Wednesday, March 30, 2011

cobbled peanut bars

don't you love hello dollies
the layered cookie
with lots of goodies
held together with a bit of condensed milk
and a 
crunchy graham cracker crust
me too
i set out to make a batch just the other day
only to find
i didn't have any butterscotch chips
in the pantry
what's a girl to do?

cobble together a substitute
of course

these are chewy and peanuty
seriously delicious

bust open your pantry
and make a batch
cobbled peanut bars
(printable recipe)
3 Tbs butter--melted
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup marshmallows
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz peanut butter chips
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1  14oz can sweetened condensed milk
mix together the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together.  press into the bottom of a 13x9" pan.  sprinkle coconut on top.add the chips and marshmallows on top, distributing evenly.  drizzle the condensed milk over the top, then add the peanuts.
bake at 350 for about 1/2 hour
let cool, then cut into bars to serve

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

i'll swap ya

i am constantly
preparing enough goodies
for a family of 
ten teenage boys
we are not a family of 
ten teenage boys

we do have neighbors
lots of neighbors
who sadly
now that summer is around the corner
don't appreciate being
fatted like a christmas goose
which occasionally leaves me
with excess goodies to share

which is why

i couldn't stop smiling
when i found
i quickly signed up to be part of the very first event

we met at a hip and local joint
each person arriving with 
loaded with 

lovingly prepared and*or foraged

packaged to delight

it was a small but enthusiastic crowd
each person describing their own wares
while scoping out
what others had on offer
no money changed hands
just goods

goods like
freshly milled wheat
bread warm from the oven
jams, jellies, marmalades and conserves
tinctures, scrubs and freshly cut herbs
elixirs, aperitifs, concentrates
eggs, fruit, pasta and sweets

for two hours
on a cloudy sunday afternoon
we were not urbanites
drinking skinny lattes and talking about gas prices
we were
individuals enamored with 
what the land brings to us
how we honor its abundance
foraging, collecting, preserving

transforming a
space filled with bodies
a community

a personal thank you to 
emily ho aka misschiffonade
who organized this fantastic event

Friday, March 25, 2011

why must i be...a dog in a suitcase?

i don't speak french
which is why it is slightly insane
that i subscribe
to french magazines
aside from the few french words 
incorporated into the english language
i have not a clue
if the prose is 

the photos
never fail to 
turn this
punctual taskmaster
into a 
daring daydreamer

a recent issue of marie claire idees
showed a small dog
perched in a
 darling white-washed bed
fashioned from an old valise

at a romp through an overstuffed antique store
i found this

with a
 bit of fabric
little ingenuity
sackful of patience
(i am a horrible seamstress)

we now have
our own darling version
(if i might say so myself)

both girls checked it out
but only one 
reigns supreme
she seems quite content
mais oui!

*i have a tutorial here with a material's list and some steps
this is not a sewing tutorial...that would be like the blind leading the blind!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

fresh ricotta

homemade ricotta 
is nothing like
what you find in the supermarket
packed tightly into tubs
with expiry dates a month long

it is naturally sweet
with creamy curds
only lasts a few days

that is the good news

it is a bit time consuming
uses quite a bit of milk
and can be a bit of a mess

last week
cannoli was on my mind
so i whipped up a pot of fresh ricotta

and when i say whipped
i mean
spent an entire day
preparing, cooking, skimming
and draining

for my birthday
my friend gave me a beautiful cookbook
"my calabria"
by rosetta costantino

rosetta shares a family recipe for ricotta
 a combination of milk and cream
it produces a large yield
perfect for 
eating with a spoon
whipped into lemon pancakes
stuffed into cannoli shells
or sharing with friends
*from my calabria
1 gallon whole milk
3/4 cup cream
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp rennet
1/4 cup cold water
place the milk and cream in heavy pan and stir to mix well. warm over heat to 200-210F.  remove from heat and add the salt. stir to dissolve.  let the milk to cool to 100F. skim any foam or skin that forms on top of the milk.  in a small bowl, mix the rennet with cold water. stir the diluted rennet into the pot of milk, then leave undisturbed until the milk has visibly thickened, about 10 minutes.
cut a large "cross" in the milk.  stir quickly with a wooden spoon for 15-20 seconds to break up the coagulated milk. using a perforated metal skimmer immersed in the milk,slowly and gently stir in one direction, so slowly that it takes about 20 seconds to make one revolution.  milk will begin to separate into curds and whey.
slowly pour off the whey through a cheesecloth lined colander, set over a bowl to drain. let stand at room temperature until whey stops dripping from the sieve.  alternately, if you have ricotta baskets, you can use those to drain the curds.  
the ricotta should be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator. it is best used within 2-3 days.
this makes about 2 lbs
* i don't throw the whey out...i use it. hubster and i use it in our smoothies and i give the dogs a bit of it in their kibble. it helps with a shiny coat. i can't say the same for us humans.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


on march 19th
italians celebrate
st. joseph
in gratitude 

during a drought and subsequent famine
in sicily
the faithful prayed to st. joseph 
in hopes he would intervene

 when the prayers were answered
rain and a successful harvest
the people of sicily
vowed to give thanks
for eternity

you may find italians
wearing red
praying in churches
preparing the altar
abstaining from meat

you will also find this italian
enjoying sweets

this is a day of 

last year 
i dispensed sage advice
(if you want to read it, click here)
this year
you get a recipe
(you can buy them..there isn't a prize for the person who slaves over hot oil all day making these)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbs crisco or lard
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup marsala wine
1 egg--whisked with a bit of water
combine the flour, sugar, salt and lard together.  slowly add the marsala while kneading the dough. continue working the dough until it is well mixed and a rather hard dough is formed. cover with plastic wrap and let sit an hour and up to 3 hours. roll the dough out to 1/4" sheet and cut with a 4-5" round cutter.  quickly run a rolling pin over the rounds in 1 direction to form the rounds into ovals.
place a metal tube in the center of the oval and bring the sides up, overlapping enough to form the shell. brush seams with a bit of egg wash to seal.  
heat oil in a pot.  drop the shells a few at a time into the hot oil and fry until they are light brown and bubbly.  remove from oil and place on greaseproof paper. allow to cool long enough to handle, then slide the tube out and allow the shells to fully cool. 
1 1/2 lbs ricotta--drained to remove excess moisture
1/2 cup powdered sugar
pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1 Tbs finely grated lemon peel
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup mini  semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate
mix all ingredients together and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to meld. filled cannoli shells tend to get a bit soft after time. if you want your shells to remain crispy, wait until you are ready to serve before filling them.
makes about a dozen

linking up with
tickled pink @504main

Thursday, March 17, 2011

not so silently baking for japan

i am participating
for japan with love
no witty blog post
no sassy tweets
no self-promoting stumbling
just my toque in hand

i am joining a group of bloggers
who are united today
in an attempt to raise money
donate what you can
help get the word out

for my part
i will send
 to those of you who donate
$25 or more
this offer is no longer valid
a dozen freshly baked and oh so good
double chocolate brownies
quite possibly
the best you ever tasted
(just ask my mom)
*this is limited to the first 200 who donate a minimum of $25 through the above link, and send their donation details to me beginning March 17, 2011 12pm (pst) and no later than 8pm(pst) March 20, 2011
(open to US residents only please)

send a copy of your donation receipt from FirstGiving
be sure to include a mailing address
fudgerippleblog (at) gmail (dot) com
and i will speed them on their way
please specify
with or without walnuts
--if you are allergic to nuts, please know--i do not use separate equipment--
this offer is no longer valid

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

lunch box pies {st. patrick's day meat pies}

gone are the days
of the tartan plaid
lunch pail
replete with
soup canister
trapped beneath a spring-loaded arm
monogrammed cloth napkin
so sad

but this girl
can still dream
moving from
shop to shop
for a bit of
my youth

these savory pies
formed and baked in cupcake tins
are perfect
lunch box days
picnics at the lake
afternoon snack for a carload of kids
as we are
st.paddy's day treat
with a guinness chaser
lunch box pies
(printable recipe)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 large onion--finely chopped
2 stalks celery--finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs creole seasoning
a few shakes of Tabasco sauce more or less to taste
1 cup breacrumbs
1/4 cup hot water
1 recipe pie crust
Creole Seasoning

from Emeril's New Orleans Cooking
2 Tbs  chili powder and paprika
1 Tbs ground coriander, garlic powder and salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, black pepper and dried leaf oregano
Mix together and keep in an airtight container

chop onions and celery and sauté until soft.  lightly cook pork and drain off grease.  add ground beef to pork and cook 5 minutes.  add onions and celery.  cook over low heat for 25 minutes. drain any grease.  add seasoning, tabasco and salt.  add hot water and bread crumbs and mix well.  let stand 30 minutes.  meanwhile, line muffin tins with pie crust.  fill the crust 3/4 full with filling.  close with top crust. decorate as desired. brush with lightly whisked egg yolk.  bake at 400 until pie crust is golden..about 20 minutes.
to make shamrock, color some of the egg with green food color and use a paint brush to paint design.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

lemon chicken

i seem to be on a bit of a citrus jag lately

i suspect the reason being

on our back porch
sits a potted lemon tree
it produces exactly 
8 lemons
every other year
we have coaxed coddled and crooned to it
this is its best work
when it produces
i get to work 
this recipe
is really 
a bit of this
smidge of that

really delicious
very lemony
extremely popular
in our house

the best part
freezes well
lemon chicken
(printable recipe)
1 lb chicken breasts
olive oil
1/2 onion--finely chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
juice of 2 large lemons (a bit less if you don't like your chicken really lemony)
1 tsp honey (or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley--minced
pound the chicken breasts until they are thin like a cutlet. pat chicken dry.  heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet.  cook eat chicken breast enough to just brown, but not to cook completely through.  remove from skillet and reserve.  add a bit more olive oil and toss in the onion.  cook on medium heat until onion begins to soften. toss in the chicken broth and use tongs or spatula to scrape up all the bits of chicken that stuck to the bottom of the pan.  add the wine, lemon juice and honey. stir to combine, then put the chicken back into the skillet.  simmer on very low until the chicken is cooked through.  serve with the sauce spooned over the chicken. sprinkle a bit of parsley on top.  serve with lemon slices if desired.


Friday, March 11, 2011

st. paddy's cake

i do enjoy
a snazzy chapeau
if it is edible
this is a simple 7" layer cake
placed on a 10" cake round
place the fondant covered cake in the middle of the round
roll out a strip of fondant wide enough and long enough for the brim, curling up the edges.
using a brush, paint a bit of water on the round (only a little) to help the brim stick and carefully place along the edges of the cake
the shamrocks are fashioned from lightly colored fondant cut out with a cookie cutter. i softened the edges a bit with my fingers to give them a bit of movement.
the buckle is simply rolled fondant covered in edible gold leaf, then brushed with a bit of bronze luster dust. 
i used just a bit of water to adhere all the elements onto the cake

if you would like more details or further instruction on how i made this
please ask
i promise i won't tell you
that a leprechaun left it behind
at the pub i frequent

i am linking this up to 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


all too often
 fill my canvas tote
with fresh from farm
bring it home
lovingly display it
and then
succumb to the reality
father time
ages it

faster than
we eat it

i find myself
racing time

such an event
happened today
with a good ol' fashioned
crisper raid
olive oil
1 medium onion-thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic--chopped
1/4 cup red wine
1 red bell pepper-julienne
1 medium eggplant--cut into cubes
2 zucchini--cut into rounds
3 cups diced tomatoes--fresh or canned
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
pinch red pepper flakes

about 1/2 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
1 generous Tbs balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
heat a small stock pot over low flame.  add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.  toss in the onions and garlic and cook until they soften.  add in the eggplant and red pepper and give them a good toss. cook for about 10 minutes. stir in the red wine and cook for about a minute more.  finally, add in the zucchini, diced tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt. give a good stir, cover and cook for about 25-30 minutes.  periodically give a good stir to the pot. once the vegetables are soft, but not falling apart, remove from heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar and fresh parsley.  taste for salt and add if necessary.  serve hot, warm or room temperature.

i am linking up to 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

fat-ish tuesday

i haven't been to new orleans during mardi gras
it sort of turns me off
jazz fest
is about as rowdy as i like to get

take a storied town
combined with
permission to indulge
and you are
talking my language

my indulgences will be

chicken and sausage gumbo

wishing you good times today
for those of you whom
share the 
traditions and faith
this season brings
a mindful 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

lemon-pecan mascarpone pound cake

march 4th is national pound cake day
don't roll your eyes
it is legit
i read it on the internet

before my great aunt passed
i borrowed her box of tattered and stained recipe cards
and copied each one
into a book of my own

my aunt rose baked a great pound cake
several versions
all different
all delicious

for national pound cake day
i borrowed a recipe from her
with a few substitutions
  lemon pecan mascarpone pound cake
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter--room temp
4 oz mascarpone cheese--room temp
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs--room temp
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs lemon juice
2 1/4 cups flour--sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup toasted pecans
cream butter and mascarpone until very light. gradually add sugar and beat thoroughly, about 2-3 minutes.  add eggs one at a time, scraping down sides in between additions.  beat for an additional 2-3 minutes after you add the last egg.  beat in vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt, until fully incorporated. the batter may look curdled, which is okay.  blend in the sifted dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) and mix until silky.  fold in pecans.  bake in a greased pan (10 cup capacity) at 325 for about 60 minutes.  if you separate the batter into smaller pans, bake for considerably less time.
once cool frost with icing made from powdered sugar mixed with lemon juice.  add enough lemon juice to make a drippy icing with good lemon flavor.

Friday, March 4, 2011

preserved oranges

i hadn't yet been to morocco
when i first became seduced by tagine
meat braised into submission
in the company of
dried fruit
toasted nuts
exotic spices
preserved citrus

preserved lemon 
can be plucked off the shelf 
of your favorite fancy grocery
i have found preserved oranges
offer a slightly sweeter note
couples well with
headier spices like

preserved oranges are
easy to make at home
and use few ingredients

within 10 minutes
you will be transported 
to a far away land
full of culinary possibility
preserved oranges
smallish thin rind oranges
kosher salt
pink peppercorns
star anise
bay leaf
thoroughly wash and scrub the oranges removing stems.  cut into fourths without allowing the knife to cut all the way through. cut approximately 2/3rds through the fruit. generously salt the flesh of the orange  using a sterilized jar with proper fitting lid begin to press the oranges into the jar.  pour additional salt in between the layers of oranges.  periodically drop in peppercorns using no more than 10   in your entire jar. continue doing this until the jar is well packed and full.  squeeze orange juice to fill in the gaps. slide in a bay leaf and star anise.  add a bit more salt, then seal.  turn upside down on the shelf of the fridge overnight. the next day, turn it back right side up. if you see a gap, fill it with oranges, salt and orange juice. close it up and place back in the refrigerator. let "steep" for 4 weeks. these will keep for about 6 months.  rinse before using.  use as you would preserved lemons.


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