Sunday, June 22, 2014

June Foodie Holidays: Week 4

June 22: Chocolate Éclair Day, Onion Rings Day
June 23: Pecan Sandy Day
June 24: Pralines Day
June 25: Catfish Day, Strawberry Parfait Day
June 26: Chocolate Pudding Day
June 27: Indian Pudding Day, Orange Blossom Day
June 28: Tapioca Day, Ceviche Day
June 29: Almond Butter Crunch Day
June 30: Ice Cream Soda Day, Mai Tai Day

The first edition of my compiled cookbook contained no recipes from my older brother, because... well... he couldn't quite make my deadline. As it was, our mom had to travel to California to get the handful of recipes I have from him and my sis-in-law now (that will go into the 2nd edition, eventually).

Here's his recipe for Mai Tais.

Mai Tai
Whaler's Dark Rum (do not substitute)
Triple Sec
Amaretto di Saronno
Pineapple juice
Grenadine (optional)
Directions: Fill a glass with ice cubes. Add equal parts of Whaler's Dark Rum (use this specifically), Triple Sec and amaretto until the glass is 3/4 full. Top with pineapple juice, and float a layer of grenadine on top.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June Foodie Holidays: Week 3

June 15: Lobster Day, Cannoli Day, Gin Day
June 16: Fudge Day
June 17: Eat-All-Your-Veggies Day, Apple Strudel Day
June 18: Cherry Tart Day, Sushi Day, Picnic Day
June 19: Dry Martini Day
June 20: Vanilla Milkshake Day
June 21: Peaches & Cream Day, Smoothie Day

Father's Day is the 15th! Chat up your dad if you can. Ask him about the things he likes to cook!

Fudge is one of those things that I associate with Christmastime, because that's when my mother makes it. It's odd to think of it in June, but here's the recipe she always uses for chocolate fudge.

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
6 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
1 lb. sifted powdered sugar
1 C. chopped nuts
Directions: Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside. Stir cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add vanilla and salt. Gradually beat in sugar; add chocolate and beat until smooth. Mix in nuts. Line a 8” square pan with waxed paper and press fudge into the pan. Wrap and refrigerate until firm. Cut into square and store airtight.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June Foodie Holidays: Week 2

June 8: Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day, World Oceans Day (Sustainable Seafood)
June 9: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day
June 10: Herbs & Spices Day, Iced Tea Day, Black Cow Day (root beer float w/ chocolate ice cream)
June 11: German Chocolate Cake Day
June 12: Peanut Butter Cookie Day, Jerky Day, International Falafel Day
June 13: Cucumber Day
June 14:  Strawberry Shortcake Day

Need a gluten-free cookie recipe? These flourless peanut butter cookies are so good, you will never even guess they're "specialty" cookies for people who have to follow a strict diet.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in baking powder, and add the egg. Mix until well-combined. Roll dough into balls, roll balls in sugar (optional) and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake about 10 minutes – wait at least 5 min. before removing from the cookie sheet. Optional: Melt milk chocolate chips and drizzle over the cooled cookies.
Notes: These are so good, and so easy, and disappear so fast that I usually treble the recipe.
Red Sonjas Variant: Add candied ginger, chopped very fine, to the dough, about a tablespoon (or to taste), and a dash of red pepper (a little goes a long way). Place the dough balls on the baking sheet, stick the end of a steak knife into the dough (the oil from the peanut butter will make the sugar stick to the blade), dip it in red sugar and press the flat tip of the blade into the ball to flatten it slightly, leaving the red sugar in the impression. Flatten remaining balls, and bake as above.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June Foodie Holidays: Week 1

June is National Candy Month, Dairy Month, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, Iced Tea Month, Papaya Month, Mango Month, Seafood Month, Turkey Lover's Month (?!), and Steakhouse Month.

June 1: Olive Day, Hazelnut Cake Day
June 2: Rocky Road Ice Cream Day
June 3: Egg Day
June 4: Cheese Day, Frozen Yogurt Day, Cognac Day
June 5: Moonshine Day, Gingerbread Day
June 6: Applesauce Cake Day
June 7: Chocolate Ice Cream Day, Doughnut Day (first Friday)

Father's Day is June 15th this year. Don't forget to include Dad, if you can, when you're compiling recipes for the cookbook. Maybe your father is the primary cook, or maybe he's just a pinch hitter, either way, you don't want to leave him out. (And if he cooks like my dad does, you'll probably need to stand with him while he's cooking to measure things as he goes or at least guestimate how much of that ingredient he just threw in the pot...)

I have a particular fondness for Applesauce Cake. This recipe is my maternal grandmother's.

Applesauce Cake                                                                
1/2 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 C. applesauce
1 C. chopped raisins
2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
Directions: Thoroughly cream shortening with sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add applesauce, then sift dry ingredients together and add gradually. Beat until smooth; add raisins. Bake in a greased and floured 13x9” pan at 350ºF for 30-45 minutes. Frost with easy penuche frosting.

Easy Penuche Frosting
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. milk
2 C. powdered sugar
Directions: Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; stir and boil over low heat for 2 minutes. Stir in milk, return to boil and remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm and gradually stir in powdered sugar. Let cool; beat to spreading consistency. If the frosting gets too stiff, heat, stirring constantly. Frosts 1 13x9” cake or 2 9” layers.