Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lemon Blondies

Gooey, yummy and lemony!  Brownie texture with a concentrated lemon flavor.  YUM.  (This recipe is adapted from  These are best eaten day of or next day.  They probably won't last that long anyway!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 t. kosher salt
10 T. melted and cooled butter
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. lemon bakery emulsion or 1/4 t. lemon extract
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 t. lemon zest

whisk 1 cup powdered sugar with 3 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1 t. lemon zest.  Mix until smooth

Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Butter 9x13 baking dish
In large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and salt together
Melt butter and whisk with condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, extract or emulsion lemon juice and zest
Mix wet mixture into flour and combine well
Spread batter into pan and bake 25-35 minutes until set and barely golden brown.  (toothpick should come out clean)
When cool, pour glaze over and let set.  Cut into desired servings. Keep extras sealed in a rubbermaid container.  I add waxed paper between layers.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Of course fried is great, but these baked coconut shrimp are pretty darn good!  My family gobbled them up!  These pics were taken quickly with my iPhone, so they are not the greatest, but you get the idea!

1 lb. or large size raw shrimp
4-5 T. Cornstarch
2-3 cups sweetened coconut (flaked kind)
2-3 egg whites
2 t. chopped jalapeño (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup Apricot pineapple jam
1-2 T. lime juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line an cookie sheet with parchment paper.  
Mix the lime and jalapeño with the jam in bowl.  Stick in the refrigerator. (or use your favorite dipping sauce- I used a jar of Harry and David's Charred Pineapple Relish and stirred in a few tablespoons of jalapeño.
In bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Leave in bowl or pour onto plate.
Place cornstarch and coconut flakes on two separate plates. 

Holding shrimp by the tail, dip and coat lightly in cornstarch.  Next, dip in egg white and then in coconut firmly packing and squeezing it on with other hand.  Place on 
cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until coconut is golden brown.  Turn once halfway through (at about 7 or 8 minutes) *TIP:  place on upper rack in oven not lower rack or they will burn.Serve hot with apricot pineapple dipping sauce.   Recipe adapted from thegirlwhoateeverything.


Thai Fusion Salad

Make this adding or taking out any ingredients you like or don't like.  I especially like the crunchy marinated cucumbers in this salad.  Serve it with or without grilled chicken.

Favorite lettuce greens for 8 people  (Figure 2 handfuls per person.  I used the baby romaine from Costco and mixed in a little red leaf lettuce)
Cilantro leaves- handful
Julienne carrots- 2+  handfuls 
Cashews- 1-2 handfuls, more is better :)
*Marinated Cucumbers (recipe below)
*Fried Wonton strips
2-3 T. Sesame seeds 
*Coconut Curry Peanut Noodles (recipe below)
Chicken (opt)  Grilled, Satay, Rotisserie etc.. for 8 people
*Green Onion Dressing (recipe below)

*Marinated Cucumbers (I always make these, because I like to eat them from the fridge.  They keep for several days)
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar, or splenda or Stevia
1/4 cup water
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 large cucumber (I used a giant English or several baby cucumbers)

Combine vinegar, sugar, water and salt in a saucepan.  Cook over med heat stirring until it boils and sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and cool to room temp.  Peel the cucumber and cut lengthwise into quarters and again crosswise into thin slices.  Place in a bowl or container and pour marinade over stirring to coat- add pepper.  Cover and refrigerate up to 2 hrs. Drain before using. 

*Fried Wontons

Cut square wonton wrappers into short thin strips.  Shallow fry in canola or vegetable oil in a skillet until crispy and brown.  Drain of paper toweling.

*Coconut Curry Peanut Noodles
2 packages of FRESH stir fry noodles- find in refrigerator section by asian food 
1  T. Red Curry Paste
3/4-1  C. coconut milk 
1 T. fresh minced garlic
1 T. peanut butter
Pinch of Tumeric
1 T. lime juice
1 - 1 1/2 T. Fish sauce

Place noodles in hot water, separating with fork.  Let soak until tender according to package directions.  Drain and keep warm.  In med. saucepan heat coconut milk on low and stir in curry paste.  When it begins to simmer, add in the remaining ingredients.  Continue to simmer for about 2 minutes.  Stir in noodles.  Take off heat.  (If too much liquid remains, heat an additional minute to reduce and thicken)  Note:  Add more or any ingredient to taste.

"Green Onion  Dressing
8 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup sugar or splenda or stevia
3/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 cup oil (I use 1/2 cup + a few Tablespoons of water)
1 t. Salt, Pepper

Blend together and puree until smooth and emulsified.  Shake well before serving.  Keeps in fridge for a few days.

Assemble Salad

Place green on plates or on large serving platter.  Layer on grilled chicken (if you have that) on top and the rest of the salad ingredients, leaving the sesame seeds and the fried wonton strips for last.  Serve with green onion dressing.

Serves 8

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Date Walnut Cheese Crostini

I made this several times during the holidays. It's easy, quick and really delicious!

1 medium baguette (about 1/2 lb) or 2 small baguettes. (about 24 slices)
I like to use 2 small ones that are par baked so they get crisp on the outside and chewy inside.
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle of Kosher salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup dates- chopped. Medjools are great, but they get mixed with several things, so california dates are fine.
1 T. honey
1 T. good balsamic vinegar (I used a good balsamic glaze)
6 oz. English Costal cheddar or any really good extra sharp white cheddar. Or if you like Brie add that instead. I really really love the English Cheddar with it. I find it at Costco.
2 T. freshly chopped chives or finely chopped green onion

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Lay the slices of bread on a large baking sheet.
Drizzle oil over the slices of crostini.
Sprinkle lightly with salt.
In a medium bowl, toss the walnuts with the dates, honey and balsamic.
Slice cheese into 24 slices and place on top of crostini.
Mound spoonfuls of date mixture on top of cheese.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chives.
Serve warm.....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Candy Glass Brownies

I thought this was really fun. I took them to a party on a pedestal. Candy glass shards in ganache covered brownies. YUM. You could put the candy glass into the top of a cake or cupcakes as well.
First step- decide what vehicle you want to put the candy in ;) I cheated and used mini brownies from Costco, my best friend.
Make a shiny ganache glaze by mixing 3/4 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1 cup of your favorite chocolate. I used dark.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and whisk until it melts. Set aside to cool until room temperature, about 1 hour.

Pour over desired cake. These are mini brownies from Costco.

Candy Glass
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 2 cups assorted candies (hot cinnamon candies, candy cane pieces, sliced spice drops etc.)
I have to note: I would not use Andes chocolate mints again- stayed too melty. I think shards of candy cane sticks would look great.

In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar, 3/4 cup water and corn syrup until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 300 degrees F, about 15 minutes.

Place a 24-inch long sheet of foil on your work surface. Be extremely careful, the syrup is extremely hot. Pour the boiling syrup in wide zigzag lines across the foil. Working quickly and using an oiled offset metal spatula, spread the syrup evenly onto the foil, leaving a 1-inch border. Immediately sprinkle with all the candies, pressing the larger pieces into the syrup to make sure they stick. Be careful not to touch the syrup. Cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

mIlK & CoOkiEs

I want to serve these again for sure. Milk & Cookies for dessert at our Christmas book club dinner! If you want to feel like a kid again, this dessert will do it. ;) I used really tall glass flutes and dipped the rims in dark chocolate and sprinkles. Fill with cold milk and serve with a giant cookie- recipe below. These are really tall flutes, so I attached two paper straws together so they would be tall enough.

Giant Bakery Cookies
The trick I found is to melt the butter, then mix all the ingredients and then CHILL the dough well. then make balls and bake. They were chewy and soft, but if you don't cover them well, the will get slightly crunchy. It's up to you what texture you like.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar-packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups of your favorite chocolate or chips. I used a mixture chopped dark hersheys bar, milk chips and chopped white chocolate
1-2 cups roughly chopped pecans or your favorite nuts (opt) (Next time I would add more nuts)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour and baking soda, salt.
Melt butter then cream with sugars until mixed well.
Beat in vanilla, whole egg and yolk until creamy. Mix in the flour mixture until just blended.
CHILL until firm (an hour or longer- you can even chill overnight if you want to make ahead)
Scoop up 1/4 cup amounts and roll into an even ball.
Place on un-greased cookie sheet 3 " apart.
Bake for 15 min. check and bake for a few more minutes if needed.

You want them slightly under done for a chewy texture-- but not raw. If you find them not quite done after they have cooled you can pop them back in the oven for a few minutes. Cool completely then package in airtight container or wrap individually tightly in plastic wrap. These are giant and the perfect size to package in those cute glassine envelopes too. I just discovered the bags fit through the printer :)

Mini Pies

Jacob really wanted to make these, so I thought we'd give them a try for Thanksgiving and I am in love with them! He lost interest after the first batch, but regained it when he smelled the finished product. I wish I had taken pics of the steps, but it's pretty quick and easy.

I cheated and used Pillsbury pie dough. Cut circles out using a glass large enough to fit into muffin tins (reg size) You could do mini size too.
Squish and pat dough up the sides to make sure it is all covered letting some dough come up about the top. Do NOT rim dough around way around the outside of the tin, or it will never come out. (learned that the hard way) I just fluted it and made sure it didn't come way out around the rim. I made the dough come up to the edges of the pan only.

Fill with any filling you like. I used lemon curd, apple filling and berry filling. Use your favorite fillings. I liked the look of the lattice a lot and the covered tops. I made lemon uncovered and with tops. I like the tops better, but you and put whipped cream on the uncovered tops too.

These pics below are from the site not martha where I got the idea. I forgot to take pics of mine in the pans so here is what they look like before they are baked.

When you are finished filling the pies put the tops on. To add a top, cut out the same size circle, wipe edges with egg wash to help adhere to the pie and cover pies. Pinch together and try to flute edges. It's no biggie if it doesn't look great, it will taste great!

*It's important to chill the the pies before baking. Cold dough plus hot oven equals flaky dough. That is one thing I did learn from Martha Stewart 20 years ago. ;)

Brush tops with egg wash. You can sprinkle with sugar too. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes and check them. If the tops are getting brown you can cover them with foil lightly and bake for a few more minutes until bubbly.

Let cool completely and gently run a sharp knife around outside to ensure it will come out. Gently lift out.