"The duty of a good Cuisinier is to transmit to the next generation everything he has learned and experienced."~Fernand Point

"A cookbook must have recipes, but it shouldn't be a blueprint. It should be more inspirational; it should be a guide." ~Thomas Keller

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grandma's Apple Pie

Grandma's Apple Pie

Incredibly delicious hot with vanilla ice cream or, an old Yankee touch, a slice of cheddar cheese.
6 cups peeled, sliced apples (Idared, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine apples and lemon juice in mixing bowl. Combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well. Pour sugar mixture over apples, and stir to coat. Spoon filling into pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan. Dot with butter.

Transfer top pastry to top of pie, trimming off excess. Fold edges under to seal, and flute rim. Cut slits, decorative or not, into top pastry for steam to escape.

Bake in preheated 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, and bake for 45 minutes.

Note: You can cover the pie with pastry in a simple way without the lattice if you wish.

Source: Lorna's Site - Baking and Cooking

Basic Roast Turkey

Source: Oprah

Serves at least 15, plus leftovers

* 1 12-pound turkey
* Bacon-nut stuffing, may be cooked separately
* 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter at room temperature (extra-virgin olive oil may be substituted)
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
* 1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
* Stems from 1 bunch parsley tied together (optional)
* Turkey gravy
* Sliced figs for garnish (optional)
* Mostarda di frutta (mustard-oil preserved fruits, available at iGourmet.com), for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 500°. Rinse turkey; remove and set aside giblets. If cooking stuffing inside turkey, loosely pack the turkey cavity with stuffing, then tie legs together to enclose the vent. Coat bird all over with butter (or brush it with oil), then sprinkle well with salt and pepper.

Put turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Add 1/2 cup water to bottom of pan along with turkey neck, gizzard, any other giblets, onion, carrot, celery, and parsley. Put in oven, legs first if possible.

Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top begins to brown, then turn heat down to 350°. Continue to roast, checking and basting with pan juices every 30 minutes or so; if the top threatens to brown too much, lay a piece of aluminum foil directly onto it. (If the bottom dries out, add water, about 1/2 cup at a time; keep at least a little liquid at the bottom of the pan at all times.) Turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh measures 155° to 165°. If, when the turkey is nearly done, the top is not browned enough, turn heat back up to 425° for the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking.

Remove turkey from oven. Take bird off rack and make gravy while bird rests; let it sit for about 20 minutes before carving. Serve on a platter garnished with sliced figs and mostarda di frutta and with gravy on the side.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Skirty Steak (also called Diaphragm Steak)


Ready in half an hour, serves four, or cut in half, and freeze half, if for two.

On a cookie sheet, cover with foil, and add canola oil or olive oil to the bottom.

Place meat on the cookie sheet. Spread any kind of mustard you like on the top.

Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce over the mustard, then sprinkle with garlic powder.

Broil meat at least 3-4 inches from broiler coil, until it looks done, then turn and repeat. Add some water as this will give you the juice to put over either noodles or rice.

Serve with a green vegetable.

Place the Diaphragm steak on a plate or cutting board, and with a sharp knife, cut almost horizontally, making the beef wider and thin.

(While meat is cooking, prepare noodles or rice).

Serve while hot.

This has very little fat, if any, and no cholesterol. Worcestershire sauce contains salt, and it can be cut in half, and diluted with water

(While meat is cooking, prepare noodles or rice.)

Buon appetit

Toni Helfrick

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

13 Baking Tips from Ace of Cakes' Adam Goldstein

Source: Oprah

There's nothing worse thank a cake that falls flat, crumbles at the smallest touch or just tastes off. Help stop a "caketastrophe" with this excerpt from Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes by Duff Goldman and Willie Goldman.

To avoid catastrophe, store eggs and butter at 38 degrees F.

To avoid a "caketastrophe," allow them to come to room temperature before mixing.

To restrain hair without the stigma of a hairnet, wear a beanie.

Do not leave cake unattended around vultures, jackals, or underpaid art students.

If your cake turns out a little dry, try eliminating an egg white or two next time.

If your butter cake turns out rather heavy, chances are that you didn't cream the butter and sugar long enough—at least five minutes is a good rule of thumb.

To take your chocolate cake to the next level, try adding brewed coffee to the mix.

If your recipe calls for baking soda, make sure there is an acidic component (buttermilk, vinegar, citrus) in your ingredients as well—unless, of course, you're going for the always popular soapflavored cake.

Preheating your oven is not optional in baking.

The toothpick test is still the best way to determine if a cake is done—give it a poke in the center, and if the toothpick is clean, you're good to go.

For perfect, easy-to-spread ganache, use slightly more (by weight) cream than chocolate. So if you have 1 1/2 pounds of chocolate, use about 1 3/4 pounds of cream. And make sure to allow for ample time for the ganache to set up.

When making a meringue, it is better to underwhip your egg whites a little than risk overwhipping and drying them out.

When whipping egg whites, make certain that your bowl is clean and that you haven't gotten any yolk in the mix. Fat spells doom to light, fluffy meringues.

Restrain yourself—or have someone else restrain you—from cutting into the cake until it is completely cool. If you plan to ice the cake, this is particularly important.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pam's Tin Roof Fudge Pie Recipe

It is with Pam's permission to copy this recipe so I can try baking this in my daughter's new kitchen as she has a nice oven to convert into a laboratory kitchen.

Pam of Mom's Mutterings blog apparently is an expert baker with lots to share to her followers and readers. Kindly follow her blog IN THIS LINK for more and better surprises.

In this particular recipe, I left the picture out. You can see what it looks like when you pay her blog a visit. It looks super delicious and mouth watering.

I posted this recipe here so I will have easy access to her recipe board. One thing, I have never baked a pie in my whole life. Hope this will be a good start to begin with pie making. Hooray!

My newly married daughter wanted to learn baking, so this will be her new added interest to fill her time as a new wife, her new life.

Thank you very much Pam for your kindness.


2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked

20 caramels
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups salted peanuts

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped cream and salted peanuts, optional

3 caramels
5 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat; stirring until smooth. Spread onto the bottom and up the sides of crust; refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
For peanut layer, in a small saucepan, melt caramels and cream over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in peanuts. Spoon into pie shell; refrigerate.
For chocolate layer, in a microwave, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Carefully fold a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture; fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread over peanut layer; refrigerate until set. Garnish with whipped cream and peanuts if desired.
For topping, in a small saucepan, melt caramels, cream and butter over low heat. stirring until smooth. Drizzle over pie. Store in the refrigerator.