Supreme Baked Asparagus Fries

Supreme Baked Asparagus Fries Mis En Place

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A few birthdays ago, my friend Adel took me out to a lovely dinner at one of the new restaurants at the Americana at Brand. We ordered asparagus as an appetizer. Boy, what a surprise that was. Those asparagus were dripping in melted butter and Parmesan, and just delicious. I wanted to make them at home.

I had forgotten about them until I saw something similar on Pinterest, and pinned them to my Recipes I Gotta Try board. When I looked at the recipe, I knew that I could improve it, and I did.

The original recipe calls for and egg wash and a dip in flour, then dipping in cheese and Panko bread crumbs. I’m sure they are delicious, but asparagus CRIES out for butter. Butter also makes an excellent coating to which a variety of things will cling, so I decided to forgo the egg and flour, and go with butter.

These asparagus spears were supreme, and that is why they are called Supreme Asparagus Fries. My recipe is for 6 spears per person, but if you have asparagus lovers, you might want to increase the recipe.

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1-2-3-4 Sheet Cake

Recipes in this PostSpane in 5th Grade

The picture is of Spane, in the 5th grade. The recipe is for the cake I made for him for his 5th birthday, so I think it’s an appropriate picture. The original cake had a Barney on it, because Barney was Spane’s favorite character. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to put that picture up here. I’m done with Barney and so is Spane.

This cake, however, will never, ever get old. It’s a very simple cake to make, and my goto white cake. It’s a recipe adapted from The Joy of Cooking, which in turn is an adaptation of the original 1-2-3-4 cake, so named because it uses 1 cup each of milk and butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs. If you were illiterate as many pioneering and colonial American women once were, your recipes would have to be very easy because you would not be able to write them down, and you would want to be able to pass them down to your daughters. We will probably never know who actually invented this cake, but I for one, am very glad she did.

This recipe makes a lot of cake. It fits nicely into a large 15 x 10 inch sheet pan, or three nine inch round pans. It’s an excellent recipe for a crowd. As a matter of fact, I used to make two layers of this cake, and put strawberries and cream as topping and filling when I made the birthday cakes for Dean Witter in Beverly Hills. If you double this recipe, it will easily feed 50 people.

If you really want to see what the Barney looks like, I originally put this recipe on Big Oven and my original Barney decorated cake picture is there. When you see it, you’ll understand why I didn’t want it here.

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Peach Pancakes with Marsala Rose Butter Sauce

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Peach pancakes with marsala rose butter sauce

I like to make something special on Wednesday mornings because Spane goes to school late on Wednesdays. Spane wanted pancakes, and as I looked in the pantry to get the ingredients out, I spied a can of peaches. I love peaches, and I especially like them with rose preserve and Marsala.


Rose preserves are made from real rose petals and sugar. Roses taste like they smell, and they are very good for you. They have lots of vitamin C, so I try to cook with roses, or drink rose juice during flu season. I’m staying healthy! You can usually find rose preserves at Mediterranean markets, or you can purchase rose preserves on-line at Amazon or other food web sites. They are also delightful on ice cream and a variety of other desserts. Don’t be afraid pf eating flowers, they taste good, and they’re good for you!

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Chocolate Chip Fruit Muesli Cookies

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Chocolate Chip Fruit Muesli Cookies

It was so cold and windy today that even with the windows closed I could still feel the wind! These are insulated windows, too. In Glendale, California, where we live, the wind sometimes whips up a storm as it comes across the valley. and then gets caught in our little bowl surrounded by Griffith Park in the west, Eaglerock in the south, the San Gabriels in the east, and the Verdugo Mountains in the north. As the wind squeezes itself out to Pasadena, it can start howling and really whirl itself into a frenzy.

That’s okay! It means that the oven can go on and have something to do. I know I’ve talked about this in the past, and I’ll say it again. I just don’t feel right lighting a heater on the wall when it does nothing but heat the room and dry out the air. At least an oven produces something for its efforts.

I wanted something a little healthy, and we have dried cranberries, organic chocolate and Blueberry Muesli from Trader Joe’s. I thought using that for cookies would a) make them better for you, and b) taste/feel similar to oatmeal cookies. I don’t like oatmeal, so I never have it on hand. I wouldn’t even have the little packets around, as those are GMO. Yes, you heard it right, Quaker Oats from General Mills are genetically modified. I think if that nice Quaker gentleman on the box knew about that he’d jump straight off the container.

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Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Fudge for Valentines

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Finished Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Fudge

Sometimes you get lucky and someone gives you a whole bunch of boxes of Christmas Peppermint Candy Canes. I was lucky, my friend gave me six boxes of candy someone had given her. She was surprised when I said I wanted it, and she wanted to know what I was going to do with it. I said, “Make Peppermint Fudge, of course!”

Span was excited to help me because he got the job of breaking up the candy canes into more manageable pieces. First he did this with his hands, came and showed them to me and I said, “You know, breaking them goes quicker when you use a hammer.” So, he got a hammer, and he started banging away at them. I was washing dishes and didn’t realize he had started, or where he was going this. I now have little bits of candy cane on the floor in the living room. No big deal, I will vacuum them up. The point is he had a good time, and really felt he was helping.

We made the fudge last night and put it in the refrigerator to firm up. I was thinking of dipping the pieces in chocolate, but I only had unsweetened chocolate. If that happens to you, it’s not a show stopper.

How to Make Dipping Chocolate with Unsweetened Chocolate

Double BoilerI like to melt my chocolate in a double boiler. I also prefer to make my own double boiler by placing a metal bowl above pan half filled with water. The bowl’s circumference is much larger than the pan, so a) there is no chance of the chocolate falling into the water, and most importantly, b) because of the large circumference, there is little chance of steam getting to the chocolate and making it seize. Once chocolate has seized, about the only thing it’s good for is breaking up for chocolate chip cookies, or beating the heck out of it to make chocolate ganache.

Making Dipping Chocolate with Unsweetned ChocolateI found myself in a quandary as I did not have enough semi-sweet chocolate to dip all the fudge, and I didn’t want to waste time going to the store to buy more. It’s actually not a problem, you can add sugar to melted chocolate, and it will be just fine. As a matter of fact, just as in using salted butter gives you little control over saltiness in dishes, using semi-sweet chocolate also gives you limited control over the sweetness of the chocolate. The important thing to remember is that you must use the finest grain pure cane sugar you can get to avoid grittiness. Add the sugar to the melted chocolate, slowly, stirring all the while. Whatever you do, don’t let the sugar liquefy or you’ll just have a mess of seized chocolate. The ratio is about 1/4 cup of sugar to every ounce of unsweetened chocolate. You will have to test it for taste, though, depending on how sweet you want the final product.

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Ho! Ho! Ho! Eggnog Fudge

Recipes in this PostEggnog Fudge

As the Christmas Holiday rapidly approaches, it’s time to get into the kitchen and make some Christmas memories. I have been making fudge for Christmas presents for years, but this time, I wanted to do something a little different. Spane really likes Eggnog, and I do, too. We were invited to a potluck Christmas party at Entrepreneurs and Professions, and I decided to make Jambalaya, Hot Dogs with Bacon appetizers, and wow everyone with the Eggnog Fudge.

Recipe: Eggnog Fudge

Summary: A perfect treat for the Holiday season.

Ingredients

Mis En Place Eggnog Fudge

Mis En Place Eggnog Fudge

  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 1 7-oz jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 6 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 12-oz package good quality white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon brandy flavoring
  • Dried cranberries for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix sugar, sweetened condensed milk and butter together and cook until mixture comes to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure to stir all the way to the bottom to avoid hot spots and burning.
  4. Remove from heat and add the nutmeg and brandy flavoring. Stir in white chocolate chips and marshmallow creme.
  5. Stir ingredients until mixture is creamy and smooth. (An electric mixer may be used).
  6. Pour into the pan and cool until room temperature. Put in the refrigerator until completely set.
    Eggnog Fudge cooling

    Eggnog Fudge cooling

  7. Remove the parchment paper with fudge from the pan.
  8. Cut the fudge into squares. Top each one with a dried cranberry. Push the cranberry down a little so it will still to the fudge.
  9. Return to the refrigerator, then remove about 1 hour before serving time.

Quick notes

I suggest using flavoring instead of real liquor because the flavoring is more intense. Liquor, because of the temperature of the hot candy, could also cause a flare-up.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

Calories: 1019

Fat: 216

Protein: 6.2

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

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Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.