Oh, what a rare find from a local antique store.  To read the recipes, just view the original with extra pictures.   I must confess, another side of me that I’m just sharing is my love of antiquing.  Each antique store is like exploring a free museum chock full of treasures.  When I pick out an antique it is to use and not just store away to admire later.  This week I found a well preserved Hershey’s 1934 Cookbook.  Who do you know that didn’t learn to make their first batch of icing with Hersey’s chocolate.  The book I found was actually a reproduction done in 1971 where they did revise and update some of the recipes for the current time.  Still, a cookbook from 1971 in this shape is still hard to find.

 

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We had eight of our closest friends at our home to celebrate and ring in the New Year.  Cocktail and appetizer hour started at 7pm and dinner was ready to serve an hour and half later.  The twice baked potatoes were prepared the day prior and were ready to place in the oven for the final baking one hour before dinner.  The tenderloin smoked for 1 hour, grill seared for 15 minutes and then slow cooked in the oven (on and off) for the balance of the day before carving to serve at a delicious medium-rare.

Oh how I wish I were better at remembering to take pictures.  The appetizer table was adorned with so many good foods brought by our friends to share while we enjoyed each others company.  There was a splendid crudités platter.  I just learned this phrase when my friend who just returned home from living in Italy asked if she should bring crudités or humus and chips.  I had to asked what crudités was and learned that it’s vegetable tray.  Another friend brought smoked salmon served with several very tasty spreads and toasted French baguette.   We provided a cheese platter, beef and salami slices and an assortment of crackers for additional noshing.

The table was preset so that it was easier for serving buffet style and so that I was not so rushed at last-minute.  I’ve found that this makes life much easier, less stressful and then I’m able to enjoy the company of my friends without looking frazzled when they arrive.

Again, I forgot to take pictures of the food as it was set out  but did remember to snap on quick photo of my own dinner plate with the perfectly cooked beef tenderloin and twice baked potato served along with sautéed green beans seasoned with chipotle pepper and praline pecans.  The green bean dish was a quick change-up from my standard sautéed green beans with mushrooms and slivered almonds.  I’m still not sure which I prefer to serve.  The chipotle dish was a hot and sweet dish while the other is savory.

Beef Tenderloin:

Let the tenderloin set out on the counter until it comes to room temperature.  Remove all fat and sinew from the outside of the beef with a sharp knife.  Turn the small end of the tenderloin under and then tie the meat so that it cooks evenly.  Season the tenderloin liberally with a robust rub like the A1-Bold or Barbarian’s Steak Rub.  Liberally add ground salt and ground pepper.  Make sure to cover all the surface of the beef (top, bottom, side and ends).  Place in smoker uncovered at 225 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from smoker and place on hot BBQ grill at 500 degrees and sear top and bottom for around 7-8 minutes per side.

Next, remove from grill and place in a 175 degree pre-heated oven to slow cook for 3-4 hours uncovered.  This will ensure that the tenderloin cooks to a rare – medium rare inside temperature.  If you want the meat to be rare then remove from oven at 130 degrees and let it rest for 10 minutes or so before carving.  If you want it at medium rare then remove from oven at 140 degrees.  The tender loin will continue to cook while it rests and then be perfect when carving.

Cooking Tip:  I had to keep turning my oven on and off  to make sure it didn’t over cook.  This did lead to the crust of the beef becoming a little soft instead of the normal crusty.  If this occurs (check it before serving) then place your oven on high broil and crust up the outside again before removing from the oven.

Entertaining Tips: 

  1. Set the table the day before if you will be having a large number of people.  This can take more time than you think and will cut into your cooking time if saved to the day of the party.
  2. Set up your cocktail bar the day before.  Place a plastic table cloth under any fabric cloth to protect the furniture’s surface if it could be damaged by the drinks or ice.  Set out a few bottles of tonic water, tomato juice, fruit juice and club soda for mixers.
  3. Prepare a cooler filled with soda pop and plenty of water.  Add ice the day of the party around 3 hours before the begin time.
  4. If serving the food buffet style you can set up the buffet table and serving dishes.
  5. Do any decorating and set out centerpieces and/or candles.
  6. Prepare cheese platters, meat platters and condiments for the appetizer table in their serving dishes, cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Set up your appetizer table with any table clothes and decorations.  Prepare cracker platters, cover and set on appetizer table.
  8. Make sure your champagne is in the refrigerator the day before so that it is chilled to perfection.  One bottle of champagne pours 5-6 glasses.
  9. Figuring out how much meat to buy; 1/2 pound per person to ensure there is plenty.  Allows for second servings and ample leftovers.
  10. Figuring out how many pounds of fresh vegetables; 1/4 – 1/3  pound per person.
  11. Use 1 extra-large baking potato for every two people.  Add 2 extra for those that like more or especially when making twice baked.  Often, many of your guests will share a baked potato or a large twice baked.  Bake in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  If making twice baked allow to cool before handling.

 

If you like this recipe and entertaining ideas from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes for entertainment.

12 ounces gemelli pasta (or any other desired pasta)
Three-quarter medium-size onion chopped
4 cups sliced mushrooms
One cube unsalted butter
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 half cup Crown Royal Whiskey®
1 cup water, white wine or chicken broth
Two extra-large vegetable bouillon cubes
1/4 cup flour and water for thickening
1 pound cooked shrimp skinned
1 – 2 teaspoons dried chives

Fill a larger pasta pot 3/4 full and bring to a medium boil.  Add the desired amount of pasta to the hot water.  Continue to cook the pasta while preparing the rest of the dish.  Check it for doneness occasionally and turn off when it become al dente.

Sauté onion in a large skillet with melted butter until they begin to caramelize and the onions turn slightly brown, stirring occasionally.  Add mushrooms to the skillet and continue to sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft.  Continue to stir occasionally while they cook.

Pour Crown Royal Whiskey® into the pan to reduce and deglaze the pan. If using fresh shrimp then you should add them now and sauté for a few minutes until they begin to turn pin..   If they are already cooked then hold off and add them at the end of the recipe so that they do not over cook and become rubbery.  Add 1 cup water, white wine or chicken broth (reduce bouillon if using chicken broth) or as much as you want to create enough sauce.  Add bouillon cubes.  If you have selected chicken broth instead of water, then reduce the bouillon to one cube instead of two.   Stir occasionally with the saucepan at a slow simmer.

Cooking Tip: Create a thickening sauce by placing 1/4 cup flour in a measuring cup.  Add water to the 1/2 cup mark and whip with a small whisk until it is a smooth consistency with no lumps.  Make sure you add enough water so that it can be poured from the measure cup into the saucepan.

With the saucepan at a slow simmer, slowly add the flour mixture while stirring continuously.  Stir until the sauce thickens and cook until all taste of flour is cooked into the sauce.  The taste of the  Crown Royal Whiskey® and any wine should have cooked to a slightly sweet and non-alcohol taste.

Add the shrimp now if they were pre-cooked.  Then add the dried scallions.  Stir all together and continue to simmer on low while you drain the gemelli.  Serve with pasta and shrimp dish mixed together, or if you prefer, serve shrimp on a bed of pasta.

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

Before, during and after building the kitchen for Iron Works.

Building and creating a compact two butt kitchen for the cabin was a challenging experience with multiple mind-boggling puzzles to solve.  The best laid plans can sometimes have minor quirks and ours had several.  More importantly, though, every headache was worth the end result.

One of the most unusual obstacles centered around the stove and placement of the stove. First, image how to get a 36″ stove into the kitchen opening after the granite counters have been put into place when the opening is only 34″.   Two inches too small to just slide the oven or easily carry the oven to its final position.    To make sure that the stove fit into the final opening after the granite had been put down the installation was delayed.  It wasn’t put in place earlier because of  the possibility of scratch and dent if installed to early.  Luckily, after the granite contractors finished installing the granite, they helped Gus lift the stove over the counters and put it into place.   This also involved taking the stove out of it final place multiple times to grind off about 1/8″ of the counter so the stove would fit into place.  To top it off, the stove would not fit far enough to the back of the wall to allow for the dishwasher to open without hitting the oven handles.  With a little ingenuity, Gus cut out the drywall behind the stove so that it would slide back a couple more inches.  Finally, stove was installed and the dishwasher cleared the top oven handle.  The dishwasher still has to rest on the bottom door handle which is a little odd, but does work.

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Karen’s Two Butt Kitchen
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Steel Cabinet Frames in Oil Rubbed Bronze

The framework for the cabinets are not your typical wood type framing.  They are made entirely from steel that was cut and welded by Gus.  This was another fun experience.  Outside measures were taken as well as inside measures.  One cabinet came out lopsided when the outside measure was used on one side and the inside measure on another.  Poor Gus had to cut it back apart and start it over.  Just as most everything built for Iron Works, the cabinet frames where heavy and awkward.  They were built-in sections.  For example the upper cabinet to the right is one piece while the upper cabinet to the left is also one piece.  Very heavy and cumbersome to install.

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Rain Forest Brown Marble and Industrial Serving Bar

The counters are a Rain Forest Brown Marble.  Just above the counter in the foreground in an industrial metal serving bar that runs the entire length of the front counter.  It is held up by only three posts that are anchored to the ground.   The lighting in the kitchen is all from repurposed light shields that are white porcelain inside and forest green cover.  They were found while picking “American Pickers” style in South Dakota over a year before beginning the cabin. The back-splash runs the entire interior of the kitchen and is small 1″ copper squares that came in 12″ square sheets.  This give the kitchen a full richness of browns, bronze and golden colors.

The kitchen sink is one of the most unusual items in the kitchen.  The base is from an repurposed super heavy-duty 1940’s vintage industrial radial drill press factory table that was purchased from Urban Remains Chicago, an antique and architectural  artifacts company based in Chicago.   It was taken apart and repurposed again for our use.

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Sink Base Industrial Radial Drill Press

Plumbing the sink was a nightmare but it all came together.  The sink itself is hammered copper and has only one bowl.  While two bowls would have been better, we were working with a limited opening and depth. At the base, there is a door that opens to a small storage area for dish soap and other essentials.

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Finished Look of the Industrial Sink

My good friend who lives in Toronto, sent me this recipe to share on KCinAZ Cooks. She’s vegetarian and does find some great ideas.  It looks absolutely delicious and I couldn’t resist posting it up.  OMG, it’s got wine in it.  If it were my recipe I would have to call it Drunkin’ Sole Meunier.

From Lidia’s Website – the recipe:

serves: 4

 

This light fish in a lemony sauce, which always appears on Italian and French menus, has remained a favorite for decades. I served it in my first restaurant, and continue to serve it today. I recommend using fillet of sole in this recipe, but the fillet of any fish prepared this way is delicious. It is easy to prepare, and even kids love it. The result is a pucker lemon finish, with briny capers. You know how much I love olive oil, but there is a time and a place for everything. When sautéing foods that cook quickly, like these sole fillets, using some butter along with the oil  help the sole brown before they overcook. Thicker sole or flounder fillets are ideal for this dish, but if yours are thinner, you may find it easier to handle them if you cut them in half first. Traditionally the fillets are simmered in the sauce, but I like to cook the sauce separately and spoon it around the sole fillets—they stay crispier that way.

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing the sauce if you like
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 fillets gray of lemon sole, approximately
2 1/2 pounds  all-purpose flour for dredging  5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
12 thin lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
3 tablespoons drained tiny capers
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley  salt and freshly ground black pepper –

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Directions:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the butter is foaming. Dredge the fillets in the flour to coat both sides lightly, gently lay as many of the fillets into the pan as fit without touching. Cook just until the underside is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip them gently with a wide metal spatula, and cook until the second side is browned and the fish is opaque in the center, about 2 minutes. Transfer them with the spatula to a baking sheet, and keep them warm in the oven. Repeat it necessary with the remaining fillets, adjusting the heat under the skillet to prevent the bits of flour in the pan from burning. When all the sole fillets have been browned, carefully wipe out the skillet with a wad of paper towels. Add the remaining olive oil and the remaining butter and crushed garlic, and return to medium heat. When the butter is foaming, slide in the lemon slices, and cook, stirring gently, until they are sizzling and lightly browned. Stir in the capers, and heat until they are sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour in the lemon juice and wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by about half. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and boil until the sauce is lightly thickened, about 2 minutes. If you like, drizzle in a tablespoon or two of the olive oil to enrich the sauce. Sprinkle in the parsley, and taste, seasoning with salt and pepper if you like.  Remove the sole from the oven, and set one fillet in the center of each plate. Fish the lemon slices out of the sauce, and top each fillet with two of them. Spoon the sauce around the fillets, dividing it evenly. Serve immediately.

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http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/1161

See more at: http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/1161#sthash.uQyIuSgx.dpuf

KCinAZ's recipes on BigOven menu planner and grocery list app

BigOven is by far my favorite online cooking application.  Now I’m even more thrilled with it since they have implemented several great updates to the site.  I began using BigOven in 2004 when I tired of trying to work with an outdated recipe collection program called Master Cook which has recently had an update too.  One of the greatest advantages to BigOven is it goes everywhere with you since it is internet based.  You can sign up for a free version that is definitely sufficient for the everyday cook.  But if you want to use all the fantastic features you will soon find yourself upgrading to a PRO edition.  In addition to the online version, you can download a Windows-based application to your laptop and then import recipes directly from BigOven to the application.  This makes it convenient for when you do not have an internet connection to reach the online version.

With the new updates there is a top level menu system makes it easier to navigate around and to find recipes.   That is the burgundy colored menu which now includes some 2nd level drop down menus.   The top level menu options are Recipes, My Recipes, Menus, Grocery List and Apps.

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Here is a sample screen shot of the drop down menu for recipes that you have Added yourself to BigOven, tagged from other contributors to your Favorites, or tagged as a Try Soon.  This example is for recipes that I have added and then showing only Main Dishes.  Each of the images that you see are ones that have been uploaded to go with the specific recipe.

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The following screen shot shows recipes that have been marked as My Favorites.  This group can be recipes that are part of my own collection or those that are from other contributors.  There are many fine recipes in BigOven and you could spend hours just checking them out.  I have several favorite contributors and I’m sure you’ll find your own favorites.

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Another great feature is Recent Raves.  You can find them under the menu item Recipes and then select Recent Raves from there.  Or you can select from the other 2nd level menu options of Collections, Use Up Leftovers, Recipes by Course or Add a Recipe.  After you select a recipe you can print it keep for future use, mark it as a favorite, try soon or give it your own rating after you’ve made the recipe yourself.

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 To learn more about BigOven visit Steve Murch’s About page.  Here are some of the award they have received.  My hat is off to Steve Murch for developing such a great application.  He is surprising approachable, too.  I have sent messages about suggestions or when I might find a slight glitch and often the reply back is directly from Steve.  With over 8 million downloads, it’s no wonder they have received these varied awards and I am sure there are more to come!

Best Apps for New Moms” — Time Magazine

Best Android Apps, 2011 (Honorable Mention)” — New York Times

Best Recipe App” — About.com, Readers Choice Award, 2013, 2012 and 2011

If I only had one cookbook in my library it would be “Timing is Everything by Jack Piccolo”.  There are no pictures and it doesn’t really have any recipes but it’s the best cookbook around for reference.  Want to know how long to cook the tuna in my “Drunkin Yellow Fin Tuna” or the Beef Tenderloin in  “Beef Tenderloin, Port Mushroom Gravy and Red Potatoes –  Date Night Dinner”.

Just turn to the appropriate meat section in the cookbook and look it up.  Tuna is considered a meaty fish found in the, of course, Fish Section.  Then it breaks down in the cooking methods of braise, broil, grill, pan fry, poach, sauté and steam.  For grilling it recommends a 6-8 ounce fillet or steak, then cook 3-5 minutes per side.  I’ll have to recheck my recipe to see if I followed their instructions.  You’ll even find a section on how to cook an egg, vegetables and rice along with storage time for vegetables, fruit and meats.

You won’t find it at the local book store unless it’s a used book store.  I found my second copy to take up to my cabin on Amazon.com and I costs around $4 for a used book and all the way up to $50 or $60 for a new un-used one.  The original price of the book was $16.95 so you can see how rare the new books are.  It’s no longer in print but worth the find.

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09/20/2014:  MasterCook now has a Cookbooks Store where you can get a choice of three cookbooks and two other cookbooks that are nominally priced.  I look forward to seeing more additions to the selection.

Students and Teachers for a limited time can MasterCook for free.  Lucky them.

MasterCook now has their own Blog.  This may be a good starting point to see if MasterCook is the cooking application for you.

09/03/2013:  The following is a recap of news directly from MasterCook about their updates.  I did receive a message from one of my readers who was concerned that they had to pay to use MasterCook and they do not have a trial version or have a minimal version that is free like BigOven.  A trial version or better introduction to the application would be a big plus for MasterCook 14.  BigOven does offer a free version but it is limited in comparison to the annual Pro version which includes many features not available to the standard user.  But, I’m not writing this about BigOven…. only giving a few comparisons.

09/03/2013:  A new update from MasterCook 14 on some of the upgrades and updates to the online application.  Can’t wait to try them out.  Here’s the news.

Improved uploading. When you’re uploading recipes and cookbooks to your web account, you’ll now see a progress indicator. This is helpful when you’re uploading large files. “KCinAZ – this should be helpful to those who have slower uploading services.  I always like to see the progress.”

Quick Start tutorial. Need help finding your way around the program? Not sure how to get started on the web? We’ve created a Quick Start Guide aimed at beginners.   “KCinAZ – This will be very helpful to the beginners.  Who wants to just plunder along without getting anywhere.  Thanks MasterCook.” 

Download multiple recipes directly from the Web Import Toolbar. You can download a batch of recently saved recipes to the MasterCook program right from the toolbar. Great time-saver!  “KCinAZ – I’ll have to definitely check this one out.  I’ve tried the download and it works good but not yet great.  Hopefully this is an improvement!”

To see more about other applications click on COOKING APPLICATION TAB ABOVE or click here.   As of 9/20/2014 MasterCook subscription is now $9.99, a digital download is on sale for $14.99 and includes the one year subscription, while a full boxed package with CD is $24.99 (in US only).  Check their website for current pricing.    If you were already a user of MasterCook the upgrade may less.

06/26/2013:  Here are some of the web features that are available with the web membership (borrowed directly from Master Cook 14):

  • 1-Click Recipe Transfer: One click will import most recipes from your favorite websites to your online account using any browser on your computer. At any  time, you can download your stored recipes right into MasterCook 14!
  • MasterCook.com – YOUR recipes & cookbooks, anywhere: Now you can upload recipes from your MasterCook 14 PC and access your recipes from any web-enabled device  including your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Registered MasterCook 14 users can store up to 5,000 recipes in their personal online cookbooks.
  • Trending Recipes: Discover new recipes by browsing what’s popular among MasterCook.com users.

I was pleased to see some great new additions to the program and couldn’t resist purchasing it.  If you would like to visit their website, click here.  This is not an advertisement for MasterCook and shouldn’t be interpreted as such.  I just love cooking, cookbooks, cooking applications and anything to do with cooking.  Happy Cooking!

ORIGINAL REVIEW:  I really didn’t think that I would ever use Master Cook again after finding BigOven.com but I am always pulled in to check out something intriguing.  Well, the new Master Cook is intriguing.  One of the reasons for moving away from MasterCook originally was that it did not have any internet based or mobile application.  They now have added this feature and its great.

Improved Import feature.  The old online import feature from several years ago was cumbersome and was a plug -in not supported by MasterCook.  With this new version they’ve included their own version and it’s greatly improved.  Now the application matches up the recipe that you’re looking to import almost 100%.  The import feature is tool that you drag and drop to the Favorites in Internet Explorer.  I’ve used it several times and each time it works well.  Sometimes the import will need a little tweaking.  In the example the item and item measure show perfect.  I’ve seen sometimes with the import where these two items run together and need to be separated by a space.

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The Desktop Application is still very similar to the old version however they’ve spiffed it up a lot.  It’s more colorful and looks much more professional.  The graphics are more appealing than prior desktop versions.  You’re looking at the main menu here.  From the left page you can either go into the desktop cookbooks or to MasterCook online.   The second screen image is MasterCook 14 online.  You can create multiple cookbooks or just import into your own favorites.  These cookbooks are for your own personal use, but when importing from favorites cooking websites such as allrecipes.com or foodandwine.com those imports are shared with other online users.   To look at other users imports, click on the Trending menu item.

The trending menu item is a little slow loading but that may be due to the large number of images that it show.  I think MasterCook will have to do some organizing in the Trending section fairly soon as it is growing in size and is sorted by the highest number of imports.

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One feature that’s been carried over from the old desktop application that is still there is the capability to print or publish your own cookbook(s).   This is an important feature for many recipe collectors and I’m glad to see that it’s still there.  Unfortunately for BigOven, this feature is not included in either their desktop or online version from what I can find.  If anyone else knows of how to do this in BigOven, I would love to hear of it.  However, one huge feature within BigOven that I love and that is lacking in MasterCook is the ability to look at and share recipes with the other members of the online community.

After getting MasterCook 14 loaded, I was able to easily import all the recipe books that I had created with the older ancient versions.  I was surprised and pleased to find that everything was still compatible.  I was able to import these also into BigOven desktop but MasterCook does a much better job with the visual appeal.

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