Ginger Cakes

 Or as I call them Ginger Shortbread because they have a delightfully short texture. They are also dead easy, just a few ingredients all cut together and pressed into a pan with your fingers.  These are from the New James Beard which was indeed new in 1981. Despite the age, the recipes in here are interesting in a way that intrigues me when I read through it. And they're excellent. James Beard — what a cook. GINGER CAKES Makes 30 cookies 2 cups flour 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed 1 tablespoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 pound (1 cup) unsalted butter, cool (NOT room temperature), cut into small pieces Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly, then combine with the butter until the mixture is well blended and crumbly. (I do this by hand,  lightly rubbing the butter into the flour between my thumbs back and forth across fingertips.) Plae a 1/2-inch thickness of the mixture in two square 8-inch cake pans, pressing it down in the pan with your fingers.  Bake in a 328° oven for

It's the Simple Things in Life That Matter — Perfect Piecrust

Another rerun - from 2004. Yes, you heard me ... pie crust. Its always a touchy subject among cooks and I can't blame anyone for using the pre-made ones in the red box (Pillsbury?). I have to admit they really are the best commercial alternative to homemade. However, this recipe is the easiest and most foolproof I've ever found. Once when Rose was making it, she accidentally added an extra 1/4 cup of water and wound up with something like a thick batter. We improvised by sprinkling extra flour in until it looked right and ... voila! A delicious, flaky pie crust with no problem. Now that's hard to beat. It is from The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffry Steingarten. Marion Cunningham, baker extraordinaire, made about a zillion pie crusts while detailing every step along the way so Steingarten could get it just right. The beauty of it is that this makes a lot more dough than you need so you don't have to worry about scrimping to get the crust just perfect when rolling

Baked Pasta with Tomato, Cream and Five Cheeses

 This is from The Wall Street Journal's regular Slow Food Fast column which features a different chef each month. I clipped the recipe way back in 2019 and it doesn't show up on the WSJ website but it's from Al Forno chef Johanne Killeen. We liked it so much that I'm picking up her On Top of Spaghetti cookbook from the library. (Also, how can you resist that book's name? You can't!) It was so easy that I didn't change a thing. And it was delicious. Note: every other place carrying this recipe has these changes from what the WSJ printed: 2 c. cream, 1-1/2 oz. Parmesan and fontina, and gorgonzola, 4 oz sliced fresh mozzarella. I will try these some time also. Baked Pasta with Tomato, Cream and Five Cheeses Step 1 1 pound penne rigate Heat oven to 500°. Boil pasta until just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes, and drain. Step 2 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes 1 ounce Parmesan 1 ounce coarsely grated Fontina 1 ounce crumbl

Baked Salmon with Horseradish Mayonnaise

I first shared this in 2005 and it is well worth sharing again. It's one of my all time favorite recipes and really the only way that I make salmon. I've tweaked it a bit. It came from a diabetic cookbook, which is hard to believe considering how delicious it is. Step 1: 1 salmon fillet (1 pound total), room temperature, cut into 4 pieces Salt and pepper Olive Oil Brush salmon with oil and season. Bake at 475° on a lightly oiled, foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake exactly 5 minutes, then turn salmon over and bake another 5 minutes. Step 2: 1/4 cup mayonnaise 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2-3 teaspoons horseradish 2 teaspoons drained capers Whisk together. Top each serving of salmon with a heaping tablespoon of sauce.

Mom's Creamed Tuna

First published here in 2005, it's time for a reprint! Especially during Lent! I don't know where my mother got this recipe but it is the touch of nutmeg and the walnuts that make it shine. I often leave the nuts out so don't let those stop you in making this. It was one of our favorites growing up and my kids love it too. Step 1: 2 tablespoons shortening 2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon Worcestershire 2 dashes Tabasco 2 cups milk Make a white sauce. Stir over low heat until thickened. (For instructions on making a white sauce, take a look at the recipe for Pasta Baked with Bechamel and Parmigiano ... bechamel is Italian for white sauce.) Step 2: 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 12 ounces tuna Sautéed sliced mushrooms (optional) 1/3 cup broken walnuts (optional) Add cheese, stir until melted. Add remaining and heat to serving temperature. Serve over rice or noodles.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

From Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri; I edited these instructions for simplicity's sake.   I first ran this recipe in 2004 and all these years later it is still my go-to pound cake. It isn't fussy but it is simply delicious. It never fails, it lasts a long time and my husband has found that a thin slice is almost as good as a donut with his breakfast. Plus you will impress your friends who didn't know people made pound cake anymore. Sour Cream Pound Cake Step 1: 3 cups flour 1/2 t. baking soda 1/2 t. salt Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour 12-cup tube or Bundt pan. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Step 2: ½ pound butter, softened 2¾ cups sugar Beat on medium speed until very light, about 5 minutes. Step 3: ½ t. lemon extract ½ t. orange extract ½ t. vanilla Beat into batter (I also have used 1½ t. vanilla instead of the above combination). Step 4: 6 large eggs Beat into batter, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Step

Linguine with Chickpeas and Zucchini

 This is perfect for a meatless meal anytime. It was on one of those handy, dandy recipe cards in Cook's Country way back in 2018. The photo isn't preposessing but it is simply delicious. AND inexpensive! Don't skip the parsley. For me, that makes the dish.  This is mildly flavored so it might be good for kids. Also, since the zucchini is shredded and the chickpeas are mashed up some, it might be easy to slip past kids who might otherwise balk at such ingredients.  This is also good without the red pepper flakes if you have people who can't eat those. They designed this recipe to be made sequentially in one pan. I'd rather make two and have the rest done at about the time the pasta is. If fewer pans matters more, then cook and drain the pasta. Use the Dutch oven to make the "sauce." Linguine with Chickpeas and Zucchini 1 pound linguine 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin 1/2 teaspoon red pepper