Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gingered Beets

Gingered Beets
Serves 6

4 beets, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
2 T olive oil, divided
1/2 T kosher salt
juice of 1 grapefruit
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T honey
1 t chopped fresh ginger
1/2 t soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or 375 convection). Set aside 1/4 cup beets. Place the remaining in a 9-inch dish and drizzle with 1 T olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Cover the dish with foil and bake 15 minutes.

In the meantime, place the reserved beets in a blender with the grapefruit juice, vinegar, honey, ginger, soy sauce, and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Blend until smooth. After the beets have roasted 15 minutes, stir in the puree, then recover the dish and continue cooking until the beets are tender, about 40-45 minutes.

courtesy of the AJC.

results: yummilicious and oh so very good for you too!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Kentucky Bourbon Fruit Cake

2 C red candied cherries
1-1/2 C seedless raisins
2 C bourbon
1-1/2 C butter
2-1/3 C granulated sugar
2-1/3 C brown sugar
6 eggs, separated
5 C sifted cake flour
2 t nutmeg
1 t baking powder
4 C pecan meats

Combine cherries, raisins and bourbon. Cover and let stand overnight.

Drain fruit, reserving bourbon.

Cream butter and sugars together until light. Add egg yolks and beat well. Combine 1/2 C flour, nutmeg, baking bowder and pecans together.
Add remaining flour and bourbon alternately to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff but not too dry. Fold egg whites into flour mixture. Fold soaked fruit and pecan/flour mixture into batter. Turn into greased 10" tube pan lined with greased waxed paper.
Bake in a slow oven (275) for 3-1/2 hours. Cool and then remove from pan.

Fill center of cake with cheesecloth which is saturated with bourbon. Wrap in heavy waxed paper or aluminum foil. Store in tightly covered container. Keep in a cool place (in fridge if necessary).

I bake mine around Thanksgiving and store it in our extra fridge until Christmas. YUMMM!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pumpkin Walnut Cheesecake

This is a recipe that I copied from my friend Cathy Miller way back in 1983! She tells me that it serves 12, but I think that it is so filling that it can actually serve more.

For the crust, you will need:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Press firmly over the bottom and up the sides of a lightly buttered 9" springform pan. Chill. (After chilling I wrap the pan in foil to prevent the butter from leaking out of the pan and all over the oven while baking.)

While the crust is chillin', you mix up the yummilicious fillin':

3 8 oz. packages cream cheese (I have used the low fat cream cheese and it is fine!)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I have used Splenda, and folks cannot tell the difference!)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1-3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup heavy cream

Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add sugars gradually, beating until well mixed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and heavy cream at low speed.

Pour into prepared pan:

Bake in a slow oven (325) for 1 hour and 35 minutes. Remove cake from oven and sprinkle with walnut topping:

Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Cool on a wire cake rack; refrigerate several hours, or over night. Garnish with whipped cream and pecans if you wish.

Walnut Topping:
Combine 6 tablespoons softened butter with 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar in a small bowl; mix well until crumbly. Blend in 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts. (I have found that 1/2 of the above is plenty for one cheesecake.)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fresh Produce

Last night we enjoyed some delicious Bruschetta, made with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and Ciabatta.

I improvised with a recipe that I received from King Arthur Flour. Here it is:

2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes (12 ounces), diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
two 16-inch-long French-style baguettes

This simple, delicious and easy-to-transport fare offers the quintessential taste of summer. Use the preceding baguette recipe to provide the bread for this wonderful summer treat. Only ripe tomatoes should be used -- and only fresh garlic and basil.

Blend all of the ingredients (except the baguettes!) in a small glass or ceramic bowl, and let the mixture rest for at least 10 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Right before you head out on your picnic (or just before you plan to serve), slice the baguettes about 3/4-inch thick, on the diagonal. Brush one side of each slice with additional olive oil. Place slices oil-side-up on a baking sheet, and broil (carefully!) just until the slices are lightly browned. Remove them from the broiler and let them cool completely. Pack them in an airtight container.

When ready to serve, place about 2 to 3 teaspoons of the tomato mixture on top of each slice of bread. Yield: about 40 bruschetta.

I also made Halibut Provencal for our main course. This recipe was concocted by Atlanta's own Virginia Willis and it is yummmy!!!!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Finnish Blueberry Squares

More portable than pie but just as delicious, these treats are well worth the effort. They're perfect for picnics and summer parties.

Hands On:
45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, including chilling & baking time

For the pastry:

1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 C all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

For the filling:
1 C granulated sugar
3 T cornstartch
2 T lemon juice
3 C fresh or frozen blueberries
Confectioner's sugar, optional

For the pastry: In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir together the flour and salt, then beat into butter mixture until just combines. Scrape onto a a sheet of plastic wrap. Form into a ball and wrap in the plastic. Chill 1 hour (don't over chill or it will be difficult to roll out!)

For the filling: In a saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir until no lumps remain. Add the lemon juice and blueberries and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until all of the sugar is incorporated into the liquid, about 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan or baking dish. Press half the pastry into the bottom and 1/2" up the sides of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator.

Roll out the remaining dough between 2 sheets of wax or parchment paper. Using a flute pastry wheel or a knife, cut the dough into 1/2" wide stripes. Slide the dough and wax paper onta a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes. Meanwhile, spread the blueberry filling over the bottom crust. Arrange the pastry strips in a lattice pattern over the filling - no need to interweave them, though. If the strips break, just overlap the edges slightly; they'll bake together.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until pastry is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares. Sprinkle the tops with confectioner's sugar, if desired.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Watermelon Salad

This recipe is courtesy of the June 2008 issue of Cooking Light Magazine.

1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 T fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
4 C cubed seeded watermelon
1/4 C pitted kalamata olives
1/4 C finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 C (2 oz) feta cheese, crumbled

Combine onion and juice in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Add watermelon, olives, parsley, and mint. Cover and chill 1 hour. Sprinkle with cheese.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 1/2 C salad and about 1 1/2 tsp cheese)