Ginger Pear Cake

On the weekends, it’s nice to complete a meal with something sweet.  This is a really easy cake to make and the perfect finish to any meal. This recipe started as Mitzi’s plum cake a family favorite. The recipe was given to my grandmother over 50 years ago from her friend Mitzi and my whole family makes this recipe each end of summer using plums. I decided to use Mitzi’s recipe for the fall /winter using  pears on their own or with cranberries with great results. This is the perfect quick cake.  Enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you yummy cake food memories!

Maryann

blog pear cake

Ginger Pear Cake ( adapted from my Mitzi’s Plum Cake)

Ingredients
¼ pound unsalted butter softened plus 1 tablespoon
½ cup fine sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for topping the cake
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Bosc pear
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel, core and slice the pear. Place pear slices in bowl, cover with lemon juice, mix and set aside. Using electric mixer combine ¼ lb butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg and combine. Next add the flour and baking powder and combine. This makes a soft dough. Take an 8” non stick cake pan line with parchment and butter and flour the pan. Press the dough into the pan covering the bottom of the cake pan. Use a spatula to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Press plums into dough with the cut side facing up in a concentric circle. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with ½ teaspoon ginger, mix and sprinkle on top of the pears. Dot with extra butter. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until cake tester is clean.
Variations: replace pears and ginger with plums and cinnamon.

blog pear cran cake

Kale, Garlic, Mushroom and Ricotta Salad

I know , what another kale salad ? Yes, because this is a great one., one that you will want to eat again and again…. using baby kale greens , sauteed mushrooms , crispy garlic and shredded ricotta salada. Healthy and delicious, it doesn’t get better than that!
From by the bay, wishing you yummy kale food memories!
Maryann
blog kale mush salad
Kale, Garlic, Mushroom and Ricotta Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients
Salad
5 ounces baby kale, spinach and mixed greens, cleaned
1 large garlic clove sliced in thin slivers
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces mixed mushrooms
1 ounce ricotta salada, shredded
Dressing
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Directions
Prepare dressing in a small bowl adding olive oil and vinegar. In a large bowl place greens and add dressing. Toss greens gently in dressing with hands. Season with salt and pepper and mix again. Place greens on a platter. In a small pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the garlic. Fry until garlic is brown on one side and turn to brown on the other side. This will take less than 1 minute in total. Use tongs to remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.  Add the mushrooms to the same pan with oil and saute until soft about 2 -3 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool. Top salad with mushrooms, shredded ricotta and browned garlic. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Bourbon Kiss

There are all kind of kisses , the universal symbol of love. Every kiss, they say,  is the talk of the soul. These little bites of chocolate and bourbon are a perfect kiss for your Valentine !

From by the bay, wishing you little chocolate kiss food memories!

Maryann

blog bourbon kiss

 

Chocolate Bourbon Kiss
Makes approximately 30 cookies

Cookies
3 cups vanilla wafers
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup ground pecans
1/3 cup bourbon
coarse sanding sugar for rolling or granulated sugar

Directions

In a food processor, process wafers until finely ground. In a large pot over low heat melt chocolate chips stirring to help melt. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, syrup and bourbon until smooth. Add the ground wafers and pecans and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar and let dry . Store in a airtight container for up to 1 week.

Split Pea Soup with Beer and Bacon

Beat the cold with this wonderful split pea soup. This recipe is from Roberta’s in Brooklyn. The cookbook was a wonderful holiday gift to myself. This soup has the perfect combination of tastes and it’s very easy to make. Although Benton’s bacon is recommended, I’ve tried it with other good quality bacon so don’t let this ingredient get in your way of enjoying this delicious soup!

From by the bay, wishing you split pea food memories!

Maryann

blog split pea soup

Split Pea Soup with Beer & Bacon

Adapted from the Roberta’s Cookbook by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini and Katherine Wheelock. (Clarkson Potter, Oct 2013)

Serves 6

340 grams (1⅔ cups) green split peas
6 slices (about 240 grams/ 8 ounces) Benton’s bacon, diced
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (12-ounce) can Miller High Life or any lager
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Put the split peas in a strainer and rinse them very thoroughly with cold water. Set a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Sweat the bacon slowly until it begins to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the carrot and onion to the pot and cook until they soften and the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the split peas and water to cover (about 2½ cups). Add the beer to the pot along with a couple of pinches of salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook on a very gentle simmer for 2 hours, stirring regularly and adding water as needed to keep the peas covered. The consistency should be like a thick puree. If it’s not, continue cooking and stirring. It’s not possible to overcook this soup. When it’s done, check the seasoning and serve.

Top Super Bowl Sunday Recipes

Enjoy watching the Super Bowl with these favorite recipes!

From by the bay, wishing you super food memories!

Maryann

blog guacamole1

Guacamole
Serves 4

Ingredients
3 Haas avocados, ripe
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions
In a medium bowl add the lime juice and sea salt , let the salt dissolve. Cut and remove flesh from avocado and place into bowl with lime juice /salt along with scallions and mash with fork. Add ingredients listed below depending on the version you are making and mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

 

blog jalapeno burger

Jalapeno Burger

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck ( each pattie 6 ounces)
4 ciabatta rolls
8 slices bacon
4 slices colby cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons jalapeno rings, coarsely chopped
Directions

In a food processor add mayonnaise and jalapeno. Process until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use. Make 4 patties from the ground beef, shaping into ovals. In a medium sauce pan, fry bacon until crispy, place on paper towel to drain. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Season one side of patties with salt and pepper; place on grill, seasoned side down. Grill until lightly charred on bottom, about 4 minutes. Season other side, turn, and top with cheese. Grill to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for medium. Transfer burgers to dish and let stand for 3 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, toast buns on grill on until the edges start to brown. Remove bottoms of each bun and add cheese to tops to melt. To assemble burger take toasted bottoms, spread jalapeno mayonnaise on each bottom. Add the burger, the bacon and then top with bun with melted cheese. Serve immediately.

 

blog bloody mary

Bloody Mary Mix with Candied Bacon

Makes approximately 32 ounces of mix

Ingredients

1 (25-ounce) jar tomato passata, preferably San Marzano or best quality tomato juice
3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish or best quality prepared grated horseradish
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice from 4 to 5 lemons
3 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fine grey sea salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 slices bacon, 1/4 inch thick, best quality
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Directions
Place tomato passata in a bowl. In a food processor add the celery and 1/4 cup water and blend. Strain liquid into a cup. You should have about 1/4 cup liquid. Discard the solids and add the celery infused water to the tomatoes. To the tomato base add horseradish, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 cup water, vinegars, salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne. Refrigerate until ready to use. About an hour before serving preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place bacon, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. Mix well. Place slices bacon flat onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle any remaining sugar on the bacon. Cover bacon with a second sheet of parchment. Place a second baking sheet on top of the parchment. This will keep the bacon flat while cooking. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, remove top baking sheet and parchment paper and let continue to bake another 10 minutes or until crispy and a dark brown color. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool immediately.

BLOG HOT WINGS

CRISPY BAKED HOT CHICKEN WING RECIPE
Adapted from Bon Appetit Test Kitchen

INGREDIENTS
HONEY BUFFALO SAUCE
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup honey
WINGS
3 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400°. Set a non stick wire rack inside each of 1 large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Place all ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place wings on the prepared rack and spread out in a single layer. Bake wings until cooked through and skin is crispy, 45–50 minutes. Remove wings from oven place in bowl, pour sauce on top toss and place back in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes until it starts to brown. Serve immediately.

blog orange cookie

Orange Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 1/2 Dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour, plus two tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions
Preheat over to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl add the butter, sugars and vanilla. Use an electric mixer and beat ingredients until light and fluffy. Add the egg , orange rind and juice and beat in well. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly and mix at a low speed. Next add the chopped chocolate and dried cranberries and combine. Drop in rounded teaspoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until slightly brown on bottom. Remove and cool on wire racks. Store in air tight containers.

Chili Parmesan Crisps

The perfect cocktail or wine companion are these chili parmesan crisps. Easy to make and delicious to eat, you’ll discover a new food addiction! If you don’t like chili, you can replace the red chili flakes with one of these options such as crushed black pepper, fennel seeds, minced rosemary or thyme. These crisps also make a great snack for on the go. Try them out this weekend!

From by the bay wishing you, crispy food memories.

Maryann

blog chili parm crackers

Chili Parmesan Crisps

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. On a parchment lined baking sheet , take half the shredded parmesan and form a rectangle approximately 8″ by 12″. Sprinkle half the chili flakes and all the salt uniformly over the cheese. Layer the remaining cheese lightly pressing down. Sprinkle the remaining chili flakes over the cheese. Bake in the oven until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. Cool and break into piece. Store in an air tight container until ready to serve.

Options: substitute 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes with one of the following:

minced rosemary, minced thyme, crushed black pepper or fennel seeds

blog parm crisps tray

Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

This is a delicious, healthy and very easy dish to make. Such an infrequent grouping of adjectives. I love making my quinoa risotto , especially during the week when I’m looking to prepare something quickly after a long day at the office but not willing to compromise on the flavor. This mushroom quinoa risotto really delivers. This starts with a base of sweet leeks which is layered with an assortment of wild mushrooms and then quinoa. Red chili flakes add the right under note of heat and parmesan the proper balance of saltiness. The result is a dish that rivals the best risotto. Even better than risotto is that warmed leftovers are just as good the next time!

 

From by the bay, wishing you healthy quinoa food memories!

Maryann

blog mushroom quinoa

Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups quinoa, rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 8-ounce package sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms

6 ounces fresh assorted mushrooms, stemmed, sliced

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks, cleaned well

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided

2 to 3 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup dry white marsala wine

1 piece parmesan rind ( 2″x 3″ x 1/2″ approximately)

Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Put the butter and oil in a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the fresh mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook until they soften slightly, about 2 minutes.
Add the quinoa, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s glossy and coated with butter and oil. Sprinkle with chili flakes, thyme, salt and pepper, and then add the  parmesan rind, broth and wine. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and adding stock as necessary; the mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Begin tasting the quinoa about 20 minutes after you added it; you want it to be tender but not mushy and to have released some of its starch. Once it reaches that stage, after about 25 minutes, remove the rind and stir in some grated parmesan cheese, along with a little more butter or oil if you like. Stir until the cheeses melt; taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Best Meatloaf Recipe with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

January is always an interesting month! It’s post all the holiday festivities and the height of the winter doldrums. It’s usually pretty cold and dreary, so I find food a good way to add a little spark to the month is with a good warm meal. I decided to kick up the flavor for classic meatloaf  by mixing some italian sausage meat to the usual ground beef and adding some additional flavors like grated pickle. That would have been enough, but then I added my rockin’ bourbon barbecue sauce with spectacular results! So jumpstart your New Year right out of the doldrums with this exciting twist on a classic dish!

From by the bay, wishing you rockin’ food memories!

Maryann

blog meatloaf

 

 

Meatloaf with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Serves 4 to 6 

Ingredients

11/2 pounds ground beef

1 pound sweet sausage meat, out of the casing

2 tablespoons shredded sour pickles ( using box grater)

1 egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons shredded onion  ( squeeze water out )

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 recipe bourbon barbecue sauce ( recipe follows)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients and mix well ( your hands work best here). Place on sheet pan and form into a rectangle shaped loaf approximately 7″ by 4″. Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with about 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce. Bake another 30 minutes , remove from oven and cool before serving. Meatloaf can be served with the remaining barbecue sauce at room temperature or warmed.

blog meatloaf 2

Rockin Blue Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Jack Daniel’s Black Label or Bourbon

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons dark molasses

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Directions
Pour 1 cup of whiskey into a saucepan. Bring the saucepan to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 2 tablespoons. Don’t let the alcohol flame.

Add 1/2 cup of the whiskey and the other ingredients. Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes and reduce it by about 1/3. Use it immediately or bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for a month or more.

New Year’s Eve Easy Party Snacks

Here’s a couple of my favorite party recipes , easy to use for New Year’s Eve or any party!

From my the bay wishing you Happy New Year’s Eve memories!

Maryann

blog olives 1

Marinated Olives with Orange and Cranberries

Ingredients

1/2 pound green pitted olives, such as manzanilla
1 shallot, minced
1/4 fresh orange cut into 1 inch pieces, with rind
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
Directions

Bring 1 cup water to boil in small sauce pan. Remove from heat and add cranberries. Let sit 15 minutes and drain and cool in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

blog bacon date

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Provolone
24 pieces

Ingredients
24 pitted Medjool dates
12 slices bacon
2 ounces provolone cheese
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the bacon slices in half with a scissor. Cut the provolone cheese into 24 small sticks approximately 1” x 1 ¼”. Place cheese into the date. Wrap date with a ½ slice of bacon and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and turn the dates over and bake for 15 more minutes until the bacon is crispy. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Variations
You can make these with other sharp cheeses such as Manchego, Parmesan or Soft Gorgonzola.

blog pickle grapes

Pickled Grapes with Rosemary and Chiles

Ingredients

6 cups stemmed mixed red and green seedless grapes (about 2 pounds)
2 cups distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
Leaves from 1 four-inch sprig rosemary
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red chile flakes

Directions

Pack the grapes into 3 pint-size glass containers with lids. Pour the vinegar and 1 cup water into a saucepan, set it over medium-high heat, and add the salt, sugar, garlic, rosemary, and chile flakes. When the mixture starts to simmer, remove the pan from the heat and divide the hot brine among the pints of grapes. Cover loosely and let cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

Reprinted from The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor by Matt and Ted Lee. Copyright © 2009 Published by Clarkson Potter

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: Makes 1 1/2 quarts

blog curry cashews

Curried Cashews
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups raw whole cashews
Additional coarse sea salt to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Heat olive oil in pan add curry powder, salt, cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant – approximately 1 min.
Add cashews and coat nuts for one to two minutes. Remove from heat and place on baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven, sprinkle with additional sea salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

blog shrimp cocktail

Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients
3/4 cup organic low sodium ketchup
3 tablespoons grated horseradish
1/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon vodka, optional

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill until ready to use. Serve with shrimp, crab or lobster.