Monday, December 29, 2008


That is right we are moving. My husband has been transferred to Mexico and in less then one month we will be moving to a sub of Mexico City.

I look forward to discovering new ingredients and ways of preparing newly discovered foods (I know we import everything but I still have visions of avocados to die for) and sharing them with you.

I do plan to continue blogging from our new home and sharing not only food discoveries but cultural as well. With that said I may not be posting a lot for the next 2 months and when I return Fruitcake or Nuts will include a little more then just food.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Easy & Yummy Sweet Potato Pie

2 cups pureed sweet potato
1 (14-ounce)Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (9-inch) easy pie crust

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk sweet potato, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Nutrition Amount Per Serving: Calories 380, Fat Cal. 129, Total Fat 14.3g, Sat. Fat 5.8g, Sodium 350mg, Potassium 33mg, Carb. 30.5g, Fiber 3.3g, Sugars 17.9g, Protein 5.9g

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poule Au Pot

1 - 3 to 4 pound whole free range chicken
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk pf celery, chopped
1 clove garlic
handful of parsley
2 bay leaves
1 cup white wine

season the chicken with salt and pepper. Wrap the chicken in muslin* and place in a large soup pot. place the chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic and herbs on another piece of muslin and place that in the pot. Add the wind and cover the chicken with cold water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 40 minutes. add the rest of the vegetables and cook for another 25 minutes, longer for vegetable if they are not tender yet. Remove the chicken from the pot and let it drain on a rack over a serving dish to save the liquid. Remove the muslin and skin from the chicken and place on a serving platter with the vegetables. Save the broth and left over chicken and vegetables for soup the next day.

* Maybe you already know this but I just found out a few months ago that you can buy muslin dirt cheap at Jo-Anns. They keep it behind the cutting counter so you have to ask for it but they so have it. So if you ar in need of a supply of muslin for your kitchen they have it here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Birthday Cake Only a Princess Turning 5 Would Pick

a few Months Back I asked Z what kind of cake she wanted and she said a castle cake. Ok I could like with that they make castle cake pans. As her Birthday, and her party, drew closer I asked what flavor she wanted her cake and she picked strawberry. Two days before the party we went out to Ideal Cake to rent that castle cake pan and what did she see...thats right a wedding cake. She had found it the cake of her dreams with roses in time and you guessed it again (well I think the photos gave it away) I made her a double decker strawberry flavored, strawberry jam filled, rose covered cake. It was great...the cake and the birthday girl.

2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 egg
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup good strawberry jam
1) preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour 2 9" cake pan .
2) In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, butter, egg, jam and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. scrape cake batter into cake pan.
3) bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted into center of cake cokes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Garlic Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

This is one of my best stir-fries yet, I have been trying my had at Asian food a lot the last year and a half and I think that I have gotten to the point where I think I am pretty good. I would hot compare mine to any cook from Asia; however.
The biggest thing that I have learned when making a stir-fry is....less is a lot more, don't over do it.

beef and broccoli stir-fry

1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
1 chicken breast cut into thin strips

mix 1 teaspoon sesame oil with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a bowl, mix and set aside

1 small head broccoli (steam to crisp tender if you like it a little more done)
1 carrot peeled and cut on diagonal
2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce (you can used regular)

cut broccoli into florets and steam, set aside
cut carrot, set aside
marinate chicken for 10 minutes
heat wok, add a spoonful of oil mixture to wok cook half the chicken until just white. set aside and repeat with the rest of the chicken reserving the marinade.
put the rest of the oil in the wok add in the carrots, stir, add the broccoli, stir, add the chicken, stir add the marinade and soy sauce, stir until it is done, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. remove stir fry from wok into serving bowl. Server with rice.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Braised Short Ribs & Carrots over Polenta

I came across this recipe while randomly reading recipes online (yes that is what I do for fun) and I though it looked like something I should try. I very much admire and respect Sara Moulton and this was one of her recipes so I Had a pretty good idea that it was going to be good dish; however, I had to put my own flair on it and I think that Sara and I came up with something great.

Braised Short Ribs & Carrots

1.5 pounds pork short ribs, cut into 1" pieces

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 to 1 cup red wine, I used some leftover red truck and it was very nice with this.

1 can diced tomatoes. I am not going to say what size can I think any size will work well and any kind of canned tomato such as crushed or while.

1 cup broth or water

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. I love this stuff!

2 to 4 strips orange peel or zest (no white pith) removed from the orange with a vegetable peeler.

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped fine.
1 pound carrots peeled and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces

Pat short ribs dry and season with salt and pepper. In a heavy Dutch oven, heat oil over moderately high heat, until hot but not smoking, and brown ribs in batches, transferring with tongs to a large bowl.

Add chopped onions to dutch oven and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire sauce, zest, rosemary, and salt and bring to a boil. Add ribs including any juices that have accumulated in bowl and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

Add carrots, stirring and pushing down to make sure they are covered by liquid, and simmer, covered, 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until meat is tender. Transfer meat and carrots with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Reduce braising liquid, if necessary. Return meat and vegetables to Dutch oven and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Serve over a bed of semi soft polenta.


3 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup corn meal

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

pinch of pepper

dash of nutmeg

Put water in a sauce pan over medium heat with salt. Once the water is boiling whisk in the cornmeal, whisk vigorously to reduce the chances of getting lumps. Cook over medium-low heat until it starts to thicken about 3 minutes. Add in the milk, butter, Parmesan cheese pepper and nutmeg. Cook for another 2 minutes until thick yet will still soft enough to spread a little when spooned into a plate.