Pineapple Souffle

May 17, 2015

pineapple_casseroleSorry it’s been awhile again… I remembered this great recipe which I used for Easter.     I’ve used this for 3 yrs.    It’s definitely a must for Easter or Christmas when paired with ham.   Delicious!

Pineapple Souffle


1 – 16oz can of crushed pineapple in heavy syrup
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs beaten

1) Mix cornstarch, water, and sugar until all is dissolved in a mixing bowl.

2) Add pineapple, eggs, and vanilla.    Pour into a casserole pan.   I use an oval casserole.

3) Sprinkle with cinnamon.

4) Dot with butter.

5) Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

From the kitchen of Kathy Bartz.


Pepper Steak

February 8, 2013

This blog has been MIA for awhile… but I’m doing a Chinese New Years party for my wife’s side of the family and had to type up a few favorites.   Here’s one of the recipes for the party.

Pepper Steak

Serves 4


1 tablespoon dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ pound thinly sliced beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce or molasses (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
2 cups thinly sliced green bell pepper strips (or red, yellow, or mixed colors)


1)      Combine the sherry, water, and cornstarch in a medium bowl, and stir well to dissolve the cornstarch.   Add the beef and stir to season it evenly with the sauce.   Set aside for 15 minutes

2)      In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, chicken broth, dark soy sauce, if using, salt, sugar, and pepper, and stir the mix well.    Place a medium bowl by the stove to hold the bell peppers after their initial cooking.

3)      Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over high heat.   Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and swirl to coat the pan.   Add the garlic and ginger and toss well.

4)      Scatter in the bell peppers and toss again.   Spread them out into a single layer and cook undisturbed for 15 seconds.  Then cook, tossing often, until they are shiny and just beginning to wilt, about 30 seconds more.    Scoop them out into the bowl and set aside.

5)      Let the pan heat up again briefly,  and then add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, swirling to coat the pan again.

6)      Add the beef and its marinade, spreading the beef out into a single layer.   Cook undisturbed for 30 seconds, and then toss well.   Cook, tossing often, until most of the meat is no longer pink, about 1 minute.

7)      Return the bell pepper and any juices in the bowl back to the pan, and toss well.

8)      Add the soy sauce mixture, pouring it around the edges of the pan.    Cook tossing often, until the peppers are tender but not limp and the beef is cooked through, about 1 minute more.   Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot or warm.

Italian-Style Turkey Club

November 6, 2010

Italian Style Turkey CLubWe’re back!    Sorry for dropping off, but we were still cooking just not blogging.    I will try and share some of my past experiences in the next few weeks.    Anyway, I just wanted to share this great recipe from last weekend.    It’s from America’s Test Kitchen 30 minute meals.    Hands down, it’s probably one of the best club sandwiches I’ve ever had.    My wife couldn’t stop raving about it, and I think if I were to start my own diner, this would absolutely be on the menu.   

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Tiramisu for V-Day

February 15, 2010

I made this over the weekend for Valentine’s Day.   It’s one of the best tiramisu I’ve had – definitely restaurant quality.    I assembled it the night before and let it refrigerate until the next day, which allowed it to soak up a lot of the flavors.      I got this recipe from my America’s Test Kitchen Season 9 dvd.    One thing, you definitely need a stand mixer for this to whip up the mascarpone.    Also, I ran out of the coffee mixture to dip the ladyfingers and had to make another batch.

Brandy and even whiskey can stand in for the dark rum. The recipe prefers a tiramisù with a pronounced rum flavor; for a less potent rum flavor, halve the amount of rum added to the coffee mixture in step 1.     I halved the rum in both steps.     Do not allow the mascarpone to warm to room temperature before using it; it has a tendency to break if allowed to do so.   Be certain to use hard, not soft ladyfingers.    I was able to find them in the Italian section in the grocery store.    Even on the box, it said perfect for tiramisu.

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Two Salad Dressings

February 14, 2010

Here’s two recent homemade salad dressings that we enjoy.      I like simple dressings that feature olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.   On top of our salad, we enjoy toppings of cheese and sliced, or candied nuts.

Rose’s Vinaigrette – From Martha Stewart’s Magazine – Lisa’s Pick

Balsamic Vinaigrette – From The Best Italian Classics – My Pick

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Pizza Bianca with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

February 2, 2010

My wife and I are big fans of all kinds of pizza, so we were looking for a good homemade recipe.    This recipe I tried out a couple weeks ago and has quickly become my go-to recipe for homemade pizza on a Sunday.      The style is a roman version that is very wet and coated with olive oil.   When baked, it becomes fluffy like a foccacia and has a crisp crust.     I enjoyed making it because it was very easy to pour out in a pan + doesn’t require a pizza peel.     A couple requirements:  you need a stand mixer (Kitchenaid preferred) , pizza stone, and a baking sheet.     For preparation time, I usually start this about 3-4 hrs before serving.    I’ve been making the variation with homemade pizza sauce and mozzarella which I will include below.    Yes, it’s another America’s Test Kitchen recipe.    I’ve developed a bit of a crutch to them so I will have to try out a new recipe from a new source this weekend.

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Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup + Croutons

January 26, 2010

I tried this recipe over the weekend.   It’s from America’s Test Kitchen Season 9 DVD, which I received from my wife on Christmas.    As my go-to recipe source this month,  I’ve tried out several recipes from this DVD with one home run after another.    I’ll have to post some more soon, but I would recommend picking it up.    This is a really great and easy recipe to try out.    What’s interesting about the soup is there’s no cream so the tomato flavor is more prominent.    Also I love the toppings of croutons, chives, and extra virgin olive oil.  

If half of the soup fills your blender by more than two-thirds, process the soup in three batches. I filled the blender half full but was real careful to cover with a towel so you don’t scald yourself.    The liquid is really hot!     You can also use an immersion blender to process the soup directly in the pot. For an even smoother soup, pass the pureed mixture through a fine-mesh strainer before stirring in the chicken broth in step 2.  

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Crunch Bars (Heath Bars)

December 9, 2009

Since it’s the Holidays, I felt like trying my hand at some sweets as I usually cook savory dishes.    I picked this recipe out of Kraft’s Food & Family cookbook, best-loved recipes.   It’s a good magazine for easy recipes with also easy-to-find Kraft ingredients.     I was interested in the use of saltines for that salty/sweet combination.   A favorite of mine is the Sarris chocolate covered pretzels.    The results and combination of flavors were excellent!   The batch went very quickly with the office wolves….

A couple of notes… to toast nuts, I usually put them in a 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.   Just keep an eye out on them.    The toffee mixture of butter and brown sugar hardens very quickly so make sure you spread that fast.   That step doesn’t need to be spread perfectly because you will cover the work with the chocolate later.   A few of my crackers had just a couple bits of the toffee.

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Italian Pasta and Bean Soup (Pasta E Fagioli)

November 6, 2009

soupI love Pasta E Fagioli “Fazool”, but I haven’t tried to cook it for a long time.   There’s a good recipe in the box that I have used a couple times.  It’s been about 3 years, and it is soup season!   Since I’ve been going through a lot of Cooks Illustrated, I’d decided to give their recipe a try.   I was intrigued by the use of anchovies.   The results were excellent as usual, and it has probably replaced my old recipe for pasta e fagioli. 

The recipe stresses serving it right away since in later days, the pasta absorbs the liquid and leaves little broth.   I did enjoy it as leftovers though.    The soup can be made in 2 stages.   Once the beans are simmered with the tomatoes, before the broth and water are added, the mixture can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.     When ready to complete the soup, discard the Parmesan rind (otherwise it will become stringy), add the liquid, bring the soup to a boil and proceed with the recipe.

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Cashew Chicken

October 20, 2009

Cashew ChickenThis recipe came from my trusty Cooks’ Country magazine.   I’ve been using them a lot lately.   It was a little odd to find an asian recipe in the magazine – since it’s mostly comfort food, but I love cashews and wanted to give it a shot.     It turned out great and provided leftovers for many days doused in Sriracha Sauce.    The prep work is a little long with cutting the chestnuts and the snow peas.     But the results were excellent.     Also the toasted cashews are delicious  just on their own.   They remind me of a favorite place, Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl, which was a stop by on our trips to Columbus back at TU.   The place is in Zanesville, OH.    They had excellent roasted cashews.

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