Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fromage Forte - odds and ends cheese spread

We love cheese, and it's way too expensive to waste. I invented this to use up all those bits and pieces of cheese that accumulate in the fridge. After I "invented" this, I saw Jacques Pepin make almost the same thing! I stole the idea of adding brandy from Jacques. This will keep covered in the fridge for a couple more weeks.

Special equipment-food processor or blender

All your leftover cheese, trimmed of any mold and cut into chunks
1 small garlic clove
Splash of brandy and/ or a splash of white wine
Splash of worcertershire sauce
Good pinch of cayenne pepper

Start by grinding any of the hard cheeses, then add the garlic and other cheeses. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add more brandy or wine to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency.  Place in crocks, cover and refrigerate.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cinnamon sugar plum cake

This is a delicious, not too sweet cake. It would be great for breakfast or served warm with vanilla ice cream for dessert. The recipe is from

yield:Makes 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

  • 4-5 large plums (about 1 1/4 pounds), pitted, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, then lemon juice and lemon peel, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Press plum wedges halfway into batter in concentric circles, spacing slightly apart. Mix remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle 1/2 over plums. Bake until cake is browned on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Cut around cake; release pan sides. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

French 75 cocktail

  1. Pour the lemon juice, gin, and Cointreau into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled Champagne flute.
  4. Carefully fill with Champagne.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Papa's favorite burgers

I made these today with Papa Joe ( the Papa in the recipe title refers to Hemingway not Papa joe). They are fantastic--delicious and juicy.

Makes 7 big burgers


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 oz. sliced ham, minced
  • ⅓ cup dry red or white wine
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar
  • 2 tbsp. capers, drained
  • 2 tbsp. grated tart apple
  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp. ground sage
  • 1½ tsp. India relish
  • ½ tsp. Beau Monde seasoning ( I substituted season salt)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced garlic, minced
  • small scallions, minced
  • egg, beaten
  • plum tomato, cored, peeled, and grated
  • ½ small carrot, grated
  • ½ small yellow onion, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • ​Hamburger buns, lettuce, sliced tomato and onion, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, for serving


Mix ingredients, except for oil, buns, and condiments, in a bowl; form into four 6-oz. patties. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness, 8–10 minutes for medium rare. Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Peach Pie

I made this for Labor Day because peaches are just wonderful right now.

2 cups AP flour (White Lily preferably)
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup Crisco
4-6 tbl cold water

In food processor or bowl, mix flour and salt together.  Add crisco and cut in with fingers or processor til mixture resembles course meal.  Add 4 tbl of water down the feed tube with processor running. Process for a few seconds. Check mixture to see if it holds together. If not, add more water and repeat.  Make 2 disks of dough, 1 slightly bigger and wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour.
Roll out larger disk for bottom crust and line pie plate. Roll out smaller disk for top crust.


6 large peaches, peeled and sliced
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2-3 tbl corn starch (depending on how juicy the peaches are)
3 tbl butter
Mix all but butter together. Fill pastry lined pie dish, dot with butter, and top with pastry. If you wish, mix 1 egg with a tbl of water and brush the top of the pie crust.  Cut 4-5 slits in crust.

Bake at 425 for 1 hour.