Food


Over the Christmas holidays, my paternal grandmother found me leafing through one of her cookbooks and told me I should take it home with me. First published in 1962, Helen Corbitt’s Potluck has been a rather entertaining read, believe it or not. Okay, so maybe I’m not dying to try “Veal Kidneys in Cognac”; but this is the cookbook where Grannie first found the recipe for Hershey Cake, which has become a staple with our family (she makes it every year for my mother’s birthday).

I’ve bookmarked a few recipes I want to try. Her recipe for French Dressing looked easy enough; but of course I can’t leave well enough alone and just follow a recipe, so here is my version:

Golden Salad Dressing

adapted from “French Dressing” recipe in Helen Corbitt’s Potluck by Helen Corbitt

2/3 c. olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice, vinegar, or a combination of the two
(I used 2 Tbsp. key lime juice and 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar)
1 teaspoon salt (or garlic salt)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (finely ground)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced (I used a garlic press)
2 tablespoons dried chives
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste

Pour all ingredients into a jar with a tightly-sealing lid; shake vigorously.

Delicious. We’ve been eating salads for two weeks now!

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This recipe was adapted from a recipe card one of my housemates gave me at brunch yesterday. My boyfriend and I made this last night at his house and we both loved it. I had mine with a little whipped cream, and he topped his with Peanut Butter Brittle ice cream. Warm, comforting, and it made the house smell AMAZING.

Fruit Crumble

4 softball-sized apples (ours were Golden Delicious)
half a small lemon
1/2 c. granulated brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 c. white whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. anise seed
1 & 1/2 sticks butter, very cold (12 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350¬įF. Grease 13×9 Pyrex baking dish (I used butter). Core and slice your apples into 1/4 inch slices. Spread evenly into bottom of greased dish; squeeze the juice of the lemon half onto the apples. [Note: the original recipe indicated adding 1/2 c. sugar to the fruit; our apples were sweet, so we didn’t.] For the topping, mix the two sugars, the flour, and the spices into a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into 1/4 inch slices, and add to dry ingredients. Smush together with your fingers until the mixture looks like moist crumbs. Spread over the apples, and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes.

Serves 6-8 (or more if you’re adding a healthy scoop of ice cream)

This would also be yummy atop oatmeal in the morning. ūüôā

True, it has been way too long since I last blogged.¬† My life is changing (for the better), in both large and small ways, and I just haven’t taken the time to post.¬† But I’m back, because someone dear to me suggested I should blog some of my recipes, and this one is pretty tasty.

Produce often gets forgotten in our house, left to rot in a hanging basket or the bottom of the fridge.¬† I noticed¬† some aging bananas, so I decided to make use of them.¬† Here’s what I did, as adapted from the “I Hate to Cook Book”:

Banana Bread

6 very ripe bananas
1 stick margarine
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 c. bread flour
4 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. orange extract
1 Tbsp. cardamom
3 tsp. baking powder
1 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350¬Ā¬Ā¬įF.¬† Cream butter, margarine and sugar in a large bowl (I used an immersion blender).¬† Add bananas, mix, and add beaten eggs.¬† Add orange extract, cardamom, baking powder, and flour, and mix well (don’t over-beat).¬† Stir in walnuts.¬† Pour into greased Bundt pan.

Now here’s where it gets tricky — the original recipe called for baking in a loaf pan.¬† I felt there was too much batter, so I went with the Bundt pan.¬† It said bake for 35 min., but I forgot to set the timer, so I just kept checking back until the top was brown and the contents weren’t jiggly anymore.¬†¬† If you come up with a more precise baking time, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Enjoy!

Broadcasting live from NAPTIME at the Milton Thanksgiving gathering, hosted this year by Alyssa.¬† I’m here in Austin with my parents, my mom’s mom, my sister, two of her friends, and her boyfriend, and we just had a feast:¬† turkey breast, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn casserole, collard greens, lady cream peas, deviled eggs, sister shubert rolls, and two kinds of cranberry sauce, plus sweet iced tea.¬† Now everybody’s curled up on sofas and inchairs, half awake, watching Miracle on 34th Street (and yes, for those of you wondering, Maureen O’Hara plays the mother role in both Miracle on 34th Street and The Parent Trap).¬† It has been so nice to get away from it all and just relax, slow down.¬† I got to go out down town (6th Street, what?!) and hang out with my sister, spend some time with the family, cook dinner last night (peanut chicken, yumm), and of course, play¬† a round of Scattergories (Marcus, consider yourself initiated).

What a vacation.¬† Trips like this always give me that “Someone remind me why I left Texas…?” feeling.¬† ūüôā

Here’s a recipe I pulled up from my archives, back when my blog was on xanga. It’s a recipe I give out all the time and really love, so I thought I’d repost it.

This is a recipe that I love making that I found in the October 2004 issue of Everyday Food and have adapted to my tastes. It was originally scaled for one person, which is what lured me in (that and my decision to eat more fish, since it’s good for you). ¬†I usually make enough for two, though, so that’s how I’ll post it here:

2 6 oz. skinless tilapia filets
3 sliced tomatoes (medium-sized, not beefsteak)
2 tsp. olive oil
3-4 tbsp. capers
2 tbsp. wheat germ
2 tsp. grated lemon zest (optional)
2 tsp. lemon juice
8 tsp. mayonnaise
ground black pepper
course salt

1. Preheat oven to 450¬į. In a small ovenproof skillet or baking dish (I use a Pyrex pie plate), arrange tomatoes in overlapping circles.¬† Scatter capers and lemon zest over the tomatoes. ¬†Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil.

2. In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and lemon juice (you can also add a few teaspoons of parmesan, if you like).  Place fish on top of tomatoes in skillet.  Season fish with salt and pepper.  Spread mayonnaise mixture on top. Sprinkle with wheat germ.

3.Bake until fish is opaque throughout and topping is golden brown in spots, about 20 minutes.

The recipe says you can substitute snapper, grouper, or flounder (basically any firm white fish). ¬†The original recipe called for chopped olives, but I think capers are easier and tastier. ¬†I’ve also made this with sweetened lime juice instead of lemon, and I’ve replaced the mayo with plain yogurt and some fresh dill. Yummy yummy yummy, and of course, it’s easily doubled (which works well in a 9×13 glass casserole). I’ve served it with cheese grits casserole, or with just a simple salad. ¬†It really has become one of my staple recipes.

Enjoy!

I don’t have any pictures of my efforts, because, well, I just didn’t bother to get out the camera, but I thought I’d post about the delicious eggplant I made a few nights ago.¬† Oh, so easy:

 РSlice a large eggplant in 1/2 inch-thick rounds;
 РArrange rounds on lightly greased cookie sheets (they can touch);
 РSlice cloves of garlic into slivers and top each eggplant round with one sliver of garlic;
 РDrizzle the entire pan with EVOO;
 РSeason with kosher salt, pepper, a sprinkle of cumin and a dusting of cinnamon;
¬†– Roast in the oven at 450¬įF for 15-18 min.

¬†That’s it.¬† Tasty hot or cold, and could be nice pureed into a dip.¬† MMMMMM.

I’ve heard so many people say it, and I just don’t understand it.¬† I can understand not liking certain vegetables; no matter what you do to celery, I don’t really want to eat it.¬† In fact, the smell makes me gag.¬† But to say that there is not any vegetable on God’s green earth, no matter how it is prepared, that you enjoy — that I find just a little preposterous.¬† I feel that what you are saying is that none of the vegetables you ate growing up were very well prepared.¬† That is sad indeed, but fixable!¬† Growing up, I didn’t like carrots unless they were prepared with a good pot roast; but now that I am an adult, I know how healthy they are, so I’ve tried to find ways to prepare them that taste good to me.¬† And since that seems to be what May over at Good Girl Lit is trying to do, I thought I’d round up some vegetable preparation recipes and ideas to encourage y’all to eat your vegetables!¬† Feel free to contribute your own.¬†

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