Roasted Potato/Leek and Mushroom Soup

Roasted Potato/Leek and Mushroom Soup     Serves 6

Toss together in a large bowl

  • 1 lb. medium sized red potatoes, peeled and chopped for roasting
  • 1/2 lb. gold potatoes, peeled and chopped for roasting
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2-3 leek, sliced length-wise, and rinsed carefully to remove all sand, then chopped
  • 1 c. sweet peppers, ribbed and seeded  and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

    Mushroom. leek and potato soup.

    Roasted Potato/Leek and Mushroom Soup
    Perfect for Supper on a Cold Night!

  • 3 large cloves grated fresh garlic
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided as called for in process.
  • 1 tbs. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbs. freshly ground black pepper

When well coated with evoo and garlic, spread in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in a 400°F oven for 40 minutes until veggies are tender and browning.

Place in a food processor with:

  • 1 qt. chicken stock,
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • Process (pulse) until mixture is smooth, but not without texture
  • Pour into a soup pot and heat until bubbly hot

Add

  • 2 cups 1/2 & 1/2
  • Rinse food processor with
  • 2 c. of hot water
  • Heat until bubbly hot
  • Adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, etc).
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a crusty, rustic bread such as Ciabatta.

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Chocolate Éclair Cake          Serves 8 – 10

This recipe is a great one when the occasion calls for a really special dessert.  I especially love it because it is adaptable for lowering the sugar part of a dessert to make it fit in more for low carb diets.  It is not carb free, because of the flour in the Eclair Crust, but it is doable.  By substituting sugar free pudding for sugary pudding and made with cream, the carbs go missing there and with your own sugar free chocolate syrup made by melting unsweetened chocolate chips in heavy cream sweetened with you favorite sugar free sweetner (mine is Splenda®), you’re putting your dessert in the carb range you need.  IT IS NOT FAT FREE, SO ONLY OCCASSIONALLY, PLEASE.  (Or never according to your cardiologist!)  You can tweek it to be lower in carbs and fat by using sugar free puddings, sugar free whipped topping, and non-fat milk (enhanced with the addition of non-fat powdered milk for richnesss).  The carbs will be higher but the fat lower.  You can’t have Eclair crust without the fat of the butter or eggs.  To date, it hasn’t work with egg substitutes and less butter, but I’ll keep trying. (Still never according to your cardiologist, but you decide!)

Chocolate Éclair Cake

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Chocolate Eclair Cake

  • Ingredients
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese,
  • 3 c. vanilla pudding
  • *Cooked pudding preferred but you may use a large (5.2 oz.) vanilla instant pudding made according to package instructions (Mix + 3 c. milk; allow to thicken)
  • 8 oz. whipped cream
  • 3 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla (Seeds from a vanilla bean if available*optional)
  • Hershey’s® Chocolate Syrup or Chocolate Sundae Sauce

Process:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9″x 13″ glass baking pan. If the sides of your pan are too well buttered, the mixture won’t stick to the sides so take care to very lightly butter just barely up the sides.

Éclair Shell:

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly.
  2. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown but check at 25 minutes. Don’t overcook the crust; it will spoil the cake! And don’t handle or push down the bubbles.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Filling:

  1. Make vanilla pudding. Set aside and allow to thicken completely.
  2. Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy.
  3. Slowly add prepared pudding to cream cheese, mixing until smooth and spreadable,
  4. Fill completely cooled shell with pudding/cream cheese filling

Topping:

  1. Whip cream and sweeten with 3 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
  2. Top with whipped cream.
  3. May use a commercial whipped topping (like Cool Whip) but whipped real cream is preferred.

Finish:

Drizzle with chocolate syrup or sundae sauce, serving extra chocolate on the side.

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DSCF0199

Spring Ambrosia
Good Morning World!

Spring Ambrosia Fruit Compote   Serves 6

  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 banana, sliced into 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Craisins®
  • 1 fresh mango, chunked (may substitute 1/2 cup dried mango chunks (cut small))
  • 1 tbsp.  finely minced fresh mint
  • 1 cup flaked coconut (I use Angel Flake) *but may be fresh
  • 4 peeled and segmented seedless mandarin oranges such as Cuties®
  • + 2 unpeeled mandarin oranges halved for juicing
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (optional)

NOTE:  *If fresh coconut is used, please add 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar or for diabetics,  use fresh flaked coconut and add Splenda® instead of sugar.

Instructions:

  1. Prepare all fruits and gather in a large beautiful bowl
  2. Toss with fruit juices, coconut and yogurt (if included).
  3. Serve at room temperature for best flavors
  4. Enjoy!

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Mushroom, Sweet Pepper and Asparagus Frittata      

DSCF0199 Serves 6

  • 1o Sweet Peppers, red, yellow and orange, seed and juliene
  • 12 Cremini Mushrooms stemmed and sliced
  • 9 medium stalks of asparagus, pared and cut in 1″ diagonal chunks
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp.finely ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. butter (divided)
  • 3 tbsp. evoo (divided)
  • 3 oz. grated swiss cheese
  • Cooking spray

Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a heavy skillet with 1 tbsp. evoo over medium-high heat. Sauté sliced mushrooms for about 45 seconds, then add sliced peppers and asparagus, add salt and pepper and continue to sauté and toss together until crisp tender.  Remove from heat, check seasonings.  Add extra salt and pepper to taste and set aside..

Spray cold egg pan around the sides, even non-stick with cooking spray.  Melt 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp. evoo together in the sprayed pan over medium heat.  Break eggs into a bowl, add cream to eggs and whisk until well combined .  Pour directly into the melted butter and reduce the heat to med-low.

Lift eggs as the set, gently, with a silicone spatula and allow uncooked eggs to run underneath until all is soft set.  Add sautéed vegetables and sprinkle grated cheese over top.   Place in a 300° F oven just until cheese melts.  Slide out of pan onto a serving plate, slice, garnish and serve.  Shown with ham and basil tomatoes with black pepper biscuits.  ( See Quick Fixes and quick and easy for all recipes.)

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Fresh Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in Salted Caramel

How can anyone claim title to this wonderful fruit filled dessert?  There are so many versions of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake that I could fill a book with them and all of them are good.  I will say that this is a family recipe, tweaked to have some trendy changes that suit our current tastes.  When Mama made this cake she didn’t have access to the delicious rums available today or fresh pineapples, and the caramel on which her cake batter and pineapple floated had never heard of salted caramel, though she added salt to it to balance out the sweetness and enhance all the flavors of the recipe.  Now you can get fabulous rum in a tiny bottle just the right size for this recipe, and calling attention to the salt in the caramel is in vogue, fresh pineapple is available in almost any food store you enter, so here we are:  Fresh pineapple, salted caramel and rummy cake batter, thus this quick and easy dessert is a mere few minutes from creation.

The thing to remember about making any recipes that call for butter, sugar and liquor is that you can always lighten up a little with simple substitutions (using unsweetened applesauce in the place of some of the granulated sugar and reduce the amount of  butter and fat). Using other liquid  flavors in the place of liquor is always an option, so adapt your recipes to your families taste and standard.  You are the head chef in your kitchen.

1.                                   Coat a 9-in. cakepan with cooking pray and set aside.

2.                                                           Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 stick soft unsalted butter
  • 1 c. dark-brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. dark rum (or 3 tbsp pineapple juice+ 1 tbsp molasses)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
    • In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat brown sugar and 1 stick of butter whisking occasionally until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil and cook until caramel thickens and furs a deep brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in run  and 1 tsp. salt.  Pour caramel into prepared cake pan and swirl to coat.  Set aside and let cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

3.                                                             Cake Batter

  • 1 stick soft unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c whole milk
    • Preheat oven to 350°F. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, remaining salt and cinnamon.  In a large bowl, using electric miser on med speed, beat together granulated sugar and remaining butter until fluffy.  Add vanilla. beat in the eggs, 1 at a time.  Add 1/2 the dry ingredients and half the milk, and use the mixer to stir the ingredients in, then add balance of dry and milk.  Stir to incorporate then stir on high speed briefly to make sure all ingredients have blended.

4.                                                                Pineapple

Fresh Pineapple Upsidedown Cake Summer or winter~ always a hit.

Fresh Pineapple Upsidedown Cake
Summer or winter~ always a hit.

  • 1 medium pineapple, prepared and cut in rings.
    • Peel, core and slice pineapple in rings.  Arrange pineapple rings atop the caramel in cake  pan., filling in between rings with pineapple chunks.

5.                                                                Final Steps

  • Slowly pour batter over pineapple and spread to the sides of the pan.  An offset or rubber spatula works well for this.
  • Bake until a toothpick  inserted in center of cake come out clean, 48-52 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake.  Invert on a serving plate and Yum!

 

Royal Macchiato Carrot Cake

This is not a quick, slam-dunk, out-of-the-box cake, but it is a cake you’ll be glad you took the time to make and will again.  It isn’t difficult, but it does use some ingredients that might be a little harder to find, so we’ve made some suggestions of how to overcome those challenges. It is a special occasions cake recipe you’ll probably be tempted to serve too often.  Substitution may be made for the liquor in this cake with any flavoring you like as long as you have the equivalent liquid.

Equipment needed: Food Processor or Mixer                                              

        3  – 8” cake pans, buttered & floured      See NOTE: (or Large Sheet Cake Pan)

NOTE: You can bake this cake as a large sheet cake and frost with Lemon Cheese Creme if you’d like.  As a sheet cake, I decorate it as I do as a torte cake, with a sprinkle of lemon zest and the Caramel Royal Macchiato Drizzle over the Creme frosting.  It’s always a big hit!

 CARAMEL ROYAL SYRUP: (Macchiato drizzle)***

  • 1/3 c. Caramel Sundae Sauce + 2 tbsp. Crown Royal = 1/2 c. Crown Royal Caramel syrup***.  Divide in half .

CAKE:

Cream butter in FP Bowl, (or large mixer bowl) with sugar and splenda. Pulse (or mix on high) to combine, add 3 eggs (one at a time), pulsing 2 times (or mixing a few stroke) after each addition then add flavoring.

  • 1 c.  (2 sticks) butter, cut in cubes

    Caramel Macchiato  Cake Worth the trouble any day!

    Royal Macchiato Carrot Cake
    Worth the trouble any day!

  • 1 c. granulated sugar*
  • 1/3 c. Splenda*
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. butterscotch (or butternut) flavoring

*may use all sugar, no substitute if desired

Measure together into a food processor bowl, pulsing together 4 or 5 times.  Dump into a bowl and set aside.  (If not using an FP, stir together with a whisk until thoroughly mixed)

  • 2 ¼ c. cake flour
  • 1/4 c. powdered non-fat dry milk*
  • 2 ¼ tsp. double acting baking powder
  • ½  tsp. salt
  • ¾ c. coarsely chopped nuts (your choice, I prefer walnuts)
  • 2 c.  shredded carrots
  • 1 c. fresh-packed California golden raisins
  • 1/2 c.  flaked sweetened coconut (fresh grated, unsweetened works, too)
  • ¾ c. concentrated carrot juice*

Mix, adding, in alternate thirds, beginning with carrot juice*, the above ingredients.

Pulse  (5-6 times) (mix) only to mix to combine.  Don’t over-mix.

Divide evenly between the 3 well-prepared cake pans.

Bake the layers in 350° oven for 15-18 minutes.  Be sure to check for doneness at 15 minutes as ovens vary.  In any case, bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean and cakes are pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Immediately upon removing baked cakes from the oven, brush each layer lightly with Crown Royal Caramel syrup***.

 Caramel Royal syrup (Macchiato drizzle)***

  • 1/3 c. Caramel Sundae Sauce + 2 tbsp. Crown Royal = 1/2 c. Crown Royal Caramel syrup***.  Divide in half .

Directions:  Stir, until smooth, 1/3 c. Caramel Sundae Sauce together with 2 tbsp. Crown Royal (any good burbon or whiskey will do).  Heat 1/4 c. to thin for brushing over warm cakes.  Keep the remaining 1/4 c.  cool for Macchiato drizzle over “frosted” cake.

Allow cakes to then cool in pan for 5-7 minutes, then turn out on cooling rack or clean tea towel.  Layer and frost when thoroughly cool.  I wrap and freeze mine as soon as they are cool, then frost/fill while frozen.

Frost or fill as you wish.    I use Lemon Cream Cheese Creme for filling and bourbon flavored Whipped Cream (sweetened with 2 tbsp. powdered sugar**) for sides and top to balance out the sweetness.  Adding a few sprinkle of lemon zest to top for decoration dresses up the cake and adds an ingredients clue.

Tips & Suggestion

*If you can’t find carrot juice concentrate, simmer bottled carrot juice until it is reduced, thick and syrup-like; if you have a juicer, fresh is perfect

**Sweeten heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar.  This keeps the cream from “breaking” (separating) after it is whipped.

***Crown Royal Caramel Syrup:  Recipe Repeated from above

Stir 1/3 c. Caramel Sundae Sauce together with 2 tbsp. Crown Royal (any good burbon or whiskey will do).  Heat 1/4 to thin for brushing over warm cakes.  Keep the remaining 1/4 cool for Macchiato drizzle over “frosted” cake.

©2013 BAPantryGourmet/BAZiegler • all rights reserved

Easter Ham and Eggs ~~~~~~A Brunch Entree~~~~~~Serves 4

  • Pepperidge Farms® Puff Pastry Shells  –  Prepare according to package instructions. Cool on wire rack.
  • 16 oz. cooked, cubed baked ham
  • 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • 16 oz. frozen or fresh petite peas
  • 2 large carrots cut in square dice (about the size of peas and sauté in a medium sized until crisp-tender)
  • ¼ cup diced pimento

Mix gently in the “carrot” sauce pan, taking care not to over-mix, crush eggs or smash peas.  Heat over low heat until warmed through.   Stir into:

  • 1 cup Hollandaise Sauce
  • ½ cup Smoked Gouda
  1. Divide evenly between the Cooled Pastry shells and lightly sprinkle grated smoked Gouda over all.
  2. Serve with a fresh fruit plate along side, endless deep roast coffee and assorted juices or Mimosas or Gingered Champagne

Recipe may be easily multiplied to fit your crowd.

Mini Easter-Egg Cookie    ~~~~~~~ 5-dozen  / 70 calories ea.       

What you need:                 

  •  1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (unsalted if you like)
  • [If unsalted butter is used, add 1/8 teaspoon of salt.]
  • ½ cup powdered cane sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped nuts (I prefer pecans but walnuts work)
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Beat butter and ½ cup powdered sugar together with electric mixer.  Add vanilla. Combine flour, salt and nuts; stir into sugar mixture.
  3. Divide dough into 4 even amounts and add two drops of food coloring into each of the divisions, only one color per portion. (Yellow, green, blue and red) and mix to color dough.
  4. Roll dough into egg shaped balls approximately 1” in size.    Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake 15 minute until lightly browned.  Roll in powdered sugar (see last ingredient) while hot.
  •  About 1½ cups of powdered sugar [(confectioner’s sugar) for coating after egg cookies are baked..

  WASABI DEVILED EGGS              ~~~                  24 Servings

What you need :                      

  • 1 dozen extra large eggs
  • (NOTE:  buy eggs one week in advance of making this recipe as extremely fresh eggs do not peel well when boiled.)
  • 1/2 cup Best Food’s,  Hellman’s or other top quality Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • DSCF0186

    Wasabi Eggs and
    Cheese Stuffed Sweet Peppers

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt,
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi Paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced cilantro (4 sprigs, leaves only –  more for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced sweet red pepper (1 small for mincing, two for garnish)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of granulated garlic.
  • Stuffed green olives for garnish.
  1. Bring eggs to boil in a pot of water deep enough to cover all the eggs, adding 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 cup distilled vinegar to the water.  When all comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 11 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside for 4-5 minutes, then chill under running cold water until water feels cool.  Then add sufficient ice cubes to water to quickly chill until cold.
  3. Peel cold eggs carefully, rinse and dry.  Slice in half and remove yolks to a bowl.
  4. Cream egg yolks with mayonnaise, yogurt and seasonings.
  5. Pipe filling back into egg whites and garnish with stuffed olives, cilantro and sweet pepper.


 Deviled Eggs Verona              ~~~                 24 Servings

What you need:

  • 1 dozen extra large eggs (NOTE:  buy eggs one week in advance of making this recipe as extremely fresh eggs do not peel well when boiled.)

    cropped-DSCF0107.jpg

    Deviled Eggs Verona

  • 1/2 cup Best Food’s, Hellman’s or other top quality Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt,
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch each:  cayenne pepper and granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced Italian parsley (4 sprigs, leaves only –  more for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced stuffed green olives plus more for garnish)
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes for garnish.
  1. Bring eggs to boil in a pot of water deep enough to cover all
  2. the eggs, adding 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 cup distilled vinegar to the water.  When all comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 11 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside for 4-5 minutes, then chill under running cold water until water feels cool.  Then add sufficient ice cubes to water to quickly chill until cold.
  4. Peel cold eggs carefully, rinse and dry.  Slice in half and remove yolks to a bowl.
  5. Cream egg yolks with mayonnaise, yogurt and seasonings until fluffy and smooth.
  6. Pipe filling back into egg whites and garnish with stuffed olives, tomatoes and parsley.

~~~~~~      Coconut Avocado Pound Cake     ~~~~~~

Republished for Seasonal Content. (Originally published March 3, 2013)

 This pastel green pound cake is just the different dessert you’re looking for as a beautiful Easter Dessert and you couldn’t serve a more moist, delicious cake.

It will be one of those recipes you’ll be asked to share so decide if you want to call it an old secret family recipe or print up copies for sharing.  Printed on a parchment like paper then rolled, scroll style, tied with thin pastel ribbons of different colors, it makes a lovely gift for you guests.

Coconut Avocado Pound Cake Loaf or Bundt  This Cake Pleases

Coconut Avocado
Pound Cake
Loaf or Bundt
This Cake Pleases

Ingredients

  • 3 cups granulated sugar½ cup powdered cane sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 2 Avocados, peeled and mashed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Zest from 1 lime ( reserve 1 tsp for glaze)
  • 1 cup Angle Flake Sweetened Coconut

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (use a good quality cane sugar/C&H)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp reserved lime zest

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray a standard sized bundt pan with Pam Baking Spray, THOROUGHLY.
  2. Combine flour, salt and baking powder and set aside
  3. In a stand mixer bowl, cream together the sugar and avocado until well combined and fluffy
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time and stir after each addition, then add in lime juice, sour cream, vanilla, coconut ad lime zest, mixing well.
  5. Add the flour mixture and beat, mixing only to incorporate.  Pour batter into prepared pan , taking care to level the mixture around the pan center.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until done (the toothpick test!)
  7. Cool (upside down) on a cooling rack, then turn out onto serving plate.
  8. Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over cake while it is still warm.
  9. Decorate with a sprinkle of coconut.

©BAPantryGourmet/Barbara Ziegler 2013-2014 All rights reserved

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