Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1885
Archive for February, 2013
Posted: February 28th, 2013

newlywedFirst things first: I’m looking for people to vote for their favorite local pizzeria with a survey box on GoErie. Just tell us your favorite pizza and what you like about it at http://www.goerie.com/pizza-survey/. It’s It’ll take you about 1 minute, and the more people we get to fill it out, the better our results will be. Speaking of results, you’ll see them Sunday, March 10 in the Living section.

Second: I’m moving Book-drawing Wednesday to Book-Drawing Thursday. Due to a bunch of other stuff I have to do on Wednesdays, I can’t get to it. Thursdays should be a little easier.

Third: Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Flavors of Belize.” The winner is Patrice Kocher. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

Fourth: If you are not Patrice Kocher, you are eligible to enter the drawing for “The Newlywed Cookbook,” by Robin Miller It’s a playfully designed tome of recipes that don’t call for anything exotic and would make a great base of popular foods for new cooks to try. This isn’t to say the recipes are boring. They all look great, especially Deep-Dish Pizza, recipe follows. One nice feature is a list of the equipment you need to make the recipe, which I never think about until I’m halfway through the recipe.
To enter, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com and include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS, and NAME OF THE BOOK you want. I’ll draw from my electronic hat next Thursday morning.

Fifth, and most important: The aforementioned Deep-Dish Pizza, from “The Newlywed Cookbook.”

DEEP-DISH PIZZAS (I’m adapting this to include store-bought refrigerator pizza crust. The book explains how to make your own, and tou can make your own with any pizza crust recipe, some of which might include a bread-maker to deal with the dough.)
1. Press dough into the bottom of 2 9-inch round cake pans that have been coated with nonstick spray. Set aside for 20 minutes. (For a thinner crust, top and bake right away to prevent the dough from rising again.)
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
3. In a small bowl, combine diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. mix well. Top pizza dough with an even layer of mozzarella cheese. Top with tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese (and additional mozzarella cheese if desired).
4. Bake pizzas 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are golden and begin to pull slightly away from the sides of pan. Cool Slightly before slicing.
– adapted from “The Newlywed Cookbook,” by Robin Miller

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 25th, 2013

Parents.com offered this up as a simple dinner. I'll bite.

Parents.com offered this up as a simple dinner. I’ll bite.

OK, I have two reservations about this Enchilada Casserole from www.Parents.com: First, it’s designed for a slow cooker, and takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours to make. That’s pretty awkward for most of the dinner times in my life. Too long to cook after work, not long enough to cook during work.
My other reservation is that maybe it’s not innovative or fancy enough for a food writer to spend time on. It’s just so, well, simple.
So, I sloughed it off of the short list for today’s post.
Then something interesting happened: I didn’t just recycle the printout. I folded it up and put it in my purse, so I could make it at home, maybe on Saturday. John would love it. And, it was so, well, simple.
It occurred to me that maybe the recipes I’m taking home might be the ones I should be sharing, rather than the ones that are more sophisticated or something.
You can always soup it up yourself, say, by adding any of the following: roasted bell peppers, roasted grape tomatoes, a teaspoon of chili powder, black beans, cilantro (at the end), a squeeze from half a lime.
So, I know it’s Monday and it might be a few days before we get to use it. But I’m not going to kick this to the curb. It looks cheaper and easier than making, er, reservations.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 22nd, 2013

Betty Crocker brings us mini-pies for "Life of Pi."

Betty Crocker brings us mini-pies for “Life of Pi.”

Anyone looking for a delightful dish to your next party — especially an Oscar party — look here.
Impossibly Easy Salted Caramel Apple Mini Pies will win you oohs and aahs, starting with yourself on account of the fact that when you make them, you’ll feel like a genius.
They’d be perfect for the Oscar party, since they’re little “pies,” as in “Life of Pi.”
Not only is this a play on words, it works literally, too, putting you one step closer to a pie-centered life. And who doesn’t want that?
Talk about mixing your spiritual beliefs. (For those to whom that makes no sense, the main character in “Life of Pi” mixes his spiritual beliefs.)
Since we’re on the subject of “Life of Pi,” I’m reading the book. Well, trudging through the book. I hear this might be one instance when the movie is actually better, at least I hope so. I’m halfway through it, and still looking for a reason to care about the main character. Exactly three things have happened, and I find myself wondering where this story is going. So far it seems like the author got a snootful of incense or something.
Sorry. Got a little sidetracked.
Try the pies — and watch out for hungry tigers.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 20th, 2013

BelizeThanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Breakfast for Dinner,” by Lindsay Landis & Taylor Hackbarth. The winner is Diane Wisinski. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Diane Wisinski, you are eligible to enter the drawing for “Flavors of Belize: The Cookbook,” a focus on its “ancient history, diverse culture and exotic cuisine.”
It’s a beautiful hard-back book with rich-looking photos. It’s a textile experience, featuring paper of a thickness almost nobody uses anymore.
The recipes are the stars, though, each relatively simple, but definitely a walk on the wild side. A lot of soups, seafood and breads seasoned to the hilt. Some ingredients will be hard to find, I admit, but it’s a user-friendly and somehow also elegant look at a culture few of us know well.
To enter the drawing, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com, including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK.

It’s been a while since I had a loaf in Loaves & Dishes, so here you go:

6 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon lemon or lime zest
5 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon yellow coloring
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 teaspoons sugar

1. Grease 4 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pans.
2. Mix all ingredients, except 4 tablespoons butter and 4 teaspoons sugar and knead 10 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
3. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Grease top and sides of dough with shortening. Cover and let it rise for about 1 hour.
4. Punch down and knead lightly, cover, let rise again for about 1 hour.
5. Punch down again, divide dough to fit baking pans. Place in loaf pans and let rise for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
6. Lightly score, brush with butter and sprinkle with white sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Makes 4 loaves
– “Flavors of Belize, The Cookbook”

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 19th, 2013

George Duran's recipe for Fiery Tomato-Basil Macaroni and Cheese will make its way into my favorite naughty foods list.

George Duran’s recipe for Fiery Tomato-Basil Macaroni and Cheese will make its way into my favorite naughty foods list.

For those who think macaroni and cheese is just what we feed the kids when we eat adult food, think about this.
While Food Network Chef George Duran, host of TLC’s “The Ultimate Cake Off,” recently hawked a caldero pan on HSN that does, actually look pretty cool he offered an irresistable recipe that might have made me buy the thing.
But you don’t really need a caldero to make it.
Some might argue there are significant differences, but I’m pretty sure you can get by with any oven-safe Dutch oven or even a casserole, when making Duran’s grown-up version of this Lenten-meal-soul-food-comfort-food-iconic-American-food.
I’m trying to figure out how to convert to catholicism in order to have an excuse to make it.

1 pound macaroni (elbow)
Kosher salt
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 cup packed fresh basil, chopped
1 stick butter
½ cup flour
5 cups whole milk
4 cups sharp cheddar, grated
For Topping
1 1/2 cup Italian Style breadcrumbs
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Basil leaves for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil and add salt to taste. Then, add macaroni and stir gently allowing it boil for about 7 minutes until “al dente”. Remove from heat and drain well and place in an extra large bowl.
3. Add both cans of diced tomatoes and chopped basil and mix with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
4. For béchamel sauce start by making a roux in a medium stock pot. Melt butter under medium heat and whisk in flour. Keep whisking for under medium heat until roux is browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add 2 teasponons salt. Gently whisk in the milk until properly combined. Constantly whisk the sauce until it thickens and begins to simmer, about 10 to 12 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and add 4 cups of cheddar. Gently mix it with a rubber spatula until completely melted.
6. Combine cheese sauce and macaroni and pour into a caldero (cast iron pot or Dutch oven, or oven-safe saucepan). Make topping by combining all of the ingredients and spread it evenly on top of mac and cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes until top is golden brown.
Serve and garnish with basil.
– George Duran

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 14th, 2013


Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Cloe’s Vegan Desserts,” by Chloe Coscarelli. The winner is Linda Towle. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Linda Towle, you are eligible to enter the drawing for Breakfast for Dinner, by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth. The book features fritattas, Huevos Rancheros, egg burgers, chicken and waffles and just about anything else you can do with breakfast foods in the evening — or in the morning for that matter. It’s very difficult for me to give this book away, frankly. But I’m about out of room on my desk and I need to share the wealth.

To enter, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com Please include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK you want. I do not store or share this information.

Normally I’d give you a recipe from the Breakfast for Dinner book, but, in case you haven’t noticed, today is all about chocolate.

If you don’t have anyone to celebrate V-Day with, and even if you do, you can (and I want to) make these chocolate truffles, which should be all the company you need. Pair them with a nicely balanced red wine, and you’ve got yourself a sure thing.

1 cup heavy whipping cream
12 ounces dark chocolate (containing 60% to 72% cocoa solids(, chopped finely
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/16 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon dark rum, almond oil, peppermint oil, and orange oil
1/2 cup each: finely crushed hard mint candies, unsweetened shredded coconut, and finely chopped almonds in separate bowls
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Pot the cream into a medium saucepan and stir slowly over medium-low heat to just a simmer, being careful not to let it boil.
2. Combine the chopped chocolate, butter, and salt into a large bowl. Remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap.
3. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for 1 minute, then uncover and slowly stir with a spatula until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.
4. Divide the melted chocolate evenly among 4 small bowls. Add the dark run to the first bowl, the orange oil to the second, the almond oil to the third and the peppermint oil to the fourth. Cover each bowl loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
5. Using a melon baller, small ice cream scoop, or teaspoon, scoop the chilled chocolate into 1-teaspoon portions. Quickly roll each portion of chocolate between the palms of your hand to achieve a somewhat round ball.
6. Gently roll each chocolate ball in one of the four separate bowls filled with the cocoa power, mint candies, shredded coconut, and toasted almonds.
7. Transfer the coated truffles to a parchment paper-lined plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, approximately 30 minutes. Remove truffles from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.
Note: Enjoy a little heat with your chocolate? Try stirring in some ground cayenne pepper with some melted chocolate. Whoa! Spicy.
Makes 40 truffles, 10 of each flavor

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 12th, 2013

mardi-gras-maskFirst off, no these don’t have any nutritional value at all, unless you’re part of the 1 percent of the American population trying to gain weight, which would include my underweight son.
The kid won’t eat much, but pancakes and chocolate are right up his alley. He had a friend over last weekend and I was looking to try something fun and sweet to keep them busy for 15 minutes or so. I made them little and let them pick them up with their hands to eat them like taco shells.
You might consider me crazy for letting them down all that sugar. But like I said, it was an attempt to get the boys to eat something, anything. I also served apple slices, by the way.
You might think I’m trying harder to justify this extravagance to myself than I am to you, dear reader, and you’d be absolutely right.
Well, anyway, it’s a week for pancakes. Today is shrove Tuesday, after all, and meatless Fridays are upon us. If you’re feeling a little extravagant or indulgence or even dessert, try them. Maybe you can get your kids to help you. My son and his friend were busy playing video games, though.
OK! I know I’m a terrible mother!!
But, I assure you, they were delicious. So much so, I’m not sure even now just whom I made them for.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, egg yolks, and vanilla.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. The batter will still be slightly lumpy and that is okay. You don’t want to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites in a clean metal or glass bowl until they hold soft peaks.
4. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter.
5. Drop batter by 1/4 cup fulls onto pre-heated and lightly buttered griddle.
Serve warm.
Makes about 18 4-inch pancakes
– Joy of Cooking

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 7th, 2013

chloeThanks to everyone who wrote in for the drawing of “500 Paleo Recipes,” by Dana Carpender. The winner is Theresa Perry. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Theresa Perry, you are eligible to enter the drawing for “Chloe’s Vegan Desserts,” by Chloe Coscarelli, winner of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.”
Every recipe in the book looked good enough to feature, and I didn’t see many that called for weird ingredients. I especially want to try the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Mojito Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pecan Bars, and Hot-Fudge-on-the-Bottom Cake, recipe follows.

To enter the drawing for the book, send an e-mail tomailto:jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK you want. I do not share or save this information.

In the meantime, file this away for Valentine’s Day. It would make a great date all by itself:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup soy, almond or rice milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups boiling water

1. To make the cake layer: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and 8-inch square cake pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together nondairy “milk,” oil and vanilla.
3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
4. To make the fudge layer: In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, sugar, and cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture over the cake batter in pan. Slowly pour boiling water evenly over the batter. Do not stir.
5. Bake 45 minutes. Let cool 25 minutes before serving.
“Chloe’s Vegan Desserts,” by Chloe Coscarelli

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 4th, 2013

Chicken in Dill Mustard Sauce, from www.epicurious.com, is reason enough to find a butcher.

Chicken in Dill Mustard Sauce, from www.epicurious.com, is reason enough to find a butcher.

Some people like Beyonce’s legs. Other people like the leg lamp in “The Christmas Story.” My infatuation with chicken legs grows deeper with every meal.
This recipe, for Chicken in Dill Mustard Sauce caught my eye, and dragged it.
I’m still learning where and how to find chicken pieces that aren’t boneless, skinless breasts, which I have banished from my kitchen indefinitely.
Supermarkets just have a smattering of cuts, and I think it might be time to try a local butcher who can give me just what I want.
Despite its value to anyone who calls themselves a cook, I’ve resisted this kind of shopping — specialist to specialist — because getting to more than one food purveyor in a given week seems simply impossible.
Butcher visits, however, are climbing up my list of priorities, especially when I find recipes like these.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 1st, 2013

I know I already posted today, but I just got this in and I have to use it now or never!

If you watch the Super Bowl, or any championship game in sports for that matter, you’ll notice that nearly every play is the first time something has ever happened in the Super Bowl: Lowest number of yards in the rain, fewest passes caught over the right shoulder, most boiled eggs eaten by an offensive lineman as a pregame snack.
Frankly, it gets a little old.

But here are some stats that are much more interesting, from the Calorie Control Council and Snack Food Association:

Americans will eat 30 million pounds of snacks on the big game day.

That breaks down to
11.2 million pounds of potato chips,
8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips,
4.3 million pounds of pretzels,
3.8 million pounds of popcorn and
2.5 million pounds of nuts.

The average fan will consume 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacking alone.
Potato chips will account for 27 billion calories and 1.8 billion grams of fat. That’s four million pounds of fat, equal to the weight of 13,000 National Football League (NFL) offensive linemen at 300 pounds each.

My co-worker asked me if that was per person. I want to go to his house.

Posted in: Uncategorized

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