Thursday, February 26, 2009

Asparagus Soup

Posted by manÜ

1 lb. asparagus spears, bottoms trimmed
2 tbsps vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup yellow onion, diced


1 tbsp butter

2 tbsps flour

1 quart chicken broth

1-2 tsps lemon juice pepper

Cut the asparagus spears into 2-inch pieces. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or pot. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions. Sauté until fragrant. Add the asparagus to the pot, season with salt, and stir-fry until the spears turn a deep green. Do not overcook! Remove from heat and empty the vegetables into a food processor or blender or food mill. Purée the asparagus (I added about a cup of the chicken broth). In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until it foams. Pour the chicken broth into the pan a little at a time and stir to incorporate (so you avoid chunks of flour-butter floating around in the broth). Pour in the remaining chicken broth and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the purée. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cut-Fat Cooking Practices

Posted by manÜ

Let's take a break from those oh so awesome recipes and let's have some practical cooking tips to reduce your fat deposits. You'll never go wrong with these.

  • Grill, steam, bake or microwave your food instead of frying
  • Follow the "1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 carbs on your plate" rule.
  • Eat whole fruits rather than drink fruit juices.
  • Use herbs and spices to flavor meals instead of fatty sauces.
  • Replace full-fat ingredients with low-fat ones whenever possible.
  • Cook in liquids instead of oil.
  • Switch to artificial sweeteners instead of oil.

Source: Reader's Digest

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Posted by manÜ

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
corse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 16-ounce package linguine
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, tossing, until opaque and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan.

To the hot pan add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, and garlic; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, and seasoning. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.

While sauce simmers, cook linguine according to package directions. Return shrimp to pan and add pasta directly to pan. Toss to coat pasta and warm shrimp throughout. Add parsley. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 6 servings.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pork Chops with Balsamic-Maple Glaze

Posted by manÜ

2 pork chops
2 tsp. herbs de Provence
salt and pepper
2 tsp. olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Pat the pork chops dry and then rub each chop with 1 tsp. of herbs de Provence. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the pork chops and cook until a little underdone (about 2-3 minutes per side, will vary depending on thickness, etc.). Remove pork chops from the pan.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the balsamic vinegar. Deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits, and reduce the vinegar by about half. Stir in the maple syrup. Add the pork chops back into the skillet and continue cooking until done, about a minute per side. Most of the glaze should be soaked up by the chops. Drizzle the chops with any additional glaze.

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Vinegar's Fruity Merits

Posted by manÜ

When grapes become red-wine vinegar, you get more than a salad-dressing staple: The disease-fighting phytochemicals in the fruit may become even more potent during the fermenting process, according to a study from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Other fruits are finding their way into vinegar, too; apricot, blacurrant and cherry are among the newest varieties.

How to cook with them:
Top chefs use fruit vinegars as flavor boosters for anything that needs a sharp, clean lift -- from a splash of balsamic on roasted butternut squash to a raspberry-vinegar glaze over poached pears with vanilla ice cream. Plus, they shine on salads with fruits, nuts or blue cheese. And you can use them instead of wine to deglaze a pan.

How to make your own:
You could pay $10 to $55 a bottle of gourmet fruit vinegar in store -- or try the following simple recipe, instead: Heat store-bought wine vinegar to below the boiling point, toss in a handful of berries, refrigerate the mix for a few weeks, then strain out the fruit and enjoy!

by Janis Graham

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Food-Saving and Recycling

Posted by manÜ

Regarding tomato paste, it seems a whole can of tomato paste is many times too much for some recipes. Suggestion: take a piece of waxed paper, putting it on a cookie sheet and putting teaspoonfuls of the leftover paste on the paper -- another sheet on top and freeze this. When frozen just peel them off and put them in a baggie and when you need a tsp. or tbs. of paste you have it without opening a whole can and there is no waste. OR-- put small amounts in an ice tray and then just pop them out when I need them.

Mash and freeze ripe bananas, in one-cup portions, for use in later baking~no wasted bananas (or you can freeze them whole, peeled, in plastic baggies).

Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

Storing Cake -- If you store half and apple in the container which you are storing a cake, the cake will retain its freshness.

Leftover Pie Dough -- Extra pie dough? Cover it with some parmesan and gruyere cheese and you'll bake a delicious appetizer--at the very same meal with your pie as dessert.

If you freeze wild rice it will last 3-4 months compared to a week in the refrigerator. A good trick when you go away on vacation is to place a baggie with a few ice cubes in the freezer. If a power failure occurs while you are gone and the food thaws and then refreezes you will know about it when you get home.

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator it will keep for weeks!

Save celery leaves. Spread them out on paper towels or a paper plate and let them dry. Crumble them into soups, salads and stuffing's. They will add an extra zippy flavor for free.

Broccoli Stalks -- Don't discard the tough ends of broccoli stalks. Use them for making soups.

Instead of throwing away bread heels or leftover cornbread, use them to make bread crumbs. For use later, store them in the freezer.

Don't throw those single serving gelatin plastic cups away, make your own single servings. Place the cups in a muffin holder, fill the cups and place in the refrigerator. It only takes a few minutes and no mess.

Potato chip bag open again and they're all stale and yucky?? Pop them in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, let stand for two minutes and they'll be crispy again.

Save your store-bought-bread bags and ties~they make perfect storage bags for homemade bread!

To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes!

Use lifesavers candy to hold candles in place on your next birthday cake! Kids love 'em!

Cottage cheese will remain fresher longer if you store it upside down in the refrigerator. This slows the effects of oxidation.

To keep milk past it's expiration date add salt. A pinch of salt in a gallon will do it. The salt slows the rate of bacteria growth.

Brown sugar will not harden if stored in the freezer.

Keep the linings from cereal boxes~they make great substitutes for waxed paper!

Moldy Fruit -- What should you do with fruit with mold? Throw it away rather than simply cutting off the mold since mold on fruit goes much deeper than what appears on the fruit.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

7 Layer Finger Jello

Posted by manÜ

4 pkg. 3 oz Jello (lemon, orange, lime, strawberry)
4 pkg. Knox unflavored gelatin

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix 1 pkg flavored jello with 1/2 pkg of unflavored gelatin. Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Cool to room temp and pour into 9 x 13 glass pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (and make sure your refrig is level!)

Mix 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup boiling water. In a small bowl, sprinkle 2 pkg unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Let stand a few minutes and then add 1/2 c boiling water to dissolve gelatin; add to milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temp and pour 1 cup of milk mixture over first layer of jello. Refrig for 15 minutes.

Repeat for next three flavors. Let jello set. Cut and serve!

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Shrimp and Pineapple Teriyaki

Posted by manÜ

1 pound shrimp (pealed and deviened)
1/4 cup
teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice

1 tablespoon oil

1/4 cup pureed pineapple

1 pineapple (cut into bit sized pieces)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 green onion (chopped)

Marinate the shrimp in the teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice for 10-20 minutes in the fridge.

Heat the oil in a pan.

Add the shrimp and saute until cooked, about 2 minutes per side and set aside.

Reduce the marinade by half in the pan.

Add the pineapple and heat.

Remove from heat and mix in the shrimp and sesame oil.

Garnish with the green onion.

Thanks to

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Steamed Tofu with Ground Pork

Posted by manÜ

1/4 lb ground pork
Salt and sugar to taste

1/8 tsp corn starch

1 cube silken tofu

1 shiitake mushroom (cut into little cubes)
1 stalk scallions (diagonal cuts)

1 red chili pepper (diagonal cuts)
1 tsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup broth

A few drops of sesame oil

Pepper to taste

Combine pork, salt, sugar and corn starch in a small bowl and marinate for 10 minutes.

Using a steamer, steam tofu for 5 minutes, or until warm, and set aside.

Heat up pan with some oil and stir fry ground pork and shiitake mushroom until fragrant. Add in broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce and bring it to boil.

Add in scallions, red chili pepper, sesame oil, and pepper.

Quickly stir for 30 seconds and pour the topping onto steamed tofu.

Serve over hot rice.

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Homemade Ketchup

Posted by manÜ

4 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon whole allspice

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon chile flakes

1 cinnamon stick (3-inches long)

One 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes with their juice

1 large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

Special Equipment: Cheesecloth

Using kitchen twine, tie the cloves, allspice, celery seed, chile flakes, and cinnamon stick together in a medium square of doubled-up cheesecloth. (You just made a bouquet garni!)

In a large, heavy pot, add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, optional jalapeno, salt, vinegar, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers are very soft, about 1 hour.

Remove and discard the secret spice bundle. Let the mixture cool slightly, then puree in batches in a blender or food processor. (Be careful pureeing hot liquids! Don’t fill the blender too full.)

At this point, if the mixture is too pulpy for your taste, pass the liquid through a sieve, pushing as much of the solids through with a rubber spatula as you can. If you prefer your ketchup a little more rustic and a little less smooth, you can skip this step.

Return to your pot and cook over medium heat, stirring to keep from scorching, until the mixture has thickened and darkened slightly in color, about 30 minutes. (If the mixture starts to scorch, turn down the heat a bit.)

Transfer to a container (a glass jar is preferable) and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours to allow the flavors to meld. Your delicious homemade ketchup will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pistachio-Crusted Salmon

Posted by manÜ

4 thick (4-ounce) salmon filets
1 cup pistachios

2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 350F and put the oven rack on the upper-middle position. Grind the cumin seeds and pistachios in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder until the pistachios are coarsely ground into mixed small and medium-size pieces.

Arrange the salmon filets in a lightly oiled baking dish, skin side down. Season the flesh side of the salmon filets with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spread the Dijon evenly over the filets, then press the pistachio and cumin seed mixture firmly onto the mustard to coat each filet evenly. Drizzle each filet with olive oil and another light sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Bake the filets until they're barely translucent in the center, 20 to 30 minutes.

Thanks to

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Broccoli, Hazelnut & Cranberry Salad

Posted by manÜ

4-5 broccoli pieces, chopped
4-5 small cauliflower pieces, chopped
4-5 baby carrots, sliced

1/3 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons roughly chopped hazelnuts

1 tablespoon chopped onion

¼ cup shredded cheese of your choice
1 Tablespoon real bacon bits

1/3 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/3 packet ranch dip mix

Sprinkle of red pepper

Sprinkle of kosher salt

Mix everything together.
Keep some of the hazelnuts whole to give more crunch.

Recipe from

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Brownie Roll-out Cookies

Posted by manÜ

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 rounded tsp instant espresso powder

2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

3 to 4 tbs whole milk
food coloring of your choice

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together for 1 minute. Gradually mix in eggs, vanilla, espresso powder and cocoa in mixer. Slowly add flour mixture, and mix until smooth.

Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked).

Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (I baked mine 8 minutes) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:
Mix all ingredients together until desired consistency.
Add a couple drops of food coloring - until you get the desired color of frosting.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake with Cream Cheese and Butterfinger Frosting

Posted by manÜ

2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup old-fashioned (natural) chunky peanut butter

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup old-fashioned (natural) chunky peanut butter
1 pound golden brown sugar
4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Butterfinger candy bars, coarsely chopped

Glazed peanuts

For filling:
Bring cream and sugar to simmer in saucepan, whisking to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; let stand 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in peanut butter. Chill uncovered overnight.

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and peanut butter in large bowl until blended. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. At low speed, beat in flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions.

Divide batter among pans and spread evenly. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes 5 minutes. Turn out onto racks; peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.

For frosting:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Whisk whipping cream and 3/4 cup powdered sugar in bowl until mixture holds medium-firm peaks. Fold into cream cheese mixture in 3 additions; chill until firm but spreadable, about 1 hour.

Place 1 cake layer, bottom side up, on 9-inch tart pan bottom. Spread with half of filling. Place another layer, bottom side up, on work surface. Spread with remaining filling; place atop first layer. Top with remaining cake layer, bottom side up.

Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before continuing.) Press candy and peanuts onto top of cake.

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Chinese Five-Spice Chicken Satay

Posted by manÜ

For the Marinade:
juice and zest from 1 lime
1/2 tbsp Chinese five spice

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 tsp brown sugar

1 1/2 1bs chicken tenders kosher
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 1 hour

Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Pour marinade into a large sealable plastic bag. Place chicken into bag with marinade. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Shake up contents of bag to ensure all surfaces of chicken are exposed to the marinade. Allow chicken to marinate for 2-4 hours, refrigerated.

Place 1 chicken tender on to 1 soaked skewer, skewering the tender down the middle length-wise. Repeat this process with all chicken tenders. Season all sides of skewers with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Grill chicken over med-high heat for about 3 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Lump Crab, Mango, Fennel & Avocado Salad

Posted by manÜ

8 oz fresh lump blue crab meat, picked over for shells
1 tbsp butter

1/2 fennel bulb, cored then very thinly sliced/shaved

1 small ripe mango, peeled, pitted & diced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 fresh jalapeno, chopped (optional depending on if you like spicy)
juice from
1 lime

1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into
6 slices then sprinkled with lime juice

kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Add shaved fennel, diced mango, cilantro and jalapeno to a bowl. Squeeze juice from 1/2 a lime over ingredients. Season with kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary with more lime juice, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside and allow flavors to marry while preparing the rest of the dish.

Place a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Add butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted and begun to bubble and foam, add crab meat to the pan. Gently toss the crab meat to coat, trying not to break up the lumps. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Allow crab meat to cook in butter for about 5-7 minutes, gently tossing occasionally.

To serve, places 3 avocado slices on a plate, season with kosher salt and pepper. Pour half of the crab mixture over the avocado. Next, spoon the fennel and mango mixture over the crab and avocado. We suggest serving fresh, hot corn tortillas along side and eating the salad like a taco! Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Tamarind Shrimp Recipe

Posted by manÜ

Everytime I go home to our province where seafood is so cheap, I make sure I get myself some roasted shrimp. This recipe has a new twist and I can't wait to try it!

about 2 lbs shrimp, shelled & deveined or with shell on
6 scallions ( green onions)

5 red chili peppers
3 Tablespoons peanut oil

1/2 cup tamarind and plum sauce

1 large handful cilantro leaves

For the tamarind /plum sauce:
4 1/2 ounces tamarind paste, without the seeds
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup plum sauce
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar

In saucepan, water, tamarind paste, plum sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil and combine well.

Set aside.

For the Shrimp:.
Cut the scallions into 1″ lengths and finely slice the chilies.

In large wok or large deep sauce pan, add oil. Let oil heat for a few seconds , then add shrimp. Cook shrimp for about 3 minutes then add chili’s and half of the scallions and toss well to combine ingredients. Add the tamarind and plum sauce.

Continue cooking shrimp for about another 5 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked (depending on how big the shrimp are). Plate shrimp and garnish with remaining chopped scallions, chili and/or cilantro leaves.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Korean-Style Short Ribs

Posted by manÜ

Ok, I confess. I'm not a fan of vegetables and I'm a heavy meat eater. I like it grilled or roasted and I'm a big fan of hot, sweet and spicy sauces. So when I stumbled in this recipe, my mouth just watered and my natural instinct is to post it here. I'll definitely gonna try it myself!
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c packed light brown sugar (you can scale it down to 1/3 c)
2 Tb sesame oil
2 Tb rice vinegar
2 Tb minced fresh ginger
4 cloves of crushed garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
5 lbs beef short ribs
3 Tb cornstarch
3 Tb cold water

Mix soy sauce, sugar, oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic and red pepper in a small bowl. Place ribs in a 5-quarter slow cooker and pour sauce over. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 9 hours.

Transfer ribs to a platter, and skim and discard excess fat from liquid. Place liquid in a saucepan, combine cornstarch and water and add to liquid. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove meat from ribs, place over rice and top with sauce, green onions and sesame seeds.

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Bacon Bowls

Posted by manÜ

Simple and clever. "Weave" the bacon strips around the bottom of a muffin pan covered by aluminum foil. Bake and you have delightful bacon bowls. Stuff it with some veggies or whatever your culinary creativity can think of.

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Cherry Glazed Chocolate Torte

Posted by manÜ

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling, divided

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9-inch springform pan.

Stir together butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Add eggs; using spoon, beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cake is set. (Cake is fudgy and will not test done.) Remove from oven; cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar in medium bowl until well blended; gradually fold in whipped topping, blending well. Spread over top of cake. Spread 1 cup cherry pie filling over cream layer; refrigerate several hours. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan; remove side of pan. Cut into wedges; garnish with remaining pie filling. Cover; refrigerate leftover dessert. 10 to 12 servings.

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Hot Chocolate Mug Cakes

Posted by manÜ

Bake your favorite chocolate cake batter in individual mugs for a warming winter dessert.

Cooking spray
Chocolate cake batter (get sample recipe
Marshmallow creme

Simply coat the insides of oven safe mugs with cooking spray, then fill the mugs halfway with chocolate cake batter. We used a mix for German chocolate cake, which is a lighter color than regular chocolate cake and looks more like hot cocoa.

Follow the cupcake baking instructions on the cake mix package. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean or with just a few crumbs. Allow the cakes to cool for about 15 minutes.

Top each mug with a generous dollop of marshmallow creme and serve with a spoon. One cake mix makes enough batter for 12 of our mugs; if you want fewer than a dozen, bake the remaining batter in a small pan.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Very Valentine Torte

Posted by manÜ

Yield: 8

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1 tbsp sugar
dash fine salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

First and second White Chocolate Mousse Layer
9 oz white chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp gelatin powder
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup whipping cream

Milk Chocolate Mousse Layer
10 oz milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp gelatin powder
1/2 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream

Raspberry Cream
1 cup whipping cream
2 cup fresh raspberries
2 tbsp sugar

For crust, preheat oven to 350 °F and lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan (be sure pan is at least 3-inches tall). Combine all crust ingredients and press into bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes and cool completely. Line side of pan with a ring of parchment paper.

For first white chocolate layer melt chocolate in a bowl resting over a pot of gently simmering water, stirring constantly. Stir gelatin powder into milk and let sit for a minute. Heat milk (microwave is easiest) to just below a simmer and whisk into chocolate. Let cool to room temperature. Whip cream to soft peak and fold into chocolate. Pour mousse over cooled crust and chill for 1 hour before adding milk chocolate mousse layer.

For milk chocolate mousse, follow the same method as the white chocolate: melt the chocolate, add gelatin to milk, heat the milk and stir in, let cool, whip cream and fold into chocolate. Spoon or pour gently over white chocolate mousse layer and chill for at least 1 hour.

Repeat process with Second White Chocolate Layer and chill tart at least 6 hours or overnight.

For Raspberry Cream, whip cream to soft peaks and chill. Puree 1 cup raspberries with sugar, strain and fold into cream.

To assemble, warm outside of springform pan by wrapping in a warm towel. Carefully undo tart ring and place tart on platter. Dollop raspberry cream on tart and top with remaining 1 cup fresh berries.

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Lemon-Butter Green Beans with Pine nuts

Posted by manÜ

Cook Time: 3 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 2 servings

1/3 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed, blanched in boiling salted water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1 tablespoon pine nuts

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Pinch salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Drain green beans well and pat dry.

Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep from burning. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Add the green beans and toss to coat evenly. Cook just enough to warm through, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper and toss to combine. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Can't get enough of Valentine's Day recipes? Click here for more.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2006 at

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallots and Thyme Crust

Posted by manÜ

Cook Time: 40 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 2 servings

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pulverized fresh bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
1 rack of lamb (7 or 8 ribs), frenched, at room temperature, trimmed of as much fat as possible
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small skillet, heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook shallots with salt and pepper, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and boil until liquid is evaporated. Remove skillet from heat and stir in bread crumbs and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a saute pan and sear the lamb on all sides. Transfer, rib side down, to a small roasting pan. Spread the meat side with mustard and pat on crumb mixture, making an even coating. Roast lamb in middle of oven until a meat thermometer registers 120 degrees F for medium-rare, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Carefully transfer lamb to a cutting board and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Slice lamb into chops.

Wine Suggestions: Penfold Shiraz Rosemount Shiraz

Can't get enough of Valentine's Day recipes? Click here for more.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2006 at

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Lobster Parfaits with Teardrop Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm, and Cilantro-Avocado Dressing

Posted by manÜ

Cook Time: 50 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 6 servings

1 1/2 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots

3/4 cups chopped celery

4 cloves garlic, smashed

3 bay leaves

1 cup distilled white vinegar

3 lemons, quartered and juiced

3/4 cup salt

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

2 (1 1/4-pound) lobsters
8 cups mache or a chiffonade of mixed greens
Cilantro-Avocado Dressing, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups halved teardrop tomatoes

1 1/2 cups diced hearts of palm

1 1/2 cups orange segments, white pith removed
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Set a 6-quart stockpot with 1-gallon of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, lemons and juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring the pot to a boil and allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Place the lobster into the water and cook until red and cooked through, about 7 to 8 minutes. Immediately immerse in ice water to halt the cooking. Once the lobsters have cooled, remove from the water and set aside.

Use a chef's knife to crack the shell of the lobsters and remove the tail meat and claw meat. Chop the lobster into 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside. Place a sixth of the greens into each of 6 large chilled martini glasses. Drizzle a little of the dressing over the greens. Place 1/4 cup of the tomatoes in each of the glasses, as well as 1/4 cup of the hearts of palm, 1/4 cup orange segments and a sixth of the chopped lobster. Drizzle more of the dressing over the parfait and garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.

Cilantro-Avocado Dressing:
1 ripe avocado, diced
2/3 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade

1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves, blanched and drained

1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice

1/2 lime, zested

1 to 2 limes, juiced (4 to 5 tablespoons)

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon green hot sauce, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Yield: about 2 cups

Cook's Note: Any leftover avocado dressing makes a great dip for chips or veggies!

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Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2006 at

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Classic Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry Coulis and Fresh Raspberries

Posted by manÜ

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 1 coeur, 2 servings

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup plain yogurt

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon very finely grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

Raspberry Coulis, for serving, recipe follows

6 fresh raspberries, for garnish

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and beat together with a whisk until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Line a 6-ounce, shallow heart-shaped ceramic ramekin or 6-ounce shallow oval ramekin with dampened cheesecloth. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the ramekin and fold the over-hanging cheesecloth over the top. Refrigerate the mold in a shallow dish to catch any drips for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days.

To serve the dessert, unmold the coeur and carefully peel away the cheesecloth. Place the coeur on the center of a dessert plate, smooth side down. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving. Drizzle the raspberry coulis around the plate and garnish with the fresh raspberries and mint.

Raspberry Coulis:
2 cups raspberries (about 12 ounces), rinsed
3/4 cup Simple Syrup, recipe follows

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

Bring the raspberries, syrup, and lemon juice to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are very soft, about 8 minutes.

Sprinkle the cornstarch over 2 teaspoons cold water and stir to dissolve. Pour into the simmering raspberry mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard the seeds. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Freeze any leftover coulis in a plastic container for up to 1 month.

Yield: 2 cups

Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the syrup into a container and refrigerate until completely cold, about 45 minutes. The syrup can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Yield: about 3/4 cup syrup

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Recipe from

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Valentine's Day Chocolate Candy Hearts

Posted by manÜ

You can sell 'em, give 'em away as gift or enjoy 'em for yourself and your loved ones. Here's a valentine chocolate recipe just for you!

Plastic heart-shaped candy mold
Red, white and cocoa colored candy melts
Sandwich bags (zipper, not pleated)



Wax paper

Wooden skewer or clean craft paint brush


  1. Put a handful of candy melts into an open zipper sandwich bag.
  2. Microwave candy in bag for 30-40 seconds or until melted.
  3. Cut one corner of the bag with scissors to squeeze melted candy through. Caution: Bag may be hot, so use paper towel or a pot holder to handle it.
  4. Gently squeeze chocolate out of bag and into the molds.
  5. Tap the side of the mold tray to knock out any air bubbles and flatten chocolate.
  6. Place in refrigerator until set.
  7. Pop out of molds and serve.

Polka dots - Use the flat end of a wooden skewer or a clean craft paint brush to dip into melted chocolate. Dot onto molds, then refrigerate. Remove mold from refrigerator when solid, then add contrasting color according to directions above.

Drizzles - Use a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate across the molds by sweeping a spoon back and forth and allowing chocolate to fall in streams. Refrigerate until solid. Add contrasting color according to directions above.

3D Drizzles - Use the spoon method above, however this time drizzle the chocolate over solid candy that you have already made and let set, rather than drizzling into the molds.

  • Candy molds can be found at discount department and craft supply stores in the craft section near the cake decorating supplies. They look much like a muffin tin, though much smaller and made from clear plastic.
  • You can use chocolate chips instead of candy melts and use food coloring to change or tint white chocolate.
  • Be careful when dealing with melted chocolate as it can be very hot. Always supervise children closely when making anything in the kitchen.

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Five Best Food-Haven Cities

Posted by manÜ

The award-winning travel writer Sally Hammond gives us her top five best cities when it comes to good food. Here's the list:

Macau has rich blend of cuisines: Portuguese, Chinese and Macnese. Lord Stow's Bakery has popularized Portuguese egg tarts to wide aclaim. Also try dishes elsewehere using ubiquitous dried salt cod, bacalhau.


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has a unique combination of Indian, Malay and Chinese foods. For upmarket dining go to Senses in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton, where Cheong Liew (voted one of the Ten Chefs alive) is a consultant chef. Also drop into the markets and hawkers' stalls for sticky Nyonya cakes, murtabak, laks and more.


Palermo, Sicily, boasts vibrant markets and hole-in-the-wall places. The cuisine has Moorish and North African influences, and couscous is popular. Look for savory arancini di riso (rice balls), cassata, amazing sweet cakes, and granita (shaved ice flavored with coffee or almond) for breakfast with brioche.


Hong Kong: SoHo, around the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator, has renowned cafe and bar scene. Another notable restaurant, Yung Kee, began as a hawker store many years ago and specializes in gourmet roast goose.

roasted goose

Reims, France, less than two hours' drive from Paris, is the center of the Champagne region. Dine at Michelin-starred Chateau Les Crayeres after a day of discovering the bubbly in the world-famous champagne region.

Reims champagne

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Valentine's Day Strawberry Pie

Posted by manÜ

Planning for your Heart's Day treat? Here's a starter.

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
1 quart fresh strawberries

1 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Arrange half of strawberries in baked pastry shell. Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell. Chill for several hours before serving. In a small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Rachael Ray's 3 Kitchen Must-Haves

Posted by manÜ

  • Good heavy-bottomed pots so you can toss pasta.
  • A very sharp knife. You'll use it for everything.
  • A large, heavy cutting board that doubles as a work space. If you don't have a big kitchen, place it over the sink and use it as a counter space.

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What You Should Put on Your Plate

Posted by manÜ

There's sooo much food choices out there but just don't eat what you like. There are health risks in not eating the right food. In the same way, smart choice reaps generous returns. Here then are the basics of heating healthy, the food you should stuff your plate.

  • Unprocessed foods -- those closest to their natural state.
  • "Naked" foods: fresh fruits and vegetables not covered in fat, salt or sugar.
  • Protein from lean animal, fish, and/or plant sources at every meal (e.g. skinless chicken, salmon or beans)
  • High-fiber foods such as wholegrain breads and sweet potato.
  • Plain water (up to eight glasses a day).
  • Low GI foods such as oats, legumes and sweet potato.
  • Foods low in saturated and trans-fats such as rice, nuts and pasta.
  • Low-fat dairy foods such as skim milk and low-fat yoghurt.
  • Zero-calorie teas.
  • Spicy foods that may speed up your metabolism, such as chili.

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Top Chip

Posted by manÜ

Did you know that a portion of fish and chips contains 20% less fat than a 12-inch cheese and tomato pizza? Try this healthy chips recipe at home, created by celebrity chef Mark Hix.

4 large baking potatoes weighing about 200-250g each
5-6 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp rosemary leaves
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 200ºC (gas mark 6).
Halve the potatoes, then cut each half into 6 or 7 chips.
Place in cold water, bring to boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Drain in a colander.
Heat oil in roasting tray in the oven, then add potatoes, garlic and rosemary. Season.
Cook for 45 minutes, turning a couple of times, until crisp and through.
Scatter parmesan over and return to oven for 10-12 minutes.

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