Saturday, November 26, 2022

Pecan pie cobbler

 Pecan Pie Cobbler 

4.80 from 5 votes

Amazing Pecan Pie Cobbler. Gooey caramel filling forms under a sweet, buttery cobbler topping with crunchy, toasted pecans. The easy version of pecan pie!

PREP:15 minsCOOK:30 minsTOTAL:1 hr 5 mins  SERVINGS: 8 servings (1 8x8-inch pan)


For the Cobbler Batter:

  • 4 tablespoons 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour or additional all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or an additional 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon additional milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar light or dark
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups very hot water

For Serving:

  • Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the butter in an 8x8-inch ceramic baking dish or similar 2-quart baking dish. Pop the dish into the oven until the butter melts, about 5 minutes. Set the dish with melted butter aside.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, prepare the cobbler batter: add the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. With a fork, stir to combine. Pour in the milk, rum, and vanilla extract, then stir with the same fork, stopping as soon as the flour disappears.
  • In a small mixing bowl with a clean fork, stir together the topping ingredients: brown sugar and pecans.
  • With a small spoon, dollop the batter over the melted butter. Use the back of the spoon to gently smoosh it into an even layer. DO NOT STIR. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cobbler batter. It will feel like an excessive amount, but keep going (this is pecan pie cobbler after all!).
  • Last, slowly and evenly pour hot water over the entire cobbler, covering the whole surface. It will look like a wet mess. Again, DO NOT STIR.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet large enough to hold the dish with parchment paper for easy clean up (This will catch any delicious molten caramel that bubbles over). Carefully set the pan on top and slow and gently transfer to the oven, being careful not to splatter. Bake uncovered in the center of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and looks dry on top. Transfer the baking pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 to 25 minutes (the cobbler will continue to thicken as it cools). Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream.
  • Notes

    • TO STORE: Let your cobbler cool completely, then cover it and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. 
    • TO REHEAT: Gently reheat your cobbler in the oven at 325 degrees F until warmed through. 
    • TO FREEZE: Tightly cover your pecan pie cobbler and place in the freezer for up to two months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Friday Thanksgiving

 Meal for "leftovers".  We rotate Thanksgiving between 4 families so when I go to another house for dinner, I don't get very many leftovers so when that happens, I cook a mini dinner the next day for more leftovers.  That was today. The cornbread recipe is in on the Quaker box of cornmeal.  The green bean casserole it the one everyone knows and the stuffing is Pepperidge Farm.  The gravy was homemade with chicken stock and wigs from the freezer, turkey neck etc.  The dish between the butter and gravy was supposed to be mashed potato cakes but they were never firm enough to form so I cooked them in a little oil and smooshed them in a bowl. I put them on the table with a warning to take a small taste to see if they wanted more.  Everyone wanted more. It was the first bowl to be completely empty. There were also some deviled eggs not in the picture.

5-Ingredient Mashed Potato Cakes 

pastedGraphic.pngThese fluffy, cheesy potato cakes can be made from scratch or with leftover mashed potatoes.

YIELDServes 4 to 6, Makes 14 cakesPREP TIME20 minutesCOOK TIME35 minutes to 40 minutes


1 1/2 lb. rust potatoes (about 4)

1T. + 4 1/2 tsp. salt, divided

3 oz cheddar or Parmesan

4 T. unsalted butter

1 lar. egg

1/2 C. AP flour

1/2 tsp. black pepper

3/4 C. vegetable oil


Peel &chop potatoes or make from leftover massed potatoes. Whisk In 1 large egg.

When the potatoes are ready, drain through a heatproof colander. Place the colander over the pot. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill back into the pot. (Alternatively, drain the potatoes, return to the pot, and mash with a potato masher until smooth.)

•Add the cheese, melted butter, beaten egg, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine. (If starting with leftover mashed potatoes, omit the butter and add the egg and cheese to 2 1/4 cups mashed potatoes. Add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is stiff enough to form into a disc with your hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste). 

  • Scoop the potato mixture out with a 1/4-cup measuring cup and form a small disc with your hand. Press the disc until 1/2-inch thick. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
  • Line a second baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 3/4 cup vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place 5 potato cakes in the pan and cook until deep golden brown, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.


Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.

Best Ever Cranberry Sauce — Hall of Fame version

Prep Time: 5 minutesCook Time: 5 minutesTotal Time: 10 minutesYield: Serves 6

Best Ever Cranberry Sauce: The title describes this iconic holiday condiment. Winner in countless taste tests over the years, this is my most-requested version. Don’t show up to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without it, and make this a week ahead of your big dinner, for best flavor.


  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • Zest of 1 orange (orange part only)


  1. In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, add sugar, water and spices and cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves, syrup is clear and comes to a rolling boil, about 3 minutes. In a colander, rinse and pick over the cranberries to remove any mushy ones. Add cranberries to boiling syrup and continue cooking, uncovered, just until they begin to pop, about 3-5 minutes (set the timer). Be careful not to cook them too long or they will get mushy.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in orange zest and cool to room temperature, uncovered. Ladle into clean jars or plastic containers, label and refrigerate until ready to serve. You may serve it cold straight from the fridge, or serve it at room temperature, which is my favorite way.
  3. Makes about 2 1/2 cups sauce, enough to serve 6.


Recipe source: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious

Cook’s trick: Make two batches and stick one jar of it in the back of the refrigerator, to be discovered two months later. It will be an utterly delicious cook’s treasure!

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Ham dinner

On a whim, I bought a bone-in ham then proceeded to get some things to go with it. We had a little holiday for no reason. 

Ham was reheated to 125º with a glaze of one part Boars Head brown sugar ham glaze and two parts apricot jam.  Dressing was Stove top, corn was canned and the potato were baked and finished with chicken broth and garlic.


yield: 6 SERVINGS prep time: 15 MINScook time: 50 MINStotal time: 1 HR 5 MINS


  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, making sure one of the oven racks is in the upper-middle position. Square the ends off the potatoes by cutting off the rounded edges (you don't have to chop off a lot, but you want the ends flat) and then cutting the potatoes into about 1-inch thick slices.
  • In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the butter, thyme, salt and pepper. Place the potatoes in a single layer in a 9X13-inch ceramic or metal baking dish (don't use glass as it can shatter when adding the chicken broth later).
  • Roast the potatoes for 20-22 minutes, until the bottoms are browning around the edges. Remove the baking pan from the oven and flip the potatoes with a flat spatula. Return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, flip the potatoes again and add the chicken broth and garlic. Roast once more (last time, promise) until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has reduced just slightly, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve the potatoes with the sauce drizzled over the top.

©Mel's Kitchen Cafe —


Sunday, November 13, 2022

Charlie asked me to make Beef Randang, a spicy Malaysian recipe


Beef Rendang 

Beef Rendang - the best and most authentic beef rendang recipe you will find online! Spicy,  rich and creamy Malaysian/Indonesian beef stew made with beef, spices and coconut milk.

PREP TIME15 minutesCOOK TIME1 hour 30 minutesTOTAL TIME1 hour 45 minutes


1 1/2 Lbs. boneless beef short ribs cut into cubes

5 T. oil

1 stick cinnamon abt. 2-inches

3 cloves

3 star anise

3 cardamom pods

1 lemongrass cut into 4’ length and pounded

1 C. thick coconut milk/cream

1 C. water

2 tsp. tamarind pulp, soaked in some water for the juice, discard seeds

6 kaffir lime leaves, very thin sliced (sub lime zest)

6 T. Kerisik (toasted dry coconut)

1 T. sugar

salt to taste 

Spice paste

5 Shallots

1-inch galangal (sub ginger or turmeric)

3 lemongrass white part only

5 cloves garlic

1 inch ginger

10-12 dried chilies, soaked in warm water and seeded (used Korean red pepper powder.


  1. Chop spice paste ingredient and blend in processor until fine
  2. Heat oil in a stewpot, add spice paste mix, cinnamon, cloves, star anise & cardamom. Stir fry until aromatic. Add beef, pounded lemongrass.  Stir 1 minute.  Add the Kaffir lime leaves, kerisik, sugar  & stir to blend.

3. lower heat, cover & simmer 1 to 1/2 hours until meat is really tender and gravy has dried up. Add more salt and sugar to taste. Serve immediately with steamed rice. Save some for next day.


To prepare the kerisik or toasted coconut, just add the grated coconut to a dry wok and stir continuously until they turn golden brown.


Monday, October 31, 2022

Chicken thighs on rice with sauce

 Charlie asked me if I would make something he made when he was living in Seattle.  He would bake a chicken thigh in Cream of Mushroom soup and eat it over rice.

I made it with a can of mushroom soup, two cups of sour cream  a tablespoon of lemon juice and a packet of onion soup mix.  Baked at 400º until thermometer read 165, about an hour. It was a simple dump and bake recipe.

I belong to a very small group (10 people at most) who joined together after another large cooking group disbanded.  One of them asked if anyone knew how to make the roasted potatoes they serve at Greek restaurants. i got a couple of recipes to try from a search then almost the next day Shelby and some others got into a discussion about British style Eurpoean and Fondant baked potatoes.  I decided to make a small batch of a Greek recipe I found on line and served a taste of those with some corn to go with it.

Greek Style Roasted Potatoes

 Time: 20 minCook Time: 1:10 hReady in: 1:30 h Yield: 3-4 servings


  • 600 grams (1 pound + 5 ounces) Yukon Gold, Russet, New Potatoes or Red Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (for a vegan version, use vegan vegetable bouillon)
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme (or 2 tablespoons fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary (or 2 tablespoons fresh)


  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F (205 °C) and get out a rimmed non-stick baking sheet (mine was about 11"x7") or line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil. The potatoes tend to stick towards the end of the roasting process.
  • Wash, peel (if desired) and cut the potatoes into approximately 1"x3/4" chunks.
  • In the prepared pan, mix together the water, lemon juice, olive oil, bouillon, and salt. You can alternatively mix those ingredients in a bowl and then coat the potatoes in it, but I prefer to not dirty up another dish.
  • Add the potatoes and stir to coat in the liquid.
  • Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, uncover, and add the minced garlic (you can add it during the last 15 minutes of baking if you're worried about it browning too much), thyme and rosemary. Stir to evenly distribute the garlic and herbs.
  • Bake for another 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the potatoes towards the end. Depending on how large the potato chunks were, you may need more or less time.
  • Once they're crisp, remove them from the oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Salt to taste.
  • Serve. These are best warm or at room temperature.
  • Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Adapted from Greek style potatoes on AllRecipes

Saturday, October 29, 2022



Charlie invited some friends over so I made a taco bar.

Taco meat is onions cooked soft, hamburger browned, taco seasoning added then refred beans stirred in and  taco sauce added and allowed to cook down. 

Best Guacamole

PREP TIMe 10 mins TOTAL TIME 10 mins SERVINGS  2 to 4 servings

Be careful handling chilis! If using, it's best to wear food-safe gloves. If no gloves are available, wash your hands thoroughly after handling, and do not touch your eyes or the area near your eyes for several hours afterwards.


2 ripe avocados

1/4 tsp kosher salt + to taste

1 T. fresh lime juice

2 to 4 T. minced red onion or thinly sliced green onions

1 to 2 serrano or jalapeños, minced

2  T.  cilantro leaves and tender stems

pinch black pepper

1/2 ripe tomato, chopped, optional

red radish or jicama for garnish (optional)

Everything else was just chopped and put in bowl. 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Charlie made dinner tonight. It's a spicy Korean chicken dark meat dish

 I don't have the complete recipe yet but these are the ingredients"

Dak-Kalbi Spicy Chicken          serving size:  2

1 C . Chicken broth

1 1/2 lb. skinless & boneless dark meat chicken cut in 1-inch pieces

1/2 oz /savoy cabbage cut in 1/2-inch thick strips.

1/2 Lar. onion cut into 1.2 inch thick slices

4 Scallions roots trimmed and cut into 4-inch pieces.

1/3 Zucchini cut into 1/4-inch thick strips.

5 Shitake mushrooms soaked in warm water for 1 hour, drained, stems discarded &  caps  thinly sliced

3 T. sesame oil

1 T. toasted sesame seeds.


2t. red pepper powder

2 T.gochujang 

1 1/2 T. minced garlic

1/4 ginger root peeled and grated

1 T. sugar

2 T. corn syrup

2T. sesame oil 

2T. Mirin

1/4 tsp. black pepper