Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sour Cream Waffles

These waffles are dead simple and absolutely delicious!  

5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar

1 cup  flour
1/2 tSP  salt

1 cup sour cream

4 tbls  butter, melted and cooled

vegetable oil or extra melted butter, for the waffle iron

berries and whipped cream optional.

Beat the eggs and sugar together for about 5 to 8 minutes. 

Combine the flour and salt. 
Add alternately into the batter half of the flour mixture. the sour cream, and finally the remaining flour mixture. 

Gently stir in the melted butter. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes before making waffles.

I recommend serving these with berries, but anything will be fine.

Monday, June 10, 2013

German French Toast with Applesauce

This recipe is pretty much just like I've always made French toast, and I'm quite amused that it is called German French Toast.  I serve my French toast with whatever people want.

3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 dash cinnamon, divided
Dash salt
3 tablespoons sugar
8 thickish slices of white bread
1 eight-ounce jar applesauce

In a small baking dish, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, dash cinnamon, and salt until well blended.  Mix together the remaining cinnamon and the sugar. Set aside.
Dip each roll or slice of bread in egg mixture long enough to get quite moist, but not overly soggy. 
Fry over medium heat until bread starts to brown. Turn over to brown the other side.
Heat the applesauce.
Serve the French toast topped with warm applesauce and butter on the side.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sally Lunn Bread

I first made Sally Lunn bread when we lived in Hong Kong in the early 80's.  I think that it was for a Thanksgiving dinner with lots of international friends at our house, or something like that.  I made it thinking that it was an old American recipe.  I thought that because I found the recipe in my 1953 Betty Crocker Cookbook.  But later I came to realize that it was a British recipe, though they don't have total claim to the recipe, as Sally Lunn was actually a French Huguenot, which would explain the bun's similarity to brioche.

In 1999 we took three of our daughters to England and while in Bath we discovered the Sally Lunn Bakery.  The day before we had visited the Jane Austen Museum, which was newly opened.  We had a delightful time there and chatted with a lot with the people running the museum.  It was possibly at their suggestion that we went to the Sally Lunn.  I'm not sure.  But anyway, when we went for tea and buns at the Sally Lunn our daughter Annie wore here Regency Dress which I had made for her.  She actually wore the dress the whole time we were in and around Bath.  So we were in the lovely second floor tea room of the Sally Lunn, sitting by the window and eating our lovely Sally Lunn buns and feeling very much like we were in a Jane Austen novel, when a young woman dressed in a beautiful Regency outfit came into the room, looked straight at us, walked towards us and said hello to us in a manner indicating she knew who we were.  Talk about feeling like being transported back in time.  We were thrilled.  It turned out to be one of the young ladies from the Jane Austen Museum.  She was there to pass out brochures to interest people in the museum.

In 2006, while on a garden tour with  my mother, I took her to the Sally Lunn Bakery.  She did not get it.  It was a very rainy day and it seemed a good thing to me to be sitting in a lovely tea room.  But anyway, this is a picture of my Sally Lunn bun when I had half eaten it.  I think my mother ordered tomato soup.  What looks like butter in the little cup is actually cream.  I ordered strawberry jam.  You can also get it with applesauce on top, which is also very good.

Sally Lunn Bread

14 oz flour, either all-purpose or bread
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 egg
1/4 cup water, or as needed

Combine the dry ingredients in a kitchenaid bowl.
Heat the milk, then add to butter to it to melt it.  This also cools it down a bit.
Put the milk, butter, egg, and water into the bowl and whip vigorously with the paddle blade.
It will not be a typical bread dough.  You wouldn't want to turn it out on to a board and knead it because it will be too sticky.  If it isn't sticky looking add a bit more water. 
Scrape the dough into a nice lump of dough and cover the bowl with a tea towel and let double in size.
This should take about an hour.

Butter generously a small tube pan, or whatever you have.  I found my 8 inch tube pans at Goodwill.  A not too big bundt pan should do.  You want the hole in the middle bit.  But then, the Sally Lunn buns are baked in a 2 inch high cake pan.

When the dough has risen, punch it down a bit, let rest a few minutes, and the get the dough into your pan of choice.  Let rise until double, then bake at 400 (?) degrees for about 30 minutes.

Let cool just a bit, then turn out and place on a plate, as the bread looks like a cake.

Left-over Sally Lunn bread is great toasted and topped with jam or applesauce.  This picture is not of my bread, and it's probably twice the size of the one I make, but it gives you a good idea of what you're making.  I'll get a picture of mine in here as soon as I get one.  Mine has a finer crumb and the top is smooth and rounded.

If you double the recipe it will go into a 10 inch tube pan and will cook for a longer time.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sunomono - sweet and sour cucumber salad

This has been a family favorite for a long time.  We first tasted it in Szechuan restaurants in Hong Kong.  A very small dish of it would be served along with deep fried peanuts and kimchee as an appetizer before your food arrived.  As soon as you sat down you would be given some of these things, like chips in a Mexican restaurant.  

The Complete Asian CookbookMy recipe is my own, as I can find none like it.  But I think I got my original idea form the Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon, which is my all time favorite Asian cookbook.  I got the book on a sale table at Swindon Book Co. in Hong Kong, one of my absolute favorite bookstores.  It's still located at 13-14 Lock Road, Tsimshtsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. When I would be going to have lunch in Hong Kong with Riley we would often meet at Swindon's.  Then in Portland when there was a very lovely bookstore called Scribner's in Pioneer Place we would say we would meet for lunch at Swindon's and we always knew that we meant Scribner's.


a cucumber, peeled, seeded and quartered lengthwise.

Take the strips, hold them together and cut them in quarter inch pieces by cutting on the diagonal.  Don't make thin slices, as that makes the salad all wibbly wobbly, and you want a nice cucumber crunch.

rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper

These last ingredients make the dressing.  The best thing is to make it to your own taste.  It's meant to be sweet, but not too sweet.  It's meant to be sour, but not too sour.  You need a pinch of salt, and a dash or two of pepper is always nice.  The salad tastes best if made fairly soon before serving.

You can add any extra ingredient you like to this salad.  I think that for my children the simplicity worked very well.  But for complexity you can add radishes, seaweed, sesames, bell pepper, scallions, ginger, etc, etc.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rhubarb Custard Pie

I love this pie. It always makes me happy to eat it. I'm not exactly precise about how much rhubarb goes into the pie because when you are at the store buying rhubarb you don't know exactly how much to buy and I'm not about to throw away any rhubarb.

2 discs of pie dough

approximately 4 cups of cut-up rhubarb

3 eggs
3 tablespoons milk or cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoons butter for dotting over the filling.
I tend to forget this from time to time.

Preheat the over to 375 degrees.
Get the rhubarb cut up and in a bowl.
In a smaller bowl combing the eggs, milk, sugar, flour, and nutmeg.
Pour the egg mixture over the rhubarb and gently stir to coat the rhubarb.
Roll out the first pie dough disc and place into a 9 inch pie plate.
Pour in the rhubarb mixture.
Dot with the butter if desired.
Roll out the second pie dough disc into more of a square than a circle and cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide.
Layer the strips over the pie in a woven fashion. I always start at the middle and work in alternate directions to the edge.
Bake until nicely browned and definitely rather bubbly. If it isn't bubbling it isn't done. This will be around 50-60 minutes. It takes just a little longer to cook than you might think.

Variation: Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Pie

Use equal parts of rhubarb and strawberries, and follow the recipe as above, but maybe using a little less sugar, as the strawberries are not sour.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day Bundt Cake

This is not my normal kind of cake, as I almost never use a cake mix. But I first tasted something like this at a family get-together, and I asked for the recipe. This is a modification, in honor of St Patrick's Day, and I only make it on St. Patrick's Day.

1 box yellow cake mix (I like Duncan Hines)
4 large eggs
1 small box instant pistachio pudding
some freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cream sherry

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour one large or two small bundt pan(s), or tube pan(s). As with most cakes it will cook in any kind of pan you like, you just have to watch the time.
Combine the cake mix and the pudding mix in a large bowl, and give it a good stir. Add all the remaining ingredients into the bowl and beat until nicely combined, but don't over beat. Pour into the pan(s) and bake about 50 minutes for the large bundt pan, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool a bit on a rack, and then turn out of the pan before it's completely cool. If you let it cool completely it becomes rather difficult to remove.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sour Cream Apple Pie

An apple orchard with Mount Hood
in the background.
This is an old time Oregon recipe.

1 pie shell, unbaked

3 cups apple slices
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
1 dash of salt
2 Tbls flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine and place into the pie shell.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.
Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until the apples are partially cooked.

Then combine:

1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

Pour over the partially cooked apple pie.
Reduce heat to 325 and bake until set.

French Pastry Cookies

Two Sisters, or on the Terrace, 1881  
by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
I don't know where this recipe came from, but it was in my recipe box and was hand written by someone other than me.  It looks very tasty.


2 cups flour
1 cup sour cream
1 cup butter, softened

Mix up the dough, divide into two balls, wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Roll out each dough into a circle and sprinkle with filling.
Cut into wedges and roll up like crescent rolls.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Rice Beef Stroganov

Portrait of Count Pavel Stroganov
Another old recipe. The card was written by Riley, and he put five stars at the top, so it must be good.

9 ounces of lean round steak, sliced thin and tossed in some flour.

Brown the meat, and then add:

2 cups water
1 package of onion soup mix
1/2 cup light cream
1/4 cup sherry
4 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup rice

 Cover and cook until the rice is done, about 20 minutes.

Eggplant Italiano

I haven't made this in years.  Found the recipe in an old recipe box.  It was one of my favorites in the past.  I got the recipe from Elli Patella, who was married to Denny.  Elli is Jewish and Denny is Italian, so I imagine she got the recipe from someone like her mother-in-law.

Marinera Sauce:

1 medium onion, chopped
1 pint of stewed tomatoes, mashed
salt, pepper, oregano, and sweet basil
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 eggplant, sliced
1 pound of mozzarella, sliced
Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil as lightly as possible.
Arrange the slices in a single layer in a large baking dish.
Bake in the oven while making the Marinera  sauce.
When sauce is ready, pour it over the eggplant, they layer the cheese on top, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.

note: if making for children, you can peel the eggplant.  Well you can peel it even if not making for children, if you like.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gramma’s Special Rolled Cookies

This recipe was originally a winner in the Pillsbury Bake-Off some time in the late 50s or early 60s. I’m not sure what exactly the first recipe was like, but then my Mom is not known for tweaking recipes, and I got the recipe from her.  This might be the only recipe I ever got from her.

These are just about my favourite cookies. The only cookies that might beat it out for first are the macaroons at Ladurree in Paris. But what could compete with that?

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (new addition to the recipe)

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup honey

ground almonds

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the zest and orange juice. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Divide the dough into about 3 blobs and wrap each with plastic wrap and form into flattened discs and chill for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the glaze by heating all the ingredients in a small sauce pan until the sugar melts. Roll out the dough to about 1/6 inch and cut with a cookie cutter. A crescent or moon is a very nice choice. Bake for about 7 minutes, until just golden brown. While the cookies are still warm, brush on the glaze and then liberally sprinkle on the almonds. Let the cookies cool and set.

You need to keep an eye on the baking cookies, as they can burn quickly, being so thin. Also, to apply the almonds I often just take the glazed cookie and turn it upside down on the dish of almonds to get a nice coating. Once the cookies are glazed, almonded, and cooled, they are sturdier.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chocolate Roulade

my Christmas cake
I got this recipe from a friend in Hong Kong, Chris Duggan. Her family went to our church, St. Andrews, and we went to a Bible study at their house. Brian, her husband, was an engineering professor at the University of Hong Kong. They were from Birmingham England. She is an excellent British cook. This recipe is not like any other chocolate roulade I've seen. I've made it as our buche to Noel for years. I once made one five feet long for a co-workers 50th birthday, which of course is nothing compared to the one pictured below.
6 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 ounces cocoa

4 ounces chocolate, like chocolate chips or bar
2 tablespoons liquid, like brandy

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Find a jelly roll pan, they seem to come in all sizes.
Grease the pan a little, then put in a piece of parchment paper that comes up over the edges of the pan.
Grease the paper lightly.

Beat the egg yolks and the sugar and vanilla until very light yellow.
Add the vanilla and the cocoa. This will make a rather stiff mixture.
Beat egg whites until stiff, but not too stiff.
Dump the egg whites into the bowl with the yolks and fold the two together.

Spread the batter into the pan, and bake for about 20 minutes. Because pans differ, time differs.
Not long after taking the cake out of the oven, lift up the cake by the paper onto a cooling rack. When the cake is sufficiently cooled sprinkle granulated sugar onto the cake (not too much) and then place a tea towel over the cake and carefully flip the cake over. The gently peel off the parchment paper.  The cake can rest for a while like this.

Assembling the cake

Whip the cream and the sugar until nice and stiff, but not so stiff it's almost butter.
Put the chocolate and the liquid into a glass dish and put into the microwave for a little while, not long. You can sneak up on it.  Don't get the chocolate too hot as it can solidify. Stir up the chocolate mixture until smooth and using the back of the spoon, spread the melted chocolate over the cake.
Using a frosting spatula spread some, but not all, of the cream over the chocolate. Then, using the tea towel as a help, roll up the cake and carefully get it onto a platter.  Don't worry about any cracks, as the whipped cream will cover them.  Put on the rest of the cream. I like to reserve some of the cream so that I can pipe it on the cake, like around the ends and along the sides.

For a special decoration I like to add chocolate leaves on the top.  You melt up a handful of  chocolate chips with a dab of shortening.  Then get come camellia leaves, wash and dry them, and gently apply some chocolate to the bottom of the leaf, using the back of a small spoon.  Place the leaves on a small plate and put into the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Then carefully remove the leaves and place on the cake.  Be as artistic as you like.