Monday, April 12, 2010

Annabelle's Italian Delight

This is one of my favorites that my Grandma Margie fixes whenever we come for a visit. This recipe came from my Grandma's best friend (who we consider family) and neighbor Annabelle. My Grandma and Annabelle were quite a pair. They always kind of reminded me of Lucy and Ethel. Lots of laughing and giggling and funny business. Annabelle was a great cook and baker. She and her husband were also the owners of the original Napa City Bakery in Napa, CA. I always loved going over to their house because my Grandma would sit and drink coffee at their 50's style kitchen table and they would give me "coffee" (or a rather doctored up version) in an actual coffee cup, and I would get to indulge in all of their yummy treats and listen to the incessant laughter. Sadly, Annabelle passed away years ago and we all miss her very much, especially my Grandma. I feel very lucky to have some of her recipes and all the great memories we have had together as family.

Annabelle's Italian Delight

1lb. of ground beef

1 large green pepper (cut into small pieces)

1 large clove garlic (minced)

1/2 cup oil (it calls for vegetable oil, but I am a fan of the olive oil, so that is what I use)

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 can tomato soup

1 can corn (cream style)

1 small can of mushrooms + liquid

1 large onion

1 dash Tabasco

salt and pepper to taste

3/4 lb. of spaghetti or vermicelli

Brown the hamburger and drain. Cook spaghetti or vermicelli per package directions and drain. In a 9 X 13-inch baking pan combine all ingredients including hamburger and noodles. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes - 1 hour. My Grandma always uncovers hers for about 10 - 15 minutes at the end. It makes some of the top noodles a little crunchy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Double Chocolate Pudding

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter! I have been busy scouring my old family recipes for a good chocolate pudding recipe to post and have come up empty-handed. I love chocolate pudding, who doesn't? I just hate making it from the little preservative and artificial color filled box that starts with a "J-E-L." So I was mentioning this to our fellow cowgirl writer Kim today, and as usual, she is the "knower of all things that taste good" and she recommended Barefoot Contessa's Double Chocolate Pudding recipe. Yes, this is exactly what I had in mind! No little box, a little more time in the kitchen, and pure chocolatey goodness on your spoon. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Pudding

6 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons very good cocoa powder (I am big fan of Hershey's, just sayin')
Pinch salt
2 cups milk (Whole makes it super-duper rich, if you like it that way...I do)
1-ounce very good semisweet chocolate, chopped (I likeTollhouse)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light yellow and thick in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed. On low speed, add the cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan and, with the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the chocolate mixture. Combine well, then pour the mixture back into the pan.
Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until thickened. If the mixture begins to curdle, remove it from the heat and beat it vigorously with a wire whisk. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, butter, vanilla, and heavy cream, and mix until the chocolate and butter are melted.
Pour into serving bowls. Place plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding, and chill thoroughly.