Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Lemon Armpit Chicken – the easiest, most delicious dish your guests will love

January 7, 2012

Chicken with Garlic, Lemon, Rosemary*

Serves 4 (inspired by The New Basics by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins)

Pyrex baking panFoilHeat oven to 350
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 heads garlic (or 1 tsp pre-minced garlic)
  • 2 tbp olive oil (or more, depending on mood)
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 or 1½ tsp dried rosemary (or fresh, and pick out of teeth)
  • 2 lemons (1 cut into eighths, 1 sliced into slices)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 c chicken broth (use remaining amount in cous-cous, ideal sidedish)
  • 4 chicken breasts (boned, skinned)
  • salt, pepper


Place butter, garlic, oil, tarragon, rosemary, eighth-sized lemon pieces, broth and onion in pan and place in oven (allows butter to melt).

Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry, roll in plate over shakes of salt and pepper, re-shake alt and pepper on plate before each breast is rolled.

Place chicken in pan, add lemon slices on top of each breast, cover pan with foil.

Cook 60 minutes, with basting every 15 minutes.

After 3rd basting, heat leftover broth, water and butter (or oil) to make cous-cous with dried parsley. (cous-cous sold separately)

Serve with fresh sprigs of parsley – very satisfying.

(plus reheats very well the next day)


* Affectionately called “Lemon Armpit Chicken” when prepared with chicken breasts with wings on the bone. Tuck a lemon slice in each armpit for extra taste!

@JenniferReese Making at home vs. store bought: Fudge, Mock Apple Pie, Marshmallows

December 17, 2011

Listening to Jennifer Reese being interviewed on NPR recently inspired me to share some of my own beloved and unique family recipes. Reese is the author of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, “a chronicle of [her] trial-and-error odyssey to figure out which foods are worth the effort of making yourself, and which foods you should just buy right off the grocery shelf.” There is a link to the interview, and a copy of her “surprisingly simple make-your-own-marshmallow process” at the bottom of this post.

For my recipes, if you have never tried Faux Apple Pie or Velveeta Fudge, you are in for a treat! My grandparents have generously offered to share these Evans’ signature recipes with Three Point Spark readers. They are delicious and fun to surprise guests with – “you made this from what?!” Enjoy!



from the kitchen/culinary laboratory of CC & TCF Evans, 2011


Unbaked pie shells for a double-crust pie

2-1/2 cups white sugar

3-12 cups water

5 teaspoons cream of tartar

50 Ritz Crackers

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter

Boil the white sugar, water and cream of tartar for 8 minutes without stirring.

Drop in whole Ritz Crackers (one for each state of the Union).

Continue boiling for 2 minutes without stirring.

Remove from stove and allow to cool while making the pie crust.

Gently spoon cracker mixture into unbaked pie shell, being careful that   some of the crackers should hold their shape.

Mix brown sugar and spices and sprinkle over cracker mixture.

Dot with butter.  Add top crust and vent (slash or prick) and bake for 20 minutes in preheated 450 degree oven.



from the kitchen/culinary laboratory of CC & TCF Evans, 2011

To a 3-quart microwave-safe mixing bowl, add ¾ lbs. cubed Velveeta Cheese plus 2 sticks Parkay Margarine plus 6 squares Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate plus 2 Tablespoons corn syrup.

Heat in microwave on defrost setting for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently to melt the chocolate and blend all ingredients, and returning to the microwave as necessary.  Remove blended ingredients from microwave.

Add gradually with stirring, 2 pounds Powdered Sugar; then 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Grease a 7 x 10 inch pan and line with waxed paper.  Pour mixture into pan and smooth surface with a spatula.

Refrigerate 2 hours, cut into squares.  Candy may be kept at room temperature.

NPR interview with author/food explorer Jennifer Reese:

Marshmallows (a la Jenner Reese)

Like most Americans, I grew up thinking a marshmallow was a stiff, eraser-like confection, nominally edible, used in school construction projects involving toothpicks or dropped in hot chocolate. Neither candy nor cookie, a marshmallow was a gummy droid, entirely artificial and not all that enticing. My kids used to eat them only when there was nothing sweet left in the cupboard except raisins. To concoct a marshmallow at home seemed impossible. And to concoct at home a marshmallow that resembles a Kraft Jet-Puffed may be impossible.

After you have tasted a sugar-white homemade marshmallow you will not care. Homemade marshmallows are fairy food, pillowy, quivering and soft.

Make it or buy it? Make it.

Hassle: Negligible, provided you have a mixer (a hand-held mixer is fine if you’re strong and patient) and a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, buy one. Cheap and useful.

Cost comparison: The most basic homemade marshmallow costs 10 cents. Kraft Jet- Puffed marshmallows: 4 cents apiece. On the other hand, high-end marshmallows like the Whole Foods brand: 50 cents.

Makes 36 marshmallows

Three 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

2 egg whites

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a tiny saucepan, over low heat, dissolve the gelatin in 7 tablespoons of water. It will be pale beige and viscous. Turn off the heat.

In a larger saucepan, heat the granulated sugar and corn syrup with 1/2 cup water.

Bring to a boil, stirring until dissolved. Let it boil until it registers 265 F on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer, begin whisking the egg whites. Beat until firm and glossy. As soon as the sugar syrup registers 265 F, begin pouring it in a slow steady stream into the egg whites, beating constantly. Add the gelatin and continue beating. When you start, the hot liquid will slosh around the bowl and you will think it is hopeless; by the time you are done, the mixture will have swollen into a luxuriant white cloud. Whisk until the bowl is cool to the touch.

Whisk in the vanilla.

Lightly grease a rimmed cookie sheet. Mix together the cornstarch and confectioner’s sugar and sift half onto the cookie sheet. You want a really generous bed of powder. On top of this, spread the marshmallow and smooth the top. Let sit overnight.

In the morning, cut the marshmallows into 36 pieces with a sharp knife. If they stick, dip the knife in water. (Damp scissors can also help with the job.) Toss the marshmallows in the leftover powder; you want all the exposed sides of the marshmallows to be lightly coated in powder, which will keep them from sticking to each other.

Store in a cookie tin or resealable plastic bag. They keep indefinitely, though they become crustier and less appealing after a week or so.

Excerpted from Make The Bread, Buy The Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch — 120 Recipes for the Best Homemade Foods by Jennifer Reese. Copyright 2011 by Jennifer Reese. Published by Free Press.


Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

@frugalfoodiefam baking some very vanilla cupcakes or @BabyCakesBaking specials

December 9, 2011

Cupcakes are hot!

Just ask Khryste at BabyCakes Baking Company in Torrance Her pink and white pinstriped shoppe “specializes in creative cupcakes which offer unique flavor combinations that appeal to adults as well as kids.” Everyday you will find regular tasty offerings, and up to six Daily Specials, such as the maple cupcake – my personal favorite.

If baking not buying cupcakes is more your style then Frugal Foodie Family offers up a recent blog post with a recipe for very vanilla cupcakes that will tickle your fancy. The recipe and instructions are well designed in this blog – which is generously illustrated with photographs. Thank you Kelly. You make eating well on a budget easy and fun.

very vanilla cupcakes a la frugal foodie family

@nytimes Beyond Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

December 5, 2011

Aromas of baking cookies orchestrate the seasonal memories of my childhood. The trace of spices and butter and chocolate and flour waft up from the oven, scents from the kitchen counter where racked cookies cool, all declare Christmas to me. My granny made homemade fudge (both chocolate and peanut butter varieties), rocky road treats and many batches of cookies. I remember pale, sprinkle saturated cookies in iconic shapes. And these days my aunt with a twinkle in her eye announces, “I’m making fudge” in early December as a code for “you are coming back home for Christmas this year, right?”

Although I am third generation Californian, the cookie tradition was as much a part of our family holiday celebration as the cookie table tradition at weddings is sacrosanct on the East Coast. A few years ago I found inspiration to launch into a baking adventure from a New York Times article on cookie recipes. It was a wonderful adventure and one I might consider repeating.

Perish the thought of pale sugary cookies with a fake glitter of sprinkles. Love you granny! These cookies were going to be unconventional, delicious, spice showcase and promised a baking design challenge to satisfy my creative mind. I baked eight batches of cookies, learned a lot, and gifted cookies to my extended family that year. With brownies or blondies, less is more. With recipes that sound like a fad, i.e., stained glass cookies, they really are just a concept, not a satisfying, enduring cookie delight.

Note: when you travel with ingredients in your carry-on bags, sticks of Crisco are not TSA approved. Be prepared to be searched, questioned, and puzzled at for the threat that lard poses to national security. I was just chuckling over the post-holiday TSA staff trying to be authoritative yet completely baffled by my luggage which contained something “detected” that they couldn’t uncover. I did use the Crisco I flew home with, later in New Year’s baking!


Here are a few of my favorite cookie recipes from that holiday cookie baking marathon. Thanks to New York Times editors and contributing bakers.

 Molasses Crinkles

Molasses Crinkles

yield: Makes about 6 dozen cookies

active time: 35 min

total time: 1 1/2 hr

The zing of ginger and the sweetness of molasses combine in perfect proportions in this cookie, sent to us by Jane Booth Vollers of Chester, Connecticut. Her grandmother, Helen Dougherty, made batches and batches of them every holiday season.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening at room temperature

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup molasses (not robust or blackstrap)

About 1/3 cup sanding or granulated sugar* for tops of cookies


Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt in a bowl until combined.
Beat together shortening, butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer (preferably fitted with paddle attachment) or 6 minutes with a handheld. Add egg and molasses, beating until combined. Reduce speed to low, then mix in flour mixture until combined.
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
Roll 1 heaping teaspoon of dough into a 1-inch ball with wet hands, then dip 1 end of ball in sanding sugar. Make more cookies in same manner, arranging them, sugared side up, 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets.
Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until undersides are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes total, then cool on sheets 1 minute. Transfer to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies with remaining dough on cooled baking sheets.
*Available at Sweet Celebrations 800-328-6722.

Cooks’ note: Cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 2 weeks.

Cardamom-Orange Sugar Cookies

Cardamom-Orange Sugar Cookies

yield: Makes about fifty-five 3-inch cookies

These delicious cookies are decorated with a sprinkling of raw sugar.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, room temperature
Raw sugar

Whisk flour, cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in finely grated orange peel and vanilla. Add egg; beat to blend. Add 1/3 of flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Add remaining flour in 2 additions, beating on low speed just until blended. Refrigerate until firm enough to shape, about 1 hour.
Divide dough in half. Form each half into ball. Flatten into disks and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm enough to roll out, about 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Dough can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Let chilled dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out, about 15 minutes.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out 1 dough disk on lightly floured surface to generous 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out cookies using festive cookie cutters. Carefully transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Gather dough scraps into ball. Flatten, cover, and freeze dough until firm enough to roll out again, about 10 minutes.
Bake cookies until light golden brown, about 16 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking for even cooking. Carefully slide parchment paper with cookies onto racks to cool completely. Let baking sheets cool completely, then repeat process with remaining dough, lining sheets with fresh parchment between batches. DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made 3 days ahead. Store cookies in airtight containers at room temperature.
* Also called turbinado or demerara sugar; available at most supermarkets and at natural foods stores.

For cookies with a more classic holiday look, make a quick glaze by mixing powdered sugar with a bit of milk. Spread the glaze on the cookies, then sprinkle with colored sugar or top with small candies. To add even more color, tint the glaze with food coloring.

Five-Spice Gingersnaps

Five-Spice Gingersnaps

yield: Makes about 3 dozen cookies

active time: 1 hr

total time: 10 hr

Typical gingersnaps lean toward the soothingly plain; these are the opposite of that, spicy with chewy crystallized ginger and aromatic with Chinese five-spice powder. Left unadorned, the cookies will continue to crisp over time; iced, they become softer and more cakey.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup*

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg


Special equipment: parchment paper; a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter; a piping tip with a 1/4-inch plain round opening (if making cookies into ornaments); pastry bags or several small heavy-duty sealable plastic bags (optional). Garnish: decorative icing (optional).

Whisk together flour, five-spice powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
Pulse ginger with 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor until finely ground.
Add syrup, butter, egg, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar to processor and blend until mixture is thick and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add flour mixture and pulse just until a dough forms. Form dough into a disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 8 hours to allow flavors to develop.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Quarter dough. Keeping remaining 3 pieces wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled, roll out 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured sheet of wax paper with a lightly floured rolling pin to 3/4 inch thick. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, chill on wax paper until firm.) Cut out rounds with cutter and transfer to 1 lined baking sheet, arranging cookies about 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until slightly puffed and a shade darker, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on sheet. If desired, make holes with piping tip near edges to hang cookies, then transfer cookies (still on parchment) to a rack to cool completely. (Cookies will flatten slightly as they cool.)
While first batch is baking, roll out and cut another batch, arranging cookies on second lined sheet. Bake in same manner, then gather scraps and chill until dough is firm enough to reroll, 15 to 20 minutes. Make more cookies with scraps (reroll scraps only once) and remaining pieces of dough, cooling sheets and lining them with fresh parchment before using.
If using icing and coloring it, transfer small batches of icing to small bowls, 1 for each color, and tint with food coloring. Spoon each color of icing into a separate pastry bag, pressing out excess air. Twist bag firmly just above icing, then decoratively pipe icing onto cookies. Let icing dry completely (about 1 hour, depending on humidity) before serving or storing cookies.

Cooks’ notes: Cookies are best when dough is chilled 8 hours to allow flavors to develop, but if you’re in a hurry, dough can be chilled just 2 hours. Dough can be chilled up to 3 days.
•Using a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip results in cleaner lines of icing, but you can use small sealable plastic bags. Spoon each color of icing into a separate sealable bag, pressing out excess air, and snip an 3/4-inch opening in 1 bottom corner of each bag.
•Cookies keep, layered between sheets of parchment if iced, in an airtight container at room temperature 5 days. For Lyle’s Golden Syrup, see

Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies

yield: Makes about 7 dozen cookies

active time: 30 min

total time: 4 hr

These classic rich, chewy cookies crack — or, yes, crinkle — as they bake. Hazelnuts, cocoa, and chocolate come together to make them particularly potent.


2/3 cup hazelnuts

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 oz fine-quality bittersweet

chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

Special equipment: parchment paper


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Toast hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan in oven until skins split and nuts are pale golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven (turn oven off), then wrap hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and rub to remove any loose skins. Cool nuts completely. Pulse nuts with granulated sugar in a food processor until finely chopped.
Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water or in top of a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and set aside.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Beat together butter and brown sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in melted chocolate until combined. Add milk and vanilla, beating to incorporate. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in nut mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift confectioners sugar into a bowl. Halve dough and chill 1 half, wrapped in plastic wrap. Roll remaining half into 1-inch balls, placing them on a sheet of wax paper as rolled. Roll balls, 3 or 4 at a time, in confectioners sugar to coat generously and arrange 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.
Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges feel dry (but centers are still slightly soft), 12 to 18 minutes total. Transfer cookies (still on parchment) to racks to cool completely.
While first batch is baking, roll remaining dough into balls. Line cooled cookie sheets with fresh parchment, then coat balls with confectioners sugar and bake in same manner.

Cooks’ note: Cookies keep, layered between sheets of parchment or wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature 5 days.



Booksigning! Wed Nov 30 9:00-11:00 at Bar Pintxo in Santa Monica

November 30, 2011

Source: Grub Street:

Seven Chefs Signing Cart for a Cause Cookbook Tomorrow at Bar Pintxo

By Hadley Tomicki

Tomorrow morning at 9:00 A.M., the public is invited to meet seven city chefs, who will preview and sign the forthcoming Cart For a Cause Cookbook at Bar Pintxo, where Joe Miller will make tortilla Española and coffee for the crowd. Miller will be joined by The Cart for a Cause food truck, as well as by chefs Susan Feniger (of Border Grill), Akasha Richmond, Mark Gold of Eva, Larry Nicola of Nic’s, Oliverio chef Mirko Paderno, and Bebe Flynn of Miss Lily’s Trading Co. The cookbook collects signature recipes made on the truck, which has rolled through the city since 2010 with gather funds for St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels, by over 40 of its L.A. guest-chefs and can be purchased through St. Vincent’s website.

November 30, 9:00-11:00 A.M. at Bar Pintxo, 109 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica.

@nytimes new cookbooks hightlighted “When the Chefs Come Home,” by Julia Moskin

November 30, 2011

Please read the full article here:

Journalist Julia Moskin writes, “A cache of at-home guides by high-flying chefs arrived in 2011: “The Family Meal: Home Cooking With Ferran Adrià” (Phaidon, $29.95); “Heston Blumenthal at Home” (Bloomsbury, $60); “Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals From My Home to Yours” by Mario Batali (Ecco, $29.99); “My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking” by John Besh (Andrews McMeel, $35); and “Home Cooking With Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes” by Jean-Georges Vongerichten (Clarkson Potter, $40).

“As a cookbook, “The Family Meal” has several nifty features. All the recipes have been scaled to serve 2, 6, 20 and 75 people; that flexibility is rare, and helpful. Each recipe is laid out in a kind of stop-motion photography style, with balloons of text, and each is presented as part of a complete menu.”

Cookbooks by chefs, tailored to a home kitchen and family audience, sound like ideal holiday gifts if cooking is your passion! (Feel free to share the NYTimes article with Santa to add to your wish list.)


@deltaairlines Biscoff Bake-off? why isn’t anyone monitoring content?!

November 28, 2011
Delta’s Facebook presence as a business page is impressive. Their wall engages followers in posting comments and includes special offers. There are no less than 5 separate customized screens with details about features, services, a Biscoff Bake-off contest and more. A recent contest required entrants to be on Facebook and to “like” Delta, thus adding to their online presence. As a long-time SkyMiles member and frequent flyer, I never heard a word about the holiday contest until a friend liked Delta on Facebook – very poorly marketed!
EPIC FAIL – The programmers who added the Biscoff Bake-Off contest information (start on Sept 30, 2011 and end on Oct 23, 2011) have – as of Nov 28, 2011 – STILL not updated the information nor taken it down. The contest ended and winners announced already. A single wall post celebrates the winning bakers Meg King (730 votes), Laurie Lufkin (517) and Atif Chaudhrey (668 votes) and recipes: Although baked salmon and crusted shrimp are creative in their use of cookies – give me cookies!
Biscoff gets it!

Olga’s Biscoff Coffee Cake

  • 1 Duncan Hines Butter Cake
  • 1 Small Box Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 3/4 Cup Crisco Vegetable Oil
  • 10 – 15 Biscoff Biscuits

Biscoff Crumb Filling and Topper

  • 10 – 15 crushed Biscoff biscuits
  • 1/2 stick cold Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Cinnamon with 3 Tbls Sugar
  • 1 Cup Pecans or Walnuts. chopped – optional

Grease and flour large bundt pan and sprinkle with small amount of the cinnamon mixture and nuts.
Set aside.
Mix first five cake ingredients together until well blended.
Pour approximately 1 cup of batter in bundt pan and spread with a layer of crushed Biscoff cookies, sprinkle with cinnamon- sugar mixture and dot with cold butter and nuts.
Continue layering with batter, filling and dotting with butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.
Serve cold or hot with whipped topping or ice cream.

Recipe courtesy of: Olga Smyth, West Columbia, SC


Pumpkin Crumb Bars
(Serves 6)

  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Quick-Cooking Oats
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup diced Macadamia Nuts

Crumb Topping

  • 1 Cup Crust Mixture (from above)
  • 1 Cup (About 12 Cookies) coarsely crushed Biscoff Cookies


  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
  • 1/8 Cup Oil
  • 2 Cups (16 Oz Can) Pumpkin
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Powdered Ginger

Heat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, butter, baking soda and salt.   Beat at low speed until mixture is crumbly.   Stir in nuts.  Reserve 1 cup for crumb topping.   Press remaining mixture on bottom of greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, butter, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.   Add dry ingredients and continue to mix until well blended.   Pour filling onto crust.

Crumb Topping
Mix together 1 cup crust mixture and 1 cup Biscoff cookies.   Sprinkle on top of pumpkin filling.   Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool.  Chill.  Cut into bars. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Recipe courtesy of: Rae Oshiro, Aiea, HI


Penguin Rendezvous
(Serves 15)

  • 36 Rendezvous Biscuits
  • 9 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
  • 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Whole Raspberries Without Syrup, Thawed And Drained
  • 3 oz White Chocolate
  • 16 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 8 oz Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 4 Additional Rendezvous Biscuits coarsely crumbled

Bottom Crust:
Finely crush 36 Rendezvous Biscuits.   Melt butter until creamy but not totally liquid.   Mix melted butter into crushed crumbs.   Press into a 9 X 13 pan.   Refrigerate crust until firm.

Middle Layer:
Spread jam onto crumb crust.   Reserve 1/2 Cup of the raspberries for garnish; arrange the remaining 1 1/2 Cups raspberries evenly over jam.

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler until smooth when stirred; cool slightly.   Meanwhile combine cream cheese and powdered sugar.   Mix well.   Gradually whisk in melted white chocolate and milk.   Fold in whipped topping.   Spread carefully over raspberries.   Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.   Cut into squares.   Garnish with the coarsely crumbled Rendezvous biscuits and fresh raspberries.

Recipe courtesy of: Geraldine Altomaro, Woodhaven, MI

@bittenword @WholeFoods @DreamDinners @bostonmarket Holiday Meal Options with Less Stress (pt.1)

November 10, 2011

Hungry for options this year for holiday meals? The holidays can typically be a time where the focus is on feasting and family, with a tendency to overindulge and/or stress out (at least in my family of origin). It is an American holiday after all, and we do not take overindulging or stress lightly.

With a non-traditional family, recreating the Norman Rockwell traditional holiday meal just might not happen. What are my options for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Instead of dreading the obligation to prepare a whole turkey and groaning sideboard of assorted dishes, there are many options that allow you to enjoy a holiday meal and be realistic. There are budget-friendly solutions for all tastes. Not pizza delivery or heading for Disneyland, but meals that feature the North American fall season harvest offerings that can be realized without overindulging or stressing out. It is a time of thanks, and gratitude for a new wave of enlightened food choices is high on my list.

Grocers/Markets for Meal Planning

Whole Foods Market has expanded its marketing from healthy food choices to healthier food planning. On the website guides and tips await you. Recipes are also there along with links for entertaining. Share your story online by posting a photo to their webpage. Consider gifting healthier food; is it too obvious to suggest buying gift cards these holidays considering the source?

Check out the blog with helpful ideas, recipes, and social media links, although it doesn’t appear to be interactive with consumer feedback. Like other supermarket chains, Whole Foods most likely offers a boxed holiday meal ready to cook/reheat and serve. These can be very convenient, less expensive but do require a bit of attention to make the flavors more satisfying (think herbs, spices).

Online Resources

If shopping and cooking does not give you cause for trepidation these holidays, start online and explore some great online resources. You can maximize satisfaction by preparing several well-chosen complimentary dishes instead of the carbo-overload menu you might remember from grandma’s house of your childhood. oh my!

The promise of a 60-minute Thanksgiving that would “satisfy my inner grandmother” really piqued my interest:

Yes, Plymouth, Massachusetts has a website with social media links. If you are on the East Coast, the food festival looks very promising on November 19!

Celebrate without meat and savour the flavor of vegetarian options:

The Bitten Word – Resolving to Put Our Food Magazines to Use. Their (Zach and Clay) annual posts on Thanksgiving are an annual tradition and have a devoted fan base.

Catering Services

Banish the thought of an unwieldy wedding reception with waitstaff serving individual tables, catering is available on a far more manageable size to bring home and serve. offers holiday meals a la carte. “Life Just Got Easier” according to where you indulge in “garanimal” meals, packaging up ingredients within a pre-set recipe to make your meal. (One friend swears by this system!). These are fresh, time saving options and offer a dine-in option that is higher-end.

Food Retail (do not make me say restaurant) has an excellent website with mouthwatering descriptions of hams, turkey, beef, ribs, side dishes and desserts, store locations, recipes, as well as social media links and coupons. Emarketing opt-in can have some cost-savings benefits when you are sent coupons to use for your purchase. One of my print vendors used to give Honeybaked gift cards each year as a thank you for orders. boasts of “good tasting food you can feel good about.” Look for food section, store locations, and a link to order holiday meals.

I look forward to exploring some of the restaurant special holiday menus in my next blog article. Bon Appetit!

Tartine Bakery treats and interesting WSJ profile piece

September 5, 2011

Congratulations to “San Francisco’s Tartine empire,” Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, on recent WSJ article:

Learn more about their Tartine Bakery, visit or their restaurant, Bar Tartine . Make dinner reservations, of course, on Open Table.

Bar Tartine’s chef Nick Balla is garnering rave reviews from followers on Facebook. Both Tartine websites (conveniently linked from their top navigation) are both missing social media links which could bring more traffic to the websites. The sites are crisp and elegant.

As a bread-lover with wheat-sensitivity (not full-on celliac) I was tickled to see an inclusion of Liz’s Gluten-free Pancakes (on the WSJ online article). Let’s hear it for coconut flour which helps the batter stay thick and moist. “If necessary, lightly spread it around the pan with a fork or spoon.” (and enjoy 12 medium-sized pancakes) There are cookbooks also ready to be ordered from the website for those so inclined. I look forward to my first chance to dine at Bar Tartine when I head up to the City visiting the Bay Area next!

Liz’s Gluten-Free Pancakes

Coconut flour yields a thick, moist batter. If necessary, lightly spread it around the pan with a fork or spoon. Makes approximately 1 dozen medium-sized pancakes.


1 cup rice flour*

3 tablespoons tapioca flour*

¼ cup coconut flour*

¼ cup almond flour*

2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

2 eggs

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (melt it in same pan you use to make the pancakes), plus additional coconut oil for cooking

1 cup milk or milk substitute

1 cup water


Mix dry ingredients together. Add eggs, oil and milk and mix just until combined. If mixture seems too thick, add the water to achieve pouring consistency. The flaxseeds and coconut flour will absorb a lot of liquid if the mixture is not used right away, in which case more water can be added. Cook them as you would your usual pancakes, preferably in coconut oil.

*available at