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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake



  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies, such as Tate's Bake Shop
  • Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks.
To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.) Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.

1770 House Meatloaf



1 pound ground veal (preferably naturally raised)
1 pound ground pork (preferably naturally raised Berkshire)
1 pound ground beef (preferably naturally raised)
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh chives, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
3 large eggs (preferably organic)
1 1/3 cups finely ground Panko
2/3 cup whole milk (preferably hormone and antibiotic free)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
2 cups chicken or beef stock
8 to 10 cloves roasted garlic
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the veal, pork, beef, chives, thyme, parsley, eggs, Panko, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat and film it with extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the celery and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened. Remove the celery and onion from the pan and let cool. When the mixture is cool, add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.

Using clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined and everything is evenly distributed. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan (it should have sides at least 1 1/2 inches high to prevent grease runoff from the pan). Place the meat on the sheet pan and pat it and punch it down to remove any air pockets. Shape the meat into a loaf (about 14 1/2 inches long by 5 inches wide by 2 inches high). Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer indicates an internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the sauce, combine the broth, roasted garlic and butter over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Add 1 teaspoon of each of the chopped thyme, chives and parsley. Slice the meatloaf into serving portions and spoon the hot sauce over the meatloaf and serve.

March 1st, 2012

I'm sipping on some sunshine....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bread Pudding w/ Bourbon Sauce

Pictured is 1/3 batch soaking before cooking.

2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
1(14-ounce) loaf challah bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10 cups) (see note)
9 large egg yolks
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon table salt
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted

(I choose to divide the recipe by 3 to make a smaller batch)

1. Adjust oven racks to middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine brown sugar and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in small bowl; set aside.

2. Spread bread cubes in single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake, tossing occasionally, until just dry, about 15 minutes, switching trays from top to bottom racks halfway through. Cool bread cubes about 15 minutes; set aside 2 cups.

3. Whisk yolks, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk in cream and milk until combined. Add remaining 8 cups cooled bread cubes and toss to coat. Transfer mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and let stand, occasionally pressing bread cubes into custard, until cubes are thoroughly saturated, about 30 minutes.

4. Spread reserved bread cubes evenly over top of soaked bread mixture and gently press into custard. Using pastry brush, dab melted butter over top of unsoaked bread pieces. Sprinkle brown-sugar mixture evenly over top. Place bread pudding on rimmed baking sheet and bake on middle rack until custard has just set, and pressing center of pudding with finger reveals no runny liquid, 45 to 50 minutes. (Instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pudding should read 170 degrees.) Transfer to wire rack and cool until pudding is set and just warm, about 45 minutes. Serve.
While the Bread pudding is cooling begin your bourbon sauce.

Bourbon Sauce:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
7 tablespoons heaving whipping cream
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon

In Sauce pan over medium heat whisk together the sugar and heavy cream and cook till this mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.
Add the unsalted butter and continue cooking till the mixtures comes to a boil again. about 1 minute.
Turn heat off and add the bourbon and whisk together to combine well. Let the mixture sit till cooled but still warm.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Banana Cream Puffs

From the Food Pusher  http://food-pusher.blogspot.com

1 cup water, boiling
1 stick butter
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
4 eggs
1 pkg (5.1 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 1/2 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 largish bananas, cut into about 1/4 inch chunks
Powdered sugar for garnish

1. Bring water and butter to a boil. Add the flour all at once & stir vigorously until it forms a ball. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

2. When water-butter-flour mixture is cool, beat in eggs, one at a time, until smooth each time. Scrape into a gallon-size plastic storage bag. Snip off about ½” of one corner to make a pastry bag.

3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Chill the bowl and whisk attachment of a standing mixer, or other mixing bowl and beaters.

4. Squeeze out blobs that are about 3 tablespoons worth of the paste onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. (More paste for larger puffs, less for smaller puffs) Blobs should be at least 2 inches apart.

5. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes—then turn oven down to 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until well-puffed and light brown.
Cream puff just out of oven

6. Move puffs to wire racks. Poke each one with a toothpick or a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Once cool, cut each puff horizontally in the middle and gently remove membrane-looking insides.

7. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together milk and pudding powder. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or more.

8. Place banana chunks in a medium sized bowl and gently stir in about a cup and a half of the pudding.

9. Pour the heavy cream into the chilled mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until almost stiff peaks form. Then fold the remaining pudding into whipped cream. (Use 2/3 to all of the pudding, depending on how sweet you want your cream puffs to be.) Do not over-mix.

Puff interior before picking out insides

10. Spread a layer of banana/pudding into the bottom of a puff. Then with a spoon, scoop enough of the cream mixture into the bottom to just go over the top. Spoon some into the top to fill in. Return top to its puff.

11. Plate puffs and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Makes 12 large, 18 medium, or 24 small cream puffs.

No-Knead Pumpkin Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze

Must make for Christmas Morning 2012, someone please remind me!
makes 16 to 18 rolls
From theKitchn

For the dough:
1/4 cup water
1 scant tablespoon yeast (1 package)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups pecans - toasted, chopped, and divided in half (optional)

For the glaze:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan on the stove top until the butter is melted. Combine this with the sugar in a large heat-proof mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Let the milk mixture cool until it is just warm to the touch - NOT HOT. Then stir in the yeast and the pumpkin. Add the salt and five cups of the flour all at once, stirring until all the flour has been absorbed. Squish it between your hands if you're having trouble incorporating the last of the flour. The dough will be sticky, but should come together in a shaggy ball. If it's still more the consistency of cookie batter, work in an additional 1/2 cup of flour.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-3 hours. During this time, it should double in bulk. At this point, you can punch the dough down and refrigerate it overnight or continue shaping the rolls.

To shape the rolls (either immediately or with the refrigerated dough), sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and dump the dough on top. Pat it down into a rough rectangle and then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape about a half an inch thick, longer than it is wide. If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough's surface and on your hands.

Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar and the spices. Spread this over the rectangle of dough, leaving an inch of bare dough at the top. Sprinkle one cup of the toasted pecans over the dough, if using. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch it closed at the top.

Rub a tablespoon of soft butter into the bottom of two 9x13 baking dishes, two 9-inch cake pans, or a combination. Using a bench cutter or a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into individual rolls 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick. Place them into your baking dishes so they have a little wiggle room on all sides to rise. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise until they fill the pan and look puffy, 30 minutes for already-warm dough and 1 hour for dough that's been refrigerated.

About 20 minutes before baking, begin heating the oven to 375°. When the rolls are ready, bake them for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and starting to look toasted around the edges. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking.

While they are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has melted. Remove from heat and strain into a mixing bowl to remove any sugar clumps. Stir in the powdered sugar. This should form a thick but pourable glaze.

Let the baked rolls cool for about five minutes and then pour the glaze on top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of pecans over the top, if more nuttiness is desired. Eat them immediately. Leftovers will keep for several days and are best reheated for a minute in the microwave.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another Birthday gone by...

So here it is another year gone by already.  How does it seem that the years slide by so quickly?  I didn't get near all the things I wanted to get done this past year.  I think I'll have to make a smaller list for this year since I'm either slower or time is flying by faster than ever!
This year I want to have two more programs for sale and a couple new patterns.  I want to concentrate on having downloadable sales rather than 'go out into the garage and make' sales...
I want to be a non-smoker (I'm well on my way with this one) and I want to loose a few (a lot) pounds and get a little (a lot) healthier!
I want to have more stuff for my little grand baby hope chest.  And last but not least I want to help my son purchase his first home.
So that doesn't sound to difficult, I think I just might be able to accomplish these unless of course I get slower or time goes by faster!

I'm making myself a Chocolate Mouse Cake for my birthday, I deserve this today!  I'll post a picture later once it's done and a slice has been removed to reveal the luscious center...  The recipe url is on the right >>>> and believe me...this is the cake to die for!  Here is the URL:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Potato and Cheese Pierogies

For the dough
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons sour cream

For the filling
1-1/2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup grated dry farmer's cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To finish the dish
1/2 stick butter, cut into 1 tablespoon portions

To Prepare the dough
In a large bowl or mixer, combine the flour, eggs, sour cream and 1/2 cup of water. Beat the eggs as you mix and gradually add the rest of the water until the mixture is combined.
Turn the dough onto a well floured surface. Knead it gently, using a dropping technique (lift the dough from the surface and drop it down). Knead only until the ingredients are blended and the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, about 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to over work the dough.
Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.

To prepare the filling
Put the potatoes in a medium pot and add just enough cold, salted water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.
While the potatoes cook, melt the butter and oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the onion, garlic and thyme, cooking until the onion turns translucent, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat and continue cooking until onions caramelize slightly, about 20 minutes. You may need to add a bit more butter as the onion and garlic mixture cooks. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.
When the potatoes are soft, drain them in a colander and lightly press out the remaining moisture. Return them to the pot, remove from heat and add the cooled onion mixture and the cheese. Mash them just until blended and large lumps are gone. Season again with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool while you roll out the pierogi dough.

Assemble and cook
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. With lightly floured hands, pinch off tablespoon sized portions of the dough and roll them into balls. The balls should be about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, yielding about 3 dozen total.

On a well floured surface, gently roll each ball with a rolling pin until about 1/8 inch thick and 3-1/2 inches round. Cover the finished rounds with a damp towel so they don't dry out while you're working.
Once your rounds are rolled out, hold each in the palm of your hand, filling the center of it with a generous tablespoon of the potato mixture. Gently fold the round in half, pulling the edges away and pinching them firmly shut to enclose the filling. Be sure the edges are sealed by working from one end to the other.

As you work, set your filled pierogi aside on a floured surface and cover them with plastic wrap.
Working in batches, drop no more than 6 pierogi at a time into the boiling water. After they float back to the surface, allow them to cook another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the pierogi with a slotted spoon and place on a towel to drain and cool.

Sauté and serve
To finish the dish, heat a tablespoon or two of butter in a pan over medium heat and briefly sauté them in batches until they are slightly crispy and brown on the exterior.