Disneyland's Big Thunder Ranch Cornbread & France 2020 by George Geary

With the excitement of the new land since ToonTown in 1992: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening this week at the Disneyland California resort, I thought I would look back..

Big Thunder Ranch

Opened: Summer of 1986

Closed: January 2016

It was a petting zoo, craft area and also Big Thunder Barbecue. I always said at the time it was the best food at the park for the least amount of money. It was a buffet style with a few options. Some of the best smoked ribs mass produced! The ribs had to be smoked 8 hrs prior to opening of the restaurant so if the weather called for rain, the restaurant would close, and all of the pre-smoked ribs and chicken would end up in the Cast members cafeteria’s (The In-Between and the Deck) for a great price. 

 Daily the bakery would make about 800-1200 servings of corn bread. A lot of cornbread to also have to go to the cafeteria’s when it rained out. Some of you know about the iconic corn dogs I created for the parks in the 1980’s. It came from this recipe for the cornbread. A few changed but it is a wonderful cornbread that I have in my baking book.

Big Thunder Ranch is gone, and Star Wars has replaced it. But the recipe for the cornbread is still in my archives. This recipe makes one 9x13-inch pan. Our one recipe would make 15 sheets with each sheet yielding 56 servings.

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Here is my original recipe and the one for home use.

Here is my original recipe and the one for home use.

Here is the cornbread recipe. Try it out and let me know how you like it.

Cornbread Recipe

Class of 2019, France Tour

Class of 2019, France Tour

I just returned from a fantastic tour of France. Our 25th year, 32nd season. If you would like information about May 2020, You can email ggeary@aol.com or download the brochure/forms.

Brochure 2020 France

OrderForm 2020 France

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South of France May 2020 Tour! Registration now open. by George Geary

My annual tour of the South of France! May 17th - 23rd, 2020

YES! Fresh Baguettes ever day in the South of France!

YES! Fresh Baguettes ever day in the South of France!

The South fo France is so special! I have been touring groups since 1993! From the little villages of where Julia Child purchased olive oil to blown glass. Chef taught classes and more. Classes, lodging in a remarkable villa in a quant little village, all ground transportation is included. Check out the brochure for all of the details. If you are interested we are limited to 4 couples. Email ggeary@aol.com to serve your space ASAP.

2020 Tour Brochure

2020 Tour Form

See you in France!

George Geary

Multi-Award Winning George Geary Culinary Tours

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake by George Geary

A very moist and flavorful cake.. I like to use very very ripe bananas that are very dark. The sugars come up and wow.. so much flavor. Use any kind of Bundt tube pan for this recipe.

A trick I tell all of my students when you are making a Bundt cake… No need to grease and flour the pans as it is too difficult to get into all of the cracks and crevasses.. Spray pan with a non-stick spray. After the cake has completely baked, set a timer for exactly 10 minutes. Then invert directly on a cooking rack. The pan will lift off perfectly.

Academy Awards Segment on CBS8 San Diego by George Geary

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Sunday is the day that Hollywood Goes Crazy! I was out on Hollywood Blvd last week, about a block from the theater that houses the awards.. The street was closed and everyone was getting ready for the big night.. I will be on CBS8 San Diego on Friday doing my segment on the Awards dinner. Here are the recipes for the show. All of them have something to do with “Old Hollywood” I hope you enjoy!

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

Sour Cream Raisin Biscuits

Sour Cream Raisin Biscuits

Berries Romanoff

Berries Romanoff

Recipes:

Chicken Piccata: A great dish from the famed Dan Tana’s on Santa Monica BLvd. This is where so many stars go out after.

Sour Cream Raisin Biscuits: Award Winner Clark Gable’s Favorite! He would order them from The Brown Derby.. They even catered his 40th Birthday and served them!

Strawberries Romanoff: Romanoffs is where you went to be seen. Swifty Lazar used to have his annual party here prior to Spagos

Canola Taco Popcorn: I created this for an event n Hollywood for Canola Oil. Enjoy!

"CC" Chocolate Chip Cookies by George Geary

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nestle Toll House Cookies. It was probably the very first recipe you ever made. I bet you do not even have the recipe in your memory bank or written down since you know it will be on the back of the 12oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I don’t think I have purchased a bag of those chips since 1985 (About the time that they stopped melting in the cookie dough and just roll out of the dough when you break a cookie in half). I created a recipe that is a little off the norm… “CC” stands for Chewy and Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies. Read my entire post and shopping tips before you make these.

I always say in my classes..” If you have the best ingredients and tools you can make anything perfect”. The differences in a good cookie and an award winning cookie is the ingredients I use. In the recipe I have placed hyperlinks as to the best items I use. Here is a list and why.

Silpat: These are silicone mats that you make your cookies on. The first came from France. When I worked in my first French ran kitchen the pastry chef had one since they were $50 at the time. They do last a life time.

Half-Sheet Bun Pan: These will fit in most all ovens. They have sides so the cookies will not fall off when you pull them out of the oven. Heavy duty thickness they will last forever. Get a few sets! The Silpats fit perfectly in them.

#20 Disher: Also known as a portion scoop. The number is in the “flipper” which means how many scoops you get out of a quart of something like ice cream or mashed potatoes. DO not use these as ice cream scoops as the flippers will break. The come in sizes 6 to 100. a number 100 is very small.. enough for a bonbon.

Belgium Chocolate Chunks: Pastry chefs have been using these for years. We melt the chunks down for icings and desserts. They are pricy.. But you are worth a real chocolate chunk.

Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract: Ok. let’s face it. Vanilla is skyrocketing. By the time you buy a bottle the price will change in a day or two. Nielsen-Massey is the best on earth unless you make your own from beans that you have harvested in the jungles in Madagascar (Ok I have done this). Honestly, for the full flavor if you use another vanilla you will not get that perfect cookie. And seriously… You use less than 20 cents per batch. It is just the initial outlay.

Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract:: A few years back N-M started making extracts. Lemon, Orange, Cinnamon.. Almond. Not fake tasting what’s so ever. Try all of them!

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I hope you enjoy the cookies.. While most of the nation is under a very cold spell and here in California we have something coming out of the sky that they call “Rain”. Stay safe!

George

San Diego Living CBS8 ~ "Christmas Morning Fast Brunch" by George Geary

Well it is my TV Anniversary this week. 25 years from when I started doing Live in LA on the local station in Los Angeles. I moved a few months later to Mike and Maty Show which was national. Then worked for the Food Network traveling around the country to talk about the new network all on food! Well this past week I will have been on 3 stations. Two in San Diego (My regular and a new one) and Hallmark for Home and Family. Here are the recipes for Fridays Show. Enjoy!

Pecan Cheesecake Pancakes

Pecan Cheesecake Pancakes

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Disneyland’s Tahitian Terrace "Menchune Macadamia" Pie by George Geary

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I sometimes need my memory to be jogged. For 10 years I was the Pastry Chef for the Walt Disney Company Theme Park Division. Until someone asks about one of the desserts I forget what I used to make. 25 years ago this week we were notified we would be closing the bakery. Only 3 years prior, I was the first Disney Chef to be awarded a culinary medal, so I was a little surprised that they would be now buying frozen product to serve.

Recently someone asked if anyone had the recipe for the Macadamia Pie. I got into my files of the huge recipe that made 70 pies and cut it down. Then I tested the recipe, now we have it for you. Many of my Disney Recipes I would have to cut into amounts for the public as they would be requested from guests to the LA Times Food Section. This recipe never had been requested so I had to test it myself this weeked.

Disneyland’s Tahitian Terrace Menchune Macadamia Pie:    Recipe

Disneyland’s Tahitian Terrace Menchune Macadamia Pie: Recipe

The Tahitian Terrace was a Polynesian themed restaurant at Disneyland Park in California. It was placed next to the Enchanted Tiki Room attraction in Adventureland. Popular dishes to enjoy during the themed native dancing show were skewered chicken, tropical fruit salads and other island dishes. It was in operation from 1962 to 1993 when it was replaced by Aladdin’s Oasis Dinner Show which only lasted 2 years.  

This Macadamia Pie dessert was on the menu from the late 1980’s to the closing of the venue. It was served with vanilla ice cream for $2.

Daytime NBC~ Pecan Cheesecake Pancakes by George Geary

Friday my segment on Pecan Cheesecake Pancakes was broadcasted nationwide. Incase you didn’t see it I have attached it and also the recipe for you to make some great pancakes for these upcoming cold mornings! Holiday cookies are coming soon! I will be on Home and Family ~ Hallmark December 4th. Set your recorders!

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Here you can watch the entire show: SHOW LINK

Here is the recipe: Pecan Cheesecake Pancakes

Make the pancakes, watch the segment and let me know what you think!

George

Award Winning Blueberry Muffins by George Geary

In 1981 while working for Marriott Hotels I competed in a pastry competition. I took first place with my Blueberry Muffins. It was also the very first thing I showed on morning TV. in 1993 in Live in LA. I still have not found a better blueberry muffin. 

Here is the  recipe

Here is the recipe

To make cookies and muffins uniform you need to use a "disher". They look like an ice cream scoop with a spring loaded handle, but it is for food. They are numbered from 100 to 8. 100 being the smallest. The numbers mean how many scoops you get out of a quart of mashed potatoes. Here is the one I recommend. With so many on the market, you need a disher that is made for heavy use.    

Disher on Amazon

Disher on Amazon

Enjoy and have a great weekend. 

Almond 'Nilla Wafers by George Geary

We all have had "Nilla® Wafers. But I am sure you have never had these remarkable almond ones. Here is an easy recipe.. The hardest part is using a pastry bag with a round tip. 

Almond flour can be found most of the time at Trader Joes, Major markets in the baking section. I hope you enjoy these.

Lemon 🍋 Drizzle Tea Cakes by George Geary

A very moist two-bite tart lemon tea cake! 


To make these fantastic bites just like a pastry chef you need to invest in Silicone pan/molds. They are easy to use and store even easier then a metal pan. They also have many uses such as baking, freezing, creating butter molds, ice cubes and an array of baked goods. When baking I suggest that you use a spray with flour (Such as BakersJoy or Pam with flour. Place on a baking sheet to bake on, not directly on the oven rack. Spray the molds and after the baking wait 10 minutes and then pop out onto a bakers rack. Hand wash the silicones. 

Here is one of them. Here is the link for Amazon:  Silicone Molds

Here is one of them. Here is the link for Amazon: Silicone Molds

Have a great Labor Day! 

Always..

George

LaborDay No Labor Show CBS8 San Diego! August 28th, 8am by George Geary


It is that time of year.. Summer is coming to an end when Labor Day hits.. Our last 3 day weekend of the summer months. (Can you believe we haven't had a 3 day weekend since Memorial Day?) 4th of July was in the middle of the week.. So it does not count. 

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