Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine Give Away

Congratulations Judy at The Fajdich Times!
You are the winner of the Homespun Heart Pin!

As I was enjoying reading all of your many blogs today,
and drooling over the wonderful recipes;
like this one from "Kellishouse" of
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!!!!
(I could really go for one of these cupcakes right NOW.)
I found a post
on "Beedeebabee's" Blog of beautiful items
she received
from a friend in Germany.
Her friends name is Jeany at "Jeanysbrunnen" and she is very creative.
Jeany had a post about a special event that is taking place,
in "Blogland" called One World One Heart.
All you have to do is give away free, one special item
to anyone who posts on your blog.
The event will be from January 30th thru February 17th.
My give away is a sweet little
felted heart pin.
All you have to do is post about this give away on your blog
and then let me know you are interested
by leaving a comment on this blog.
The Winner, on my blog will be
selected on February 17th.
Let me know if you would like a
red heart pin with white flowers
a white heart pin with pink flowers.
You can see this sweet pin featured in my Etsy Shoppe, at
Check back to see who participates
and make sure you spread the word.
Give Aways are so much fun!

"The more credit you give away, the more will come back to you.
The more you help others,
the more they will want to help you."
~Brian Tracy~

"What you keep to yourself you loose,
what you give away
you keep forever."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pandan Cake Roll

197. This past holiday we enjoyed so many delicious desserts and sweets from friends and loved ones. The most unique was a Pandan Cake Roll.

This cake was very light, fluffy and had a unique taste, one I have never experienced before. Our friends have a Philippine heritage and we so enjoy when they share these yummy treats with us! The Pandan Roll was light green with the texture of an angel food cake. Last Christmas they treated us to an Ube Cake Roll which was purple in color, see this post.
To learn a little more about the origin of this cake I went online. I found out that the flavor for the cake comes from the leaf juice of the Pandanus amaryllifolius. Some bakers may not have this plant but will use the Pandanus extract and add green food coloring to achieve the correct taste and look.

I found quite a few recipes for a Pandan Cake Roll. This recipe at ISOHungry's Blog looked delicious.
A cup of tea and a beautiful slice of Pandan Cake Roll was a treat.

I realized that in the Philippine culture Pandan flavoring is used in other sweet treats such as Pandan flavored icepops, drinks and cookies or cakes.

"When someone asks if you'd like cake or pie,
why not say you want cake and pie?"
~Lisa Loeb

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chocolate Loaf Cake

196. While the snow is flying outside,
inside the oven is baking Chocolate Loaf Cake.

Chocolate Loaf Cake

2 squares of dark chocolate
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. sugar
1 c. sifted flour
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1/4 c. sour milk
coarse sugar

Melt chocolate and butter in boiling water. Mix together sugar, flour, egg, and vanilla; add chocolate mixture. Dissolve the baking soda in 1/4 cup of sour milk and add to the mixture.

Bake in well-greased small loaf pan at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

The texture is a dense cake with a mild chocolate flavor.

Stay bundled up and warm inside and bake something with chocolate!

"I could give up chocolate, but I'm not a quitter ."

"Just think of all the wonderful blessings you've been given. Chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate truffles..."
~Anonymous Quote

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

African Malva Pudding

195. In my Girl's Club Class we are learning about the Continent of Africa and the people. Tonight is the last lesson and I wanted the third, fourth and fifth grade girls to taste something African. I found a recipe for Malva Pudding. Since I had all the ingredients, I went to work.

The recipe instructs you to pour the batter into an oblong pan or baking dish, most likely a 9x13 size. But, because I am serving it to about 18 girls, I decided to make individual Malva Pudding sizes. I used small snowman muffin paper cups so each girl can have an exact serving.

South African Malva Pudding
Suid-Afrikaanse Malva Poeding

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup self rising flour, or all purpose flour adding 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons apricot jam
3 Tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar

Dissolve baking soda in the milk. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and sugar. Add the milk mixture, eggs, jam and melted butter and blend well.
Pour into a prepared oval baking pan and bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

While baking begin to prepare topping. Place all in a saucepan and bring to a light boil. Be careful not to scorch the cream. Turn down heat and stir till sugar dissolves.

Immediately after you remove the baking dish from the oven, poke the entire surface with a toothpick. While cake is still hot begin to ladle the topping mixture over the top. The liquid will seep down into the holes and moisten the entire cake creating a bread pudding effect.

Serve hot with extra topping in a small bowl to spoon over.

They baked beautifully and the house smells wonderful.
Each little cake absorbed the liquid quickly. Make sure you cover entire surface.
The texture is soft and wet and the flavor is sweet and rich. It also has somewhat of a bread pudding texture but the flavor is very different.
Would you like a bite?
I will be making African Red Rooibos tea for the girls to taste and each one will have a small Malva Pudding cake to taste. If you have never tried Red Rooibos tea, you must. Twinings carries this tea and you can find it in your local market. Years ago, I met a missionary who told of the Red Rooibos bush. He would go out and pick the leaves in the morning and then lay them out in the sun till they dried. Then would make his tea from the leaves. The girls will love this story tonight!
You will be surprised at how delicious this pudding/cake is!

Africaans: "Delicious geniet" "Probeer asseblief om hierdie poeding"

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall."
~Nelson Mandela

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear,
but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid,
but he who conquers that fear."
~Nelson Mandela

Sunday, January 16, 2011


194. Hummus may be considered one of the oldest known prepared foods dating back to antiquity. The word Hummus in Arabic means chickpeas with tahini.
My recipe uses dried chickpeas, which I soak overnight and then cook till tender. The flavor is considerably different than using canned chickpeas. Then, drain and allow the chickpeas to cool in a colander. Many recipes call for tahini paste, which is basically toasted sesame seeds and olive oil blended into a runny paste. You could use tahini or just toast your sesame seeds as I have and add them. The flavor will be fresher and more full bodied. And you can adjust the taste rather than the tahini dominating and controlling the taste of your hummus.
I collect my ingredients and prepare them ahead.


3 cups dried chickpeas, soak, cooked and drained
2 Tablespoons raw sesame seeds
lemon zest of 1 large lemon
juice of 1 large lemon
3 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin
3 teaspoons kosher salt, add more as desired
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups olive oil, adding more as desired
1/2 cup water, more or less as desired
Collect ingredients. Place sesame seeds on a small baking pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Check seeds every 3 minutes and stir to prevent burning. (DO NOT OVER TOAST...the seeds will take on a bitter taste.) Sample seeds for a light toasted flavor. You will notice the oils being released as the seeds toast. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
In a food processor place cooled chickpeas, cooled sesame seeds, crushed garlic, garlic salt, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, kosher salt, cumin and water. Add 1 cup olive oil and begin to process all on high.
As the mixture is processing add the remaining olive oil through the shoot till the desired consistency is reached. Allow the hummus to mix till it is creamy, smooth and not gritty, 2 to 4 minutes based on your processor.
Taste for seasoning to add more salt, garlic, parsley or oil. You may like your hummus to be creamy or dry. I like hummus to taste garlicky, salty and very smooth and creamy wet with a hint of lemon.
Place in a serving bowl and surround with any type of accompaniment: tortilla cut in wedges, toasted tortilla, pita bread, naan bread, crackers, bread chunks, bagel crisps, vegetables, etc.
We enjoy our hummus as a snack, accompanied with soup, as an appetizer or a wonderful "munchy for game night. Store your hummus in an airtight container or jar and cover the top with olive oil slightly. This helps to keep the hummus moist and locks in freshness. It will keep for approximately 2 weeks refrigerated...but I don't think it will hang around that long.
It is up to you what you would like to add to your hummus making process: toasted pine nuts, artichoke, curry, green onion, cilantro, green pepper, roasted red pepper, sesame oil, olives green or black, sun dried tomato, spinach.

"He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skill of the physician."
~Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Vegetable Soup

193. Any time is a good time for soup. But winter is especially the perfect time for a hot bowl of soup made with fresh vegetables. This recipe is easy, quick and very satisfying. It is vegetarian but chicken could be added during the first stages of the cooking process.

Winter Vegetable Soup

2 carrots, peeled, sliced
3 stalks celery and green tops, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups mushrooms, washed and quartered
2 cloves garlic, crushed
14 oz tomatoes, canned or fresh puree'
3 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried herbs or 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, basil, oregano
1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen, optional
3 cups green cabbage, washed and shredded
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
fresh basil, chopped, for garnish
olive oil

Place oil in a stock pot and heat.
Add the carrots, celery, shallot, potato, mushrooms and garlic. Saute' for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil.
Drop in bay leaf.
Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes.

Add corn, cabbage and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer till the potato and cabbage are tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season to taste.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped basil or parsley serving immediately.
Serve warm bread and butter or crackers and brie cheese as a perfect accompaniment.

Mom's Kitchen: "Love Served Here"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Artichoke Bruschetta

192. Artichokes are an acquired taste. Not everyone likes the taste or texture of this unique vegetable. But, once you've tasted this recipe you just might change your mind from the negative to the positive.
Of course, Bruschetta is a satisfying appetizer. Surprisingly, this Artichoke Bruschetta recipe is a great twist on the original. The crusty bread is the only similar component. I found the original recipe in a USA Weekend back in 2005 and it has become a recipe I return to time and time again. Try different ingredients to change the color or flavor. The original recipe suggests using spinach or tomatoes as an alternative.

Artichoke Bruschetta

1 6.5oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped.
1/2 cup grated Romano Cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
5 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 loaf Italian or French bread, long and skinny, cut into 1/3-inch thick slices
Other Options: Olives chopped, roasted red pepper chopped, cherry tomatoes quartered, green onion to replace the red onion, parsley, mushrooms, dill weed, basil...etc

Slice bread, brush with oil and place on a grill, or baking sheet under a broiler and toast on both sides. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix remaining ingredients together.
Dollop onto toasted bread slices. Broil till lightly browned on top and sizzling.
This is a delicious alternative to your regular appetizer and is a great replacement for crackers and cheese. My family just loved these yummy bites...I know you will too!

"Mom only works in the kitchen
on days that end in the letter 'Y' ".
~ From an Anonymous Tired Mom

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lobster Ravioli

191. Happy New Year!
My first recipe of the year 2011 was Lobster Ravioli!

I found a lovely recipe on "Foto Cuisine's" blog for "Lobster Ravioli with Champagne Cream Sauce". It was perfect! I made a few adjustments, like using Lidia's Pasta Dough Recipe, adding fresh basil and omitting the wine.

I made my pasta dough in my new Cuisinart Food Processor. Thank you Santa!

I boiled my lobster tail shells for stock. It really added tremendous flavor.

The sauce was fantastic! So easy but so deliciously wonderful!

This dish was a first course in a New Years dinner with family.

"The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year.
It is that we should have a new soul."
~ G. K. Chesterton


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