Apple Pancake

Recipes in this PostGiant Apple Pancake

So, this morning, Spane was hungry, and breakfast food was in short supply. Usually, I have everything I need to make pancakes, but this time, I had left over apples from making Apple Stuffed Wontons, and I knew they would be really good in pancakes. The problem was they were a little large, and Spane didn’t want to wait. So I made two giant pancakes, one for him, and one for me. They were delicious!

I have always been crêpe challenged. Flipping a giant pancake just seemed impossible to me, so I have stuck with the dollar size variety. But, armed with the right kind of pan, a forgiving batter, and the willingness to try, I was actually able to make a pretty good-looking, although thick, crêpe.

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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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Fry Baby, Fry! Beer Battered Fried Fish and Onion Rings, Avocado Fries

Recipes in this PostRice Flour Beer Batter Fried Fish, Onion Rings, Avocado Fries and Stuffed Wontons

I don’t eat a lot of fried food, but sometimes, you have to fry. I wanted to make Avocado Fries, and considering that there was already going to be a pan of hot oil, why not throw some other things in as well?

My friend, Amber Lewis, chief cook and bottle washer, and event planner extraordinaire at Cool Dreams, makes these wonderful Bacon Wrapped Dates and Artichoke Stuffed Wontons. She suggested we make fried onions to go with our other appetizers, and I said we should make beer battered fish to go with it.

Amber’s son, Zeik, helped make sauces, including Chipotle Lime Sauce, for the onions rings and avocado fries.

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Chicken a la King – Weber Style

Recipes in this PostChicken a la King

I really like watching America’s Test Kitchen, and follow them on Facebook. So, when they announced a Kitchen Challenge to make Chicken à la King, I just had to take up the challenge. What makes my Chicken a la King different? Well, it’s barbecue season, and my Weber was sitting outside, crying that it couldn’t join in the fun. I thought to myself, why not? Pimentos are nothing more than very mild chili peppers. I had some lovely yellow, orange and red sweet peppers, and I had some mushrooms and shallots. I also had a chicken breast. All those could go on the grill, couldn’t they? Sure, they could get a lot of flavor to add to a dish that I already really like.

The America’s Test Kitchen challenge is to cook like it’s 1917. Charcoal was developed from waste wood scrap in the Ford Motor Company in 1920, and renamed Kingsford thereafter. Kingsford was a relative of Henry Ford. The Weber grill was not invented until the 1960s but I’m sure that people were barbecuing in some sort of fashion in 1917 – how else would Henry Ford have been able to sell charcoal? I think I’m okay with the time-line, don’t you?

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Experiment in Cupcakes – Box Cake from Scratch and Boiled Frosting

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Boiled icing cupcake

Spane holding a finished cupcake

I had a dream, yes I had a dream. I dreamed of cupcakes with blue butter cream frosting.

I’m not much of a cupcake person, but they are nice if you’ve got a lot of kids. They are easy because you don’t really need a plate, and you don’t need a knife, and you don’t have to worry about someone saying their piece of cake is too small or too big. All the cupcakes are the same size.

Usually, I make a butter cake, similar to a 1234 cake, but it makes a three layer cake, and that was just too much for cupcakes. I know that a regular box of cake mix makes enough for cupcakes, but I don’t like things that come in a box. So I made my own box cake with fresh ingredients.

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Ham and Spinach Quiche with Goose Fat Crust

ham and spinach quiche

Ham, spinach and cheese Quiche with a goose fat crust

Recipes in this Post

When I made the Roast Goose for Christmas dinner, I had a lot of goose fat. I didn’t want to waste it, so I rendered it, and have used it here and there. It’s wonderful stuff. I thought I could make a pie crust out of for the Quiche I was making for the picnic today.

Most of the time, I buy a ready-made crust in the refrigerated cookie dough section. The reason I do this is because my crusts don’t usually turn out that well. Today, whist visiting The Smitten Kitchen’s Pie Crust 102, I found out why – I have been using the wrong tool for the job – I’ve been using a food processor. So, if you’re using a food processor and your crust isn’t turning out flaky, that’s why.

Making a crust by hand is not that difficult. You just need a pastry dough blender, and a little elbow grease. My pastry dough blender died a couple of years ago, so I used a heavy fork. It worked just fine.

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