Monday, October 25, 2010

Marble Chiffon Cake

My grandmother, Ann was known for her chiffon cakes.  Each year for our birthdays, she would make us on.  Mine was either Chocolate or Chocolate Cherry Chiffon.  My sister's was always Maraschino Cherry Chiffon.  As my grandmother aged, she stopped making these great cakes.  After she passed, I made sure that I got the recipes.  And now I will continue on with another of her traditions.
Marble Chiffon Cake

1.  Mix the ingredients below and stir until smooth and cooled to room temperature.
¼        cup cocoa
¼        cup sugar
¼        cup boiling water
¼        teaspoon red teaspoon

2.  In another bowl sift together the dry ingredients below.  

2 ¼     cup cake flour
1 ½     cup sugar
3          teaspoons baking powder
1          teaspoon salt

3.  Make well in the flour mixture and add the following:

½        cup vegetable oil
5          unbeaten egg yolks
¾        cup cold water
2          teaspoons vanilla

4.  In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks.

7          egg whites
½        teaspoon cream of tartar
5.  Place ½ batter in a bowl and add cocoa mixture.  Fold in ½ whites.  Add alternately to greased and floured tube pan.

6.  Bake 55 minutes at 325˚ and increase temperature to 350˚ and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.  Invert and cool.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I made this marinade for shish-kabobs that we made for my dad's 65th birthday party.  It works well with both beef and chicken.  Our family has long used beef tenderloin when making the kabobs.  This marinade imparted just enough flavor so as not to overpower.  If one flavor appeals to you more than another, feel free to adjust.  That is the great thing about cooking!


1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/2 seasoned salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dry parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons mined garlic
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup honey (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE)
2 small green onions; chopped

1. Put all ingredients into blender (except green onions).  Blend for 30-40 seconds. Add green onions.  This marinade makes about 3 1/2 cups. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed jar for up to 3 weeks.

Note:  Marinate beef, pork, or lamb for 8-24 hours, chicken for up to 8 hours.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Country Brunch Skillet

This easy to create breakfast dish was perfect for a weekend at the cabin. Our friend, Linda, was up for the perfect fall weekend.  The colors were gorgeous and weather couldn't have been better.  What a great start to the perfect day!
Country Brunch Skillet

6  bacon, strips
6  cups hash brown potatoes, frozen, cubed
¾ cup green bell peppers, chopped
½ cup onions, chopped
1  teaspoon salt
    pepper to taste
6  each eggs
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1.  In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon, crumble and set aside. 
2.  Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings.  Add potatoes, green pepper, onion, salt and pepper to drippings; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
3.  Cover and cook, stirring potatoes until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. 
4.  Make size wells in potato mixture; break one egg into each well.  Cover and cook on low heat until eggs are completely set.  Sprinkle with cheese and bacon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Irish Potato Leek Soup

On our recent trip to the farmer's market in Wheaton, IL, I ran across the nicest leeks.  Since the weather is changing and a nice warm bowl of soup was in order, I made the Irish Potato Leek Soup found below.  I did use a combination of red and white potatoes.
Irish Potato Leek Soup
2   teaspoons vegetable oil
2   cups leeks, chopped
2   stalks celery, diced
1   small onion, diced
2   cloves garlic, minced
4   medium potatoes, coarsely chopped
4   cups vegetable stock or 4 cups water
1   teaspoon salt
1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2  teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2  cups light cream
2   teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
2   teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
2   teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped

1.  In large pan, heat the oil and add the leeks, celery, onion and garlic.
2.  Saute over medium heat, until the vegetables are soft.
3.  Stir in the vegetable stock or water, potatoes, salt, pepper& thyme; bring to a boil.
4.  Simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced 
with a fork.
5.  Add the cream and herbs and return to a light simmer, stirring occasionally.
6.  Remove the soup from the heat and let sit a few minutes before serving.
7.  Serve with warm bread.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Great Weekend in Chicago!

Two weeks ago I was able to spend some great quality time with my family in Chicago.  Our day starting early on a gorgeous, sunny Saturday morning.  We had plans to visit a great farmers market in Wheaton, Il. and then some shopping in the quaint town of Naperville.

My aunt, Mariann, who is known to most on this blog as Mee-nor picked us up and our day began.  Naturally, Starbuck's was the first stop on our journey.  Once we got into Wheaton and to the market, I was pretty impressed.  In my opinion the market was better than the one in downtown Chicago that I previously blogged about.

There were many vendors specializing mainly in food items.  The market specialized in foods, including produce, fruits, canned goods and artisan created goods.  One of the highlights of the market were the different vendors offering baked goods.  I have never seen so many different breads, cakes, and rolls in one area.  One gentleman was selling canned vegetables.  If you ever have the chance and you are canning pickles or beets, add some horseradish to them.  Just enough to make you think..hmmmm!
Below are my mom (in green), Aunt Mariann/Mee-nor (in beige), sister Michelle (in pink)

What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Sampling goods and enjoying the simplest of treasures!  If you have the chance, you should try to visit one soon.  You will be surprised at how much you will enjoy yourself!