Saturday, January 4, 2014

Apple Raisin Crisp

Nice to bake on a cold winter day. The aroma will draw those buried in books and sitting by the fireplace to your kitchen table. A nice mixture of different apples makes you wanting more of the flavors that apples and raisins with spices does to your heart. Not too sweet or too tart. You can use lemon juice or apple juice instead of the water if you choose. Since I used old forgotten apples, the added water helps perk up the old apples. I made this on New Year's and to use up 2013 apples to make room for more apples, of course!

8 apples, peeled, cored, sliced to make about 8 cups (the more the better I say)
   I used a mixture of very small inexpensive bagged apples that were gala and red delicious.

4 Tablespoons water
6 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
4 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
½ Cup Raisins
½ Cup Plain Oats or Oatmeal
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon all spice 

You will need these tools:
2 Pyrex Glass Rectangle baking dishes   9” x 13” each

Pre heat oven temp to 350 degrees

Evenly spread apples to cover bottom of each of the pans. 

Sprinkle the water over the apples and set aside.

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients, adding the butter last and mix with a fork till crumbly and well mixed.

Sprinkle evenly over both pans of sliced apples.

Bake uncovered  25-30 minutes. Apples should come out tender.

Serve warm in bowls adding vanilla yogurt  and sprinkle with a little brown sugar to garnish.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Peanut Butter Cocoa Salted Fudge Candy

 3 Cups Pure Cane Sugar, granulated
¾ Cup Unsalted Butter
2/3 Cup Evaporated milk
1-1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (Jiff)
1 Jar or 7 ounces, Marshmallow Cream (Kraft)
1 Tablespoon, Bakers Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Bar Baking Chocolate, Semi Sweet
1 Tablespoon Coarse Salt for accent and finishing off at the end (Optional)
 You will need these tools:
Heavy Pan, Lodge cast iron dutch oven was used
Glass Pyrex baking dish
Large ceramic bowl
Medium Mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Sharp knife

This method doesn't require the use of a candy thermometer or hard ball method.

Start with mixing ingredients that will be set aside and added later. You don’t want to have to stop and mix this, do it now so it will be ready.

In the large ceramic bowl, measure in the peanut butter, marshmallow cream, cocoa powder, vanilla. Using a large wooden spoon, stir by hand and mix all these ingredients so that it is blended well, set aside.

On the stove top, place your heavy pan on medium heat.
Add the butter, sugar and milk. Stir with wooden spoon, about 7 minutes.
It should come to a boil, make sure it is a rolling boil, one that doesn't stop when you stir it, continuing to boil. Set the timer for 4 minutes as it continues to rock and roll boil, stir steady.

After the 4 minutes are done, remove from heat.

Then add the large ceramic bowl mixture of peanut butter, marshmallow cream, cocoa powder and vanilla to the boiling mixture stiring to mix very well for about 4 minutes.

Pour into a prepared parchment lined 9x13 glass pyrex baking dish. It will set as it cools.

Take a generous pinch of the coarse salt, sprinkle over the top of the mixture in the dish.

Take ½ the bar baking chocolate, with the sharp knife, cut coarse slivers. Keep them large and sprinkle on top of the mixture.

Repeat again with the remaining ½ bar of baking chocolate. The heat of the mixture will have melted the first half of the coarse slivered chocolate bar and the second one will glue itself to the melted pieces on top.

Garnish with some more of the coarse salt.

Set in refrigerator to cool and set.

Overnight or after several hours, cut into bars and serve.

Blackened Omelet with Trio Baby Greens

I have to watch my dairy intake so I am using Italian hard cheese. The longer a cheese is aged or harder the cheese is, less problem can occur for those that are lactose sensitive to dairy. I love a melted cheese, but this is a good alternative combination. Feel free to choose your favorite cheese. This egg method will produce a dry egg omelet unless you use different cheeses.  
 Handful of mixed trio of greens (baby spinach, kale and beet leaves), rinse and place into small pan with lid and with a little water to steam. Turn on medium till you hear it boil, then turn off and set timer to 4 min. When 4 minutes are finished, drain and set aside.
 Gather these ingredients on your countertop surface ready to assemble.
4 Large eggs
Shredded Asiago and Romano cheese (hard Italian cheese are best)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Thyme, Basil, Marjoram, Garlic Powder
jalapeƱo chili, chopped
Salt and Pepper, coarse, crushed together
Hand mixer
Medium size bowl
Omelet skillet and lid (lid for later, towards the end)
Crack eggs into the bowl. Beat with electric hand held mixer till firm, frothy, about 5 minutes or more, set aside. 

Place 2 Tbsp coconut oil into pan (no lid on yet) on medium heat. 
 Oil should be able to roll around easy in the pan and evenly warm.  Sprinkle about ¼ - pinch of the herbs, salt and pepper then garlic powder last. This is the blacken seasoning. Allow it to warm and sweat in the oil for about 30 seconds only. Take your bowl of eggs that are still firm and frothy and starting from the center of the pan pour in the eggs, in a circular motion covering the herb mixture.

Add ¼ cup of Asiago and a ¼ cup of Romano, spread evenly over the egg. Layer the steamed and drained greens next. Sprinkle a pinch of the cheeses and then add the chopped jalapeno chilis. 
 Cover with lid, heat at medium for about 3-4 minutes.
 Note: A trick I found, lid should fit inside edge of pan, while covered with lid, drop 1-2 tablespoons of water on the lid to run down the lid, into the inside pan. It should sizzle and steam the contents inside the pan. It adds moisture while not adding additional water to the egg mixture.

 Check after 4 minutes, if done, turn off heat to pan and remove lid.
Take a metal spatula, slide it around the edge of the omelet, to make sure it is loosened. Then take care and fold half of the omelet onto itself. You should have now a blackened not burned herb aroma, strong with flavor. 

 Plate and enjoy!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Butternut Squash with Cauliflower Soup

2 Cups Butternut squash, diced
½ head of Cauliflower, flowerettes removed from center stem, chopped
3 minced cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp coconut oil
10 Cups Vegetable stock
Red Pepper Flakes
Place into large cast iron pot. I am using a dutch oven.
Sweat garlic in coconut oil on low heat about 3 minutes.
Add squash, cauliflower and stock.

Bring to boil, turn low to simmer and cook for 20 minutes uncovered.

Stir occasionally from bottom.

Add spices to your liking, sir and with a potato masher or thunder stick, puree to your liking. Some place it into a blender but I like a course soup.

Marzipan Raisin Buttermilk Scones for the Holidays

2 large eggs, room temperature
½ Cup Buttermilk
Mix well and set aside.

In large bowl, measure these flours (I use Bob’s Red Mill) :
½ Cup Brown Rice Flour
½ Cup Sweet Sorghum Flour
4 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
½ Cup Almond Flour
4 Tbsp Pure Cane Sugar, granulated
3 Tbsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Xanthan Gum
Stir with wooden spoon, set aside.

6 Tbsp Sweet Butter, cut into dice size pieces
Using hands, mix well, breaking up butter with tips of fingers and should resemble course meal.

1 Bar Almond Paste, Marzipan (about 5.29 ounces), cut into dice size pieces
½ Cup raisins, mixed white and red
Toss into dry ingredients, mix well.

Pour the Buttermilk egg mixture, stir well with wooden spoon, do not over mix,  just till moist. Should be lumpy, but no dry flour left at bottom of bowl.

Divide dough into two equal portions.
Tear off three squares (12x12 inches approximately) kitchen wax paper.
Place first dough portion onto center of 1st wax paper. Leave second dough portion in bowl and set aside.
Place 2nd wax paper over dough portion, you will use this to round and flatten dough into large circle.

Cut into pie sections.
Place onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
Repeat with 2nd dough portion.

Place onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
Make egg wash, use one beaten egg and a little water. Brush onto tops and sprinkle with course sugar.

Bake 325 degrees for 20 min.

Remove from pans onto serving tray.
Pass with sweet butter, coffee, tea for breakfast or snack.
Enjoy for any holiday or feast...they don't last long ! Makes 16, so you can share...if they are quick.