Posts tagged "Fruit"

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

BACKYARD BOUNTY – ASIAN PEAR TART

We have several fruit trees in our backyard and an Asian Pear is one of them.  This year the branches were so laden with fruit that one of the branches actually broke forcing me to bring in the pears and use them. Some of them were rather small as this was early in the season.  But since Asian Pears are usually pretty firm and even crunchy when ripe, I was able to use them.  I actually let them sit in the house for about a week to ripen sufficiently.  Fortunately, there are still many more pears on the tree that are reaching their potential in size and ripeness.

With this first batch I decided to make a Pear Tart.  I love Pears and I love Pastry, especially that made with Puff Pastry.  The Tart that I made is really fun to do in that when you place the fruit and filling on the pastry, it is flat.  You place the filling on the dough and leave almost an inch of dough all the way around.  When it bakes, the sides raise up to form a rim around the tart.  The instructions and photos will be give below.  Please be sure and try it yourself and see how good it can be.

 

The ingredients you will need for the Pear Tart is a sheet of Puff Pastry (or you can make your own pastry dough and fit it into a tart pan.  The only kind of pastry dough that will raise up around the filling is the puff pastry.  So Ingredients listed below.

Puff Pastry  (This dough takes a long time to make but it can be purchased in large sheets at a restaurant supply such as Smart and Final.

Pastry Cream

Pears (peeled and quartered  (Any fruit will do)

Tapioca or Corn Starch

Brown or Granulated Sugar

Cinnamon

 

The Equipment you will need:

Baking Sheet

Silicon Sheet or Parchment Paper.  (The Silicon Sheet works best)

Dough Docker or a fork

2 quart Saucepan to cook the Custard in

 

Process:

  • Make your Custard and set aside.
  • Peel, core and quarter the Pears.  (You should have about 4 cups)
  • Place in a colander;  rinse and dry thoroughly.  Then place in a medium size mixing bowl.

 

Pears in Colander

              Pears in Colander

 

 

  • Combine 2 Tbsp. of Tapioca (can be purchased in an Asian Market or Restaurant Supply House) or Corn Starch, 1- 2 Tbsp. Cinnamon (depending on your taste), 1/4 cup Brown or Granulated Sugar.
  • Toss the quartered Pears with the Starch/Cinnamon Mixture and set aside.

 

Pears tossed with Cinnamon Mixture.

  Pears tossed with Cinnamon Mixture

 

 

 

 

  • Place a sheet of Puff Pastry (about 12 inches square – or any other shape you want to use) on the prepared pan.  (If frozen, allow about 5-10 minutes for it to thaw)
  • Use a dull knife (such as a butter knife or pie trimmer) to mark off the edges – 1/2 to 3/4 inch.
  • Use your Docker or Fork to poke holes in the dough – all over!.  (This will prevent the pastry from raising up.)  In the photo below are the Docker, a Pizza Cutter and an old-fashioned Pastry Trimmer.

 

Docked Pastry Sheet

Docked Pastry Sheet with Tools

 

 

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and make sure the baking rack is at the middle position.
  • Evenly spread the Custard on the Dough within the lines that you marked.

 

 

Pastry Cream on Pastry

 Pastry Cream on Pastry

 

 

  • Remove the pears from the Starch/Sugar Mixture with a slotted spoon.   This will ensure that any liquid released from the Pears will stay in the bowl.  (The liquid will make your pastry soggy so be sure to leave it behind!)
  • Arrange the Coated Pears evenly over the Dough.

 

Pears on Cream on Pastry

        Pears on Cream on Pastry

 

 

  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  The Pastry edges that raised up should be a dark golden color when finished.  You want to be sure that the pastry is well baked before removing form the oven.

 

 

Finished Pear Tart

 Finished Pear Tart

 

 

 

  • Allow to cool slightly before serving.  Cut into squares and serve as is or with Whipped Cream.

 

This Tart make a delicious dessert or can also be eaten for breakfast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/07/15 at 1:11 PM

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

Southern California Farmer’s Markets – Calabassas

Saturday Morning Farmer’s Markets abound in Southern California.  Within the distance of approximately 33 miles, extending from the city of Ventura to Calabassas (at the far Western end of the San Fernando Valley) there are 4 markets that I know of:  Ventura, Camarillo Old Town, Newbury Park and Calabassas.  You can go further South and find quite a few more but of course, it would be difficult to attend all of them in one day.  On my foray to Calabassas I also went to Newbury Park and could have hit Camarillo if I had so desired.  The market is across the street from the most prominent and probably well-known business in Camarillo and that would be the Sage Brush Cantina.  The Cantina opened years ago in a one store front location and soon took over the properties next to it, so that now the whole block (where there used to be a bakery and other businesses) is now all Sage Brush Cantina and their parking lot.  It has become a gathering for locals and out of towners as well.

The Calabassas Market is probably the most diverse and exciting of the one that I previously mentioned.  The time slot is from 9 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon.  You can buy produce, flowers, artisan bread products and foods ready-made to eat on the spot.

The first thing when you walk into the market is a sign for Valet Parking and an attendant to manage it.  The fee is only $3.00 which is the same that the parking lot across the street charges.  There is very little street parking in Calabassas and since the Market is well-attended the lot or Valet Parking is well worth it.  An alternative is to park in the shopping center on Valley Circle – it is about a one block walk but if you are carrying market produce it can be a little tireing.

 

There are many flower vendors and they are the ones that are most prominent in the front of the market.  This is not to say there are no produce vendors there – there are plenty but the flowers are so colorful and beautiful that they do stand out.  If you are planning on purchasing flowers as well as produce wait until you are finished and almost ready to leave – that way your flowers will have stayed fresh in water until you pick them and take them home.  If you carry them around the market there is a strong possibility that they will start to wilt, especially if it is a hot day.

 

Orchids 3

Flowers at Cal. Mkt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many produce vendors but one of my favorite has produce similar to Underwoods in Camarillo in that they have those beautiful heads of Purple and Gold Cauliflower along with Romesco which is shaped like a castle with little turrets.

 

Gold and Purple Cauliflower

    Gold and Purple Cauliflower

 

Green Cauliflower

          Green Cauliflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romanesco

              Romanesco

 

One of the ways in which I like to use the Cauliflower is to prepare it with a Cheese Sauce – the simplest Cheese Sauce that you will ever make.  Simply shred as much Medium or Sharp Cheddar Cheese and combine it with enough Mayonnaise to make a spreadable mixture.  Place the washed Cauliflower in a microwavable dish and spread the Mayo/Cheese mixture all over it.  Microwave for approximately five minutes or until the Cauliflower is fork tender.

 

Golden Cauliflower

Golden Cauliflower

2016-02-29 17.58.58

 Covered with Mayo/Cheese Mixture

             

 

 

Micro-waved - Ready for Eating

    Micro-waved – Ready for Eating

 

I love Mushrooms and one of the Vendors has a great variety of Mushrooms and they are locally (in the Conejo Valley just West of Calabassas) raised.  Mushrooms grow best in the dark and not exactly knowing I asked the Vendor where he grew them – in a Greenhouse?  The answer was no – he actually grows most of them in a warehouse building – probably in raised beds or flats.  You could purchase one type of mushroom or a variety pack of different sizes and different prices.  I couldn’t resist and did buy a $15 pack which did last me for several meals.

Mushroom Varities

   Mushroom Varieties

 

 

More Mushrooms

    More Mushrooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also at the market were Citrus Vendors, Vegetable Vendors, Egg Vendors, Hot Sauce Vendors and many more.  I am pictured below at the booth of a vendor from Central California – at this point in the day (about 1 hours before closing) his products were marked down to 3 for $5.00.  An excellent and everything I purchase from his was of excellent quality.

 

 Sylvia at Calabassas Mkt

Sylvia at Calabassas Mkt

Organic Produce

Organic Produce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

This next vendor sells Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Beans at both the Calabassas Market and the Market in Thousand Oaks on Thursday afternoon.  When I visit these markets her stand is always one that I stop at.  The Cucumbers are of the Japanese variety and do not need to be peeled.  They are always sweet and crisp and delicious.

 

Wonderful Cukes

   Wonderful Cucumbers

 

One of the Vendors at the Calabassas Market was not selling produce but instead he had Pasta and Olives – the booth was called Zona de Italy.  Lots of interesting pasta and delicious Olives of various varieties.

 

So take a trip out to Calabassas and check out their produce, flowers, pasta, etc.

Olives

                      Olives

Zona Italy

   Zona Italy

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/03/16 at 10:41 PM

Categories: Dinner Ideas, Farm Markets, Fruit, Lunch Ideas, Main, Pasta, Salads   Tags: , , , , , ,

BLACK FOREST CAKE for EV’S BIRTHDAY

 

 

 

Ev requested a Black Forest Cake for his Birthday this year.  I made for past Birthdays and he loved it so much he wanted another one.  So now I have decided to document the preparation of this utterly delicious, decadent cake.  If you can, make it when fresh Cherries are available but if not, then frozen or canned Cherries will work.  This year I used dried Cherries which I reconstituted in Cherry Liqueur along with frozen Cherries.  There was an excess of frozen Cherries, so I put the leftovers on top of the cake as decoration.

 

The ingredients you will need for a Black Forest Cake are:

 

1 dozen large Eggs

Water

Granulated Sugar

All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 cup Black Cocoa Powder or a total of 1 cup regular Cocoa Powder

Vanilla & Almond Extracts

 

Cherries

Sugar

Cornstarch

Almond Flavoring

1 Qt. Whipped Cream

 

Note:  For exact measurements and complete directions please go to Black Forest Cherry Cake

 

First of all, gather and measure all of your ingredients.  Separate the Whites from the Yolks and allow them to come to room temperature.

Prepare three 9″layer pans by spraying with a Vegetable Spray and then fitting with Parchment or Waxed Paper.

 

Prepared Pans

             Prepared Pans

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the Flour, Cocoa Powders and 1/4 cup of the Sugar.

Beat the Egg Yolks and 1/4 cup of Water with an Electric Mixer until they are thick and light colored.  Gradually add the Sugar while still beating;  once all the Sugar has been beaten in add the Flavorings.

 

Exchange the Wire Beater for the Paddle Beater.  Sift the Flour Mixture over the Beaten Egg Yolks and slowly beat it in with the Paddle Beater.

 

 

Flour/Cocoa Mixture Beaten in

Flour Mixture Blended in

 

Next using a clean bowl and beater use the Wire Whisk to beat the Egg Whites to a soft Peak.  (Over-beating them will make the cake dry and underbeating them will cause the cake not to rise fully)

           

 

Egg Whties Added

     Egg Whites Added to the Batter

 

Egg Whties Blended In

Egg Whites Blended In

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once all the Egg Whites have been well-blended into the Chocolate Batter, pour into the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each layer comes out clean.

 

 

Batter in Pans

                 Filled Pans

 

Set the pans to cool on a wire rack;  once the layers are cool to the touch (about 15-20 minutes) invert onto the rack by placing the rack over the pan and turning over.  Cool the layers completely before assembling.

 

Cooling Cakes

    Cooling Cakes

 

 

While the layers are cooling, prepare the syrup, the filling and the Chantilly Creme.   (This may also be done while the cakes are baking)  See the link above for the recipes and directions.

 

Brush the cake layers with the Syrup.

 

 

Brushing with Syrup

Syrup

Brushing with Syrup

          Brushing with Syrup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the first layer, top side up on a serving plate and spread with the Chantilly Creme.  Add half the Cherry Filling and the second layer of cake.

 

Chantilly Creme and Cooked Cherries on First Layer

Chantilly Creme and Cooked Cherries on First Layer

 

 

 

Repeat the process with the second layer  and then add the third layer.

 

Cherries on Second Layer

   Cherries on Second Layer

 

Use a pastry bag filled with the Chantilly Creme and drop Rosettes on the top of the Cake.  If there is Creme left over, spread it on the sides of the cake.

 

 

Decorated Cake

  Decorated Cake

 

Top each Rosette with a Cherry (if any leftover or use Maraschino Cherries or none at all, if preferred.

 

Finished Cake

  Finished Cake

 

Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.  When serving cut with a serrated knife and cut small to moderate pieces as this is a rich cake.  Delicious, but rich!

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/03/05 at 3:53 PM

Categories: Baking, Dessert Ideas, Fruit, Main   Tags: , , , ,

SO. CAL FARMER’S MARKETS – OLD TOWN CAMARILLO

There are numerous Farmer’s Markets in Ventura County – on Saturday alone there are four different markets all within driving distance of each other.  Starting in Ventura, you have a medium size Market on the corner of Santa Clara and Palm Streets. (See my previous post in January of this year)

Another local Saturday Market in Ventura County is the one in ‘Old Town Camarillo’.  This one is different from the other markets available in that it is sponsored by the Camarillo Hospice and a portion of all sales goes to this cause.  The Camarillo Market is a Certified Market and is probably the largest one in the County, maybe only equal in size to the Thousand Oaks Market.

At the Camarillo Market you will find produce vendors, flower vendors and food product vendors.  There is also a booth for Kettle Corn, Tamales, and Coffee.  You can buy Olive Oil, Hummus and Flat Breads, and best of all, ‘Old Boney Mountain’ Hot Sauces and Grotto Dust.  The Old Boney Products are produced by Jeff Losey who own the company and has named it for ‘Old Boney Mountain’ which can be found in the National Recreation Area in Newbury Park and which also can be seen from his property.

My favorite produce vendor is Underwood farms which also goes to the Thousand Oaks Market.  If you miss a market day and need fresh produce, you can also go straight to the Underwood Farms in Somis and/or Moorpark, both of which are in Ventura County.

 

 

Underwood Farms

                                    Underwood farms

 

Shown below are some unusual varieties of well-known Vegetables.  The Romanesco is a form of Broccoli but is certainly much more fun.  Since it almost looks like a Castle, I have used in Children’s Cooing Classes when there was a ‘Kingdom’ Theme involved.  Next is my favorite type of Cauliflower – Purple and Yellow or Golden.  It is probably just my imagination but I do think the colored Cauliflower, especially the yellow one has more flavor than the white.  This may be true because there certainly has to be more Carotene in the yellow variety and carotene does provide flavor.

Next is the Purple and Green Cabbage which is not unusual in itself, but these are so fresh and so beautiful that you cannot help purchasing them and running home to use them.

 

Romanesco

               Romanesco

 

Colorful Cauliflower

        Colorful Cauliflower

 

 

Purple and Green Cabbage

        Green and Purple Cabbage

 

Another produce vendor that you will want to stop at is the Tomato Booth from Beylik Farms.  They have Orange Tomatoes, Red Plum Tomatoes and Japanese Tomatoes.  The winter variety are grown in Green Houses, but they taste as good as if they were grown outdoors.

 

 

Orange Tomatoes

Orange Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

Red Tomatoes

              Red Tomatoes 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to Underwood  and Beylik Farms there are numerous other Produce Vendors.  There are also booths selling artisan Greens such as Kale and other Greens.  One of the offerings that I love is the booth that sells Sprouts of different varieties.  I especially like the Sunflower Sprouts which are great on sandwiches and in salads.  Then we have the fruit vendors, selling Apples, Oranges and other Citrus fruit in addition to Strawberries (fresh picked the same day as being sold from local fields.

 

One of my favorite vendors is ‘Old Boney Mountain Hot Sauce Products’.  Jeff Losey, who is the owner and CEO of the Company donates his profits to organizations such as the Camarillo Hospice, Wounded Warrior and Newbury Park High School Football Team.  Old Boney Products are named after ‘Old Boney Mountain’ in the National Recreation Area in the Santa Monica Mountains located in Newbury Park.  Jeff and his family can view Old Boney Mountain from their home where the Peppers are also grown.

 

Old Boney with Riemans

           Old Boney Products with Jeff Losey and Rieman Family Members

 

There are also at least two flower vendors – one sells live plants (this particular vendor goes both to the Camarillo Market and the Thousand Oaks Market.  Every Fall right before Thanksgiving, I buy my Pansy Plants from them.  The price is right and the plants are beautiful.  (Living in Southern California with hot summers, the Pansies do not survive beyond late Spring, so I have to replant them every year.  In addition to the Pansies, they also sell Orchid Plants and other shade plants.  *** There are other vendors selling cut flowers to take home to enjoy.

 

Last, but not least, are the prepared food vendors.  One sells freshly baked Artisan Bread Products.  Normally I will make my own Challah and other Egg Breads but this past Saturday I had not had the time to do so and wanted to make French for Breakfast on Sunday so I purchase a Brioche from this vendor.  It was very expensive ($10.00) and cost about 5 times what it would cost me to make it (not counting my time) but it was well worth it.  It was delicious and made not only great French Toast but excellent sandwiches as well.

 

 

Artisan Bread

                                  Artisan Bread

 

 

Another Vendor sells Tamales, another sells different varieties of Hummus and Flat Breads and of course Kettle Korn.  If these aren’t enough, there are also booths selling handmade crafts, such as jewelry, shell items, wood items, etc.

 

Take a trip out here next Saturday (or whenever you happen to be in town) and enjoy the wares at the Old Town Camarillo Farmer’s Market.

 

Camarillo Farm Mkt (6) Camarillo Farm Mkt (4)

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/02/09 at 8:00 PM

Categories: Farm Markets, Main, Salads   Tags: , , , ,

GINGERBREAD APPLESAUCE CAKE – Culinary Makeovers

Here we go again!  Remember the Gingerbread Waffles made from the leftover pieces of Gingerbread Houses?  Well, with only a 2 person Household, you can only eat Gingerbread Waffles so many days in a row and since I hate to throw good food away, I did it again!  I decided to make cookies with the Waffle Batter and wouldn’t you know, I did not think about putting extra sugar into it – Waffles don’t need a lot of sugar since you usually pour syrup on them or top with sweetened fruit and when we tasted the cookies – uh oh!  They tasted like Gingerbread Biscuits – not very palatable –  so instead of throwing the cookies away, I just dried them out and pulverized them again just like I did with the leftover House pieces.  I then used my Zucchini Bread Recipe as a guide and made a delicious moist Gingerbread Applesauce Cake with Raisins.  This was a delicious and satisfying Breakfast Delight!

 

So here is how I made the Gingerbread/Applesauce Cake.  The recipe can be adapted for use without the leftover Gingerbread pieces.  Just let me know and I will change it for whoever would like it.

 

Pictured below are the cookies – i left them uncovered for a couple of hours to dry them out – they were a moist cookies and would have been really good with some sugar and maybe some raisins added to them.

 

Gingerbread Waffle Cookies

 Gingerbread Waffle Cookies

 

Place the cookies in your Food Processor and chop them up, using the PULSE BUTTON at first;  once they are broken up, then turn it on and run just until they are a fine crumb – not more than a couple of seconds at a time.

 

Measure the crumbs – if you do not have 2 cups of crumbs, adjust the other ingredients accordingly

 

 

  • Gingerbread Crumbs

     Gingerbread Crumbs

    The remaining ingredients that you are going to need are:

     

    1 cup All-Purpose Flour

    1/2 tsp. Salt

    1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

    1 tsp. ground Cinnamon

    1/2 tsp. ground Ginger

    1/4 tsp. ground Cloves (optional)

    3 large Eggs

    1/2 cup Butter, melted

    1 tsp. Vanilla

    1 cup Brown Sugar

    1 cup Applesauce

    1/2 cup Raisins

     

    The Applesauce pictured below was homemade chunky Applesauce

     

     

     

    Applesauce

      Applesauce

     

    This cake was all made in the Food Processor, but if you don’t have one or prefer not use it, you can do this with a Portable Mixer, Standing Mixer, or even with hand implements.

    Once you have your crumbs, Applesauce and Rasins prepared and measured, begin making your cake.

    • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350 degrees.
    • Butter, or spray an 8 or 9″ round or square pan and set aside.
    • Combine the Flour, Salt, Baking Soda and Spices in a medium size bowl.
    • Place the Eggs in the Food Processor and run until they are well mixed.
    • Add the Brown Sugar, Butter and Vanilla and mix again.
    • Add the Applesauce and Pulse until it is well distributed.
    • Add the Flour Mixture and run until well – mixed.  (DO NOT OVERMIX!)
    • Add the Raisins and pulse, just until they are distributed throughout the batter.
    • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan;  tap lightly to level and then bake for 45 minutes or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack before inverting onto a serving platter.
    Baked Cake

      Baked Cake

     

    Serve warm or at room temperature with Vanilla Ice Cream or top with a Cream Cheese Frosting.

     

    Cake Portion with Ice Cream

     Cake Portion with Ice Cream

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    Posted by Admin Test - 2016/01/19 at 9:58 PM

    Categories: Baking, Cookies, Dessert Ideas, GINGERBREAD HOUSES, Main   Tags: , , , , , ,

    PUMPKIN FOR THANKSGIVING!

    Thanksgiving is right around the corner and while everyone is trying to think of ways to use the turkey leftover from the Holiday Dinner how about different ways in which to use Pumpkin.  Pumpkin itself, does not taste particularly good but when you add spices and sugar and cream and eggs it turns into something wonderful.  Here are a list of recipes featured in this blog that you can try for your own Thanksgiving Dinner or for Breakfast or Dessert on Thanksgiving Weekend.

     

    When cooking or baking with Pumpkin be sure to use the Sugar Pie Variety.  The larger Pumpkins do not lend themselves to baked or cooked recipes.

     

    DOUBLE DUTY  PUMPKIN WAFFLES

    Making Pumpkin Waffles (26) Making Pumpkin Waffles (29)

    breakfast-items/double-duty-pumpkin-waffles

     

     

    Pumpkin Muffins

    Pumpkin Muffins

     

    PUMPKIN MUFFINS made from the

    Waffle Recipe

     

    Easy to do, just add a little more flour.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    breads/pumpkin-cornbread

     

    Pumpkin Corn Bread

     

    pumpkin-yeast-biscuits

     

    Pumpkin Yeast Biscuits

    Pumpkin Yeast Biscuits

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ravioli de Zucca

    Ravioli de Zucca

    pasta/ravioli-de-zucca

    The Ravioli can be made with Pumpkin or Butternut Squash or any Squash of your choice.  The dark leaves on top of the Ravioli are Sage.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    pies-pastry/pumpkin-pie-in-pecan-crust

    Pumpkin Pie in Pecan Crust

    Pumpkin Pie in Pecan Crust

     The Pumpkin Pie in Pecan Crust looks dark, but it is actually not burned.  In this case, the oven was too high and it baked at a much faster pace than it should have.  Luckily I took it out before it was actually burned.  Everyone loved it and it was gone by the end of dessert time.

    To make the Pumpkin Pie in a Pastry Crust, use the same filling recipe as the Pie in Pecan Crust.  Simply substitute a pastry crust of your choosing.

     

     

     

     

     

    For the ultimate dessert try my pumpkin-cheesecake recipe

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    Posted by Admin Test - 2015/11/21 at 9:23 AM

    Categories: Baking, Holiday Ideas, Holiday Meals, Main, Pastry   Tags: , , ,

    WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE EXCESS APPLES #2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Apple Bread & Muffins:  Use the Apple Bread Recipe to make Muffins as well as Bread

     

    Apple Bread

    Apple Bread

     

     

    Baked Apple Muffins

    Baked Apple Muffins

     

    Pies:  Apple Pies can be made as a Double Crust Pie or as a French Apple Tart

     

    Apple Pie

    Apple Pie

     

     

    Apple Pie Slice with Chees

    Apple Pie Slice with Cheese

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Apple Sauce:  the Apple Sauce pictured is not a true Apple Sauce.  The Apples have been juliened, not pureed.  This gives more texture and flavor.  This version of Apple Sauce is good as a condiment with Ice Cream, Cereal or on top of cake.  To make the Sauce, peel and seed the Apples and then cut into Juiien strips.  If you have a food processor, use the 6 x 6 Julienne Blade to cut them.  Place Julienne Apples in a saucepan that is large enough to hold them along with Brown Sugar (minimum amount), some Water or Apple Juice and cook until the Apples give up their moisture and the resulting mixture is of the viscosity that you want.  If you do a large quantity pack into sterilized canning jars and seal with caps and rings.  Place in a kettle and cover with water to at least 1″ over the tops of the jars and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Carefully remove from the pot and turn upside down on a clean dish towel.  Turning the jars upside down will insure that the lids will seal.  If you use a pot with a rack inside that can be lifted out, this will be the safest way to remove the jars from the hot water.  Let stand upside down until cool.  Turn right side up and tighten the lids.  Store in a cool dry place.  Apple Sauce is great with Pork, Poultry and Seafood dishes.

     

    Apple Sauce

    Apple Sauce

     

    Tarts:  An easy way to make delicious, beautiful tarts is to have on hand some Puff Pastry Sheets.  Peel and slice your Apples and then place on Puff Pastry that has been cut into a circle or square, whichever you prefer.  Place the prepared Puff Pastry on a baking sheet – if you have Silpat, use that or just put the pastry on the ungreased baking sheet.

    Layer the Apples on the Puff Pastry, being sure to leave about 1″ uncovered all the way around.

    Sprinkle a little Sugar and Cinnamon on top of the Apples.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the edges have puffed up to form a rim and are a nice dark golden brown.

    Remove from the oven and brush the Apples with Jelly that has been heated to melt it down to make it brushable.

    Once the Jelly has set up, your tarts are ready to serve.

     

    Large Apple Tart

    9″ Apple Tart

     

     

    Apple Turnovers

    Apple Turnovers

    Apple Turnovers

     

     

    Use your Apples for eating, baking or cooking.  Have fun and enjoy!

     

     

     

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    Posted by Admin Test - 2015/10/08 at 10:20 PM

    Categories: Baking, Bread, Cooking for Kids, Family Fun, Food as Gifts, Fruit, Holiday Ideas, Main, Pastry   Tags: , , , ,

    WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE EXCESS APPLES #1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Do you have an Apple Tree that is a mass producer?  Or do you have friends with Apples that they are trying to get rid of?  If the answer to either question is yes, then here is what you can do with them.  If the answer is no and you need to purchase apples, you can still use the recipes below.  For convenience the recipes are listed in alphabetical order.

     Apple-Cookies

     

    Apple Cookies

    Apple Cookies

     

     

    Apple Braid

    Apple Braid

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Apple Braid

     

    To make the Apple Braid you will need Puff Pastry Sheets – Sliced Apples as prepared for Apple Turnovers, a Baking Sheet and a knife.

    1. Peel, slice and dress the Apples as for the Turnovers.
    2. Lay out a large sheet of Puff Pastry (alternatively use Pie Crust) on a pastry board.
    3. Arrange the prepared Apples down the middle of the Pastry leaving about 2 inches at either end.
    4. As pictured, cut the exposed pastry into 2″ strips.
    5. Lap each piece over the middle, working from side to side.  Fold in the ends so that the Apples are completely covered.
    6. Transfer to a baking pan  that has been covered with baking parchment or a silpat sheet.
    7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  While the oven is heating, brush the Pastry with a beaten Egg White and then sprinkle with Demarara Sugar.  (Coarse, brown Sugar)
    8. Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry has puffed up and is a dark golden brown.
    9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before transferring to a serving platter or cutting board.
    10. To serve, cut into pieces at least 2 inches long.  Best when eaten warm and is very good with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream.

     

    Apple Prep

    (1) Apple Prep

    Puff Pastry on Board

    (2) Puff Pastry on Board

     

     

     

     

    Apples down the Center and Pastry Cut

    (3 & 4) Apples down the Center and Pastry Cut

    Finishing the Braid

    (5) Finishing the Braid

    Baked Braid

    Baked Braid

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    Posted by Admin Test - 2015/10/06 at 1:56 PM

    Categories: Baking, Dessert Ideas, Fruit, Main, Pastry   Tags: , , ,

    ANGEL FOOD CAKE – SUMMER PERFECTION

    Angel Food Cake is like it’s name implies – ‘light and heavenly’.  Angel Food Cake is the perfect summer dessert.  It can be eaten plain (and not make you feel too full or sugared out) or it can be topped with Strawberries and Whipped Cream or filled with Ice Cream and covered with a Baked Meringue for a faux ‘Baked Alaska’.

     

    The main structure of an Angel Food is Egg Whites whipped full of air which in turn provides the leavening for your cake.  Because it has no fat, an Angel Food Cake has fewer calories than most other shortened cakes.  There are three main ingredients in Angel Food Cake – Egg Whites, Sugar & Flour. Add a little salt for balance and Vanilla for flavor and lots of air for your leavening agent.

     

    To have your Angel Food Cake come out like it should, just follow a few important rules:

     

    1.  Separate the Egg Whites from the Yolks and make sure that not a speck of Yolk gets into the White portion.  Egg Whites are mainly Protein and Egg Yolks contain a good portion of Fat.  The Whites will not beat up like they should if you get even a tiny bit of yolk into them.  So, when you separate your Whites from the Yolks, follow a few simple rules.

     

    • Separate the Eggs when they are still cold from the refrigerator.  There is less chance of getting the yolk into the white this way.
    • Have a clean bowl for the Whites and another bowl for the Yolks.  Have a second smaller bowl to separate the White into before adding to your larger bowl.  This way, if some yolk gets into the white by mistake, it is only one white that you cannot use, instead of a whole bowl full of them.  If you do get some yolk into the white this way, just combine the White and the Yolk and set aside for another use, such as scrambled eggs or cookies that require a whole egg.
    • If you are not going to use the yolks right away, cover with a thin layer of water and then plastic wrap and refrigerate.  The water will prevent the yolks from drying out.  When ready to use, the water should be easy to pour off or just incorporate them into the eggs.
    • Allow your Whites to come to room temperature before beating them.  Cold Egg Whites will not beat up as well as the warmer ones and therefore will not be able to incorporate enough air to make a light cake.

    2.  Use a tube pan that is large enough to hold at least a 12 Egg White Cake.  Never, ever grease the pan when making Angel Food Cake or other Sponge Cakes.  The lubricant will make the batter fall down and not raise up sufficiently.  The Angel Food Cake needs the ungreased walls of the pan to cling to when raising in the oven.

    Tube Pan

    Tube Pan

     

    3.  Always use Cake Flour for an Angel Food Cake.  (Cake Flour is lighter than All-Purpose and will therefore give you a lighter cake.  Spoon the Flour into a dry measuring cups and level off with a straight-edged spatula.

    4.  Sift the Flour and half the Sugar into a clean, dry mixing bowl.

    5.  Make sure the bowl that you are going to beat the whites into is clean and dry;  any speck of grease or other residue will prevent the Whites from beating up properly.

    6.  Always, fold the flour into the beaten whites, DO NOT MIX – the folding process is an over and under motion.  Beating will deflate the Whites and prevent the cake from raising up properly.

    7.  When you are ready to begin your cake preparation, lower your oven rack to the lowest setting and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

    For the recipe go to angel-food-cake/.  This recipe is a 12 Egg White recipe – for a taller cake increase the recipe by 1/2 – use 1 1/2 cups of Whites instead of 1 cup.   Increase all the other ingredients accordingly.  For the increase recipe use a 12 inch tube pan.  The cake pictured in the recipe was made in a 10 inch tube pan.  I prefer the large one because it make a more attractive cake.

     

    Beaten Egg Whites

    Beaten Egg Whites

     

    The best and easiest way to beat your Whites if to use a ‘standing electric mixer’.  hand mixer can also be used but the standing mixer will give you the best results.  As an anecdote, the very first Angel Food Cake that I made was when I was a teenager and decided to make for my Mother for Mother’s Day.  We did not own an electric mixer or even a hand electric mixer.  All we had was a Rotary Egg Beater and this was before they put ball bearings into the wheel.  It took me so long to beat those Egg Whites that I ended up with a blister on my thumb.   If we had even a wire whisk, that would have been infinitely better.  But the Cake turned out fine but I don’t think I made another Angel Food until I owned an electric mixer.

     

     

    Sifted Flour

    Sifted Flour and half the Sugar

     

    Sift the Flour/Sugar mixture over the Beaten Egg Whites and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the Whites.  Be sure and get all the dry ingredients incorporated.

    Folding In Flour

    Folding In Flour

    Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter from the mixing bowl to the baking pan.  Level off the top and then place in the lower third of the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes.  The increased recipe bakes for the same time as the original one as the pan you use is larger.

    Batter in Pan

    Batter in Pan

     

    There are many ways to serve Angel Food Cake – the photos below show two different ways –

    With Ice Cream, Chocolate and Strawberries

    With Ice Cream, Chocolate and Strawberries

    At right, Angel Food Cake with Strawberries,

    Vanilla Ice Cream and a Chocolate Sauce made

    from Bittersweet Chocolate melted with Butter and

    a little Heavy Cream, Powdered Sugar and Vanilla.

    Keep it thin so it can be poured over the cake.

     

    The photo below shows Angel Food Cake with

    fresh Peaches and fresh Pitted Cherries which

    have been cut in half.  Add a little Whipped

    Cream or just pouring Cream and you have a

    delicious dessert or even breakfast.

    Angel Food Cake with Peaches and Cherries

    Angel Food Cake with Peaches and Cherries

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    Posted by Admin Test - 2015/08/04 at 10:57 PM

    Categories: Baking, Dessert Ideas, Fruit, Main   Tags: , , , , ,

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