A New Year’s Resolution About Food

Healthy is always in vogue. 

Bruschetta

Here is a throw back. Antipasto For The Last Day Of Summer is my post from September 20th. This is a great New Year’s Day appetizer. In fact, we often have it for a light dinner with wine. Fast and easy! Check out the post for the recipe. Enjoy with no guilt.

Happy New Year!


Deliciously Easy Chocolate Cake recipe

This Cake has a Long History and is Amazing!
Cocoa Divinity Cake

I’ve researched this recipe, Cocoa Divinity Cake … Looking for the origin. My mother’s frayed copy leaves much to the imagination except it asks for Softasilk cake flour. My best guess is, the printed recipe was found inside a box of Softasilk in the 1940’s. This was our family’s favorite chocolate cake … sometimes made into cupcakes for birthday parties. It has a moist mild chocolate taste I have not tasted with any other chocolate cake recipe. No substitutions are recommended.

I have over the last years attempted to make certain substitutions. What I have found … substituting butter for shortening is disappointing. The texture and all things that make this cake memorable dry up literally. I have even portioned the butter and shortening, half and half. It just doesn’t give the texture I like. Don’t get me wrong … It is still great! But not fabulous with the butter substitution. I have added vanilla … not sure this makes a taste difference. Another important point … This is not a cake you can repair if you over beat or over bake. It will be dry.

I hope you will give it a try. So many compliments over the years for this simple chocolate cake.

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Six Months Of Your Favorites

Thank you to my family, friends and many visitors for making the first six months of my food blog such a great success. I have never had so much fun at work!

Here are six of your favorite picks for 2013. And I have added some close runners up. My last posts haven’t been up long enough to evaluate but the Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce is quickly becoming a popular recipe and, and, and…. Thank you so much! Happy 2014 to all! 

Best of 2013

Top: L-R Chicken and Dumplings My Style, Portuguese Beans with Linguica, Great-Grandmother Kobilsek’s Kolacky
Bottom: L-R Chicken Breasts with Roasted Vegetables, Chocolate Surprise Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies, Hot Chocolate Bar

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A Sandwich For Everyone

Croque Monsieur

Late at night when you can’t sleep what do you do? I watch an old movie. I’m not just interested in the story but the food! When Alec Baldwin takes a delicious bite of the Croque-Monsieur I can taste it. This prop is most likely cold and verging on stale … After all Alec is an actor! The next thing I know I’m creating my own Croque-Monsieur!

What a great snack or light meal! Use a vegan cheese for the Provencal or ham it up with the Monsieur. What is the difference between Croque-Monsieur, Croque-Madame and Croque-Provencal? Ham, egg and tomato. All three are included here.

A great option for Sunday football or movie snacking. Accompany with beer or wine. And arugula with a vinaigrette for a light dinner.

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Bakersfield Favorite Basque Vegetable Soup

Basque Vegetable Soup

It’s 1982 and my husband takes a position as a Deputy DA in Bakersfield, California. Really, you did? Really! It was the first time I would live a distance from my hometown. It was a move that significantly changed the lives of many.

It didn’t take long to establish ourselves in this community. We were within walking distance of our new favorite restaurant, Mama Tosca’s. And in old town Bakersfield we loved Luigi’s, quite a hangout for Bakersfieldians. In this same area of town several Basque restaurants were longtime establishments. Can’t forget the Pyrenees Bakery! Basque is a part of Bakersfield culture. The food is delicious and overwhelmingly plentiful at these family style restaurants. Just ordering the setup was more than enough for our family. This included a vegetable soup, beans, salad, pickled tongue, spaghetti, bread … And was there a salsa?

Today I am going to be putting together a version of my Basque Vegetable Soup. It’s light … Just what I’m craving after the heavy holiday meals. How about you!

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Sautéed GREEN BEANS, OLIVE OIL TOASTED BREAD AND MORE

Standing Rib Roast Dinner

 

A great meal for guests … And this recipe won’t keep you in the kitchen. My family was happy with this tasty meal during the holidays. A great presentation with little preparation. Standing Rib Roast Dinner.

This standing rib roast, small end, was just over seven pounds with three ribs (ribs were cut away and tied) … enough to serve 6-8 adults.

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Great Grandmother Kobilsek’s Melt In Your Mouth Pastry

Kolacky

Better known as Fanny by her friends, Ann’s Great-Grandmother Kobilsek catered parties along with raising two children in the 1920’s. Kolacky was a favorite during holidays … Extra was sent home with family at the end of their visit. Ann remembers her Great-Grandmother’s needlework, especially the stuffed animals she made and gave out with each visit. She even transformed her flapper wedding dress into an evening gown. If alive today I bet we would see her creations on Pinterest.

My first taste of this pastry came at Ann’s suggestion. (Ann is my Daughter-In-Law.) Kolacky is often called a cookie but it definitely has the taste and texture of pastry. It is light and rich. And did I say delicious!

This recipe appears time consuming. But actually the prep time is minimal. The dough does require refrigeration for two hours prior to rolling out the dough. This can be shortened by placing the dough in the freezer until it firms slightly. The dough rolls out easily with a well floured board. Zip. zip, it’s done!

Everyone enjoys a cookie warm from the oven. I make most cookies in small batches … Whipping them up in the last minute for a fresh dessert or snack. This dessert treat is definitely best when eaten within the 24-48 hours of baking. So, I have divided the original recipe in half. The half recipe will make two dozen 2″ pastries, 1/4″ thick.

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