Often times something will occur that will instantly bring you back in time to something wonderful in your childhood. That exact thing just happened to me when Lisa and I along with Kitchenette were asked to participate in a new ad campaign for Hellmans .During this photo shoot we spoke about our uses for Hellman’s in our recipes in the restaurant. Now , let’s face it , who doesn’t like a healthly dose of Hellman’s. It got me to thinking and as a child my family and I used to visit a distant cousin in the state of Maine. On this yearly visit we were always welcomed with a chocolate layer cake which she proudly made with mayonnaise. Now, before you start saying “yuk” remember the main ingredients of mayo are eggs and oil. This chocolate cake is moist and light and when covered with a coating of chocolate cream cheese icing it is nothing short of sublime.
I was so nostagic for this cake I baked one up and have the pictures to prove it.
So, if you thought that your jar of Hellmans was only good for a tuna sandwich or a BLT on toast, think again.
Hail to the Mayo
This is the time of year that everyone starts feeling those winter doldrums. Even with the non-existent winter like the one we have had this year, I am itching to go somewhere warm. And I am in luck. In a few days I leave for the sunny, beautiful beaches of Mexico. That’s right, soon I will be lolling on a beach chair, pina colada in hand watching the gentle waves of the Atlantic roll over the white beaches of Playa del Carmen. Don’t worry though, I will be thinking of you as I drink my cerveza and munch on some guacamole.
And for those of you that are not as lucky as I and stuck here in the city while I am suntanning at the beach, try this easy guacamole recipe and sip a corona while you do.
2 ripe avocados, skinned and pitted
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
salt to taste
Blue Corn tortilla chips
Place avocados in medium size bowl and mash with a fork. Add all remaining ingredients except salt and gently mix them together. Add salt to taste. Spoon into a bowl and serve with blue tortilla chips.
The mere name of this colorfully adorned cake brings a smile to everyone’s face. It is one of our most popular cake flavors. Even the Kardashian sisters filmed an episode for their show and ordered a personal size one for themselves.
We have been asked to share this recipe so we hope all will enjoy. Make this for your next festive occasion whether it is a birthday party or the next time you want something fun and delicious.
Ann and Lisa
1 c unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs (separated)
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 c buttermilk
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe to follow)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9″ round cake pans.
Beat egg whites in a small bowl until stiff peaks are formed
Cream the butter and sugar until it is a pale yellow color and is fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well. Combine all dry ingredients together. Add to butter, egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, start with dry ingredients and end with dry ingredients. Scrape down beaters until everything is well incorporated. Add 1/3 of beaten egg whites to mixture. Fold in carefully and then add remaining egg whites. Careful not to deflate egg whites too much mix until egg whites are folded in.
Divide cake batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and baked through.
Let cool and spread top of bottom layer with cream cheese icing top with colored sprinkles. Top with other layer and ice top and sides. Completely cover the entire cake with colored sprinkles.
This cake is truly a vision to behold
Cream Cheese Icing
1 lb of softened cream cheese
3/4 lb. softened sweet butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
The most important thing about making the perfect cream cheese icing is to make sure both the butter and the cream cheese are softened and brought to room temperature. In the bowl of a stand mixer or hand mxer, place the cream cheese. beat until soft and constantly scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the softened butter and beat the two together well. Scrape the beaters and sides making sure there are no lumps. Slowly add the sugar and mix well. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, if the frosting is too soft place in frig for 15 -20 min before icing the cake.
1 t vanilla extract
If you live in the parts of the country that the temperature has dipped into the single digits, there is nothing more appealing to eat than a piping hot bowl of soup. We have made a living on selling all kinds of soup. One of our restuarant incarnations was called ” Soup Pot” where we sold hundreds of differents kinds of soup daily. One of our lunch staples is pairing up a bowl of soup with a 1/2 sandwich of the day. Whether your young or old everyone loves the comforting aspects of soup. It is also a wonderful way to use up leftovers, scraps of turkey or chicken, leaves of vegetables and last night pasta or rice are wonderful additions to soup.
We have included one of our most favorite recipes for Corn Chowder. We hope you love it as much as we do. Curl up with a good book and a mug of hot soup.
Lisa and Ann
1/2 plus 2 T butter
1/2 cup flour
1 medium onion -chopped
3 ribs celery-chopped
1/2 t chopped garlic
1 lb. red potatoes- cut into 1/2 in cubes
2 carrots- peeled and cut into 1/4 in thick slices
2 t salt
1 t ground black pepper
8 cups vegetable stock
2 -15.4 oz cans whole kernel corn- drained
In a medium saute pan over medium heat , melt 8 T butter. Slowly whisk in flour and continue whisking for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Melt remaining butter in large soup pot. Add onions,celery and garlic and cook over medium heat for 10-12 min until vegetables are tender and translucent. Add potatoes, carrots, seasonings and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 min until potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Add corn. Ladle about 2 cups of soup mixture into butter and flour mixture. Whisk until smooth. Whisk the mixture back into soup pot and cook over medium heat until soup reaches a boil and has begun to thicken. Turn down heat and simmer for 5-10 additional minutes. Taste for seasonings.
As 2011 quickly draws to an end, we would like to take a moment to thank our loyal customers and staff, both new and old for being part of the life we live at Kitchenette restaurant. We are quickly approaching our 18th year and it is with wonder and amazement that we think back to our humble beginnings when Kitchenette was a mere 11 stools and a lunch counter. We served eggs straight from the frying pan, over the counter and on to a customer’s plate. We were surlier back then, Ann and I, if you can believe it. Age has tempered us. We still love what we do and can’t imagine doing anything else but it was simpler back then. Ann and I say it all the time, we are cooks by nature, much happier in the kitchen, behind the scenes, doing what we love. Time does not permit that of us as much as we would like. But, if you happen into one of our places during te day and do not see us around, we were probably able to steal a moment or two and go back to our roots, back to what made us go into the restaurant business to begin with, back into to te kitchen where are hearts really are.
Happy holidays and an even happier New Year to all.
Lisa and Ann
A yearly tradition we have at the restaurant is for Lisa and I to have our daughters and their friends come for an afternoon of gingerbread house decorating, This is a a smorgasborg of sugar and icing. We make the houses and fill the table with every kind of candy and confection this is and let the girls use their artistic imaginations to create edible master pieces. It is a wonderful activity and really gets the holiday season underway.
No Thanksgiving meal would be complete without a great gravy for the turkey and a fabulous dessert to end the feast. We have gone a little less traditional here with an Apple Cider Gravy and a Pumpkin Bread Pudding.
We hope you have enjoyed reading these recipes as much as we have enjoyed writing and photographing them for you. And if you haven’t already tried them, we hope you will, either this Thanksgiving or next. May your Thanksgiving be filled with good food and good company. Bon Appetit! Ann and Lisa
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
4 cups hot half and half
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Butter 8 -8 ounce oven proof ramekins or 1 -2 qt casserole.. Heat 3 cups of half and half and and add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread. In mixing bowl beat eggs with remaining 1 cup half and half. Add remaining ingredients and wisk well. Pour over soaked challah and combine until just mixed. Be careful not to over mix or bread will fall apart. Spoon into individual ramekins or large casserole. Place in large baking pan and fill 1/2 way with hot water. Bake 20-30 minutes for individual or 35-45 minutes for large or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly. Serve with whipped cream.
Apple Cider Gravy
1 medium onion, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
4 tablespoons butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup flour
2 cups apple cider
2 cups chicken stock
In medium saucepan, heat cider and chicken broth. Set aside. Sweat onions in butter over medium heat until translucent and slightly brown, about 10-12 minutes. Wisk in flour, salt and pepper and cook 1-2 minutes. Slowly add hot cider-chicken broth mixture, wisking all the while to avoid any lumps. Bring to a simmer. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.
It is always assumed that the turkey is the star of the Thanksgiving table but as we really know the go alongs are very much as worthy of applause. We have given you two delicious and fairly easy to prepare co-stars.
Ann and Lisa
Parsnip and Turnip Puree with roast garlic
6 cloves of peeled garlic
1/2 t olive oil
toss the garlic in oil and place on roasting pan in oven for 10-15 min until golden brown and soft
2 1/2 lbs of purple turnips -peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
3 lbs of parsnips-peeled and cut in 1/2 ” rounds.
5T olive oil
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
You need to roast the vegetables separately. place the turnips on a baking sheet with 2 T olive oil and toss to cost evenly. On another baking sheet place the parsnips and toss with 3T olive oil, coat evenly. Add one cup of water to the pan of parsnips and place both pans in oven. Roast until fork tender approx. 20-25 minutes. In the bowl of a food processor, place both vegetables along with the roasted garlic. Puree, slowly add cream and seasonings. This can be made the day ahead and re-heated on the day of service.
5 lbs of sweet potatoes or yams -peeled and cut inoto 1″ wedge shaped pieces.
2 cups cleaned and chopped leeks
3 ears of corn- husks removed or 1 1/2 cups of corn
1/4 cup of olive oil
3 T pure maple syrup
2 T butter 1 1/2 t salt
3/4 t pepper
Place sweet potatoes on large baking sheet, coat with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. Roast for 25-30 min.
Sauteed leeks with butter and 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper. Cook until tender.
On an open gas burner, place the corn and char on all sides. Remove kernels from cob. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss with maple syrup. Adjust seasonings to taste
Nothing makes it smell more like Thanksgiving than a turkey roasting in the oven. There a few rules of thumb to insure a moist and delicious outcome. Fresh is always better than frozen but if you do choose frozen make sure you allow enough time to defrost completely in the refrigerator. Another important factor is a pan large enough to roast your turkey. We always recommend a meat thermometor and roast till 165 degrees but a good time measure is 14 minutes per pound of turkey. We have given you a recipe for a kicked up glaze for your Thanksgiving turkey. Hope everyone enjoys this unique twist for holiday.
Ann and Lisa
Honey Chipolte Glazed Roast Turkey
12-14 lb Fresh Turkey-Rinsed and patted dry
1 cup of chipolte
1 cup honey
Process both ingredients in a food processor until smooth
Rub the whole turkey with olive oil and generously salt and pepper the skin of the turkey. Place in a roasting pan and roast turkey for 1 1/2 hours. For the next 1 1/2 hours baste turkey with honey chipolte glaze every 15-20 minutes. This glaze gives a beautiful color to your turkey.
Both of these selections are easy and very festive. There is so much preparation tied up with this holiday it is nice to have some simple fun little tidbits to serve your guests before the main course.
Lisa and Ann
Maple Pumpkin Presecco
Makes 8-10 cocktails
1 Bottle of your favorite Presecco or Champagne
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3T pure maple syrup
Mix the syrup into pumpkin mixture, spoon into the bottle of champagne flutes and top with Presecco. Serve immediately
Goat Cheese and Cranberry Crostini
1 Baguette cut into 1/2 inch diagonal slices, you will need two pieces per person
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces of goat cheese
1/4 cup homemade or store bought chunky cranberry relish
2 T pumpkin seeds or any chopped nut of choice
Brush sheet tray with olive oil, place slices of bread on oiled tray and brush tops with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and smear on softened goat cheese. Place a dollop of cranberry relish and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds or other nut choice. Garnish plate with dried leaves and fresh cranberries.