Sunday, June 1, 2014

Grilled Romaine Hearts

Yummy!  I was in Laramie in May for work and had dinner at an Italian restaurant.  They were a bit stingy with the asparagus but their grilled Caesar salad was delicious.

So, back at the Wild O Ranch, I tried to grill lettuce too.

After removing the outer leaves and washing the inner ones, spray the romaine with olive oil to prevent sticking.  Salt and pepper both sides to taste.  Grill over hot charcoals until grill marks show.

I used ranch dressing with sunflower seeds.  Lambrusco's in Laramie shaved parmesan cheese on top, then added croutons and drizzled Caesar dressing.

The combination texture of wilted/crisp lettuce combined with mild smokiness was tastey.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cheese Souffle

  • Butter, room temperature, for greasing the souffle
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups milk, hot
  • 4 large egg yolks (2 1/2 ounces by weight)
  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar
  • 5 egg whites plus 1 tablespoon water (5 1/2 ounces by weight plus 1/2 ounce water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Use room temperature butter to grease an 8-inch souffle mold. Add the grated Parmesan and roll around the mold to cover the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the freezer for 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, heat the butter. Allow all of the water to cook out.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, dry mustard, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Whisk this mixture into the melted butter. Cook for 2 minutes.
Whisk in the hot milk and turn the heat to high. Once the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks to a creamy consistency. Temper the yolks into the milk mixture, constantly whisking. Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Whisk until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until glossy and firm. Add 1/4 of the mixture to the base. Continue to add the whites by thirds, folding very gently.
Pour the mixture into the souffle. Fill the souffle to 1/2-inch from the top. Place on an aluminum pie pan. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kish! haha

Quiche is a savory, open-faced pastry crust with a filling of savory custard with cheese, meat, seafood, or vegetables. Quiche can be served hot or cold.  (Wikipedia)

Back at Furman, Pammy showed me how to make Quiche.  I have modified the recipe a bit - but the credit should go to my roomie.

Buy frozen pie crusts.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Pre-bake crust for 5 to 8 minutes (starting to bake but not browned).
Each pie needs (custard mix):
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground nutmeg
onion powder - 1/4 t
garlic powder - 1/8 t
red pepper flakes - to taste
Mix these ingredients well and set aside
Version 1 (for Ivy and Alaina)
1/3 c pork sausage, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 c parmesan cheese, grated
Version 2 (for Steve and Cathy)
1/4 c bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 to 1 cup raw greens (spinach, kale, mix), roughly chopped
1/4 c sautéed mushrooms (without juice)
1/4 c pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/8 c parmesan cheese, grated
Pour custard mix over each pie.
Bake on a cookie sheet for 30-40 minutes until set, puffed and slightly golden.
Serve with a side salad.
Note: you can use whatever type of cheese you like, just not to much or "creamy" will turn to "stringy" (not that stringy cheese is bad....).

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Warm Tasty Treat That Gets You Moovin!

Not much time this season for all kinds of reasons, so my "baking" is coming down to quick recipes which I can zip together between short spots of time. The temp has dropped down to the 40's today and that calls for a good cup of hot chocolate at my house.  Here is my version of Mexican hot chocolate.  Its warm and thick and spicy with only an appearance of  chili tang, but guaranteed to get the heart going bang-bang.  Enjoy!  (PS - The recipe calls for a cup of milk per serving, and once your finished heating, about a third of the milk steams off, so its a small serving, but potent enough that you could add warm milk to individual cups as-needed to thin it out and fill the cup.  I like it straight-dope myself, but to each their own.)  Hit this post's title to see the recipe...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Orange Pumpkin Muffins - Fall must be here

Baking weather is here and .... It's a tossup - Banana Muffins or Orange Pumpkin.  Both are delicious, but for some reason I only think to bake the Orange Pumpkin kind between Halloween and Christmas.  They would be good year round.  But since its time to have some, here is the recipe.
Preheat oven to 350

2/3 c butter
2 2/3 c sugar                  Cream together

1 orange                        Pureed w/ skin (I cut the thick ends a bit)
3 eggs                                       
16 oz pumpkin              Add to butter/sugar

1/2 to 1 c milk               Stir in to mixture

3 1/3 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves or 1 t cardamom (I prefer  Cardamom) 
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder    Mix all and add to batter

2/3 c chopped pecans
2/3 c chopped dates (or dried cranberries or raisins or cherries or?)    add to mixture

Mix and drop ice-cream scoop dollops into paper-lined muffin cups

Bake:  25 min for muffins / 15 min for mini muffins / 1 hr and 10 min for 2 loafs (my hot oven is only 50 min for loaves - test with toothpick)
Makes 24 muffins.  These are particularly good with cream cheese.  For breakfast. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Alaina's Favorite - Chocolate Cheesecake

Well, Alaina loves anything chocolate.  But, today, she craved chocolate cheesecake.  She used the recipe from Taste of Home (  Here is the recipe:

 1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs (or chocolate wafer cookie crumbs/omit the cocoa)
 2 to 3 T cocoa (we used a mix of Dutch Process and Back Onyx)
 3 tablespoons sugar
 3 tablespoons butter, melted

 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (I would use 1 cup to taste more CHEESEcake/Alaina says use 2 cups)
 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
 3/4 cup sugar
 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 2 large Eggs, lightly beaten
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Strawberries and white chocolate shavings, optional


  • In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. spring form pan; set aside. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour until smooth. Add eggs beat on low just until combined. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate just until blended. Pour filling over crust.
  • Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. 
  • Garnish slices with strawberries and chocolate shavings if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 12 servings.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Devilishly Good - Deviled Eggs

The first thing you will need is a dozen farm fresh eggs - Wild O Ranch eggs are best.  The only problem is that fresh eggs are difficult to peel.  So, you could age your eggs for a couple of weeks.  Or try tricks like adding salt, baking soda, or vinegar to the boil water (none of these methods work for me) or peeling them under running water (helps a little, I think).  So, somehow, cook/chill/peel a dozen eggs (I usually do eighteen so that trashed egg whites for several can be fed to the dog).  That leaves more egg filling for the remaining egg white halves and more is better...

1 dozen (or eighteen) hard cooked eggs, peeled, cut in half - mash the egg yolks in a big bowl; arrange the egg white halves in a plastic container designed for deviled eggs (this really makes transportation and storage easy but a regular plate will work.

To the egg yolk mash, add:
1/4 c mayonnaise
1/4 c Greek style plain yogurt
2 T sweet pickle relish
2 T chopped dill pickles (optional)
2 T chopped roasted peppers (this is the secret ingredient - Steve makes excellent roasted peppers for the purpose)
2 T grated onion (I like sweet onions)
cayenne pepper to taste
seasoned salt (Natures Seasoning or Lawry's or your favorite) to taste
paprika for topping

Mix all together well and taste for salt/pepper or other adjustments.  If the mixture is still to dry, add additional mayo/yogurt until the mix feels right.

Fill egg white halves with yolk mixture and sprinkle top with paprika.  Or, for a taste change, try sprinkling curry powder on top in place of paprika (curry was the flavor of deviled eggs from my childhood).  Chill and serve.