Here is my daughter Lauren's terrific recipe for shrimp cakes:


2 slices bacon, chopped 2 lb. shrimp
2 slices sandwich bread
1/4 c. milk
1 c. chopped scallions
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro ( optional)
1 5 oz. can water chestnuts
4 t. cornstarch
1/2t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
2 c. panko, more as needed
Dipping sauce:

 3/4 cup mayonnaise
 1 1/2 t. soy sauce
 1/2 t. finely grated lemon zest
 1 t. lemon juice

Stir together dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and chill. Pulse bacon in processor until finely chopped. Pat shrimp dry, then add to bacon and pulse until shrimp is coarsely chopped (make sure not to puree). 

Soak bread in milk until very soft. Squeeze out excess mil and add wet bread to processor and pulse until just combined. 

Transfer shrimp mixture to large bowl and stir in scallions, cilantro, cornstarch, salt, sugar, pepper until well combined. Spread crumbs in a pie plate. 

Using a tablespoon measure or small ice cream scoop drop a mound of shrimp mixture on crumbs. Coat well, and saute.

Lauren and Betty

Christmas Pudding Truffles (Chocolate

2 oz. butter
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sugar
3 oz. finely ground almonds, or almond flour
2 tablespoons cocoa, sifted
1 tablespoon rum extract
1 10-12 oz. pound cake, crumbed
6 oz. marzipan shaped into small balls
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate for dipping
2 oz. white chocolate for decorating
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar mixed with a few drops milk to make a very stiff frosting.
Few drops green and red food coloring.

1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
2. Add almond extract, almonds and cocoa. Mix well.
3. Add cake crumbs and rum extract and mix well.
4. Shape into small balls and press marzipan into center.
5. Dip into chocolate. Place on waxed paper until set.
6. Decorate with white chocolate and a few drops of red and green frosting to resemble holly.
Makes about 4 dozen truffles.

Venetians Tri-color cookies



8 ounces almond paste, grated
8 ounces marzipan
1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 drops green food coloring
8 drops red fool coloring
1 12 ounce jar apricot preserves
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1. Grease three 9 x 13" pans; line with waxed paper, grease again.

2. Break up almond paste in a large bowl with a fork. Add butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract. Beat with electric mixer until light a fluffy - about 5 minutes.
3. Beat in flour and salt.

4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into almond mixture.

5. Remove 1 1/2 cups batter, spread evenly into prepared pan. Remove another 1 1/2 cups and add the green food coloring; spread evenly into second prepared pan. Add red food coloring to remaining 1 1/2 cups batter and spread into remaining pan.

6. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes, or just until edges are golden brown. (Note: Cakes will be 1/4" thick.)

Walnut Roll

7 eggs separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups ground walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Brush a jellyroll pan, 10 x 15, with oil line with wax paper and oil the paper.

2.  Preheat oven to 350°

3. Using mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture is pale in color and forms a ribbon.

4.  Beat in walnuts and baking powder.

5.   Using a clean bowl and beaters, beat egg whites until stiff. Stir one third of the egg whites into walnut mixture, then fold in remainder.

6.   Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is golden.

7. Cool cake in pan.  Turn out on to wax paper sprinkled with sifted confectioners' sugar.  Remove paper from the bottom of the cake and spread with the cream which has been beaten until stiff with the vanilla. Roll up the cake using the paper as an aid and slide the roll onto a flat serving platter. Sprinkle the roll with additional sifted confectioners' sugar.

Val's Almond Macaroons

Val's Almond Macaroons

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups ground almonds
Scant cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Glacéd cherries or sliced almonds

Whip egg whites into soft peaks.
Fold in remaining ingredients until well mixed.

Using a small ice cream scoop (about 1 1/2 tablespoons), form about 16 cookies
Top each one with a cherry half or some sliced almonds.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Watch the Video:

A lighter take on Potato Knishes

Potato Knishes

2 lbs, potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 1/2 lbs, onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup oil
Freshly ground pepper
4 ounces butter, melted
1 lb. package filo dough

Sauté onions in oil until softened and just turning golden.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir cooked onions with the oil into the potatoes, mixing well.

Cut filo sheets in quarters and wrap well in plastic wrap.

Working with a few sheets at a time, butter one sheets top with a second sheet and butter that.  Place a small spoonful of potato filling at the bottom of the filo, roll up, tuck the sides in and continue rolling.

At this point you may either bake them at 375 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown.  Or, place them on a wax paper lined cookie sheets and freeze.  Once they are frozen, place them in a freezer bag.  Bake as above for 10 to 12 minutes


Watch the video:

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

When we lived in Virginia, our son-in-law, Blair, loved to go to the local diner for biscuits and sausage gravy.  I could never see the appeal of this gray-looking glop until I decided to make it at home as a special treat for him.  

Good sausage meat and a little hot sauce turned the dish an appetizing rosy color.  While it's not a dish I would recommend having on a daily basis, for a once-in-a-while treat it's a great change from bacon and eggs.

1 small onion, finely chopped 1 lb. sausage meat
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Hot sauce to taste
Buttermilk biscuits to serve.

Watch the video:

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Betty, Lucy, Anna & Liz

We recently spent a family weekend celebrating our great granddaughter's first birthday.  Our granddaughter, Anna, had prepared her Buffalo Chicken Dip - much better and less messy to eat than wings!

It takes no time at all to put together.  Then you simply bake it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, give it a good stir to mix it well and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips, celery and carrot sticks.

She very kindly agreed to share the recipe with me and I am happy to share it with you.

Anna's Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
12 oz. shredded cheddar/Jack cheese mix
1/4 cup hot sauce, or to taste.

Watch Anna prepare this terrific dip!

Reader Comment:
Kaho Fotyfar
What a beauty,lovely gathering, simple rich recipe and amazing city as well, thank u for sharing these special moments.