+Anne Coleman

Saturday, February 06, 2016

King Cake

Mardi Gras wouldn't be the same without a King Cake. Not to be prepared or eaten
before January 6th, also known as Epiphany, Twelfth Night or Three Kings' Day, it's a
rich yeast dough most commonly filled with cream cheese, shaped into an oval ring and
topped with traditional Mardi Gras colors; purple for justice, green for faith and gold
for power. Whomever finds the baby or pecan half baked within is to be the host of the
next King Cake party.

King Cake
Hands-On Time:
Ready In:
Serves: 18 - 20


2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
8 ounces cream cheese - softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar - divided
1 plastic King Cake baby or a half a pecan
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
milk - as needed
Colored sugars in purple, green and gold or yellow


1. Combine milk, sugar and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low flame until just
warm - about 110 to 115 degrees F.
2. Mix yeast, 2 cups of the flour, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add warmed milk and
stir well. If using a stand mixer, beat for several minutes with a paddle attachment.
3. Add remaining flour, half a cup at a time, until dough starts to come together. Switch
to a dough hook and knead for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic and begins
to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If kneading by hand, this will take about 10
4. Remove bowl from mixer and add oil. Turn once to coat and cover loosely with a tea
towel or plastic wrap. Let rise until double in bulk, about 2 hours.
5. Make the filling; Combine cream cheese and 2 cups of powdered sugar. Add vanilla
extract and blend until smooth. Set aside.
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking oil.
7. Punch down dough and let stand for 10 minutes. Roll dough into a rectangle about 20
inches long and 8 inches wide.
8. Spread filling over half of the dough and add baby or pecan to dough surrounding
filling. Roll up from long side. Bring ends together and seal well. Set ring on prepared
baking sheet. Let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
9. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and
cool for 30 minutes.
10. Combine remaining 4 cups powdered sugar with lemon juice and enough milk to make of
spreading consistency. Spread over top of cake and sprinkle with sugars, alternating
colors all the way around the cake.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Super Bowl 50

This is, hands-down, one of my favorite times of year. Whether or not my team (The Pittsburgh Steelers) made it into the Bowl, I love to watch. Along with that watching comes eating and these recipes are tried, tested and heartily approved by my family.

Each recipes ties in to the Super Bowl in some way. The first three are for each team and the venue where Super Bowl 50 will be played this year. Now, this being the 50th Bowl I couldn't only share recipes for this year, I also whipped up a few for the very first Super Bowl, which was played between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs in Los Angeles on January 15, 1967.

So, here are 6 meat-rich recipes for the big day! Choose one, choose them all, whatever you do, don't miss this event!

For every single recipe here my research led me to one universal thing ... every area is fiercely loyal to their team AND their way of making food. That being said, these recipes are close to each regional specialty but won't please everyone. 

Colorado Style Chile Verde
Serves 8


4 cups shredded pork shoulder (see recipe for Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue)
1 large onion chopped
3 cups Hatch green chiles roasted, peeled, seeded and diced 
8 cups chicken stock
1 can roasted and peeled tomatillos - pureed
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro


1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, cook onion in oil until translucent.
2. Add pork, chiles, garlic and tomatillos. Stir well.
3. Add stock and seasonings. Simmer for 45 minutes until slightly thickened.
4. Serve with flour tortillas.

Carolinians are set in their ways when it comes to barbecue. This is based on Eastern style. I like the contrast of creamy slaw to the vinegar based sauce, but, don't forget about Red Slaw - you can find a recipe for that here: Lexington-Style Red Slaw.

Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue
Serves 8-12


1 pork shoulder 8-10 pounds
2 Tablespoons Kosher salt 
2 Tablespoons black pepper

For sauce:

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper, covering all sides. Place pork shoulder in a large roasting pan, fat side up. 
3. Roast for 4 hours, covering with aluminum foil.
4. Uncover and roast for another 30 minutes.
5. While pork is roasting combine sauce ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. When pork is cooled, pull into shreds or chop finely.
7. Pour sauce over pork and serve on hearty rolls topped with slaw.



1 small head of cabbage - chopped finely
2 large carrots - peeled and shredded
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon black pepper


1. Combine mayo, vinegar, sugar, celery salt and pepper. Blend well until sugar is dissolved.
2. Pour over cabbage and carrots and blend well. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

The San Francisco Bay area is well known for Mission Burritos and everyone has a favorite spot to get one. This is a basic recipe you can add to or subtract from as much as you want. Dial portion sizes up or down, just remember, you have to be able to wrap it!

Mission Style Burritos
Serves 2


2 burrito size flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup re-fried beans
1 cup diced cooked chicken breast flavored with your favorite fajita or taco seasoning
1 cup Spanish rice
4 Tablespoons pico de gallo
Sour Cream and Guacamole for serving


1. Warm tortillas on a hot pan or in the microwave.
2. Layer 1/2 of ingredients on one tortilla and the other 1/2 on the other tortilla.
3. Top with another sprinkling of cheese if desired. Wrap as shown. Serve with guacamole and sour cream.

There isn't a Packers tailgate that doesn't include beer brats. Preparation differs from person to person, but the basics are brats, beer and onions - a combination you'll love.

Beer Brats


2  - 12 ounce bottles of  lager (I used local Yuengling
2 large onions - sliced
12 of your favorite brats
12 good sausage rolls 


1. Cook onions in a large pot until soft, don't brown. 
2. Add beers and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add brats.
3. Cook brats for 7-8 minutes.
4. Transfer brats to a hot grill and cook for another 4-5 minutes until browning. 
5. Place back in beer and onion mixture until ready to serve. 

Nothing says California like fish tacos! These are lighter and not deep fried like most, but still every bit as delicious.

Fish Tacos with Slaw
Serves: 4


1 pound firm fish fillets such as tilapia
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
8 small flour tortillas
Lime wedges


1. Combine flour and seasonings and blend well.
2. Cut fish into strips and dredge in flour.
3. Cook in a hot skillet prepared with cooking spray until no longer translucent.
4. Serve on warmed tortillas topped with slaw, crema and a lime wedge.

Slaw for Fish Tacos
Serves 4


2 cups red cabbage slaw mix
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
juice from one lime
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 a fresh jalapeno - seeded and chopped fine


1. Combine all ingredients and blend well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Kansas City Ribs

Kansas City Ribs are smoky and sweet and tangy all at the same time. Don't skip the rub, it's what makes them so delicious!

Kansas City Ribs


Two 3-pound slabs of pork ribs

Dry Rub

2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt

2 cups of your favorite sweet barbecue sauce


1. Combine all dry rub ingredients and give your ribs a good massage with it. Cover them and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Grill Method:

If cooking on the grill, place the ribs meat-side down next to medium-hot coals that are about 225 degrees F. They will cook slower, making them more tender. Cook for 1 hour before turning. Turn every half hour after that, basting with sauce as you go. Cook for 3 to 4 hours total until very tender. 

Oven Method:

Heat oven t 350 degrees F. Place ribs in a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush well with barbecue sauce and tent with aluminum foil. Baste every 30 minutes and cook until very tender, about 3 hours total.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Chicken Fajita Tostadas and Pintos and Cheese Salad

Chicken Fajita Tostadas
Chicken Fajita Tostadas

The flavor of fajitas with the crunch of a taco combine in these tostadas. Pre-made tostada shells and pre-cooked chicken to make prep and clean-up easy.

Chicken Fajita Tostadas
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

8 tostada shells
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
1 cup refried beans
1 medium green pepper - thinly sliced
1 medium red onion - thinly sliced
1 packet (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix or 1/4 cup homemade*
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce, diced tomato, salsa, sour cream and guacamole for garnish - optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine taco seasoning, water and lime juice and stir well.
3. Pour half of the taco seasoning mixture over the shredded chicken and the other half over the pepper and onion.
4. Cook chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the sauce starts to thicken slightly - 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm. Add peppers and onions and cook until the sauce starts to thicken and veggies start to wilt - about 3-4 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
5. Lay tostada shells on an ungreased baking sheet.
6. Top each shell with 2 tablespoons refried beans, 1/4 cup shredded chicken, peppers and
onions and cheddar cheese to taste.
7. Bake until the cheese just starts to melt - about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with optional garnishes.

*Homemade Taco Seasoning:

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika (I like smoked)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (many use red pepper flakes, I really like the finer consistency of powdered cayenne)
Blend all and use in place of store bought taco seasoning.

Pintos and Cheese Salad
Pintos and Cheese Salad

Pinto beans and Monterey Jack come together with a bright and fresh cilantro lime

Pintos and Cheese Salad

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 10 minutes
Serves: 6-8


3 cups cooked and drained pinto beans
1 cup cooked corn kernels
1/2 cup diced red onion
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese - cut into small dice


1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic - minced
3 Tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a blender until cilantro is chopped fine and dressing is well mixed. Pour over salad and serve immediately.

Note: Do not add dressing until serving time as the acids in the dressing will cause the
cheese to break down and become mushy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Patty Melts

Classic Patty Melt
Classic Patty Melt

Patty melts are classic diner fare and my very favorite, to boot. The best I've had is at the Royal Diner in Washington, N.J. In fact, here's my review:

Straight out of 1940 with very few changes made, this diner is old-school awesome with terrific food. I just visited today and had the patty melt. I have a culinary diploma and write about food and this was the BEST patty melt I've ever had. The fries were fresh and crispy and the taste was clean (no old oil lying around at the Royal Diner!) I'd travel back from Bethlehem, Pa any day to get another.

My daughter had the California burger and was just as impressed. The staff was courteous and kind without any fake "fluff" going on. When I asked when the diner was built my server knew right away. If you're in or near Washington, NJ, the Royal Diner is worth checking out.
Classic patty melts are so simple to make and so yummy, you'll never have leftovers. Serve with chips or hand-cut fries, pickles and a cold root beer for a diner style meal at home.

Classic Patty Melt
Classic Patty Melt

Patty Melt

Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 sandwiches


1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 1/12 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon Kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 slices rye bread
8 slices American or Swiss cheese
butter for spreading


1. Mix ground beef with salt and pepper and form into 4 patties slightly larger than the bread you will be using. Set aside.
2. Cook onion in oil until well caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a large frying pan, cook burgers until desired doneness is achieved - usually 6-8 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
4. Stack patty melts together, bread, one slice of cheese, burger, another slice of cheese and 1/4 caramelized onions followed by another slice of bread.
5. Butter both sides of each sandwich and cook in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until cheese is melted and sandwiches are golden brown.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Easy Pizza Rolls

Easy Pizza Rolls

It's game day! Playoffs for Superbowl 50 are ON and I needed dinner and football munchies. Here's a kid-pleasing favorite that's also a game day winner and not too hard on the budget. Use store bought pizza dough to streamline prep, but make your own if you have time (see recipe below).

Easy Pizza Rolls

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8


2 loaves frozen bread dough or 2 pounds pizza dough - thawed
1/2 pound sliced ham
1/2 pound sliced hard salami
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup jarred or homemade marinara sauce


1. Roll each loaf of dough into a rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches.
2. Layer ham and salami down the center of each rolled loaf lengthwise.
3. Top meats with 1 cup shredded mozzarella per each roll.
4. Fold short ends of each loaf in about 1/2 inch and seal. Roll from the long sides and pinch well to seal the entire loaf. You should have 2 long rolls.
5. Bake, seam side down on a greased baking sheet in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Cut each roll into 8 slices and serve with marinara for dipping.

Easy Pizza Dough

1 package dry yeast (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
1 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees F)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1. Sprinkle yeast on water and let sit for 5 minutes in a large bowl.  When bubbly, add oil and salt and mix in about half the flour and beat until smooth. Add remaining flour and mix/knead until smooth and not sticky.
2. Let rest for approximately 5 minutes to allow dough to relax so it will stretch more easily.
3. Use as directed in your favorite recipe.