Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cherry Cobbler

I grew up in Wisconsin and I've found through my various moves that many parts of the United States aren't as enamored with cherries as though of us who grew up near Door County.  We used to drive there, pick cherries, and then spend time pitting them.  The best pie is cherry pie!

Last year we discovered that a nearby orchard has a row of cherry trees that they don't advertise and we were able to pick enough that we could occasionally make a cherry pie and dream of summer so . They were also outrageously expensive so this year I put two trees in the back yard. There was one cherry on the tree and the birds ate it.

Still, I thought we'd still be able to pick them them but alas, we were notified that there was no crop due to a late spring frost.  So disappointing but today we were partially saved when my neighbors said to come over and pick the cherries on the trees they planted three years ago.   The trees were small, but loaded.  They picked.  We picked.  Now I have enough in the freezer for two precious pies.

But for dessert tonight, after a meal of pesto made from the basil and garlic from our garden, I thought I'd try something slightly different, something that was quicker than pie. Something that didn't need to be rolled.   Cobbler!   This is directly from Epicurious and I didn't change anything....and it was delicious.

Sour Cherry Cobbler
4 cups sour cherries, picked over, rinsed, and drained well
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits


    Working over a bowl pit the cherries, discarding the pits and reserving the cherries and any juices in the bowl, and into the cherries stir the cornstarch, 2/3 cups of the sugar, the lemon juice, and almond extract. In a small bowl stir together the flour, the baking powder, the salt, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and the butter, blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal, and stir in 1/4 cup boiling water, stirring until the batter is just combined. In an 8-inch cast-iron skillet or flameproof baking dish bring the cherry mixture to a boil, drop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto it, and bake the cobbler in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden. Serve the cobbler with the ice cream.

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    Haddock and Cabbage

    Haddock and Cabbage, an unlikely combination. I wouldn't have picked this recipe but was at a friend's house -- she picked the recipe and did the shopping, I did the cooking.  She cleaned up.  I feel as though I got the better end of this deal.  And it tasted great!

    Haddock and Cabbage

    1 lb haddock
    1 small head cabbage (about 4" diameter)
    Olive Oil
    Toasted Sesame oil
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 T minced ginger

    Preheat oven to 450.

    Cut cabbage into thin slices.  Cut half of the cabbage fairly finely, the other half more coarsely.  Cook the coarsely cut cabbage in a couple of tablespoons oil over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until lightly browned.  Oil a pan and put the finely cut cabbage in the pan.  Salt it and place the fish on top.  Salt the fish.  Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the fish is cooked but tender and opaque.  Put the cooked cabbage over the fish and bake for 2 more minutes.   Pour about 1 T of toasted sesame oil over the fish and sprinkle with scallion.  Serve immediately.

    Sunday, June 30, 2013

    Mmmm Lazy Lemon Bars

    I'm a pretty lazy cook.  If I can do it more easily, I'll do it.  And this is really easy.  It's from the "Smitten Kitchen" cookbook.

    Whole Lemon Bars


    1 c flour
    1/3 c sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 stick butter, cut into chunks


    1 small to medium size lemon
    1 1/3 c sugar
    1 stick butter, cut into chunks
    4 eggs
    2 Tbsp corn starch
    1/4 tsp salt

    Preheat oven to 350.  Line pan with parchment, butter the parchment well.  

    Mix flour, sugar, and salt in the food process.  Add the butter and process until it's the texture of crumbs that hold together when pressed.  Press the crust into the pan and prick with fork.  Bake approx 20 minutes until lightly browned.

    Cut the lemon into slices 1/4" thick.  Remove the seeds.  If the rind is less than 1/4" thick, use the entire rind.  If it's 1/4" or more, remove the pith from half of the lemon although it's nice to keep the zest.   Put the lemon slices and the sugar into the food processor and puree until it's smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

    Pour the filling over the hot crust.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is set and the top is lightly browned.

    Saturday, May 4, 2013


    Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, rugelach!  My timing isn't the greatest but mmm, this stuff is.

    This is from the "Smitten Kitchen Cookbook" by Deb Perelman.  I've read her blog for years and my neighbor just lent me the cook book.  I modified a bit.

    Alex's Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach


    2 sticks butter, room temp
    8 oz cream cheese, room temp
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 c flour

    Cream the butter and cream cheese.  Add salt and flour.  Chill at least 2 hours, up to 3 days.


    2/3 c raspberry jam
    2/3 c sugar
    1 T cinnamon
    1/2 c finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
    3 T pecans toasted and finely chopped (I didn't bother with nuts)

    Mix cinnamon and sugar.  Bring the jam to a boil to loosen it up.


    Cut dough into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls.  Keep two out.  Roll each into a circle about 8 or 9" in diameter.  Spread with a thin layer of jam, about 2-3T.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and some of the chocolate.  Tap down with waxed paper to keep the fillings in as you roll.

    Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 12 pizza  slice shaped slices.  Roll up each piece, beginning at the wide end.  Place on a parchment paper lined sheet.    Repeat with the rest of the dough.

    Place the rolled cookies in the freezer for 15 minutes.


    1 large egg yolk
    1 tsp water

    Additional cinnamon sugar

    Brush each with egg yolk, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

    Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Remove promptly from the parchment to cooling racks.

    Try not to eat too many of them!

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

    Chickpea stew

     I took this to a pot luck and people really liked it...

    • 2 T olive oil
    • 1 diced onion
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • cayenne to taste (I used a sprinkle)
    •  1 tsp paprika
    • 3 peeled tomatoes, diced
    • 1 lb chickpeas, cooked
    • Water or chickpea cooking water 
    • 1 tsp honey
    • Salt to taste
    • 5 oz baby spinach


    Saute the onions, add spices and saute for about a minute.   Add remaining ingredients except the spinach.  Cook for about 45 minutes, add the spinach at the last minute.

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    The Indian Touch

    I really like Indian food but haven't cooked it because, well, I don't really know the herbs and spices used so I have a hard time looking at a recipe and trying to figure out if it'll be any good. So I cheated a bit and picked up a cookbook at the library, one that looked simple and showed pictures of the ingredients. It is "Pure & Simple Homemade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine" by Vidhu Mittal. I've made a couple of things and what I've discovered is that I love the combination of cumin and tumeric. I've been making variations of this recipe, basically swapping out the peas for whatever vegetables I might have floating around the house and have had generally good results...with modifications of course. First, the modifications. I cook the rice first, not completely, but enough that I'm not tapping my foot and waiting for the dish to be done. Let's say about 2/3 of the way done. And I add the peas near the end because the first time I made them they turned that horrible shade of green I associate with canned peas.

    Mixed Vegetable Pilaf

    1 c brown basmati rice, cooked about 2/3 of the way through
    2 potatoes, medium size, cut into cubes
    1 c cauliflower
    1 c green peas
    1 T ghee
    1 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp tumeric
    About a cup of water
    1 1/2 tsp salt

    Heat ghee in a pan on medium heat for about 30 seconds, add cumin seeds and tumeric.  Add potatoes and cauliflower.  Cook for a minute.  

    Add water and salt.  Bring to a boil and cook, covered, until the potatoes are soft.  Add the rice and additional water if needed.  Add peas.  Cook until rice is tender.

    Double White Chocolate and Pretzel Peanut Butter Cookies…with Sea Salt

    Double White Chocolate and Pretzel Peanut Butter Cookies…with Sea Salt

    1 stick softened butter, 8 tablespoons
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 cup white chocolate chips, to melt
    1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter (reserve 2 tablespoons to add to melting white chips)
    1 large egg
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 cup broken pretzel pieces
    1 Cup additional white chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Melt white chocolate chips and 2 Tablespoons peanut butter over a double boiler until melted. Add melted chocolate chips and remaining peanut butter to beaten butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla.
    2. Place flour, baking soda and salt in bowl; mix to combine. Add to wet ingredients until just combined then pour in pretzels and additional white chocolate chips. With a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. With the palms of your hand, gently press down each cookie to about 1/2 inch in thickness. Sprinkle each cookie with a touch of sea salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges become golden and slightly crisp. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before removing.
    3 dozen cookies