As the Stomach Turns...

This week - tune in as Trebuchet03 makes his guests wretch at the dinner table with his latest kitchen creation - The Litter Box Cake!

Ack! Blech!


Round up:The Spice is Right IX: Warm me up baby...it's cold outside

I have felt honored to host this last guest installment of The Spice is Right for Barbara over at Tigers and Strawberries . I know she has her hands full with her new arrival - I remember all those years ago when I thought I just couldn't keep my eyes open through one more 3 am feeding.

First on the list is Rinku of Cooking in Westchester who made a fantastic Indian-style pickle using Bengali Five spice powder and rutabagas. I have to admit I am intrigued by the combination. I am just starting to learn to make some Indian food at home, and pickles are an essential part of the cuisine. The Bengali spice mix sounds like a fantastic combination of flavors and would perfect on cold cold day to warm me up while eating dal and rice...Thanks Rinku!

Next is Sher over at What Did You Eat? She cooked a wonderful Pork Stew with Orange and Fennel served over soft polenta. And why did she choose this dish? Because the hunky author gave her a warm warm feeling in places we can't mention in polite company! It's a good thing she was so motivated, as the stew was a lot of work, but turned out luscious. Thanks for all your hard work Sher - I know your tummy thanked you.

Indira of Mahanandi shared with us a recipe that she tested for a cookbook of Afghan recipes. The recipe uses split peas and small tender okra - which has become one of my favorite veggies recently. The spicing is very simple and uses dill as one of the major flavor components. I can see making this when the gang comes over for gaming night - warming and filling. Now that Indira has moved to Seattle, she won't need as much warming up as she used to as when she live here in Ohio!

I love learning new things - it is what keeps me young. When Lakshmiammal of Cook Food, Serve Love submitted her recipe for Spicy Green Pepper Stew, I have to admit I had never heard of one of the ingredients before. Vadagams or spices balls are a traditional seasoning method in the cooking of her home region and something new to this fan of spicy cooking.

Priya of Sugar and Spice came up with the perfect beverage to warm us up in the cold Ohio winters - Masala Chai. There is nothing like hot tea on a nasty wet day and this takes that pleasure to the next level. Now I just have to get my hubby to try it...

With all the cookie baking and running to visit friends, I have been seriously strapped for time. So it's a good thing that Pepper of Frugal Cusine has come up with the simple, spicy pasta called spaghetti cacio e pepe. A simple dish that is nothing but three simple ingredients:Pecorino Romano cheese, pepper and pasta. This is going into my permanent recipe file...

Here is something else to keep you warmed up from Sarah at Food Avenue: A Japanese curry. An import from India, the Japanese have made this curry their own. And while Sarah is right, it doesn't look like all that but I know it would taste delicious . (I love Japanese food!!)

Moving onto dessert, Cindy of Food Migration has turned us onto Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread Cake. Not only does it have a healthy dose of Cindy's favorite spice, ginger, it has Guinness Stout in it as well. No need for that after dinner tipple to warm you up!

Last, there is me, Rosie, who shared a
very old family recipe from my friend Gail. This Lebkuken recipe has been in her family for a long time and not only does it have lots of warm spices, but a lot of warm feelings as well.

So thanks a lot for participating in the round up. I learned a lot and I have plenty of recipes that will keep me warm and cozy in my kitchen all winter long!
I am hoping to see you all next month at Tigers and Strawberries!


I'm working on it!!

Just a note to let you know that I am working on the roundup and will have it posted tomorrow night or Monday morning - with luck! This is the last big push for the Cookie Ladies and I have been chained to a hot oven all day. Now where did I put that mug of coffee?


The Spice is Right IX: Warm me up baby...

Want to eat a 100 year old cookie?

I do. It goes real good with my 40 year old milk.

Yup - that's what I said - 100 year old cookie.

Didn't know they would last that long, did ya?

Well, I am kinda fibbing. The cookies aren't 100 years old, just the recipe.

See - here is the scoop. Gail - you remember her - she of the awesome pecan sandies, wrangler of babies and coworker extraordinaire. Yeah her - you remember! Gail calls me up and says, "Rosie, have I got a treat for you! My sister found my great grandmother's Lebkuken recipe. I can't wait to make them for you...do you have any cider?"

"Awesome! Of course I have cider - what kinda friend would I be if I didn't?" I said.

So I ran to the store to buy some cider and headed over to Gail's.

I have to say I was intrigued by this whole lebkuken thing. Gail has been talking about these cookies for years. See - every good cook has their secret recipes. Things they only share with a few people, because the damn thing is just too good to let loose in the general public. You know the recipes I am talking about - your grandmother's chocolate cake, your great-aunt's zucchini pickles...those recipes that once lost can never quite be duplicated again. And here Gail was sharing one of her special recipes with me. And you know what - that gave me a wonderful warm feeling inside. Either that or it was the burrito I had for lunch - I am not sure now.

So sitting in my pantry right now is a big tin of these lebkuken. Not much to look at but they are mighty tasty. Supposedly, they taste better the longer they age, so I'll just have to keep roving hands out of the cookie tin for just a while longer so we'll have some left for Christmas.

I asked Gail if it would be alright with her if I posted this on my blog and she said sure - sometimes you have to share good things so they don't get lost. That and she can google the recipe next time instead of asking her sister.

By the way, this is exactly how the recipe was written down and handed over to Gail and her sisters. If you want a hands on training session, Gail is susceptible to bribes... I think she mentioned something about imported chocolate and liquor...but I may be mistaken....

1 pint cider

1 pound dark brown sugar
1 1/2 pounds light brown sugar

1 pint white sugar

Boil to form a syrup.

1/2 pkg raisins
1 1/2 lemon (grated fine)

4 eggs - well beaten

1/2 teas nutmeg

1/2 teas cinnamon

1/2 teas ground cloves

1 1/2 teas baking soda (dissolved in lukewarm water)


1 pint lard (softened)

Flour to stiffen, just enough so your fingers doesn't stick

Mix together and let stand overnight.
Roll out and cut into triangles or with cookie cutters.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees till lightly browned.
Cool on cookie rack.
Store in air tight container.


'Tis the season...

Well - it has been one busy week.

Work has me hoppin' as usual this year. And every year - I swear I will no longer work retail the next holiday season. Fat chance.

So, without further ado, let's talk about last weekend.

I met
Becke of Columbus Foodie (and her hubby) this past Saturday. Becke had declared me winner of of her 100th post/first birthday contest and said she had a bag of swag for me. So off I went to the North Market, offspring in tow. My daughter's agenda: to eat food, then go the Yankee Trader to buy loot. Becke and I had a great time. We ate Cassoulet from North Market Poultry, wandered around and looked at a craft show the market was hosting, chewed the fat and generally had a fun time.

Oh, and guess what else?!!! Becke, Lisa , Renee and I were written up in the North Market newsletter. I want to thank Jeni (of Jeni's Ice Cream fame) for the kind words. So what was in the bag?
  • A gift certificate from Pure Imagination Chocolatier . I used it to buy a nine piece box of chocolates. My fav: the salty caramel truffle.
  • Some beautiful streaky bacon, thick cut from Bluecreek Farms . I put this in the freezer. It will make a reappearance at a later date.
  • Z extreme hot sauce from Cajohn's. I have not opened this yet. I am saving it for new year's eve when we will have our friend George the chili head over. That boy has no pain receptors left, so it is fun feeding him new hot sauces before we try them.
  • Organic raw milk feta - waiting on me to think of something creative to do with it.
  • Formage des Clarines - a Stinky French cheese from Curds and Whey . I love stink. It means good things for your taste buds.
  • Cranberry Mango Pepper Jelly from Whole Foods
  • Crostini from Trader Joe's - These were eaten by Sunday evening. They were dunked into homemade tomato soup and devoured by a hoard of ravenous football fans.
  • and lastly, a homemade version of Starbuck's pepperment brownies from Becke's own kitchen. These were taken to Sunday's event and eaten by hungry cookie bakers.

Thank you so much for the goodies Becke!

Sunday, the Cookie Clache started our annual cookie baking marathon. Here is the problem though...none of us are in a very holly jolly mood this year. I think we are getting burned out on whole holiday season before we even get close to the real holidays. Our employer gave us the holiday phone greeting the first day of
OCTOBER. Give me a break people! I just flat out refused to answer the phone with it until mid-November. Corporate American can bite my butt.

It took us a huge helping of Becke's brownies, two pots of coffee and a whole boatload of gossip before we felt the motivation needed to start out cookies. Here is a picture of Gail's kitchen after the Hurricane Rosie hit it.

This year's cookie list includes, but is not limited to

  • Pecan Pie bars
  • Orange - Poppy Seed Pinwheels
  • Ginger Spice Crinkles
  • Chocolate Shortbread
  • Pecan Sandies
ah hell - I can't remember any more off the top of my head, but trust me, I'll cover them all!

The most interesting cookies we are making this year are Lebkuken. The recipe comes from Gail's family and is believed to be over 100 years old. I plan on writing up the recipe for my upcoming round up for
The Spice Is Right IX: Warm me up baby - It's cold outside... Consider yourself reminded!


Freakin' Sweet!

Here is something that made my geekie lil heart go "Thump thump!"

Death Star Birthday Cake

I know a guy who would go into fits of pleasure just thinking about having one for his birthday!