Wednesday, May 28, 2008

HomeGrown Gourmet - Peanut Butter Gobs

This is my entry for this month's HomeGrown Gourmet, a challenge in which you make a dish based on the host's theme that somehow represents your area.

This month's theme was... peanut butter. Ill admit, I was thrown and had no clue what to make - figured I would skip out this month. THEN I had an epiphany... Ryan's birthday was in mid-May and I was planning to make him Gobs anyhow - a favorite treat of his from his hometown of Johnstown, PA and something that really doesnt exist outside of J'town under that name (they are everywhere else as Whoopie Pies though). They don't even get their own wiki entry (but are noted under whoopie pies) they are THAT unique to the area!

Basically, they are chocolate cake cooked in large cookie form with fluffy white frosting in between. So, I added peanut butter to have of them and VOILA! Peanut Butter Gobs!

I got the recipe from someone on the local Pittsburgh Nest board (since really, they dont exist anywhere else!) and THey turned out well with the addition of some PB - ryan said they were authentic :)
Recipe Courtesy of Amber (waltsgirl102503) on the Pittsburgh Nest's Grandma

2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
41/4 cup flour (sifted)
2 t soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sour milk
1/2 cup boiling water
2 t vanilla
Cream together eggs, sugar, shortening until fluffy.
Sift together all dry ingredients.
Alternately add dry ingred. and milk.
Finally add boiling water and vanilla
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
I like to use a small ice cream scoop to make gobs so they are the same size annd bake evenly.
1/2 cup white shortening
1/2 cup margarine (butter will work but stick margarine is the best)
1 cup sugar
1 egg white (room temp.)
2 t vanilla
1/2 cup hot milk (microwave about a minute)
Cream shortening, margarine, and sugar until fluffy.
Add egg white and then vanilla.
Keep beating while adding hot milk a little at a time.
When the cake is cooled scoop filling in between two and wrap in plastic and refridgerate until serving.
I added about 1/2 a cup of peanut butter to the filling (only half the filling) for this challenge.
Check out the rules here and the other entries soon!

Homegrown Gourmet

I will, however, try to post my HGG entry sometime today since its the deadline and I *did* participate - but I need to get read for the trade show now... coming soon!

DB Coming Soon!

Im on a laptop in Vegas this week for work so my l'Opera cake will be posted late... sorry! Way too hard to deal with posting it here :)

Friday, May 16, 2008


This is the dessert I made as part two of Platinum Chef 7. Again, the ingredients for this round are: Mango, Mint, Yogurt, Panko, and Bok Choy. This dish for me had all but the bok choy.

I peeled, pitted and diced a mango and then combined in a bowl with: about 1/2 cup of panko, 1/2 a cap of cocnut milk (or enough to bind the panko) and 10-15 mint leaves, minced. Then, I pan friend them in a bit of butter and served over vanilla frozen yogurt. Really good! May make it again, but with toasted coconut instead of the panko.

Platinum Chef 7

This round is being hosted by Danielle at Make No Little Meals. She chose some great ingredients - Mango, Panko, Mint (the herb not the extract), Bok Choy, and Yogurt. Great choices! Bok Choy was new to me. It was good... neither Ryan nor I much cared for it alone but it was really nice eaten in the same bite with the lamb I served over it. And Mango and Mint especially are two of my current fav things to use in my food!

So, I submit to you readers and our honorable host:

Looking forward to the next challenge!

Mango Lamb Steaks

I made this dish as one of my two entries for Platinum Chef 7. This month's ingredients are: Mint, Yogurt, Bok Choy, Mango, and Panko.

The ingredients screamed lamb to me, which was perfect since I had a couple lamp strips in the freezer from a recent trip to Whole Foods. My plan was to season the lamp and cook it like steak, then top with a mixture of Mango, chives (growing in our yard!), mint, lime, and yogurt and serve it all over wilted Bok Choy. I saves the Panko for dessert.

In looking for a good spice rub for the lamb, I found this recipe on Epicurious - basically my whole idea minus the yogurt - so... at least I know it would be good if not very original! The spice rub was fantastic - very potent! THe smoke from it was a bit TOO potent though... Ryan and I were coughing up a fit! But it was worth it - we both loved the combination of spices. The mango/mint/yogurt topping cooled it nicely.


1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 large lamb steaks

Mix the spices together. Combine oil and garlic and brush over both sides of steaks. Rub steaks in spice mix and cook on a skillet to desired doneness (same cook time at NY Strips for my steaks). If you have a grill, I recommend using it!

Mango Topping

In a food processor or blender combine:

1 mango, peeled and pitted

about 10 mint leaves

2 pieces of chives

juice of 1 lime

Blend to mostly smooth, a bit chunky. Then stir in about 1/4 cup of greek yogurt. All ingredients to taste.

Bok Choy

I just washed and chopped the bok choy bunches in half, and wilted them in a skillet with a little oil.

Plate as follows: Bok choy on the bottom, then lamb steak, and mango puree over it all.

Very yummy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thanksgiving Loaves

These are mini meatloaves that were inspired basically by these two entries: the former for the flavors/ingredients and the latter for the cook time and size. This had a strong thanksgiving taste and was way easier than cooking a turkey!

I combined 1 onion, diced with 1+ pound of dark ground turkey, about a cup to cup and a half of premade Pepperidge farm stuffing (the herb kind) and about half a jar of pre-made gravy. Add one egg and some S&P and moosh it all together and form into 5 loaves.

Meanwhile, I made this cranberry sauce and topped each loaf with a healthy dollop (hte rest I froze to use another time).

Bake the loaves on a greased cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes at 450.

Serve topped with remainder of heated gravy. SO yummy!