January: Blueberry Peach Pie

Crust:

2 cups flour, pinch of salt, 1 Tbls sugar. Blend in Cuisinart. Add 6 T. Butter, blend til fine. Add 4 generous T. Crisco. Blend til well mixed. Slowly dribble in 3-4 T. of ice water. The weather will determine the amount. Blend until it holds together. Take out and finish forming on a sheet of waxed paper. Cut in half and shape into two rounds. Pastry has memory so shape those rounds. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Filling:

4 cups of fresh blueberries. 6-8 peaches thinly sliced. Squeeze over this the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Mix together 1 cup of sugar, 3 T tapioca, 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, and the grated rind of one lemon. Mix into the fruit and let sit while you roll out the crust.

Roll out the bottom crust. Place in pie plate. Pour in the fruit. Spread out evenly. Roll out top crust. Lay over the fruit. Seal the edges with your favorite technique. Cut 4 vents into the top crust. Dust with sugar.

Place in a preheated 400 oven on a heated baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until the fruit bubbles out of the vents. If your oven runs hot, be certain to turn the oven down after 15 minutes.

Serve with cinnamon whipped cream or Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla ice cream.

 

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FEBRUARY: Red Velvet Cake

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of sugar
2 cups of oil 2 eggs
2.5 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cocoa
2 Tbsp red food color
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

Cream sugar and oil. Add eggs and beat well. Sift flour, soda and salt. Mix cocoa , red food color and vinegar. Add to sugar mixture. Sift dry ingredients into egg mixture alternating with buttermilk and vanilla. Put into 2-4 BUTTERED AND FLOURED round pans ( 8-9 inches ) bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Cool and invert to cool completely Frosting.: Cream 1 stick of butter with 8 oz. cream cheese. Sift in 1 box of 10x sugar. Add milk to the right consistency for spreading. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 cup of chopped nuts. Spread between layers and on the outside of the cake. Enjoy!

 

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March: Mud Season Madness Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

10 Ounces of bitter or semi sweet chocolate. chopped
1/2 stick of butter
1 cup of heavy cream chilled
3 jumbo eggs
2 T. of Sugar

Place chocolate and butter in top of double boiler and melt slowly. Stir occasionally.

Chill mixing bowl and beater attachment. Whip cream till soft peaks or ribbons form.

Place egg yolks and sugar in separate bowl and whisk till smooth.

Beat whites till soft peaks form.

Stir chocolate into egg yolk mixture. Stir till even.

Scrape whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Stir till combined.

Fold in egg whites till combined.

Put into a gorgeous glass dish and chill.

 

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APRIL: Sharon’s Sky-high Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 T. Baking Powder
1/2 T. Baking soda
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 Tsp cream of tartar

Mix all together in large bowl.

Cut in 3/4 c. of butter with pastry cutter or forks.

Mix 1 egg and 1 c. buttermilk and add to flour mix till the mixture is moistened and sticks together.

Roll or pat into form 1 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter 2.5 inches round cut out and place on baking sheet.

Bake at 425 on top shelf of oven. 15-18 minutes depending on your oven.

Makes approximately 20. Rumor has it these are great with mustard and ham for Easter.

 

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May: Roasted Asparagus

Purchase the amount of asparagus that you want. One pound serves 3-4 guests. Break off the hard ends and rinse. Place in a baking dish. Toss with good quality olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. (Do not drown in oil or vinegar.) Break up garlic cloves, peel . Leave whole or slice and toss with asparagus. Bake at 350 until wilted and cooked through. Serve warm or at room temp.

 

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JUNE: Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

Ingredients:

1 10 inch short dough tart shell blind baked. Use your favorite recipe for pastry crust.
1.5 lbs rhubarb, enough for 5 cups
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 T. Strawberry Liquor
2 pints strawberries Current Glaze

Wash rhubarb. Trim and cut into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces. Toss in bowl with sugar, cornstarch and liquor. Spread in an even layer in the blind baked tart shell. Sprinkle any sugar left in bowl over the top. Bake until rhubarb is soft and thick, about an hour. Cool to room temp.

Wash and hull strawberries. Cut them in half and arrange in concentric circles over the rhubarb. Warm current jam or strawberry jelly til starts to liquify. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer over the fruit. Serve at room temp A dollup of whipped cream wouldn’t hurt either.

 

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JULY: Basic Pureed Vegetable Soups

This recipe can be adapted to your preferences. Choose one or more vegetables from the list or substitute your own.

Ingredients:

Chopped onions.
Grated vegetable: summer squash, zucchini, broccoli, etc.
Your choice of fresh or dried herbs
Butter or olive oil
Broth: chicken, vegetable cubes, etc.
Milk or cream if necessary

Saute onions in butter or olive oil til golden. Meanwhile grate vegetable in a food processor or chop by hand. Add to pot and mix into onions. Place a piece of waxed paper over the pot and add the lid and simmer for 15 minutes or so. This is called sweating the vegetables. It releases and intensifies the flavor. Add the seasoning plus salt and pepper, broth and simmer until soft. Puree in a food processor. Add cream as desired.

Some combinations to try: summer squash or zucchini and sage; broccoli and curry; or carrot and ginger.

 

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AUGUST: Scallops With Cider, Gerwurztraminer And Sage

Ingredients:

1 c. apple cider
1/2 cup gerwurztrsaminer
6 T unsalted butter
1 pound sea scallops
s and p
1 granny smith apple unpeeled, cut into matchsticks
16 leaves sage
2 T fresh lemon juice

Boil cider and wine in a large heavy skillet for about 10 min until reduced to 3 T. Put aside in a bowl. Wipe out the skillet and add 2 T of the butter, melt. Wash and dry the scallops. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in the brown butter about 2 min each side. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.

Add the rest of the buttr to the skillet. Add cider mix, apple, sage, lemon juice and cook til apple is tender and glazed. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the scallops and serve.

*Adapted from Rosso and Lukin’s Silver Palate Cookbook.

 

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SEPTEMBER: Walnut Apple Cake

Ingredients:

4 Cups Chopped Apples – 1-1/2 lbs
2 Cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Calvados (French Apple Liquer)

Combine and let stand.

2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat eggs and oil — add vanilla.

2 Cups Flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Sift dry ingredients together.

1 cup nuts

Optional:
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Add dry ingredients and apple mix alternately to oil egg mix, fold in nuts, (raisins & nutmeg) if using.

Bake 350 – 1 hour in a 13×9 pan, greased and floured.

Let stand and cool.

Glaze with 10x icing or cream cheese frosting.

 

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OCTOBER: Rosemary Corn Cakes

Ingredients:

1 stick plus 6 T. unslated butter, room temp
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 & 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 c. cornmeal
1 T. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary plus sprigs for decoration
1/2 c. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed til light and fluffy.

Beat in honey, egg, and egg yolk. Scrape down the bowl with the rubber spatula. Beat in flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and finely chopped rosemary. Pour in the cream and blend well. The dough will be quite sticky.

On a generously floured work surface, with floured hands, pat the dough into an 8 x 12 rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Using 2 1/2 inch round cutter dipped in flour cut into individual cakes. Gently pat the dough scraps together and cut more cakes.

Place the cakes 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet and place a tiny rosemary sprig on the corner of each cake. Bake 30-35 minutes til bottoms are golden brown. Let the cakes rest for a few minutes on the baking sheet. They are very fragile and tender, but ohhhh soooo yummmy. Using a spatula carefully transfer the cakes to a rack to cool. or eat them right away.

You could try whole wheat pastry flour for the white. Have fun.

 

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NOVEMBER: Yankee Pecan Maple Pie

Ingredients:

Lemon Crust

1 & 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 T. sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) well-chilled unslated butter cut into pieces
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 egg yolk
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 or 2 T. cold water

Filling

6 T. (3/4 stick) unslated butter, room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 T. all purpose flour
1 cup pure maple syrup
3 T golden rum
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2 & 1/2 cups toasted pecans, chopped coarsely
1 cup pecan halves
Vanilla-Rum Whipped Cream (see below)

For crust: Blend flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Using on/off turns, cut in the butter and lemon peel until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, add egg yolk, lemon juice and just enough water to bind the dough. Gather dough into ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in waxed paper and plastic. Refrigerate for at least three hours and up to 1 day ahead.

Roll pastry out on lightly floured surface to 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick round. Transfer round to 9-inch pie pan with 1 1/2-inch sides. Double edges over and crimp to form high, decorative edge. Refrigerate at least three hours.

Position rack on lower third of oven and preheat to 425û F. Pierce crust all over with fork. Line with parchment or foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Make until crust is set, about 12 minutes. Remove weights and paper. Continue baking until light brown, about 6 minutes more. Cool on rack. Reduce temperature to 350û F.

For Filling: Using electric mixer, cream the butter until light. Add sugar and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs 1 at a time. Blend in flour, then maple syrup, rum, vanilla, and lemon peel. Fold in chopped pecans.

Pour filling into crust. Place pie on a foil-lined heavy baking sheet with rim. Arrange pecan halves around edge of pie. Place pie on baking sheet and into the oven, baking until filling puffs slightly in center, about 40 minutes. Cool completely on rack. Serve with Vanilla-Rum Whipped Cream.

Vanilla-Rum Whipped Cream

Makes about 4 cups

2 cups well-chilled whipping cream
3 T. golden rum
1 T. plus 1 1/2 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Whip all the ingredients together in a large bowl until soft peaks form.

8 servings

 

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DECEMBER: Potato Latkes

Its December and time for Hanukkah. So here’s my favorite recipe for potato latkes.

Ingredients:

6 potatoes ( about 2 lbs, peeled and grated )
1 medium onion, peeled and finely grated
2 extra large eggs, well beaten
3 T. flour or matzo meal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
peanut oil for frying

Grate potatoes in the cuisinart and drop into a bowl of ice with ice water. Drain, remove ice and wring dry in a tea towel. Get out as much moisture as possible. Do a little at a time wringing over the sink. Put the potatoes in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients minus the oil. Mix thoroughly.

Heat an electric fry pan to 365 and cover the bottom with 1/2 inch of oil. When the oil is hot carefully add spoonfuls of the batter. Do not crowd. Gently flatten with spatula. Cook until set and crispy on first side. Flip and do the same. ( remember to keep stirring the batter as you use it.) Remove to a sheet pan lined with paper towels or brown paper bags. Let the latkes drain. Place on a dish and garnish with sour cream and or applesauce. Or just more salt and pepper.

My favorite is to use Yukon Gold potatoes. But to try something really delicious use White Sweet Potatoes or mix them with the Yukon Golds.

Remember, there may only be eight nights to Hanukkah but you can eat these all year round.

 

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JANUARY: Fish Chowder

Ingredients:

1 onion chopped
4T butter
1/2 lb carrots chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
1.5 lbs Scrod or other white fish
1 lb Salmon
2 c. half and half
1 red pepper chopped
1 lbs potatoes diced
1 c. white wine
fish stock or water as needed
1 tsp thyme
grated rind of one orange
Pernod or Cognac 2-4 T, to taste

Saute onion in butter till sift. Add carrots, celery and red pepper, sweat for a few minutes to intensify flavor. Add fish, potatoes, wine, stock, thyme . Bring to a boil and simmer till cooked, 1/2 hour. Add half and half, orange rind and Pernod to taste. Reheat and enjoy. Great with Corn Bread!!

 

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