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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Madam French

The Pear Tree Restaurant, in the little town of Bevier, Missouri, is a great place to eat. Not only are their onion rings delectable, but their salad is beyond delish! The presentation includes your salad being served on a chilled salad bowl, accompanied by a salad dressing server with three different homemade dressings to choose from. It's hard to decide which salad dressing to choose, so many people do as I do...mix them.  Also brought to your table for salads are bowls with blue cheese crumbles in one and the other homemade (amazing) croutons.  Oh, and they also bring you a drinking glass, but not with a drink inside...but stuffed full of crispy bread crackers. They are yummy too!  Are you full after the salad is served and state you don't think you can eat any of the main entree you just ordered?  Yes is the answer!  The salad dressings are known by their names around the area. You can buy them by the jar before you leave or purchase them locally.  You can also try to figure out the top-secret recipe...which I'm almost absolutely certain is under lock and key.  My sister, Debbie, shared this recipe for Madam French with me. The word is that it comes from her mother-in-law, Iva.  It is pretty darn close to the Madam French that The Pear Tree Restaurant (and now AJ's) serves to their customers.  

Madam French Salad Dressing
(Printable Copy)

1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 small onion, chopped

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Emulsify or whisk until combined .  Chill and serve.
I love my new Cuisinart Quick Prep Emulsifier!  My homemade salad dressings don't separate when stored and I'm getting creamier mixtures.  

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Steve's Breakfast Skillet

If you are are regular at My Kitchen Addictions you have probably figured out that my husband, Steve, is the breakfast guy!  My husband and I have a pretty regular routine on Saturday mornings and what I love most is that we are both in the kitchen together.  Steve is a creator of everything breakfast so you won't normally find him referring to a cookbook or recipe card.  If I have one complaint, and I shouldn't since he is treating me to breakfast, it is that he makes a mess and doesn't clean it up.  Here is Steve's Breakfast Skillet.  I can't promise you I got all the ingredients in the list, but I kept a pretty close eye on him this time by taking pictures so I could include this recipe on my blog.
Peel and cut potatoes into an oven-proof skillet after spraying with cooking oil. 
Chop onions.
Chop green peppers. 
Add onions and green peppers to pan with potatoes.  

Drizzle with olive oil.  
Add salt,pepper and pepper flakes.  

Cook until vegetables are cooked and slightly brown.  
Chop ham and add to pan.  

Cook mixture a little longer to warm ham.
Whisk eggs in separate bowl.
 Shred cheese.
Pour eggs over mixture in skillet. 

Don't stir. 
Top with cheese.  

Don't stir.

Printable Copy 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Three Layer Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Filling

When driving through Amish country this past Saturday, I noticed the strawberry plants are growing and blooming. Unfortunately, we lost our two-year old strawberry garden to a combination of two different intruders, deer and weeds.  I'll be counting on the Amish to supply me the strawberries I will need to make my jam and to preserve for the upcoming off-season months.  I need jam for my grandchildren (they love it) and for this cake!!

Recently, I made this Vanilla Cake w/Strawberry Frosting for our staff at school.  It was the beginning of testing season and our teachers deserved something sweet for all their efforts in preparing their students for the state assessments.  This is yet another recipe I've had tucked away on a piece of paper in my recipe box that I'm unaware who to give credit to.  If I would have known I would be a food blogger twenty-five years ago, I would have put the source on all my written recipe cards and papers.  Well, whoever created or shared this recipe with me...thank you!  It's amazing and a favorite of ours during strawberry season!
Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Filling
Cake batter...
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
7 large eggs
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup seedless strawberry jam, divided
1 1/2 cups strawberries (hulled, thinly sliced, divided)

2 - 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled 

1/2 cup strawberries (hulled, thinly sliced, divided)
1/3 cup seedless strawberry jam
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Prepare frosting first by beating cream cheese and butter in a large bowl.  Beat in sugar, then jam. Beat whipping cream in a separate bowl, until firm. Add strawberry jam and beat for 30 seconds.  Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least one hour.   

For cake batter, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans.  In bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla and beat well.  Add sour cream and beat for 1 minute.  Add flour mixture, in small amounts, blending after each addition.  Divide cake batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake each cake layer for 55-60 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans and let cool completely.  

For assembly, divide strawberry jam into two portions (1/3 cup each) and spoon one portion on top of each of two layers.  Spread jam to cover the top of each layer.  Then spread a generous amount of frosting over each layer covered with jam.  Add sliced strawberries, in a single layer to cover frosting on each cake.  Stack the two layers and top with final, untouched cake layer.  Frost sides and top of cake.  

For topping, arrange sliced strawberries on top of cake.  Slightly warm strawberry jam and drizzle on top and sides of frosted cake.  End with drizzles of melted chocolate.  Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.  Let set out at least 30 minutes before serving.  

Jackie's Notes:  
Remember to prepare the frosting first, as it needs to chill for a least an hour before frosting cake.  
I have made this cake with all-purpose flour and cake flour.  I prefer cake flour because it creates a more tender texture.  Both work fine though.  

There are so many steps in making this cake, so I took lots (and I mean lots) of pictures.  Here are some of my favorites....

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Pineapple Sheet Cake

Easter has come and gone and what a glorious day it was!  The day started with church and breakfast at our favorite local place... The Brick.  Then onward home to prepare some dishes for our family gathering at the farm lake for some fun, fellowship, great food by lots of good cooks and fishing.  I must not forget to mention the biggest event - The Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  One of the dishes I prepared to share was dessert.  My grandmother made this cake almost every Easter.  I will always remember the jelly beans on the top of her cake, so those were not left off of mine!  My daughter and I also made some sugar cookies to take for the kids.  They were not very pretty (see pictures at the end of this post.) ...we just were not into decorating on this particular day.  That was okay, though, because once I placed the container of cookies on the picnic table...they quickly disappeared.
Pineapple Sheet Cake
(Printable Copy)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour, sifted 3 times
2 eggs
pinch salt
1/2 cup oil
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
Spray a large cookie sheet (w/sides) generously with cooking spray.  Mix dry ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into prepared cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Begin preparing icing. Pour icing over hot cake when it comes out of oven.
Coconut Frosting
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 stick margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups coconut
jelly beans, optional
Mix evaporated milk, margarine and sugar in medium saucepan.  Heat, on low heat, to boiling.  Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 8 minutes.  Beat, with an electric mixer, until thickened.  Add chopped nuts and 1 cup coconut.  Spread onto hot cake.  Let cool.  Sprinkle remaining 1 cup coconut on top.  Optional:  add jelly beans to top of cake.
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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Traditional Easter Eggs and Marbleized

Today I colored Easter eggs, not once...but twice.  My kitchen was a mess, all day, to say the least. First, I colored eggs with my grandchildren and daughter-in-law.  This first round of coloring Easter eggs was a traditional event with Paas kits, glitter and stickers.  We always try something new each year.  Last year it was a crayons project...this year it was a hot glue adventure.  The crayon method worked a lot better, but it was so much fun trying a new way. We decided that coloring the eggs and adding stickers is best!
Traditional Eggs...

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Omelet

It was a Monday and a day unlike my regular school routine.  Time on my hands and the need to be domestic allowed me the chance to make a breakfast of my very own.  After all, it was just me and the kitchen, one of my favorite places to be.  An egg omelet was on my agenda!  Since eating healthier is at the top of my-to list, I decided to prepare a healthier omelet on this particular morning.  Did I have have the ingredients I needed though?  With what I had on hand, this is what became my Monday Omelet.

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