"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"

 Cella's News

February 2009



A Child's Love

A Child's love is like a whisper,
given in little ways we do not hear
but if you listen closely
it will be very clear.

They often do not say it loud
but in how they come to you . . .
Daddy will you play with me?
Mommy, tie my shoe?

The many ways they tell you
changes as they grow
Dad I made the team today!
Mom I've Got to go!

Pop I need some money
You see there's . . .
this girl at school . . .
Mama I met a boy today
and wow he is so cool . . .!

Dad I've got something to tell you . . .
I think she is the one.
Mom, He asked me to marry him.
Would you love him as your son?

Dad I've got some news for you . . .
It's gonna be a boy!
Mom, I'm kind of scared of this,
yet I'm filled with joy!

A child's love is like a whisper,
given in little ways we do not hear
but if you listen closely
it will be very clear.

They often do not say it loud
but in how they come to you . . .
Grandpa will you play with me?
Grandma tie my shoe . . . 

It is never ending
A blessing from above
Listen to the whispers
of a child's love.

(Author Unknown)

My favorite Chef for the month is Chef Keith Snow.  I've been enjoying watching his cooking videos at harvesteating.com and trying his recipes.  I'm sharing a few of Keith's recipes with you today and hope you will try them.  I like the fact that Keith emphasis using organic, seasonal vegetables without chemicals in his cooking, along with farm-fresh organic eggs, butter, and naturally-raised meat with no antibiotics or growth hormones.  Keith doesn't wear his chef clothes, he looks just an ordinary guy that loves to cook.  His recipes aren't complicated, and if you need to e-mail him, he'll e-mail you back.  Log onto google.com and type Keith Snow in the search engine and you'll have enough videos to view for a long time.  Especially watch his video on how to make the Perfect Turkey and gravy with a five-pound turkey breast, and of course, you'll need to start practicing.  Keith doesn't use lots of complicated, expensive ingredients.  If you start cooking the Keith Snow way, you'll be needing his three main ingredients:  olive oil, coarse Kosher salt, and coarsely-grated black pepper.  His tip for making great hash browns is to grate the potatoes and then wrap them in a clean dish towel and squeeze out the water, add melted butter to the potatoes, and cook in a heavy skillet over low heat, not high heat.  Add of course, Kosher salt, and coarsely-grated black pepper to taste.  Watch for Chef Keith Snow on TV this year, as well as for his first cookbook coming out in August.  Soon you'll be applying Keith's cooking tips to your every day cooking.  You've got to also try the Cuban bread - its no less than excellent, as well as the Midnight Mints and roasted cauliflower.  Try all the recipes, they're great.  

Cuban Bread

Starter: Make 1 day ahead (Makes enough for two batches)

3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (1/3 envelope)
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour, sifted

One day before, make starter.  In a small bowl, combine the dry yeast, warm water, and flour to a thick paste.  Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  The starter will keep for a few days, or it can be divided in two and frozen for later use.

Bread Dough (Makes 4 loaves):

2 envelopes active dry yeast
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (divided)
4 tablespoons lard, room temperature (recommended)
1/2 batch of starter (recipe above)
1 tablespoon salt
4 to 5 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 3 tablespoons of warm water. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy.  Stir in the lard, remaining water, and 1/2 batch of starter, and salt.  Gently stir in flour, a little at a time until 4 1/2 cups have been mixed in.  Spread out remaining 1/2 cup of flour on a wooden cutting board.  Place dough on top of flour and knead in flour until dough is elastic and no longer sticky (about 6 minutes).  Place in a large greased bowl, covering top with a dish towel.  Place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, punch down dough, and cut into 4 sections.  Roll each dough into a 12 to 14-inch rope.  Place dough ropes on  two greased cookie sheet, spacing 2-inches apart.  Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled.  Bake in 350 degree oven until tops and bottoms are lightly browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the top, about 20 minutes.  Rub butter on the bread when it is still warm to produce a soft crust.  Remove to a wire rack to cook, or eat warm.  Yummy!

Roasted Cauliflower
(Keith Snow: harvesteating.com)

Break apart floweretts of a large head of cauliflower (or two small heads), place in a single layer in a baking pan.  Coat the cauliflower liberally with olive oil.  Sprinkle liberally with coarse Kosher salt and a little black pepper, if desired.  Use clean hands to mix ingredients together.  Bake in a 375 degree oven until cauliflower is lightly browned on top, salt is crusted, and cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 - 30 minutes.  Excellent!

Bechamel Sauce for Lasagna
(Keith Snow:  harvesteating.com)

2 sticks butter
1 cup flour
4 cups milk steeped with 1 slice of onion studded with 6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf (warmed with milk, then removed)
pinch nutmeg, optional
salt and pepper

Place butter in a medium-size saucepan over low heat to melt.  Stir in flour, whisking until blended and cook and stir for about a minute to get rid of the flour taste.  Keep heat low so mixture does not change color.  Stir in warm milk, removed of onion, cloves, and bay leaf, and cook and whisk until thick.  Salt and pepper to taste

Winter Lasagna
(Keith Snow:  harvesteating.com)

Note:  It is important that you read through this recipe and prepare the Béchamel Sauce, lasagna noodles, yams, leeks, spinach, and cheeses before assembling this dish.  You can use butternut squash in place of the spinach, or use kale instead of spinach.  If you're diabetic, use slices of zucchini in place of the lasagna, or no noodles at all.  

Béchamel Sauce (recipe above)

8 cooked Lasagna noodles, according to package directions; or no-cook lasagna noodles

2 large yams, peeled, sliced 1/8" thick slices

3 large leeks, cleaned, sliced (tip to beginning of green tops); and sautéed until tender in 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large bags fresh spinach, cooked down with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup chicken broth, or water, and teaspoon garlic, and 1/2 cup onion until tender; about 3 cups.  Drain before using.

2 cups of Le Gruyere cheese, shredded combined with
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Couple pinches of Italian Seasoning

Assemble lasagna in large 9x13x2-inch pan as follows:  Thin layer of Béchamel Sauce to coat the bottom of the pan, 4 lasagna noodles, a single layer of sweet potatoes, half of the cooked leeks, 1/2 of the cooked spinach, 1/2 of the cheeses, pinch of Italian Seasoning, and 1/2 of the Béchamel Sauce.  Repeat layer.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until yams are cooked through and cheese is lightly browned on top.

Midnight Mints
(Cathy Bohan)

Note:  You won’t be able to eat just one of these no-bake colorful treats, just right for St. Patrick’s Day, with a luscious green peppermint filling peeking out from between two equally delicious chocolate layers

Bottom Layer:
½ cup butter
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 cup coconut (optional)

Middle Layer:
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 cups confectioners sugar
few drops of green food coloring

Top Layer:
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter

Bottom Layer: Combine butter, cocoa, and sugar in saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil. Stir in egg to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts, and coconut. Pack very firmly into buttered 9x9-inch pan. Cool.  Middle Layer: Combine butter, milk, peppermint extract, and confectioners sugar in bowl. Add a few drops more milk if needed for easy spreading. Tint a pretty green with a few drops of food coloring. Mix well. Spread over first layer. Top Layer: Over a double boiler, melt chips and butter. Stir until smooth. Spread over middle layer. Chill and store covered in refrigerator. This will keep well and will also freeze well. Cut in 36 squares (6x6).

Pear Salad
(Cathy Bohan)

20-oz. can pears
1 cup reserved pear juice
3.5-oz. package lime Jell-O® 
4-oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup whipping cream

Drain pears and reserve juice. Heat pear juice to boiling. Add Jell-O® and stir well. Cool in large bowl. Use a potato masher to mash pears,  cream cheese, and 3 tablespoons whipping cream together in a small bowl.  Add mixture to cooled Jell-O. Whip 1 cup whipping cream until stiff. Fold into bowl with Jell-O® mixture. Pour mixture into quart mold and chill.

Send your favorite family recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or e-mail me at marcellastockin@yahoo.com.  Providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood.  Visit my website at cellascookbook.com for more recipes and archived newsletters.