Cookbooks - The French Chef


I've mentioned here before that I enjoy going through old cookbooks, including Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Here is another cookbook that is enjoyable to read and use, based on Mrs. Child's television series. You will find that some of her recipes have been altered to accommodate the 30 minute show. I also recommend watching her shows, which are highly entertaining and can be purchased HERE.

Julia Child is America’s first lady of food. Beginning with Mastering the Art of French Cooking, she has profoundly shaped the way we cook, the way we eat, and the way we see food. In The French Chef Cookbook, the beloved icon presents 119 of the delectable French recipes that first made her a household name, when she presented them on her first public television show. From Mayonnaise to Bouillabaisse, crepes to steaks, and delicious vegetables to delectable desserts, here are traditional French recipes, tested and perfected for home cooks to enjoy. Purchase the book HERE.

Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Sourdough is such a wonderful thing. You can make all sorts of things with it. Here's a dinner roll recipe that is light and delicious. Enjoy! 

1 cup sourdough starter, fed
1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/4 cup dry milk
1/4 cup potato buds
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, combine sourdough starter, water, flour, salt, sugar, butter, dry milk, potato buds, and yeast. Mix together with dough hook, adding more water if necessary to make a soft, smooth dough. Knead for 4-5 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double, 60-90 minutes. 

Grease 2 round cake pans. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Gently deflate and divide into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place eight balls in each pan. Cover each pan and allow the rolls to rise until puffy, about 60-90 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 25-27 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and spread melted butter over tops. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 16 rolls. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

Here's a recipe you can make ahead and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. I like to make 6 muffins or so at a time, and it is so easy--and healthy for you!

5 cups wheat bran flakes
2 cups boiling water
4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup applesauce (no-sugar added)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
decorating sugar, if desired

Place bran flakes in a 5 quart ice cream pail (with lid). Pour boiling water over the bran flakes and mix well. Stir frequently until cooled. Mixture will become sticky. Once cooled, add buttermilk, oil, applesauce, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. In small bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. Add to buttermilk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined. Batter can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

To bake: scoop batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Fill 3/4 full. May sprinkle with decorating sugar if desired. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 14-16 minutes until muffins test done with a toothpick. Makes 48 muffins.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Regina Merrick's Chocolate No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies


Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and finally to writing full-time. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church in Marion, KY, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. Visit Regina on her Website HERE.

Regina's Latest Book Release - Carolina Grace

First-year Special Education teacher Charly Livingston demonstrates God’s love on the outside, but is resentful that God allowed back-to-back tragedies to happen to her family. 

Rance Beaumont is a top-notch medical intern. He’s on his way to the top, and when he meets Charly, he knows things can only get better. When he discovers family secrets and a dying father he never knew, his easy life seems to disintegrate.

Even in the idyllic ocean breezes and South Carolina sunshine, contentment can quickly turn to bitterness and confusion except for God’s amazing grace. Buy the book HERE.


Regina's Chocolate No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve been making these since I was a teenager, and if I’m desperate for chocolate, it’s my go-to recipe – simple ingredients that if I don’t have on hand, I know I must go grocery-shopping! Enjoy!

2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I heap it just a tad – more cocoa, darker chocolate!)
½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
½ cup milk
2 ¼ cups quick oats

Helpful Hint: Prepare your waxed paper to receive the hot cookie mixture. (I always put some aluminum foil under it to keep the wax from sticking to the counter!)

Mix sugar and cocoa together and set aside. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. When it’s melted, stir in the sugar/cocoa mixture and milk. Whisk to break up any lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes (or to soft-ball stage). Take off heat, mix in oats, and spoon out the hot mixture by spoonfuls onto the waxed paper. Allow to cool. 

Spinach Salad with Fig Dressing


Here's a delicious salad I make when I want to serve a special Italian dinner. It makes a wonderful Insalata course.

Dressing:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fig jam
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 pounds fresh spinach
1 cup toasted English walnuts
1 cup dried figs, chopped
Fresh Parmesan, slivered

In a high speed blender, combine olive oil, vinegar, jam, mustard, and salt and pepper. Mix together until smooth. In a large bowl, toss spinach with dressing and top each salad serving with walnuts, figs and slivered Parmesan. Sprinkle with ground black pepper if desired. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Joan's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's a recipe from a sweet lady at our church who always brings yummy snacks on Sunday. I think you might like it! (It makes a large batch)

2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
6 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 drops orange flavoring extract (optional)
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs and extracts and beat well. In separate bowl, mix together flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Bake on greased baking sheets. Roll in walnut-sized balls and space 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6-8 dozen. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Valentine Menu Ideas for Your Sweetheart

My husband and I will celebrate our 29th Anniversary on Valentine's Day this year. Rather than fight the crowds and long lines, we'll often stay home on our anniversary, and I'll make a special dinner. Here are a few ideas for a special dinner with your Valentine. 


Maybe you want to serve French Cuisine:







Or perhaps you have in mind Italian:





Maybe you want to treat your Valentine to a Steak Dinner:





Or perhaps you both prefer Seafood: 






Whatever you decide for your Valentine dinner, I hope it's one you'll cherish forever. May you have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake




Here's a recipe that doesn't use any flour. My husband loved this cake. Enjoy! 

butter + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup slivered almonds
6 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1 stick butter
15 oz. jar chocolate-hazelnut spread (like Nutella)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon apple juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9" springform pan, and then dust the pan with cocoa powder as you would a cake pan with flour, removing any excess. In a glass bowl, heat the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring in 1-minute increments until melted. Let cool slightly. 

In a mixer, whisk the egg whites until they are foamy. Add the sugar and beat until the whites form stiff peak, about 2-3 minutes. 

In a clean bowl, cream together the butter and hazelnut spread, about 2 minutes. Add the yolks, salt, and juice and mix until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and slivered almonds and mix until smooth. 

Stir in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate batter, and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then remove the spring form from the sides. Let the cake cool before serving. Serve with whipped topping and fresh fruit, like raspberries. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Pancake Syrup

Here's an easy recipe I use when I'm out of pancake syrup. Use with Country Pancakes or Cornmeal Pancakes. Yum!

1 cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
2 teaspoons butter flavoring

In medium saucepan, mix ingredients together. Stir until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil. Let cool. Serve over pancakes or waffles.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Elizabeth Goddard's Easy-Peasy Spaghetti


Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling author of more than 40 books, including the Carol Award-winning The Camera Never Lies. Her Mountain Cove series books have been finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Awards and the Carol Awards. Goddard is a seventh generation Texan and can be found online at www.elizabethgoddard.com.

Elizabeth's Latest Book Release: Never Let Go

As a forensic genealogist, Willow Anderson is following in her late grandfather’s footsteps in her quest for answers about a baby abducted from the hospital more than twenty years ago. The case may be cold, but things are about to heat up when someone makes an attempt on her life to keep her from discovering the truth.
Ex-FBI agent–and Willow’s ex-flame–Austin McKade readily offers his help to protect the woman he never should have let get away. Together they’ll follow where the clues lead them, even if it means Austin must face the past he’s spent much of his life trying to forget. And even if it puts Willow’s tender heart at risk.
In this fast-paced and emotional page-turner, bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard keeps the stakes high, the romantic tension sparking, and the outcome uncertain until the very end. Buy the book HERE.
Elizabeth's Easy-Peasy Spaghetti
This is the easiest Italian spaghetti you’ll ever make and that’s because it only takes one pot—your Crockpot. I’m all about easy these days with so many book deadlines. After decades of making my pasta a certain way—browning the beef and then adding sauce, cooking spaghetti in a separate pot then pouring into a colander—I  recently tried this and it works as an easy one dish meal. No pouring pasta into a colander. Not washing three pots/pans.
2 lbs thawed ground beef.
24-32 oz boxes of spaghetti (Or pasta of choice)
45 oz jar of Ragu (any flavor, or any brand of sauce, even your own)

Turn slow-cooker on high and dump raw thawed ground beef in the bottom. Pour entire jar of spaghetti sauce over that. Fill jar to halfway with water then dump that in. Cook on high for six hours so the meat will thoroughly cook. Stir meat halfway through cooking time to get all the chunks out.

An hour before you want to serve your pasta, pour in the 24 to 32 ounces of UNCOOKED pasta. If it’s spaghetti break in half. Stir well. Let cook for a half hour before checking to see if it’s the desired consistency. Your cooking time may vary.

Homemade Lasagna with Meat Sauce


Here is a delicious recipe when you want to serve your family something special.

Pasta:
1 cup semolina
1 cup 00 flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Sauce:
1 pound ground sausage
1 pound ground hamburger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
2 - 28 oz crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Filling:
16 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
30 oz. whole ricotta
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup grated Parmesan

To make the pasta, in a large stainless steel bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Create a well in the center and add the eggs and olive oil. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using a fork or your fingers, eventually bringing the ingredients together to form a firm dough. You may need to add a few drops of water if the dough feels too dry. Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead the dough until it's smooth, 5-6 minutes. Try to refrain from adding extra flour when kneading as this will give your pasta a floury taste. Dribble a little olive oil over the dough and place in a plastic bag. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. 

While the dough rests, prepare the sauce. In a large Dutch oven, brown the sausage and hamburger. Add the garlic and onions and cook until they are tender, about 1-2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes. Season with dried basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until thickened about 35-45 minutes.

To make filling, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, grated Parmesan, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the lasagna.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the sauce cooks, continue with the pasta. Prepare three baking sheets by dusting them with flour. Divide the pasta into thirds, returning the extra dough to the bag until ready to use. Flatten one piece of dough with a rolling pin to match the size of your pasta roller. Feed the dough through the machine, using the first setting of your machine. Pass the pasta through once, and then fold it into thirds and pass it through again. After that, continue feeding the pasta sheet through the machine at each level (3, 4, 5...) until you reach the desired thickness. For lasagna, I go to 6. Cut this strip of pasta in half, which should measure about 10-11 inches after it has been cut.

Layer each of the thin sheets of pasta on the floured baking sheets, without touching. Repeat with the remaining dough for a total of six sheets of pasta. At this point, cut each of these sheets in half to form narrow strips, for a total of 12. 

Prepare three baking sheets, lined with damp kitchen towels. Bring a large pot of water to boil adding 2 teaspoons salt. Set up a large roasting pan filled with ice water next to the boiling pasta water. Cook the strips of pasta, a few at a time for just a little bit, 1-2 minutes once they return to a boil. Remove from boiling water and slip them into the ice water to cool. Then line them on the damp kitchen towels. Repeat until all of the pasta strips have been cooked. 

Prepare a 12x16 inch lasagna pan by spreading olive oil along the bottom and sides. To assemble the lasagna, spread 1 cup sauce over the bottom of the pan. Place three strips over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spread another cup of sauce over the pasta and layer with another three strips. At this point, spread 1 cup sauce, half of the filling, and half of the sliced mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of pasta, 1 cup sauce, the remaining filling, and the remaining slices of mozzarella. Top with final three strips of pasta. Pour remaining sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with 1 cup grated Parmesan. Tent the lasagna with foil, making sure it doesn't touch the top and bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes until the top is golden and crusty. Allow to rest for 10-12 minutes before cutting into squares to serve. Serves 8-10. Pair with a nice Chianti or Beaujolais wine.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Sourdough Biscuits

Here's a recipe you make from an "unfed" starter that's pretty delicious with honey or homemade apple butter.

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1 cup "unfed" sourdough starter (Recipe HERE)
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add sourdough starter, and buttermilk. Mix with fork until dough forms a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 10-12 times. Pat the dough into a 3/4" thick circle. Cut with 2 1/2" floured biscuit cutter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter. Makes 12-15 biscuits.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.