Monday, April 27, 2015

Spicy Mustard Vinaigrette

Spicy Mustard Vinaigrette

1/2 cup Dijon style mustard
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard (horseradish mustard is good too, but a bit hotter)
3-4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1/8 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbsp. honey or sorghum
1/4-1/2 cup cider vinegar (or more to taste
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (omit or adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all together, adding more or less of the vinegar as you like.   Store in fridge.  I use this on sandwiches, salads, steamed vegetables, meats, you name it.   It is very good for all of these things. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

1 cup softened butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups peanut butter
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1-2 cups jam of any flavor

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch cake pan. Cream the butter, sugars, peanut butter and vanilla. When fluffy, beat in the eggs. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Evenly pat at about 2/3 of the dough into the pan, then spread with the jam, adjusting amount as you please. I like it pretty jammy so use 2 cups. Scoop spoonfuls of the remaining dough and scatter on top of the jam. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cherry Almond Cake

A friend at work gave me a bag of almond flour and I've  been trying to find ways of using it.  This is a recipe I found online, but have adapted to make a very moist and delicious cake, with a pleasant almond flavor.   Stone fruits of all kinds are the perfect match for anything with almonds, so this cake has some dried cherries for flavor as well as a pretty touch of red.   Enjoy!

1/2 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
about 1/2 cup dried cherries (no reason why diced dried apricots or peaches wouldn't work too)

Butter and flour or spray with baking spray a 8x8 inch cake pan.  Preheat over to 325 degrees.   Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs and extracts.   If batter looks curdled that is ok.   Mix together the flours, salt and baking powder and gently mix until just barely incorporated, do not over mix.   Spread in the bottom of the prepared pan and then dot the fruit over the top of the batter, use more or less according to your tastes.   Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.   Cool completely before cutting.  If you wish, you can dust the top of the cake with some powdered sugar or make a very light butter cream frosting and spread over the top of the cooled cake.  

This recipe can also be doubled and baked in a 9x13 inch cake pan, baking time will probably take about 15 minutes longer or even more, so be sure to test with the toothpick before removing from the oven. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Moist Almond Mug Cake

I love mug cakes, but so many of them can be so eggy they just aren't that tasty.   I am always on the look out for new recipes and then try to adapt them to my own taste.   Here is one I've been working on and think I've come up with something good.    This recipe will make two mug cakes, so you will have one to share.

1/4 cup and 2 tbsp.  all purpose flour
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp.  almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4-5 tbsp. sugar, white or brown your choice
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup milk
5 tbsp. melted butter or vegetable oil (butter is more flavorful of course)
1 tsp. vanilla
a couple drops of almond extract

Spray two large mugs with cooking spray.   Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.   Then add the milk, butter and extracts.  Mix well and then divide between the two mugs.   Place in the microwave and cook on high for 2 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick.  If toothpick comes out clean, it is done.  It not, continue cooking for another 30-60 seconds or until the toothpick comes out clean.   Cool before eating.  You can frost or just sprinkle with some powdered sugar.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Healthy" Christmas Candy

Take about 3 cups of dried fruit,  a mix of more than one kind is best.   Place in a food processor with about 1 cup of nuts, almonds are good.    Process until coarsely chopped, then put in a bowl and add 2 tbsp. of honey.  Mix well and then form into balls, then roll in sugar.    You can also line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper, then press the fruit and honey mix in the prepared pan and cover with  3 ounces of melted chocolate.  Chill in fridge until firm, then cut into squares.  

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

14 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
about 1/2 cup sugar, either granulated or powdered (for rolling the dough balls before baking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.    Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.   Take teaspoons of the dough and roll into balls, then roll those in the granulated or powdered sugar.    Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 9-12 minutes.  When done the tops of the cookies will look dry and they will be covered with cracks.   Allow to cool on the pans about 8-10 minutes before moving to a rack to finish cooling.    Makes 4-5 dozen cookies, depending on size. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Caramel Frozen Yogurt

2 cups dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
a pinch of salt
1 pkg. unflavored gelatin
1 quart plain, fat free Greek style yogurt

Place the brown sugar, salt and 1 cup of the milk in a large dutch oven and cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and begins to bowl, boil about 3 minutes.   Remove from the heat.   While the caramel is cooking, place the remaining 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over and allow to sit until the caramel is done.   When caramel is finished cooking, remove from the heat and pour the milk/gelatin mixture in it and stir until the gelatin is all dissolved and incorporated with the caramel, then stir in the vanilla.   Allow to cool a while longer, then gradually whisk in the yogurt.   When all is incorporated and the mixture is smooth, chill covered in the fridge about an hour.   Pour into the bowl of your freezer and freeze according to directions.   Remove from the freezer, place in a covered bowl and freeze in your fridge freezer at least a couple of hours.  

This is very very tasty, the texture is very smooth and velvety and the taste is a mixture of tangy and sweet that meshes very well.   I hope you will enjoy it!