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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tiramisu



After craving this for so long I just had to try making it at home. I could have gotten all the ingredients I needed, Ladyfingers, Mascarpone cheese blah blah lol well for some reason Walmart didnt have Ladyfingers or Mascarpone cheese, soooo I improvised. Im preety sure the original Tiramisu taste way better than this quick clever version, sorry real tiramisu lovers, this will have to do. I usually just like taking shortcuts when making recipes.
This was easy and quick.






1 10oz Angel Food Cake
1 1/2 cups Philadelphia Cream Cheesecake Flilling
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup Copa De Oro Coffee Liqueur
1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

For the Coffee Liqueur frosting:
In a mixing bow, mix 2 tsp of the Coffee Liqueur and a teaspoon of vanilla, this will be the frosting for the cake. Set aside.
Slice accross the angel food cake, 4 slices. Drizzle coffee liqueur on top of the cake slices, do not soak! put just enough to moisten some of the cake.
The next step is to spread cheesecake filling onto the plate where the cake will be set(this is for preventing the cake from moving around as your spreading the filling and frosting). Spread cheesecake filling on top of every slice of cake. Stalk, spread filling, and stalk the cake until your done.
Spread the Coffee liqueur frosting all over the cake with a spatula or if you want to get fancy, pipe it and make it look perty!
To make the chocolate shavings I put the chocolate chips into a cheese grater and grated the chocolate.
Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top of the cake. Chilll in the fridge for 30 minutes or eat right away if you want, I won't stop you :)
For the photo with the slice of cake I sprinkled a bit more coffee liqueur but it was a bit much lol, I reccomend not to put too much cofee liqueur when you moisten the cake slices.
Its preety good!
Slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Watercress, my archnemesis?

When I was a little girl in Puerto Rico, I remember my aunt eating a salad and it had Watercress(Berro)in spanish. The salad looked preety good but I did'nt get to taste it, my aunt loved it though. I went to the local spanish market last week and bought a bunch, I usually try before I buy if it's a food I have never tasted before, not this time, bad idea. I took it home and then took a few leaves rinsed them and ate some, nice soft then texture leaves, then it hit me, they are bitter and I do not like bitter foods.
I researched on recipes and came accross potato and watercress soup. I was going to make it but was so put off by the taste of it decided not to make the soup. The watercress still in my fridge I don't know what to do with it lol!!Im hoping to cook the bitterness out of it.
I'll post a photo if I make something with it, hopefully it will be tasty and the bitter taste isn't so bitter. Im very bitter about this.....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Creamy Buttery Butternut Squash Puree


I love butternut squash smothered in creamy butter. I have attempted making this puree before but this particular recipe and how I made it has been the best one. Perfect for the chilly fall weather coming soon.

4 cups Butternut Squash, cut into cubes skin on(I like texture)or off for a smoother puree
2 cups 2% Milk
1 cup of water
1 cup Heavy Cream
4 oz Cream Cheese
1 stick of butter!
1 tblsp. freshly chopped parsley
Salt to taste or about 1 tsp

Bring the water to a low simmering boil, add milk, then add the squash, cook until tender.
With a hand blender, being careful not to splash, puree the squash until smooth or leave some chunks if you like. Add the stick of butter, then add the cream cheese,and heavy cream, continue to stir. Add salt to taste. Puree a little more to make it smoother and be sure the cream cheese is well dissolved.
Sprinkle in freshly chopped parsley.Puree thickens as it cools.

Serve hot, and enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Broccoli Bacon Mac n' cheese


This recipe is a different version of my Creamy Bacon Mac N Cheese. I make my own creamy cheese sauce. My kids love macaroni and cheese and usually when I make it's for the kids. This one is more has more "grown" up flavor in it, chopped red onions, chopped parsley and healthy veggies like broccoli. This is tasty for kids as well as for adults, smuthered in a creamy cheese sauce and lets not forget the yummy bacon. My familys favorite dish, upgraded! I hope you all enjoy.


8 ounces Cream cheese
8 ounces Heavy Cream
8 ounces Sour Cream
1 stick of Sweet Cream Butter
8 ounces Velveeta Cheese cubed
2 Packages of Oscar Mayer Bacon Bits
2 tbsp.Freshly Chopped Parsley
1 cup Red Onion chopped
2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar
2 1/2 cups Broccoli Florets(Birds Eye), thawed(do not cook)
1 cup 2% Milk
1 16 oz box Jumbo Elbow Macaroni

Steps
Cook the Macaronis according to the package instructions, drain set aside.
To make the cheese sauce/bechamel sauce: In a sauce pan, on low simmer the milk, then add the stick of butter, stir until it melts.
Add the heavy cream, sour cream, stir.
Cut in cubes the Velveeta and the Cream Cheese and add it to the simmering milk, continue to stir until the cheeses melt and combine.
Let the cheese sauce simmer on low heat.
Chop the red onions, add the onions to the macaronis, sprinkle the parsley, the bacon bits and mix the macaronis.
Place the macaronis in a baking pan, pour in the cheese sauce all over the macaronis, do not mix.
Top with shredded cheese and more bacon bits.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes until the shredded cheese melts.

Serve and enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hollandaise sauce


Eggs Benedict with homemade Creamy Hollandaise sauce...

I love eggs and the many dishes, and delicious recipes you can whip up. In this recipe I made my own homemade Hollandaise sauce. I have tasted the one from a packet and after this I will never use packet hollandaise mix. I added white wine when I poached the eggs and added a reduced white wine and a little softened cream cheese to make it an even tastier sauce. It was a little difficult, eggs can be tricky but I learned how to make my own fresh and creamy homemade hollandaise sauce.

•4 ounce(s) of Softened Cream Cheese
•4 ounce(s) of Melted Sweet Cream butter
•1 tsp. of Salt for poaching the eggs
•1 tsp. of Black Pepper
•1 splash of lemon juice
•1 Pinch of Cayenne pepper
•1/2 cup(s) of milk
•4 egg yolks
•2 eggs
•1 ounce(s) of Cooking White Wine
•1 ounce(s) of White vinegar
•1 A few slices of Smoked Sausage
•1 English Muffin
Steps
Bring the water to a low simmer, test the temperature, about 160 to 180 degrees,it should be boiling, add the vinegar, salt and the cooking white wine.
To Poach and egg do these steps. The fresher the eggs, the better they poach.Crack an egg into a small bowl.
Bring the water to a temperature of about 160 degrees. Spin the boiling water to cool down the water before you drop in the egg.
Carefully lower or drop the egg into the center of the water.
Make sure the egg is not drop in boiling water.
Wait 3-4 minutes until egg is cooked and it kind of floats.
Remove with a slotted spoon. Work quickly to transfer each egg onto the plate, letting excess water drip back into the saucepan. Set aside.
To make part of the Hollandaise sauce, reduce some white wine vinegar in a pan with a tsp of black pepper, almost until its evaporated.
Take the reduced white wine vinegar and add a ounce of water.You will add this to the yolks. To make the Hollandaise sauce, whisk the egg yolks in a metal bowl, until the mixure is thickened. Place the bowl over a saucepan with simmering water.
Whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble.
Slowly drizzle in the melted sweet cream butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened.
On a separate pot simmer 1/2 cup of milk, add the softened cream cheese and whisk until the cream cheese dissolves.
Slowly add the thickened egg mixture into the simmering milk. Continue to whisk, add a splash of lemon juice, sprinkle some cayenne pepper and add salt to taste.
On a hot pan fry a few slices of smoked sausage. toast an English Muffin.
Place a few slices of smoked sausage on a slice of english muffin, add the poached eggs on top, pour some of the hollandaise sauce, sprinkle Cayenne pepper and top it with the other half of the english muffin.
Enjoy!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chinese Dumplings


No I don't know how to make these dumplings but they are so tasty, filled with vegetable goodness,so full of flavor!
I just want to share how I got them and the sauce that I accidentally made for them.
I steamed them and in another pot, I had chicken broth and was boiling chinese noodles. I didn't put enough broth and a thick sauce formed( my noodles were a lil messy but edible, made a soup with it even though the noodles were overcooked)anyways, I ended up scooping the thick sauce and dunking the already store bought dumplings in it. It was quite tasty. I had some soy sauce also and by dunking the dumplings on the soy sauce and the accidental thick chicken broth, the combination was delicious. Accidents in my kitchen are ok :) I always find a way to improvise and somehow fix what I make.

Oh yea! I got the dumplings at my local Asian foods market, my favorite store for strange new foods, loving it!

Fresh pasta/pizza sauce with my favorite herbs, Thyme and Basil


I wanted to make my own sauce for pizza and pasta. Looked up some recipes on the net and decided to make my own with my latest favorite herbs, Thyme and Basil. I came across recipes calling for Oregano in the sauces, but I rather use Thyme. Ive been a little obsessed with fresh herbs lately and my personal favorites are Basil and Thyme. I admit to be a little crazy over garlic too ha ha ha!if you are not a fan of garlic you can omit it, but it is so tasty! Here is my sauce I hope you like :)



Ingredients



1 can of Tomato paste

Fresh Tomatoes about 10, those little ones on the vine Campari(you can use canned crushed tomatoes)I think fresh is best.

Fresh Basil 4 large leaves

Fresh Thyme 4 sprigs(detach the little leaves)

3 Large Garlic cloves

A splash of white vinegar, a lil' cap

1 Tablspoon Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

A dash of sugar

Place all the ingredients in a blender, chop until smooth or leave some chunks if you like it a little rustic. 

 Forgot to post that  you have to cook the sauce! lol so here is the rest of the recipe.

Combine the olive oil, salt, and garlic in a saucepan. Stir on medium heat, saute for a little. Stir in the blended tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer. Add a dash of sugar(my mother told me that cuts down on the acidity).  Remove from heat and taste...Salt to taste, to give it a little kick sprinkle red pepper flakes.



Pour over fresh pasta or on your own pizza dough or store bought. Pour some on a slice of Italian bread, sprinkle Parmesan or shredded Mozarella and bake until cheese is bubbly and bread is toasty.



Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Soup...with Enoki mushrooms and vietnamese noodles


Went to a local asian food market and loved all the diferent foods they had available, decided to make a soup with Enoki Mushrooms and vietnamese noodles, Ive never tasted them. I was craving a soup so I made a tasty light soup. It was only a hit with me, my family didnt like it, I got some picky eaters lol!
The mushrooms didn't really taste like anything to me and the noodles were ok, very slippery and gelly like. I purchased some pickled plums, havent tasted them yet wiull post what Im going to do with them soon. I want to go back to the store too, very attracted by all the variety and fresh seafood available. I also saw that funky fruit Dorian that supposedly smells like feet and onions, will try to snif it next time, I got too scared to do it this time around lol.

Here is the recipe...
Enjoy!

A diferent dish for anyones palate. For my veggie friends you can skip the beef :), it is very tasty without it. If you like Vietnamese noodles great( they are kinda gelly like and turn a bit transparent, if you prefer, use Lo mein noodles. This dish wasn't a hit but I liked it. Very diferent from what I usually cook :)



2 cups of beef strips chopped(marinate w soy sauce and garlic as much or as little as you like)marinate overnite.

2 cans of chicken broth

1 cup of green onions chopped

3 large garlic cloves minced

1 pckg of Vietnamese noodles, or lo mein noodles better

1 pinch or two of ginger or a little bit of freshly minced ginger

1 tsp sesame oil

1 or 2 cups of water (if too salty for your taste lol)

1 pckg of Enoki mushrooms ( cut the bottom of the stalk and rinse clean)



Bring the chicken broth to a medium simmering boil, add the beef strips, cook for about 8 minutes. Then add the noodles, sesame oil, wait about 11 more minutes. Add the green onions, garlic and mushrooms last. For more intense fresh onion garlic flavor and the green onions stay nice and green add these last. Serve hot.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Figs....


After getting the figs from my local farmers market for free, I discovered why they were free. I rinsed off and ate one and it tasted odd. Im not sure what kind of figs they were but they didnt taste so good, even though they were fresh, they were sweet but not like I was expecting. It was a weird sweet flavor. I tried making cooking them, sliced them up, melted some butter in a pan and toss them in, added a bit of sugar, a bit of nutmeg and a splash of vanilla. I placed the cooked figs into little crunchy puffed pastry cups and ate one. Did not like them. A failed attempt at making something yummy I was craving for a long time. There are several types of figs, I guess IO just came accros a kind of figs that werent good or tasty. Ill skip nutmeg and butter next time I cook or make something with figs...Im still going to search for the figs that I tasted as a little girl.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Coming soon

Photo from the website BotanicalFeast.com

Figs!!! beautiful delicious figs!
I'm waiting for the local farmers market to have them available. I keep stalking them lol, they are probably tired of me calling them weekly. I'm waiting patiently to cook delicious figs.
The first time I ever ate fresh figs was when I lived in New york city, my uncle grew some in the backyard. I was 12, the figs were so tasty, fell in love with them right away! I love Fig Newtons cookies but its not the same flavor. I really want the fresh figs.

http://www.botanicalfeast.com/figs/


Can't wait to post the delicious dish I will make with the figs, share them with my family and hope they like them as much as me and post my very own photos.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Potato, Ricotta,and Cream Cheese Gnocchi with Garlic Thyme sauce






Keeping up with the theme of cooking new things my family and I have never tasted, here is my latest.
Gnocchi, the name is funny and maybe hard for some people to pronounce. I was curious the first time I read about them on Wikipedia. There are many recipes for making these yummy little things.
This version has potato, ricotta and cream cheese. I loved the garlic thyme sauce I made for the Ratatouille so much, I just had to use it for drizzling over the gnocchi.

Potato Ricotta Cream Cheese Gnocchi

2 Roset Potatoes
1/8 cup of Whipped Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Ricotta
1 egg beaten
Flour (can't remember how much I used but used enough to make a dough :) I'll come back an edit, but start with about a third of a cup, add more little by little if you want the gnocchi to be more pasta like.

Garlic Thyme sauce
2 Tblsp
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pierce the potatoes with a fork and wrap them with a paper towel and microwave until tender. Spoon out the potatos, make sure to get rid of the skins. Put the potatoes in a bowl and with a fork mash the potatoes and make sure there are no lumps, the mixture should'nt be runny, it should be a dry potato mixture. Set aside and let it cool.
Add the ricotta and with a spatula blend it in, then add the cream cheese, blend well. Then add the beaten egg, blend it in, yes is a bit messy.
Once all the ingredients are well combined you will then add the flour, sprinkle it in little by little. Until the mixture starts turning into a dough, knead until dough forms a ball.Shape small portions of the dough into long "snakes". On a floured surface, cut snakes into half-inch pieces. With a fork run the fork accross it to form lines (this is done either for decorating purposes or for the gnocchi to the sauces better.)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve.


To make the Garlic Thyme sauce, combine olive oil, minced garlic, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Pour on top of gnocchi.

Enjoy!!

This was a hit with my family, and I'm proud of myself because I made pasta!

The flavor and texture and flavor of these Gnocchi remind me of Guanimos(Guaniomes), a Puetorican/Dominican dish I used to eat when I was a little girl. They are made almost the same way.

Ratatouille












My kids and I love the movie Ratatouille, weve been watching it a lot lately and the kids asked me if I could make the dish. I know they are not fond of vegetables because I tried to make an omelet once with yellow squash and zuchinni and they didnt like it, I didnt like it either.
I read the ingredients that go on the dish, so far I like the recipe, it has garlic(my personal fav), onions, bay leaves, parsley, tomatoes and thyme(I love those preety little leaves packed with so much flavor!), very tasty and aromatic herbs. Eggplant, well I tried to make something a few years ago and it didnt come out right so I was a little apprehensive to cook with it again. I had a tough time finding eggplant in this town but I found some yey!bought zuchinni and also the yellow squash. I was ready to make the dish!
I did my research on the internet and viewed some videos on YouTube on how to make it. Came accros a video I really liked, its actually from the movie Rattatouille, a video called "Cooking with Mickey".

I followed the recipe except for the part of roasting the peppers before adding them. Ill do that next time.

My sister gave me a few tips and ideas for the next time I make it(its her favorite vegetable dish) I am definetely going to try her tips. Take some big bread rolls and turn them into bowls, toast in the oven with some olive oil after toasting pour the rattatouille in it, yum!!

Since this was my fist time making the Ratatouille, I knew it wasn't going to be perfect, even though I followed the recipe, something always goes wrong in my kitchen. I overcooked the veggies! the recipe needed to be baked for 2 hours?! and so it was a bit soupy, veggies soft, falling apart soft. I baked it covered it with a lid( needed to use parchment paper) and I didn't reduce the sauce that I made for it. Its ok, I didn't fret, the dish was delicious and my husband and kids except for one, loved the dish!
My daughters also loved the vinnaigrette, so much flavor! It had balsamic vinegar(used pomegranate balsamic vinegar) freshly chopped oregano, sage and the olive oil mixed with the sauce I set aside that was used for the bottom of the dish. My kids they cleaned their plates with bread, soaking up every last drop of the Ratatouille. It was a delicious dish and Im making it again this weekend :)

Ratatouille

1 Eggplant (I used half of a medium sized)
2 medium Yellow Squash
1 medium Zuchinni
3 medium Tomatoes
1 can chopped or diced tomatoes

For the Ratatouille sauce
2 cups chopped roasted Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers
1/2 cup Onion
Fresh Thyme on the stem
Bay leaf


For the sauce made for the Ratatouille ( garlic, onions, chopped tomatoes, peppers, parsley and thyme and bayleaf, make sure to remove the bay leaf)

Garlic Thyme sauce
1/8 tsp Thyme(if using fresh, remove the leaves toss the stem)
2 tsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp Garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

For the vinagrette

1 tsp Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 Thyme
1/8 Basil
1/8 Oregano
1/8 Sage
1 Tblsp Olive oil
2 tblsp Ratatouille sauce

Sautee onions and garlic on olive oil until translucent, then add the chopped tomatoes(with juice) and peppers. Add parsley, bay leaf and thyme on the stem, simmer until the thyme is wilted then remove it and remove the bay leaf. Simmer and reduce the sauce( let some excess water evaporate, do not cover). Simmer for about 10 minutes. Save some extra sauce for making the vinagrette sauce later.

Slice the eggplant, zuchinni, squash and tomatoes, about 1 inch thick, set aside. Pour the sauce on a skillet, place the sliced vegetables on top of the sauce, place veggies circular pattern, tomatoes, squash, zuchini, eggplant wichever way you like.

Pour the garlic thyme sauce over the veggies, cover with parchment paper and bake at 275 degrees for two hours. ( I made the mistake of baking it covered, accidentally speeded up the cooking process so it took about an hour for my dish to cook). I think it also depends how thick you slice the veggies and what you use for covering the dish. Also the sauce needs to be reduced.

Once the veggies are tender, pour delicious vinagrette/ratatouille sauce on it.

Serve with toasted bread and add the Garlic Thyme sauce or Vinagrette on it yum!


This was my first time making this dish, if you encounter mistakes, my bad. Like I posted on my previous post, cook the recipes I blog about at your own risk lol!

Have fun cooking, enjoy food!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Saffron Rice




Ive decided to give this blogging thing a try. Trying, cooking(well not cooking, Ive benn cooking for a long time now, not new) tasting and cooking with unfamiliar ingredients have become my new...thing....lol.
Anyways I bought some saffron, and it was very expensive,it is the worlds mot expensive spice sold by weight, I did a double take on the price but said what the heck get it! I've always used saffron but not in the real form, usually in Sazon a spanish seasoning from the brand Goya or rice seasoned already with it. i wanted to make the real thing.
I wanted to make something quick and simple, I had no idea these little strings can do so much but they do, they add flavor and color. Im not too fond of the flavor honestly but the dish was delicious and my family liked it. I tend to dance around my kitchen, not literraly but when I toss my ingredients together, thats just how I cook. I really don't measure,specially if its a recipe I improvise, so bare with me if you make the rice or any of my recipes and it comes out whack lol!cook at your own risk :)

Saffron Rice

2 cups of Rice, loving Parboiled rice lately!it's just perfect. I have a love hate relationship with short grain rice.
1 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of water
1 tsp of salt
Splash of cooking white wine
1 smoked sausage cut in slices at and angle
sliced onion(here is where I didn't measure, I just cut some onion slices and sauteed them with the sausage)
a pinch or two of saffron
2 tbls of butter
1 tblsp of olive oil

Toss in the butter and sautee the onion until caramelized and the sausage. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a simmer, add the water, the olive oil, the white wine, and the salt. Pour the rice and stir. Bring the heat to low temperature. At this time you may add the saffron and stir it in, and /or wait until the rice is cooked then sprinkle a pinch or two of the saffron for more fresh stonger flavor but I think the rice won't be as yellow, you decide. Cover for about 20 minutes, then fluff with a fork, serve and enjoy!

In the photo I posted you can barely see the sauteed onions or even the sausages, my family of carnivores got to it before I did. I topped it with some saffron (stigmas), the little strings that are harvested and dried to make saffron. I got to some information, I'm starting to be a little fascinated with it. the flower is very preety also.

For my vegan/vegetarian friends you can subsitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth and skip the sausage and butter :)

I also think by adding 2 tablespoons of cream cheese to the dish will make it extra creamy and even more delicious.<---since Im participating in the Real Women of Philadelphia contest( http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com/user_profile/view/12363) I thought adding cream cheese to this dish is awesome too ;p

Here is some info on Saffron

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron

Tried the dish?? let me know :D