Monday, September 18, 2017


This weekend I made Chocolate Rugelach!

2 cups flour
2 sticks butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 package of mini chocolate chips
cinnamon and sugar

Combine the flour, butter and cream cheese in food processor.  Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap.  Put in fridge for overnight.

Cut in half.

Roll out two thin circles.

Spread half of chocolate chips onto each circle press them in with the rolling pin.  Using a sharp knife cut dough with pizza cutter into small slices of pizza.

Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.

Roll up each wedge from the outside to the center.

On cookie sheet, put tinfoil and Pam and then put the cookies on the pan.

Bake at 350 (preheat the oven) for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, July 31, 2017

AMAZING Coffee Cake

Alex Guarnaschelli's amazing recipe!

I used a deep dish 9 inch pie plate for the coffee cake.


1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c chopped walnuts
2/3 c flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 t cinnamon
1 t kosher salt
5 T unsalted butter, melted

4 T unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cup flour

1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
1 c sour cream
1/2 c whole milk yogurt

1. Make the Topping: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together the walnuts, pecans, flour, granulated and brown sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the butter. The topping should form sandy clumps. Sprinkle the topping onto the baking sheet to break it up into smaller clumps. Refrigerate.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use Pam to  grease the bottom and the sides of a 9-inch round baking pan
3. Make the cake batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together, on medium-high, scraping down the sides from time to time, for 8 minutes. Lower the speed and add the eggs, one by one, taking care that the first egg is thoroughly integrated before adding the second.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt, sour cream and yogurt until smooth. Turn the mixer on low and alternate adding some of the flour mixture with some of the sour cream mixture. When all has been mixed in, give the sides and the bottom of the bowl a good scrape and blend to make sure the batter is thoroughly combined. Transfer the batter to the greased baking pan and tap it lightly on the sides so it falls evenly in the pan and to remove any air bubbles. Liberally sprinkle the cake with all of the topping.
5. Bake the cake: Bake until a cake tester or a small knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing a serving. Once cool, the cake will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Vanilla Sandcastle Cake

Last night we were invited to a pool party, and I was lucky enough to bring dessert.  One of the desserts I made was Vanilla Sandcastle Cake.  If you don't have that shape Bundt pan, feel free to use the shape of your choice, but it needs to hold 10 cups.

2 2/3 c cake flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
16 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1 t vanilla
2/3 c milk

1/2 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 T lemon juice
2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 325.

Spray the sand castle cake pan VERY well with Bakers Joy (Pam with Flour).  Did I say VERY WELL.  Get all the nooks!!!!!

In a mixing bowl, place the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer (use the flat beater), beat the butter on medium until creamy and smooth - about a minute.  Add the sugar and beat until light and flour (which is approximately five minutes).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Add the eggs one at time.  Add the vanilla.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.  Beat each additional until nearly smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Put the batter into the pan evenly.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 55-60 minutes - KNOW YOUR OVEN).  Put the pan on a wire rack and let the cake cool upright for 15 minutes.

To make the glaze, in a small pan over medium heat stir the sugar, water and lemon juice and heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.

Set the rack over a baking sheet, and invert the cake onto the rack and carefully put the pan in the sink.  Cake is on the rack.  Pain the warm cake using the glaze.

IDEAS:  Put the cake on a large platter and surround with brown sugar (to make it took like sand).  You can also add ice cream scoops into the middle of the cake!

Not the best photo, but you get the idea:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Yogurt

Another hit from Smitten Kitchen!

Serves 4
4 large sweet potatoes, washed and dried, cut into 4 to 8 wedges.  Sometimes I cut those in half
1 T honey
a dash of red pepper flakes
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
4 T olive oil
1/4 t paprika
kosher salt
1/2 cup Greek style plain yogurt
2 T lime juice
2 scallions, both green and white parts, thinly sliced.

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line two baking sheets with foil.  In the first sheet, put 1 T of olive oil.

Toss sweet potatoes with honey and 1 T of olive oil and the pepper flakes.  Stir.  Let sit in bowl for 10 minutes.  Spread out yams on foiled sheet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes.  Turn wedges around with spatula and cook for 5 minutes more.

Toss chickpeas with 1 T olive oil, paprika and salt.  Spread on uncoated baking sheet.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Shake once or twice during cooking.

Whisk yogurt, 1 T olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

Put sweet potatoes on platter. . . . put on chickpeas.  Garnish with scallions.  Serve with yogurt on the side.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mushroom Ragout with Poached Egg

This recipe was adjusted from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty.

This serves four people.

.50 oz dried porcini mushrooms
2 ½ cups water
1 ¼ lbs mixed fresh mushrooms 
1/2  lb sourdough bread
6 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium onion, sliced
½ cup white wine
3 thyme sprigs
4 eggs
Vinegar for poaching
½ cup sour cream
2 tbsp chopped dill
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Black pepper

Soak the dried porcini in one cup of water for 30 minutes.  Clean up mushrooms.  Cut mushrooms into large chunks.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut bread into one inch cubes.  Toss with 2 T olive oil, garlic and salt.  Spread on baking sheet and toast in oven for 15 minutes, or until brown.

Pour 1 T of oil into saute pan and heat over medium high heat.  Add some of the mushrooms.  Cook for about 2 minutes without stirring.  Turn over to cook for another minute.  Remove from the pan and continue with more batches, adding oil as needed.  For me this took four batches.  Once all mushrooms have been cooked, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and toss in onion and carrot.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Add wine and cook for one minute.

Take out porcini mushrooms and squeeze out liquid.  Pour all liquid into pan and add 1 1/2 c of water to pan along with thyme and salt.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Strain.  Discard onion mixture and return stock (1 cup) to pan.

Start poaching the eggs, with bringing a shallow pan of water with a splash of vinegar to a rapid boil (I used two pans).  Break an egg into a small cup and pour into boiling water.  Turn off heat and put on cover and let sit for 5 minutes.  Once all eggs are done dry.

Heat up stock, and add mushrooms, sour cream most of the fresh herbs and salt and pepper.

Put 1/4 of the croutons into each soup bowl.  Top with mushrooms and sauce.  Add an egg to each bowl.  Top with herbs.

While this makes an amazing winter meal, my kids HATE mushrooms, so we ate this as a summer meal and it was delicious.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Amazing Almond Torte from Chez Penisse

This was another hit in the cake parade!

1 1/4 c sugar
7-8 oz almond paste (can be found in the baking aisle)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into slices
1 t vanilla extract
6 eggs
1 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Take 9 inch spring form pan and spray Pam with Flour.

Put the almond paste into the food processor with the steel blade and process well.  Add sugar.  Add butter and vanilla and process until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and process in between.

Mix in flour, baking powder and salt, and process until blended - not very long.

Pour into pan and bake for 42-48 minutes, checking often.  Should be a dark golden color and the center feels firmly springy when you push it.

Let it cool for 20 minutes.  Run a knife along the inside and release the sides of the spring form pan.

Dust with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Corn and Tomato Pizza

This is a great pizza and easy to make:

First step is to make the pizza dough using this recipe.  This recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas that will fit on a traditional sized pizza stone.  I have two stones.  Be sure to place the stones in a cold oven and then preheat the oven and the stones to 400.


28 oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
2 cups corn (frozen corn that is thawed)
1/4 cup freshly sliced basil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Asiago cheese

In a bowl combine the tomatoes, corn, basil, salt and pepper.  Stir.

Put each pizza round on a stone, which is spread with some cornmeal to prevent sticking.

Spread one cup of mozzarella cheese on each pizza dough, followed by 3/4 cup of asiago cheese on each dough circle.

Spread half the corn and tomato mixture on top of each round.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.