Folks, I have some difficult news for my friends, clients, and even me, to swallow. So, what better way to take bad news, than with a delightful chocolate chip cookie? What was it that Mary Poppins use to sing: “…a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” These colossal triple chocolate, chocolate chip cookies will definitely soothe tough news. And my recipe is shared for the very first time.
In April 2019 I was diagnosed with Pleomorphic Soft Tissue Sarcoma. After a thirty-day round of radiation last summer, a grapefruit size tumor in my right thigh was removed in September 2019, with clear margins. Yet, we knew the trajectory of this rare cancer goes immediately to lungs – and that it did in December, 2019.
The doctors at Moffitt gave me 6 to 12 months to live. One doctor saying: “…you will feel good, until you don’t.”
In March my left arm broke for cancer had traveled into my bones. Last Saturday night, after catering two events of 50 – I was surprised how decent I felt – tired, but still walking.
Know too, that I opted for no cancer treatment, which some would find unacceptable for we are taught early, to never give up – but treatment did not fit my circumstances, for I wanted a true quality of life…one not mired down in routine hospital visits, feeling sick way too often. This is not the choice for all, and that is to be respected as is my decision.
These past few months, I’ve work, laughed, danced, played with my dogs, cooked, and even social distanced with friends and family, I’m content with my decision.
Then, Wednesday morning, I awoke with pains in my chest and shortness of breath. After running a battery of tests, the doc came in and said: “I will not sugar coat it, your death is imminent.” By the way, I appreciate candor. Admittedly, I was surprised, for I was hoping to be here another Christmas.
With the aforementioned backdrop, I wanted to let you know that we are closing Bailey Catering effective immediately. Admittedly, I (and neither do the docs) do not know what “imminent” means – but it is getting closer each day…and I feel it…I start Hospice on Tuesday.
There are two things I want you to know. FIRST, I have a cadre of friends offering to help my every need, even with the mundane. That said, I’ve been independent for so darn long, it is hard to be a “receiver.” It is important to note that I am not dead yet; and I want to do things myself until I can’t. I guess we will figure this out together.
Last Friday, I told a friend I was going to do my radio show, she was surprised and questioned if I should. Friends, encourage me to do what I’m capable. Yesterday, I told my brother I wanted to make him a German Chocolate Cake for his birthday, He doesn’t want me to go through the trouble. Trouble is not how I see it – it is love, staying active and engaged – so encourage, not dissuade. I understand that your suggestions only come from love. But I want to stay engaged.
SECOND. Laugh with me. I’ve laughed through this whole process. Much to my brother Byron’s chagrin. Believe me, I am not in denial – I understand the gravity, the finality of it all. I just choose to walk on the lighter side.
Here lately, I’ve been resorting back to my youth – bought a Duncan Yoyo – you know, the one that lights up….and a spinning top – come play with me and share in some cookies. I want to see people.
I wanted a big party and invite all of you to my friend Rosemary Henderson’s home. I wanted to do the cooking – and we all eat and laugh together in her front yard. Well, sadly, because of COVID, that won’t happen. Very disappointing. It would have been fun. But over the months, I’ve been able to get friends together and cook and enjoy good times.
I want each and everyone of you to know how much you are loved by me. You should know how much I appreciate you as a client, and you as a friend. Truly. I often quote Epicurus: “You should look for someone to each and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.” I believe this to my core. Food is passion for me, more than that, food is communal – to celebrate, to mourn, to show love.
Even this pandemic, I’ve tried to support Tampa’s culinary talents. I’ve listed many of my favorites on my website on the blog portion under “My Favorite Restaurants.”
Marty Blitz of Mise en Place, I love him and his incredible food and his soups, Kevin and Kayrn Kruszewski of Pane Rustica, Jeannie Pierola, Ferrell Alverez (everything they do), Suz and Roger Perry of the Datz Group – we have had so much fun. Jeff Mount of Wright’s Gourmet who is so consistently good, it’s freaky, Richard Gonzmart, while not a chef – he is a talent beyond measure and knows and loves great food more than anyone I know, Mel Lohn of Mel’s Hot Dogs has delivered a great product for over 30 years, that’s to be admired, and two new young talents you will see a lot more of in years to come: Christina Theofilos of Psomi – a talent beyond her years, and Bryce Bonsack of Rocca. And I hope against hope, for one final meal at Bern’s Steak House where I have been going since I was a kid.
Yes, I could go on and on – but I’m going on way too long. So much to say, too little time. But when coming to the end of life – well, I ask your indulgence. Actually, it is hard to say good-bye. The French probably have the best way: “Au Revoir” – until we meet again.
With Much LOVE. Enjoy the cookies. Kim
Colossal Chocolate Chip Cookies
• 1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature salted butter – I use Land O’Lakes
• ¾ cups light brown sugar
• ¾ cups sugar
• 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
• ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 2 large room temperature eggs
• ½ cup PLUS 2 tablespoons rolled oats (ground fine in food processor)
• 2 ¼ cups flour
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips
• 1 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
• 4 ounces coarsely chopped semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate bars
Process oatmeal in food processor until extremely fine. You can use a clean coffee grinder if it has no residue of coffee or spices in it – but a food processor works best. Once processed run through a strainer and throw away the excess unpressed oats.
Sift flour, soda, cinnamon, salt together. Add to oatmeal. Set aside
In a stand mixer (or hand help mixer) cream butter and sugar together until well creamed, add eggs one at a time and cream until well blended. Add vanilla and lemon juice.
On very low speed – add flour oatmeal mixture about a cup at a time. Stir from the bottom with rubber spatula to mix all ingredients well. Add chocolate chips and chopped chocolate and stir until completely blended.
Scoop cookie dough out with the size scoop you desire. Place scooped cookies on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. They can be placed close together. Freeze. Once frozen place in zip loc bag and store until ready to bake.
They can be baked not frozen.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place frozen (best frozen) or thawed 2” to 3” apart on parchment line sheet pan. Bake for 8 minutes, rotate pan – bake another 6 to 10 minutes. Everything depends on how hot your oven is. Watch carefully after first rotation. Do not overbake.
New Delivered Meals for 4 and Drop Off Catering For 10 & Beyond
Usually I’m on my yacht relaxing and eating fine foods during the summer, but because of this darn pandemic I’m in the kitchen trying to make ends meet. Somehow, we have kept our staff and our heads above water, but as you can imagine, caterers will be the last to open for no one is really doing big events these days.
So, we are reinventing ourselves. Take a look at both our “Grab & Go” menus which we have created, and have on hand, that 4 to 5 to enjoy at home…or even given as gifts to friends. Also take a look at our new more extensive PREPARED TO ORDER menu we have designed for 10 or more to be delivered right to your very own home.
Because our staff have health issues, we are extra, extra vigilant and careful to be safe at all times. Masks and constant washing of hands are a MUST at Bailey’s.
Do let us know if we can help in anyway to provide a home cooked meal for you and your family. And let me know if there is anything we can offer that will suit your culinary desires.
Take care – and above all – stay safe. With much love,
COMFORT DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR READY TO HEAT & EAT TEXT FOR A PRICE SHEET & TO PLACE AN ORDER (813) 928-2210
(Meals feed 4 to 5 comfortably, can be frozen and made for larger parties)
MOM’S MEATLOAF with TOMATO GRAVY
My mom created this meatloaf recipe and it is awesome, topped with thinly sliced onion, bacon and a luscious proprietary secret never to be divulged tomato gravy – just kidding, the recipe is on my website
CHICKEN POT PIE
Made with a homemade butter crust with loads of chicken and fresh vegetables
SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS
You can throw away your knife with these tender chops – lots of country gravy perfect to go along with rice or mashed potatoes
BOLOGNESE LASAGNA with BECHEMEL
Slow cooked beef Bolognese with chardonnay, layered with fresh pasta, béchamel and cheese, topped with our incredible marinara and more cheese
Chicken & Cognac braised Mushrooms tossed with pasta and a creamy sauce laced with fine sherry
ITALIAN PLUM TOMATO SAUCE & RICOTTA MEATBALLS
My mom taught me how to make the BEST tomato sauce and meatballs in the world. How’s that for hyperbole? No joke, you will love them…GUARANTEED!!! You’ll receive a quart of tomato sauce and a dozen ricotta meatballs. Perfect for a weeknight dinner of spaghetti and meatballs or as a meatball sub with fontina and parmesan cheeses during a ballgame
Make your favorite grilled cheese and cuddle up with a bowl of our homemade tomato soup – or as the cultured might say: bisque. Either way you say it, soup or bisque, you’ll say “umm, umm good”
SWEET SHALLOT VINIGRETTE
I created this dressing almost 20 years ago, and it is our most popular vinigrette by far. We receive RAVES about it every time it is tossed into a fresh garden salad. Perfect on any salad of your choice. We also have equally tasty Lemon Dijon and Cilantro Lime dressings as well. 8 ounces
HAND MADE POTSTICKERS
Chicken & Bok-Choy, Shrimp with Lemongrass & Ginger, Wild Mushroom Gruyere & Kale, Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage Brown Butter & Toasted Hazelnuts
PARMESAN BUTTER GARLIC SPREAD
We are known for our toasty garlic bread – perfect accompaniment for any of the above dishes. 8 ounces of pure heaven to spread on hoagie rolls, Cuban bread, croutons for soup, or any bread your lil’ o heart desires
Try grilling this pimento cheese with ham and sliced tomato for the best grilled cheese ever, or topped on a burger, or served on toasted Cuban bread with fried green tomatoes & bacon – or the perfect pre-dinner app for friends served with crispy crackers
BAKE AT HOME COOKIES
I’ve spent a lifetime eating homemade cookies and I think I’ve perfected the tastiest batch of cookies ever: TRIPLE CHOCOLATE LAVA is my favorite, DECADENT CHOCOLATE CHIP is a close second, and HONEY ROASTED PEANUT BUTTER with Honey Roasted Peanuts in every bite is, well, OMG delicious.
Cookies come raw, frozen, in batches of 6, ready to bake and eat
Made To Order Meals Below
For 10 or More MADE-TO-ORDER Delivered To Your Door
Because these items are made to order and never frozen, we need a 2-day notice
CARTER’S NEW ENGLAND POT ROAST – During the restaurant days, my friend Cater Henderson always requested his pot roast with the veggies included…so he’s got it now. Tender slow braised beef with carrots, potatoes, and onions in a succulent gravy SLICED BEEF BRISKET – sliced with an incredible sauce
Sliced grilled tenderloin Steak roastbeef and Pepper sauce on wooden cutting board and Red wine on dark background
CARVED BEEF TENDERLOIN – Bailey’s is known for its tenderloin – no knife needed for this beef COGNAC BRAISED SHORTRIBS – Fall-apart tender in a succulent sauce you will want to bathe in BEEF BOURGUIGNON – A bottle of fine burgundy go in every batch JOHNNY MARZETTI (Beef, Macaroni & 3 Cheeses) SWEEDISH MEATBALLS served with Mashed Potatoes – also great served as cocktail hors d’oeuvre
BBQ BABY BACK RIBS – fall off the bone tender with Bailey’s BBQ sauce GUAVA CRUSTED PORK TENDERLOIN – great served with sweet potato casserole HOMEMADE ITALIAN SAUSAGE STUFFED SHELLS – a blend of 5 cheeses, mushrooms, and Italian sausage – Italy in every bite – packed with a quart of our marinara for extra saucing, the way I like it HOMEMADE ITALIAN SAUSAGE, PEPPERS & ONIONS SUB – this sub is loaded with sausage, peppers & onions, shredded Jack cheese on a hoagie roll wrapped in aluminum foil – perfect for heating in your oven for the best sandwich you might ever have
LEMON CHICKEN – served this lemony chicken dish to my sister Pamela and she wants it again and again CHICKEN & YELLOW RICE – U haven’t had chicken & yellow rice until you’ve had Bailey’s, served with fried plantains SUMMER THANKSGIVING DINNER – Thanksgiving is my favorite meal. Moist Turkey Breast, Gravy, Cornbread Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and homemade Cranberry Applesauce – what better way to celebrate Summer than Thanksgiving in the summer SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN & GRAVY – The quintessential southern classic & we know how to make it CHICKEN MARSALA & MUSHROOMS – a full bottle of fine Marsala goes into the making of this dish INDIAN BUTTER CHICKEN – marinated in Greek yogurt, curry, turmeric, garam masala, Thai basil and other herbs and spices – this is one tasty authentic Indian dish. Served with basmati rice CHICKEN PICCATA with LEMON CAPER SAUCE – a delicate balance of pungent fresh lemon and briny capers make this a perfect sauce for this piccata
JUMBO LUMP CRAB CAKES – 95% jumbo lump crab meat served with cocktail sauce and remoulade PAN SEARED GROUPER OR CHILLEN SEA BASS with Burre Blanc & Braised Spinach WES’S SHRIMP CREOLE with HERBED BASMATI RICE – the way my dad taught me SHRIMP FRIED RICE – a generous amount of Key West Pink shrimp tossed in this perfect medley of fresh veggies with an incredible Asian sauce we make with over 20 ingredients. It WOKS for me if it WOKS for you – can be made total vegetarian or with beef, pork or chicken
BAILEY’S TRADITIONAL MIXED FIELD GREENS – with Tomato, Vermont White Cheddar & Toasted Pecans 2020 SALAD – Bailey’s Kicked Up Version of The Famed 1905 Salad with Jalsberg, ham, salami, capicola OVEN ROASTED ASPARAGUS, HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, BLUE CHEESE, TOASTED WALNUTS – Fresh Lemon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Drizzle THE EXTRODINAIRE – a delicate medley of butter lettuce, arugula, watercress, heirloom tomatoes, caramelized Asian pears, crispy goat cheese medallions, toasted walnuts with spiced pear lemon vinaigrette
GRUYERE SHALLOT CREAM SCALLOPED POTATOES – Utterly the best scalloped potato in the country MASHED POTATOES – just like my mom made – creamy and oh so delicious BAKED MAC & CHEESE – lots of cheeses make this an incredible side dish for any occasion SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE – topped with crispy brown sugar pecans HARRICOT VERTS & BROWN BUTTER – the hint of nutty brown butter make them jump off the plate CORN CASSEROLE – Eat this – it will make you feel better CHEESY HASH BROWN CASSEROLE – So cheesy, so delicious – you’ll go back for thirds SOUTHERN GREEN BEANS – slow cooked with country ham and bacon OVEN ROASTED VEGETABLES – a healthy favorite at all parties SOUTHERN COLLARD GREENS – ham & bacon make these collards sing
HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS – made with full fat Marburger Buttermilk – one doz sold frozen HOMEMADE BUTTERED DINNER ROLLS – these fresh baked yeast rolls will melt in your mouth HONEY BUTTER CORNBREAD – you are in for a real treat – my family requests this for every get together TENDER BACON CHEDDAR BISCUITS – the name says it all – what more could you ask for in a biscuit
NEW ENGLAND CORN CHOWDER – Mom was from Boston and she taught me how to make chowdah CHICKEN TORTILLA – oodles of chicken & vegetables, top with cheese, avocado, crispy tortillas POBLANO CORN CHOWDER with SHRIMP – so different than New England Chowder – even more flavorful with this Mexican flare – and loaded with Key West pink shrimp BLACK BEAN – smooth and black bean creamy topped with cilantro jalapeno sour cream
BUTTERNUT SQUASH – a true hit made with granny smith apples and leaks
Stressed Spelled Backwards Is Desserts – Eat Dessert First
CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE with CHOCOLATE “OR” VANILLA BUTTERCREAM – The cake(s) I grew “out” on – oh, I mean the cakes I grew up on – 2, 4, or 6 layers, you decide. STRAWBERRY LUSH CAKE – yellow cake, layered with fresh strawberry couli, strawberries, and whipped cream – it is called LUSH because it is luscious SOUTHERN COCONUT LAYER CAKE – southern through-and-through, 7-minute icing and lots of coconut GOOEY CHOCOLATE CAKE – this will be a hit at any gathering, fancy or plebeian – topped with our homemade vanilla ice cream and you will feel all warm and gooey inside BANANA PUDDING – nothin’ extravagant here – just good down home eaten’ SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIES – chocolate brownie, topped with homemade caramel sauce, lightly dusted with Maldon Sea Salt – what’s not to love here EXTRA THICK PECAN PIE – I make them the way I like them – extra thick filling and toasted pecans 4 APPLE – APPLE CRISP OR COBBLER – this is country to the core – country good that is. Still not sure which I like more, butter crust or brown sugar oat crisp HOMEMADE ICE CREAM (More than Chocolate, Vanilla & Strawberry – you name it and we can make it) CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE – my definition of love: Oreo crust, chocolate cream filling, whipped cream INDIVIDUAL COCONUT CREAM PIE – we make individual butter crust tarts, load them up with lots of coconut cream filling, top with homemade whipped cream and toasted coconut – wonderful presentation PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE PIE with GANACHE BANANA CREAM PIE – this is the most decadent pie you will every eat: drizzled with homemade caramel and topped with whipped cream AUTHENTIC VIENNESE APPLE STRUDEL – so authentically good, you’ll think you were eating in Austria – best served with our homemade vanilla ice cream
These CINNAMON PULL-APARTS began from an inspiration when my brother Byron emailed an article from Travel & Leisure magazine…with the title: ”Dollywood Has The Best Cinnamon Bread In America.” My brother often emails me recipes in the hopes that I will make whatever for him to approve. I usually bite.
For me, the Dollywood dough recipe was not to my liking, so I began to tinker. What came about is a QUICK & EASY cinnamon pull-apart that will melt in your mouth – and having you lick your fingers after every single morsel.
As you know by now, I am a purist when it comes to ingredients and making food from scratch, especially breads and desserts. That said, Bridgeford has a frozen Parker House Roll that is perfect for this special bread. You can buy these Bridgeford rolls from any grocery in the frozen bread section. They are a raw yeast product and must rise – but that process is a cinch. Below is my adaptation of the Dollywood Cinnamon Bread recipe. Please let me know what you think.
• 2 Standard Size Bread Loaf Pan
• 1 package Bridgeford Parker House Rolls – (frozen package of 24 rolls)
• Cooking Spray of Choice
THE CINNAMON SUGAR
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup light brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons cinnamon
Combine in a bowl with a whisk – set aside
THE DIPPING SAUCE
• 12 tablespoons salted melted butter
• ¼ cup Karo light corn syrup
Combine in a different bowl with a whisk – set aside
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 5 to 6 tablespoons milk (more if necessary)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine in a bowl with a whisk – set aside
ASSEMBLING STEP ONE
Place frozen rolls on a baking sheet 2” apart so they do not touch. Let them thaw in a warm dry place without rising – this will take about 45 minutes to an hour…they do not need to rise.
ASSEMBLING STEP TWO
Dip thawed rolls in dipping butter corn syrup mixture, then roll in cinnamon sugar and place side-by-side (snugly touching) in loaf pan. Each loaf pan will hold 10 to 12 rolls. Fill each loaf pan. Pour remaining butter syrup liquid over rolls – equal parts in each loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar mixture is any is left over. Let rise for 35 to 45 minutes in warm place. They do not need to double in size totally. Do not let them over rise.
Bake in a pre-heated oven set at 350 degrees on middle rack. Approximate bake time will vary – after the first 10 minutes, rotate the pans, and finish baking. You do this to make sure they bake evenly. If you have a thermometer – bread is done between 190 and 200 degrees – closer to 200. If not, you can always lift a roll out with a knife to check the middle.Once done, let cool on rack for 10 minutes. Turn each pan upside down onto a sheet pan (one with a lip all the way around). If necessary, spoon excess cinnamon butter sauce over the rolls. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes (if you can stand it that long) – liberally drizzle with powder sugar glaze.
I made these chops last week to rave reviews, served with rice, gravy, collards, creamed corn, and homemade buttermilk biscuits with honey butter. Perfect sure-fire southern comfort meal – especially for a Sunday dinner.
• 6 medium-thick (about 1”) bone-in pork chops (can use boneless)
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• Salt & Pepper
• 2 sticks salted butter
• 6 to 8 cups beef stock
• 1 large onion (cut into thin half-moon)
• 1 sprig of fresh thyme
• Vegetable Oil
Heat 1/3 cup oil in large saute skillet on medium heat.
Place 1 cup flour in pie pan with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until all combined. Dredge each pork chop in flour – shake off excess. Sear 2 pork chops at a time so to not overcrowd the pan – for you want a good crust on each side of the chop. Overcrowding the pan will make the chops steam as opposed to sear. Repeat until all chops are seared. Place chops in large casserole pan or dish.
NOTE: You are not cooking the chops – you are browning each side. Also, using medium heat will prevent oil from burning. You want a nice brown crust on each chop.
In the same skillet, add butter, stir until melted, add onion, saute until very soft and translucent, add ½ cup of the pork chop dredging flour to onion/butter mixture to make a roux…stirring constantly. Add beef stock 1 cup at a time – stiring all the time until thickened. Add 1 sprig of fresh thyme.
Once sauce is thickened, pour over chops. Add more stock if too thick. Cover tightly with lid of casserole or aluminum foil. Place in 350 degrees oven for 2 to 3 hours. At the 2-hour mark, check to see if chops are falling off the bone. If so they are done – if not, keep cooking.
Serve with white rice or mashed potatoes & our Cheesy Broccoli-Cauliflower Mash located on our blog recipe section – click below
I’ve been making this delicious bread for more than 30 years. The recipe was shared to me by my great friend Pat Anderson and is both dense and light…and packed full of flavor. By the way, she also taught me how to make preserves, jellies and marmalades, which goes super with this bread – toasted. It is such fun to have talented cooking friends like Patricia.
It seems like everyone is making bread these days because of our quarantining. And it was no easy feat for me to make bread this time, for all – and I do mean ALL, of the stores (including Amazon) were out of yeast for weeks because there was a yeast shortage due to so many baking bread. And this is a good thing…but not for me. I even offered a friend a dinner for six for just two little ole packages of yeast. He wouldn’t give It up.
Well, this Tuesday at Publix, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a tiny lady in a blue knit dress, reaching for what looked like the last 3-pack of yeast. You should have seen me bolt down (the wrong way mind you) the isle, ripped off my mask – and yelled: “get away, it’s infected with Covid 19;” as I ripped it from her hands. Maybe a slight exaggeration – but you now understand how important this yeast was to me. I just had to make cracked wheat bread. Forget toilet paper, I now hoard yeast!
The first bread I ever made was when I lived at the Bayshore Royal in 1979. It was a Julia Child French baguette recipe from her book “Mastering The Art of French Cooking.” It turned out great…and I’ve been baking yeast bread ever since. Thank you Julia.
This cracked wheat bread is great fresh from the oven with butter. If there is any leftover bread I toast it, spread it with cream cheese or butter and slather it with my homemade strawberry, raspberry, blackberry preserves, or orange marmalade. Last night, I made a BLT on this bread toasted. Absolutely Delicious!!!
• 2 cups boiling water
• 1 ¼ cups cracked wheat (bulgur wheat I buy mine at Rollin’ Oats on MacDill)
• 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 packages dry granule yeast
• 2/3 cup warm water (90 to 105 degrees)
• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• 3 ¾ cups bread flour
Place cracked wheat, soft butter, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl, and pour the 2 cups boiling water over this mixture. Set aside until completely cooled. Once cooled, dissolve yeast in the 2/3 cup water and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Set aside. If the yeast is good, it should begin to foam in 3 to 5 minutes. This is called activating the yeast. If it does not foam, the yeast is not good.
Add this yeast to the cooled wheat mixture. Place all into a mixing bowl with a dough hook. Add bread flour and mix at medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth…about another 5 minutes. Place dough in lightly buttered large mixing bowl. This is done to keep the dough from sticking to the sides while proofing. Cover bowl with towel or plastic wrap and let rise until a bit over doubled in bulk. About an hour and fifteen minutes. Should proof in a draft free, warm environment – I let mine rise outside.
Punch down dough after first rise and knead for a couple minutes. Divide dough into two equal pieces. I weigh mine so I get it exactly. But if you are good at eyeballing it – that’s not a problem. You just want to get each loaf about the same weight so they will bake evenly.
Spray two 9” loaf pans with Pam or your favorite cooking spray. I do not use butter for it tends to make the loaves too dark while baking. You can use vegetable oil. Shape each loaf and place in coated loaf pans. Cover lightly with soft cloths and let rise until the dough reaches the tops of loaf pans.
Place on baking sheet, and set in pre-heated 350-degree oven. Bake 20 minutes then turn baking sheet so they brown evenly. Bake an additional 20 minutes. I test my bread with an instant read thermometer – which should be around 190 to 200 degrees. Once done, place on rack and liberally rub the tops with cold butter. This will make the tops soft and buttery. Let cool for 5 minutes. Turn out and let cool for as long as you can stand without eating the darn thing. I can only wait about 15 minutes for I love hot bread and butter. Always slice with serrated knife.
What could be better than to wake up this Easter morning to Ricotta Donuts? These mouth-watering puffs of deliciousness are so easy to make – you will never go to Dunkin or KK again.
Serve them sprinkled with cane sugar, cinnamon sugar, or with chocolate, crème anglaise, caramel, or raspberry sauce(s) for dipping – or even drizzled with honey and toasted walnuts or pecans for a different take on the Greek donut – loukoumades. You will have a hit on your hands.
Perfect for a lazy Easter morning, or ever as the main dessert for Easter lunch or dinner. You will love this easy recipe.
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (room temperature)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Vegetable oil for frying
❖ FOR DUSTING: Sugar, Confectioners Sugar, Cinnamon Sugar
❖ DRIZZLE with Orange Blossom Honey and top with Toasted Walnuts or Toasted Pecans
Heat oil to 350 degrees in large saucepan – or even better in a small deep fryer. But no need to go buy a fryer if you don’t have one – a pot work well. Put a wire rack over a sheet pan.
Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla for a couple minutes, add ricotta cheese and whisk until smooth. With a wooden spoon stir in flour and baking powder until well blended – do not over mix. Set in refrigerator for 30 minutes – or even covered overnight.
Using a small ice cream scoop (or a tablespoon), put 6 to 8 scoops in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon – transfer to wire rack – immediately dust with your preferred sugar. Continue frying. They do not have a long shelf life – so eat within 20 minutes. Serve with desired dipping sauces or just the dusting of sugar.
This year I am changing up my Thanksgiving menu a bit by doing sprouts differently…switching out scalloped potatoes (the recipe you can find in our blog) for mashed, and instead of my mainstay Brussels sprout dish I’ve been doing for years with bacon, apple, maple and balsamic (also the recipe you can find in our blog), I’m making a Brussels sprout gratin.
I served this a couple weeks ago – and it was such a hit – it just had to go on my Thanksgiving Day dinner menu. You’ve got to try it this Thanksgiving.
STEP ONE – CRUNCHY PANKO TOPPING
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/3 cup plain panko bread crumbs
Melt butter in non-stick skillet. Add panko bread crumbs – stir continuously until golden brown – place in bowl and let cook completely. Once cool combine with the following – and set aside:
1/3 cup grated gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
STEP TWO – PREPPING THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
9″ X 13″ casserole dish
2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts – about golf ball size
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or fresh cracked pepper
Cut end from each Brussels sprout, then cut in half and place in casserole dish. Toss with vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Place in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes until browned. Let cool for about 30 minutes.
STEP THREE – MAKING GRATIN SAUCE
4 tablespoon salted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups cream
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Melt better in a medium saucepan. Add shallots and garlic and cook down until soft and translucent – but not brown. Add flour and stir for a couple minutes until the flour taste has cooked out. Slowly add cream and chicken stock – whisking the entire time – until the sauce has thickened. Whisk in Gruyere, parmesan, nutmeg, and cayenne. Pour over Brussels sprouts – gently toss until sprouts are completely coated in the cream sauce.
STEP FOUR – BAKING
Place panko mixture on top of sprouts and bake at 450 degrees for approximately 7 to 10 minutes until top is brown and bubbly.
PSOMI in Greek translates to Bread PSOMI in Restaurant speak translates to AWESOME GOODNESS
Christina Theofilos took an old radiator shop on Howard Avenue (across from the Armory, now the JCC) and transformed it to a beautiful Greek food paradise. Everything is homemade from the bread to the tzatziki. Her mom Liz did all the decorating – and dad John, while a very successful businessman, was bussing tables today. It is a true family affair.
Christina cares about the food she presents and I can guarantee a great food experience. The baklava and spanakopita (which is open faced and different than most) is the best I’ve ever had including in Greece.
Psomi opened this past Monday and is already a hit with guests. The official grand opening is this Friday November 8th. They are open for breakfast and lunch from 7am to 3pm – dinner will be coming in a few months. Please let me know your thoughts.
PSOMI 701 North Howard Avenue Corner of Howard and Cass Tampa, Florida 33606 (813) 733-0890
Raw oysters, fried oysters, oyster stew – it’s all good. But the key to my heart looks a whole lot like these grilled oysters – and this parmesan garlic butter sets them off to another dimension – they will be a hit at any party this holiday season…guaranteed.
Remember, abs are temporary – but grilled oysters are forever.
Half bushel fresh oysters – shucked – loosen the oyster from the bottom shell
2 sticks (1/2 pound) soft salted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1/4 cup grated fine parmesean cheese
2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Fresh lemon juice (never bottled) for oysters when done
1 large half sheet pan
With a fork (or stand mixer, or food processor), mix the butter, garlic, cheese, parsley, pepper, lemon zest until completely combined. Place one teaspoon of butter mixture on each oyster placing closely together on large rimmed ½ sheet pan.
Place sheet pan on pre-heated grill set to the highest temperature. Cover – and let cook until butter mixture is melted and browning. Once done, place on serving platter, pour any extra juices from pan over the oysters and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon over each oyster.
It is important to always keep your oysters cold before grilling to prevent bacteria. Ice them down if doing outside grilling. They can be broiled if so desired.