Food Quote – Mitch Albom

“I don’t know what it is about food your mother makes for you, especially when it’s something that anyone can make – pancakes, meat loaf, tuna salad – but it carries a certain taste of memory.”

Since May is the month of Mother’s Day let’s give a nod for mom.   My mom lives in an assisted living facility in Syracuse NY.  That is a 15 hour drive from here.  She can’t cook a meal there. 😦 When I was younger I used to love Sundays.  Mom worked second shift at Chrysler and a more than occasional double shift.  However, she was home for Sunday dinners.  She always made a roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggie.  The house smelled so wonderful on Sundays.  Whenever I make a roast I think of mom and I in the kitchen.  Me sitting on the counter talking her ear off.  Her listening while peeling the potatoes for those delicious mashed potatoes (they were my favorite).  I miss those days but I can still remember them every time I make a roast. 😀

That is my “taste of memory”, what about you?!

Whatever Friday – Time for a Picnic!

We had so much fun this Friday.  We decided to have sliders on the grill, macaroni salad, fresh fries, fruit salad and Martin made his Shopska Salata.  I don’t have any fabulous recipes for you.  Kent grilled the sliders.  My macaroni salad is quite boring.  I need to find a new, more flavorful recipe for that this summer.  If you have any suggestions or recipes you want to share please do.

For the fries I used baking potatoes cut into fries.  I fried once and took out to cool then put back in to fry again.  I find they come out crispier that way 😉  

Threw together a quick fruit salad of watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes and strawberries.  Martin made his salad and he and Sean consumed that.  We laughed a lot this Friday.  Perfect way to end the week!  Time to think about what to do for next friday.  Have an awesome week! 🙂

May Bundt Cake – Orange Soaked Bundt Cake

It took me a while to figure out what bundt cake to make for May.  I decided on a citrus flavor.  I thought it was delicious and could have eaten the entire cake.  I didn’t think the guys liked the cake so I took it to work.  Eric just told me he had a piece and really liked it and I didn’t give him a chance to say anything!  I was unaware of this and brought it to work and gave Kent the other half to bring to his work.  Our co-workers enjoyed it, that is for sure.  Next time I better check before sharing…oops!

Orange Soaked Bundt Cake
(adapted slightly from original recipe)

Ingredients for the cake;

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 Tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup canola oil or other mild flavored oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons orange zest (2 oranges should work.  You can also use lemons.)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup strained fresh orange juice (you could use bottled orange juice)
5 large eggs

For the syrup & glaze

1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
2 Tablespoons dark rum (I had this on hand because it is great for Tiramisu!)
1 cup confectioners sugar,  divided

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare bundt cake pan by spraying with oil (or use butter) and coat with flour

To make the cake

1.  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda into the large bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
2.  Add the softened butter and mix on low speed until fine crumbs form.
3.  Change to whisk attachment.
4.  With the machine running on medium speed, whisk in the oil, orange zest, vanilla extract and orange juice.
5.  Whisk in eggs one at a time and then increase the speed to high and whisk the batter until light, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary (it will be).
6.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.

To make the syrup and glaze

1.  While the cake bakes, whisk together in a small bowl the orange juice concentrate, melted butter, rum and 1/2 cup of the confectioners sugar.  (With confectioners sugar, you may want to sift before adding to liquid.  It will dissolve nicely but works better if you sift.)
2.  When the cake is done, set the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes.
3.  With a thin skewer, poke the cake all the way through the bottom of the pan in about 100 places.
4.  Pour 1/3 cup of the syrup over the cake and let stand for 1 hour before removing the cake from the pan.
5.  You can put in fridge until ready to serve.
6.  When ready to serve, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar into the remaining syrup.
7.  Set the cake on a rack over a baking sheet and pour the glaze over the cake.  Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Creamy, Cheesy Bacon Dip

This was too simple and delicious.  So much so, I forgot to take a pic.  I thought a photo of Scrappy would be fun!

Creamy, Cheesey Bacon Dip

4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar
8 slices of bacon (I cut into 1/2 inch pieces, fried to crisp, then I chopped them up and added to the mix.  The more the merrier – at least that’s what the guys say 🙂
1/2 cup green onion

Preheat oven 400 degrees.  Mix above ingredients together.  Put in 1 quart casserole dish.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from oven and serve with chips, crackers or veggies.  This was a hit with the guys in my house.  They really liked the cheesiness of the dip oh…and the bacon!

Fresh Tomato and Caper Salad

I visited Syracuse NY (my hometown) over the weekend. I loved seeing my mom, dad, Tony (brother) and Becky (sister in law). We had a very nice time. The night before I left, we had dinner at Tony and Becky’s. I wanted to help out so I made apple crisp and found this easy recipe in Food and Wine magazine. I saw the bowl in Becky’s cabinet. It was so colorful and the perfect size. It was a bowl Becky’s mom also loved. I was happy to be able to use it for this colorful salad. 🙂 Oh, the salad was awesome and super flavorful. Simple and Delicious too! 😉

Fresh Tomato and Caper Salad

Ingredients

2 pounds red tomatoes (seeded and diced)
2 small celery ribs (finely diced)
1 small red onion (finely diced)
1 small green bell pepper (seeded and diced)
2 Tablespoons Capers (chopped)
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl toss the first 5 ingredients. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss lightly. Put in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. Tony added feta cheese on to his salad. You WILL love this salad!

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

For Whatever Friday we decided to have a bacon day.  Here is the recipe I made this evening.  Tomorrow I will post my other recipes.  I thought these were great.  Chocolatey and salty, my new favorite combo!  Don’t forget the sea salt before putting them in the oven.  It makes a difference.  Enjoy this very simple and delicious recipe!

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

(with some changes, which are noted)
adapted from I Am a Food Blog


1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons butter at room temperature (I did 3/4 cup butter)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I did 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped (I used Green & Black’s Organic – Dark Chocolate BAr 85% Cocoa.  I got this for a gift and wanted to use it for something special.  This was the right recipe to try it.   You can use any chocolate you want)
8 slices of bacon, finely chopped then pan-fried until crispy and drained on paper towels
sea salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the vanilla.
3.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Drop in the chocolate and bacon and incorporate. Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. (I did not refrigerate)
4.  When ready to bake, Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop 6 3 1/2 ounce mounds of dough (the size of large golf balls) onto the baking sheet leaving ample space between cookies. (I used a Tablespoon measurement, size of small golf ball)
5.  Sprinkle cookies with a touch of sea salt.
6.  Bake until golden brown but still soft, 13-15 minutes.
7.  Cool on sheet for 10 minutes then move to rack to cool until you are read to enjoy!