Sunday, December 15, 2013

Oyster Stew

Oyster Stew
Oyster stew in the fridge.

During the last year or so Campbell's stopped making Oyster soup. My husband wrote to them to find out where it had gone. Yesterday he made oyster stew from scratch using a recipe he found at You can find the original recipe below. We're landlocked so he did it a little differently, using canned oysters. To get the oysters ready he strained them using a fine mesh strainer, saving the juice. He did this to check for any shell remnants to ensure they didn't end up in the soup. He cut the oysters into bite sizes and then added them back to the liquid he had strained off and added them to the soup as directed by the original recipe. Oyster Stew
Submitted By: Buddy Sizemore
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 35 Minutes
Servings: 4

1/2 cup butter
1 cup minced celery
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 quart half-and-half cream
2 (12 ounce) containers fresh shucked oysters, undrained
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the celery and shallots until shallots are tender.
2. Pour half-and-half into a large pot over medium-high heat. Mix in the butter, celery, and shallot mixture. Stir continuously. When the mixture is almost boiling, pour the oysters and their liquid into the pot. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir continuously until the oysters curl at the ends. When the oysters curl the stew is finished cooking; turn off the heat and serve.

Printed from 12/15/2013

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Almond Granola

Almond granola in milk
Cookbook Bites (adapted recipe) Almond Granola
I know it's been a while since my last post. I've been taking some classes at the local community college, so thanks for bearing with me. I should actually be working on my final for my drawing class, but instead I'm saving the recipe so you and I will both have it going forward! :) So, it's pics from my phone and a quick post!

Are you a granola fan? Check out my chocolate granola recipe too, it's really good!

Almond granola on baking sheet
Almond granola on baking sheet

Almond Granola
4 C old fashioned oats
1 1/3 C sliced almonds
1/2 C (heaping - probably + 3T) sweetened shredded coconut
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t kosher salt
3 T butter
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C honey
1/2 C brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 T butter
1/4 t almond flavor

Adjust your rack to be in the middle of your oven. Oven should be preheated to 325 degrees. Butter a jelly roll pan to prepare the pan. In a large bowl add oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon and salt and stir to combine.

Take a middle size pan and add butter, oil, honey and brown sugar (wait on the vanilla and almond flavor).  Whisk gently to combine and stir regularly as you bring it to a gentle boil. Add in the vanilla bean paste and stir to combine.

Next pour the mixture over the oat/almond/coconut combo and stir/toss to combine. Get everything coated with the sauce.

Melt the 2 T butter and add the almond flavoring to it and drizzle over the oat combo and stir to combine.

Pour and then spread the oatmeal mixture onto the jelly roll pan. Bake 30 minutes. (Stir/turn over mixture at 10 and 20 minutes. This ensures everything toasts and turns golden.) Remove from oven and let it cool. While it's still warm, you might want to ensure it comes off the pan easily with a spatula. Try to leave some in big chunks they will probably break apart in storage.

Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker who got it from Martha Stewart

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Day-Old "Doughnut" Bread Pudding

I recently went back to college part time and my first class was a communications class. The final project was a group project and we chose to focus on doughnuts. My portion of the presentation was researching the history of doughnuts. I had never heard of Olykoeks, the Red Cross' Donut Dollies, or the Salvation Army's Doughnut Lassie's. With today being Memorial Day it seemed like a good time to remember these women and how they helped during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War.
Salvation Army, Doughnut Lassie with troops.*

Wounded soldier with doughnut girls during World War I.*

"Did You Know? The Army's Sweet Role in Doughnut History?" Salvation Army USA

Read more about Donut Dollies & Doughnut Lassies
(What's up with the Doughnut vs. Donut spelling?)

+  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +

So, why Day-Old "Doughnut" Bread Pudding? My husband has been rebuilding an old Postal Jeep so doughnuts on Saturday morning have become a regular thing around our house since his dad has been coming over and helping. When Sunday or Monday comes around we usually have a couple of stale doughnuts left. When I opened the box of doughnuts to make the Doughnut Bread Pudding recipe this morning I had found I didn't have enough, but I didn't need a big batch so, adapt and adjust, right? Here's my version.

Doughnut bread pudding prepping to bake
Doughnut bread pudding prepping to bake

Doughnut bread pudding unbaked
Doughnut bread pudding unbaked

Doughnut bread pudding
Doughnut bread pudding

Day-Old "Doughnut" Bread Pudding (Serves 2)

1/2 Glazed doughnut (large)
1 Jelly doughnut (raspberry)
1 egg
1/2 C milk (plus a splash)
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon emulsion
1/8 t nutmeg (fresh ground)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t Turbinado sugar

Pull apart doughnuts into bite size pieces and place into two buttered ramekins distributing doughnut pieces evenly. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. In a small bowl mix together the egg, milk, vanilla, lemon emulsion, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over the doughnut pieces in both ramekins evenly then press the doughnut pieces down with a fork several times to help the doughnut pieces absorb the liquid. Let stand for 10 minutes then sprinkle with Turbinado sugar and bake at 350 for 30 minutes (until knife comes out clean). Serve warm.

*Works Cited - Images:
1. WW-1-Wounded-soldier-and-doughnut-girls.jpg. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.
2 . Wounded-soldier-and-doughnut-girls.jpg Web. 29 Apr. 2013. 

Recipe Source/Inspiration: Doughnut Bread Pudding, All Recipes

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bonneville Jr. High School Brownies

I think that Jamie Oliver is on to something about our school lunches, but my experience as a kid was that hot lunch at school was usually pretty good, at least in the earlier grades. So when I found a lunch lady's recipe through Pinterest for brownies I wondered if it would be any good. I've found out the hard way that I have to be wary of Pinterest recipes. Everything is not as good as it looks. But the story that these came from a lunch lady added enough "credibility" to give the recipe a try.

They turned out to be really good. They were soft and the frosting was soft too, so best served from the pan they were made in. (I made another good recipe for brownies that are a little more portable for picnics.)

1 C butter (softened)
1/2 C Cocoa
2 C flour
2 C sugar
4 eggs
4 t vanilla
1 C chopped nuts (optional)

I mixed them as per the blog instructions, but next time I'll mix the wet ingredients with the wet and then add the dry. (I'm more of a "simplify" kind of person.) Combine the ingredients and prepare a 9 x 13 pan with butter/flour. Bake at 350 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When they're done, cool to lukewarm and frost.

1/4 C butter softened
1/4 C milk
1/4 C cocoa
3 C powdered sugar
Dash of salt

Mix together while the brownies are cooling. Use an electric mixer. When it's blended it's ready to go.

Recipe Source: Saltbox House Cooking Exchange: Lunch Lady Brownies (and the Bonneville Junior High Lunch Lady)

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Saturday, January 12, 2013


Cookbook Bites recipe review of Harmon's Snickerdoodles
My husband's work recently went into what they call "crunch mode." He works in the video game industry and crunch mode means long days and some Saturdays+ for everybody. Today I took in some cookies, his favorite: Oatmeal, and the testing manager's favorite: Snickerdoodles. This recipe has been my go-to for a long time and the cookies are really good. They're a soft buttery cookie rolled in cinnamon-sugar, so they're very much in the "comfort-food" category.

1/2 butter
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t cream of tarter

Update 12/24/14
Extra Ingredients (to roll the cookies in, before baking)

Cream the butter and sugar. Next add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then stir this into the butter mixture until combined. Roll cookie dough into 1-2 inch balls (or use a smaller cookie scoop) and roll cookies pre-baked in a small bowl of cinnamon sugar. (Note: The cookies are also good when they are no rolled in the cinnamon sugar, that is perfectly tasty, no-fuss option) Set oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Baking Tip (I learned this from my daughter): Take the cookies out after they've baked for 10 minutes. They will be soft and delicious. I used to wait for the edges to turn brown as an indicator that the cookies were done, if you do this they won't end up as soft.) Let them cool when you pull them out of the oven for a couple of minutes since they will be softer.

Happy holidays! I hope you have fun baking these cookies and bringing a little extra happiness to your family and friends whenever you bake them!

Recipe Source: Harmons grocery store, from a printed recipe card.

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