Saturday, December 25, 2010

Eggnog French Toast

Merry Christmas!

I decided to make something special for Christmas Morning breakfast this year.  I had left over eggnog from the eggnog cookies I made so I thought Eggnog French Toast would be perfect this morning!  I started with a recipe from and added a few touches that I got from the Alton Brown french toast recipe I posted a few years ago.  It came out great.

Egg Nog French Toast

Adapted from


1 cup commercial eggnog
2 eggs
6 slices cinnamon bread (Arnold)
1 tablespoon honey (warmed)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar


In a small bowl, combine egg, egg nog and honey with a fork just until egg breaks up.

Put sliced bread in a shallow flat-bottomed bowl.  Pour egg mixture over bread and let sit for 2-3 minutes per side.  Then place sliced bread onto a cooling rack for another 2 minutes to let excess egg mixture drip off.

In an electric skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and saute each slice over medium heat (350 degrees) for 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Turn over and cook an additional 1-1/2 minutes.  Serve, sprinkled with sugar and pat of butter.  Or pour over a little warm maple syrup, if desired.


The Creative Cook

Friday, December 24, 2010

Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Frosting

Unbaked Cookies

Baked Eggnog Cookies

This recipe comes from  I did change it a little bit.  The reviews gave me some tips that I decided to use.  They are tasty cookies. I like this recipe because it is almost like a sugar cookie but is a bit different.  I think they should be cookies that can be enjoyed by almost everyone.

Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Frosting


for Cookies:

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup commercial eggnog
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

for Icing:

3 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup commercial eggnog


for cookies:

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggnog, baking soda and nutmeg.  Mix well.  Gradually add flour.  Mix well.  Divide dough in half, wrap well and refrigerate overnight.

Roll half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut with floured cookie cutters.   Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool, ice and decorate, if desired.

For Icing:

In a small mixing bowl, beat confectioner's sugar and butter until well blended. Gradually beat in eggnog until icing is smooth.

The poster on says that she did not use cookie cutters.  Instead she rolled the dough into small balls and pressed her powdered sugar dipped finger into the center.  Then she baked as directed.

For icing, she placed all the ingredients into a bowl and beat for about 15 minutes until it was fluffy.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cranberry Noel Cookies

These are the 2 logs before I cut them.

These are the cookies before baking.

Cranberry Noel Cookies after baking

I saw Martha Stewart making these Cranberry Noel Cookies on her show.  They looked really good.  It seemed like she got the recipe from someone else but I'm not sure.  I also read on a website that this recipe is in one of her cookbooks.  I am here to tell you that these are worth making and eating! Thanks Martha.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon rum extract
½ teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped pecans
¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut


1.       Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes
2.       Add milk, vanilla and salt
3.       Beat until just combined
4.       Gradually add flour, cranberries and pecans
5.       Mix on low speed until fully combined
6.       Divide dough in half
7.       Shape each half into an 8-inch log, about 2 inches in diameter
8.       Roll logs in coconut, pressing lightly to coat the outside of logs
9.       Wrap logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours
10.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
11.   Using a sharp knife, cut logs into ¼ inch thick slices
12.   Transfer to ungreased baking sheets, about 1-1/2 inches apart
13.   Bake until edges are golden, about 12 minutes
14.   Transfer to wire rack to cool
Store  for up to 2 weeks in an airtight 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Lemon Ricotta Cookies without Glaze

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Giada's Glaze

Lemon Cookie with the plain Lemon Glaze
I made these cookies this morning.  They are a very soft and melt in your mouth kind of cookies.  The original glaze that Giada provides is very sour because of the lemon zest so I wound up scraping it off and making a very simple glaze with only powdered sugar and lemon juice.  I also added a touch of yellow food coloring to punch up the color.  They are a different choice for holiday cookies.  Since my son likes lemon, this is my first holiday cookie offering.  These cookies are very lemony so if you love lemon flavor then give these a try!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Makes 44 Cookies



2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested


1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.


In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl, combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.


Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 – teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.


The Creative Cook

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Soup

It has gotten cold very quickly in this area.  When it gets cold, I long for soup.  Steamy hot delicious soup.  I know these soups are not low calorie but they are so yummy and warm on a bone-chillingly cold winter day.  I made this soup on Sunday afternoon.  It truly does make 12 servings as the author suggests on the website.  The recipe was originally submitted by Karin Christian.  We all liked the soup but I have a few suggestions for the future.  I thought that the soup should have been put into a blender or that it could stand a few minutes with an immersion blender to thicken it and smooth out the broccoli a bit.  I like broccoli cheese soup when it has some texture but this was too much for me.  I was not happy with the way the cornstarch thickened the soup so next time I am leaving it out and using a potato or two instead. I also substituted fat free half and half for the milk because I had some in my refrigerator.  If you are cooking for a vegetarian you can easily substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth and no one else in the family will be the wiser.   I think that you could easily reduce the amount of butter by half without any harm to the taste of the soup. Anyway, it is good soup but I like to tweak so go ahead and tweak or leave it as is.  Your choice...

Broccoli Cheese Soup
Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  12


1/2 cup butter (reduce to 1/4 cup)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 (16-ounce) package of frozen chopped broccoli
4 (14.5 ounce) cans of reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 (1 pound) loaf of processed cheese loaf (I used the ubiquitous Velveeta), cubed
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup water


1.  In a stockpot, melt butter over medium heat.  Cook onion in butter until softened.  Stir in broccoli, and cover with chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

2.  Reduce heat and stir in the cheese cubes until melted. Mix in milk and garlic powder.

3.  In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into water until dissolved. Stir into soup; cook, stirring frequently, until thick.

4.  Put soup into a blender or use an immersion blender to make soup smooth.


The Creative Cook

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

This is a delicious, different recipe for meatloaf.  It really tastes like a cheeseburger!  If you love meatloaf but are tired of the same old recipe, try this.  I cooked the onions before putting them into the meatloaf.  My husband and son don't like onions much. 

Servings:  8


2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup minced onion
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.  In a large bowl, combine the beef, bread crumbs, onion, eggs, salt and pepper, and mix well.  Pat out meat mixture into a 14 x 18 inch rectangle on a piece of wax paper.  Spread cheese over the meat, leaving a 3/4 inch border around the edges.  Roll up jelly roll fashion to enclose the filling and form a pinwheel loaf.  Press beef in on both ends to enclose the cheese.  Place in a 10 x 15 inch baking dish.

3.  Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).


The Creative Cook

Monday, December 6, 2010

Buffalo Rice

This is a recipe from Sara Moulton's newest cookbook called "Five-Ingredient Mains."  She did a really nice job on this book. I chose this recipe as the first one out of the book to make because my husband and I both love Buffalo Chicken Wings.  He is especially fond of the really spicy wings and I prefer mild.  This dish gives the best of Buffalo Chicken Wings without the bad parts.  It is spicy and delicious but not nearly as fattening. In the book, Sara mentions that the original recipe she got from her chef de cuisine at Gourmet Magazine used pasta, so if you prefer pasta then use it instead of rice.  I used long-grain brown rice because I had some in my cupboard.  I also want to mention that I had some Original Anchor Bar Mild Wing Sauce so I used that instead of the hot sauce.  The Anchor Bar is the place where Buffalo Wings are said to have been "invented" way back in the 1960's.  Try this as Buffalo Rice or Pasta.  Either way, I think you'll love it.

Buffalo Rice

1 cup long-grain white rice
 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons hot sauce
4 ounces Blue Cheese (you can substitute reduced fat Blue Cheese)
1 cup celery leaves, for garnish (optional)

1.  Bring 6 cups salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the rice and cook for 15 to 17 minutes, or until rice is tender.  (Mine took 20 minutes)  Drain the rice in a strainer, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

2.  Meanwhile, cut the chicken into 1/2-inch cubes.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until just cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the heat, toss with the hot sauce, and set aside in the skillet.  Crumble the blue cheese (about 1 cup).

3.  Once the rice has cooked, stir it into the chicken in the skillet along with the reserved 1 cup cooking liquid and the blue cheese.  Divide the chicken and rice among 4 serving plates and top with the celery leaves, if using.


The Creative Cook


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes

I have a few Thanksgiving recipes that I have either made for Thanksgiving or would like to keep so that I can try making them in the future.  This list of recipes includes one for a sweet potato casserole from the Food Network Magazine by Ellie Krieger, a cranberry gravy recipe from All*You Magazine, and the Best Ever Green Bean Casserole from Alton Brown.  I doubled this recipe and made it into a "prettier" version of Alton's recipe. It went over pretty well.

The picture I am including with this post is of a sweet potato cheesecake that one of my Thanksgiving guests so kindly made for the occasion.  He does not have a recipe. He told me that he used his head and instincts.  It turned out very well.  There was not even one slice left after the dinner was over.  To me, that is a successful dessert. It was also a beautiful cheesecake, as you can see.

Best Ever Green Bean Casserole
Makes 4 to 6 Servings


2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Nonstick cooking spray

For Beans and Sauce:

2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.  Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan.  Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.  Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking.  Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.

While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan.  Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, occasionally until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute.  Decrease the  heat to medium-low and add the half and half.  Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans.  Top with the remaining onions.  Place into the oven and bake, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Cranberry Gravy

12 ounces fresh cranberries (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sugar
4 cups low-sodium turkey or chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper

In a saucepan over low heat, cook cranberries and sugar, stirring until sugar has dissolved and berries have burst, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole
Serves: 8


cooking spray
3-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/3 finely chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place.  Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.  Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly.  Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth.  Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.

Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl, sprinkle over the potatoes.  Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.

Per serving:  Calories 160; Fat 4 g (Saturated 1 g); Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 180 mg; Protein 3 g


The Creative Cook

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cranberry History and Lore

I also felt the need to provide you with some Cranberry History and Lore I got from the  Enjoy!  

Cranberry History and Lore

Cranberries are both a popular American food and closely linked to our history. Many books and websites list the cranberry as one of three fruits that are native to North America, the other two being the blueberry and the Concord grape.

However, this is not true as there are numerous other edible fruits native to North America. A better phrasing, which some sources use, is that cranberries are one of three fruits native to North American that are commercially grown on a large scale . Large being the operative word here as other varieties of native fruits are also grown commercially.
The name cranberry is actually a shortened version of crane berry or craneberry , which is the name given to the fruit by early settlers in North America because the shape of the flowers of the cranberry bush have a resemblance to the head of a crane.
Probably because cranberry sauce is a traditional Thanksgiving dish and Thanksgiving is associated with the Pilgrims in Massachusetts people often associate cranberry production with Massachusetts.
While Massachusetts is both a major producer of cranberries and the home of the first company to produce and sell canned cranberry sauce commercially (the Cape Cod Cranberry Company produced marketed in Massachusetts the first canned cranberry sauce in 1912 under the name Ocean Spray Cape Cod Cranberry Sauce - the Cape Cod Cranberry Company later evolved into today's Ocean Spray Corporation) it is not the only state where cranberries are grown. Other major cranberry producing states are New Jersey, Oregon, Washington state and Wisconsin.
While cranberries may or may not have been served at the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621, the Pilgrims were aware of cranberries having been introduced to them by the Indians who had long used cranberries in their own cooking especially in the making of pemmican, a nutritious, high energy food that had a long shelf life but was also compact and traveled easily.
Pemmican generally consisted of mostly dried deer meat (elk, bison or meat of other available game was often used in place of deer) and fat along with various other ingredients such as dried fruits (cranberries being one option), maple sugar, dried, corn, etc. depending upon availability.
After drying, the meat and any other ingredients used were pulverized and mixed with fat to make the pemmican which was the main food eaten by Indians, the French Courier de Bios (fur traders in New France who traveled west from Montreal by water to trade, often illegally, with the Indians for furs) and nineteenth century Arctic explorers, while on long wilderness trips.
Beginning in the early nineteenth century, farmers began producing cranberries commercially for both domestic use and export to Europe. During the long siege of Petersburg, Virginia (June 15, 1864 - March 25, 1865) in the Civil War, the Union General Grant ordered cranberry sauce to be included with the supplies shipped to feed his troops. This was probably the first large scale use of cranberry sauce as a food and, given the large number of Union troops involved in the siege, enough apparently brought home fond memories of cranberry sauce that its popularity as a side dish caught on. Since cranberry sauce goes well with poultry, especially turkey, it soon evolved into a Thanksgiving staple.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cranberry Coffee Cake

This recipe came from It was posted by "Young Living in Texas"  It makes a bundt cake.  I didn't have enough left over cranberry sauce to try it but maybe I will after Christmas.  You never know! 

Cranberry Coffee Cake


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup pecans, chopped


1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons almond extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Cream butter and sugar.

3. Add eggs.

4.  Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream to butter and sugar mixture.

5.  Stir in almond extract.

6.  Pour 1/2 batter into greased and floured bundt pan.

7.  Add 1/2 cranberry sauce, spread evenly over batter. 

8.  Pour remaining batter over cranberry sauce.

9.  Top with remaining cranberry sauce.

10.  Sprinkle with pecans.

11. Bake at 350 degrees F in a preheated oven for 55 minutes.

12.  Glaze:  Stir ingredients together well. Spread or drizzle glaze on cake while cake is still warm.


The Creative Cook

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cranberry Sauce Loaf

Here is another recipe I made to use up my left over cranberry sauce.  I used this recipe "as is" except that I didn't have any graham cracker crumbs so I used 2 cups of flour instead.  Other than that, the recipe is the same as it was on the site where I found it.  It looks good.  It is still in the oven at the moment.

Cranberry Sauce Loaf


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil


Mix the first 5 ingredients together with a fork in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in raisins and nuts.  Gently fold in cranberry sauce.  Add egg, orange juice and oil.  Stir just until mixed.  Scrape into loaf pan and bake for at least 1 hour.  Let stand for 10 minutes. 


The Creative Cook

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Morning-After Cranberry Sauce Muffins

This is the first year I ever made fresh cranberry sauce.  The reason I made the sauce this year is that we were having 25 people over.  I did not want my guests to think that we eat canned sauce.  I did have to buy a few cans of the "jellied" kind of sauce because that is what my son and husband eat.  I tried to keep the cans hidden but I did not succeed.  I doubled the sauce recipe that I got out of my All*You magazine so I had lots of extra sauce. I will give you the recipe I used at the end of this post. The recipe for the muffins comes from The post about the muffins credits the recipe to chef Michael Harr of Butterfield 9 restaurant in Washington, D.C.  I did not make these muffins the morning after Thanksgiving but since cranberry sauce does not spoil quickly it should be fine to use for a week or two after the holiday.  The muffins taste great.  I can't really imagine throwing out three cups of perfectly good cranberry sauce so this is a great way to use it up.  I almost forgot to mention that I don't actually eat cranberry sauce with my Thanksgiving turkey dinner. 

When I started mixing the batter for the muffins, I realized that there is no mention of cinnamon in the ingredient list but it is mentioned in the body of the recipe.  I also added a teaspoon of vanilla just for fun.  Oh, did I mention that I put the oatmeal into the food processor and "powdered" it first.  I found that the recipe makes about 18 cranberry sauce muffins.  The recipe on serious eats website did not say how many muffins the recipe would make.  I guess it depends on what size muffin tins you use.

Morning-After Cranberry Sauce Muffins
by Chef Michael Harr


1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats (powdered)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 cups of left over cranberry sauce (fresh or canned whole berry)
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line muffin tin with paper baking cups.

2.  Put oatmeal into food processor until it is powdered.

3.  In a large bowl, combine regular flour, whole-grain flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; mix well.  In a medium bowl combine milk, oil, cranberry sauce and egg; blend well.  Fold into dry ingredients all at once; stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

4.  Fill muffin cups about three-quarters full.

5.  Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.  Break off that seductive muffin top, then inhale the rest!

Cranberry Apple Cider Sauce
from All*You Magazine


3 cups apple cider
12 oz. fresh cranberries
(about 2 cups)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Pinch of salt
1 medium Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice


1.  In a large saucepan, bring cider to boil and cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 40 minutes.

2.  Combine reduced cider, cranberries, sugar, spices, salt and apple in medium saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Simmer sauce until thickened and cranberries have popped, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. (Sauce will thicken more when cool.)


The Creative Cook

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Left Over Pot Pie

It seems that this is my year for posting about how to deal with leftovers. I found this interesting leftover recipe in an email. This Leftover Pot Pie looks like a nice way to use up leftovers from any holiday meal.  The original recipe says you can substitute any type of leftover meat for the turkey.  So, I'm thinking that you could even use up some leftover Christmas ham in this recipe if you so desire.  I haven't tried making this pie myself yet but it looks like a yummy and economical way to forget you're eating your holiday meal for the 3rd or 4th time. You may want to make this into a deep-dish pie by adding a bit more meat, gravy and vegetables.  

Leftover Pot Pie


2 cups leftover turkey, chopped or shredded
2 cups turkey gravy (or turkey stock)
2 cups mixed vegetables
2 (9-inch) unbaked pie shells
2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup cold water (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C);

2.  If you are using stock, bring the stock to a boil.  Add cornstarch to cold water, and blend until smooth, whisk into stock to thicken;

3.  Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry.  Mix turkey and vegetables together and place into pie crust.  Pour gravy or thickened stock over turkey and vegetables.  Cover with remaining pie crust.  Cut slits into the top of the crust to release steam.

4.  Place pot pie on a cookie sheet to prevent stock from overflowing into your oven.  Cook in center of oven until crust is golden brown, approximately 1 hour.  Slice and serve hot.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Rice Soup

It is the day after Thanksgiving and big surprise, we have left over turkey!  My sister made 30 pounds of turkey and there were just 25 of us.  Two of those 25 were babies so they did not eat much.  We did share the leftover turkey and give some to the other guests but I was still left with two Ziploc bags of turkey!  I thought a soup would be the perfect idea.  I found this recipe on It is definitely tasty but I made a few alterations.  I did not have a whole turkey carcass but I did have a wishbone that I threw into the soup instead.  I also used mashed potatoes to thicken the soup rather than stuffing.  Initially I thought we did not have stuffing but after I made the soup I did find a bag of it in the fridge.   I used much much more chicken broth and water than the recommended 2-1/2 quarts.  If you use just the recommended amounts the soup will be more like a casserole.  Just sayin.  Another change I made is that I used brown rice rather than white rice because that is what I had in my pantry.  I also had to cook the rice quite a bit longer than 25 minutes.  The last change I made to the recipe is that I left out the peas.  My son doesn't like peas. The soup is really good if you make a few tweaks and it is a great way to use up some extra turkey!

Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Rice Soup


1 picked over turkey carcass
1-1/2 cups leftover stuffing
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon ground sage
4 quarts chicken broth (increased from 2-1/2 quarts)
4 cups water (added by me)
garlic powder to taste
ground white pepper, to taste
2 cups (uncooked) regular long-grain white rice
1 (16 oz) package frozen green peas


1.  Place the turkey carcass in a large, deep pot, and add the stuffing, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, sage, and chicken broth.  Pour in water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 1 hour, skimming off any foam.  Remove the carcass and any bones.  Pick any meat off and return to the pot, discarding bones and skin.  Remove the bay leaves. 

2.  Season to taste with garlic powder and pepper.  Stir in the rice and return to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes.  Stir in the peas, and continue to simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.  (Times were increased by me.)   Adjust seasonings to taste. 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I haven't done much with pumpkin this year on my blog but I did see an article about making toasted pumpkin seeds for a snack in Parade Magazine. Since I happened to still have my Halloween pumpkin sitting on my kitchen table I thought "hmm, maybe I'll make some toasted pumpkin seeds!"  I have never tried doing this before so it would be a new and interesting idea.  I also thought it would be fun to share it with all of you.  So, I proceeded to cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds (kind of yucky) then I picked off the membranes and washed them off in the kitchen sink.  The next step is to spread the cleaned seeds into an oiled baking sheet; dry them in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Take out and toss with 2 Tbsp melted butter and seasonings (for sweet:  1-1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg; for savory: 1/2 teaspoon course salt, 1-1/2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of black pepper).  Roast at 375 degrees for 7 minutes and you're done!

These pumpkin seeds are easy to make, quick and yummy to eat.


The Creative Cook

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

I have not been posting much lately and I am sorry.  But the good news is that I have been cooking.  I have made a few good soups recently that I want to share with you.  This one is very much a reminder of my childhood. My grandmother used to make escarole and so did my mother.  This is a very comforting soup.  I happened to have a can of white northern beans in my cupboard so that is what I used for this recipe. I think that I mixed chicken, vegetable and beef broth together but if you are cooking for a true vegetarian, then please use just vegetable broth. The soup will taste wonderful no matter which base soup broth or stock you use.

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken or beef broth
2 cups water
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz can cannelini or white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup pasta bows
Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 small head escarole (optional)

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot and celery, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, broth, water, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and beans.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  If escarole is being used, wash, tear into 2 inch pieces and add to soup 15 minutes before soup is done, or at the same time as the pasta.

Add the pasta bows and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pasta and escarole is tender.

Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.


The Creative Cook

Saturday, October 30, 2010

French Toast Breakfast Muffins

This is basically the same recipe that my son brought home from his FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) class last week. FACS is the name that they use for Home Economics here in Maryland now.  The only differences are that his recipe called for two extra tablespoons of flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder rather than 1-1/2, 3/4 cup of sugar rather than 1/2 cup and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. I don't know why his recipe calls for making only 6 muffins and this one is for 12.  I will say that the muffins I made from his school's recipe came out quite large and stuck to the muffin pan.  I'm going to recommend that you not use muffin cups and just spray the pan really well with vegetable spray instead.   I was out of milk so I used buttermilk. There were lots of variations to the recipe online.  I found several that used maple syrup or vanilla in the batter.  Some even suggest that you dip the whole muffin in the butter and then roll it into the sugar/cinnamon.  Either way, they are really yummy! 

Makes 12 Muffins


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Stir together egg, milk and 1/3 cup melted butter. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until just moistened (batter may be lumpy). Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon. When muffins are finished baking, dip tops of muffins in the melted butter, and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

4.  Serve warm.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Butternut & Acorn Squash Soup

This recipe comes from  The original recipe is slightly different.  I followed some of the suggestions that were posted on  I  reduced the amount of butter, cream cheese and brown sugar.  I will repost the original suggestion that this soup would go great with crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream on top.  I served it along with a salad.  It is quite easy to make and yummy!

Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup
1 hr. 20 mins.
Servings:  8


1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 quart chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 (4 ounces) package neufchatel cheese, softened (or cream cheese)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste) (optional)
fresh parsley, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking tray with sides.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.  Remove from heat, and cool slightly.  Scoop the pulp from the skins.  Discard the skins.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion until tender.
  • In a blender or food processor, blend the squash pulp, onion, broth, brown sugar, cream cheese, pepper and cinnamon until smooth.  This may be done in several batches.
  • Transfer the soup to a pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.  Garnish with parsley and serve warm. 


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blood Orange Cake

This recipe was printed in the Baltimore Sun and was adapted by Carol Mighton Haddix from the “Booze Cakes” cookbook by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone. The recipe originally called for Champagne.  I used this recipe "as is".  I did not have to change anything.  The only thing that I did not do was decorate it with orange peels.  I think it would have been cute but instead I made the icing and the cake a bit more orange than red by adding a few drops of  yellow food coloring as well as the red.  Everyone seemed to enjoy this cake but I will say that it is quite sweet.  Enjoy!

Makes: 9-inch Layer cake – 12 servings


3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar  (reduced to 1-1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg whites (3/4 cup egg substitute)
A few drops of red food coloring, optional
2 cups blood orange soda


2 cups blood orange soda
1-1/2 sticks (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Few drops of red food coloring, optional
Grated rind from 2 oranges or orange peel curls, optional

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with mixer until light and fluffy, 3- 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Beat in egg whites one at a time. Mix in food coloring.

2. Beat in flour mixture and soda in three alternating additions, starting and ending with flour. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch pans. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen cake; invert cakes onto wire rack. Cool.

3. For frosting, heat the soda in a sauce pan over medium-high heat to a boil; cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Beat butter and cream cheese in a bowl with a mixer, 1 minute. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, reduced soda, vanilla and food coloring. Beat until smooth and creamy, adding more confectioners’ sugar if too thin. Place one cake layer on a cake plate; spread half of the frosting over the top. Add top layer; cover with frosting. Sprinkle top with grated orange rind or orange peel curls, if desired.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mocha Cake with Coffee Icing

This cake was easy to make and very tasty but I will tell you that if you are planning to use the Coffee Icing Recipe below that came with the cake, you will need to double or even triple it to make enough to cover the entire cake.  I had to resort to using a premade cream cheese frosting.  It was good anyway but next time I make this cake, I will definitely double the icing!  The recipe is from the Baltimore Sun Paper. 




2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (sour milk may be substituted)
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 cup hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, melted butter, eggs, buttermilk or sour milk, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Dissolve instant coffee in 1 cup hot water and add to mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth; batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans.

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out onto racks to cool completely before icing.

Coffee Icing

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
3 to 4 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat together confectioners’ sugar, butter, coffee and vanilla until smooth. Add more liquid or sugar as needed to reach proper consistency.

Place 1 cake layer on serving dish and frost top. Add second layer on top of first and frost top and sides with remaining frosting. If desired, drizzle some melted chocolate over top of iced cake and allow it to drip down sides.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Roasted Turkey Tenderloin with New Potatoes & Tarragon Broth

After all the eating I did this summer, I am trying to get back into a healthier eating pattern.  I have my sister to thank for this recipe.  She didn't give me the recipe but she did recommend eating turkey tenderloin. I had never tried it before.  It stands to reason that there would be turkey tenderloin available for purchase in the grocery store but I just never really thought about making it.  It turns out that my husband likes the turkey tenderloin better than the more widely known pork tenderloin that I make fairly frequently.  Maybe he just liked the flavors in this recipe. I am not sure but please read all my comments to this recipe before you start cooking. 

I am sure that if I had seen the episode of Robin Miller's show where she made this turkey, I would not have had any questions about the recipe but I didn't watch the show.  I simply found the recipe through my favorite pastime (i.e., googling).  Fortunately, I read the comments left by other Food Network fans who made the recipe before I started making the turkey.  It was a mixed bag of positive and negative comments.  Some comments were very helpful, though.  The fact that baking the potatoes at 400 degrees for only 40 minutes came up. If you do it that way, I guarantee that the potatoes will be hard as rock when you take them out of the oven.  I suggest taking out the turkey (so it doesn't get dried out like an old leather shoe) and leaving the potatoes in for at least an additional 20 to 30 minutes.  That is how I resolved the potato problem.  Robin's recipe on the Food Network website also leaves out a few other very important details such as that you should brown the turkey tenderloin before roasting it.  Another big problem with the recipe is that there is no mention of what to do with the mango chutney.  Some people, according to the comments, must have left it out because they were saying that the recipe was not flavorful enough.  I guarantee that if you use the mango chutney you will not have a problem with a lack of flavor.   You may not like the chutney but it is definitely full of flavor.  I don't know exactly what Robin meant for us to do with the chutney but I put it on during the turkey's roasting process.  It turned out nice and tasty for me.  Another idea is to put the chutney on after you take the turkey out of the oven. 

I know that I was not familiar at all with the taste of chutney before I used it in this recipe.  It has sort of a sweet and spicy taste.  I liked it.  It is much more popular in the U.K. and in India, I think.  Give it a try.  You might enjoy it.  I didn't like it enough to actually want to make my own chutney right now but maybe one of these days, I will.  I bought a version of Major Grey's Chutney that I found in my local grocery store. According to Wikipedia: "Major Grey's Chutney is from the brand of Crosse & Blackwell, the number one chutney seller in the United States.[1] It is reputed to have been created by a British Army officer in the 1800s during the height of the British Empire. It' s characteristic ingredients are mango, raisins, vinegar, lime juice, tamarind extract, sweetening and spices.[2] It is notable for being one of the few sauces using tamarind.

The Crosse & Blackwell product is an imitation of a much older, Sun Brand Major Grey's Chutney, made by Poonjiajee Bros. and imported from Bombay (Mumbai), India.[citation needed] The latter has almost disappeared from the U.S. market, but is still available if one searches. Major Grey's Mango Chutney is manufactured in Pune, India by Desai Brothers Ltd under the brand name Mother's Recipe and has been exported to Singapore."


Roasted Turkey Tenderloin with New Potatoes
and Tarragon Broth

by Robin Miller

Prep Time: 15 min

Inactive Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Level: Easy

Serves: 4


• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 2 (1 1/2 pound) turkey tenderloins

• Salt and ground black pepper

• 2 pounds new red potatoes or baby red potatoes, quartered (if bigger, cut into 2-inch pieces)

• 2 shallots, chopped

• 1 cup dry white wine

• 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves

• 4 tablespoons store bought peach, cranberry or mango chutney


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

{Missing from Food Network website recipe but necessary: place a tablespoon of oil into a large saute pan, heat the oil on medium-high heat.  When oil is sizzling brown the Turkey Tenderloin on all sides.}
Place oil in a large baking dish. Season turkey tenderloins all over with salt and black pepper and place in baking dish.

Arrange potatoes all around turkey and turn to coat with oil.

Season potatoes with salt and black pepper.

Arrange chopped shallots over potatoes in pan.

In a small bowl, combine wine, broth, vinegar, and tarragon.

Pour mixture over turkey.

Roast turkey and potatoes 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers at least 160 degrees F. .  {Put Chutney on the turkey either during the roasting process or after you remove it from the oven.}

Let turkey rest 10 minutes before slicing crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices

Serve half of the turkey and potatoes with this meal, with all of the broth from the pan over top. Serve spinach on the side. Reserve remaining turkey and potatoes for additional meals. {I would suggest that you take out the turkey after 40 minutes and leave the potatoes in the oven for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.}

The Creative Cook

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sticky Rice with Mango

This recipe was my first attempt at making an Asian dessert.  It is another recipe D made at cooking camp over the summer.  He loved it so much that he wanted us to make it at home.  I used sushi rice which I found out is actually the same as sticky and/or sweet rice.  I also learned that sticky or sweet rice is neither sweet nor sticky but it is a short-grained Asian rice.  It is a little bit more complicated and time-consuming to make than regular rice but please don't try to substitute regular long grain rice or "God Forbid" instant rice in this recipe.  It will come out like mush or so I'm told.  I wouldn't suggest doing that.  Also, please make sure that you use really ripe mangoes.  I would think that you could use the frozen mango chunks that you find in the grocery store if you are making this in the middle of winter and there are no fresh mangoes to be found.  Give this yummy dessert a try if you have room after a delicious Asian dinner. 

Sticky Rice with Mango
4 servings

1 cup rice, sticky or sweet Asian rice
1 mango (ripe)
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
sesame seeds for garnish


Cook rice in rice cooker or on stove top according to directions on bag or box.

While the rice is steaming, pour coconut milk into a small saucepan and bring to a slow simmer.  After the consistency thins out, add sugar and salt and take off heat.  The idea is to get it to taste sweet but not overly sweet.  (Time this so you take it off the heat right about when the rice is done cooking.)

Remove the rice from the cooker and lay it out on a large plate.  Pour enough of the coconut milk sauce over the rice so it is all wet, but not completely swimming in sauce.  Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes, and the rice will soak up all of the coconut milk.

To serve, place sliced mango on a plate.  Place a big spoonful of the rice on the plate, pour a little more of the coconut milk over the rice, and sprinkle some sesame seeds on it.

{Adapted from Kristin Smedley}


The Creative Cook

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Recipe

The summer is almost over :( 

My boy is headed back to school on Tuesday so for me tomorrow is the last day of summer even though I know that summer is not actually over for a few weeks.

I really love the fall but it is hard to deal with the end of a relaxing three month vacation from getting up early and all that sun and fun. 

In honor of the end of summer, I decided to post this very summery drink recipe.   I found in in Woman's Day Magazine.  The picture was so pretty and it looked so refreshing.  I am a huge fan of lemonade but I usually don't order lemonade or tea with other fruits mixed in.  This lemonade is an exception.  It is very tasty.  I will make it again and perhaps add a bit of vodka for some kick?

Strawberry Lemonade Recipe


3 cups water
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups lemon juice (about 8 to 10 lemons)
1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
1 liter seltzer or sparkling water

Garnish:  lemon slices and mint (optional)

Recipe Preparation:

1.  In a 2-quart saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.  Let cool completely.

2.  Place strawberries in blender with 1/2 cup lemonade mixture.  Blend until pureed.  Strain puree through a fine sieve to remove seeds.  Add puree to remaining lemonade mixture, stir well to combine.  Refrigerate until serving.

3.  To serve:  Stir in seltzer.  Pour over ice.  Garnish with lemon and mint, if using.


The Creative Cook

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Moroccan Orange Cake

I may have mentioned before that D took a cooking camp this summer at a wonderful cooking school in Frederick, Maryland called The Cooking Studio Frederick.  The camp was called Culinary World Tour. The kids were introduced to Moroccan food as well as several other yummy cusines.  D loved the Moroccan Orange Cake.   The camp instructor put on a simple orange glaze on the cake which is probably what he really loved most.  I don't have the recipe for it but it is just powdered sugar and orange juice.  This cake is quick and easy to make and very delicious.   I squeezed my own juice but I'm sure you could also use orange juice from the grocery store.  If you are using store-bought o.j., you can also sometimes find orange zest in the baking aisle of your grocery store with the spices. 

Moroccan Orange Cake

Prep Time:  10 mins.
Cook Time: 40 mins.


4 eggs
1-1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder (WOW)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
zest from 1 or 2 oranges
1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a tube pan.  If using fresh oranges, zest and juice them.
  • With an electric mixer or by hand, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick.  Gradually beat in the oil.
  • Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, and then the orange juice.  Beat until smooth, and then mix in the zest and vanilla.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake tests done.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 7 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.


The Creative Cook

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chocolate Ice Cream Duo

I tried another chocolate ice cream recipe.  This time it comes from Laurent Schott's Seven Sins of Chocolate cookbook.  I tried the Dark Chocolate Ice Cream.  I'm sure the Milk Chocolate Ice Cream is great, too.  The only thing I'll mention here is that this recipe does not include any "cognac" or vanilla.  Because of that, the ice cream gets hard pretty fast.  The alcohol content of the cognac or vanilla keeps the ice cream from freezing too hard.  Just keep that in mind.  His comments in the book say that the ice cream is best eaten just after churning and I bet that is why.  Each recipe makes about 1-1/2 pints of ice cream. 

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

5 oz. bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

3/4 cup milk chocolate, chopped
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks

For Each Flavor:

  • Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  • Bring the milk, cream, and half the sugar to a boil in a saucepan
  • Whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl with the remaining sugar until the mixture lightens in color, then whisk in the boiling milk.
  • Return the mixture to the saucepan and stir over low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Strain through a wire sieve over the chopped chocolate and whisk until all the chocolate has melted.
  • Refrigerate, stirring from time to time until chilled.  Churn each custard individually in an ice-cream maker.
  • Transfer to airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 days.


The Creative Cook

Monday, August 23, 2010

Peach Muffins

This recipe is from Tate's Bake Shop.  I was introduced to Tate's when I bought some of their chocolate chip cookies at a local organic market.  They were great.  I went on their website and signed up for emails.  Each month I get a newsletter with a recipe.  This is the first time I actually made one of their recipes. 

I made quite a few more than 15 muffins from this batter.  I also had to bake it a bit longer than 25 minutes.  I think it was more like 30 - 35 minutes for baking these.  I added the struesel that was suggested.  The recipe I used from made way too much streusel but it was still pretty darn yummy.  You could halve the recipe for the streusel. 


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup sugar
1-¼ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 large eggs
¾ cup melted butter
2 cups peeled, pitted, chopped peaches


(1)  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease fifteen 3 x 1 ½ inch muffin cups.

(2)  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.

(3) In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. Whisk mix to combine eggs. Add melted butter.

(4) Fold liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in peaches.

(5) Bake muffins for 25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Optional: add your favorite streusel top before placing in the oven if you prefer a sweeter muffin.

Yield: 15 muffins

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy;
Gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beating well;
Add flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg;
Beat just until blended.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

I love ice cream.  Every summer I make at least one or two batches of ice cream at home.  This summer I decided to go with the traditional and I made Milk Chocolate Ice Cream by David Lebovitz.  David Lebovitz published this recipe in his Perfect Scoop cookbook.  I used my Big Chill by Salton Ice Cream machine that I bought for $2.00 at a church sale.  It works great.  I didn't feel the need to spend $50 plus on a machine that would only be used once or twice a year.  Besides, my Big Chill is not electric.  I simply put the insert into the freezer for a few hours and take it out to churn the ice cream.  It couldn't be easier. 

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream 
adapted by from the Perfect Scoop

8 ounces milk chocolate with at least 30% cocoa solids, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Big pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla (the original calls for Cognac)
3/4 cup cocoa nibs or semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Combine the milk chocolate and cream in a large, heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate is melted, then remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Set it aside with a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over the medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk chocolate mixture, add the vanilla (cognac), and mix together.  Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  During the last few minutes of churning, add the cocoa nibs or chips, if using.


The Creative Cook

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crunchy Lemonade Chicken

Yum!  This chicken is really good.  It is the first time I have actually used Panko or Japanese breadcrumbs. I can finally find them in my local grocery stores.  It is so much different tasting than regular old store-bought breadcrumbs and even different from the ones you make yourself.  I read that the only actual difference is that Panko breadcrumbs are made from bread without the crust.  It is hard to imagine that just cutting off the crust before making breadcrumbs would make such a difference.   The Panko breadcrumbs are really more like "flakes" than crumbs. 

Hey, wait a minute, this post is about Crunchy Lemonade Chicken not Panko breadcrumbs so here goes:  the recipe calls for using drumsticks but my family doesn't care for drumsticks.  Nextime I make this recipe I'll substitute boneless skinless chicken breasts or even a whole chicken cut up into parts.  Other than that, I used the recipe "as is".  This is a recipe that both kids and adults will enjoy.  I served it with the Baked Beans with Maple Glazed Bacon that I made and posted about back in early July. 

Crunchy Lemonade Drumsticks

Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min
Serves: 6


2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
12 skin-on chicken drumsticks (3 1/2 to 4 1/4 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Olive-oil cooking spray


Mix 1 tablespoon lemon zest and the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add 1 cup water and the sugar and whisk to dissolve, then whisk in the buttermilk. Pierce the drumsticks several times with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the marinade, cover and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring the chicken to room temperature. Put the panko, thyme, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon zest, the cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste in a large resealable plastic bag and shake to mix. Put the mayonnaise in a bowl. Set a rack on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.

Remove the drumsticks from the marinade, dip in the mayonnaise, then drop into the bag and shake to coat; transfer to the rack.

Mist the chicken with cooking spray. Bake until golden, about 35 minutes; flip and bake until browned and crisp, 35 to 40 more minutes. Cool completely, then pack in an airtight container.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, August 12, 2010

White-Chocolate Blondies with Raspberries by Laurent Schott

In the oven.

All done!

Thank you so much to Laurent Schott for this great recipe!  It is wonderful.  I have seen bunches of blondie recipes that use both white chocolate and raspberries but not the almonds in this recipe.  I think the almonds give it a wonderful taste and texture.  They are not so overpowering as other nuts might be.  This is definitely not the easiest blondie recipe you'll make but it could quite simply be the best.  My other favorite type of blondies are the ones that replicate chocolate chip cookies.  They are very yummy but very different from this blondie recipe.  This one comes from Laurent Schott's Seven Sins of Chocolate cookbook.  I have had this cookbook sitting on my coffee table for a few years now.  I have made and posted about Laurent Schott's Marble Cake probably two years ago.  I am also interested in making the chocolate Madeleines and a few other recipes in the book.  Some of the desserts look wonderful but are way over my head as far as techniques, ingredients and cooking tools.  For instance, I do not own the proper pan to use when making brioche. I had intentions of buying a brioche pan at one time or another but I never did buy it.  Oh well, maybe some day in the future I will own a brioche pan.  Anyway, I finally made this blondie recipe and it was delicious.  Try it for the "yum" factor.  I had to bake the blondies for about 40 minutes so watch them carefully!

White-Chocolate Blondies with Raspberries
by Laurent Schott

Makes 20 Blondies

6 oz white chocolate, chopped
1 cup plus 6 tablespoons (2-3/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
5 large eggs
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup chopped natural almonds
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (the bowl must not touch the water).  {I used a double boiler} With the bowl still over the water, add the butter and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and then the sugar.  Remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Stir in the flour until combined.  Mix in the almonds.

Butter the sides of a rectangular pan -- 13 inches long by 9 inches wide and 1 inch deep -- and line the bottom with baking parchment.  Spread the batter in the pan and sprinkle with the raspberries.  (You can vary the shape of the blondies by using differently shaped cake pans and molds.  For round blondies, spoon batter into unlined, globe-shaped silicone molds with 3-1/4 inch diameters.)

Bake until golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes (less if making the round blondies).  Cool in the pan on a wire cake rack.  Invert to unmold the entire blondie, peel off the paper, and cut into 20 pieces.  Garnish with a light sprinkling of confectioners' sugar.


The Creative Cook

Friday, August 6, 2010

Zucchini Sausage Squares

I am not sure where I found this recipe but it was a lifesaver.  I had a pound of bulk sausage in my freezer and a zucchini in my refrigerator.  I just didn't know what to do with them until I found this recipe.  Believe me, the ingredients were a total surprise to me.  I would never have thought to put zucchini together with sausage and mozzarella cheese.  The most unusual aspect of this recipe to me is the prepared mustard on top of the crescent rolls.  Initially, when I read the recipe I thought they were referring to the powdered mustard but when I went back and reread it and it said "prepared" mustard I was completely taken aback. I think the recipe calls for way too much butter.  There is really no need to  use half a cup of butter!  Just reduce it to a few tablespoons or better yet use a tablespoon or two of olive oil.  I had to cook this casserole for at least 35 minutes.  It was just not browned by 20 minutes of cooking.  Personally, I don't like black pepper so I substituted white pepper.  To be honest, I didn't think the prepared mustard was necessary but my husband said he enjoyed the mustard taste.  I was really surprised to hear him say that since he never uses mustard.  You will have to try the recipe and decide for yourself. I used yellow mustard but I suppose spicy brown mustard would work just as well with the flavors.  Maybe even better. 

Zucchini Sausage Squares

5 small zucchini - cut into 1/4 slices
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 pound bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 eggs
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella
1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 Tablespoons prepared mustard

In a large skillet, sauté the zucchini and onions with the butter. Stir in the sausage, parsley and seasonings. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cheese and sausage mixture.

Unroll crescent rolls in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Press onto the bottom and sides to form a crust, seal seams and perforations. Brush with mustard. Spoon sausage mixture on top. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Enjoy!

Serves 6-8.


The Creative Cook