Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gina's Rum Cake

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Here's a delicious moist, buttery rum cake recipe from Gina Shimomura, pictured with her husband Mark (my nephew) and their children, Jordan and Teiya of Kent, Washington. This cake is delicious!


1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Malibu Rum

Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased bundt cake pan. Bake 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Let cool while mixing glaze.

1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Malibu Rum

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and dissolve in melted butter. Add the water and bring to a boil. When the mixture begins to boil, add the Malibu Rum and stir for about 1 minute. Pour the glaze over the bottom of the cake while it is still in the cake pan and still warm. Let glazed cake sit for about 10 minutes before inverting.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jennifer's Spinach and Feta Appetizers

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Here's a tasty and unique appetizer from Jennifer Powell. The spinach-feta cheese bundles were enjoyed by all at her recent wine-tasting party, where she launched her new career as a Wine Consultant for Wine Shop at Home. Check out her website for details of her new venture:

1 pkg Won Ton wrappers
2 T chopped onion
4 oz melted butter, divided
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 T chopped mushrooms
Dash ground cayenne and salt to taste
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Sauté onions in 1 tablespoon melted butter. Add the spinach, mushrooms, cayenne pepper, and salt. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese and feta cheese. Place the wraps flat on a clean, dry cutting board. Place a heaping half-teaspoon of spinach and cheese mixture on square. Fold up edges around spinach mixture and pinch to make a purse-like bundle. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Before baking, drizzle melted butter over purses. Bake at 400° (F) for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Optional: Once out of the oven, tie a chive around the neck of the purse. NOTE: Can be prepared then refrigerated for future baking. Makes 32.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Joanne's Brunch Strata

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This recipe comes from my friend, Joanne Kowalik, pictured here with her two sisters, Barbara (left) and Rita (right) on their way to a Rolling Stones concert. Joanne makes this brunch casserole for her family on Christmas morning. You can put it together the night before, then pop it into the oven the next morning...perfect for holiday entertaining.

8-oz. loaf French bread, cut into 1” cubes (6 cups) – use stale (1-day old bread)
1-2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup finely chopped scallions
2 T olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 green bell peppers, cut into thin strips
2-½ cups coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
5 eggs
2-½ cups milk
3 T Dijon-style mustard
¼ tsp pepper
Tabasco to taste (optional)

Saute vegetables using moderate heat in olive oil until peppers are tender and liquid from mushrooms evaporates. Place bread cubes in greased 3-quart rectangular baking dish (9 x 13). Layer mushrooms, peppers and green onions over bread. Sprinkle with cheese. In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs with rotary beater; beat in milk, mustard and pepper; add Tabasco to taste. Carefully pour over layered vegetable mixture. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Bake, uncovered in a 325 degree oven about 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in or near center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10-12.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hide's White Sesame Teriyaki Steak

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Here's a great teriyaki steak recipe from Hide Obataki. The original recipe has been adjusted and reduced to smaller proportions. You can change the amount of the ingredients to your taste. Here's a photo of Dave, Denny, James, Hide and Ray in Florence, Italy.

Sauce Ingredients:
2 cups soy sauce
1-1/4 cups sugar
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/8 cup sesame oil
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup roasted white sesame seeds

Mix all of the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. In a frying pan, grill or broil a steak. Add a few spoonfuls of the sauce to the pan when the steak is almost done. Do not throw away the fat and juice from the steak as it makes the sauce milder in taste. This is a strong tasting sauce. If the sauce is too strong for you, sprinkle a little sake into the sauce. To serve, pour the sauce over the steak and garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.

Mom's Apple Pie

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Every Thanksgiving and Christmas my mom made her homemade apple pie with crumb topping. The whole house smelled of cinnamon and apples as the pies baked. She topped it with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. It was definitely a family favorite tradition.

Mom's Pie Crust:
3/4 cup Crisco shortening
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
6-7 T ice cold water

Blend the shortening, flour and salt with a pastry blender until it resembles the size of peas. Sprinkle the ice cold water over all and continue mixing with the pastry blender until blended. Empty the contents of the bowl onto plastic wrap or waxed paper and form into a ball, then flatten the ball with your hands. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll out the dough into a circle to fit a pie pan. Tuck the edges under, and flute the edges of the pie crust, if desired. Makes 2 pie crusts.

Mom's Apple Pie Filling:
7 tart apples (Granny Smith), peeled and sliced thin
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 T flour
Dash of salt

Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar

Peel and slice the apples. Mix the apples, sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt together and place it in the pie crust. In a small bowl, mix the crumb topping ingredients with a pastry blender. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the pie filling. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30-40 minutes more. (This recipe makes one pie.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Crab, Avocado and Mango Stack

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While at happy hour with my friends in San Diego, we discovered the most delicious crab, avocado and mango stack at the Chart House in Cardiff. Val Kane located the recipe on internet; however, it was missing the remoulade sauce, a secret Chart House recipe, and chive oil. I was able to find a similar remoulade sauce recipe from Ruth Chris Steak House and the chive oil from The crab stack was so good that we ordered two that night and ate it all. I hope you enjoy it.

1 lb. crab mixed with 3/4 cup remoulade sauce

Mango Mix:
2-1/2 cups mango, ripe, peeled and diced 1/2 inch
1 cup red bell pepper, diced 1/4 inch
1 T jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced 1/8 inch
1/4 cup red onion, diced 1/4 inch

2 large ripe avocados, diced 1/2 inch
Fresh basil as garnish

Mix the crab and remoulade sauce. Place a long layer of plastic wrap in a large cylinder mold, and spoon the crab mixture into the mold, then add the mango mix layer, and then add the avocados. Cover with the ends of the plastic wrap. Lightly press down. Open up the ends of the plastic wrap, invert mold onto a platter, and remove the mold and plastic wrap. Garnish the top of the stack with fresh basil. Optional: Drizzle chive oil (see below) around the outside of the platter. Serve with crackers or a thinly sliced baguette.

Ruth Chris Steak House Remoulade Sauce:
1-1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Creole mustard
1 T chopped garlic
1 scant tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce

Mix all ingredients together, cover and store in refrigerator.

Chive Oil:
1 bunch of chives
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a saucepan of boiling water blanch chives 10 seconds and drain in a sieve. Immediately plunge chives into ice water to stop cooking. Remove chives from ice water, squeezing out excess water, and drain on paper towels. Chop chives and in a blender purée with oil until smooth. Transfer chive oil to a bowl. Chill oil, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Pour oil through a fine sieve into a small bowl, pressing hard on solids.