Sunday, December 31, 2006

RING IN THE NEW YEAR! ~ TOURTIERE (French Canadian Meat Pie)

(French~Canadian Meat Pie)
Originally ‘tourtieres’ were made with large birds, called ‘tourtes’ until these became extinct. According to some authorities, some tourtiere recipes obtained their name from the deep baking dish (tourtiere) in which they were baked. Since the disappearance of tourtes, fresh pork or a mixture of different kinds of meat is used in this food specialty.
--Yvon Paul

In France the tourtiere pie-dish was a kitchen utensil f or cooking pigeon and other birds. The contents of the dish were known as ‘piece tourtiere’ and during the first years in New France these distinctive words were used. Over the years the word ‘tourtiere’ came to mean a pate of fowl or game cooked and seasoned according to a special household recipe in the family stew pan, for into it went not merely turtle-doves but every kind of edible bird. Every housewife possessed her own secret recipe, jealously preserved from generation to generation. It was in this way that some venturesome housewives began to prepare ‘pieces tou-tieres’ not only with birds but with the meat of both wild and domestic animals. Such recipes held additional appeal since they provided more filling and sustaining meals.
--Daily Life In Early Canada
( quotes from The American French Genealogical Society of
Woonsocket, RI. cookbook ...
"Come quickly, I'm tasting the stars!"

~ Dom Perignon, at the moment of his discovery of champagne

3 cups unbleached flour
1 cup vegetable shortening like Crisco (lard for the purest)
1 scant tsp. salt
1 large beaten egg
1 Tbsp. vinegar
ice water
Place flour, salt, and shortening in food processor or large bowl. Process with machine or pastry blender until mixture resembles course corn meal. In large glass measuring cup, beat the egg. Add vinegar and enough ice water to equal 1/2 cup. Pour over flour mixture. Blend only until dough holds together in a ball. Shape dough into thick, flat rounds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until easy to handle (about 1 hour).
Note: Skip the ABOVE and head for the refrigerated section at the market. Purchase Pillsbury Pie Crusts ... unroll (dust with 1 Tbsp. flour), spread into pie pan, flute, fill and bake. Not as good as above but ...
(for deep dish)
3 pounds freshly (twice ground) lean pork ~ fresh ham or loin is best
1 large chopped Spanish or sweet onion
2 plump cloves minced garlic
3 medium potatoes ~ peeled, boiled and mashed
2 heaping Tbsp. summer savory
1 heaping Tbsp. thyme
1 heaping Tbsp. poultry seasoning
1 heaping tsp. sage
1 heaping tsp. cracked pepper
1 tsp. Lawrey's seasoned pepper
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
Saute pork in large heavy skillet over medium high heat. When brown, drain fat, reserving 2 Tbsp. Add onion and garlic and continue cooking until wilted. Season with herbs, pepper and salt. Add mashed potatoes which should absorb any remaining liquid. Mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
Place filling in prepared rolled out and positioned pie crust. Top with crust, flute and cut in venting slits. (Idea: Turkey slits for Thanksgiving, Christmas Tree slits, date slits of New Year). Brush with egg wash (1 beaten egg plus 1 Tbsp. water). Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before serving or freeze when cooled. (Thaw before reheating in 325 degree oven about 40 minutes. Cover gently with foil if crust becomes too brown.) Serve with Traditional Cranberry Sauce.
(serves 6-8)
~ this recipe has been gently adapted from the original that dates back several generations. In our home we bastardized the name and pronounced it “toutcaire”.
1 - 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
grated zest from oranges
Rinse cranberries and pick off stems. Combine sugar and orange juice in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Add cranberries and zest and boil gently until cranberries begin to pop, about 7 minutes.
2 1/2 pounds Bay scallops
1/4 pound sweet butter
2 cups Ritz cracker crumbs
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 cup medium cream
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Melt butter in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add cracker crumbs, bread crumbs and parsley. Toss lightly. Sprinkle layer of buttered crumbs mixture into oval quart baking dish. Top evenly with scallops.
Mix together cream and mustard. Pour evenly over scallops. Top with remaining crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly.
Bake your favorite brownie recipe according to directions. (Hard to beat GHIRARDELLI TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BROWIES PREMIUM MIX) When cool, press into PAM sprayed springform pan, reserving a few crumbles for the top. Spoon in 1 half gallon premium peppermint ice cream. Top with reserved crumbled brownies.


Monday, December 25, 2006


... And there were shepherds in the same district living in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, and angel of the Lord stood by them, and they feared exceedingly. And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people; for today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will."
(Luke. 2: 8-14)

Sunday, December 24, 2006


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2 pounds large cooked shrimp
1 pound cooked lump crabmeat
12 Tbsp. butter
1 chopped red pepper
1 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 heavy tsp. white pepper
1/2 heavy tsp. Hungarian paprika
4 cups light cream or half & half
8 Tbsp. sherry
2 cups grated mix Colby and cheddar cheese
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
dried parsley
Hungarian paprika
Melt butter in saucepan. Add garlic powder, pepper and mushrooms until soft. Whisk in flour and cook until bubbly. Gradually add cream, stirring until thickened. Season with white pepper and paprika. Remove from heat and add sherry.
Arrange shrimp in buttered casserole. Top with crab and cover with sauce. Sprinkle cheese over and top with bread crumbs. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. Serve with favorite rice or Christmas Rice.
(serves 12)
Prepare rice favorite rice (Lundberg mixed wild rice) using chicken stock instead of water. Cook according to directions.
For each 1 pound package, saute 1 red onion, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow and 1 orange pepper in 1 stick unsalted butter. Season with Lawry's seasoned pepper and coarse salt. Add to cooked rice. Finish with one bunch chopped fresh parsley, 1 1 cup dried cranberries and top with 1 1/2 cup toasted pecans.
Reheat in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Thursday, December 21, 2006



6 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. rum
3 cups whipping cream
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
ground nutmeg
Beat yolks until thick and lemon colored; gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, beating at medium speed of mixer. Slowly stir in brandy and rum. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Place chilled mixture in punch bowl; gradually add cream and milk. Beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff. Fold whites into chilled mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg and toast the solstice.
(3 quarts)


(adapted 20 years ago from Elizabeth's in Northville)
2 (12 ounce) bags washed and stemmed cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
zest of 2 oranges
Streusel topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup hard unsalted butter
Combine cranberries, sugar and orange juice in saucepan. Simmer until cranberry skins pop. Cook 7 to 10 minutes, just until tender (don't let them lose their shape.) Add orange zest.
Knead ingredients for streusel topping until coarse crumb-like. Empty cranberry mix into 9 x 13 casserole or pan. When cool, cover with topping.
When ready to serve, pop under broiler for about one minute or until browned.
Serve with a heaping mound of vanilla or ginger ice-cream.
(serves 6-8)


3 pounds pork tenderloin ( l large or 2 smaller)
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
garlic powder
cracked pepper

1 cup ruby Port
1 cup whole cranberry sauce

Spread mustard over tenderloins. Sprinkle with herbs, garlic powder and cracked pepper. Bake at 325 degrees 35 to 45 minutes depending on size, basting frequently. Remove meat from pan to rest. Add port to pan and deglaze, scraping bits from bottom. Add cranberry sauce and adjust seasonings. Slice pork diagonally and serve with sauce.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006


1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
dash salt
cream butter and sugar. Add yolk and cream well. Add flour, salt, vanilla and nuts. Form into 2 logs. Refrigerate. Bake sliced cookies at 300 degrees on ungreased baking sheet about 12 minutes.
(about 96 cookies)
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
graham crackers
Line baking jelly roll pan with foil and fill with graham crackers (Keebler Honey fit perfect). Melt better in heavy saucepan. Add sugar and nuts. Boil 2 minutes. Pour over crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cut while warm.
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature - each stick cut in quarters)
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. grated orange peel
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
Place first 6 ingredients in work bowl of food processor. Process about 1 1/2 minutes until smooth and slightly fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.
Sift flour into work bowl. Add poppy seeds. Mix just until combined about 8 on/off turns, stopping to scrape down sides.
Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Form each into 2-inch diameter cylinders atop sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap and refrigerate until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. Bake in center of oven on ungreased cookie sheet for abut 9 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes before removing.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 45)
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup whipping cream
Beat butter and peanut butter at medium speed until blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla wafer crumbs. Beat until blended. Press evenly into lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan lined with wax paper.
Stir together chocolate morsels and whipping cream in medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Spread evenly on top of peanut butter mixture. Chill one hour or until firm.
Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cut into
48 bars.
40-45 saltine crackers
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped nuts
Line a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil. Spray with Pam. Arrange as many saltines as you can on cookie sheet until all space is covered.
Melt butter and brown sugar in medium saucepan, stirring occasionally until it comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute only. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Stir and pour over saltines, spreading around until all are covered.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes only. Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle chocolate morsels on top. Let set for 2 minutes or until melted and carefully spread over crackers. Sprinkle with nuts. cut into squares but leave in pan for 8 hours before removing. (Or put in refrigerator to help harden).
(36 bars)
(Judy O's)
1/2 pound unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
2 - 2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Be sure the butter is soft. You must mix everything by hand all at once. Fill spritz gun right immediately. Bake about 10 minutes or until cookies turn light golden brown.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.

Friday, December 08, 2006


2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup diced pitted dates
1 cup fresh whole cranberries
Grated rind of 2 oranges
2 beaten eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh orange juice
Whipped cream
  • In large bowl, combine flour, one cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in walnuts, dates, cranberries and orange rind, and toss until coated and separated. In another small bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk and oil; beat well and add to dry mixture. Blend thoroughly and turn into greased and floured 10-inch bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees on hour or until cake tests done. Cool in pan until lukewarm. Invert onto large plate. Cool completely.
  • While cake is cooling, mix remaining cup sugar and orange juice in small saucepan. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly.
  • When cake is cool, prick top with time fork. Pour orange-sugar syrup over cake, letting excess drip onto plate underneath. Pour from plate back into saucepan and pour over cake again. Continue until cake absorbs all syrup. Remove cake to clean serving plate and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 24 hours before serving with whipped cream.(About 16 servings)

Note: This excellent recipe was originally posted many years ago in

The Detroit Free Press.



6 Salmon filets
Sprinkle with olive oil and season with rosemary, thyme leaves, sage, cracked pepper and juice and zest of a lemon. Grill about 7 minutes, depending upon thickness.
Serve topped with Cranberry Sauce.
Bring 1 cup cranberry juice and 1/3 cup sugar to boil. Add 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, 1/2 cup dried cranberries and return to boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Add 3 large Tablespoons of orange marmalade.
Delicious served over a bed of sauteed spinach and a side of roasted rosemary potatoes.
1 lb bag baby spinach
extra-virgin olive oil
cracked pepper
Heat olive oil in heavy saute pan. Add spinach by handfuls until slightly wilted. Season with cracked pepper.
2 large red skin potatoes
2 large black potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes
extra-virgin olive oil
3 heaping Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary or to taste
cracked pepper
coarse salt
Slice potatoes in wedges. Coat with olive oil. Place in ovenproof pan or iron skillet. Sprinkle with rosemary, cracked pepper and coarse salt. Bake in 450 degree oven 45 minutes or until roasted.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. rum extract (or rum)
1 egg
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Cream butter; add sugar and cream until fluffy. Add vanilla and rum and mix. Add egg and mix.
Combine flour, nutmeg and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill thoroughly.
Allowing one tablespoon dough for each cookie, shape into balls. Bake on ungreased baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven abut 12 to 15 minutes. Cool.
Frost with Rum Frosting.
(makes about 4 dozen)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. rum extract (or rum)
2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 Tbsp. milk
Cream butter. Add rum and mix well. Add confectioners' sugar gradually and beat until smooth and creamy. Add milk as needed. Continue beating until smooth and creamy.
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup angel flake coconut
Beat egg whites an cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in almond extract and coconut. Allowing one-half tablespoon batter for each cookie, drop on lightly greased baking sheets Bake in preheated 275 degree oven about 15 to 20 minutes.
(Makes abut five dozen)
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Mix and sift flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt.
Cream butter, add confectioners' sugar gradually and cream until fluffy. Add egg and mix. Add sifted dry ingredients gradually and mix.
Allowing one tablespoon dough for each cookie, form into balls and dip in granulated sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets then flatten to abut 1/4 inch thick with the bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven about 10 minutes.
(Makes about 3 1/4 dozen)
Note: These nearly 40 year old beloved recipes are from the Tower Kitchen ~
Detroit Free Press


(Small Spirits Moon)
~ Ojibwe

Monday, December 04, 2006


~ The Larson Family's treasured ginger cookie recipe

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 beaten egg

2 Tbsp. dark corn syrup

3 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp. cardamom

2 tsp. soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and syrup. Sift flour and dry ingredients. Add to first mixture. Mix well.

Let dough stand in refrigerator overnight. Roll and cut.

Bake 8 - 12 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet. .

(makes 22 BIG gingerbread men)

Sunday, December 03, 2006


(Robert Frost)
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.



(Santa's favorite)

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. lemon juice and zest of lemon
3 cups fresh chopped cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Measure flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in bowl;
stir with fork to mix.
Cream butter and sugars in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg, milk and lemon juice. Stir in flour mixture and zest, a bit at a time until blended. Stir in cranberries and walnuts. Drop dough by heaping teaspoon (1 inch apart) onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake 15 minutes or until firm and golden. Remove from sheet.

(Yield about 5-6 dozen)

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