Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hardee's Raisin Cinnamon Biscuits

I am not a particular fan of fast food, but I did occasionally patronize the local Hardee’s (before the soft porn commercials, that, frankly don’t even look hygienic and are pretty off-putting, but I digress) on my way to work because I loved their cinnamon raisin biscuits.  Imagine my delight when I ran across this recipe on  I had to give them a try, and, wow, they are EXACTLY like what I used to get at Hardee’s.  Whether you are familiar with the chain’s biscuits or not, try this recipe.  You will love them, and they'd make nice munching tomorrow morning during the Easter egg hunt.

Hardee’s Raisin Cinnamon Biscuits

2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups Bisquick® baking mix
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
Melted butter


2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon warm water

Preheat oven to 450

Mix Bisquick, milk, raisins, cinnamon and sugar until a soft dough forms. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 20 times.  Roll 1/2" thick. Cut into round biscuits and place on an ungreased 8 x 8" pan. Flatten slightly. Brush with melted butter. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Remove and brush with more butter, then drizzle with glaze.


Mix all ingredients together in bowl until smooth. If necessary add more warm water, a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is at the desired consistency.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Andrew's Pork Fried Rice

My number two son tells me that one of the reasons that he enjoys the marinated pork tenderloin so much is having some left over to make fried rice.  Andrew, of the Cherry Limeade Bars, is no stranger to the kitchen.  When I found I had some slices of the pork remaining he shared his recipe with me in a brief email, and I have to agree that it is darned tasty and unbelievably easy to prepare.  Here is his recipe:

Andrew’s Pork Fried Rice
1-2 cups prepared rice
1/3 cup chopped onion, or scallions
1/2 cup cubed pork tenderloin
1 egg, beaten
Leftover Sauce from tenderloin (or equal amount of soy sauce)

Cook up enough rice for yourself, 1-2 cups.  Then chop up some onion or scallions and sauté with the cubed pork, until the onion is tender and the pork has browned.  Add a beaten egg, if desired, and allow to cook until set.  Then I toss in the rice, and add enough of the left over sauce as needed. Usually I start with 1-2 tablespoons then add more to taste. Heat and eat. Yum!

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

An old high school friend (male) gives my blog the occasional onceover, and asked me the other day just why there are so few recipes for roasts and other such big meats.  I always think that making a roast is the easiest thing in the world and that it would be rather redundant to include such a recipe. But I’ve grown up with this, and always figured that it was as much a part of others’ youths as it was mine.  If this is not the case, then you’ll appreciate this very easy, versatile, and delicious recipe that I first became acquainted with in our church cookbook, published sometime in the '80s.  There is absolutely nothing to it, it is very forgiving in that, if you fail to remember that it’s in the fridge it will go that extra day (I won’t tell you how I know this, just that I, ahem, do).  It is fine for every day, but is also very much appreciated by company.  It makes for excellent leftovers as well, and if you return tomorrow, my son will tell you how.

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

1-2 lb. pork tenderloin
Bacon for wrapping meat

Wrap tenderloin in bacon, securing with toothpicks along the way. Place in a shallow dish and cover with marinade. Marinate 5 to 6 hours at room temperature, turning often, or overnight in the refrigerator.


1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

Remove meat from marinade before baking. Bake pork at 350°F for 1 hour. Simmer leftover marinade over low heat for five minutes; serve as a sauce.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Springtime Table

I am a nut for glassware.  It is just something that I can’t resist: glasses, vases, pitchers, bottles – all sorts of bottles. In fact, it can be quite dangerous leaving me alone in the liquor department of any store because I am liable to buy something that I won’t even drink just for the bottle.  Have you seen those clear glass skulls full of vodka?  But I digress.

So, when Wine Enthusiast contacted me asking if they could send me some wine glasses (Could they? Oh, yes!), I reeled in my excitement long enough to reply in the affirmative, and happily received a lovely set of four Fusion Whirl Chardonnay Wine Glasses.  Designed with the physics of fluid dynamics in mind, they tapered the bowls so the opening is narrower at the top than below, allowing for an aggressive swirl that funnels a virtual explosion of aroma directly to the nose, and, they are gorgeous!  Needing to be displayed in a table setting, I chose to blow the dust off of my Nikko tea rose dishes and pair them with other pieces featuring spring colors (It is spring, isn’t it?  Try not to notice the 11 inches of snow on the deck).  As you can see, I am still rockin’ that beautiful blue Hydrangea as a centerpiece.  Now excuse me while I pour the wine.
Wine Glasses – The Wine Enthusiast
Table Runner - Pottery Barn
Green Placemats – World Market/Cost Plus
Goblets – A gift from my late mother
Round Woven Placemats – Pier One
Napkin Rings – Pier One
Dinnerware – Nikko Tea Rose
Green Geranium Leaf Plates – Williams-Sonoma
Bamboo Edge Plate - Cape Town by Fitz & Floyd
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Napkin Fold Easter Baskets

This idea was originally posted a couple of years ago, so I thought it was time to be revisited in case some of you didn’t see this darling napkin fold.  The Lotus Napkin fold is fairly common, but I'm not sure I've seen it used in the way that I like to use it on Easter morning, namely as an Easter basket to house a chocolate bunny, chocolate eggs, and jelly beans for each one of my guests.  They fold up quickly and there is an excellent tutorial on how to achieve this look here (scroll down to #5 Lotus Napkin Fold).  Once you've turned all of your napkins into potential Easter baskets you only need to put them in place and fill with Easter grass and goodies.  It makes for a stunning table and your guests will be enormously pleased (and very impressed) with your efforts.  One little tip, however, is to provide an additional napkin so these can just be lifted off of the plate and set to the side to be admired, undisturbed, during the meal.  At the conclusion of your brunch, lunch, or dinner, provide each guest with a colorful cellophane bag and twisty so they can package up their treats to take home.  I guarantee this is one meal they will never forget.

Placemat - World Market/Cost Plus
Blue Plate - Fiestaware
Green Ruffled Plate - Lotus Metlox
Flatware - Fiestaware
Glass - La Rochere
Candy - Lindt, Dove, Hershey

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Emmentaler on Rye with Sweet & Sour Onions

Grilled cheese sandwiches have been one of my favorite lunches as far back as I can remember.  In my youth, bliss was known as a slab of Velveeta sandwiched between two slices of Wonder Bread. Truth be told, while it’s not often, there are days when I revisit that old favorite just to wax nostalgic about the carefree days when I sat at the kitchen table in my mother’s warm kitchen, munching on a gooey sandwich, swinging my legs back and forth all the while.  These days I look for variety.  I’ve found it in one of my favorite books on the subject, Great Grilled Cheese: 50 Innovative Recipes for Stovetop, Grill, and Sandwich Maker and then I saw this recipe in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  Oh, my!  This sandwich is singular in its deliciousness.  The nutty, melted cheese, paired with the not-too-sweet, not-too-sour onions is a marriage made in heaven.  The onions can be made ahead making this easy to throw together when you want to dazzle someone at lunch.

Emmentaler on Rye with Sweet & Sour Onions

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons brown sugar, light or dark
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Sandwiches (Serves 2)
½ inch-thick slices rye bread
2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, softened
¾ cup (about 3 ounces) Emmentaler or another Swiss cheese (I used Gruyere), grated

Cook onions: Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and salt, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar, and scrape and stuck onion bits from the bottom of pan with a spoon. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until the onion mixture thickens, and season to taste with black pepper. Cool to lukewarm, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerated until needed, up to 5 days.

Make sandwiches: Generously butter 1 side of each slice of bread. Arrange one slice, buttered side down, on a plate. Spread thickly with jammy onions (about 2 tablespoons per sandwich; you’ll have extra). Sprinkle with half the grated cheese. Arrange a second slice of bread on top of the cheese, buttered side facing up. Repeat with the remaining slices.  Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet to medium-low, or an electric griddle set to 325. Once it’s hot, place the sandwiches on the griddle, and cook them until crisp and deep golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Slice the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Potato Leek Soup - Three Ways

You may recall my introducing you to a fabulous new offering from Melissa’s Produce that I used in the Capellini recipe here.  So enamored was I, that I used them again in the recipe for fritters here.  I finally got around to making the Potato Leek Soup that is featured on the package yesterday afternoon.  This quick and easy recipe yields a light and tasty soup, perfect for those upcoming spring luncheons when you’re looking for something delicate to pair with a sandwich or salad. I changed it up a bit based upon what I had available, so used homemade chicken stock instead of vegetable. My seasoning to taste turned out to be about 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt. I used Melissa's Dutch Baby yellow potatoes that I washed and quartered, and a HEAPING half cup and full cup to make up the potatoes.

If your interest is in a thicker soup with a more velvety texture, double the amount of leeks and potatoes, and leave the liquid amounts the same. If you plan to serve it as a starter to a more elegant meal, make either version, but add 2-3 Tablespoons of dry sherry.  This is one versatile recipe!  I held out a few leeks to caramelize for a garnish on top as my garden chives aren't up quite high enough to snip.  Delicious!

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