CHEW THIS! Dorothy’s Peach Delight

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Dorothy’s Peach Delight

Dorothy's Peach Delight

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, November 18th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Sharing recipes, cookbooks and memories with Judy!
Blaise Doubman

I love collecting old cookbooks and love even more hearing the history behind them. Some of my favorite cookbooks come from family and friends and have a rich passed history. I will admit that my cookbook collection has shrunk over the last several months because I decided I would only keep the cookbooks that I actually use or want to keep. I was not only running out of room but was having trouble finding the cookbooks that really mean something special to me. When I got a call from Judy Hayworth Stevens, a friend of mine, saying she wanted to gift me with some cookbooks I was over the moon! The collection was a collection of recipes from her family and they had a deep rich history that I loved exploring and hearing about. There were so many recipes that I had not seen before, cut and collected together so perfectly. Then, I ran across a cookbook that caught my breath and gave me cold chills. My mouth dropped open.

It was “Learn to Bake… You’ll love it!” An old pamphlet style cookbook with a pink cover and a cartoon arm holding up a yellow two layered cake with chocolate frosting. The reason I was so taken back by seeing this in Judy’s collection was that this very cookbook I had already had for over twenty years. It was the very first cookbook I had ever bought and still to this day really means a lot to me. I credit this cookbook, along with my family history of being in the kitchen, that really got me interested in not only baking more but collecting recipes and cookbooks. I had not seen this cookbook since the day I bought it, twenty something years prior, until that very moment. I immediately let Judy know my story and how odd that ended up. Perhaps all along I was meant to have the collection and this cookbook was proof? Regardless, I am so very happy and thankful that Judy thought of me in gifting this special collection. Sorting through I found several delicious recipes I wanted to try from Judy, her Mom Ruth and even from her Grandma Dorothy. The peach dessert recipe I am sharing here today comes from Judy’s Grandma Dorothy. Handwritten and spectacularly old-fashioned. Perfect for the Holidays!

Dorothy’s Peach Delight

This old-fashioned peach dessert would be perfect for the upcoming Holidays and is made ahead, so stress free all the way around! Chill this layered wonder in the refrigerator for up to 3 days! Substitute the peach for your favorite, or seasonal, fruit and you will have a dessert that everyone will be talking about!

MADE IN FOUR LAYERS

First layer
Line 9×13-inch pan with a mixture of one sleeve crushed large graham crackers, 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar and 4 tablespoons soft butter. Pat down evenly with clean hands.

Second layer
Mix 6 oz soft cream cheese with 1 cup confectioner’s sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Mixture will be a little runny, which is perfectly desirable and normal. Spread this mixture on top of first. Place into the refrigerator while you make the next layer.

Third layer
Whip one package of Dream Whip and spread on top of the cream cheese mixture to create your third layer. Frozen whipped topping can be used in this step to substitute the Dream Whip. Place into the refrigerator while you make the final layer.

Fourth layer
In a medium sized saucepan cook 1 cup water, 1 cup white granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons corn starch over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Sprinkle fresh cut peaches over the top, distributing evenly. Finally, pour over the cooled glaze. Wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to serve. Keep and stored chilled.

Ask and Answer: Several people wrote to me after my previous column and wondered if the dough for Carol’s oatmeal scotchies could be frozen. Yes! Make the dough and roll the dough into balls. Place the balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and place in freezer for 4 hours. Remove and place dough balls in a freezer plastic storage bag. Keep in freezer for up to 6 months! When you are ready to bake cookies, simply remove desired number of dough balls from the freezer and bake in the oven, adding a couple of extra minutes baking time. Enjoy!

CHEW THIS! Carol J Prosser’s Oatmeal Scotchies

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Carol J Prosser’s Oatmeal Scotchies

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, November 4th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Carol J Prosser’s Favorite Ever Cookies!
Blaise Doubman

When my “Blaise the Baker” social media accounts were hacked several weeks ago, the thing I missed most about being online was the special friendships I had forged over the course of many years. I am slowly getting all my family, friends and fans back on my new accounts and sharing with everyone my new website, “TRAIL BLAISE”. The several weeks I was without social media really got me thinking about some of the friendships I had forged without social media and immediately I thought about one of my best friends, Carol J Prosser. I think I have known Carol since I was born. Growing up she was always “The Good’s Candies Lady” because she was always up at the candy store in Kennard. Carol has worked for “Good’s Candies” for years and years and it just would not be the same up there without her! She IS “Good’s Candies”! Her friendly, smiling face is always there to greet you, along with the comforting smell of warm chocolate, as soon as you enter the front door. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious.

As I grew up and started seeing Carol more and more outside of the candy store, she really became a close friend. Whenever I see her I know that she will have some type of advice for me, a funny story to share or a kind word to mention. She has been best friends with my Grandma Barbra for years and years, way before I was born. My whole family knows and loves Carol and Carol knows and loves my whole family. I actually feel like, in a way, we ARE a family together. Carol and her daughters and their families are some of the sweetest people you will ever get to know. When Grandma Barbra was at Glen Oaks for a few months a couple of years ago, Carol would always go and visit, and I would always be there to laugh and talk right along with her. During the course of our friendship I have discovered her love of life, her strong faith, her strong and fighting spirit, love for friends and family, thoughtfulness and among many other wonderfully special qualities, her love for oatmeal scotchies. Every once in awhile she will ask me to stir up a batch and I happily hit the kitchen smiling. I am dedicating this special oatmeal scotchies recipe to a woman just as special, my friend Carol J Prosser. Love you Carol!

Carol J Prosser’s Oatmeal Scotchies

This recipe really is best made ahead. Stir up the cookie dough, cover and place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 12 hours, overnight is even better. The flavors have time to get to know each other and the cookie is so much more flavorful and actually structurally different that cookies made with fresh dough. These are delicious!

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
¾ cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 ¼ cups white all-purpose flour
11 oz butterscotch chips

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter with the packed light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the large eggs, pure vanilla extract and orange zest.

Add in the baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon and stir to combine.

Beat in the quick cooking oats before folding in the white all-purpose flour.

Fold in the butterscotch chips.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 12 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place tablespoon size balls of dough, about 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

Ask and Answer: Within the past couple of months I have been getting questions about how to make your own self-rising flour. What you do is combine 1 cup white all-purpose flour with 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk together until combined.

CHEW THIS! Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

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Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 21st 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Chicken Nuggets are Dressed to Please!
Blaise Doubman

I love chicken nuggets and remember when I was about 12 years old winning a contest to see how many chicken nuggets I could eat! How many did I eat? I will not write about it here because I simply do not want to scare you but let me just say I ate away the competition! Ha! As I grew up and discovered what fast food chicken nuggets really were, not that edible, I decided to see if I could make my own! How hard could it be!? I tried using several cuts of chicken and types of chicken meat and decided that chicken breast was the easiest and tastiest.

When it came to the breading I tried several different “crumb” mixtures but decided I liked the simplicity and taste of the buttery RITZ cracker. When you start adding chicken seasoning, garlic, rosemary and additional kinds of peppers it really takes away from the flavors of the meat. I wanted something that reminded me of my childhood but was updated and at the same time very easy to prepare. Chicken breast, cut with kitchen shears instead of a knife, keeps the work clean and easier. I also prefer the taste of melted butter as a dredging instead of egg because after all, who doesn’t like butter? I really believe these may be the best chicken nuggets I have ever had and the homemade honey mustard dipping sauce that I share below really takes them over the top! Highly recommend that you try these!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

You can replace the RITZ crackers in this recipe with regular saltine crackers, but I must warn you that the color and taste will be different. The nuggets will not be as golden, and the taste will not be as buttery. This is the perfect recipe for chicken to get into the kitchen and help! Just be careful and watchful of the sharp kitchen shears.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed fine

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut the chicken breasts into large bite-size pieces. I find that using sharp kitchen shears is the easiest method. Place the bite-size pieces into a bowl.

In a large bowl, pour in the melted butter. Stir in the salt and black pepper.

In another large bowl, pour in the finely crushed Ritz cracker crumbs.

Take a handful of the chicken pieces and dip them into the melted butter mixture. Be sure to coat the chicken well. Shake off the excess butter and place into the crushed RITZ crackers. Be sure the chicken is well coated in this mixture too, followed by shaking off the excess here as well. Place the now coated chicken bites onto the prepared baking sheet.

Continue to do this until all the chicken is coated and on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.

Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve alongside the honey mustard dipping sauce.

To make the honey mustard dipping sauce simply whisk together ¼ cup honey with ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and a pinch of black pepper. If you would like more sauce than what is prepared, this recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Ask and Answer: A lot of local people write to me and wonder what my favorite pizza place is in the area. I love pizza and hate to single any one pizza place out, but I would have to say the “Royal Feast” at Pizza King is hard to beat! I also really enjoy Mancino’s and 1000 Degree Pizza as well. I have fond childhood memories of Pizza King so that also plays into my enjoyment.

CHEW THIS! Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs

Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 7th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

TRAIL “blazing” onto a new and different website…
Blaise Doubman

Loyal readers, I am thrilled to announce that my social media problems are over! Now, someone run and knock wood for me! Ha! Seriously though, I am hoping that the problems I had in the past with my accounts being hacked are far behind me. I basically had to completely start over all of my social media accounts, change my phone number, change my email and transfer five years’ worth of work and recipes over to a new website. Talk about stressful! It was a challenging time, not to mention emotional but I did learn some lessons along the way. So, if you would like to follow my new website, called TRAIL BLAISE, please do so at http://trailblaise.com Also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all under the username: btrailblaise As always, I thank you for your continued dedication and support.

When I was thinking up a name, I said a silent prayer and told myself that whatever would come into my mind I would use. I had about forty minutes to decide on something, so it had to be fast. I closed my eyes, opened them and typed out “TRAIL BLAISE”. I knew this was it! I looked online to make sure it was not copywritten, it was not, and I immediately registered and bought the name. Some people may wonder where “Blaise the Baker” went and I always tell them that there will always be “Blaise the Baker”! There will always be “Blaise the Baker” cookbooks and recipes. For some people I will always be “Blaise the Baker” and that is fine! I am just no longer using the name in my social media life, but it will always be a part of me, partially because I have bought and owned the name since 2014! Ha!

My new website “TRAIL BLAISE” will combine all my worlds. “Blaise the Baker”, “CHEW THIS!”, along with many other new and exciting things! Speaking of new and exciting things let me tell you about my newest recipe! Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs are fabulously easy and extremely scrumptious! With only four ingredients, not counting salt and pepper, you are on your way to a healthy and delicious meal that the whole family will love! Try it tonight!

Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs

This dish needs to marinate for at least an hour but no longer than 6 hours. You can substitute the chicken legs for chicken thighs if you wish but be sure to adjust the cooking time. Do not worry about the lemon seeds falling into the marinate, they will slide right off the chicken when you move it from the dish to the baking sheet. This recipe can also be made using oranges in place of lemon for my recipe for “Orange and Garlic Baked Chicken Legs”.

13-16 chicken legs
6 lemons, cut in half
½ cup pure olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Place the chicken legs into a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Squeeze the prepared lemons all over the chicken, not worrying about the seeds and placing in the lemon rind in between the chicken legs.

Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with the minced garlic.

Sprinkle on the salt and black pepper. Remember, we are using a lot of salt and black pepper because this is a lot of meat to season. Be sure to season generously.

Using clean hands, move, roll and rub the chicken legs so that all of the meat gets covered by the marinate. Press everything down, arrange the lemon wedges between the chicken legs and cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Place into the refrigerator for at least an hour but no longer than 6 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove the chicken legs from the marinate and place on baking sheet. Place into preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. I prefer these a little overbaked, it does something I like to the skin, so feel free to bake an additional 10-15 minutes longer than you may think you need.

Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be kept, covered and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This is delicious served cold as well.

Ask and Answer: I heard from a few people who made my “Fluffernutter Fudge” and said they loved it but wanted to know more about the marshmallows and how they were supposed to be in the fudge. If you go back and read my column I clearly state that the marshmallows are not to be melted. They are to stay whole. Melting the marshmallows into the fudge will not only ruin the looks of the overall finished product but ruin the taste and texture as well. It is important that the marshmallows stay whole. The fudge can also easily be doubled.

CHEW THIS! Fluffernutter Fudge

CHEW THIS!

Fluffernutter Fudge

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 16th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Fluffernutter Fudge
Blaise Doubman

Well, as of writing this column, I have still yet to figure out my Facebook problems. I thought I had them figured out, but I was wrong. Once things get ironed out and I have a link to share with all of you, I will share it. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest all under the user name “blaisethebaker”. Moving on to talk about an edible update that I do have and can share; a new fudge recipe! I love fudge but hate messing with candy thermometers, boiling sugar and the complete mess and danger of it all. This recipe requires no extra candy equipment and can be made in less than 4 minutes! Seriously? Yes!

The Fluffernutter sandwich is popular across the US and I happen to love them! I highly recommend you try them fried, fabulous! Add a little sliced banana and you have a sandwich that Elvis himself would generously approve! I love making fudge and love the combination of peanut butter and marshmallow, so I decided to take a crack at the recipe I am sharing here today. The marshmallows really need to maintain their shape in this recipe and they will, so do not worry about cooling the microwaved mixture too much. The presentation of this fudge is fun too and people will go crazy for the taste! With only a handful of ingredients that you already have in your pantry, why not whip up some of this delicious fudge and have a Fluffernutter moment with me?

Fluffernutter Fudge

This fudge is best eaten the day it is made, which should not be hard to do!

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 bag (10 oz) peanut butter chips
1 bag (10 oz) miniature marshmallows
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Start by lining a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large microwave safe bowl add the melted butter together with the peanut butter chips and microwave on high 90 seconds until the peanut butter chips are melted. Stir together until both ingredients are smooth and combined.

Add in the pure vanilla extract and pinch of salt, stirring to combine.

Add in the marshmallows and stir gently until the marshmallows are all coated.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Place into the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours. Remove and lift the fudge out of the pan using the help of the aluminum foil.

Cut into small squares and serve. Leftovers should be kept chilled in the refrigerator.

Ask and Answer: I received a few emails about my last column for my “Comforting Banana Bread” so I thought I would answer those questions here. Yes, you can freeze the loaf. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil and place in freezer for up to 6 months. To thaw, simply remove from freezer and remove aluminum foil. Allow to come to room temperature by placing into the refrigerator or leaving on the counter in a cool place. You can also add walnuts, pecans, or even cashews to the mix. I would slightly toast the nuts first to “wake up” their flavors. This bread is also delicious served with strawberry jam for a unique flavor combination. Also feel free to take the thick slices and make a banana bread style french toast. Delicious!