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Archive for June 21st, 2010

I love kiwi’s, not only are they delicious but they contain as much potassium as a banana, are packed with vitamin C and rich in Vitamin A and E.  This not even mentioning their black seeds are full of important Omega-3.   Kiwi’s also have been found to be beneficial in improving conditions of Asthmatic children and decreasing possibility of colon cancer through introduction of dietary fibers.

When I came upon 50 kiwi’s for sale at Krogers on their discounted fruit shelf for .99 cents I could not pass the buy.  To many these Kiwi’s would probably be unpicked from the actual display due to they are not “pretty”.  One interesting fact about Kiwi’s, when you get the firmer looking “perfect” ones.  They are under ripe.  A ripe kiwi will have a shriveled appearance to their flesh.  I was pleased to find I didn’t need to throw out a single one.

Kiwi’s are excellent dried into chips like other fruits.  Simply peel, slice and place in dehydrator with full vent for one to two days until dry-leather stage.  They make a wonderful healthy snack.

From the bag I filled four of six racks of my dehydrator with chips.  Reserved some for fresh use and indulged in eating at least one.

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There is only one word for this desert, sinful.  While it is not “easy” to make it is worth the effort.

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake

2 cups sifted cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 squares unsweetened chocolate

2/3 cup water

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup butter, room temperature

3 eggs

1/3 cup buttermilk

Chocolate Fudge Filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans (Square or round)

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda together in bowl. In sauce pan or double boiler, combine chocolate, water , 1/2 cup sugar and cook over low heat stirring constantly until chocolate becomes smooth and thick.  Transfer to another bowl and chill in ice water then add vanilla to chocolate. In third bowl beat together butter and remaining sugar until fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at time then blend in chilled chocolate. Add the flour mixture altering it with buttermilk.  Beat until nice and smooth and pour into cake pans.

Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  When cool, cut cake in half.  Layer cake, filling, cake.

Chocolate Fudge Filling

6 squares semisweet chocolate

3 tbsp butter

7 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

In small saucepan, add chocolate and butter. Cook over low heat until melted.  In bowl, add melted chocolate, milk, vanilla and stir until well blended. Add in confectioner’s sugar and mix until filling is smooth and easily spreadable. Use this to frosting entire cake as well.

Chocolate Ganache

8 oz dark chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

Cut chocolate into 1/4 inch pieces.  Place in medium heatproof bowl and bring cream to boil in small saucepan over medium heat.  Immediately pour boiling cream over chocolate and stir to get all chocolate into the cream. Let sit 1 minute then slowly stir in circular motion.  Stir until all chocolate is melted (2 minutes).  Let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or refrigerate for 2 hours.  Place in Ziploc baggy with corner cut off and squeeze into designs on top of your cake.

Can finish garnish with shredded chocolate if you so desire.

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I love homemade breakfast sausage and it is amazingly easy to make.  I make mine up in large batches and freeze using the following recipes increased to my personal needs. While the ones I made today are Maple Breakfast Sausage, I also make Regular and Hot styles to stock my freezer.  I do precook the sausage before freezing as it’s easier to just grab and reheat on busy days.  This step is not needed and you can freeze the raw patties just as easily or if you are lucky enough to have a sausage stuffer make sausage links using the same recipes.

Regular Breakfast Sausage

16 oz ground pork or turkey

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp each: Sage, pepper, thyme, red pepper, coriander and Accent.

Hot Breakfast Sausage

16 oz ground pork/sausage

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp each sage, pepper, red pepper, coriander and Accent.

Maple Breakfast Sausage

16 oz ground pork/turkey

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp coriander and Accent

Brown Sugar and Honey Breakfast Sausage

16 oz ground pork/turkey

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp coriander and Accent

**Hint, for more unified looking patties. Spread the raw mix in a cake pan lined with wax paper and place in freezer to “stiffen”. Then using a biscuit cutter cut into desired size patties.**

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In this house, peanut butter cookies are a staple that forever fill the cookie jar.  They freeze and thaw so well that knowing my cooking time will be pressed I will make huge patches and freeze between layers of wax paper into 2 dozen sets to refill the jar when supply is running low.

Peanut Butter Cookies  (2 dozen)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup backed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy *I used crunchy*)

1 egg

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter 2 minutes and add sugars, cream an additional 2 minutes.  Mix in peanut butter and egg then add dry ingredients.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F .  Shape dough into balls roughly 1 1/4 inches.  Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with fork into a criss-cross pattern.  You can also make this pattern after they are baked and kids love to be able to do this process.  Bake 9-10 minutes or until light brown.  Let cool on baking sheets before transferring to cooling rack.

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Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles have been around since at least the early 1900’s and passed down from generation to generation, yet these simple to make cookies are often overlooked little gems.  There are several recipes for Snickerdoodles found all across the web, but the way I make mine is as follows:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cup white sugar

2 3/4 cup flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Topping

2 tbsp white sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)

Cream butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cup sugar, eggs and vanilla together and blend in flour, cream of tarter, soda and salt.  Shape into rounded spoonful balls.  If to sticky to form into balls refrigerate dough for 1 to 2 hours.  (I make large batches and spread them into wax paper lined baking sheets, place the sheets in refrigerator overnight and then next day cut with flour dusted pizza cutter into 1 inch squares.)

Mix together 2 tbsp sugar and cinnamon and either roll the balls in the mixture or dip the top (if making the squares).  Place 2 inches apart on un-greased baking sheets and bake 8-10 minutes or until set but not to hard.  Remove immediate to cooling racks.

Recipe makes 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.

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