Thursday, December 24, 2009


Looks like chocolate doesn't it?! But it's not! It's roux! How does a Cajun make chili? First he starts with a roux.
This is going to be gumbo though. I cheated with the roux. When Drew down in Freeport/Lake Jackson told me that he used jarred roux...well, if it was good enough for a real life Cajun, then it's good enough for me. Besides, it saves an hour! I forgot to look for andouille, so just put some bacon grease in the bottom of my soup pot; added a cup of roux and a tablespoon of Penzey's seafood soup base. When it got hot, I whisked in a quart of water. The added chopped celery, bell pepper, and onion; along with some minced garlic. Don't forget the salt, pepper, and some kind of fire...I use a seasoning mix Sam's sister Linda makes. What else...Oh! Two bay leaves.
I added a couple of cooked chicken breasts that were hiding out in the freezer. Chopped them and threw them in the pot. Let that simmer an hour or so before adding the shrimp and sliced okra.
If you are not an okra fan, omit it. If you liked tomatoes, add some diced. A recipe is a guideline, not rocket science! Did you pay any attention to the shrimp in the above photo? It's Tony Chachere's...wild shrimp caught off the coast of Louisiana. Try very, very hard not to purchase Chinese shrimp.I made a pan of rice, then we sat down and ate...didn't get a photo of it 'plated.' This is going into the refrigerator for tomorrow's lunch. (I'm not cooking a big meal until Saturday when John and Brook may come in. I also put a couple of 1 quart freezer containers aside in the freezer for future meals.
While the gumbo was cooking, I did some more baking. Another of my New York style cheesecakes. I was excited to try my new glass-bottom springform pan. (More about that later.) The crust is a sweet pastry. Set aside 2/3 cup in the refrigerator and pat the remainder in the bottom of the pan.
Bake it, cool, spread the remaining dough around the sides.
Pour in the filling and bake.
Cool a bit, run a thin-blade knife around the perimeter and try to release the latch. Well, the latch released but the damn pan didn't. Sam had to help me get it open. Then I had to take a long blade knife to cut the cheesecake from the bottom. It stuck. This is the springform pan from hell! As good an idea as I thought the smooth glass bottom was...I won't be using this again. I was so ticked off that I forgot to take a photo. Tomorrow...

My other metal pan was (1) Made in Germany and
(2) was a thicker metal. This pan was (1) Made in Taiwan and (2) was so thin I thought it would bend when we were trying to get it to slide open enough to release the bottom. This is Norpro. Pass it by!
Faked you out with the chocolate look-a-like earlier, so here's the real thing. FUDGE!! Waiting on it to cool.
All cooled and sliced and missing a piece or two. whistle whistle whistle
The recipe can't be simpler. It came out of this cookbook.
The best recipes are the desserts, of course! German Sweet Chocolate Cake, Original Banana Pudding...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It Sold!'s gone. It's a bit melancholy, but I do not regret the decision AT ALL!

Yeah. It's the cookbook that came with my KitchenAid stand mixer. First stand mixer I've ever had having used that avocado green handheld mixer since 1971...the mixer that fell off the kitchen island, hit the ceramic tile floor, yet lived to mix it up another day. ;o)

This cookbook gave me renewed confidence in pie crust. Prior to the recipe in this book, my pie dough was hit or miss...miss most of the time. It was always a patched up leaking mess that was not the least bit flakey.

The book also has a delicious plain pound cake in it. I always bake it in two loaf pans. We eat on one and I wrap and freeze the other for dessert emergencies.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I haven't mentioned Christmas much. Without grandchildren...

But as members of the Longview H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group), we purchased toys for entrance to the annual Christmas party. I tried to think 'older' kids and purchased some board games and made three stockings. Next year I want to do better.

These are the toys left at the battered women's office in Longview Sunday. Unfortunately the director said that they have 87 children. Sigh. I wish that they could go out of business!

While in Longview, I went through a car wash...YES in the 4-Runner. Loved watching the red rag thingytwirling...
The pizza peel Sam made me WORKS!! On its sprinkle of cornmeal, the risen bread dough slid right into the oven onto the heated pizza stone. Yippee!!

While the oven was hot, I also baked Sam a mince pie.
But I have to admit it. I did cheat.
I don't like mince pie. Yes, you can still purchase NoneSuch mincemeat either in a jar or the dried stuff in a package. Mama said that her mother made mincemeat pies from scratch, but since she and I think my older brother, Junior, were the only two who ate it at our house, she started buying Mrs. Smith's frozen pies. First husband, Ron, liked them. So does Jonathan. Sam likes them too. Did you notice that this is just 'mince' pie? No meat in it. I still don't care for it.

LOOK what I purchased! A springform pan with a clear tempered glass bottom. Some people serve right off the pan bottom. I slide my cheesecake onto a serving plate. But the metal bottom to my old pan has a lip on it. This glass bottom is smooth. I am anxious to try it.

I don't know where this cookbook came from. I haven't used a single recipe in it. It's just taking up space on my shelf. Jonathan?
Charting Your Courses
Clipper Club Cookbook Fund
La Canada, California
Printed in North Hollywood CA by Pride Printing