Monthly Archives: June 2014

A Lovely Treat

LeanneI took my first-ever trip to England, Scotland and Ireland (actually my first-ever trip off this continent!) this past April and I was very pleased with everything about the trip, including the food.  Gone are the days when people felt compelled to make fun of British Isles cuisine.  In London, our first stop, we had a wonderful breakfast at Bill’s.  Bill was a green grocer on High Street until a flood forced him to start over with a café in 2001. It was homey, seasonal sort of place that ended up being far more successful than anyone anticipated so he opened up several more cafes. From where we sat in the café eating our delicious English breakfasts, I glanced around at the shelves of all the “Bill’s” products available and while my husband paid the bill, I had to peruse the Bill’s Cookbook, “Cook, Eat, Smile.”  Sure enough, thoroughly charmed, I purchased it and it has become part of my collection. I recently made Bill’s Blondies (twice) and want to share them with you here, all converted to measurements we Americans understand. Some of the amounts may have gotten mixed up in the translation but I can attest to the fact that they still turned out great!  Beware–they are very rich and should be cut into small squares and don’t expect them to last long.


Bill’s Blondies

1 cup salted butter
2 cups good quality white chocolate,* chopped in small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one lemon
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1¼ cup unbleached flour
1 cup dried sour cherries
½ cup chopped dried apricots
6 ginger biscuits,** broken into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 340°F.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a pan over low heat or in the microwave, then add white chocolate to heat gently, stirring occasionally, until melted together. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and lemon zest and leave to cool slightly.

Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until light colored.  Gently fold in flour and when that is nicely mixed in, fold in cherries, apricots and ginger snaps.  Finally, slowly add the chocolate mixture and combine everything well.

Pour into line dish and bake for 40 minutes or until firm and pale on top.  Cut into squares while still warm, but leave in pan until completely cool before removing.


*  I use Callebaut, available at Bayview and Ralph’s
** I use Nabisco Ginger Snaps

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Dessert | 2 Comments

It’s So Corny

LeanneI’ve noticed that the fresh corn you see in the market—that corn that comes from California and not from around here—is really very good. It’s usually super sweet and flavorful and so I say, why wait for local corn? Nothing says summer quite like corn-on-the-cob so it makes sense to grab some ears, light up your grill and cook up a warm weather feast. In hot weather, grilling corn is a no-brainer since you don’t have to heat up a pot of water. More than that, grilled corn tastes better and it tastes even better when you use the following directions to flavor up your corn. Happy summer, happy corn!

New Mexican Street Corn
4 ears of corn
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1½ teaspoons snipped chives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces grated Cotija cheese
Lime wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Peel back the corn husks, leaving them attached. Discard the silk. Season the corn with salt and pepper. Replace the husks, wrap each ear in foil, transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, until just tender.

In a mini food processor, blend the mayonnaise with the chipotle. Add the chives; pulse. Add the oil; process until smooth.

Light a grill. Peel back the husks, leaving them attached. Brush the corn with half of the mayonnaise. Using the husks as a handle, grill the corn until lightly charred. Brush it with the remaining mayonnaise and roll in the cheese; serve with the lime wedges. 4 Servings

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Vegetable | Leave a comment

Celebration Food


My daughter Catherine graduated from high school yesterday and we had a big “Open House” this last Sunday to celebrate.  We had about 65 people all totaled, so suffice it to say that I made a lot of food. I can say without a doubt that the sugared bacon was the most popular item. Guests had a crazy gleam in their eyes when they were eating these things.

Take good bacon, coat it in brown sugar mixed with a bit of smoked paprika, and lay the slices out on a broiler pan rack (don’t forget to line the bottom of the pan with foil or you’ll end up with a giant mess!)and bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes.

The runner-up for favorite dish was the Baked French Toast.  I based this recipe off one I found on the internet but messed around with it so thoroughly that now I can properly call it my own! When you try it, add about a teaspoon of orange zest for something a little different.  If it sounds more like dessert to you, add dried currants and top with a warm sauce of maple syrup, heavy cream and Drambuie.

Baked French Toast with Cream Cheese

12 slices French bread, cubed
Two 8 ounce packages cream cheese (or lower fat cream cheese), cubed
12 eggs, beaten
2 cups whole milk
⅓ cup maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup pecans, chopped

Layer half of the bread cubes in a greased 9×13-inch casserole dish.

Scatter the cream cheese cubes over the bread, then add the other half of the bread cubes on top.

Combine eggs, milk, syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour over the casserole.Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, bring to room temperature, and sprinkle the nuts over the top of the casserole, lightly pressing them in with a spatula.

Bake 30 to 45 minutes in a 350°F oven. Drizzle more maple syrup over the top. Serves 12

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Breakfast | Leave a comment

In the Kitchen

In the Kitchen is a FREE class that costs you nada, zip, not a dime and totally without expense. It is offered to the community the first Thursday of each month (most of the time) first at 9am and then repeated at 1pm. Exact dates for each month are listed on the BSC Calendar Page with a link to the class details. No registration is taken for the classes and samples are offered along with a FREE handout of the dishes demonstrated. If you’ve missed the last billion years (well, maybe not quite that many years) of this FREE class, fear not…the FREE handouts are available to download in pdf document - download free Adobe Acrobat Reader pdf format and FREE to download at


Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking! | Leave a comment

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