light and fluffy mashed potatoes

For Erev Yom Kippur dinner last night, I made mashed potatoes.  I thought they were good, but my daughter Randi swooned as she ate some and said, “These potatoes are like fluffy clouds, they’re so light!  She asked me if I had done anything different than usual to which I said I didn’t, but I realized I’d better write down what I did do!

5 lbs. organic Idaho potatoes

2 sticks Whole Foods salted butter

about 1/2 cup whole, organic milk

salt (not kosher)

about 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Peel potatoes.  Cut into largish pieces and put in large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil (uncovered), and simmer over low boil till you can put a fork into potatoes easily.  Drain in colander.  Put your sticks of butter back in pot to melt over low flame.  Add potatoes back in, and mash.  Add salt to taste and pepper too.  Then add milk, and mash till nice and fluffy.

New and Fabulous Pizza

Benji and I are home today due to a blizzard, and it is truly glorious being stuck in the house with one of my kids and no chance of being able to go out to work or do errands.  So I’ve been cooking up a storm. I asked him if he wanted some homemade pizza since I know how much he loves pizza, and of course he gave a very enthusiastic thumbs up.  Now, the pizza is out of the oven, and he is loving it. He said it’s the perfect doughiness, cheesiness and sauciness. And of course, I’m always thrilled when Alexa Hente approves of my cooking!

for the pizza dough:

  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ cups King Arthur Organic Bread Flour (to start with)

Pour ¾ cup warm water in the large bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix and let sit about 15 min. till foamy. Add 1 ¾ cup King Arthur Organic Bread Flour and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix on low for about 15 min. adding about ½ cup additional flour till dough is mostly together as a ball around the dough hook. Turn out onto floured parchment or counter and knead maybe 10 times. Turn under to roll into a nice ball. Lightly oil a large bowl and cover with saran wrap. Put in warm spot for about 1 ½ hours.

for the sauce:

  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used Cento).
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 light teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Pour 2 tablespoons light olive oil into pot. Grate 2 large garlic cloves with microplane into the oil. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes into the oil as well. Saute over low flame for about 3 min. till garlic is softened, but not brown. Pour crushed tomatoes in. Simmer over low flame about 30 min with cover off till sauce reduces by about 1/3 to 1/2.

put it all together:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Turn out dough onto floured parchment and flatten. Cut into 2 pieces. Put one in fridge. Let other one rest (covered) for a few minutes or refrigerate covered till ready to use. Cover large baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle parchment with a little yellow cornmeal (I use Quaker yellow). On counter or another piece of parchment, roll out dough to about ¼ in. thick (rectangle or circle). Transfer to parchment on cookie sheet.

Spoon tomato sauce over dough almost to edges. Sprinkle with about 8 oz. whole milk (or part skim- which I used) mozzarella cheese – all the way to the edges. Put cookie sheet on lowest shelf of oven. Bake about 15 min. till cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Slice with pizza cutter.

new apple pie

I’m always searching of the perfect pie crust; I think I may have found it.  I liked the flavor of it, since it’s made with both Crisco and butter.  My son Danny just told me that he thought it was amazing, so I’ll probably stick with this recipe, at least for awhile.

crust: 

3 cups unbleached organic flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

12 tablespoons frozen salted butter

8 tablespoons crisco (that’s refrigerated)

8 tablespoons ice water

Put flour in food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Sprinkle salt over.  Then put cut up butter over flour and crisco over as well.  Pulse till you can still see some pieces of butter throughout. Pour water over, and pulse till dough comes together.  Dump on clean surface (I use a marble slab) and divide into 2 pieces, one being larger by about 2 oz. for the top crust).

Flatter each into a round disk and refrigerate wrapped separately in waxed paper or parchment paper for a few hours or overnight.

apple filling:

apples – about 12 medium to large apples- I use a variety of baking apples either from my local orchard, Terhune Orchards near Princeton, or from

Whole Foods.

scant 3/4 cup granulated sugar

about 1 1/2 teaspoons organic cinnamon (you many need 2 teaspoons to taste)

about 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour (I used cornstarch this time)

dash kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter, broken up for dotting over the top

Roll out smaller bottom crust, using enough flour to prevent sticking.  Place carefully in 9 to 9 1/2 inch pie dish.  Then spoon apples and most of the macerated cinnamon-lemon juice in. Dot with about 2 tablespoons butter. Then stick this in fridge while you roll out top crust.    After you roll out the top crust, carefully place over the apple filling.  Brush buy modafinil crust with a mixture of 1 egg and about 1 1/2 teaspoon milk or light cream (I used the light cream).  Then refrigerate or freeze for baking later. I freeze it uncovered for about 30 minutes before I wrap it up to give the egg wash some time to freeze.

Before baking, put  about 6 slits in the top for venting purposes.I bake it frozen at 375 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes on lowest possible position in the oven  till the crust is nice and golden, and pharmacy online just before the juices start to erupt.

 

easiest spinach pie

I’ve been making this spinach pie for years for my daughter and my grandkids.  During dinner tonight at my daughter’s house, my grandson Ezra said, “Safta, this is my favorite dinner!”  Noah chimed in his agreement.   They each had at least 4 or 5 pieces.  My daughter said, “This is the perfect comfort food.”  She commented that  it’s her favorite meal too.  She wasn’t too happy when I set aside a piece to bring home to my son Benji.  When I got home, Benji wasn’t too happy that I only brought one piece home for him.

  • 1 box Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets
  • 2 10 oz. boxes frozen organic chopped spinach, defrosted and drained and squeezed pretty dry
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • about 8 oz. chunk feta
  • about 1/4 cup parmesan
  • about 1/2 tablespoon Litehouse dill
  • about 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch salt

Place frozen puff pastry in refrigerator to defrost.

In mixing bowl, put mostly dry, drained spinach, eggs, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese.  Break apart the feta into smallish pieces and add to mixture.  Add the dill, pepper, and salt.  Mix gently with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are incorporated.

Grease aluminum pan that’s about 9 x 13 in. (sides are less than 1 inch deep).  Place pharmacy online parchment paper that’s a little longer and wider than the bottom of the pan, pressing it down into the corners.

Take 1 sheet of the puff pastry out of fridge and roll it out so that the size matches the bottom of your baking pan (about 9 by 13.  Sprinkle flour on the counter as necessary to roll out the pastry.  Transfer to parchment lined pan.  Spread entire filling evenly over pastry, almost to the edges of the pastry.  Then roll out second sheet of pastry.  Place it over the filling, and turn the edges of the pastry over the filling and crimp it with the bottom layer of pastry.  Then make an egg wash of 1 egg with buy modafinil 1 teaspoon of water, and brush it generously over top of pie.

I usually stick it in the canadian pharmacy freezer for about 30 min.  Then I cover it with foil and put back in freezer till I’m ready to bake it.

Bake about 45-50 min. at 400 degrees till puffy and brown.  Serve immediately.

very fluffy buttermilk pancakes

I tried a new recipe for buttermilk pancakes that’s very similar to my other ones.  I was very happy with the result and so was my own personal Alex Si Hente (from the old Savarin Coffee commercial), my son Benji.  I also made them for my mother’s best friend Adele, and she enjoyed them as well, commenting that she loved my pancakes, but no others!

adapted from ohsweetbasil.com melt in your mouth buttermilk pancakes:

  • 2 cups organic King Arthur brand unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs- fresh from the farm, separated
  • 2 cups Friendship 1.5  percent fat (make sure you shake before using) 
  • 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (either salted or unsalted- I happened to use salted)  

First, melt butter in small microwave-safe dish and set aside to cool.  Put dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Measure buttermilk in pyrex glass cup measurer.  Then add egg yolk to the buttermilk.  Add melted butter and mix till well blended.

In separate glass bowl by hand with wire whisk or pharmacy online using a hand-held mixer (I did this by hand), mix egg whites till almost stiff, but not quite.

Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and fold in with canadian pharmacy rubber spatula till almost smooth- but batter still has some lumps.  Then fold in egg whites gently.

Heat non-stick griddle.  Then coat very lightly with butter. Do not let your butter brown! Scoop 1/4 cup spoonfuls onto hot griddle.   Leave alone till you have the idea that the undersides are brown, use buy modafinil a spatula and peek under.  If sufficiently browned, carefully flip with a wide spatula.  Cook till browned nicely on other side.

Serve immediately with butter and pure maple syrup.

 

Corn Muffins

I’ve made many different recipes for corn bread and corn muffins.  I happened to have on hand a mix from Stonewall Kitchen for cornbread which I used for corn muffins.  Although I usually am pretty negative towards mixes, I have to admit that this one was great.  The muffins had that perfect taste between savory and sweet, slightly reminiscent of the sweet Thomas Toaster Cakes I loved when I was a kid.  My daughter in law really enjoyed them, and she requested I make some for her to take back to Vietnam with her.  I didn’t have another of that mix, so I had to choose from one of the many recipes I’ve used in the past.  I settled on one I haven’t made for years from my old Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  The muffins came out great.  The second batch I made, I divided the batter in half and I added 1 cup of buy modafinil fresh blueberries to the one half.  I actually added an extra tablespoon of sugar the second time I made the muffins, and I liked the end result.

Adapted from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook recipe entitled, “Rich Corn Cake” :

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal  (I used Quaker yellow cornmeal)
  • 1 cup organic unbleached flour (I always use King Arthur Flour)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (I used 5  the second time)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (original recipe calls for cream of tartar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream (I use Daisy because it is the purest brand of sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter (I used salted) 
  • optional – blueberries-  about 1 cup for half the batter if you want to do half muffins plain and half with blueberries.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Put canadian pharmacy 12 paper muffin cups in muffin tin.

In mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt.

Mix milk, eggs, sour cream with a whisk.  Then pour in melted butter (but slightly cooled).  Mix with whisk. Add wet ingredients to dry.  Mix quickly with rubber spatula just till combined and you can’t see any pharmacy online streaks of the flour.  Scoop into muffin cups.

Bake 20 minutes, just till tops are starting to brown.

Eat hot with lots of butter!

New Yummy Brownie Recipe

This recipe turns out fudgy with a crackly top.

  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa 
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 light brown sugar
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • a very heavy 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (recipe called for 2/3 cup, but I’d say I added an extra 2 tablespoons of flour to that)
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

I made this recipe today in honor of my grandson Noah’s seventh birthday.  It was his special request. When they came out of the oven, my son Benji couldn’t wait to eat one warm.  He said, “You can’t buy brownies like these anywhere- in a restaurant, supermarket, anywhere.”

Over a pot of simmering water, put a glass bowl.  Put butter and oil in, melt a bit, and put chocolate chips in.  Mix over simmering water till melted.  Take bowl off heat.  Add cocoa, sugars, espresso, eggs, vanilla.  Mix till blended.  Add flour, baking powder, salt.  Mix with rubber spatula just till blended.  Grease pan.  Put parchment paper in with overhang.  Grease parchment.  Put batter in.  Bake at 350 for about 20 min. till toothpick comes out clean. Cool before slicing.

Judy’s Blueberry French Toast Casserole/ Bread Pudding

For my new granddaughter’s baby naming party, I wanted to make one more spectacular hot brunch item. I’ve made my french toast bread pudding recipe a few times to rave reviews, but there’s something I don’t like about it, and that’s the syrup that’s on the bottom.  It’s too sweet for me, mostly. I found a recipe on Kitchen Treaty called Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast that I mixed with my own recipe. So I pretty much kept the custard part of my recipe, added a sprinkling of blueberries, and sprinkled the top with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  Most importantly, when I took the masterpiece out of the oven, I drizzled the entire top of it with pure maple syrup.  Oh my gosh, I can’t express how delicious this was.  Everyone who ate it loved it and commented on the absolute perfection of the dish.  My daughter called me to tell me that I need to make one entire casserole for her family because she did not get enough of it and because her husband got none.  This is an outstanding recipe, and what makes it even better is that you can prepare it a few hours ahead, or the night before, as I did, and bake it off the next day.

for the custard:

  • 1 challah (I use Zommick’s 15 oz. challah, which I buy at Stop and Shop
  • 8 extra jumbo eggs
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 1/2  to 2 cups of blueberries (optional, but I used them)

for the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

essential ingredient for serving:

about 4-6 oz. pure maple syrup- medium grade

Directions:

1.  Cut the challah into slices about 1 inch thick.  Then cut the slices into pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches big.  Let them sit out to get a little stale.  If I don’t have the time for that, I put them on a cookie sheet and stick them in a 200 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes (I did this for baby naming party).

2.  Grease sides and bottom of large oval or rectangular 9 by 13 pan with butter.

3.  Place the pieces of challah in so they fit like a puzzle.  If you have to squeeze a few in, that’s fine, but use the entire challah.

4.  Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the challah pieces; you can push some of them down a little into some crevices.

5.  Whisk the eggs, light cream, sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla in a mixing bowl. Ladle the custard evenly over the bread.

6.  Refrigerate over night or for a few hours till you are ready to bake.

7.  Before you put into the oven, sprinkle the topping evenly over the top, using all of it.

8.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 min. until top is puffed (even the center) and a toothpick comes out clean.

9.  Take out of the oven, and immediately drizzle the maple syrup all over the  top of the casserole.

10.  Serve immediately!

Fluffier Chocolate Chip Cookies

I tried a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that includes a bit of cornstarch in it.  I also used unsalted margarine instead of butter since my grandson may have a dairy allergy.  The cookies came out soft and fluffy and delicious.

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks unsalted Fleishmann’s margarine, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1 extra large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 scant teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached organic flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix margarine in mixer till quite soft.  Add sugars and beat till fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and mix till fluffy.  Add dry ingredients just until blended.  Add chocolate chip cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees till just beginning to brown around the edges.

Back to Basics Macaroni and Cheese

When my children were little, I found a recipe for macaroni and cheese on the back of the Creamettes box.  This was the recipe I made for years and years.  I recently made it again instead of the recipe I’ve made for the last 10 years (Judy’s Creamy and Delicious Macaroni and Cheese), and I discovered that I may like it more because it seems a little less rich.  It’s basically the same as my current recipe except that it has much less cheese.

  • 2 cups elbows (I like Creamettes) (about 1/2 of 1 lb. box)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 10 oz. Land o’Lakes yellow American cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk 

Melt butter in saucepan.  Add flour, salt, and pepper.  Whisk over medium heat for about 2 minutes.  Add milk gradually.  Whisk over medium heat for about 10 minutes till starts to thicken a little, but not too much.  Add in the cheese.

Cook pasta in boiling water till just cooked- not overcooked.  Drain in colander.  Butter a casserole dish.  Pour sauce into casserole.  Pour the macaroni noodles in and mix together till noodles are evenly coated with the sauce.

Cook at 375 degrees for about an hour till the cheese starts to rise to top and brown and the edges start to get brown and crusty looking.