Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

5 medium zucchini, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
4 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

In a large saucepan, cook zucchini in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; drain. Cool for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk in milk until smooth. Beat in eggs and chilies. Stir in cheese and zucchini.
Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over zucchini mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and edges are lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July Daring Bakers Challenge

This months challenge was:Filbert Gateau with Praline Butter cream
From Great Cakes by Carol Walter. I was really going to sit out this challenge( busy July and also we are not crazy about the filberts). I changed the recipe to use almonds in place of the filberts throughout the recipe, I used Triple Sec for the liqueur and I stayed with the apricot glaze. We were all shocked at how good this recipe was. I first made the cakes and began slicing, the cake crumbled. I waited a few days and attempted the whole project again, with success. I am glad to have tried this recipe and i feel it is a keeper, for special occasions of course. The recipe is below.

1 Filbert Gateau
1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum
1 recipe Praline Buttercream
½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 recipe Apricot Glaze
1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using
3 tablespoons filberts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Filbert Gateau

Because of the amount of nuts in the recipe, this preparation is different from a classic genoise.

1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
7 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided ¼ & ¾ cups
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon rind
5 lg. egg whites
¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)

Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan.

Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside.

Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.

Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute.
Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.

Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then, with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds.

With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.

Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.

*If not using the cake right away, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap, then in a plastic bag, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, wrap in foil, then the bag and use within 2-3 months.

Sugar Syrup
Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake – split into 3 layers

1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. dark rum or orange flavored liqueur

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur. Cool slightly before using on the cake. *Can be made in advance.

Praline Buttercream
1 recipe Swiss Buttercream
1/3 cup praline paste
1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. Jamaican rum (optional)

Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine. Blend in rum.

Swiss Buttercream
4 lg. egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 ½ -2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or liqueur of your choice
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the egg whites in a lg/ bowl of a elevtric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage). Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows.
Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. *Do not overbeat*. Set aside.

Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. *Do not overbeat or the butter will become toooooo soft.*

On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy.

Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. If freezing, store in 2 16-oz. plastic containers and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.

Praline Paste
1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar
Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter.

Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cook dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Apricot Glaze
Good for one 10-inch cake

2/3 cup thick apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. water

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and preserves to a slow boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed.

Remove from heat and, using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.

Ganache Glaze
Makes about 1 cup, enough to cover the top and sides of a 9 or 10 inch layer or tube cake
6 oz. (good) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, like Lindt
6 oz. (¾ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier, Cointreay, or dark Jamaican rum (optional)
¾ tsp. vanilla
½ - 1 tsp. hot water, if needed

Blend vanilla and liqueur/rum together and set aside.

Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture. If the surface seems oily, add ½ - 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold!

Assembling Cake

Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of warm sugar syrup. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.

Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Cover with ½ of the whipped cream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream.

Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-ich blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache.

Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings. Remove the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 10 inches above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.) Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the “bang”. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing.

To garnish the cake, fit a 12 – 14-inch pastry bag with a #114 large leaf tip. Fill the bag with the reserved praline cream. Stating ½ inch from the outer edge of the cake, position the pastry tube at a 90 degree angle with the top almost touching the top of the cake. Apply pressure to the pastry bag, moving it slightly toward the center of the cake. As the buttercream flows on the cake, reverse the movement backward toward the edge of the cake and finish by pulling the bag again to the center. Stop applying pressure and press the bag downward, then quickly pull the tip up to break the flow of frosting. Repeat, making 12 leaves evenly spaced around the surface of the cake.

Make a second row of leaves on the top of the first row, moving the pastry bag about ¾ inch closer to the center. The leaves should overlap. Make a 3rd row, moving closer and closer to the center. Add a 4th row if you have the room. But, leave a 2-inch space in the center for a chopped filbert garnish. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 package (17-1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed or pie pastry for double-crust 10-inch pie
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, chilies, onions, cheese and seasonings. Chill until ready to use.
Remove half of the pastry from refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll to a 9-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Cut into nine small rectangles. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling across the center of each rectangle. Wet edges of pastry with water and roll pastry around filling. Crimp ends with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling.
Place seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to heat. Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with salsa and guacamole. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

sunflower Seed Chili Salsa

1 C sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
2-6 canned whole green chilies
1/4 C minced cilantro
1/4 C minced green onion
2C canned fire roasted chopped tomatoes, drained
2-4 cloves garlic minced
salt pepper and cumin to taste
Combine all ingredients in food processor with metal blade. Process briefly to preserve texture.

Black Raspberry and Thimbleberry Pie

Crust: 2 C all purpose flour, 1 tsp. salt, 6T cold butter, 4T shortening, 1/4 C-1/2 C cold water. For the crust sift flour and salt into a bowl. With pastry blender cut in butter and shortening until pea size crumbs appear. With a fork stir in enough water to bind the dough. Gather into 2 balls and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Filling: 5 C berries, 1/2-3/4 C sugar, 3T flour.
Place 1 rolled out crust into the bottom of a pie plate, filling ingredients, top with a few pats of butter, then top crust, place a few holes in top. Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle on a tablespoon of sugar. Bake at 375 degree F for 70 minutes or until bubbly.

Pesto Sauce

3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. Stir in the flour baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spicy Peanut Chicken Skewers, Zucchini Cakes & Salad

1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3T dehydrated onion
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut intostrips
In a small bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. Set aside 3 tablespoons marinade for sauce. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add onion and chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight. Cover and refrigerate sauce.
If grilling the chicken, coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard marinade. Thread chicken onto eight metal or soaked wooden skewers. Grill, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Brush with reserved sauce before serving. Yield: 8 appetizers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Easy Zucchini Bread

2 C all purpose baking mix
1 1/2 c shredded zucchini
3/4 C sugar
1/4 olive oil
3 eggs
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 C chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a silicon baking pan. Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Butterscotch Oatmeal Bars

1 c all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 C brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
3 c oatmeal
1 12 oz. package butterscotch morsels
1 C walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon. In a large bowl combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat until light. Gradually add contents of small bowl into contents of large bowl. Mix well then add oats, morsels and walnuts. Spread mixture into a greased 9"X13" pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

Breakfast Bars

1 14 oz. can of condensed milk
2 1/2 C rolled oats
1 C shredded coconut
1 C dried cranberries
1 C mixed seeds( I used sunflower and sesame)
1 C dry roasted peanuts
Preheat the oven to 250 degree F and oil a 9"X13" baking pan. Warm the condensed milk in a large pan. Meanwhile mix all of the other ingredients together and stir in the milk, using a rubber spatula to coat all of the ingredients. Spread the mixture into a prepared pan and press down with the spatula to even out the surface. Bake for 1 hour, remove and after about 15 minutes cut into bars. Let cool completely.

Zucchini Dessert Squares

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups cold butter


8 to 10 cups cubed seeded peeled zucchini (4 to 5 pounds)

2/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly; reserve 3 cups. Pat remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, for filling, place zucchini and lemon juice in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; cover and simmer for 5 minutes (mixture will be thin).
Spoon over crust; sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until golden. Yield: 16-20 servings.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Peanut Butter Snowballs

2 C creamy peanut butter
2 T butter, softened
2 C powdered sugar
2 C crispy rice cereal
16 oz. package milk chocolate, chopped( can use white for the snowballs but we prefer milk)
Blend peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar. Ad cereal, mix well. Shape into teaspoon size balls. Set balls on waxed paper and freeze overnight.Melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip each ball. Can place back in the freezer or leave out to serve.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chicken Taco Salad

Taco seasoning like Lawry's:
1 1/4 Teaspoon Chili powder
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Teaspoon minced onion
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Ground oregano
1 Tablespoon Flour

Combine all of these dry ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an
air tight container.

To prepare the meat filling for tacos preheat a large skillet.
Brown 1 pound ground chicken.Add your Taco Seasoning
that you prepared previously and 2/3 cup water to the beef; mix
thoroughly. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook,
uncovered, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mock "Apple "Pie

2T lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
1 1/4 C brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 [inch ground nutmeg
3T all purpose flour
Peel the zucchini. Cut in quarters lengh twise, then remove the seeds and cut crosswise( as you would cut apples for apple pie). Toss together 4 C chopped zucchini, lemon juice and salt. Place mixture in a frying pan and cook until tender crisp. In a separate bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, cream of tartar, nutmeg and flour. Add the cooked zucchini to the sugar mixture and mix well. it will be a bit runny , but that is ok. Place filling into a 9" pie crust and dot with butter, place top crust on. Bake in a 400 degree f oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Pignoli Cookies

2 ½ cups pine nuts
1 (7-ounce) tube of almond paste
¾ cup sugar
2 egg whites
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
Powered sugar for garnish, optional

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Take ¼ cup of the pine nuts and pulse in a food processor until coarsely ground. Break the almond paste with your hands; add to the processor; process until just mixed. Add the sugar; process until mixture is crumbly. Add the egg whites and vanilla; process until the dough begins to come together. Add the flour and salt; process until fully blended and smooth.

Pour the remaining pinenuts into a small bowl. Using a teaspoon and slightly moistened hands, take about 1 tsp worth of batter and roll it into a ball. Gently drop the ball in the pine nuts and turn until completely coated. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

Cool on racks. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Cookies should be stored in an airtight container. Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Overnight Almond Praline Carmel Buns

Praline Paste
1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar
Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter.

Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Set aside 1/3 C for another recipe.

For the buns:
2 cups milk
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
7 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Add to Recipe Box

Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine yeast mixture, milk, sugar, oil, baking powder, salt, egg and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Heat brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter until melted. Remove from heat; stir in corn syrup. Divide mixture between two 9x13 inch baking pans. When dough has doubled in size, punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a large rectangle and spread with butter. Sprinkle with praline paste, sugar and cinnamon. Starting with the long side, roll up the rectangle into a log, and slice into 1 inch wide rolls. Place the rolls slightly apart in pans. Wrap pans with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 12 hours but no longer than 48.
Remove rolls from refrigerator and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake uncovered in preheated oven until golden 30 to 35 minutes. Immediately invert pan on heatproof serving plate. Wait for 1 or 2 minutes before removing pan, so that caramel drizzles over rolls.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gruyere Stuffed Loaves

for step by step photos and instructions:

1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cool water

all of the starter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) to 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) lukewarm water*
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups (14 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

*Use the greater amount of water in winter, when conditions are dry; and the lesser amount in summer, when the weather is humid.

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese, or the grated/shredded cheese of your choice

To make the starter: Mix the 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, and 1/2 cup water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix till well combined. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature.

To make the dough: Combine the risen starter with the water, salt, flour, and yeast. Knead—by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—to make a smooth dough. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, till it’s nearly doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, and pat and stretch it into a ¾"-thick rectangle, about 9" x 12". Spritz with water, and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Starting with a long side, roll it into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Place the log, seam-side down, on a lightly floured or lightly oiled surface. Cover it and let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till it’s puffy though not doubled in bulk. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Gently cut the log into four crosswise slices, for mini-breads; or simply cut the dough in half, for two normal-sized loaves. Place them on one (for two loaves) or two (for four mini-loaves) lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, cut side up. Spread them open a bit, if necessary, to more fully expose the cheese. Spritz with warm water, and immediately place them in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes (for the mini-loaves), or 35 minutes (for the full-sized loaves), or until the cheese is melted and the loaves are a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shrimp Grilled with Soy-Lime Marinade

2T dehydrates onion
1(2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 pounds large shrimp, shells and tails on

Place onions, ginger, garlic, soy, lime juice, and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the green onion and oil and blend until combined. Season with black pepper, to taste. Place shrimp in a large bowl, pour the marinade over, and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Place on grill for 2 minutes per side and serve.

Granola Bars

Granola Bars
Ingredients :

2 cups of oats
3/4 of slice almonds
1/2 unsweetened dry coconut
1/4 of sesame seeds
2 cups of chopped dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, currants, cherries)
1/2 cup of honey
1 cup of unsalted crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Butter a 9 by 9-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Spread the oats, almonds onto a sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in coconut and sesame and toast it for another 2 minutes.
3) In the meantime, combine the honey, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until everything combined.
4) Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and immediately add it into the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine.
5) Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish
6) Cool completely and cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Apple Mystery Muffins

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cups coarsely crumbled Ritz crackers, about 14 crackers
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter softened
1 egg

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons apple juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin pans.

Combine apple juice, 1/2 cup brown sugar and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add crackers and reduce heat to medium. Cook until mixture is about the consistency of applesauce. Remove from heat and stir in raisins.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, butter, egg and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat until smooth. Stir in cracker mixture.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tester inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool.

Combine all glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled muffins.

Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt

2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. sea salt
2 ( 15oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 T. olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. In a small bowl, crush rosemary and salt together between your fingers so the rosemary needles are broken up and dispersed into the salt. Add olive oil to the salt/rosemary mix and toss with the chickpeas. Put chickpeas in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to make sure the chickpeas roast evenly. The chickpeas will be golden in color and crunchy when done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before handling. serve warm or at room temp. Store in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Shrimp Cavatappi with Mushrooms and Spinach

1 lb. large shrimp cooked
3 cups sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons pine nuts
6 cups fresh spinach leaves (only used about 4 cups)
6 cups cooked cavatappi
8 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, peeled but leeft whole
Lemon Butter Sauce:
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
1 cup dry white wine
2 cup heavy cream
1 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed) (only used about 1/4 a cup, per many reviews)
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 lb lightly-salted butter (cut into tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread pine nuts over bottom of sheet pan and place pan in oven on top rack. Roast until golden brown, approximately 2 to 4 minutes.

For the Lemon Butter Sauce:
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add white wine and reduce slightly more than 1/2, whisking occasionally. Add cream and reduce by 1/2. Add lemon juice and reduce by 1/2. Add white pepper. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining butter 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking continuously after each addition to completely incorporate butter. Continue to simmer, whisking until sauce just coats spoon.

In separate large skillet over medium-high heat melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Add garlic and sauté until garlic is translucent. Stir in mushrooms, and pine nuts. Sauté several minutes until the mushrooms are softened.Now add spinach and wilt.Stir in shrimp to warm through. Toss together the pasta sauce and veggie shrimp mix. Serve with grated pecorino cheese.

Amaretti Crisps

1 3/4 cups sliced almonds (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in oven until lightly browned and fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool.
Combine almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and grind to a fine powder. Transfer to a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into almond mixture; fold in almond extract.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer almond mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe twenty 2-inch rings onto prepared sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Curried Peanut chicken, Green Beans in sauce and Spinach

For Curried Chicken;
Combine in a blender-1/3 C orange marmalade, 1/4 C fresh squeezed orange juice, 2 T peanut butter, 1 T Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder, 1 tsp. vegetable oil, salt and pepper, 1 tsp. chile sauce with garlic and a dash of red pepper. Reserve 1/4 C of marinade. Place remaining marinade in large zip top plastic bag and add 1 lb.. boneless, skinless chicken. marinade for 8 hours and Grill. Serve with reserved marinade.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rustic Italian Bread

For excellent photos and step by step instructions go to:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Orange and Thyme Grilled Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Salad

I came up with a tasty dipping sauce for the chicken:
1/2 C Frank's Read Hot sauce
2T butter
1/4 C ketchup
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1T red curry paste
1tsp. grated ginger
Mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan. Let simmer on low for 20 minutes to thicken.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chicken Teriyaki Delight

1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 ounces each)
Sesame seeds, toasted in a skillet
Cooked rice

1. Place the chicken thighs in a gallon-size zip-lock bag and add the marinade ingredients. Press the air out of the bag and seal it. Turn the bag to thoroughly coat the chicken, then place it in a bowl and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight), turning the bag occasionally. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 20 minutes before grilling.

2. Prepare a charcoal fire or set a gas grill to medium-high, close the lid, and heat until hot -- about 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill the thighs until they are no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes per side on a gas grill.

4. Transfer the thighs to a cutting board and let them rest for about 5 minutes, then slice each piece at a diagonal. Sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds. Serve over rice, with broccoli.