Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Barn Burner Biscuits

President Obama delivered a barn burner to the United Auto Workers yesterday.

Barn Burner Biscuits

Martin's Nana would have loved President'll love her biscuits.  

1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Sift
flour, baking powder, salt,
cream of tartar and sugar in
medium bowl. Cut in butter
until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Add
milk; stir with fork or
spatula until soft dough

Place on lightly floured surface; knead 8 to 10 times or until smooth. Pat
dough lightly into 6-inch square.  Cut evenly into 9 pieces.  Place on
ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.   Serve warm with honey.

Cheese Biscuits - Add 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese to dry ingredients.

These biscuits are very light and flaky, because the method used to pat into a square and cut into thirds lengthwise and crosswise means that you don't have to handle the dough a lot.  The less you handle biscuit dough, the better.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Michigan "Primary Criss-Cross" Peanut Butter Cookies

Michigan "Primary Criss-Cross" Peanut Butter Cookies
3 dozen cookies

Lansing, Livonia, Detroit...GOP candidates have been all over Pure Michigan, trying to get the upper HAND!

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. each baking powder, baking soda, salt
1/2 cup butter or Butter-flavored Crisco
1/2 cup each brown sugar, white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Heat oven to 375°F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add peanut butter, vanilla and egg; beat well.  Add flour mixture and beat until combined.  Stir in peanuts.

Use a 1 Tbsp. scoop to portion cookies on lightly sprayed cookie sheet.  Use a sugar-dipped fork to flatten in classic peanut butter criss-cross pattern.

Bake 13 to 15 min. or until golden brown.  

Batter can be doubled (add 1 egg at a time).

Monday, February 27, 2012

Romney Native-Son Bias Banana Bars

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI, where his father worked for General Motors.  His dad was elected Governor of Michigan in 1962 and was re-elected by increasingly large margins in 1964 and 1966. Papa Romney worked to overhaul the state's financial and revenue structure, culminating in Michigan's first state income tax, and greatly expanded the size of state government. He ran as a moderate in the 1964 Republican Presidential Primary against conservative Republican Barry Goldwater, and later served in Richard Nixon's cabinet

Perhaps Mitt's Michigan roots can propel him to a win in his native state tomorrow.

Romney Native-Son Bias Banana Bars
24 bar cookies

Nepotism can be sweet...

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar shopping list
1 cup over ripe mashed bananas (3 large bananas) shopping list
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt shopping list

Frostingshopping list
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softenedshopping list
1/4 cup butter, softened shopping list
1 tablespoon milk shopping list
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F.  Line 10x15-inch jelly roll pan with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

shopping listCream butter and sugars in large bowl.  Add eggs; mix well.  Beat in bananas.  Add combined flour, soda, and salt to batter alternately with sour cream until well blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake for 24 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

While bars are cooling, beat frosting ingredients in medium bowl with electric mixer. Spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts if desired.

To toast walnuts, spread in single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 5 to 7 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Collective Bargaining Blue Cosmos

Washington-— The United Auto Workers will fly a banner over the Daytona 500 NASCAR race on Sunday, reminding voters of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's opposition to the auto bailout.

The Detroit-based union will pay to fly a plane and banner from 10:30-11:30 a.m. that will read "Mitt Romney: Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" — a reference to a headline on a November 2008 New York Times op-ed that Romney wrote opposing a U.S. bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. The union also protested Romney's appearance on Friday at Ford Field in Detroit.

Collective Bargaining Blue Cosmos
12 servings, 4 oz. each

There is no negotiating on this one; you have to shake it up to form the right union.

1 bottle (750 ml) lemon vodka (e.g., Citron)
1 cup blue curaçao
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup white cranberry juice
Fresh orange slices, maraschino cherries and lime wedges

Add all ingredients to a 2 qt. pitcher.

Pour mixture into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glasses. Garnish drinks with fresh orange slices, maraschino cherries and lime wedges.

Classic Cosmo: use standard red cranberry juice instead of white cranberry juice, and triple sec in place of the blue curaçao. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Empty Ford Field Greens Salad

Empty Ford Field Greens Salad
Makes 4 servings
Ford Field seemed empty yesterday (because it was), but this salad is full of flavor.

¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

1 romaine heart, chopped
4 cups baby arugula
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
½ cup crumbled blue cheese

Whisk dressing ingredients in shallow salad bowl.  

Add salad ingredients; toss lightly with dressing.

Subsitute any vinegar you have on hand for white balsamic vinegar.  Apple cider vinegar is really good.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Phony Sconeys

"It's not about you. It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your jobs," Santorum said. "It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology."

Phony Sconeys

You may find God in these light, biscuit-like delights...perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea discussing POLITICS!

1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats (regular or old fashioned)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 stick butter, cut up
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit bits

Heat oven to 450ºF.  Add flour, oats, baking powder, salt and 1/4 cup sugar to work bowl of food processor.  Pulse until blended.  Add butter; pulse several times until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger lumps.  

Combine milk and egg.  Turn dry ingredients mixture into bowl and add milk and egg mixture and dried fruit.  Mix with spatula into a wet dough.  Turn dough onto heavily floured surface and knead a few times, then shape into an 8-inch disk about 1/2" thick.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar, then press sugar gently into dough with palm and cut into 8 wedges.  Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet with spatula.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until scones are lightly browned.

Substitute currants or raisins for mixed dried fruit bits.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

RED Sangria

Last night Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney traded accusations in what may be the last GOP Primary Debate.  While Mitt charged Santorum with being a career politician, Santorum called Mitt an inauthentic conservative of political convenience.  Ron Paul attacked all of his primary opponents, and Newt, true to form, condemned President Obama and the media. Primaries in Arizona and Michigan next Tuesday, and 11 more states the following week on Super Tuesday, should finally give us some insight regarding what the American people think.

RED Sangria
8 servings, 8 oz. each

A perfect drink for any conservative gathering, and it won’t leave you big and bloated.

1-1/3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 bottle (1500 ml) dry red wine (merlot, cabernet, beaujoulais, zinfandel)

Mix together juices and sugar in large pitcher 2 min. or until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in wine; chill. 

To serve, fill glasses with cut-up fruit and ice and pour sangria over.

For cut-up fruit use sliced strawberries and blueberries for a patriotic look, or use oranges, peaches, halved grapes and whatever fruit you happen to have on hand.

This recipe can be increased in any amount for large gatherings.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

GOP Spending Spree Spinach Dip

Republican candidates and the super PAC's that support them are spending huge wads of cash on ads attacking each other.  A relatively small group of billionaires have directed approximately $54 million to super PACs this cycle, bankrolling a tide of negative ads in primary-contest states.

In other news, Bob Morris, an Indiana lawmaker, refused to support a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts because he feels the group is a "radicalized organization" that "sexualizes" young girls and promotes homosexuality.  According to the Associated Press, Morris said he found online allegations that the Girl Scouts are a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood, encourage sex and allow transgender females to join. He also wrote that the fact that first lady Michelle Obama is honorary president should give lawmakers pause before they endorse the Girl Scouts.

Perhaps those crazy, radical, sexy Girl Scouts should rename their signature cookie Tranny Trefoils.

GOP Spending Spree Spinach Dip
32 servings, 2 Tbsp. each

Indulge your impulse to spend time with your friends enjoying this rich, creamy dip...even better with cocktails!

1 container (16 oz.) sour cream
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 can water chestnuts, drained, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 tsp. each salt, pepper

Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  Chill 2 hours.

Serve with pita chips and/or assorted fresh veggies.

To serve in a bread bowl, cut top off of 1 lb. pumpernickel or sourdough bread loaf and remove center leaving a ½-inch border.  Cut top and center bread into bite-size pieces. Fill bread bowl with dip mixture.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Last Safe Prejudice Pan Pizza

William Howard Taft (1909-1913) was our last fat president.  He had a larger bath tub installed in the White House, and there is an unproven story that it is because he got stuck in the previous White House tub.

It seems unlikely that people will vote for a fat candidate for President in this day and age, because despite all of the progress in regard to diversity, people still think it is O.K. to make fun of fat folks.  I mean, really, Chris Christie for President?  His MASSIVE popularity notwithstanding, people will have a HUGE problem voting for him.  Who can focus on the LARGER issues when there are AMPLE fat jokes?  The BIG issue will be his weight.  You get the point.

On Fat Tuesday, I challenge Americans to judge people not by their size but by their abilities and character.

The Last Safe Prejudice Pan Pizza

This pizza is BIG on flavor, with a THICK homemade crust and A LOT of cheese.  Enjoy with a glass of red wine while you CHEW THE FAT!

1 cup bread flour
3/4 cup whole wheat bread flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup warm water
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 tsp. yeast
1-1/2 tsp. honey
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded provalone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley or basil

Combine bread flour, whole wheat bread flour and salt in work bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade.  Pulse to combine.  In glass measuring cup combine water, 1 Tbsp. oil, yeast and honey.  With processor running, pour yeast mixture through feed tube.  Run processor 1 minute (after about 15 seconds the dough will come together in a ball and whip around the work bowl). Remove dough from bowl (dough will be sticky) and knead on counter or other hard work surface with a little bit of flour.  Stretch into a 6x8-inch rectangle.

Pour remaining oil in 15x10-inch jelly roll pan.  Place dough in pan and turn over to coat both sides with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour or until double.

Stretch dough to sides of pan.  Cover and let rise 40 minutes.  Heat oven to 500°F.

Top dough with combined cheeses, then dollop with combined tomatoes, garlic, oregano and pepper.  Bake 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown and cheese is melted.   Top with chopped parsley or basil and cut with scissors to serve.

For best results, bake on bottom rack of oven.

For Mexican pizza, substitute shredded chihuaha cheese for mozzarella and provalone cheeses; use chunky salsa, drained, instead of diced tomatoes; top pizza with chopped fresh cilantro instead of parsley or basil.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Never-Tell-A-Lie Cherry Pie

UPDATED 02/15/2021

According to folklore, George Washington could not tell a lie.  The cherry tree story has been used by parents for generations to teach kids about honesty, even though there is no actual evidence to support it. Honesty is a quality Americans USED TO value considerably, and who better to set a good example than the President of the United States?  As you peruse this list of famous presidential lies, below, you may decide to stick with the unproven folklore of George Washington and the cherry tree to teach kids about honesty!  

  • I have previously stated and I repeat now that the United States intends no military intervention in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy
  • I am not a crook.  President Richard M. Nixon
  • We did not -- repeat -- did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we. President Ronald Reagan
  • I did not have sexual relations with that woman.  President William J. Clinton 
  • Donald John Trump told 3,000+ lies. DON'T GET ME STARTED!
Never-Tell-A-Lie Cherry Pie

This pie is delicious...and that's the TRUTH!

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
11 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp. pieces
7 Tbsp. cold butter-flavored shortening
4 to 5 Tbsp. ice water

Place flour, sugar and salt in bowl of food processor with metal blade.  Pulse several times to combine.  Add butter; pulse 5 times, 1 second each.  Add shortening in several large pieces; pulse 5 times, 1 second each. 

Transfer mixture to large bowl.  Sprinkle with ice water.  Gather together quickly with hands, knead 4 or 5 times, and press into a disk.  Wrap with plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes. (Dough should have visible streaks of butter and shortening; it should not look homogenized).

Meanwhile, prepare filling:

6 cups fresh or canned (unsweetened) pitted cherries
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup quick cooking tapioca
2 Tbsp. butter

Toss cherries with sugar and tapioca.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400°F.

Weigh pie crust.  Divide into 2 portions, 3/5 and 2/5.  Roll 3/5 dough portion into 10-in. circle between 2 sheets wax paper that is lightly dusted with flour.  Peel back top sheet.  Place 9-in. pie plate on top of crust and flip over.  Peel back 2nd sheet of wax paper, pressing crust gently into dish and allowing extra crust to hang over edges.  Fill crust with cherry mixture; dot with butter.

Roll 2/5 dough portion in same manner as 3/5 dough portion, peeling back top layer of wax paper and flipping over onto pie before peeling back second layer of wax paper.  Turn edges under and crimp as desired.  Cut 4 small slits in top of pie for steam to escape. 

Decorating and Baking
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
Coarse (sanding) sugar

Use a soft-bristled pastry brush to gently brush crust with egg and water mixture.  Sprinkle liberally with coarse sugar.

Place pie on foil-lined baking sheet on bottom rack of 400ºF oven.  Bake 30 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 350ºF and continue baking 30 minutes, covering edges of crust with foil if necessary.

Let cool 2 hours before slicing. 


If fresh cherries are not available, I prefer TRADER JOE'S Dark Morello Cherries.  Three (24 oz.) jars, drained, is about 6 cups.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Working Families Beer Cheese Dip

Congress worked hard last night!  In a rare burst of bipartisanship they passed legislation extending the payroll tax cut and renewed long-term jobless benefits.  

Good for working families.  

Working Families Beer Cheese Dip
24 servings, 2 Tbsp. each

Fast and easy for a family on the move.  Velveeta puts a smile on everyone's face at the game, before dinner, or after a long day!

1 lb. pasteurized process cheese spread, cubed
½ cup beer
1 canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced

Add ingredients to large microwave safe bowl. 

Microwave on HIGH 5 min., stirring once halfway through microwave cooking time. 

Serve with pretzels or tortilla chips.

To keep this dip warm, serve in a small (1 or 2 qt.) slow cooker.
Use gloves when mincing chipotle chili.  
For spicier dip, use two chipotle chilies.
Try this with the new Queso Blanco VELVEETA product...yum!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Recall Cheese Ball

President Obama used a stop at a manufacturing factory in Milwaukee today to highlight his plan to boost manufacturing jobs in the United States. He was met at the airport by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is facing a recall election later this year because he spearheaded controversial legislation limiting collective bargaining for public employees. 

Recall Cheese Ball

There'll be no buyer's remorse when you make this; you may even vote to have it again!

4 oz. goat cheese
8 oz. cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios

Blend goat cheese, cream cheese, garlic, oil and pepper in medium bowl with hand mixer until light and well blended.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to use.

Roll into ball, then roll ball in pistachios to coat completely.  Serve with crackers or cut up vegetables.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

For ease in blending, use goat cheese and cream cheese softened at room temperature for 30 minutes.

For a milder garlic flavor, use a smaller clove of garlic.  If you like a strong garlic flavor, use a larger clove or 2 cloves of garlic.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Balanced Budget Bloody's

President Obama, with his 2013 Budget, is positioning himself as a defender of the middle class, a leader willing to ask the wealthiest to pay more in taxes and to use government spending to spur job growth. It supports his call for balanced deficit reduction, and also upholds the traditional Democratic value of the social safety net.   

The president's projection is for a deficit below $1 trillion.  Not yet balanced, but a start.

Balanced Budget Bloody’s
Makes 8 servings, 8 oz. each

No cuts needed for this recipe since there’s no pork in it at all.

6 cups tomato juice
1-1/2 cups vodka
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. Kosher salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 Tbsp. hot sauce or to taste

Whisk ingredients in a pitcher.  Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Pour over ice and garnish with celery, fresh lemon wedges, and olives. 

For extra flavor, pour celery salt on medium plate.  Rub rim of glasses with lemon wedge and dip glasses in celery salt before filling with ice and beverage.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sisterhood is Powerful Pizza

Check out the Washington Post article for a sampling of some of Rick Santorum's recent remarks concerning women and combat, women and rape, working mothers, stay-at-home mothers and equal opportunity for women.  He professes to know a LOT about women.

As Rose Castorini said in Moonstruck (1978) "What you don't know about women is a lot."

As I like to say, we didn't go through the 60's and 70's just to have 
Mr. Frothy* try to take us back to the 50's.
(*Google Santorum definition)

Sisterhood is Powerful Pizza
Makes 8 servings, 1 slice each

I have a hand and you have another, put them together and we have each let's make PIZZA!  A great group activity for women, with or without cocktails.

2-1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup very warm water
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1-1/2 tsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. honey
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic
8 oz. Shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. oregano and black pepper

Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine.  Mix water, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, yeast and honey.  Add to flour mixture and process 1 to 1-1/2 min. (dough will form a ball).  Remove dough from processor, knead one or two times on counter and place in greased bowl covered with a towel.  Let stand 1 hour or until doubled.  Meanwhile, heat pizza stone on bottom rack of oven to 500°F.

Punch down dough.  Roll on lightly floured counter to 14-inch circle.  Place on pizza peel coated with cornmeal.  Brush surface of dough with remaining oil.  Top with combined tomato sauce and garlic.  Sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano and black pepper.
This is the pizza, prepared as directed topped with roasted eggplant

Transfer the pizza to the oven by quickly sliding the pizza onto the hot stone with a quick flick of your wrist.  Bake 7 to 8 min. or until crust is golden brown.  Use the pizza peel to remove the pizza from the oven.  Cut into 8 slices and serve.

The pizza shown here is cut into 16 pieces, 'tavern style'. You can cut it like a pie, or a like they do in a Chicago tavern.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Living Wage Wings


Republicans and Democrats agree...all Americans should be earning a living wage.

Living Wage Wings
24 servings, 1 wing each

Enough for you to eat amply every day.

1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
3 lb. chicken wings, tips removed, separated at joints
Peanut or canola oil for frying
1/3 cup hot sauce 
5 Tbsp. butter
Blue cheese or ranch dressing
Carrot and celery sticks

In a large bowl mix together the flour, paprika and salt. Place chicken wings in bowl and toss with flour mixture until evenly coated. 

Heat oil in Dutch oven or deep fryer to 375°F.  Meanwhile, combine the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted.  Whisk to combine; set aside.

Fry coated wings in hot oil for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove with slotted spoon to paper-towel lined plate.  Toss with hot sauce mixture and transfer to serving platter.  Serve with dressing and vegetables.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Red, White, and Blue Fund Butter Cookies

It's Rick Santorum's turn to surge.  Despite the fact that Restore Our Future has raised over 30 million dollars on Mitt's behalf, the small by comparison Red, White and Blue Fund (729K) in support of Santorum has managed to get their candidate noticed.  With wins in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, it appears that, once again, Republican voters are willing to support ANYBODY BUT MITT. 

Red, White, and Blue Fund Butter Cookies
3 dozen cookies

These patriotic cookies are perfect for any grand ol’ gathering.

Cookie Dough 
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (plus additional sugar for flattening cookies)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk

Red and blue sprinkles for decorating

Heat oven to 375°F.

In bowl of electric mixer beat butter, 1/2 cup sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy.  Add flour and salt and beat until combined.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet (or use a no. 60 cookie scoop and scoop out balls on baking sheet).  Dip a flat-bottomed glass in sugar and flatten each cookie to about ¼-inch, dipping glass in sugar for every cookie.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until bottoms and edges are brown.  Let cool on cookie sheet 1 minute before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely. 

While cookies are baking, mix together powdered sugar and milk.  When cookies are cool, brush glaze quickly over cookies and sprinkle with red and blue sugar.  The glaze hardens quickly, so do about 5 at a time. 

Substitute lemon or vanilla extract for almond extract.