Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Shared on Facebook by "God-des & She" -
Eau Gallie is on Florida's Atlantic coast,
SE of Orlando


World's Easiest Dessert

I have no idea where this recipe originated, but it was posted to Facebook by an old friend of mine from my days in real estate, Judy Gwinn. It's become a favorite of the grandgirls, who beg to make it, as it's not only delicious, it's incredibly easy. As long as you follow the directions exactly. Try it, you'll love it.

1 21-oz. can of fruit pie filling (apple, cherry, etc.)
1 package of Angel Food Cake mix*

* This must be the kind of mix that only requires adding water. Duncan Hines works best for us. BUT . . .

WARNING:  DO NOT ADD WATER as the directions on the box indicate. REPEAT: ADD NO WATER TO THIS RECIPE.

Mix the two ingredients together until thoroughly moistened. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350° or until cake puffs up and is golden brown on top.

We eat it "straight," but the original directions indicate that it's great with ice cream on top. 

World's Best Artichoke Recipe

No, I didn't name it, but I have to agree. The nicest part, you can play with the ingredients a bit, and it's still good. It was designed for serving the artichokes cold but works fine warm, as long as you make the sauce at least an hour ahead so the flavors mix.

4-6 medium artichokes (about 4 lbs.)*
6 qts cold water
¼ cup olive oil
2 TBspn lemon juice (half a lemon)
2 cloves crushed garlic (1 will do, if preferred)
1½ tspn salt or Mrs. Dash

*If artichokes are large, you may have to cook them 2-3 at a time.

Trim bottom of artichokes to stand flat. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. Trim spikes with scissors, if desired. (I never bother.) Choose a deep pan that will just fit around artichokes. Crowding will make them keep their shape.** But wait! Before putting them in the pan, pour in 6 quarts of water; add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil. Plunge artichokes, flower side down, into boiling water. (If they don't stay that way, don't panic - it never seems to matter.) Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30-40 minutes or until base is tender. Drain upside down in colander. Serve warm or cold with Rosemary Sauce (for dipping) below. 

Rosemary Sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
2 TBspn cider vinegar
1 tspn chopped onion (dry minced is fine)
1 tspn chopped parsley
1 tspn chopped pimiento (optional)
½ tspn dried crushed rosemary***

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Makes about ½ cup.

*** I use 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, snipped

EATING AN ARTICHOKE:  A New Englander for most of my life, I was taught how to eat an artichoke by California neighbors who were at Yale for the year. And, boy, did they think it was funny they had to teach my husband and me how to eat our 'chokes! I still grind my teeth when I think of it. So for those not born in California - you attack an artichoke from the outside in - dipping the fat end of the leaf into the sauce and "skinning" the soft part off with your teeth. You are then supposed to build a nice neat little stack of used leaves on your plate next to the artichoke. (I have never succeeded in having a neat stack - mine always end in a decidedly haphazard display.)  WARNING:  When you finally get to the center "choke," it has to be cut out with a knife. Do not attempt to eat it! After that, the soft base can be eaten in its entirety, but you'll need a fork to dip the pieces into the sauce.

Asparagus and Grape Salad

 A truly delightful salad for family or company. Found in one of the earliest Cooking Light cookbooks (more than a decade ago):

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
2 cups seedless green grapes, cut in half
½ cup chopped red onion
2 TBspn chopped fresh tarragon (c. 1 tspn dried, if you absolutely must)*
2 TBspn balsamic vinaigrette
1 TBspn olive oil

Blanch asparagus in a large skillet of boiling water 1 minute. Drain; rinse in cold water; drain again.

Arrange asparagus on a serving plate. Mix the remaining ingredients and spoon over the asparagus.

 *I haven't tried it, but I imagine other garden herbs could be substituted - mint or even thyme, for example.

Sunday Morning Decadence

 I used to make this frequently during the years I was cooking for a growing family. Original recipe title: David Eyre's Pancakes, discovered in the New York Times magazine, many years ago (as the far-from "light" ingredients attest). But does it ever taste good!

2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup flour
½ cup milk
Pinch of nutmeg
8 TBspns butter (one stick)
2 TBspns confectioners' sugar
Juice of half a lemon (1TBspn)

Preheat oven to 425°. In a mixing bowl combine flour, milk, eggs and nutmeg. Beat lightly. Leave the batter a little lumpy. Melt butter in a 12" skillet with heatproof handle. When very hot, pour in batter. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Sprinkle with sugar and return briefly to oven. Sprinkle with lemon juice, serve with jelly, jam, or marmalade.  Serves 4-6.

~ * ~

Thanks for stopping by,


Next week: Blair's Traditional Regencies, followed by Blair's Not-so-traditional Regencies

For Grace's website, listing all books as Blair Bancroft & Rayne Lord, click here.

For a brochure for Grace's editing service, Best Foot Forward, click here. 


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