Welcome to Food thoughts....

I created this blog to help friends find fun in cooking by sharing tasty recipes, cooking techniques and answering questions. I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's that time of year again. Time for Strawberry Shortcake!!!!!

It's the start of summer, local berries are coming on and I'm so excited!  I love strawberry shortcake.  I mean real shortcake, not angel food cake or yellow cake or sponge cake or even regular biscuits but real home-made shortcake!  That combination of lightly sweet and cakey biscuit that you just don't find anywhere but in someones home.  So here's a recipe that I've been making for a long time.  Not that I make it very often mind you but I thought I'd share.  Hope you enjoy!

Makes 9 servings

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1  cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For shortcake:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium size bowl or in your electric mixer bowl.  Give it a stir to combine or using your paddle attachment, mix for about 30 seconds on low.
3.Add butter and cut in until it resembles coarse crumbs.
4.  Add milk and vanilla, stirring as you add.  Dough should be soft and slightly sticky. 
5. Use 1/3 cup measure or ice cream scoop to portion out approximately 9 drop-style biscuits onto un-greased baking sheet.  Pat the tops down lightly to level out a bit.  They'll double in height when baking.
6.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
7.  Allow to cool then split and top with berries, sweetened whipped cream and top half of shortcake.

Berry topping:
3 pints strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar*

Toss together in a small bowl, berries, sugar and vinegar and allow to macerate.
*Yes, I know you think I'm crazy but add the balsamic.  It brings out the flavor of the berries and gives them and the sugar syrup a gorgeous ruby red color.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower.......such an underrated vegetable.  It has come to pass in our household that it is much tastier than previously thought......by my wife I mean.  Kelly won't eat it raw and I'm not a fan of plain steamed cauliflower.  So here's a great alternative.....roasting.  It mellows the flavor and makes it a little sweeter with a touch of caramelization.   Ooooh, so good!!!! 

Roasted Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower trimmed and cut or broken into bite-sized florets
2 T. olive oil
1 t. Montreal Steak Seasoning (it's got salt, pepper, garlic and some other tasty seasonings)
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
1/4 c. shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with the olive oil, steak seasoning and lemon juice.
Spread the mixture out on a lightly oiled sheet pan or baking dish.
Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
Roast for 15 minutes, then give it a stir.
Roast for another 15 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized in places.
Serve hot. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lemon Curd, that elusive and divinely decadent stuff that dreams are made of.

Lemon curd, that tasty sweet-tart & creamy confection that you find in high end specialty shops and elegant sweets and treats.  A little known secret, it's  not difficult to make at home and it doesn't have to cost a fortune!  I found this recipe on Food Network and thanks to Ina Garten I was able to make an amazing lemon cake for Kelly's birthday.  I had leftover curd and it was so good, I was eating it by the spoonful and spreading it on blueberry bagels and toast, whatever I could find.  I hope that you give it a chance and try it.  If you're a lemon lover you're sure to love this.  Enjoy!

Lemon Curd

1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Inactive Prep Time: --
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Level: Easy
  • Serves: 3 cups


    • 3 lemons
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 4 extra-large eggs
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


    Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
    Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
    Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.