Strawberry And Chocolate Baked Alaska……….

•August 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

 

Have you ever wanted Baked Alaska with Strawberry and Chocolate? This recipe is for a great tasting Strawberry and Chocolate Baked Alaska! The whole family is going to love this tempting dessert! Better make a double recipe! Because this Strawberry and Chocolate Baked Alaska is not going to last long!

Strawberry and Chocolate Baked Alaska Recipe

Deluxe Choclates: Marshmalow Bars

•August 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

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I have had my eye on these ever since I saw them in Jaime’s blog, Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats a couple months ago. I love the chocolate and peanut butter combination, and when you add in marshmallows and a cake-like layer, how could you go wrong? These were so delicious and very easy to put together. I loved all of the chocolate ooey-gooey goodness! I brought them to our church group tonight and everyone liked them. It’s a great go-to dessert when you need to make something for a group of people. I will definitely be making these again. Thanks Jaime for posting such a great recipe!

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3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional (I omitted these)
4 cups miniature marshmallows

Topping:
1-1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups crisp rice cereal

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture. Stir in nuts if desired. Spread in a greased 15 x 10 x 1″ pan. (I used a 9×13-inch pan)

Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over cake; return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows evenly over cake. Cool.

For topping, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and well blended. Remove from heat; stir in cereal. Immediately spread over bars. Chill

Tuesday’s With Dorie:Snickery Squares………….

•August 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

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This week it was my turn to choose the recipe. I am glad that I joined so early, otherwise it would be forever before I would get my turn. Our group is really growing! I had a really hard time deciding because everything in Dorie’s book looks so good. I finally narrowed it down to a brownie, cookie, or some type of bar dessert. I kept coming back to the picture of the Snickery Squares and remembered that it was one of the first recipes to catch my eye when I began to look through this book. So Snickery Squares it was!

Although they didn’t taste like a Snickers bar, they were still delicious. I’m sure my dad would love these and I’ll definitely try to make these next time I’m there for a visit. This was my first experience with dulce de leche. There is only one grocery store in my area that carries it, but I think that next time I will make my own. I really liked the shortbread layer in these and the way the dulce de leche, the caramelized peanuts, and the chocolate went together. It’s a great treat to bring when you have a group of people to bake for. This was my first time caramelizing peanuts, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. It really gave the peanuts a great flavor and was so much better than adding just plain peanuts to the recipe. I made the shortbread layer, let it cool, and then added the dulce de leche and the peanuts and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I made the chocolate layer and added it on top. I think having it chilled made it easier to spread the chocolate layer, so I guess I lucked up when I made that decision =) All in all, this was a great Dorie recipe and one that I’ll be saving. Be sure to check out our Tuesdays With Dorie blog to see how everyone else did with the Snickery Squares.

Next week we’ll be making the Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie Cake, chosen by Natalie of Burned Bits.

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Snickery Squares

For the Crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 TBSP powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the Filling:

½ cup sugar
3 TBSP water
1 ½ cups salted peanuts
About 1 ½ cups store-bought dulce de leche

For the Topping:

7 ounces bittersweet, coarsely chopped
½ stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature

Getting Ready:

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 8 inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.

To Make the Crust:

Toss the flour, sugar, powdered sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Toss in the pieces of cold butter and pulse about 12 times, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour the yolk over the ingredients and pulse until the dough forms clumps and curds-stop before the dough comes together in a ball.
Turn the dough into the buttered pan and gently press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork and slide the sheet into the oven.
Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, or until it takes on just a little color around the edges. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.

To Make the Filling:

Have a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet at the ready, as well as a long-handled wooden spoon and a medium heavy bottomed saucepan.
Put the sugar and water in the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Keeping the heat fairly high, continue to cook the sugar, without stirring, until it just starts to color. Toss the peanuts and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring, to coat the peanuts with sugar. Within a few minutes, they will be covered with sugar and turn white—keep stirring until the sugar turns back into caramel. When the peanuts are coated with a nice deep amber caramel, remove the pan from the heat and turn the nuts out onto the baking sheet., using the wooden spoon to spread them out as best you can. Cool the nuts to room temperature.
When they are cool enough to handle, separate the nuts or break them into small pieces. Divide the nuts in half. Keep half of the nuts whole or in biggish pieces for the filling, and finely chop the other half for the topping.
Spread the dulce de leche over the shortbread base and sprinkle over the whole candied nuts.

To Make the Topping:

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove chocolate from the heat and gently stir in the butter, stirring until it is fully blended into the chocolate.
Pour the chocolate over the dulce de leche, smoothing it with a long metal icing spatula, then sprinkle over the rest of the peanuts. Slide the pan into the fridge to set the topping, about 20 minutes; if you’d like to serve the squares cold, keep them refrigerated for at least 3 hours before cutting.

Cut into 16 bars.

Easily Delicious Lentil Soup………

•August 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

This soup is brought to you courtesy of Reut’s family. She couldn’t believe how easy it was when they gave her the recipe, and now that I’ve made it, I’m equally impressed with what you get for such a small number of ingredients. It’s also fat free! (I had to ruin that by drizzling some olive oil on top, but you don’t have to.) You could probably add all sorts of garnishes and extra ingredients, but the beauty is that it tastes quite a bit better than many complicated lentil soups just as it is.

You will need:

2 cups dry lentils ( i used 1 cup red and 1 cup brown; it originally calls for red)

5 – 6 cups water

8 – 9 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 teaspoon cumin, freshly ground

1 teaspoon coriander, freshly ground

2 teaspoons good quality salt

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked

fresh lemon juice and good quality olive oil, to taste (my addition)

To prepare:

Wash the lentils well (I used a strainer) and transfer them to a medium sized pot. Add the 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once fully boiling, add the garlic, cumin and coriander, salt and pepper, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and partially cover the pot. Cook the soup, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning, until the lentils are very soft. Red lentils will be done in 30 minutes, other kinds will take closer to an hour. Correct spices if necessary and add more water if you would like a thinner soup. Cook for another minute or two, then take off the heat. Serve immediately, with lemon juice and olive oil drizzled on top.

Various Cakes & Flicker Food………

•August 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

soy yogurt blended with mango, raspberries, rosewater and agave turned out very well.

my recent flickr food pics:

pumpkin babka with a chocolate chestnut filling

messy slice of chocolate pudding cake (flavoured with rum and coconut, and “fattened” with Earth Balance – i find that it makes for a firmer pudding than oil)

double/reversed and pecan powered chocolate chip cookies

thin crust pizza with cashew-tofu ricotta and olives/mushrooms/spinach

veganyumyum’s sweet & sour crispy tofu, which i really like but will try with less sweetness and more heat next time.

french lentils and sundried tomatoes stew on lemon basil mashed potatoes

the last one was really easy and delicious, so here’s an explanation of what i did:

roughly chopped up and caramelized an onion in olive oil, added a few chopped cloves of garlic, a bit of allspice and 3-4 dry tomato halves (not the oil packed stuff.) glazed with a good amount of red wine and added the rinsed french lentils, covered in twice as much water and added salt and pepper. after bringing to a boil, this simmered for about 40 minutes half covered.

in the meantime, i boiled a few red skin potatoes, roughly chopped up some basil (but it might be nice to chop it fine for a green effect!) and mashed them together with lemon juice and some finely grated zest, earth balance and the requisite salt and pepper. that’s it!

Reminder To Self: Today’s Stir Fry

•August 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

sauce:

1/4 cup natural peanut butter

a bit less than that braggs

juice from half a lime

1/2 tsp spooky fermented bean curd in chili oil (not a must)

2 tsp red curry paste

2 Tbsp coconut milk

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 -2 tsp ginger, grated

small squeeze of agave

some water for thinning

otherwise:

onion, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, green bell pepper, tofu, baby corn

start by cubing extra firm tofu medium-small (3/4 package)

pat/press cubes with paper towel, toss with a splash of braggs

fry in vegetable or peanut oil until golden, remove to a paper towel and let the pan cool a bit before pouring out most of the oil.

stir fry vegetables in the order mentioned until just tender, mix the sauce in and cook until the flavours absorb, 2-3 more minutes. add sriracha or salt if needed, serve on jasmine rice.

no photos, but it served three and kay and julia loved it.

Stuff I’ve Been Up To………

•August 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

i forgot to mention the very successful experience i had with baking susan’s mini tofu quiches in traditional (that is, EB laden) pate brisee crusts. i made the little things for a lunch potluck that took place during the last lecture of the semester. not only did no one realise they were made with unusual ingredients without being told, i got several unsolicited compliments, my favourite of which was “your quiches are off the hook!”

so it’s exam period, which means that i shouldn’t spend time on new and time-consuming dishes, but i do it anyhow. yesterday i ended up making two. the first was an old israeli favourite that originally involves poached eggs and i decided to try using the tried and true quiche batter (actually, the slight variation that susan uses for omelette.)

shakshooka is in the same category as hummus in the sense that it’s a popular israeli dish of arab origin that has a working-class charm and simple ingredients, and yet is the subject for endless arguments over the proper ingredient list and preparation method. everyone seems to think theirs is the tastiest and most authentic, if the 200 comments under every recipe online are any indication.

the ingredients generally agreed on are tomatoes, eggs, olive oil (and salt and pepper, but those are too obvious to mention in the wiki article!) beyond that, common additions are bell peppers and garlic, onion, cumin, paprika or various middle eastern chili pastes. some further fancy it up with fried eggplant or more pointless animal products. and here i am, shaking things up even further by saying: no eggs! the sauce is the tasty part, anyway. the sulfuric things are mostly there for some added richness and a texture contrast, so nothing irreplaceable there.

speaking of texture contrast, i won’t post a recipe until i managed to make the tofu batter a bit firmer and played around with the sauce (i think i might be in the anti-onion camp.) here are some photos for now:

the second thing i made were my first ever cupcakes for home consumption. to be honest, i find cupcakes much more fun to make and decorate than eat. the exception would have to be a cupcake that isn’t overly sweet and comes in an interesting flavour. i’ve been planning to try london fog cupcakes for awhile, but an unexpected sogging of the loose earl grey bag led me to finally make them yesterday. the concept is simple:

make an earl grey cupcake and top with vanilla buttercream, preferably one that’s flavoured with vanilla syrup for drinks instead of an extract. again, i won’t post a recipe until the tea ratio is measured and perfected, but if you can’t wait it might help to know that i used modified versions of golden vanilla cupcakes and raspberry buttercream from “vegan cupcakes take over the world”, with a dash of cinnamon on top.