A Cup of Coffee or Cocoa, a Slice of Coffee Cake and Thou…Little Love Bites

Peggy’s Beyond Delicious Coffee Cake

Simple to make and especially delightful on love days like Valentines, Mother’s or Father’s Day. My Beyond Delicious Coffee Cake makes a very special treat this or any other day you are feeling romantic and loving, with breakfast in bed, either on the weekend or on the actual day. Serve with eggs, bacon or ham, juice. Try fresh fruit in a beautiful clear glass container with a dollop of creamy whipped topping on top, with of course, a flower or chocolate kiss on the place setting. Let your imagination be your guide for your presentation and your knowledge of your loved ones food favorites for the menu. Make the coffee cake in advance and reheat before serving. What a fantastic love potion. Children will adore this as much as adults, so why not make it a whole family surprise. Nothing says love more clearly than a warm and wonderful meal fixed especially and unexpectedly for those you care for the most.
By the way, no bundt pan? Feel free to bake your coffee cake in a deep casserole dish as explained in accompanying recipe. I hope you will share your experience with us at our blog or http://www.downhomedelicious.com/contact.

Simple to make and especially delightful on Valentine’s, Mother’s, and Father’s Day.

Beyond delicious coffee cake

SERVES 4-6

  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2½ cups chopped nuts of choice
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter or margarine, minced
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 package fresh berries, rinsed and dried (*or other berries)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 sticks margarine, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ⅓ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bundt pan well.

Sift ½ cup of the sugar with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar in bottom of pan turning pan on all sides to coat bottom and all sides of pan. Sprinkle ½ cup chopped nuts and 2 tablespoons oats over sugar in bottom of pan. Dot with 2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine cut in tiny pieces.

In a large electric mixer bowl, combine remaining 2 cups granulated sugar with the 2 cups flour and 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and mix well.

Use ½ cup of flour/sugar mixture to toss with nut-berry mixture. Holding a large colander or sieve over the dry ingredients mixer bowl, dump in the floured nut mixture to release the excess flour/sugar back into the original dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl combine berries and remaining 2 cups nuts. *For valentine’s you can substitute halved fresh strawberries for blueberries or use a combination of both.

Return floured nut mixture to medium bowl and set aside.

To the dry ingredient mixer bowl add eggs, margarine, milk and vanilla extract and beat with electric mixer on high for exactly 12 minutes pushing down cake mix from sides once or twice. When mixing is complete, gently fold in (by hand) sugar floured nuts and blueberries. Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour on rack in middle of oven (be sure to check after 45 minutes). Turn hot cake onto buttered cake plate without removing bundt pan for at least 2 minutes. Tap top of pan before removing to loosen cake from pan. Serve immediately (I like to eat my cake warm so I cut it as soon as it hits the plate), or cool thoroughly.

**No bundt pan? Feel free to bake your coffee cake in a well greased deep casserole dish. Top with a crumb topping using the ingredients for the bottom of bundt pan on the top of the cake as follows.

Assemble in a bowl…

  • ½ cup oats with the ½ teaspoon cinnamon,
  • ½ cup brown rather than white sugar,
  • ½ cup chopped nuts and

You can even hold back a few berries to sprinkle over the top.
Toss all topping ingredients except butter until well mixed and sprinkle over top of coffee cake.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons melted butter over top.

Bake as directed. If cake begins to brown too much lay a foil tent over it until finished baking.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Cheesy Beef and Eggplant Casserole

A true crowd pleaser, so delicious as a main course or side dish everyone will beg for more. There are many foods I love but this casserole, simple as it is, rates right up there at the top. Its creation spawned from our having one producing eggplant bush in our small garden at the back of our yard. As much as I also love fried eggplant at some point enough is enough and the excess tends to dry up the appetite. Consequently last summer I decided to do something different. I got in my kitchen and fussed and fretted and mixed and matched flavors I prefer. The result was this recipe. The deciding factor for it was my neighbor and her guests. I made a huge amount of the casserole and took a baking dish full over to them. They oohed and ahhed and gave forth so many compliments and requests for the recipe that I became convinced I had a winner – not just to appease my appetite but that of the public also.

I must admit this neighbor is the recipient of many of my “concoctions” and is always kind and so far always affirming. It is great to have a taste tester just next door, especially since we have different regular food preferences. It lends more credibility to her being a spokesperson for the public. I am indebted to her and her friends and family for assisting me with the review of my culinary creativity.

The white dots on the picture of the casserole are the chunks of mozzarella cheese nestled in the meat mixture. It is soft and wonderful and blends perfectly with the rest of the flavors. The aroma of its baking will have everyone gravitating to the kitchen. Don’t tell picky eaters it has eggplant in it, they will never know. And if you don’t like eggplant, try zucchini, or leave them both out, it will still be delicious.

Give it a try, serve some, freeze some for another night and enjoy it all over again just warmed in the microwave. That is, if there is any left to freeze. When I make it for lunch it is gone by the end of dinner.

Read through the recipe first, so you will have an idea where you are going with the preparation. Everything is cooked before putting in the oven so you can taste all the way through and adjust seasonings to your personal taste.

eggplant casserole 3

Serves 8 generously, may be frozen

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ pound ground Angus Chuck
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, diced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • ⅔ small white onion, diced
  • ½ tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1½ cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • ½ cup sliced kalamata or small black olives, rinsed and drained well
  • 12 ounces tomato sauce, unseasoned
  • ¾ pound Mozzarella cheese, cubed small
  • ½ cup mozzarella, finely shredded
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes – optional

Spray a very large and deep frying pan with oil and put over medium high heat.

Add 3 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, add beef and begin to brown, breaking into large chunks.

Add mushrooms, green pepper, and onion and sauté until onion is transparent.

Add garlic and sauté another minute then add parsley, black pepper and salt to taste. Turn off burner and set mixture aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel and dice eggplant.

Spray another large skillet with oil, then add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Turn heat to high and add eggplant to skillet. Continuously stir eggplant, brown lightly on all sides, then drain in colander. Eggplant absorbs a lot of oil and throws a lot of oil when baked.

In a 4-quart or larger bowl, put mixture from first skillet, eggplant, and breadcrumbs. Stir well.

Add olives, ½ of the tomato sauce and mozzarella cubes and stir well again. Put all into a well-greased 9×9 inch baking dish that goes from oven to table. Combine remaining tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella with cream and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour sauce over casserole. Sprinkle Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes over all.

Put casserole in preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until heated through, being careful not to let top darken too much. If top gets too dark put a foil tent over casserole for remainder of baking time.

Drain or spoon off excess oil.

Serve as a main course with a pasta side dish or crunchy hot Italian bread, or as a side dish with Spaghetti and Meatballs or other Italian dishes.

Peggy
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Roast Beef takes Center Stage

 

rump roast2There is something about roast beef that is almost as American as apple pie and definitely as beloved. It is a comfort food par excellence. Having already given you much advice about preparing a roast I decided to share the recipe of dearly departed Gracie Allen, the famous comedienne.

 

Gracie Allen’s Roast Beef

Get a small roast and a large roast and cook them in oven. When the small roast is burned, then the large one is done. Fini!

How easy is that??

Seriously now, just a little fun to lighten up your day. Have a laugh and a great roast beef. Check out the Rump Roast recipe in an earlier blog.
Have a lighthearted down home delicious day ya’ll.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Easy Does It – Pecan Crusted Pork Loin Roast

 

Pecan crusted pork roast slicedWhat a beautiful day it is today. Not a day to be stuck in the kitchen slaving away. That doesn’t mean I have to compromise our menu or have a less lovely meal to feast on. Maybe I can try out one of my Easter recipes.

Truth is, on my trip to the grocery store earlier I found a beautiful boneless pork loin roast in the meat case, tucked that honey in my basket and away I went. I knew exactly what I had in mind for it, tender and moist roast pork enrobed in yummy roasted nuts. My mouth was watering just thinking about it. The good news is it would be about as easy as anything could be. What a treat, it turns an everyday meal into a gourmet holiday feast with relatively easy preparation.

This particular roast was a mere 3 ½ pounds, which really is a lot of meat for just two people, elderly people like us that is. Young people with careers in or out of the home that may spend their days chasing children or driving them back and forth to various activities require a lot more energy builders than we do. Buy accordingly, ½ to 1 pound per person depending on the appetites and if you want to have enough for second helpings. A roast smaller than three pounds may not roast quite as well as one that is a minimum of 3 pounds. But if that is all you want, give it a try, just roast it a little longer than 30 minutes per pound to be sure center is done. Trust me, this is a second helping kind of recipe, nothing will go to waste. The easy does it part goes like this. The recipe only requires 2 ingredients (pork and nuts) plus three common seasonings, spray oil, and aluminum foil.

Pecan Crusted Pork Loin Roast

 

 

  • 3 pound or larger boneless pork loin roast (¾ – 1 pound per person)
  • ground black pepper
  • garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • 1½ cup pecans (or other nuts) (If you don’t like nuts use another crust)
  • salt
  • spray oil
  • aluminum foil

 

Easter Egg Decoration

 

  • 8 washed raw eggs in shells
  • Easter egg dye
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce

 

 

Begin this monumentally easy task by preparing the roasting pan, line it with foil dull side up, then spray foil with pam. Put a shallow rack on top of foil and spray it well also. Tear a piece of foil several inches wide to be used as a tent lengthwise on the roast. Fold and crease the length of the foil and spray dull side with oil. Set aside.

Chop your pecans (or other nuts of choice) into small to medium pieces and leave on cutting board. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Season the fat side of the roast with a dusting of pepper and garlic powder. Spray with cooking oil. Turn the roast over and season the fat free side the same, pepper and garlic powder. Next lightly dust with cornstarch then spray generously with oil and lay cornstarch side of roast on chopped pecans. Using firm pressure, press roast into chopped nuts to make them adhere.
Turn roast over to check nuts. If they have not stuck to the roast sufficiently to make a nice thick coat, apply nuts by the handful, pressing into meat. Carefully move roast, nut side up, to roasting rack in prepared pan. Remove any nuts that fall off roast into pan so they will not burn in bottom of pan. Put foil tent over roast to protect nuts from burning.
Place roast in oven and roast for 30 minutes at 450 degrees F., then turn heat down to 375 degrees F and continue to roast for a total of 30 minutes per pound.
When roast has finished cooking, let it continue to sit on rack for about 15 minutes before plating. Plate roast and dress with roasted vegetables or fresh tomatoes, etc. pecan pork roast2Add water to drippings in pan and pour into microwaveable bowl. Adjust seasonings to taste. Skim excess grease from top of drippings and heat to serve as accompaniment to roast.
Note: If you want to make this roast for your Easter celebration, I suggestion you hardboil six or eight eggs for 10 minutes while roast cooks. Bring cooked eggs to room temperature in a cold water bath and peel. Prepare Easter egg dye and put the whole shell free boiled egg into the dye – one or more individual colors. When eggs are the color you prefer, drain them on a paper towel. After roast has been plated, surround it with shredded lettuce and the brightly colored eggs. You might even add a peep or two at the end if you are feeling particularly creative. How pretty is that? I didn’t have time to plate my roast like that today but it is a beautiful presentation for your holiday meal.
I really wanted to give you some fresh ideas for your Easter meal, ideas that are easy and somewhat inexpensive in comparison to their beauty and exceptional taste. I haven’t made my final menu decisions yet because I am so enjoying preparing recipes to share with you. I have already ordered a Pork crown roast of to prepare next week for your consideration. I would also fix a prime rib but we just can’t handle all this meat at one time. I will, if anyone asks, share with you the ease of preparation for prime rib. In fact, the recipe is on page 27 of the cookbook.
In the meantime, have a wonderful and exciting time looking forward to resurrection day and the celebrations and egg hunts it brings. While you are at it, be sure to have a down home delicious good time and remember to share all your good eats with us here at Peggy Sholly’s Recipes for a Delicious Life. Send pictures my friends, plenty of pictures please and post them on my Down Home Delicious Facebook page also.
Ya’ll be safe and blessed this Easter.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

True Comfort Food – Smothered Steak and Onions

 

I have my favorites of many types and tastes, as we all do. But some are more comfort food than others. Lima beans are one of those for me and the best quickie entree to accompany it is smothered steak with sautéed onions with mashed potatoes. The nice part of this meal is how easy and fast it is to prepare. I keep cubed steaks in my freezer for spur of the moment meals. My husband and I both love this as much as a complicated gourmet dish. Of course, creamy mashed potatoes are the be all and end all of this comforting meal.
The cubed steak is so easy a child could do it except for frying in hot grease. Take you cubed steaks and season on both sides with a light dusting of garlic powder (not salt), black pepper, and salt. Coat each with seasoned all purpose flour (I always keep a zip-lock plastic bag of seasoned flour in my freezer for just such occasions. Put a couple of cups of all purpose flour in a zip-lock bag, add garlic powder and black pepper, and combine thoroughly). Fry steaks on each side until golden brown in a hot skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil. Remove steaks to a platter and add one thin-sliced onion to skillet; fry until brown. When onions begin to brow, pour off grease, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water or chicken broth to pan and salt to taste. Add steak to pan and cook another two minutes. Set aside and prepare mashed potatoes and Liam’s (frozen from the grocer works very well cooked according to package directions with a large dollop of butter and black pepper). When sides are ready, serve all and enjoy a down home delicious True Comfort Food kind of meal!

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Delightfully Delicious Deviled Easter Eggs

 

colored deviled eggs2I do dearly love deviled eggs. They are an all occasion Southern delicacy, delicious anytime you crave a bit of comfort food, quick and easy and addictive. Dress them up with colored whites and they become the center piece for your Easter meal. Maybe, if you are really into fancy this Easter, they will share the limelight with Easter bread! Lucky you if you have both at your table.

I am a late comer to dyeing the whites of my deviled eggs but now that I have arrived I am an avid fan and connoisseur. If you don’t want to do them for your Easter celebration meal, just gather up all the left over Easter eggs laying around and put them to good use the week after Easter. What a great way to make use of the discarded eggs after an Easter egg hunt! You can’t possibly be one of the rare people on this planet to have never eaten a deviled egg, can you? Or maybe, as someone related to me last week, she just didn’t like the taste. I guessed it was the sweet relish in the recipe and she came back with a resounding “YES”. Don’t give up until you have tested these chicklets with dill relish…they are so much more yummy than with sweet relish. Don’t like either relish…leave it out and play around with the seasonings until you have your special taste. That’s allowed.

So my friends, its time to get serious and make some Delightfully Delicious Deviled Easter Eggs. Let’s begin by boiling those honeys properly and then the rest is history.

To help the true novice over the hump we begin by carefully washing our raw eggs in the shell, the recipe calls for 6 but you can boil as many as you want.

Delightfully Delicious Deviled Easter Eggs

Makes 4-6 servings

 

  • 6 large or jumbo eggs, hardboiled and cooled (allow one egg per person)
  • Egg dye or food coloring and white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons (or 1/3 rounded cup) mayo
  • ¾-1 teaspoons dill relish or finely minced dill pickle
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt – season to taste
  • Pinch of celery seeds – optional
  • Pinch of turmeric – to give brighter yellow color, optional
  • Splash of Tabasco sauce – to taste
  • ¼ cup boiled small salad shrimp, minced – optional

 

 

First hardboil eggs

6 or more Large raw eggs in shell, washed
Cool Water

Put eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold all eggs covered with water up to 2 inches from top of pot. Cover with cool water.

Turn heat to high and bring water to a boil. As soon as water begins to boil, turn heat down to medium and boil eggs 10 minutes at a gentle boil.

Pour water off cooked eggs, replace with a cold water bath and bring to room temperature. I gently roll eggs on counter to crack shell and then return them to bath to cool. Use in recipe or peel eggs and eat with salt.

Color egg whites

Prepare a cup or small bowl of cool colored water (or several of different colors) similar to dying Easter eggs. Either add egg dye or a few drops of food coloring and a little vinegar to each cup or bowl. Set aside. Put two layers of paper towels on a large pan and set aside.

Peel boiled eggs and rinse off any pieces of shell. Slice in half. Gently (try not to tear white) remove yolks to bowl.

Carefully put your emptied whites in the colored water and let them sit for a minute or two until they have the depth of color you like…When they have absorbed the color, take them out with a slotted spoon and place them apart on paper towels to drain, you don’t want draining color to touch other eggs. That’s it.

Prepare deviled egg filling

Mash egg yolks with fork or pastry cutter and add other ingredients. Mix well and season to taste. Spoon yolk mixture high into yolk cavity of egg whites. Wallah, you have a very pretty presentation of deviled eggs. Decorate tops with pieces of boiled shrimp, or pimento, or olives, or dust with paprika, or use anything you have available. Chill and serve.

The recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc.

Even a child can do something this easy. Theirs may not be as pretty as yours but nonetheless delicious. How satisfied you both will be with your accomplishment. It’s the chill and serve that is often the deal breaker so just bite the bullet and eat a few chicklets at room temperature. That is precisely why I make more than 6. I eat several at once and chill the rest. How good is that???

If you are fortunate to have a pretty deviled egg platter like I do, even better for presentation and keeping the eggs from sliding around on your platter. If you don’t have an egg platter, you can set them on a bed of shredded lettuce which will pass for grass, or use Easter grass. Everyone really should treat themselves to a deviled egg platter…it is a necessary indulgence in your kitchen. I have seen several beautiful ones at home stores in our area this Easter season.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Corn Fritters with Syrup or Honey Save the Meal

 

corn fritters with syrupFritters are the cousin to pancakes and tempura, the difference being that fritters are made with a batter similar to pancakes and have bits of chopped meats or vegetables added. Being a true southern gal, I do love corn fritters. In fact, southerners love most everything corn. Fruit fritters glazed with sugar or coated with confectioners sugar are a special treat also, but the beauty of savory fritters is that they are enjoyed throughout the day. They can be made with left overs like unused corn, artichokes, tomatoes, left over meats or seafood, or many other selections.

The corn fritters I enjoyed today were palm sized and delicate. I experimented and used half flour and half corn meal. They were delicious but I prefer the straight flour version. We have several apples in the fridge right now so maybe tomorrow we will have apple fritters – up the sugar by another tablespoon, leave out the bacon, pepper, and onion and add some oats and chopped nuts possibly. Uh oh, I think I am ready for tomorrow already.
Try these little corn treats. They are quick and easy to make and oh so good. It’s a nice change of side dish for what may otherwise be a tired meal of the same thing day after day.

Corn Fritters

MAKES 20 palm sized fritters or 10 large

 

  • 4 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or equivalent sugar substitute
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • ½ cup 2% milk or water
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 2 cups of canned Mexicali or regular corn kernels, well drained
  • ¼ cup white onion, finely minced or grated
  • Oil for frying

 

 

Cook bacon until crisp and set aside to cool.

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add egg, lemon/lime juice, milk/water, and oil. Stir until smooth. Crumble bacon and lightly stir in corn, onions, and bacon until combined. Do not over mix.
Spray a large skillet with oil. Add enough oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium high heat until oil is hot. When oil begins to shimmer spoon one heaping tablespoon of fritter batter into the pan. Immediately flatten fritter with the back of the spoon. Continue spooning in fritters about ½-inch apart until pan is comfortably full. Recipe makes several batches for a total of about 20 fritters. (You can make 10 large fritters by using 2 tablespoons of batter at a time.) Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Turn the fritters over when they are nicely browned on the bottom side. When second side is browned remove fritters to a paper towel or brown paper lined plate to drain. Serve hot with choice of syrup or honey.
Beware, they are so yummy you can’t eat just one. I have already had two and haven’t served them yet…cooks prerogative to taste everything before serving ;-).
Ya’ll have a down home delicious day now and don’t stuff yourself too much with the corn fritters.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Italian Easter Bread is Easy, Delicious and Beautiful

 

Easter Egg BreadOh yum, major indulgence time is close. Jesus’ followers celebrate that the time of penance and fasting is over for He has risen. It is time to celebrate to the max. There are so many lovely things you can add to your Easter meal to make it special, to celebrate the joy of the day, and remind all of the blessing of new life that is given to us. Even non-Christians can enjoy these goodies simply because they are as beautiful and as fun as they are delicious. Two of my favorites are Easter bread and colored deviled eggs, recipe to follow soon.

Have you ever experienced a traditional Italian Easter Bread, especially one with a sweet contemporary twist? If not, its time you indulged yourself. This is a treat you can do with your children, or friends, or family, or by yourself as a gift for someone special. It is as delicious as it is appealing.

Italian Easter egg bread is a circular braided bread studded with dyed raw eggs in the shell, tucked into the braids of the unbaked bread. Traditionally, the eggs can be natural or dyed in festive Easter colors. Use brown eggs for a earthier version or color the eggs just like regular easter eggs but carefully so as not to break the shell. The yeast bread base comes out rich, fluffy, and is easily pulled apart plus the eggs are baked within their shells.

Easter Egg Bread, which is Greek in origin, has been made by Italian families for centuries for Easter celebrations and St. Joseph Altars celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph. Often families that bake their own bread simply use some of the bread dough, rather than a special recipe, to make the bread ring. For those of you who don’t want to make your bread from scratch you can purchase yeast bread dough in the cooler section of your local grocer and go from there. Follow directions on the package until time for braiding.

For those who do not want to make their own Easter Bread many bakeries prepare the breads for purchase. It just seems to taste better homemade. With a little creativity it can also be made for other holidays. My recipe is a cinnamony version of the soft tradiitonal yeast bread and is quite appropriate for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. But watch out, it can be addictive. Maybe it will become a new Easter tradition in your family or circle of friends.

Italian Americans often use eggs that are natural colored or that are dyed in pastel colors, because the colors are closely associated with Easter especially in the United States. The bread may be left plain or decorated with festive icing after baking. I prefer mine with colored eggs and icing…the more self-indulgent the better. If you want to be extravagant you can even go so far as to make it like an Easter basket, adding jelly beans and candy Easter eggs on the icing. Or make the center hole large enough to put Easter grass in the center after baking and cooling and fill the grass with Easter goodies like in an Easter basket. Get as fancy as you like, it is beautiful and fun either way, simple or extravagant.

Italian Easter Bread

SERVES 10

 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 .25-ounce package active dry yeast
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5 small or 6 large raw eggs, washed, and dyed if preferred – eggs cook while baking
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup granulated light brown sugar with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon stirred into it

 

 

Hint: You can also make individual size braided breads with the colored egg in the center, or only two eggs tucked in the small bread, and that way each person may decorate their own for a fun experience.

Preparation

Combine one (1) cup only of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl and stir well.

Put milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted (watch it carefully). Slowly add warm milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring constantly. Add ½ cup flour and beaten eggs and beat well.

Add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, blending well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, folding dough over repeatedly, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled 3-4 quart bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and allow dough to rise in a warm place until dough is doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long strip about 36 inches long and 1/2 inches thick. Spread butter lightly on top of dough strips leaving the edges without butter or sugar.

Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over butter then roll up log fashion encasing the cinnamon sugar mixture. Use the two long rolls of dough to form a loose braid in a ring on a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Leave spaces for the five eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough evenly spacing eggs around the circle as much as possible. Do not cover eggs with dough, they should be nestled about ½ way down inside of dough. See picture.

Cover dough on cookie sheet loosely with a damp towel. Place in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter and sprinkle dough (not eggs) lightly with cinnamon sugar (1 tablespoon white granulated sugar with ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon stirred in).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for at least 10 minutes. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely. When thoroughly cooled drizzle or spread confectioners icing over top of dough (icing can be colored if you like) and sprinkle cookie sprinkles over icing. Other decoration ideas are in narrative and also follow.

Decoration:

To make eggs look like they are in a nest, do not add sprinkles. Instead, put a nice swatch of icing around egg, then sprinkle green tinted* coconut around eggs, to look like a nest of grass, pressing coconut down slightly to be anchored by icing.

*To tint coconut put it in a zip lock bag and add a few drops of food color. Seal bag and squoosh coconut around with fingers until it is evenly colored.

Ya’ll get ready for a down home delicious Easter and plenty of fun, fun, fun.
Hint: You can also make individual size braided breads with the colored egg in the center, or only two eggs tucked in the small bread, and that way each person may decorate their own for a fun experience.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

The Home Cook – Houseguests and Hostessing

 

When I was younger I had energy in abundance and wore myself out preparing for houseguests. Now that I am older I go easy on myself and prepare more gently for my guests. That way I enjoy the visit more. However, being a person that feeds others as a way of loving them, I still do more than I probably should but nothing close to the spread my cousin prepared for our visit.

Last week we were in South Carolina for 3 days with our cousins Marian and Jim Boley, following a conference we attended in Fort Mill, S.C. She cooked so much food, all in advance, she should have been totally depleted by the time we arrived. The menu included Velvet Crab Soup, Squash Bisque, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Apple Pie, Meatloaf, Twice Baked Potatoes, Steaks, Broccoli Casserole, Corn Pudding, Rump Roast, Sensation Salad Dressing and green salad, 2 quiches, and Zucchini Bread. I felt like I was at a Gourmet Buffet. And our hostess with the mostess was bright and perky with a sightseeing agenda that was mind boggling.
I did manage to land her Apple Pie recipe for you. Be warned the pie has far too much sugar for a diabetic like me, but I indulged anyway, a large piece with ice cream, much to my blood sugar’s dismay. It was so delicious, as was the entire array of mealtime delights. I hope you have friends or family who treat you like an honored guest and put so much thought and effort into preparing for your visit as the Boley’s did for us. It is very nice to be pampered now and then.

Marian Boley’s Homemade Apple Pie

 
SERVES 2 or more

  • 2 cups diced baking apples, (Granny Smith green, or other)
  • 1 level cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ stick butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Prepared pie crusts for 8-9” double crust pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss apples with flour, sugar and spice. Set aside.

In 8” iron skillet, melt butter.

Stir in brown sugar.

Place one pie crust on top of melted butter and brown sugar. Spoon apple mixture onto crust.

Place 2nd crust over apples.

Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until brown, on rack in middle of oven.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with or without ice cream, depending on what your diet can handle.

I also have the corn pudding recipe and will share that at another time. Ya’ll have a down home delicious day and don’t eat too much pie at one time.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Fish Market Seafood, Bar and Grill, Fort Mill, S.C. – Restaurant Review

 
What a pleasant surprise to find such a jewel in the middle of Baxter Village in Fort Mill, S.C. The Fish Market Grill is a treasure within a treasure, residing within a quaint shopping area loaded with charming retail establishments. The Fish Market looks like an antebellum home with attached carriage house, as southern as can be. White with black trim, a wraparound porch with white columns and ceiling fans, and black wrought iron tables and chairs spaced conveniently for outside service, you know you are in for a treat as soon as you arrive. It is fronted by a white picket fence and a small park with a three tier fountain, a large pole clock and many azalea bushes and other flowering plants, with walk ways for strolling.
That, my friend is only the entrance. The interior is upscale in design, quiet and welcoming. The menu is outstanding. We were in a fish market restaurant but enjoyed high quality beef. For our appetizer we chose a crab and spinach fondue that was fluffy and perfectly blended. Served with tri-color chips it was as visually pleasing as it was delicious. Next we enjoyed spinach salad with balsamic dressing followed by tenderloin of beef brochette with roasted vegetables and rice. The meat was so tender I couldn’t eat it fast enough, cooked just right and accompanied by vegetables that were also grilled to complement the beef. We were on a roll so we opted for dessert, or I should say Bob did. He thoroughly enjoyed his chocolate bread pudding but I couldn’t hold another bite and was forced to pass on dessert.
We loved the quiet atmosphere and attentive service. Our only complaint is that they are not in Houston. I do wish we had time to try their seafood. I know it would be as high quality as the beef and it is my loss to have to leave without even a taste.
Their website states “Fish Market, Seafood Bar and Grill is York County’s premier destination for fresh fish and quality seafood. Conveniently located off interstate I-77 in Fort Mill’s Baxter Village, Fish Market Seafood, Bar and Grill is just a short drive for residents of Charlotte, NC and Rock Hill, SC.”
I am pleased to highly recommend this restaurant to you, in the spring it will be even lovelier. There are many more delicious items on the menu. Tell them we sent you and it probably won’t get you any perks but we will be pleased you did.

If you would like to post a recipe of your own, contact us at:
http://www.downhomedelicious.com/contact .
Ya’ll have a down home delicious day now; we sure will.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza