Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lion’s Head Meatballs in spicy Coconut Sauce

Here is a recipe that I found in Cooking light serveral years ago.
I like to use my grass fed beef.
It is a real winner and with the weather turnning cooler these days could be a good one for you as well.
Like all good things it takes some thought and time.

Sauce: combine all in large pot and set aside.
NOTE- I use regular milk in place of Soy.
1/2 cup coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
2Tbs. Minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. minced hot red Chile
1 Tbs. chopped green onion
2 Tbs. Thai fish sauce
( I chop up the rest of the water chestnuts and add those)
1 pound ground meat
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. flour
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 tsp. hot red pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. oil for frying
Combine meat and all ingredients; shape into meatballs and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes.
Add, sauce, simmer about 8 minutes
Garnish with:
1/4 cup fresh basil or cilantro (I use cilantro)
1 Tbs. grated lemon rind

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My mother and friend George Tucker- Norfolk Va.

The Person who taught me how to cook and enjoy many things in life.
My Mom- Anna Henderson.
Mother of 5 (in under 6 years....)
Math teacher.
And Cook!
Thanks Mom!

Monday, September 28, 2009

One for the kids

During my "Mother Earth" days in which my kids would have no white death, or sugar I learned to cook with honey.
Which I thought was more healthful.
This recipe was made over and over.
And we all liked it.
After all there was plenty of honey in it!
Take 1 cup peanut butter, I do like the pure stuff.
heat it over a low burner on the stove with 1 cup of Sesame seeds, stir in 3/4 cup dry milk,
add 1/4 cup cocoa, I use to try carob...... and 1/2 cup coconut out of the bag.

Press the whole mess into a 9x9 pan cool and cut.

1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup honey
1 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup dry milk
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup coconut

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pesto Cheesecake

This is a recipe passed on to me by my sister Leslie.
We, all the women in the family, have used this one over and over.
It is a good quick one to pull out of the hat when you have a reception or company coming.

You just beat:
2 eggs
2 packages of cream cheese
1 container of pesto, this time of year just make your own.
Place this in a pie dish or tart pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Top this with roasted red peppers, about two chopped up with three TBS. Parmesan cheese.
So darn easy it should be illegal!
Serve with crackers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shallot Salad Dressing

I have been asked for a salad dressing my father use to make.

I know he did one in the wooden bowl that I think must have been your classic Cesar Salad dressing; rub the bowl with garlic, pour in all ingredients in the bowl and then throw in the mixed greens.

This one I found several years ago reminds me of one he use to make.

I know his used fresh shallots because; I remember well his search for fresh Shallots.

All you could find back then were some frozen ones. He used them, but grumbled knowing there was something better out there somewhere!
I can't help but think of him anytime I buy the fresh ones.

He loved good food and would have "relished' in the slow food movement.He thought and talked about food as far back as I can remember. He loved whole wheat, stout, breads, which he would call peasant breads. He called wonder bread, “library paste” and wanted nothing to do with it.
He liked good cheese and a good cut of meat.
He liked good food and loved to cook.

Some of my favorite memories are eating his Chili with a grapefruit, orange and onion green salad on the side.

The hot, spicy chili set off by the citrus.

Mark and I shared this meal with my parents every Sunday while I was expecting my first child.

A lazy Sunday evening, Chili, the parents and good conversation.

His reaction to fast food was that it was the down fall of civilization.

When we traveled, as a family, he looked for good Mom and Pop diners.
And once told me to judge a place by the cars in the parking lot.
He said if there are Cadillac’s next to pick up truck you can bet the food is good.

Now back to the salad dressing:

1 TBS. Minced shallots
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp. powdered mustard
¼ dries basil
¼ tsp. oregano
½ tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/3 cup live oil
3 TBS. vinegar
Place all but the vinegar in a bowl.
Stir well and let sit for about 1 hour.
Stir in vinegar.
You can play with this depending on the herbs you like.
Tarragon instead of basil and oregano…
Add garlic if you like….

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Long and Slow, Plain and Simple Yellow Squash

This works best with young and tender squash, but you can make it work with any by just cook it a bit longer.
Cut one good onion into rings
Wash and slice medium thin about one pound of yellow squash.
Put a good tablespoon and olive oil or any oil and about that much butter in a pan.
On low heat toss in the onion and let it sweat nice and slow.
Add the squash and do the same.
Leave this on the back burner while you cook dinner.
Stir so it does not stick or burn.
Let it just drift.
At the end, but not before add salt to taste.
You can, if you wish, add fresh basil just out of the garden.
But really this will become melt in your mouth squash.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


What is summer without fresh summer fruits?
I love summer vegetables, but summer fruits are a bit of heaven.
When the blueberries start coming in I head out to the bushes every morning with a bowl. I love to pick enough to go with my morning cereal right off the bush. They are sweet, yet tart and still a little warm.........oh yum!
Mark on the other hand prefers his with some sugar and flour and cooked with some sort of topping.... I'll go with that as well. But I still prefer them off the vine and in a bowl with cereal or yogurt.

Crisp is my favorite quick dessert.This past week was the first picking to have enough for a Crisp and put some in the freezer for those winter months.

Pick and sort through the berries, wash and put in a handmade pottery pie plate or baking dish.
How many you wonder- as many as you can get in the dish----

The topping:

3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup old fashion oats
1/2 stick butter- you can use more if you like- but I try to use a Little less if I can.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon of course- do you really need me to tell you how much???
As much as you like!

Place this all in a bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour/oats/sugar throw in 1/2 cups nuts

Throw the whole mess on top of your fruit and bake 350 for about 35-45 minutes.

Serve slightly warm with ice cream or yogurt.

We use a yogurt topping:
Take a cup of low fat or regular yogurt.
Place it in a strainer which you have about 4-6 coffee filters placer inside. Don't have the filters? Use paper towels. Put the strainer over a bowl. This is important- or you will have a big mess!
Let the yogurt sit in the fridge covered for a few hours.
This will make a nice thick pudding like substance.
To this add brown sugar to taste and a bit of vanilla and some cinnamon, if you like.
Use this to top your crisp or for that matter anything you would use ice cream on.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Got Basil?

Basil Cheese Torte
1-8 ounce package of room temp cream cheese
4 ounces of regular feta cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 package of pesto
2 packages of provolone cheese slices
¼ cup roasted pine nuts
Roasted red pepper salsa- recipe to follow
Process cream cheese, feta and butter until nice and smooth.
Stir in pesto- you can make your own, but if you don’t have your own use from jar or out of the refrigerator section of your local store.
Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap; allow at least 1 inch over hang.
Arrange 1/3 of the cheese slices on bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Layer with ½ of the pesto cheese mixture.
Cover with ½ the roasted red pepper salsa- make this before you start- recipe is coming
Cover with 2 tablespoons of the pine nuts.
Another layer of the cheese slices just across the bottom.
Repeat layers ending with cheese slices.
Fold in your over hanging cheese to center.
Fold over the plastic wrap and chill.
This will freeze.
I like to make this in mini loaf pans and take out of the freezer as needed.
PLEASE don’t use no fat cream cheese- I do use the 1/3 fat- but belch to the no fat anything!

Roast Red Pepper Salsa
4 red peppers roasted in the oven under the broiler and wrapped in foil to steam.
Pell off the skins and chop.
Okay, you say you don’t know how to do this?
Just buy the ones in the jar’s but remember- THEY WILL NOT BE AS GOOD!
Add to peppers:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil- really it has to be fresh it is so much better!
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1/3 cup of sun dried tomatoes from a jar or do the water in the microwave and squeeze them out a bit and chop up.
½ teaspoon salt
ground pepper
Mix this all together.
Use this just anyway you want to other then this recipe it is great with goat cheese as well!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beef or Pork Bulgogi; from” The Frugal Gourmet” with a few changes added.

Last night we had a friend drop in and we asked him to stay and have dinner with us.
I had no idea what I would fix, but with stuff coming in from the garden I knew I could come up with something.
I had a chuck roast I had pulled from the freezer which was thawing away. I put it in the microwave to thaw a little faster and then I was putting on the thinking cap," what are we going to do with this roast?"
I pulled the roast out and knew I had to move things along more and cutting it up was the way to go.
If the beef is still a tad frozen- just a tad it makes the cutting easier.
As I sliced and then cut into bite size pieces I knew I would do some form of a stir fry.....
Boom or click! The light came on Beef Bulgogi! It is a favorite of ours and you can not go wrong with this dish.
I have eaten it cooked by visiting Korean Potters and from Korean restaurants. Everyone has their own favorite way to cook this.
So with that done and Mark putting on rice to cook. I went out for the last of the red lettuce and some fresh herbs.
I washed the lettuce and herbs and then took the large hand full of the first green beans. Cleaned the green beans and cook them quick in salted water until just done- out and quick cooled.
The salad was: lettuce with cucumbers from the garden
grated carrot from out friends garden and topped with the cooled green beans.
I make a dressing of coarse ground mustard, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I took fresh young yellow squash, cut them in half and pan fried them with a pat of butter until brown on each side--- on Yum -I like my squash like I like my men: Young, tender and a little crooked.
Cooked up the Beef Bulgogi and we were good to go.
A little red wine and the evening was set.

Beef or Pork Bulgogi; from,” The Frugal Gourmet” with a few changes added.
The marinade:
3 tablespoons of good soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 ½ tablespoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of sesame salt
few ground of black pepper
4 scallions chopped about 1 inch
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 ½ or just go for 2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger
1-2 tablespoons of sake’
a good hit of red pepper flakes- you can always add more hot later- but you can not take it out.
I don’t like it hot- Mark does.
I add:
At least one tablespoon fresh coriander and some fresh parsley
Cut up about 2 pounds of good grass fed beef. Oh, you can use the stuff from the store, but I promise you it is not as good.
Mix the marinade in a pottery bowl ( from Whynot pottery).
Pour over beef which is also in a pottery bowl ( from Whynot Pottery)
Toss well and let marinade at least 30 minutes.
Heat a pan on high heat and use a non flavored oil or peanut oil.
Cook the meat until just done- just a few minutes.
Garnish with sesame seeds and a few fresh herbs.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


We have been buying beef from our good friends and neighbors who raise some of the best beef.
Each cow from their farm is named and treated like a family pet.
Yea- I know you would not eat your pets, but they are not our pets......
So this spring/summer I was trying to find a way to use some of the beef other then roast or stew.
I was getting tired of those methods and wanted to find some tasty way which was also quick.
Kabobs popped into my head!
After the fourth time we served these to guest I thought, " we have a hit here"
I have even used some cuts which are not your best roast, but have turned out well done this way.
Here you go:

Marinade for Beef or Lamb
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh basil
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
a hit of fresh thyme
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
1 tsp. dried or 2 tsp fresh oregano
1 clove garlic- more if you like
½ teaspoon salt
a hit of ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Using a glass pan or handmade pottery bowl from your favorite local (Whynot Pottery) potter.
Put oil in pan or bowl.
Throw in all the dried ingredients
Then take the garlic and chop up all the fresh herbs with the garlic.
Put in with the oil.
Cut up 2 pounds of beef or lamb, local if you can get it.
Place in marinate and get down and dirty with this rub- rub the beef well with the marinade.
Marinate for about 4 hours.
Put bamboo skewers in to soak for at least 30 minutes or more before putting the meat on.

Pull meat from the refrigerator and place on bamboo skewers, putting 4 to 5 pieces of meat per skewer.
Let it rest on the counter top to bring it to room temperature.
Preheat grill and grill until just a tad over rare. 2-3 minutes on each side.
Cook sides first- don't let the meat sit too long or in the oven- it will overcook.
You can grill onions and squash, red peppers or anything good you have in vegetables.
I like to do these all separate and serve them beside the beef.
If you mix them on the skewers with the meat something does not get done.
Pay attention to each thing separately and you will be rewarded with a great meal and great leftovers.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Couscous crust for quiche

One day I had left over couscous and did a search to see what you can do to use this up.
What I found was a great recipe for using the couscous instead of a crust for quiche.
I used the leftovers, which was pretty good. But since then I have made the couscous fresh, added in some butter or oil and what ever else you like and made the quiche right on top of the couscous just like you would any favorite recipe.
It is really good. You really don't miss the crust and it cuts the calories a bit from a regular crust.
Quiche to me is what you have on hand.
Mushrooms and onions- sounds good.
Crab and roasted red pepper- sounds good
Spinach, mushrooms and onions even better.
Any combination with good cheese and good eggs will make a great quiche.
Even better the next day so make two!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Did someone say pie?

I have never been a pie eater much less a pie baker.
BUT- lately- since Thanksgiving I have baked a few pies.
If you have been here before you might have found the recipe for Katie's Sour cream Apple Pie. A real winner-
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 well beaten egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
beat egg, add sour cream , vanilla and salt and mix well.
2Tbs. flour
3/4 cup sugar
mix well and add
2 1/2 cups apples sliced thin- coating the apples well-
Pour into pie crust
Bake 450 degrees for 15 minutes
while baking make a topping of:1/3 cup sugar1/3 cup flour1/4 cup butter1tsp. cinnamon
Bake 325 degrees for 30 minutes
take out of oven and put topping on and place foil over crust ends to keep from burning.
Bake another 20 minutes.
Cool- and eat about 4-6 hours after-good at room temp.

Now- the other day, knowing I was not going to be up to cooking after my shift on the wood kiln- but- having to bring something back to the pot luck I thought about making a pie- no pie crust... Then I thought about making a sour cream......
Then I thought - you are a big girl and you know how to make a crust- just make the crust- so I did. I added some cinnamon to the crust- nice touch.

Then I made the following Apple pie with an old fashion apples stolen from my friend and neighbor Carol.
The apples are good old fashion cooking apples and make a really good pie-
So here is the recipe given to my by my sister.
I would like to call it Stolen Apples- pie but it is really called:
V.P.I. Apple Pie
(V.P.I. Home Economic Dept conducted research 1959 - 1960 to find best apple pie- this recipe won.)
5 C fresh apples, sliced thin (recipe calls for York, but I use any tart apple)
2 T flour
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1/4 t salt
1/8 t nutmeg (I substitute cinnamon for nutmeg...I prefer the flavor of cinnamon)
1/8 t grated lemon rind
2 T margarine (I use butter)
1 (9") double pie crust
Mix all ingredients except butter and heap into lower crust.
Dot with butter and seal with top crust.
Slit crust in several places.
Bake 450 degree oven for 10 minutes
and then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and cook for another 55 minutes.

It was a hit- Gone to nothing but crumbs in about 10 minutes- I should have made two!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Couscous Salad with Yogurt Dressing

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, chop fine
1 small rib celery, chop fine
1 cup couscous
1 1/2 cup water
Saute' onion, celery in oil , add water boil, add couscous and cover let stand 30 min. fluff with fork.

Add to couscous;
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup chopped red and yellow pepper
green or black olives
artichoke hearts
2 med. scallions, sliced
and whatever your family likes........raisins......nuts

3 Tbs. yogurt
3 Tbs. sour cream
6Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove crushed garlic
2tsp. fresh ginger or1/2 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric
salt and pepper

Put this all together and let cool until served
We also like this dressing on Cole slaw...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's the bread-

So- we talked about bread and I hope you all start making some.
But- I wanted to tell you about what I did with more whole wheat and Rye.
I do like a good stout bread. It runs in the family. My father hated- pasty white loaf bread. He thought of it as the down fall of civilization as we know it. He referred to it as " library paste."
With that in mind... I like the base recipe but I like a good stout bread- yes, I said it again!
So here is what I did-
I had only 3 1/2 cups of bread flour left in the house.
So I did the water, yeast, salt per the recipe below and then added one package or organic instant oats. and the bread flour.
I then used equal parts of wheat and rye until I had the Constancy of the sticky dough - per the recipe below.
I have to tell you again I don't measure exactly by the recipe.
Well- I do and then I add a Tbs. at a time if I think it needs more dry-.
I go by feel and how it pulls away from the bowl.
I then set the dough to rise on the counter and proceeded as the recipe below- I baked loaf one after 3 days and the next two about day five.
Because of the wheat and rye I thought day 3 the best for baking- day five the loaves split a bit around the edges. And- note it takes at least 10 minutes longer to bake.
Now taste- it was wonderful- I really liked this bread and so did my mother and my sister Lee.
So there!
Mark, he likes them all and is happy to have the bread to eat!

Friday, March 6, 2009


It's time to talk about bread.
My first loaf of bread could have saved the world- that's a big statement- but- it was dense and "hard as a brick".
My sweet husband let me know if a war broke out we could lob the bread at the enemy and win the war.
Well- I am always up for a challenge and this sounded like one to me.
It was 1974ish when I started looking for good bread recipes and what made good bread.

First off I had to discover good flours and second off we did not yet live in the age of "yeast" as we know it now. It needed to be "pampered"- Proofed to make sure you did not make a fully packed- uneatable brick.
I worked on and learned to make bread- I scaled the milk, proofed the yeast, had a sourdough and learned about sponge. I made all the family bread for years. My kids knew other kids ate bread from a loaf, but that was rare in this house.
Meanwhile I also raised goats, pigs and rabbits.
Then there was pottery- which took over our lives and soon I was not making bread but pots- I was given a bread machine. I tried it and thought the bread a bit "unexciting".

I used it to make the dough and did the final rise in the pan and baked in the oven.
Then- my son grew up and started making his own bread.
But- Mom all I use is water, four, salt and yeast.

It was falling on deaf ears- Yea, yea yea----
Mom I want you to "watch" me bake bread- okay, I said- humor the boy.
Well I did and it was simple and good!

Then within weeks Tom Gray hand deliver a loaf of his bread.
And it was GOOD as well- better then most of the breads I had slaved away on.

One afternoon at his kitchen table- a borrow book and I was on my own.
That was early January. I have not looked back.
Since then all the bread is coming from the kitchen.

Here is the base:
3 cups of water room temp
1 and 1/2 TBS. yeast
1 TBS. salt
1 cup whole wheat or 1 cup rye
5 and 1/2 cups good bread or all purpose flour

the down and dirty on mixing- I use my Kitchen aid mixer.
Throw in water- yeast salt and 1 cup flour- add 1 cup at a time holding back on adding too much. If you are truly into it you can weigh out the measurements. I gave this up for look and touch.
The dough is damp and sticky.

Place it all in a 14-16 cup container and leave it on the counter to rise for at least 2-3 hours. Burp a corner of the lid and leave it not on tight!
After the rise knock down the sides and place in the refrigerator.
Leave it for about 3 days if you can. The dough will still rise but start to go dormant.
Pull your container out- place some flour on the counter and flour up your hands. Take out one third .

Now I am handing you over to a site which explains it all!
I just found this one:
Cheap like me

Follow their instructions on baking day

Now- I don't use the dutch oven- I use the broiler pan in the bottom of the oven with a cast iron griddle, which I love and bought just to bake the bread and it was worth every penny I paid for it.

I let the dough rise- preheat to 450 degrees- throw in 1 cup water and bake 25-30 minutes.
I take the temperature of the bread the last 2 minutes and take the bread to 205 inside-.
Cool before slicing - do this!
this bread is better if you cool it.

Next I am going to tell you how I am beefing up this recipe adding more grain and oats- but not today I have to go make pots!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Granola is one of those things I make off and on- when I remember, when I am in the mood- when Mark reminds me I know how.
This is one of those things which is worth the effort after it is all over.
Especially if you go price this stuff in the store.
Here is the whole recipe - but you can throw in anything you want just remember 6 cups dry to 1 cup wet.
My old tried and true Recipe:
Mix all the dry in a big pottery bowl-
Chop up in a variety of forms:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cashews
1/3 cup almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup coconut
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 cups oats

mix all the wet in a big measuring cup
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

add wet to dry with a big spoon and mix well.
Dump onto a cookie sheet- or two if you need the room and bake at 250- for 30 minutes.
Stir after 15- keep a close eye after 25-
add dried fruit of your choice in the last 2 minutes- just to warm it and blend in.
BECAUSE you do not want to burn the dried fruit- trust me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Base recipe:
1 Cup Sugar
1 stick butter
2 eggs or 4 egg yolks  ( I use 2 eggs)
1/4 cup milk or liquer
3 cups flour sifted
2 TBSP. baking powder

Preheat oven to 375
cream sugar and butter add eggs one at a time.
add milk
add dry ingredients.
Shape into a wide log on baking sheet that has been lightly greased and floured. ( or use parchment paper)
Bake- 20 minutes or until golden brown
turn oven down to 300
Remove, cool slightly and cut into slices.
Return to oven for 10-20 minutes
depending how crunchy you like them.

Our favorite variation:
decrease sugar by 1/4 cup and add 1/2 cup maple syrup
1tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup orange liqueur
add 1/2 cup toasted pecans
cranraisins if you like.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Not just any Sweet Potatoes

Anna Henderson’s Sweet Potatoes

5 medium sweet potatoes scrubbed and dropped into boiling water.
Simmer about 10 minutes – cool, peel and cut in half crosswise.
Cut into ½ inch slices.
Place slices in a buttered baking pan in no more then two layers. Use two pans to start, but you can combine them later.
Combine in a sauce pan and bring to a boil:
1 cup OJ
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup molasse
2-4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup Bourbon
2 tsp cinnamon
Simmer for about 2 minutes.
Pour over potatoes
Bake at 300 degrees for about 2 hours reduce heat for another 1 ½ hours
Or until the syrup has thickened and is mostly absorbed into the potatoes. Combine sweet potatoes into one pan if necessary.
You can hold them here and keep overnight- in the morning or a few hours before you need them -
Combine and pour over sweet potatoes and adjust the additional liquid as needed:
½ cup OJ
¼ cup bourbon
Add nuts and raisin in the last hour of cooking so they don’t burn.
1 or ½ cup pecans
½ cup raisins
Note from Cook:
Most cookbooks recommend cooking at 350 for 30 minutes.
However that method does not allow the potatoes to absorb all the liquid. So I prefer to cook them longer and slower- just letting them “drift” for up to 5 hours.

Note from Me: These are the best sweet potatoes EVER! They are really better then any pie or dessert you could have.
They have been served with fish, chicken, beef ,pork or smoked turkey-