14-21: Pear Pandowdy

14-21: Pear Pandowdy

Here’s a very basic dessert recipe: 14-21: Pear Pandowdy. Pandowdies are typically made with apples, but Simply Delicious offers a pear variation which is also popular. Both are in season right now, so either one would work for this recipe if you’re looking for something to do with all of that fall produce.

Here’s more info on pandowdies, courtesy of New England.com:

An old-fashioned favorite, the pandowdy is, by definition, a cooked fruit dessert sweetened with maple syrup or molasses and topped with a pie pastry. The name refers to the act of “dowdying” the crust — that is, breaking it up with a knife and pressing it into the bubbling juices — midway through baking. While it’s not the prettiest of pastries, what it lacks in streamlined good looks it more than makes up for in rich flavor. 

Yankee Magazine, August 2020

Let’s see how close Simply Delicious gets to their definition. They sell this thing much better than I do.


Read more

14-8: Baked Alaska

14-8: Baked Alaska

Today is Independence Day here in the U.S., so let’s do one of my favorite desserts and recipes from this book, 14-8: Baked Alaska. Obviously Simply Delicious didn’t invent this dish–it’s an American dessert that’s existed since Civil War times and is so well known you can even make it as a Sim.

I have a history with this particular version of the dish, however. I first made it as my “showstopper” dessert for a big family dinner I cooked as a teenager (along with a similarly-aged family friend) many years ago.

I also taught about 200 K-8 kids (ages 5-13ish) how to make this recipe and several others as part of an after-school cooking class program that was one of my first teaching-related jobs. I’ve been waiting YEARS to write this one, so now it’s your turn with it.


Read more

7-21: Jambalaya

7-21: Jambalaya

Cajun and Creole cooking are not something I’ve had a ton of experience with, so 7-21: Jambalaya is somewhat unfamiliar territory. I didn’t grow up eating a lot of New Orleans cuisine, other than my mother’s ill-fated attempt at making gumbo once.

It’s not a difficult recipe (quite the opposite, actually), but I don’t feel like I have a solid understanding of the difference between what makes it good and what makes it great. That’s something that comes with experience, both as a taster and as a creator.

I couldn’t have even told you that there are two types of jambalaya, Creole and Cajun. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the difference between the two is the absence or presence of tomatoes. Simply Delicious identifies this version as Creole, which is correct–that’s the version that has the tomatoes in it, which this one does. 🎺🍅


Read more

8-54: Beef Beignets

8-54: Beef Beignets

When I think of beignets, I think of New Orleans. 🎷 I’ve never been to the real Café Du Monde in New Orleans, but I have been to the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square at Disneyland which serves beignets (very delicious ones).

8-54: Beef Beignets are NOT like the ones at Disneyland or Café Du Monde–they’re more like Mongolian Beef before you toss it in sauce.

I looked around for similar types of recipes to confirm that this wasn’t just a Simply Delicious invention–and I really couldn’t find too many. There’s nothing wrong with battering beef and frying it–just don’t call it a beignet.


Read more

6-58: Chicken Pie with Puff Pastry

6-58: Chicken Pie with Puff Pastry

Yo. As I’ve said previously, I take breaks from this project when life gets in the way. This summer was BANANAS, and fall seems to be quickly passing me by as well. I haven’t given up on cooking and photographing recipes, but I seem to have dropped the ball on actually writing them up and posting them.

I made the first attempt to rectify this earlier today when I uploaded about 600 pictures from two memory cards that I’ve filled up since May of this year. I made the second when I set up all the folders to start organizing the pictures (we’re talking over 50 recipes here).

Here’s the third: a recipe I cooked back sometime in early 2019, 6-58: Chicken Pie with Puff Pastry. This has been in various draft stages since April, and I’m finally finishing it NOW. This isn’t even part of the memory card dump from today–that’s how far behind I am.

This is essentially chicken pot pie. I mean, how is it not? The major difference between this and Marie Callender’s is that this one only has pastry on top.


Read more

16-33: Crispy Almond Cake

16-33: Crispy Almond Cake

I made 16-33: Crispy Almond Cake last September to pair with 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake as a breakfast treat for my work colleagues. This one was the less fancy of the two, but still went extremely well with some coffee on a Wednesday morning.

This title card blurb mentions that versions of this almond cake can be found all over the United States–Google doesn’t seem to want to confirm that claim for me. Searching almond cake results in several iterations of a Spanish flourless almond cake influenced by the Jewish tradition of Passover. Interesting, but none of them look like this recipe.

A search for almond tart (see 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake for my argument that these two dishes are tarts, not cakes as Simply Delicious claims) comes much closer–here’s a very similar version (with video!) from Martha Stewart herself.


Read more

16-10: Strawberry Shortcake

16-10: Strawberry Shortcake

Just to show you how far behind I’m running with entries these days: I’m finally cracking into what I made for Mothers’ Day this year (MD2018) with 16-10: Strawberry Shortcake. You know…back in May. We were growing a ton of strawberries in the yard this year, and a few of them even made it into this dish.

Last year I attempted a Simply Delicious-inspired Mothers’ Day brunch (MD 2017), complete with fancy pastries and attempts at complicated sauces. This year, I kept it somewhat more simple in the interest of time spent and calories consumed. 🍓


Read more

16-8: French Apple Pie

16-8: French Apple Pie

It’s the first days of spring, but I’m still catching up on old posts. Consider it “spring cleaning.” Here’s one from Thanksgiving 2017, 16-8: French Apple Pie. In 2016, I went all out for Thanksgiving and made most of the entire meal from Simply Delicious recipes. We had alternate plans for 2017, so only an easy-to-prepare ahead of time dessert was needed.

I’ve already covered a similar recipe to this one: 16-15: Tarte Tatin. Consider these a smaller, more rustic version. In regards to authenticity, as long as it’s apples on top and crust on bottom, it counts as a French apple pie according to Wikipedia. 🍏🇫🇷


Read more

7-19: Cajun-Style Pork Ribs

7-19: Cajun-Style Pork Ribs

Chili’s, Applebee’s, Red Robin…I’ve enjoyed racks of ribs at almost every restaurant that offers ribs as a major offering on the menu. Freshly smoked ribs are a delicious delicacy. These oven baked ribs lack the smokiness of ribs cooked in a smoker. The flavor profile for 7-19: Cajun-Style Pork Ribs is influenced by the alcohol-infused marinade and the Cajun spice rub mixture.

Simply Delicious thinks these spices are fiery, however, I’ll have to disagree. Maybe I’m too desensitized to spice now, but I could have used about 30% more spiciness. I wasn’t always a fan of spicy food, but now some of my favorite hot sauces are sriracha, Tapatio, and Tabasco.


Read more

6-10: Savory Chicken Wings

6-10: Savory Chicken Wings

“Chicken wings are a longtime American favorite.” Truer words have never been written, editor of Simply Delicious. To complement another recent wing recipe that Jamie made (1-1: Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings), here’s 6-10: Savory Chicken Wings.

I love having chicken wings as both an appetizer and a snack. The editor of Simply Delicious know me too well.


Read more