Friday, December 30, 2011


Coconut Syrup

7-8 T butter
3/4 c buttermilk
1 c sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1 t coconut extract

Place butter, buttermilk and sugar in a sauce pan. Over medium heat stir until sugar is dissolved and butter melted. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add baking soda and extract. It will bubble up - just continue to stir and give it a few minutes for the "fizz" to reduce before serving.

Cinnamon Syrup

1 c sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/4 c water
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 c whipping cream

In medium sauce pan stir all ingredients together EXCEPT cream. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cream. Cool 30 minutes, Syrup will thicken as it cools. Serve warm.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Pie

Chocolate Mousse Pie

7 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. milk
2 c. heavy whipping cream, add 1 t. vanilla before whipping
1 9" pie crust (graham cracker or chocolate crumb or pastry shell baked)


1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the chocolate chips, marshmallows and milk over low heat until chocolate is melted and marshmallows have "disappeared" and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. BE PATIENT AS THIS TAKES TIME.

2. COOL to room temperature. It will cool faster if you remove pan from heat and place on a cooling rack so air can get under it and cool faster.

3. Whip cream and vanilla. Gently fold into chocolate mixture; pour into crust (cooled crust of course). Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Refrigerate leftover.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread Recipe

Servings: One 1-pound loaf

*I tried this first in November 2011 while in PA with the family. Making it again since I liked it so much. I love having another reason to use my cast iron Dutch oven! I will also add that though the recipe says this is a wet dough it seemed too wet for me and I added additional flour...who knows how much??? I found it hard to shape into a round loaf. These directions and photos I got off Pinterest and you can go here to see more info.

No Knead Bread Recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman of NY Times who got it from Sullivan Street Bakery. When the recipe first came out, it was the blogging community who took the bread to new heights, especially Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Bread Bible. I followed Rose's experiments through the weeks and learned from her recipe adjustments and the why's of how this bread works.


3 cups bread flour (I like Harvest King bread flour)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine table salt (or 3/4 tablespoon of kosher salt)
1 1/2 cups warm water

Covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel...something that can go into a 450F oven.)


1. Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.

2. Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. You can use your hands if you like, just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you've got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.

3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Holding towel, turn over and dump wobbly dough into pot, using your hands to get the dough off the towel. Doesn't matter which way it lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack. If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes. Best way to eat it? Smear a warm slice with some good butter (Kerrygold and Lurpac are both found in your grocery stores, usually on top shelf)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

2/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1 c. sugar
5 well beaten eggs
1/2 c. melted butter (no substitute), cooled slightly

In glass/microwavable bowl:
Mix together well the juice, sugar and eggs.
Slowly beat in the cooled butter.

Microwave 4 to 6 minutes stirring every minute until thickened. Time depends on your oven's strength.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup
Olive oil
1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
1 small-medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (scant)
1 can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed basil
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
8 oz (half a package) small pasta (not precooked)

Cheese Topping
mix together:
8 oz Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
Sprinkle over soup and topping:
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat a stock pot over med-high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Heat for a minute then add the onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and crumble the ground beef, cooking until no longer pink. Drain. Return meat to the pot and add tomato sauce, oregano, red pepper flakes and stir until well incorporated. Cook for about five minutes.

Add chicken stock, bay leaves and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook to al dente. Do not overcook or let the soup simmer at this point as the pasta will get mushy.

As the pasta is cooking prepare the cheese topping. Mix all ingredients, except mozzarella, together and set aside.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls, add a dollop of cheese topping and sprinkle mozzarella on top.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Peasant Bread

Peasant Bread

1½ c. warm water

1 ½ t. salt

2 T. sugar

2 T. butter or olive oil

4 c. flour

2 t. yeast

Place above ingredients (in order given or according to your machines instructions) into bread pan and mix on “Dough “ cycle. When completed, remove from pan, knead to expel air and form into a 1 or 2 ball(s). Place on a greased (or vegetable sprayed) baking sheet. I like to let my dough rise in a warm oven by turning the oven on for 1 minute then turning it off. It takes approximately 45 minutes to double in size. Remove from oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake 20-30 minutes or till done. When done, remove from oven, place on rack and rub butter on outside and cover with a cloth till cooled. Happy eating.