Monday, November 28, 2016

Ham and Goody's Lemon Tea Cakes

Beloved in Knoxville, these tea cakes (aka cookies) are delicious!


3 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated lemon rind

1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sift flour, baking powder, and soda into large bowl. Beat butter and sugar. Gradually add dry ingredients and lemon juice to sugar mixture. Chill dough for 1 hour. On a floured surfaced, roll half of the dough out to 1/8″ thickness. Cut out the cookies into desired shape. Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 7 – 9 minutes. Glaze Mix sugar and lemon juice together. Once cookies have cooled, top with glaze. Let set before eating. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ronnie grisanti's manicotti

1 package manicotti pasta, cooked,drained, cool
2 pounds beef
1/4 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can spinach, cooked, drained
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Romano cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups Grisanti's spaghetti sauce (recipe follows)
1 cup cheese sauce (Romano or Jarlsberg)

Boil Manicotti shells according to package directions. Drain and cool .

Saute first six ingredients. Crumbling meat. Remove from heat. 

Add spinach, eggs, Romano and bread crumbs. Stir until mixed.

Stuff meat mix into manicotti shells. Place in buttered casserole dish in a single layer. Top with spaghetti sauce. I use Grisanti's recipe. But you may use sauce with no meat. Top with cheese sauce. I make cheese sauce with a white cheese rather than yellow.

Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Simply Amazing Make Ahead French Toast Casserole

This recipe is a combination of several casserole recipes.  Easy to make the day before, leave in refrigerator overnight while all the ingredients blend in a heavenly fashion, add streusel mix and bake the next morning.  Your guests will be amazed and delighted.  Easily serves 12.

1 loaf Challah bread, cut into 1-inch cubes--you must use a substantial bread like Challah or Brioche.
         (Buy the bread in advance, cube and let sit out to get stale, 6-12 hours works great)  
8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs sugar
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cup whole mile
2/3 cup half-and-half (you can use all whole milk)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsps vanilla
Optional Streusal Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon
6 Tbs. cold butter, cut into very small chunks
1/2 cup+ Granny Smith Apple, peeled, sliced thinly, and cut into small chunks

Butter a 13 x 9 glass baking dish.  Place bread crumbs in baking dish.
In bowl of electric mixer outfitted with whisk attachment, beat softened cream cheese with sugar at medium speed till fluffy and well-combined.
Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
Add in milk/half-n-half, maple syrup and vanilla, beat until well combined.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the bread cubes in the baking dish, using a spoon, lightly lift the cubes so they are evenly coated with cream cheese mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  (At least 8 hours).
Take out of refrigerator for about 30 minutes prior to baking.

Preheat oven to 350
Make Streusal:  mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together in small bowl until well combined.  Add chunks of butter and blend with two forks or pastry blender until well combined.
Remove plastic wrap from bread pudding, ever so slightly, press top of bread down with fork or spoon just to get some of liquid cream cheese mixture to the surface.  Sprinkle with chopped apples and top with streusal.*
Bake 45-50 minutes until top is brown.  Serve with warm maple syrup.

* You can skip streusal and just sprinkle powder sugar over the top when you take it out of oven.  You could also add nuts or raisins to the top, or substitute berries for apples.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Roasted whole head of cauliflower

• 1 head cauliflower
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 lemon, zested and juiced
• 1 tablespoon cumin
• 1 tablespoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.

Remove any green leaves from the cauliflower and trim off the hard part of the base.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil with the lemon zest and juice, cumin, garlic powder, coriander, salt and pepper.

Use a brush or your hands to spread the marinade evenly over the head of cauliflower. (Any leftovermarinade can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days and used with meat, fish or other veggies.)

Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes.

Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges. Serve warm with fresh grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top. Works great as an appetizer or pair with a green salad.

Grilled Pork Chops with garlic

8 cloves garlic

pork chops, each weighing about 8 ounces

tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Juice of 1 lemon, at room temperature

tablespoon chopped parsley

Peel the garlic cloves, blanch them, and cut them in half. Make 4 small cuts in each side of the pork chops and insert half a garlic clove into each slit. Brush the chops with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Grill the chops for between 6 and 7 minutes over a hot fire. When the chops are cooked, set them aside briefly. Mix the lemon juice and chopped parsley together. Serve the pork with the garlic still inside, garnished with about 3/4 teaspoon of the parsley mixture on top of each chop.

Marley Pound Cake

Mike Marley, brother of my childhood friend Sandy Marley, gave me his grandmother's pound cake recipe. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

One pound of butter
4 cups of sugar

4 cups of swans down cake flour 10x

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

One teaspoon of lemon extract

One teaspoon of almond extract


1 can of pineapple in Juice

1 cup of brown sugar

Half cup of butter

One third cup pineapple juice

Combine butter and sugar together and beat until thoroughly mixed. Separate egg yolks from whites. Mix yolks with butter and sugar. Mixing extracts. Apart beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Mixing flour to Sugar egg mixture. Fold flour into sugar egg mixture. Fold in egg whites.

Grease and flour sides of pound cake pan. Combine brown sugar and a half cup of butter in saucepan and melt. Add pineapple juice. Cook until boiling. Pour brown sugar mixture into the bottom of the  pound cake pan . top with pineapples. Pour cake mixture on top of pineapples. Do not pour in all of the batter. Drop pan flat onto counter a couple of times to level next year. Cook until done. Approximately 55 minutes.

This recipe makes enough cake batter for one cake and 10 muffins. don't put all of mixture into cake pan or it will overflow when cooking.

Roasted sweet potatoes with pecans and spiced maple syrup

4-6 servings

2/3 cup roughly chopped pecans
3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into large dice
Salt and pepper

Grated orange rind
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 450 degrees F and arrange rack in the middle.
While oven heats, place pecans on a baking sheet to toast until they smell nutty and are slightly darker, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss to coat. Roast until golden brown and tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, stir in maple syrup, orange rind, and cayenne and let cook briefly, about 1 minute. Serve sweet potatoes with a drizzle of maple butter and a scattering of pecans.

Read more at:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Mini Tomato Tarts from Mississippi Magazine (February 2010)

I made these last night, and they were delicious. I made a few changes, of course. I think that you could go in a lot of directions with this recipe. You could use prosciutto, parmesean and basil for an Italian flavor, or spinach (squeezed dry), feta and oregano with grated lemon rind for a Greek flavor. How about chopped Spanish chorizo and manchego cheese for a Spanish take. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 (10 oz) can Ro-tel tomatoes (drained)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 3 oz. pkg. real bacon bits
1 cup shredded gruyere (I used extra sharp cheddar)
(1 finely minced green onion)
(1/8 tsp cayenne pepper)
(2 tbl fresh minced parsley)

3 (19 oz) pkgs. mini filo shells, thawed

Combine all filling ingredients. Fill the Phyllo shells and bake for 10-15 min.
Yield:  45 tarts

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cranberry nut bread

Made this tonight for the church bake sale and for all the family arriving next week. I tasted a sliver and it was delicious!


    • 2 cups fresh cranberries or 2 cups frozen cranberries, chopped
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 4 eggs
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oven to 350ยบ.
  2. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 × 4 1/2 × 2 1/2 inches or 9 × 5 × 3 inches.
  3. Mix cranberries, sugar, oil, milk, orange peel, vanilla and eggs in large bowl.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  5. Pour into pans.
  6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool 10 minutes.
  8. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans.
  9. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.
  10. Store tightly wrapped in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Greek style lemon potatoes from Epicurious

I made these last night to go with grilled lamb chops, and they are delicious!

  • 3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano. 
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Place the potatoes in a single layer in a 13-x-9-inch baking dish and pour the oil over them. Add the garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste and toss well to coat with the oil.
  • Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes. Add the stock, toss and bake for 10 minutes more. Add the lemon juice, toss and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If you like, preheat the broiler and broil the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Sprinkle with the fresh oregano and serve at once.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Smoked Salmon Mousse from Martha Stewart

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin, (from a 1/4-ounce envelope) 
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh dill, for garnish (optional)
  • Crackers or baguette slices, for serving  
  • Place 3 tablespoons cold water in a small saucepan, and sprinkle with gelatin; let soften, 5 minutes. Gently heat over low, stirring, just until gelatin dissolves; set aside. 

  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine salmon, sour cream, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth; season with salt. With motor running, add slightly cooled gelatin mixture, and blend until combined. 

  • Pour into two 8-ounce ramekins or bowls. Without touching surface, cover container with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm but spreadable, about 2 hours or up to overnight. Garnish mousse with dill, if desired, and serve with crackers or baguette slices.