Monthly Archives: June 2011

It’s National Fudge Day!

Fudge on PlateFUDGE! FUDGE! FUDGE! I LOVE FUDGE! If you don’t love fudge than this day and this blog is definitely not for you! But, how could you not like fudge?? So let’s talk a bit about fudge before I give you the best recipe ever to make it.

Did you know that fudge used to be made without chocolate? That’s right! It originated in the late 17th century with a candy called Scottish Tablet that has a hard consistency and made from sugar, butter and condensed milk. Fudge sure has come a long way since the 1600’s. Today, fudge is known for its chocolatey goodness and is the main ingredient in any fudge recipe that you gobble on. But you can also be quite creative with it too! Add walnuts, marshmallow, peanuts, peanut butter…. The list is endless!

On a recent trip to Columbus, Ohio we stopped at Schmidt’s Fudge Haus in the German Village. They’ve been making the most delicious confections this side of the Mississippi River since 1886. They were even recently featured on Travel Channel’s hit television show Man vs Food. We chose the Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (the last one on the shelf) and polished it off on the way home to Toledo. AMAZING!

Well, I can’t get you the secret recipe from Schmidt’s I’ve  tried this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge with Walnuts (my favorite) and was thoroughly impressed!


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cups chopped walnuts


1. In heavy saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, and cream of tartar. Add evaporated milk, light corn syrup, and margarine.

2. On medium high heat, cook and stir, scraping down sides of pan, until mixture boils.

3. Clip thermometer on pan. Reduce heat to medium.

4. Continue to cook until thermometer reads 238°F stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

5. Add vanilla and peanut butter.

6. Stir well. Fold in nuts. Pour into aluminum lined pan. Cool Thoroughly.

7. Cut into pieces.


Today is World Oceans Day!

world-ocean-dayWorld Ocean Day is an international day of ocean conservation. What does this have to do with recipes and the restaurant/food industry? For years over consumption of seafood and the pollution created in doing so has resulted in detrimental effects to ocean’s across the world. According to the United Nations,

Indeed, human activities are taking a terrible toll on the world’s oceans and seas. Vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as corals, and important fisheries are being damaged by over-exploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing practices, invasive alien species and marine pollution, especially from land-based sources.”

As chefs, restaurateurs, and food critics have a great responsibility to ensure that the seafood that we are serving, dining on, and promoting is among what is considered “sustainable.” The leading group in seafood sustainability, Monterey Bay Aquarium  has created a guideline of how restaurants can help in this effort. For example, instead of preparing Brazilian Spiny Lobster, selects a lobster from Baja Mexico, Florida and California. Halibut and Tilapia are excellent substitutes for Orange Roughy. For a complete list, click here. Also before you head out, check your consumer guides for your area to see all your sustainable options. You can also download the Monterey Bay Aquarium app for your mobile device which offers great tips, advice, and sustainable alternatives when you’re shopping for seafood.

Many Chefs like Mario Batali have also embraced the sustainable fish mantra.

Squid Stuffed with Herbed Bread Crumbs (by Mario Batali serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a first course)


  • 1 1/2 pounds large cleaned squid
  • 4 slices country-style white bread, crusts trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped drained oil-packed sundried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
  1. Separate the squid bodies and tentacles and refrigerate the tentacles. Place the bodies in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover partially, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place the bread in a Robot Coupe Vertical Chute Food Processor and process until medium-fine crumbs form. Heat a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup breadcrumbs and cook until crisp and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sundried tomatoes and garlic and sauté until the garlic starts to color, about 3 minutes. Add the toasted breadcrumbs and stir until well mixed. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Mix in the parsley, green onions and thyme. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine the plum tomatoes, chives and 3 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Drain the calamari bodies and cool slightly. Stuff with the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Preheat the Lava Rock Gas Charbroiler. Place the squid bodies and tentacles on a baking sheet or boiler pan. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until beginning to brown and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Divide the squid among 4 warmed plates. Spoon the tomato mixture over and serve immediately.

*A tip from Chef Batali: squid are fresh tasting and tender-crisp when grilled, sautéed or deep fried for no more than 3 minutes, or simmered for 45 minutes to an hour. Anything in between and it will be tough.

Small but mighty: Try this Lassies’ Doughnut Recipe

Salvation Army Girl with DonutsThe first Friday in June is always National Doughnut Day, a day to celebrate the fluffy and delicious treat! Unlike most national food holidays, National Doughnut Day actually can trace its origins back to 1938 as a salute to the women who served doughnuts to U.S. soldiers during World War I. The Salvation Army set up a fund raiser in Chicago to help the needy during the Great Depression, and to honor the Salvation Army “Lassies” of World War I, who served doughnuts to soldiers. The Salvation Army still holds this fundraiser to this day.

This is the original Salvation Army doughnut recipe that “Lassies” used to pass out on the front lines of battle!


Yield: 4 dozen doughnuts

5 C flour
2 C sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1 ‘saltspoon’ salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 C milk
1 T lard


  • Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
  • Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick. (When finding items to cut out doughnut circles, be creative! Salvation Army doughnut girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes.)
  • Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the doughnuts gradually. Turn the doughnuts slowly several times.
  • When browned, remove doughnuts and allow excess fat to drip off.
  • Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy.

Keep Cool with this Boston Iced Tea Recipe

June is quite the popular month when it comes to national food holiday’s. It’s National Candy Month, Dairy Month, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, Iced Tea Month, Papaya Month, Seafood Month, and Turkey-lover’s Month. Cold Glass of Boston Iced TeaToday, National Iced Tea Day, we’re celebrating National Iced Tea Month! Did you know that after water, tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world? In 2010, Americans consumed well over 65 billion servings of tea, or over 3 billion gallons.  Of that, approximately 85% of tea consumed in America is ICED.

June is a bit too hot to drink a steamy cup of hot tea, but add a couple of pieces of ice to it and you’ve got a thirst quenching low calorie beverage! For a bit of added flavor, throw in some sliced lemons, peaches, or berries.


  • 3 gallons water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 45 tea bags
  • 3 (12 fluid ounce) cans of frozen cranberry juice concentrate
  • Put water in a large stock pot, and heat on high until boiling.
  • Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add teabags and let steep until desired strength is acquired. Stir in cranberry juice concentrate, and allow to cool.
  • Serve in tall glasses with an long handled Iced Tea Spoon. (I like to stir my Iced Tea regularly to keep the flavors mixed once the ice melts)
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