October 2010

I love to travel. I think it is because I grew up as an Air Force Brat. We were never in one place longer than 2 years and usually much less than that. Germany, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Austria. But we never were stationed in any of the Asian Countries. (Unless you count the year my Dad was in South Korea in the 50s.) Japan, China, India, Indonesia have always been mysterious and exotic. And since I will probably NEVER get there I will have to visit through the cuisine of those countries. And thanks to My Kitchen My World I can do that.

    Welcome to Japan!! Yookoso Nihon e

It took me forever to decide what to make. When I think of Japanese Cuisine I always think of tempura and sushi. I knew there had to be more than that. So searching I went. And as you can see I came up with several dishes.

    Curry Udon: Is a thick, dark, spicy, delicious curry made with Udon noodles. It is comfort food taken to the epitomy of comfort food.

I adapted (aka Americanized) this recipe (and the next) from About.com: Japanese Food

    * 5 oz thinly sliced pork, or chicken thigh, cut into bite-size pieces
    * 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
    * 3 inches carrot, julienned
    * 4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
    * 2 tsp curry powder
    * 5 cup dashi soup {I used Veggie Broth.}
    * 1/3 cup soy sauce
    * 1/4 cup mirin
    * 2 1/2 Tbsp katakuriko starch or potato starch, { I used Corn Starch} mixed with 4 Tbsp of water
    * 4 inches negi, or green onion, diagonally and thinly sliced
    * 4 servings preboiled udon noodles


Heat some oil in a deep pot and saute pork until it chages color on medium heat. Add onion slices and saute on low heat until softened. Put curry powder and stir-fry with meat and onion well. Add shiitake mushrooms and carrot and stir-fry. Pour dashi soup in the pot and season with soy sauce and mirin. Simmer until carrots are softened on medium heat. Add the starch and water mixture to thicken the soup. Add negi slices in the soup. Meanwhile, boil water in a large pan and heat udon noodles as indicated in the package. Drain the udon and divide into four bowls. Serve curry soup over the udon noodles. *Makes 4 servings. I will be making this A LOT this winter.

    Sobameshi: Japanese fried noodles with rice which is originally from Western Japan.

    * 2 tsp vegetable oil
    * 1/4 lb pork or beef slices, cut into small pieces {I used chicken. It would be good without the chicken, too.}
    * 1/4 onion, finely chopped
    * 1/2 cup finelly chopped cabbage
    * 1 package pre-steamed chuka noodles, cut into 1/2 inch length pieces
    * 2 cups steamed rice
    * 2 Tbsp dashi soup {I used Veggie Broth.}
    * 2 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce {I did not use this, but rather made a sauce.}

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok on medium heat. Fry meat until change color. Add onion and cabbage and stir-fry until softened. Add noodles in the skillet. Pour 2 Tbsp of dashi soup over the noodles and stir fry until the moisture is gone. Add rice and stir-fry until mixed well with other ingredients. Pour Worcestershire sauce and stir quickly. Stop the heat. *makes 2 servings

    Sauce: (borrowed from en Petit Chef)
    1 1/2 Tbl Soy Sauce
    1 Tbl Mirin
    1 tsp Oyster Sauce

Mix ingredients together and set aside.

And then, because I just couldn’t stop myself….

    Chicken Yakitori: grilled chicken.

And since I didn’t change the recipe I’ll just leave you with the link.It is supposed to be grilled but since I didn’t have one that I could fire up quickly and was only making a small portion I used my upside down grill. Also known as a broiler. Worked just fine.

I hope you enjoyed this meal. I know I did. And so glad I have leftovers. Well, some. The Boy came home and enjoyed some of it, too. But there is still enough left for another meal. Delicious!!

Please visit the other cooks and find out what they made for….

Thank you, Nick. I am no longer mentally allergic to:

And that is because today I made this:

    Sfincione: Palermo Focaccia

According to Best of Sicily Magazine.

    Sfincione is a thick Sicilian pizza, or more precisely a focaccia, topped with tomatoes, onions, a few anchovies and perhaps grated casciocavallo cheese, seasoned with a dash of oregano. Outside Italy, the term “Sicilian pizza” is used to describe all kinds of things, but until the 1860s sfincione (loosely translated “thick sponge”) was the kind of “pizza” usually consumed in Sicily, especially in the western part of the island.

And thank you Nick for giving me an easy, tasty, wonderful pizza and Focaccia dough. How easy? You mix the ingredients. Let them rise. Put the risen dough into the pan. Let it rise and bake. No kneading. That’s right, NO KNEADING!! And so much rise it seems impossible.

In order to make the Sfincione the pizza dough has to be made first. The recipe makes a 12″ x 18″ focaccia to which one adds a rhin layer of sauce made from tomato puree (sauce), sauteed onions, and anchovies. I almost left the anchovies out as they are not my favorite food, but you couldn’t really taste them as they are chopped up and added into the sauce.

I loved this Sicilian Pizza. I only made the focaccia 1/2 size (12″ x 12″) because I wasn’t sure how I would like it, but it was thick and flavorful and I don’t think I will ever order pizza again. If you want the recipe you will have to buy Malgieri’s The Modern Baker since we agreed not to publish the recipes. I did find a great short video of Nick making focaccia which will show you just how easy it is to make.

Other members of The Modern Baker Challenge will be making this so check out how they did. And get a copy of Malgieri’s book – breads, cakes, scones, tarts, pies, cookies – something for everyone.

I love apples. I buy them all year. And then forget to eat them. They slip my mind. Sometimes the just sit there starring at me. They make me feel guilty. So I bake with them instead.

Now there are four less apples to make me feel guilty – two Granny Smith, one golden Delicious and one Gala have fulfilled their function. They have been eaten. In cake. In Marie-hélène’s apple cake from Dorie Greenspan’s newest – Around My French Table. It is a wonderful book full of French Comfort Food. Not at all what you would expect from a French Cook book but what you would expect from Dorie Greenspan. Good food made easy.

This was the last recipe Dorie chose for us for October.

This tasty cake has very few ingredients – apples, flour, sugar, butter, rum, (Yes rum!) – all of which come together in a delightful sweet applely (Is that a word??) cake.

The mix of apples {or divers} – sweet and tart – gave the cake a delightful mix of flavors that played well with the rum (which did not overpower). Kayte (of At Grandma’s Kitchen Table ) about making 1/2 a recipe, but when time came went ahead and made the full batch and it was enough for a 4 1/2 inch and a 7 inch cake. The bigger one is in the freezer. The little one is gone.

While Dorie’s version was cakelike on top, mine was chunky with pieces of apple. Next time I think I will cut my apples into smaller chunks.

If you want the recipe for this one you will just have to purchase Dorie’s book because we are not printing the recipes. You won’t be sorry if you do, promise!!!

And visit the other members to see their cakes. I know they will all be beautiful and delicious.

We have voted, as a group, for November’s recipes. And they will be wonderful just like this month’s. Come back on Friday and the next Friday….and have a taste. Au revoir, mes ami. Bon Appétit

I have never made a frittata before. I have made quiche. I have made omelets. I do them pretty well and often. But frittata – nada! It is just another egg dish.

    Frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelette or quiche, either simple or enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. It may be flavored with herbs. A thick omelet that is finished under a broiler.

Yep!! Just another egg dish. Until Ellie came along. With Ellie it’s a pasta dish!!

Instead of the crustless quiche, as Ellie describes it, we have a flavorful crusty pasta pie. (At least that is how I would describe it!) The ww speghetti is tossed with marinara sauce and then added to the sauteed onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach. {Plus the basil leaf and oregano leaf I added.} Then the egg mix is poured over the top, cooked slightly, covered with grated {I used shredded.} Parmesan cheese and finished under the broiler. Can you say YUM!!!!

One fifth of the recipe gave me a 6 1/2″ mini skillet frittata and with a side (or Presto) salad for a filling and flavorful lunch. At least 1/2 of the mini skilletwas.




Some of the members expressed concern that the frittata would be eggy but it reallywasn’t. The whipped egg simply blended in with the other ingredients and held it all together.

{I admit at this point my Presto salad was a mix of leaf lettuce and baby spinach with a little Sun Dried Tomato Vinegrette.}

This weeks CEinMB pick is brought to you by my Good Far Away Friend, Marthe, of Culinary Delights. You can find the recipe on her blog or on Food Network or get a copy of Ellie’s book – So Easy (it’s on page 100). Whichever way you choose you will be happy.


    All American, All Delicious Apple Pie.

It is what the 300+ bakers of Tuesdays with Dorie made this week thanks to Emily of SandMuffin. I knew I had to make this week’s pick. Afterall, Emily is the only other Louisianian in the group. We Deep Deep South Dixie Girls have to stick together.

Several members of the group were a little leary of this pie because it included Tapioca and because of the crumbs in the bottom of the crust.. They were afraid it would make the pie to eggy and the crumbs would be soggy. IT wasn’t and they weren’t. The pie was delicious.

As you can see I made minis. Two minis. 4 1/2 inch minis. I made Dorie’s one crust pie dough. That gave me enough for 4 minis so the rest is in the fridge. I used the tapioca and the graham crumbs. But I didn’t have quite enough apples (Gala and Golden Delicious) in the pies. I sliced them rather thin and they ‘shrank’ as the pie was baking. Doesn’t mean the pies weren/t DELICIOUS!!. Next time I will pile more apple slices in. Even though I cut the recipe to about 1/3 I left the spices as called for. I like lots of spice in my pies – especially apple or pear.

The only adjustment I made in the bake time was to decrease the 50/60 minutes to 30/35 minutes turning the heat down to 375°.

Next time there will be a full version of this pie to photograph. Oh, Yeah!!

The recipe will be on Emily’s blog. Or you can just buy Dorie’s Book – Baking From My Home To Yours and have done with it.

I have never made whoopie pies. I have eaten whoopie pies. Lots as a kid. Never really thought of making my own, until Bread of the Month presented this one for our October baking.

    Whoopie!!! Pie

The big cookies used for this ‘pie’ have lots of fall flavor with the nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. I will definitely make these often – just as cookies. With the cookie recipe there is also a filling recipe. It is a simple butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar mix. I could not get it to work. 2 minutes after I put the pies together the top slipped off and the filling sort of dribbled out.

The recipe called for 2 cups of sugar. I used 3 and it was still rather runny. I think adding some more cream cheese will fix it, but meanwhile I used some left over buttercream/cream cheese frosting and that worked out beautifully. They reminded me of the little oatmeal pies we put in the freezer for quick snacks.

The cookies are rather large – 1/4 cup of mix {I used my #16 dasher.} results in a 3 – 4″ cookie. Not that size is a problem when they are so spicy good.

The recipe comes from King Arthur Flour. And if you want to see other results you can visit the Bread of the Month FB page. Maybe join in next month. Always a surprise waiting for us.

I think this is probably the first time i have actually planned ahead to accomplish a meal. I just never was a planner when it came to meals. Get home. Make decision. Thaw. Cook. Not an easy way to deal with dinner, but it has worked most of the time. But with Dorie in the house and meals planned I can actually get ready ahead of time. Wednesday night we had roast with mashed potatoes and gravy.

For one reason.

So I would have most of the prep done for dinner Thursday night.

So I could serve Hachis Parmentier for dinner.

French comfort Food a la Dorie Greenspan.

There was no way I could skip this one. I made the first FFwD pick – Gougères – but skipped the Mustard Tart (not a mustard fan) and was late finding all the ingredients for the Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Soup. (That I will post later.) Anyway, back to the preplanning…

Since hachis recipe called for a beef cut boiled with veggies and broth I made a roast in the crockpot with the ingredients called for. Gave me a lovely broth and nice tender veggies. We had mashed potatoes also with ingredients as called for. I kept them and used them in the hachis. So by Wednesday night I had two of the three parts completed. This afternoon I browned the sausage {I used just plain sausage because of the Guys’ tastes}. Made the filling. Went for a walk. Topped with potatoes, white cheddar cheese, and popped it in the oven.


Delicious shepherd’s pie. French Style. What a great way to use up left over roast and potatoes. Or make fresh. I did keep the veggies. They were just too good to just toss. Celery. Carrots. Onions. Garlic. Parsley.

Another good thing. The recipe called for 1 tsp tomato paste. There was no way I was going to open a can of paste for that . Luckily my last food exchange was from Italy and Ros sent me….

perfect for measuring out small amounts. So, thanks, Ros.

We aren’t publishing the recipes from Dorie’s around my french table so if you want the recipe you will have to buy the book. It won’t be a hardship, believe me. And it is a beautiful book. So join us won’t you. You won’t be sorry

I know I’ve said this before, but I like Ellie’s recipes. Yes, because they are delicious. Yes, because they are easy. But also because they are flexible. Adaptable. Did I mention they tasted good??

This week’s pick was

    Chicken Pot Pie with Phyllo Crust

It was simple, delicous, and flexible like most of Ellie’s recipes. I have always loved pot pie. When I was growing up Mom used to BUY them all the time. The crust always got soft on the bottom. The meat was almost non-existant. But I loved them anyway. Now that I can make my own they are often on the table when it’s cooler outside. Sometimes they just help me use up leftover stew. And that’s a good thing!!

Making Pot Pie is easy and quick. Veggies. Chicken. Broth. Lots of spices and seasoning. Topped with a crust.

Ellie’s called for fresh green beans but I already had some cooked so those went into the pie. Ellied called for peas. I added in some corn for color. Ellie called for Phyllo dough. I couldn’t find any. Anywhere. I checked 5 different grocery stores. All they had were the cups. So I used Martha’s Puff Pastry instead. Still good.

The whole recipe gave me enough for 4 small pies and one good sized one with some left over another pie.

So two are in the freezer. Everyone liked this one. Only complaint. Next time peel the potatoes. I can do that!!

Thanks to Shandy of Pastry Heaven. You can find the recipe on Shandy’s blog or on FoodTV or just buy Ellie’s The Food You Crave. Good Pick. Good comfort food. And healthy, too.

I know lots of the other CEinMB members made this so go check them out too.

Making my own caramel from scratch used to be a completely rediculous idea. Until I ‘met’ Dorie. Now the thought of buying caramel seems rather rediculous. And Dorie’s recipe gives a wonderfully brown rich caramel.

‘Course I usually end up with a blob of hardened browned sugar when I add the cream. But it melts down. {Tip: I think using warmed cream would decrease the chance of this hardening.}

So why did I need to make caramel? For this new twist on an old favorite -

    Caramel Pumpkin Pie

and it is wonderful. While the regular pumpkin custard has dark rum and the heavenly caramel mixed in it is not really tastable (is that a word?) in the pie. What it does do is enhance the flavor of the pumpkin. YUM!!!

I made the full recipe and did it exactly (yes, EXACTLY!!) and it gave me three 4 1/2 inch and 1 six inch pie. Three for the freezer and one for tonight (with whipped cream).

Dorie suggested using an almond streusel on the pie after 10 minutes of baking. I used some leftover streusel that didn’t have nuts. It made a beautiful topping. I haven’t tasted it yet, but it’s in the freezer waiting for us. And it looks delicious.

This was another perfect fall delight. It will probably definitely show up again at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Thanks to Janelle of Mortensen Family Memoirs for this week’s TWD pick. I’ve been reading Janelle’s blog for awhile. They were in Germany for a while and I enjoyed her adventures. And her food. She will have the recipe on her blog. OR you COULD buy Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours.

Okay. Okay, I’m sorry. But better late than never. And this Apple Brown Betty is worth waiting for.

Thursday’s delicous dessert breakfast choice is a healthy Apple Brown Betty from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy.

Thin slices of Apple cooked down in Apple Cider which are then covered with a Whole Wheat/brown sugar/walnut topping. What’s not to love. AND I got to use my old Apple Peeler. I made about 1/2 of the recipe (I suppose 1/2. I used 3 apples but they were HUGE and 2 slices of bread but didn’t really measure anything out.) The amount of ingredients gave me three ‘cups’ of deliciousness.

Ellie’s recipe was perfect just the way it was, except (Yeah, there’s that word again…) I didn’t have any whole wheat bread so I used two good sized slices of Dan Lepard’s Sour Cream Bread. Still quite tasty.

If you have a chance, access the recipe for Ellies Apple Brown Betty.

And big thanks to Jessica of Learning to Love Vegetables. Great pick. Good for Breakfast (It’s fruit people) or dessert.

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