Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hershey Candy Cane Blossoms

Ingredients

  • 48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Candy Cane Mint Candies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Red or green sugar crystals, granulated sugar or powdered sugar
Prep Time:
20 Minutes

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Remove wrappers from candies.

  2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.

  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in red sugar, granulated sugar, powdered sugar or a combination of any of the sugars. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookie is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press a candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

Cookie Balls

1 pkg. (350 g) Chips Ahoy! Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (250 g) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate

REMOVE 1 Tbsp. cookie crumbs. Mix cream cheese and remaining crumbs until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls. Refrigerate 30 min.

MELT chocolate squares as directed on package. Dip balls in chocolate; place in single layer on parchment- or waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm.

Kraft Kitchen Tips (Wish I had known these sooner!)
How to Easily Dip Cookie Balls
To easily coat cookie balls with melted chocolate, add cookie balls, in batches, to bowl of melted chocolate. Then, use 2 forks to roll cookie balls in chocolate until evenly coated. Remove cookie balls with forks and allow excess chocolate to drip back into bowl before placing cookie balls on prepared baking sheet.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Apple muffins

1/4 jar of leftover applesauce (if you have it)
250g cream cheese (I used apple cinnamon)
2 eggs
2 diced apples with skin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
pinch of clove
1 cup sugar (I only used 1/2 because I used sweetened applesauce and flavoured cream cheese)

blend well

Add to:
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix well.
Bake at 350 on a top rack.
I used muffin cups but would make a good loaf too.

As a topping I used some leftover chocolate caramel fruit dip from a fruit tray!

"Bon Appetit!"

Mandarin Orange Muffins

2 can mandarin orange sections
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp clove
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sugar or substitute (I used 1/2 and 1/2)

Blend lightly or you will lose the shape of oranges.

Add to:

3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk

Mix well. these are dense muffins that rise pretty well.

With some leftover jello and fruit cocktail that I heated on the stove, I pureed the mixture and dipped the muffins into it for a jellee coating. (How iron chef is that?) LOLOL

"Bon Appetit!"

leftover jello and fruit cocktail???

take some leftover jell-o and leftover fruit cocktail and puree over heat. Set aside to cool.

grind up some leftover cookies add 1/2 cup sugar and a little butter to make a cookie base. Press into muffin cups.

when jello starts to cool, pour over cookie bases and top with a sprinkle of cookie.
refrigerate until set.

"Bon Appetit!"

This came because I made this jello concoction to top some mandarin orange muffins I made. I used tropical fruit jello and the concoction smelt of mangoes!!!! yummmmmmm

Pumpkin Loaf

2 cup pumpkin (I used the meat from a halloween pumpkin gutting)
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar or sweetener replacement
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg or allspice
1/2 tsp. salt

Blend well then add to:

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups chocolate chips or pecans
2 tbsp cointreau liqueur or 2 tsp orange peel
1 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake in a greased pan
Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Brush top of loaf with melted butter.
Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar, maple sugar, turbinado sugar or white sugar.

Can be eaten plain, buttered, or with cream cheese

"Bon Appetit!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

2 large eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup salted butter, melted
1/2 cup applesauce
1 small apple, grated
1-1/4 cups milk
3 cups old-fashioned oats

Butter a 2 quart baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except the oats.

Fold in oats and combine well

Transfer mixture into the buttered baking dish and spread evenly around.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly on top of the oat mixture.  Refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 375F.  Unwrap oatmeal and place in the oven.  Bake for about 30 minutes until oatmeal is set and browned on top.

Serve hot with milk or cream.

Deb, Taylor and I taste tested this recipe and feel it needs extra sweetness and perhaps a little more cinnamon so either add some brown sugar into the recipe or have it on the table to add with your milk . . .

Hmmmmmmm . . . I wonder how it would taste with vanilla yogurt or ice cream on top ???  LOL

Monday, October 17, 2011

Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash - peeled and cubed
1/2 green pepper
1 large onion
garlic (I used garlic oil but minced garlic or dry garlic would work)
holiday seasoning (sage, italian seasonings, S&P)
1 cup water

I baked the above items in a Pampered Chef casserole dish covered with a cookie sheet to keep in the moisture at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours or until quite soft. (*the smell of garlic through the house was awesome! so I must have used quite a bit.)

baked squash cubes
1 can evaporated milk
2 cans water
3 tsp chicken boullion

Allow to cool, so you don't crack your food processor bowl or blender, for about 1/2 - 3/4 hour. Then process everything into a puree. Pour directly into a crock pot. It took 2 loads to process all of my squash without making a mess. In the bowl of the food processor, pour 1 can evaporated milk, 3 tsp chicken boullion powder and 2 cans of water * the reason I do this is to ensure I get all the spices and vegetable out of the bowl. Blend and then add to the crock pot. Stir well, cover and refrigerate.

Heat on low for the next day.
Serve with bread sticks or top with croutons.
Suggested to be topped with chives.

"Bon Appetit!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stuffed Squash (new)

2 really large squash were given to us this year (they were almost 1 1/2 feet long with very little seeds). So I had to come up with a useful way to use this much of that veggie.

Cut 1 squash in 1/2 and core out the middle (leaving a trench with 1" of squash around the sides.
****cube the interior flesh you take out and freeze for use in stews this winter!
Leave skin on to stabilize the shape. Place into cake pan with 3/4" water.

In a bowl mix:

1 cup cooked rice
1lb ground beef/pork/turkey/chicken
1/2 tsp minced garlic
diced onions to taste
diced green peppers to taste
S&P
1 tsp italian seasoning
PLUS any other veggie like mushrooms, celery or corn
1 cubed apple with or without skin

stuff into you your hollowed out squash.

With foil tent cover the cake pan.
Bake at 325 for 2-3 hours or until flesh is tender and can be poked with a fork.
Remove from oven to set (like a lasagna).

Serve with a salad and/or on a bed of pasta.


In a sauce pot:

1- 1 1/2 cups of apple juice/leftover wine
leftover salsa
leftover spaghetti sauce
and 1 can cream soup (I used celery but there are lots of cream soups out there!)

Whisk to a boil, and let reduce to about 1/2. Pour over the squash and pasta.



"Bon Appetit!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Perfect Pot Luck Picnic Pasta Recipe

A fellow letterboxer brought a delicious pasta salad to our meet up in May. I begged for the recipe and she sent it to me.

Whole package of tricolor spiral pasta
Whole cucumber, sliced up and cut in half
Whole plastic container of grape tomatoes, tomatoes cut in half
Whole jar of pitted kalamata olives (make sure to drain the brine well before using)
Whole yellow or orange pepper, diced
Whole red onion, diced
Bunch of green onions, diced
Whole package of kraft crumbled feta cheese (I like the one with oregano)
Whole small bottle of balsamic salad dressing (for the picnic, I used the real olive oil kraft version with fig - I like the sweetness of it)

Cook the noodles and then mix everything together. It's nice warm, too - but let it chill in the fridge if you like it cold. If you're making it the night before (like I did), it's better to leave out the salad dressing until the day of then mix it in - the noodles suck up the dressing like crazy and it dries out a bit if you put it in early.

Cheers,
Jo


Thanks Jo aka Bumble

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Taco Salad

We've been making this quick and easy salad for over 10 years now.

1 pound of ground beef
Taco seasoning (optional)
1 pepper (can be green, red, orange, yellow or maybe a little bit of each)-chopped
1/2 onion-chopped
2 pieces of celery-chopped
1/2-1 Tbsp of butter
1 head of lettuce-shredded
450g of cheddar cheese-shredded
1/2 large bottle of Russian salad dressing (or 1 full small bottle)
1 Bag of crushed up tortilla chips
Sour cream to top.

1. Cook up the ground beef and drain the grease. If you'd like a little bit of flavor, add in one of those small packets of Taco seasoning.
2. After chopping the pepper, onion and celery, saute them together in the butter before adding them in with the ground beef. Set aside.
3. Shred the lettuce and the cheese.
4. In a large bowl, add ground beef and vegetable mix, shredded cheese and lettuce. Mix.
5. While mixing, add in handfuls at a time of the tortilla chips to crush with the spoon. Also start adding the Russian dressing.
6. When finished, the dish will often become cold. If you wish it to be warm, just throw it on a plate and into the microwave for 20 seconds. Top it all off with a dollop of sour cream.

Note: If there is a chance of leftovers, save some chips for the following night. There's no need to use the whole bag at once. The chips will bring back the crunchy sound.

Strawberries and Cream Trifle

Mum and I took this to a Cow Pow Wow last night... not much left by the time we went home.
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 (1 ounce) package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen reduced-fat frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared angel food cake
  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 whole fresh strawberries

  1. In a bowl, whisk the milk and water. Whisk in the pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set; fold in the whipped topping. Cut cake into 1/2-in. cubes.
  2. Spoon a third of the pudding mixture into a 4-qt. trifle or glass bowl. Top with half of the cake cubes and sliced strawberries. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining pudding mixture. Garnish with whole strawberries.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stir-fried okra

I picked up some okra at the Horton Market on the weekend. I've never tried okra before so I was curious. I found a stir-fried okra recipe on about.com and decided to give it a try.

Here is the original recipe:

2 cups fresh okra, washed, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, peeled and sliced into 8 thin wedges
1/4 cup green onions, sliced, white and green
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon leaf thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
Prepare all vegetables as indicated and have ready for cooking. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Heat oil and butter in a wok or large skillet. Add vegetables and seasoning mixture all at once. Toss and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Serves 4

Now here is what I did:

I prepared the okra as directed. I didn't peel the tomato. I used diced red onion. I have all kinds of herbs and spices but couldn't find thyme anywhere. I have a funny feeling if I go back and look now it will be in the front row of my spice shelf . . . LOL . . . I added a handful of shitake mushrooms and a sliced red pepper to the pan as well. The shitake mushrooms were an excellent idea. The red pepper ended up on the side of the plate because they made the dish too sweet. I served the stir fry with low-sodium soy sauce and rice noodles and really enjoyed it (minus the peppers).

I will definitely make this recipe again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Remembering Hot Chocolate

When my kids were little I often made hot chocolate using a homemade mix. As the kids got older and life got busier it was just one of the lovely things that went by the wayside, replaced by the convenient.

The other day I had a craving for chocolate but it was really humid out and I just didn't crave it bad enough to make me want to walk to the store. Then I remembered the tin of cocoa in the cupboard.

I had forgotten just how delicious homemade hot chocolate is. Here's the recipe I used . . .

Serves 2

2 tbsp and 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 pinch salt
2 tbsp and 2 tsp boiling water
1-3/4 cups milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup half-and-half cream

Combine the cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 2 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of hot chocolate to cool it to drinking temperature.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Italian Meatballs

4 servings

1 tsp canola oil
1-1/2 slices whole wheat bread, stale or day-old
2 cups My Mother's Tomato Sauce (below)
40 g mortadella sausage or ham, finely chopped
1 tbsp marjoram, fresh, finely chopped
1 large egg
400 g lean ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp bread crumbs

These meatballs can be either baked in the oven or fried.  If using baking method preheat the oven to 400F and lightly oil a baking dish.  If frying, prehead peanut oil to 350F in an electric fryer or large skillet.

But the bread slices in a small bowl then cover them with water.  Let soak 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make tomato sauce.

Drain the bread well in a sieve, then squeeze it to remove most of the liquid.  Finely chop the bread and add it to a bowl.  Finely chop the mortadella and marjoram, then add them to the bowl.  Add the egg and ground beef, followed by salt and pepper.

Using your hands, blend the mixture together until it is just combined well.  Form the mixture into small balls (about the size of golf balls), then flatten them slightly and coat them with the bread crumbs.  Plan on about 3-4 meatballs per serving.

Baking:  Transfer the meatballs to the previously oiled dish, then cook in the middle of the overn 12-15 minutes until they are golden-brown, turning them once.  Deep-frying:  Working in batches, deep-fry the meatballs about 4-5 minutes per side until they are golden-brown, then set them on paper towels to drain.

Transfer the meatballs ot the pan with the tomato sauce then continue to cook 15-20 minutes over medium-low heat, turning them once.  Serve the meatballs with the sauce.

I served these yummy meatballs with pasta . . . of course . . .

These meatballs may be served at room temperature.  They are ideal for a picnic, served with a few slices of bread.

www.soscuisine.com

My Mother's Tomato Sauce

makes 2-1/2 cups

1-2/3 cup canned tomatoes (diced or chopped)
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp butter, unsalted
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

A food processor to chop the vegetables and a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time would make things easier with this recipe.

Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.

Heat the oil and butter in the pressure cooker or in a saucepan over low heat. Add the chopped vegetables. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring a few times; the vegetables must soften without burning. Add the diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.

If you are using a pressure cooker, cover, close and bring to high pressure. Cook 15 minutes from the time it starts to spatter (Follow the manufacturer's directions to determine when high pressure has been reached. If you are not using a pressure cooker, simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.

This sauce can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Freeze larger quantities.

 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Carrots and Leeks with Fresh Mint

2 servings
Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking 50 minutes
170 calories per serving

2 carrots, cut into 1 cm rounds
1 leek, cut into 2 cm pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp ginger root, grated
2 tbsp fresh mint
salt and ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Prepare the carrots and cut them into rounds about 1 cm thick. Prepare the leeks, remove about 1/4 of the dark green part, and cut them into 2 cm pieces.

Transfer the vegetables to a baking sheet or dish. Add the oil, minced ginger, salt and pepper. Mix well to coat thoroughly with oil, then put in the oven and bake about 35 minutes.

Finely chop half of the mint leaves then add them to the dish, mix and continue baking for about 15 minutes more. Garnish with the remaining mint leaves and serve.

From www.soscuisine.com

Caramel Custard

6 servings
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes
Standing time 2 hours
190 calories per serving

3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups milk, partly skimmed, 2%
2 tsp vanilla extract
salt, about one pinch
6 servings Microwaved Caramel (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Prepare the caramel.  Divide it among the ramekins, then tilt and rotate each ramekin to thinly coat it.  The caramel may not initially cover bottoms and sides completely, but it will spread and even out after the hot cream mixture is poured in.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork.  Add sugar and 1 pinch of salt, then mix well.

Warm up the milk in a saucepan until hot but not boiling and pour it slowly into the egg mixture.  Stir constantly but lightly, in order not to create too many air bubbles.  Add the vanilla, then portion out into the caramel-covered ramekins.

Put a towel or piece of cloth into a large baking-pan (either a rectangular cake-mould or a roasting pan).  Place the ramekins on the cloth and fill the pan with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  (I didn't put a cloth in the bottom of the pan)

Bake in the middle of the oven 35-40 minutes or until the outside is set but the centre still trembles slightly when moved.  The custard will continue to set as it cools.  Check with a toothpick or knife to see if it is cooked through.  (The knife should come out clean)

Take the ramekins out of the water bath right away to avoid overcooking.  Let cool and then chill a few hours in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Run a thin knife around the edges to help remove the custards, then turn upside down onto serving plates and serve cold.

Microwaved Caramel

6 servings
Preparation 5 minutes
Cooking 5 minutes

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp warm water
1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Be careful: melted caramel is extremely hot!!!

Mix all the ingredients in a glass or Pyrex container of average size. Cook in a microwave oven at maximum power until the syrup starts boiling.

Consider the suggested time as a reference only, since the precise cooking time depends on your oven's power. Continue to cook using 10 seconds: the syrup is ready when it turns golden-brown.

Tofu Ratatouille

I made this soscuisine.com recipe up the other night. It is supposed to make 4 servings but it actually seems to be enough to feed a small banquet. Hal didn't like it, but Hal doesn't like zucchini or eggplant. I loved it. The recipe won't freeze well and I didn't want it to go to waste, so I took the leftover ratatouille and some red quinoa to Ladies Day Out. All the ladies seemed to enjoy it. So, here goes . . .

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup green beans, cut into 2 cm pieces
2 zucchini, diced into 1.5 cm squares
1 eggplant, small, diced into 1.5 cm squares
1 yellow or red pepper, cut into 1.5 cm squares
1 carrot, cut into 1.5 cm squares
salt and pepper to taste
300 g firm tofu, cubed
1-1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp Herbs aux Provence
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Saute the crushed garlic and chopped onion, taking care not to burn. Cook 4-5 minutes until the onion is translucent.

Boil or steam green beans, drain and set aside.

Prepare the remaining vegetables (except tomatoes and green beans) and add them to the saucepan with the garlic and onion. Salt and pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tofu, tomatoes, herbs and cayenne pepper. Cover and simmer ten minutes, until vegetables are tender but still slightly al dente. Add the cooked green beans and heat through 2-3 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve.

This dish can be cooked in advance and reheated, but it is not advisable to freeze.

Serve the ratatouille with rice or quinoa.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Leek and Tomato Crostini with Brie



Makes 2 servings
Prep 10 minutes / Cooking 20 minutes
280 calories per serving

1 leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste
2 slices country bread, lightly toasted
45 g brie cheese, thinly sliced
1 tomato, Roma type, thinly sliced

Prepare the leeks.  Cut off the dark green tops then thinly slice the white and pale-gree parts crosswise.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the leeks and oregano, then season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are very tender and just beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Arrange the toasted bread slices on a baking sheet.  Distributing the ingredietns equally, layer the bread slices with the cheese, cooked leeks, and sliced tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Broil at 10 cm from the heat until the cheese has melted and the tomatoes start to brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Serve immediately.

www.soscuisine.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dilly Beloved Chicken

Marinade
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp minced fresh dill
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a small bow. Arrange chicken breasts in a glass or ceramic baking dish that's just large enough to hold the chicken breast in a single layer. Poor marinade over chicken. Turn piece to coat both sides with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  • Preheat oven to 350. Remove plastic wrap and transfer casserole dish to middle oven rack. Back, uncovered for about 35mins or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.
  • Spoon sauce from bottom of pan over chicken and serve immediately.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baked Tofu with Braised Baby Bok Choy - DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!

1 lb (454 g) firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 Asian chili paste or hot pepper sauce
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 cups sliced shitake mushroom caps or cremini mushrooms
1 green onion, sliced
1 tbsp gingerroot, minced
4 baby bok choy
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper

Place tofu on large plate.  Cover with second plate and weigh down with 2 large, heavy cans.  Let stand for 10 minutes; drain.  Cut in half horizontally.

Meanwhile, in shallow baking dish large enough to hold tofu in single layer, whisk together soy and hoisin sauces, garlic, sesame oil and chili paste.  Add tofu; turn to coat.  (This can be done up to 8 hours in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to complete the meal.)  Bake in 350F oven, turning once, until golden, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush large nonstick skillet with vegetable oil; heat over medium-high heat.  Saute mushrooms, green onion and ginger until golden, about 5 minutes.  Cut bok choy in half lengthwise.  Add to skillet along with red pepper, stock, salt and pepper; bring to boil.  Cover and steam until bok choy is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.

Cut each piece of tofu in half diagonally.  (I cut the tofu into little squares which is what I prefer.)  Arrange on warmed plates and serve with bok choy mixture and basmati rice (or I like rice vermicelli).

Serves 4.

Stick 'Em Up Shrimp Skewers and Salad


It was decided that with such beautiful weather, the BBQ was needed. I pulled out Eat, Shrink and Be Merry, and thought it would be another chance to try a new recipe. I tweaked the recipe to suit two people but it actually serves 8.

Marinade
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp each olive oil, melted butter, Dijon mustard and liquid honey
2 tsp each minced garlic, grated gingerroot and grated lemon zest
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt (I would say it's a good idea to cut back on it. We could taste it)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2lbs (907 g) uncooked large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave the tails)
8 12-inch metal skewers

Salad
Spinach leaves, chopped up cheese, red pepper and sliced carrot

  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place shrimp in a large, heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over shrimp and seal bag. Turn bag several times to coat shrimp with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Preheat grill to high setting. Thread shrimp onto skewers (5 or 6 per skewer, depending on the size of the shrimp). discard marinade. Spray grill rack with coking spray or brush lightly with oil. Grill shrimp for about 2 minutes per side, just until shrimp turns pink and no gray remains. Be careful not to overcook shrimp or they will be rubbery.
  • Serve skewers hot or cold, on a salad, or with a hot rice side dish, with grilled vegetables or as an appetizer
(Note: We had to put ours in the frying pan since the grill decided it didn't want to work. But they still tasted yummy! The rice dish was something hot picked up from RCSS.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mexican Lentil Soup

I first tasted this soup at a crop at Central United Church.  I had to have the recipe!!

1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 chipotle or jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
2 cups green lentils, rinsed well and picked over
8 cups homemade vegetable stock
1-1.2 cups niblet corn
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil in large saucepan on medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook until tender.  Add cumin and pepper and cook for 30 seconds longer.  Add carrots, celery and potato and cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in lentils and stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until lentils are very tender.  Add corn and lemon juice and cook for 3 minutes.

Source:  Heart Smart Cooking, Bonnie Stern

Hot Brownie Pudding

I have a stack of recipes I've been planning to post here . . . but this one is a real favourite.  If I didn't fear I would eat the entire pudding, I would make some right now.

1/2 cup sifted enriched flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp melted shortening
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
3/4 cup boiling water

Sift flour with baking powder, salt, sugar and 1 tbsp cocoa into bowl.  Add milk, shortening and vanilla; mix only until smooth.  Add chopped nuts.  Turn into a greased casserole or small baking dish.

Mix brown sugar and 2 tbsp cocoa together and sprinkle over batter.  Pour boiling water over top of batter.  This forms a sauce in bottom of pan after pudding is baked. 

Bake in a moderate oven (350 F) for 30 to 40 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pulled Pork

1 large cheap pork roast.....a good one does not shred as easy.

Boil your roast, this will remove some of the salt
and then roast in the oven at 350 for 2 hours with 2 cups of water (for moisture).

Pull roast out of oven and let cool to be able to handle by hand.

Remove any visible fat, and then with a fork shred the meat off the roast.

Place into a crock pot. Add onion, peppers, pineapple, S&P, and 1 bottle of your favourite BBQ sauce. Fill the bottle with water and add to the crock pot too. Stir well, if you feel it is still too thick, add another bottle of water or tomato juice. You can add more spices or chilli's if you'd like.

Cook at high for 3 hours. Stirring occaionally.

Serve on buns, with a salad. This is lovely at backyard parties. Easy and filling.

"Bon Appetit!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tilapia with Dijon and Panko Coating

4 tilapia fillets, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons honey Dijon mustard or Dijon mustard
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
Dash pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400°. Lightly grease a large shallow baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the mayonnaise and mustard; rub the mixture over the tilapia fillets.

In a food processor, combine the panko and fine bread crumbs, paprika, parsley, pepper, onion powder, and salt. Pulse 4 to 6 times to combine. Pour bread crumb mixture into a wide, shallow bowl. Dip the coated fillets in the mixture, turning to coat both sides.

Arrange the coated fillets in the prepared baking dish.

Bake the fish fillets for 15 to 18 minutes, or until fish is cooked through. The time depends on thickness of the fillets. Fish will flake easily with a fork when done.

Carefully remove the fillets to plates with a spatula.

Serves 4.

http://southernfood.about.com/od/tilapiarecipes/r/r80610c.htm

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Crockpot Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles

3 qts boiling water
2 tsp cooking oil
2 tsp salt

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2-14oz cans tomatoes with juice broken up
5 1/2oz tomato paste
1 cup creamed cottage chees
2cups moz cheese grated
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp dries whole oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sweet basil
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook noodles in water, oil and salt for 14-16 min until tender but firm.

Scramble fry ground beef until browned. Drain well. Turn into slow cooker

Add remaining 12 ingredients. Stir well, add noodle pieces. Stir Cover Cook on low for 7-9 hours. or on high 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

Makes 10 cups

Friday, March 4, 2011

Easy Flour Tortillas

I made these today with my three-year-old daughter.  They turned out really well and we used them to make quesadillas for lunch.  Be sure to roll them out really thinly, though, because they puff up quite a bit when they hit the screamin' hot pan.  I'm thinking one of them will be turned into a pizza crust for C for dinner tonight.

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar (optional)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (more for softer tortillas)
1 cup water


Instructions:
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and oil. Add water and mix with hands. Divide into 10 small balls. Roll each flat with rolling pin and cook on very hot ungreased griddle until lightly brown on each side.

Makes 10 tortillas.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stracciatella


2 servings
Preparation 3 minutes
Cooking 5 minutes
60 calories per serving

1 large egg
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tsp Italian parsley, fresh
ground pepper to taste

In a bowl, lightly beat the egg and grated Parmesan cheese.  Add the grated nutmeg and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.  Lower the heat but keep the broth simmering for the next step.

While stirring the broth slowly in one direction, gradually add the egg in a steady stream.  The egg will cook and feather.  Garnish each bowl with chopped parsley and serve.

Comfort food that is so easy and quick to make.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rainbow Popcorn

I first made this back at the Jello recipe swap... where we learned that there is a thing as too much jello. Since then it's been a staple favorite and not hard to make.

8 cups of popped popcorn
1/4 cup. butter or margarine
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar or granulated sugar (I found the light works best. It keeps the colour bright.)
1 package (4 serving size) Jello Brand Gelatin, any flavor

Place popcorn in large bowl. Heat butter and syrup in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in sugar and gelatin; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Pour syrup immediately over popcorn, tossing to coat well.

(Note: When pouring the syrup, do it a little at a time then toss or else some pieces will be coated more than others.)

Spread popcorn over aluminum foil cookie sheet, using two forks to spread evenly. Bake in preheated 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool. Remove from pan and break into small pieces.

You make each colour separately.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chicken Afritada





My adaptation.













In a large pot bring to a boil:
I diced green pepper
1/2 bunch of celery ~large chunks
1 onion ~sliced
1 can tomato juice/vegetable cocktail
1 can diced tomatoes
pepper
chilli flakes to taste

Bring to a good boil and let rest. Add some fresh basil. If this step can be done the day before the flavours intensify.


In a large stock pot bring 8 cups water, to a boil with:

5 potatoes ~peeled and cubed
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs ~ cut each into 3 strips
1 bag mini carrots
1/4 bunch of celery ~chopped
lots of pepper

Cook until potatoes are JUST cooked and drain (reserve liquid for soup stock in another recipe).

In a large casserole (or crock pot), pour 1/2 of tomato mixture. Pour potato/chicken mixture on top and finish with the rest of the tomato mixture.
Bake at 300 for 1 hour covered. Top with your favourite cheese and broil until cheese is melted.

Serve with warm bread on a cold day.

"Bon Appetit!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cinnamon Apples

4 servings
Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking 15 minutes
110 calories per serving

4 apples, peeled then cut into 5 mm slices
1 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 scoops vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel the apples, remove and discard the cores, then cut them into 5 mm slices.  Butter an oven-safe dish.  Arrange the slices into the dish, then sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon.  Add the butter in small pieces.  Bake 12-15 minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Baked Potatoes

2 servings
Preparation 5 minutes
Cooking 1 hour

230 calories per serving

2 potatoes, Russet or Idaho type
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter, unsalted
2 green onions/scallions, chopped
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste

Oblong-shaped Russet or Idaho potatoes are the ones to use in this recipe because their high starch content yields a fluffy baked potato.

Potatoes may be either baked in a traditional oven, or cooked in a microwave, the choice being a matter of personal preference.  Baking is longer, but yields a crusty skin.

Baking method:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Clean the potatoes, then prick them a few times with a fork to allow the humidity to escape without bursting the skin while cooking.  Coat the potatoes with the oil, sprinkle with salt, then bake them in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.  The baking time could be slightly reduced by wrapping each potato individually in aluminum foil, since the heat trapped inside would help cooking.  The result would be a softer skin and a moist flesh.

Microwave method:  Clean the potatoes, then prick them a few times with a fork and place them on a paper towl in the microwave.  The cooking time at maximum power is about 8 minutes for one potato, depending on the size of the potato and the ower of the oven.  The cooking time must be increased when more than one potato is cooked at the sme time.  Turn the potatoes once at the halfway point if the oven does not have a turntable.  Let the potatoes stand 2 minutes, wrapped in paper towels before serving.

Garnish:  Halve the potatoes lengthwise, scoop out the flesh using a spoon, paying attention not to damage the "shells".  Mash the flesh in a bowl, stir in the butter and chopped scallions.  Season with salt andpepper, then put the mixture back into the skins.  Place the potatoes back into the over under the top broiler for 2-3 minutes until they are warm and slightly golden-coloured.

Alternatively, the broiling step can be skipped and the halved potatoes may be just garnished and served right away.

Barley and Lentil Soup

Makes 5 servings of very delicious soup!!

Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 1 hour
130 calories per serving

1/3 cupt green-brown lentils (dried)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cups Swiss chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped and packed
1-1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/3 cup pearl barley
3/4 cup canned tomatoes (diced or chopped)
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste

Rinse and drain the lentils, then set aside.

Prepare the vegetables:  Finely chop the onion and carrots; coarsely chop the Swiss chard; mince or press the garlic.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion then saute 3-4 minutes until soft.  Add the carrots, then saute 5 minutes with occasional stirring, until they are golden-coloured.  Add the garlic and stir 1 minute, then add the cumin and stir 1 minute.  Pour in the broth, water and barley.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and lentils.  Continue to simmer, covered, until the lentils and barley are tender, 25-30 minutes.

Add the chard to the soup, cover and simmer until the chard is tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Thin the soup with more broth or water, if desired.  Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Snow Candy


1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp butter

Place both ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5-7 minutes until mixture reaches 225-230 degrees.

Place snow in pan or bowl, and drizzle hot syrup over snow. The snow cools the candy pretty quickly. As soon as the candy is cool enough to eat, it's ready.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Carrot and Apple Muffins

2 cups (270 grams) grated raw carrot (about 2-3 peeled carrots)
1 large apple, peeled and grated
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoonsbaking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3.5 grams) salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Whisk well to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs and oil until well mixed.  

Add egg mixture, shredded carrots and shredded apple to flour mixture.

Bake for approximately 18 minutes

Yield:  I got a dozen standard muffins and 15 mini muffins for the wee one out of this recipe.  They were really tasty, easy to make (as muffins tend to be) and will be my breakfast for the next several days as well as snacks for C :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Coconut Shrimp


Serves 4
Prep Time 30 minutes

8 cups olive oil (I used 4 cups oil and just cooked the shrimp in 2 batches)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 large egg whites
2 cups coconut flakes
1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)

Mix the flour, salt and cayenne pepper in one dish.  Beat the egg whites until frothy in another dish.  In a separate dish put the cocount flakes.

Put the shrimp in the flour mixture than into the egg whites and then into the coconut flakes.

Heat fryer to 380 degrees and put the shrimp into the hot oil for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown.

Take them out and place them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.


I made these shrimp for a late lunch with a side salad.  I am ashamed to say I ate 2 servings of shrimp.  To make matters worse, I ate the remaining two servings cold for supper . . . yes, they were that good.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shrimp Casserole with Salad and Garlic Bread.


When a friend asked me what recipe was good using shrimp, I had no clue. So what did I do? Searched online and found this recipe for her. I decided to try it out myself though when creating it, Mum and I both had to try and figure out how much of certain things. Here it is though.

2 cups instant rice
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
40-60 Count cooked shrimp
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Butter (we decided on 4 Tbsp. Best bet is to use 3)
Shredded cheese of your choice (Recommending Monzerlla or marble)
Soya sauce

Directions:

  1. Remove tails from shrimp.
  2. Cook rice as directed on package; set aside.
  3. Chop onion and pepper, sauteing together and set aside.
  4. Melt garlic & butter in a frying pan and fry the shrimp until hot (or until butter disappears).
  5. Mix rice with Soya sauce of your preference. Add in onion and pepper.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Using a deep oven-safe dish, put a layer of rice in, then a layer of shrimp, then a layer of shredded cheese. Repeat until there is no more rice and shrimp, top it all with another layer of shredded cheese.
  8. Put in oven until cheese is melted and golden. Remove from oven, serve right away or store in refrigerator. It goes great with cheesy garlic bread.

Celine Dijon Chicken


The whole family enjoys this chicken! The dinner also included some carrot sticks and a salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 tbsp each Dijon mustard and lemon juice
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
(or 8 bone & skinless chicken thighs small)
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1 tsp each honey and cornstarch

Combine apple juice, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, shallot, thyme, rosemary and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Add apple juice mixture. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, covered for 5-7 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.

Gently boil remaining liquid for 3 minutes until slightly reduced in volume. Mix sour cream, honey and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to skillet. Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and has thickened. Pour sauce over warm chicken and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Linda Duguay's Chicken Casserole


Mum got this recipe from a coworker of her's when we lived in Milton and she was at either Port Credit or the Milton branch. The whole family enjoys it and often my brother will go for seconds.

1 can Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1lb boneless skinless chicken (cooked & cubed)
Seasoning of Oregano & Italian Seasoning
1/2-1 pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 cup frozen peas (rinsed)
1 cup celery chopped
1 can milk
Chinese Noodles
Toast

Chicken- Season meat with oregano & Italian seasoning before cooking thoroughly. Cut into cubed pieces.

Cut up pepper (can be any colour, we chose yellow since there is already a lot of green), onion and celery, sautee before combining with the rest of the ingredients.

Bake in casserole dish at 375 for 45 mins covered. (If dish does not have a lid, tin foil works wonders. Add in Chinese noodles last 5 mins of cooking time. Pour over slice of dry toast and serve. :) Enjoy.

BBQ Pork Chops with Cheese & Broccoli Rice


BBQ Pork Chops
6-Pork Chops
1-8oz can Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp BBQ Sauce
1/2 tsp onion salt
Dash of salt and pepper

Season chops with salt and pepper and brown in skillet. Combine other five ingredients and pour over chops. Simmer till tender. Approx. 1hr

The Cheese and Broccoli Rice came from the 7min package. Simply follow the directions. (Couldn't find the package.lol)

Friday, January 21, 2011

lemon merigue pie from a box



I am posting this recipe strictly for my mother's benefit!

It was always a laugh on holidays, when the lemon meringue pie was taken out for dessert. Everyone always wanted to know who made it. If it was my mother or Grandmother (quite often), it would be lemon meringue soup!

Although my Grandmother could make those pretty golden beads of sugar appear on her meringue that I find impossible to recreate.

So here is my no-fail recipe, which ALWAYS has worked for me, and is ON the box.

Bake one pie shell. Homemade, pillsbury, frozen or cookie crumb.

In a large bowl, 2 egg yolks and 1/3 cup cold water. WHISK it lightly, then add i box of Dr. Oetker lemon pie filling (Shirriff) and 2 cups of boiling water. Beat well and place bowl in microwave. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove whisk well again and place back into microwave for 2 minutes. Repeat this procedure (usually 2-4 times) or until it is thick. Add 2 tbsp of butter (or margarine). ****This used to be to enhance the colour (margarine used to be brighter yellow) now it is for creaminess.

Set on counter to cool.

In a cool bowl (not warm not frozen) beat the 2 egg whites until stiff. Whip in 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until peaks form.

Pour lemon filling into shell. Spoon meringue on top in small piles. Cut meringue with butter knife and spread over outside edge of pie.

Bake in oven until top is golden. AND hopefully those lovely little golden beads appear on top. None for me today though...:(

Refrigerate.


"Bon Appetit!"

PB chocolate cookies




Leftover uses!

I am using up some pb/marshmallow/chocolate squares I make every year, but this works just as well with Reese PB cups.

Cookie dough: (Blue Ribbon Chocolate Vhip Cookies ~ Mrs fields Cookie Book ~ pg 10)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer blend 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 1/2 cup white sugar with 1 cup room temperature margarine/butter at medium speed. Add 2 eggs and 2tsp vanilla JUST until blended. Do not overmix.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda 1nd 1/4 tsp salt on low speed.

In microwave in a bowl warm up your pb/chocolate (depending on you microwave) for 35 seconds. Not to melting, just until soft. ***You can include some stale mini marshmallows at this time too! Just add to the chocolate when you start. They added a lovely texture.

Quickly dump into cookie dough, and mix at low. I needed to use a wooden spoon as mine got pretty thick (I used a lot of chocolate and marshmallow!).

Using a cookie scoop, place 15 balls onto a non stick cookie sheet. Mine did not spread too much.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. My oven was closer to 10-15. Take these out when you look at them and think, "oh, a couple more minutes" because they burn very quickly.

There is not an overpowering PB taste, but I liked them....drizzling them with melted chocolate would be a lovely finishing touch!


"Bon Appetit!"




Thursday, January 20, 2011

grilled cheese burgers




I seen this on tv last night!

As you would normally do, prepare 4 slices of bread (4 per burger) to make 2 grilled cheese sandwiches!

Over the cheese on one sandwich lay sliced cooked bacon or sprinkle crumbled cooked bacon and close. Set aside.

Over the cheese on the other sandwich, add jalapenos or onions, or leave plain. Close and set aside.

Cook your hamburgers as you would normally. When they are 1/2 cooked, make your grilled cheese sandwiches.

Use the sandwiches instead of buns!

Top with traditional toppings.

***We found lettuce a little too hard to handle, and we all removed it, as it made the burgers slide too much.

"Bon Appetit!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lemon Mousse with Cranberry Sauce

6 servings
Preparation 30 minutes / Standing 8 hours
260 calories per serving

vegetable oil spray, to grease the pan or the ramekins
2 eggs, size large
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup whipping cream 35%
Cranberry Sauce (recipe below)

Prepare the lemon mousse:
Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a large spring form pan or of individual ramekins.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and put them in 2 separate bowls.  Combine the egg yolks with the lemon juice and about 1/4 of the sugar.  Set aside.
In the other bowl, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until foamy, then add the salt and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until the egg whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks, about 7-8 minutes.  Set aside.
Pour the cream in a third bowl, then using the electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the whipped cream and egg whites into the yolk mixture using a spatula.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the pan or distribute it into the ramekins.  Cover with foil and freeze at least 8 hours if using the pan, or 2-3 hours for the ramekins.

Unmould and garnish with the cranberry sauce.
Just before serving, remove the frozen mousse from the springform pan and place it on a serving plate.  If you are using ramekins, turn them upside-down onto individual serving plates.  To make ramekin unmoulding easier, pour about 2 cm of hot water in a large bowl, then immerse the bottom of the ramekins in the water for about 1 minute.
Spoon the sauce over the individual servings then serve.

Cranberry Sauce

8 servings (2 cups)
Preparation 5 minutes / Cooking 5 minutes / Standing 1 hour

2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch

In a saucepan, stir together the cranberries, water, and sugar.  Bring to a boil, with constant stirring.  When the sugar is fully dissolved, add the cornstarch through a sieve, in order to avoid lumps.  Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook 6-7 minutes until the berries burst.  Chill 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

The sauce keeps 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

FRESH, LIGHT, DELICIOUS.  A GREAT DESSERT ESPECIALLY AFTER A HEAVY OR SPICY MEAL.

Curried Lentil and Spinach Soup

4 servings

Preparation 10 minutes / Cooking 45 minutes
220 calories per serving

1-1/4 cup green-brown lentils (dried)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 dried chili pepers, minced
1/2 tbsp gingerroot, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf
4-1/2 water
3 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup yogurt, plain, 2%

Rinse and drain the lentils, then set aside.
Prepare the vegetables. Finely chop the onions, carrots, and celery, mince or press the garlic. Mince the chili pepper and ginger. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, then saute 8-10 minutes until they are golden-coloured with occasional stirring. Stir in the curry powder, chili pepper, ginger, cumin and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute with stirring, then pour in the water and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add more water to thin the soup, if desired.
Add the spinach to the soup and simmer until it is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top each serving with a spoonful of yogurt and serve.

This soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

From http://www.soscuisine.com/

REALLY ENJOYED THIS SOUP. MILD FLAVOUR. FRAGRANT. THE LENTILS HAVE A REALLY "MEATY" TEXTURE AND FLAVOUR. THE CURRY IS VERY UNDERSTATED.

Hummus

2 servings
Soaking 8 hours / Preparation 15 minutes / Cooking 45 minutes
410 calories per serving

1/4 cup chickpeas / Garbanzo beans (dried)
1/2 clove garlic
5 tsp Tahini paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp pine nuts
1/8 tsp paprika
1 pita bread
1 stalk celery
1 carrot
2 radishes
1/2 cucumber

The chickpeas must be soaked in water overnight. 
Cook the chickpeas about 45 minutes.  Drain the chickpeas and reserve some of the cooking water to dilute the hummus.
In a food processor, puree the chickpeas with the garlic, tahini, lemon juice and 2 tbsp olive oil until the hummus is smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add a few tbsp of the cooking water, if necessary, to thin the hummus to the desired consistency.
Transfer to a bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pine nuts and a pinch of paprika. 
Serve with pita bread and vegetables.

Keep up to 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator, 3 months in the freezer.

From http://www.soscuisine.com/

DELICIOUS!!!!!!!  Much better than store-bought hummus . . . lighter, smoother texture.  I ate far too much hummus today . . . LOL

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pasta in a Bolognese Meat Sauce

2 servings
Preparation 5 min / Cooking 15 min
450 calories per serving

160 g tortiglioni or pene
2/3 cup Bolognese Meat Sauce (recipe below)
2 tbsp pasta cooking water
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  While the pasta is cooking , heat the meat sauce (which has bee prepared in advance) in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the specified amount of pasta cooking water to dilute the sauce a bit, and warm up just a few minutes.  Put the drained tortiglioni back in to the pasta cooking pot, add the sauce and mix well.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve in warmed dishes.

Bolognese Meat Sauce

Makes 750 ml (3 cups)
Preparation 30 min / Cooking 1 hour

1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 slice bacon, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tbsp olive oil
360 g ground beef, lean or medium-lean
1/3 cup milk, 2%
1/3 cup white wine (I used red wine)
1 cup canned tomatoes (diced or chopped)
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste.

Finely chop the onion, carrot, garlic, celery and bacon.  Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the vegetables and bacon, then cook until softened, 5-6 minutes, whit some stirring.  Add the meat, then salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat with a spoon until it loses its pink colour and starts browning, about 7-8 minutes.
Raise the heat to high, then add the milk.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Add the wine, then cook, stirring frequently, until the wine has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano, then cover and simmer gently over low heat for at least 1 hour.  Stir occasionally and add some water as needed to prevent the sauce from becoming too dry.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.  It is important to simmer all the ingredients until the sauce is think and the beef very tender.
The sauce can be stored up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Delicious, that all I am going to say . . .

Lettuce, Fig and Clementine Salad

This recipe, from http://www.soscuisine.com/ is my new most favourite salad in the world.

2 servings
Preparation 10 minutes
200 calories per serving

1/2 Boston lettuce, or curly leaf
2 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Clementines
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup walnuts
2 dried figs, cut into small pieces

Rinse and spin-dry the lettuce and spinach, then put them in a salad bowl.  Squeeze the juice from one clementine into a small bowl.  Peel the remaining clementines, separate into segments, then add them to the salad bowl.  Add the extra virgin olive oil to the clementine juice, pour in the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.  Whisk well using a fork until the dressing is emulsified.  Pour over the salad.  Add the walnuts and chopped figs.  Toss well.  Serve.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sugared Oranges

2 servings

Preparation 5 min / Standing 10 min
70 calories per serving

2 oranges
2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp sugar

Cut the oranges into bite-size pieces. Put in a bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and sugar. Let rest a few minutes. Toss well and portion out into individual cups.

I love this dessert. It is especially perfect after a meal with strong flavours like cheese and garlic. And it is healthy and simple to make.

This recipe is from http://www.soscuisine.com/

Farfalle with Tomatoes and Brie


2 servings
Preparation 10 min / Cooking 15 min
520 calories per serving

150 g farfalle (bow-tie), or other short pasta
80 g brie cheese, rind removed, cut into small pieces
2 tomatoes, Roma type, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

To save time, the sauce preparation and the pasta cooking can be done at the same time. Start cooking the pasta.

Meanwhile, remove and discard the Brie's rind, cut the cheese into pieces, then put them in a serving bowl and set aside in the oven at the lowest setting so cheese will melt without cooking.

Seed and dice the tomatoes, mince the garlic, then add them to the cheese. Mix in the oil and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the drained farfalle into the serving bowl. Mix well. Adjust the seasoning and serve in the warmed dish.

I really enoyed this dish. This would be perfect for a lunch served with a green salad.

This recipe is from http://www.soscuisine.com/

Fennel Salad

2 servings
Preparation 5 min
140 calories per serving

1 fennel, very thinly sliced (360 g)
2 tbsp Classic Vinaigrette (recipe below)
salt and pepper to taste

Remove the stalk and feathery leaves.  Thinly slice with a mandolin, then place in a serving bowl.  Pour the classic vinaigrette over the fennel, then add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss and serve immediately.

Classic Vinaigrette
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-1/2 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Shake or mix well for 1 minute.
Will keep at room temperature for 1-2 months


Recipe is from http://www.soscuisine.com/

I thought I might like this salad because I have had cooked fennel before but . . . it was just okay . . . I doubt I will make it again.  I found that fennel has a flavour that is a little too "perfumy" for my liking.  If I was served this salad at someone else's home I wouldn't spit it into my napkin though . . .

Thursday, January 6, 2011

White Russian Cupcakes with Kahlua Icing




Read about these cupcakes over a year ago and finally got around to making and sharing. Thanks to those who were the guinea pigs:)





CUPCAKES:

24 paper liners for cupcake pans

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix

1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix

1 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup whole milk

4 large eggs

1/4 cup vodka

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Kahlua, divided use

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


FROSTING:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. Kahlua

2 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate shavings


PLAN OF ATTACK


Place rack in center of oven; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set pans aside.


In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, milk, eggs, vodka, 1/4 cup Kahlua and vanilla extract. Blend with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop machine and scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down sides again if needed. Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it 3/4 full to make between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove empty liners, if any.


Bake cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with finger, 17 to 20 minutes. Remove pans from oven and place them on wire racks to cool 5 minutes.


Brush tops of cupcakes with remaining 2 tablespoons Kahlua. Run dinner knife around outside of cupcake liners, lift cupcakes up from bottoms of pan using end of knife and pick them out of pan carefully with your fingertips. Place them on wire rack to cool 15 minutes before frosting.


MEANWHILE, PREPARE FROSTING:


Place large, clean mixing bowl and electric mixer beaters in freezer to chill for 1 minute.


Remove bowl and beaters from freezer. Pour cream into bowl; beat with electric mixer on high speed until cream has thickened, 1 1/2 minutes.


Stop machine and add sugar and Kahlua. Beat cream on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1-2 minutes more.


Place heaping tablespoon of whipped cream on each cupcake and swirl to spread it out with short metal spatula or spoon, taking care to cover tops completely. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Cupcakes are ready to serve.


Store cupcakes, in cake saver in refrigerator, for up to 4 days.


Makes 22-24 cupcakes (2 1/2 inches each)