Kentucky Derby Pie

This year of 2021, we reflect that all of the traditions of the past that we love have been interrupted by the Covid Virus in 2020.  This year we have the luxury of actually being able to celebrate the 147th running of the roses on time as it has been run for 146 years.  I feel the need to take pause and have the most genuine of gratitude that a horse race that has so much tradition, is returning to its rightful place and running on time.  May we all, whether we love the races or not, celebrate the “normality” that the May 1st Kentucky Derby brings us. May we all be winners and celebrate with gratitude all of the wonderful American traditions that we have come to depend on.  May you all be winners!  Enjoy this amazing Kentucky Derby Pie!

Serves:

8 – 10

Total Time:

85 minutes

To Make

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 unbaked, deep dish pie shell

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine sugar and flour.  Add melted butter, eggs and vanilla to flour and sugar.  Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips and pour into your favorite recipe of an unbaked pie shell.  Bake for 1 hour.  Cool and serve warm with dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

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Fruit Compote Inspired by Alice Waters

I recently joined Alice Waters Master Class.  I was so delighted to watch her passion and joy when just touching the beauty of what the earth provides.  She coined the term “farm to table” and everything she serves is in season and very, very earthy.  Her gratitude and appreciation for what grows, put a smile on my face while watching and occasionally a misty eye from the beauty of her sincere passion and care she took with each beautiful item she prepared.  Her food is simple, each item comes from the ground, each herb specially cared for as it goes into the dish.  This fruit compote originated with her and I have adapted it to the season.  Enjoy!

Serves:

6-8

Total Time:

30 minutes

To Make

Ingredients:

    • 1 Red pear
    • 1 Anjou pear
    • 1 Bosc pear
    • 1 Honey Crisp Apple
    • 1 Granny Smith Apple
    • 1 pint raspberries
    • 1 handful mint
    • 3 Tbs. Jam or marmalade of your choice (room temperature)
    • 2 Navel oranges juiced

               

              Directions:

              Gradually add the fresh squeezed orange juice to the jam whisking as you go.  Be careful not to add too much juice at one time or the jam will become lumpy.

              Slice all of the fruit in thin wedges about ¼ inch thick and then slice about half of those wedges in half so you have varying sizes in the bowl. 

              Mince the mint for sprinkling on top of the compote.

              Drizzle the orange juice/jam mixture over the top of the compote and toss.  Sprinkle with the mint and serve.

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              Pumpkin Mousse

              I love Thanksgiving!  It is simply my most favorite holiday of the year.  When I was a very young child, I always remember my grandmother’s family traveling to Las Vegas from Los Angeles to be with us for Thanksgiving.  I loved everyone “Gathering” together in the kitchen each family member making their most prized dish for the holiday table.  I remember eating things on Thanksgiving that we never ate any other time of year.  Like stuffing, Apple Streusel, Kishke, (don’t ask) and homemade cranberry sauce!  I used to look forward to this holiday because of the people who we only could share love with once a year, and the foods that brought us all together.  

              I always want to re-create that love every year for myself and my family who were not even on the planet when I began to experience this kind of love in the kitchen.   This recipe is by Ina Garten.  I have tried many times to change this mousse to make it my own, but nothing can re-create the magic that Ina has put into this recipe.  Any one ingredient put in or left out would be noticed and change the perfection of her creation.  This is the most amazing dessert to put into Tiger Pumpkins and it can be done many hours before dinner.  Enjoy!

              To Roast the Pumpkins

              Serves:

              6 – 8

              Total Time:

              30 minutes

              Ingredients:

              • Miniature Tiger Pumpkins (one for each one of your guests)

              • Organic coconut oil spray

               

              Directions:

              Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

              Cut off the tops of the pumpkins.

              With a grapefruit or serrated spoon, scrape out the meat and seeds, being careful not to scrape the bottom too thinly.

              Once hollowed out, spray the inside of the pumpkin with the organic coconut oil spray.

              Sprinkle with salt.

              Wipe the outside of the pumpkins with a paper towel to remove the extra oil so they do not char in the oven.

              Place upside down on a cookie sheet lined with a cooking rack and bake with the tops off but also in the oven for 15 minutes. Watching closely to be sure they do not crack or split. You will know they are done when they no longer smell raw and have a sweet pumpkin aroma to them.

               

              To Make the Pumpkin Mousse

              Serves:

              8 – 10

              Total Time:

              2 hours 45 mins

              Ingredients:

              • 1 cup half-and-half
              • 1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree
              • 2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
              • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
              • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
              • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
              • 6 extra-large egg yolks
              • 2 packages (4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
              • 2 ripe bananas, finely mashed
              • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus more for garnish, optional

              Topping:

              • 2 cups cold heavy cream
              • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
              • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

               

              Directions:

              Heat the half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until hot, about 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks in another bowl, stir some of the hot pumpkin into the egg yolks to heat them, then pour the egg-pumpkin mixture back into the double boiler and stir well. Heat the mixture over the simmering water for another 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly. You don’t want the eggs to scramble. Remove from the heat.

               Add the banana, and orange zest to the pumpkin mixture and mix well.  

              Dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water. Add the dissolved gelatin, Set aside to cool.

              For the decoration: Whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Fold half the whipped cream into the cooled pumpkin mixture.

              Pour the mousse into each individual Tiger Pumpkin and pipe or spoon the remaining whipped cream decoratively on the mousse and sprinkle, if desired, with orange zest. Serve chilled. Enjoy!

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              When I was about 10 years old my Aunt Irene began to invite us to her home along with other family and friends for all of the Jewish holidays. Each holiday she served this amazing Berry Trifle. What we loved about her trifle as kids is that she used those amazing Nilla Vanilla Wafer cookies to layer the trifle. That just got us all excited and made us laugh. We could hardly wait to dive in. At 10 years old, I hated sweets and never ate them. But this one, I loved! Maybe because she made it with love and I could taste it. This recipe uses either pound cake or vanilla wafers, which ever strikes your fancy. Enjoy!

              TIP: It’s best to serve this beautiful dessert in a large Trifle bowl. This is a clear, glass bowl on a pedestal that allows the lovely layered dish to show through the glass. It is also known as a pedestal bowl or glass footed bowl.

              Serves:

              8 – 10

              Total Time:

              2 hours

              For the Grand Marnier Cream

              Ingredients:

              • 3 C. whole milk

              • 10 large egg yolks (at room temperature)

              • 1 C. sugar

              • 4 Tbsp. sifted corn starch

              • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

              • 2 tsp. Grand Marnier liqueur

              • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

              • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream

               

              Directions:

              First, make the Grand Marnier Cream.

              Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a strong steaming simmer just before the boiling point. Remove from the heat.

              Beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until eggs are pale and thick. About 3 to 5 minutes depending on the mixer.

              With the mixer on low, sprinkle on the cornstarch. Beat on medium speed until combined, scraping down the bowl as you go with a rubber spatula.

              Very slowly, pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while mixing on low speed and then pour the entire mixture back into the pan.

              With extreme patience cook over low heat, stirring continually until the mixture thickens about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not take your eye off of it. When it begins to thicken it goes very quickly and will become scrambled eggs unless you continue to stir and remove it from the heat.

              Immediately pour the mixture through a fine sieve over a large bowl. Use a spatula to scrape and help the custard ease through the sieve into the bowl.

              Stir in the vanilla, Grand Marnier, butter and heavy cream and place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.

              For the Trifle

              Ingredients:

              • 2 frozen pound cakes or 1 ½ boxes Nilla Vanilla Wafers

              • 1 C. seedless raspberry jam

              • ½ C. Grand Marnier liqueur

              • 1 pint fresh raspberries

              • 1 pint fresh strawberries

               

              Directions:
              Next, make the Trifle.

              Cut the pound cake into ¾ inch slices.

              Sprinkle each slice with Grand Marnier liqueur and spread raspberry jam over one side.

              Place a layer of cake jam side up (or a layer of Vanilla wafers spread with jam on top) on the bottom cutting or breaking the pieces to fit.

              Top with a layer of combined berries and then the Grand Marnier cream on top. (Save some raspberries to decorate the top of the trifle.)

              Repeat the layers adding three or more layers depending on your bowl size. End your last layer with cake or wafers covering the top, jam side down.

              For the Topping

              Ingredients:

              • 1 C. cold heavy cream

              • 2 Tbsp. sugar

              • ½ tsp. pure vanilla bean paste

               

              Directions:

              Finally, make the Topping.

              Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment for about three minutes on high until it begins to thicken.

              When it thickens slowly add the sugar and vanilla paste, and continue to whip until it forms soft peaks.

              Decorate the top of the trifle with the whip cream in two concentric circles on the outside edge and in the middle. Top with the remaining fresh raspberries.

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              My sister and I are nine years apart. We are almost complete opposites in so many ways, and yet we dearly love each other as most sisters do. I love to cook but have never liked baking. Of course, she hates cooking but loves to bake. She found this recipe and shared it with me. We always have loved it and kiddingly always say, “This is the ‘BESTEST’ Carrot Cake anywhere.” Hope you like it as much as we all do.

              Serves:

              8 – 10

              Total Time:

              90 minutes

              For the Cake

              Ingredients:

              • 2 C. flour

              • 2 C. sugar

              • 3 C. grated carrots

              • 4 eggs (room temperature)

              • 1 ½ C. sunflower oil

              • 8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)

              • 1 tsp. Kosher salt

              • 2 tsp. baking soda

              • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

              • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans

               

              Directions:

              Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

              Combine the flour, sugar and carrots in the mixer on low speed.

              Add the eggs, oil, cream cheese and mix on medium for one minute.

              Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on medium for another minute.

              Pour into two 8-inch cake pans and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

              Cool on a rack out of the pan.

              For the Frosting

              Ingredients:

              • 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

              • 1 stick butter (room temperature)

              • 1lb. box powdered sugar

              • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

               

              Directions:

              Cream thoroughly the cream cheese and butter.

              Sift and slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix well and then add the vanilla.

              If the Frosting is too thick for your taste you can thin it by adding milk one Tbsp. at a time.

              When cakes have cooled ,place the first layer top side down on the platter. Smooth frosting on the flat side facing up thoroughly.

              Place the second layer flat side down on the frosting. Layer the top and the sides if you wish.

              Decorate with grated carrots on top and some crumbled candied ginger.

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              I never baked at all until I was in college. During my senior year I had a roommate who loved to cook. It seems like every Sunday morning I would wake up to the smell of fresh banana bread baking. This always welcomed our roommates out of bed to gather in the kitchen and discuss the previous night. Just smelling this banana bread brings back such “sweet” memories.

              This recipe was written on a note card that I still have more than 47 years later. Complete each slice with a spread of room temperature butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top. Enjoy. 

              Serves:

              6 – 8

              Total Time:

              1 hours 15 minutes

              To Prepare

              Ingredients:

              • ⅔ C. brown sugar

              • ⅓ C. sunflower oil

              • 2 eggs (room temperature)

              • 3 Tbsp. buttermilk

              • 1 C. banana mashed (about three bananas)

              • 2 C. flour

              • 1 tsp. baking powder

              • ½ tsp. baking soda

              • ½ tsp. salt

               

              Directions:

              Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

              In a glass bowl, combine the first four ingredients until well mixed.

              Add the bananas.

              Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

              Fold in the dry ingredients until mixed well.

              Grease a loaf pan and pour the ingredients into the pan.

              Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a pick comes out clean.

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              You gotta love this one! During the disco era, a Harvey Wallbanger drink was the rage in all the discotheques. Everyone was “definitely cool” if they were spotted drinking one. Then someone ingeniously came up with a cake recipe. It is totally retro, and I serve it when everyone has become bored with my other cakes and then it’s the rage all over again. Everyone loves it. It is true, everything that is old is new again if you wait long enough. I think you will love this as well. Enjoy!

              Serves:

              8 – 10 

              Total Time:

              1.5 Hours

              For the Cake

               Ingredients:

              • 1 package Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix Or 1 package Duncan Hines Butter Golden cake mix if you can’t find the orange cake.

              • 1 small package instant vanilla pudding

              • 4 eggs (room temperature)

              • ½ C. oil (sunflower preferred)

              • ¾ C. fresh squeezed orange juice

              • 2 Tbsp. orange zest

              • 2 Tbsp. vodka

              • 3 oz. Galliano liqueur

              • 1 package candied orange slices   Tip: Find these at Trader Joe’s

              Directions:

              Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

              In a mixer, combine the cake mix and pudding on low speed for about 30 seconds.

              Increase to medium speed and add the eggs, oil, orange juice, orange zest, vodka, and Galliano. Mix for about 1.5 minutes until well combined.

              Grease a Bundt cake pan and pour the batter into the molded pan.

              Bake for 55 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before turning over onto a cake plate.

               

              For the Poke Soak

               Ingredients:

               

              • ½ stick sweet butter softened

              • ½ C. fresh squeezed orange juice

              • 1 C. sugar

              • 1 ½ Tbsp. vodka

              • 1 ½ Tbs. Galliano liqueur

                Directions:

                Melt the butter and add the orange juice, sugar, vodka and Galliano.

                Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.

                Take a wooden skewer (or any other skewer you have) and poke holes along the top of the cake about every ½ to 1 inch.

                Pour the poke soak over the top of the cake slowly and allow it to find its way through the holes in the cake. Let the cake sit for about 15 minutes.

                For Wallbanger Glaze

                Ingredients:

                 

                • 1 C. sifted powdered sugar

                • 1 Tbsp. orange juice freshly squeezed

                • 1 Tbsp. Galliano liqueur

                • 1 tsp. vodka

                Directions:

                Combine the powder sugar, orange juice, Galliano and Vodka in a bowl with a wire whisk.

                Drizzle generously over the top of the cake and let come down the sides into the center and to the front of the cake.

                For the Caramel Glass

                Ingredients:

                • ½ C. granulated sugar

                • 3 Tbsp. Galliano liqueu

                 

                Directions:

                Line a baking sheet with a food-grade silicone liner (Silpat).

                Place the granulated sugar and Galliano in a small saucepan and cook, without stirring or shaking the pan until the mixture rolls in a simmer to a deep amber color. This will take about 5 to 7 minutes.

                Pour the caramel on to the silicone mat and allow to cool to room temperature.

                Tip: I highly recommend using a Silpat as it is easier to roll the glass off the surface and break into chards. Never any sticking. Also, and let me be clear, never never touch the caramel glass until it is cooled or you will have pain like never before as it takes off your top layer of skin. (I speak from experience)

                Once cooled, break into shards and decorate the top of the cake, along with thin candied dried orange slices.

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