Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Beef Stew with Orzo

1 lb. beef (I've used top round, shoulder, chuck; whatever you have)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1c. diced carrots
1c. diced celery
1c. diced onion
4c. chicken broth
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Worshistire sauce
a few sprigs of fresh Rosemary
1 tsp. allspice

1 c. orzo or rice, cooked according to package instructions.

Cover meat with Worshistire sauce. Set aside.

In a dutch oven or other large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sautee garlic for 2 minutes, then add the onions, carrots, and celery. Allow vegetables to cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add beef to pot and brown on all sides. Once beef is browned, add the chicken broth, allspice, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste.

Allow the mixture to simmer until beef is fork tender. For 1 lb meat, this usually takes about 90 minutes. Serve with broth over orzo or rice.

Pound Cake Panini's

1 loaf of pound cake
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. Butter
Powdered Sugar

Slice the pound cake across the length of the loaf, to make large slices. Make sandwiches using the chocolate for the filling. Melt butter in a frying pan. Add sandwiches one at a time, turning them once, until edges are golden. Top sandwiches with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Classic Cheesecake


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar

16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust: In a small bowl, mix the cracker crumbs with the melted butter and the sugar together until evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool the pan on a rack.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held mixer, cream the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. (Stop mixing and scrape down the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed.) Beat in the sour cream. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and cream. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the top of the cheesecake is lightly browned, but the center still jiggles slightly, about 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving.

To remove the cake from the pan, run a knife or offset spatula around the edges to release the edges from the pan. Open the springform pan and remove the ring.

Cut the cheesecake into wedges and serve with berries or a raspberry sauce if desired.

Adapted from Food Network.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cheesecake Pops

24 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1 c. sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
pinch salt
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp heavy cream

4" lollipop sticks

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt on low speed until smooth. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time. Then beat in the vanilla and cream.

Grease a 9" cake pan (not springform), then pour the batter into the pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top. The recipe says that the cheesecake should be done in 35 to 45 minutes, but mine took about 70 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, cut 2 oz. rounds of cheesecake release from the cutter onto parchment paper. Roll the cheesecake into circles then carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the toppings. I used melted milk chocolate to coat, white chocolate for drizzling, and lavender colored sugar (to match my paper liners) to finish. Dip the frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate. Shake off excess and roll in any additional toppings you desire. Refrigerate pops on a parchment lined cookie sheet for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor

Chicken Cheddar Pizza

I cooked 2 chicken breasts with barbecue sauce, then shredded them. On the flattened pizza dough, I added: 1/4 c. Barbecue sauce, the shredded chicken, 1/4c. shallots (sliced thinly), and about 2c. of shredded Irish Cheddar. I baked it on a greased cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350, until crust was golden.

Monday, July 7, 2008


6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate,
finely chopped
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and butter.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Using a handheld whisk, stir the mixture until the chocolate and butter melt and are smooth. Let cool until spreadable. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Baking.

Devil's Food Cake

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare cake pan(s)
In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Pour into a small heatproof bowl and whisk in the 3/4 cup cocoa powder. Let cool to lukewarm.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high, slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the cocoa mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Tap the pan gently on a work surface to break up any air pockets. Bake 60 to 65 minutes.

Adapted from William Sonoma:Cakes


Here is a series of pictures showing the making of Goofy. He was basically made using fondant, a pairing knife, and a chopstick (very professional, I know!).