All of Liza's recipes in one handy place!

All of Liza's recipes in one handy place!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dark Chocolate Ginger Cookies

New recipe from another upstate New York girl - Rachel Ray!

1 stick unsalted butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate - chopped

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetend cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 large eggs - beaten

3/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup confectioners sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate over medium heat, stirring until smooth; let cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°; line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk the eggs into the butter mixture, then stir into the dry ingredients until incorporated; stir in the ginger and chocolate chips.

Place the confectioners' sugar in a wide bowl. Shape half of the dough into 1-inch balls, then coat with the confectioners' sugar. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake, switching and rotating the pans after about 10 minutes, until the cookies puff and crack, 14 to 17 minutes total. Let cool for a minute before transferring to racks to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Classic Trifle

From Cooks Illustrated - Serves 12. Published November 1, 1996.

To make this recipe, you will need a 14- to 16-cup capacity glass trifle dish. A sixteen-by-twelve-inch half sheet pan can be used in place of the jelly roll pan called for in this recipe. Because the lemon zest needs time to infuse the cream, be sure to prepare this lemon cream mixture at least twelve hours and up to thirty-six hours before you intend to use it. This topping is less likely to break down than ordinary whipped cream, but it will begin to thin out if overbeaten.

Sponge Sheet Cake
6 large eggs , separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar , plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons hot water
1 cup plain cake flour
3/4 cup cream sherry

Almond Cookies
1 scant cup blanched slivered almonds (4 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons egg , beaten (about 1/2 large egg)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
5 teaspoons amaretto liqueur

Fresh Raspberry Puree
2 cups fresh raspberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Rich Baked Custard
12 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup brandy or Cognac

Lemon Whipped Cream
3 medium lemons , zested, then juiced to yield 1/2 cup juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons cream sherry

3 cups fresh raspberries

1. FOR THE SHEET CAKE (Makes one 18-by-11-inch cake) -- Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 18-by-11-inch jelly roll pan. Line pan bottom and sides with waxed paper, allowing 1-inch overhang on each end. Do not grease paper.

2. Place egg whites in bowl of electric mixer; bring to warm room temperature over pan of hot water. Remove whites from pan of hot water and whip whites at medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt, increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat whites to soft but definite peaks. Slowly sprinkle on 3 tablespoons sugar; continue to beat until whites are shiny and very thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape whites into wide 4-quart mixing bowl; set aside.

3. Without washing bowl or whisk attachment, add yolks to bowl; bring to warm room temperature over pan of hot water. Add vanilla and hot water; beat at high speed 1 minute. Slowly add remaining H cup sugar; beat until mixture is pale, shiny, and almost as thick as marshmallow cream, 4 to 5 minutes longer.

4. Scrape yolk mixture over egg whites; gently fold with rubber spatula until about two-thirds mixed. Sift flour over egg mixture; gently fold until flour is completely incorporated. Spread batter in prepared pan, running it up to edges and smoothing top with rubber spatula. Bake until cake top is lightly browned and center springs back when gently pressed, 12 to 15 minutes.

5. Immediately after baking, free the cake edges from the pan sides with a knife and smooth a sheet of waxed paper over the cake top. Place another sheet pan or cookie sheet on top of the cake. Flip over as shown, then lift off the baking pan. Let the cake cool completely, then gently peel the waxed paper off the cake bottom, removing the bottom crust. Flip the cake top side up, then peel off the second sheet of waxed paper, removing the top crust. (Can be wrapped in plastic, then in foil and refrigerate for 1 day). See illustrations 1-3 below.

6. FOR THE ALMOND COOKIES (Makes 36 marble-size cookies) -- Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, then flour cookie sheet; tap off excess flour.

7. Finely grind almonds in food processor fitted with metal blade, about 1 minute. Add sugar; grind 15 seconds longer. Add egg and extract; process until mixture forms stiff dough that clumps around blade, 15 to 20 seconds longer.

8. Pinch off thirty-six raspberry-size pieces of dough, then roll each into smooth ball. Arrange balls 1/2-inch apart on prepared sheet. Bake until very lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet, then scrape free with metal spatula. (Can be stored in tightly covered container 1 week.)

9. FOR THE RASPBERRY PUREE (Makes 1 cup) --Puree berries and sugar in blender or food processor fitted with metal blade. Strain through fine sieve, pressing on solids to release juice; discard seeds. (Can be covered and refrigerated 1 day.)

10. FOR THE RICH BAKED CUSTARD (Makes one 13-by-9-inch dish -- Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Line pan bottom of large deep roasting pan with kitchen towel. Set Pyrex baking dish in roasting pan. Bring large kettle of water to boil.

11. Whisk yolks, sugar, and nutmeg in large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, bring milk and cream to gentle simmer in large saucepan, stirring frequently to prevent boiling over. Slowly whisk milk mixture into yolks; stir in brandy or Cognac. Set roasting pan in oven; pour custard into baking dish. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to reach mixture's height. Cover roasting pan with heavy-duty foil.

12. Bake custard until spoonful taken from center is texture of soft yogurt, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove custard from oven; let cool to tepid in water bath. Remove dish from water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate custard until completely cold. (Can be refrigerated overnight.)

13. FOR THE LEMON WHIPPED CREAM (Makes about 1 quart) -- Remove lemon zest with vegetable peeler. Squeeze, then strain enough juice from lemons to make 1/2 cup.

14. Finely grind zest with sugar in food processor fitted with metal blade, about 2 minutes. With machine running, gradually dribble in lemon juice. Scrape mixture into large airtight container. Stir in cream and sherry; cover tightly and refrigerate until mixture is thick and lemon-flavored, at least 12 hours. (Can be refrigerated up to 36 hours.)

15. Strain topping through fine-mesh sieve into bowl of electric mixer, pressing on zest to release cream. Whip cream to stiff peaks on medium-high.

16. FOR ASSEMBLING THE TRIFLE - Brush the sheet cake evenly with cream sherry; let stand 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into six lengthwise and eight crosswise strips to yield 48 approximate 2-inch squares.

17. Arrange 16 cake squares, shingling the squares around the bottom of trifle dish, placing 12 to 13 in a ring against the dish wall and the remaining squares in the center. Tuck 2 to 3 raspberries between the outer cake squares, using about 1/3 cup berries total. Scatter about 2/3 cup raspberreis over the top of the inner cake squares.

18. Dip 12 almond cookies into amaretto liqueur for 1 second, then place them on top of the outer cake squares. Drizzle 1/3 cup raspberry puree over the cake and cookies. Finally spread 1/3 of the custard over the layer, coming within 1/2-inch of the edge. Repeat cake/berries/cookie/puree/custard layering twice more to make a total of three layers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12, but no more than 36 hours.

19. No more than 8 hours before serving, fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch fluted tip with lemon whipped cream. Pipe large 2- to 3-inch high risettes over the trifle top. Pipe any remaining cream into tiny rosettes to fill in between the larger rosettes. Garnish the trifle with additional berries. Serve.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Creamy Dreamy Hot Cocoa

This is perfect treat for a cold winter night, decorating the Christmas tree, waiting for St. Nicholas or even better A SNOW DAY!!! I can also hardly wait to make this yummy treat on our next camping trip....

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half cream

Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water.

Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch.

Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 onion, finely chopped

3lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into even small chunks

6 cups chicken broth (48 oz)

1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground ginger

pinch of nutmeg
Salt and white ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup heavy cream

Melt the butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the squash, chicken broth, dried thyme and nutmeg.

Bring to a simmer and cover. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.Remove from the heat. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor, or in the stockpot with an immersion blender until smooth.

Return the pureed soup the heat. Stir in the heavy cream. Bring to a brief simmer, then remove from the heat. If the soup is too thick, thin it out with additional broth or water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.Serves 4 to 6 as a main meal.

**If you like a dash of spice you can add a small amount of Tabasco or a pinch of chili powder when you add the ginger & nutmeg.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Portuguese Soup

This is a yummy and hearty traditional kale and sausage soup!

1 lb. Chourico or Lingica (I use a half pound each)
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium Yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
3-4 peeled and cubed medium potatoes
2 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
1 (46 oz.) can chicken stock
3 cups water1 (28 oz.) can chopped, peeled tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 large bunch fresh kale - stemmed and chopped

Slice sausage into bite size pieces and set aside. Sauté onion, sausage and garlic in oil until tender but not browned - I do this right in my soup pot but a pan works fine too. In a large soup pot - combine sausage/onion mixture with chicken stock, water, sausage, carrots and potatoes.

Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Add to the stock the tomatoes, beans, celery and kale. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Great served with warm crusty bread.

You can make this ahead, you can also freeze it and thaw servings as needed. Great way to thaw out after shoveling snow!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Don's Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 cups (crushed about 1 pkg) graham crackers
Chocolate Dip (see below)

Crush graham crackers with a rolling pin. Mix crumbs with peanut butter, vanilla and butter and mix well. Form into1-inch balls, dip into Chocolate Dip and store in the refrigerator.

8 ounces semi sweet chocolate
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
½ cake paraffin wax

Melt all together in a double boiler.

Vegetarian Minestrone

1 medium onion – diced small
3 cloves garlic - crushed
2 Tbs olive oil
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper (fresh ground if possible)
2 boxes of vegetable broth
2 cans of beans (cannelloni work well as do red kidney beans)
2 medium zucchini - chopped
3-4 carrots – chopped
Box of pasta – your choice

** Please note you can also add other fresh veggies such as brocolli, peas, mushrooms whatever you have on hand - be creative!!

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until lightly browned.

Add the can of tomatoes with its juice and simmer briefly. Add vegetable broth and beans (drained) and simmer for a while.

Add veggies closer to serving so they don’t get mushy. In a small separate pot cook the pasta to you liking (el dente works best to avoid the mush factor).

Before serving add in pasta and garnish individual bowls with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Spicy Grilled Pork Chops

You will need four to six center cut thick boneless pork chops for this recipe. Both the rub and the glaze can be made ahead.


1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp black pepper (I use fresh ground)
2 tsp brown sugar

Mix well.


½ cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup apple juice (or apple cider if available)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1Tbs soy sauce (I use the less sodium variety)
½ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together and simmer over medium heat until reduced (coats a spoon).

Prep pork chops buy dredging in the rub mixture. (I use a plastic bag and shake them individually to coat.)

Place chops on either gas or charcoal grill and slather on the glaze periodically throughout the cooking process.

These are great served with baked apples, rice or potatoes. Nice grilled meal for the fall!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yummy Eggplant Parm

To start you will want to sweat the eggplant. Use kosher salt when salting the eggplant. The coarse grains don't dissolve as readily as the fine grains of regular table salt, so any excess can be easily wiped away. To be time-efficient, use the 30 to 45 minutes during which the salted eggplant sits to prepare the breading, cheeses, and sauce.


2 medium eggplants cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

2 1/4 Tbs kosher salt

2 cups seasoned bread

1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup flour

2 tsp salt and ground pepper

4 large eggs

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 jars tomato sauce

2 cups whole milk mozzerella shredded or 8 ounces sliced

Fresh basil leaves torn, for garnish

1. FOR THE EGGPLANT: Toss eggplant slices and kosher salt in large bowl until combined; transfer salted eggplant to large colander set over bowl. Let stand until eggplant releases about 2 tablespoons liquid, 30 to 45 minutes. Arrange eggplant slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe off excess salt.

2. While eggplant is draining, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions, place rimmed baking sheet on each rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix the bread crumbs with 1 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

3. Combine flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in large zipper-lock bag; shake to combine. Beat eggs in second pie plate. Place 8 to 10 eggplant slices in bag with flour; seal bag and shake to coat eggplant. Remove eggplant slices, shaking off excess flour, dip in eggs, let excess egg run off, then coat evenly with bread crumb mixture; set breaded slices on wire rack set over baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant.

4. Remove preheated baking sheets from oven; add 3 tablespoons oil to each sheet, tilting to coat evenly with oil. Place half of breaded eggplant on each sheet in single layer; bake until eggplant is well browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets after 10 minutes, and flipping eggplant slices with wide spatula after 20 minutes. Do not turn off oven.

TO ASSEMBLE: Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Layer in half of eggplant slices, overlapping slices to fit; distribute 1 cup sauce over eggplant; sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Layer in remaining eggplant and dot with 1 cup sauce, leaving majority of eggplant exposed so it will remain crisp; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan and remaining mozzarella.

Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; scatter basil over top, and serve, passing remaining tomato sauce separately.

Mom's Apple Crisp

8 tart apples
1 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together thoroughly. Core, peel and slice the apples then toss with 1/2 of the brown sugar mixture. Put into 9 inch greased baking pan and set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, granulated sugar and egg. Mix as if pastry dough and clings together. Spread over apples covering completely. Top with remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture and pour melted butter over the whole thing. Bake at 350 degrees a=for approximately 40 minutes unitl nicely browned and bubbly.

Is it time to go apple picking yet??

French Toast Strata

1 loaf french bread (cubed into 1 inch pieces)
8 large eggs
8 oz cream cheese
2 1/2 cups half & half
8 Tbs butter (melted)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Grease a 13 inch by 9 inch pan. Arrange 1/2 the cubed bread in bottom of the pan. Cut up cream cheese into 1/2 inch cubes and layer over the bread. Top with remaining bread.

In a large blender or mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour over bread and cover casserole with plastic wrap. Refridgerate 2-24 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until top and edges are browned. Serve warm with maple syrup. great with breakfast sausage links!

Molasses Crinkles

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ginger
dash nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar (to roll dough in)

Mix shortening, sugar, egg and molasses - mix thouroughly. Sift flour and dry ingredients together. Mix dry mixture into molasses mix a little at a time and combine completely.

Roll in 1 inch balls and cook on parchment lined cookie sheets at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy!! These are great fall cookies .

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Avocado Buttermilk Dressing

1 Haas avocado, ripe, pitted & skin removed
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1TBS minced red onion
1 TBS minced fresh cilantro
1 medium garlic clove - crushed
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

In a food processor puree the avocado, Tabasco and lime juice until fully broken down - about 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth.

The dressing can be refrigerated for up to one week. Easily doubled for a large group - this makes a great dip for veggies too.

For a low fat variation use low fat buttermilk and substitute 1/4 cup of low fat or no fat sour cream for the mayonnaise.

** If you like you can also try adding 2 tsp minced fresh dill or fresh chive. Another great taste is adding a 1/4 tsp of cumin.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Best Ever Congo Bars

1 cup pecans (or walnuts) toasted and chopped coarse
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
12 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs - beaten
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (you can do semi-sweet or a mix of semi-sweet and white or even butterscotch)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on large rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer nuts to cutting board to cool; chop coarsely and set aside. Toast coconut on same rimmed baking sheet, stirring 2 to 3 times, until light golden, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Line a 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan with foil. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not over mix. Fold in chocolate, coconut, and nuts and turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.

Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes; do not over bake. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

For a variation I hold aside a 1/4 cup of coconut and a few Tbs of the chocolate chips and sprinkle them on top before baking. Also if you like you can use toffee chips in place of nuts or in addition to chocolate chips.

Friday, August 22, 2008

These are the BEST mashed potatoes EVER! And they are so user-friendly because you can make them the night before. I never take these anywhere without people begging me for the recipe. You can also use this recipe to create a twice baked potato too.

8 medium potatoes
1 cup sour cream
8 oz sour cream & chive cream cheese (softened)
4 Tbs butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 cloves garlic - crushed
2 tsp onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
bacon bits or crumbles (optional)

Boil potatoes until tender. Beat cream cheeseand sour cream in mixing bowl. Add hot (and drained) potatoes - beat until smooth adding small amounts of milk if necessary.

Add butter, chives and onion powder - mix well then add salt and pepper to taste.

Place in casserole dish and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. If you like you can sprinkle with bacon bits or additional chopped chive before serving. (Personally I prefer the chives)

This is great because you can make ahead and bake whenever or if you bake it ahead it reheats perfectly!!

To quote another upstate New York girl - YUMMO!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lemon Sheet Cake

Okay - this sheet cake should be called "OH SO Lemony Sheet Cake"!! Found this little treasure in my Cook's Country magazine and it has been a bit hit.


2 ½ cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup buttermilk (room temperature)
3 Tbs lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
12 Tbs (1 ½ sticks) softened unsalted butter
3 large eggs plue 1 yolk (room temperature)

Heat oven to 325 degrees F and adjust the rack to the middle of the oven. Grease and flour a 13-inch X 9-inch baking pan. (I used a foil pan to take this to an event and it worked fine!)

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Combine buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla in another bowl (I used a medium sized pitcher – which worked well when I later combined with other ingredients).

With an electric mixer on medium, beat the granulated sugar and lemon zest until well combined – about a minute. Set aside ¼ cup in a covered container.

Add the butter to the remaining sugar and beat until light and fluffy (2 minutes). Beat in eggs and yolk one at a time and mix thoroughly. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour and buttermilk mixtures a little at a time alternating between the two until all ingredients are fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Pour into the greased and floured pan and bake until the cake is golden and toothpick comes out clean – approximately 25-35 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for ten minutes and cover with glaze.


3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs buttermilk

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Gently spread over warm cake and sprinkle evenly with remaining lemon sugar. Cool completely (at least 2 hours).

This travels well and serves approximately 16. Once squares are cut you can also garnish with small twisted lemon slices! Enjoy!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

1 1/2 cup flour
1 Tbs sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3 Tbs butter - unsalted/melted
1 to 1/14 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh blueberries

Mix together all dry ingredients - the add milk, vanilla, butter and beaten egg. once completely mixed fold in one cup of washed berries.

Cook in a hot greased skillet flipping once. Serve with berries and syrup of your choice.

*Best Practice: These are great anytime, but especially fun when camping. Simply mix all dry ingredients and place in a plastic storage container - when you are ready to mix add wet ingredients as indicated above - YUMMMOOOO!

Best Ever Blueberry Pie

Pie crust - unbaked enough for pie and top crust

3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1Tbs butter
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
4 cups fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 425 degrees, toss berries with dry ingredients, place into unbaked pie shell dot with pieces of the butter, sprinkle the juice over top and adjust a top crust and vent.

Bake until golden - about 45 minutes (for a fancier crust you can do a simple egg wash on top prior to baking.

Choclate Mousse Cake with Ganache Icing


1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 Tbs cocoa
¼ cup butter
½ cup water
¼ cup buttermilk
1 egg
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients, sugar, flour cocoa together and set aside. Combine in a saucepan butter, water and oil heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dry ingredients until mixed well. Then add buttermilk, soda, egg and vanilla.

Grease and flour pan and bake at 350 degrees until cake springs back – depending on pan 10-20 minutes. You can use two 9 inch round pans, two 9 inch square pans, one 13 X 9 inch pan. If you are using this recipe with the mousse and ganache you can use an 8 in spring form pan to make assembly easier.


8 oz good quality semisweet chocolate
2 oz of butter – unsalted
¾ cup heavy cream
3 eggs – separated

In the top of a double boiler melt the chocolate and butter with the beaten egg yolks, remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a separate bowl beat the cream until it forms soft peaks. In another bowl repeat the process with the egg whites.

Fold the whipped egg whites and whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. This is no ready to be spread or piped on to a cake.

*Best Practice: I make two cake layers in parchment lined spring form pans, leaving one layer in the spring form pan I then layer in the mousse and place second cake layer on top and chill for a couple of hours – once it is set I then make the ganache frosting.


1 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate – chopped
2 Tbs butter – unsalted and softened
1 Tbs light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan bring cream to just a boiling, remove from heat and stir in chocolate, butter vanilla and corn syrup. Let this all stand three minutes then whisk the mixture until combined and smooth.

Chill until mixture is just cooled. And frost cake of your choice.

*Best Practice: I use a squirt bottle (like the kind you can buy to put ketchup in) and pour the mixture into that and then cool. The small opening gives you control over the flow when you are icing the cake and you can store this for up to two week. If stored just leave at room temperature for a half hour and shake well.

For variation on any of these recipes you can add extracts such as orange, almond or peppermint. You can also add orange or raspberry liqueur to the mouse or ganache for an extra zip and garnish with fresh berries or mandarin slices.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ice Box Key Lime Pie

Okay, you are expecting a heat wave and don't want to have the oven on for hours, yet you want to have a few friends over and need a tasty, refreshing dessert. This is the answer to you problem - cool, refreshing, simple to make and a crowd pleaser!

Even better - no innocent Key Limes need to be harmed - regular supermarket limes are just fine!! This is not a traditional Key Lime Pie - but a favorite everywhere I take it!

SERVES: 8-10


8 whole graham crackers, 2 Tbs sugar, 5 Tbs melted unsalted butter and 1 Tbs lime zest

Filling: 1/4 sugar, 2 Tbs lime zest, 8 oz cream cheese-softened, 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/3 cup of instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin. 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about7-9 limes), 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the crust - adjust oven rack to middle and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse crackers, sugar and lime zest together until finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse until the crumbs resemble damp sand. Press into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate and bake until fragrant and brown around the edges - about 12-14 minutes. Cool completely!

Fro the filling - process sugar and zest in food processor until sugar turns bright green. Add cream cheese and mix until combined, scraping down sides as needed. Add condensed milk, pudding mix.

Set aside 2 Tbs of the lime juice, mix with the gelatin and heat in microwave for about 15 seconds - stir until dissolved and with machine running add to mixture in food processor. Add remaining juice and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour into cooled crust, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. To serve, let pie sit at room temperature for 10 minutes prior to slicing - ENJOY!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easy Lemon Bars

For Base:
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter (softened)

For Top:

4 large beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

For the base mix the butter into the flour and sugar together with a fork or pastry cutter - until it clings together.

Press into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

For the filling, beat together eggs, sugar, zest and lemon juice. Sift together flour and baking powder. Stir into egg mixture.

Pour over baked, cooled crust. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars. Serve right away or store in fridge up to one day. Lovely and lemony - a great take along!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Guinness Stew

Perfect for Saint Patrick's Day!!

2 pounds stewing beef
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato puree, dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cups Guinness
2 cups largely diced carrots
Sprig of fresh thyme
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Trim the meat of any fat or gristle, and cut into 2-inch cubes. Toss beef with 1 tablespoon of the oil. In a small bowl, season the flour with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Toss meat with seasoned flour.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Reduce the heat, add the onions, crushed garlic and tomato puree to the skillet, cover, and cook gently for 5 minutes. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a casserole and pour half of the Guinness into the skillet.

Bring Guinness to a boil and stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices on the pan. Pour over the meat, along with the remaining Guinness. Add the carrots and thyme. Stir and adjust seasonings. Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat, or in a 300 degree F oven until the meat is tender, 2 to 3 hours. Garnish the beef with parsley and serve.

For extra taste I added a small amount of rosemary and a friend tried his with mashed potatoes on top! YUM!!