Monthly Archives: December 2015

OH Fudge!!!!

We are recovering from our Christmas stupor, barely able to button the pants and tighten up the corset but before we leave Christmas and head into the New Year I want to share one last recipe from one of my guests at our Christmas Dinner. This comes from Dannie’s Grandmother Lee and it is a recipe for Fudge. Now, I personally have never made fudge. It is something that I always bought from a candy store. My husband is a fudge freak. Every time we go somewhere and there is a store selling fudge he has to buy a ½ pound. I mean, we have bought fudge in France; Solvang, California and Fredericksburg, Texas. If there’s fudge in the area, he sniffs it out like a hungry lion.

Anyway, I’m not a real sweets lover but I got to tell you, this fudge is the most creamiest (I know bad grammar but it get the point across), melts in your mouth fudge that I have ever tasted. Literally as you eat a piece it dissolves in your mouth, covering your tongue, leaving a very pleasant, satisfying lingering flavor, like what happens with a good wine. I urge you to try this recipe and “See” for yourself.

Grandma Lee’s Fudge

Fudge

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. Margarine
  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate bits
  • 1 cups nuts
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 8 marshmallows into small bits
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 small can of Pet or Carnation Evaporated Milk. Essentially about ¾ cup.

Place 2 cups of sugar and the evaporated milk into a pot and boil for 7 minutes. Remove pot from stove and add in small pieces of the butter, marshmallows, vanilla and chocolate pieces. Don’t forget the nuts (if you are allergic or don’t like them leaving them out). Pour concoction into a 3” X 9” X 12” greased pan and set in the refrigerator until it solidifies. Cut into the desired size pieces.

Grandmother Lee’s original recipe

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The Chemistry of Fudge

I got this from Wikipedia because like what Monsanto said, “better living through chemistry.”  Cooking is chemistry and fudge is a perfect example. Making fudge or the forming of the fondant needs to be done with care. “The controlling of the crystallization of the supersaturated sugar solution is the key to making smooth fudge. Initiation of crystals before the desired time will result in fudge with fewer, larger sugar grains.” The final texture would then have a grainy mouth feel rather that than the smooth texture that is desired.

As I said, Grandma Lee’s fudge is the smoothest I have ever tasted. Leave it to all those wonderful Grandmothers out there!!!! Without all those old recipes we would not know what real food was.

Foodistory

Like the discovery of penicillin or the chocolate “chip” cookie, fudge was more than likely a mistake in an attempt to make something else. It is believed that the first batch was the result of an accidental / messed-up “fudged” batch of caramels. Henceforth the name “fudge.” I can just image that little ole’ lady in her kitchen looking at her messed up caramels and being a good woman she didn’t want to say what she wanted to say and substituted the word “fudge.”   As the story goes, a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, says that her schoolmate’s cousin make fudge in Baltimore, Maryland in 1886 and was sold for 40 cents a pound. Hartridge got a hold of the recipe and in 1888 make 30lbs for Vassar College Senior Auction. It became very popular, spreading from campus to campus.  In the late 19th century Mackinac Island in Michigan began to commercially produce Fudge. And as they say the rest in Foodistory.

MAIN COURSE – STANDING RIB ROAST

Our main course Includes:

  • Standing Rib Roast
  • Boiled potatoes with butter and garlic – lots and lots of garlic
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Lasagna
  • Salad

As I am basically do this blog real-time things our moving fast in our house hold so I’m not going to go into detail on the preparation of the salad, lasagna and boiled potatoes.  The star of the evening will be the standing rib roast

Chef Shay purchased two rib roasts.  the secret to an excellent gourmet rib roast is in the preparation.  I watched her lovingly prepare it with the following seasonings:

  • Garlic Olive Oil
  • Pepper Plant Seasoning
  • Rosemary

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Carrots
  • 1 Onion

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Press all the seasons together.  Rub the garlic olive oil over the entire meat and then rub on the seasonings.  Let meat stand until room temperature.

Place Rib Roast in oven.  As Chef Shay always says, do not cook by time.  Cook by temperature to 120 degrees (about 2 hrs.).  Remove from oven and let rest for about 20 minutes and then serve.

From seasoning to carving

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It is 5:18pm PDT and dinner is being served and I am signing off to chow down.  Wish you were here.  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD MEAL!!!!

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Appetizers -the things you fill up on before dinner

Prior to dinner comes the appetizers.  We have three appetizers in the  offering.

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  • Antipasto Platter
  • Cheese Platter
  • A toast or cracker spread

Antipasto Platter 

This delectable display consists of:

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  • Heavenly Villagio Marzano Tomatoes from Trader Joes.  (Any small cherry tomatoes will work for those without a Trader Joe’s).
  • Italian Cold Cuts
  • Prosciutto Ham
  • A mix of Olives marinated in Lemon and Herbs
  • Italian Breadsticks wrapped with Prosciutto Ham

 

Cheese Platter

Cheese platters are always a hit at any gathering.  The cheeses chosen here are from Trader Joe’s but the formula for an excellent platter is to have at least one firm cheese, one soft cheese and one unique cheese (stinky). The cheeses we used are:20151225_133748

  • Pave D’Affinois
  • Campo de Montalban
  • Bleu D’ Auvergne
  • Farmhouse Cheddar

To be served on a Rustic Multi-grain Bread or Water Crackers.

Simple to set up.  Remember presentation is paramount.

Toast / Cracker Spread

20151225_133859This appetizer is served with the toasted hard breads, water crackers.  The spread consists of Lentils, Feta, Trader Joe’s Bruschetta,  and diced Cucumber.

MERRY CHRISTMAS – Let’s start with Breakfast

GOOD CHRISTMAS MORNING

This is Chef Shay’s husband blogging. Chef Shay is in the kitchen preparing the day’s faire. I’m going to let you know how the day progressive culinary wise. Christmas is always a big day for us. Lots of family & friends coming together to celebrate the holiday and each other. This morning we have our daughters, my wards, and my eldest daughter’s boyfriend. Welcome to our day – we celebrate with you and yours.

Before we are even awake there’s hot chocolate greeting us as we wipe the sand from our eyes.

Here’s the mornings menu:

Overall breakfast

Pastrami style smoked salmon accompanied by:Smoked Salmon

  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Pickles
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Capers and fresh dill

… next a parfait with fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries with Greek yogurt and granola.

Parfait

And then… Pigs in a blanket – fresh biscuits with ham.Bisquits

Ohh! And of course don’t forget the mimosa!

mimosa

And of course coffee and more hot chocolate.

That’s just for breakfast……

See you at dinner time!