Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cream Horns

Yes, I’m back to food again and in particular…desserts. Over the next few weeks, I will include some recipes that I believe those following my blog will enjoy. Most are relatively easy to make – but look impressive. Take Cream Horns as an example. You can make your own Puff Pastry, but why not take a short cut and get some from the store. The following dessert can be made in minutes -- but the tins are a must!

8 oz. or one package of Puff Pastry
Double Whipping Cream
Strawberry Jam

Roll puff pastry out until it’s about the thickness of a quarter. Cut into 1” strips, and begin winding at the pointed end of the tin.  Overlap the pastry (about ½”) as you wind towards the larger section of the cream horn tin to be sure there are no gaps. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in a hot oven 450 degrees for about ten minutes. When cool, the pastry shells should easily be removed from the tins (fat content is high.) Beat the whipping cream (with a little sugar if desired) and place into a piping bag. Drop a teaspoon of strawberry jam in the bottom of the shell, pipe in the cream, and a little teaspoon of strawberry jam for color.  

Note: The shells can be made and frozen - fill with cream/jam when needed.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Real Old World Italian Deli

If you order sausages in a Denver restaurant, they more than likely came from Carmine Lonardo’s Deli and Delicatessen. They produce thousands of pounds of sausages, and distribute to over 200 restaurants in the Denver metropolitan area...and sausages are just the beginning! Our steaks were a “melt-in-the-mouth” experience, and the sweet chili chicken was delicious too. There are mouthwatering salami, cheeses and olives – French and Italian bread, as well as many other authentic Italian foods, all at reasonable prices. The staff is friendly and helpful. Just walking into the shop is a treat. They also offer freezer pack specials starting at $109.00. I believe this would be a wonderful gift idea for that “difficult to please” family member or friend.  

There are two locations.

7585 W. Florida, Lakewood. #303-985-3555

15280 Smoky Hill Rd. Aurora #303-699-4532.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Henry VIII Shoebuckles

This recipe calls for Puff Pastry (make your own or buy Pepperidge Farm.)  

I usually use a little tinned pie filling in the center, but recently tried a savory center. It was a great success. It also makes a change from other the “finger food” we see at parties. The diagram is below. Recipes for sweet and savory follow:

1lb Puff pastry (your own recipe or purchase Pepperidge)
Sweet recipe -- About ½ cup of pie filling – (Cherry is colorful – but you choose)
Slivered Almonds
Sugar for dredging
One egg


Savory -- About 4 oz. Sausage meat (mild, medium or hot) plus a little minced onion and seasonings. Combine the ingredients and make into a small ball (about the size of a walnut) and place in the center of the square. Cut and fold the edges using the diagram below. Brush with egg, but instead of shaking sugar over the top, use a little Parmesan cheese and finish with a shake of paprika. Bake in a hot oven 425 for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Little Men and Big Men

Although I’ve written several regional books on travel and history, I recently discovered an interesting fact about mining techniques and skills. It involves the size of the men who worked the mines, and their importance to the mining industry. In the book Historical Highlights of Idaho Springs – Mining Camp Days by Merle L. Sowell, the author describes in great detail the differences between the "Little Men" and "The Big Men" and the roles they played.
"In mining, there was always thick and thin variation of an ore vein. In the thinner sections, there general was a higher concentration of values than in the wider sections. A smaller man could work a thin vein much more easily than a big man; thus developed a special place for small miners. With the influx of Cornish miners in the early days here, the little men found their place in our mining economy…these little guys could work in the smallest shafts (winzes or raises), mine out the narrowest stopes and drive the tightest tunnels (drifts or crosscuts). They never broke out a pound of waste rock that wasn’t necessary or left a speck of ore that had value. All this they did by the light of candles. Blasting powder was their thing in explosives as dynamite hadn’t been invented. They (the little men) were cantankerous to handle and insisted on a split check lease or percentage of profit.
The second era of metal mining took place from 1890-1940, and brought many changes. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite which meant “Big Men” were needed to manhandle the muck buckets and muck cars. Everything increased in size with the greater tonnage. Muck buckets in the shafts went from one half ton to two or three tons. Hoisting engines had to increase in power and shafts were made much larger. Even the skipper, the man who wrestled these buckets at the top or at the muck pockets at the level station, went up to the heavyweight wrestler class."   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eccles Cakes

This delicious little pastry originated in the town of Eccles, England. It is a favorite of my family, and one I wanted to share with friends. Just last weekend, I made a batch of these cakes for a reception at the Denver Woman’s Press Club. The event was the finale to the Unknown Writers’ Competition. Winners came to the podium to read their winning entry, and then enjoyed afternoon tea supplied by DWPC members. For those ladies who enjoyed the treats, please follow my blog for the recipes.  

8 oz. puff pastry - your own recipe, or Pepperidge Farm works well.  (Safeway)
2 oz. butter
2 oz. sugar
2 oz. sultanas (Safeway)
2 oz. currants (Safeway)
2 oz. candied peel (if you like it)
Grated rind and juice of one lemon
Pinch of mixed spice 

Roll the pastry out until it’s about the thickness of a quarter, cut into rounds. I use the largest of my cutters, about 4” in diameter, but you can obviously make them larger or smaller to suit your needs. 

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl; add the rest of the ingredients. Place about one tablespoon of the mixture in the center of the round, and gather the edges (as though it were a drawstring purse – this holds the mixture inside. Then flip the “cake” over, so the “gathered” part is underneath. Using a rolling pin, roll the cake flat – don’t worry, the cake will rise during baking. Score the top with a sharp knife, so the mixture shows through...and brush with beaten egg. Shake a little sugar on the top and bake in a hot oven 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.