Nesco Honey Baked Cola Ham

Nesco Honey Baked Cola HamRecipes in this Post

Merry Christmas to all! I make a ham on Christmas so I can have Hoppin’ John on New Years day. I also like to make quiche and I found a recipe for soup that I will be posting in a few days.

No one can stand a ham that is all dried out. Thank goodness for the Nesco which keeps your ham nice and moist. I had heard that Coke-a-cola made for a really moist ham, so I decided to try it. Who doesn’t like Honey Baked ham glaze? I wanted to make a glaze with similar properties, and I was able to do that with the help of a little coffee. Yes, coffee!

Nesco Honey Baked Cola Ham YouTube Video


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Strawberry Tiramisu

Strawberry Tiramisu Recipes in this Post

This is one of my favorite desserts. I haven’t made it in quite a while, because I have a minor child, and A) don’t want to share with him, and B) don’t want to eat the whole thing myself. So when Easter came, and I knew people were coming over, it was a perfect opportunity.

We have a wonderful Persian bakery, Flor De Cafe, in Glendale, and that was where I was finally able to find real lady fingers. Real lady fingers are crisp and readily absorb liquids. The stuff at the supermarket that comes out in Strawberry season is spongy and will not absorb the liquids correctly for this classic dessert. Ergo, another reason I have made this in a long time.

I was able to find Mascarpone, a wonderful Italian cheese with a texture reminiscent of cream cheese. Mascarpone is slightly sweet, and has a silky texture. It is made from cream and some kind of citric acid. It’s expensive, another reason I don’t make this dessert very often. Well, I found some at my local Armenian store, from the wonderful folks at Sadaf, and it was great. As I was writing this, I came across a method for making homemade Mascarpone, so I will be doing that from now on.

We have a wonderful Farmer’s Market in Glendale on Thursdays, and I was able to get some big, lovely, organic strawberries form my Tiramisu. It made it very special.

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Ham Steaks with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Pilaf

Recipes in this PostHam Steak with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf

Sometimes, you need a little Christmas, right this very minute. That’s why we love ham steaks, because you satisfy your craving for a good piece of ham, without having to cook a whole ham. If you’re lucky, you even get to have the bone with the luscious marrow.

When I make a whole ham, I usually make a glaze of Russian mustard and Sour Cherry preserves. It’s sweet and a little hot, and definitely wakes up the ham. One of the traditional gravies for ham steak is Red Eye gravy, which has, you guessed it, coffee in it. I wanted to incorporate both.

Since The Good Plate is all about deconstructing packaged foods, and one everyone likes a lot is Rice-a-Roni. Rice-a-Roni is rice pilaf, but with way too much salt and other preservatives. There’s no need to use the box, just get the ingredients together and make it from scratch – you know what’s going in it, and you can add whatever you want.

Over the weekend, I made a salad with a new dressing. It was fresh dill and lime, and Amber absolutely loved it. She asked for it again tonight, so I’m including the recipe for it here.

Remember, if you’re having a ham steak, and you don’t want your bone, just give it to me!

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“Where did they get chocolate cake from?!?” Chocolate Mocha Cake

Recipes in this PostChocolate cake with mocha frosting inspired by Bill Cosby

One of the funniest bits of all time is the story of Bill Cosby’s wife finding out that Bill had given the kids chocolate cake for breakfast. Well, if Bill’s wife had tasted the chocolate cake I made yesterday, maybe she would not have had a conniption. If you have never seen or heard that bit, read the transcript of Bill Cosby Gives the Children Chocolate Cake for Breakfast or see the video below. I promise, you will laugh until your sides hurt.

The classic comedy routine is the inspiration for this cake. This is one of the moistest cakes you will ever have, and it stays moist, even for a few days.

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Catholic Seder

“On this day you shall explain to your son, ‘This is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.”

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I am a practicing Catholic. What does that mean? It means I go to Mass every Sunday where I have Communion , I try to go to Confession once a month (and definitely before a Holy day), and I share the Good Word with others. When I was growing up I heard about the Passover Seder, and my mother had friends who were Jewish, but we never went to one. It was not until a year after I went through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) that I went to any form of Seder, and that was put on by a lovely Catholic couple. I thought it was such a nice way to help celebrate what God has given us, that I decided that I was going to have my own Seder. Last night was that first attempt, and was the start of a new tradition in our small family. I did not do a full Seder, I just presented a Seder plate, said some words of explanation where we all participated, and then I served a great dinner that brought it all together. I will share that with you here.

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Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

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As I sit here writing, I am enjoying a cup of coffee. My friends think I am a little crazy because of the many different ways I have of preparing coffee.

I remember watching commercials for coffee when I was a little girl. At the time, I thought coffee was nasty, and I was right – in America coffee was nasty. The commercial I remember was for Yuban, and one hostess could only get her guests to drink one cup of coffee, while the Yuban hostess’s guests asked for refills.

Coffee was still pretty nasty for me as an adult, I had to add sugar and half and half to make it palitable. One day, visiting friends in San Francisco, I had really good coffee at Square One restaurant. I liked it so much that I had three cups, and I couldn’t sleep that night. I had no idea why that coffee was so good. Coming back to Beveryly Hills, I had another good cup of coffee, and asked the waiter what kind it was. He brought me a package and the package said it was Arabica coffee. I found out later that it was Robusto beans that were in most American coffee, and they just don’t taste as nice. You have to remember that I found all this out without the Internet – this was a few years before it became available.

My favorite coffee is Cafe La LLave from Don Francisco. It is available in supermarkets, and is usually less expensive than the other espresso blends – and tastes better, too. How do I make coffee, let me count the ways:

  1. French Press – very nice and even makes crema
  2. Stove Top Espresso pot – when I don’t feel like dealing with the espresso machine
  3. Espresso machine – when I am in the mood to impress
  4. Percolator – when I want that comforting sound from childhood, and that wonderful aroma that comes out of it.
  5. Drip Coffee maker – I don’t use this often, sometimes at someone else’s house
  6. Melita Ready Set Joe – I put the filter thingy on top of cup, put a filter in it, put coffee in the filter, and pour hot water on top. Mmmm! Even my boss gets excited when I make it.

And sometimes, when the mood hits, I have to have Armenian coffee. If you have never had, this, it is truly a treat. The important thing is the coffee must be very finely ground, almost a powder. I would not try to use my beloved La Llave for this, I buy Edna’s or sometimes, I get it freshly ground at my local Armenian store.

I have a little Armenian coffee pot that I put on the stove, and some nice demi-tasse cups that I serve it in. The method is really simple, and very satisfying:

Armenian Coffee

Even though I don’t like sugar in my regular coffee, sugar really enhances the rich flavor of this coffee, so I recommend it here.

Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons Armenian Coffee
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Put three teaspoons of Armenian coffee in the pot, with three teaspoons of sugar. Put water in the pot, and put it on the stove.
  2. Heat it on medium heat – and don’t leave it for a second!
  3. When it comes to a boil the first time, move it off the flame, stir it a bit, and put it back on.
  4. When it comes to a second boil, remove it from the flame again, let it settle down, and put it back for one more boil.
  5. After it boils the third time, pour it into the cups.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time: 3 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Armenian

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate – Adrienne Boswell.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
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