I have been cooking since I was about 9 (thanks, Mom)--I never REALLY learned to clean a kitchen until I had a kitchen of my own and realized that Mom had done a LOT of cleaning up after MY clean up (THANKS, Mom!) Cooking from scratch really is the way to go--I know exactly what is in it and I can avoid some ingredients and still have tasty, homemade food--oh did I mention save $$$ too? Please follow this blog (it's FREE) and receive regular updates when new posts are added.
½ cup granulated sugar 2 cups pecans (any other nuts will work) A pinch kosher salt
one of the following, all optional (I prefer mine without the options):
generous pinch cayenne
cooling rack with foil or parchment paper and set aside.
sugar, nuts and spices in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. (Any
skillet will work, but you are making
caramel, which is notoriously rough on nonstick pans. Stainless steel is
preferable only for the sake of your pan.) Stir constantly with wooden
spoon. Do not add water. After several minutes, the sugar will
begin to melt & turn golden.
to stir. Continue to stir gently.
sugar is completely melted, empty contents of skillet into thin layer onto
and break into pieces. Store in cookie tin or glass jar with tightly
(Note: if the sugar does not seem to
be melting after about five minutes, your stove may not be hot enough.
Increase the heat to medium and continue as directed. Monitor very
A delicious (and simple) Mexican casserole. Serve w/ sour cream & guacamole and salad.
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 ( 1 1/4 oz.) envelope taco seasoning mix
1 can ( 4 oz.) chopped green chiles, drained
1 1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup Bisquick
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
Heat oven to
400 degrees. Grease glass pie plate, 10 x 1 1/2 inches.
Cook and stir ground beef and onion in skillet until beef is brown;drain. Stir
in seasoning mix, dry. Spread in pie plate; top with chillies.
Beat milk, eggs
and Bisquick baking mix until smooth. Pour into pie plate. Bake 25 minutes. Top
with tomatoes and cheese. Bake 8-10 minutes. Longer or until knife inserted in
center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. 6-8 servings. Great leftover dish!
This is what homemade doughnuts look like--complete with the irregular shapes, doughnut holes & well-seasoned cookie sheet ;)
It had been years since I had made doughnuts but this recipe caught my eye on Pinterest. They are a cake doughnut, not a yeast doughnut. The recipe is NOT rocket science but does take time, so patience is important. I don't cook with HOT oil very often, so PLEASE make sure all small children, pets (& overly anxious/curious adults) are OUT of the kitchen while using HOT oil!
Yield:12 doughnuts and holes Prep Time:15 minutes Cook Time:10 minutes Total Time:1 hour 25 minutes
For the donuts: 2 1/4 cup cake flour (yes, I DID use cake flour) 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature 2 large egg yolks 1/2 cup sour cream Canola oil, for frying
For the glaze: 3 1/2 cup (350 grams) powdered sugar, sifted 1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/3 cup hot water
For the donuts: In a bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat
the butter and sugar together until sandy. Add the egg yolks and mix
until light and thick. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3
additions, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour. The
dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.
Use a doughnut cutter or two differently sized biscuit cutters to cut
out as many donuts as possible, dipping the cutters into flour as
necessary to prevent sticking. You should get about 12 doughnuts and
Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot(yes, that is important!) with a deep-fry
thermometer attached. Heat to 325°F. Fry the doughnuts a few at a time,
being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Watch the temperature!!! Fry on each side about 2
minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Let drain on a paper bag (or paper towels) to
soak up the excess grease.
For the glaze: Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Immerse each
doughnut into the glaze. Place on a wire rack above a sheet pan to
catch any excess glaze. Let sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set.
Doughnuts are best served the day they are made but may be store in an
air tight container at room temperature for a few days. http://www.handletheheat.com/old-fashioned-sour-cream-doughnuts/
It is that time of year again...zucchini seems to be everywhere! This is a moist and flavorful sweet bread recipe that Jonna Roper shared with me when we lived in Sacramento,CA over 30 years ago. Thanks Jonna! So happy I found this recipe again--hope you are doing well!
Put dry ingredients into a large bowl set aside: 3 cups flour 1 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1 Tbsp. cinnamon 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans & sunflower seeds)
Mix: 3 large eggs 1 cup of oil (can use liquid coconut oil too) 2 tsp. vanilla
Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Grease & flour 2 medium-sized loaf pans (I used 1 regular loaf pan & 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool and wrap well in plastic wrap. It is delicious anytime but tastes even better day 2.
This bread freezes well and makes a great addition to a tray of other fruit/veggie sweet breads.
I had too much milk in the frig! Rather than waste it, I tried this mac & cheese variation--creamy throughout, cheesy on top. This deliciously moist macaroni gratin (with a mild garlic flavor) is a far cry
from American macaroni and cheese. Chef Benoît Guichard cooks the pasta in
milk, then cools the cooking liquid down with ice cubes, a technique that keeps
the macaroni from drying out. The dish can be served as a main-course pasta for
four with a salad or as an accompaniment to roasted meats or poultry. 3 quarts whole milk (I used 2%) 4
garlic cloves, lightly crushed 1
tablespoon unsalted butter 1
tablespoon all-purpose flour Fine
sea salt Freshly
ground white pepper Freshly
grated nutmeg (optional) 3/4
cup heavy cream (use milk for a lower fat option) 3/4
pound ridged penne pasta 2
trays of ice cubes (I used 4 cups--who has ice cube trays??) 1 cup freshly grated imported Gruyère cheese (3 1/2 ounces) (I used sharp cheddar & fresh Parmesan) 2
tablespoons minced chives In a large saucepan, combine the milk and garlic. Warm the milk
over high heat until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from the heat,
cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic. Measure
out 1 cup of milk and reserve; set aside the rest. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Whisk in
the flour and cook, stirring constantly, without browning, for 1 minute.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and gradually whisk in the reserved 1
cup of milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce is completely smooth.
Season with a large pinch of salt and generous gratings of white pepper
and nutmeg. Return the pan to low heat and cook the sauce, whisking
constantly, until it's thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, let
cool slightly and stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt. Preheat the oven to 500°. Add 1tsp of salt to the remaining milk
and bring back to a simmer. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, over
moderately high heat so the milk is just simmering, until al dente, about
10-12 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the ice cubes to
stop the cooking. Once all of the ice cubes have melted, drain the pasta
in a colander and transfer to a large bowl. Add the white sauce to the pasta and toss to coat. Transfer the
mixture to a buttered 9-by13-inch gratin dish. Sprinkle the cheese all
over the top and bake for about 10 minutes, or until bubbling around the
edges. Turn on the broiler and (carefully) broil, rotating the dish, until
the cheese is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Let the gratin stand for 5 minutes,
then season generously with white pepper, garnish with the chives and
The purpose of Scratch Only is to share recipes and ideas. Not all of these are my original recipes (and I know not EVERYTHING is from scratch), I have made these over and over and will not post anything that I do not make and enjoy first (sorry, but you won't find any seafood here). This blogger reserves the right to edit or delete posts with content deemed inappropriate or unwanted for any reason. If you have questions, please e-mail.