Sunday, January 31, 2010

Incognito - January 2010

Diva:  Sara

Drinks:  Tamara

Secret Ingredient Berry Smoothies

1-2 frozen bananas
small bag of frozen berries

1 T sugar or fruit preserves

⅓ c purple puree

milk of choice (I used almond)

Put all ingredients in blender, cover with milk.  Blend well.

Purple Puree

3 c raw baby spinach or 2 cups frozen chopped spinach or frozen chopped collard greens
1 ½ c fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries 

1 tsp lemon juice

3-4 T water

If using raw spinach, wash and dry it thoroughly (even if it's triple-washed, bagged spinach). Bring the spinach and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer, 10 minutes. 

Rinse and drain blueberries. Place blueberries, cooked spinach, lemon juice and 2 T of water in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blad. Process on high until smooth, stopping occasionally if necessary to scrape the bowl. Add the rest of the water if necessary, to make a smooth puree.

Sip and Go Naked

My good friends, the Watsons, used to make these all the time.  You can hardly tell there’s alcohol in them.  They used to give them to Great Aunt Jean, who didn’t drink, and well, she would drink quite a few…Here’s their recipe.  The Divas could not guess what was in them but they loved it.

6 oz frozen lemonade concentrate
6 oz vodka

1 can or bottle beer

Put ingredients in blender and fill the rest of the way with ice.  Blend well and serve.

Appetizer:  Aven

Tacos disguised as meatballs on polenta ‘crackers’


12 oz lean ground pork (or tvp)
½ c grated zucchini

crushed tortilla chips

⅓ c cheese

¼ c chopped scallions
¼ c chopped cilantro
1 egg

1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

Mix above ingredients and roll into meatballs.  Brown in a little oil in a large nonstick skillet.  
Add 15 oz can tomato sauce or 10 oz can enchilada sauce. 
Cover, simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are cooked.

Served on ‘crackers’ made of disks of baked polenta.

Salad:  Bonnie
Bird’s Nest Salad with Persimmon and Clementine Dressing

2 c white wine

2 peeled, diced persimmons
4 clementines, zested then peeled
1 minced shallots

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 T brown sugar

2 T and ½ tsp fresh rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil to taste
brown rice noodles
¼ tsp truffle oil
white pepper
greens – arugula and spinach

1 ¼ packages cream cheese
8 oz herbed feta
sunflower seeds

Simmer wine, persimmons, Clementine zest and shallots.
Add garlic, clemintine segments, brown sugar, rosemary and salt and pepper and simmer 10 more minutes.

 Immersion blend and slowly add in olive oil to taste.

Make brown rice noodles boiled with salt to package specifications.  Mix truffle oil with salt and white pepper to taste and toss noodles.  Chill noodles


Put cream cheese and feta in food processor and slowly drizzle in olive oil to make mixture blend well.  Chill.  Then form into egg shapes.

Toss dressing with greens and place around outside of plate with noodles in the middle.  Sprinkle with sun flower seeds and nestle eggs in noodles.

Soup:  Mariah
Love Soup

2 T olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 ¼ pound sweet potatoes peeled and diced
3 ½ c water
2-3 T chopped sage leaves
1 bunch kale
1 bunch chard
8 cloves garlic
3 c veggie broth
Fresh lemon juice

Sautee onion over medium heat for 30-40 minutes
.  Bring water to boil add sweet potatoes, sage and salt – turn off heat and simmer 10 minutes
.  Add kale, chard, garlic and veggie broth simmer 20minutes
.  Add onions to soup and let cool slightly.  
Puree mixture and return to heat
.  Season with pepper and lemon juice
.  Drizzle each bowl with olive oil
.  Serve and Enjoy

(By Anna Thomas from

Side Dish:  Lovina
Green Goddess "Cupcakes"

4 green onions
1 green pepper
1 bunch leeks
20 asparagus spears (small)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp garlic powder
½ c vegetable stock
4 T olive oil
box frozen phyllo dough
½ c butter
½ cream cheese
½ c finely grated emmentaler swiss cheese

Set phyllo dough out of freezer for at least 30-60 minutes. Chop green onions (with tender parts of tops), leeks, and green pepper. Remove tough ends of asparagus and cut into 1/4 inch pieces. Sautee green onions, green peppers, and leeks in butter (about 3 tablespoons) until soft. Add stock and cook another 5-10 minutes. Steam asparagus over salted water, taking care not to overcook. Puree the first mixture, adding about 1/3 of the cooked asparagus. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll phyllo sheets and cover with a damp kitchen towel Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray. Melt remaining butter in a bowl in the microwave. Dice cream cheese into 1/4 inch cubes. Cut phyllo sheets into 4 inch squares using a pizza cutter. Working with 2 sets of phyllo at a time, brush butter over phyllo square then place square in center of muffin tin. Repeat 4 times, alternating the orientation of the square. Keep phyllo sheets covered during the remaining steps. Spoon a heaping spoonful of asparagus mixture into the phyllo (filling to just below the top of the tin) and depress so the dough makes good contact with the muffin tin. Sprinkle with a few pieces of the steamed asparagus, then top with about 4 small pieces of cream cheese and sprinkle the filling with grated swiss. Grease your fingers with the melted butter, then gather the edges of the phyllo over the top, encasing the filling into a muffin shape. Repeat until all the muffin tins are filled.

Bake until golden brown on top and edges are set, approximately 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then use a small spatula to loosen around the edges. Transfer carefully to plate. Serve immediately. "Muffins" can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake.

Entree:  Colleen

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portobellas

 - Entree disguised as Appetizers!

12 portabella mushrooms and 10 cremini mushrooms

2 10-oz packages of frozen spinach

1 15-oz can artichoke hearts in water plus equal amount of marinated artichoke hearts

~1 c ricotta cheese

~ ½ c sour cream
~ ½ c mayo
½ large onion diced
~ 6 cloves garlic, pressed

black pepper

cheeses to taste:

feta cheese (~4 oz)

parm cheese (~c)

mozz cheese (~1 ½ c - divided, 1 c in mixture, ½ c sprinkled on top)

1 c wild rice
2 cups veggie broth

Combine wild rice and stock in pot and bring to boil.  Turn down and cover.  Cook 30 minutes.

Dice onions and saute over medium high heat until translucent.

heat oven to 425.  remove stems from portabella mushrooms and brush clean.  brush top of mushroom with olive oil.  cook fins down 5 minutes, flip and cook 5 more minutes.  remove from oven and turn fin side down.  let sit while mix filling.  turn oven down to 350.  (do not precook cremini, stuff raw)

defrost frozen spinach and press water out.  drain artichoke hearts and roughly chop.  combine spinach, artichoke hearts, ricotta, mayo, sour cream, sauteed onions, pressed garlic, salt, peppers (black and red), feta, parm and mozz.

Turn mushrooms fin side up and put thin layer of wild rice then fill with spinach artichoke filling.  sprinkle extra mozz and parm on top.  bake at 350 20-25 minutes.  cheese should be golden and bubbling.  

Dessert:  Ashley

Eggs and Toast

Meyer Lemon Curd from David Leibovitz

If you need to use regular lemons, use ½ cup (50 g) of sugar, as directed.

½ c (125 ml) freshly-squeezed lemon juice

⅓ c (65 g) sugar (or ½ c, 100 g, if using regular lemons)

2 large egg yolks

2 large eggs

pinch of salt
6 T (85 g) unsalted butter, cubed

Place a mesh strainer over a bowl, and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and salt.
 Add the butter cubes and set the pan over low heat, whisking constantly until the butter is melted.
 Increase the heat and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and just begins to become jelly-like. It's done when you lift the whisk and the mixture holds its shape when it falls back into the saucepan from the whisk. 
Immediately press the curd through the strainer. Once strained, store the lemon curd in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to one week.

Meringue from Joy of Cooking

In a large bowl, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form:

½ c egg whites (about 4 large whites)
1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp cream of tartar

Very gradually add 1T at a time, beating on high speed:

1 c superfine sugar

Beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks.

Shape into "egg whites" with a depression in the middle on a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper.  Bake at 225 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Turn oven off and let dry out for several hours or overnight.

To make the eggs:

Fill the depression in the meringue with the lemon curd.

Toast: aka Pound Cake from The Joy of Cooking

Have all ingredients at room temperature.  

Preheat the oven to 325.  Grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan.

2 c sifted cake flour

Whisk together in a medium bowl:

5 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp almond extract

1 tsp lemon zest (I used meyer lemon)

1 tsp orange zest (I used blood orange)

½ tsp ground mace 

In a large bowl, beat until creamy, about 30 seconds:
½ lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter

Gradually add:

1 ⅓ c sugar

¼ tsp salt

Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture, 3-5 minutes.  Gradually dribble in the egg mixture, about 1 T at a time, and beat until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.

Add the flour in 3 parts, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth.  Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.  Slide a thin knife around the cake and invert onto a rack.  Cool right side up.

Once fully cool, slice cake.  Place on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper.  Set under the broiler until golden brown.


Whipped Cream aka butter for toast:

Beat on high, 1 pint of heavy whipping cream with about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar or to taste.  Spread on cake. 

Wild Card:  Erin

Grapes disguised as wine!

Domaine de Gouron - Cotes-du-Rhone
Chateau – Bolchet


Ritz Mock Apple Pie

Pastry for two-crust 9-inch pie 

36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 ¾ c crumbs) 

1 ¾ c water 

2 c sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar 

2 T lemon juice 

Grated peel of one lemon
2 T margarine or butter
½ tsp ground cinnamon 

Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in prepared crust; set aside. 

Heat water, sugar and cream of tartar to a boil in saucepan over high heat; simmer for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and peel; cool. 

Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with margarine or butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim, seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape. 

Bake at 425 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden.  Cool completely.

Lottery:  Stacey