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Frozen Broccoli on a Stick

April 28, 2006

Chocolate Tofu Mousse/Icing

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Desserts,Favorites — me @ 2:40 pm

From MotherSpirit.

Ingredients:
1 package Extra Firm Silken Tofu
1/2 to 1 Cup melted Chocolate Chips
1/2 to 3/4 Cup for Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon of vanilla

Directions:
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Add to other ingredients and whip until smooth. It is that easy! If using it for mousse put in dessert dishes, garnish (mint leaves, curls of chocolate, orange slices etc) and chill. If you are using it to ice a cake make sure the cake is fully cooled first.

ENJOY!! :o)

April 27, 2006

Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling and Lemon Butter Frosting

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Desserts,Favorites — me @ 8:39 am

From AllRecipes.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh lemon
juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
3. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
4. To make filling: In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).
5. Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 3 hours.
6. To make frosting: In large bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Beat in milk, and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
7. To assemble: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread with half of the lemon filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Add third layer, and spread with remaining half of the lemon filling. Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake until serving time.

My notes: I used a boxed lemon cake, but made the lemon curd and the icing. Really, really good. Everyone was surprised that it was so good. Definitely worth making again. Even Peter, the birthday boy, liked it. Which was good, because my attempt at a lemon bundt cake with pudding in the middle, the way his mother used to make, failed miserably. Ah well.

April 13, 2006

Thick Mint Brownies

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Desserts — me @ 3:08 pm

Thick Mint Brownies, from the King Arthur Flour Company

If you like Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, you’ll love these deeply chocolate, strongly mint brownies. The slash of white filling through the center is striking; and the rich, thick chocolate ganache topping is spectacularly delicious! Pssst! When you get your next catalogue, sometime in the next several days, you’ll see a version of these brownies pictured on the cover.

Mint filling
4 cups (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons (2 5/8 ounces) vegetable shortening*
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil, or 1 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract (to taste)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Signature Secrets Culinary Thickener (3/4 ounce)
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) heavy cream
*Usually we don’t use vegetable shortening due to its trans-fat content; but in this case it’s necessary, to keep the filling from melting into the batter as the brownies bake.

Brownie batter
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 pound (about 2 generous cups) brown sugar
1 cup (4 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips

To make the mint filling: Beat the filling ingredients together till they’re cohesive; the mixture will be the consistency of stiff cookie dough. Spread the filling, on a piece of lightly greased plastic wrap, into a rectangle just slightly smaller than a 9″ x 13″ pan; this is most easily done on the outside bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan that you’ve covered with plastic wrap. Cover the filling with wrap, and refrigerate overnight, or till thoroughly chilled.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly greased a 9″ x 13″ pan.

To make the brownie batter: In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, till it’s very hot, but not bubbling; it’ll become smooth and shiny looking. The sugar and butter will separate; that’s OK, just stir till some of the butter has been reabsorbed. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies; very attractive, should you choose not to cover the brownies with ganache.

Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, stirring till smooth; then add the flour and chips, again stirring till smooth. Spoon half the batter (about 28 ounces) into the prepared pan. Using the plastic wrap as a sling to move the filling, slide it atop the batter. Top with the remaining batter.

Bake the brownies for about 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a tiny amount of crumb clinging to it. Remove the brownies from the oven, and cool them completely before icing with ganache. Allow the icing to set before cutting and serving the brownies. Yield: 2 dozen brownies.

Chocolate Ganache Icing
Heavy cream. Chocolate. That’s it. You can’t go wrong.
2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips or chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream or whipping cream

In a microwave-safe bowl, or in a small saucepan set over medium heat, heat the cream till it’s very hot. You should see wisps of steam beginning to rise from it, and some very tiny bubbles around the edge. Add the chocolate to the cream, and stir till smooth. Don’t panic-at first, the mixture will look disarmingly soupy, but just keep stirring. Very shortly it’ll become a rich brown, thick, shiny spreadable icing. Yield: 2 cups icing.

Eggless Egg Salad

1/2 lb Firm Tofu, mushed up/crumbled into little pieces
1/4 c mayonnaise
1 T mustard
1/4 t salt
1/8 t turmeric
1/4 c fresh scallions, diced
1/4 c carrots, diced
1/4 c celery, diced

Mix them all up. Enjoy.

(From a Tomsum Tofu Recipe Book. An ooooold one, for which I always fight my mother just because of this recipe. Now I’ve typed it in, and won’t need it again. Whee.)