Monthly Archives: February 2010

Cream Cheese Pound Cake


Who does not love a good old-fashioned pound cake?  I love its simplicity.  It doesn’t call for anything fancy.   Even after it has dried out a bit put in the oven for a few minutes and you have something special to enjoy with  your morning coffee.   I will admit that chocolate pound cake found here  is my favorite. But you can’t have chocolate every time.  There’s a place for just a plain poundcake.   This Cream Cheese Pound Cake can be a bit of a troublemaker for me.  I never had a problem with it until I got a new mixer and a new oven.  Trust me it is not the taste.  I love the almond and vanilla flavors.  They are truly a match made in heaven.  To make sure that the crumb of the cake is just right it is a combination of the proper mixing of fat and sugar plus the correct cooking time.  Well, this one turned out just about perfect. 

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Filed under Cake, Desserts

Shrimp Pasta with Pesto Sauce

There are essential ingredients that should be on hand so that you can throw a great meal together without even thinking.  If everyone would do this we could put the fast food industry out on its last leg.  Think about it.  I grew up in a small town where we did not have endless possibilities for dinner.  My mother shopped once a week  and we never ate out.

As parents we have got to do the right thing for our children.  Do you realize that the high school students that I am teaching this year have a lower life expectancy than I did growing up?   Down the road we all are going to pay for what we are doing to our children.  In the classroom I see all aspects of poor eating habits plus no exercise.  It is scary!    Let me share with you a great article that I used in my classroom a couple of weeks ago. Share the link with all of your friends and let’s do something about the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States.  Sarah shares her tips  here that we as parents can do to make our children healthier. My students found all of Sarah’s links quite interesting. I was quite surprised at their interest.  Please for our children’s  health take the time to read this great information and share it with parents.  Let’s do our part to keep America’s children healthier.

Back to the shrimp.  Here is a recipe for a great meal and I am sure that most of the  ingredients will be on hand.  This means that it will be on  the table in the time that it take to cook the pasta.  Think about it the next time you are tempted to eat take out.

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Filed under pasta, quick, Shrimp

Decadent Chocolate Cookies aka Pecan Mudslide Cookies

There is a bakery in Savannah, Georgia on Bay Street called B. Mathews Bakery.  During the winter when it not as busy I have spent many Saturday afternoons enjoying a cup of tea and a chocolate cookie.  Not just any chocolate cookie but one where the chocolate was so intense that I wanted to eat a dozen instead of just one.  I have tried on several occasions to duplicate the recipe but I could never seem to get the same chocolate flavor.  It is much the same flavor as  in this flourless chocolate cake that I made last month. 

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Filed under Cookies, Cookies from scratch

The Snow and Voting for Your Favorite Decorated Cookie


This is why we did not have school last Friday.  If you’re from the north I know that you are laughing, but 1/2 inch or more of this white stuff will shut us down for quite sometime.  We  head to the grocery store for bread and milk and whatever else is needed for being snowbound.  It was beautiful while it lasted which was for exactly twenty-four hours.  Just long enough for school to be called off for yet another day. 

On Wednesday before the snow I demonstrated this to my class.  With much enthusiasm on Thursday the classes baked their cookies to decorate on Friday.  I heard them planning their strategy and who they were delivering their cookies to for Valentine’s Day. It would be their boyfriend, girlfriend, favorite teacher, or take them home to let their parents enjoy.  But it did not happen on Friday!  Then came our three-day winter break.  Decorating Disappointment!!!   Continue reading


Filed under Cookies, Cookies from scratch, frosting, Recipes, sugar cookies

Soup – Broccoli Raab soup that is!


Participating in a CSA for the last three years has been a great experience for me.  I have always made visits to the local farmer’s market during the summer to enjoy the wonderful heirloom tomatoes  or some fresh butter peas.  I have also frozen my share of fresh corn and white acre peas to savor in the winter.  But traveling to the farmer’s market now entails an hour or more depending on traffic just to get there.  Continue reading


Filed under healthy, Italian sausage, Local CSA, Recipes, Soup, Soup from scratch

Sugar Cookies for Your Valentine

What do you do for your honey on Valentine’s Day?  I usually cook up something good!  Our first Valentine’s Day after we were married I made GI Joe a pound cake in the shape of a heart and decorated it.  I must say it was beautiful and he loved it.  Why I chose this Valentine’s Day to decorate sugar cookies I do not know!! Oh yea,  it was the front cover of Southern Living’s beautifully decorated cookies all perfect and everything.  So I did get inspired to try these even though I am not wild about cookie decorating.  After one cake decorating class I knew then it was not my forte.

The recipe for the cookies is a great one given to me  eight years ago from Kelly T.  one of my students.  I love these cookies without the icing.  Of course GI Joe loves the icing so I did both.  Here is how it is done so get busy for your Valentine!

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Filed under Cookies, Cooking, Recipes

Black Bean Soup with Chipotle and Toasted Cumin Seed Sour Cream

I have to be honest with you when I read about this black bean soup here I was skeptical about the preparation of the dried beans.  In every textbook and cookbook that I have read dried beans are always soaked before cooking.  And I must admit that I have had my share of trouble preparing dried kidney beans to the point that I will not prepare them in a slow cooker.  After some research I have found that dried kidney beans react with acid in tomatoes and will not soften even after cooking for days.  However this apparently does not  apply to other beans. 

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Filed under Black bean soup, Cooking, Crock Pot, Recipes, Slow Cooker

The Winners for Pancake of the Day……

!st Place Winner is 2nd Block Kitchen 1

Lab days are exciting for the students.  Who wouldn’t be excited?  They are cooking breakfast for themselves and their friends.  They serve it, sit down and enjoy it.  Words cannot describe how proud they are to accomplish this task.  Just setting the table is a work of art for some.  Most of them eat in front of the TV or to my horror in their bedroom alone.  So this is a great thing for them sitting down at a table with what I call a family.  Ninety percent of them want to ask a teacher to eat with them and it is not just for the extra credit.  It is to show the teacher what they can do.  It is not just any teacher they invite.  I have found that it is the caring teachers that really go out of their way to show how much they love their job of teaching  high school students.

Preparing food — It does so much more than fuel our body.  It fuels our soul!  

With that said let’s get to the important stuff.  Cast your vote this weekend for the best pancakes of the day.   I know it is a hard choice this time.  Good luck to all.

Happy Cooking, 

The Teacher Cooks 

2nd Place Winner !st Block Kitchen 4


Filed under Blueberry Pancakes, easy, quick, Recipes

Blueberry Pancakes with Honey and Butter

These are absolutely the best pancakes that I have ever made.  The tangy taste of the pancake with the honey and butter is perfect! 

This is the third time today that I have prepared pancakes.  I know I am a crazy cook!  Not really.  I just walked out of the door without my camera this morning.  I’m really glad that I forgot it otherwise I would not have made this combination.   

In class today I used one of the variations of pancakes on the Bisquick box that makes a light and fluffy texture.  I added very large frozen blueberries which thawed as I mixed the pancakes.  As they came off the griddle I dusted them with powdered sugar.  They were devoured by the starving teens that were left with chins that sparkled with sugar dust. 

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Filed under Blueberry Pancakes, easy