Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

bake by nick malgieri

this is a new cookbook given to me for my birthday this year.  i can't wait to start baking from the selection in the table of contents.  the author covers everything from cookie dough and tarts to pound cakes, coffee cakes, biscuits and scones to brownies and sandwich cookies.  the photographs and step by step instructions are numbered and clearly presented.  variations to the recipes are offered at the bottom of each page. preparation photos are included in the process section.  the chapter on one step breads and rolls looks amazing.  i have been enjoying reading the recipes and will begin baking soon. check it out at the local bookstore.  i don't think you will be disappointed.

vegetable broth for soups or roasts

this is my favorite brand of vegetable bouillon to use for roasting chicken or turkey. it is made by Rapunzel and is flavored with sea salt and herbs. i typically prepare four cups of broth with the cubes and place at the bottom of the roasting pan to increase humidity to the chicken or turkey during baking. 

this brand offers great flavor and can be used for soups or bread stuffing too. i used this brand for my bread dressing this Thanksgiving.  the flavor was balanced and offered a great rich taste which was neither salty nor bland.


crusty popovers are a delicious treat to offer friends and family for any meal of the day.  for breakfast, popovers are served with jam or fruit butters to accompany any breakfast entree.

for lunch time meals, popovers can be served with a quiche, chicken salad or a summer fruit salad.  for dinner, popovers are traditionally served with a roast, but compliment any supper entree.  during thanksgiving week, i baked smaller popovers instead of the traditional larger size often noted in most recipes.  i own two sizes of popover pans, and it must be noted to choose the proper recipe for the size of the pan.  the larger popover recipes will often state the quantity as six popovers.  for the smaller variety, the pan offers 12 spaces.

here is my favorite recipe for popovers from the herbal breads cookbook by Donna Frawley:

2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 tsp salt.  preheat the oven and the popover pan at 425 degrees.  beat eggs and add milk.  add flour and salt.  beat for 2 minutes with electric hand mixer.  remove pan from oven and spray with non stick spray.  pour batter evenly into pan filling only 2/3 full.  bake for 25 minutes and check if using a smaller 12 popover pan.  if using a larger pan for 6 popovers, check at 30 minutes.  maximum cooking time for the larger popovers would be 40 minutes.

serve warm for the best result. these popovers can be varied with cheese, dill, almond and poppy seeds, or even herbs.  experiment by adding a 1 tsp of your favorite flavors.

warmed breakfast fruit

my family enjoys warmed fruit for breakfast on special occasions.  usually, i combine both lite syrup canned fruits with fresh fruit.  for thanksgiving this year, i used canned peaches and pink grapefruit mixed with fresh pears, blackberries and raspberries.

any combination of fruit can be used.  i have selected blueberries, apricots, canned pears, fresh peaches, apples, and pineapple over the years.  i simply place the fruit selection into a ceramic casserole dish, add some orange juice and a bit of brown sugar on the top and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

the fruit accompanies waffles, pancakes, crepes, quiche or eggs very nicely.

brussels sprouts

one of the best tasting fall vegetables would be Brussels sprouts. this mini cabbage is very easy to make and can adjust to a variety of flavors or seasonings.  i often parboil the sprouts first for approximately ten to fifteen minutes and then drain the water, and saute with a dash of olive oil. 

the sprouts cook well after the outer layer of greens are removed and they are sliced into halves.  the quick preparation makes these a wonderful addition to any weeknight meal.  to flavor the sprouts, i used small slices of pancetta, but bacon or prosciutto could be used for variety. the sprouts taste well seasoned with salt, pepper, flavored salts or other seasonings based on your family's preferences. here are some ideas for flavoring.