In the Kitchen with Big Monkey

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Mother Monkey's Pumpkin Bread

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

As the leaves begin to fall from the trees, I get nostalgic for the things that remind me of home.  This is my favorite time of the year, a time to reflect on all that has happened and to enjoy the fruits of the harvest.  As our home menu turns to comfort foods I am always drawn to my mother’s pumpkin bread.  I remember her baking these when I was little and they were always a sign that Autumn was fully on us and that the Christmas season was just around the corner.  Over the years she has adapted it some, to make things easier, but the flavor is the same, and to me this is what love tastes like.  So grab the ingredients and put this one together, your house will smell heavenly while it bakes and it is the perfect treat to enjoy sitting by the fire while the cold winds blow outside.  It is also a great way to start the day, just cut a slice, toast it slightly, add butter and enjoy.  I know I spent many a morning walking to the bus stop with a piece of this bread wrapped up in a napkin to keep me warm.

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San Francisco Fudge Foggies

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

sf-pano

If you overlook the unnecessarily innuendo infested title bestowed on these brownies and just bake them and eat them you will be in for a fabulous treat.  My pal Sally baked these for us last night and I was blown away.  One part walnut brownie, one part flourless chocolate cake, makes for six parts good.  (Imagine an existential discussion of the whole being greater than the sum of it’s parts here, if you like.)  Don’t just read this one, head out to the store, buy ingredients (it’s good for the economy anyway) and makes these knee-wobblingly good brownies for yourself, or share them with friends and amaze them with your culinary talents, and if you can think of a better name for these, let me know.

For the record, these are even better the second day, so make them a day early and test your ability to resist temptation.

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Lousiana Red Beans & Rice

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

The other night we had several friends over to the house to work on a secret project of little importance to national security.  It was suggested that full people = happy people, so we decided to provide some sustenance.  This was a great opportunity for the Laura I married and I to try the recipe that the Laura I did not marry gave us for real Louisiana Red Beans & Rice.  We know this is an authentic recipe ’cause the Laura I did not marry is from Thibodaux and is certified Cajun.  The Laura I married put this together and it was awesome, so I asked and received permission from the Laura I did not marry to post it here.  So if you are not too confused by all these Laura’s yet, give it a try.

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Captain Rodney's Cheese Bake

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I get asked for this recipe all the time, so in the interest of making my life easier, I figured I would post it here.  This is a great appetizer that is super simple to make.  It is perfect for entertaining at home or to carry along to hoiliday parties, etc.  You can make everything ahead of time and then heat it up just before your guests arrive, or if you have a long trip to your destination you can keep it in a cooler and heat it up after you arrive.  We also use this one for tailgating at football games, just prep it in an aluminum dish and heat it up on the grill.

CAPTAIN RODNEY’S CHEESE BAKE

1/2 cup mayonnaise
One 8 oz pack cream cheese
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 green onions (chopped)
6 Ritz crackers (crushed)
8 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1/2 cup of any Captain Rodney’s Glaze

Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar and onions in greased pie pan.  Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Top with bacon and any Captain Rodney’s Glaze.  Serve with crackers, I prefer Ritz.

Most folks use Captain Rodney’s Sweet & Spicy Glaze on this, but I am awful fond of his Sweet Garlic Grilling Glaze or the Lime Ginger glaze, it doesn’t matter though it is good with any of them.