Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Best Chocolate Cake

367.  I haven't always been a lover of Chocolate Cake...until now.  Vanilla cake would always satisfy my sweet tooth perfectly.  But my daughter convinced me with this beautiful recipe.  She has it posted on her foodie blog and you can find it here:  Emeliabird

For brunch this past Mother's Day, she made me a delightful meal and included this bomb cake for dessert.  
 She fulfilled my request to have her cook for me...and she never disappoints.
 If you are hungry for Chocolate Cake, this is the recipe to try.  And, to make it into cupcakes, sheet cake or cake pops and of course, as a layer cake.  You can frost with a buttercream or simply whipped cream.
Lovely!

"As with most fine things, chocolate has its season.  A simple memory aid to determine the correct time to order chocolate is any month whose name contains the letters A, E or U.  Now that is the proper time for chocolate."  ~ Sandra Boynton

Friday, May 3, 2019

Banana Bread

366.  What to do with over-ripe, blackened, bananas?  This is an every day problem most of us deal with.  You hate to throw them away so you pop them in the freezer only to have them moved around for 6 months.  And they just land in the trash anyway.  So just make a quick batch of Banana Bread or muffins.
  Although most Banana Bread recipes are basic and produce a nice banana loaf, they seem to be too sweet.  So here is a recipe that is low in sugar and you can adjust it to your liking.  And it is great for diabetic diets and if you are watching your sugar intake.  If you'd like, you could always add a bit of sugar to the recipe, up to 3/4 cup for added sweetness.  But I would suggest serving jam or honey is the best solution.  You can also substitute the coconut oil for butter and use all white flour, 2 cups to be exact and eliminate the almond meal, bran and whole wheat flour.  But to taste the original recipe is worth it.  I know in certain parts of the country it is hard to find almond meal or bran.  So use what you have and substitute.  This is a very versatile recipe.

To save recipe drag and drop onto desktop and print or select and print from mobil device.
 This is a beautiful Banana Bread loaf.  It is light on the inside and has a crisp outer crust.  Keeps well for 3 days at room temp.  But it won't last that long.

"When life gives you rotten bananas, make banana bread!"  ~Charles Hobbs

"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight."  ~M.F.K. Fisher

Friday, April 26, 2019

Stromboli

365. Most Italian food lovers are familiar with Stromboli.  Some people call them "pockets" or "pizza pockets",  "turnover" or "calzone" -which has a different filling.  But truly, the classic Stromboli is what you are familiar with or based on the region of the world you are from.
In Pennsylvania, where I grew up, there was a small Italian pizza shop in town where "Little Tony" served the best pizza, Stromboli and Calzone.  Their Stromboli was stuffed with ham, pepperoni, Mozzarella cheese and the dough was perfect.  The filling would pour out when you cut into it.  Their Calzone was similar but the filling was green peppers, onion, sweet Italian sausage and Mozzarella cheese.  Same dough just different filling and the shape was the same.  This is the image in my mind of these favorites.  Now, if you google either name you will see all types of variations.  Some say that sauce is one of the main ingredients in Stromboli but you serve sauce on the side with the Calzone.  There is no right or wrong to the process.  The little Pizza shop in my hometown had their version of pizza and Italian specialties based on the region "Little Tony" came from in Italy and it did not have sauce inside but was served on the side.
 My version of Stromboli changes with what ingredients are at hand or what my family is hungry for.
I made a whole wheat pizza dough and cut up ham, pepperoni, salami, onion, fresh basil, sprinkle of pepper seeds and garlic salt and spinach.

 Wet the edges of the dough just to make sure they stay sealed and then roll the edge.  You could use a fork to press the edges or crimp the edge...your choice.
 Next, brush the top of each pie with olive oil.  My favorite is this Tuscan Herb Olive Oil from Luceros.
 They are large in size but most Stromboli's are.  They are meant to be a full meal to grab and go.
My process was to bake them in a 425° oven for approximately 50 minutes.
Here is my recipe:
To save the recipe select and drag to desk top or select and print from smart phone.

The Stromboli was perfectly brown and the filling was melty, cheesy and so satisfying.
We also had a side of marinara sauce for dipping or pouring over.  It is like a deconstructed pizza.
The next time you make pizza dough or see pizza dough, pick it up, bring it home and try making your own version of Stromboli.  I assure you, your family will thank you and request Stromboli or Calzone often.

"La cucina piccola fal la casa grande. "  ~Italian proverb

Translation: "A small kitchen makes the house big."

"Paese che vai, usanza che trovi."  ~ Anonymous 
Translation:  "Different places you visit, different customs you'll find."

Pear Raspberry Almond Crostata

364.  This my friends is a beautiful fresh Pear and Raspberry Almond Crostata or Galette as the Italians might call it.  Seems  a Crostata and Galette are the same only one is French and the other Italian.  It is simply a free-form open face pie with dough edges that fold up around the filling.  It can be both savory or sweet.
With fresh pears and red raspberries as a perfect combination, this recipe came together fairly easy.  I made half a pie crust with spelt flour, cut in half and then in slices 2 pears and one small container of the little red beauties.  I also used 1/4 cup of almond paste cut up.

This delightful dessert came together quickly and was very satisfying.  The almond paste gave an added depth of flavor.
 




To save recipe select, drag and drop onto desk top or select and print from smart phone
 You could use any fruit you would like or choose to use cheese and a vegetable such as asparagus, zucchini, peppers or tomato.

"Cut my pie into four pieces, I don't think I could eat eight."  ~Yogi Berra

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Chicken Thighs in Lime Cilantro Black Bean Rice

363. Ok...let me just say, there are times I get agitated with the pop-up ads or never ending recipe ads that accost you while scrolling on your social media.  But yesterday...I stopped...I watched...I made note...and I saved this recipe!!!  It was a buzzfeedtasty post on Instagram.  I not only saved it...I made it!!!
You can find the original recipe here.
 I followed the recipe but added a few ingredients to my taste.     I was a bit disappointed with my chicken skins that stuck to the bottom of the dutch oven.  Remember to blot your chicken and make sure the skin is dry before adding to the pot.  I also used Basmati Rice which adds so much flavor and fluffs up beautifully!

To save recipe select and drag to desktop and print or select and print from smart phone
The chicken skins were so crispy and flavorful and this rice, can I say we didn't want to stop eating it!
Fantastic recipe and thank you Buzz Feed Tasty...this was a perfect recipe!

"Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out!"  ~Anon
"I like rice.  Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2000 of something."  ~Mich Ehrenborg

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Crudités

362.  Crudités
cru·di·tés
/ˌkro͞odəˈtā/ is a french word describing assorted raw vegetables served as an hors d'oeuvre, typically with a sauce into which they may be dipped. 

We have all had "veggies-n-dip" but crudités are a step above.  As an appetizer for Easter dinner I wanted to serve vegetables and steer away from heavy cheeses and meats.
The beauty of traditional crudités is that the vegetables are cut and blanched for a few minutes in boiling water and then plunged into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  This causes the colors of the vegetables to be enhanced as well as the flavor and they remain crunchy.  

Crudités was developed years ago and we have slowly drifted from this beautiful array most likely due to the time element.  I found a YouTube video of Martha Stewart demonstrating this process.  You can watch it here:
This was enjoyable to create but even more so to taste the difference in the vegetables and see the beautiful colors emerge.
The vegetables included haricots vert or green beans, pea pods, celery, mini sweet peppers, carrots, zucchini, and radishes.  I mixed in pickled eggs, marinated mushrooms and olives for the salty factor.

Traditionally the vegetables are served with a dipping sauce.  Here are the dipping sauces I created:
 To save recipe card select and drag to desk top or select and print from smart phone.
This method is always sure to bring rave reviews from your guests.   Enjoy!
"We gravitate toward crudités at parties, and have long maintained that they are one of the secrets to throwing a great dinner party."   ~Rebecca Orchant

"Ain't no crudités platter like a Martha Stewart crudités platter cause a Martha Stewart crudités platter don't stop."  ~Life Food and Drink

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Lemon Lime Meringue Pie

361.  Spring desserts usually include fresh fruits, meringue, whip cream and frozen fruity delights.  My Easter dessert menu included this light, tangy Lemon Lime Meringue Pie.  It was so surprisingly delicious and mouthwatering.  It was a slow process but what a pie!
To save recipe select, drag and drop onto desktop or select and print from smart phone.
I used fresh lemons and limes but I'm sure you could use bottled juice.  It would be similar but the taste may be altered a bit.
My kitchen smelled so wonderful!
 I made my pie the night before and then added the meringue the next day.  And I loved the fact that the filling was not watery the next day like most recipes for lemon pie.
 I transferred the pie from the removable bottom and sides and placed it on a cake pedestal.
 Next, I whipped the meringue and made decorative markings in the meringue and toasted the top.
Our Easter dessert menu was so amazing with Lemon Lime Meringue Pie, Coconut Almond Macaroons, Peanut Butter Cream Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.  The time and process was time consuming but it was well worth every moment.
" But if they were afraid of lemon meringue pie, this would be an irrational fear, because lemon meringue pie is delicious and has never hurt a soul."  
~Lemony Snicket,  The Wide Window

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