Sunday, November 18, 2018

Roasted Garlic Dime Bags

Okay so this pantry staple is not what you think it might be.  Thomas isn't making "garlic crank" to sell out in front of The Wooden Spoon here in Chicago, catering to hard-up chefs sans condiments. I came up with this idea a few years ago since we purchase a 4 lb bag of peeled garlic at Costco once a month and there are times when we don't finish it.


3 lbs peeled, whole garlic
1/2 olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a 13x9x2 or deep dish pizza pan on the counter.

1. Place all ingredients - garlic, oil, salt and pepper, in the baking pan.

2. Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven on middle rack. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

3. Remove from oven and let cool slightly - about 15 minutes.

4. Place roasted garlic plus any oil in the pan in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds until smooth.

5. Use a small spatula or a serving spoon and place about 3 tablespoons on a large square of plastic wrap (about 8" x 8". Twist bag and place in a plastic container (do not stack the dime bags).

6. Freeze and them remove from plastic container. Place in plastic zipper bag for storage up to 6 months.

Variation: use an old plastic or metal ice cube tray for freezing the roasted garlic paste, then place in plastic zipper bag.

Use in soups and sauces or thaw and blend with cream cheese and spread on crackers for hors d'oeuvres.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

New Jersey Crumb Cake

I grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York and my mother was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. We still had her sisters living down there so we frequently made the 90 minute trip by car. One treat was to stop in at the famous B&W Bakery in Hackensack to get several crumb cakes to bring as gifts.

Now New Jersey crumb cake is NOT your typical crumb coffee cake like Entenmann's or Drake. The New Jersey variety had to have a crumb layer that was twice the depth of the bottom cake layer.

This is the closest recipe I have to duplicating the crumb cake I grew up with.



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp oil (vegetable)
2 tsp vanilla extract


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
Powdered sugar, for dusting


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x8 inch square baking pan.


1. Mix all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a medium bowl with a fork.

2. Mix remaining ingredients (egg. milk, oil and vanilla) in a separate bowl. Pour into dry ingredients and mix by hand with a fork or spatula. When combined, pour into cake pan and spread evenly. Set aside.


3.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon with a fork.

4.  Pour in melted butter and combined. Mixture should form large crumbs, but not be too wet. Add a little flour if needed.

Assemble and Bake

5. Spread topping over cake evenly.

6. Place pan in oven on middle rack and bake for 25-30 minutes. A knife or toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.  Remove from oven and cool.

Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Cherry Cobbler

My family LOVES anything cherry . . . sour cherry pie, cherry clafoutis, and cherry cobbler. This recipe is an adaptation of several that I have tried. It requires that you make your cherry filling on the stove top then top it with a shortcake biscuit mixture in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan.



4 cans sour cherries with juice, 14.5 ounces each
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp corn starch
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tap nutmeg
5 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup water


3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter - very cold and cut into small cubes or grated
1 cup half and half
1 cup milk



1. Drain the cherries and reserve the juice in a bowl (it should come to about 2 cups). Set the cherries and juice aside.

2. In a large sauce pan, add the sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix together and then add lemon juice, 1/2 cup water and reserved cherry juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat - mixture should thicken. Remove from heat and add cherries.


3.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

4.  Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, blend in the butter until the mixture looks like loose cornmeal (there will be large pieces of butter). Add half and half and milk, mix with spoon and set aside.

Assemble and Bake

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place filling in ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

6. Drop filling in large spoons on top of filling. Try to cover the entire area but there will be some gaps. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream. Serves 8.