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Friday, May 5, 2017

Free Food Friday! Crumb Cake for the Office

Today is Friday!  Friday holds a special day in the hearts of people who work Monday through Friday.  The week is coming to a close, the coveted days of Saturday and Sunday are coming.  You are either looking at your long to do list for the house, or planning the vents you are attending.  Even when your weekend is going to be just as hectic as your work week, the weekends are always better. 

Although Friday is a special day, you still have to actually get through Friday!  You need to go to work, trudge through the day, and keep your eye on that Saturday prize!  How can we make getting through Friday a little easier?  CRUMB CAKE! 

It's true!  Food at work that is made by you or someone else is a special treat.  I love to bake for the people I work with.  Sometimes we even have a conversation about the yummy treat that may or may not make it into the office.  This happened this week.  I spoke with a fellow co-worker Thursday at the end of the day saying, "What yummy treat should I make for Friday?"  I was given the green light to make anything.  
Truth be told, I had another treat in mind, but this morning I discovered I did not have all the ingredients.  Since going to the store was simply impossible, I resorted to Plan B.  Plan B was to grab a beloved Gooseberry Patch Cookbook and find a crumb cake.  There are countless crumb cakes in the numerous books I own.  I grabbed "Grandma's Kitchen" assuming that a book devoted to the treats our grandmother's ha made could not and would not fail me.  I was right! 
2 1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Shortening (not oil)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Oriental Spices (combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger)
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 Eggs
Garnish: Walnuts (or Pecans)
  • Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut the Shortening into the flour, salt, and brown sugar.  Cut until combined and crumbly. (**I used a pastry cutter and that made is extremely easy!)
**TIP**  You can measure shortening easily when you fit a measuring cup with water up to about 1-2 cups.  drop shortening into the water.  When the measurement is 3/4 cup more, you just measured 3/4 cup of shortening.  Pour out the water and dump the shortening into the bowl!

  • Set aside 3/4 - 1 Cup. 
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  There will be lumps if you are mixing by hand and that is perfectly fine.  (Crumb cakes are very forgiving)
  • Pour into a 9x13 inch pan.  Sprinkle the walnuts (or any other nut.  You can even use chocolate chips if you want or any other chips... peanut butter... etc).  Sprinkle 3/4-1 Cup crumble over the entire pan. 
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes... or until a toothpick comes out clean. (It took me about 45-55 minutes.. keep this in mind if you are making it last minute) 

Unfortunately for me... I did not take a completed photo before leaving the crumb cake on the break room table.  By the time a remembered this I was far to late to capture an cut cake.  But, truthfully... I like this picture much better!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Quick and Easy Coconut Custard Pie

My Father LOVES coconut.  His particular favorite is Coconut Custard Pie.  He is also a fan of eggs, so this makes a lot of sense. 

His birthday was in April.  My job was to make the coveted coconut pie.  I pulled out my trusty and SIMPLE recipe.  
You have 3 options for the pie crust: 
  1. Make your own homemade crust (several recipes exist. All claim to be the best.  Most are absolutely perfect to use). 
  2. Buy a pre-made Crust in a pan (unbaked).  The truth is, pie crust dough is so simple, the store bought will perfectly acceptable. 
  3. Roll out pre-made dough to put on a pie pan of your own.  (I did this one... it made making this pie all the easier).
3 Eggs
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 2/3 Cup Milk (I used light cream)
2 tsp. vanilla 
Pinch of salt
1 cup coconut (I was LIBERAL with this and used a heck of a lot more - a 7 oz. bag)
Cinnamon or Nutmeg to Sprinkle on top of pie.

- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. 
- Pour filling in the unbaked pie crust. 
- If you made your own crust or rolled the pre-made crust into the pan, crimp the edges.  I use a spoon to shape even edges. (You didn't hear it from me, but you can even take the pre-made crust in the pan... and mush the edges to then form with your spoon to make it look like you made the crust yourself...).    ;-)
- Sprinkle either cinnamon, nutmeg, or a combo of both on the pie for visual appeal. 
- Cover the crust with folded foil (I do not like the silicone crust savers)
- Bake in a 400 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.  (Or until the center no longer jiggles).
Finally, sit back and enjoy this simple and yummy pie!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Leftover Goodness - Chicken Soup from Osso Buco Broth

Yesterday I posted the amazing Osso Buco recipe (Check it out here!)

I mentioned that the broth left in the stock pot is packed with flavor and would be GOLD to use later. 

I decided to used that gold to make Chicken and Polish Noodle Soup!

- Magic Broth (if not magic broth... use chicken broth)
- Carrots (about 5 large)
- 1 Large Onion
- 4-5 Celery
- Green Onions
- 1 pound Chicken
- Additional Chicken Broth (1 or more cans) 
- One Whole Garlic peeled and minced
- Polish noodles (or any other thick noodle) 
- Salt, Pepper, and seasonings of your choosing

 Dice the vegetables and onion.  Mix with Magic Broth in a large stock pot. 
Cook on medium heat to sweat out the vegetables. 


- While the vegetables are sweating, peel and mince your garlic.  Place garlic in stock pot with the vegetables to cook. 

- Dice Chicken and place in with vegetables and broth.


Boil your Noodles until it is slightly firm and drain. 

- Add noodles to the broth and vegetables.  If more broth is needed, as chicken broth to the soup.  Shut off heat.  The noodles with take in flavor and soften more. 

- Season soup to your liking with salt, pepper, etc. 

** I enjoyed eating this soup with my Martha Stewart magazine.  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Husband Cooks Part 2: Osso Buco and Saffron Risotto

As promised, I finally have the opportunity to share with you the infamous "Osso Buco" recipe with Saffron Risotto!  Truth be told, i did not make this amazing dish in any way.  My husband Rob had the day off and made this absolutely delectable dish. 

According to Rob, he used the following recipe from Food Network: Osso Buco and Saffron Risotto
I am including the recipe below with photos, and little tidbits of additional information as you go. 


Grated rind of 1 lemon
Grated rind of 1 orange
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 pieces veal shank with bone, cut 3 inches thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 cup dry Marsala
2 cups veal or chicken stock
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
Saffron Risotto, recipe follows

8 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
3 pinches saffron threads
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste



In a large shallow platter, season flour with salt and pepper. Pat the veal shanks in the mixture and tap off any excess.  

  • You are basically covering the veal shanks in this mixture.  You will not be using ALL the flour mixture.

In a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven, over medium flame, heat the oil and butter. Sear the shanks on all sides, turn bones on sides to hold in marrow. Add more oil and butter if needed. Remove the browned veal shanks and set aside.  
  • DO NOT pat off the oil!  You are simply setting these bad boys aside for later.  All the flavor is in the oil and whatnot. 

Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves and parsley to the pan and cook until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high, add the wine and deglaze the pan.  
  • This basically means you will add some red wine to unstick the yummy tidbits in the pan.  This deglazing will turn into our amazing broth/sauce.
Return the shanks to the pan, add the stock and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender. Baste the meat a few times during cooking. 
  • DO NOT skip the basting step.  Basting will keep the meat tender and full of those tasty juices.  You want to make sure you keep spreading that flavor over the meat.  
Remove the cover, continue to simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit (Thicken the sauce).

For gremolata: combine all ingredients together in a small bowl. Strew the gremolata over the osso buco before serving. Serve osso buco with Saffron Risotto.

In a saucepan, bring chicken broth to a simmer. Keep warm over low heat.

In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add oil and rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat each grain. When rice begins to make a crackling sound, add saffron threads. 

Add 1 cup of the warm chicken broth and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time.  

  • A little splash of white wine with the broth never hurt anyone! 

Continue to stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. Test the rice for doneness, it should be al dente but creamy (a little firm).
Remove risotto from heat, add grated cheese, salt and pepper. Serve at once with Osso Buco Milanese.