Friday, August 22, 2014

August Foodie Holidays: Week 4

August 22: Spumoni Day, Bao Day, World Plant Milk Day, Eat-a-Peach Day
August 23: Sponge Cake Day
August 24: Waffle Day, Peach Pie Day
August 25: Banana Split Day, Whiskey Sour Day
August 26: Cherry Popsicle Day
August 27: Pots de Crème Day, Banana Lover's Day
August 28: Cherry Turnover Day
August 29: Chop Suey Day
August 30: Toasted Marshmallow Day
August 31: Trail Mix Day, Eat Outside Day

This is another sort-of-cheating recipe, because it's not quite a banana split, but I'm including it anyway, because it's neat. (Also it's my blog and I can.) I received it from one of my aunts; it was a sort of bridal shower "favor." Everyone was asked to bring a recipe for the bride-to-be, and this was one of the ones she gave me.

Lickety-Split Banana Split Pie
1 graham cracker crust
2 small bananas
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
hot fudge sauce, unheated
pineapple preserves
chopped nuts
whipped topping
maraschino cherries
Directions: Slice bananas into the bottom of the crust. Spoon softened ice cream on top and freeze for 2 hours. Top with hot fudge, pineapple, whipped cream, chopped nuts and maraschino cherries.

Friday, August 15, 2014

August Foodie Holidays: Week 3

August 15: (Julia Child's B'day!) Lemon Meringue Pie Day
August 16: Bratwurst Day, Rum Day
August 17: Vanilla Custard Day 
August 18: Soft Ice Cream Day
August 19: Potato Day, Hot & Spicy Food Day
August 20: Lemonade Day, Chocolate Pecan Pie Day, Bacon Lover's Day
August 21: Pecan Torte Day

Today's recipe comes with an opportunity for storytelling. It just so happens that I have three generations of rather humorous and disastrous Pie Incidents involving my grandmother, my mother and myself. I included those anecdotes in the family cookbook, and will share them here, too, as examples of the sort of stories you can collect and share (if the people are willing, and no one's feelings are hurt doing so).

The Pie Incidents
“The last time Mother made her lemon pie was a very memorable one. She had made the pie for Mike for his birthday, since that was his favorite. Donna sat down with her piece and took a bite. You could see her trying not to make a face. She bravely took another bite, saying nothing.

“Mike was not so subtle. ‘Mom,’ he shouted into the kitchen, ‘what did you do to this pie?’ Mother tasted it, and immediately realized that she’d forgotten the sugar. She was mortified.” (told by Sharon B.)
“Grandma is not the only member of the family to do odd things to pies. A neighbor, whose favorite pie is cherry, was treated to Mom’s own version of it. She bought canned cherries, but accidentally bought cherries that hadn’t been pitted. Jim said it was the ‘best pie he’d ever had,’ as he spit out cherry stones.

 “Perhaps it runs in the family. I made a sweet potato pie for a friend who’d joined us for one Thanksgiving dinner. I asked if there was anything special I could cook for him, since he was alone for the holiday. His request was sweet potato pie.

“I didn’t have a recipe, so I got one from a book. It called for bourbon in the filling, and I had to substitute whiskey from one of those tiny airplane bottles. It baked, and baked, and baked, and ever got quite done. After it had been baking well over an hour, I took it out, thinking that was the way it was supposed to be. It wasn’t.

“We each took a bite, and the alcohol, which was supposed to cook out, had not. It was just awful! I felt awful. And Mom wonders why I don’t like to make pies…” (told by Wendy W.)

Lemon Cream Pie 
1 2.9 oz. package lemon cook and serve pudding
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. water
3 eggs, separated carefully
1 baked and cooled 9” pie crust
1/3 C. sugar

Stir mix, 1/2 C. sugar, 1/4 C. water and 2 egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Stir in 2 additional cups of water. Stirring constantly with a wire whisk, cook on medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Cook 5 minutes, stirring twice. Pour into the cooked and cooled piecrust. To make the meringue: Beat three egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Gradually add 1/3 C. sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over filling, sealing to the edge of the crust. Bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Cool at room temperature at least 4 hours before serving. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

August Foodie Holidays: Week 2

August 8: Zucchini Day, Frozen Custard Day
August 9: Rice Pudding Day
August 10: Banana Split Day, S'mores Day
August 11: Raspberry Tart Day
August 12: Julienne Fries Day (shoestring fries)
August 13: Filet Mignon Day
August 14: Creamsicle Day

Here's a dish that will help you use some of your zucchini crop. It came to me from one of my husband's aunts.

Vegetable Lasagna
2 small zucchini (8oz. each)
1 bunch broccoli
2 C. firmly packed spinach leaves (about 4 oz.)
5 Tbsp. butter or margarine, divided
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
2 tsp. salt, divided
1 15 oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2/3 16 oz. pkg lasagna noodles (about 12)
1 C. flour
2 C. milk
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 8 oz. pkg part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced

Dice the zucchini; coarsely shop the broccoli and the spinach. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine in a 12” nonstick skillet. Cook the zucchini and broccoli with oregano and salt over medium heat. Cook until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and toss until wilted. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta and eggs with a fork; set aside. Prepare noodles per package instructions; drain. In a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine. Stir in flour and salt until smooth. Gradually stir in milk; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Layer half of the cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a glass baking dish. Put half of the ricotta mixture on the noodles, half of the vegetable mixture over the ricotta, and pour half the sauce over that. Top with remaining noodles and repeat layers. Top with mozzarella. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 40-45 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes for easier serving. Makes 8 main-dish servings.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Foodie Holidays: Week 1

August is National Catfish Month, Peach Month, Sandwich Month, and Panini Month.

August 1: International Beer Day (1st Friday), IPA Day, Raspberry Pie Day
August 2: Ice Cream Sandwich Day
August 3: Watermelon Day, Grab-Some-Nuts Day
August 4: Chocolate Chip Cookie Day
August 5: Oyster Day, Waffle Day
August 6: Root Beer Float Day
August 7: Raspberries 'n Cream Day

I feel a little like a broken record when I say this, but if you get multiple recipes for the same thing, include all of them (unless they're identical, of course, or have one minor change that you could include as a recipe note). It seems like a simple thing: you have five different recipes for chocolate chip cookies, so you pick one and set the rest aside. Except one of those that you set aside will invariably be someone's favorite (and now it's not in the family cookbook) and the family member who contributed it may have hurt feelings (because it was excluded), and now the next family reunion or holiday gathering is going to be uncomfortable for no good reason. Unless the finished size of the cookbook is a significant concern, include everything.

This particular recipe for chocolate chip cookies comes from one of my husband's aunts.

Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 C. butter or margarine, softened
2 C. sugar
2 C. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 C. flour
5 C. quick oatmeal, powdered in blender
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
24 oz. chocolate chips
8 oz. Hershey bar, grated
3 C. chopped pecans
Directions: Cream together the sugars and butter in a large bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla; mix well. In another bowl, mix together the flour, powdered oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Gradually add to the sugar mixture – dough will be stiff. Add the chocolate chips, grated candy bar and nuts. Make golf ball sized balls, and flatten a little on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375ºF for about 15 minutes. Don’t overcook.