My Wonderful World

W e l c o m e... And Enjoy!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Easter

Wishing Everyone a Very Happy Easter Celebration

Here is our Menu that was inspired by 
Southern Living Magazine  

Chef Amy Tornquist created this Casual Carolina Menu
with the best in-season local foods.   
Chef Amy is a Contributing Chef for Southern Living Magazine. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Date Nut Cake for Easter

Growing up...I can't recall an Easter Holiday without Mom's Date Nut Cake.  And I don't even know where she got the recipe...but every Easter, we had Date Nut Cake and freshly whipped cream.  I hope you enjoy this as much as the memories it brings back. 

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Date Nut Cake

1/2 pkg dates  (4 ounces)
1 cup water, hot
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1  egg
1/2 pkg dates  (4 ounces)
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix first three ingredients together and let cool completely.

Add walnuts, cake flour and baking powder and stir gently. Add butter, sugar, salt and egg. Stir completely and bake in a prepared 8 X 8" pan until tester comes out clean.

Topping: Cook until syrupy and spread on warm cake. Serve cooled.

I have also made this in a 9" round pan.   After cooling and refrigerating, split the layer and put the filling in the middle at finish off the top.  Recipe works very well with Splenda.

Notes:  Doris Harlow Mockridge

Yield: 8 servings

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wonderful Fruit Compote!

Fresh and lively tastes are so appealing.   Somehow, a grating of Lemon Peel or Orange Peel makes a dish come alive.    I have noticed how new tastes need to be put into "The Salad".  Citrus and flavors including a Poppy Seed Salad Dressing always spark up any flavor.  

This week, I found a Pacific Blush apple that really made this salad.  The Mandarin Orange and maraschino cherry with the addition of flaked coconut became wonderful.  Here is my Poppy Seed Dressing that I use on most "tropical" salads and also makes a great marinade on grilled chicken!

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Poppy Seed Dressing

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon onion juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup salad oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/3 cup cider vinegar

Put all ingredients except poppy seeds into a jar with a lid and shake it until thick and smooth. Add seeds, shake again and serve. Store in the fridge and re-shake as it will settle.

Notes: ©WHStoneman

Yield: 24 servings

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **

Enjoy The Flavors and don't forget to Experiment!  

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Embers Pork Chops!

The Embers in Mt. Pleasant was a mainstay of MidMichigan dining  for years.   I say was,  since the restaurant has closed a few years ago.    This restaurant was famous forever with their Embers Pork Chops.  Out of this world good!   The Dining Room was something wonderful with all the great smells.   They also featured Prime Rib that drew in tourists over the decades. 

I came across this recipe 20 years ago from a great friend who had "ties" to the restaurant.   The recipe slipped out but I still don't know if this is the EXACT recipe, but it sure is a good copy!   Hope you enjoy this as much as we do.   This recipe will accommodate 8 1 1/2" center cut bone in chops.    Get the best chop you can won't regret your decision. 

The Chops are finished with the Marinating Sauce and ready for the oven 

Hot from the Grill served with Brown Rice and Salad

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Embers Pork Chops

meats, pork

      ----MARINATING SAUCE----
2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon salt
      ----RED SAUCE----
1/3 cup water
14 ounces ketchup
12 ounces Heinz chili sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard

Combine all ingredients in marinating sauce.  Mix together and bring to a boil.  Let cool.  Put chops in a pan with bone side up.  Pour the sauce over the pork chops and let stand overnight in refrigerator.

Continuing, take pork chops out of sauce, place in baking pan and cover tightly with foil.  Put in 375F. oven and bake until tender about 2 hours.  While chops are baking, combine all red sauce ingredients in a heavy saucepan.  Dilute dry mustard, sugar and water together leaving no lumps. Bring all ingredients to a light boil. The red sauce is finished. After chops are tender, remove from oven and dip in the red sauce. Take chops after dipping and place in baking pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350F or until slightly glazed.

Marinating sauce and red sauce can be reused if brought to a boil and stored in refrigerator or frozen.

For extra flavor, keep at room temperature until you are ready to put on charcoal pit or grill.   Have grill as high as possible from coals, not a large bed of coals is needed.  Place finished chops on grill, let cook slowly, a little blacking does not hurt chops and grilling should not take more than 15 minutes.

Notes:  Embers Restaurant, Mt. Pleasant, MI

Yield: 6 servings

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **

Sweet/Sour Shrimp Stir Fry

Spring is finally here...and  my favorite ingredients were on sale.  That's right....SHRIMP AND ASPARAGUS!     Time to dream up something for supper.  

Sweet Sour Shrimp Stir Fry with Rice Noodles

I started with the basic sweet sour sauce I use for MOST applications.   This recipe was from a friend and I have added and subtracted ingredients for my taste.   You may need to adjust also. 

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Sweet And Sour Sauce

Oriental, sauces

1/4 cup sugar or Splenda
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water or reserved pineapple juice
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in
4 tablespoon water

To prepare the sauce, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, ketchup, dark soy sauce, salt, water or juice and vinegar. Set aside. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water.  Add together and whisk to eliminate any lumps.

Bring to a boil for a dipping sauce or add directly to stir fry for a cooking/finishing sauce.

Notes:  ©WHStoneman

Yield: 4 servings

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **

I do not have a wok...but use a Lodge Cast Iron 12" pan.  I love the weight of the pan and when it is "white hot", nothing will stick when you add to the pan.   After adding shrimp, saute for 3-4 minutes.   Add grated ginger to taste.   Add chopped garlic to taste.  Add red pepper flakes to taste.   Add blanched asparagus and mushrooms and stir to combine.   Immediately add Sweet Sour Sauce and stir until sauce thickens.  Add finely sliced scallions after plating.   Serve with rice noodles, brown or white rice.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reuben Casserole

Here is a quick and easy supper ready to serve in your Lodge Cast Iron skillet.    A very comforting Irish dish with a Southern Flair.   

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Reuben Casserole W/ Cornbread

20 ounce sauerkraut, drained
2 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
1/3 cup thousand island salad dressing
2 1/4 ounce black olives, drained
6 ounce corned beef, shredded
6 ounce Swiss cheese, shredded
1  egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoon oil
1 cup self rising corn meal mix
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mustard, prepared
1 teaspoon onion, minced

Preheat oven to 425F.

In ungreased 10 1/2" cast iron skillet, layer sauerkraut, tomato slices, salad dressing, olives and corned beef. Top with cheese; set aside.

In medium bowl, beat egg. Add buttermilk, milk and oil; mix well. Add remaining cornbread ingredients; stir until smooth. Pour over filling mixture in skillet.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine all mustard sauce ingredients, blend well. Serve casserole with mustard sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Be All and End All of Casseroles!!

I found this years ago in Southern Living and these combination really work!!   Enjoy the variations.  

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Invent Your Own Casserole

casserole, main dish

10 1/2 ounce cream of mushroom soup
10 1/2 ounce cream of celery soup
10 1/2 ounce cream of chicken soup
29 ounce Italian style diced tomatoes
10 ounce spinach, frozen
10 ounce broccoli, frozen
10 ounce English peas, frozen
16 ounce yellow squash, frozen
10 ounce corn, frozen
2 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 cup rice, uncooked
4 cup egg noodles, uncooked
3 cup shells, uncooked
12 ounce tuna, drained and flaked
2 cup chicken, cooked and chopped
2 cup ham, cooked and chopped
2 cup turkey, cooked and chopped
1 pound ground beef, brown and drain
3 ounce mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup black olives, drained
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2  garlic cloves
4 1/2 ounce green chilies, chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup Swiss, shredded
1/2 cup bread crumbs, dry

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper with Sauce Maker. Omit sour cream and milk when using tomatoes.

Stir in frozen vegetable, pasta/rice, meat/fish/poultry and if desired, extras. Spoon into a lightly greased 13 X 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with toppings.

Bake casserole, covered for 70 minutes, uncover and bake 10 minutes more.

Source: St. Michael's Catholic Church, Gainesville, GA via Southern Living, 11/96

Yield: 6 servings

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **

Monday, March 8, 2010

My First Day of Spring!

Finally, we have a few sunny days and the temps are above 60F.   It is about time considering what a bitter winter we have had this year.   I haven't experiences a winter like this in Tennessee.   We had weeks at a time and temperature below 32F. started MY First Day of Spring.   To begin the ritual, I start by getting out the lawn mower and start working on the three  terrace flower beds.  The day lilies are just beginning to come up so that is a great sign.  

My second thing to do is celebrate by making Blueberry Sorbet.  I did see some in the market from parts unknown...but the freezer section always has great fruits that are perfect for sorbet.   The blueberries looked wonderful.    By making my own...I can control the sugar content....or the lack of it by using Splenda

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Blueberry Sorbet


4 c blueberries; fresh or frozen
2/3 c Splenda
2/3 c water
2 tb lemon juice

Thaw frozen berries, if necessary and add to food processor. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice.

Dissolve Splenda in water. While processor is running, add the sweetened Splenda water. Process until very smooth and NO pieces of blueberry skin remain.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions.

Notes:  WHStoneman

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Skirt Steak....and My Variations!

I just received the newest edition of Fine Cooking April/May 2010  !!   This magazine has become my inspiration and my food companion.   Every issue is  a relevant and productive addition to any kitchen reader.  

Their "Make it Tonight" section featured Skirt Steak Tacos with Spicy Sour Cream.   That  combination inspired me to create my own interpretation.   So goes and enjoy!

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Skirt Steak Tacos With Spicy Sour Cream


1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle chile
  kosher salt
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
  freshly ground pepper
1 lb. skirt steak (3/4 inch thick)
8  tortillas
2 c iceberg lettuce; shredded
2 medium tomatoes; chopped
1 medium avocado; pitted, peeled
1/3 cup red onion; chopped

Prepare a medium-hot charcoal or gas grill fire. Combine the sour cream, chipotle, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Set aside at room temperature to let the flavors meld.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, cumin, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Rub this mixture on all sides of the steak. Grill the steak, covered, flipping once, until medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Transfer the steak to a large plate to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the tortillas on the grill for about 30 seconds per side.  Slice the steak across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Fill each tortilla with some of the steak, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and onion.  Drizzle with the sauce and serve.

Fine Cooking 104, pp. 22

Notes:  Adeena Sussman

Yield: 4 servings

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.84 **

Cumin Marinating Strip Steaks


Strip Steak with Spicy Sour Cream 

I used the ingredients as written and  put the rub on NY Angus Strip Steaks.    Grilled until medium rare and placed the steak on a bed of lettuce, topped the steak with chopped tomato and sliced avocado.   Spooned the Spicy Sour Cream over top and ready to serve!!   As you know....skipping the tortillas is a smarter Sugar Busters thing to do.   

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kielbasa Apple Kabobs

Somewhere across the interweb....a recipe showed up on my radar screen.  Many appear....most are bypassed.  The one sounded like real potential...but I really needed to make some major Sugar Buster alterations.    This was my interpretation of a good flavor, full crunch flavor.

The Cranberry Sauce


On The Grill!

The Plate ready for enjoyment....accompanied with a Spring Salad and Cantaloupe. 

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Kielbasa/Apple Kabobs

Sugar Buster

1/4 c Splenda
1 tb cornstarch
3/4 c diet cranberry juice; sweetened w/ Splenda
2 tb vinegar
2 ts soy sauce
1 lb smoked kielbasa; 1 1/2 cubes
2 medium Granny Smith apple; cubed
1 md green pepper; cubed
1 md sweet red pepper; cubed

Combine Splenda and cornstarch.  Stir in Cranberry juice, vinegar and soy sauce.  Bring to boil and stir until thickened.

Use a metal skewer, add cubed ingredients starting with Kielbasa and ending with Kielbasa.  Grill over hot grill for 8 minutes turning and brushing with glaze occasionally until nicely browned edges.

Serve with brown rice.

Notes:  WHStoneman

Yield: 8 servings

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.84 ** 

Enjoy!! and Best Wishes for that New Weight Achievement!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Heart Warming Beef Burgundy

Back from Florida...and it was very cold there...just in the 50's but I was expecting the 70's.   Stayed with some very dear friends in St. Pete/Gulfport at the Town Shores.  What a lovely time we had and cooked up some great meals in their kitchen.  Enjoyed it all!   


Our Guest Host and Hostess have a very  enjoyable kitchen on the penthouse of their building....a real dream to prepare a wonderful dinner..and we also did a few breakfasts too! 

But getting back to Tennessee, I arrived with at least six more weeks of cold weather.    While is Florida, I enjoyed my host's version of Beef Burgundy.   That inspired me to get my recipe out and have a redo for this evening.   I hope that you enjoy as much as we did!

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Beef Burgundy

beef, meats

3 pound stew beef; cubed
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 small white onions
12 ounce mushrooms
3/4 cup burgundy wine
3/4 cup beef broth
1  bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a sturdy plastic bag combine beef and flour. Shake to coat well.

In electric skillet with heat control set at 325 °F brown beef cubes, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add onions and mushrooms. Saute onions until brown and mushrooms are dark.

Add wine and broth. Bring to boil, stirring well. Add bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover. Turn heat control down until light goes out (simmer point).  Simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and  sauce is thick.

Notes:  W. H. Stoneman

Yield: 6 servings

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.84 **

Just a short note about the ingredients.....I buy the small pearl onions already prepared and in the freezer case.   They sure can be tedious getting them ready and I find the packaged ones just perfect and quite a bit of time saving!  

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The Fine Art of Cooking involves personal choice. Many preferences, ingredients, and procedures may not be consistent with what you know to be true. As with any recipe, you may find your personal intervention will be necessary -- © WHStoneman 2017