozen corn.
Serve at room temperature or chilled with corn chips or serve as a salad on lettuce.


This French pastry is ideal for tarts and quiches. It freezes beautifully, so when preparing the dough, make extra and freeze single recipes in zip-lock bags to have on hand. Set out dough to thaw and roll when cold but not frozen. This recipe is a more generous portion than our normal pie dough, which allows for fitting into a 10 or 11 inch tart pan. It can also be used to make small tartlet shells, approximately 6 shells.

Pate Brisee

1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
pinch of sugar
5 1/2 tablespoon (2/3 stick) chilled unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chilled shortening
1/4 cup ice water

Sift the flour, salt and sugar together into a bowl. Add butter and shortening and cut them into dry ingredients with a pastry blender.*

Blend in enough water to make a workable dough. Turn dough onto floured surface, work dough by smearing away from you several times, scrape into a ball put in plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer.*

Place chilled dough on floured board or between two sheets of waxed paper. Pound dough several times with a rolling pin to soften. Roll out 1/8 inch thick or desired thickness.
Put dough carefully over pan, pat into bottom and sides, trim off excess and crimp edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven 400 degrees. Remove chilled dough and line with foil and fill with beans or rice to weight the crust. Bake 10 minutes, until dough is set and beginning to color. This crust is ready for a quiche or tart. For a completely baked crust (like a fresh fruit tart), bake 10 minutes, remove foil and beans and continue to bake until golden brown and crispy flaky, about 25 minutes. Cook before filling.
*I use a food processor and skip the shifting, cutting in butter and shortening and smearing dough. I think this is a good and fast way to make all pastry dough, just be sure and not over process, just until the dough forms a bowl in the machine.


Allyson, a friend from my old neighborhood, offered this recipe for Stone Cottage Kitchen. We tested it last night and it it delicious. Allyson's quiche was featured in our local newspaper a few years ago. I am thrilled to offer it here.
Chicken-Dijon Quiche
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (one crust from 15-ounce package)*
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I used white mushroom caps)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup cubed cooked chicken
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup (1-ounce) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1-ounce) shredded Gruyere or good Swiss cheese
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 eggs
*I prefer to use a home made pie crust, in this case I use a French pastry called 'Pate Brisee'. Recipe will be posted.
Preheat convection oven, if you have one, to 400 degrees.
Prepare pie crust as directed on package for one crust baked shell using 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom or 9-inch pie pan. Place prepared crust in pan, press in bottom and up sides of pan. Trim edges if necessary. DO NOT PRICK CRUST.* Bake 400 degrees for 9 to 13 minutes or until crust appears dry and is very light golden brown.
Meanwhile, in medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat, add mushrooms, onions and garlic. Cook and stir until tender. Stir in chicken, Italian seasoning and wine. Cook over medium heat until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.
Spread chicken mixture over bottom of partially baked shell. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons each of Parmesan and Gruyere cheese. In medium bowl, combine cream, mustard and eggs, beat well. Pour over cheese, sprinkle with remaining cheeses.
Bake at 400 degrees for 23 to 28 minutes or until quiche is golden brown and knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
*I line a pie crust with foil, and weight down with dried beans, this keeps crust from puffing. I store the beans in a bag and use them over and over, just don't try to cook the beans after baking. Cook about 10 minutes and remove the beans, at this point the crust should be set and if desired further cooking and browning will not puff the pastry. This works for all pastry.
A vegetable addition, such as broccoli or spinach, could be added to this recipe or substituted for the chicken for a vegetarian dish.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


My old friend Martha told me that the Stromboli recipe I posted yesterday sounded complicated, so I decided to add an easier one that I first made years ago. It is not as fancy as the first one, but still very good and will be a hit with those eating.
This one is made with frozen bread dough instead of pizza dough. Because I have moved with my husband many, many times and because of this we have sold many houses, I have a past with this frozen bread dough. Nothing smells more inviting than freshly baked bread, so I bought the frozen dough, thawed and baked it a half an hour or so before the house viewers arrived. Leave the bread setting out on a bread board with the aroma lingering in the air. It'll sell a house everytime.

Stromboli 2

Frozen bread dough (1 loaf for each stromboli)
3 meats to equal 1 cup: hard salami or pepperoni, ham and 1/2 pound crumbeld fried hot Italian sausage or sausage of your choice
2-3 cheeses to equal 1 cup: mozarella, cheddar, provolone, Parmesan (all grated)
Melted butter
Garlic salt

Let dough thaw. Roll into rectangle. Spread with good mustard. Lay out overlaying meats and sprinkle cheeses over meat. Roll up in jellyroll fashion, folding in sides and ends. Place on greased cookie sheet. Brush top with melted butter. Sprinkle with oregano, parsley and garlic salt. Bake 325 degrees for 30 to 49 minutes. May be cut as sandwiches or in small squares as an appetizer.

Serves 4 to 6 as a sandwich.

Good served with Italian Tomato Sauce* for dipping.

* Find recipe in Sauces.


This is a good sauce for many things. Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan and a dip for Stromboli.

Italian Tomato Sauce

Saute in a large kettle:
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced or pressed garlic
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaves
2 teaspoon salt

When onions are clear and very soft, add:

1 one pound and 13 ounces can tomato puree
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoon dry red wine
1 can chopped tomatoes or chopped peeled and seeded fresh tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Simmer covered for 45 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally. Then add:

1/2 cup fresly chopped parsley
Taste for salt and pepper
Optional, I add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar to enhance the flavor

1/2 pound coarsely-chopped mushrooms, sauted with step 1
1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano, added last


A friend ask me for a good Chicken Parmesan recipe, that's like waving a carrot in the front of nose of donkey. I set out to try a recipe, this comes from the 1970s 'Moosewood Cookbook', which is a very good vegetarian cookbook. My husband loves Eggplant Parmesan* (which is listed in this cookbook) more than Chicken, so I decided to test both at the same time. This is the recipe with tomato sauce, I would probably prefer Chicken Parmesan without tomato sauce, I will test that another time. I made the dish by frying the eggplant and chicken, I don't fry much, now my kitchen smells like an Italian, slightly greasy cafe. Next time I will bake the eggplant or chicken instead of frying. The tomato sauce is a good recipe for other dishes, so I will list that separately. It can be made a few days ahead, making the dish easier to handle the day you are serving it.

*Zucchini is listed in recipe as a substitute for eggplant. When you have a lot zucchini in the summer, this is a good way to cook it.

Eggplant, Zucchini or Chicken Parmesan

I batch of Italian Tomato Sauce, see Sauces
2 large eggplants peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
4 medium zucchini sliced 3/4" thick
6 skinned and boned half chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4" thick, since pounding makes the piece very large, I cut them in half, this gives you 12 pieces medium of chicken
1 cup or more flour, mixed with salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
1 cup or more fine dry Italian bread crumbs mixed with basil, oregano (Italian seasoning my be substituted) and some grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
1 pound mozzarella cheese grated
1 cup Parmesan grated cheese + enough more to add to bread crumbs

Have ready in three shallow bowls, flour, 2 beaten eggs and breads crumbs. Dip in flour, then beaten eggs, then roll in bread crumbs. Fry in olive oil until done, about 3 or 4 minutes on each side for vegetables and longer for chicken.

If you don't wish to fry, bake vegetables in oiled pan, for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Chicken will need to back for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees, check for doneness.

To assemble:

Layer chicken or vegetables, sauce and cheeses in an oiled large shallow baking dish, or two smaller dishes. I made in two dishes and cooked only one and refrigerated the other, I will give the second one to Melissa and Bernie to take home and bake tonight. For my daughter and her husband, it's like carry-out gourmet.

Bake at 375 degrees covered with foil for 30 to 40 minutes, uncover for last 15 minutes. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve over pasta with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Serves 6 to 8