Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Simple Tiramisu

16 ladyfingers
 2/3 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
 1/3 cup maple syrup
 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
 1/2 cup sour cream
 1/2 cup maple syrup
 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

  1. Split ladyfingers lengthwise and use them to line the bottom and sides of an 8x8 inch dish. Stir together coffee and 1/3 cup maple syrup until smooth. Spoon mixture over ladyfingers.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, sour cream and 1/2 cup maple syrup until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture over soaked ladyfingers. Cover and chill 15 minutes.
  3. Dust with sifted cocoa just before serving.


6 egg yolks
 3/4 cup white sugar
 2/3 cup milk
 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 pound mascarpone cheese
 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
 2 tablespoons rum
 2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture.
  4. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7x11 inch dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cucumber and Avocado Sushi

1 1/4 cups water
 1 cup uncooked glutinous white rice (sushi rice)
 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
 1 pinch salt
 4 sheets nori (dry seaweed)
 1/2 cucumber, sliced into thin strips
 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and sliced
toasted sesame seeds

  1. Combine the water and rice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender and water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cover a bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap to keep the rice from sticking. Place a sheet of seaweed over the plastic. Use your hands to spread the rice evenly onto the sheet, leaving about 1/2 inch of seaweed empty at the bottom. Arrange strips of cucumber and avocado across the center of the rice. Lift the mat and roll over the vegetables once and press down. Unroll, then roll again towards the exposed end of the seaweed sheet to make a long roll. You may moisten with a little water to help seal. Set aside and continue with remaining nori sheets, rice and fillings.
  3. Use a sharp wet knife to slice the rolls into 5 or 6 slices. Serve cut side up with your favorite sushi condiments.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Easy Waffles

3 egg whites
 2 cups all-purpose flour (or wheat flour)
 1 3/4 cups milk
 1/2 cup vegetable oil
 1 tablespoon white sugar
 4 teaspoons baking powder
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.
  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.
Note: Will keep up to a week in frig.

Breadcrumb Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

Ingredients:2 lbs of Large Cremini Mushrooms or White Button Mushrooms, cleaned
1 ½ cups of Homemade Fresh Breadcrumbs
½ cup of Parmiggiano Reggiano
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp of Fresh Chopped Parsley
4 Tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2) In a large bowl, combine together the breadcrumbs, parmiggiano, parsley, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper.

3) Hollow out the mushrooms with a small spoon and spoon in this mixture into the mushrooms and place them in an oiled baking dish on a single layer.

4) Drizzle a little more olive oil on top and bake them for about 1 mintues or until the tops are golden brown. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Onion and Garlic Bread Recipe

2 1/4 cups milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon honey (optional)
3 Tablespoons butter (margarine)
1/4 cup quick-rolled oats (rounded)
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley (optional for color)
1 egg
1 package of active dry yeast (or Quick-Rise yeast)
5 to 6 1/2 cups unbleached flour (I like to substitute 1 cup of wheat flour)

Chop the onion into small pieces. I like mine fairly fine. If you want the onion softened, sauté it in a small amount of butter at this time, then set aside.

In a small sauce pan add the first nine ingredients in the list (leaving the egg, yeast, and flour out). Place the pan on a stove top at medium heat and stir it a few times to mix everything together. While the milk mixture is warming, place 2 1/2 cups of flour and the yeast into a large mixing bowl. Return to the milk and continue warming it until it's reached 105 to 115 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, don't worry. Use your finger and when it gets to a very warm "hot tub" temperature, you are there. Stir the solution a couple of more times, then add it to the flour mix on low speed.

Adjust your mixer speed to a low/medium setting and add the egg. Allow it to blend for 3 minutes. Mixing at too high of a speed will cool the recipe and whip too much air into the dough. Near the end of the 3 minutes, slowly add more flour, (a 1/4 cup at a time) until the dough begins to creep up the beaters. Turn it off and remove the bowl from the mixer.

With a large serving spoon (or your clean hands) kneed in more of the flour until the dough begins to form a large ball. You can turn it onto a clean, lightly floured counter top or continue to mix it in the bowl. Add enough flour until the dough is just dry enough to handle easily.

Grease another bowl (shortening or butter) and place the dough ball in it, turning it once or twice to coat the dough with the shortening. Cover it with a lightweight towel and place it in a cold oven along with another bowl of hot water. This will speed up the rising time. Leave it alone until doubled (about 50 minutes). Set a timer and go do something else.

When the timer rings, lightly grease a large cookie sheet. Punch down the risen dough and turn it onto a lightly floured counter top. Quickly divide the dough into approximately 12 pieces, then form each one into a hot-dog bun shape and place it on the cookie sheet. Leave a little space between them. (To make full loaves of bread, grease two loaf pans, divide the original dough ball into two pieces, form them into loaves, and place each in a pan.) At this point, melt a few tablespoons of butter and lightly coat the top of each roll or loaf. Place them back into the oven to rise for another 40 to 50 minutes. The rolls will push into each other as they rise. Again, set a timer and go do something else.

At the end of this rising, gently remove the uncooked dough from the oven, pre-heat it to 350 degrees, then bake them on the middle rack for approximately 25 minutes. (Set the timer and go do something else.) They will become golden brown when done. Remove them from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes, then gently break them apart. For full loaves of bread, the baking time is about 38 minutes, or until the bread slightly pulls away from the side of the pan. After removing them from the oven, allow them to sit for ten minutes in the pan before turning them out to a cooling rack.

Eat your warm creation now, or bag it after an hour of cooling. Either way, it's a delight for the senses, and something that will compliment any main course you can offer to your guests. For fun, use your bread rolls to make mini-bread pizzas for the kids. Cut them in half, cover with sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice. Place them into a 350 degree oven until the cheese is bubbly and browned. Enjoy!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vegetable Soup Recipe

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, medium dice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium carrots, medium dice
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, medium dice
2 cups additional vegetables of your choice (such as red pepper, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, fennel, or peas), medium dice
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 pinch dried thyme (optional)
1/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth (optional)
1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound, medium dice

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the celery and, if using, any hearty vegetables (such as cabbage and fennel) and the bay leaf and thyme. Season again with salt and pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes. If using, add the wine or vermouth (for some acidity) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the alcohol has reduced by about half, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, potatoes, and any quicker-cooking vegetables (such as asparagus and peas). Let the soup come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 15 to 25 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Easy Lunch Box Sugar Cookies Recipe

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 3/4 cups flour
* Optional. Colored candy sprinkles.  These cookies are tasty without the candy sprinkles on them as well.

1  Cream butter and sugar.
2  Add egg and vanilla.
3  Mix all dry ingredients and add slowly to butter cream mixture until incorporated.
4  Roll out on lightly floured board to desired thickness.
5 Cut out 2-1/2" circles, dab the sprinkles onto the cookies and bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes.  The cookies should be light in color with light browning on the edges.  Cool the cookies on a cooling rack.