Friday, May 6, 2016

A Mint Julep Cake for Derby Day

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I've always viewed life as an experiment, and cooking is certainly is part of it. Save for the people in my life, I am bored with theme and variation and will go out of my way to find and test something new. So, it should come as no surprise, that several years ago, I decided to make a cake rather than the standard pie for Derby Day. I had a special cake in mind and decided to make it without a test run. After all, how bad can a cake made with bourbon and crème de menthe be? I'm happy to report that it was really good. The cake was delicious and the glaze was fine, but I must admit I was a little disappointed with the frosting. I suggest you make the cake with a topping of mint or milk chocolate ganache. This is an easy cake to make and I think those of you who try it will really like it. Here is how it's made.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Corn, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This quick to assemble salad is perfect for picnics or al fresco dining. The salad, which is very easy to make, is prepared with pantry ingredients, and you can have it ready to chill in less than 30 minutes. I've made this several times now, and the only change I've made to the original recipe is to double the ingredients for the salad dressing. I serve this with a simple grilled chicken or lamb chops for the Silver Fox, but given my druthers, I'd serve it as a main course. It certainly would be a perfect meatless addition to your next buffet. While the salad will keep for several days, and will actually improve in flavor, the cilantro will lose its lovely color as it sits. I do hope you will give this simple recipe a try. Here is how it is made.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ukranian Cabbage and Chicken Saute

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This recipe caught my eye as I scrolled through Pinterest. The Silver Fox loves sauteed cabbage, so I thought I'd give it a try. The dish can be prepared in about 15 minutes, but it will require another 30 minutes of cooking time. I must tell you this version of sauteed cabbage is much milder in flavor than the German and Central European versions which are made with bacon and fried onions. That is not to say you won't enjoy this. I've made a few inconsequential changes to the base recipe that I want to share with you. I've made this cabbage twice and the second time I prepared it I used butter for cooking and added an onion to the ingredient list to give the saute a bit more flavor. The recipe, which comes from the blog Cooktoria, is straight forward, and the only thing I found confusing was the instruction to cover the pan and cook the mixture until the liquid was nearly absorbed. Now, I don't know about you, but I can't get liquid to absorb or evaporate in a closed pan. So, the first time I made the cabbage it was more like a soup than a saute. No matter, I added a handful of cooked rice to each serving and it was delicious. However, the second time around I was a bit smarter and cooked the cabbage uncovered and we were much happier with the results. This is the type of dish that makes a great lunch on a day crammed with sports or heavy yard work. I serve it wit rye bread and a salad. A side of rice or mashed potatoes wold be another great way to bulk up the meal if it seems too light on its own. I liked this recipe and I think you will too. Here is how the dish is made.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Julia's Potato Pancakes

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It's been at least thirty years since I made these pancakes. My children loved potato pancakes, and while they were still at home we sampled versions made in various countries around the world. I was taken aback when I found a recipe for them in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. As you might suspect, her version was a bit more complicated than most, but I'll try almost anything once, so they ended up on my table. As it turned out, my family really liked them, and, for a period of time, hers were our pancake of choice. As often happens with foods that we enjoy, but have so often we tire of them, Julia's recipe was retired when our last child went off to school. I've been going through magazines and cookbooks selecting those that will be donated and given a new home at our library's next used book sale. When I came to MAFC I stopped what I was doing and began to page through its well-worn pages. I came to the potato pancake recipe and knew they would be part of our dinner tonight. You must be forewarned, these are not a dieter's delight. If you are watching your weight, run to the nearest exit. If you allow yourself to fall from grace occasionally, do give these pancakes a try. I have a few cautions to share with you. You'll be much happier with the pancakes if you grate the potatoes on a box grater rather than in a food processor. I've altered the recipe to include carrots along with the potatoes. If you prefer not to use them, simply add another cup of potatoes to the mixture and you'll be fine. Prior to cooking, taste the batter carefully for a final addition of salt and pepper, and, as with all pancakes, do not attempt to turn them until they have browned at the edges. As it turned out, the potato pancakes ended up being dinner rather part of it. I poached eggs to put on top of them, and along with a salad, the pancakes made a great light supper. I'm always surprised by how few of Julia's early recipes are actually on the internet. I was not able to find this elsewhere, so I thought you might want to add it as a footnote to your collection of her recipes. Here is how her potato pancakes are made.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Quinoa Spring Salad

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I've only recently begun to experiment with the grains that have become popular in restaurants and are featured on some of the more health oriented blog sites. Quinoa, usually in salad form, appears on the menus of most restaurants in my area. We've had a week of heavy, high caloric eating, and I thought today would be a good day to begin to work with some recipes for quinoa salads I've been saving. To be honest, I chose this one as ground zero because I had all of the ingredients on hand. The salad is simple to assemble, and I'm delighted to tell you that the Silver Fox, a committed carnivore, actually ate and liked it. I found the recipe on and made no changes to there ingredients list. If you like salads with a hint of lemon lurking in the background, I know you will like this one. It is easy and inexpensive to make and I've added it to my semi-permanent recipe rotation. Do give it a try. Here is how it's made.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Spiced Coffee Cookies

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I saw these cookies on the blog In Katrina's Kitchen and I just had to give them a try. These buttery gems will delight those who like to nibble on simple European-style cookies as they sip their coffee or tea. They are soft spice cookies that are flavored with cinnamon, cloves and, believe it or not, fresh, unused coffee grounds. The coffee is what makes these cookies unique and interesting.It is important that you use real, unbrewed, coffee grounds when you prepare the cookies. Powdered coffee or crystals will not impart the flavor that you want these cookies to have. Katrina suggests that you use bread flour to make the cookies. She reasons that the extra protein in bread flour helps to bind to all of the butter in these cookies. If you use all-purpose flour you will need to add 3 to 4 more tablespoons of flour to your ingredient list. I must admit my cookies, which mounded,  do not look like hers which are flatter and resemble crackle cookies. Normally, I'd be upset, because mine are not pretty, but I so liked the cookies that I wanted to share them with you. It takes minutes to make the cookies and unless you have a raging sweet tooth, I think you'll love them. Here is how they are made.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Blueberry Trifle

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...A few night's ago I made a hot milk sponge cake. It's my favorite homemade cake and I was looking forward to icing it with a milk chocolate frosting. Things don't always turn out as we plan. I had the bad luck of losing my grip on the cooling rack and watching my beautiful cake fall to the flour in 1,000 piece puzzle fashion. Undaunted, I salvaged what I could and used the cake as the base for a simple but delicious trifle. The recipe has been widely circulated and I am unsure who should be credited with its creation. I'm giving credit to Mel's Kitchen Cafe because her version was the first I looked at. I think you're going to love this dessert. Sometimes, there is an inverse relationship between effort and flavor and this is one of them. The trifle is easy to make, but its taste will have your socks going up and down. The original recipe called for an angel food cake. I used a wounded sponge cake in the version I've photographed for tonight's post. It worked really well and I'm tempted to use sponge cake as the base for this trifle more often. I hope you give this a try. It is unequivocally delicious and odes will be written in your honor once it's tasted by your family and friends. Here is how the trifle is made.

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