Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chocolate Cloud Cake

No flour and No butter, just 4 ingredients.
Delicate and delectable.
Melt chocolate in a bowl, then whisk in the 
sugar and egg yolks until well combined.
 In another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks.
 Whisk  1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate.
 Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a 
rubber spatula. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter in a dish and set the dish in a
larger pan, like a roasting pan.  You're going to
 bake it in a water bath. It's easy, just fill
the roasting pan with boiling water until it's
halfway up the sides of the dish.  
 A water bath helps it bake gently and stay moist.
 Bake until puffed and just set.
 Let cool 5 minutes.
Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
Serve warm. 
Chocolate Cloud Cake
1/2 C sugar
5  eggs, separated
1 bag (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
pinch salt
Powdered sugar for dusting
Bring a kettle of water to a boil for the
water bath. Butter a shallow 2-qt baking
(casserole) dish and sprinkle with sugar,
tapping out excess.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high until
soft peaks form. In another large bowl melt
the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute.
Remove and stir to melt completely. Whisk in
the sugar, then whisk in egg yolks. Whisk in
about 1/3 of the egg whites. Add the remaining
egg whites and gently fold in using a rubber 
spatula just until combined.
Transfer to the baking dish. Set the dish
 in a roasting pan, and pour enough boiling
 water into the pan to come about 1 inch up 
the sides of the dish. Bake @350º until 
puffed and just set, about 25-35 minutes. 
Center of cake should barely move when 
jiggled. Let cool 5 minutes. Dust with 
powdered sugar just before serving warm.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Do Not Buy Cinnamon Sugar!

Sorry if I sounded so bossy, but you can make your
own and save tons of money! And by tons, I mean
way less than you pay for the pre-made stuff, not
"send your kids to college" tons.
Hello, it's just sugar and cinnamon in a ratio
that is perfect for your taste.
Make your own for about 50¢ or buy the
premixed jar for $3.19! No running out
of this good stuff too. 
Mix any amount of sugar in a cup and add
enough cinnamon to your liking. 
About ½ C sugar to about 1 T cinnamon
 I like mine cinnamony
so I that's the ratio use.
Put it in a shaker-top jar and keep
it handy by the toaster and say yes to
wonderful, buttery, cinnamon toast!
Is there anything better on a 
cool morning? Nope!
 Buy your favorite brand or for maximum saving 
get your spices in the ethnic food isle
 One bag of sugar and a jar of cinnamon would
make a LOT of cinnamon sugar for pennies!
You are paying more for the sugar than the 
cinnamon when you get them premixed.
Take it one step further and make your
own version of Pampered Chef's 


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fast Balls ~ Only 4 Ingredients

Yummy meatballs in a savory brown sauce.
Only 4 ingredients!
It's another easy dinners for your repertoire.
If it's quarter to six and you still haven't decided
what to do with that pound of hamburger this one
is going to feed your peeps and make them happy.
This is another gem from Peg Bracken's 
"I Hate To Cook" book. It's in 
her chapter Last-Minute Suppers 
(or this is the story of your life). 
 Only 4 ingredients and you already have them. 
Here's what you do.
Mix the meatball ingredients; ground chuck, 
breadcrumbs and milk. That's it! I used 
seasoned crumbs because that's what I had open.
Don't be tempted (I was, but resisted) to add 
any other seasonings. You'll get plenty of flavor
from the onion soup gravy. Roll them into balls.
I got 24 meatballs. 
Brown them in a large skillet in 1-2 T butter, 
turning gently to brown both sides.
Sprinkle the onion soup over the browned balls.
Add the 1 C water and mix around gently so you
don't break the meatballs. Simmer on low while 
you make rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. 
I had leftover (planned ahead) mashed potatoes
from earlier in the week. Then I just microwaved
some frozen peas and we had a homey
comfort-food dinner that was so easy.

1 lb. hamburger
1/2 C seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 C milk
Mix up and shape it into small balls.
Brown them in butter.
Next, stir in
1 package onion-soup mix
1 C water
Mix it around gently so you don't break
the meatballs. Simmer while you cook the
rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Easy Apple Tart

This is one of the easiest and prettiest 
apple desserts in my repertoire.
You can make this anytime.  It's nice to have a 
home-baked treat if you have unexpected
 visitors in the afternoon.  It's takes 
only a few ingredients and 5 minutes to make
 I cheat and use Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
Sheets. One pastry sheet, two apples, and 
brown sugar. 
 Lay the apple slices in 3 rows and
spritz with lemon juice.
 Sprinkle brown sugar over the top; about 3/4C.
 Sprinkle on a little cinnamon if you like.
I like.
 Bake at 400º for 20 minutes.
 Spoon any melted brown sugar over the top.
Let cool a bit and dust with powdered sugar.
 Pretty little tart.
 I suppose a scoop of vanilla ice cream
would top this nicely.
Definitely good with a cup of coffee. 
Easy Apple Tart
1 Puff Pastry Sheet
2 apples
3/4 C brown sugar
cinnamon (optional)
lemon juice
Thaw puff pastry for 20 minutes.
Unfold and put on a parchment lined
baking pan. Peel, core and thinly slice 
the apples. Line the apples in rows along
 the inside of the pastry. Spritz with a
little lemon juice. Sprinkle the brown sugar
evenly over the apples. Sprinkle lightly
with cinnamon if desired, or just sprinkle
on half of the apples. Bake @400º for 20
minutes until puffed and golden. 
Let cool a bit and dust with powdered 
sugar to serve. 

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Chicken Vol-au-Vent

This is a favorite dinner party recipe
from many years ago.
It takes a little more time, but you can
make it ahead of time. 
I use Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells.
Saute seasoned chicken thighs in butter.
Set aside to cool and remove the bone and skin.
I don't know why this picture keep loading up-side
down, but I wanted you to see the breakfast
sausage I used to fill the chicken thighs.
Ingredients for the sour cream mushroom
sherry sauce.
Saute the mushrooms, blend in flour, add broth,
then sour cream and sherry.
Roll out the pastry shells on a
flowered surface.
Lay a chicken thigh on the pastry and place
a sausage where the bone was. Add a bit of
mushroom sauce and enclose.
I make these ahead of time.
Bake seam-side down at 400º until golden;
about 30 minutes.
Serve with rice and a fresh vegetable.
Spoon on the heated mushroom sauce.
I cut the recipe in half for just the two
 of us and we had the extra 2 bundles for
dinner on another night. That made us happy.
Perfect little bundles. Similar in
technique to beef wellington.

Chicken Vol-au-vent
2 pkgs. frozen patty shells (Pepperidge Farm)
8 chicken thighs, skinned 
8 brown and serve sausages
(prepared per package instructions)
1/4 C butter
1 C chicken broth
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, diced
1/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
1 4 t pepper
1/4 t paprika (optional)
1 C sour cream
1/3 C sherry
2 T milk
Thaw 8 patty shells. Seasoned the chicken thighs
with salt & pepper and brown all around in butter.
Cover and simmer for 20  minutes. Remove
chicken from the pan. Saute the mushrooms in
 the pan drippings. Blend in flour and seasonings.
Add broth and whisk until thickened and smooth.
Whisk in the sour cream and sherry. Turn off heat.
Remove the bones from the thighs and place a
 browned sausage in the bone cavity of each thigh.
 Roll each thawed patty shell into a 6" square
on a lightly floured surface. Place a stuffed
 thigh in the center of each pastry square and top
with 2 T of the mushroom sauce. Fold pastry and
place seam-side down in a baking sheet. Brush the
 tops with milk. Bake @400º for 30 minutes
until golden brown. Serve with hot mushroom
sauce. Good with a green vegetable, salad,
 French bread, wine, white or wild rice.


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