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Sara Lee Pecan Coffee Cake

From: Jerri 
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 6:53 PM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: Sara Lee Streusel Coffee Cake

Dear Phaed, 

Well, I looked more closely at the coffee cake recipe and realized 
that I had describe the wrong one!  :)  
Although I do like streusel the REAL recipe I would love to make is 
the SL coffee cake with pecans and white icing....probably closer to 
a Danish?  
In any case, this is a link to the image. 


What is interesting is that I  remember as a child that it tasted better 
than it does I am looking for a recipe so I can make it "healthy".....

Thanks in advance for any insights....I searched various sites and couldn't find anything close....

All my best, 


Hi Jerri,

Limited success with this one. The only “copycat” recipe that I could find is the first one below, which doesn’t look right to me. One can’t say without trying it, though.

I found several complaints on message boards from those who said the recent Sara Lee product was not the same as it used to be. One of those complaining was the poster of the second recipe below, who said her version is better. This is probably the best one to try. It looks good to me.


"Sara Lee" Pecan Coffee Cake

1 pkg. yellow or lemon cake mix
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
3/4 c. oil
4 eggs
3/4 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla


1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat all but eggs. Then add eggs 2 at a time. 
Beat 8 minutes. Spread 1/2 of mixture onto greased 9x13 pan. 
Sprinkle 1/2 of topping over mixture. Fill with remaining mixture and 
sprinkle with remaining topping. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Pecan Coffee Cake

1/2 cup warm water
3/4 tsp white sugar
1/4 oz yeast (one package)
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tbs soft butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup pecan halves
2 tbs flour
milk for brushing


2 tbs soft butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBS milk

dissolve sugar in warm water in a bowl. sprinkle yeast over and
allow to sponge (about 10 minutes). combine flour and sugar in 
a large bowl. make a well in the centre. pour in yeast mixture.

beat egg together with milk and pour it into the flour as well. 
stir together, add melted butter, and stir until well combined. 
cover with greased waxed paper (or a butter wrapper) and set 
in a warm place to double in bulk (about two hours).

meanwhile, make topping by creaming together the butter and sugar. 
put 3/4 cup of pecans (save the rest for decoration) in a food 
processor with the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles fine 

punch down the dough, dump out on a floured board, and knead 
for five minutes, until dough feels silky. add more flour if necessary, 
but it should be quite soft.

roll out into a circle about 1/4 inch thick and 16 or so inches in diameter. 
make 12 cuts from the outside edge about 1/2 of the 
way to the middle.

lift the dough gently into a greased and floured pie plate or quiche dish. 
sprinkle topping in the middle. take one of the twelve 
strips of dough, twist it once, fold it in towards the centre of the plate, 
and sprinkle with topping. repeat with remaining strips so they all 
verlap towards the centre. sprinkle with remaining topping and pecan 
halves. set in a warm place to rise until double. (another two hours).

brush with milk and bake for 35 minutes at 350 F.

make frosting by creaming together the butter and sugar; stir in 
vanilla and milk. drizzle over coffee cake and serve hot or cold. 
From: Chowhound
Hi Phaed,

YES!  Number two has all the makings of the coffee cake....yeast, 
layers, pecans and the white to try it!!

I bow before you, throw rose petals as you walk and wonder,
 "who are you? where do you live? and how do you find these recipes!?"  
If you ever want to reveal those secrets, I'd love to know!

Meanwhile, greatly, GREATLY appreciate your culinary sleuthness!!

(Come on by for some coffee cake if you're ever in South Carolina 
near Hilton Head....)   :)
best, Jerri

Nine Fine Irishmen

From: Patti
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 10:25 PM
Subject: Nine Fine Irishmen recipes

Hello Uncle Phaedrus,

It has been a while since I have requested a recipe from you. 
I hope you can help . My Family goes to Las Vegas and we now 
start the vacation off by first stopping at Nine Fine Irishmen for 
a quick bite. The mac and cheese is delicious... I wondering 
what the base is for it... It has no crumb topping...I asked our 
server but she was not real clear..Also served is a wonderful 
beer cheese dip that is served with many types of breads...
No luck there either.. Can you help?  I have poured over the 
archives as well. 
Thanks in advance and Happy St Paddy's day to all !!!


Hi Patti,

Nine Fine Irishmen, in the New York, New York Casino, has a website here: Nine Fine Irishmen

Their menu is here: Nine Fine Irishmen Menu

On the menu, the Mac N Cheese is listed as a side, but there is no description of it. The Beer N' Cheese Dip is described, though, like this:
Creamy dip made with Smithwick's Ale and Irish cheddar cheese with assorted country breads

One of the posters on this site e-mailed the chef (Chef Kevin Dundon) and was sent the recipe, but a chef friend of theirs could not recreate the dip even with the recipe: Extreme Skins

There are photos of both dishes here: I Heart Nutrition Education

Chef Kevin Dundon of Nine Fine Irishmen has shared some of his recipes on The Food Network: Food network - Colcannon Soup, Kilmore Quay Fisherman's Pie, and Strawberry and Apple Crumble

However, I had no success finding any recipe or copycat for the mac n’ cheese or the beer n’ cheese dip. I’d say both dishes have Irish cheddar cheese, and the key to the dip would be this plus Smithwick’s Ale, but I have no idea of the other ingredients in the dishes.


Red Lobster Calamari Dipping Sauce

-----Original Message----- 
From: Vicki
Sent: Sunday, April 28, 2013 4:28 PM
Subject: Red Lobster Recipe for Dipping Sauce for Fried Calamari Rings

I am looking for a sweetened Burgundy colored dipping sauce that the 
Red Lobster served when the Fried Calamari Rings were first introduced.  
They also offered a marinara sauce.

At the time, no veggies were offered.  We are probably talking about 
15/20 years ago.

Can you help?



Hi Vicki,

I can't find any mention at all of a dipping sauce served with fried calamari at Red Lobster other than the red marinara sauce and the white ranch sauce. I found copies of Red Lobster menus from the 1970s and 1980s on Ebay, and they don’t list fried calamari as an appetizer at all. The newer menus that I find are all the same, with "crispy calamari and vegetables", and with the marinara and ranch sauces. I couldn't find a menu from the 1990s. Sorry. I'll post this. Maybe a reader remembers it and can give it a specific name or ingredients.


Morrison's Steak and Yellow Rice

From: Doris Rouse 
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:03 PM
Subject: recipe

I always looked forward to eating at Morrison’s cafeteria when 
we were in Mobile or New Orleans and my favorite was steak 
and yellow rice.  I don’t know if the steak was cubed steak or 
another cut but the steak, yellow rice and gravy made a 
delicious meal.  I would love to have the recipe for these 
if possible.  Thank you.


Hello Doris,

Well, this is two separate recipes. The yellow rice is one and the steak is another. Yellow rice was served in different ways at Morrison’s – sometimes it was a dish by itself and sometimes it was served as an accompaniment to chicken or beef, etc.

There is no recipe in the Morrison’s Recipe manual that I have for “steak and yellow rice”, as such.

The yellow rice recipe is below. Note that this recipe makes 65 servings. This recipe is straight from the Morrison’s Kitchen manual that one of my readers has and that’s how they made it – 65 servings at a time. You’ll have to cut it down yourself. I have no idea what’s in “Vigo Seasoning”. Their website is Vigo-Alessi. Vigo no longer appears to sell a "yellow rice seasoning mix", although they do sell a preseasoned yellow rice. The second recipe below is from an older Morrison's recipe manual, apparently before they began using the Vigo seasoning. It seems expensive for a cafeteria recipe because of the saffron, but it's in the book. If you can't get Vigo seasoning, you might want to use this recipe instead.

As for the “steak”, I’m not sure what it was that you are remember. The Morrison’s manual that I have has “country steaks” and “baked chopped steaks”. The former is, I suppose, more like a cubed steak, and the latter is more like a hamburger steak or Salisbury steak - it’s chopped beef. There is no other steak recipe in the manual that would be similar. Let me know if you want one of these two steak recipes.


Here is the Yellow Rice recipe from the Morrison's master recipe book.

Yield: 65 – 3 oz servings
1 lb oil, 1/2 lb ham hock
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp prepared minced garlic)
1 lb diced onions

Heat oil in large braising pot. add ham hock (cut into pieces) add 
onions and ham and saute for 2 minutes and add garlic. do not brown. 

Add 1 1/4 gallon chicken stock, 1 1/2 lbs fresh diced tomatoes, 
1/2 lb bell peppers, diced, 2 bay leaves, Vigo (brand) yellow rice 
flavoring, 1 tbsp salt. Bring to boil and cook for 5  minutes. 

Remove immediately to roasting pan and add 5 lbs rice, cover with 
aluminum foil (tight cover) and bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until done. 
Do not let stock cool.  

Garnish with parsley sprig and grated boiled egg lightly over top. 

* When chicken base is used for stock add 4 1/4 oz base to 1 1/4 gallons 
water and omit salt. 
* Note the Vigo seasoning is a brand and they sell it in grocery stores 
in cellophane packs.
Morrison's  Yellow Rice (older version)


ham hock           1 lb
garlic                  6 buttons
onions                2 lbs
oil                       1 quart
water                 10 quarts
ripe tomatoes    3 lbs 
bell peppers      1 lb
rice                    10 lbs
bay leaves         6
saffron               2 pkgs
salt & pepper     to taste

Dice ham, garlic, and onions. Cook in oil until done.
Add the water and bring to a boil.
Add diced tomatoes and peppers, rice, bay leaves, saffron, 
salt, and pepper.
Boil for 5 minutes and put in two covered #200 deep steamtable pans.
Bake in 325° oven for 20 minutes. Baking in covered pans 
will give a larger, better cooked grain.

For the Country Steak recipe, see 6/17/13

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