Friday, April 28, 2006

Simply the Best Turkey Ever

This really is the best I've ever made, and honestly, the best I've ever HAD.

Start with a natural turkey, no nastiness injected into it.

Soak it in a brine of 1 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar per gallon of water. Soak for at least 12 hours, I did mine for about three days.

Drain off, let sit, uncovered, in fridge for at least one day so the skin dries out.

Place on rack in pan, sprinkle with pepper and sage. Tent with foil.

Roast at 325 for as many hours as recommended in any cooking guide. (Our ten pounder took about 3 1/2 hours.) Should register between 180-185 degrees.

Let set for at least 1/2 an hour before carving.

The moistest, most wonderful tasting bird you'll ever have. I promise.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Baked French Toast

For Debbie B...

1 large loaf of bread (the drier, the better)
12 eggs
2 cups of milk, give or take
Sugar (to taste, 1/2 cup is a good place to start) or pancake syrup
1/2 brick of cream cheese
vanilla or maple flavoring
blueberries or other fruit, optional

Chunk the bread and place half in 13x9 pan. Chunk the cream cheese into small squares, layer over bread, put your layer of fruit, if using, and top with the rest of the bread chunks.

In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, sweetener, flavoring. Mix well, pour over bread. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Pull out 1/2 and hour before baking, uncover and bake for about one hour at 350, test for doneness. (If you forget to pull it out early, extend the baking time a bit.)

You can top with fruit, syrup, powdered sugar, whatever you like.

I also add coconut sometimes. It's very versatile.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Continuing in my Jewish theme....My dear pal PamLa shared this recipe with me, since my search was failing. The ones I have had are Cinnamon, and they were wonderful!! They hold a special place in my heart, as I bought these and took them to my dad when he was dying. We had removed all treatment, except pain control, and my diabetic dad had the BEST time, having all those treats with no one yelling at him! ;o) He thought these were wonderful, and they will forever more remind me of dad.

So here you go....

The Jewish Holiday Baker, by Joan Nathan, Random House, 1997
Yield: 64 servings

8 ounces cream cheese - at room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter - at room temperature
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Confectioners' sugar

1 cup thick apricot preserves3/4 cup walnuts - roughly chopped

1 cup shaved bittersweet chocolate - preferable imported1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter - melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

The dough:
1. Place the cream cheese and the butter in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Cream at a low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and mix until a very soft dough is formed, about 2 more minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Filling and baking the rugelach:
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 cookie sheets with baking parchment.
3. Mix the ingredients for the apricot or chocolate filling and divide the dough into 4 balls. Roll the balls out into 4 circles about 1/8 inch thick and 9 inches in diameter. Spread the apricot or chocolate filling over the dough. If using the cinnamon-sugar filling, brush the melted butter on first, then the combined cinnamon and sugar.
4. Using a dull knife, cut each circle of dough into 16 pie-shaped pieces about 2 inches wide at the circumference. Roll up from the wide side to the center. Place the rugelach on the parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake in the oven on the middle and lower racks, switching after 12 minutes, also switching back to front. Continue baking about 13 more minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the rugelach to racks to cool. Sprinkle the apricot and chocolate rugelach with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Note: Probably the most popular of American Jewish cookies, this horn-shaped treat was made in Europe with butter; cream cheese was added in this country. I love Ann's version: it has no sugar in the dough but a sprinkling on top of the finished cookie. She also uses this dough to make hamantashen.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Jewish Apple Cake

My pastor's wife made this for a dinner we had with missionaries from Hananeel House, and it was WONDERFUL! Now, I love all things apple, so I'm not surprised *I* liked it, but EVERYONE loved it!!!

I'm making it for Easter dinner this year.

Cake Layer

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (1/2 oil, 1/2 applesauce for lower fat)
4 eggs
1/2 cup orange juice (going to use lemonade - dd is allergic to oranges)
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apple Layer

4 large or 5 medium apples - peeled, cored and sliced (Or pears, for Feingold stage one)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 teaspoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease and flour one 10 inch tube pan.
Combine the apples, ground cinnamon and the 6 teaspoons of brown sugar together and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and 2 cups of the sugar. Stir in the vegetable oil, beaten eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan.
Top with apple/cinnamon sugar mixture.
Pour the remaining batter over the top.
Bake for 70 to 90 minutes, checking after 50 minutes or so.

Let cool completely in pan.