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Miscellaneous Cooking

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Rhubarb is a favorite food of mine but now it's finding mainstream fans. Blood oranges seem to be the kiwi of the 21st Century. Together, they are a perfect union. This is a new spin on something old but ambrosial: stewed rhubarb of oven compote. Rhubarb marries well with sweet blood oranges (who also do their best to tint the rhubarb a deep rose colour). A touch of brown and white sugar and pomegranate molasses (honey is a fine substitute) make this rustic and sophisticated all at once. Serve over ice-cream, pound cake, with scones, or on with yogurt or Scottish oatmeal for a sweet, tart banquet. I tend to slice two of the blood oranges called for and grind up the last one but just slicing all three is fine.

I must have got this totally fabulous recipe more than a decade ago from the strangest source: Cosmopolitan Magazine. It is but four ingredients and makes the most amazing, crisp, flavorful chicken, good hot or cold you will ever taste.The coarse or rock salt, as well as the high oven temperature, crisps the chicken and seals in the flavor.  I serve this with wild rice.

Aside from the inspired fruit medley, there is one other trick in this rosy, delicious rendition of baked apples. It’s sweet kosher wine (but you can also use black cherry soda). It makes the whole thing a baked apple extravaganza. Serve these in the prettiest crystal dessert dishes you can fine or white ceramic ramekins. Good warm or cold; sometimes simplicity, especially in a new year, is best.

Canned salmon to the rescue for this snack that is elegant, entertaining fare. This tastes like smoked salmon (lox) at a fraction of the price. It feeds a crowd and is totally easy to make ahead. Great if you are asked to bring something to a dinner party.
I love this herb coating on fresh salmon steaks or filets. Make this in the oven or in papiotte, a parchment paper envelope to quickly cook this in the microwave. This is one of my favorite lunch choices. The marinade lasts for a week or so for using on tossed, boiled new potatoes or in vinaigrette or more fish fare. Serve this dish with wild rice or lemony couscous, a green salad or a Blue Cheese, Pear and Bibb Lettuce Salad with a walnut-based Dijon dressing and fresh French hard rolls.
Use this on pita bread sandwiches, salads, on top of cream cheese and toasted bagels, almost anything. You may find this mixture in a Middle Eastern market but it won't compare to homemade.

Heard of One-Minute Manicure on Oprah? Well, this is a similar concept you can cook up at home. Use other fragrant oils (any toiletry and oils place online as them – Sweet Cakes, Nature Valley, Bramble Berry, From Nature With Love, and Lebermuth Company are some of our favorites), some sea salt and you have an instant spa treatment. Rub some on your hands to soften baker’s hard working hands or gently, on your face to rejuvenate your natural glow. This is a citrus, almond and vanilla approach. You can also use lavender and mint, or lily of the valley – whatever you like.

Why buy these when you can recycle your going-stale-anyway bagels?
This makes awesome, zesty, snappy bagel chips in no time flat. Serve with cream cheese spreads, hummus or any dip you like.

Self Rising flour is a specialty of Southern baking but it's certainly nationally available and a flour homemakers used since the 50's or so (would have to check on that!). It conveniently contains salt and baking powder so a home baker could use it without adding additional salt or baking powder in a recipe. The thing is, some recipes also need baking soda which one would still have to add separately (in an acidic recipe, such as a cocoa based chocolate cake, figure on 1/2 teaspoon baking soda per cup of flour in the recipe). Self rising flour keeps a few months (and then the baking powder starts to lose its oomph).

Appetizer and dip variations.
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