Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fall Baked Goods

Here are some ideas for Fall treats, but remember that I am always happy to make custom creations.  

Apple Pie $28

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting $30

Pumpkin Bread Loaf $15

Pumpkin Bread Slice $4 per slice, 4 slice minimum

Pumpkin Muffins $18/dozen

Frosted Ginger Pumpkin Cupcakes $35/dozen

Snickerdoodles $25/dozen

Decorated Sugar Cookies $35/dozen

Gingerbread Cookies $35/dozen

Undecorated Sugar Cookies $20/dozen

Cookie Icing $10/tub

8" Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting $75

10" Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting $95

Cinnamon Roll Cake $30

Monday, March 28, 2016

Jim's Ice Cream Cake

This cake...this cake is my husband.  Two of his favorite dessert flavors are Oreo and Coffee.

Me...I hate coffee.

However, I oddly love coffee ice cream.  I do not know why, it is truly bizarre, but it is one of my favorite flavors.

But really, this is my husband's cake.  I say that because we were going to a party on Easter, and I really wanted to make something I knew that he would love.  So often I cook what other people love and my poor husband gets to eat someone else's favorite...he still likes it, but it isn't his favorite.  So yesterday it was his turn.

However...something about this cake did not scream Easter to me, so I also made a lemon bundt cake to take long too :)

If you do not like coffee ice cream, you can easily trade this out for your favorite.  I think it would be excellent with chocolate, vanilla, mint chocolate chip, caramel ripple, or a number of other choices.

Another note: This would be even better with homemade ice cream.  In the summer I enjoy making homemade ice cream for our family.  My main motivation behind doing this is to make my coffee ice cream decaf.  I am very sensitive to caffeine and I really love to sleep...

Here it is...

Jim's Ice Cream Cake

Layer 1:
3 cups of finely crushed Famous Amos wafers (do this in your Cuisinart or blender, it will be about a box and a third)
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted

Layer 2:
1 gallon of softened coffee ice cream (if you are in the South, Blue Bell is your best choice)

Layer 3:
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
4 Tablespoons of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
8 crushed Oreo cookies

Layer 1:
Mix together the crushed wafers and unsalted butter.  Press it (hard) into the bottom of a 9x13 pan in one even layer.  Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Layer 2:
Scoop the softened ice cream into the dish on top of the crust.  Smooth the ice cream out into one even layer with a rubber spatula.  Freeze for 6-12 hours.

Layer 3:
Put the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium high speed until you reach the consistency of whipped cream.  (Important note: if you have never made whipped cream, keep your eye on it.  If you go too far, it turns into butter, but if you do not go far enough it will be runny.)  Spread the whipped cream into a thin layer on top of the frozen ice cream and top with the crushed Oreos.  Freeze 6-8 hours before serving.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Lasagna...Remember, Make Two

I have been deep in holiday baking.  The week of Thanksgiving I made 29 pies, 12 loaves of pumpkin bread, 24 pumpkin ginger spice cupcakes...oh, and then I made all of Thanksgiving dinner...

I am tired, but I am doing what I love.  My holiday wish for all of you is that you too are doing what you love.

(And I am pretty sure that everyone over the age of 25 is tired.)

When we are tired, nothing beats comfort food, unless it is comfort food that you baked a few weeks ago and put in the freezer...especially if it is in a recyclable tin.

So...remember the golden rule that I discussed a few weeks ago, and make this...

Kitchen Tart Golden Rule Lasagna
(Doubles and Triples Easily)

2 eggs
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces small curd cottage cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan
1 box of no-boil noodles (I like Barilla)
1 pound ground beef
24-30 ounces sauce (I like Rao's)

Mix eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese together in a bowl.

Spray the bottom of the cooking pan.  Spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Lay noodles to cover the bottom of the pan.

Layer in this fashion for as many layers as you like…

Sour Cream mixture
Ground Beef
Mozzarella Cheese
Cheese mixture
Ground Beef…

For the last layer do…
Mozzarella Cheese

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

If frozen you can either thaw overnight and then cook 60-70 minutes, or cook directly from the freezer and bake 90-120 minutes until hot throughout.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Never Make Just One Lasagna

I have a Kitchen Tart Golden Rule...Never make just one lasagna.

I recently offered to make a lasagna for one of my kid's teachers for her to feed to her family for dinner one night.  As I was preparing to make it I looked at our menu for the week and realized that we would not need a lasagna for ourselves that week, and for a brief moment I considered making only one lasagna...then I remembered the Kitchen Tart Golden Rule.

I will be sharing my lasagna recipe in a few days, but in the meantime ponder this...

Top 10 Reasons to Make Two

10. Making lasagna is not hard, but it is messy.  Once you are stuck in the dish hell that is cleaning up from lasagna, you may as well have something extra to show for it.  Hey, make three if you are feeling ambitious.

9.  It is so easy once you are making one to make two.  In fact, the way I make lasagna it is actually easier to make two than it is to make one.  I say this because my lasagna uses sour cream and cottage cheese instead of ricotta, and if you make the mixture for two you don't have to measure, you just dump the whole container in the bowl.  Brilliant.

8.  There is room in your freezer.  If there isn't room in your freezer take something out...look, now there is room in your freezer.

7.  Lasagna tastes as good from the freezer as it does fresh.  I dare you to try and tell the difference.  (That is not an invitation to dinner, make your own lasagnas you free loader).

6.  Using that much cheese helps support the economy of the great state of Wisconsin.  Go, Packers!

5.  You may not want lasagna tonight, but you probably don't want to cook one night next month so now you don't have to.

4.  If you freeze it in a disposable pan and use paper plates to eat it you will literally have no dishes to do that night...look away environmentalists.  Look.  Away.

3.  There is always a friend in need who could use a lasagna, and they don't care that it came from your freezer.  Someone you know has probably moved today, had a baby today, or is just having a hard day today.  Think about how happy you would be if someone just showed up on your doorstep with a lasagna.  (Hint, hint...Kitchen Tarts need food too).

2.  Rao's Marinara Sauce may be on sale at your market.  (If you don't understand this one, put down your phone or your computer mouse, go to your grocery store and buy a jar of it right now...ask for a plastic spoon in the deli department and crack that puppy open.  Spoon it into your mouth and then write me an email and thank me for introducing you to heaven.)

1.  Lasagna is comfort food, it always has been and it always will be.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Roads End Sloppy Joe's

The legend tells us that this recipe was used to save my Grandmother when she was entertaining at her home on Roads End in Maine.  She was hosting a large number of guests for a party and had made a big batch of her famous fish chowder the day before.  My Grandmother was born and raised in Maine, fish chowder was right in her wheel she opened the lid of the pot before reheating it that morning for the crew and it gave a big bubble, she knew that it had turned.  But you don't grow up in Maine during the Great Depression without knowing a thing or two about how to fix a meal to feed many with what you have.  So she decided to make Sloppy Joe's, or as she called affectionately called them Osie Dosies.

Simple enough, right?  Well...not so much...

You see, it was during a meat shortage and people were limited to a pound of meat a person.  So, once again being a resourceful woman, she gathered all of the younger house guests and sent them one at a time to collect the meat until she had enough to make a batch to feed the masses.  My father was one of the errand boys and assures me that the story was not as amusing then as it is now ;)

In my grandmother's notes on the recipe she has it multiplied out to feed as many as 100, so needless to say, this recipe doubles, triples, quadruples and more with ease.

Roads End Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 8 oz. can tomato soup
1 can tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. chili powder

Brown hamburger in heavy skillet.  Drain the fat.

Add onion and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.  If your skillet is very full cook slightly longer.

Serves: 6

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hot Artichoke Dip

This photo is just the artichoke hearts, it will look different
when cooked...more like a creamy cloud of delish.

This dip is so easy and so tasty that you will bring it to every holiday party.  Every one.

Serve this
with crackers.  Ususally I am a Ritz girl, but here Town House are best.

Enough said.

Hot Artichoke Dip

2 cans of medium or large artichoke hearts, cut into small pieces
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
6-8 dashes of Tabasco

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Put into an oven safe dish (I like a deep souffle dish) and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serve with crackers.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Why Seafood Is Important to Me...

Note: I have not been compensated in any way to talk about my love of seafood.

If you don't already know this about me, I grew up on the ocean near one of the biggest fishing ports on the East Coast.  I could see the fishing boats coming and going as I sat on the porch, heading out to the deeper areas to catch swordfish or whatever else they were fishing for.  When I would visit our family home in Maine I would hear the lobster boats fire up their engines every morning (except Sunday back then) to go out and support their families earlier than I could imagine even crawling out of bed.  I would see the lobstermen and the fishermen in the towns where I spent my youth and I would see how hard they worked in the lines on their faces and the rough skin on their hands.  I knew some of their children.  I knew some of their stories.

So to me eating seafood has always had two parts to it: the first was always the fact that it tasted good and it was good for me, but the second was about more than was about the supporting hardworking people and their trade.

Today is the last day of National Seafood Month, so it is fitting today that I remind you to eat your seafood.

For some great recipes from the Seafood Nutrition Partnership click here.