Posts tagged "Eggs"

SUNDAY BAKING PROJECT #4 – HAM AND CHEESE BRIOCHE PUDDING

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ham and Cheese Brioche Pudding was the selection for Week 4.  It was decided upon as a nice contrast to the sweet selections from the previous weeks.  Unlike the previous 3 selections which we loved, this one will not go on my favorites list.  My Husband and I both love Bread Pudding, but as a sweet dish; it turns out that the savory version is not so palatable for us.  I am not a fan of Ham but my Husband likes it, and eats Ham and Cheese Sandwiches at least once a week, if not more often, so I decided to stick with the Ham and Cheese Version.  The Bread portion of the Pudding is Brioche.  I used Challah which is very similar to Brioche.  The Pudding itself was beautiful – it raised up and was a beautiful golden brown and had a great texture but would have been more to our liking if it had apples, raisins and some brown sugar in it.

I served the Brioche Pudding for Breakfast along with Maple Syrup and Watermelon on the side.

 

 

 

 

  With Maple Syrup and Watermelon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make the Pudding you cut up 12 ounces of Brioche or other similar bread   (I used Challah which is very similar to Brioche) and place in a buttered baking dish (12” x 12” or even 10” x 10” will do).  I made half a recipe and used an 8” x 8” dish which was perfect.

 Cubed Bread

         Bread in Baking Dish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gouda Cheese

 

            Shredded Gouda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared Ham 

 

Combine the Eggs, Milk or Cream or Half and Half along with the seasonings which are Salt, Pepper, Cayenne and Nutmeg.

Custard Ingredients Mixed Together

 

Pour the Custard mixture over the bread cubes and top with Julienned Ham and Shredded Cheese.

 

 

 Custard Added

      Ham and Cheese Incorporated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the photos above you may see that the Bread and Custard Cubes are in a different dish than the product with the Ham and Cheese.  I mistakenly thought that the half recipe would fit in my ceramic loaf dish but not to be – had to transfer the mixture to my 8 x 8 glass baking dish.

 

Press everything down so that the bread absorbs the custard and the Ham and Cheese are incorporated into the whole.  Slivered Green Onions  (which I omitted) are sprinkled on top.

 

The complete recipe can be found at Cooking – New York Times

Normally Bread Pudding is assembled and then refrigerated overnight so that all the custard is absorbed into the bread.  This recipe did not call for that but since we were going to eat it for breakfast, I did do that.  I made it in a glass baking dish, so I had to let it warm up for about an hour before baking it.  The baking took 45 minutes, exactly what was called for in the recipe.  The Pudding should be served immediately or it can be baked and cooled and then cut up into squares as suggested in the recipe or you can just reheat any leftovers that you may have.

 

 

              Baked Pudding

              Plated Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Maple Syrup

 

Even though I only made a half recipe we still had leftovers which I sent home with my Grandson who loves Ham.  I have yet to hear if he has eaten it and if he likes it.  Will notate that here when I find out.

 

I am sure that many people will like this version of Bread Pudding, especially if you are a fan of Quiche.  I do like Quiche but never make it with Ham.  I usually use Spinach or Mushrooms.  I am a Vegie Fan, but not a Vegetarian or Vegan.  I am thinking though of becoming a Pescatarian.  I do not get stuffed when I eat fish and/or vegetables like I do when I eat meat.

There are variations among the members of our group – some did use Spinach, another used Bacon, etc.  And a couple of the members made the Brioche Loaf from the recipe that was given.  I did make my bread but it was Challah and since I had it on hand decided to use that instead since it is very similar, both in ingredients used and the end result.

 

MEMBERS PHOTOS IN THE ORDER THEY WERE POSTED

 

 

              Cara Croxton

 

            CM Wolkon

            Cynthia Allen

    Elizabeth Barnhart Mockapetris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeanne Ackerman

    Terrie Cooper Loaf

          Terrie Cooper Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Terrie Cooper Slice

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2018/05/23 at 10:58 AM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Bread, Breakfast Ideas, Cheese, Dairy, Ethnic Cuisine, Lunch Ideas, Main, Sunday Baking Project   Tags: , , , ,

ANGEL FOOD CAKE – – CHOCOLATE

One of my favorite type of Cakes is Angel Food – specifically because I like Sponge Cakes and White Cakes and this one encompasses both.  My Husband loves Chocolate so in making the Chocolate Angel Food Cake we both get what we like.  Now the Chocolate Version of Angel Food Cake may not be ‘Chocolaty’ enough for the real Chocolate Lover but there are Add-Ons that can be used – for instance:

Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Whipped Cream (or Ganache)

Make a trough by cutting out a portion of the cake from the top and filling it with Chocolate Ice Cream.  And so on and so on.  For the Recipe for Angel Food Cake and the variations thereof please go to the Recipe.

For making Angel Food Cake you will need a tube pan at least 9″ in diameter.  A Standing Mixer or a Portable Mixer.  The very first Angel Food I made was when I was 16 – I decided to make an Angel Food Cake for my Mother for Mother’s Day.  All we had was a hand Egg Beater, the old fashioned kind. All it had was teeth – no gears like the later models had.   It took me so long to beat the eggs that I ended up with a blister on my finger.  Well, it was worth it though.  (If I had known at the time about a Whisk that would probably have been a better choice but all we had was the Egg Beater.

A Rubber or Silicone Spatula will come in handy for folding the flour mixture into the beaten Egg Whites.

In addition a straight-edged spatula is good for loosening the sides of the cake from the pan.

 

In preparing the pan for the cake batter there is a variation from the norm in that the pan does not get greased or even lined with paper.  This is a ‘Sponge Cake’ and the cake sides need something to cling to as the cake rises.  If the pan is greased, the cake batter tends to slip down and you will end up with a heavy inedible cake.

 

The Cake calls for 1 cup Egg Whites (approx. 12 Whites from large eggs)  For a larger cake, use 1 1/2 cups of Egg Whites.  The pan that I used, could have held an 18 White Batter but then that would be too much cake for just the two of us.

If you do increase the number of Whites then of course you have to increase the rest of the ingredients accordingly.  1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of Cocoa, 2 1/4 cups of Sugar, etc.

Before starting to make the cake separate the Whites from the Yolks (while the eggs are cold – it is much easier to do when the eggs are cold) and then let the whites warm up to room temperature – about 1 hour.

 

Make sure your mixer bowl is super clean – any traces of oil or other particles will keep the whites from beating up properly.

Once all the ingredients are measured and ready to go set your oven rack at the lowest position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the Whites in the clean mixing bowl and then beat at high speed until they become foamy.  Add the Cream of Tartar, Salt and Vanilla and continue mixing until the Whites form soft peaks.  (If they are beaten too long, the cake will be too dry).  Once soft peaks are formed slowly add the Sugar while the mixer is going and continue to beat until the Whites will hold their shape when the beater is lifted.  If you are using a Standing Mixer this will not take very long.  An electric hand mixer will take a longer amount of time.

 

             Beaten Egg Whites

 

 

 

Once the Whites reach the desired consistency, (see photo above) remove from the mixer and with a rubber spatula fold in about 1/4 of the Flour/Cocoa mixture to ‘temper’ the Whites.  Then gently fold in the remaining dry ingredients.

 

 

 

 

  1st portion of dry Ingredients  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place in the tube pan being sure that the batter is evenly distributed throughout the pan.

 

 

              Batter in Pan

 

 

Bake at the lowest position in the preheat (375 Degree) Oven for 45 minutes or until the top is dry and cracked.

 

             Lower Third of the Oven

 

 

Turn the pan upside down until completely cool.  If your pan does not have legs on it, place if over the neck of a wine or water or soda bottle.  Allow to cool completely.  Once the cake is cooled, loosen the sides with a straight-edged spatula and place on a serving plate.

 

     Cooling Upside Down

 

                   Loosening the Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To slice the cake use a serrated knife (bread knife) or a sponge cake cutting device.  Serve plain or with Ice Cream and fresh sliced and sugared Berries, Whipped Cream and Chocolate Sauce

 

 

                                  Plated Cake

 

 

              Slice Choc. Angel Food Cake

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2018/05/22 at 10:22 PM

Categories: Cales, Dessert Ideas, Main   Tags: , , ,

SUNDAY BAKING PROJECT #3 – VERY BERRY TORTE

 

 

 

 

 

A Very Berry Torte was the selection for Week Three of our Sunday Baking Project.  The recipe was selected from the book – Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  

The Torte consisted of a Cookie Crust which differs from the traditional Graham Cracker Crust in that you actually make it from a Sugar Cookie Dough.  Jam goes on the bottom and the Cheese Cake Filling goes over the top.  It is made in a Spring Form pan which allows you to remove the cake without destroying it – this is especially good when the crust is quite fragile due to the ingredients it is made with.  A Spring Form Pan has sides that lock on to the bottom and by use of a spring lock can be removed once the baked product is finished.  If you don’t have a Springform Pan you can purchase one at your local Culinary Store or on line at Amazon.com.

The Filling was also a little different than the traditional Cheesecake in that in addition to Cream Cheese it also had Cottage Cheese in the Filling.  The Cottage Cheese helped to give the filling a little more texture than normal which turned out quite well.

The preparation of the Torte begins with the Crust which is pretty similar to a traditional Sugar Cookie Dough and it certainly behaves like one in that it is not super easy to work with.  To roll the Dough out with as little trouble as possible it is best to refrigerate it first.  I did this by flattening the dough into a circle between two pieces of waxed paper.  When you do roll it out it is best to roll it between the sheets of waxed paper so it doesn’t break up.  You can also press the dough into the Springform pan although I don’t think you can get as even a crust as you would like with this method.

After the Dough is rolled out it is then refrigerated for 30 minutes before baking.  To bake the Crust it is best to use a ‘Blind Filling’- a sheet of buttered Aluminum Foil placed on the Dough with Pie Weights.  The Weights can be purchased or you can use dried beans.  The beans can be stored in an airtight container and used again many times as of course the weights can.  The Weights come in various forms – some are metal, others are ceramic.  They all work in pretty much the same way and whatever you buy would be up to you.

Pie Weights on Foil in Crust

 

The recipe said to bake the crust for 30 minutes before removing the weights, but I found that to be a little too long.  Try it yourself with different times – every oven is a little different so what I tell you may not work in your oven.  I would start out with the suggested time and then adjust it from there if you plan to make the torte again.

After the foil and Weights are removed the crust is returned to the oven for about 5 more minutes to brown the surface.  I personally thought the crust was over-done and would definitely try it with less time or maybe not pre-bake at all.  If I do bake the Torte without prebaking the Crust I will come back here and post the results.

The Jam is spread over the baked crust – to my taste, 1/3 cup of Jam was not enough to cover the bottom of the crust – next time I would use at least half cup or maybe even more.  It is supposed a Berry Tart and you do want to be able to taste it.

 

1/3 cup thick Berry Jam

  Jam Spread on Crust

 

 

 

 

 Cherry Preserves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make the Filling the the Cottage Cheese and Cream Cheese are first blended together.  Then the Sugar, Salt and Spices are blended and then the Eggs are beaten in.  This can all be done in the Food Processor or by hand in a large bowl with a whisk.  I think the Food Processor (if you have one) is the preferred method.  Much faster and the ingredients will be beaten more thoroughly than if you do it by hand.

 

 

9 oz. Brick Cream Cheese

 Filling Poured In

9 oz. Small Curd Cottage Cheese

3/4 C. Sugar

1/4 tsp. Salt

Pinch Ground Cinnamon

Pinch freshly Ground Nutmeg

 

2 Eggs

 

 

 

 

 

The Torte should bake for about 60 minutes or until the filling no longer jiggles when the pan is moved.  Additional cooking will take place after the heat is shut off and the pan is taken out of the oven.  In the older methods of making Cheesecake the instructions say to leave it in the oven (after it has been turned off).  I haven’t checked my old recipes but I think the actual baking time would be less.  i have the bad habit of over-baking my cheesecakes so if I looked up the old method it would probably be better for me to do it that way.

 

  Baked Torte

 

 

In the Baked Torte photo you can see the clasp that holds the circular sides onto the bottom of the pan.  When the Torte is baked and cooled the clasp is opened and should slide right off.  Oftentimes you may have to use a straight-edge spatula to completely separate the cake from the pan.

 

All in all, this Berry Torte Cheesecake was very good – it tasted delicious even if my version didn’t come out looking beautiful.  We had it for Breakfast – after all it does contain Eggs, Cheese and Fruit – items that we often incorporate into our Breakfasts.  Of course we didn’t eat the whole thing at once, so it was also eaten for Dessert at another meal.

 

In the photos below are the plated cake and a slice topped with Whipped Cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMBERS PROJECT RESULTS

 

 

 Elizabeth Barnhart Mockapetris

 

 

             Jean Ackerman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       Terrie Cooper

           Elizabeth Delcore Bennet

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Posted by sylveee - 2018/05/18 at 4:51 PM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Cakes, Cales, Cheese, Dairy, Dessert Ideas, Main, Pastry, Sunday Baking Project   Tags: , , , ,

SUNDAY BAKING PROJECT #2 – LEMON CHIFFON CAKE

This Past Sunday,May 7th was the second week of our Sunday Baking Project.  The selection this week was Lemon Chiffon Cake.  It was supposed to be a nice contrast to the ‘Decadent Chocolate Cream Pie’ of last week.  Indeed, it was a nice flavor contrast to the Pie but it was decadent in its own right.  The Cake was light and flavorful and the curd between the layers was very nice and Lemony, but it wasn’t mouth puckering as lemon can sometimes be.  I think maybe, it could have been just a tad more tart – in other words- a little less sugar.  Will try it that way sometime.  The Italian Buttercream Frosting was indeed the decadent portion of this cake as it was quite Buttery and I loved it!

The Recipe chosen was ‘Lemon-Love Chiffon Layer Cake from the Fearless Baker Cookbook by Erin Jeanne McDowell’.  If I didn’t mention this last week, the purpose of the club is to try new recipes which none of us has ever made – not specific to the item but specific to the published recipe.  In other words, I am sure that most of us have made Lemon Cake before, but not this specific recipe.  There were some things that were done differently than the traditional methods – therefore it makes it a new recipe for all of us.

 

Before going through the procedure for making the cake please take a look at the photos which will show how the final project is interpreted through different eyes.

 

 

 

           Jeanne-Ackerman

      Terrie Cooper  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         Cara Croxton

 

 

          Anna Redd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                Sylvia Rieman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You Terrie for allowing me to use your photo for the feature image and I have to apologize to Eileen Delcore Bennet and CM Wolkon but I was unable to upload your photos.

 

 

 

 

MAKING THE CAKE:   This recipe actually took several steps to make and gave us the opportunity to hone different skills.

 

Before even beginning to prepare the Cake, Curd and Frosting, it is best to  Juice and Zest all the Lemons and Lemon Product that you will need.  The best Lemons to use for Lemon Desserts are Meyer Lemons if they are available.  Right now in Spring, they are readily available, at least in the So. Calif. Farmer’s Markets.  The difference between Meyer and Eureka is that Meyer are less tart and better for baked products.  Eureka are great for cooking and for drinks like lemonade.

You can Zest the Lemons with a fine grater but it is best to have an actual zesting implement.

 

 

      Eureka and Meyer Lemons

In this photo the Meyer Lemons are the ones with the orange hue and the Eureka are the ones front and more yellow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             Lemon Zest

 

       Juicing the Lemons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first Preparation was for the Lemon Curd which I chose to make the day before.  It needed to cool for at least 2 hours so making it a day ahead gives you plenty of time to let it chill. The instructions for this Curd are a little off the norm in that all the ingredients are mixed together and then cooked to the desired thickness.  Normally, the Egg Yolks are beaten first, then tempered and then cooked to the proper thickness.  Using the traditional method gives you a shorter cooking time but definitely more utensils to clean.  Even though the clean-up takes a little longer I do prefer the traditional method.   In the photo below, the Curd is covered with plastic  wrap which you want to cover the curd with to prevent a crust from forming.  The plastic wrap should actually be touching the curd.

 

Whisking the Curd

 

 

       Straining the Lemon Curd

Preparing the Curd for Refrigeration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second Step was to make the Cake.  Making the Cake,  in itself was multi-faceted.  It involved:

  1. Separating the Yolks from the Whites.

 

Separated Egg Whites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Sifting together the Dry Ingredients

  Sifted Flour, Baking Powder & Salt

 

3.  Whisking together the Wet Ingredients (other than Eggs)

 

Whisking the Milk and Oil Mixture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Beating the Yolks for the Cake Batter – once the Yolks were beaten to almost the desired thickness,              the Liquid ingredients were added and beating resumed for one more minutes.  Next the Dry                    Ingredients were added in four separate increments.

 

 

Whisking the Yolks

 

5.  Beating the Whites to add to the almost finished Batter.

 

 

 Whipping the Egg Whites

 

6.  Next the Whites were folded into the Batter and then the Batter was divided between two greased and floured Pans.  I recommend lining the greased pans with parchment paper to allow for easier cake removal.

Combining the Whites with the Batter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  The Cakes were baked and cooled and then brushed with the Lemon Syrup.

 

              Baked Layer

        Sliced and Plated Layer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ring of Frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.  Making the Lemon Syrup involved only combining the Lemon Juice with the Sugar and bringing to a boil so that the Sugar is completely dissolved.  This takes only minutes.

 

9.  Once split in half there are 4 separate layers.  Each one should be brushed with the Lemon Syrup before assembly.

 

 

The Fourth Step was to make the Frosting – this involved Beating Egg Whites Again and making a Sugar Syrup and bringing it to the Soft Ball Stage (240 degrees F.)

 

 

Making the Sugar Syrup for the Frosting

 

Making Italian Buttercream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Curd Spread Spread on Cake

 

              Frosted Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So All in All, there were a lot of skills involved.  Of course it is easier for an accomplished baker to do these things but it is also a good recipe for a novice to learn these skills.  All in all, the Cake was delicious in every part of it.  I do love Lemon and especially Lemon Curd but do also love the Italian Meringue that covered the cake.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2018/05/12 at 12:09 PM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Cakes, Cales, Dessert Ideas, Main   Tags: , , ,

THANKSGIVING FAVORITES – DISHES TO CREATE FOR YOUR FAMILY DINNER

 

 

Thanksgiving is on the horizon and many families will be busy preparing food and enjoying it with their loved ones.  If you love to cook and even if you don’t but are going to be cooking listed below are the links to some delicious recipes that you may enjoy for your Thanksgiving Meal.  Take a look at them and then try out one or two or three or all.  When you do, please let me know how you, your family and friends enjoyed them.

 

CREAMED SPINACH  –  Spinach is one of my favorite Vegetables and this version is delicious, even for non-Spinach lovers.  It is also versatile and can be turned into a Creamed Spinach Soup just by adding some Vegetable Stock and a little more Cream or Milk.  A great recipe for Thanksgiving and the days beyond.

 

Creamed Spinach

           Creamed Spinach

 

 

CURRIED FRUIT STUFFING – a little different twist on Thanksgiving Stuffing – the Curry and Fruit give your stuffing additional flavor in a delicious way.  This recipe uses Traditional Stuffing Ingredients with the addition of Apple, Apricots and Golden Raisins or whatever you wish to use plus Curry Powder.  It is delicious and quite tasty with the addition of the fruit.

  

Juilienned Apples

Juilienned Apples

 

Dried Apricots

 

        Golden Raisins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOLDEN SQUASH JUBILEE – is a simple Vegetable Dish made with only 4 ingredients:

2 lbs. Banana Squash – shredded

1 cup dried Apricots – chopped

½ Cup firmly packed Brown Sugar

¼ cup Butter

 

This dish can be cooked in the Microwave or baked in the Oven.

 

 

 

 

 

MASHED POTATOES – be sure to use Russet Potatoes (you need to use a Potato that will crumble when baked so that they will mash easily

 

 

 

Mashed Potatoes

                                                   Mashed Potatoes

 

 

ROASTED ASPARAGUS

 

Green Asparagus

Green Asparagus

 

 

 

TURKEY FRITTATA – this is a great dish to use most any kind of leftover – it is an omelet made with Onions, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Cheese as well as the leftover Turkey.  A Frittata is good for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.

 

 

TURKEY CROQUETTES – these are made with leftover Turkey, Onions and a smattering of other Vegetables – they are breaded and then fried and served with Remoulade Sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

TURKEY POT PIE – made with leftover Turkey, Vegetables and a Rough Puff Pastry or purchased Puff Pastry if you prefer.  Great for leftover Turkey, Chicken or whatever else you have.  Serve with a Salad and you have a complete meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2016/11/09 at 9:42 PM

Categories: Culinary Makeovers, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

NATIONAL WAFFLE DAY TREATS

Today is ‘National Waffle Day’.  Here are some Waffle Treats for you to make for your friends and/or family.

 

Sweet Potato Waffles – a great way to use leftover Sweet Potatoes or just to use your Sweet Potatoes.  Good for Breakfast and or Dinner instead of Potatoes.

 

Sweet Potato Waffle

                                   Sweet Potato Waffle with Apples

 

 

Gingerbread Waffles – this is definitely a ‘makeover’ using leftover Gingerbread pieces.  This may not be appropriate for ‘National Waffle Day’ in August but keep it mind for your Winter Breakfasts or Desserts!

Gingerbread Waffles

 Gingerbread Waffles

 

Hong Kong Waffles – a favorite of mine – fun to make and fun to eat.  These Waffles are sold as ‘Street Food’ in Hong Kong but can easily be made with your Belgian Waffle Iron.

 

Hong Kong Egg Waffles

             Hong Kong Egg Waffles

 

 

 

 A Hong Kong Waffle spread with Peanut Butter and Sugar

A Hong Kong Waffle spread with    Peanut Butter and Sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Waffles – just an overview of the types of Waffle Irons and recipes available today!

 

Try one or more of these today or for your weekend Brunch, Lunch or Supper

Berry Heart Waffle

 

 

5 of Hearts Waffle Iron

5 of Hearts Waffle Iron  

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/08/05 at 10:35 AM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dessert Ideas, Family Fun, Holiday Meals, Leftovers, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , ,

Homemade Ricotta in Cannelloni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update to Homemade Ricotta – In July and September I posted Blogs about making your own Ricotta Cheese.  The first batch that was made used Lemon Juice to curdle it.  The second batch I tried using Rennet Tables but that did not work so well, so here I am back using the Lemon Juice which works great!  This batch of Ricotta like the first batch made was very delicious and on a par (if not better) than the expensive brand I usually buy.  When I buy Ricotta I buy a whole milk product which has much more flavor and body than the lower fat one.  I usually pay between $5 & $6 for it.  The batch I made at home this time, cost:

 

Milk – $2.99

Cream – 75 cents

Milk, Salt and Cream

Milk, Salt and Cream

 

 

Lemon Juice – free (the lemons were given to me – if you have to purchase the lemons you will need 1-2 lemons depending on the size – also the price will vary from store to store and from State to State.

 

 

 

 

3 Tbsps. Fresh Lemon Juice

3 Tbsps. Fresh Lemon Juice

 

 

Cheese Cloth – about $2.00 worth (but I was able to wash it and will be able to reuse it again)

 

So, my fresh batch of Ricotta which tasted delicious and was made right in my own kitchen cost me about $4.00 to make, not counting the gas and the hot water for washing the pot.  Maybe it was as much as I pay for the finished product but it was well worth it as it is delicious.  For the directions for making the Ricotta, please visit Adventures in Cheese Making

 

 

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

 

 

Now, what did I do with this batch of Ricotta.  I made Cannelloni for dinner tonight and was able to freeze half of them for another meal.  If you have four or more eating dinner, the whole recipe will be sufficient for 4- 6 people, depending on appetites.  If teenage boys are involved, then you will have dinner only for four.  If like us, there are only 2 people at the meal, then you will have at least 2 meals out of it and maybe more.

 

While the Ricotta was draining  I made the Crepe Batter for the Cannelloni Shells and then refrigerated it.  Crepe batter needs to rest for at least one hour after being made. For the recipe see  Crepe Batter

While the Crepe Batter was resting, I started the Meat Sauce that was to go over the top of the filled shells.  Next, I shredded the Mozzarella Cheese that was to go over the Meat Sauce.  If you need a recipe for the Meat Sauce you can just use my Fresh Tomato Sauce but start out by sauteing a pound of ground beef, chicken or veal before you add the other ingredients.  Or you can use only Tomato Sauce.

 

Tomato Sauce

Meat & Tomato Sauce

 

After the Crepes are made and the Sauce is simmering, prepare your Ricotta Cheese by adding an Egg, some freshly shredded Parmesan, Basil and about 1/2 tsp. Salt and 1/4 tsp. White Pepper or whatever your taste buds decree.  The Basil that I added was actually a combo of minced Basil and Garlic in Olive Oil.

 

 

Basil, Egg and Parmesan Added

Basil, Egg and Parmesan Added

 

 

 

Set the Crepe Shells out on a flat surface and place 2-3 Tablespoons of the Ricotta filling on each Crepe (depending on the size of the Crepe).  Fold in the sides and then the top and bottom.

 

Filling on Crepes

Filling on Crepes

 

 

Wrapping the Crepes

Wrapping the Crepes

Wrapping the Crepes (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapped Crepes

Wrapped Crepes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place each filled and rolled Crepe in a baking dish that has been lightly oiled with Olive Oil.  Place them close together.  When all the shells are filled, wrapped and placed in the baking dish top with the Sauce and some shredded Mozzarella Cheese.

 

Wrapped Crepes in Baking Dish

Wrapped Crepes in Baking Dish

 

Sauce on Crepes

Sauce on Crepes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until everything is hot and the Mozzarella Cheese has melted.

 

Baked Cannelloni

Baked Cannelloni

 

Serve immediately with a mixed Green Salad and fresh Italian Bread, if so desired.

 

This dish will serve from 4-6 people, depending on appetites.  We had enough leftover for a second meal and half the Manicotti went in the freezer for a third meal.  Of course, we are only two people and so we are lucky enough to have more than one meal out of this dish.

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/04/10 at 7:47 PM

Categories: Cheese, Dinner Ideas, Ethnic Cuisine, Italian, Main, One Dish Meals, Pasta   Tags: , , , , , , ,

CULINARY MAKEOVERS # 18 – Sweet Potato Waffles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our ‘Culinary Makeover’ today is a relatively simple one.  Mashed White Sweet Potatoes turned into Sweet Potato Waffles which I served with Chili con Carne.

 

 

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

 

 

A very delicious meal, but with only 2 people in the household we had Waffles left over which we in turn toasted for Breakfast the next day.  They tasted really delicious with melted Butter and Maple Syrup!

Sweet Potato Waffles with Bacon for Breakfast

Sweet Potato Waffles with Bacon for Breakfast

 

The Sweet Potatoes I purchased had red skin and I had forgotten that the Red Skinned Sweet Potatoes are not red inside but White.  They were a little more starchy than the gold ones but they still tasted good and were perfect for making Waffles.

 

For the Waffles I used:

2 cups mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 Eggs

1 cup flour

1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

2 Tbsps. Olive Oil (melted Butter can be used instead)

 

I had forgotten to put in a leavening agent which would have been maybe 1 tsp. Baking Powder, but the waffles came out very well without it.  You can use any type of Sweet Potato or even Russets that had been mashed for dinner the night before.  Try your hand at it and see what you can come up with!

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/04/06 at 1:52 PM

Categories: Breakfast Ideas, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main, One Dish Meals   Tags: , , , , , ,

GINGERBREAD WAFFLES – A Culinary Makeover

 

Baking is one of my favorite things to do and during the Winter Holidays I make Gingerbread Houses and I teach other people how to make Gingerbread.  This past December, in addition to my classes I baked and built four different houses.  One for the Cancer Support Community’s Holiday Boutique, one for a sample for my class, one for home and one as a gift.  There are two ways to bake the houses – one is to cut out the pieces from the unbaked dough and the other is to bake the dough first before cutting out the pieces.  The advantage of the second method is that the pieces will all fit together without additional trimming after the baking process.  The disadvantage is that there are going to be a lot of sections of cookie that will not be big enough for any house, except for the chimney and how many of those do you need?  Now we do love to eat the leftovers but when there are a lot of leftovers, you can only so much.

 

As I said, Baking is one of my favorite things to do, but another one of my favorite culinary activities is to turn leftovers into new products and that is what I did with the leftover Gingerbread pieces.  I pulverized them to a fine crumb in my Food Processor and turned them into a Waffle Batter.  If you like Gingerbread, then you certainly will like Gingerbread Waffles.  Here is how I did it.

 

  • Break up the leftover Gingerbread pieces into sections that will fit in your Food Processor that has been fitted with the Chopping Blade.  Use the Pulse Button to break up the pieces into small pieces and then turn it on to finely chop the Gingerbread pieces.  You should end up with a medium to fine crumb.
  • Measure the Crumbs – 2 cups of Gingerbread Crumbs will make enough waffles for 3-4 people.

 

Gingerbread Crumbs

          Gingerbread Crumbs

  • Use your Food Processor (do not wash out the bowl) or a large mixing bowl.  Beat 3 Eggs until well mixed and then add 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk and blend together.
  • Combine the Gingerbread Crumbs with 1 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour, 1 tsp. Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger and 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda.  Add to the Buttermilk/Egg mixture and Pulse, just until mixed.  If doing in a bowl, with a whisk, just mix until the Ingredients are blended – DO NOT OVER-MIX!  (Over-mixing Waffle, Pancake or Muffin Batter will make the product tough.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup Melted Butter.
Gingerbread Waffle Batter

        Gingerbread Waffle Batter

 

  • Heat your Waffle Iron until the indicator light tells you the Iron is hot.  If necessary, lightly oil or spray the surface of the Iron.
  • Pour approximately 1/2 cup of Batter on each section of you Waffle Irons Grids (this will vary, depending on the size and shape of our Waffle Iron)

 

Batter on Grids

              Batter on Grids

  • Close and Bake until the steaming stops.  Keep the baked Waffles warm in a low oven until you are ready to serve them.
Baked Waffles

             Baked Waffles

  • Serve with Fruit Compote and or Maple Syrup and melted Butter.  The Waffles in the Feature Photo are served with crisply cooked bacon.
  • For the Fruit Compote,I melted about 2 Tbsps. of Butter along with Brown Sugar (2-4 Tbsps.).  I then added pitted and halved Cherries, Blackberries and fresh Pineapple pieces.  This will work with just about any fruit – Apples are great with Gingerbread as well as Bananas, Mango or Papaya.
Making Fruit Compote

     Making Fruit Compote

 

And this is how you use leftover Gingerbread to make Waffles!  As a convenience, I have also listed the ingredients below.

 

2 CUPS Gingerbread Crumbs

1 1/2 cups Flour

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground Ginger

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

3 Eggs

1 1/2 cups Buttermilk

1/4 cup melted Butter

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/01/15 at 2:47 PM

Categories: Bread, Breakfast Ideas, Cooking for Kids, GINGERBREAD HOUSES, Holiday Meals, Main   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

ADVENTURES IN CHEESE MAKING – RICOTTA AGAIN

This time I decided to make a batch of Ricotta using Rennet Tablets. It was my understanding that a quarter of a Rennet Tablet would be sufficient to curdle two quarts of milk.  Unfortunately, this did not happen.  When I used the Lemon Juice the heated Milk curdled within about 2 minutes.  With the Rennet, I cooked and stirred with the Rennet added (after the milk came to a boil) for about 10 minutes.  Getting frustrated I added Lemon Juice and it still did not look curdled so I added the rest of the Rennet Tablet.  It finally curdled but did not yield as much Cheese as the Lemon Juice alone did and it was much looser and did not hold its shape.  Fortunately I used the Cheese in Sweet Cheese Turnovers so the thickness did not matter as much.  To add body to the Cheese I also used about half a carton of Mascarpone (thick Italian Cream Cheese).  Next time I will go back to the Lemon Juice.   

To make the Turnovers I placed the drained Ricotta in a medium-sized mixing bowl and added half a carton of Mascarpone, (about 4 oz.) along with 1 Egg, 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar (this should be to your taste) and some Vanilla. A pinch or two of ground Cinnamon may also be added if desired.   Combine the mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Turnovers I used commercial Puff Pastry but you can use Pie Crust or any other type of Dough that you prefer.

Have a small bowl of cool water at hand to help seal the pastry edges along with a fork to crimp them.

Lay out the Pastry on a cutting board and cut into 6″ squares.  If needed you can use a clean ruler to measure.  I usually just eye-ball it.  Use a long knife or Pizza Wheel.  Keep your eye on the end point and you will end up cutting a straight line.  If you try to guide the knife or wheel, it is likely that your pieces will end up crooked.  (I learned this little trick from my Mother who used to make all our clothes – when she cut out fabric she always said, keep your eye on the place where you want to end – this will guide your hand  and keep it straight)  It works every time!

Pastry Squares Pastry Squares

Arrange the squares so that they are facing you as a diamond.  Place a scoop of the filling on each square.  (I used a #30 food scoop – about 1 1/2 Tbsps.) The filling should be placed just below the mid-point which will give you enough room to fold over the pastry and seal the edges without the filling oozing out the sides.

Sweet Cheese Turnovers - Filling Added Sweet Cheese Turnovers – Filling Added

Using your clean finger or a pastry brush lightly coat the edges of two adjacent sides with the water;  fold over into a triangle and then crimp with the fork.

If you plan on baking the Turnovers right away preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Place the Turnovers on the lined baking sheet with at least 2 inches between each turnovers on all sides.  Even though there is no leavening agent as such in Puff Pastry, the layers formed by the Butter will puff up tremendously.  Once the baking pan is full brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with Turbinado Sugar.  Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes (DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR UNTIL THE 20 MINUTES ARE UP).  The Turnovers should be a golden brown when completely baked – if after 20 minutes they are still too pale then bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.  The Baked Turnovers are the Feature Photo above.

If you plan on freezing all or part of the Turnovers before baking them you can place them as close together on the sheet that you can as long as they don’t touch each other.  Once they are frozen wrap them in plastic wrap or the parchment and place in a freezer bag.  You can remove and bake as many or as few at a time as you need.

Sweet Cheese Turnovers  for freezing Sweet Cheese Turnovers for freezing
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Posted by sylveee - 2014/09/30 at 4:24 PM

Categories: Baking, Breakfast Ideas, Cheese, Dairy, Dessert Ideas, Main, Pastry   Tags: , , , , ,

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