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Heaven on Earth

Updated: 2018-03-06T17:16:20.327-08:00


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I've been recovering from a life threatening,
totally life altering disease. I'm not the
same person I was in 2009 before everything
happened. I'm physically unrecognizable and
I feel physically, and spiritually a totally
different person. So what!!!

But I miss blogging and so I'm going to try
to come up with a little something frequently.

First Post of the New Year


So much has changed since December of 2009. 2010 was the weirdest year of my life.
I had to deal with a yearlong of treatments for a mortal disease. Me!!!
So, since nodbody reads this blog anyhow, I'm going to post about anything and everything and not worry about taking pictures of food all the time.
What are your resolutions for the New Year?
Mine are to get healthy and stay healthy and try and find
something worthwhile to do with the rest of my life.

Yes this tasted as bad as it looks.



These were originally purple carrots.
They cooked up to a hideous black color.
And they tasted like evil.

Candied Grapefruit Peel


OK. Still trying to catch up with
Christmas 2009. So as I said before
this is early Christmas 2010.

For me Christmas wouldn't be Christmas
without candied grapefruit peel.
This recipe comes from Gourmet
November 1979. My husband
bought the magazine for me.
It was my first Gourmet ever.
And I've made the peel every year since then.


Take four large grapefruit.
Quarter lengthwise. Remove the peel,
including the pith and
cut into 1/2 inch strips. In a kettle
cover the peel with cold
water, bring to a boil over high heat, and
simmer peel for 10 minutes. Drain the peel.


Pat the peel dry with paper towels.
In a 4-quart kettle combine 3 cups
sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1/4 cup
light corn syrup, bring
the mixture to a boil over moderately
high heat, and boil it for 30 minutes.
Stir in the peel and simmer for 30 minutes,
until the syrup is thickened.
Being careful not to let the syrup
burn, simmer the peel, stirring,
for 15 minutes more. Transfer the peel with
gongs tosheets of was paper covered
with sugar and roll each strip to
coat it well.
Let the peel dry on the paper for 24 hours.
It keeps very well.





I'm very late with everything. I've been thrown off
track by life. I want to post about my usual
Christmas things. So maybe I'll just say
that I'm early this year.

I make this as a gift for a Saint (really and truly)
that I know.

This recipe comes from Gourmet's Old Vienna Cookbook
by Lillian Lanseth-Christensen. It's a real treasure chest.

This recipe is very easy. It's just got a lot of ingredients.
And if you are type of person who is nervous about
bread baking it doesn't get any easier than this.

Dissolve 2 envelopes of yeast in 1/2 cup warm milk and
add 2 tablespoons sugar. Put the mixture n a warm place
for 1/2 hour.

Sift 4 cups flour. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt,
1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup raisins, 3/4 cup sliced almonds
and the grated rind of 1 lemon and toss to combine.
Make a well in center of flour, pour in the yeast mixture.
Stir 4 beaten eggs and 3/4 cup melted butter into the dough
and work in gradually 1/2 cup warm milk, to form a smooth
dough. This will be a very soft and sticky dough. Don't worry
you don't have to handle it much. Cover the dough
and let it rise for 2 hours until double in bulk.

Punch down the dough and shape it quickly into a ring.
Put in a well-buttered and floured 10-inch
gugelhupf pan. I put slivered almonds in the bottom.
Let rise for 1 bour. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour.
When cooled a bit and removed from pan
dust with confectioner's sugar. It's better
the next day.



This recipe is from my German grandmother.
She lived for a long time in Ohio, the
Buckeye State. Buckeye is another word
for horse chestnut.

My Grandmother is much on my mind lately.
She was a rather difficult person and
she had a very sad life. When she died
we weren't on the best of terms. I'm about
to go through a sadness she had and
I guess it gives us something in common.
And maybe somehow will atone for the past.


Here is probably the only example of her handwriting I have left.
She typed out the recipe and wrote a note to me.


I always make these at Christmas time.
Beware they make a TON.

You need
3 lbs. of powdered sugar
1 pound of butter
2 lbs. of peanut butter

I mix everything in my KitchenAid.
So roll them into balls the size of -- chestnuts.
Chill them a bit. Then melt some semi-sweet
chocolate in a double boiler. I think you will need 24 oz. at least.
I just use chocolate chips.
Dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate
so they look like chestnuts. Store in the fridge.
They freeze VERY well.



This past fall I had the good fortune to goto Germany. I went to Cologne for the firsttime and it was love at first sight. Thecathedral - Koelner dom - was more than I even imagined itcould be. I had no ideaat the time but the remains of the magiare at the Cologne cathedral.Check out the website. They've gota webcam so you can gaze at it any time you like.You can also listen to the bells. They all havetheir own names and you can pick which oneto listen to. The cathedral was bombed extensivelyduring WWII. It wasn't destroyed because thetowers were good visual guides for the allied pilots.But how beautiful it is now!!!In the gift shop they sold cookie cutters in the shape ofthe dom.I had to translate the recipe from germanso here goes:200g flour30 g rice flour160g cold butter cut into pieces1 egg5 tablespoons parmesan2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary1/2 teaspoon chili powder1/2 teaspoon salt1 egg with milk to glaze the biscuitsSift the flours together. Take the rest of theingredients and mix in starting with an electric mixer.Then knead by had for a bit. Chill foran hour or so. Roll thin and cut out.Paint with milk and egg mixture.Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. (you'll haveto judge about the baking time. The recipesaid to bake for a lot longer but they got too dark).Enjoy with koelsch beer!!! More about the beer later.[...]

Market at Kollwitzplatz Berlin


Yes, I've joined the ranks of the lucky ones who get to travel a bit and takepictures of glorious food.These are all from Kollwitzplatz market inBerlin. It's just the tip of the ice berg.[...]

Treacle Tart


When I was a bit younger, I had the good luckto spend a whole summer in England in Oxford.My daughter was young and I had wonderfultime spending every day with her. In the eveningswe would often go down to the local pub andeat outside. We loved the sunlight that lasted till aroundten at night. My favorite dessert was thetreacle tart. They would heat it up and serve itwith whipped cream. An actual person made thistart. And the actual person actually gave therecipe.In case you can't read the recipe here it goes:Pastry to Line Tart6 oz self raising flour3 oz butter2 fuid oz milkHalf an eggPinch saltFilling16 fluid oz (1lb) Golden Syrup5 oz fresh white breadcrumbsTop Pastry4 oz butter2 oz castor sugarhalf an egg6 oz self raising flour1 egg to gild tart2 teaspoons castor sugarPreparationPut breadcumbs in basin and pour golden syrup over.Leave to stand.Make the pastry to line tart by mixing butterlightly into the sifted flour and then forming the mixture into a dough with the milk, half an egg and salt.Knead lightly and place in the refridgerator for 1/2 hr.Make top pastry by creaming the butter and sugar,adding half-beaten egg when thoroughly combinedfolding in the sifted flour. Place in refridgerator to chill.Pre-heat oven to 375 F or 5 gas.Method1 Roll out bottom pastry to a 10 inch circle.Line 9 inch flan ring stading on a greasted tray.Trim off pastry and prick base with end of a sharp knife.2 Fill pastry case with combined syrup andbreadcrumbs.3 Roll out top astry ona well floured board or press out with hands -- roll lightly with therolling pin and then roll over pin.4 Place gently over patry bottom and press edgestogether. Trim off excess pastry. Prick surface, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with castor sugar.Bake in oven for approx. 20 mins - 25mins. Remove from ovenand leave to cool.ServiceThe tart must cool for 1 hour then can be reheated at 250 degrees F. gas 1 for 5 mins.You will note that two pastries are used.This si the vital secret of this superb English dish.[...]

Wild Mushroom Pizza


This recipe comes from Bon Appetit.
I used chanterelles for my mushrooms.
Usually they cost $20/pound but Costco
had a wonderful deal for a big box for just $9.

This pizza is especially good in the fall.


Mmmm chanterelles.

Putting together the pizza. I just make one big one
rather than two small round ones.

The problem is that we ate the pizza before we
had the chance to properly photo it.

Pickled Plums


Yes we need more blue food. OK this is purple but its
close. This recipe comes from Nika Hazeldon's
The Swiss Cookbook.

The plums are very useful around Thanksgiving
and Christmas.

Take 3 pounds of purple Italian plum, wash them
and poke each of them with a needle a couple of times.

Boil 1 1/2 cup red wine, 1 1/2 cup red wine vinegar,
2 1/3 cups sugar, 15 cloves and a couple of pieces of
cinnamon sticks for 5 minutes.

Let the mixture cool. Then pour over the plums.
Cover and leave till the next day.
Pour off the liquid and bring it to a boil.
Let it cool and then pour it over the plums.

Next day SLOWLY heat up the plums
till they begin to tear in one or two places.
IMMEDIATELY remove the plums
and put them in hot sterilized quart jars.
Boil the rest of the liquid till it thickens a bit.
Not too much or there won't be enough liquid.

Pour the liquid over the plums and seal the
jars. Process them for 15 minutes.

See how one is torn. If you cook them too much they
turn to mush.

My dog loves them!!!


Comfort me with apples some more - Apple Pie


Yes, it is apple season. I think the apples are pretty
good this year. I used a mixture of honeycrisp and
gala. All locally grown.

So make your pie crust.
I use 1 cup of flour and a 1/2 teaspoon of
salt. 1/3 cup butter and 3 to 4 tablespoons of ice water.
You know the drill. If not I'll be happy to fill you in.

For the filling I added some brown sugar, white sugar,
cinnamon, 1/4 cup or so of flour. Cloves and
the secret ingredient which you have no idea
how generous it is of me to divulge this:
rosewater. 1 tablespoon.

Roll out your dough. I only use 1 crust and curl it
over. So roll it out very thin and line your pie pan.


Put in the filling. I add about a tablespoon of
butter. Fold the dough over the

Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 F
and bake another 50 minutes to an hour.


Soutenez-moi avec des gateaux de
raisins. Fortifiez-moi avec des pommes;
Car je suis malade d'amour

Anise Biscotti


I can't remember how I found the blog site
64 sq ft Kitchen.
It's just one of those very lucky, serendipitous things
you come across on the web. It's absolutely gorgeous.

In the posting for these cookies, Warda, writes of her
grandmother and a dream
she had of her. I guarantee it is so beautiful
you will cry. So go check out her
site. You won't be sorry.

This is just the first of many things I intend to try
from her site.





Blue Gnocchi


I thought with a new month I might move
on to a new color but it doesn't look like its going to
happen. I'm definitely in a blue period.

So for blue gnocchi boil 1 pound of blue potatoes.
Mash them up so they are not lumpy at all.
Add 1 1/2 cup of flour and a beaten egg.

Make a nice non sticky dough.

Roll into a coil about 1/2 inch thick.
Cut into 1/2 inch pieces of however big or small
you like.

This is where I fell down on my sword.
You are supposed to put an indentation in them
so they sort of curl up. I couldn't get the hang of it.

Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil.
Boil gnocchi till it rises to the surface.

I served it with some melted butter and sage.

Leek and Blue Potato Soup


This is the last post for this September.
It has been a beautiful month. I thought
we should end with one more blue note.

Take two onions and chop them up.
Chop up 2 or 3 leeks. Sweat them
in 3 tablespoons of butter.


Chop up about 4 or so medium potatoes.


Add them to the leeks and onions. Put in a teaspoon of salt.
Add enough water to cover and cook until the potatoes
are tender.


Add about 2 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter.
Taste for salt and pepper.


Sour Cherry Baklava


Just a brief blog today. I got this wonderful
sour cherry pastry from a bakery in NY Gulluoglu.
It's on 52nd and 2nd. They have all kinds of baklava
as well as savory foods too. Supposedly the baklava
is flown over from Istanbul and it comes from
the largest baklava producer in Turkey.
Who knows! But what I got was delicious.


Comfort me with apples - apple dumplings


It's fall now and apple season.
This recipe is adapted from Bill Neal's
Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie.
This is an excellent cookbook. Full of all kinds of essential
recipes for baked goods, things like
biscuits waffles and all kinds of Southern goodies.

Make a recipe for pie dough. I use 2 cups of flour
2/3 cup cold butter and 6 tablespoons cold water.

Syrup: 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
4 cinnamon sticks

Boil together for five minutes set aside.

Pare and core 6 small baking apples.
Take 6 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
and 6 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and mix together.

Roll out pie dough to a 7-inch square. Stuff each
apple with butter mixture. Wrap the dough around it sealing
it nicely. Put in a covered baking dish. Pour syrup over the
apples. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 F.

The sauce is wonderfully spicy and thick and caremelized.

Cranberry Beans


Just a quick blog today.
Its fall now and cranberry beans are out.
Aren't they beautiful? I shell
them and cook them in a bit of
water with some savory and salt.
They lose a bit of their color
but they gain an incredible fragrance.


Here is my own private hill of beans. On top of
it is some of my own savory that I grew all by myself.

They kind of make you think of that poem
by Gerard Manly Hopkins about
praise be to God for dappled things...
Oh darn, now I have to go find the poem.

Pied Beauty
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Blue Cornbread Sticks & Blue Fried Potatoes


And yes we have even more blue potatoes coming up.
I boil the potatoes until they are tender.
I fry up some bacon. Then I fry onions in some
bacon fat till they are nice and soft.
Brown the potatoes in some bacon fat.
Cook green beans till tender. Put them all together
and heat up and salt and pepper. Lots of pepper
please. Now you are a for real Southerner.

As far as corn bread goes my grandmother taught
me how to make cornbread. Please don't put
any sugar in cornbread it's just wrong.
You need a cast iron frying pan or
a cast iron corn stick mold pan.
When you go to preheat your oven
put the pan in the oven. To get a good crust
the pan must be very hot.


This recipe comes from The Joy of Cooking.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. It must really be hot.
Sift together 1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking-soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cornmeal (I used blue)

Combine and beat:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or yogurt
2 eggs
3 to 4 tablespoons bacon drippings

Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients with a few swift strokes.

Put some bacon grease in the preheated pan
and then add the batter.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.


Blue Potato Chips


Continuing with our blue theme...
Blue Potato Chips

OK. Get some more of those nice
blue potatoes from the farmer's market.
Slice paper thin with a mandoline.


Soak in ice water for a little while.

Dry on paper towels.


Deep fry till nice and crispy.


And there you go.


Don't forget to salt them nicely.

Blue Polenta


Yes, everything HAS to be blue this month!!!
Making polenta is a very good thing to do if you
are a nervous type. Its a form of meditation.
Take 8 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of water
and bring it to a boil.
Take two cups of blue (or any other cornmeal)
and add slowly to the boiling water.
Whisk until smooth. Continue cooking polenta
over a low heat for 40 minutes stirring most of the

You can either eat it now or pour it into a buttered
cookie sheet and let it cool. When it is cool cut it into
squares and fry on both
sides until nice and crispy. You can also
cut it into nice little scalloped edged circles with
a biscuit cutter.


I admit that it looks a lot like fried spam.
This is a very inexpensive and healthy dish.
Cornmeal is a whole grain.


Blue Mashed Potatoes


I think I understand now why September's birthstone is
sapphire: everything is a clear blue in September.
To celebrate we've been trying to cook anything
we can find that's blue.
Here again are those blue potatoes from
the Farmer's Market.


I like to rice my potatoes when I mash them.
I just use a little of the water the potatoes were
cooked in and some milk and salt and a few
tablespoons of butter. These potatoes
really are the best. The color is weird but
they are the most potatoey potatoes around.

We had some pork tenderloin and green beans with
onions and bacon, a Southern staple.

Blue Pommes Anna


We get these fabulous blue potatoes at the
Farmer's Market. They may look funny but
they taste great. They taste very potatoey.
For the pommes anna it is nice to have
a special copper pan. My husband gave me this
years ago. Its probably worth a fortune now.

Line a pommes anna pan with parchment paper.
Slice the potatoes very thin on a mandoline.
You can do it by hand but a mandoline is best.


Melt some butter in the bottom of your pan.
Start layering potatoes putting butter and salt
and pepper between layers. Do this till the pan is
about 3/4 full. Put the pommes anna lid on the pan.
Bake at 400 F for about an hour.
When done, flip over the pan and... Voila!!!

Grape Sorbet


You can't get much easier than this.
Take two pounds of concord grapes and
remove them from their stems.
Put them in a blender and puree
one pound at a time. Put puree through
a sieve to remove skins and pips.
Add 3/4 cup sugar to the puree.
Chill several hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker.
Its fun to watch the sugar disolving in the puree.

The resulting sorbet is not at all icy. It's velvety.


Very pretty color too. The recipe is from Gourmet magazine.