Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rich Chocolate Cake
From Becky Sanchez

Makes 8 cups batter
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for pans
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup whole milk
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pans. Line with parchment cut to fit. Butter parchment. Dust with cocoa. Tap out excess.
Stir together cocoa and boiling water. Add milk, and whisk until smooth.
Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar in a slow stream, and beat well, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the cocoa mixture.
Pour batter into pans, and bake until a few crumbs remain on testers (batter amounts and cooking times follow). Let cool in pans on wire racks for 45 minutes. Unmold, and remove parchment. Let cool completely on wire racks. Batter Amounts and Cooking Times for 2-Inch-Deep Pans 5-inch: 1 1/4 cups batter, 45 minutes 7-inch: 2 1/4 cups batter, 45 minutes 9-inch: 4 cups batter, 50 minutes 11-inch: 6 cups batter, 50 minutes

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
(I did half this recipe with semi-sweet chocolate and half with white chocolate to make 2 different frostings.)
Makes enough for 15 cupcakes (about 3 cups)
2 cups sugar
1 cup egg whites (about 6 large)
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
16 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

Place sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer set over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is heated and sugar is dissolved. Attach bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and continue whisking until cooled and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
With the mixer running, add butter, one piece at a time, until completely incorporated. Continue whisking until a light, fluffy cream has formed. Stir in chocolate until well combined.

Chocolate Ganache Filling
Makes 1/2 cup
6 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1.5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

Bring cream and corn syrup to a simmer in a small saucepan. Place chocolate in a food processor. With the machine running, add the cream mixture in a slow stream. Process until smooth and shiny.
Refrigerate in an airtight container, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to spread. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes
From Jocelyn Denyer
½ cup cake flour (about 2 ounces)
¾ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup egg whites (about five large eggs)
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind Lemon
¼ cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon 1% low fat milk
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 16 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Set aside. Lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together flour and ¾ cup powdered sugar into a medium bowl; repeat the procedure 2 times. Beat egg whites and salt with a mixer at high speed until frothy (about one minute). Add cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form. Add ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Sprinkle flour mixture over egg white, ¼ cup at a time; fold in after addition. Stir in vanilla and rind. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack. To prepare frosting, beat butter with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar; beat at low speed just until blended. Add milk and lemon juice; beat until fluffy. Add more lemon juice as needed to adjust the consistency. Spread 2 tablespoons lemon frosting over each cupcake. Garnish with edible pansies and rosebuds, if desired.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pistachio Dessert
From Monica Thiriot
it’s also great with chocolate pudding

1 cup flour
½ cup margarine (melted)
2 Tbsp. Sugar
¼ cup chopped walnuts (or mixture of other nuts)
8 oz cream cheese,, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 of 12oz cool whip
2 small pkgs instant pistachio pudding
2 1/2 cups milk

Mix flour, margarine, sugar, and nuts. Pat into bottom of 9X13 pan. Bake 350 for 10-15 minutes or slightly browned. COOL WELL! Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and cool whip. Spread this over cooled crust. Mix pudding with milk. Spread over cream mixture. Refrigerate then spread with remaining 6 oz cool whip. May want to sprinkle the top with a few chopped nuts to warn those who can’t eat nuts!
Sweetened Irish Soda Bread
From Monica Thiriot
I halved the recipe for my family

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar (I used heaping tablespoons the 2nd time)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg

¼ cup butter, melted
2-3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a large baking sheet or use skillet In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut an “X” into the top of the loaf. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with sugar. Brush loaf with this mixture. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Basic Irish Soda Bread or Farls
From Monica Thiriot

1 cup butter milk
(or 1 cup milk + 1tsp vinegar – let sit for 10 minutes)
2 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 400 (or heavy skillet). In medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking soda. Make a nest and pour in the butter milk. Stir until mixture is smooth. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. For Farls, flatten down to ½ inch and slice like a pizza. For Soda Bread, pat dough into a round and then cut a cross on it to let the fairies out. Let the cuts go over the sides of the bread to make sure of this. Farls: Bake on skillet for 7 minutes per side.Soda Bread: Bake on 400 for 15-25 minutes (recipe said 15, but mine was closer to 25. Most recipes say 25-30 with more ingredients). If you are in doubt, tap the bottom of the bread: if it is cooked it will sound hollow.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Andees Candy's Brownies

From Lorie Caless

1 box brownie mix
1-2 boxes Andees chocolate mints

Make any brownie mix as usual. While they're baking, unwrap a box of Ande's candy mints. As soon as you pull the brownies out of the oven, lay the mints on top in rows. By the time you're done with the last row, the first rows will be melted enough to start swirling with a knife to spread all over the top. When cooled, it will harden again like the candy. The cherry Ande's candies are also great at Christmas time.
Choco-Chip Cookie Bars
From Stacy Lehn

2 - 8oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 batches of chocolate chip cookie dough OR
2 rolls of chocolate chip cookie dough

Mix everything except cookie dough together. Spread 1/2 to 2/3 cookie dough across the bottom of a 9x13. Pour cream cheese mixture on cookie dough. Sprinkle the top with remaining cookie dough. Bake at 350 for 35 - 40 min. Cool and eat.
Shepherd's Pie
From Shirley Pauole

1 lb ground meat
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp hot pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 small onion
15 oz corn - drained
3 large potatoes
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
Shredded cheese

Combine meat, vinegar and spices. Cook in skillet until browned. Add onion and cook until onions begin to glaze. Spread on bottom in slow cooker. Spreak corn over meat mixture. Boil potatoes until soft. Mash with milk, butter, salt and papper. Spread over meat and corn. Cover and cook on low 3 hours in a crock pot. Sprinkle with cheese before serving. (I didn't use any hot pepper and I didn't have any dried oregano so I substituted one drop of oregano essenial oil).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad
From Jacque Munns

6 medium ripe avocados - sliced
1 pink grapefruit, sliced

1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp chopped red onion
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 c olive oil

Mix dressing ingredients and refrigerate for several hours. Arrange avocado and grapefruit slices on a plate and drizzle with dressing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mint Oreo Truffles
From Salena Thomas
I got this from Bakerella

1 pkg. Cool Mint Double Stuffed Oreos
use 22 cookies with cream centers included
use 10 cookies with cream centers discarded
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
chocolate bark or candy coating*

Finely crush the cookies in a food processor or a ziploc bag with a rolling pin. Stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together completely. Roll the mixture into 1" balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.
Place covered in freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes to help retain shape when dipping in melted chocolate. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. Refrigerate.

(Learn from Salena's mistakes...don't warm the cream cheese in microwave to bring to room temp. It makes it too soft. And don't use the food processor to combine the cookies and cream cheese. It makes the wrong consistency.)

Bacon and Potato Chowder
From Salena Thomas

8 slices bacon cut in 1" pieces
2 cups cubed 1/2" potatoes
1 cup chopped onions
1 c sour cream
1 1/4 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz frozen corn
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp thyme

Cook bacon over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and onions. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender (15 - 20 minutes). Add remaining ingredients. cook 10 - 12 min, stirring occasionally.
Grape Salad
From Jocelyn Denyer

4 lbs grapes
1 cup sour cream
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Wash grapes and pull from stems. Mix next five ingredients together then pour over grapes and mix until all grapes are coated with dressing.
Cabbage and Irish Sausage
From Roz Brown

1 head of cabbage
1/2 red onion
Nature's Way Seasoning
1 package sausage links with garlic*
(or sweet Italian sausage is fine)

Bring about 1 cup of water to a boil in a large pan with seasoning. Saute onion in separate skillet. When onion is done, add to boiling water. Slice and wash the cabbage and add to boiling water and cover. Reduce heat to medium and it should only take about 15 - 20 minutes to boil down. Watch for it not to run dry and you don't want too much water either. In the meantime cook the sauage in the skillet. When done, slice and add to the cabbage and serve.
*some grocers will sell this during the St. Patrick holiday season. All other times I use regular sausage.