Category Archives: Cooking

Pumpkin Pecan Spice Cake

Yesterday was a very long day and the only answer to it was: CAKE! I made this pumpkin pecan spice cake for dessert from a Williams-Sonoma mix. I frosted the top with tangerine infused cream cheese and a sprinkle of tangerine zest and chopped pecans for decoration. A slice of that and a cup of tea and all was right with the world again!

Sugar Cookies

Jennifer Michie Sugar Cookies

There was a heavy drizzle my entire walk this morning, it started as I walked out the door. The morning was quiet, I only passed a few other people. The overcast day and the rain put me in a baking mood, so I decided to roll out a batch of sugar cookies. They will be the perfect dessert tonight. I might have snuck one or two already, but that was just for the purpose of quality control!

Marilyn Monroe’s Stuffing

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - MAY 1953:  Marilyn Monroe on patio outside of her home.  (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/Pix Inc./Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Maybe more famous now then during her lifetime, Hollywood starlet, Marilyn Monroe seems as at home in the kitchen as she did on the silver screen. Auctioned off during a 1999 sale of her personal effects at Christie’s, heralded two well used cookbooks and a set of bright yellow enameled Le Creuset pots and pans. She had a love affair that fans never knew of, she was a kitchen goddess, long before it became a “thing” to be.

I know that today, for many, is a day of preparation and if I was at home celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, we would already be in the kitchen working away on family favourite’s and much loved recipes.  In case you are looking for something new this year or haven’t quite finalized that Thanksgiving menu, I thought I would share this little recipe.

Marilyn Monroe Stuffing Recipe

This recipe, like a recipe from your grandmother or mother, is scrawled on letterhead from an insurance company, probably the nearest thing she had to hand. Recipes written on the back of receipts or in the margins of a book always seem to me, the best kinda recipes! And like many old recipes I have, there is not a clear step-by-step directive, but you can still follow along or hazard a guess at her meaning. However, the NY Times Cooking section has researched and refined her scribbling in to an exact recipe and I shall include that below, in case you don’t have the time or inclination to decipher this yourself.

{Recipe Image From “Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe”}

Marilyn Monroe’s Stuffing, Matt Lee and Ted Lee

INGREDIENTS

  • A 10-ounce loaf sourdough bread
  • ½ pound chicken or turkey livers or hearts
  • ½ pound ground round or other beef
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped curly parsley
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts, pine nuts or roasted chestnuts, or a combination
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushedrosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free, garlic-freepoultry seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Split the bread loaf in half and soak it in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Wring out excess water over a colander and shred into pieces.
  2. Boil the livers or hearts for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in the oil, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, so no piece is larger than a pistachio.
  4. In your largest mixing bowl, combine the sourdough, livers, ground beef, celery, onion, parsley, eggs, raisins, Parmesan and nuts, tossing gently with your hands to combine. Whisk the rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper together in a bowl, scatter over the stuffing and toss again with your hands. Taste and adjust for salt. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use as a stuffing or to bake separately as dressing. To serve as a dressing, pile about two quarts of the mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until the top is evenly browned, about 1 hour.

Happy Pi Day!

Jennifer Michie Pi Day 2015 1

Happy Pi Day! We’re nerds and we’re okay with that, so today we made a pie. This year’s choice was a black bottom oatmeal pie that I saw on Smitten Kitchen this week. I made a few changes, as I used my favourite pie crust recipe and I took her substitution suggestion of switching karo syrup for golden syrup as I always keep that in the pantry. Karo syrup is not always the easiest thing to find here.

It was scrumptious! After a late dinner date we came home and had a slice with some ice cream! Heaven!

Jennifer Michie Pi Day 2015 2

White Chocolate Bark

Jennifer Michie Bark

I had a block of Log House vanilla flavoured almond bark to use in the pantry. I love this stuff! It is great to dip pretzels in, fruit, nuts. You name it, it will most likely taste delicious with this smothered over it. I love opening that package, the smell that hits you instantly reminds me of being little. I can taste the white chocolate Easter candy lollipops that my mom would sometimes get us from the hardware store in town.

We put peanut M&Ms, popcorn, marshmallows and a few sprinkles on this bark. We hit the nutty, the salty and the sweet notes. Now, we just have to wait for it to set. I know what I’m having tonight: a big hunk of bark with a cup of hot chocolate…

{They have a nice recipe site HERE, always a good starting point if you want to make something delicious for bake sales, parties, holiday treat packages or something delicious just for you!}

Dolly Parton’s Banana Pudding

Dolly Parton

I LOVE banana pudding. I don’t think I could call myself Southern, if I didn’t. I also happen to adore Dolly Parton. She is a spitfire country woman for sure! While cruising through Pinterest tonight on my way home, I saw a picture of her, which led me to her banana pudding recipe! What could be better to beat the Monday blues than a little bit of sunshine yellow banana pudding?

The meringue topping would be an interesting twist, I’m more of a sweet whipped cream kinda gal, but if Dolly likes it, I’ll give it a whirl!

The recipe from her cookbook Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s, is below and the original article can be found at AnOther mag.

Pudding

1 box of vanilla wafer cookies
4 large firm, ripe bananas, sliced
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
1 large egg
Yolks of 3 large eggs
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Meringue Topping

Whites of 3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In deep dish toss the cookies and bananas to mix well; set aside.

3. In a large saucepan combine 3/4 cup of sugar, flour and salt, beat in milk until blended and smooth. Bring to boil over medium-low heat and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

4. In small bowl beat egg and egg yolks, adding 2 – 3 tablespoons of the hot milk mixture. Stir egg mixture into saucepan and set over a low heat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture is hot but not boiling. Stir in the butter until melted. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Pour mixture over cookies and bananas in casserole.

5. To prepare the meringue topping beat the egg whites, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract together until stiff peaks form. Spoon the mixture over the top of the pudding and bake for 15 minutes until top is golden.

I Scream! You Scream! We All Scream for Ice Cream!

It’s been pretty hot lately! We have been eating a lot of cold things to stay cool and I have been very inspired by my ice cream Pinterest board. Here are just a few things that have caught my eye:

Jennifer Michie Ice Cream Pins

1. Blackberry Pie Frozen Yogurt: Amanda K. By The Bay
2. Cherry Almond Ice Cream Cake: Love, Life & Sugar
3. Copycat Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip: Something Swanky
4. Classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: Drizzle & Dip
5. Blueberry Pie Milkshake: Saveur
6. Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream: Your Home Based Mom
7. Tangerine Sherbet: Shutterbean

{Don’t follow me on Pinterest already? Click HERE}
{Ice Scream! You Scream! We All Scream for IceCream! board HERE}

Summer Squash Pizza

Jennifer Michie Summer Squash Pizza

I love vegetables! One thing I truly miss living in London is the roadside vegetable stands and pop-up Farmer’s Markets that exist in the South. The places you stop by on a hot Summer day, the vegetables still warm from being picked out of the fields. A Southern staple is yellow squash. I have not been able to get it in England until recently. Last year we noticed that Whole Foods was selling it and like crazy people we stocked up.

This year, I have done the same. Stocking up, slicing it and throwing it in to the freezer, so we have it as a side dish or to throw in to soups, pastas, risottos or in a vegetable medley. I picked some up on my way home from work on Friday and an idea started buzzing in my head. I knew just what I was going to do with it. Mr. Michie was on a school field trip on Saturday and I decided that I would make pizza for dinner. I have played around and around with this one particular dough recipe we like, making adjustments and tweaks and I have finally perfected it to satisfy our tastebuds.

I made the dough early in the day, so it had plenty of time to rise and just be. Before, Mr. Michie got home, I sauteed thin slices of yellow squash and cubes of pancetta. I also slowly cooked down an onion, till it was golden yellow and tender. Once he arrived home we got to work. I shaped the dough and brushed it with garlic oil and a little salt. We sprinkled freshly grated mozzarella over the top and then layered on onions, squash and pancetta. We finished it off with little dollops of ricotta, here and there. Once it was out of the oven it had a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil and some oregano.

It was wonderful. It was the taste of Summer in your mouth, the salty, the sweet, the savoury. It is most definitely a combination that we would make again.

{We have tried many different dough recipes over the years and this has become our favorite. I have made my own tweaks to the dough, but this is the recipe I used before I took the leap to start changing things: Annie’s Eats Homemade Pizza Dough}