Buttery Good

Caramel CornHave you ever met someone who always seems to know the exact gift to give no matter the occasion or recipient? Well, that’s Pam! Pam and I met during my research days, and soon became colleagues with the same institution. We worked closely for five years. It has been well over ten years since we worked together but we still communicate through the social media. She talks (writes) about my German Chocolate Cake and I, her Caramel Corn.

Pam made this wonderful recipe and shared with us during the holidays … One of her many wonderful gifts. I recently asked if I could post her recipe and she without hesitation said yes. i asked if she knew the origin of this recipe, and she said she didn’t. So, I did a little computer research, and there are many variations of this recipe. It seems to be a generic. The closest reviewed recipe is posted on foodnetwork.com by Paula Dean. Pam made a major change to the original recipe by adding almonds. And I have reduced the amount of popcorn. The almonds just make this!

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A Winning Family Dinner – Braciole

Braciole

The Mystery Man in Black introduced me to this dish, Braciole. Marc or Ed has been my Italian Food Critic for over 15 years. I knew when I heard, this tastes as good as my mom’s … It was just right! This is my reinvented recipe.

I hope you will enjoy this perfect family meal. Too … great to share by candle light and Jerry Vale’s Mama. 

Mangia! 

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Still A Great Cookie

Roca Cookies

Many years ago I was having an early Sunday breakfast with my friend Charles. He had purchased the major newspapers of the day for us. While he was reviewing the whereabouts of Jimmy Carter, and the continuing news of Watergate (Deep Throat) I was focusing on Food and Entertainment. Frank Sinatra had married again, and Julia Child and her recipes remained newsworthy. Somewhere in all these newspapers I came across a recipe for Roca Cookies, not Julia’s. Since my father’s favorite candies included Almond Roca I took a second look.

In the 1970’s I began baking these cookies. The recipe has changed over the years but remains very different from any other Roca Cookie recipe I have reviewed. I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy these cookies as much as my sons, Steve and Ian, do.

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Cream Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

Italian Cream Cake Undone

Cream Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

This delicious yellow cake is a simple version of my Italian Cream Cake. When the coconut and pecans in the original recipe are removed the crumb of the cake changes to a light fine texture. Coconut is a taste and texture not all appreciate. The cream cheese frosting has been changed as well for the same reason. Yep, this was changed up for a special birthday.

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Healthy and Filling

Missy's Pretty Breakfast

Here is what my daughter, Missy, wrote about her recipe several years ago: I am always hungry, but this delicious oatmeal keeps me full and satisfied. My brilliant fiancé says that almonds help get rid of belly fat, and the protein in them is supposed to speed up your metabolism. The flaxseed makes you poop which is always lovely. The cinnamon makes it taste nice and cozy, and you would be surprised how many health benefits cinnamon has! Try out the oatmeal for yourself.

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Change Up Chopped Salad

A MEAL IN ITSELF

Change Up Chopped Salad

 

This is one of my favorite green salads. Actually, it is many salads in one. The main ingredients are green and red leaf lettuce. Need some crunch in your lettuce? Just add a little iceberg. No bag lettuce here. Nothing against bag lettuce. I use it. But for this salad full flavor is needed to compete with the other ingredients. The choice of ingredients is up to you. Do you want the salad to have a Mexican flare, Italian, or…. I’ll give you some ideas and then you change up as you and your family like. I have a simple dressing that too can be changed up. My favorite dressing for this has no measuring and only includes two ingredients.

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A Hearty Soup For The Cold Days Ahead

Portuguese Bean Soup

What great memories! This one pot meal was cooked often by my grandmother and mother. My grandmother added homemade linguica to hers. I would eat hers and go on a date without a care in the world. Not until later did I realize the garlic might be an issue! Suggestion: Have your date eat this with you.

There was nothing more comforting on a cold rainy day than to come home and find this soup cooking on the stove. We would fill our bowls and have dinner before a crackling oakwood fire. All senses taken care of!

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A Fun and Easy Way to Make Vinegar

Vinegar Making

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making vinegar one essential ingredient needed is called mother of vinegar. This mother is cellulose and acetic acid bacteria. When the mother is added to fermented alcohol with air exposure the alcohol becomes acetic acid, the main ingredient in vinegar. Mother of vinegar can be purchased on line and at some stores that sell wine, beer and spirits. Sometimes this slimy substance can be found floating in the bottom of unfiltered vinegar, such as cider vinegar. I actually found this substance growing in my aged balsamic vinegar. At the time, some years ago, I had no idea what it was. In fact, it was revolting to have found this slimy slug-like thing in my beautiful vinegar cruet. Yes, it got dumped down the sink as I gagged … While thinking how lucky I was not to have eaten this diseased product. In reality this mother is harmless.

Just as I would only use quality wine to make my vinegar, the mother of vinegar must be of equal quality. Since my friends are not vinegar makers, not having mother of vinegar to share, and I am driven to do this from scratch with known products I am going to give making my own starter, mother of vinegar, a try. So, the purchased mother of vinegar I received today through the mail has been placed on my shelf, and hopefully will never be used.

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