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Friday, August 31, 2007

Winners Of The Great Cake Recipe Contest

I profusely apologize for the delay in releasing the results to the Great Cake Recipe Contest.

As votes came in they were tabulated in a spread-sheet along with the voter, so there would be no duplication of votes. I triple checked all the votes today, just to make sure there were no mistakes. (Unfortunately, there were very few people who actually voted, so in the next contest we will have to change the way it is done, I think!)

Below are the linked entries to the Great Cake Recipe Contest.

  1. Four-Layer Strawberry Torte, AKA Wimbledon Fortnight Cake

  2. Super Easy Black Forest Cake

  3. Salad Dressing Cake

  4. Peanut-Butter-Cup Cake w/ Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

  5. Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  6. Hot Milk Sponge Cake

  7. Chocolate Mousse Cake

  8. Tu Bi'Shvat 7 Biblical Grain & Fruit Cake

  9. Maple Cake

  10. The Cake For Any Occasion

And The Winners Are...

Hot Milk Sponge Cake
(Submitted by Beth whom we called "Shrugged")

Maple Cake
(Submitted By Manara)

Peanut-Butter-Cup Cake w/ Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
(Submitted by Beth whom we called "Shrugged")

I want to thank everyone for their patience and apologize once again for the delay in getting these results out. Congratulations to the winners!

(Winners should contact Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen by email please.)

Strawberry Cake

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Introducing Paula's Great Mishkabobble Cookies

There are a things we can learn from the following cookie recipe.

  1. Never have an early Sunday baseball game
  2. Never leave Paula alone with nothing to do in the kitchen
  3. Never leave too much in Paula's pantry
  4. Lock the Liquor cabinet!
  5. Paula loves Peanut Butter
Paula writes:
When the ballgame is played early on a Sunday, I am left with an afternoon of "what should I do?" Laundry pffft. I went for a walk and when I returned the kitchen called me.

This was born today, and if I do say so myself, perhaps one of the best cookies I ever did create. I would have sent a picture had they not been eaten up before I could get the camera.

These took less than ten minutes to prepare
So what is mishkabobble? It is a hodgepodge of things, a mix-up, a kitchen sink - that combines everything together - and then voila Order from Madness. And so at Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen we are proud to be the first ones who can lay claim to:

Introducing Paula's Mishkabobble Cookies

  1. 1 Cup Margarine (or butter) Softened to room temperature
  2. 1 1/4 Cups Oat Flour
  3. 1 Cup Wheat Flour
  4. 2 Jumbo Eggs
  5. 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  6. 1 Teaspoon Amaretto ( you may use any flavoring)
  7. 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
  8. 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  9. 3/4 Cup of Powdered Sugar (Confectioners)
  10. 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Morsels
  11. 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter Morsels
  12. 1/2 Cup Chocolate Morsels
  13. 1 Cup Mini Marshmallows

Utensils You Need:
  1. Large Bowl
  2. Wooden Spoon
  3. Cookie Sheet

  1. Mix softened margarine, sugars and eggs
  2. Add Flavoring
  3. Continue to mix
  4. Add Baking Powder and mix
  5. Add flours and mix
  6. Add morsels and mix
  7. Add Marshmallows and mix
  8. Drop by tablespoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes

Babe Ruth Red Rock Cola

Buy at

This looks like a great recipe, though I would probably use Vanilla instead of the Amaretto. Easy to make, 2 stars for difficulty. Do a Mishkabobble yourself folks! This is not a cookie for any sort of diet though! So be careful on the waistline!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Holly Cleggs Trim And Terrific Diabetic Cooking - Book Review

Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking

(***Due to layout of this review, if viewed in an RSS reader, certain sections may seem duplicated.)

A Bit Of History:

From time to time I receive a request in my email box to review a cookbook at Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen. My response is always standard. I am glad to review any cookbook under two conditions:
  1. The physical printed book is sent to me (seems like something that should be understood for a review - but after I was emailed 5 recipes to do a book review I have learned to take nothing for granted!)

  2. I will only write what I feel to be truthful about the book. I will not write a review and then submit it to the person who asked for the review for them to decide if it is good or bad. Actually, one would be mighty surprised, at how many authors and publishers balk at this, thinking that they should have the last word on what will be written in an "impartial review". I have no problems with not doing a book review. I just demand that if I take the time to do it, it will be honest and straight.
Usually condition number two, stops request for reviews dead in their tracks. No problem. So actually I was pleasantly surprised when I was contacted by the publicists for "Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking" and I responded with my standard response, they wrote back as follows:
"I am sending you a copy of HOLLY CLEGG’s cookbook. I would want nothing more than your honesty in reviewing it. "
I have no megalomaniac dreams of importance or worth here. A review in Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen, is not a review in the New York Times Book Review section, nor in the scheme of things, can I even hope to say that it will make a dent in any sales for the book, even if the review is incredible. Still, it is fun to write book reviews from time to time. Especially when I happen to like the book I am writing about.

Before beginning the actual review of Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking, I must say something to the regular readers of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen. This is not a "kosher" cookbook. (I wish kosher cookbooks were half this good!) Far from it. There are some recipes for pork, shrimp and clam. And in some recipes there is a mixture of meat and milk. Despite the fact that it is not a kosher cookbook per-say, the majority of recipes here, can be used as is, or with just a few sane and healthy substitutions, can be kept kosher. Some of the shrimp recipes can definitely be ported to be used with a "kosher" fish. And certainly when there is a topping of cheese on a meat dish, it is simple to either leave it out or substitute something else. It is not that difficult to find equivalent and healthy kosher substitutes these days, especially in the United States.

Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking Book Review

This is an excellent and important cookbook, even if you are not diabetic, will never come into contact with a diabetic, and will never feed a diabetic. You really should have this book on your shelf.From the outset, without any fanfare, I am going to say this straight. To say that "Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking" belongs in every single kitchen would be a bit bombastic. But I will say that there is not a home I know of, not a kitchen where people cook, where this book would not be a wanted addition. Or in the positive frame, simply put, this is an excellent and important cookbook, even if you are not diabetic, will never come into contact with a diabetic, and will never feed a diabetic. You really should have this book on your shelf. It gets the highest, 5 Star rating. And I don't give those out easily.

Holly Clegg herself, is no stranger to the Cookbook genre with over 600,000 copies of her cookbooks sold. She was trained at the Cordon Bleu cooking school. (You can learn more about her at the website Among her books in the Trim & Terrific line are:
  1. Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals: Quick And Healthy Recipes You Can Make in Advance (Trim & Terrific)

  2. The New Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific Cookbook (Trim and Terrific)It is very difficult to take your own expertise and let it flow in a manner that any person can read and understand it. Holly Clegg has completely mastered this art form.

  3. A Trim and Terrific Louisiana Kitchen

  4. The Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific Cookbook

  5. Trim & Terrific One-Dish Favorites: Over 200 Fast & Easy Low-Fat Recipes

  6. Trim and Terrific American Favorites: Over 250 Fast and Easy Low-Fat Recipes
  7. Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Home Entertaining the Easy Way: Fast And Delicious Recipes for Every Occasion
And some others:
  1. Eating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Recommendations During & After Treatment

  2. The Devil's Food: A Dessert Cookbook

  3. Meals On The Move : Rush Hour Recipes (Trim & Terrific) (Trim & Terrific)
As the title conveys, this book is primarily for diabetics and contains the following dedication:
To Everyone Who Has Diabetes And Enjoys Food
It also has a prominent display on the bottom of the back book cover jacket:
All proceeds from the sale of this book go to further the mission of the American Diabetes Association.
All that being said, this book is not and should not be used only for diabetics. There is no doubt in my mind that these recipes would go over fantastically well in any household. And the philosophy within the recipes is very clear. Eating healthy does not mean you have to starve and put your taste-buds in deep freeze.

I am not telling anyone that they should buy a cookbook to give money to charity. If we did that, we would find ourselves buying 80% of the cookbooks out there, and most are truly worthless. But if a cookbook is written and produced by a serious cookbook author, and is done with the utmost professionalism and layout, and also delivers its promise on great recipes, and on top of it all can be praised for contributing to such a laudable and important charity, then yes, I will tell you to buy the book. And if you want a sane, healthy cookbook, Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking is for you.

Since this book belongs to the "Trim & Terrific" series, there are a few templates in the pattern and very well-thought out layout that the book follows. Those familiar with the "Trim & Terrific" series layout will find nothing new here, however, they certainly are worthy of pointing out.

Very few can give us recipes that are healthy, delicious, and sane - in an informed and easy manner. Holly Clegg manages to do this in Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking. Don't be put off by the "Diabetic Cooking" either. It is for any kitchen shelf."Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking" is divided into sane sections. I like that and though it is a simple and logical thing, it is often overlooked. As disorderly as I am, cooking requires some sense of order and discipline. Cooking books should reflect this. "Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking" has sections on the following:
  1. Appetizers
  2. Breads, Muffins & Brunch
  3. Soups, Stews & Chilis
  4. Salads; Vegetables & Sides
  5. Poultry
  6. Fish & Seafood
  7. Beef, Pork, Lamb & Veal
  8. Pasta
  9. Sweet Treats
  10. Stock the Pantry
  11. Seven Days of Menus
  12. Recipe Suggestions
I am also a stickler when it comes to the index of books. This comes from years of research and study, often with books where you would swear the person who created the index did so while they were high or drunk or both. This index is pretty good. It helps you find what you want fairly fast. However, it is divided up into food categories, so you will have to find the correct category to know if what you are looking of is in the book. Still, it is fairly intuitive.

The recipes themselves are a pleasure to read, and thank goodness only one recipe per page. And do not for a moment think that writing recipes is an easy thing to do. Go ahead. Try writing out 5 recipes. I dare you! It takes talent and experience. Obviously Holly Clegg is an expert at it, and knows her food, food families, spices and nutrition very well. It is very difficult to take your own expertise and let it flow in a manner that any person can read and understand it. Holly Clegg has completely mastered this art form.

I was also incredibly pleased with the fact that we are not offered a gazillion photographs of each recipe. I know most cookbooks and cookbook readers love the photos, and I also know that if I was paid a million dollars - I could rarely get a real recipe to look like it does in some of the cookbooks. Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking is simply about real recipes.

Following the "Trim & Terrific" format each recipe has a box with important health information. This alone earns praise. Information such as:
  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Calories
  3. Calories From Fat
  4. Total Fat
  5. Saturated Fat
  6. Cholesterol
  7. Sodium (important for salt intake!)
  8. Dietary Fiber
  9. Sugars (which is critical in such a book)
  10. Protein
This not only gives me critical information if I want it, it also tells me each one of these recipes was gone over and the ingredients carefully looked at.

There are also "Terrific Tidbits" spread throughout the book. This too is a pleasure. Some of these will seem overkill for the experienced chef, but readers of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen know that we take nothing for granted in the kitchen. "Terrific Tidbits" are those "little things" which everyone should know, and yet no one really does! I love them.

Unfortunately, I cannot reproduce any recipes from the book here as they are copyrighted (and of course the one released for public relations was a shrimp recipe which is not kosher.) But I will tell you that my four favorites quickly became the:

1. Berry French Toast
2. Chinese Chicken Peanut & Brocolli Stir Fry
3. Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter And Chocolate Glaze
4. Blueberry Pancakes

(Yes. All this in a cookbook clearly marked for diabetic cooking no less.)

One recipe made me laugh though. The "Pumpkin Hummus" recipe. Some recipes should just be left in the hands of the folks in the middle east. (OMG! Look what they did to Hummus! Sheesh!)

When a cookbook is written and produced by a serious cookbook author, and is done with the utmost professionalism and layout, and also delivers its promise on great recipes, and on top of it all can be praised for contributing to such a laudable and important charity, then yes, I will tell you to buy the book. And if you want a sane, healthy cookbook, Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking is for you.The most important thing that I personally learned from this book, is the message inherent in these wonderful recipes. You do not have to starve and eat rice cakes all day (Yuck! I hate rice cakes!) if you are diabetic or just trying to avoid an overload of ingredients that are bad for you. All it takes is some planning, a bit of experience and some wisdom in choices. Nor do you have to bring cauliflower into the house and readers of Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen know how much I hate cauliflower - worse than rice cakes! (Interestingly enough, in one of the recipes entitled "Mock Mashed Potatoes" Holly Clegg introduces it by saying: "When I served this dish to my family, not telling them it was cauliflower, they all raved and went back for seconds." Seems I am not the only one who can do without cauliflower, but forget about trying to trick me.) However, you had better believe that I am so going to make her "Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter And Chocolate Glaze".

My peeves about the book (and yes there are always drawbacks):

1. My first pet peeve is what I rail about from time to time when readers send in submissions. I think cookbooks should, along with ingredients and directions have a section for Utensils You Need To Make This Recipe, on the page of the recipe itself. Beginning cooks and even those moderately experienced really do want to know how many pots, pans, grinders and special tools a recipe demands before they begin to prepare it! But this is really a general complaint I have with almost all cookbooks. Authors, editors and publishers should take note of this. Making a great cake, but having to pull out every pot, pan and 5 attachments for the Kitchenaid (assuming you own something close to a Kitchenaid) to do it, are those little details you should know beforehand.

2. The subtitle of the book reads: "Over 250 recipes that can be on your table in 30 minutes or less". Ummm.. well.. I beg to differ here. Some of the recipes contained within Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking may end up on the table in 30 minutes. But if you are not an experienced chef don't count on it. 30-60 minutes would be more of an honest appraisal, I believe.

The philosophy within the recipes is very clear. Eating healthy does not mean you have to starve and put your taste-buds in deep freeze.That really is it. Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking is really a very good cookbook, standing out in excellence among the mass of cookbooks that seem to be published every Monday and Thursday - with no thought as to layout or the proposed public. These days, anyone with a fairly decent digital camera, can take beautiful pictures. Very few can give us recipes that are healthy, delicious, and sane - in an informed and easy manner. Holly Clegg manages to do this in Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking. Don't be put off by the "Diabetic Cooking" either. It is for any kitchen shelf.

I would be amiss if I did not mention at the end, once again, that this book was published for the American Diabetes Association. Though it is a worthy charity, if Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking was not up to standards I would not have misled you. But taken as a package, good recipes, health, and a chance to contribute to this worthy cause - hell, you simply cannot go wrong. Buy it. You will use it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bourbon Chicken

Bourbon Chicken

  1. 1 pound chicken leg or thigh meat,cut into bite-size chunks
  2. 4 ounces soy sauce
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  6. 2 tablespoons minced onion
  7. 1/2 cup Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey
  8. 2 Tablespoons White Wine
Utensils You Need:
  1. A large bowl
  2. Medium Sauce Pan
  3. Roasting pan
  1. Mix all marinade ingredients (except wine) and pour over chicken pieces in a bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate, stirring often, for several hours or overnight.
  3. Bake chicken at 350 degrees F for one hour in a single layer, basting every 10 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from oven. Scrape pan juices with all the brown bits into a sauce pan. Add two tablespoons white wine. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes
  5. Pour over chicken and serve.
We are releasing this video with Paula's permission. A day in her kitchen!

Direct URL to the Video (if you don't see it above)

Jim Beam Stuff Inside

2 stars for difficulty because the only difficulty here is planning ahead. Paula asks to wait at the very least a few hours so that the Bourbon can sink in to the meat. It is by the way a good practice to do with all meat recipes. If you are applying a special sauce it is always a good idea to allow at least a few hours for it to sink into the meat.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Paula sent this recipe in, and since I love its originality, I am jumping this up the head of the queue. This recipe shows us how much we can do with a Portobello Mushroom, given the right amount of patience and imagination.

Portobello Mushrooms

Paula writes:
It’s like having a pizza only healthier. Facial expressions are priceless when someone tries something for the first time and gets an unexpected flavor. Evil as I am, sometimes I just can’t help but pass things off without giving my poor victims any clue. Most of the children in my family would never eat a mushroom on purpose. One night each week, my parents, sisters and their children come for dinner. When I let the children pick what we will have, I let them help prepare the meal. The little ones are just too cute getting their hands all messy and looking so proud of themselves for helping.

I place all the ingredients on the table. They look at the mushrooms then at me and ask “What are these?”

I tell them they are special pizza molds made for children to cook with. Of course, my own child is used to my tricks. She will wait and see what the reaction is from others before trying it for herself. Surprisingly, there was not one complaint.

You can prepare the mushroom ahead of time and place in the oven to reheat. I cut the recipe for a smaller serving. I strongly suggest fresh ingredients for the best flavor.
Wikipedia tells us that Portobello Mushrooms are officially known as, "Agaricus bisporus". Call them what you will, I also have some mushroom haters in my family. But I am willing to bet they would try this dish. And keep in mind mushrooms are incredibly low in calories which is a great reason to try them in dishes if you like them!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

  1. 4 Portobello Mushrooms
  2. 2 Red Peppers (diced)
  3. 1 Cup Black Olives (chopped)
  4. 1 Bunch Scallions (diced)
  5. 3 Large Tomatoes (diced)
  6. 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  7. Approx 1/2 – 3/4 Cup Olive Oil ( best quality you can afford)
  8. 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  9. 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil
  10. 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  11. 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  12. 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)
Utensils You Need:
  1. Unsuspecting guests
  2. 1 Baking Sheet
  3. Medium pan
  1. Remove mushroom stems
  2. Scrape inside of mushroom with a spoon to clean it out - Do this with care and patience so you do not destroy the mushroom head. Finesse counts here!
  3. EITHER GRILL: Brush each side with oil and grill for 10 minutes on each side (If grilling mushrooms: Brush both sides with olive oil and cook on each side for 10 minutes, flipping to prevent burning.)
  4. OR OVEN: If using the oven, cook for 10 – 15 minutes on each side (If cooking mushrooms in the oven: Brush both sides with olive oil and cook on each side for 10 -15 minutes.)
  5. In medium pan, heat oil.
  6. Add garlic and scallions. Cook until tender (about 3-5 minutes)
  7. Add basil, pepper, red peppers.
  8. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
  9. Allow mixture to cool completely before letting the kiddies help.
  10. Divide the tomato mixture between all of the mushrooms
  11. Add black olives
  12. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar
  13. Top with cheeses
  14. Drizzle with olive oil
  15. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 -20 minutes
  1. Add toppings you like
  2. Leave off toppings you don’t like.

Poisonous & Psychotropic Mushrooms

Needs some finesse in cleaning out the mushrooms and the first stage of grilling or cooking - but otherwise a great recipe, and well worth the need to concentrate. It can also be served as a great appetizer! This is one of those recipes where the imagination on what to use to stuff the mushrooms is endless. Enjoy it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Quick Baked Lasagna

A few days ago I posted a real quick Macaroni & Cheese recipe, Quick Baked Macaroni And Cheese. Today we are going to use this same approach for Lasagna.

Now I know for the Lasagna purists out there, this is almost something to cause you to ban Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen from ever being mentioned again. After all, a good Lasagna, made correctly is often a work of art. But remember, no one has to know how quickly you put this together, nor do they have to know that you did not sweat your guts out in a hot kitchen. And for all you singles out there, it makes a GREAT impression on your date you are cooking for. (Just put away the beeper and cell phone and pay attention to the date at the dinner table!)

O.k. this one we will call the Quick Baked Lasagna, and believe it or not it takes less time then the Quick Baked Macaroni And Cheese!

Quick Baked Lasagna

The first thing you must remember is not to be daunted by the word, lasagna. Whenever that name comes up, coming from New York City as I do, I think of fancy Italian restaurants who make a specialty and a living out of really incredible lasagna dishes. So rule one here - if they can do it, you also can do it!

Let us approach this as a back-to-basics dish. Some of the basic ingredients for Lasagna would be the noodles, the sauce, the cheese. Keep this in mind. This is what is going to serve as the basic staple in almost any lasagna recipe.

When you purchase the pasta - the lasagna noodles - you are looking for a decent brand. They can be regular or spinach. They should though be wide and flat (the edges can have ripples if you like it that way, makes it all a bit prettier too.) But since this is NOT a gourmet recipe, no need to go overboard. Of course, you can use fresh pasta, which will increase the price of this dish exponentially, though the taste is well worth it. Remember though, with fresh pasta, you MUST cut down the exposure to the direct heat, otherwise the pasta itself will burn mighty quickly. (I say that with great, heartrending experience - and a totally lost opportunity for a great romantic dinner!)

  1. One normal sized box of Lasagna pasta to your taste and likes. There are so many brands out there, your local supermarket probably packs quite a few variations. In our case, if you have no preference, the old "eeny meeny minnie mo" will work.
  2. A decent jar of tomato sauce. (Of course you can make your own, but remember this is a quick recipe!) Thick sauce. You can even find them with some spices added, e.g. with garlic or basil or both.
  3. Cheese again to your taste. Parmesan is often used but you can mix and combine. The cheese should be grated or you will have to grate it at home.
  4. 1-2 Small jars of Sour Cream
  5. Lets get a bit healthy and add either some Spinach Leaves or Broccoli (or both!) Remember if you get the broccoli fresh or frozen you will have to steam boil it at home for 15 minutes.
  6. Like Mushrooms? Hell you are in the supermarket right? Go for a few fresh mushrooms to your taste. NO! Don't be lazy! Forget the canned mushrooms. Sheesh! YUCK! Fresh Fresh Fresh!
  7. 1 Tablespoon Oregano (Preferably fresh and then crushed - but a spice jar will do)
  8. 1 Tablespoon Basil (Preferably fresh and then crushed - but a spice jar will do)
  9. Add any type of cheese, spice or veggie you like.
  10. Olive oil
Utensils You Need:
  1. A tempered oven-safe dish
  2. If you are steaming the broccoli a pot and a vegetable steamer.
  3. If you are grating the cheese a cheese grater or hand grater.
  1. Cover the bottom of the dish with Olive oil
  2. If you are steaming the broccoli do it now.
  3. Take the lasagna noodles and lay out a layer on the bottom of the dish. If they are too long don't worry just break them into pieces you need. Try as well to line the side of the dish. One layer of the lasagna is fine.
  4. Open a sour cream and pour it on the bottom on top of the first layer. Now add a layer of your tomato/lasagna sauce. Now some spinach leaves and or broccoli. Spinach leaves can be laid out and they will cook. Broccoli should be cut up after it is steamed and sprinkle it in.
  5. If you decided on the Fresh mushrooms, just cut them into fourths or so, and sprinkle them in.
  6. Now sprinkle half the the tablespoon of Oregano and/or Basil.
  7. Now put a layer of cheese. Not a lot. Just sprinkle some here and there.
  8. If there is a room for another layer of the lasagna, go back to steps 3-7 and repeat.
  9. Now the final layer of lasagna - and cover that with cheese. You want that cheese to melt into those noodles.
  10. Cover the dish with Aluminum Foil.
  11. Into a 350º Fahrenheit oven the dish goes for 45 minutes.
  12. Set the table - NICELY. Ugh! No plastic. Yikes! What are you doing, going on a picnic?
  13. Two long colored candles will help. I have to teach you guys everything??
  14. Go shower and get dressed for you date and warn the kids that if they show themselves it will be under pain of no allowance for a year. (That should work)
  15. Take a peek under the foil. It will probably need another 10-15 minutes.
  16. If you are serving white wine, make sure it is in the fridge and chilled.
  17. All done? Put the oven on warm (around 50º). Leave the foil on and pray your date is not allergic to cheese!
  18. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, take a deep breath and go pick up your date.
Pasta Italiana I

This can be as simple or as complicated as you desire it to be. Remember always the three basic staples. Cheese, lasagna noodles and good rich tomato sauce. The rest is up to you. This can be swift or if you allow yourself, can have you messing with tons of great ingredients for an hour or so. So take this one to town or do it down and dirty. Oh. I almost forgot. Good luck on your date! (And remember to set the table with napkins.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Flavored Pound Cake

This Flavored Pound Cake recipe from Paula is great. Remember, it is all in the glaze! She writes:

This is a great recipe because you can make different flavors to suit your tastes. Of course you can always make it plain and it is still delicious.
Flavored Pound Cake


  1. 2 Cups Sugar
  2. 1/3 Cup Butter or Margarine, softened
  3. 1/2 Cup Low Fat Cream Cheese, softened
  4. 3 Large Eggs
  5. 1 Large Egg White
  6. 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
  7. 3 Cups Flour
  8. 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  9. 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  10. 1 (8oz) container Low Fat Lemon Yogurt
Ingredients For Glaze:
  1. 1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  2. 4 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
  1. Add 2 Cups of Blueberries
  2. Use 1 Teaspoon of Almond Extract and reduce Vanilla to 1 teaspoon
  3. Add 1 Teaspoon Coconut Flavoring and reduce vanilla to 1 teaspoon
  4. Add 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest (remember lemon zest is the peel of the lemon - you use a special tool to grind/scrape it off called of course, a lemon zester)
Lemon Zester - you can use this special tool:

or you can use the good ole hand grater.

You will need:
  1. 1 10 inch Bundt Pan or 2 Loaf Pans
  2. 1 Large Bowl
  3. Electric Mixer
10 inch Bundt pan

  1. In large bowl, combine sugar, butter and cream cheese
  2. Beat on medium speed until well blended
  3. Add eggs one at a time
  4. Add egg white
  5. Continue to blend
  6. Add flavoring (vanilla, almond or coconut)
  7. (If using blueberries, use two tablespoons of flour and lightly toss with blueberries)
  8. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and yogurt to sugar mixture
  9. Blend on low speed until combined then mix on medium for 1 – 2 minutes
  10. (if using blueberries, fold them in)
  11. Pour into greased Bundt (or loaf) pan
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes
  13. Cool for 10 minutes then loosen sides from the pan
  14. Cool for another 15 minutes and remove from pan and place on wire rack
  15. Prepare glaze and drizzle over warm cake
And of course our Cooking By The Book Video, to match Paula's kitchen.

(Direct Url Click Here)

Martini and Rossi

Going to leave this one at 3 stars, though it is on the border between 3 & 4. Paula has shown us that Pound Cake can be delicious, and once you glaze it...Yummy.