Monday, December 28, 2009

Eggs in a Snowstorm





















I found this terrific recipe from the blog Inn Cuisine that I thought I would try out today.  It is called "Eggs in a Cloud."  I thought that mine looked more like an egg in a snowstorm.  Whatever it's called, it's delish.  Here's the recipe for two.

Ingredients:

2 eggs, room temperature
2 slices of bread
2 slices of Canadian bacon
2 slices of swiss cheese (or cheese of your choice)

You start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F, and toasting two slices of somewhat sturdy bread (whole wheat is great.)  Then you separate two eggs and whip up the meringue to hard peaks.  Take a cookie sheet, line it with parchment, silpat or aluminum foil and place the toast on it.  Then, put the bacon next, and cheese after that.  Spoon the beaten egg whites on top of the cheese, making a well in the center.  Carefully slide the egg yolk in the center of the well, bolstering the sides so it won't slip out.

Put the eggs in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the egg white edges are tinged to a light brown color and egg yolks are set.  Remove from oven and plate up!  It is truly a new way to enjoy breakfast.  I hope that you will try them.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Springerle Cookies











I've always wanted to make springerles, so I turned to some German and Penn/Dutch cookbooks where I found some wonderful old recipes.  I also went to my public library's website to search through their magazine and newspaper databases and hit gold there as well.  Lastly I tried google web, google blog and google news and found a few things there.  Now I was ready to try my hand at this old craft.    

Here's my recipe:

5 large eggs at room temperature
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
5 drops anise extract
2 teaspoons (leveled off with a knife, not heaping) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
Anise seeds

Beat eggs on medium using the flat beater for 20 minutes or until light yellow.  Slow down the mixer and add the powdered sugar.  Mix until well incorporated, at least another 10 minutes.  Scrape down sides, add lemon and beat another 2-4 minutes.  Mix in anise extract.  The batter should start to look lovely and glossy. 

Sift flours, baking powder and salt.  Add slowly to mixer, beating until you get a stiff dough.  If the mixer is laboring, turn it off and add the flour by hand.  Turn out onto a well floured countertop and knead until it's no longer sticky.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hours.

Prepare a baking sheet by placing a dollop of butter on each corner, center top and center bottom and placing the parchment paper, securing it with butter.   Sprinkle anise seeds on the sheet.

Turn a piece of dough out on a floured board (re-cover the rest of the dough).  If sticky, add a little flour and knead.  With a rolling pin, roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thick or the thickness of your mold.  Brush mold with flour or powdered sugar and press into the dough.  Be careful to press from above, not sideways or your pattern will smear.  Carefully lift the mold until the dough comes out, you might have to use a toothpick to start an edge or knock it gently on the counter. Clean out your mold occasionally to prevent bits sticking in the mold.  A toothpick helps with this process.  Cut out the cookies with a pizza cutter or knife.  Reroll the scraps and make more cookies.

Place the cookies on the anise seeds about an inch apart.  Let them dry overnight in a warm, well ventilated place out of harm's way.

Bake one springerle at 275 degrees F on the middle rack of an oven for 15-20 minutes.  Check after 10 minutes because you do not want them to brown!  They should rise on the bottom but keep the impression on the top.   A lot of sites recommend baking one cookie, and if you like its condition, bake the rest.  If it rises too much, loses its impression and looks like a pillow, lower the oven temp.  Store for two to three weeks in a tin or your freezer, placing the cookies on waxed paper.  

Enjoy!


I’m also contributing this cookie recipe to the Virtual Cookie Jar for the 12 Days of Sharing, hosted by In Jennie’s Kitchen! Share Our Strength is an organization that is fighting to end childhood hunger. By sharing a favorite cookie recipe, you can all help raise awareness about childhood hunger and help to end childhood hunger by 2015. A small donation can go far. $25 can feed a child three healthy meals a day for a month (via Share Our Strength site).




12DaysCookies_badge-1

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chocolate Springerles!


I've always wanted to make springerle cookies.  Those lovely carved wooden molds that originated from Germany make the most beautiful cookies.  The top one is called "Pomegranate Heart."





 But not being a big fan of licorice, and being a big fan of chocolate I went on a quest to make my own recipe.  The second one is called "Winter Scene."



 Here are a few of the results, although my camera doesn't capture the intricacies of the design as well as I would like... but I like the taste alot!  Another "Holiday."


Clockwise from left:
"Hearts", a scene from "Hansel and Gretel", "Winter Scene" and a heart with a bird or turkey.  My DH, who says that he doesn't like chocolate, has been eating these on the sly...

This last one is called "Holiday Celebration."

I made the cookies and glazed them with a chocolate glaze to make the design pop.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chocolate Turkey Day - A new Thanksgiving Tradition




It seems that every recipe around Thanksgiving has something to do with turkey, and this one is no exception.  Roast turkey, turkey tettrazini, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup.  Well how about Chocolate Turkeys?  Now this is something I think that most of us can get around.  I made this little fellow by microwaving chocolate chips with a few drops of vegetable oil, spooned it into a mold, and then popped him in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Voila!  Chocolate turkeys.  I'm thinking  -  after dinner treat - sometime after the pies. I think I can find room.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jersey Devil Tomatoes - Just in Time for Halloween!



Strange.  I've not had much success with my tomato crop this year.  But there was one notable exception.  The Jersey Devil Tomato plant that I put in late this summer.  Against all odds, it beat the tomato blight that was affecting most of the other hundreds of tomato plants in the community garden.  Could it be because it's an heirloom tomato?  There, late in the season, were two beautiful Jersey Devil Tomatoes shining out of the abandoned plot that I took over.  Don't mess with the Jersey Devil.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ethereal Blue Cornbread and Blueberries



Earlier this week I ground a pound or so of blue cornmeal, put it in a plastic freezer bag, and then stuck it in my fridge. As cornmeal needs to be used quickly (it goes rancid faster than other ground grains by some accounts) I thought that I better whip up a pan of blue cornbread with blueberries. It has a delicate, buttery taste and a beautiful blue color. Here's the recipe:

Blueberry Ricotta Cornbread. Makes one skillet.

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 Tablespoons
1/4 cup soft white wheat, (freshly ground)
1 cup blue cornmeal (freshly ground)
1Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3Tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1 In a large bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
2 In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, oil, egg, sugar and baking soda. Fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined.
3 Coat the blueberries with the remaining flour and fold into the batter along with the ricotta cheese.
4 Melt butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, making sure to coat bottom and sides completely. Cook butter 2 to 3 minutes, until it starts to brown and smell nutty. Pour batter into hot skillet.
5 Bake until bread is golden 40=45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.


Looks almost like PacMan Bread!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Grind your own flour! Freshly ground flour contains all of the good stuff that's been removed and sold back to you in separate containers. There are many kinds of grinders - some with stone burrs and some with steel. Mine is an attachment to my Kitchenaid. I grind different wheats and corn for my breads and baked goods. It's easy, quick and certainly healthier. You get extra fiber, vitamins and minerals and it hasn't been sitting on a store shelf for months. Once a week, I grind my flour and store it in the refrigerator, using it up by the end of the week. I can recommend a terrific book on the subject, Flour Power by Marty Basey. In this comprehensive book, the author describes different wheats and their uses, where to purchase them, and the pros and cons of many kinds of grinders. It's very easy and takes very little time for all of the benefits. And you can't beat the taste!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Low/No Sugar Banana Bread with Whole Wheat and Oatmeal

Container: 9"x5" loaf pan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Adapted from Recipetips.com
Updated 1/25/10

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I add my home ground flour here)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup oatmeal, quick cooking

1/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup bananas, ripe, mashed

Topping: 3 tablespoons white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Add ins:  I layer the bottom of the pan with sweetened coconut or 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar or add 1/4 cup walnuts or 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Spray or butter a loaf pan. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar topping on bottom of pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Stir in the oatmeal.

Add eggs, oil and bananas. Stir until just combined.

If adding blueberries, spinkle a teaspoon of flour over them and jiggle them around to cover. Fold them in the batter.

Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean. Cool in pan about 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap and cool in refrigerator before serving.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Whole Wheat Hamburger Rolls




Here is my entry into homemade hamburger rolls. They are wonderful, so easy to make and nutritious to boot. I grind my own flour and add it to regular all purpose flour in my recipes. The freshly ground flour adds so much goodness and the rolls stand up to a juicy burger. No more squishy burger rolls! Here's the recipe:

Whole Wheat Hamburger Rolls Recipe (Makes a dozen large rolls)



1-3/4 cups potato water*


1 pkg (2 1/2 tsps) active dry yeast


1 Tbsps + 1/2 tsp sugar


1 Tbsps honey


1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder


2-1/2 tsps salt


3 Tbsps melted butter


4-1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour


½ cup whole wheat flour


1 large egg beaten with 2 tsps water, for glazing


1/2 cup sesame or poppy seeds (optional)


In a small bowl pour in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast and 1/2 tsp of sugar into the warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand at room temp until foamy, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl combine the remaining 1-1/4 cups water, whole wheat flour, yeast mix, powdered milk, the remaining sugar salt and butter. Add 2 cups of the flour, beat hard until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft, shaggy dough is formed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 4 minutes, dusting with flour only 1 tbsp at a time as needed to make a soft smooth dough. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the bowl, add dough and turn to coat the top and cover with a tea towel. Let rise at room temp until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F. Gently deflate dough and turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Grease a baking sheet. Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each into a round ball and place each ball seam side down and at least 2" apart on baking sheet. Flatten each ball with your palm. Cover loosely and let rise until puffy, about 20 minutes. Brush each roll with the egg glaze and sprinkle tops with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake 20-25 minutes or until slightly browned and firm to the touch. Transfer immediately to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before splitting. *If you don’t have potato water left over from boiled potatoes you can easily make some by peeling and cubing a potato. Place it in a microwave safe bowl with 1 ¾ cups of water, cover and microwave for 3-4 minutes or until the potato is easily pierced with a fork. If not done, re-cover and microwave for another minute or until done. Let water cool to room temperature.

Take a bite out of your taxes


Tax time is always stressful. If Uncle Sam is going to take his share, I thought I'd take a bite out of doing my taxes. I used a recipe for a petit beurre cookie and with my Brigitte cookie cutter, pressed out the word "TAXES". Then when I started to do my taxes, I had some "Tax"cookies to help get through the process. Especially enjoyable with tea.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pullman Bread (or Pain de Mie in French)




Today I received my Pullman Loaf pan that was ordered from a nice gal in Arizona by way of EBay. I have been looking for a good, smaller, covered bread pan to make sandwich bread and finally found it. It's beautiful. The recipe that I used was tweaked from several good ones. I've seen them made with milk, dried milk, potato starch, soy milk, honey, cheese and a whole host of delicious ingredients. As this is my first foray, I decided to try to keep it simple. Here is the recipe:

1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons honey
2-1/3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/3 tablespoons dried yeast
2 cups white flour
1 cup home ground whole wheat flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons soft butter

Note: I used a Pullman Bread Pan that measured approximately 10 inches long by 3 inches high.

Heat milk in a saucepan until it reaches about 100 degrees F. Add honey and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes to foam. (If it doesn't foam, the yeast could be too old and you will need to try with fresh yeast.)

Pour the milk in your mixer and add the rest of the ingredients. Beat, starting out slow when combined, change to your dough hook and machine knead for five minutes.

Remove from bowl, butter or oil bowl and return dough, turning it over to coat. Let rise in a warm place, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled. Turn the dough out and with a rolling pin, roll it out to about 10 inches by 8 inches. Roll it up and pinch the seams closed. Butter your Pullman pan on all sides and the inside of the cover. Place the dough, seam side down in the pan, slip the cover on securely and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough is about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan *you can peek after about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 45 minutes. Remove the cover and if pale, set the bread on a rack in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until nicely browned.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Ingredients



1 small red cabbage, about 2 pounds, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise

2 slices of bacon, diced, or use a tablespoon of butter or oil

1 tablespoon diced onion

1 large apple, peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon salt if using bacon. If using butter or oil, use 1 teaspoon

1/8 teapoon caraway seed

Briefly immerse the cabbage in cold water. Render the bacon ( or heat the butter/oil)

Add and cook over medium low heat onions until golden brown. Add cabbage, vinegar, honey, caraway seeds and salt. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until the cabbage is very soft. Add boiling water if it starts to dry out. Recipe from Joy of Cooking.

Contemplating an affair with a peach

My DH and I went peach picking and all day I thought about what to do with them. That's when I decided to get in a jam... Slip the skin off a dozen peaches by dipping them in very hot water. Remove their pits and dice the flesh. You should have about 3 cups. Place the fruit in a heavy bottomed pot and add 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 3 tablespoons finely diced ginger. Simmer over medium heat for about an hour. Ladle into jars and store in the refridgerator for up to a month.


My DH and I went peach picking and all day I thought about what to do with them. That's when I decided to get in a jam... Slip the skin off a dozen peaches by dipping them in very hot water. Remove their pits and dice the flesh. You should have about 3 cups. Place the fruit in a heavy bottomed pot and add 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 3 tablespoons finely diced ginger. Simmer over medium heat for about an hour. Ladle into jars and store in the refridgerator for up to a month.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Peach and Berry Pie


For the piecrust:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter (cut into pieces)
1/4 cup ice water

Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times. Add butter and pulse until the crumbs are the size of peas. Do not overpulse, it's better to underpulse than overdo. Add the water, a few drops at a time and puse until the dough almost comes together. Remove dough to the counter and knead once or twice. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refridgerator for at least an hour.
For the raspberry/blueberry mix:
1/2 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Combine in a pan and heat until boiling. Cook, stirring all the while for five mi9nutes. Let cool.
For the peaches:
Peel and slice four cups of peaches and put in a bowl. Add two teaspoons lemon juice, two tablespoons cornstarch, a pinch of salt and 1/3 cup of sugar (or to taste.) Add raspberry/blueberry mixture and stir gently. Halve the pie dough, roll it out and place into a 9" pie plate. Pour peach mixture in and cover with the remaining halve of rolled out dough. Brush with cream or milk and springle sugar on if desired. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on a rack and serve warm or room temperature.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cappucchino Ice Cream

We've been hangering for some coffee ice cream, but some of us wanted to go the Cappucchino route. So we devised this recipe, that is tres delicious!

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1 package cappucchino coffee mix (we used Bustelo)

3 egg yolks, beaten

2 cups heavy cream

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan under medium flame, heat the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Don't boil the milk, we're looking for small bubbles on the edges o the pan. Add the coffees and salt and mix until dissolved.
While the milk mixture is heating, beat the egg yolks until light yellow.
Slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the egg yolks, whisking hard. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and continue to whisk until the milk reaches 175 degrees F or coats the back of a spoon. Strain if desired into a bowl and chill.
When mix is chilled, whip the heavy cream to a soft peak. Fold into chilled mixture and process in an ice cream maker. Transfer to a container and freeze. Heaven on a spoon!

You might want to add chocolate pieces when folding the cream if you want Cappucchino Chip.

You also might want to dust your serving with cocoa or cinnamon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Father's Day!


Finally, a cake fit to serve to the best Dad! A chocolate cake with whipped cream icing topped with tuxedo-dressed strawberries! To make the strawberries:

Ingredients:

18 large fresh strawberries with stems
1 cup vanilla or white chips
3-1/2 teaspoons shortening, divided
1-1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions: Wash strawberries and pat until completely dry. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and put in the refrigerator. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt vanilla chips and 1-1/2 teaspoons shortening at 70% power; stir until smooth. Dip each strawberry in the white chocolate until two-thirds is coated, forming the tuxedo shirt, allowing excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper tray and chill until set, about 30 minutes. Melt chocolate chips and remaining shortening. To form the tuxedo jacket, dip each side of berry into chocolate from the tip of the strawberry to the top of vanilla coating. Repeat on the other side, leaving a white V-shape in the center. Chill berries for 30 minutes or until set. Re-melt reserved chocolate and using a toothpick, draw a bowtie and three buttons down the "shirt." Chill for 30 minutes or until set. Store in the refrigerator in a covered plastic container for up to 1 day. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Limoncello Cake with Berries and Cream


Limoncello Cake with Blackberries and whipped cream. Delicious spring breakfast.
This recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Pound Cake recipe. I substituted Limoncello for the lemon in the glaze.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Homemade Cheese Ravioli - Nothing else like it!


If you've ever had homemade ravioli - and I mean homemade pasta and homemade ricotta - then you know what a treat it is to eat. Recently I made some, with a "Sunday Sauce" that was delicious!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gooey Goodness!







What is more yummy than Sticky Buns! Growing up we always had them at the Jersey Shore for a special breakfast. Well I needed a little beach fix this cloudy morning so I whipped up a batch of Cinnamon Sticky Buns. Yummy! I used a tried and true recipe from Williams Sonoma.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Original Pancake House

This morning we're off to the Original Pancake House. If you haven't been there, you must go as it's a real treat. I highly recommend their omelets (comes with pancakes) but I'd really like to try something called a "Dutch Baby." Sounds weird but it's one of their signature dishes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rum Date Nut Bread (Yum!)


Here is my recipe (adapted from Williams Sonoma):

Ingredients:
1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
3 Tbs. rum
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
3⁄4 cup warm water
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup all purpose)

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Generously butter an 8 1⁄2-by-4 1⁄2-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, soak the dates in 1 Tbs. of the rum for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, using a large rubber spatula, stir together the dates, walnuts, baking soda, salt, melted butter and water until combined. Mix in the sugar and eggs, then the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is puffed and browned, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely. Run a table knife around the edge of the pan and turn the cake out onto a serving plate. Turn it right side up. Spoon the remaining 2 Tbs. brandy, a little at a time, over the cake so that the cake absorbs all of it. Serves 8 to 10. Note: This sturdy cake is ideal for shipping as a gift. The brandy not only adds flavor but also helps preserve the cake.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Cake, by Fran Gage (Simon & Schuster, 2003).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Checkerboard Cake






Today, I made a Checkerboard Cake (chocolate and vanilla) using my Williams Sonoma Checkerboard cake pan. It didn't last long! You can also make one for Valentine's Day (red and white); Halloween (orange and black); etc. A fun addition to my specialty pan collection.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sweet Dreams! Are they cakes or veggies?


Carrot cakes made into veggie shapes thanks to my Williams Sonoma "Garden Patch" mold pan.