The Friday Chef

A la carte

<< August 2017 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

If you want to be updated on this weblog Enter your email here:

rss feed

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Technical Difficulties- Please Stand By

No need to adjust your set.

I'm currently trying to return to the way my blog used to look, and the editing may take a while.

HTML, it is a bitch.

eta:  It's getting there!   I'm trying to find the code to enlarge the title for each entry, but other than that, I'm fairly happy with it.  It's nice going back to the classic Friday Chef look.  If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Posted at 08:57 am by ChefGrace
Care to Comment?  

Sunday, March 22, 2009
Prize-Winning Cookies!

Alex won second place in the Girl Scout Bakeoff yesterday and was very happy with the results. We worked on this for about a month before deciding which recipe we wanted to use. Here's the list of rejects:

  • Potato Chip Cookies~ I loved these, (Eden's recipe), but Alex didn't like the texture.
  • Mexican Wedding Cakes~ We love them, but thought they might be too boring.
  • Mexican Wedding Cakes with crystallized ginger~ the ginger didn't make these any more exciting.
  • Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cakes~ the cocoa made them slightly bitter.
  • Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cakes with extra sugar~ We were sick of wedding cakes at this point.
  • Brandy Snaps~ it was a humid day and the snaps turned soggy.
  • Molasses Cookie~ too... Christmas-ish
  • Triple Chocolate Cookies (made with semi-sweet and milk chocolate)~ now we're getting somewhere.
  • Banana chocolate chip~ Alex turned her nose at these.
  • S'more bars~ we ended up wanting to keep these for ourselves.
  • Triple Chocolate (made with bittersweet and white chocolate). Yes.

My friend, Patti, said they each look like Mr. Bill.  Oh nooooo!

Here's the recipe, which we adapted from Ellie Krieger's recipe on The Food Network:

Triple Chocolate Cookies

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mash together the butter and sugars with a fork until well combined. Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Mix in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and mix well. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

Posted at 08:42 pm by ChefGrace
Care to Comment?  

Friday, March 20, 2009
Potato and Apple Pancakes

This is a recipe I've had in my file for many years, and I used to make it all the time. I'd forgotten about it until last night, when I was rummaging through my file of side dishes. I clipped this recipe card from First magazine, some time in the early 90's. 

These tasty little cakes are really  more like hash browns than pancakes, and I typically serve them as a side dish for pork chops, but they go well with anything, as well as being great on their own as a light meal or breakfast. (Heh~ I just turned the card over and it said the same thing.)

Potato and Apple Pancakes

1 egg
2 Tbs.
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 apple (I think crisp apples, such as Granny Smith work best)
1 lb. potatoes, (about 3)
2 Tbs. oil
Sour cream, optional

Heat oven to 250 degrees F.  Beat together the egg, flour, salt and pepper.  Peel and chop the apple. Peel the potatoes and grate them.  Stir the apple and potatoes into the egg mixture.  Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large frying pan over medium to medium-high heat.  Once oil is hot, pour in about 1/2 cup of the batter for each pancake and flatten.  Fry as many pancakes as you can at a time without crowding.  Cook them until golden,  3-4 minutes per side.  Keep the pancakes warm in the oven while cooking the remainder.  Add the remaining oil as needed.  Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Posted at 10:47 am by ChefGrace
Care to Comment?  

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Fast Food- The Horror

I typically don't eat fast food more than once a week, but I swear, 90% of the time the order I receive from one of those places is incorrect.  I'm not sure if I'm just a bad-service magnet, or if this is a problem everywhere.  I can't tell you how often I have to swing back to the drive-thru or call the restaurant manager once I get home and find out they flubbed my order.  I always try to check the bag before leaving the window, but that's not always enough.  Plus, I sometimes forget.  Sue me.
I thought this blog would be a good place to document my horror stories, as a way of sharing my pain and as a big "EFF YOU, you stupid bastards" for ruining my, (or worse, my kids'), meals.

So, last week I went to my local Taco Bell and ordered a few things.  After receiving my order, I checked the bag, and it appeared that everything was there, but when I got home realized that the ONE THING I really wanted was not in the bag.  So, as typical, I speed-dialed them and told the manager how, yet again, they screwed up my order.  Now they OWE ME a Crunchwrap Supreme, damn it, but it's going to be another month before I'm craving one again.

Then, over the weekend I took the kids to Dairy Queen for lunch.  They've been begging me to take them there for weeks, and I finally caved.  Since I had a sick child with me, we did the drive-thru thing.  Big Mistake.  The cashier took my money, then handed me my bags, which I carefully checked,  then she handed me my drink, which was over-full and spilled all over my car door, me, and the center console.  I tried to grab some napkins, only to fine NONE in the bags.  Seriously??  I ordered a greasy-assed lunch for three and you can't give me a stinkin' napkin?!  I had to knock on the window to get their attention and then thrust the cup through the window and told them it was overflowing.  If the drink is pooling on the top of the lid, it's TOO FULL, people.  After getting my drink back, I drove away, then pulled over a few minutes later in a parking lot to open my sandwich, only to find they'd put "cheese" on it. 
Now, I specifically asked for "NO 'cheese' " when I ordered, and the order-taker even repeated it back for me, but did they follow through?  Hell no.  I had to go back to the DQ drive-thru and tell them that they messed up my hamburger, and tell them I wasn't pleased with the lack of service they'd given me.  I watched the girl take my hamburger past SIX employees who were standing around, goofing off, and push the sandwich back to the cook, while explaining what happened.  I then saw the manager ask her what was wrong, and after she explained it to him, he said, "oh", and continued to stand there, leaning against the counter.  He couldn't be bothered with something so trivial as an unhappy customer.

I kinda hate to admit that once I finally got the correct hamburger, it was very tasty.  We won't be going back to DQ anytime soon, though. 

Just a heads-up:  I've been craving Arby's Jalapeno Bites lately, which might require a trip there later this week.  That's a sure bet to give me some fodder for the blog.

Posted at 08:26 am by ChefGrace
Care to Comment?  

Friday, March 13, 2009
Food Friday- Banana Bars

I've been inspired recently to blog more regularly.  I have a few ideas for some  features I'd like to bring to these pages, but in the meantime, I thought I'd return to my blog roots and post something food-centric today.   It didn't take me long to decide what to post today, as I've had cookies on the brain lately. 

I've spent many hours this last month trying to perfect a Girl Scout bake-off recipe for my daughter.  She's only 9, so it needs to be an easy-to-make cookie, but should also be delicious and something more original that the standard chocolate chip or peanut butter varieties. 

I'll share the recipe we decided to make after the competition is over next weekend, (can't have any of those other moms stealing my recipe!).  In the meantime, I give you another amazing cookie recipe.  Technically, it's a bar cookie, which is the easiest of all to make, since you put all the dough in one pan and bake it all at once. This one is frosted, which only adds to their appeal. (Hah!)

Try it and let me know what you think!

Sour Cream-Banana Bars with Browned Butter Frosting
Source: Modified from Betty Crocker's Best of Baking
Makes 4 dozen bars

1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ½ cups (3 large) mashed bananas (go ahead and use up those black ones!)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 C. chocolate chips
Browned Butter Frosting (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour 9" X 13" pan.
Mix sugar, sour cream, margarine and eggs in large mixer howl on low speed, scraping howl occasionally, 1 minute. Beat in bananas and vanilla on low speed 30 seconds.

Beat in flour, salt and baking soda on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread dough in pan.

Bake until light brown  approximately 25  minutes. Cool:

Frost with Browned Butter Frosting. Cut into bars, about 2x1 1/2 inches.

1/3 cup margarine or butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
About 2 tablespoons milk

Heat margarine over medium heat until delicate brown. Mix in powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla and milk until smooth and of spreading consistency.

The original recipe calls for 1/2 C. nuts.  We like  chocolate chips in them better, but you do whatever floats your boat.

Posted at 01:29 pm by ChefGrace
Care to Comment?  

Previous Page Next Page