Another Inspired Recipe Wins

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Inspired by places I’ve been and people I love another winning recipe comes to life. Do you think the judges can tell a recipe that comes from the heart? That recipe embedded in your memories just waiting to be created given the challenge? Gloria Ferrer can.

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Cape Cod 1991

How did the judges know how much summer fun so many years ago my kids had at the Cape or how much we still enjoy a fresh lobster roll? Or this glorious lobster bite my daughter made while we vacationed in Nantucket just a few years ago? How could they know the love and the memories that inspire the food that brings my people together?

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I doubt they know anything about those wintery President’s Day long weekends we spent at the Boston science museum or the times we huddled on the Freedom Trail eating a comforting bowl of “chowdah”, but somehow it came through in my recipe.

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Bill, William & Cait ~1989

I am often asked how to create a winning recipe. The answer is always the same: “No gimmicks…just cook YOUR food.” Thank you Gloria Ferrer for choosing my recipe as a regional finalist. With every win I am honored and surprised and just feeling very lucky. I am so looking forward to cooking from my heart for those attending the event in Boston on Tuesday. Click this link if you would like to attend and watch me cook: Glorious Bites Semi-Final

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Cait & William ~1992

Jumping for joy. These two will always inspire me. I am grateful for how much they have loved ebelskivers any time of the day or night. Stuffed with lobster and corn they are the perfect package for my glorious bite and fill my heart with the most wonderful memories. Serve with Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut. CHEERS!

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In case you missed it here is the recipe

Lobster Corn Chowdah Cakes (ebelskivers) with Sriracha Aioli

1 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs, separated

1 cup milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

1 cooked lobster tail, finely chopped

¼ cup fresh cooked or frozen corn kernals, thawed

2 tablespoons finely chopped celery

1 green onion, finely chopped including the lighter green parts

1 teaspoon minced jalapeno

Sriracha Aioli (recipe follows)

Garnish: fresh green chives for garnish and lemon slices

In large bowl, whisk cake flour, baking powder, sugar, lemon zest, salt and pepper; set aside. In small bowl, whisk egg yolks, milk and 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients; whisk until blended. Beat egg whites until just stiff peaks form. Fold half the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Fold in remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Fold in lobster, corn, celery, green onions and jalapeno. Brush the wells of an ebelskiver pan with some of remaining melted butter and place over medium heat. Fill each well to the top with batter, about 2 tablespoons per well. Cook cakes for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp on the bottom. Using 2 wooden skewers, turn cakes and cook on other side, about 2 or 3 minutes more. Transfer to platter; keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with Sriracha Aioli. Garnish with chives and lemon.

Sriracha Aioli

½ cup quality mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons sriracha

1 teaspoon honey

pinch of white pepper

Combine all ingredients in small bowl; blend well. /]

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making memories with my future inspiration ~2017

 

 

 

The Right Move & Caramel Corn Cupcakes

IMG_7377If you‘re off to Philadelphia this morning

And wish to prove the truth of what I say

I pledge my word you’ll find

The pleasant land behind

Unaltered since Red Jacket road that way.

Still the pine woods scent the noon

Still the cat bird sings his tune

Still autumn sets the maple-forest blazing.

Still the grapevine through the dusk

Flings her soul-compelling musk

Still the fire flies in the corn make night amazing!

They are there, there, there, with Earth immortal

(Citizens I give you friendly warning).

The things that truly last when men and times have passed.

They are all in Pennsylvania this morning”

~Rudyard Kipling

One of the more dramatic decisions I (we) made within a year of William’s death was to move to Pennsylvania. Twenty three years of happy memories came to a sudden halt with a single knock on my kitchen door by a US Navy chaplain. It was clear at the time that the constant reminders of him in the house were not allowing me to move through my grief with any sort of dignity. It was hard to function, but would leaving feel like a betrayal? It was a hard decision to say good-bye to the only home he ever knew. I had to trust my instincts. It took courage.

Will

I am 100% certain William would love where we live now in Chester County, PA. First, I am within a short driving distance of his sister. William was most happy when surrounded by those he loved. Family being his top priority, he’d be glad that I can see Caitlin and Sam at the drop of a hat. Second, he would adore this natural setting away from the big city. With hiking trails right off the backyard and a healthy pond to fish in he would have felt right at home. With permission, I believe, one can bow hunt the land, so it’s a certainty he would have paid a visit every hunting season, too.

“I whistled to confuse him, mom, and then took the shot”. Will’s first deer.

Now, I am not suggesting that a dramatic change like a move is right for every grieving person, but looking back and forward it was the right move for me. Have courage and just do what you need to do to take care of yourself and the rest of your family. Trust your instincts and make the right move.

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Today, I am making another right move. I’m not jumping on the “fall”-on court blog press of every recipe containing pumpkin or squash. I’m just not ready for pumpkin-palooza. Maybe next week, but not now. I have decided to ease into autumn a bit slower since sweet corn is still available here in Pennsylvania. I am making the most of it with this corn cupcake.

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Make no mistake this is a corn cupcake and NOT a crumbly muffin or bread. While the caramelized butter adds a nuttiness to the batter the pureed corn adds moisture and sweetness. The caramel frosting doubles the pleasure and can be piled on for those with a big sweet tooth or if you are anything like me…just enough to kiss the cake.

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Caramel Corn Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes

1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour (King Arthur Flour recommended)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup cooked sweet corn kernels (from 1 fresh ear of corn)

3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted and caramelized*

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons bourbon, optional

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg whites

Frosting

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3-cup heavy cream

1-tablespoon bourbon or 1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a standard 12-count muffin pan plus 4 more cups in another pan with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside. In food processor or blender, combine corn and 1/2 cup buttermilk; process until smooth. Strain mixture thru a fine sieve pressing down to collect as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids in the sieve. Combine the pureed corn mixture and remaining buttermilk (you should have 1 full cup of liquid). *To make the caramelized (or brown butter) melt the butter over medium low heat in a light colored pan, swirling the pan often. After about 5 minutes the butter with start to foam and “spit” as it evaporates water. The milk solids will fall to the bottom of the pan and turn a nutty brown. Immediately pour butter into a mixing bowl; let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in sugar, bourbon, vanilla and corn-buttermilk mixture until blended. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients blending just until dry ingredients are moistened and no lumps remain. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks; gently fold into cupcake batter. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

For frosting: In a heavy bottom medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and bourbon, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil and let boil for about 3 minutes or until darkened in color but not burnt. Transfer mixture to a heatproof mixing bowl. Stir in salt. Let cool for 20 minutes or to room temperature (don’t refrigerate). With electric mixture, beat in just enough powdered sugar to desired thickness for frosting. Makes enough for 16 to 24 cupcakes depending how much frosting you like.

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