Sunday, May 24, 2009

Katie Franny BBQ Sauce

My sister, Cathy, has been making this BBQ Sauce for years. Reen's husband Billy has always been a fan of it. He calls her "Katie Franny"(since her name is Cathy Francis), but the funny thing is that's what he calls the BBQ sauce too, as in "Pass me the Katie Franny" or "Will you pour some more Katie Franny on my burger?".
He cracks me up.
Anyway, I'm thrilled that she passed the recipe along to me and now I get to share it with you! So here ya go. Have some Katie Franny!

Hey Joe,
I gave someone my recipe for BBQ sauce today, and I thought I'd send it along to you while I was at it. It's my family's favorite BBQ sauce recipe (apologies to Marshy's!), and I must say I do enjoy it too. It's a little sweeter than some of the more smoky-flavored ones, which is ok by me, because I don't like a heavy smoky taste. Besides using it on grilled stuff, it's also great as the sauce for BBQ Pulled Pork, which I often make in my crock pot. You just make your pulled pork like usual, and after "pulling" the pork, add the BBQ sauce at the end. Yum!
The Katie Franny thing just started from Billy being his usual goofy self. He first called it Katie Franny BBQ Sauce, and then at some point announced that he was going to shorten the name to Katie Franny, and that was that.
The rest is history...


2 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf, crumpled
2 cups ketchup
6 oz. Cola
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Dijon or spicy brown mustard
2 tsp. cider vinegar (I've also used red wine or white wine vinegar, and regular white vinegar - no prob)
Salt & pepper

Saute onions and garlic in butter until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat 45 minutes to an hour, until thickened and yummy.


Cathy's Tip:
DOUBLE this recipe every time you make it. It keeps for a long time in the fridge. And, besides, what are you gonna do with the other half can of Coke anyway?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

So, lets talk about Walt Disney. The man was a true visionary. He was always coming up with new and better ways of doing things, pushing the envelope, and challenging himself and his staff, even when his peers told him he was crazy. If you know me, you know that I love all things Disney. My clothes, my apartment, my car, and even my left shoulder are all decorated with Disney Animation. Now, I'm guessing you're thinking "What does Walt Disney have to do with brownies?" Honestly? Nothing, but stay with me.....
Whenever Walt Disney wanted a better version of an idea, he'd tell his staff of animators to "Plus it!" In other words, make it better! Upgrade! Well, this is exactly what I like to do with recipes, especially brownies! Why make plain brownies when you can come up with a fun, new, and exciting way of making them? How about adding a rich and creamy chocolate chip cheesecake layer on top of your favorite decadent fudgy chewy brownie? Now that's DEFINITELY one of my favorite ways to "Plus it"!

1 box brownie mix or your favorite scratch recipe
2 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbs light cream
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 13x9x2 pan with shortening or butter or cooking spray.
2. Mix brownie batter according to your favorite scratch recipe or box mix directions. Spread in pan. Place pan in oven and bake 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a clean bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in vanilla and eggs until blended. Stir in sour cream, light cream, and chocolate chips.
4. Remove brownie pan from oven. Pour cream cheese mixture over partially baked brownie batter in pan. Sprinkle with more chocolate chips, if desired.
5. Bake an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese filling is just set and the edges just begin to brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Chill in the fridge until firm before cutting into squares.

To "plus it" even further, try using different kinds of chips! Oh, and if you'd like a more cake like brownie, just add an extra egg to your brownie recipe.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Apple Shenanigans

Several years ago, I was in the kitchen, cooking for Thom and Candace. I was in a particularly creative mood and felt like making something new. I thought of doing some kind of fruit pies, but wanted to find a new twist. Then I came up with a little gem of an idea. I thought, why not make a MINIATURE one? I was thinking they would be kind of like Hostess Fruit Pies, only better!
And here they are! They're SO yummy, and simple too! My friend Lauren described them as being kind of like funnel cake with fruit in them. How yummy is that?
Oh, and if you're wondering about the name....
After I had been in the kitchen for a while, Thom called to me and asked what sort of shenanigans I was up to. I said "Apple!" So, Candace made the executive decision that that's what they should be called.
And as Candace would say: "Apple Shenanigans = Jazz hands!"

Pillsbury ready-made pie crust
1 can apple pie filling
powdered sugar

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pie crust, just as you'd do for a pie. Using a large round cookie cutter, (3" or 4"), cut circles of dough. If the pie filling has large chunks of fruit (such as apple slices), chop them down so the pieces are much smaller. Place a tablespoon of pie filling in the center of each circle of dough. Lightly dampen the edges of the circle with a few drops of water. Fold over and crimp with a fork to seal the filling inside. Repeat as many times as you can, rerolling the pie crust as needed.
In a medium pot or Fry Daddy, heat a few inches of vegetable oil. Gently place each pie in the oil to deep fry. Be sure not to do too many at a time. When the pies are golden brown, remove from oil and place on a paper towel to drain.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

-Clearly, you can use any pie or pastry filling you like. I used apple because it's my favorite kind of pie, but you can use any number of fillings. Lemon curd, almond or even prune pastry filling, blueberry pie filling, anything!
-You could even do a savory version, and just omit the powdered sugar. Simply fill each circle of dough with any kind of meat, cheese, or vegetable filling. I bet you could easily use the filling from the Amberlicious Sausage Wontons or Biba's Savory Eggplant Polpettes. YUM!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

Here's another Quaile Family favorite. It's extremely easy to assemble, (even for a culinary novice), and it's one of the sole reasons I look forward to our Easter Brunch as well as our Christmas Eve Midnight Breakfast. It makes the whole house smell SO good while it's baking, your neighbors will want to stop by. Better make extra!

1 loaf Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl Bread (or your favorite brand)
9 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 granny smith apple
3 tbs of cinnamon and sugar mix

First, get everything ready:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Spray a 9x13x2 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut bread slices into quarters.
Peel and thinly slice the apple.
Mix eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla.

To assemble, make layers:
Half of the bread, then half of the chopped apples, then 1 tbs cinn/sugar mix.
Pour egg mixture on top of whole thing and sprinkle remaining cinn/sugar mix on top.
Bake for 30 min.
Cut into squares and serve with maple syrup.

To save time, make it the night before! Mix everything up and assemble it as directed, then cover it with foil and place it in the fridge until morning. Then all you have to do is take it out of the fridge, pop it in the oven! Perfect!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kim's Rosemary Olive Bread

As I was browsing around Facebook, I noticed on my fabulous friend Kim's status that she was about to make rosemary bread. Of course, I immediately emailed her and asked if she'd take a picture of it and send it to me along with the recipe, so I could share it with everyone. And she did!
Thanx Kim!!!!!

OK, Joey-here it is. I don't know if you know but I have food "issues." I can't eat anything with yeast in it and I don't do well with sugar. PLUS, I'm vegan by choice. So coming up with recipes that work is sometimes a trick. I took this recipe from a Christina Pirello source (cookbook, on-line recipe, pulled from her TV show - I forget). So this is the Rosemary Bread. I'm not sure how the average bear would feel about it but I like it. It's a rather dense bread - as you can imagine - but it feels very hearty and I like it with soup and a nice green salad.

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 cup unflavored rice or soy milk
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
1/2 cup olives (the recipe says halved, I slice mine)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 325 prepare 9x5" pan

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add in rosemary. Whisk milk into oil and rice syrup in another bowl. Stir into flour mixture until just moistened (sometimes depending on the weather or whatever it needs just a touch more moisture. If so, I add JUST A TOUCH of water until all the flour is absorbed - it's a very thick batter). Fold in olives and walnuts. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes until the bread is golden and the top springs back to the touch. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing from pan and cooling on wire rack.

Tip from Kim:
Rice syrup is a sweetener that I can tolerate and is frequently used in macrobiotic cooking. I buy mine at Whole Foods. I'm not sure that you could substitute honey for this particular recipe as I think it would probably be too sweet.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cracklin' Bread

Here's a recipe that I stole from Iron Chefs, Chris and Dan. They're obviously very serious about cooking, so I'm always glad when they tell me about a new recipe. This one is cornbread with meat and cheese in it! What's not to love?
Thanx guys!

1 box of corn muffin mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
a breakfast meat (sausage, bacon, ham, scrapple, whichever you prefer)
a handful of grated cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a cast iron skillet, fry your breakfast meat. In a separate bowl, combine the corn muffin mix and the rest of the ingredients and whisk together. When the meat is cooked, add it to the bowl with the corn muffin batter. Then pour everything back into the skillet (don't clean it) and stick it in the oven for twenty minutes or until the top is golden brown. Slice into wedges and have it for breakfast with your coffee.

This bread is fun because you can add pretty much anything to it that you would put in an omelette. (The bread pictured above has sausage and sauteed onions in it.) Sometimes we'll add bacon and sausage and shredded smoked Gouda to it. It's excellent!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pineapple Salsa

I first heard of this recipe when CJ made it for our weekly Wednesday night get together. I didn't even have to taste it to know that I would love it because, well, frankly, I have yet to meet a fruit salsa that I don't like. It's all about the perfectly tantalizing combination of sweet and spicy. Know what I mean? I LOVE it!
When Katie and Chris had their beautiful wedding in Jamaica, those of us who didn't make the trip gathered together to watch the wedding via live streaming video. (cool, huh?) Congrats Katie and Chris! Anyway, I made this salsa and it was a huge hit! Seriously, you MUST try it!

2 cans Dole crushed pineapple
1 can Dole pineapple chunks
1 red bell pepper
1 large jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
juice from one lime

Empty the cans of crushed pineapple into a strainer and drain them very well. Drain the pineapple chunks as well, and then roughly chop them. Finely chop both peppers, being sure to remove the seeds and membranes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve with tortilla chips, or on top of chicken, pork, or fish.

I used both crushed and chunked pineapple because I like it to be a little more chunky. Clearly, you can use all crushed, or all chunked, and of course you can use fresh pineapple, if you're so inclined.
If hot and spicy is your thing, feel free to add spicier peppers.
The amounts are just guidelines. If you like a lot of something, go for it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Skillet Baked Ziti

I saw this on America's Test Kitchen and immediately knew I had to share it with all of you. Usually they take an old recipe and decide what they don't like about it. Then they separate its components and give the entire recipe a makeover. Well, this time, they didn't upgrade the recipe, they upgraded the cooking method. The reason for the upgrade was that there were too many dishes to wash! You have your sauce pot, your pasta pot, your casserole dish, your mixing bowl. TOO MUCH! So, they streamlined the entire dish and made it in ONE skillet. BRILLIANT!
This is how I made it, although it's not exactly the same recipe. It's so simple, anyone can make it. REALLY!

olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
salt and pepper
12 oz uncooked ziti
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup (or more) shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 475F.
In a large oven proof skillet, stir together the olive oil and minced garlic. Turn the heat to medium and saute the garlic just to infuse the oil. Be careful not to burn. Add the tomatoes, water, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir. Add uncooked ziti. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Simmer about 15-18 minutes. Stir in basil, ricotta cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Top with mozzarella cheese. Place skillet in oven (uncovered) for about 10 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted and lightly golden.

Unless you have a really huge skillet, don't try to do a whole pound of ziti because it won't all fit!