Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Apple Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Apple Ginger Cranberry Sauce

1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries, picked over
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp (1/4 c) agave nectar
2 apples (golden delicious, gala, or another sweet variety)
10 oz unsweetened apple juice
1 to 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp glazed orange or lemon zest

Bring all ingredients to a boil, lower heat. Cook on low until all berries burst. Use a stick blender partially blend the mixture, leaving some chunks for texture. Continue cooking on low until desired thickness. 

Note: you may find this a bit tart if so add more sugar or agave to your liking.

Now for the pics: 
Apple Ginger Cranberry Sauce in the pot
Apple Ginger Cranberry Sauce in Ball jars

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Apple cinnamon bread

I saw some apple strudel bread at the grocery store for $6... I don't think so! I made my own! 
Recipe to follow! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Jello Spiders & Bugs

My first attempt at jello sculpture... Not with super results... Oh well

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Scoop of vanilla ice cream + shot of whipped vodka + orange juice.... 

Yummy dreamsicle!! 

Pumpkin Butter

I just made a big ol' batch of pumpkin butter!

Note: This can be refrigerated or frozen, but not canned per USDA guidelines. For a great explanation, click here.

My recipe is a variation of the one found here.

I used 2 small pie pumpkins... I chopped them in half and baked them cut side down in the oven until fork tender (about 35 min @350 degrees F). I let that cool then peeled and removed the stems. This yielded 2# 9 oz of pumpkin flesh.

I placed the pumpkin flesh in a 2 quart pan with apple cider, spices, and brown sugar. I mashed the pumpkin using a potato masher. I thought about using my stick blender, but I wanted it to be a bit more chunky.

I cooked this on very low heat for about an hour. Giving it a stir every now and then. I suppose you could use your crock pot if you so choose.

The result is delicious if I do say so myself. It will go great with the biscuits I just made using my newly acquired Bakewell Cream. Yeah, I think it was worth it. I mean, usually biscuits are no good on day two. These are on day 3 and they are still edible. (Yes, they were much better fresh.)

2.5 lbs. cooked pumpkin flesh
1.5 cups apple cider (non-alcoholic)
1 tbsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch cardamon
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 inch fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
2 cups brown sugar

Yields 7 (4oz) jars. Must be refrigerated or frozen.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What I've been up to...

I've made potato farl several times and really enjoyed them. I love sweet potatoes, so I thought "why not a sweet potato farl?" 

You will need: 
2 c. mashed sweet potato
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1. c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Mix the mashed sweet potato, sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and melted butter. Then, work in the flour to make a pliable dough.

Typically when making potato farl you would divide in two and roll out on a floured surface to form two circles around 1/4 in. thick. Then, cut each circle into quarters (farl) and bake on a hot griddle for about 5 minutes on each side until lightly browned.

For these, dropped scant 1/2 cupfuls onto a hot, buttered skillet. Then, after I flipped them, I pressed them down. It took about 7 min. for them to completely cook. 

Then, my husband made this beautiful Beet Mousse.

Mousse de Betterave: (Translation by Kae JL)

An easy, inexpensive recipe for 6 people. 

You will need:

2 beets, cooked
1 heaping tablespoon of crème fraîche (If you do not have it, and don't want to make it, you can try substituting it with sour cream. No guarantee on the outcome as I have not tried this recipe with sour cream.)
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 basil leaves
olive oil
salt, pepper
50 g de Roquefort (roughly 1.5 oz. blue cheese)
2 slices of pain de campagne (Think a nice crusty artisan loaf)

This recipe is inspired by this blog:


1) Saute onion in a skillet with olive oil. Reserve.

2) In a blender, place the sauteed onion, beets, crème fraîche, basil, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.

3) Blend and place in the refrigerator to chill. (When you put it in the fridge, it will be liquid. When it chills completely it will have the texture of a mouse. Give it a few hours. I'm not sure exactly how long as we made it the day before serving.)

4) To serve top with Roquefort crumbles and crusty bread.

Then because there wasn't enough going on. I made some confit d'oignon. The recipe can be found here:

I pretty much followed what she said to the letter. Except I doubled it, and then canned it. Per the Ball Book, I processed for 15 min. in a boiler canner. I used yellow onions and white wine. If you use red onions, I would use a red wine. I did it before, and it looks very pretty. It made what you see in the picture, which are five 8 oz. jelly jars and two 4oz. jars. Also I found that the times she posted where not as accurate. It took mine a lot longer than 30 min. to get soft and sticky. You have to let all the liquid evaporate! This goes great with a variety of meats and pate!! 
after 30 min. it is still not ready! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Oatmeal

So it's warmer, and you don't want to eat hot oatmeal for breakfast? 

Try this

The night before mix together: 
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. yogurt
and the toppings of your choice

Let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Ready to go the next morning, and it's cool and refreshing. 

For toppings, I like brown sugar and grapes or honey and almond.  You could really put anything in it! You can sweeten it to your liking. You can exchange the milk and yogurt for non-dairy options. You can use Greek yogurt or flavored yogurt. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blueberries are on sale!

I took advantage and bought lots! I laid them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and froze them. Then put them in baggies. They are ready to add to smoothies, desserts, ice cream, or you can just eat them frozen. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cucumber Salsa

I pretty much followed this recipe: 
But if you know me, you know I left out the cilantro ;) 

2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro (I left this out. I HATE CILANTRO!)
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dill weed (Fresh is better, but dried works too!) 
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Serve with baked tortilla chips

Yield: 4 cups

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Oreo Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter
Today my daughter and I tried Crazy for Crust’s Oreo Peanut Butter. It was easy with only 2 ingredients, honey roasted peanuts and Oreos, combined in the food processor for a mere 4 minutes. (Okay, Okay, I know these 2 ingredients do contain many other ingredients, but work with me here!)

The only modification we made was to add five extra cookies (Couldn't help it!) We tried it on graham crackers and a spoon as suggested. We thought about trying it on bananas but haven’t done so yet.

If you like peanut butter, you will like this one.

Our version:

1 ½ c. honey roasted peanuts
15 Oreos

Whirl to smooth perfection in the food processor. Be patient it takes 4 minutes!

Store in a jar at room temperature.

Original can be found here.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Quick Dessert

Tonight's Dessert was a simple one.

Step 1) Make a berry salad. Rinse some berries. Chop them up. Toss together in a bowl. Heck, be fancy: throw in some mandarin oranges (drained please) and a few chopped mint leaves...

Step 2) Stir together

  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp brandy (or for those who don't partake... 1 tsp vanilla)

Step 3) Next, whip a cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks. Then, fold in the sour cream mixture... (
um, yes, of course you can cheat, get the real whipped cream in a can and squirt it out.. but do adjust the amount of brown sugar.....

Step 4) Spoon some berry salad into a bowl and top with whipped cream mixture:

Voilà dessert!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Génoise - a great basic homemade cake

Here I offer a translation of Recette de Génoise.


Génoise is a great base cake that you can use with many variations. It’s not as moist as a box cake, so don’t think you will get a cake like that or you will be disappointed. What I love about génoise is that is is a sturdy cake for decorating, and the cakes dryness is a perfect receptacle for a syrup of any flavor you choose. It's a base for a fraisier.

For a basic génoise you will need:
4 eggs
125 g. (4.4 oz.) sugar
125 g. (4.4 oz.) all-purpose flour
30 g. (1 oz.) melted butter, slightly cooled
*A cake pan that has been buttered and floured (I also place a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the pan, in the bottom.)

Preheat oven to 170°C (338°F precisely but we will go with a regular 350°F).  It’s important to have your oven ready because egg foam waits for no one! And this, my dear, is an egg foam cake. So have your pan ready and your oven ready before you proceed.  Have your ingredients measured out, too.

In the bowl of your stand mixer beat the eggs and the sugar to ribbon stage using the whisk attachment. (Yes, you can do this by hand or with a hand mixer, but it takes a long time.) Ribbon stage, means it falls onto itself and then forms a "ribbon". It will be much paler in color than when you started. 

Then, gently fold in your flour a little bit at a time. Then, fold in butter. You only want to fold until all the flour is moistened.

Gently scoop the mixture into your prepared cake pan and delicately smooth out the top. 
You want it to be even in the pan. Work quickly but gently repeat after me “Egg foam waits for no one.”

Carefully place the pan in the hot oven.  If you used an 8 in” round pan it may take up to 30 minutes. If you used a half sheet pan, it may only be 7 to 10 min. When it’s done it will be golden brown and you can do the good old toothpick check for doneness.

Remove from pan about 5 to 10 min. from removing it from the oven.

Okay... Now you are ready for the syruP:

Stir together 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water.  Only stir until sugar is dissolved then bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add flavoring you desire. It may be ½ tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp. of vanilla bean paste, or a tablespoon of rum. Taste it… add more if you want a stronger flavor. With a pastry brush, apply this to the cooled cake. You can add as much or as little as you want. Allow it to soak in before you apply any frosting.  Enjoy!

*What size cake pan? It’s up to you. I’ve made it as an 8 in. round and as a half sheet cake. Obviously you will have to adjust cooking times. The thinner the batter is in the pan, the less cooking time that is required. 

Fraisier -- Strawberry Shortcake French Style

This was Jef's birthday cake:

You can watch a fabulous video on assembling it here. This was my take on putting it together. I didn't have everything they had in the video. (No time to make pistachio paste, for instance.) Also the recipe wasn't really written out, you have to just follow the video and guess on some parts. So, I made it (twice), and this is what worked for me:

You need:

One recipe génoise + syrup (I added rum and almond extract to mine)
A double recipe of crème pâtissier with gelatin added
7 oz. marzipan
a few tablespoons of strawberry jam/perserves
1 lb. + strawberries

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Experiment #33113B.....Blueberry and Meyer Lemon Dessert

Ok, this dessert was truly born from experimentation and necessity. I had a pint of blueberries and two Meyer lemons. I had found a forgotten package of croissant dough, and I needed to use them lest they expire.  

First, I cooked the blueberries with a bit of sugar, the zest and the juice from the lemons. It looked a little thin, so I threw in some cooked apple and some corn starch to thicken it. 

At first, I thought I would make cute little individual pies but then, I got lazy. There, I said it. I didnt want to stand there all day pinching closed little pockets of dough that may defy me in the oven and burst open

Then I thought, this yummy fruit concoction I made would be delish on a slice of cheesecake. Then I thought about the sopapilla cheesecake a co-workers wife used to bring to us. 

Oh, boy, I have an idea. I brushed the bottom of an 8x8 dish with butter then sprinkled on some cinnamon
sugar. Then, I lined the bottom of the pan with croissant dough. 

I mixed together: 1 (8 oz) brick of cream cheese, ½ c. sugar, 1 egg and a ¼ tsp. of lemon extract (I would have used zest, but it was all in my blueberry mixture).  I spread this mixture onto the croissant dough. I topped that with my cooled fruit mixture. 

I added another layer of croissant dough, brushed on more melted butter, and sprinkled with more cinnamon sugar. (My cinnamon is light because my husband doesnt care for copious amounts like I do.) I popped it into a 375°F oven for about 30 min. oh, wow. Im a genius! ;)  

When you first take it out of the oven, it will be puffed up a little. It will deflate as it's cooled. People asked for the recipe, so I thought I better write it down!

Blueberry & Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

You will need:
Croissant dough (homemade or one store-bought refrigerated tube)
3 to 4 tbsp. melted butter
4 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
Fruit Filling (recipe below)
Cream cheese filling (recipe below)

Butter an 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle in about 1 tbsp. cinnamon sugar. Place one layer of croissant dough on the bottom. Spread in cream cheese filling. Spread on fruit filling. Top with remaining croissant dough. Brush with remaining melted butter. Top with remaining cinnamon sugar. Place in a 375°F oven for 20-35 min. or until golden brown.  Cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

For the fruit filling:
1 pint blueberries
1 Fuji apple, peeled and finely diced
The zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons
½ to 1 c. sugar (more or less depending on the tartness of your fruit)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water

Place blueberries, apple, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar as it heats. Once your fruit is cooked, make a slurry of the cornstarch and water and add to the fruit. Simmer to thickened (at least one minute). Remove from heat and let cool.

For the cream cheese filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
½ c. sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp. lemon extract

Using a mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add in egg and extract. Beat to creamy consistency. If you have more lemon, add in some zest. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Some quick ideas for yogurt:

My favorite yogurt! :) Yummy! So many possibilities.
Layer yogurt and vanilla wafers. Top with a dollop of lemon curd. You can eat it
immediately, or you can store in the refrigerator until the cookies soften slightly.
Tastes like a decadent dessert. If you measure your ingredients judiciously, you will
have control over the calories you are using. Don't want cookies? It's great with just a
teaspoon of lemon curd. 

Top with your favorite granola. I like to place fruit in a bowl, top with
yogurt, then granola on top. 

More ideas:

  • Plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of granola
  • Summer oatmeal: Basically, combine equal parts oatmeal, yogurt, milk. Let set in refrigerator overnight. Serve cold. Top with fruit. 
  • Try with a dollop of Nutella
  • Try crushed up cookies, graham crackers
  • Add lime curd
  • Add chocolate chips or crushed candy
  • Use banana and vanilla wafers for a banana pudding type experience. 
  • Stir in fruit pie filling
  • Add unsweetened apple sauce (another favorite of mine)
  • Add a chopped up apple.
  • Stir in apple butter
I'm looking forward to your comments. What do you add to your yogurt?