Heirloom Cooking

It is once again the time of year when we are giving thanks for all we have, and celebrating life with those we love. I find  myself drifting off into memories of years gone by, being in the kitchen with my parents and celebrating the holidays with my friends and family. We ate delicious food my Mom created. Growing up in Connecticut my memories of this time of year are of snow piled high outside my window, while warm comforting smells wafted through out my families home. I want to create those same, as well as new memories for my family.

I stare blankly out my office window to a scene of snow from our first storm this year mixed with hints of green grass peaking through due to the mild 50 degree days we have had since.  I cannot help  think of recipes my Mom made me.  This is heirloom cooking. It is taking recipes that you grew up loving and sharing them with all who are now in your life and passing on traditions and creating new ones as you go. Embrace all types of traditions and flavors. This is a great time of year to invoke all that you love and embrace and all that is new to your life.

Preserving my Family recipes is what lead me to want to create our cook book. Inside this book after each recipe is a blank page where you can write your own family recipes or memories of a meal you created with your kids, or even their own depiction of life around them as the meal is being made. These memories are what I treasure the most from my childhood. They are what have gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life, and still today are a huge apart of who I am. My hope is that you’ll to write down your memories, your kids memories and pass along your recipes for generations to come.

Here is one of my all time favorite Heirloom Recipes that my Mom passed down to me and I will pass on to Elisabeth and Raylan.

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Pecan Turtle Cookies:

Base:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light does not matter)
  • 1 Stick (1/2 cup) Salted butter, softened
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups whole pecans

Caramel Layer:

  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 3/4 – 2 cups chocolate chips ( any kind you like milk, dark Etc.)

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees

* In a bowl of a stand mixer combine the base ingredients, flour, sugar, and butter. Using your paddle attachment mix together on medium speed until all the ingredients are broken down in to the consistency of sand, about 2-3 minutes.

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* Pat the mixture into an ungreased 9×13 inch baking pan.

* Lay the whole pecans in rows over the top of the base.

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* Now combine the Caramel ingredients into a sauce pan, the butter and sugar. Stirring continuously bring mixture to a boil, and allow to boil for 1 minute longer.

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* Now quickly pour the caramel mixture over the base and pecans in an even layer.

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* Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, until caramel is bubbling all around the pecans.

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* Remove from the oven and quickly disperse the chocolate chips over the top of the bubbling caramel. Wait 1-2 minutes to allow the chips to start to melt, then usinf=g either a butter knife or small offset spatula swirl the chocolate chips into and over the top of the caramel. Note DO NOT try to smooth out all the chips, leave some whole.

* Allow to cool completely and then cut into 3-4 dozen cookies.

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Michelle Day

Michelle Day has been cooking and baking since she was old enough to hold a whisk. Michelle is an expert cook and her passion for cooking and entertaining has never wavered. At the age of 10 Michelle’s Family started a bakery in Simsbury CT, where Michelle got her first taste of running a food service business. In 1994 Michelle moved to New York City, where, she found her true passion in baking. In 2001 she started “The Catering Divas” Catering business. Serving the Upper East Side, she catered numerous small dinner and cocktail parties. Her passion and attention to detail won her the attention of some of New York’s Elite. Back at home in Connecticut, Michelle is a well known culinary instructor and her cake decorating skills jump-started a side business — Devine Cake Designs — where clients clamor for her inspired and beautifully artistic designs. After 15 years in the culinary industry, Michelle’s love of cooking, baking and children, has lead to her to her newest career, offering personalized family cooking classes and creating a TV show, digital broadcasts and Cook Books like no other. Kids and a Cook is all about healthy, fun, and easy meals for kids and their families. Michelle credits her parents with her success and her love of food, helping to create so many memories being in the kitchen with them as a child. Her goal is to have a show to help viewers create the same memories with their families. A show for the kids, and by the kids, with the “cook” there as guidance. Michelle’s featured co-host is an energetic, precocious 9-year-old named Elisabeth. Although a finicky eater, Elisabeth still loves to cook in the kitchen and learn about ingredients and how to mix them to make tasty dishes. Come join us — as you and Elisabeth learn easy recipes and explore culinary adventures. Michelle Day is available for lectures and cooking demonstrations. Please contact us through this website.

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