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Growing Up In D.C...Remember the Rum Bun?

Did you know this is my 99th post and I only begun last summer! How time flies.Speaking of which I had a wave of nostalgia sweep over me.I realized I hadn't had a Rum Bun in a long time.Growing up in the Washington D. C area during the 70's AND 80's Rum Buns were a distinct part of the bread basket before dinner in the great seafood houses such as Hogates, O'Donnells, Bish Thompsons,Flagship,and Anchor Inn( most long since shuttered).As a child I couldn't wait to did into those warm sweet rolls before my order of Lobster came. Whats a child doing ordering Lobster you ask?Well legend has it that I was the lobster baby. Before I could even read I had to have my lobster!No Kiddie menu for me. My mother encouraged it and my father resentfully paid the bill.Once he tried to trick me and say there was no lobster on the menu. I grabbed his menu and said 'let me see'. My big eyes went over the menu and found it. He couldn't get away with it. Eventually I grew out of my lobster addiction. Certain Someone was appalled when he heard this story and thinks I'm spoiled rotten. Maybe I am.
So back to the Rum Buns...Now that we have Internet I did a search. I found the Hogates recipe from the former chef on a few sites. They looked consistent. I mistakenly believed I had a well stocked baking pantry, but I didn't . So I made some changes as the amounts of some of the ingredients were large. I ran out of All Purpose flour so I added Amaranth flour and wheat in addition to the 1lb of what I had. I didn't have 4 oz fresh yeast and prayed my 2 oz of SAF instant yeast worked ,as lesser amounts are required with this type. And the recipe called for obscene amounts of Rum Extract. One bottle is 1 oz. The dough alone required 2z. So had to add real dark rum. I purchased more Rum extract later on for the glaze and icing. Yes glaze and icing combined!These babies will be going to work as they are to lethal to leave laying around.

In other news the lovely folks at Cakespy sent me these cute badges for giving a lead. If you haven't checked out this site do. They are loads of fun and seem to have spies everywhere giving us great reviews, interviews, etc.

Also Ben has awarded me the Blog of Distinction Award. Thanks darling. I guess I have to pass that on.
Hogates Rum Buns
2 pounds all-purpose flour
1 ounce all-purpose flour
6 ounces granulated sugar
5 ounces raisins
4 ounces vegetable shortening
4 ounces butter (unsalted, room temperature)
2 tablespoons grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground bakers cinnamon
1 ounce table salt
1 cup water warm
4 ounces fresh yeast
1 cup pasteurized or fresh eggs
2 ounces rum extract
1 cup whole milk
Cinnamon-Sugar Mix
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup rum extract
6 ounces granulated sugar
2 ounces rum extract
2 ounces light corn syrup
1 ounce unsalted butter (melted)
12 ounces confectioners sugar
In a mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook, combine all dough ingredients. Mix for 20 minutes until dough is smooth, place on floured tray and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Then refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Flour work surface and roll dough out 4 inches by 20 inches. Brush with melted butter (not in above ingredients) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix as needed. Roll dough strips tightly together. With knife, cut into sections three fingers wide and place in greased (not in above ingredients) muffin pan. Place a towel over the buns and proof them (let them rise until double in size.takes between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the temperature of the room). Then bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Turn pans occasionally for even baking. Remove from oven and brush with glaze (Heat glaze ingredients until sugar is dissolved)immediately. Cool for at least 10 minutes, then coat with icing( just mix all ingredients together adding the liquids a bit at a time) before serving.

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Daring Bakers...A Hot Mess of Cheesecake Pops

This months Daring Bakers Challenge was from one the combo of Elle and Deborah. Deborah is one of my favorite bloggers in that she was one the first people to notice my new food blog and comment. I have never seen a more supportive blogger! Elle and Deborah chose Cheesecake Pops from Jill O'Conners Sticky. Chewy, Messy, Gooey. When I first saw the challenge I was kind of taken aback( I like cheesecake, but I'm not obsessed with it), but how more American can you get than with cheesecake and these cute pops! I didn't underestimated these would be easy. But I didnt have a enthustiactic feeling as I did with most challenges. Nevertheless I purchased some Merkens Wafers, and a mini heart shape cheesecake pan. I know the recipe called for scooping out the mixture to form the balls, but I wanted to play with the small shapes. I added Butterscotch Extract. The batter really rose tall in the heart shaped mini cheesecake pans and fell just a little once removed. I did the requisite chilling and started to work. I purchased two colors of wafers. Because I purchased in bulk, they were no instructions. I looked on line and read I could microwave them. Thankfully I only micro waved a bit, and I over nuked them to a caramelized crunch. I dug out the double boiler and decided to mix the two colors. This is where the trouble accelerated. My coating was very thick. I was getting tired of manipulating it to the pops. I did it small batches. Suddenly right before I was about to chuck the whole mess, I reread the instructions and forgot to add the shortening. It helped a bit. Some of my pops fell apart while coating. Maybe they were not frozen enough in my impatience. My hearts would have been more perfect with the thinner coating. I had to slice the hearts down to size, but the coating masked the shape. I kept adding my pan back to the freezer to hold. I tried squeezing some coating from a squeeze tub but had difficulty. I had lots of decorating supplies and sprinkles, various colored sugars, laid out, but this project needed more speed in decorating than artistry. Once my pops solidified a bit I went back and added gold luster to them with a brush. I did not make forty pops. I saved half of the mix to just scoop up and eat plain throughout the week. I prefer my cheesecake plain, or with a light fruit. I though the candy coating was little overkill. Kids would love it perhaps. My final verdict:

Upon tasting them the second day to photograph, I was pleasantly surprised. It was like crack on a stick! I thought the candy crunch would turn me off, but it was rather enjoyable. And I learned to appreciate my molten lava pops a little more. Next time I'll do better. As my Mommy would say "they're are so ugly their cute!"
With all that's going on on with me, I'm glad I rose to the challenge. Despite my failure, I learned more about sugar craft and candy with this exercise. So thanks Deborah and Elle. But the other Daring Bakers and their creations.

PS: The Daring Bakers have a new forum.Some parts are open to the general public. Check it out.

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Seasonal Lasagna...Golden Beet Chicken Lasagna

My Vegetable Box finally arrived after postponing my order. It was chock full of Golden beets, Red Swiss Chard,regular Swiss Chard,assorted lettuces, garlic, zucchini, spinach, green beans,parsnips, and I'm sure I few other things I am forgetting.Because of the organic nature I have to consume them quickly. I made the mistake of leaving some out on the counter last time and they turned quickly. No pesticides require refrigeration. Anyway I never get to use the beets in time before the greens turn. I wanted yo use them in a recipe. I remember the current Top Chef contestant made a lasagna with rutabagas, So why not Golden Beets? Normally my lasagne's uses red sauce and no Bechamel. I decided to try to make Bechamel and use it with ground chicken., fresh sage, sliced portabellos, garlic,sliced golden beets,beet greens which had been Chiffonade, Farmers Cheese( a low fat alternative to cream cheese, and in place of Ricotta),Gouda, Mozzarella, etc. Certain Someone was impatient to eat and was pleasantly surprised by it. Of Course he had seconds.

Golden Beet Chicken Lasagna

1 package of Lasagna Noodles

1 lb Farmers Cheese

3 Golden Beets with their Greens

2 eggs

4 Cups of Bechamel

3 cups grated Gouda

1 cup low moisture mozzarella

Parmesan / Regianno or both

Fresh Sage

1 pound ground Chicken

1 cup fresh Portabello Mushrooms sliced

Garlic to taste




olive oil

Boil Lasagna noodles and set aside. I drain mine and soak in water to keep moist and workable.Prepare Bechamel. Wash beets , peel, cut off tops, and slice thinly.Now the choice is yours to precook the beets a bit. I didn't , but they cooked up fine as long as they are cut thinly.Take the greens, and roll. Slice them in a Chiffonade. In a bowl mix the Farmers cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, greens, eggs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Set aside . Brown ground chicken, sage, garlic, and mushrooms. Oil bottom of Lasagna pan. Place first layer of Lasagna . Take half of Farmers Cheese/greens mixture and smooth over. Sprinkle half of chicken/mushroom mixture.Add half of the thinly sliced golden beets. Sprinkle some Gouda and Mozzarella. Pour some bechamel. Repeat with 2nd layer of lasagna ,Farmer's cheese chicken,golden beets, etc. Save some grated cheese and Bechamel for the top. Cover with 3rd layer of lasagna. Pour remaining Bechamel liberally. Add some grated cheese and Parmesan. Cover with Foil . Bake in a Bain Marie at 375 degrees for at least 45 minutes.Take off foil and brown for a additional 15 minutes.

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Figuring It Out Myself...Bok Choy and Squid Soup

This weekend I totally hibernated. I had some events projects to work on.In my perusal of blogs I noticed one of my favorites Jen had a link to recipe calculator. I always wondered how people calculated the nutritional information especially if they made up the recipe themselves, like I always do.Most of us has seen thinner days and watch what we eat. However in shunning packaged processed foods, I have only a vague idea of what I'm really getting.So I decided to play around. On Sundays I like to a make a big pot of something to eat off all day. But I wasn't really hungry. I had some leftover frozen squid defrosting in the fridge . I immediately though of a light soup to go with some Bok Choy I purchases. My veggie box is postponed until tomorrow due to my travelling. Squid was cheap and low fat, so why not? Plus Certain Someone doesn't return until tomorrow.Here is a link to this great site called Sparks Recipes. You can share or keep your recipes private. But the Nutritional tool is invaluable.

2 cups shredded Bok Choy

Squid( cleaned and sliced) and its tentacles

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup chicken broth( homemade preferably but if not a low sodium one)

2 tbsp white vinegar

Chili Pepper Flakes

3 cloves minced garlic

1 can whole Tomatoes

1 tsp salt

3 cups of water

Wilt Bok Choy in a pot with olive oil. Add garlic.Add tomatoes with juice and chicken broth.Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add squid which has been sliced into rings,spices( chili pepper flakes, cayenne pepper,) salt.Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.Number of Servings: 6

Nutrition Facts
Bok Choy and Squid Soup
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat
3.0 g

Saturated Fat
0.5 g

Polyunsaturated Fat
0.5 g

Monounsaturated Fat
1.7 g
110.1 mg
623.9 mg
336.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate
6.2 g

Dietary Fiber
0.8 g

2.5 g
9.3 g
Vitamin A
22.5 %
Vitamin B-12
10.2 %
Vitamin B-6
5.9 %
Vitamin C
27.2 %
Vitamin D
0.0 %
Vitamin E
5.5 %
4.6 %
48.2 %
2.2 %
6.5 %
6.8 %
5.8 %
8.1 %
Pantothenic Acid
3.8 %
12.2 %
13.8 %
30.7 %
3.2 %
5.7 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Royal Foodie Joust...Mango Ketchup/Catsup

So little time ,so many events, and have to watch all that calorie consumption.When Michelle at Thursday Night Smack Down won last months Joust and got to pick the ingredients, she chose Mango,Cardamom, and Brown Sugar. She said.. "i want to see everyone's mad pastry skillz."She then relented and stressed culinary skills. Most people naturally think of sweets. Condiments I'm sure were a thought as well. As much as I love a mango salsa, I was going to turn it up a notch. Michele brings out my competitive spirit as is a joy to read!Always leaves me with a grin.The choice for me was a Mango Tarte Tatin or this, Ketchup. I don't need a lot of left over pastry laying around, but Ketchup is the worlds favorite condiment.Who knew all this about a sauce. I decided to put a Asian spin on this.I hope you like it spicy hot, , tangy and sweet!

Coco's Mango Ketchup
4 mango's
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
2 -3 pieces of Star Anise
2-3 dried Thai Chili Peppers
3 cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons curry
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon garlic minced

Equipment needed: Blender, spice/coffee grinder
Remove flesh from Mango's. I used a melon baller to scoop out flesh once mangoes were cut in half.Put in Blender.Place Star Anise, Cloves, Cardamom,Thai Chili Peppers,Ginger, curry and salt in grinder. Grind until a fine powder. Add to Blender. Add Brown Sugar, Vinegar, salt, and garlic. Blend until pureed. Add to sauce pan and bring to boil. Cover pan immediately.( Mixture is thick and will start to bubble). Simmer on lowered heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Mixture may caramelize on the bottom. Take off heat and add back to a clean blender. Mix once more to puree. Pour in containers and bottle. To last longer you can take additional canning measures to preserve, otherwise refrigerate and try to consume within the week or so. Its enough to fill a bottle.

Imagine what you can add this to! Grilled Chicken, turkey,sandwiches, meatballs, shrimp, fish, burgers,veggie burger, turkey burgers,fish sticks,onion rings,etc............
So bring your mad skillz to the event . Jen's away getting married so Ben's the Crown Prince this month.

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Oh Canada!

At last I'm home! I have the whole house to myself this weekend. I love my solitude. Both Certain Someone and I are only children and share this trait. By the way he was tickled pink with all of the comments about his culinary efforts in the previous post. He may actually become a monthly guest blogger.

Anyway I love Toronto! And I know I will love the the west coast and east coast of Canada as I start to visit more during the year. Not only did I work well with my colleague, who I think was separated at birth ( we are alike in many ways), but I got to meet the Man! Peter M. aka 'The Boner King'. A good Catholic educated girl is taught never to look down below and I had a peripheral view of a T shirt that I just quickly assumed was a Burger King T shirt.I though how very Anti Foodie. But we all clicked immediately and it finally dawned on me what his shirt said!. It was all in good fun. Peter brought his camera and I had my Blackberry camera. Unfortunately mine turned out like crap and I looked like a drunk hunchback leaning into the Boner King. We all had amazing conversation and spoke about food, blogging, food, travel. food, race/culture, food , politics, food,money, food,and more food! I could have stayed hours more with my colleague but work called. Until next time.

As for food in Toronto, from what little I saw it didn't disappoint. I love the diversity and strong Asian influence. My first meal was a Indonesian Bami Noodle dish with the most amazing fresh pepper sauce. It was at a fast food joint called called Rich Field Market. Amazing. My boss wanted to buy a jug of the sauce and vowed to recreate it. Then as chose to dine in the hotel at a pretty good Japanese Restaurant on the roof called Sagano. I started with a lychee and cherry based cocktail called a Tomokyoto and then went to a great Lychee Sake Martini.I love Lychee!
Then I was torn as to what to order. I settled on a Soft shell crab Maki roll. And then a appetizer portion of Chicken Yakitori. That totally used up my $50 per Diem but it was so worth it. I slept well after that.Upon departure I grabbed some Canadian specialties such as Ice wine( sample size packs) and of course 100 percent Maple Syrup and granules to play with in my baking endeavors. I will be back for sure.

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Certain Someone...Not A Guest Blogger

....Although he should be.Certain Someone was just to shy to blog today.To many times I think mates point out the negative more so than the positive. Its not that we don't appreciate our mates. But when they get under our skin we tell we world .For the most part Certain Someone and I have a stable relationship. In May we celebrate our 2 year anniversary. While I don't see a engagement ring eminently, he's content enough for me to be his partner( Euro Style) until we reach the old age home.Needless to say that doesn't sit well with a lot of 'in -laws' types.He knows my views and goals . My parents were divorced and at my age I haven't rushed into marriage, so why now.So what does this have to about food. Everything! One of my biggest joys is cooking,and cooking for him when he's home and our schedules permit. A lot of modern types don't understand and think I pamper him a bit to much. But its a mutual pampering society because he does more for me than I will reveal in this blog. Lets just say he's a patient , generous partner who has given me a enviable life.When the chips are down he's there.Plus he supports my efforts in all I do. But does he cook you ask? Rarely, but when he does it pretty damn good with his limited repertoire.

The above picture was what he whipped Sunday. We were both totally zonked out. It was one of those weekends we lived in Pajamas.I didn't even want to go to the store as we were both travelling in the week ( Canada for me, Sweden for him).Anyway he took these leftover ingredients and made us Pasta a la Certain Someone. I didn't have to lift a finger.Thick Spaghetti,Heavy Cream, Tomato Paste, A few strips of bacon, Onion,secret spices and herbs( curry , chili pepper namely), a lone pork chop, sun dried tomatoes, and spinach!

All cooked down to hearty , tasty meal. He channeled his poor student days and came up with a pasta dish better than what we get in a lot of restaurants. So I going to to try to praise more and appraciate the small gestures as well as the grand.

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Banana Chipolte Pineapple Tamales...Tamale Open

Banana Chipolte Pineapple Tamales! Yes that's what I came up with. I'm not a expert in Mexican food but I love this way of cooking. Sort of a meal in one. So why cant it be sweet. Most often we think of the tamale as savory and spicy. But one can envision so many sweet combos. My colleague M tells me of the best pineapple tamales. I haven't tasted one , but decided to play around. Oddly I got 6 tamales, where the proportions I cut down from the recipe for Masa (originally 16).Because I added sugar and extract that changed things. .So based on this I should have gotten 8-10 tamales. Perhaps next time I'll spread the mixture thinner. Also the leftover pineapple filling was made into a sauce with condensed milk. What you get is sort of steamed banana cake.The sauce makes it very sweet, so it can be omitted. But a nice cup of plain black coffee can balance that out.

Equipment needed:

A Steamer or some sort of large pot and steaming device.


1 1/2 cups of Maseca for Tamales

1/1/2 cups luke warm water

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup of shortening

1/2 teaspoon of Banana Creme extract from LoRAnne Oils*note this is more concentrated . If using regular extract use more.

1/2 cup natural cane sugar


10 oz dried pineapple

1 tablespoon rum or Malibu coconut flavored rum

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup natural cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon Chipolte powder

Banana Leaves (Whole Foods or frozen sections in Hispanic Markets)or corn husks

1/4 cup Condensed milk *optional for sauce

In a sauce pan combine pineapple,sugar,water, rum and Chipolte. Boil down until mostly reduced. The dried pineapple will be chunky still. Remove from heat and take a immersion blender to smooth out mixture to a paste like texture.Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients and add your water.A moist paste should from. Fluff up shortening in a separate bowl. Add Masa mixture, and extract. Blend to combine.

Take Banana leaves and spread Masa. Add filling down the middle.Fold over long ends, and then the short ends to make a square packet. Tie with Banana Leaf strips.Place in Steamer. Place Steamer on large pot of water and steam for approx 30 -45 minutes.

If you have leftover filling , take some condensed milk and combine over low heat. Some caramelised bits may form. Use immersion blender to smooth out.

All in all this took about 1 1/2 hours to prepare.But that's me . If you like Banana bread you'll love this . It can stand alone without the sauce.

So I hope this inspires you to enter the Tamale Open. Ben and I have a great Prize offering, so what are you waiting for?I even heard from a reader in the UK and shes giving it her all. So no excuses.

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Little Neck Clams And Squid Ink Pasta

This is such a easy and simple meal that packs in the drama and flavah! Kind of like moi!Certain Someone is away tonight and you know what that means. Little Neck clams were singing to me in the supermarket.Just the perfect topping to some black squid ink pasta I had laying around. I steamed my clams in Garlic,Vermouth, Water , and Butter. Boil the pasta. And toss with some of that lovely parsley sauce I made yesterday (Parsley, garlic, lemon, mint, olive oil pulverized in a blender) and more olive oil. Simple ,fast, fantastic.

Whats this about you ask? Well the Caked Crusader tagged me with this Six Word Memoir thing going around.That's me altered form picture taken in this incredible dive of a Chinese Restaurant in New York City's China Town. Forgot the name but its well known.Anyway the wall paper is actual money you post up and leave your initials for good fortune. I think the only people getting rich was them!Anyway the six words to describe me is what I captioned. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that!.The rules are your to tag 5 more people. I'm not going to directly because I feel they would whip my ass getting another Meme. Plus I owe some people some Memes. Sorry. So feel free to play along if you want. I like trying to narrow down my essence in six words.
Rules:1. Write your own six-word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog (and include a visual illustration if you’d like).
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
4. Tag five more blogs with links.
5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.
And before I hit the road again , I plan to cook up TAMALES this weekend. Don't forget. Its really fun and not as challenging as you may fear. Hint. I'm making mine spicy and sweet! That's kind of like me too.

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I'm Back..Tomato Stuffed with Tilapia with Roasted Cauliflower

I had a very busy and productive time in Ft.Lauderdale. The trade show I attended was devoted to 'The Americas' and had a strong Latin feel. Everyone looked so sleek and polished and spoke Spanish, French, Italian , and English.I was fortunate to get upgraded to a suite ( my absent bosses influence).Check out what was parked outside my balcony.
Our Distributor for the Caribbean took a group of us to a great restaurant called Michaels in the Design District of Miami. Outstanding! I took bad picks that I wont even post. But the menu was divided by small, medium, large, and extra large plates to share. I had a yellowtail tartar to start, a slow cooked pork shoulder with cheese grits,and tangerine pot de creme served with baklava on the side.This was a very popular place worthy of the fine reviews. My only beef was the slow service. But my dinner companions were animated and fun ,so it was no biggie. I love great conversation with people from other countries.We then wrapped up the evening at the club set up for the show attendees. Many a deal is done with a drink on the dance floor.I finally got away and made it to bed well past midnight to begin round two of meetings.
So arriving to a chilly wet Chicago made me long for warmer climes. Certain Someone wont move to the islands, so I can only dream. I see he had ate the 'smokey' butterscotch puddings he protested about. I decided to make fish for dinner as he was at work. At Michael's I had a side of roasted cauliflower in this wonderful sauce of oil and basil I think. The market was out of basil so I purchased mint and parsley. I had a head of cauliflower and tomatoes from the box last week begging to be used. I just pureed a bunch of parsley with some cloves of garlic,lemon juice,olive oil, sea salt,oregano, black pepper,and a few leaves of mint. It wasn't the one at Michael's but it was pretty good and packed with flavor. I seasoned and rolled my Tilapia fillets in hollowed out tomatoes. Oiled the pan . Then I added the cauliflowers florets and baked on a high temp of 450 degrees until finished. I also took the tomato pulp and lightly cooked it down with a squirt or two of tomato paste. The parsley sauce was artfully squirted through a bottle.
This was great light dinner loaded with flavor.

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A Lazy Saturday Meal

I'm getting ready to go to sunny Ft Lauderdale on a trip related to my new role in the company. I cant wait. Its only for a few days, but I worry about my Certain Someone. Normally he's away, not me. Then the following week I'm flying up to Toronto for some more work,and will get to meet Peter hopefully.Anyway Certain Someone and I were totally lazy and exhausted. We slept in but had some familial obligations and errands to run.Before we knew it half the day was gone. I was determined to make a meal revolving around some items that needed to be used quickly from this weeks organic vegetable box. My beets were getting soft and some onions were calling to be used. I got like 6 large onions . I immediately thought of caramelizing and cooking down four of them. I planned to toss them in a plain buttered linguine.I also peeled,cubed my beets and roasted them with a splash of oil, brown sugar, and balsamic. I planned to serve them along with some sliced cucumber and radish( in the box) and some feta cheese.I don't even think we need to dress this cold salad. Its so warm and lovely out today. I wasn't planning on a meat course, but Certain Someone requested the cheese breaded pork chops encore!For dessert I made a quick one from my newly delivered Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan. Yes Ive joined the cult following after the recent Daring Bakers exercise. She had a Real Butterscotch Pudding that caught my eye. I had all the fixings and Certains Someones fine single malt collection at my beck and call. Ssshhh. Don't tell. I used a wee dram of his Bowmore Mariner aged 15 years. I also topped it with buttered pecans.He raged afterwards and asked if I was nuts. From now one I'm regulated to Glenfiddich . At least he didn't take back the new burgundy Blackberry Curve he just bought me. He said he tasted the smokiness of the Bowmore and I should have used one not known for smokiness.Like I would know the difference!

Carmelized Onions and Rosemary
4 large onions
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
olive oil
1/4 sherry or brandy

Slice onions.In a large skillet add a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.Add onions and slowly brown, This should take a awhile.Add the rosemary.Stir occasionally do the onions don't stick and burn. About after 20 minutes add some sherry. Continue to slowly brown the onions as they wilt and turn translucent. Add the remaining sherry in stages to deglaze the pan.Season with salt and pepper. Onions should be golden brown in color.
You can toss with pasta, use in cheese tarts, add to meat,top with pizza, etc.

Real Butterscotch Pudding ,Baking From My Home To Yours ,by Dorie Greenspan
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 3/4 cups of milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter ,cut into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Scotch Whiskey,preferably a strong single malt
Whipped Cream and Buttered pecans optional.

Place brown sugar and water in sauce pan. Heat on medium and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Lower heat and and boil for 2 minutes.
ADD 1 1/2 cups of milk and cream and bring to a boil. The mixture will curdle .
While the milk is heating mix cornstarch and salt in a food processor.Put on a piece of wax paper and set aside. Add sugar and yolks to food processor and blend for 1 minute,Scrape down sides of bowl and add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk. Add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to blend. Very slowly pour in the hot liquid as the machine runs.Process and pour it all back into the sauce pan. Whisk until thickened. Do not boil. Scrape the pudding back into processor and add the scotch , vanilla, and butter. Pour pudding into ramekins and chill for at least 4 hours. Add plastic wrap to keep film from developing.

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Chicken,Fennel,Sun Dried Tomato Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Today is Day 2 of how I used my vegetable box.I decided to focus on fennel .I was stumped because I have only had fennel in salads. A Internet search pulled up the same types of recipes. I could have roasted it with and served it up with fish or chicken. Nah. I decided to use in a Chicken Pot Pie. Why Not? I had a really good chicken pot pie in the company cafeteria and wanted to do it my way. Rather than a short crust I decided to make a Buttermilk Biscuit crust( need to use that leftover buttermilk from the Daring Bakers Challenge). I figured Certain Someone may like this .Plus there would be leftovers as he and I towards the end of the week will be in opposite directions. While I'm sunning( working ) it up in sunny Florida he'll need some good leftovers to pull out.I decided to use Martha Stewart's Biscuit recipe for the buttermilk biscuit.The filling is my inspiration.It wasn't to thick , all the better to sop up the sauce with your biscuit crust!

Coco's Chicken,Fennel,Sun dried Tomato Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust


1 bulb of fennel sliced thin(remove tops).
3/4 cup of frozen peas
3 boneless chicken breasts cooked and cut into cubes( I cooked mine in ground sage, salt ,pepper, bay leaf and parsley.Save any liquid).
1 cup plain yogurt
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
9 sun dried tomatoes snipped into pieces
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of butter
Preheat oven to 375 .Mix chicken , sliced fennel,peas, and sun dried tomatoes in dish you are baking in.In a pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add flour. Mix like a roux until incorporated.Gradually add chicken broth while whisking. You should have a slightly thickened sauce. Add the yogurt and thoroughly mix.Pour over chicken and vegetables.Make Martha Stewart's Buttermilk Biscuit ( note I reduced this by half). Roll out a round of dough to top dish.You can add cut outs with the leftover. Brush the tops with Buttermilk and bake for approx 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Dont forget about Tamale Open!

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