Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Artichoke Parmesan Spread

Not sure if you've noticed, but I've been on a baking kick lately.  This post is not a dessert, it's actually a very healthy and full of flavor recipe!  It can be a spread for a bruschetta or a sandwich, a dip for veggies or chips, or even mixed with pasta!  It even has some protein because of the parmesan, but if you are a vegan feel free to sub in some silken tofu or just leave it out completely!
Artichoke Parmesan Spread
(makes enough to spread on at least 2 french baguettes)
1 box/bag of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
2 cloves garlic (feel free to add more if you like)
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup freshly grated or shredded parmesan cheese (If you want to omit the cheese, replace with 1 cup silken tofu)
2 cups balsamic vinegar (for glaze on top)

Place all ingredients, except the vinegar, in a food processor.  Blend until mixture is combined and smooth.  Spread the mixture on slices of toasted baguette. (To do that, place slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes.) 

To make the balsamic glaze, pour vinegar into a small non-stick pot over medium-high heat.  Let simmer until the vinegar gets thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  This process takes about 30-40 minutes. Drizzle glaze over the bruschetta and enjoy!!  The glaze should keep in an air-tight container for a few weeks in the fridge. Use leftover glaze for salads, chicken, shrimp, sandwiches, pasta, veggies, etc.  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Apple Crisp

Here's another dessert for you!  This is a great dessert to bring to someone's house as a gift, especially if you put it in a nice baking dish they can keep after everyone eats it all up!  But don't forget the ice cream!!!
Apple Crisp
For the Crumb Topping:
1 stick unsalted butter or margarine, melted
1 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Apple Filling:
5 apples, peeled and sliced thinly (Use any kind of apple or try a variety)
2 lemons, juiced
4 tablespoons sugar (You can mix white and brown sugar for this if you'd like, and feel free to add more sugar if you want the apples to be sweeter.)
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To make the crumble, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until pea-sized balls form, set aside.  This can be done ahead of time. Place crumble topping in an airtight container and left in the fridge until you are ready to bake the apple crisp.

Place sliced apples in a bowl and pour half of the lemon juice over the apples to prevent discoloration.  Prepare the rest of the ingredients and pour over apple slices.  Using clean hands mix the contents of the bowl so that the apples are equally coated with all ingredients.  Pour apples into a baking dish and cover with the crumb topping. Bake apple crisp for about an hour or until the apples are fork tender and the crisp is golden brown around the edges. 

NOTE: You can use this recipe with any type of fruit crisp.  Try berry, pear, peach, plum, the options are endless!  If you like raisins try adding some in with the apples.  Or combine pears and apples together. Or apple and cranberries. You get what I mean I hope.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Momofuku Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies

Remember when I made these??  Well here's another amazing awesome cookie recipe from the one and only Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC!!  I have adapted the recipe slightly and they came out absolutely delicious, friend-tested, Feed Your Sister approved!  
Copycat Momofuku Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies
(makes 20 cookies)
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp kosher salt (plus more for sprinkling)
2/3 cup oats, not instant
1 cup lightly crushed Kellogg's Cornflakes (about 1 1/4 cup cornflakes before crushing)
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips (see note)
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
NOTE: The chocolate chips in the original Momofuku Milk bar cookie are minis, though substitute with regular-sized chips if you prefer.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat until combined.
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat on low speed, just so the dry ingredients become incorporated. With a wooden spoon, mix in the oatmeal, crushed cornflakes, and chocolate chips, and marshmallows.
On a silpat-lined baking sheet OR greased muffin top pan, scoop up and roll the dough into golf ball-sized spheres. (Six will fit comfortably on one pan–give them room to spread!)  Sprinkle tops with a touch more salt. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Bake for 9-10 minutes. The cookies will still look soft in the middle when you take them out of the oven. Allow them to cool directly on the tray completely before removing them and placing them onto a platter.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nutella Chocolate Tart

I saw this recipe while reading the many blogs I read daily. It looked very simple and delicious.  Not sure if you've noticed but I've been on a baking kick lately...I decided to make this and bring it for dessert at my family's Chanukah Lunch yesterday.  It took me less than an hour to prepare this yummy decadent tart!  If you are allergic to nuts leave out the Nutella!  Some other variations I thought could be good in place or in addition to the Nutella is peanut butter, banana slices, or some whipped cream!  You can also make this tart with a chocolate or graham cracker cookie crust.  The options are truly endless! 
Nutella Chocolate Tart
(adapted from Baking Kids Love by Cindy Mushet and Sur La Table)
For the crust:
1/2 of the dough from this recipe or this recipe (You can use butter, vegetable shortening, or margarine.)
For the filling:
4 ounces semi-sweet good quality chocolate (I used Ghiradelli)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 shot of espresso or strong coffee OR 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder
3/4 cup Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a small tart pan with non-stick cooking spray. (If you want to make a larger tart use all the dough from the crust recipe and double the chocolate filling.) Use fingers to press dough into the greased tart pan making sure to have the dough along the sides of the pan as well.  Blind bake the tart shell by placing a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper over the dough and pour rice or beans on top to weigh the dough down while baking.  Blind bake for about 10 minutes then remove beans and aluminum and bake for another 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.  Let tart shell cool completely. Put aside.
Blind Baking
Meanwhile, chop chocolate and place in a bowl.  In a sauce pan bring the heavy cream to a soft simmer over medium heat.  Pour warm cream over chopped chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and nutella. Let stand for a few minutes until chocolate gets soft then whisk mixture until smooth.  Pour chocolate ganache into cooled tart shell and spread to the edges.  Place in fridge for at least 3 hours. Tart and filling can be prepared 2-3 days in advance, keep uncovered in the fridge. Serve at room temperature with a cold glass of milk, coffee, or hot chocolate!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Arugula and Apples with Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Remember The Meatball Shop??  Well this past weekend I traveled downtown to have some more of that delicious Arugula and Apple salad.  This time I was sure to find out a little about the dressing that makes this salad so amazingly delicious!  The secret ingredients are apple cider vinegar and honey.  I got this recipe from Martha Stewart.
Arugula and Apple Salad with Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette
(makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing)
2 containers or bags of Arugula
3 Honeycrisp Apples, sliced thinly
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced
the juice of 1 1/2 lemons
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Slice apples thinly and place in serving bowl.  Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of a lemon on the apple slices to prevent browning. Place the arugula on top of the apple slices and set aside. DO NOT MIX ARUGULA WITH LEMON AND APPLES, it will wilt.

In a small bowl whisk together the honey, vinegar, shallot, and the juice of 1 lemon.  Slowly add olive oil while continuing to whisk, add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over salad directly before serving.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Coconut Custard Tart

I made this tart for Thanksgiving and let me tell you I can't stop thinking about it!!  It was so delicious, light, and non-dairy!!  It's a multi-step process but it's not difficult!  You need to use a tart pan for this recipe.  I mixed up a few recipes and created a really great one, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!!
Coconut Custard Tart
(makes 1, 9-11 inch tart)
For the Tart Shell:
1 1/2 stick unsalted margarine, room temperature (I use Fleischmann's or Earth Balance Vegetable Shortening, the green box)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste OR good vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease the tart pan with non-stick spray. Cream margarine and sugar in a bowl with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla to margarine mixture, mix until well combined.  Add flour slowly to mix, and mix just until combined.  Use hands to form dough into a ball. Use fingers to press dough into the greased tart pan making sure to have the dough along the sides of the pan as well.  Use a fork to poke holes into the dough and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges.  Let tart shell cool completely.  Put aside.

For the Pastry Cream:
4 Large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 cups vanilla soymilk  or milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted margarine/butter or vegetable shortening (Earth Balance)
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar, all of the cornstarch, and the milk. In a saucepan, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, the vanilla, and the salt. Bring to a simmer. Whisking constantly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, gradually at first to temper it, and then more quickly. Set a strainer over the saucepan. Strain the custard mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium meat, whisking constantly. Boil for 10 seconds, whisking. (Make sure the custard boils for 10 seconds in the center of the pan, not just around the sides.) The mixture should thicken to a pudding-like consistency.

Transfer the pastry cream to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, to cool slightly. With the mixer running, beat in the butter a little at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the coconut. Transfer to a bowl, press plastic wrap directly over the cream to prevent a crust from forming, and chill until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.  Once the pastry cream is chilled pour into cooled tart shell and prepare the coconut whipped cream, recipe follows.
For the whipped cream topping:
8 oz. of non-dairy whipping cream, very cold
1 teaspoon of coconut extract
2 tablespoons of confectioner's sugar

In a large bowl whip the cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Add sugar and coconut extract and whip until stiff peaks form. Do not over-beat.  Pour whipped cream over the custard and spread around the tart.  You can also pipe the whipped cream if you'd like.  Sprinkle the tart with toasted or untoasted coconut and chill until ready to serve.
To toast the coconut: Place shredded coconut in a dry pan and place over medium heat.  The coconut will turn light brown when it is done.  Keep a very close eye on the pan or the coconut may burn. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lychee Fruit Salad

This recipe came my way through a friend of my mother's.  This could be the easiest and yummiest fruit salad ever!!  It only has 3 ingredients.  It involves peeling and segmenting a few pomelos, if you don't know how to do that click here for a video.  A pomelo is a kind of citrus fruit, if you can't find them you can try using grapefruit segments.  

Lychee Fruit Salad

2-3 pomelos, peeled and segmented
2 containers of strawberries, quartered
1 can lychee, in syrup (do not discard syrup)

Mix pomelo pieces and strawberries together in a bowl and pour the can of lychee with the syrup over the fruit.  Place in the fridge to chill until serving.  Garnish with fresh mint. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to wish all my loyal readers a Happy Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful for all your support and comments!!  I hope everyone has a wonderful day!  I am spending my day with my parents, brothers, sister-in-law, uncle, and some friends!!  Here are some photos of the table, set beautifully by my mother, and the desserts all made by, you guessed it, me!!  Recipe for the Coconut Custard Tart and Lychee Fruit Salad coming later!! I also was in charge of making the Brussel Sprouts, which I made using this recipe from a great blog called Big Girls Small Kitchens. Enjoy! Gobble, Gobble!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Magic Cookie Bars

One of the families I work for are always making these yummy easy treats.  Whether it's for a bake sale, birthday, or entertaining event at the apartment, they always make these.  Starbuck's used to sell a version of these bars and they were so delicious, I kinda miss them.  I bet they got rid of them when they had to start posting the calorie counts on everything, these are not low calorie treats by any means.  SO BEWARE because they are kind of addicting.  The best part about the recipe is that you probably have most of the ingredients on hand, except maybe the sweetened condensed milk.  But if you like the recipe maybe you could stock up with a few cans that way the next time you feel like making it you have all the ingredients on hand!

Magic Cookie Bars
(makes about 16 small squares)

1 1/2 cups of graham crackers crumbs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish.  I used a 9x9 pan. Mix melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together in a bowl.  Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Next, pour the condensed milk over the graham crumbs.  Then, sprinkle coconut over the milk. Now sprinkle chips all over the top.  Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool completely, you can even place the pan in the fridge for a while.  Cut into squares and enjoy!!

I bet this would be really great to make in a mini-muffin or regular muffin tin, but it would require a little more work on your part because of the layering.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

French Onion Soup

I recently purchased a bunch of these porcelain soup bowls at Sur La Table.  I was thinking I'd try to make French Onion Soup in them with the broiled cheese and all!  I've never made onion soup before so I went to one of my favorite sites, TasteSpotting, and searched through a whole lot of onion soup recipes.  Some called for beef stock others used veal stock.  Some used white wine and some used brandy, cognac, or sherry.  I really just kind of made up my own recipe. So here it is!!

French Onion Soup
(serves 4)

3 large white onions, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
10 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together using one of the sprigs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 1/2 cups water or stock of your choice. (If using water you will need to add 3 tablespoons Osem Chicken Consomme or 3 bouillon cubes)
To top the soup: (optional)
French baguette, sliced on the bias
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

Place first 6 ingredients together in a large soup pot.  Turn heat to medium-high and saute onions for about an hour, mixing every now and then.  The onions will turn a dark golden brown color.
Add the sherry and white wine to the pot and de-glaze.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot. Let boil for about 15 minutes.
 Now add the water or stock, if using water add the chicken consomme now as well.  Using a pair of tongs take out the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.  Stir and let boil for another 30 minutes.
Place soup in containers until ready to serve.  You can freeze soup up to 6 months.  

When ready to serve, place warmed up soup into 4 oven-safe bowls.  Bake slices of baguette, sprinkled with some olive oil in the oven at 375 degrees until crisp and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Place toasted bread on top of soup and sprinkle it with cheese. Broil soup in the oven until cheese is golden brown and melty, about 5 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mejadra (Lentils, Rice, and Onions)

This is a dish my mom makes for my family.  It's a Middle Eastern dish that contains rice, lentils, and onions.  In this recipe I deconstructed it to make it a little healthier and easy for the non-cook.  You can have the lentils and the onions alone or on top of rice, white or brown, or even quinoa!  I bet it even would be great over a salad too!  Here's a link to Wikipedia to read more about this dish and where it comes from etc.

(serves 2-3)

1/2 cup dry lentils (I used a variety of lentils)
1/2 of a large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups of cooked rice or quinoa (I used 1 Uncle Ben's Ready Brown Rice Pouch)

Boil the lentils in a pot for about 20 minutes until tender, drain and put aside. In another pot saute the chopped onions with the olive oil on low heat for about 15 minutes.  Keep an eye on the onions and mix them around every few minutes.  They should be a dark brown, see photo. Pour the cooked lentils into the pot of the sauteed onions and add the salt and pepper.  Add the cooked rice to the pot, stir, and serve!!  Enjoy!
Sauteed onions
Cooked lentils
Mix it together
And...It's as easy as that!!  All you need to do now is mix it with cooked rice and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe is so simple, and only requires 3 ingredients!!  Do you believe it??  You should!!  I've made this soup for a long time now...I think it's my friend's favorite soup that I make.  You can bet that if they know I have just made a batch I can expect a few people to schlep all the way to the Upper East Side of NYC to have some.  It's really healthy and low in calories.  I figured out the calorie count per cup, and it came out to about 243 calories.  This recipe makes about 11 cups of soup.

Butternut Squash Soup
(makes about 11 cups)

1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 (20 oz.) packages of peeled and cut up butternut squash or 2-3 whole butternut squashes, cut into large chunks
4 tablespoons of Osem Chicken Consomme or 4 chicken flavored bouillon cubes
water (enough to cover the squash in the pot)

Saute the chopped onion and salt with the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat, about 10 minutes or until soft.  Add the two packages of butternut squash and then fill the pot with water until the squash is just covered.  Add the 4 tablespoons of chicken consomme and stir.  Let pot come to a boil and then simmer on medium heat for about 40 minutes.  When the squash becomes soft and mushy, turn the heat off and use an immersion hand blender to puree the soup in the pot.  Sprinkle with chopped chives, cilantro, or parsley (if you desire some greens) and serve. Enjoy!!

NOTE: If you want a thinner soup, add more water to the pot after it has been pureed. You might need to adjust the amount of salt to taste.  If you want a thicker soup, add another package of squash to the pot and let boil with the rest of it. Also you might need to adjust the salt.
I was able to fill all these containers and then still have a good portion for lunch tomorrow!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...