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’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.
My mom would make us Jiffy Corn Muffins at least once a week…and us kids always gobbled them up with sweet cream butter and Palmalito guava jelly. YUM!
Mom was from Boston so she liked a sweet cornbread – which is heresy here in the south where we like cornbread without sugar made in a bacon greased cast-iron skillet. My dad was from Christmas, Florida – so we got the best of both worlds, the deep south cooking as well as the northern influences from my mom with her chowders, New England boiled dinner with corned beef, and hearty stews.
I like cornbread every which way – sweet or not. And I make croutons from either if there are leftovers (which is not too often) – they really make a salad sing. Just cut the cornbread in one-inch cubes – place them on a baking sheet tossed with a bit of melted butter or extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper – bake in a 350 degree oven until nice and crispy. Sometime try a Panzanella salad made with cornbread croutons – they kick it up tremendously.
Of course, I cannot leave a simple thing like cornbread well enough alone…I’m always tinkering with a recipe. Wanting a more-moist cornbread, I added a can of creamed corn, which was good, but I kept tinkering. I added some diced jalapenos – good, but I kept tinkering – finally reaching perfection when I melted butter with honey and poured it all over the top. OMG!!! You’ve got to make this for your family and friends…perfect accompaniment for picnics, Sunday supper, BBQ’s, fried chicken & collards, church socials – you name it – and it will be a super hit.
3 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 can creamed corn
2 jalapenos finely diced including seeds
1/2 cup honey (I like orange blossom)
1 stick butter
Combine Jiffy mixes, eggs, milk, creamed corn, and jalapenos in large bowl and stir until combined – do not overmix. Let sit for 5 minutes. Pour into a greased 9” X 13” baking pan, and let sit a couple more minutes. I use a baking spray, but a vegetable oil will do fine.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean…approximately 30 t0 40 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different so look at it in 30 minutes and rotate – continue to bake if necessary.
Melt butter with honey in microwave…stir to combine. When cornbread is done – remove from oven and poke with holes with a skewer. Pour melted honey butter over cornbread and let cool. This cornbread is good warm or room temperature.
your taste buds will dance with delight with every bite of this Key Lime
cake…and I’m not kidding. Key limes are
so plentiful now, that I wanted to make something other than the ubiquitous key
lime pie. So, I went on a key lime cake
baking adventure this week.
LIME CAKE ATTEMPT #1:
I made a Leah Chase butter cake recipe in honor of the iconic New Orleans chef
who fed presidents and freedom fighters at her famed restaurant Dooky Chase. Chef Chase recently passed away at the ripe
old age of 96 – and she was working until just a few days before she died. I had the privilege of interviewing her on my
radio show a few years back – and even visited her kitchen in New Orleans. She was the best.
While I added key lime zest and juice to her cake – it wasn’t what I was looking for. So on to the next attempt.
LIME CAKE ATTEMPT # 2: Next, I thought about adding key lime zest and
juice to a pound cake would be a good flavor component – and I also decided to
create a key lime buttercream to frost the pound cake. I hated it.
The pound cake was good. The
icing was incredible. But I found that I
don’t like frosting on pound cakes. So
on to the next attempt to create a wonderful cake I would be proud to serve.
LIME CAKE ATTEMPT #3: The third time was the
charm. A doozy of a cake. It will be one of my all-time favorite cakes
to serve to family and friends. For
sure. The frosting was nailed, it only
needed the right cake to set it off. So,
I went back to my tried-and-true yellow butter cake – adding both lime zest and
fresh key lime juice. PERFECTION!!! It’s
so good, a train would take a dirt road just to get to a slice.
4 large eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup whole milk (room temperature)
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
3 cups cake or all-purpose flour (measure after sifting)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks salted butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 teaspoons lime zest
oven to 350 degrees. Spray or butter and
flour 2 – 8” or 9” round cake pans. Don’t use 10” for they will make the layers
too thin. I always use parchment paper
to line the bottom of rounds and butter and flour those as well. But that is your preference.
flour and measure 3 cups after sifting.
Cream butter and sugar for about 5 minutes in your stand mixer. Hand mixers are ok – but they take a bit more
time. Add eggs one at a time, and mix
until each egg is totally incorporated before adding the other. After all eggs are incorporated beat on
medium speed for an additional 5 to 8 minutes until light and fluffy.
vanilla, to milk and key lime juice. Add
baking powder and salt to sifted flour.
Starting with flour, incorporate 1/3 and blend on a very low speed (or
even by hand) – it is important not to over mix flour for the cake will be
tough. You do not want to activate the
gluten in the flour. Add half the milk,
vanilla, and key lime mixture, gently blend, added 1/3 flour, then the
remaining liquid, then finish with flour. Stir with spatula until completely
incorporated – making sure you mix from the bottom up.
equal amounts of batter in the 2 pans.
Place on middle rack of preheated oven.
Set timer for 12 minutes. Rotate. Set timer for 15 minutes. I can’t tell you exactly how long they will
take to bake – for every oven is different.
You just don’t want to overbake.
The standard is when a toothpick comes out clean – but I like my
toothpick to have a bit of crumb to make sure it is not overbaked.
cakes on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out
with top sides up on the rack. Let cool
completely before frosting.
1-8 ounce package (Philadelphia cream cheese
1 1/2 stick salted butter (room temperature)
2 pounds plus one cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup fresh key lime juice (regular limes can be used if you cannot find key limes)
4 teaspoons lime zest
room temperature butter in stand mixer using the wire attachment until
creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla,
zest, and key lime juice. Slowly at first
– combine the ingredients. Mixing to
high will turn you into a sugar-coated mess.
After all is combined, vigorously beat until light and fluffy. If too thin, add more sugar – if too thick
add more lime juice. You want a
use about 2 cups in the middle layer.
Generously frost top and sides.
Best served the next day – or give it at least 6 hours to meld. Trust me on this one…the icing needs time to
seep into the cake.
KEY NOTES & VARIATIONS:
Always use fresh limes or lemons. For anything really – but especially this cake. Never, ever bottled. If you use bottled juice, I wil come to your kitchen and haunt you until the end of your days.
When key limes are not available, you can substitute fresh limes and it will be just as good. Matter of fact, I use regular limes, for key limes are just too small to zest.
You can make this cake with fresh lemons as well – and it will be just as incredible. Always use fresh.
MY CULINARY CREATIVE PROCESS
ask what I did with the cakes I didn’t like.
If I don’t like something – they never see the light of day. The rejects go immediately to my friend and
co-worker Rosario, who’s family waits for my castoffs.
any new dish I create for catering or for a particular restaurant I consult
with, there are usually many attempts to get to the perfect creation – the
perfect dish if you will. A pinch here,
a dash there – a completely different ingredient altogether. You would be surprised at how many attempts
go into creating the final product we are excited about serving. And even then, after all is said and done –
we are always adjusting.
(rarely), we get it the way we want it the first time – but it usually takes a
good bit of finesse. And that is the
fun aspect of cooking and creating a great dish.
Yes, we have gone bananas at Bailey’s. I made this incredible milkshake today which will make a train take a dirt road just to get to a sip.
I sautéed bananas with butter, brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, a hint of lemon zest, Grand Marnier, Mount Gay Rum, and Hiram Walker Banana Liqueur – all blended together with Bailey’s homemade Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream, then layered it with copious amounts of delicious bananas foster sauce – topped it with whipped cream, more bananas foster, and a boozy drizzle. Did you know we make all our own ice creams at Bailey’s from fresh eggs, and Dankin Farm cream. Click here for the recipe.
INGREDIENTS – for Bananas Foster
• 4 nicely ripe yellow bananas (ripe with no brown spots)
• 4 tablespoons soft butter
• ½ cup light brown sugar
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
• 1 ounce Grand Marnier
• 1 ounce Hiram Walker Banana Liqueur
• 1 ounce your favorite dark Rum (I use Mount Gay)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter in heavy bottom skillet pan with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Add cinnamon, and all liquors, stir well. Add bananas, lemon zest, and vanilla – cook bananas on medium heat until bananas are soft but not mushy.
INGREDIENTS – for Milkshake
• 1 quart softened Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream
• 2 ½ cups whole milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
• 4 banana’s from the bananas foster mixture – without the sauce
• 2 tablespoons fosters sauce
Put the above ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour (layer alternately with fosters sauce) into frozen glass. Top with whipped cream, a couple banana pieces, and drizzle with more fosters sauce.
For your cool winter nights this holiday season, you & your friends come alive with a steaming mug of my homemade hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows.
Park your tush into your favorite comfy chair, prop your feet on the well-worn ottoman with a cup of this hot chocolate and you will be guaranteed a soulful evening of bliss.
• 2 ½ cups whole milk
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
• 5 ounces milk chocolate
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon instant espresso (optional, but I like the extra depth of flavor)
• 1 teaspoon fine vanilla extract
Heat milk and cream on medium high heat in a medium sized heavy bottomed sauce pan. Once the milk has come to a hot simmer, take off the heat and add chocolates. Whisk until chocolates have completely melted, add vanilla and espresso. Heat on stove until very hot. Pour into warmed mugs and top with homemade marshmallows, or even a dollop of homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Adorn with a candy-cane or cinnamon stick.
THE PERFECT HOST GIFT
You will never-ever buy a bag of store-bought marshmallows once you have tried these delightful homemade gems of goodness. They are really simple to make – so give them a try this Thanksgiving.
• CANDY THERMOMETER
• 3 packages unflavored gelatin
• 1 cup ice cold water (divided)
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 cup light Karo corn syrup
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
• ½ cup cornstarch
• Non-stick spray
Place gelatin in the bowl of your stand-mixer with the ½ cup ice water. Use the whisk attachment
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine another ½ cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, and cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees…approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches 240 degrees, immediately pour in stand mixer which has been placed on low-speed using the whisk attachment. Once the hot mixture has been added to the mixing bowl – turn it on high and beat for 12 to 15 minutes, add the vanilla during the last 2 minutes of whipping.
Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 9”x13” pan and coat the pan with sugar cornstarch mixture, and shake around until the pan is completely covered. Pour the mixture into the 9”x13” prepared pan – top with more cornstarch sugar mixture and let sit for overnight.
Turn marshmallows onto a cutting board and cut into 1” squares. Once cut, dust with more powdered sugar cornstarch mixture.
We all love homemade cookies. When we were kids, my mom made these wonderful sugar cookies with cream, and put them in our school lunch boxes. Often times she would send extra to share with my friends…which I did, teaching me a very valuable lesson of how good it felt to share my food. Which is why, to this day, I love the quote from the Greek philosopher Epicurus: “We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.”
These gems are crispy on the outside, with just the right amount of soft chew on the inside. You can make them crispy all the way through by just baking them longer, and the reverse is true as well – for if you want a chewier cookie, bake them a bit less time. Bake a few at a time to see what you like – they are best eaten completely cooled if you can wait that long.
This recipe will make 42 to 44 cookies and can easily be cut in half to make 21 to 22 cookies. Which is often what I do when desiring a smaller amount for a midnight snack.
• 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 room temperature large eggs
• 2 tablespoons heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an electric mixer (can be done with a hand-held mixer or by hand – for my mom mixed them by hand), combine butter, sugar, and salt, beat until well combined. Add eggs, cream, and vanilla and mix completely. Add flour and mix until thoroughly mixed. Do not over-mix.
Scoop balls of dough with an ice cream scoop (I use a small ice cream scoop that measures a tablespoon full), roll the dough ball in granulated sugar – colored sugars are great for Easter, Christmas, or a fun party – and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. If you do not have an ice cream scoop – use a tablespoon and roll in your hand.
Bake in preheated oven on middle rack for 5 minutes then rotate pan and continue to bake. Depending on the size of your cookie, your desired texture, and how your oven is regulated, these will take between 10 to 15 minutes. It is always good to bake a couple cookies the first time to see how they come out with your oven.