Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fallen Angels Redeemed

A while back I wrote a post about my experience with trying to bake an angel food cake here above 6000 feet. (If you want to take a look at that, use this link)

Evidently, the difference in the altitude and the oven from my house to my daughter's brand spankin' new place makes all the difference -- or perhaps that we bought a different brand of cake mix and followed the high altitude instructions to the letter

At any rate, we had angel cake! YUM

I may get brave and give it one more shot here at home, using the brand of cake mix we used there

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


We like applesauce, but so much of what you get the stores doesn't taste like anything other than corn sweeteners.

So, we have a home made version.

This is my husband's recipe, developed over several months of experimentation, and it's great.

Makes about 2 quarts of applesauce (I know that's a lot, but why make the mess without big results -- it never lasts long enough to go bad!)


3 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 granny smith apples
4 gala apples
1/4 cup water
1 Tbls cinnamon


Mix the lemon juice into the 3 cups water in a large bowl

Peel and core the apples. Slice into even slices (about 1/4 inch thick) into the lemon juiced water as you go. (The lemon juice keeps the apples from turning brown while you're working on them and while they are cooking)

Drain apples well, place in sauce pan, add 1/4 cup water (the water keeps the apples from scorching until the apples start releasing enough of their own moisture)

Cook on medium heat until apples are soft and "mashable" -- stir often and watch carefully so they don't burn.

Remove from heat. Use a potato masher, a ricer or an emersion blender to mash the apples to your desired smoothness (we like ours a little chunky, so the ricer is our best tool).

Add the cinnamon and mix well.


If you are not as enthusiastic about cinnamon as we are, you may want to use a little less -- start with 1 tsp and work your way up.

You'll notice there is no sugar in this recipe. If you really feel you need it after you've tasted the finished product, I recommend adding it as you serve it, maybe just a sprinkle over the top.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cranberry Fluff

EDITED 11/23/11: It is best to mix with an immersion blender in a very deep bowl, otherwise the counter, the floor, the chef, the dog, etc. are pink!

EDITED 12/8: Well, I found Cranberry Jello (yes, you have to but the brand name, which is more expensive, but hey, it's the holidays and a little treat every now and then is ok).

The cranberry jello is even better than the raspberry. This recipe is a "keeper" -- and next tme I want to do cranberry jello with cranberry juice for half of the water -- or maybe some of the cranberry flavored Sierra Mist soda that I saw advertised last night.

I'll keep you informed!

There's something about Thanksgiving that just seems to bring out the jello molds!

I really wanted to try something different this time, and since it was to be just two of us for dinner, and the DH is a willing guinea pig, this is what I came up with.

Since I wasn't making cranberry sauce, I wanted to have some cranberry ingredient, I went through the cupboard and found the craisins -- PERFECT!

Here then is what I did:


1 small package sugar free raspberry jello (this would be even better with cranberry jello!)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup ice water
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup craisins


Spray a small mold with cooking spray

Add jello powder to boiling water and stir until totally dissolved

Using a whisk, beat in cream cheese until well blended

Add ice water and craisins, mix well

Pour into mold and chill until set

Notes: next time I'm going to try this with cold cranberry juice instead of the ice water, and I think I'll pre-soak the craisins to "plump" them too

I'll let you know how that turns out!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tamale Pie

We like one dish meals at our house. Not that making one actually uses only one dish, but we like the flavors of casserole type things, so we do them pretty regularly.

This one has been a favorite for a while, but I don’t make it real often. It is, however, one that most of the time I could just whip up out of what’s in the cupboard.

It’s a great recipe for one of those chilly winter days that just begs you to turn on the oven for some reason!

There are lots of variations to this, and I’ve added some of them. I’d love to hear what you do with it!


For the crust:
2 ½ cups water
1 tsp salt
½ to 1 tsp chili powder (if you like spicy, use a whole tsp)
1 ¼ cup corn meal

For the filling:
1 lb. meat (left over pork or chicken, shredded or hamburger)
1 can (15 oz) chili ready or Mexican style tomatoes (or a can of green chili sauce)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
¾ cup frozen corn, rinsed and drained
½ onion, diced fine
1 tbls olive oil
½ to ¾ cup shredded cheese (cheddar or jack are best)


Turn oven on to 350 degrees

In a sauce pan, combine water, salt and chili powder, bring to a boil
Using a whisk, slowing add cornmeal, turn burner off and cover to thicken

Spray a 2 ½ quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread cornmeal in dish to entirely cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Technique tip: use a glass custard dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray to press the cornmeal mixture evenly into the casserole dish.

Set the casserole dish aside.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil.

Sauté the onions until they are transparent then add the meat. Technique tip: if you are using hamburger, scramble fry it in another pan first and drain off all the fat.

Add the tomatoes, beans and corn, mix well and bring to a simmer to heat all of the ingredients through

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the filling to the prepared crust (too much liquid is not desirable)

Top with the shredded cheese

Bake for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly browned

Serve with a side salad, guacamole, sour cream and black olive garnish

Enjoy (oh yes, any left overs that you reheat the next day are just as good!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pantry Fruit Dessert

You know the problem -- you need a quickie dessert, or something tasty to take to a pot luck -- you don't have a lot of time, and you don't want to make a trip to the store.

This just may be your solution!

Quick, easy and pretty much safe for any number of special diets as it has no eggs, no nuts and no gluten!

+Here's the recipe:

2 pints (or 2 small cans) peach halves (this could also be done with canned pears or apples, and slices or chunks work just as well as halves)
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not the steel cut ones, and no instant oatmeal packets!)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp corn starch
4 Tbls softened butter

How to:
Heat the oven to 425 degrees
Spray an 8x8 glass pan with cooking spray (for easier clean up)
Drain the fruit
Arrange fruit in the bottom of the pan
Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until well mixed
Spread mixture on top of fruit
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes

Serve warm -- it's really good with a little whipped cream or ice cream too


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Great Pumpkin Pie Puzzle

For a number of years we have had what can best be described as a love/hate relationship with pumpkin pies.

Personally, I love pumpkin pie, and sweet potato pie too. Still slightly warm from the first day's baking or after it's been chilled, with whipped cream or without, it has always said "goodies for cold weather" to me.

But we have had "issues" with pumpkin pies. There was the year of the "I forgot to add the sugar", and the "why is there so much extra liquid".

Here then are some things I've learned about pumpkin pies:

* If you are starting with fresh pumpkin, after it's been cooked and the skin removed, you need to press it through a strainer to take out the extra liquid. And don't expect it to be as orange as the commercial puree -- for some reason, that just doesn't happen.

* Like with any baking, it's a good idea to put all of the ingredients out on the counter before you start and put them away as you add them to the recipe -- that way you know you have everything you need before you start (and don't have to make a run to the store in mid-mixing), and you'll remember to put everything into the mix (let us say that leaving out the sugar was a deal breaker!)

Here then are the two variations of pumpkin pie that we use at our house:

Heat the over to 425 degrees.

Put the pie crust in the pan (we always use a pyrex pie pan).

Mix all the other ingredients together until well blended and pour into the pie crust.

For Version I, bake for 15 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 40 to 50 minutes.

For Version II, bake at 425 for 45 to 55 minutes.

To test for doneness, a case knife or a thin metal spatula should come out clean when inserted midway between the center and the edge of the pie. Carry over heat will finish the custard cooking and keep the pie from being dry.

Either of these versions can be made by substituting mashed sweet potatoes for the pumpkin puree -- and that's yummy too -- especially with a little drizzle of carmel sauce.

Anyone else have any "horror stories" about pumpkin pie?

Friday, November 07, 2008

We interrupt this healthy eating

for an old style southern dish

I know, we're trying hard to cut the fat, but even our doctor tells us you can occasionally have one of those "BAD for you" meals.

This dish is something I remember from my childhood -- my grandmother made it, and I loved it then too

Pork Chops and Grits

3/4 cup quick cooking grits
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbls butter

2 to 4 pork chops

In a sauce pan, bring the water to a boil. Whisk in the salt and the grits, reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Set aside.

Trim the fat from the pork chops. In a heavy skillet, render the fat (cook those little pieces of fat until they are like very crispy bacon). Remove the crispy pieces from the pan (I confess -- I eat them!). Sprinkle each side of each pork chop lightly with salt, and place in skillet. Brown each side, do not overcook!

In a flat baking dish, spread the grits in an even layer (spray the dish with non-stick cooking spray first for easier clean up!)

Place browned pork chops on top of grits -- don't overlap the meat -- then pour all of the pan juices over the grits

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on how thick the pork chops are and how "done" you like them)

Enjoy, ya'll!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lentil and Rice salad

I'm part of a quilt group that meets monthly and at the end of our morning meetings we have a pot luck lunch.

One of our members can't eat anything with wheat, so I've been trying to come up with recipes that she can eat too.

This one was what I took this month, and I really like it, so I thought I would share the recipe here.

For Salad
3 cups water
1 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup long grain rice (note: I used basmatti, brown rice would NOT work here without serious cook time changes)
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onion (or finely diced red onion)
1 cup diced tomatoes (I used a can of ready cuts)
lettuce leaves

For dressing
4 Tbls olive oil
4 Tbls lemon juice
2 tsp snipped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt

Rinse and drain lentils.

Transfer lentils to a medium saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for 5 minutes.

Add uncooked rice, cover and simmer 15 minutes more.

Remove pan from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Drain, rinse with cold water and let drain again.

In large bowl, combine lentil/rice mixture, red pepper, carrots, onions and tomatoes.

For dressing, mix together in a jar or plastic shaker: olive oil, lemon juice, salt and basil. Shake well.

Pour dressing over salad, stir gently to coat.

Chill for 4 to 24 hours (like many of these kind of salads, it improves with time to "meld")

Serve on lettuce leaves (a romaine leaf with some of the salad rolled inside is a tasty "salad burrito")

Monday, July 21, 2008

In defense of Jello

Its summer


we're on low fat diet

we're on a low sugar diet

we need a salad

we need a desert

what's the answer?


now just plain jello (especially RED jello) is a staple in the winter when one of us has a "bug" of some sort, and that's not what I'm talking about here

I'm talking about using jello as the base for some wonderfully cool salads/deserts that hit the spot when its hot

and I'm not talking about just the brand name stuff either -- my grandmother used to swear by Royal -- now days I buy whatever is the least expensive, and I recommend you do like wise!!

Here then are some of my favorite jello concoctions:

Lime Jello #1

1 pkg lime jello
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

drain the pineapple (I usually drink the juice as a "cook's treat" when I do this)
mix jello according to package directions
add other ingredients

Lime Jello #2

1 pkg lime jello
1 small can pear chunks

drain the pears
prepare jello according to package directions
add pears

Orange Jello #1

1 pkg orange jello
1 small can mandarin oranges

drain oranges
prepare jello
add oranges

Orange Jello #2

1 pkg orange jello
2 medium carrots
1/2 cup raisins

grate carrots
prepare jello
add carrots and raisins

Tomato Aspic (Lemon Jello)

1 pkg lemon jello
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped celery (optional)
1 cup cooked salad shrimp

prepare jello by substituting the tomato sauce for the cup of cold water specified on the jello package
add all other ingredients

Anybody got any other versions?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Key Lime Pie

In the summer there's no better desert than a tart/sweet key lime pie -- and the best part of this one is that you don't have to go anywhere near that oven!

This little beauty was whipped up by my daughter for a "we're defrosting grandma's freezer" party that we had recently, so I thought I'd share it!

Easy Key Lime Pie

1 graham cracker crust (you could make this from scratch, but why?)
4 ounces key lime juice (you can use just regular lime juice, it just won't be as tart, and no you don't have to squeeze those limes, you can buy a little bottle of the stuff)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (the low fat stuff should work just as well as the "high test", just be sure its condensed, evaporated won't do it)
1 tub of cool whip (not the extra hugh size, just a regular tub)
green food color if you feel the need to make it look green

With your electric mixer, whip together the lime juice and the condensed milk (and the food color if you're going there) until well mixed.

Fold in cool whip

Pour into cracker crust

Chill for at least one hour before cutting


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fisherman Style Fish Dish

We've been trying to eat healthy, and one of the things we're trying to do at least weekly is eat some kind of fish.

In our last batch of food from Shares we got a 1 pound package of Pollack fillets.

Last night the DH turned it into a great dinner (and we have enough left over to reheat for a quick meal another night)

This is a fisherman style baked fish dinner, and I cooked up some brown rice that we poured some of the sauce over as a side dish.

1 rib of celery, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbls olive oil
1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tbls fresh basil, cut fine
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbls parsley
1 lb firm flesh white fish (we've done this with Pollack, tilapia, halibut)

In a skillet, sauté the celery, pepper, onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft.

Add tomatoes and seasoning and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Place fish in a single layer in baking dish (we used the glass lasagna pan) and pour sauce over it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese

I usually think of this as more of a winter time dish, mostly because it requires turning on the oven, but my daughter recently requested the recipe, so here it is.

There is no real good way to make this a low fat meal -- you can use low fat milk, but there is no substitute for really good sharp cheddar cheese -- so just think of this as a "splurge" and forgive yourself!

For some reason elbow macaroni is the traditional pasta to use for this -- its just one of those "we've ALWAYS done it that way" things, but it can be done equally well with medium or small shell pasta -- you want something that the sauce will cling to.

You'll want to adjust what sort of pan you bake this in based on your family's preference. At our house we like the crusty edges, so I bake in a fairly thin layer in a pyrex pan -- the same one I cook lasagna in -- lots of crusty edges -- yum! If you're not so into the crusty parts, a round pyrex backing dish works too.

So here's the recipe:

2 c raw elbow macaroni
2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 1/2 c milk
2 tbls flour
2 tbls butter
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp yellow mustard

Cook macaroni following package directions -- don't overcook

Melt butter in sauce pan, add flour to form roux -- let it cook a little bit to take out the raw flour taste

Whisk in milk, worcestershire sauce and mustard. Continue stirring until sauce begins to thicken.

Stir about 2/3 of shredded cheese into sauce and continue stirring until the cheese melts.

Drain macaroni and return to cooking pot. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni and mix well.

Pour sauced macaroni into greased baking pan, top with remaining shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Quitata? Friche?

This is not really a fritata -- its in a crust.

And its not really a quiche -- it has flour in it and a lot less cheese

Either way, its pretty guilt free for those of us on low fat diets, it tastes great either warm or cold, it looks beautiful, and it makes a wonderful breakfast or lunch (with a green salad as a side dish!)

For those of you that aren't watching the fat as closely as I am, I've included a "real egg" amount along with the other ingredients


recipe for 1 crust pie crust (to be honest here, we use one of the refridgerated rolled ones from the grocery -- they taste as good as any we make at home!)

1/3 cup bacon bits (about 6 slices of bacon)
1 1/2 cup egg substitute (or 6 "real" eggs)
3/4 cup frozen cut spinach -OR- broccoli
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tomato


Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch dice. Fry until crisp and drain well. Set aside to cool.

Rinse the spinach in warm water. Press into a sieve to remove liquid. Set sieve on a terry cloth towel to wick away any additional water. (if using broccoli, rinse and drain, cut into small pieces and set aside)

Line pie tin with crust.

Mix together the eggs, salt and flour - blend well.

Add cheese, cooled bacon and prepared spinach (or broccoli) and mix well.

Slice the tomato into thin slices.

Pour mixture into pie pan, decorate top with tomato.

Bake in preheated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes or until a table knife inserted close to the middle comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before cutting.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chow Mien

In our effort to "eat healthy", we've been working out some new recipes.

This one was quite tasty! The hardest part is actually the prep time as the cooking takes only about 10 minutes --- the slicing and dicing took about half an hour

This would easily feed four, or be one dinner for two and two lunches that would easily reheat in the microwave

1/2 pound lean pork or chicken thigh meat
3 medium size carrots
4 ribs of celery
1 red or green pepper
5 green onions
6 to 8 medium mushrooms
1 cup mung bean sprouts (or 1 14 oz can)
1 5 oz can bamboo shoots
1 5 oz can water chestnuts
2 tsp corn starch
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbls soy sauce
2 Tbls peanut oil
2 packages raman noodles (throw the sauce packets away)

slice the meat into thin slices (tip: its easier to slice really thin if the meat is partially frozen, so if its fresh, put it in the freezer for about an hour and a half before this step -- a really sharp knife helps too)

In a sealable container or a zip bag, put the corn starch and the meat -- toss well to coat all the surfaces

Slice the carrots and the celery on the diagonal into thin pieces

Cut pepper into strips

Cut green onions into pieces about 2 inches long

Slice the mushrooms

Drain the canned veggies

Mix the soy sauce and the chicken broth together

Put pan of water for cooking raman noodles on heat to bring to a boil (water should be boiling before you start cooking the meat and veggies)

In a large heavy saute pan (or a wok if you have one), heat 1 tbls of the peanut oil. Cook the meat quickly, keep it moving and do not over brown. Remove meat from pan.

Add second tbls of oil to pan. Starting with the carrots and celery, add veggies to pan. After about a minute add peppers, onions and mushrooms. After another minute, add canned veggies and return meat to the pan. Stir to mix well.

Pour broth/soy sauce mixture over pan, cover.

Drop noodles into boiling water.

After 3 minutes, remove from heat.

Serve veggie mix over raman noodles.

Just one more thought about using chicken instead of pork – using toasted sesame oil instead of peanut oil – the taste just seems to go together!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Green Chili

This is one of those recipes that is very like the old style cookbooks -- a list of ingredients, a set of techniques, and every time it comes out different!

My husband makes this, and for quite a long time my daughter has wanted us to "write it down!", so last night, as he was putting it together, I took notes.

We like our green chili on the mild side, but if you like it hotter, add a hotter pepper to the mix.

As I said, its different every time -- largely because the peppers vary, so just in time for Cinco de Mayo, here ya go:

1 to 1 1/2 lbs pork steak -- you want something with some fat in it and bones are okay too
1 pasilla pepper
1 yellow hot pepper
1 green bell or anaheim pepper
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or dice fresh ones if you've got lots)
1 10 oz can tomatoes with peppers (we've used Hatch brand recently)

Trim the fat and bones from the pork and put them in a large heavy pan (we use a big saute pan) to render out the fat -- use a medium high heat and watch that they don't burn

Cut the pork meat into bite sized cubes

When the fat and bones have rendered (you know, they are that dark brown, crunchy consistancy -- yummy but still bad for you, but we eat them anyway!), remove from the pan.

Drain off most of the grease and put meat chunks into the pan to brown

Clean peppers and cut into pieces -- chunks, not tiny bits, dice onion and garlic

When the meat is browned, remove from pan and add peppers and onion, saute until the onion is translucent, then add the garlic

Return pork to the pan and stir in the tomatoes

Simmer over medium low heat for 45 minutes to a hour

This stuff is great in a bowl with a tortilla on the side or over burritos as a "smother" sauce, and the left overs are even better than the stuff is the first night!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

No Bake Cookies

This blog started out as my postings of recipes that my daughter (and other family members) requested, but we're going to do a reversal today.

This recipe is one my daughter makes and has been a real hit at work for her.

Note added: I recently got to taste a batch of these made with Almond Butter, and they were great!! Give it a try.

2 c sugar
1/2 c margarine
1/4 c cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c milk
1/2 c peanut butter (chunky is really good here)
3 c quick oats (not the old fashioned ones)

Mix sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine in a sauce pan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly until boiling.

Pull from heat, mix in vanilla and let cool for one minute

Stir in peanut butter and oatmeal to combine completely

Drop by spoonfuls on silpat, wax paper or parchment and let cool (these take about 24 hours to be really fully set up)

Yummy! (thanks for the contribution to the cook book kid!!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A new feature here in Hattie's Kitchen

You might notice that over there on the right hand side there are Labels

yes folks, through some "fiddlin' around", I have figured out how to create an index for you -- to help in the search for a specific kind of recipe

How about that!!


Mammy's Scotch Scones

This recipe came from my grandmother.

I remember her making these and cutting them into long triangles. I don't know if that was the traditional shape, or if she just did them that way.

My daughter asked for this recipe, so here ya go

2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tbls sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 c milk

sift the dry ingredients together

add milk and mix well

roll out 1/2 inch thick and cut until no scraps are left (like I said, she used to cut long triangles)

cook at 300 degrees on ungreased cookie sheet for 30 to 35 minutes -- they should be LIGHT brown -- don't over cook

especially good with jam or honey

you could also add currents, raisins or any other dried fruit (as long as it is cut into really small pieces)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Skillet Suppers

My daughter requested that I find and post a recipe that was pretty much a once every couple of weeks staple back in the day when we were all out of the house all day every day.

This has lots of possible variations, so bear with me here as I explain all of them.

The big joy of this is you can create the entire meal in ONE skillet, and the left overs reheat wonderfully for a lunch (if there are any left overs!)

Here's the recipe:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 4 small porkchops (about 1 pound)
1 can cream of mushroom, cream of chicken or cream of celery soup
1 1/2 cup water
2 cups of instant rice, uncooked
1 package of frozen peas, brocolli or mixed veggies

In a large skillet, heat a small amount of oil (just enough to keep meat from sticking). Brown the meat/chicken on both sides, then cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until meat/chicken is nearly done.

Remove from skillet to a plate. Pour soup and water into the skillet and bring to a boil.

Add the rice and the vegetable and mix well.

Return meat/chicken to skillet, cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes or until rice has absorbed most of the liquid.

See, simple, quick, delish!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Nothing to be trifled with

This post could be sub headed: "when life gives you lemons, make lemonaid"!

The original plan was to make a quarter sheet cake and decorate it like a sheet of music (you know, lines and notes) with a spray of roses over it.

Alas, when I attempted to take the cake out of the pan, it did THIS!!

ACK!! Well, now, what can one do with a cake that looks like that?

All hope of a smooth finish for piping musical notes onto was dashed. (We could say the air was a "trifle" blue)

This however, was the "fix" -- and an excuse to use a bowl that was a wedding gift that I've used now (maybe) 3 times -- a good thing perhaps!

At any rate, here's how I put this tasty treat together


1 boxed white cake mix
1 large package instant vanilla pudding
1 pint strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 pint blackberries
1 can whipped cream

Prepare cake per package instructions. When it has cooled completely, cut into 1 inch cubes and spread out on cutting board to dry slightly (I let mine stand for about 24 hours)

Mix instant pudding per package directions and chill.

Clean strawberries and cut in quarters. Sprinkle sugar over the berries and allow to combine for at least 4 hours.

To create trifle arrange in deep glass bowl in the following layers:

1/2 of cake cubes
1/2 of pudding
1/2 of strawberries and blackberries

repeat layers second time

top with whipped cream

garnish with a few whole berries if desired

This would also be excellent done with chocolate cake, chocolate pudding and fresh raspberries (leave out the sugar)

If you don't have a trifle bowl, a small glass punch bowl would work well, or these could be done as individual deserts in wine glasses

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Meat Loaf

I've had a request for my favorite meatloaf recipe, so here it is:

½ medium onion, chopped fine (or use green onions or shallots – shallots are my favorite)
1 tsp beef soup base (I use the kind that comes in a jar and must be refrigerated after opening)
1/3 c hot water
2 eggs OR ½ c egg substitute
½ c ketchup
1 ½ c oatmeal

Mix those 6 ingredients together in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes so the oatmeal can absorb the liquid

Add to mixture 2 to 3 pounds of quality ground meat. I have used lamb, pork, veal and venison in combination with beef to make successful meatloaves.

Combine well (use your hands!!), form a loaf and put in pan. I have used a 9x12 cake pan with a rack and an iron skillet as pans from time to time

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 ½ hours (I like my meatloaf DONE, not pink in the middle, and at about a hour into baking I usually check it by cutting it in half at the thickest part)

I should also add that if you want to take an even less complex approach, get a package of dry onion soup mix to replace the first two ingredients!

This is great hot, makes wonderful sandwiches afterwards. One of my favorite "sandwiches" with it is to roll a strip of meatloaf and a strip of cheese in a flour tortilla and warm it in the microwave --- mmmmmm, yummy!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

High Test Chocolate Cake

For some reason, we still seem to be stuck on cake!

This one, unlike the ones with buttercream frosting, is so easy that anyone can frost it!

This reminds me of the cake we got at the upscale restaurants we used to eat in in the San Francisco Bay Area -- a very thin slice is PLENTY!

Before making this one, make sure you have room to keep it in your fridge -- it has a lot of dairy in it and dairy going bad does not make for good eating!

High Test Chocolate Cake

8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 package chocolate cake mix (2 layer size)
1 package instant chocolate pudding (4 serving size)
1 cup egg substitute (or 4 whole eggs)
8 ounces sour cream or IMO
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
8 ounces frozen whipped topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Prepare 2 8 or 9 inch round cake pans

Chop 2 ounces of the baking chocolate and set aside (HINT: use a large serrated knife and a cutting board for this job)

In bowl of mixer (or large bowl if using a hand mixer) combine cake mix, pudding mix, egg substitute, sour cream, vanilla, oil and water. Mix on low speed until combined, then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. (This will be a thicker than usual batter for cake.)

Stir in the chopped chocolate and spread into cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes -- test with a toothpick to be sure they are done!

Cool in the pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn cakes out on rack and let cool completely.

To frost: chop remaining 6 ounces of chocolate. In a microwave safe bowl, combine frozen whipped topping and the chocolate. Microwave on HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds (or until chocolate is completely melted). Stir well until smooth. Let stand for 15 minutes. (This will be thinner than usual frosting.)

If necessary, trim the tops of both cakes to level.

Place one cake, bottom side down on cake plate. Spread about 1/4 of the frosting mix over the top. Place second cake bottom side up on top of first cake. Pour remaining icing onto cake, spreading from the top over the sides until entire cake is covered.


Cut in SMALL pieces (cake should be about 18 servings)-- a serrated blade works best on this cake

It has a wonderful fudgy texture.

In the time honored tradition here at Hattie's Kitchen, we never met a recipe we couldn't think of ways to "tweek", so here are some other ideas:

serve with a drizzle (or a pool!) of fresh raspberry puree

replace the 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of strong coffee

or: instead of chocolate cake mix and pudding mix, use a white cake and french vanilla pudding and follow the rest of the recipe as above

Let me know what you think!!