Monday, 29 August 2016

Lemon Mousse with Cranberry Sauce

6 servings
Preparation 30 minutes / Standing 8 hours
260 calories per serving

vegetable oil spray, to grease the pan or the ramekins
2 eggs, size large
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup whipping cream 35%
Cranberry Sauce (recipe below)

Prepare the lemon mousse:
Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a large spring form pan or of individual ramekins.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and put them in 2 separate bowls.  Combine the egg yolks with the lemon juice and about 1/4 of the sugar.  Set aside.
In the other bowl, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until foamy, then add the salt and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until the egg whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks, about 7-8 minutes.  Set aside.
Pour the cream in a third bowl, then using the electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the whipped cream and egg whites into the yolk mixture using a spatula.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the pan or distribute it into the ramekins.  Cover with foil and freeze at least 8 hours if using the pan, or 2-3 hours for the ramekins.

Unmould and garnish with the cranberry sauce.
Just before serving, remove the frozen mousse from the springform pan and place it on a serving plate.  If you are using ramekins, turn them upside-down onto individual serving plates.  To make ramekin unmoulding easier, pour about 2 cm of hot water in a large bowl, then immerse the bottom of the ramekins in the water for about 1 minute.
Spoon the sauce over the individual servings then serve.

Cranberry Sauce

8 servings (2 cups)
Preparation 5 minutes / Cooking 5 minutes / Standing 1 hour

2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch

In a saucepan, stir together the cranberries, water, and sugar.  Bring to a boil, with constant stirring.  When the sugar is fully dissolved, add the cornstarch through a sieve, in order to avoid lumps.  Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook 6-7 minutes until the berries burst.  Chill 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

The sauce keeps 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

FRESH, LIGHT, DELICIOUS.  A GREAT DESSERT ESPECIALLY AFTER A HEAVY OR SPICY MEAL.

Hummus

2 servings
Soaking 8 hours / Preparation 15 minutes / Cooking 45 minutes
410 calories per serving

1/4 cup chickpeas / Garbanzo beans (dried)
1/2 clove garlic
5 tsp Tahini paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp pine nuts
1/8 tsp paprika
1 pita bread
1 stalk celery
1 carrot
2 radishes
1/2 cucumber

The chickpeas must be soaked in water overnight.  
Cook the chickpeas about 45 minutes.  Drain the chickpeas and reserve some of the cooking water to dilute the hummus.
In a food processor, puree the chickpeas with the garlic, tahini, lemon juice and 2 tbsp olive oil until the hummus is smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add a few tbsp of the cooking water, if necessary, to thin the hummus to the desired consistency.
Transfer to a bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pine nuts and a pinch of paprika.  
Serve with pita bread and vegetables.

Keep up to 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator, 3 months in the freezer.

From http://www.soscuisine.com/

DELICIOUS!!!!!!!  Much better than store-bought hummus . . . lighter, smoother texture.  I ate far too much hummus today . . . LOL

Curried Lentil and Vegetable Soup

4 servings

Preparation 10 minutes / Cooking 45 minutes
220 calories per serving

1-1/4 cup green-brown lentils (dried)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 dried chili pepers, minced
1/2 tbsp gingerroot, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf
4-1/2 water
3 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup yogurt, plain, 2%

Rinse and drain the lentils, then set aside.
Prepare the vegetables. Finely chop the onions, carrots, and celery, mince or press the garlic. Mince the chili pepper and ginger. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, then saute 8-10 minutes until they are golden-coloured with occasional stirring. Stir in the curry powder, chili pepper, ginger, cumin and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute with stirring, then pour in the water and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add more water to thin the soup, if desired.
Add the spinach to the soup and simmer until it is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top each serving with a spoonful of yogurt and serve.

This soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

From http://www.soscuisine.com/ 

REALLY ENJOYED THIS SOUP. MILD FLAVOUR. FRAGRANT. THE LENTILS HAVE A REALLY "MEATY" TEXTURE AND FLAVOUR. THE CURRY IS VERY UNDERSTATED.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Lettuce, Clementine and Fig Salad

2 servings

Preparation 10 minutes
200 calories per serving

1/2 Boston lettuce, or curly leaf
2 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Clementines
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup walnuts
2 dried figs, cut into small pieces

Rinse and spin-dry the lettuce and spinach, then put them in a salad bowl. Squeeze the juice from one clementine into a small bowl. Peel the remaining clementines, separate into segments, then add them to the salad bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil to the clementine juice, pour in the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Whisk well using a fork until the dressing is emulsified. Pour over the salad. Add the walnuts and chopped figs. Toss well. Serve.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Pineapple Cheese Casserole

A recipe from wonderful friend Charlotte, this casserole is delicious as a side for ham or roast pork.

Image result for pineapple cheese casserole

1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, do not drain
1 cup shredded sharp cheese
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
1/4 cup melted margarine

Combine pineapple, sugar and flour.  Add cheese.  Pour in buttered 1 quart dish.  Cover with crumbs and drizzle margarine over top.  Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon and Apple Cider Dressing

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon and Apple Cider Dressing

10 ounces pre-washed baby spinach
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
3 ounces Canadian bacon, finely chopped (I just used 2 more slices of bacon)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced (1 cup)
1 pound button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup apple cider
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Place spinach into a large bowl.  Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until it is just crispy.  Add Canadian bacon to the skillet and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove meat from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Drain any remaining fat from the skillet.  Add olive oil and onions to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, or until onions soften slightly.  Add mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 more minutes.  Put onions and mushrooms on top of the spinach.  Add apple cider and vinegar to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Stir to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes or until cider is reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Whisk in mustard, salt and pepper, to taste.  Pour warm cider dressing over the mushrooms and spinach and toss until the vegetables are well coated.  Sprinkle the bacon on top and serve.

From www.foodnetwork.com

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Banana Bread



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2-1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9x5" loaf pan.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.  Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.  Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into centre of the load comes out clean.  Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Simple Chilled Pumpkin Cheesecake




Serves 8

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Filling:
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly butter a 7" spring-form pan and line the bottom edge with parchment paper; set aside.

For the Crust:
In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, ground ginger and melted butter.  Mix well.  Tip crumb mixture into bottom of the prepared pan and spread evenly across the bottom.  Tamp the crumbs down firmly with the bottom of a glass.  Bake until golden brown and toasted, about 7 minutes; set aside to let cool completely.

For the Filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1/4 cup softened butter and the cream cheese until smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the mixer.  Add pumpkin puree and mix to combine.  Add vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and combine until smooth.  Reduce speed to medium low and add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time; beat until smooth.  Transfer pumpkin mixture to prepared pan, spreading it out evenly over the crust.  Cover and chill until set, about 6 hours, or overnight.  Remove outer ring of pan.  Cut into slices and serve.

Note:  This cheesecake has a lovely texture but it is more savory then sweet.  I enjoyed the tang of the cheese.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Corn Bread and Sausage Corn Bread Stuffing

I was asked the other day if I JUST share recipes or if I have actually made them.  I have made or tasted (if a friend was the cook) ABSOLUTELY every recipe on this blog.  In fact, I often make notations of changes I made or might make and if dear hubby (the fussy eater) likes it.

This recipe is the one I use when I run out of Jiffy corn bread (my favourite corn bread in the world but only available in the US now).



1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2-1/2 tsp lime or lemon juice
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp lard, melted

Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. 

Mix milk and lime juice, add to dry ingredients along with egg and lard.  Mix well, but do not beat.  Pour into a greased 11 x 7 x 1-1/2 inch baking pan.

Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is brown and tests done.  Cool slightly and cut into squares.

About 8 servings.




And this is a delicious stuffing perfect for pork or poultry:

extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
3 ribs celery, small dice
kosher salt (I just used table salt)
1 pound spicy sausage, casing removed, broken into bit-size chunks (I used spicy Italian sausage)
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely diced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped (fresh from my garden)
10 cups stale cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups dried cranberries
3-4 cups chicken stock (I used homemade turkey stock from my freezer)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and celery and saute over to medium heat.  Season with salt and cook until the vegetables start to become soft and are very aromatic.  Add the sausage and cook until the sausage begins to brown.  Stir in the garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes.  Add the walnuts, sage and rosemary and cook for another minute, then remove from heat.

In a large bowl mix together the cornbread, cranberries, and the sausage mixture.  Add chicken stock and knead with your hands until the bread is very moist, actually wet.  Taste to check for seasoning and season with salt, if needed and transfer to an oven proof dish.  Bake the stuffing until it is hot all the way through and is crusty on top, about 30 -35 minutes.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Peach Pancake Syrup



15 cups peaches
6 cups sugar
6 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp vanilla, coconut or brandy extract

Peel and cut the peaches and place them into a food processor to puree in batches.  In a large stockpot, combine the puree, sugar and lemon juice.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes more.  Add the flavouring of your choice.  Fill sterilized pint jars and then process for 20 minutes in a water bath.  Makes 8 pints.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Pam's Newly-invented Spaghetti Sauce



1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped carrot
3 chopped garlic
4 cups chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)

Put all these ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours.  Near the end of cooking time add:

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 jar Original Ragu sauce

I think all the ladies at Ladies' Day Out enjoyed this sauce on penne with Parmesan.  I know Hal and I did.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Green Glop



I'm sure this dish has a more sophisticated name, but in our family it is referred to as "Green Glop" or "Body Filler".  Despite the silly names we've given it, this salad/dessert/whatever is delicious and a Must Have at family gatherings.

1 large Cool Whip
1 instant pistachio pudding mix
1 19 oz. crushed pineapple
2 cups mini marshmallows

Mix together and chill before serving.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Baked Chicken Superb


Baked Chicken Superb

1/2 cup instant potato flakes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup melter butter
1 frying chicken (3-1/2 lb), cut up

On a piece of waxed paper, combine potato flakes and grated cheese.  Melt butter in large shallow baking pan.  Roll each piece of chicken in butter and then in potato flake-cheese mixture.  Place chicken pieces in pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in 350F oven for about 1 hour.  Serves 4

So I didn't want to buy instant potato flakes, mostly because I don't like them; we used breadcrumbs.  And chickens were expensive, but chicken thighs were on sale at a good price.  Needless to say we bought the chicken thighs.  I skinned the chicken thighs when we got home because I'm not a big fan of chicken skin either.  So, while I think we tried to stay true to the original recipe, we actually may have improved upon it.  Taylor really enjoyed measuring and breading and chatting with me.  I enjoyed it too.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Chickpea and Pasta Soup



1-1/3 cup chickpeas or Garbanzo beans (dried), soaked in water overnight, then drained
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
2-1/2 slices bacon, chopped
1 potato, peeled, whole
3 cups Swiss Chard or spinach, cut into 2-3 pieces
4 tsp olive oil
2-1/2 cups water to cook chickpeas
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups water to cook the pasta
1/2 cup mezzi tubetti (pasta for soups)
6 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

Prepare the vegetables : coarsely chop the onion; peel the potatoes, leaving them whole; cut the Swiss chard into 2 or 3 pieces (if using spinach, leave them whole). Set aside.
Heat the oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and bacon, then sauté 3-4 min, with occasional stirring. Add the chickpeas and potatoes, then cook 1-2 min with stirring. Pour in the water, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, about 45 min, until the chickpeas are softened, but al dente (if overcooked, the chickpeas do not fall apart as other legumes, but become "pasty"). If using a pressure cooker, the cooking time is reduced to 12-15 min.
Take the potatoes and about 2 ladles of chickpeas out of the pot and put them in a blender or in a food-mill. Purée the mixture, then put it back into the pot with the soup.
While the chickpeas are cooking, blanch the Swiss chard 4-5 min in a pot of salted boiling water. If using spinach, cook them 3-4 min without adding any water: the water trapped in the leaves after washing them is enough to cook the spinach. Drain the Swiss chard or spinach using a colander, press to remove excess water, then chop them and add them to the chickpea pot.
Cook an additional 2-3 min over medium-high heat, with occasional stirring: the chickpea soup is ready and may be set aside in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
When ready to serve, pour the soup into a saucepan or pot, add about ¼ cup (65 ml) of water per serving and bring to a boil. Add about 1½ tablespoons (10 g) of pasta per serving, cover, and cook about 6-7 min, over low heat. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
Makes 6 servings.

Hal & I REALLY enjoyed this soup.  It was similar to a bean and bacon soup only not nearly as heavy tasting.  Lots of flavour.

www.soscuisine.com

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Strawberry Ice Cream



Strawberry Ice Cream

1-2/3 cups strawberries
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 cup whipping cream 35%

Prepare the mold (I used a loaf pan) by lining it with aluminum foil. Let some foil protrude over the edge to help unmold the ice cream «block» when ready.

Hull the strawberries, halve them lengthwise, then put them in a blender.  Add the strawberry jam and mix at maximum speed until a smooth consistency is obtained. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside.  

In another bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the whipped cream to the large bowl and fold it into the strawberry mixture using a spatula.  

Pour the cream-strawberry mixture into the prepared mould. Wrap it with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

About 20-30 min before you are ready to serve, unmold the whole ice cream onto a plate and let it sit for a while at room temperature to allow the ice cream to be softer and tastier when serving. Alternatively, cut out the slices and put them onto individual plates. Return any unused part back into the freezer and let the individual slices sit in the refrigerator for a while (not at room temperature since they will melt faster than the whole block). If desired, you may garnish the ice cream with a few berries.

Makes 10 servings

This very simple dessert was definitely enjoyed.  I added some fresh sugared strawberries and chocolate sprinkles to each serving.