CHEW THIS! Angela Kudlets’ Sheet Tray Shrimp

Angela Kudlets.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, October 5th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Angela Kudlets’ Sheet Tray Shrimp
Blaise Doubman

I am not for sure when exactly my friendship with Angela Kudlets started but I am so grateful that whatever happened to fall into place, fell into place. Immediately we started talking and it was like we were long lost family members! She is one of the sweetest, down to earth, talented individuals I have come across. She is multi-talented for sure because not only is she a self-taught home cook and chef, she is also a self-publishing businesswoman with her own cookbook, recipe developer, brand ambassador, social media expert, recipe tester and television personality! She has appeared on several television programs and podcasts across the Midwest and even did a few cooking demonstrations for audiences at Williams-Sonoma! What did she prepare? Flank steak fajitas that she prepared in her Gotham Steel Pro Series pans. Yes, she is also an ambassador for Gotham Steel, Naturiffic seasonings and Pampered Chef, more on that later. She has helped me in my online social media career more than I can say. She even helped get my “Blaise the Baker” Facebook fan page finally deleted after months and months of me having no access to my own page! Something that I did not think would ever happen! She has a booming website located at http://yournextgreatdish.com with several delicious recipes that she has shared with everyone and a social media presence that is not only fun but delicious and informative as well! Even recently she expanded her brand into partnering with “Pampered Chef” and encourages online parties where you can earn free products! Yes, I threw a party, yes it was fun and yes, I got a lot of free products! It was a blast! Ha!

I highly recommend you follow her online and check out her website, where she even sells scones in a variety of flavors, made to order and freshly shipped! I was honored to be a part of her debut cookbook, “The Everyday Cook’s Cookbook” in sharing my recipe for peanut butter pie and I have been wanting to share my friendship with Angela, with all of you for awhile now! Browsing her website lately, there is one recipe I keep coming back to and that is her sheet tray shrimp! It is so good, so healthy, so flavorful and so colorful! With her permission I decided that was the recipe I wanted to share here with all of you! It was also perfect timing because on my contact page, I have been finding more requests for seafood recipes, perfect! Try this recipe soon and as always, drop me a comment and let me know what you think! Shout out and special thanks to Angela Kudlets of “Your Next Great Dish” for the friendship and support over the years and thank you so much for the permission to share one of your fabulous recipes!

Angela Kudlets’ Sheet Tray Shrimp

This is a fabulously colorful dish that people will go crazy over! Substitute the shrimp for your favorite cut of chicken but be sure to adjust the bake time accordingly. I love the seasonings and freshness that this dish offers! The “Naturiffic” Gourmet Salt can be purchased online by visiting, http://www.naturiffic.com

1/2-pound jumbo shrimp, shelled & deveined
1/4 small red bell pepper
1/4 small yellow bell pepper
1/4 small orange bell pepper
1/8 small green bell pepper
1/4 purple onion
1 large navel orange
2 bunch asparagus, trimmed
4 bulbs garlic, fresh
1 medium lime
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
“Naturiffic” brand Gingery Orange Gourmet Salt

Slice orange and lime into thick wheels.

On a 1/4 sheet tray, arrange the orange slices, lime slices, asparagus, peppers, and onions in a single layer.

Place shrimp on top of vegetables.

Sprinkle with desired amount of Naturiffic seasoning.

Place garlic in each corner of the sheet Tray.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes until shrimp is no longer translucent and the vegetables are fork tender.

Remove garlic, orange and lime slices and discard.

Ask and Answer: Several of you have written in about “Mona Brown’s Grand Champion Jade Express Chicken with Rice” and wondered if the recipe could be made ahead and then frozen. There shouldn’t be a problem with this but be sure to adjust the baking time by about 10 minutes. Several of you also wanted to know if the recipe could be tweaked by substituting the white rice for brown or a cauliflower version. Absolutely! Make according to your tastes!

Advertisements

CHEW THIS! Mona Brown’s Grand Champion Jade Express Chicken with Rice

Mona Brown and Inga Neal

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, September 21st 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Mona Brown’s Grand Champion Jade Express Chicken with Rice
Blaise Doubman

My friend Inga Neal, of “Temptations” fame, was kind enough to share with me her Mom’s famous recipe for zucchini bread that I shared with everyone in my last column. At the end of that column, I spilled a secret that Inga had also shared with me another recipe from her Mom, a dish that won Grand Champion in a contest through “The Courier-Times” years ago. The dish is for a chicken and vegetable dish, served with rice and sprinkled with cashews and let me tell you, it is absolutely fabulous and delicious! When sharing these recipes with me Inga shared that her Mom, Mona Brown, had owned and operated “Mona’s Little Shoppe” from 1970-1981. Inga worked at the shop with her Mom and the shop was a craft shop where tons of memories and conversations took place. Inga also shared that her and her Mom used to pick strawberries and black raspberries every year and they enjoyed making jams and jellies. I love hearing stories and memories that are food related and that can be passed down to other generations. Getting to know Inga and hearing about some of her history and passion for food, there is no doubt in my mind as to why she is so successful. Everything she does is out of passion and love.

When sharing this recipe with me, Inga also sent me the original published article. In the article Mona Brown talks about her love for cooking, especially cooking for crowds. This made me smile and think of Inga and not only her successful restaurant but her successful catering business. The article goes on to say that sometimes Mona substitutes the chicken in this recipe for beef and that as a time saver, she recommends chopping and preparing everything in advance before starting the recipe, as well as freezing the dish for a later time. The article concludes that she had plans of writing a “family cookbook”, joking that now since this recipe for chicken with rice had won, there would need to be an additional page added to the book. What I would like to know, is more about this “family cookbook” and where I could purchase one! Ha! In all seriousness though, I would like to thank Inga Neal for sharing her family memories and recipes with me, as well as a thank you to her Mom, Mona Brown. Mona is no longer with us, but I really believe she is smiling down at Inga and her family and is so proud of everything she has accomplished. Inga’s restaurant, Temptations”, is located at 2001 South Memorial Drive, New Castle and is open from 11-2, Monday through Friday.

Mona Brown’s Grand Champion Jade Express Chicken with Rice

This dish can be made ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and frozen. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven.

4 large chicken breasts
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup cashews
3 tablespoons salad oil
3 cups celery, sliced
1 large green pepper, chunked
13 ½ oz canned pineapple tidbits, drained, save juice
½ cup cooking sherry
1 cup natural soy sauce
½ teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons corn starch
Prepared cooked rice, enough for 4-6 servings

Start by boning and skinning the chicken breasts. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. Cut each breast into ½-inch chunks.

In a large skillet or Wok, sauté the mushrooms in oil until brown.

Stir in the celery, green peppers and chicken. Cook this until chicken is cooked through and tender and then add the pineapple juice, cooking sherry, natural soy sauce, garlic salt and corn starch. Stir this mixture constantly until the mixture becomes thickened.

Fold in the pineapple and green onions. May be simmered 20-30 minutes.

Serve this over the rice and cover with cashews.

Ask and Answer: Several of you have written in about “Mona Brown’s Famous Zucchini Bread” and wondered if the recipe could be doubled or tripled and wondered if the bread could be frozen. Yes! The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled and when freezing the bread be sure to wrap first in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil. The bread will keep frozen for 6 months.

CHEW THIS! Mona Brown’s Famous Zucchini Bread

Mona Brown Zucchini Bread.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, September 7th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Mona Brown’s Famous Zucchini Bread
Blaise Doubman

I have known Inga Neal, owner, mastermind, recipe developer, cook, baker and genius for a few years now, but have known her business, “Temptations” even longer. She is a wise woman and has given me great advice over the years. Every time I talk with her, it is like talking with an old friend. The people in New Castle and surrounding areas would have to agree about her fun and unique personality and would have to agree about it being a contributing factor as to why her restaurant and catering service are so successful. “Temptations” is located in New Castle at 2001 South Memorial Drive and is open Monday through Friday from 11-2. They have anything and everything under the sun, including but not limited to, chicken and dumplings, chicken and noodles, cube steak, bbq pulled pork, chicken fajita wrap, BLT and turkey club. They also offer salads such as taco salad, crispy chicken salad and their chicken salad plate. Homemade sides include, broccoli and cauliflower salad, pea salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, grape salad, potato salad and many more delicious offerings. And, we can not forget her famous “Sweet Shelf”, which offers everything from brownies and banana cake to cherry almond bars and butterscotch fudge! So, reading all of that, are you hungry yet!? Ha!

After getting acquainted with Inga, and sampling some of the most delicious potato soup and caramel corn that I have ever had, the conversation quickly turned to food and recipes. Inga told me that her mother, Mona Brown, had a recipe for zucchini bread. It was not just your typical zucchini bread recipe either; this one was “award winning”! Of course, I figured that the recipe would be top secret and I would never get my hands on it but to my surprise Inga shared it with me! She explained that the recipe was featured in “The Courier-Times” and earned her the title of “Reserve Champion” for “The Courier-Times’ 12th Annual Readers Recipe Review”! Inga was kind enough to not only send along the recipe but a photo of the original article that ran in the paper so many years ago! The article stated that the bread was a “spicy loaf with an unusual ingredient – a box of butterscotch pudding mix!” Inga has the original recipe hung up in her shop as a loving tribute and memory to her Mom. I tried the recipe immediately and I instantly fell in love! This bread is unlike anything I have ever had before and highly recommend you try it for yourselves! Inga said that her Mom, Mona, loved being known for this bread but also loved baking other delicious types of breads. Mona baked up until she was 90 years old! Now that is an inspirational woman! Inga also surprised me with her Mom’s “Grand Champion” recipe for her “Jade Express Chicken with Rice” which is also fabulous! But you will have to wait until my next installment for that recipe and the story behind it!

Mona Brown’s Famous Zucchini Bread

This bread can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to four days. If you would like to use walnuts and raisins in this bread, as the original article describes, add about ½ cup of walnuts and 1/3 cup of raisins. To bring out the walnuts flavor, slightly toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Inga has since added her spin to this original recipe by using cinnamon spice instant oatmeal, instead of the original flavor and by freezing the bread to give the flavors and textures a whole other flavor profile.

3 large eggs
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups shredded zucchini, slightly drained
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups white all-purpose flour
½ cup instant oatmeal
Small package instant butterscotch pudding mix

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large or two small loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl mix together the large eggs, white granulated sugar, vegetable oil, prepared zucchini and pure vanilla extract.

In another large bowl whisk together the baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, white all-purpose flour and instant oatmeal.

Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until mixed well.

Stir in the instant butterscotch pudding mix and pour batter into prepared pan / pans.

Bake, in preheated oven, one hour for large loaf pan, 30-45 minutes for small loaf pans.

Remove, allow to cool slightly before removing and continue to cool or serve warm.

Ask and Answer: I have had a few questions about my recipe for “Magical Chocolate Cake” and if you can make the frosting using different types of chocolate chips. Yes! Use dark chocolate, milk chocolate or even white chocolate chips! My favorite would have to be the semi-sweet variety though because I really think the flavors pair best with the chocolate cake.

CHEW THIS! Magical Chocolate Cake

The Cake Bake Shop.JPG

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, August 17th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A Magical Experience at The Cake Bake Shop
Blaise Doubman

If you have not been to one of The Cake Bake Shop locations, one in Broadripple and the newer one in Carmel, I highly recommend you make reservations and go! It is an experience like no other experience you can get anywhere in the United States! This is not just my opinion either because just recently USA Today voted The Cake Bake Shop as one of the most unique places in the United States as well as voted it one of the most popular Instagram worthy locations! I have known about The Cake Bake Shop from the minute the Broadripple location opened for business. Gwendolyn Rogers, mastermind, owner, creator, decorator, recipe developer and genius behind The Cake Bake Shop started a social media campaign that I followed closely. Skip ahead several months and I was standing in the creation that I watched her design! The Cake Bake Shop is unreal in the magic that fills every space. Before you even walk up to the door, you can smell the freshly baked cakes, pies and cookies. Seasonal flowers and twinkling lights welcome you inside and continue to welcome you throughout the restaurant. The décor, the menu and the color scheme all change each season and one season is just as fabulous as the others. Christmas time is an especially magical time to visit The Cake Bake Shop!

This past July 4th weekend, Gwendolyn announced that her new Carmel location was taking reservations. I logged on and the soonest I could get in was the end of July. I took it. Skip ahead several weeks and my family and I were walking though yet another Cake Bake Shop location that, dare I say, is even more magical than the first location in Broadripple! Their expanded menu is filled with Parisian inspired food, while their dessert bar is filled with their signature cakes, pies, cookies and brownies, all sprinkled with Gwendolyn’s famous glitter fairy dust. Also expanding in this location is their made fresh daily ice creams, candy counter and loads of fabulously designed products in their gift shop. My Mom, Darla, decided she wanted to celebrate my Aunt Myra’s latest personal achievements and take her and her daughter, Jacqueline with us on our adventure. It was a wonderful time and we were all in awe of Gwendolyn’s latest creation. Then what happened? We got to meet Gwendolyn in person! She was there, making sure things were running smoothly and took the time to talk with us and even have a picture taken. The first thing she said was that she had remembered me from our earlier conversations, that story is for another time, and said it was so glad to finally meet me in person! Then she said I was cute and even offered me a job. I was, and still am, so thankful and grateful for the experience. When developing the recipe for this column I knew that it had to be inspired by our magical adventure. This chocolate cake is unlike anything you have ever had before! So delicious and so much flavor. Not to mention easy! Try it and feel magical!

Magical Chocolate Cake with Dreamy Chocolate Frosting

This cake will keep for 2 days, wrapped tightly and kept chilled in the refrigerator.

For the cake…
1 package Devil’s Food cake mix
1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup warm water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for adornment
¼ cup chocolate syrup

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat together the Devil’s Food cake mix with the instant chocolate pudding mix, sour cream, lightly beaten large eggs, vegetable oil, warm water and pure vanilla extract. Beat for several minutes until the batter is light, smooth and glossy.

Pour the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bang lightly each cake pan on the counter to remove and air bubbles or pockets of air that might have developed when pouring.

Bake in preheated oven for 43 minutes. When baked, remove and allow to cool in their pans.

While the cakes cool, make the frosting by melting the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on high power until smooth and glossy, stirring every 30 seconds. Once melted and smooth, set aside to cool completely before finishing the frosting.

Once the melted chocolate has cooled, place the softened unsalted butter in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add a cup of the powdered sugar, beat, then add the remaining powdered sugar, beating until super smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes total.

Add in the pure vanilla extract and the cooled melted chocolate and beat for 3 more minutes until the frosting is light in color, smooth and slightly thicker than melted ice cream.

When ready to assemble the cake, flip out both cooled cakes. Place one cake down on your serving platter and take about 1/3 cup of the frosting and smear it all over the top of the cake. Sprinkle on a few chocolate chips, and drizzle with the chocolate syrup. Top that with the other cake and add all the frosting to the top of the cake, working down and frosting the sides as you go along, smoothing and frosting the cake.

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips all over the top and dust with powdered sugar.

Ask and Answer: Lots of you have been wondering if my recipes for cupcakes, muffins, coffeecakes, shortcakes, etc. can be made in smaller cupcake or muffin tins. The answer is, of course, yes! Bake at the same temperature as the recipe suggests but please be sure to adjust your baking time! A regular size cupcake that takes 24 minutes, when switched to a smaller cupcake pan, will only take about 9 minutes, depending on the size of the pan! So, my advice would be to keep the oven temperature the same but watch carefully the bake time!

CHEW THIS! Margaret’s Double Dessert Bars

Margaret’s Double Dessert Bars

Margaret Fowler and Blaise Doubman.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, August 3rd 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A Special Recipe Dedicated to Margaret Fowler
Blaise Doubman

I love developing recipes based around some of my favorite people and this is exactly what happened with this recipe and column. I have known Margaret Fowler for years! I first got acquainted with her when my Grandma Barbra was staying at Glen Oaks after some health problems, going on five years ago. I noticed a woman sitting in the dining area and she was always eating dessert. I knew immediately this was a woman after my own heart! Ha! After my first couple of encounters with her I knew that I wanted to start bringing her some of my homemade desserts. About five times a week I would bring fresh baked goods to the staff and residents at Glen Oaks and I made it a specific point to deliver things to Margaret first. We would talk and talk and overtime, talk some more. We really got to know each other, and it became the highlight of my day to go in and talk to Margaret. Skip ahead several years and we are still very good friends! After Grandma Barbra left the facility and my Grandma Deloris moved in, Margaret and I picked right back up from where we left each other.

Margaret is one of the sweetest, wisest and funniest people I have ever known. She loves visiting, talking, giving hugs and even playing with my little fur baby, Penny. My life has been enriched knowing not only Margaret, but her family as well. Her family is some of the sweetest and nicest people and it is my honor and privilege to be able to call them not just friends, but family as well. They give me advice; we talk and laugh, and they even help give me suggestions about Penny and what to do when it comes to some of her temper tantrums! Penny and her tantrums are a whole other column! Ha! My family and I love Margaret and her family and are so thankful to have them in our lives. We share so many memories and funny stories. Anyone reading may remember my earlier column dedicated to Margaret, where I shared my recipe for some of her favorite peanut butter cookies. Well, this recipe is for sure a sweet winner because it combines blondie brownies and chocolate brownies to make the perfect dessert! Shout out and special thanks to Margaret and her family for everything – I love you all!

Margaret’s Double Dessert Bars

These are best made ahead, left at room temperature to cool, then wrapped in aluminum foil and chilled over night in the refrigerator. Once ready to serve, let come to room temperature and cut. Serve leftovers at room temperature or chilled. For an even richer dessert, top each square with some vanilla bean ice cream.

For the blondies…
2 ¼ cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

For the brownies…
¾ cup white all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on both sides. Spray the aluminum foil with non-stick baking spray.

Start by making the blondies. In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, beat together the softened unsalted butter with the firmly packed light brown sugar. Slowly beat in each large egg. Beat in the pure vanilla extract.

Gently fold in the whisked flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add in the semi-sweet chocolate chunks. Take the batter and spread evenly, smoothing out the top, into the prepared pan. You may want to use clean, wet fingers to accomplish this.

Next, make the brownies. In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, salt and baking soda. In another large bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the pure vanilla extract. In a saucepan combine the unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and water. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Once at a boil, remove and pour over the semi-sweet chocolate chips and pure vanilla extract. Stir until the mixture is glossy.

Beat in the 2 large eggs, one at a time, and then gently fold in the whisked flour mixture.

Pour the brownie batter over the blondie batter and smooth out the top, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 37 minutes, being careful not to overbake.

Once baked, remove and allow to cool at room temperature before wrapping and chilling. Serve these at room temperature.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a few questions about if there is a difference between using large eggs, opposed to extra-large or even jumbo eggs. Yes! There is a huge difference! I always use large eggs in all my tested recipes. Different size eggs contain different amounts of liquid, therefore potentially throwing off the chemistry that is used behind a recipe. Always use whatever the recipe suggests. If the recipe doesn’t suggest a size, more than likely the recipe was written and developed using large size eggs.