16 February, 2008

Creamy Strawberry Crepes

4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Additional butter
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced, divided
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, milk, water, butter and salt. Add flour; beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In an 8-in. nonstick skillet, melt 1 teaspoon butter; pour 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom.

Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.

For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, peel and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 2 cups of berries and whipped cream. Spoon about 1/3 cup filling down the center of 15 crepes; roll up. Garnish with remaining berries. freeze remaining crepes for another use.

Strawberry Banana Crepes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons butter

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 medium firm bananas, sliced
1/4 cup sugar, optional
Melted Nutella, also optional (don't use with optional sugar)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, milk and eggs. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In an 8-in. nonstick skillet, melt 1 teaspoon butter. Stir batter; pour about 2 tablespoons into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack.

Repeat with remaining batter, add butter to a skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper on paper towels in between.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the filling ingredients until smooth. Spread 2 rounded tablespoonfuls on each crepe; roll up. In a large bowl, combine topping ingredients; spoon with crepes.

Cheddar Ham Cups

2 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 packages (2-1/2 ounces each) thinly sliced deli ham, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup real bacon bits
2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tube (10.2 ounces) large refrigerated flaky biscuits

In a large bowl, combine the cheese, ham, mayonnaise, bacon and mustard. Split biscuits into thirds. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of ungreased miniature muffin cups. Fill each with about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture.

Bake at 450° for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing from the pans. Serve warm.

Apple Pie Granita

Low Cal and healthy!!

3 cups natural-style apple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground allspice

In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, 3 minutes. Pour into an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Freeze until icy around the edges, about 1 hour. Using a fork, scrape the icy shards into the center. Continue to freeze, stirring occasionally, until slushy throughout, about 3 hours longer. Scoop into bowls and serve.

Greek Marinade

1/2 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Six 1-inch strips of lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons ouzo
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together. Place the chicken in a large, resealable bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and brush liberally with vegetable oil. Scrape any marinade off the chicken, season it generously with salt and pepper and grill.

Peruvian Marinade

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
8 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together. Place the chicken in a large, resealable bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and brush liberally with vegetable oil. Scrape any marinade off the chicken, season it generously with salt and pepper and grill.

Vietnamese Marinade

5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together. Place the chicken in a large, resealable bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and brush liberally with vegetable oil. Scrape any marinade off the chicken, season it generously with salt and pepper and grill.

Strawberry Shortcakes with Meyer Lemon Cream

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup cake flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, preferably from Meyer lemons
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

2 pints strawberries, quartered
2 tablespoons sugar

MAKE THE BISCUITS: Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose and cake flours with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the cold butter until it is the size of small peas. Stir in the cream until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Roll the dough into a 7-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch or 3-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 5 biscuits. Gently gather the scraps and reroll them; cut out 1 more round so you have a total of 6 biscuits.

Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Let cool.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE LEMON CREAM: Set a strainer over a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine half of the lemon zest with the lemon juice, sugar, egg, egg yolk, salt and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Immediately strain the curd into the bowl. Whisk in the remaining lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of butter. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until cool, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, softly whip the cream. Fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

PREPARE THE STRAWBERRIES: In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes.

Split the biscuits in half and arrange the bottom halves on plates. Mound the lemon cream on the biscuits, top with the strawberries and their juices and replace the tops. Serve right away.

MAKE AHEAD The biscuits can be stored in an airtight container overnight. Recrisp them in a warm oven and let cool before serving. The lemon curd can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. The lemon cream can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

Warm Churros and Hot Chocolate

2 sticks unsalted butter ( 1/2 pound)
Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 large egg white
4 1/2 cups whole milk
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil with the butter and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Remove from the heat, add the flour and stir vigorously until incorporated. Return to moderate heat and cook, stirring, until the dough pulls away from the side, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Using an electric mixer, beat the dough at low speed for 1 minute, just until slightly cooled. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat in the eggs and egg white, one at a time. Transfer the dough to a bowl, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the milk with 1/2 cup of water until small bubbles appear around the edge. Add the chocolate, cocoa powder, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar and a pinch of salt and whisk over low heat until the chocolate is melted. Keep warm over very low heat.

In another large saucepan, heat the oil to 375°. Set a rack on a large baking sheet and cover with paper towels. In a pie plate, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Scoop the dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

Working quickly, squeeze 6-inch lengths of the dough into the hot oil, cutting them off with a knife. Fry no more than 8 churros at a time; they expand a bit as they cook. Fry over moderately high heat, turning once or twice, until browned, about 8 minutes. Drain the churros on the rack for 2 minutes, then toss with the cinnamon sugar in the pie plate. Serve at once with hot chocolate.

Brûléed Key Lime Tarts

10 Oreo cookies
2 tablespoons melted butter
5 egg yolks
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup Key lime juice
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 8 teaspoons for sprinkling
3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, finely grind the Oreos. Pulse in the butter. Lightly spray four 4 1/2-inch fluted tartlet pans with removable bottoms; press the ground Oreos into the bottoms. Set the pans on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until the edges look dry. Let cool.

In a bowl, whisk the yolks, condensed milk, 1/3 cup of the Key lime juice and the lime zest. Pour the filling into the pans and bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the edges are just firm. Let cool for 30 minutes, then freeze until very cold, about 2 hours.

In a small saucepan, combine the 3 tablespoons of sugar with 3 tablespoons of water, the lime leaves and the salt. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, then let cool. Discard the lime leaves. Stir in the remaining 1/3 cup of lime juice and refrigerate.

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the sugar over each tart and caramelize with a blow torch. Unmold the tarts and place in shallow bowls. Pour in the Key lime sauce and serve. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Classic Tiramisù

5 large egg whites
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
Two 8 3/4-ounce containers mascarpone, at room temperature
1/2 cup strong brewed espresso, cooled
About 17 ladyfingers (from a 17-ounce package)
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate curls, made with a vegetable peeler

In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt at high speed until firm peaks form. In another medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and thickened. At low speed, beat the mascarpone into the yolks. Fold the beaten whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Spread half of the mascarpone mixture in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Pour the espresso into a shallow bowl. Dip the ladyfingers in the espresso until evenly moistened and arrange in a layer on the mascarpone mixture; you may need to break a few in half to make them fit. Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture on top. Sift cocoa powder over the tiramisù. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Scatter the chocolate curls evenly over the tiramisù and serve.

MAKE AHEAD: The tiramisù can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Père Roux’s Cake

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup solid vegetable shortening (6 ounces)
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups skim milk
7 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 overripe bananas, coarsely mashed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Meyers’s dark rum

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 pound cream cheese, softened

Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of wax paper and butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the shortening and mix at low speed until evenly blended. Add the sugar and mix at medium speed until a mass forms around the paddle. At low speed, gradually add 3/4 cup of the milk and beat until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl from time to time.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 3/4 cup of milk and the vanilla and almond extracts. With the machine on, gradually beat the egg white mixture into the batter at medium speed until silky, about 5 minutes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden and springy. Transfer the cakes to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes in the pans, then invert them onto the rack and let cool completely. Peel off the wax paper and slice each cake in half horizontally.

Meanwhile, make the filling:
In a large saucepan, cook the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon over moderately high heat until the butter and sugar have melted. Remove from the heat and add the bananas and 1/2 cup of the rum. Cook the filling over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very thick and the butter just begins to separate, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the filling to a food processor. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of rum and puree until smooth. Let the filling cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Make the frosting:
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at low speed until incorporated. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Place one cake layer on a large plate, and spoon one-third of the filling on top and spread it to the edge. Top with another cake layer, pressing gently; spread with another third of the filling.

Repeat with the remaining cake layers and filling, ending with a cake layer. Spread the frosting over the top and side of the cake and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until set. Bring to room temperature before serving.

MAKE AHEAD The cake can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Salsa Verde

2 cups basil leaves
3 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp chopped cornichons
2 tbsp drained capers
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Scrape the salsa into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Can be refrigerated overnight.

Indian Rub

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp curry powder
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

Mix into a paste, rub into chicken. Bake.

Spanish Rub

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton de la Vera)
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, chopped

Mix into a paste, rub into chicken. Bake.

Jamaican Rub

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp Scotch bonnet or habanero hot sauce
3 scallions, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix into a paste, rub into chicken. Bake.

Almond Ice Milk

1 quart whole milk
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup ground blanched almonds
1/2 tsp pure almond extract

In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk and honey to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the honey, about 4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the ground blanched almonds and the almond extract until completely combined. Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Place a medium bowl in the ice bath. Strain the almond milk through a fine mesh sieve into the medium bowland let cool completely, stirring occasionally. Transfer the chilled almond milk to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Tuscan Sangria

1 750 ml bottle Tuscan red wine, such as Sangiovese
3 cups fresh orange juice
3/4 cup Tuaca (a vanilla-and-citrus-flavored liqueur)
1/3 cup Punt e Mes (a bittersweet Italian vermouth)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup limoncello
1/4 cup sugar
orange slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish

In a pitcher, combine the red wine, O.J., Tuaca, Punt e Mes, lime juice, limoncello and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. To serve, fill wineglasses halfway with ice. Add the sangria and garnish.

Crème Fraîche

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk

Note: If possible, use pasteurized heavy whipping cream, as ultra pasteurized will take longer to thicken.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the cream to 105 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk. Transfer the cream to a large bowl and allow this mixture to stand in a warm place, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until thickened but still of pouring consistency. Stir and taste every 6 - 8 hours. This process takes anywhere from 24 to 36 hours, depending on your room temperature. The crème fraîche is ready when it is thick with a slightly nutty sour taste. Chill cream, in the refrigerator, for several hours before using. Crème fraîche may be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Coca Cola Roast Beef

5 lbs bottom round
1 tbsp each of salt and chili pepper
1 tsp each of thyme leaves, basil leaves, oregano leaves, paprika, black pepper, chervil, dry mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups Coca Cola (DO NOT USE DIET!!)

Place the roast in a large roasting pan. Blend the seasonings. Pour the coke along side the beef.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, reduce temperature to 300 degrees and continue to bake for 3 hours.

Remove beef, slice and serve.

I've also done this in a crock pot with the same temps.

Chocolate Pasta

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the eggs and vanilla extract, and mix to a smooth dough.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until 1/8 inch. With a pastry wheel cut the dough into strips 3/4 inch wide and about 7 inches long. (If you have a pasta machine, you can use it to roll the dough out into the ribbons.)

Cook the pasta in unsalted, boiling water for 3 minutes.

Dessert Lasagna

12 pieces lasagne
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar, divided
8 kiwis, peeled
4 cups strawberries, washed and trimmed, 8 reserved forgarnishing
4 cups blackberries, washed
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
Mint sprigs to garnish

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse, drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and ½ cup sugar. Set aside.

In the food processor, puree 4 kiwis with 2 tablespoons sugar. Transfer the puree to a bowl and set it aside. Rinse the processor bowl.

In the processor, puree half the strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Strain the puree into a bowl and set it aside. Rinse the processor bowl.

In the processor, puree half the blackberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Strain the puree and set it aside.

Slice the kiwis into ¼-inch thick rounds. Slice the strawberries into 1/8-inch thick pieces. Slice the blackberries in half.

Reserve 1/4 cup of each of the purees to use as a garnish when serving.

To assemble the lasagne, first cover the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass baking pan with 3 pieces of pasta. Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta on top and spread it evenly. Pour the kiwi puree over the cheese and arrange the kiwi slices on the puree. Lay on 3 more pieces of pasta and cover with 1/2 the remaining cheese. Pour the strawberry puree over the cheese and sprinkle with sliced strawberries. Lay on 3 more pieces of pasta and cover with the remaining cheese. Pour the blackberries puree over the cheese and sprinkle with blackberries. Top with a final layer of pasta. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, sprinkle the lasagne with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and with the toasted almonds. Cut into 8 rectangles and use a spatula to set the pieces on dessert plates. Decorate the plates with dots of reserved purees. Garnish each piece of lasagne with a strawberry and a sprig of mint.

Creme Anglaise

3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
2 cups scalded milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

In the top of a double boiler whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until light and pale, place over simmering water. Slowly whip in the milk and cook until thick, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla. Use hot or cold with fruit, ice sorbets, chocolate dishes, floating islands, white chocolate pasta or as desired.

Herb Butter

1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp each of chives, parsley, chervil (french parsley,) tarragon, shallots
1 tbsp whipping cream

Place the ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth.

Creole Sauce

1 1/2 tbsp safflower oil
1 1/2 finely diced onions
1 finely diced green bell peppers
1 1/2 finely diced celery stalks
10 peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/4 tsp oregano leaves
1/4 tsp thyme leaves
3 diced green onions
1/2 bunch chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Saute the onion, celery and green pepper until tender. Add the tomatoes and seasoning, simmer until the desired thickness has been achieved (about 4 hours.)

Add the green onion and parsley. Simmer 15 minutes longer. Sauce is ready for use.

Armadillo Eggs

16 Jalapeno peppers
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 eggs
1/4 milk
1/2 cup flour
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 cups safflower oil
2 cups hot Creole sauce (see recipe on this site)
curly lettuce leaves (garnish)

Cut the tops from the peppers. Using a small knife remove the membranes and seeds from within the peppers.

Stuff each pepper with cheese, pack the cheese as tight as possible. Place on a baking tray.

Blend the eggs with the milk in a small mixing bowl.

Dust the peppers with the flour, dip into the eggs and dredge in the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Fry the peppers in the oil until golden brown.

Place the sauce in a small bowl to be served with the Armadillo eggs.

Monkey's Lunch Cake w/ Banana Kahlua Frosting

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 mashed bananas
1/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

Beat in the banana. Blend in the Irish Cream. Sift together the baking soda, baking powder, flour and salt, fold into the cake.

Pour batter into a 9" buttered and floured spring form pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes then transfer cake to cooling rack, turn cake out and cool completely. Frost with Banana Kahlua Frosting.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp banana liqueur
3 tbsp Irish Cream liqueur
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate - melted

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and whip in the confectioner's sugar.

In a double boiler beat the eggs, sugar, flour, salt, liqueurs and chocolate. Cook 10 minutes, cool. Whip into the cream and butter. Frost cakes.

Sesame Noodle Salad with Red Bell Pepper and Peanuts

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 pound uncooked spaghettini
1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
3/4 cup (2 x 1/4-inch) julienne-cut red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

To prepare dressing, combine first 10 ingredients in a jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously.

To prepare the salad, cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine pasta, bean sprouts, and the next 5 ingredients (bean sprouts through cilantro) in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with peanuts.

Bourbon Marinade

1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Combine and marinate meat.

Good for salmon, pork and chicken

Bourbon-Glazed Salmon

1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add salmon fillets. Seal bag, and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag once. Remove fillets from bag; discard marinade.

Preheat broiler.

Place fillets on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 11 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle each fillet with 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon onions.

13 February, 2008

Drunken Monkey's Lunch

1 oz vodka

1 oz banana liqueur

1 oz Kahlua

3 oz milk

Pour the Kahlua, vodka, banana liqueur over cubed ice in an old-fashioned glass. Fill with milk.

09 February, 2008

Margarita Cupcakes

(from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World)

1/4 cup lime juice
1 1/2 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
1 cup soy milk (plain or vanilla)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp tequila
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
In a large bowl, mix together lime juice, lime zest, soy milk, oil , tequila, vanilla and sugar.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to lime mixture and stir until just combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins.
Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Tequila and Lime Frosting
1/4 butter or nonhydrogenated shortening, softened
1 tbsp soymilk
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tequila
2+ cups confectioners' sugar
coarse sugar for "rims"

Cream together butter/nonhydrogenated shortening (depending on whether you want the frosting vegan or not), soymilk, lime juice, tequila, and 2 cups of confectioners' sugar. Add in more sugar as needed to make frosting stiff, but spreadable.
Spread on cupcakes and roll the edges in a small amount of coarse, colored sugar (poured into a small bowl, so it's easy to direct it.

Gingery Limeade

Ginger is a natural way to sooth uneasy stomaches and is a natural digestive aid. It can be used to treat nausea and also helps to eliminate harmful intestinal bacteria (so now you know why they serve ginger with sushi!). Lime is a natural diuretic and is also good for soothing stomach ailments and headaches, they are very high in vitamin C and help to clean out those stuffy nasal passages. So not only is this drink tastey but it has some wonderful benefits too!

3/4 cup sugar (Splenda can be used instead)
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger (don't substitute!)
1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 1/2 cold water

Combine first four ingredients in a small pan, whisk until sugar is dissolved. Give it a bit of heat, if needed. Strain mixture through a sieve into a pitcher. Add juice and 2 1/2 cups cold water through the sieve, discard the ginger and lime zest. Chill completely.

Garnish the pitcher by floating a few thinly sliced limes on top.

Picnic Sandwich

1 package sheet puff pastry; thawed
1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
4 tablespoons spicy mustard
½ cup sliced olives, green or black
¼ lb each sliced meat; ham, turkey, roast beef and corned beef
1 egg, beaten

Roll one sheet puff pastry gently with as little flour as possible; about 1/4” thick. Fit pastry in a spring form pan. Cut pieces to form the sides. Pinch pastry together with a little water.

Spread one tablespoon of mustard on bottom of pastry. Layer meat, olives, mustard, and cheese ending with meat.

Roll other sheet of pastry as tin as first and cut circle slightly larger than top of pan. Seal edges and brush top with beaten egg. (yes, that is a smiley face)

Bake 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until brown. Use lower third of oven so the bottom crust cooks. Cool before removing from pan and cool completely before cutting.

Chocolate Gravy - Mole Poblano


Devein chiles and remove seeds. Peel onion and cut in quarters. Peel, then cut plantain in 1/4 in. pieces and set aside with chiles, etc.

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a widepan (a wok is great) and fry all ingredients, in batches, starting with the chiles and ending with the nuts, tomatoes and chocolate. As you fry all the ingredients, set them aside in a large bowl, mixing them together as you go.

Once all ingredients have been sauteed, puree them in a blender, thinning them with chicken or turkey broth (or consomme cubes or powder dissolved in hot water). Consistency should be fairly thick, but just thin enough to blend to a smooth sauce.

Cook over low flame (or in crock pot) for approximately two hours, or until Mole turns a dark reddish brown color. The perfect test for Mole is when you stir it, you will see the bottom of the pot!

Serve over chicken, turkey, pork or sirloin tips, always accompanied by Mexican rice and corn tortillas or Mexican rolls (French baguettes will do too!)

Chocolate Gravy

This is the type of gravy you see in the movie Chocolat that they served over the Turkey, Meats and pork type dishes.

1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 15 mL
1 cup sodium-reduced chicken broth 250 mL
5 squares 70% cocoa chocolate 50 g
1 tbsp fancy molasses 15 mL
1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 mL
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 2 mL
1 tbsp instant brown gravy thickener 15 mL
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. Sauté shallot for 2 minutes or until translucent. Add balsamic vinegar and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to low and simmer for 2 minutes.

Add chocolate, molasses, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, stirring until chocolate is melted and well blended. Add thickener and stir to combine well. Strain sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Corn Bread ala Tanya

Sweet Corn Bread
Estimated Times:
Preparation - 10 min | Cooking - 35 min | Yields - 12 servings


* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup Yellow or White Corn Meal
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 cups milk
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

I add 1/3 cup of frozen corn, approx. 1/2 tsp of fresh ground nutmeg (somewhat visible when stirred in), 1 Tbsp honey and occasionally will throw in a handful of craisans or diced jarred jalepenos to give a different taste.

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

COMBINE flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bow. Combine milk, eggs, vegetable oil and butter in a small bowl; mix well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

SPOON batter into 18 to 20 greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool slightly. Serve warm.


  • 1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly dust surface with flour and roll out a sheet of puff pastry until it’s about 18″ by 14″.

Spread half the stick of butter evenly across the pastry. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and evenly spoon half of this mixture across the buttered pastry. With your palms, gently press the sugar into the puff pastry to help it “stick” to the butter.

Beginning at left edge, roll the dough, jelly roll style, to the center line. Repeat with the right edge. This will result in the dough having almost an eyeglasses shape.

With a sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch slices of dough, and place the eyeglass-shaped slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This will be somewhat messy.

Repeat with other sheet of puff pastry.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely on wire racks.

Makes about 4 dozen palmiers.

Elvis Cake - Banana Cake/PB Frosting

Banana Cake

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temp
2 Tbs. dark rum
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F.

2. Butter and flour 2 nine-inch cake pans.

3. Mix the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt together in a bowl.

4. With a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is creamy.

5. Add the sugars and beat for a couple of minutes.

6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add the vanilla and the rum.

7. Lower the speed and add the bananas. Keep it on low speed while you add the buttermilk and the flour - add the dry ingredients and liquid ingredients alternately, adding the flour mixture in three portions and the coconut milk in two (begin and end with the dry ingredients).

8. Mix until everything is just incorporated.

9. Divide the batter between the two pans.

10. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the cakes are a deep golden brown.

11. Cool in pans for 5 minutes and then on a rack until completely cool.

Peanut Butter Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Turn this recipe into a puzzle! [click]


Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.

Ultra-Easy No Knead Bread

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
  • Cornmeal

1. In a large bowl, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100°F). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and pinch off a grapefruit-size piece. Carefully turn dough in your hands to form a round; the bottom will be bumpy. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal and let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and quickly shut oven to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Makes 3-4 loaves.

From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François.

Each batch makes three or four loaves of crusty bread, but you don’t need to bake it all at once. The unused dough can sit in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and you pull off a portion and bake it when you want.

Spicy Chocolate Meat Rub

Here’s a recipe for a spicy rub made with unsweetened cocoa powder that goes great on pork, lamb, or chicken. Just give them a good coating of the rub before grilling. This rub works especially well with kabobs, which give you more surface area and thus more chance to enjoy the chocolate rub’s flavors. Simply combine the ingredients together in food processor or spice grinder until the red peppers have been ground fine. This will keep several months in an airtight container.

  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Mayan Hot Chocolate

This recipe is inspired by Vianne from the book/film Chocolat by Joanne Harris

2 cups boiling water
1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed (with gloves)
5 cups light cream or whole or nonfat milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate or
3 tablets Mexican chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar or honey, or to taste
l tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine
Whipped cream

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add chile pepper to boiling water. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain water and set aside. (You can omit this step by using 2 large pinches to 1/4 teaspoon pasilla or ancho dried chile pepper powder or a combination of the two. Do not use chili powder — a mix of spices with cumin and oregano. Use pure ground red chile pepper like the rich pasilla, chile negro or ancho).

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream or milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves. Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Add chile-infused water, a little at a time, tasting to make sure the flavor isn't too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk.

Serve in small cups and offer ground almonds or hazelnuts and whipped cream.

Molten Chocolate Cinnamon Cakes

(recipe from Cook's Illustrated, The Best Recipe)
These can be made with our without the cinnamon, add a pinch of chili pepper for a bold flavor.. it will really bring out the sensuality of the chocolate ~ 2 large pinches to 1/4 teaspoon pasilla or ancho dried chile pepper powder (or a combination)

8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter and flour 8 small ramekins or custard cups. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water, instead using the steam to gently and indirectly heat the chocolate. Stir the chocolate occasionally for even melting. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until mixture lightens in color and triples in size, about 7-8 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate and the flour (and cinnamon) to the egg mixture and gently fold together without deflating the eggs too much. The batter will be foamy.

Ladle the batter equally into the 8 ramekins. Bake for 12 minutes, until the outside is set and the center is still jiggly. Loosen the cakes by running a knife around the edge and invert it on a plate. Let cool 30 seconds – 1 minute and lift off the ramekin. Serve immediately with whipped cream, ice cream, or a strained fruit puree. Serves 8.

These can be made the day before, refrigerated and baked the next day with decent results, although the same day is preferable.

03 February, 2008

Besitos de Coco - Coconut Kisses

Prep Time : 10min Cook Time : 35min


  • 3 cups coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut (or vanilla) extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Grease a 13x9x2 cookie sheet.
3. In a bowl, thoroughly mix all ingredients together into a dough.
4. Divide the dough into 24 uniform balls.
5. Place the balls on the greased cookie sheet forming peaks at the top like a kiss and bake for about 35 minutes. They should be golden.

Servings: 24 cookies.


Can dip the finished product in chocolate and/or nuts

Tempting Training Treats

2 1/3. cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat) 1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup grated cheese (like parmesan)
1 large egg
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup non-fat powdered milk

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well; Roll the dough out to size of a cookie sheet; Pat the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, bringing it to the edges.
Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut desired sizes into dough (just score through). If you're using as training treats, cut them into small pieces; Sprinkle a little extra cheese and garlic powder if desired on dough for flavor. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes until golden brown. Turn off the oven and let cool for a few hours; They will keep hardening the longer you leave them. Break them apart; store tightly covered or in the freezer

Pooch Peanut Butter Swirls

Dough #1:

4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Combine all #1 ingredients and mix thoroughly. Knead on a lightly floured surface. Set aside.

Dough #2:

4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 egg
1 1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Combine all #2 ingredients and mix thoroughly. Knead on a lightly floured surface.

Roll each dough separately to a 1/8 inch thickness, into rectangles. Lightly brush a little water over the top of the light dough. Place the dark dough on top, then roll up like a jelly roll. Wrap the roll in plastic and chill in the freezer for one hour. Cut the roll into 1/4 inch slices. Place them on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Yield: 36 pieces

Munchy Crunchy Meat Treats

1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. honey
1/2 cup water
5 tsp. chicken or beef broth
1 jar baby food meat (any flavor)

Combine all ingredients well. Form into a ball. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Cut out desired shapes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool. The treats should be hard and crunchy.

Pumpkin Cookies

If you notice there isn't a whole lot of sugar in this cookie, they are dog biscuits! Although yes quite tasty I suppose if more sugar was added they would be more pleasing for humans too.


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup pumpkin, canned
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons Crisco
1 whole egg
1/2 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and cut in shortening. Beat egg with milk and pumpkin and combine with flour, mixing well. Stir until soft dough forms. Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Double Crusted Cheddar Apple Pie

Serves: 6 Ready In: 30-60 minutes


2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter -- cubed
4 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
4 ounces sharp Cheddar -- grated fine and chilled well
2 egg yolks beaten lightly with 1/3 cup cold water
3 pounds McIntosh apples
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter -- cut into bits

Make the dough: In a food processor combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until it resembles very coarse meal. Add the Cheddar and pulse until it again resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the yolk mixture, tossing with a fork until it forms a dough. Add more cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. Form the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disc, and dust with flour. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Roll out half the dough 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Fit it into a 9-inch (1-quart) glass pie plate and trim the edge, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Chill the shell and the remaining dough while making the filling.

Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel, core, and cut the apples into eighths. In a large bowl toss together the apples, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the flour, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the salt, and the lemon juice until the mixture is combined well. Transfer the filling to the shell and dot it with the butter.

Roll out the remaining dough into a 13- by 14-inch round on a lightly floured surface, drape it over the filling, and trim it, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively. Brush the crust lightly with the milk and cut slits in it with a sharp knife to form steam vents.

Bake the pie on a large baking sheet in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until the crust is golden and the apples are tender.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 1860 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (1% calories from fat); 36g Protein; 419g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 1608mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 17 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 10 Other CarbohydratesAlan Hewitt

Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread


* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 cup of oil
* 3 cups of flour
* 1 tsp. baking powder
* 1 tsp. of vanilla
* 12 oz. chocolate chips
* 4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the Mandel Bread Wet Ingredients
First put the sugar, the eggs and the oil into a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed. Using a recipe with 4 eggs will make this a more cookie-like rather than a brittle type of mandel bread.
Mix in the Mandel Bread Dry Ingredients
Next, add the baking powder to the flour and whisk them together. Now, a little bit at a time, mix the flour into the wet mixture. Once you've got the flour worked in, add the vanilla. Mixture will be thick and sticky. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips with a spoon. You can add walnuts at this time, but I will leave it as is.
Bake the Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread
Spoon about half the mixture onto each of the two parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake them for about a 1/2 hour.
Cut the Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread
Take them out of the oven and cut the loaf into 1-inch slices. If your loaf is wide like mine, I like to also cut the loaf down the middle. Then, put back in oven for another 5 minutes.

Take out of the oven, serve, and enjoy!

Kosher Rugelach


* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 sticks cubed unsalted butter
* 8 ounces cubed cream cheese
* 1/3 cup sour cream
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
* 1/2 cup chopped raisins
* milk

Prepare the Kosher Rugelach Dough
First, prepare a food processor with a chopping or dough blade. Next, place the cream cheese, butter, and sour cream in the mixer. Pulse this together until its creamy.

Then add the flour and the salt. Pulse again until the mixture pulls away from the sides as it blends. Use the dough function on your mixture, if you have one.
Store and Chill the Rugelach Dough
Take out the blade and scoop out 1/4 of the mixture. For easy storage, place the dough into a plastic bag and then shape the dough into round disc. Do this with all the dough, so you have four bags.

This dough also freezes well. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
Combine the Rugelach Filling
In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped walnuts, finely chopped raisins, sugar, and cinnamon. There are many varieties of rugaleh. You can add brown sugar or even chocolate chips in the filling.
Add Filling to the Dough
Taking one disc out of the fridge, and roll it into a 9-inch circle. Keep the other disks chilled until you are ready to roll them.

Now add the filling. Sprinkle the sugar and nut mixture all around the dough. Then, lightly press it down into the dough.
Cut and Wrap the Rugelach Dough
With chef's knife or pizza cutter, cut each round into 12 wedges. Roll wedges from wide to narrow, you will end up with point on outside of cookie. Some people like to add fruit jams to the dough before adding the filling to make another variation.

Instead of a circle, you can also wrap the dough like a jelly roll. Then, cut the roll into small pieces.
Chill the Kosher Rugelach Dough
Place the rugelach on foil-lined baking sheets and chill for around 20 minutes. This will help prevent the shape of the dough from falling apart while cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Bake the Kosher Rugelach
After the rugelach are chilled, brush with milk and sprinkle some extra cinnamon and sugar on top.

Bake them in the center rack of your oven for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks. Serve and enjoy!

Kasha Varnishkes - Kasha with Bow Ties

This is part of my Russian Jewish heritage.

1 cup kasha buckwheat groats, medium granulation
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups chicken stock or use canned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup pasta bow ties

In a small bowl, mix the kasha with the beaten egg. Be sure all the grains are covered with egg. Place a medium non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the kasha to the pan and, using a wooden fork, flatten it out a bit, stirring and moving it about the pan until the egg dries and the grains have mostly separated. Set aside.

Place a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta bow ties. (Do not cook them yet.) In a 4-quart heavy stove-top covered casserole, heat the chicken fat or oil and saute the onions until clear. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the salt and pepper and the reserved kasha. Stir a bit and cover. Cook over low heat, stirring now and then, until the kasha is tender, about 10 minutes. If it is not done to your taste, cook for a few more minutes. In the meantime, boil the pasta just until tender. Drain well and stir into the kasha. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings

Butterscotch Caramels

  • 3/4 c. condensed milk
  • 2 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. dark Karo corn syrup

Cook together to 240°. Add 1 tsp. vanilla. Cook to 246°.

Pour into buttered tin 1” deep.

Press nuts into candy if desired. Cut when cool.

Gummi Bears

1 small box (3oz) Jell-o with sugar, any flavor
7 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 c water

Mix in a sauce pan until the mixture resembles play dough. Place pan over low heat and stir until melted.

Once completely melted, pour into plastic candy molds, and place in the freezer for 5 minutes.

When very firm, take out of molds and eat!

Alternate: should be able to use sugar-free Jell-o or non-sweetened Jell-o with apple juice or pear juice as a substitute for sweetener

Almond Roca

  • 2 cups (1 pound) butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1 large package chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts ground in a blender

Melt butter over high heat. Add sugar, stirring until it foams up well. Continue over high heat, adding almonds. Continue to cook, stirring continually until mixture is color of mahogany and sugar is all melted. (Take it off the heat for a moment if it starts to smoke.)

Stir as you take it off the heat permanently and pour quickly onto your biggest flat pan with sides. Tilt to spread evenly.

After 5 minutes, pour on chocolate chips. When they have melted a bit, spread them over the top of the hot mixture with a rubber scraper. Scatter ground walnuts over the top, shaking to distribute evenly.

Cool at least three hours at room temperature. Candy is thoroughly cooled when the chocolate is dull looking. Break into pieces and it's ready to eat.

New Orleans King Cake Recipe

For the cake:
1 package active dry yeast
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup warm milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons softened butter
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 pecan half, bean, or bakeable trinket (typically a baby or coin)

For the frosting:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Colored sprinkles

For the cake: In a small bowl, mix the yeast and sugar with 1/2 cup of warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes. Then in the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, combine it with the warm milk, salt, cinnamon, butter, egg, and 1 cup of flour. Mix for 4 to 5 minutes or until it looks pale and stretchy. Cover with plastic and set in a warm spot for 1 hour.

Stir the dough and beat in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until it can be handled but is elastic. Knead or mix for 5 minutes. Hide the trinket in it. Cover again and let rise until doubled in bulk. Divide the dough in thirds and make each piece into a 24-inch snake. Braid them together, then form into an oval ring and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk -- about 45 minutes. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the cake for 20 minutes or until it sounds hollow when rapped. Cool it completely.

For the frosting: Mix the lemon juice and vanilla in a bowl. Sift in the confectioners' sugar a little at a time, stirring to make a smooth mixture. When it is a thick pouring consistency, drizzle it over the cake. Decorate with colored sprinkles or sugar. Purple to signify justice, gold for power, and green for faith are the colors of Mardi Gras. Bands of colored sugar or sprinkles in these colors always decorate King cake.

Serves 10 to 12

Pie Baking Tips

All liquids should be ice-cold.

When making pie dough over mixing will make pie dough tough and hard to roll out. Mix just till it holds together for a tender crust.

Always chill pastry dough before rolling and cutting. Chill it again afterwards, before baking, to further relax the gluten.

When rolling pie dough between waxed or parchment paper, dampen the countertop first, to keep the paper from slipping.

When rolling pie dough, always start from the center and work your way out in all directions. Use a heavy rolling pin for rolling piecrust.

To prevent a soggy pie crust, refrigerate for 15 minutes before filling or seal by brushing with slightly beaten egg white, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.

For a two-crust pie, brush a little water around the edge of the bottom crust before placing the top crust. This creates a good seal once the two are crimped together.

Before placing double-crusted pies in the oven, loosely wrap aluminum foil around piecrust edges. This will help the edges from browning too quickly. Remember to remove the aluminum about 10 minutes before pies are ready to come out of the oven so the crust is properly browned.

Brush beaten egg white over piecrust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Two sure-fire ways to keep meringue toppings from shrinking. First, spread on the pie while the filling is hot. Second, make sure the meringue touches the crust all around.

Prize Winning Cherry Pie

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2/3 cup Grenadine syrup
  • 2 (16-ounce) pkg frozen cherries, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons Butter or margarine
  • Pastry for double-crust 9-inc
  • 2 teaspoons Milk

  • 2 Pounds fresh cherries -- pitted
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan; stir mixture to remove lumps. Stir grenadine syrup into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Add cherries; simmer until liquid is thickened and transparent (about 4 minutes), stirring gently once or twice. Add almond extract and butter, stirring until butter melts; cool. Roll out half of pastry to 1/8" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Place in a 9" deep-dish pie plate; trim off excess pastry along edges.

Pour cooled cherry mixture into pastry shell. Roll remaining pastry to 1/8" thickness; transfer to top of pie. Trim off excess pastry along edges. Fold edges under and flute. Cut slits in top crust for steam to escape. Brush top of pastry shell lightly with milk. Bake at 400ºF for 55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool pie before serving.

Yield: one 9-inch pie.

NOTE: Two pounds fresh cherries, pitted, may be substituted for 2 (16-ounce) packages frozen cherries; use 1/4 cup cornstarch instead of 3 tablespoons.

Mustard Garlic Pretzels

Cook's notes: The average Dijon-style mustard isn't "sturdy" enough for this recipe (it doesn't really shine through), so choose one with a little more bite to it, like Maille French Dijon. The thyme and Dijon can be eliminated for more traditional pretzels and topped with salt instead of garlic-cheese topping. The garlic-cheese topping will adhere to the pretzels better if you first brush the finished pretzels with melted butter or a little oil before dusting them with the seasonings.

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 C. warm water

Pinch granulated sugar

1 1/4 C. lukewarm milk

2 T. vegetable oil

2 T. granulated sugar

1/4 C. spicy Dijon-style mustard

1 t. dried thyme

1 t. salt

4 to 4 1/4 C. Hodgson Mill Naturally White flour, divided use

3 quarts water

1 T. baking soda

1 egg white mixed with 1 T. water, for egg wash

Garlic-Cheese Topping:

1/2 C. grated parmesan cheese

2 t. garlic powder

Heat oven to 450°F. while the shaped pretzels are rising.

Proof the yeast: Combine yeast, warm water and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl; stir to dissolve. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until foamy.

Prepare the dough:
Combine milk, oil, 2 table spoons sugar, mustard, thyme and salt in medium mixing bowl; stir to mix. Add yeast mixture; mix well. Add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add enough of the remaining 1 to 1 1/4 cups flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Knead, raise the dough: Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 5 minutes. Lightly oil the surface of the dough and put in the rinsed mixing bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft- free place 60 to 75 minutes, or until doubled. Punch down dough, knead lightly to work out the larger air bubbles. Let dough rest 10 minutes.

Shape the pretzels:
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 18 inches long. Shape ropes into pretzels. Place on heavily greased baking sheets and let rise 15 minutes.

Bake, boil the pretzels:
Place pan(s) of pretzels in preheated oven and bake 5 minutes, then remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F.. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a deep skillet, pan or pot. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Lower pretzels one by one into boiling water; let boil one minute, then turn pretzel over and boil one minute. Gently remove pretzel from water with tongs or slotted spoon; place on paper towel to drain. Repeat until all pretzels have been boiled.

Bake pretzels:
Place boiled, drained pretzels on well-greased baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Brush pretzels with egg wash. Bake in preheated 350°F. oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Prepare garlic-cheese topping:
Mix parmesan cheese and garlic powder. About five minutes before the pretzels are ready to come out of the oven, sprinkle the tops with garlic-cheese top ping. Remove from the pans and allow to cool slightly on wire racks.

Serve warm.

Makes 12 large pretzels.

Source: "Breaking Bread with Father Dominic 2" by Father Dominic Garramone

Auntie Anne's Pretzel Recipe

Soft Pretzel Recipe
For 3 dozen 6-inch sticks or
For 1 dozen 6-inch Pretzels
1 tbsp Yeast
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp softened butter or softened margarine
1 cup warm (115-+ deg F) water
2 3/4 cups flour
Coarse Salt to sprinkle on Pretzels before baking
5 tsp baking soda mixed in 4 cups water in a non-aluminum saucepan.

1 large slotted spoon to "go fishing"
Greased cookie sheet

Preheat oven to 475 F

Put yeast, sugar, salt, butter/marg, water and ONE CUP of the flour into a medium mixing bowl and pour in the water.
Stir till all smooth, and yeast starts to bubble.
At this point add the rest of the flour, stir till it is mixed in.
When mixture is too stiff to stir with a spoon, begin kneading.
Knead dough till smooth and till it no longer sticks to the bowl and your hands
Allow dough to rise to about double its height.
While dough is rising, grease the cookie sheet. and prepare the baking soda-water mixture and bring to a boil on stove.
When dough is risen enough, punch down, knead for a minute or so, then divide and roll the 6-inch sticks with your hands, to about 1/2 inch in diameter, or 12-15-inch long rolls to make into the pretzel shape.
Allow sticks or pretzels to sit for about 1-2 mins. Place them into boiling water-baking soda mixture one or two at a time.
Let the pretzels boil for 1 minute 10 seconds, then flip them over with the slotted spoon and boil on the other side for 1 minute and 10 seconds.
This boiling step gives them a firm skin and adds some flavour. Not boiling long enough leaves them too soft and allows them to rise too much. Boiling too long makes them tough.
Fish them out of the water, let them drip off and place them on the greased cookie sheet.
When all the pretzels or sticks are done, sprinkle the coarse salt on them.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or till sticks or pretzels are golden brown.
You can double the recipe in proportion.
(I think if you have a bread machine, you can do most of this recipe in one until you of course have to form them!)

Hot Buttered Pretzels


2 1/2 C. unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 t. salt

1 t. sugar

1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast

7/8 to 1 C. warm water

Baking Soda Wash

1/2 C. warm water

2 T. baking soda

Coarse or kosher salt

3 T. unsalted butter, melted

Heat oven to 500°F. after the dough has been allowed to rest (see next step).

Prepare dough:
Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl and beat by hand or machine until well-combined. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until it's soft, smooth and quite slack. Flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag, al lowing it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Prepare baking sheets: Prepare two baking sheets by spraying them with nonstick vegetable oil spray.

Divide the dough:
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide it into eight equal pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces each). Allow the pieces to rest uncovered for 5 minutes.

Prepare the dip:
Combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda in a shallow bowl, making sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved, or it'll make a splotchy glaze.

Shape the pretzels:
Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (about 28 to 30 inches long), form into a pretzel. Dip each pretzel in the baking-soda wash (this will give the pretzels a nice, golden brown color), drain on paper towel to re move excess water and place them on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with pretzel salt. Allow pretzels to rest uncovered 10 minutes.

Bake the pretzels:
Bake the pretzels for 8 to 9 minutes or until they're golden brown, reversing the baking sheets halfway through. Remove the pretzels from the oven to a cooling rack. Brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Continue brushing until all the butter is used; that's what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste.

Pretzels are best fresh from the oven or reheat them in an oven or microwave.

Makes 8 pretzels.

Chocolate Toffee Crunch Squares

  • 2 packages milk chocolate chips (11 1/2-oz)
  • 1 C. crushed toffee pieces or packaged toffee bits
  • 1 C. salted peanuts
  • 1 C. halved pretzel sticks
  • 1/2 C. sweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 C. white chocolate chips
  • 1 t. shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)
  • Paper candy cups (optional)

Line a 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap. Place chocolate chips in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100 percent) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at HIGH an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.

Immediately add toffee bits, peanuts, pretzels, and coconut, if desired; stir to coat.

Spread mixture into prepared pan; cover with plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate 45 minutes or until firm.

Place white chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at HIGH an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Using fork, drizzle white chips mixture over chocolate mixture in pan. Cover; refrigerate 5 minutes or until firm.
Bring to room temperature. Remove chocolate mixture from pan and place on cutting board, top side up; discard plastic wrap. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Place each square in a candy cup, if desired. Store in covered container in a cool place.

Makes about 3 dozen squares.

Variation: Chocolate Toffee Haystacks — Prepare chocolate mixture as above. Instead of spreading square pan, drop chocolate mixture by slightly heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet or tray. Refrigerate until firm. Melt white chips as directed above; drizzle over "haystacks."

Taco Bell Mild Border Sauce

3 cups water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Dissolve cornstarch in water in a medium saucepan.
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover until cool. Keep in a covered container in the refrigerator to store.
Makes 3 cups (24 ounces).

Bailey Bones - cookies

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick rolled oats
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup white flour
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chicken or beef bouillon granules

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well blended. Roll out on floured board. Cut out treats with bone-shaped cookie cutter. Bake 15-20 minutes or until dry.

Makes about 3 dozen

- These are for dogs.. but they do kinda taste like triscuits.

Liver Treats

1 lb Chicken livers
1 1/2 c of regular cornmeal
2 eggs
2 Tbs of molasses
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine all wet ingredients first in a food processor, then add rest of ingredients, blend until uniform in color. Pour into 9x13 baking dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until it pulls from sides or a knife comes out clean. cut into bite size pieces. Store in refrigerator.

Noodle Kugel

* 3 eggs
* 1/4 cup melted margarine or butter
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/2 lb. wide noodles
* 1/4 cup raisins
* 1/4 cup almonds
* 1/2 cup chopped apples

Beat the eggs thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, sugar and cinnamon beat until thoroughly blended. Cook the noodles and rinse them in cold water. Do not drain them too thoroughly. Put the noodles into the egg mixture and stir until the noodles are coated with the mixture. Let them sit in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes, so the noodles absorb some of the egg mixture. Stir again.

Put about half of the egg-noodle mixture into a casserole dish. Put the raisins, almonds and apples on top. Put the remaining egg-noodle mixture on top of that. Bake for about 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees, until the egg part is firm and the noodles on top are crispy. Can be served warm or cold.

Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

Blender or food processor
Medium sized mixing bowl
Large stock pot with lid
Cutting board
Slotted spoon
Saran wrap or tupperware container with lid
Parchment paper(optional)

1 1/2 cups matzoh meal
12 oz package firm silken tofu (like mori-nu)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 carrot, peeled
handful fresh dill
fresh parsley for garnish

8 cups or so vegetable broth

In a mixing bowl, combine the matzoh meal with salt and pepper, set aside.

Crumble the tofu into In a blender or food processor, add the vegetable broth and puree until smooth. Add the oil and blend again.

Mix the tofu mixture with the matzoh meal. Combine well, making sure that everything moist. Grate 1/2 the carrot into the mixture and combine until it's well distributed. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight. You can't skip this step, it's important in making sure that the matzoh balls will not fall apart when boiled.

When you are ready to form the balls, fill a large stock pot with enough water to fit all the matzoh balls with minimal touching. Salt the water generously, cover and bring to a boil.

Have handy a cutting board to line up the formed matzoh balls, and cover it with parchment paper if you have it, to prevent sticking. Also have handy a wet rag to wipe your hands on to make for clean hands for forming matzoh balls.

Reduce temperature to a low boil.

Remove matzoh mixture from the fridge. Form into tightly packed, walnut sized balls. When all the balls are prepared, drop carefully into the boiling water, 1 or two at a time, with a spatula or slotted spoon. Take your time and be careful, not to plop one on top of the other. When all the balls are in the water, cover the pot and DO NOT LIFT LID FOR FORTY MINUTES! Sorry for the caps, just had to stress it. When the forty minutes are up you can remove the lid. The matzoh balls will have floated to the top and will drop back down when lid is lifted. This is fun to watch.

Now they are ready to serve, however, to make them even lighter, you can turn off the heat, cover the pot again, and let them sit in the water for another hour or so. This way they absorb more water and expand a bit more.

Prepare the broth by placing it in a separate pot. Grate the other half of the carrot into the broth, along with a healthy handful or fresh dill, roughly chopped. Bring to a low boil, and when it's just heated you're ready to prepare the bowls.

With a slotted spoon, carefully remove matzoh balls and place 2 or 3 in a bowl. Ladle the broth over the matzoh balls, so that they're covered only about half way. You can garnish with some more fresh dill, or parsley. Serve to whoever you love.

If you are not serving the soup right away, you can refrigerate them over night, and boil them when ready, Some people even freeze leftovers, but I never have as there's never been leftovers.

Matzo Ball Soup Version 1

Makes 18 large matzo balls


  • 8 cups plus 1 tablespoon chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups matzo meal
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
  • 2 tablespoons club soda
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


Place the 8 cups chicken broth in a deep pot over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the matzo meal and eggs. Add the salt, vodka, club soda, remaining 1 tablespoon chicken broth and vegetable oil. Mix well. Put in the freezer for 45 minutes.

With wet palms, form matzo balls that are about 2 inches in diameter. When the broth is hot but not boiling, use a slotted spoon to put the matzo balls into the broth. Cover the pot, cook for 40 minutes and serve.

Makes 18 large matzo balls
Facts per Serving
Calories: 84 Fat, Total: 4g Carbohydrates, Total: 5g
Cholesterol: 59mg Sodium: 676mg Protein: 5g
Fiber: 0g % Cal. from Fat: 43% % Cal. from Carbs: 24%

Matzo Ball Soup Version 2

Prep Time: 100 min
Cooking Time: 200 min



  • 1 stewing chicken (4 lbs)
  • 10 cups cold water
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, halved
  • 1 parsnip, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 parsley sprigs, divided
  • 4 tsp salt
Matzo Balls
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup rendered chicken fat* or shortening, melted
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  1. Place chicken and the 10 cups water in large sauce pot. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes; skim broth. Add vegetables, garlic, peppercorns, 2 parsley sprigs and the 4 teaspoons salt; cover and simmer 2-3 1/2 hours. Cool slightly and remove chicken. (Reserve chicken for another use.
  2. Strain soup; reserve a few carrot pieces and cut into thin slices for garnish. Refrigerate overnight. Skim off fat.
  3. Make matzo balls: Combine eggs, the 1/2 cup water and the melted fat in medium bowl. Stir in matzo meal, the 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper and nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Bring 1 1/2 quarts of water to boil in a medium saucepan. With wet palms, roll matzo mixture into 1-inch balls and drop into boiling water. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes.. do not lift the cover.
  4. Remove the matzo balls with a slotted spoon and let cool. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Heat the broth to boiling and reduce to a low boil, spoon the matzo balls with a slotted spoon into the broth. Cover pot and allow to cook for 35 minutes without removing the cover.

Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies

These are always a hit!

Serves: 30
Prep time: 1hr 10 min

  • 2-3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 c margarine (use butter ONLY if you want them to be crispy)
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c granulated OR colored sugar - for garnish

  1. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cram together margarine and 2 cups sugar until fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in vanilla.
  4. Gradually stir in dry mixture just until blended.
  5. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls then roll in remaining sugar or colored sugar.
  6. Refrigerate balls for at least 20 minutes OR freeze until ready to bake.
  7. Place cookies 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
  8. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges.
  9. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to cool on a wire rack.

01 February, 2008

Salsa Boracha

1 medium dried chipotle or ancho chile
4 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup diced brown onion
1 (3.5 gm) beef bullion cube, mashed
1/4 cup Oyster Sauce
1/4 cup beer
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt

Remove stem and seeds from chile and place in a small saucepan full of water. Bring water to a boil for 5 minutes to soften chile. Cool to touch and mince into tiny bits.

Cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds before dicing. Add all ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Cover salsa and let stand for 1 hour at room temperature before serving to allow flavors to blend. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Makes about 5 cups.

Jamie Oliver's Pesto Sauce

1/2 clove of garlic chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
3 handfuls of fresh basil
Handful of pine nuts
Handful of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil

Pound garlic with a pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar, or pulse in a food processor. Add pine nuts and pound again. Put into a bowl and add half of parmesan. Stir in gently and add olive oil. Season to taste, then add some of the remaining cheese and more olive oil. Repeat until desired consistency. If you want you may add a squeeze of fresh lemon to add a little "twang" Try it with or without and see which you prefer.

Pina Colada Dipping Sauce for Chicken Skewers

1/2 cup cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
2 tablespoons crushed pineapple
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon minced, peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon Jamaican rum
pinch of salt

Mix together in a small bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate until party time. Serve with bite-size chicken skewers or coconut shrimp.


You make these on an iron, kinda like a waffle iron but has pretty designs on both sides and makes a thinner cookie.

1 lb Butter-room temp and creamed
8 eggs
2 3/4 cups sugar

4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp anise oil, other flavors can be used but you need to use an oil

Cream butter with mixer, on low speed mix in eggs one at a time. The mixture is pretty funky looking. Don't over beat. By hand mix in sugar. Add in flour and baking powder 1/4 at a time, mix until incorporated and then next 1/4 until all is added. Add oil last and mix well.

Get iron hot and spray with non stick spray.

Place one tsp of batter on each iron and cook for about 10-15 seconds. Cookie will not brown much. Batter burns easily so if it is browning it is starting to burn. Cookies will be soft and moist when taken off the iron. I use a rubber spatula and my hands to do this. Set on a raised cooling rack. If you set them flat they will absorb the moisture and be soft. When the cookies cool they should be crisp, shatter if dropped.

** Anise oil is sometimes easier to find online at gormet cooking sites. Here is one I have found. http://www.lorannoils.com/homepage_consumers.htm

Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce for Shrimp Cocktail

1 cup cocktail sauce
3 tbs vodka
1/8 tsp horseradish
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp celery salt

Mix together in a small bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate until party time. Serve with cooked, cold shrimp. Makes about 1 1/2 cups of sauce.

Sea Scallops Wrapped in Prosciutto

Makes 4 servings

Seasonal Market Salad, Vin Cotto and Olive Oil


2 pounds fresh "dry" sea scallops, medium to large in size
Fresh cracked black pepper
Approximately 15 to 20 paper thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


1. Using your fingers, pull off and discard the small muscle from the side of any scallop that has one. If using sea scallops, cut any large ones in quarters, mediums in half, so that all the pieces are the same size. Rinse the scallops under cold water, then blot dry with paper towels.

2. Place several slices of prosciutto on a cutting board lengthwise. Using a sharp small paring knife, split prosciutto slices in half lengthwise. Season sea scallops with fresh cracked pepper. Place each scallop on a slice of prosciutto and roll up tightly until completely wrapped. Repeat process for all scallops.

3. Heat 12-inch sauté pan on high heat with 1/4 cup olive oil. When olive oil is smoking, place sea scallops carefully in pan and sear evenly on both sides until prosciutto is crisp, approximately 1 1/2 minutes per side. Note: do not crowd pan with too many scallops, half of pan should be open to allow scallops to cook at high heat. Repeat process until all scallops are cooked.