Sunday, December 9, 2007

Garlic - December 2007

Diva: Erin

Drinks: Aven
Funky Garlic

Sprite (or other citrus soda)
Coke (or other cola)
White wine

All ingredients should be chilled. Mix together in equal parts. Serve over ice.

Garlic Martinis

3 oz gin or vodka
¾ oz dry vermouth
splash olive juice
2-3 garlic stuffed olives or marinated garlic cloves
rosemary stems

Shake alcohol and olive juice with ice and strain into a glass. Skewer olives and/or garlic on rosemary and place in glass.

Appetizer: Colleen
Olive Tapenade

2-3 c kalamata olives (twice as much as the green at least)
1-1.5 c green olives
half to full jar (to taste ) capers
~ ¼ c lemon juice
few T olive oil
few T red wine vinegar
few cloves fresh garlic (to taste)

Put it all in the food processor and grind away.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

1 ½ c chickpeas
3 T tahini
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 T vegetable oil
1 T olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
salt to taste
I added probably 8-10 cloves of roasted garlic (peeled garlic and roasted in olive oil in foil for maybe 20-25 minutes at 350)

put it all in a food processor and puree.

I served the tapenade and hummus with warm pita bread, thinly sliced tomato and cucumber, and feta cheese. Build your own style.

Salad: Sara
Creamy Garlic Dressing

1 teaspoon salt 

3 garlic cloves, minced 

1/2 Sour Cream

3 tablespoons white vinegar
Ground Black Pepper and Salt to taste

3 tablespoons oil

Combine salt and garlic in small bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Serve over bagged Italian salad mix tossed with drained artichokes, mushrooms, canned chickpeas, and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Soup: Lovina
Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

6 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 T olive oil, divided
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3 c vegetable broth
1 c water
1 c whole milk
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Place potatoes and garlic in a shallow roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with pepper; stir to coat. Bake for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are browned. Reserve 1 cup of roasted potatoes.

In a 3 quart saucepan heat remaining oil; saute onions for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and garlic and stir in broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Spoon half of broth mixture into a blender; blend until nearly smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture; return all to pot. Stir in milk and season with salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with reserved roasted potatoes, chives and smoked Gouda cheese.

Side Dish: Mariah

I prepared sautéed beet greens, kale and spinach tossed in balsamic vinegar topped with oodles of roasted garlic and beets. The beets and garlic were roasted slow and hot at 425 until crispy.

Entree: Ashley

Garlic Chicken

Salt and pepper to taste, boneless skinless chicken breasts. Place in one layer on bottom of casserole dish. Coat heavily with Patak's Garlic Relish (from the Coop). Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until chicken is done.

Dessert: Nicole

Garlic Ice Cream

1 ½ tsp Gelatin
¼ c cold water
2 c milk
3/4 -1 cup sugar
2 T lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c whipping cream
Strawberry topping (or other fruit)

Soak the gelatin in cold water while you heat to a boil the milk, sugar and salt. Dissolve the gelatin in the hot milk. Cool, then add the lemon juice and garlic. Chill the mixture until slushy. Whip the cream until thick but not stiff and stir into the mixture. Freeze in a mold, or in a foil-covered tray. (I used my ice cream maker).
Garnish servings with the fresh fruit topping. Serves 6-8.

WildCard: Tamara
Chocolate covered espresso beans – helps with the garlic breath!

1/3 c roasted coffee beans
1/2 c chocolate chips

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler until liquid and smooth. Drop in a handful of beans, and stir them around. Scoop them out with a spoon, and set them out on waxed paper. Keep them separate. Continue until all the beans are covered. They will harden overnight, or if you are in a hurry, you can freeze them for about half an hour. Once hard, they won't stick together and can be stored in any air-tight container.

I also put some beans and chocolate in candy molds to make different shapes.

Lottery: Stacey

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Apples - November 2007

Diva: Nicole

Drinks: Mariah
Hot Toddy

4 c apple cider
1 c cranberry juice cocktail
½ c tequila
¼ c Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueur
Garnish: lime slices, orange slices and apple slices

In a saucepan heat cider and cranberry juice cocktail just until hot (do not let boil) and remove from heat. Stir in tequila and liqueur. Serve toddies in mugs, garnished with lime.

Appetizer: Lovina

Phyllo-wrapped Brie with Apricot and Rosemary Chutney

Chutney
12 ounces dried apricots, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 c water
2/3 c cider vinegar
2/3 c (packed) golden brown sugar
3 ounces dried tart cherries (3/4 cup)
1 ½ T chopped fresh rosemary
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp grated lemon peel
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
½ c blanched slivered almonds, toasted

Combine all ingredients except almonds in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until most liquid has evaporated and chutney is thick, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Mix in almonds. Transfer chutney to bowl.
Chill until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover, keep chilled.)

**NOTE: this makes a TON of chutney. You will have plenty leftover to use for other meals. It freezes well!

Cheese and Phyllo
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 pound fresh phyllo pastry sheets or frozen, thawed
4 ½ T chopped fresh rosemary
1 wheel of Brie

Presentation
Fresh herb sprigs (such as rosemary, sage, and chives)
Additional dried apricots and dried cherries
Fresh baguettes, thinly sliced
Thinly sliced apples
Assembly of cheese and phyllo

Brush heavy large baking sheet with butter; set aside. Unroll pastry. Cover with plastic wrap and damp kitchen towel. Transfer 2 stacked phyllo sheets to work surface, arranging 1 short side parallel to edge of work surface. Arrange 2 more stacked phyllo sheets on work surface, overlapping long side of first sheets by about 5 to 7 inches and forming rectangle about 18 by 17 inches. Brush pastry with butter; sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary over. Place 2 more stacked sheets atop first set of 2 sheets, then 2 more stacked sheets atop second set of 2 sheets. Brush with butter and sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary. Repeat layering 1 more time with phyllo, butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary. (You will use a total of 12 sheets.)

Using sharp knife or scissors, trim phyllo corners, forming approximately 17-inch oval. place Brie in center of phyllo. Spread 1 1/2 cups chutney evenly over cheese. Slide hand under 1 rounded corner of phyllo. Lift phyllo and fold onto top of cheese. Brush folded pastry with butter. Continue to lift phyllo in sections and to fold snugly over top of cheese, brushing with butter and pressing each section to adhere until cheese is wrapped. Use hand and metal spatula to transfer wrapped cheese to prepared baking sheet.

Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface. Brush with butter. Starting at 1 long side, fold 1 inch of pastry over. Continue folding pastry loosely over itself, forming 1-inch-wide strip of pastry over. Continue folding pastry loosely over itself, forming 1-inch-wide strip of pastry. Roll up strip into coil. Gather bottom edge of coil together, pinching to force top slightly open and forming rose. Place rose atop uncovered center of cheese. Brush with butter. Repeat with 2 more sheets of phyllo, forming 2 more roses. Place atop cheese, covering opening completely. Chill 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic; keep chilled.)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Bake cheese until pastry is deep golden brown, covering roses loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 25 minutes. (If cheese leaks from pastry during baking, press piece of foil over tear in pastry; continue baking.)

Cool cheese on sheet 45 minutes.

Presentation
Using metal spatula, transfer warm cheese to large platter. Arrange herbs, dried fruit, baguette slices and apple slices around cheese. Cut cheese into wedges.

Salad: Stacey
Mixed Salad Greens and apple slices with Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing.
(can’t find dressing recipe)

Soup: Tamara

Curried Pumpkin-Apple Soup

3 T Olive oil
1 Clove garlic, mashed
1 1/2 c Chopped onion
1 Large apple, peeled/chopped
1 T Curry powder
2 c Pumpkin puree
4 c vegetable broth
1 c Milk (I used soy)
Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in 6 qt. saucepan. Sauté garlic, onion and apple. Stir in curry powder and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add pumpkin and broth, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes. Puree all in blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and stir in milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6-8.

Side Dish: Ashley

Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Bacon

4 slices of bacon
1 pint Brussels sprouts, trimmed, steamed for 3 minutes, and chopped fine (about 1 ¾ cups)
1 ½ tsp caraway seeds
3 T vegetable oil
3 T white-wine vinegar
¼ tsp sugar, or to taste
2 granny smith apples; peeled and chopped

In a heavy skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat until it is crisp and transfer it to paper towels to drain. Heat the fat remaining in the skillet over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it sauté the Brussels sprouts with the caraway seeds, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender and pale golden. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the oil, the vinegar, and the sugar, and add the apples. Sauté the mixture over med high heat, stirring often until apples are tender but not mushy. Crumble bacon. Toss all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Entree: Erin

Chicken with apple, cranberry and bacon

4 slices bacon
½ c all purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp poultry seasoning
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
2 T olive oil
1 granny smith apple
1 T unsalted butter
1/3 c minced shallots
2/3 c apple juice
2/3 c dry white wine
2/3 c chicken broth
¼ c dried cranberries
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ c whipping cream
2 T chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 175 F. Warm a heatproof dish or plate in the oven to hold the chicken while you make the sauce.

Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Scoop out the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour about 2 T of the bacon drippings into a small dish and set aside; reserve the skillet with the remaining 2 T or so of bacon drippings for cooking the chicken.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, and poultry seasoning in a shallow dish and stir to mix. Dredge the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour, coating them well and patting to remove excess. Add the oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until nicely browned and cooked through (juices run clear when pierced with a knife), turning once, 5 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Transfer the chicken to the warmed dish in the oven and reserve the skillet.

Peel, core, and quarter the apple, then cut each quarter into 3 even slices. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the apple and saute until it just begins to soften, about 4 minutes, turning the slices once. Take the skillet from the heat and set aside.

Heat the reserved bacon fat in the large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender and aromatic, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the apple juice, wine, chicken broth, and cranberries with salt and pepper to taste, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced by almost half, about 10 minutes. Add the cream and bacon, and gently stir in the apple slices. Add the chicken and any liquid that has accumulated in the dish, turning to coat the breasts with the sauce. Cook just until the chicken is warmed through, stirring gently. Taste the sauce for seasoning, adding salt or pepper to taste. Transfer the chicken and sauce to a serving platter or individual plates and sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

** I used chick’n patties when making the veggie version, obviously didn’t include bacon and drippings , and used a vegetable seasoning and broth. All other ingredients remained the same. I’ve never cooked with facon (the fake bacon), but it might be a nice addition to this...?


Dessert: Aven
Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cakes

Aven doubled the recipe and made one big cake in a 10” cast iron skillet instead of making individual cakes.

Makes 6 servings.

2 ¼ c sugar, divided (used brown sugar here)
¼ c water
2 T plus
½ c (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large Golden Delicious apples (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored, each cut into 8 wedges

1 ¾ c cake flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c whole milk

Combine 1 ½ cups sugar and ¼ cup water in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until color is deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with pastry brush dipped into water, about 8 minutes. Working quickly, divide hot caramel among six 1 ¼-cup custard cups. Using pot holders to protect hands, tilt and rotate custard cups to cover bottoms with caramel. Set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add apple wedges and sauté until just tender, about 12 minutes. Arrange apple wedges in bottoms of caramel-lined custard cups.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining ½ cup butter and remaining ¾ cup sugar in another medium bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time and beat until well blended after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with whole milk in 2 additions. Spoon batter over apples in custard cups, dividing batter equally (about ½ cup for each).

Bake cakes until light golden around edges and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Run small knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto plates. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1/2 cup butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in another medium bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time and beat until well blended after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with whole milk in 2 additions. Spoon batter over apples in custard cups, dividing batter equally (about 1/2 cup for each).

Bake cakes until light golden around edges and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Run small knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto plates. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

WildCard: Colleen - CD


Lottery: Sara
Sara decided it was time for some winners so she got prizes for each bag, including $10.00 in one of them.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Divas on the Farm - Pie - October 2007


Diva: Michelle

Drinks: Tamara
Hot Apple Pie Drink

1 gal. apple cider
2 c apple Schnapps
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Several cinnamon sticks

Add all ingredients in a large pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer. Serve hot with whip cream.

Appetizer: Sara
Savory Phyllo Cheese Cups

6 Sheets phyllo pastry
¼ c Whipping cream
¼ c Hazelnut oil; warmed
Salt, pepper
Vegetable oil
2 Med. basil leaves; minced

Fromage Blanc Filling

¼ tsp Dried rosemary
8 oz Fromage blanc *
1/8 tsp Dried thyme
2 oz Med. strong goat cheese **
1 T Hazelnut oil
2 Eggs

*(fresh, soft goat cheese, lightly whipped) or cream cheese.
** (such as Montrachet or feta)

Brush each phyllo pastry sheet with warmed oil and stack sheets. Trim stack to measure 15- x 12-inches. Cut into 20 (-inch) squares. Brush small cupcake tin with oil. Press each square of dough into cup. Flatten corners onto pan to form petals. Chill. To make filling, combine fromage blanc, goat cheese, eggs, cream and salt and pepper to taste, basil, rosemary, thyme and hazelnut. Mix until well blended. Pour filling into formed cups. Bake at 350F until cups are golden and mixture is lightly puffed.

Salad: Ashley
Mixed green salad with piecrust croutons.

Soup: Stacey
French Onion Soup

6 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
olive oil
1 tsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 c beef stock (or veggie stock)
½ c white wine
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
8 sliced toasted French bread
1 ½ c gruyere cheese
½ c parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot sauté onions in a little olive oil on medium high heat until well browned but not burned. This should take about 30 mins. Add the sugar about 10 mins. into the process to help caramelize the onions. Add the garlic and sauté 1 min. Add stock, wine, bay leaf, thyme--cover and partially simmer for 30 mins. Season with salt and pepper. Melt the cheese on the toasted bread. Serve on top of soup.

Side Dish: Erin
Sweet Potato Pie

4 large potatoes
2 c sugar (I used less, this just seemed like too much and I liked the result)
1 stick butter
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 homemade or store-bought pie crust
½ c milk

Boil the potatoes until tender. When you stick a
fork in them it should go in easy but you don't
want them to fall apart.

Let the potatoes cool and then peel them.

Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and
mash them thoroughly with a potato masher.
Melt the butter and pour it and the other
ingredients in the bowl of potatoes. Stir
until well mixed.

Pour the potatoes mixture
into the crust.

Put into an oven preheated to 375 degrees.
Cook for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in the center comes out dry.

Entree: Nicole
Chicken Pot Pie

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 c sliced carrots
1 c frozen green peas
½ c sliced celery
1/3 c butter
1/3 c chopped onion
1/3 c all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp celery seed
1 ¾ c chicken broth
2/3 c milk

2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Dessert: Mariah
Fruit Pizza

"A cookie dough crust, cream cheese filling, and fruit topping. Tip: For a quick crust, use one package of ready made sugar cookie dough rolled out to fit a pizza pan. Use an assortment of fresh fruit such as bananas, peaches, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, and strawberries."

½ c butter, softened
¾ c white sugar
1 egg
1 ¼ c all-purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
½ c white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Mix in egg. combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased pizza pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light. Spread on cooled crust.
Arrange desired fruit on top of filling, and chill.

Lottery: Lovina


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Earth, Wind and Fire - September 2007


Diva: Mariah

Drinks: Lovina
Gaia Punch Alcoholic version

2 oz. Green tea infused vodka (3 bags Numi Rainforest Green tea, 1 bag lemon-ginger, half bottle of good vodka)
½ oz. Grand Marnier (fancy orange liquor-could use Drambuie or whatever)
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

Shake the above ingredients in shaker with ice (stop here and serve up as a martini or continue on for a more diluted version) Using a tall glass, sugar rim glass (coat rim with lemon juice and dip in
sugar)

Fill with ice
Pour contents of shaker into glass
Top with 3 oz white grape juice and 2 oz soda water Stir in a bit of sweet (I used agave nectar-roughly 1 tsp.) Garnish with 2 strips of lime peel and squeeze of lemon Enjoy!

Non-alcoholic version:
Brewed green tea (I used 8 bags to make a gallon) - cooled and sweetened (again I used agave nectar-yum!) White grape juice I mixed equal parts of green tea and white grape juice in a punch bowl and added fresh squeezed lemon juice Pour 2 ladles into ice filled glasses Top with soda water Serve with squeeze of lemon Enjoy.

Appetizer: Stacey
Stacey's Artichoke Dip

1 can quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water)
1 c mayo
1 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 small can chopped green chilies
generous dashes of Tabasco
salt and pepper
tortilla chips for serving

Drain and roughly chop artichokes. Mix all ingredients together. Bake in a glass baking dish for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, until hot and bubbly. Enjoy, and double this for a crowd...it goes fast!!!

Salad: Erin

Dressing
½ c fig, balsamic, rasberry vinegar (I used blackberry and rasberry)
3 T dijon
3 T honey
2 small shallots
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 c (or less) EVOO

Blend together (I use a blender)

Salad: Greens, bleu cheese, sliced almonds/pine nuts, berries (I used raspberries and blueberries)

I prefer to toss right before serving, otherwise greens get a little soggy.

Soup: Ashley
Pumpkin Soup with Red Pepper Mousse

For mousse
1 (12-oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp Sherry vinegar
¼ tsp hot smoked paprika
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
2 T water
1/3 c chilled heavy cream

For soup
5 carrots, chopped (1 1/2 c)
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 (4- to 4 1/2-lb) pumpkin or butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces (9 c)
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp black pepper
5 c reduced-sodium chicken broth (40 fl oz)
3 ½ c water

Make mousse:
Purée peppers, oil, vinegar, paprika, and salt in a blender or food processor until very smooth.
Sprinkle gelatin over water in a 1-quart heavy saucepan and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring, just until gelatin is dissolved.
Remove from heat and whisk in pepper purée 1 tablespoon at a time.
Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds soft peaks. Fold in pepper mixture gently but thoroughly, then cover surface of mousse with plastic wrap and chill until set, at least 2 hours.

Make soup while mousse chills:
Cook carrots, onion, garlic, and bay leaf in oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add pumpkin, salt, cumin, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until pumpkin begins to soften around edges, about 15 minutes. Stir in broth and water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
Blend soup in batches in cleaned blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a bowl.
Just before serving, return soup to pot and reheat over low heat. Ladle soup into bowls and top each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons mousse.

Soup can be made 3 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat as directed above.
Mousse can be chilled up to 2 days.

Side Dish: Tamara
Root Vegetable Fritters

½ c plain flour (all purpose)
3 eggs, lightly beaten (I used EnerG egg replacer)
1 c grated parsnips
1 c grated carrots
3 ½ c grated sweet potatoes
½ c grated parmesan cheese
2 T finely chopped flat leaf parsley
sea salt
cracked pepper
olive oil or vegetable oil (for cooking)

Place the flour in a bowl. Add the eggs and whisk until combined and smooth. Add the parmesan, parsnip, carrot, sweet potato, salt and pepper plus any changes you want to make and mix to combine well.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add a little oil and 2 Ts of fritter mixture.

Flatten the mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes each side until golden. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
(From The Vegan Chef)



Entree: Michelle
Marinated Chicken/Tofu

Throw three-four medium hot, medium sized salsa peppers into the food processor. Pour about a half c or maybe more in. Peel and add three or four cloves of garlic. Shake a couple of tsp of ginger into the mix. Add some safflower or other medium heat cooking oil, like, maybe a quarter c? Turn on the food processor until there is an even consistency. Taste, and adjust ingredients to get it just right for you! Marinate the chicken or tofu for 3-4 hours. Bake for
1/2 hour at 350 or 375. Turn over. Bake for about another 20-30 minutes until chicken is not pink in the middle, or tofu is crisp to your desire. Serve up and enjoy thoroughly. This is for 7 chicken breast and one block of the coop's bulk Surata tofu.

Dessert: Sara
"Molten" Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

Cooking notes: Be certain to add the chocolate chunks while the cakes are still quite hot from the oven otherwise the crust will form and you will damage the appearance. The mayonnaise is here to add moisture to the cake. You could omit it with out adjusting the recipe but it is has an amazing effect. Entertaining Notes: You could serve this as a plated dessert by removing them from the paper and adding Warm Bananas.

Vegetable spray, for greasing liners
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Scharffen Berger
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c heavy cream
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/3 c sugar
½ c mayonnaise
½ c cornstarch
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp gray salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Line the cupcake pan with paper liners and spray the liners with vegetable spray.

Shave 5 ounces of chocolate and put it into a bowl. Cut the remaining 3 ounces of chocolate into roughly 1/2-inch pieces, set aside.

Combine the butter and cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the cream mixture comes to a simmer, pour it over the shaved chocolate and stir gently to melt the chocolate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, mayonnaise, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt just until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and gently mix just until combined. (Mixing too much will prevent the eggs from rising in the oven.) Scoop about 1/4 c of the batter into each mold, it should come about 3/4 of the way up the sides. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Do not over bake. Immediately while hot, add a chunk of the remaining chocolate in the center of each, by gently pushing it through the top of the cupcake in the center. Cool the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold them. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Lottery: Nicole

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hawaiian Delights - August 2007

Diva: Lovina

Drinks: Sara
Hawaiian Punch with Champagne

1 can frozen cranberry juice
1 can frozen lemonade
1 can frozen limeade
1 bottle white wine
4 cans club soda
1 bottle of brut champagne

Mix and serve over ice with fruit garnish.

Appetizer: Ashley
Coconut Shrimp with Sweet chili-lime sauce

Sauce
¾ c Asian sweet chili sauce*
3 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 ½ T fresh lime juice

Shrimp
¾ c all purpose flour
1 tsp curry powder (preferably Madras style)
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 c club soda
Vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
1 ½ cups medium shredded unsweetened coconut
16 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact

For sauce:
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Add egg and club soda; whisk just until combined but still lumpy. Let stand 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour enough vegetable oil into heavy large saucepan to come halfway up sides of pan. Attach deep-fry thermometer to pan; heat oil over medium heat to 375°F.

Line baking sheet with paper towels. Spread coconut on plate. Working with 1 shrimp at a time, dip into batter, allowing excess to drip back into bowl, then roll in coconut. Working in batches, deep-fry shrimp until cooked through, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to paper towels to drain.

Salad: Nicole
Tropical Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

6 slices bacon
¼ c pineapple juice
3 T red wine vinegar
¼ c olive oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste
1 (10 ounce) package chopped romaine lettuce
1 c diced fresh pineapple
½ c chopped and toasted macadamia nuts
3 green onions, chopped
¼ c flaked coconut, toasted

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

In a cruet or jar with a lid, combine pineapple juice, red wine vinegar, oil, pepper and salt. Cover and shake well.

In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, pineapple, macadamia nuts, green onions and bacon. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Soup: Erin
Shrimp Coconut Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass

This is a variation on the classic soup Tom Kha Kai (Chicken-Coconut Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass), kicked up with shrimp instead of chicken.

¼ c chopped fresh lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed
2 T peeled and thinly sliced fresh ginger
5 small Thai chiles, stemmed and lightly crushed
4 Kaffir lime leaves, crushed
3 c shrimp stock or fish stock (ok, I think I cheated here and used vege stock.)
1 c fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
¼ c fresh lemon juice
3 T Thai nam pla, or Vietnamese nuoc nam (fish sauce), or more to taste
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 ½ c coconut milk
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt
Steamed jasmine rice, accompaniment, recipe follows

In the center of a 6-inch square piece of cheesecloth, place the lemongrass, ginger, chilies and lime leaves. Draw up the sides to form a pouch and tie with kitchen twine.

In a large pot, combine the stock, mushrooms, fish sauce, and sachet in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, coconut milk, and cilantro, and simmer until the shrimp are cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and discard the sachet. Season, to taste, with salt or additional fish sauce. Serve with jasmine rice.

Steamed Jasmine Rice

2 c jasmine rice, other long-grain white rice can be substituted
3 c water

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the rice and water and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce the heat to low, and cook undisturbed until the water is absorbed, 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Side Dish: Michelle
Mango rice side dish.

1 c long grain rice
2 c vegetable stock
½ tsp turmeric powder
¾ c pineapple chunks
½ c mangoes, chunks
¼ c walnuts, coarsely crushed
1/3 c Raisins
½ c cucumbers, chopped

For the dressing
4 T lemon juice
3 T honey
2 T pineapple juice
1 clove garlic
salt, crushed
pepper, crushed

Wash rice thoroughly. In a pan, bring stock and turmeric to a boil. Add rice. Simmer until rice cooked. Drain, rinse and spread rice on a tray to cool. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning. In a bowl, mix rice with pineapple, mango, Raisins, cucumber and celery. Gently fold in the dressing. Serve.

Entree: Jen Russell (Sub for Mariah)
Slow Kalua Pig

3 lbs pork butt (shoulder)
1 ½ tsp liquide smoke
2 ¼ tsp salt

Pierce, rub, low for 16-20 hrs, turn once.

Dessert: Stacey
Pineapple Upside-down Cake

Topping:
1 c dark brown sugar
1 stick butter
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple slices...or use fresh

Cake:
1 ½ c flour
6 T cake flour
6 T ground almonds (about 2 oz. whole almonds)
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ c sugar
2 sticks butter--room temp.
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¾ c sour cream

Start by making topping. Combine brown sugar and butter in small saucepan. Melt together over medium heat until bubbly (about 4 min.) Pour mixture into a greased 10 inch diameter (round) cake pan with 2 inch high sides. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer on top of caramel topping.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk flours, almonds, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. In a separate bowl beat sugar and butter together. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in two additions each, beating well after each addition. Pour batter over pineapple.

Bake for about 1 hour and 10 mins. until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool 10 minutes on rack. Turn cake out onto a cake platter. Serve warm. Enjoy!!!

Lottery: Tamara
Served with neck, wrist and ankle leis!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Miami Spice - July 2007


Diva: Stacey

Drinks: Ashley
Miami Vice

Mix one container of pina colada mix with requisite rum and ice. Fill a glass halfway with pina colada. Put in freezer or fridge while making one container of strawberry daquiri mix with requisite rum and ice. Top off glass with strawberry so that you have two layers.

Have fun with the garnish

Appetizer: Erin
Bacon Wrapped Dates

1 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1 pound pitted dates
4 ounces blue cheese
4 ounces goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Slice dates in half, and open them up. Pinch off pieces of blue cheese, and place them into the center of the dates. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bacon is crisp. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.

Salad: Michelle

Avocado Salad

2 avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
¼ c chopped fresh cilantro
½ lime, juiced
Cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine avocados, onion, bell pepper, tomato, cilantro and lime juice. Gently toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

Soup: Tina (Sub for Nicole)
Black Bean Soup

1 medium onion, chopped (about 2/3 c)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ground cumin
½-1 T crushed red pepper flakes
2 T vegetable oil
3 (16 oz) cans black beans, undrained
1 ½ c vegetable or chicken stock
3 c mild or medium thick and chunky salsa
2 T limejuice
½ c non-fat plain yogurt
50 saltine crackers

In a 4-quart saucepot, over medium heat, cook onion, garlic, cumin and pepper flakes in oil until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. In a blender, puree 2 cans of beans and their liquid in batches with the broth; add to the pot. Stir in remaining beans, salsa and limejuice. Heat mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer 30 minutes. Ladle 1 cup into a bow and top with a dollop of yogurt. Serve hot with crackers.

Side Dish: Emily

Mango Bread

2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ c vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ c sugar
½ tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 c diced mango
½ c chopped pecans or walnuts

Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Make a well and add remaining ingredients. Mix until well blended. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan and let stand 20 minutes. Bake at 350° for about 1 hour, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Entree: Mariah
Ropa Vieja

Ropa vieja, or "old clothes," describes the shreds of meat, peppers, and onions resembling a mess of colorful rags. Robust stews such as this Cuban specialty are at the heart of West Indian cuisine.

For braising beef:
3 pounds skirt or flank steak, trimmed
2 quarts water
2 carrots, chopped coarse
1 large onion, chopped coarse
2 celery ribs, chopped coarse
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, crushed lightly
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch strips
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 c braising liquid plus additional if desired
a 14- to 16-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 c frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c pimiento-stuffed Spanish olive, drained and halved

Accompaniment:
For yellow rice with toasted cumin:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp cumin seed1/4 tsp crumble saffron thread
2 c unconverted long-grain rice
4 c water
3/4 tsp salt

To braise beef:
In a 5-quart kettle combine all braising ingredients and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours, or until beef is tender. Remove kettle from heat and cool meat in liquid 30 minutes. Transfer meat to a platter and cover. Strain braising liquid through a colander, pressing on solids, into a bowl. Return braising liquid to kettle and boil until reduced to 3 c, about 30 minutes. Stew may be made up to this point 1 day ahead. Cool braising liquid completely and chill it and the beef separately, covered.

In kettle cook green bell peppers and onion in 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened.

While vegetables are cooking, pull meat into shreds about 3 by 1/2 inches. To onion mixture add shredded meat, 2 c braising liquid, tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
While stew is simmering, in a large skillet cook red and yellow bell peppers in remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir peppers into stew with enough additional braising liquid to thin to desired consistency and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in peas and olives and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
Serve ropa vieja with yellow rice.

To make the yellow rice:
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté cumin seed 10 seconds, or until it turns a few shades darker and is fragrant. Stir in saffron and rice and sauté, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, or until rice is coated well. Stir in water and salt and boil rice, uncovered and without stirring, until surface of rice is covered with steam holes and grains on top appear dry, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and let rice stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.
Gourmet, January 1995

Dessert: Tamara
Banana Casserole

6 bananas - sliced lengthwise
½ c light brown sugar
½ c unsalted butter
½ c raisins
½ c chopped pecans
1 T brandy

Line bottom of heavily buttered 9x13-inch pan with half of the bananas. Sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter.

Sprinkle with half of the raisins and pecans. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with brandy and serve.

NOTES : May be served with vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

Lottery: Lovina

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Deep Old South - June 2007

Diva: Ashley

Drinks: Mariah
Old Style Beers

Recipe #1 Southern Sweet Iced Tea

3 Family size tea bags
2 c of cold water
1 c of sugar

We in the south make the best iced tea you'll find. Maybe it's how it's done, or maybe it is the water in the south, or maybe it's just that a southern belle has put a lot of TLC into making the tea. Who knows!
We recommend Luzianne Tea Bags if available.
Place the two cups water in a pot and add the tea bags. Bring to a boil, do not continue boiling. Remove from heat and let steep. Pour warm tea into empty pitcher. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Fill remaining pitcher with cold water.
Optional - some women say they use less water and add ice to the tea.

Recipe #2 Southern Sweet Iced Tea

3 Family sized tea bags
a pinch baking soda (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1 to 1 1/3 c of sugar

Here is my never fail sweet tea...
Everyone (even yankees) loves it.
Bring 3-4 cups of water to a boil. Add a pinch of baking soda to the water and add 3 family sized tea bags. Remove from heat and cover. Allow to sit for at least 10-15 minutes. Pour into gallon pitcher and add sugar. Then fill with cold water. Refrigerate.
*the soda takes out the bitterness and darkens the tea....this small amount doesn’t change the taste.
Enjoy!!

Appetizer: Nicole
Fried Green Tomatoes

4 large green tomatoes
2 eggs
½ c milk
1 c all-purpose flour
½ c cornmeal
½ c bread crumbs
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Slice tomatoes ½ inch thick. Discard the ends.
Whisk eggs and milk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.
In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels.

Salad: Tamara

Spinach, strawberry and Peach Salad with Candied Pecans and Johnnie Cakes

6 c lightly packed bite-size pieces of fresh spinach.
1 c sliced nectarines (I used Michelle's peaches)
1 c sliced strawberries
1 T vegetable oil
1 T fresh lemon juice
1T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T sunflower seeds (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

In large bowl, stir spinach and fruit together. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour over salad and toss. Sprinkle with seeds.

Candied Pecans

2 ½ c pecan halves
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 c granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp salt
¼ c water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put pecans and oil in a flat baking pan; stir until pecans are coated. Roast in 300° oven 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool.  Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water in a saucepan; cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Boil to 236° of a candy thermometer, or to soft ball stage.* Remove from heat; blend in vanilla. Add pecans and stir until mixture is creamy. Turn out onto waxed paper and use a fork to separate pecans.

*To Test for Soft Ball Stage A small amount of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a ball, but is soft enough to flatten when picked up with fingers (234° to 240°)

Confederate Hockey Pucks, I mean Johnnie Cakes

two c of cornmeal
2/3 c of milk
2 T vegetable oil
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp of salt

Mix ingredients into a stiff batter and form eight biscuit-sized "dodgers". Bake on a lightly greased sheet at 350 degrees for twenty to twenty five minutes or until brown. Or spoon the batter into hot cooking oil in a frying pan over a low flame. Remove the corn dodgers and let cool on a paper towel, spread with a little butter or molasses, and you have a real southern treat!

Soup: Michelle
Okra Gumbo Soup

1 c chopped onions
2 T vegetable oil
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
2 bay leaves
2 celery stalks
1 bell pepper
1 medium carrot, diced
1 c chopped potatoes
1 qt canned tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh chopped)
3 c water
1 c corn
1 c okra
1 T cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste

Sautee the onions in the vegetable oil until just translucent. As the herbs, celery, bell pepper. Carrot and potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes at medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the corn, okra, and vinegar and simmer until the okra is tender. Remove the bay leaves. Add the remaining seasonings to taste.

Side Dish: Sara
Succotash

Tender lima beans and fresh corn kernels straight off the cob team up to create a beautiful—and delicious—side dish that's perfect with almost any meal.

2 bacon slices (2 oz), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips--I omitted
1 T unsalted butter
2 c fresh corn kernels (from 3 to 4 ears)
1 lb fresh lima beans in pods, shelled (1 1/2 cups), or
1 (10-oz) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
½ c diced (1/3 inch) green bell pepper
1 bunch scallions, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch pieces, keeping white and pale green parts separate from greens
¾ c heavy cream
¼ c water
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then add butter to fat in skillet and melt over moderate heat. Add corn, lima beans, bell pepper, and white and pale green parts of scallions and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add cream, water, salt, and pepper, then simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in bacon, scallion greens, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cooks' notes: Vegetables can be cut 2 hours ahead and chilled in a bowl, covered. (Chill scallion greens separately.)

Entree: Lovina
Chicken and Dumplings

1 large package of chicken (whole cut up)
4 sprigs parsley
3 ribs celery with leaves
3 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, cut up
2 ½ tsp salt, divided
¼ tsp pepper
1 bay leaf

Place chicken in stock pot. Add enough water to cover. Add parsley, celery, carrot, onion, 2 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil; simmer for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove chicken parts and set aside. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from skin and bones and tear into 2 to 3 inch chunks. Strain broth, discarding chicken pieces. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Return soup to a simmer.

Dumplings

2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ c milk
4 T oil

In a mixing bowl, combine dumpling ingredients and mix well to form a stiff dough. Drop by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup. (DO NOT BOIL) Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Dessert: Stacey
Texas Pecan Pie

One pie shell
1 c dark karo syrup
1 ½ c brown sugar
¾ c butter
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 c pecan halves

Melt butter, while hot, place in mixing bowl. Add karo syrup and sugar. Mix until smooth. Add eggs, whip 2 minutes, then add vanilla. Pour into pie shell, top with pecans. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Lower heat to 225 degrees--bake until center is firm. Allow to cool for 2 hours. Serve chilled.

Lottery: Erin

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Greek - May 2007


Diva: Sara

Drinks: Mariah

Ouzo Shots have a fantastic licorice taste to them and when added to Bubbly Water with a few frozen Raspberries it could be a hit, but was not with our group. We stuck to the Bubbly Water and Raspberries, some enjoyed Red Wine!

Appetizer: Michelle

Ring Bread

2 c milk
2 T sugar
2 T olive oil
1 T yeast
¼ c luke warm water
2 tsp salt
5 c all-purpose flour
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 T sesame seeds

Turn milk, sugar and 1 T oil into large bowl; cool to lukewarm.
Stir yeast mixture and salt in milk until well-blended. Gradually beat into flour.
Turn onto a very lightly floured board, kneed until smooth and elastic.
Form into ball; return to bowl.
Cover dough with remaining 1 T olive oil: turn dough once to cover lightly with oil.
Cover bowl and set in warm place to rise (approx 1 hr)
Punch dough down, kneed until very smooth.
Roll into rope about 20 inches long. Turn into a circle, connecting the ends.
Place on cookie sheet.
Brush egg white over top, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Cover and let rise to double (about 30 mins).
Bake until top is deep golden for 60-70 minutes.
Cool on wire rack

Salad: none

Soup: Erin

Fassolatha In Greek: φασολάδα (pronounced fah-so-LAH-thah)

According to food historians, fassolatha has been around since ancient Greek times. It is the national dish of Greece, representing the best of the Greek way of cooking: legumes, vegetables, herbs, and olive oil. Whether you make it with tomato or lemon, culinary tradition dictates that fassolatha be served with crusty bread, feta cheese (except during Lent and periods of fasting), and black olives.

1 ½ c of white beans (Great Northern or cannellini) rinsed, soaked 24 hours and drained
2 bay leaves
2 carrots, sliced or cut in chunks
1 large mild onion, grated
4-8 stems of wild celery or cutting celery (or 5-6 stalks of celery), leaves and stalks, chopped
1 14.5 oz. can seeded, peeled, chopped plum tomatoes (or 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste)
2/3 c of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of salt (or to taste)
1 tsp of pepper (or to taste)
flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
8-10 c of water (I used veggie broth and water)

Place drained beans and bay leaves in a large soup pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

Add carrots, onion, celery, and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Add tomatoes or tomato paste, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and cook for 30 minutes. The beans should be soft and creamy, but not to the point of disintegrating.

Remove from heat, season to taste, and serve in bowls, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Fassolatha bean soup is served warm or at room temperature.

Yield: Serves 4-6

Alternate Preparation:

To make "white" fassolada (without tomatoes), leave out the tomatoes, cook as above, and just before serving, stir in the juice of 1 lemon. (I love tomatoes, so didn’t make the “white.”)

Preparation tip:

During the simmering time, you may need to add more water. Make sure to add boiling water, and not more than a half of a cup at a time. Fassolatha is not a puree type of thick soup, but should not be watery.

Serving suggestions:

Serve fassolatha with a side of feta cheese sprinkled with pepper and oregano and doused in olive oil, crusty bread, black olives, and salty dishes like anchovies, smoked herring, or others of your choice.

Side Dish: Tamara
Greek Roasted Potatoes
Serves/Makes: 6

6 medium Potatoes, cubed
½ c Fresh lemon juice
1/3 c Vegetable oil
1 T Olive oil
2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1 ½ tsp Dried oregano
2 each Garlic cloves, pressed
3 c hot water
Chopped fresh parsley

Toss potatoes with lemon juice, oils, spices & garlic in a deep flat pan.
Add water. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours at 475 F. Stir every 20 minutes.
Add more water if necessary. Allow the potatoes to evaporate the water during the last 20 minutes till only the oil is left. Garnish with parsley & serve.

Entree: Ashley
Grilled Lamb

¾ c olive oil
12 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
2 T chopped fresh thyme
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 5- to 5 ½-pound leg of lamb, boned, butterflied, trimmed

Dressing
1 c fresh lemon juice
5 shallots, minced
¾ c olive oil
¾ c chopped fresh parsley
½ c chopped fresh mint

Mix first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Place lamb in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour marinade over. Turn lamb, spreading marinade to coat evenly on all sides. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day, turning lamb occasionally.

Place butterflied lamb on grill rack with some rosemary and thyme marinade still clinging to lamb. Grill until meat thermometer inserted into center registers 130°F for medium-rare, turning occasionally; about 35 minutes. Transfer lamb to work surface; let rest 15 minutes.
Starting at 1 corner and positioning knife at slight angle, slice lamb thinly across grain. Arrange lamb slices on large platter.

Dessert: Lovina
Ouzo-scented Almond, Yogurt and Olive Oil Cake

2 cups whole almonds, divided
3/4 cup ouzo (unsweetened anise liqueur) or Pernod

3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 whole star anise,* finely ground in spice mill or in mortar with pestle (about 1 3/4 teaspoons ground)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup extra-light olive oil or 1/2 cup regular olive oil mixed with 1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt

*Available in the spice section of some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Asian markets.
preparation
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Brush two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pans with olive oil. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; brush parchment with olive oil. Spread 1 1/2 cups almonds on rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven 10 minutes. Cool. Transfer to processor and coarsely grind (some small almond pieces should remain); set aside. Finely chop 1/2 cup untoasted almonds in processor. Boil ouzo in small saucepan until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes. Cool.

WildCard: Stacey (absent)

Lottery: Nicole


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Baby Food - April 2007

Diva: Tamara

Drinks: Nicole
Orange Juice
Chocolate Milk

Appetizer: Mariah
Babies Eat Spinach

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, well drained
½ c Mozzarella Cheese
1/3 c Light Cream Cheese Spread
1 T Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 T finely chopped onion
¼ tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350
Mix all ingredients blended well
Use phyllo dough to make little c with the spinach cheese mix inside…..

Salad: Sara
Baby Salad

Baby Spinach as the green part of the salad
Baby carrots
Cherry tomatoes
Baby Corn (the canned kind)
Green (Baby) onions
Goat Cheese

French Dressing

½ c tomato sauce
¼ c brown sugar
½ c red wine vinegar
½ c onion, grated
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 c salad oil
salt and pepper

Add the tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar, onion, paprika and Worcestershire to a food processor bowl. Pulse until blended. With the processor running, slowly add the oil. Check the seasonings. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Soup: Lovina
Baby Food Lentil Soup
Lovina’s variation of recipe from Bon Appétit, December 2006

3 T extra–virgin olive oil
2 c chopped onions
1 c chopped carrots
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
5 c (or more) vegetable broth
(I used 5 c. water and 6 tsp. Vegetable “Better than Bouillon”)
2 c lentils, rinsed, drained
1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Preparation:
Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add onions, carrots, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 5 cups broth, lentils, bay leaves, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups soup (mostly solids) to blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan. Season with a dash of salt (you might not need salt if you add the extra bouillon), pepper (about 15 turns), and about 1 tsp of vinegar. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Side Dish: Stacey
The Lady's Cheesy Mac (courtesy of Paula Deen)

4 c cooked elbow macaroni, drained
2 c grated cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
½ c sour cream
4 T butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp salt
1 c milk
fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish (my own personal touch!)

Preheat oven to 350. Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot add the cheddar. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture. Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and add a few rosemary sprigs to the top. Bake for 30-45 mins. Top with additional cheese if desired.

Entree: Ashley
Risotto with peas and carrots

5 c low-sodium vegetable broth
½ c finely chopped onion
½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 ½ c Arborio rice (12 oz)
½ c dry white wine
1 c frozen baby peas, thawed
1 c carrots; steamed and cubed
½ tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 c finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 oz)
3 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Pureed peas and carrots as sauce on side ( I used actual baby food)

Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan and keep at a bare simmer, covered.

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring, until absorbed.

Stir in 1 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering risotto and adding broth, about ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition become absorbed before adding next, until rice is just tender and creamy but still al dente, 18 to 20 minutes (there will be leftover broth).

Stir in peas, carrots, zest, 2/3 cup cheese, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, thin risotto with some of remaining broth. Serve immediately, with remaining 1/3 cup cheese.

Dessert: Michelle
Pound Cake

Lottery: Erin

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tapas - March 2007



Diva: Erin


Drinks: Stacey

Red wine sangria with fresh peaches, apples, and grapes.

The sangria consisted of one bottle of red wine, one can apricot nectar, 4 ounces Grand Marnier, one can of ginger ale, and lots of fresh limes and oranges.

The non-alcoholic was lemonade.

Appetizer: Tamara

Marinated Peppers

Quintessential tapas. Best with overnight marinating.

4 - 6 mixed peppers, roasted
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
seasoning
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or mixture of flavored oils such as basil, lemon...)
1⁄2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 baguette, sliced and toasted

Cut the skinned peppers into strips. Mix the remaining ingredients and whisk into a dressing. Pour over the peppers and toss well. Allow to marinate, preferably overnight, otherwise at least 4 hours. Serve with the toasted baguette slices.

Roasted Almonds with Cayenne and Cumin
Serves/Makes: 2 c

2 c whole blanched almonds
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 T melted butter
2 T olive oil
1 T sea salt

Preheated oven to 300F. Toss almonds with the other ingredients. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast almonds until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Salad: Mariah
100% Edible Salad

Butter leaf lettuce bowls
Filling: sliced carrots, cabbage, green onions, red peppers, cucumbers, sliced spinach and baby toms dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

Everything is this salad is cut into small pieces and enjoyed by using your hands.

Dressing Recipe
Balsamic
Olive Oil
Mustard
Garlic
Salt and Pepper

Soup: Sara
Salmorejo—tomato and garlic dip

2 lbs ripe tomatoes
1 loaf of "stale", crusty, or dried bread
6 cloves garlic
Olive oil
Vinegar
Salt
Hard boiled Eggs

Peel and chop the tomatoes, slice the bread. Peel Garlic and cut into two to three pieces. Place all in a large mixing bowl and blend (I am pretty sure I used my food processor) in batches. When mix is even, add three or four tablespoons of vinegar, salt to taste and continue blending until smooth creamy mixture is formed. Add oil, vinegar, and salt if necessary. Place in fridge to chill, however serve at room temperature. Serve with a garnish of hardboiled egg and fresh bread.

Side Dish: Lovina
Spanish Croquetas
Serves 4

1 T Olive Oil
2 T Flour
1 egg
1 c milk
1/3 c bread crumbs
Pinch Nutmeg
Pinch Salt
2/3 c ham (cut into small pieces) OR 2/3 c. cheese of your choice (I used parmesan)

Warm oil in frying pan (not so hot that smoke rises). Remove the pan from heat and add flour to the oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes a paste.

Put the pan back on heat and add the milk, little by little, stirring the mixture all the time until it is cooked and even. Add the nutmeg, a pinch of salt and the ham. Cook in the pan until the mixture is soft, stirring constantly.

When mixture is stiff, spoon it into a bowl and let it cool. Beat the egg, set aside. Once the mixture is cool, make small portions and mold with your hands into the shape of a croqueta (oval). Dip each croqueta into the beaten egg and then dip it into the breadcrumbs. Place the croqueta separately on a plate. You can fry them right away, or put them in the fridge and leave them until you are ready to cook and eat them.

Fry the croquetas in a pan with enough oil to cover them. When they are golden and crispy, take them out and lay them on a paper towel or bag to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately.

Variation: Use any meat, cheese, or herb in these. Great for using up leftovers!

Entree: Nicole
Meat Filled Empanadas

Filling:
2 T olive oil
2 large Spanish onions, minced
2 pounds ground beef
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 c canned, peeled tomatoes
½ c green cocktail olives (pimento filled), whole
¼ c black currants

Empanada Dough:
2 ½ c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
5 T vegetable shortening
1 egg, beaten
1/3 c dry white wine

Empanada Dough: Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Cut in shortening, mixture should be sandy. Add the egg and wine, pulse until dough comes together in a ball. The dough should be pliable; if not add more wine.

Assembly: Separate the dough into 3 balls. Roll the first ball out until it is 1/4 inch thick. With a 6-inch round cutter, cut circles out of all the dough. Remove the edges and save for the next roll. Fill each circle with about 2 1/2 tablespoons in the center of the dough.
Dip a small brush in room temperature water, run the brush around the edge of the dough. Close 1 side to the other forming a half moon shape. Close the edges pressing lightly with the back of a fork.

In a deep sauté pan, heat 4 to 5 inches of canola oil on medium high heat to 360 degrees F. Add the empanadas turn over constantly until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

Dessert: Ashley
Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Orange, Almond and Chocolate Glazes

1 c all-purpose flour
1 tap baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 c whole milk
½ tsp vanilla
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
½ c plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg

Special equipment: 2 mini-muffin pans, each with 24 (1 3/4-inch) muffin cups; 24 foil or paper mini-muffin liners.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir together milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and beat until just combined. Reduce speed to low, then add flour and milk mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing until just combined.

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling them two-thirds full, and bake until tops are pale golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Invert cupcakes onto a rack and cool completely.

Glazes

Chocolate:
3 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
2 T unsalted butter

Chop bittersweet chocolate and in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring until smooth. Dip top of cupcake into chocolate glaze.

Almond:
1 ½ c powdered sugar
3 T all purpose flour
Water
slivered almonds

Whisk sugar and flour adding water by 1/4 teaspoonfuls to make thick but still spreadable glaze. Dip top of cupcake into glaze, sprinkle almonds on top.

Orange:
1 ½ c powdered sugar
3 T all purpose flour
Orange juice
orange zest

Whisk sugar and flour adding orange juice and water if needed by ¼ teaspoonfuls to make thick but still spreadable glaze. Dip top of cupcake into glaze, sprinkle orange zest on top.

WildCard: Michelle

Lottery: Tiffany

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chinese - February 2007

Diva: Nicole

Drinks: Lovina
Bonzai

Half plum wine
Half Saki

Non-alcoholic

Ginger ale
Pear Nectar
Garnish with Maraschino Cherry

Appetizer: Erin

Turkey Potstickers

¼ pound ground turkey
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp minced green onion
1 tsp minced water chestnuts
½ tsp soy sauce
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
12 wonton wrappers (3 x 3-inch size)

In a small bowl, add all the ingredients except for the egg, wrappers and oil, then mix well.
Add 1 tablespoon of the egg.
Save the rest of the egg for use later on.
Preheat oil in a deep fryer or a heavy saucepan to 375 degrees F. Use about 1-2 inches of oil, enough to cover the pot stickers.
Use a round cookie cutter or invert a small glass with a 3-inch diameter on the center of a wonton wrapper and cut around it to make a circle.
Repeat for the remaining wrappers.
Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of the turkey mixture into the center of one wrapper.
Brush a little egg around half of the edge of the wrapper and fold the wrapper over the filling.
Gather the wrapper as you seal it so that it has a crinkled edge. Repeat until all wrappers are used.
Fry the pot stickers, six at a time, in the hot oil for almost 5 minutes or until they are brown.
When bottom gets brown, add 1/4 cup of chicken broth and immediately cover.
This will steam the dumplings.
Carefully watch the dumplings and completely evaporate the broth so that the bottom gets crispy again and sticks to the pot.
Drain on paper towels.
Serve with hoisin sauce for dipping.
For a healthier version, you can try baking these on a cookie sheet in a 375 degree F oven or you can steam them in bamboo steamer


Vegetarian Pot Stickers

1 red onion, sliced
1 T minced ginger
1 c sliced shiitake mushroom
1 c white cabbage, shredded
1 c carrot, shredded
1 c chopped garlic sprouts or chives
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ c chopped cilantro
1 package wonton skins, also called gyoza
salt
canola oil

In a wok or large saute pan, add a little oil and saute onions and ginger.
Add the mushrooms and stir.
Add the cabbage, carrots and chives.
Season.
When mixture is soft, place in colander to drain.
Add the sesame oil and cilantro when mixture is cooled.
Check for seasoning.
Using the gyoza skins, make half moon dumplings keeping the bottom flat.
In a hot non-stick pan, coat with oil and place dumplings.
When bottom gets brown, add 1/4 cup of vege broth and immediately cover.
This will steam the dumplings.
Carefully watch the dumplings and completely evaporate the broth so that the bottom gets crispy again and sticks to the pot.
Serve hot with soy sauce and vinegar for dipping.

Salad: Tamara (absent)

Soup: Mariah
Hot and Sour Soup

1 ¼ c dried lily buds (day lilies)
1 ¼ c dried mushrooms ("wood ears" or "tree ears")
1 ¼ lbs. firm tofu, julienned (this will usually be 1 block or cake of tofu)
1 7/8 c pork, finely julienned (see comments for vegetarian alternative)
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¼ c bamboo shoots, julienned (canned or fresh)
5 T cornstarch
1 ¼ c water
12 ½ ounces distilled white vinegar
1 ¼ tsp sugar
12 ½ ounces soy sauce (see comments)
2 ½ tsp salt
5/8 tsp garlic powder (see comments)
2 ½ tsp cayenne pepper, ground
2 ½ tsp white pepper, ground
15 c chicken broth (see comments for vegetarian version)
5 T scallions, finely chopped
5 T gingerroot, finely chopped
2 ½ tsp sesame oil (optional, made from toasted sesame seeds preferred)

Clean the dried day lilies, soak them in warm water for about 20 minutes.
Cut off the hard, tough tip of the stem and then cut the day lilies in half lengthwise.
Clean and soak the wood ear mushrooms in warm water for about 20 minutes, then cut into small pieces. To clean, just wipe with a damp cloth -- don't soak or wash!
Bring the chicken broth to a boil and then add the pork (or vegetarian alternative -- see below), skimming the surface of any fat.
Cook the pork for 3-4 minutes, until the broth comes to a boil again.
Add the tofu, mushroom pieces, bamboo shoots, and day lilies.
Let the pot return to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a low boil.
Add the soy sauce, spices, vinegar, salt and sugar.
Taste the soup, adjusting the vinegar (you may need up to another ounce) for the "sour" and salt for balance.
Mix the corn starch and water to create a paste for thickening.
Add the corn starch mixture slowly, stirring constantly.
Drizzle the beaten eggs in slowly while stirring, so that you get "strings" of egg.
Turn off the heat.
Presentation -- ladle the soup into bowls, then garnish with 1/2 tsp of scallion per bowl and a drizzle of sesame oil.
Comments on ingredients & substitutions:.
Dried lily pods and wood ears (also called "tree ears", "black fungus" or "Hu Bei") available in most oriental markets.
Chicken stock -- use home made or a low sodium canned variety.
Pork -- For kosher alternative, use shredded chicken or turkey; for vegetarian alternative, replace pork with a mix of fresh flavorful mushrooms, e.g., shiitake, oyster, or portobellos.
Soy sauce -- Betty uses regular soy sauce -- if using a "lite soy" variety, you may have to adjust the amount of salt to taste.
Vinegar -- the vinegar is the essence of the "sour" aspect of this soup, and distilled white vinegar gives you the highest acidity; rice vinegars, wine vinegars, apple cider vinegars, etc, will either be too dilute (not enough acidity) and not provide the required "kick" or add extraneous flavors.
Garlic -- garlic powder is preferred in this recipe, but if you choose to use cloves, leave them whole, add them only to flavor the chicken broth and remove them before adding other ingredients.
Sesame oil -- adds a shimmer and smoky flavor to the final product. Chinese sesame oil is typically from toasted seeds; Japanese is typically untoasted, so the flavor will be subtly different.

Side Dish: Sara
Chinese Green Bean Stir Fry

1/4 cup and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2
teaspoons minced garlic
1 T and 1-1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger root
1-3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground
black pepper
5/8 (8 ounce) bottle black bean sauce

In a large wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir in green beans; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and then stir in black bean sauce. Continue cooking until green beans are tender.

Entree: Stacey
Chinese Inspired Roast Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin (2-2 ½ pounds)
¼ c soy sauce
2 T red wine
1 T honey
1 T brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 green onions, chopped

Make marinade – pour over tenderloin, leave overnight.
Preheat oven to 350, roast for 45 minutes. Allow meat to rest for ten minutes before cutting.
Gently simmer reserved marinade until it reduces to about 2 T. Drizzle over meat.

Dessert: Ashley
Nian Gao – Baked Chinese New Year Cake

6 oz. Mochiko sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour), plus a bit extra for sprinkling on the baking dish
1 stick of butter or 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 to 1 3/4 cup sugar--depending on if you like it sweeter
1 Tb baking soda
One can of red adzuki beans

Mix everything but the beans with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Beat for 2 more minutes at high speed.
Sprinkle Mochiko flour over a 9"x13" baking dish that has been oiled or sprayed with Pam.
Spread half of the batter on the bottom of the baking pan Spread the red adzuki beans (you can mix some batter into the beans if they are too thick to spread).
Spread the other half of the batter over the red adzuki beans. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
Test for doneness by inserting a chopstick (this is Chinese New Year’s Cake after all)—if it comes out clean, it is done.

Fortune Cookies

Fortune cookies can be tricky to make - it's important to make sure that the cookie batter is spread out evenly on the baking sheet. Instead of using the back of a wooden spoon to spread the batter, it's better to gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth as needed. Wearing cotton gloves makes it easier to handle and shape the hot cookies. This fortune cookie recipe makes about 10 cookies.

2 large egg whites
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp pure almond extract
3 T vegetable oil
8 T all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
8 T granulated sugar
3 tsp water

Write fortunes on pieces of paper that are 3 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 9-X-13 inch baking sheets.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract and vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.

Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a separate bowl. Stir the water into the flour mixture.
Add the flour into the egg white mixture and stir until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off a wooden spoon.
Note: if you want to dye the fortune cookies, add the food coloring at this point, stirring it into the batter. For example, I used 1/2 teaspoon green food coloring to make green fortune cookies.
Place level tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth and from side to side so that each tablespoon of batter forms into a circle 4 inches in diameter.

Bake until the outer 1/2-inch of each cookie turns golden brown and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula (14 - 15 minutes).
Working quickly, remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Place a fortune in the middle of a cookie. To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently pull the edges downward over the rim of a glass, wooden spoon or the edge of a muffin tin. Place the finished cookie in the cup of the muffin tin so that it keeps its shape. Continue with the rest of the cookies.

Tips for Making Fortune Cookies
Fortune cookies are a lot of fun to make – it’s great writing up your own customized fortunes to put inside the cookie. Besides, homemade fortune cookies always taste better than store bought! The only drawback is that the basic recipe is not very forgiving – deviate from it a bit, and you may wind up with cookies that are impossible to fold and shape without breaking. These basic tips will help you learn how to make fortune cookies. Read them over, and then try this basic fortune cookie recipe
1.Make Up the Fortunes Ahead of Time
This will give you more time to compose the messages. The strips of paper used should be 3 to 3 1/2 inches long and no more than 1/2-inch wide.
2. Use Cold Baking Sheets
Fortune cookies tend to turn out best when you start with a cold (and greased) baking sheet. Since most recipes make more cookies than can be placed on one 9 X 13-inch baking sheet (the cookies spread out during baking), it’s best to use two baking sheets. That way, you don’t need to wait for the sheet to cool down before baking the next batch of cookies.
3. Cookie Size: Larger is Better
Many fortune cookie recipes call for making a 3-inch cookie. A cookie this size is more difficult to work with and fold than a slightly larger (3 1/2 - 4-inch) cookie. Another plus is that the larger cookie fits snugly into the cup of a muffin tin. This saves you from having to hold the cookie for several seconds after folding, to make sure it keeps its shape. My own preference is to use one level tablespoon of batter to make a 4-inch cookie.
4. Tilt the Baking Sheet to Spread the Batter
The key to making fortune cookies is a batter that is evenly spread out on the baking sheet. This can be difficult to accomplish with a wooden spoon, since the batter tends to stick to the spoon. Carefully tilting the baking sheet in all directions gives better results.
5. Start By Making Only One or Two Cookies
The instant the cookies are removed from the oven, the race begins: you have twenty seconds at most to add the fortunes, fold the cookies in half and then shape them into the standard fortune cookie shape. It’s best to start with one or two cookies – that way, you’re not feeling pressured.
6. How to Tell When the Cookies are Done
The cookies are done when approximately 1/2 inch of the outside is golden and they are easy to lift with a spatula. The middle part of the cookie remains quite light in color.
7. Wear Close Fitting Cotton Gloves
You need to work with the cookies when they first come out of the oven and are still very hot - wearing cotton gloves makes this easier.
8. Be Prepared to Work Quickly
As noted above, you only have up to twenty seconds to work with the baked cookies before they cool down and stiffen too much to be workable.
9. How to Fold and Shape the Cookies
Remove the cookie from the baking sheet with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Lay the fortune in the middle of the cookie, and hold it there while folding the cookie in half.

Still holding the folded cookie in both hands, between your thumb and index fingers, pull the ends down over the rim of a glass or a muffin tin, or the handle of a wooden spoon, until the ends meet. The opened side of the fortune cookie should be facing upward, towards you.

Lottery: Michelle