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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Scalile 2012

For Carbone family members, Scalile making day is a major family event and the holiday season just wouldn't be complete without these wonderfully crisp cookies drenched in honey! 

This year, I hosted Scalile making at my house.  So Gary & Suzanne Carbone and Andrea & Mike Enos (Andrea is Gary & Suzanne's eldest grandchild and my niece) as well as my husband, Steven Johnson and I gathered to make these tasty treats.

I had everything laid out and ready to go so we were ready to hit the kitchen running when everyone finally arrived. 

For anyone who has never had the opportunity to take part in this process, be sure to have plenty of extra hands as it would be a very daunting process to make these single-handedly.  In our house Mom made the dough, Dad rolled them out and cut them, and the 3 of us kids (Cathy, Mike and Chris) would twist them.  While we were busy cutting and twisting, mom would transition to heating the oil and doing all the frying.  Very often they would get "honeyed" another day. 

This was the first time I made the dough along with Andrea while Dad supervised. We made our batch using just 1 dozen eggs (the number of eggs you use determines the size of the batch and how much flour will be needed - this would be considered a half-batch) and we realized later than although we used only 12 eggs, we used the full amount of Bourbon, oil and salt - maybe that's why they came out so good! 

Dad, Andrea, Mike & Steven did the rolling, cutting and twisting...


 and we all took turns frying...

The bowl Mike has in his hand is filled with half of the batch of fried Scalile...

  Andrea and I did most of the honeying and we completed our (half) batch in record time.

We estimated that each of these containers is holding about 5 dozen cookies:

To those of you who were invited to join us an unable to make it, we missed you!  I hope you will all get to enjoy some Scalile this holiday season - Buon Natale!

Scalile (full batch)

2 dozen fresh eggs - room temperature
1 jigger whiskey (or bourbon, optional)
1 tsp salt
1 cup oil
14 cups flour, approx.

Beat eggs until creamy.  Mix in whiskey, salt and oil.  Add flour slowly, 1 cup at a time.  If using a mixer, start with a paddle attachment, switching to the dough hook attachment when the dough gets too thick for the paddle.  When the dough starts to climb the hook, remove from the mixer and add the remaining flour by hand, kneading in until the dough is a smooth, shiny consistency.  If you are making Scalile on a particularly humid day you may have trouble getting the dough to the correct consistency, allow the dough to rest 5-10 minutes and see if it is still sticky. 

Cover bowl with a damp towel to keep dough from drying out.  Cut a small piece of dough (a ball sized portion that will fit in the palm of your hand) and roll it out on a lightly floured board until you can see the grain of the wood through the dough.  Cut into strips about the size of your fingers and cut a slit in the center of each strip.  Carefully work one end of the dough through the slit and then gently pull it straight - it should come out with a twist in the center section.  Place on cookie sheets and cover with a damp towel.

Preheat cooking oil to 350 degrees.  The oil is the right temperature when you can drop a cookie in and it sinks to the bottom of the pan, then immediately floats to the top.  Fry until golden brown on all sides - turning as needed.  Place cookies on a wire rack suspended over a rimmed cookie sheet to drain (or on paper towels) and set aside to cool. 

Heat honey to 300 degrees, adding a bit of simmering water to thin it slightly.  The honey will start to boil and foam, at that point, you are ready to start coating your cookies.  Add several cookies to the hot honey and turn them to coat completely.  Remove to another wire rack placed over a rimmed cookie sheet to drain any excess honey and to allow the honey to set. 

Tools you will need:

  • a large, wooden cutting board is ideal
  • a sharp knife for cutting off pieces of dough
  • Rolling Pin
  • a pizza cutter works really well for cutting the strips
  • a small paring knife for cutting slits 
  • Cookie Sheets
  • Damp Towels (I dampened several when we were at that stage and kept them handy in a small bowl)
  • Wire Racks
  • Electric Skillet (our favorite for the honey process)
  • Deep Fryer or Dutch Oven
  • Candy Thermometer (for the frying and honeying)
  • Spider or slotted spoon
  • Containers to store/take home your cookies

Friday, October 12, 2012

3rd Place Winner - Joel's Steak and Black Bean Chili

My Uncle Joel really surprised me with this one - I had no idea he could cook!  And cook he did, this chili is definitely a keeper.  The steak is tender, the chili is just the right balance of soupy and thick - you get a load of tasty ingredients with every bite, and it has a nice smokiness that I really loved.

The picture just doesn't do the chili justice!
Serve this fabulous chili with some home made cornbread, some good ale and maybe a light salad and you have the perfect meal for a crisp autumn night!
Joel's Steak and Black Bean Chili
2 lbs beef cubes for stew, well marbled (sauteed, optional)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 large onion (for 1 cup chopped)
1 large green pepper (for 1 1/2 cups chopped)
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chili-styled chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sour cream, optional garnish
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional garnish
Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes.  Place the beef cubes into a slow cooker and turn it on low.  Sprinkle the chili powder, garlic powder and cumin over the meat.  Peel and chop the onion, adding it to the crock as you chop.  Seed and chop the green pepper, adding it to the crock as you chop.
Drain and rinse the cans of beans and add them to the slow cooker.  Add the tomatoes and sugar.  Cover and cook on low (200 degrees) for 8 to 10 hours.
Uncover and stir [in] the tomato paste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir well.  Serve at once, garnishing as desired with sour cream and cheese.
Yield:  Serves 8 light eaters or 6 hearty appetites.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

2nd Place Winner - Chicken Tetrazzini

Here is the 2nd place winning recipe from the Carbone Family Reunion held on September 16, 2012.  Rose Eaton contributed this dish to the potluck and contest - it was DElish!  Creamy and flavorful - this would be a wonderful dish for making ahead on your day off and then baking after work while you settle in to your nightly family routine.

Chicken Tetrazzini
1 package (16 oz) uncooked spaghetti
2 TBLS butter or margarine
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cans (4 oz each) mushrooms, drained
1 jar (2 oz) diced pimento, drained
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 - 1 1/2 cups (4 to 6 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a large Dutch oven; saute green pepper and onion until peppers are crisp-tender.  Stir in the chicken, mushrooms, soup,  pimentos, soup, milk, garlic powder and salt.  Drain spaghetti and add to mixture; toss.  Pour into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Sprinkle with cheese; bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.  Yield: 10-2 servings.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Winning Recipe

Those of us who made it to the family reunion on Sunday had a lovely time.  Sadly, the turnout was small - only 17 attended, but it made for an intimate atmosphere and great mingling!  My husband Steven and I were the hosts this year and we decided to try a couple of new things so we had a silent auction of donated items and a cooking contest.   Here are photos of a few of the items donated for the auction:

This was a beautiful breakfast basket donated by John & Donna Lepore - the eggs were fresh from their chickens and all sorts of other breakfast goodies and handy kitchen items.

 A lovely ceramic gift box - donated by Marie.
Cookies and Milk basket donated by Rose. ("biscotti e latte" en Italiano!)  Here is a Chocolate Kahlua Cake made and donated by Janet Lepore:
Cara Carbone made and donated Josephine Carbone's Biscotti - she donated 3 lovely packages, they were so beautifully done you'd have thought they were purchased at a bakery or specialty food store!
There were quite a few other items donated as well, but these are all the photos I managed to get.  I hope everyone is enjoying the items they bid on!
The proceeds from the auction reimbursed my parents (Gary & Suzanne Carbone for those who haven't met me or aren't sure how I fit into the family tree) for the hall rental, Steven and I for assorted reunion expenses and we had $40.00 extra that we passed on to John & Donna Lepore, who are hosting the Carbone Family Reunion 2013.  (Thank you John & Donna for volunteering to host!) 

The winners of the Blue Ribbon Cooking Contest were: Joel Carbone in 3rd place with his Steak and Black Bean Chili, Rose Eaton in 2nd place with Chicken Tetrazzini and Cara Carbone, first place winner with Cara's Garden Delight #4 - Inverted Pizza!  Each of our winners took home a colorful ribbon and Cara also took home the coveted "Golden Mold" - a golden jello mold in the shape of a bunch of grapes (I know, totally appropriate, right?!)!

I'm sorry to say that although I did manage to get photos of ALL of the other contest entries, I did NOT get a photo of Cara's - but it was BEAUtiful (and DElicious!)!   Participants were required to provide a recipe so we could post it here on the family recipe blog. So, without further ado, here is Cara's blue ribbon, winning recipe!:

Cara's Garden Delight #4 - Inverted Pizza

1 sheet puff pastry
1 lb Sungold tomatoes, roasted*
1/2 lb zucchini, shaved
3 slices prosciutto, torn into 1/2" pieces
A few sprigs of fresh oregano
1/2 C grated Parmesan
1/4 C goat cheese
6-8 fresh basil leaves
1/4 C pine nuts
1 roasted rosemary chicken breast, sliced (optional)
red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Layer tomatoes, zucchini, prosciutto and oregano into 9" tart pan.  Roll puff pastry on floured cutting board.  Trim to round, leaving a 1" overhang.  Gently place [pastry] over tart pan.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Invert onto serving platter.  Top with chicken (if desired), Parmesan, goat cheese, pine nuts and basil.  Slice & serve. 

*drizzle tomatoes with olive oil.  Season with salt & pepper.  Roast for 2 hours at 375 degrees.  Drain excess liquid.  One large jar of sun dried tomatoes may be substituted. 

Chris' note:  This is a great late summer recipe when your garden is most abundant.  The pastry is flaky and crisp.  The tomatoes tasted like they were sun-dried (they were quite sweet and balanced nicely with the other flavors), the zucchini, basil and oregano gave it a really fresh flavor while the goat cheese gave it a nice tang.  Try this recipe - you won't be sorry, then send us a photo to include here!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Broccoli Puff

Here's a pretty straightforward casserole recipe from Grandma's files.  Enjoy!

Broccoli Puff (V.G.)

2 - 10 oz. pkgs. frozen Broccoli spears
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 oz (1/2 c) mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c milk
1/4 c mayonaise
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c bread crumbs - 1 tbsp melted butter

Cook broccoli according to directions, except omit salt.  Drain.  Place broccoli in large baking dish.  Stir soup and cheese.  Gradually add milk and mayo and egg to soup mixture - blend well.  Pour mixture over broccoli in baking dish.  Combine bread crumbs and butter.  Bake uncovered 30-45.  Makes 6-8 servings. 

Chris' Note:  I'm sure you're supposed to top the casserole with the bread crumb-butter mixture.  Also, the baking time was a bit smeared (this recipe was written in felt-tip pen), but I'm 95% certain it's correct.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rice Ham Casserole

Just quick post today.  Grandma must have liked rice, because I've found quite a few casserole recipes with rice in them.  This one is very simple and straightforward - and it would be handy to have on hand after Easter when you might have some leftover ham on hand.

Grandma says this recipe is good for luncheons.  I wonder if she served it to her Gab Club? 

Rice Ham Casserole

2 c diced ham (cooked)
2 c cooked rice
3 eggs, beaten
2 c milk
1/2 c green pepper, chopped
1/4 c grated onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix altogether and put in a cake pan.  Bake 45 minutes - 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Cut in squares.  Serve with mushroom sauce or cheese sauce.  Garnish with parsley.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Zucchini Rice Casserole

I thought it might be nice to post something that isn't a dessert, isn't sweet and could actually be served for dinner.  I probably should save it for summer, since it's a zucchini recipe, but casseroles are so warm and comforting I wouldn't want to deprive you of the opportunity to enjoy it this winter.  I must admit here that I have not personally made this, nor have I ever eaten it, but if Grandma says it's V.G. then it must be Very Good!  If you try it, please share your results (feel free to provide photos too!).

Zucchini Rice Casserole

1 Cup cooked rice
1 large zucchini (2 lbs) peeled, cut in small pieces.  Cook in water until tender.  Save the water - it all goes into the casserole. 
1 onion, chopped and sauteed in 1 cube margerine or butter
8 oz cream cheese - melt into the above hot mixture
2 eggs - slightly beaten
1 bouillon cube (chicken) in 1/4 c water
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste (not much)
Mix all ingredients together - top with buttered bread crumbs. 
Bake at 350 degrees 1/2 hour.

Josephine Carbone - Aug. 1983

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Game Day Dips & Spreads

I meant to get this out just before Christmas for everyone to enjoy for their holiday entertaining.  I thought I was being clever and had successfully managed to pre-enter the post to be posted automatically December 23.  Alas, I was not as clever as I thought as it clearly did not post automatically.  Although I found these recipes in Josephine's spiral notebook along with all the holiday recipes, I think they'd be equally handy as game day treats!  Some of them are from magazine's, some do not note origin - I have taken out the brand references, for the most part, to simplify them a bit (plus I think some of those brands are no longer available in our area).  I hope you try them and enjoy them all the same.

Holiday Cheese Tree Football

1 8 oz container Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread
1 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbls finely chopped pimento
1 Tbls finely chopped green pepper
1 tsp grated onion
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp lemon juice
chopped parsley
chopped nuts

Combine cheeses, mixing until well blended.  Add 1 tbls pimento, green pepper, onion, Worcestershire sauce & juice;  mix well.  Chill.  Drop six 1/3 cup measures into triangle football shape on serving platter.  Drop remaining mixture at base of triangle (tree trunk); smooth to form tree.  Top with parsley, nuts and remaining pimento.  Serve with crackers.

Holiday Ham & Chili Cheese Ball

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 can deviled ham
2 tbls finely chopped scallions
3 tbls chopped green chilis
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a small bowl, combine cheeses, deviled ham, scallions and chilis;  mix well.  Shape mixture into a ball.  Roll in chopped nuts.  Wrap in plastic wrap; chill.  Remove from fridge to soften slightly before serving.  Serve with crackers. 

Chris' Note:  smoked almonds work really well for the ham & cheese ball.

Shrimp Dip

1 envelope Lipton's tomato soup mix
1 pt. sour cream
2 tbls Italian dressing
1 cup chopped, cooked shrimp
Blend soup mix and sour cream.  Stir in Italian dressing & shrimp.  Chill.  Serve with potato chips or crackers. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pumpkin Tea Bread

If any of you have been following my personal blog, cjs-kitchen, you may know that I put up a lot of pumpkin this last fall.  I baked and pureed 2 pumpkins at a time and froze the final product in 1 or 2 cup packages so I could enjoy baking with pumpkin this winter.  When I saw this recipe in Grandma's files I knew I had to try it and immediately got a package of that wonderful, orange puree out of the freezer to thaw. 

I made this bread on Wednesday, January 18 and I'm just now completing this post because our power has been out since the 19th!  If you've been watching the news or live in Western Washington you know we've been having some crazy winter weather.  I'm actually staying at the resort where I work for the 2nd night in a row, just so I can be where there's power and not contribute to any additional messes out there! 

Anyway, we had a lovely snow day Wednesday - the WHOLE FAMILY ended up home (the kids ended up out of school all week and finally went back today, the 23rd - YIKES!) and I baked this bread as well as some cookies, we watched movies, snacked, relaxed and just had a lovely day together. 

The bread was delicious.  In fact, I sent a loaf (this recipe makes 2) over to my in-laws who reported that they wanted a permanent order placed for a loaf any time I make it! They like to spread butter on it, but we all like it just the way it is.  It has a lovely moist texture and plenty of flavor.  It's the perfect thing for a comforting bite in the morning when the power's out, or in the afternoon when you want a snack, it would pack well in lunch boxes or even be good as an after school snack.   I think you'll enjoy it - I know we did!

Pumpkin Tea Bread

2 C Sugar
1/2 C Oil
1 small can pumpkin (2 C)
2 1/2 C flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon or allspice

Mix together sugar, oil and pumpkin in a bowl so sugar dissolves.  Mix together dry ingredients and the dissolved pumpkin, oil & sugar. 

1 C raisins, washed and plumped
1 C Walnuts if desired

Line 2 tins with wax paper.  Grease these & fill tins 3/4 full.  Bake 1 hr and 15 min at 350 degrees or until done.

Chris' Note: To plump the raisins, simply pour some boiling water over them and let them soak for about 5 minutes. If you like raisins but don't enjoy them in baked goods this is a good trick - it makes them nice and juicy again so they don't dry out in the baking process.  Also, I used waxed paper per the instructions above, and had a tough time separating it from the bread on the ends.  In other recipes, I've used parchment paper with much better success so I would suggest using parchment instead.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Frosted Chocolate Nut Drops

When I first started this project about a year ago, I went through ALL of Grandma's recipes and sorted them out making piles according to various categories like:  Biscotti Recipes, Grandma's Creations, Main Courses, etc. and set aside all the ones I thought would be most appealing, most wanted - especially if they were also marked "Very Good" and I put them in the stained glass recipe box Grandpa made for Grandma (sadly, it no longer has a lid, which was the colorful part).  I wasn't going to bake cookies today...really, but as I was going through them today to decide which ones to work on for the next several upcoming posts, I stumbled upon this recipe and it was so easy and sounded so tasty that I decided I would bake them up today, take a photo or two and post this recipe immediately.

I haven't even frosted them yet (although I will have by the time this post is published) and they are already very tasty.  They reminded me of German Chocolate Cake as they went together and their flavor does not dissappoint.  In fact, they have a cakey texture too - and I'm willing to bet they'd really taste like German Chocolate Cake if you topped them with coconut-pecan frosting instead of the chocolate frosting the recipe calls for (I just may do that).  I hope you like them!

Frosted Chocolate Nut Drops  (from Regina)

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
2 oz chocolate melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg unbeaten

Beat all of the above together until creamy.

1 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 cup butter milk

Add the flour and soda to the mixture with the buttermilk.  Beat all together.  Stir in 1/2 cup nuts.  Drop rounded teaspoons on greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Frost tops with chocolate frosting. 

Chris' Notes:  I used butter in mine (if I'm going to put an essentially solid fat ingredient in my baking, it's going to have full flavor) and I didn't have buttermilk in my fridge, so I used cultured buttermilk solids (you can find it in the baking aisle at the grocery store, it's a powdered form of buttermilk and you mix it with water according to the package directions).  This may have made my dough wetter than it would have been with actual buttermilk since buttermilk is usually pretty thick.  At any rate, my dough was more like cake batter and no way was it going to drop onto a sheet for baking and come out anything but a pancake so I added flour 1/4 cup at a time until it resembled cookie dough.  I only added nuts to half since we have a non-nut eater in our household.  I used walnuts, but if I were going to frost them with coconut-pecan frosting, I'd use pecans instead.

Update note:  I finally frosted them - with chocolate frosting this time around and I actually like them better without the frosting!  The ones I made with the nuts are my favorite and next time I make them, I will definitely frost them with coconut-pecan frosting and see how they come out!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Calling All Family Members - Need Your Help!

It's been almost a year since this blog was started.  Recently, I started posting photos on the blog and one of my projects for 2012 will be to make as many of the recipes from previous posts as I can and add pictures to the posts along with any useful information I can add - so keep your eyes out for updates. 

Moving forward, I'd like to also make some videos to share with family members who are visual learners and also for other folks to enjoy.
First up is a Ginetti making video.  I'd like to have it up in time for Easter so maybe late February, early March date for doing the video.  It may take 2 days in order to get them made & frosted and be able to have good lighting for the video. 

So, I'm looking for someone with a video camera who would be willing to do the filming as well as family members who would be willing to appear on camera making the Ginetti with me and sharing stories, tips & tricks.  You can let me know by leaving a comment below, messaging me on Facebook or posting to my Facebook wall.

I hope you join me!