Thursday, December 29, 2011

Creamy tomato and basil soup

1 28 oz or 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato puree (from can)
5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup heavy cream
chopped fresh basil, for garnish
salt and pepper according to taste

Heat olive oil in large heavy pot. Add onion and sautee on medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic, sautee an additional minute. Add diced tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano and stock, bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Puree soup with a handheld blender. Add cream, and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Garnish with chopped fresh basil and add salt and freshly ground pepper according to taste.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mustard Roasted Salmon with Lingonberry Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 2 6-ounce salmon fillets

  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons lingonberry preserves
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

Preheat oven to 450°F. Stir 2 tablespoons mustard and 1 tablespoon melted butter in small dish. Oil small rimmed baking sheet and place salmon on sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle salmon with salt. Spread top of salmon with mustard mixture and season generously with pepper. Bake until salmon is cooked through and mustard browns, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 2 minutes. Add preserves and vinegar; stir until preserves melt and mixture is smooth. Bring to simmer. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Recipe from Epicurious

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

  • For cake
    • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
    • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs

    For icing
    • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
    • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

    Make cake:
    Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.
    Whisk together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.
    Beat butter (1 1/2 sticks) and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.
    Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.
    Make icing:
    While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Plum cake

3/4 cup PLUS 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
Pinch salt
3 large plums, pitted and sliced
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In an electric mixer, cream the 3/4 cup sugar and butter. Add the flour, baking powder, eggs, and salt and beat to mix well. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the bottom of the pan, butter it, and place in the pan. Place plums in a circular pattern in the pan. Mix the cinnamon with the remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar and sprinkle over the top.
3. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the center tests done with a toothpick. Remove and cool to room temperature or serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vegetable stuffed acorn squash

1 acorn squash
3 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 C. chopped red bell pepper
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 C. dry white wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 C. shredded cheese (Gruyere or Parmesan works nicely)

Cut  squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds. Rub 1 1/2 tsp butter over cut sides. Arrange, cut sides down, in a shallow baking pan.
Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes. Turn squash and continue to bake until tender when pierced (15-20 minutes approximately). Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft but not browned (8-10 minutes). Stir in wine and soy sauce. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; cook, stirring until liquid has evaporated (about 3 minutes)
Remove squash from oven and spoon a quarter of the filling into cavity of each squash half. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and continue to bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned (about 10 more minutes). Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

B&W cookies

For cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg

For icings

  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Make cookies:
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 large baking sheets.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and mixing just until smooth.

Drop rounded teaspoons of batter 1 inch apart onto baking sheets. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed, edges are pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Make icings while cookies cool:
Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl until smooth. If icing is not easily spreadable, add more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as vanilla icing. Cover surface with a dampened paper towel, then cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Ice cookies:
With offset spatula, spread white icing over half of flat side of each cookie. Starting with cookies you iced first, spread chocolate icing over other half.

Recipe from Epicurious

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Apple tartlets

Makes 6, 4-inch tartlets.

For the tart shells:1 1/2 cups (185 -190g) flour
1/2 cup (65g) powdered sugar
1 stick (113-115g) butter, cut in small pieces
1 egg yolk

In a food processor, combine the flour and sugar, add the butter and pulse a few times. Add the egg yolk and pulse a couple more times until the dough barely comes together. Dump it into a lightly floured work surface and knead until it just comes together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour. Roll between sheets of plastic wrap and cut out circles larger than your tart shells, fit the dough into the molds and cut out the excess. Set them on a sheet pan, line them with parchment paper rounds and fill them with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool before adding the filling.

For the filling:
4 large tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/3 in thick slices
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix cinnamon and sugar. In a large pan, melt butter, add apple slices and saute until light brown and soft. sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top, and cook until sugar melts and apple slices are coated. Cool slightly.

Spoon apple filling into prepared tart shells.

Recipe for tart shells adapted from Tarlette

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coconut oatmeal cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup coconut

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add sugars, butter and egg. Mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Fold in oatmeal and coconut.
Shape into balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Marbled Kugelhopf

14 tbsp/200 g butter, softened
2 C/240 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 C/150 g sugar
1 package Dr Oetker vanilla sugar/1 tsp vanilla*
3 eggs
1 orange rind, grated
2 tbsp milk or cream
1 tbsp rum
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Generously butter a kugelhopf pan or bundt cake pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F/175 Celsius.
Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until sugar dissolves, and butter is pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla sugar and orange rind. Add 1 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp rum, and flour mix, mix until combined. Transfer 3/4 of batter in the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder with the remaining 1 tbsp milk. Add cocoa mix to remaining batter, and transfer on top of batter already in the pan. Swirl chocolate batter with yellow batter with a butter knife.

Bake the cake for about 35 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then cool on rack. When cake is cool, dust with powdered sugar.

*you can find vanilla sugar at Cost Plus/World Market, or make your own by scraping the seeds from a vanilla bean in 1/2 cup of sugar. Keep in glass container in cool place.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Country apple galette

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick + 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small (1 tbsp size) pieces
1/3 C ice water


4 apples (Gala, golden delicious, tart green, or a mixture of those)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 C toasted pine nuts

Add flour in a large bowl, cut in cold butter with pastry cutter until well mixed and flour and butter forms pea-sized lumps. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and mix until the pastry just begins to come together, about 10 seconds; you should still be able to see small pieces of butter in it. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate until chilled. (You can also roll out the pastry and use it right away.)

Peel, halve and core the apples and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Set aside the larger center slices and coarsely chop the end slices and any broken ones; about half of the slices should be chopped. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-by-14-inch rectangle and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread the chopped apples over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge. Drizzle the honey over the chopped apples. Decoratively arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles or in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and pine nuts evenly over the apples and dot with the pieces of butter. Fold the pastry edge up and over the apples to create a 1-inch border.
Bake the galette for about 1 hour, until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp and all of the apples are tender. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
MAKE AHEAD The buttery pastry can be refrigerated overnight.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin cream cheese swirl bread

1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended.
Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (flour through soda) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine egg, egg yolk, and splenda/sugar mix in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until well blended. Add pumpkin and oil; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon 1/2 the batter into a 9 x 5-inch buttered loaf pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture over batter, spoon remaining batter on top; swirl batters together using the tip of a knife. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Blueberry banana bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9x5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Mix eggs, bananas, oil, and milk in a large bowl until well blended. Add dry ingredients; stir until just moistened. Stir in blueberries.
Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

Lemon pistachio bread

1 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 C. whole wheat flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
1 beaten egg
1/4 C. cooking oil
2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 chopped pistachio nuts
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, 1/4 C. Splenda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center, set aside.
In another bowl mix milk, egg, oil, lemon peel and 1 tbsp. juice. Add wet mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened, fold in nuts.
Transfer batter to loaf pan, bake for 50-55 minutes. Stir together 1 tbsp Splenda and 2 tbsp. juice in a small bowl. While bread is still in the pan, brush with Splenda/juice mixture. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Half whole wheat bread

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 to 2/3 cup warm water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Transfer the though into a greased 8x4 bread pan, cover and let rise for 30 min. Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Butternut squash ginger soup

1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 large carrots, chopped
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 thinly sliced onion
2 teaspoons golden brown sugar
1 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cinnamon stick
4 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
sour cream for serving

Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil baking sheet. Place squash cut side down, and chopped carrots on baking sheet. Bake until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. Using paring knife, remove peel from squash; discard peel. Cut squash into 2-inch pieces. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Mix in onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Cover pot and cook until onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add squash, carrots and  chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard cinnamon.
Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return soup to pot. Season soup with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer, thinning soup with more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve with sour cream.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gnocchi with squash and kale

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/4 C chicken/vegetable broth or water
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
1 17.55 ounce package potato gnocchi
3/4 C grated parmesan or pecorino cheese

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and cook, stirring, until slightly soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, sage, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt, cook until the garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
Preheat the boiler. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. When it starts to simmer, stir in the kale and cook until it wilts slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the gnocchi, stirring to coat. Cover and cook until the gnocchi are just tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in 1/4 cup parmesan and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan; transfer to the boiler and cook until golden and bubbly, about 3 minutes.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pup'kin biscuits

2 eggs
1/2 C canned pumpkin
2 tbsp dry milk powder
2 1/2 C white or whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl stir together the eggs, pumpkin puree, milk powder and flour; add 2 tsp water, or enough so that the dough just comes together.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shape with 1 inch cookie cutter. Gather the scraps, combine, roll and cut out more until all the dough is used.

Place the biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn cookies and bake another 20 minutes.Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Chocolate raspberry waffles

1 3/4 cups cake flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
3 tablespoons shortening

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine egg yolks and milk; stir into dry ingredients. In a double boiler or microwave, melt the chocolate and shortening. Add to batter; mix well. In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into the batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until browned.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Coconut lamb curry with potatoes and cauliflower

4 medium new red potatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
1/4 medium head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (2 cups)
1 1/2 pounds lamb rib chops
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 medium jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Madras curry powder
1/2 tablespoon garam masala
3/4 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup dried currants
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro 
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cauliflower and cook until just tender, about 7 minutes. Drain.
Using a boning knife, trim off excess fat and scrape the lamb off the bones. Cut the meat into 3-by-1-by-1/4-inch strips. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large, straight-sided, nonreactive skillet. Add half of the lamb in a single layer and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crusty, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining lamb and 1 more teaspoon oil.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in the skillet. Add the onions, jalapeños and garlic and sauté over moderately high heat until just softened, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and cauliflower and sauté until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the vegetables to the lamb.
Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the skillet. Add the curry powder and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits, and cook until reduced by two-thirds, about 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, heavy cream, currants and honey and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, about 3 minutes.
Return the lamb, potatoes, cauliflower and any accumulated juices to the sauce and simmer until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro and serve.
Make Ahead The curry can be made up to 1 day ahead. Rewarm over low heat. Stir in the cilantro and serve. Serve With Basmati rice or naan.

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spelt chocolate chip cookies

1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4C.  turbinado sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 C. spelt flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. In another large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture, stir well. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop on ungreased baking sheet by heaping teaspoonful and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until done. Cool on racks.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gougères: French Cheese Puffs

1/2 cup (125ml) water
3 tablespoons (40g) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
big pinch of chile powder, or a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup (70g) flour
2 large eggs
12 chives, finely-minced (or 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme)
3/4 cup (about 3 ounces, 90g) grated cheese, preferably Gruyere

Preheat the oven to 425F (220C.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Heat the water, butter, salt, and chile or pepper in a saucepan until the butter is melted.
Dump in the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture pulls away from the sides into a smooth ball. Remove from heat and let rest two minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring quickly to make sure the eggs don’t ‘cook.’ The batter will first appear lumpy, but after a minute or so, it will smooth out. (You can transfer the mixture to a bowl before adding to eggs to cool the dough, or do this step in a food processor or electric mixer, if you wish.)
Add about 3/4s of the grated cheese and the chives, and stir until well-mixed. Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough into mounds, evenly-spaced apart, about a tablespoon size.. Top each puff with a bit of the remaining cheese, the pop the baking sheet in the oven.Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375F (190C) and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re completely golden brown.

Adapted from David Lebovitz


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Vanilla bean coconut cake

Reduced coconut milk:
2 13-to 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk* (preferably organic)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (for garnish)
For reduced coconut milk:
Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan). Reduce heat to medium-low; boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
For cake:
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8 or 9 in cake pans. Cut out parchment paper circles the size of each pan, butter and flour and place in the bottom of the pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in seeds from vanilla bean and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among cake pans. Bake until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cakes from pans, peel off the parchment and cool completely on rack.
For frosting:
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk, seeds from vanilla bean, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Using small offset spatula or a knife, frost first cake layer. Top with second layer, frost top and side of cake. Sprinkle with coconut.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Friday, September 9, 2011

Watermelon granita

1/2of a medium size seedless watermelon
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. vodka

Cut the flesh of the watermelon into 1/2 in size cubes.
Make sugar syrup:
Melt the sugar in a small pot with the water, then let cool. Puree watermelon with cooled syrup and vodka in a blender in batches, or with a stick blender. Pour into 9 x 13 glass pan, and freeze. Stir every 45 minutes until completely frozen.

Scrape with fork into serving dish.

Adapted from Initiales JB

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Asparagus, feta and tomato pasta salad

1 bunch asparagus, cut into inch long pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
7 oz block feta cheese, cubed
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
8 oz bow-tie pasta
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper, according to taste

Steam asparagus, cook pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, mix cooked and cooled pasta, asparagus, tomatoes, feta, olive oil. Season to taste, add chopped basil. Chill in refrigerator for an hour.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chocolate mini bundt cakes

For the cake
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 c sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 c whole milk
7 oz premium quality milk chocolate, melted and cooled

For the glaze
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 6-mold mini Bundt pan.
Toss together the walnuts, cocoa powder and sugar for the swirl.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat butter and sugar on medium in a large bowl until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat 1 minute more, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add half the flour mixture, mixing only until its incorporated. Add the milk, and when it's blended into the batter add the remaining flour mixture, again mixing just until it's incorporated. Finally, add the melted chocolate and mix to blend.

Fill each of the mini Bundt molds with a little batter, then divide the swirl ingredients evenly among the molds and top off the Bundts with the remaining batter.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the centers of the cakes comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the cakes to rest for 5 minutes, then invert them onto the rack and let them cool to room temperature.

To make the glaze:
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of water or in a microwave oven. stir in the corn syrup. Using a small offset metal spatula or a table knife, spread the shiny glaze over the tops of the Bundts.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quinoa, watermelon and feta salad

1.5 cups quinoa
3 cups water
2 cups watermelon, rind removed and cut into small cubes
2 oz feta, crumbled
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped thin
1/3 cup loosely packed mint, chopped thin
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch of salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, bring the quinoa and water to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot halfway and cook until the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa is translucent (about 20 minutes). Let cool completely.
When the quinoa is cooled, add the remaining ingredients and fold carefully. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chocolate mousse tart

Crust ingredients:
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60gr) unsifted powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
1/2 cup +2 tbsp all-purpose unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Mousse ingredients:
1 box Dr Oetker dark chocolate mousse
1 cup cold milk

Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip together the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and pinch of salt and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and cocoa powder and mix briefly. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Do not work the dough while in the mixer or it will toughen it up. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic. Cut out four 6-inch-rounds of the dough and fit them into four individual four inch tart pans. If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the rings, just patch it with your fingertips. Line the dough with pieces of parchment paper, fill with pie weights or dry beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper. Cool crust completely.

Prepare chocolate mousse:
Prepare mousse according to directions on box.

Assemble tarts:
Fill crust with mousse and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.

Recipe adapted from Tartelette

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Asparagus beet salad

small bunch of asparagus
half a jar of pickled beets
half a jar of marinated artichoke hearts
4 oz spinach leaves
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Steam asparagus. Arrange spinach leaves, steamed asparagus, beets and artichoke hearts on salad plate. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, add salt and freshly ground pepper according to taste.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gruyere and parmesan cheese souffle

Grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

8 large egg whites

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Generously butter one 10-cup soufflé dish or six 1 1/4-cup soufflé dishes; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to coat. (If using 1 1/4-cup dishes, place all 6 on rimmed baking sheet.) Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Cook without browning until mixture begins to bubble, whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, then wine. Cook until smooth, thick and beginning to boil, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix yolks, salt and pepper in small bowl. Add yolk mixture all at once to sauce and whisk quickly to blend. Fold in 1 1/4 cups Gruyère cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (cheeses do not need to melt). Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites. Transfer soufflé mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Gruyère cheese.

Place soufflé in oven; reduce heat to 375°F. Bake soufflé until puffed, golden and gently set in center, about 40 minutes for large soufflé (or 25 minutes for small soufflés). Using oven mitts, transfer soufflé to platter and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Buttermilk waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 2/3 cups buttermilk*
3 eggs, separated
6 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, sugar and baking soda. In another bowl combine the buttermilk, egg yolks, oil and vanilla extract.

Preheat your waffle iron and brush it with a little oil. While it's preheating, beat the egg whites with your mixer choice until they form soft peaks. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mix well, then fold in the egg whites.

Ladle 1/2 to 3/4 cups of batter into your waffle iron. If you don't use enough batter the waffles won't rise; too much batter and it will spill. You'll need to experiment with quantities and cooking times to get your perfect waffle. It also depends on what kind of waffle iron you have.

Keep making waffles until you have used up all the batter. You can serve them as soon as they are ready or keep them warm in a low oven. Freeze all leftovers in individual portions and reheat in a toaster as needed.

* if you don't have buttermilk, you can mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tbsp. vinegar, let stand for a few minutes. increase the amount as required by the recipe.

Original recipe adapted from And then I do the dishes

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cherry Clafoutis

1 to 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted
4 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle. Place all the cherries in a 9-inch round pie tin slightly coated with some melted butter (or cooking spray if you wish).
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the milk, cream and flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour over the cherries, trying not to disturb them too much so to speak. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
Serve at room temperature with some powdered sugar dusted on top.

Based on a recipe from Tartelette

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peanut butter dog treats

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted natural peanut butter
1 cup skim milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Stir together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and milk. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Chicken paprikash

3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

Chicken paprikash:
1/4 cup butter or olive oil
1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, with skin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Gradually stir in 2 1/2 cups of flour to make a stiff batter. Using two spoons, scoop out some batter with one spoon and use the second to scrap off the spoonful of batter into the boiling water. Repeat until several dumplings are cooking. Cook dumplings for 10 minutes or until they float to the top; then lift from the water and drain in a colander or sieve. Rinse with warm water.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and
add onion to skillet. Cook until onions are translucent. Pull skillet off of heat, add paprika and stir to combine. Cook for an addition 2-4 minutes on low heat. Add chicken; cook until lightly browned, turning once. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water, and season with salt and pepper; cook until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
Stir 2 tablespoons of flour into sour cream; then slowly stir into the onion mixture remaining in the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened.
To serve, add dumplings to the sour cream/onion mixture, then spoon onto dinner plates adding a piece of chicken.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Caper-Rosemary Tuna

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons drained capers
4 teaspoons liquid from capers in jar
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper
6 6-to 7-ounce 1-inch-thick tuna steaks

Whisk first 8 ingredients in large bowl. Transfer mixture to an 8 by 8 in glass baking dish. Add tuna; turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature 1 hour, turning occasionally. (Alternatively, chill 4 hours, turning occasionally, then allow to return to room temperature before continuing.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven, turning as necessary, until done as desired.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zucchini Parmesan

3 small or 2 larger zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon each onion and garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon each basil and oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt (or Lawry's seasoned salt)
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
2 12-16 cans diced tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves mashed

Wash zucchini, remove ends and slice evenly into 1/3 inch
thick coins.

In a shallow bowl, beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. In a separate shallow bowl, combine flour, onion and garlic powders, paprika, basil, oregano, salt, and bread crumbs, stirring to mix ingredients well.

Dip sliced zucchini into beaten egg, then into flour mixture.

Pour olive oil into a skillet and heat. Place zucchini in hot olive oil(don't overload the pan as they should cook separated in the oil), turn zucchini over as they become golden brown and cook the other side.

Remove to a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle to taste with salt, pepper (and garlic and onion powder, if desired). Brush a casserole dish with olive oil and arrange zucchini on bottom. Sprinkle with a layer of Parmesan cheese and a layer of mozzarella, then with a layer of tomato sauce. Other types of cheese may be used, such as Provolone or Muenster (Note: if tomatoes are ripe and in season, sliced ripe tomatoes can be substituted for the sauce in this dish).

Continue to make layers of zucchini, cheeses, and sauce until all ingredients are used, ending with mozzarella. Sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs, if desired. If you have a few leaves of fresh basil or some onion slices remaining, they can be placed in the center to embellish and add extra

Place in oven at 350°F for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Allow to cool several minutes before slicing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Banana coconut muffin

3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line 8 muffin cups with liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, milk or soy milk and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened.

Divide batter among lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


2 cups finely diced raw potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
6 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a dash of nutmeg
11/2 to 2 cups sour cream or heavy cream
Chopped chives

Cook the potatoes in salted water to cover until just tender. Melt the butter in a skillet and cool the leeks gently, tossing them lightly, for a few minutes. Add the chicken bouillon and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the leeks until tender. Add the potatoes to the leeks and the broth and season to taste with salt, papper and nutmeg. Put this mixture in the blender (you will need to blend it in two lots) and blend for 1 minute, or until smooth. Chill. When ready to serve, mix in sour cream or heavy cream. Garnish with chopped chives.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oatmeal whole wheat flaxseed bread

1 1/4 C. lukewarm water
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tbsp dry milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C. unbleached flour
1/2 C. oatmeal
1 C. whole wheat flour
1/3 flax seed
2 1/4 tsp. yeast

egg white wash:

1 egg white
2 tbsp. cold water
flaxseed and oatmeal to sprinkle on top

Add ingredients in bread machine, select dough cycle. When the cycle is complete, remove the dough, and place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for about 1 hour, or until it's crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan. When ready to bake, spread egg white wash on top, sprinkle with flax seed and oatmeal. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes.