Cook’s Corner

Surfcomber chef concocts power-packed cereal bar


Sleuth’s corner

Q. I hope someone can help me replace a recipe I loaned to a friend and she lost. It was from a Bisquick advertisement, and besides the Bisquick you added pineapple and brown sugar and yeast to make your own Hawaiian rolls. These are my favorite rolls to make for potlucks and with ham dinners. I have asked Bisquick and they can’t find it.

Annie P. , Sacramento


Apple Banana Nut Cereal Bar

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup almonds

3 cups Kashi cereal

1 cup dried apple, chopped

1 cup dried banana, chopped

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 ounces silken tofu

1 egg

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup honey

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon zest

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, almonds, Kashi cereal, dried apple, dried banana, flour and salt. In a blender, puree the tofu, and mix in the canola, honey, vanilla and lemon zest.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Pat mixture into a greased, jelly roll-style pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Let cool completely before cutting. Makes 24 bars.

Per bar: 225 calories (31 percent from fat), 8.3 g fat (1.2 g saturated, 4.3 g monounsaturated), 7.7 mg cholesterol, 6.1 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, 76 mg sodium.


New England Apple Tapioca Pudding

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons minute or instant tapioca

1 large egg, well beaten

2 tart cooking apples, peeled and grated

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk milk with cream, salt, sugar, tapioca and egg in a heavy saucepan. Let stand about 15 minutes to allow the tapioca to soften and begin swelling. Place over medium heat and, stirring, bring to a full boil.

Add the apples and cinnamon and stir well. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring from time to time to keep from sticking.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Mixture may seem too thin, but will thicken as it chills.

Spoon into serving bowls, cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 224 calories (43 percent from fat), 11 g fat (6.4 g saturated, 3.1 g monounsaturated), 67 mg cholesterol, 4.2 g protein, 28.2 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 104 mg sodium.


Gail’s Key Lime Cake

1 box Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme cake mix

4-serving-size box instant lemon pudding mix

1 cup water

2/3 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons Key lime juice

Finely grated zest of 4 Key limes

4 eggs


1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon water

3 tablespoons Key lime juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan.

Beat the cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, lime juice, zest and eggs just until ingredients are blended and no large lumps remain. Pour into prepared pan, and bake 55 minutes or until cake tests done.

Cool cake completely on wire rack. Turn out onto a serving platter. Blend topping ingredients thoroughly and pour over cake. Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 374 calories, 3 g protein, 52 g carbohydrate, 18 g fat, 42 percent of calories as fat, 0.1 gram fiber, 71 mg cholesterol, 335 mg sodium.

Chef Doug Sisk of the Social Club at the Surfcomber Miami Beach is known for his eclectic menu with global influences, like Peruvian chicken with warm potato salad and mini fried oyster sandwich with cucumber and Cajun cream cheese.

But when he is on the go, he often needs a power snack, and he came up with a cereal bar that packs a lot of energy. Given that it’s back-to-school time, he agreed to share his recipe. Who wouldn’t love to find these in their lunchbox or backpack? The also make a great grab-and-go breakfast.

Q. I am looking for a recipe for a New England apple tapioca. We had an elderly neighbor who made this. We gave her apples from our trees, and she would surprise us with it. Shrafft’s restaurant in New York City made an apricot tapioca that was close, but they are not in business anymore.


Your mention of Shrafft’s brought back fond memories, so I was happy to search through my old cookbooks, and found a recipe in the 1952 Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking by Meta Given. I did a little fiddling to make it richer, but I do believe this is a tapioca that will take you back. Purists may insist on soak-overnight pearl tapioca, but most of us are more inclined to go with convenience.

Key Lime cake

Gail Cohen writes: “I saw the request for Norman Brothers Key Lime Cake. You mention that the recipe dates to 2003, but I have a similar recipe from your column, to which I’ve made variations, from Townsite Super Market in Islamorada. This is one of my standard desserts, and everyone loves it. It’s so light and moist.”

The recipe she references uses lemon pudding, where the other one uses lime flavored Jell-O. They are both fabulously simple and delicious cakes, though I have to say I prefer the texture of Cohen’s, as it is more like a spongecake.

I also like the alterations she made to the original, adding more Key lime juice, adding zest and topping with a glaze rather than poking the cake and saturating it with a thin lime sugar syrup.

More on the Norman Brothers cake: Some readers found the recipe as published confusing because it mentioned water in the directions but not in the ingredient list. Standard recipe style is to not put water in the ingredient list because it is not something you have to make sure you have on hand. But given the confusion, in future columns we will include it in both places. For the record, that cake recipe calls for both 2/3 cup oil and 2/3 cup water.

Tried and New

When my children went off to college, I was always looking for a little taste of home to send them. At the time, the easy answer was cookie mixes in a jar, but those involved the addition of fresh ingredients and an oven, not always available in dorm rooms.

What I truly like about the My Mug Cake set by Tastefully Simple ($19.95) is that all you need to add is water to produce little cake confections in the provided mug. The set includes a mug and two cake mixes, Raspberry Chocolate and Cinnamon Streusel. You can also buy the cake mixes in three-packs for $9.95. All are available at (An early version of this story incorrectly stated that the set included two mugs.)

Send questions and responses to or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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