Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Baked Beans

1 lb Pinto Beans
½ cup chopped Onoins
2 cups Water
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
½ cup Molasses
1 ½ tsp Mustard Powder
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 cups Ketchup or BBQ Sauce
1 cup Maple Syrup
2 cups water
½ cup  Cider Vinegar
Healthy Dash of Liquid Smoke

Add dry beans to Dutch oven and add 8 cups of water to cover. Cook on high till the beans comes to a boil for about two minutes and turn off the heat, cover and let the beans sit in the pot covered for 30 to 45 minutes. Once the beans have sat they will have absorbed a lot of the water. Drain the beans through a colander and then add 8 cups of fresh water and add the onions. Cook the beans again for 15 minutes at a full boil.
In the meantime, in another saucepan mix 2 cups of water, molasses, vinegar, salt, pepper, ketchup or BBQ, maple syrup, mustard, liquid smoke and brown sugar, cook to get a slow boil. It should be sweet tasting but not thick.

Prepare 6 pint jars. Using a slotted spoon fill the jars 3/4 full of the beans and onion mixture. Once all the jars are filled ladle the sweet sauce into the jars leaving 1" headspace to leave room for expansion. Process the jars in a pressure canner at 11 pounds of pressure for 75 minutes.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Homemade Honey Mustard

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup honey

Soak the mustard seeds in the vinegar and water, making sure the seeds are covered by the liquid. Leave soaking overnight.

Add the sugar and honey to the seeds mixture. Blend mixture until it reaches desired consistency, adding water if needed. Ladle into quarter pint jar and process in water bath for 15 minutes. The mustard will at first seem extremely spicy, but will mellow out after about a week.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Snapper with Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Garlic, and Basil

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
4 (6-ounce) snapper fillets, with skin
Freshly ground black pepper
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, pepper flakes, and salt, to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until the tomatoes get juicy, about 15 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl and toss with the basil.

Dry the fish very well all over. To keep the fish from curling in the pan, lightly slash a cross-hatch pattern into the skin of the fish with a sharp knife. Brush the rounded flesh side of the fish with the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the fish, seasoned side down, in the oil, and cook undisturbed over high heat, until the fish turns both opaque along the edges and golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Lightly salt the skin side of the fish. Flip the snapper and turn off the heat and let the fish cook in the residual heat of the pan until the fillets are firm but still juicy, about 1 minute more.

Garlic Basil Shrimp

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (20 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in skillet and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in basil and tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Return the shrimp to pan and cook just until heated through.

Per Serving:
Calories 260; Total Fat 10 g; (Sat Fat 1.5 g, Mono Fat 5 g, Poly Fat 2 g); Protein 30 g; Carb 6 g; Fiber 1 g; Cholesterol 215 mg; Sodium 215 mg

Excellent source of: Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Copper, Iron, Phosphorus, Selenium

Good source of: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc

Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Spinach

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups mixed wild mushrooms (any combination of shiitake, porcini, chanterelle, oyster, portobello, and cremini)
3 tablespoons dry sherry wine
1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 (10-ounce) bags fresh spinach
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Add spinach (add spinach in batches if necessary), and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, until spinach wilts, turning frequently.

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (16-ounce) container strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
Put the ricotta cheese, honey and vanilla extract into the small bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, toss the berries with the basil and the balsamic syrup.

Divide the cream among 4 cocktail glasses, top with the berry mixture and serve.

Per Serving:
(serving size: about 1/3 cup cream and 1/2 cup berries)

Calories 180; Total Fat 5 g; (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 1.5 g, Poly Fat 0 g) ; Protein 8 g; Carb 27 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 80 mg

Excellent source of: Vitamin C, Manganese

Good source of: Protein, Vitamin K, Calcium, Phosphorus, Selenium

Salmon Cakes with Creamy Ginger-Sesame Sauce

6 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
2 (15-ounce) cans salmon, drained, skin and bones removed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 scallions
1/2 cup finely chopped canned water chestnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Creamy Ginger-Sesame Sauce, recipe follows
Remove crusts from the bread, break into pieces, and process in a food processor until you get a fine bread crumb. In a large bowl, flake apart the salmon with a fork. Add the egg and mix well. Finely chop 4 of the scallions and add to the bowl. Add the water chestnuts, cilantro, pepper, and the bread crumbs and mix well. Shape the mixture into 12 patties.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil over a medium heat. Add 6 patties and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil to the pan, and cook the rest of the salmon cakes, 5 minutes on each side.

Chop the remaining 1 scallion. Serve salmon cakes with the sauce and garnish with scallion.

Serves: 6; Calories: 414; Total Fat: 19 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Protein: 40 grams; Total carbohydrates: 17 grams; Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 135 milligrams; Sodium: 741 milligrams

Creamy Ginger-Sesame Sauce:
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt, or 6 tablespoons nonfat Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
If using regular yogurt place the yogurt in a strainer lined with a paper towel. Put the strainer over a bowl and place in the refrigerator to drain and thicken for 30 minutes.

Place drained yogurt or Greek-style yogurt into a small bowl. Add mayonnaise, ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Whisk until smooth.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
8 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-sodium canned chopped tomatoes with juice
2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked
Click here to see how she does it.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the same pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

Place the couscous in a serving bowl. Top with the spinach, chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce.

Baked Potatoes with Creamy Herb Topping

4 small russet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pound total)
1/2 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt or 2/3 cup regular, plain nonfat yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Poke each potato with a fork a few times. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until they are easily pierced with a knife. Wrap them loosely in the foil for 5 minutes or until ready to serve.

If using regular yogurt, place it in a strainer lined with paper towel and set the strainer over a bowl. Let the yogurt drain and thicken for 20 minutes.

Combine the Greek-style yogurt or regular thickened yogurt, the oil, parsley and chives of the in a small bowl.

Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and dollop a tablespoon of the creamy herb topping on each half.

Per Serving

Calories 180; Total Fat 3.5 g; (Sat Fat 0.5 g, Mono Fat 2.5 g, Poly Fat 0.5 g) ; Protein 6 g; Carb 33 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 50 mg

Excellent source of: Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium

Good source of: Protein, Fiber, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese

Roasted Beet, Onion, and Orange Salad

1 pound beets, preferably very small ones
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
20 large pearl onions, about 1/2 pound
2 oranges, peeled and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves (also known as cilantro) plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
1-ounce pecorino, optional, grated on medium-sized holes of box grater
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the stems and tails off the beets. Do not peel. Line the bottom of a baking pan with foil. Place the beets in the pan and toss them with half of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.

Trim both ends off the pearl onions. Then toss them with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Add pearl onions to the beets and roast an additional 15 minutes, until beets and onions are tender.

Peel and remove the membranes from the oranges with a sharp paring knife. Cut the oranges in half lengthwise and then crosswise into thin slices. Seed the slices, if necessary.

Peel and quarter the beets. Lay the beets on a large platter. Top the beets with the orange pieces. Scatter the roasted onions around the beats.

In a medium bowl, combine the hazelnut oil, coriander, and orange juice. Whisk until well combined and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle the dressing on top and sprinkle with coriander, toasted hazelnuts and grated cheese. Serve immediately.

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta and Mint

1 red bell pepper cored and cut into 4 pieces
1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut across into 1/4-inch rounds
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
Olive oil cooking spray
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a tray or work surface. Lightly spray both sides with olive oil cooking spray. Preheat a grill or grill pan over a medium-high heat. Grill the vegetables in batches until both sides are nicely charred and the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes for the pepper, about 8 minutes for the eggplant and onion, and about 6 minutes for the zucchini. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and oregano. Pour over the vegetables and toss. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the tomatoes and mint. Divide the salad between 4 plates and sprinkle with the feta.

Per Serving:

Calories 275; Total Fat 22 g; (Sat Fat 5 g, Mono Fat 13 g, Poly Fat 2 g) ; Protein 6 g; Carb 18 g; Fiber 7.5 g; Cholesterol 17 mg; Sodium 230 mg

Excellent source of: Fiber, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Folate, Manganese, Potassium

Good source of: Protein, Thiamin, Vitamin K, Calcium, Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Broccolini and Feta

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 bunch broccolini (about 10 ounces), stems cut into 2-inch stems, and florets
1 medium bunch radishes, trimmed and very thinly sliced
12 ounces whole-wheat rigatoni
1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
7 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Put the shallots in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes; drain.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Fill a medium bowl with ice water and salt it as well. Add the broccolini to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the radish slices, and cook 30 seconds, more. Use a slotted spoon or strainer to scoop out the vegetables and plunge them immediately into the ice water. Drain the vegetables, pat them very dry.

Add the pasta to the same pot of boiling water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Whisk the sherry vinegar, orange zest, the 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste, in a large serving bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a dressing.

Toss the rigatoni, broccolini, radish and shallot with the dressing. Add the feta cheese and toss lightly. Serve warm or room temperature.

Roasted Cauliflower

1/2 medium cauliflower (about 1/2 pound), leaves removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut the cauliflower through the core into 6 wedges.

Lay cauliflower wedges on a baking sheet. Lightly brush both sides of the wedges with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until the sides that touch the pan and the edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve 3 wedges per person.

Salmon Kebobs with Quinoa and Grapefruit Salad

1 medium grapefruit
8 thin slices fresh ginger
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oilgin
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 small serrano or jalapeno chile, minced (with seeds for maximum heat)
2 scallions (both white and green parts), minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pound skinless, center-cut salmon, cut into 2-inch cubes
Wooden skewers, soaked
Strip the peel from the grapefruit with a vegetable peeler, taking care not to include the bitter white pith. Warm the grapefruit peel, ginger, and olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the oil starts to bubble, after about 2 minutes, remove from heat. Set the oil aside to steep for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve the oil.

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa in a bowl and drain. Put the quinoa in a small saucepan with the water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Set aside off the heat, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Cool.

Segment the grapefruit over a bowl, reserving the segments and juice separately. Whisk 3 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice with the vinegar, honey, and salt to taste in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons of the reserved grapefruit oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a stream to make a slightly thick dressing. Season with pepper to taste.

Toss quinoa with the dressing, chiles, scallions, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Preheat a stovetop or outdoor grill to high heat. Thread the salmon cubes onto the skewers. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon grapefruit oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the skewers, turning as each side browns but the salmon is still moist, about 3 minutes.

Toss the grapefruit segment into the salad, divide among 4 plates, and top with the salmon kebobs. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Spicy Filet Mignon Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chili paste with garlic
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 (12-ounce) filet mignons
Freshly ground pepper
Whisk soy sauce, lime juice, chile paste, and peanut oil together in a small baking dish. Add the steaks, turn to coat, cover, and let marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before grilling.

Heat grill to high. Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Season both sides with pepper and grill for 3 minutes per side or until slightly charred and cooked to medium-rare doneness. Remove from the grill, let rest 5 minutes, and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.

1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3 cups mizuna leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup chiffonade Thai basil or regular basil, optional
1/2 English cucumber, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 carrots, julienned
5 radishes, thinly sliced
8 each yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
Ginger Lime Dressing, recipe follows
Salt and ground black pepper
While steak is resting, combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with half of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter, top with the steak, and drizzle the remaining dressing over the top.

Ginger-Lime Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit 10 minutes before using.

Wheat Berry Salad

1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup tart dried cherries, chopped
1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches over the wheat berries. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain and let cool. Toast the walnuts in a medium dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries, walnuts, celery, dried cherries, scallions, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Calories 360; Total Fat 17 g; (Sat Fat 2 g, Mono Fat 6 g, Poly Fat 8 g) ; Protein 9 g; Carb 46 g; Fiber 8 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 15 mg

Excellent source of: Fiber, Vitamin K, Manganese

Good source of: Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Copper, Iron

Pasta Primavera

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, cleaned, seeded and cut into strips (6 ounces)
1/2 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup sliced button mushrooms (4 ounces)
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 (6 ounces)
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large carrot (6 ounces) peeled and sliced into strips with a peeler (about 2 cups carrot ribbons)
3/4 pound whole-wheat linguine
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1/4 cup shredded basil leaves
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic until soft, about 1 minute. Add peppers and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes and cook until softened, an additional 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, milk, salt and pepper and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrot strips.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Toss pasta with vegetables and sauce. Add pasta water, if necessary, to loosen mixture. Serve garnished with Parmesan, parsley and basil.

Per Serving

Serving Size, 2 cups pasta plus 2 tablespoons cheese, plus parsley and basil

Calories 480; Total Fat 11 g; (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 3 g, Poly Fat 0.5 g) ; Protein 22 g; Carb 76 g; Fiber 10 g; Cholesterol 10 mg; Sodium 610 mg

Excellent source of: Protein, Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Potassium

Good source of: Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Iron, Manganese, Phosphorus, Selenium

Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten to mix
1 egg white
3/4 cup chopped dried tart cherries
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Cooking spray
1/4 cup "fruit only" apricot preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, oil, egg and egg white until well combined. Stir in the oatmeal mixture until well combined. Add the dried cherries and walnuts.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out

clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Put the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, brush with the preserves. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars, about 4 by1 1/2 inches each.

Per Serving

Calories 230; Total Fat 9 g; (Sat Fat 1 g, Mono Fat 3 g, Poly Fat 4 g) ; Protein 4 g; Carb 34 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 60 mg

Excellent source of: Manganese

Good source of: Thiamin

Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise
Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

Angel Food Cake

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour, sifted
12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon orange extract, or extract of your choice
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.

In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).

Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.

Serves: 10; Calories: 208; Total Fat: 0 grams; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Protein: 5 grams; Total carbohydrates: 47 grams; Sugar: 36 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 115 milligrams

Monday, September 19, 2011

Halloween Treats - Halloween Deadmans Punch

•12 gummy spiders
•1 vinyl glove
•1 gallon tropical fruit punch, chilled
•2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
•1 quart raspberry sherbet

•Pour water into an ice cube tray; add a gummy spider to each of 12 compartments. Freeze for at least 4 hours. Fill glove with water; tie or seal and freeze for at least 4 hours.
•In a 7-qt. punch bowl, combine punch and soda. Add sherbet and ice cubes. Remove glove from hand-shaped ice; add to punch. Serve immediately. Yield: 32 servings (6 quarts).

Halloween Treats - Vampire Bites

•1 ½ cups flour
•¾ teaspoon baking soda
•½ teaspoon cinnamon
•½ cup butter, softened
•½ cup packed brown sugar
•1 egg
•Red food coloring
•¼ cup red decorator’s sugar
•24 pieces MILKY WAY® Minis
•1 tube vanilla frosting
•Plastic wrap
•Electric mixer
•Large bowl
•Medium bowl
•2 cookie sheet pans

•1. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
•2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg; beat well. Slowly add the flour mixture into the dough until blended. Add enough food coloring to tint the dough a bright red. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
•3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the cookie sheet pans with the parchment paper.
•4. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 24 lip shapes. Otherwise, you can form the dough into 24 balls and flatten each slightly to create free-form shaped lips using your hands to pinch and shape the dough. Transfer these to the prepared cookie sheets. Re-roll the scraps if necessary.
•5. Sprinkle the cookies with red sugar. Bake 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and immediately press a MILKY WAY® Minis into the center of each cookie. Cool completely. Use vanilla frosting to pipe fangs over the candy.

Halloween Treats - Red Velvet Brains Cupcakes

•2 eggs
•1 1/2 cups canola oil
•1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
•1 teaspoon white wine or cider vinegar
•1 teaspoon red food coloring (recommended: Select natural food coloring)
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
•1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
•2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
•2 teaspoons natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1 stick unsalted butter, softened
•4 cups confectioners' sugar
•1/3 cup whole milk
•Red and black food coloring
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners (preferably silver).

For the cupcakes: Crack the eggs into your mixer. Add the canola oil, buttermilk and vinegar. Drop in the food coloring and vanilla. Let it stir up until well mixed.

Put the sugar, flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together until well mixed. Then sift this right onto a big piece of waxed paper, it makes it easy to transport to the mixer. Make sure there are no clumps.

Turn your mixture on low and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients as it's mixing. Turn the mixer up just a bit and combine well. Stop and scrape down the bowl.

Use an ice cream scoop to evenly dish the batter out into the cupcake liners, about 3/4 full.

Pop the cupcakes in the oven until a cake tester comes out nice and clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: Add the softened butter and confectioners' sugar and cream together in a mixer. Add the milk. Stop and scrape down the bowl, getting all the confectioners' sugar incorporated. Add a couple drops of black food coloring and then some red food coloring. Mix in the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Mix well.

Fill a pastry bag or snip the corner of a zip top bag. Fill with the frosting. (To fill the bag easily, wrap the bag around a cup and wrap the edges of the bag around the top to keep the bag open while filling with frosting.)

Frost the cupcakes, making a little squiggly line down the middle, and then filling in little swirls to look like the brain. Repeat on the other side and for the rest of the cupcakes.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Drink

mothervixenTzimisce Elder on Sep. 11, 2011 at 10:58 PM Vampire Drink Recipe


1 part Liqueur, raspberry
1 part Vodka
1 part Cranberry Juice
1 part Lime Juice

Mixing Instructions

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Glass to Use
Cocktail glass

Halloween Treats - Bloody Severed Fingers

“Finger” Ingredients (yields 50-60 reasonably sized fingers):

•1 cup butter, softened
•1 cup powdered sugar
•1 egg
•1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/2 cup sliced almonds
•1/2 tablespoon of red jam (I used Trader Joe’s raspberry)
•Blood” Ingredients:

•1 cup white chocolate – I used white chocolate chips because the small morsels melt faster
•1/4 cup milk
•1 teaspoon red food dye, or more if your chocolate looks too pink

1.In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. A whisk will suffice, but if you’re one of those lucky people who have a hand mixer, that’s going to come in handy.
2.Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and mix well. Keep whisking.
3.Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and beat until completely mixed. See, this is where it gets tough to get by with just the whisk because the dough is too thick.
At this point, grab a spatula and remove any dough that is stuck to the whisk. Fold and smash and mix with the spatula if you want, but I just washed up and kneaded the dough with my hands. It’s fun. Like edible Play-Doh, except you can’t actually eat it or you won’t have anything left to bake with.

1.Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. I let it refrigerate for about 24 hours because I had somewhere to be, and it turned out fine – you’ll just need to break off the dough with a butter knife and work the dough in your hands a bit more when rolling the fingers.
2.When you’re ready to start rolling the fingers, preheat the oven to 325°F.
3.Line ungreased baking sheets with wax paper. This will make your life easier when you dip the fingers in chocolate after baking.
4.With your hands, roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a finger shape for each cookie. I like the knuckles to be a little swollen, so I smush the dough together a little where the knuckle should be. I think it makes them creepier. If the dough gets sticky and hard to work with, put it back in the refrigerator for a little while.
5.Dip an almond slice in the jam and stick it onto the skinny end of the finger to create a nail. Don’t worry if the jam oozes out from under the nail. It’ll look great after it’s baked.
6.Use a butter knife to make knuckle marks on the finger cookies, and scratch up the severed end of the finger.
7.Place fingers on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart, and repeat steps 6 to 9 until you’ve used up all the dough.
8.1.Place the baking sheets with the fingers on them in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to prevent spreading upon baking. No one wants flattened, fat fingers. They’re scarier when they look real.
2.Bake 20-25 minutes, until fingers are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, prepare the bloody chocolate.
3.In a small saucepan, heat milk on medium low until steaming, but not boiling. Add white chocolate and stir until it reaches a smooth consistency. If it’s egregiously thick, you may add more milk, but why ruin a good thing? It’s chocolate; it doesn’t need any help being delicious! Add red food dye until desired color is reached.
4.Once fingers are cool, dip the severed ends into the chocolate and let it drip upwards towards the nail. Place fingers back onto the wax paper-lined baking sheet to cool.
5.Once chocolate is cooled and fingers are easily removed from the wax paper, feel free to serve!

Halloween Treats - Marshmallow Witches

•1/2 cup vanilla frosting, divided
•36 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
•12 large marshmallows
•1 drop each green, red and yellow food coloring, optional
•1/4 cup flaked coconut
•12 chocolate wafers
•12 miniature peanut butter cups
•12 milk chocolate kisses

•For the face of each witch, place a dab of frosting on the bottom of three chocolate chips; press two for eyes and one for nose onto each marshmallow.
•For hair, combine green food coloring and a drop of water in a small resealable plastic bag; add coconut and shake well. Spread a small amount of frosting on sides of marshmallows; press coconut hair into frosting. Place 3 tablespoons of frosting in a small heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; tint orange with red and yellow food coloring. Set aside.
•For hats, spread some of the remaining frosting in the center of chocolate wafers; press peanut butter cups upside down into frosting. Lightly spread bottoms of chocolate kisses with frosting; place on peanut butter cups. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert a small star tip. Fill the bag with frosting and pipe stars around the base of each peanut butter cup. Secure a hat to each witch with a dab of frosting. Yield: 1 dozen.

Halloween Treats - Worm Dirt

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
3 1/2 cups milk
12 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
1 package Oreo cookies, crushed

Cream together the cream cheese, margarine and sugar. Mix together pudding, milk and Cool Whip. Combine chocolate mixture with creamed mixture. Stir well.

In a clean flowerpot, layer mixture with crushed Oreo cookies, ending with cookies on top. Add silk flowers and plastic shovel for serving.

Halloween Treats - Gruesome Meathead

1 full-sized plastic human skull
1.5 lbs. thin sliced deli meat, your choice
Cream cheese, BBQ sauce, or cranberry sauce (see below)
2 hard boiled egg yolks, round mini-mozzarella pieces, or cocktail onions
2 slices of pimento-stuffed green olive

Instructions: 1. Buy a plastic skull. Wash the skull with soap and water and allow to dry.

2. Spread a "base" over the skull. BBQ sauce and jellied cranberry sauce give the skull a bloody, gory look as your guests lift away the lunch meat. Cream cheese is not as fun, but probably tastes better with most meats. This is entirely your choice.

3. Evenly distribute your lunch meat over the prepared skull, leaving openings at the eyes and mouth. Smallish pieces of meat work better than larger ones, as they're easier to manipulate and form. You may need to use toothpicks to get some of the meat to stay in place.

4. For eyes, place one hard boiled egg yolk or small mozzarella cheese ball in each eye socket. Top with a slice of pimento-stuffed green olive.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to devour

Halloween Treats - Bloody Brain Shot

0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
0.5 oz Baileys Irish Cream
1 tsp Grenadine
Pour half a shot of Peach Schnapps.
Then half a shot of Irish Cream.
Finally, slowly drop a little grenadine into the glass over the back of a warm spoon. The finished shot will be a gruesome floating bloody brain.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Test Tube Shooters


•1 package of (3-ounce) orange-colored gelatin powder, such as orange, peach or apricot
•1 cup boiling water
•1 can (15-ounce) peaches, apricots or pears in juice or extra-light syrup, not drained
•2 1/4 cups sparkling wine
•1/4 cup hot-chocolate mix
1.Mix gelatin powder and boiling water until the powder completely dissolves, about 2 minutes.
2.Purée the canned fruit in a blender or food processor until completely smooth.
3.Mix with gelatin and divide between 18, 2-ounce test tubes; you should fill each test tube about half way.
4.Refrigerate until firm. Heat the grape juice in a sauce pan until simmering. Stir in the hot-chocolate mix until it dissolves; refrigerate.
5.To serve: Fill the test tubes with the sparkling wine. Poke a skewer down the sides of the test tube into the gelatin so that the sparkling wineflows down creating dark stripes through the orange gelatin.
Note: For non-alcoholic version; in place of the sparkling wine replace with a grape-juice mixture.