Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 259: Mudslide Cookies

Yield: 30 cookies

Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

1 ½ Tbsp butter
2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped up

1 Tbsp instant coffee
2 Tbsp baileys Irish cream
1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cup flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

2 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs plus 1 egg white
¼ cup baileys irish cream

¼ cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a bowl, put the butter, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate and microwave for a minute. Stir until smooth. You may need to reheat
3. Stir together the instant coffee, baileys and vanilla and add to the chocolate
4. In a mixture, combine the eggs, sugar and baileys and mix for about 5 min until pale in color and fluffy
5. Add to the chocolate mixture in 2 additions and mix until combined
6. Mix they dry ingredients together, the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt
7. Add to the chocolate, and add the nuts and stir till combined
8. Spoon rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheets about 1 inch apart and bake for about 10 min or until the top of the cookies begin to crack
9. Cook and serve. Be careful taking off the cookie sheet, they tend to stick

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Ok, so I know they have a bunch of baileys in them, but I really don’t taste it. A mudslide drink is kahlua, baileys, cream, and chocolate. Mine has coffee, baileys, and nuts…so maybe they aren’t so perfect, but they are pretty good! If you get them out just when they begin to crack on top, they will be chewy inside and crunchy outside, which is the way I like them best. Try them out, maybe serve them with the Guinness brownies and have a drinking dessert theme party!

Day 258: Applesauce Vinaigrette

Yield: 1 cup
Time (Start to Finish): 15 min

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup applesauce
olive oil, about ½ cup, maybe more
salt and pepper

1. Combine the vinegar and applesauce
2. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking until it is combined. Salt and pepper to taste
3. You may need to add more of any ingredients to make it taste the way you like, so adjust. Maybe less vinegar, more applesauce

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: So this tasted good on a very basic salad. Just greens maybe some avocado. It is something I made at work, quick during the day since I went to a concert last night and am going to another one tonight. I know I have been making lots of dressings lately, and I think that is because it is so nice out and I have been wanting to eat salads all the time! Its good to try new things, and some applesauce in the dressing was a great little twist. I think you will like it. This might also be nice over a fruit salad, as long as you don’t add too much.

Day 257: Lime in the Coconut Cookies

Yield: 20 cookies
Time (Start to Finish): 2 hours (with chilling)

½ cup shredded coconut
1 ½ sticks butter
½ cup sugar
pinch salt
½ tsp vanilla
1 lime, juiced
2 limes, zested
1 1/3 cup flour

1. Preheat the oven to 325F
2. Spread the coconut on a cookie sheet, and toast. Watch it, it cooks fast. You want it to be brown, but some of it still white
3. Take the coconut, toasted, and put in a blender and blend until it is finely ground
4. In a bowl, combine the butter and the sugar until smooth
5. Add the pinch of salt, vanilla, lime juice, and zest
6. Add the flour and the coconut and stir. If it doesn’t come together, add more limejuice. If it is too wet, add more flour. You want it to come together into a ball.
7. Roll into a log and cover with plastic and put in the freezer for 30 min
8. Take out and slice into 20 cookies and place on cookie sheets. They wont spread
9. Bake for 15 min or until the edges just begin to brown.

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: These turned out WAY better than I expected. They were a remarkable hit! They were very light and the edges were crunchy. You could taste the lime and coconut perfectly, and it tasted even better dunked in milk. Everyone that ate these raved about them. The substituting coconut for the flour I think made them so light. You really need to try them. They are a basic shortbread, and also, a song!!! You must make these, they will be a huge hit, and always inspire a little lime in the coconut round robin.

Day 256: Pesto Pasta With Bacon

Yield: 2 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 30 min

1 package lemon basil pasta

4 slices bacon

handful basil
¼ cup pine nuts
olive oil
salt and pepper
parm cheese
squeeze lemon juice

3 slices salami

1. Boil the pasta with salt according to the directions, and make sure they are slightly undercooked. That is the best
2. Cook the bacon however you like, I like mine crispy, and pat the oil off and cut into chucks
3. Cut the salami into chunks the same size as the bacon pieces
4. Make the pesto in a small blender. Put the basil and pine nuts in. add parm cheese and the lemon juice
5. Turn the blender on and drizzle in the olive oil until it is the consistency you like. I added more cheese at the end since it will be on pasta
6. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir until coated
7. Add the bacon and salami and serve

Rating: 3 strawberries
Notes: well, this is tasty, but I ate 2 servings, which isn’t so good. Also, that means I ate a lot of bacon. If I were you I would add some veggies to this as well! It is good, but I don’t feel too creative, which is why I gave it a low rating. It is fast, I always like dinners that are fast, and this one was. You can try it, but again I say, veggies!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 255: Guinness Brownies with Sauce

Yield: 1 8 inch square pan
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

3 oz unsweetened chocolate
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Guinness beer
1 cup flour
pinch salt
½ cup chopped walnuts

4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1-2 oz Guinness

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 8 inch square pan
2. Place the butter and the chocolate in a bowl and melt until smooth
3. Add the sugar and stir
4. When cool enough, add the eggs and stir
5. Add the vanilla and the flour and stir until half combined
6. Add the Guinness and salt and stir until combined
7. Pour into the pan and sprinkle walnuts on top
8. Bake about 25 min until they are almost cooked through, and when you stick a knife in the center, a little bit if crumbs sticks to the blade. If you over bake they will be dry
9. To make the sauce, heat the Guinness on the stove until about to boil
10. Pour over the chocolate chips, and whisk to melt.
11. Pour over the brownies as you serve them

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: I think I just found my new favorite brownie recipe. These are very cakelike, which is great. My other brownie recipe is fudgy, so its nice to have 2 different kinds. The only reason these got a low rating is because they didn’t taste much like Guinness. I wanted more flavor there, and the chocolate sauce was great, but the same problem. You have to make these though. I brought them to work, and they were eaten like ive never seen before. Also, they became a last minute birthday present for mac’s friends will and murdo…happy birthday boys. Try these out though, for real they are great. You can sub the beer for hot water, milk, or any flavored liquid you like, but beer is really the best

Day 254: White Wine Thyme Dressin’

Yield: 1 cup
Time (Start to Finish): 15 min

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup white wine
pinch garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp fresh thyme

1. Whisk all ingredients together except the olive oil
2. Drizzle in the olive oil while stirring. You may need to add more oil if you like
3. Season and adjust the flavorings to taste. You can even add a pinch of lemon if you like
4. Serve over greens

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: If you say the name out loud, it is cooler than anything, which I like! Thyme is a wonderful earthy spice that is very powerful. A pinch goes a log way, so when you use it, it Is nice to have it as a central flavor instead of something in the background. This dressing is simple, and I love fresh herbs on or in salad, so use this fresh, or leave the thyme out and put it on when you serve it. This is also good just over veggies, or slices of avocado. I hope you like it, it is something simple and really adds a lot of flavor

Day 253: Coconut Truffles

Yield: 2 dozen truffles
Time (Start to Finish): 1 day

4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
¾ cup coconut milk
1-2 tsp coconut extract

¾ cup coconut, shredded

1. Put the chocolate chips in a bowl
2. In a saucepan, heat up the coconut milk, butter and extract until it is just about to boil
3. Pour over the chocolate chips and whisk slowly until it is all melted together
4. Place plastic over the top and press it down into the chocolate
5. Put in the fridge for at least 5 hours, or overnight. You want the chocolate firm. You can put it in the freezer if you need to
6. Take the coconut and spread it out on a cookie sheet
7. Toast in a toaster oven or in the oven and toast until brown. Stir it while you are toasting it so that it toasts evenly
8. Put the shredded coconut in a food processor and blend until the pieces are the size of crumbs
9. Take the truffle chocolate and scoop into 1 inch balls. Roll in your hand or use a scoop and drop into the toasted coconut, roll, and place on a plate
10. Chill the truffles before serving, and eat them up!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I am so into coconut milk now! That stuff is SO cool!!! And these truffles are out of this world. Chocolate and coconut is such a great combo, lets just say I melted people with these. Im saving one for my mom! They melt in your mouth, and then the crunchy coconut finishes off the deal. Do not use coconut water, it must be the milk. You can leave the butter out if you want it to be dairy free. These are so good. Don’t make them too big. They are very rich, so one bite will do you

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 252: Coconut Crème Brulee

Yield: 1 large pan, 3-4 ramekins, low
Time (Start to Finish): 2-3 hours

7 oz coconut milk
1 oz heavy cream
1 Tbsp coconut flavoring
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ oz sugar
4 egg yolks

brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Take your ramekins or low dish and place them on a cookie sheet with sides. You will be filling the cookie sheet with hot water
2. In a saucepot, combine the cream, coconut milk, sugar, coconut flavor, and vanilla and stir until just about boiling
3. In another bowl, put the egg yolks
4. When the cream is hot, and while whisking, SLOWLY pour the hot cream into the eggs, always whisking
5. Pour back into the pot, and whisk for about 30 sec
6. Pour through a strainer into the container you are cooking it in
7. Put in the oven with the cookie sheet filled with hot water and bake for about 25 min or until the cream shakes like jello
8. Place in the fridge until completely chilled
9. You can use a torch or you can turn on your broiler
10. Spread brown sugar over the top evenly, and not too much. You want a thin layer
11. Place in the broiler, but stay with it and watch it. Let it bubble and then when it begins to brown, take it out. Crack and enjoy!

Rating: 5 strawberries
Notes: This is so great!!! I wouldn’t change a thing to this dish! I cant believe I didn’t think of this sooner. It is killer. The brown sugar tops it off. The coconut milk is a great touch, but you can use regular if you don’t have any. I shared this with the roomies, who all loved it, and saved myself a bowl. I even thought of maybe putting a little coconut in the sugar to toast it too. Try it out, this is really great!!! A 5!!!

Day 251: Tomato Mango Sauce

Yield: 1 pot
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

1 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 small apple, peeled and cubed
½ mango, peeled and cubed
1 jar tomato sauce (any flavor, I like 3 cheese)
½ cup white wine
1 small handful cilantro, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. In a sauce pan, heat up the olive oil, garlic, and onion and cook until they are translucent
2. Add the apple and cook a little bit to soften it up
3. Add the tomato sauce, and stir
4. Add the wine, mango, and salt and pepper to taste
5. Stir and let it come to a simmer and turn off
6. Add the cilantro at the end and enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: I first made this in Texas with These United States as our last meal together. I love making food for them, and it was a nice send off to do what I do best. Colin particularly liked my sauce with the apple and mango, and I have been meaning to make it again and put it on this blog, so here it is! The mango and apple add a ton of sweetness, and the cilantro ties in with the mango quite a bit. It is really a unique and great sauce. I know, I should make the tomato part from scratch too, which is why I didn’t give it a higher rating, but it works nonetheless, and is quick. Thanks for the meal guys!

Day 250: Chicken Cordon Vert

Yield: 3 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min-1 hour

3 flattened chicken steaks
3 slices ham
3 slices swiss cheese
6 slices bacon
1 cup white wine

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Take flattened chicken and spread pesto on one side
3. Place in the center the cheese, and place the ham on top
4. Roll the chicken so that all the cheese and ham are wrapped inside and place the end of the roll on the bottom
5. Wrap each piece of chicken in bacon the opposite way so the side where you can see into the roll is covered. Use 2 pieces per piece of chicken
6. Take a 8 inch baking dish and place each chicken inside
7. Fill with the white wine, sprinkle with pepper, and bake until the chicken is cooked
8. You can add more pesto on top if you think it is dry

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: So, this is obviously a take on chicken cordon bleu, and vert is green in French, and that is the pesto! I also added the bacon and wine. This was really flavorful. Don’t add salt, the bacon and pesto have enough salt. The white wine keeps the chicken moist, as does the bacon. This is such a nice comfort meal! You will love it. If you like bacon, chicken and pesto, this will rock your socks off. Share it with a friend, save it for lunch the next day, an impressive date.

Day 249: Applesauce Pear Cake

Yield: 1 8inch square cake
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

1 ½ cup flour
¾ tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz butter, soft
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup applesauce
¾ cup chopped walnuts
1 pear, sliced and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a mixer, combine the butter and the sugar until smooth
3. Add the vanilla and the eggs
4. Combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and add to the mixture. Mix until halfway incorporated
5. Add the applesauce and mix until combined
6. Mix with a spatula the pear pieces and the nuts until combined and then pour into a greased 8 inch square pan
7. Bake about 45 min until a knife comes out clean
8. You can make a frosting or just leave as is and serve.

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: The pear really makes this dish. I know it is a cake, but it easily can be a breakfast loaf! The pear chunks make it tasty, and the spices make is sweet. You can even add pumpkin pie spice, which I almost did. We kept this in the house and Alley had her family here. I hope everyone scarfed on it! Cakes like this are quick and easy. Its nice having things that just use 2 bowls! Its good right out of the oven, or a couple days later! You can use chunky or smooth applesauce.

Day 248: Strawberry Garlic Dressing

Yield: ½ cup dressing
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

3 cloves garlic, roasted
4 strawberries
olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper

1. Roast the garlic until soft
2. In a blender, add the garlic, mustard, strawberries, vinegar, salt and pepper and turn the blender on
3. Stream in the olive oil until smooth (you can make garlic olive oil if you like, heat up olive oil with garlic cloves, then strain them out and cool)
4. Serve over greens

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This is so good! Who would have thought that garlic and strawberries would be such a great combo. This is good over any salad, and stays for a couple of days. I made it in the morning (no one was home, so the blender could go without waking anyone!) and brought it to work and put on my lunchtime salad. Try this dressing out. It is simple, and really tasty.

Day 247: Crumble Ice Cream Topper

Yield: 1 bowl
Time (Start to Finish): 15 min

1 bowl of ice cream, favorite flavor!
¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup coconut, shredded and toasted
¼ cup toasted walnuts
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp sugar
chocolate chips (optional)

1. Melt the butter
2. Add the cracker crumbs and let it soak
3. Add the coconut, walnuts, cinnamon, sugar and chocolate chips and stir until combined. You can add more butter if you want it to be a little more gooey
4. Sprinkle the mixture over ice cream and dig in

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: I made this after a long drive from LA back to San Francisco, in the pouring rain. Welcome home! It is easter Sunday, most stores are closed, so this was a pantry treat. I had some left over caramel ice cream, and this was a killer touch to make it all the sweeter. I didn’t have chocolate chips, but I know they would fit right in here. A bowl of this, a few Lost episodes and I was out like a light. I hope you like this simple fast treat.

Day 246: Farmers Market Fizz

Yield: 1 drink
Time (Start to Finish): 10 min

5 fresh strawberries
½ cup fresh blueberries
fresh orange juice
ice to taste
½ 7 up or Sprite drink

1. In a blender, blend the strawberries, blueberries, orange juice and ice until it is smooth and creamy
2. Pour into a glass but leave room in the top, about 1 cup of room
3. Pour in the soda, it will foam a lot, until it reaches the top of the glass, and drink

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: It may not be the most exciting of drinks, but we walked to the farmers market in the morning, grabbed the freshest of ingredients, and I made this! I know, 7up isn’t fresh, but we had just bought it at the store! It’s a nice drink, great for a hangover, and I know I have been making a few beverages lately, but when the weather is good all is want is nice drinks! You can add any fruit you want. Peach would be wonderful, as would raspberries, oranges, plums. Try it out, the sparkling soda is a great touch.

Day 245: Beer-Mosa From Baxter

Yield: 1 drink
Time (Start to Finish): 5 min

1 light beer, corona
orange juice
hot sauce
squeeze lime

1. Pour the beer into a glass, make sure there is room
2. Add orange juice to taste, about ½ a cup, maybe more
3. Add hot sauce to taste. Even just a little will add a ton of flavor so don’t be afraid
4. Add the lime to brighten it up, and enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Ok, so it is like a mimosa, but without champagne, with beer! I added the lime to go with the corona, and the hot sauce to spike the senses. I made this with my brother, his wife, and their dog Baxter! He loved it the most! (just kidding, he just posed with it. He likes watching me drink it) it’s a nice night cap or to start off a Sunday, and takes just a few minutes to make. Test it, and thanks Baxter!

Month 8

Annie’s Current Weight: 127
I actually did a lot of cool things this month! I had a lot of group meals, I went to Austin and was supported by a huge group of friends, I created a lot of great things! I made some great friend contacts, and now think that since I am 8 months in, I can start to make some calls about maybe getting into some news. That is exciting. I didn’t gain any weight, which is good, and had a lot of great people eat and judge my food. This was one of the best months of my cooking project yet. It really felt worth it this month.
Pains: How do I top that month! There were some close calls, as always, for not doing recipes. I feel like the more I have going on, the better I am at planning. A lot of this month I had just working, so its harder to get something made, when I go to work, go out to dinner, I just seem to run out of time. I always did it, though, thank god. I don’t know what I would do if I missed a day. I have come so far. I also feel like I need to get more creative, and I mean that in the sense that a lot of my recipes are close to each other. I also didn’t blog as much as I should and I fell behind, and I regret that. I need to be more on top of that.
Promises: I promise to shock and amaze you all with new things. With my new contacts, I have a lot more support for creative ideas and bouncing things off of people. I also promise to blog more. I know I have been slacking on that…so I hope this month I get to do that more. I am sorry. I also promise to lose another pound! Wouldn’t that be awesome! This month has a lot of trips, lots going on, and the sun is out. Summer is here! So fruits, ice creams, lots of things will begin to surface. I promise to keep it interesting and fun
Ponders: you know, I think about what I will do after this project is over, and it is almost scary. Taking on big projects and actually following through with them only inspires me to try something even bigger. I don’t know what will happen and I cant wait for it. I also look at other food blogs, and I think to myself, do I want to become that? I don’t know if blogging is my thing…I am not a journalism major, I have terrible grammar and spelling, and life always takes precedence to me wanting to blog. I also get scared of what I should say and who will read it. I have tried to keep this blog about the food and less about my personal life, and sometimes I think, should that be? So much of what I am cooking and why I cook it relates to where I am and who I am with. I don’t know, but what I do know is I am thinking of the future, and I am really now seeing the finish line to my project. I see who I was a year ago, just leaving New York, I see who I am now, working, in a food project, dating someone, and I wonder, where will I be next year? All I know is, life is fun, and I currently have something brewing, so id better go get to it…

Day 244: Candied Peanuts

Yield: 1 cup
Time (Start to Finish): 20 min

1 cup peanuts
¼ cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp honey
sprinkle cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter
squeeze lemon juice

powdered sugar

1. Take nuts and put in a sauce pan with the butter, honey, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
2. Stir until butter melts, the sugar melts and coats the nuts, and all come together. The nuts will start to smell like toasted nuts, and that is when you want to turn the heat off
3. Squeeze the lemon juice, and stir to make sure the nuts aren’t sticking together. Let them cool a little
4. Dust with powdered sugar, even a little cinnamon if you like

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Yummy! I have made a number if candied nuts, but these are with honey and lemon. They are tasty, but most importantly, they are quick. I am feeling a little under the weather today, and I am about to get on a flight to LA to be with my brother, so it is nice to have something quick. This is another nice thing to serve at a party, but I made a bag of them to take while I waited in the security line. I hope you try them out!

Day 243: Beef Stroganoff…Kind of

Yield: 2 people
Time (Start to Finish): 40 min

1 flank steak
1 cup mushrooms, brown
1 cup chopped chard
1 cup white rice
3 cups beef stock
½ cup white wine
salt and pepper
1 shallot, small
1 garlic clove
olive oil
2-4 Tbsp flour

1. I used left over steak, but you can brown the steak in chunks in a pan, cooked to med rare, salt and pepper
2. In a pot, cook the shallot and garlic in a little olive oil until soft
3. Add the rice and cook for 30 sec
4. Add the beef stock and cook until the rice is cooked through. There should be left over stock
5. Add the white wine and taste. Add salt and pepper to taste
6. Add the mushrooms, chopped in slices
7. Add the flour, which will thicken the sauce. You want it to be creamy
8. Add the steak and stir until the it is still liquidly, but thick also
9. Add the chard at the end, stir and serve

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Left over steak from the sandwiches last night, and a fridge full of veggies my roommate left when she went out of town, and I though, what can I make?? Stroganoff is usually on noodles, so this is a little twist on that. It is also a good way to clean out the fridge and use up some veggies. You can always throw veggies in a pot, add some stock and rice, and turn out a healthy meal. I shared this with the roomie, and some jeopardy. I hope you like it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 242: Steak Sammy with Au Jus

Yield: 2-3 people
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

2 big flat rolls


2 flank steaks
olive oil
salt and pepper
3 cups beef stock
1 lemon
½ cup white wine

1. In a skillet or pan, cook the steaks to your liking. I like mine medium rare. Also, lightly oil, salt and pepper them. You can marinate them if you like. Make sure to not fully grease the pan, you want to have some drippings and sticking so you can make a nice sauce.
2. Remove the steaks and let rest
3. Pour the beef stock into the pan and scrape the bottom to get the pieces off. Salt and pepper to taste
4. Add the wine, and bring almost to a boil. Add a little squeeze of the lemon juice
5. Put the sauce in a bowl and serve with the sammys for dipping
6. Make a pesto mayo by combining the two, salt and pepper and a squeeze of the lemon.
7. Toast the buns. The toastier they are, the more au jus they will soak up
8. Spread the pesto mayo on both sides
9. Cut the steak against the grain, and make them thin slices
10. Serve with the au jus to dip, and some greens and a mashed potato if you like!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Wow, there is only one word for there…TOUCHDOWN. They are epic!!!!! Mac and I made these, he cooked the steak (I am the WORST at cooking steak) and I made the rest. Do not forget the lemon, it really cleans up the whole meal, ties it together, and sparks it up. The sauce is great, and you can add garlic, or a cooked onion to it if you like some more flavor. The bread is key, I toasted it with just a little olive oil, and it crisps right up. You can use any steak, just be sure to slice it thin so you can bite it. You have to try this. I realized it is a great meal to make with someone else! You can even have a third person making the potatoes, and a 4th making the salad. A well rounded manly meal. Be warned. It is messy. You both wont look so pretty after this, so just laugh and let it be messy!

Day 241: Easy Chocolate Mousse

Yield: 4 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 20 min

7 oz dark chocolate (guittard)
¼ cup boiling water
1 tsp sugar
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 egg

1. Melt the chocolate
2. Heat the water with the sugar until boiling
3. In a blender, add the chocolate, and the water and blend
4. When it is cool, add the cream, vanilla, cayenne and blend until smooth
5. Keep scraping the bowl or there may be chunks
6. Pour mixture into bowls of your choosing, I like ramekins, and chill

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This recipe is fast. There are more complicated chocolate mousses, but I was in a rush to the airport to pick someone up, MAC!! I wanted to make a little snack pack (I am always hungry after a flight) and I thought chocolate mousse would be just the thing. It was! It is fluffy, and yummy. Make sure the chocolate is melted and blended or you will get chunks, which doesn’t taste good. Try it out, make it while cooking dinner and serve it to surprise your kids, or someone you love! It’s a good dinner party dessert too.

Day 240: Super Salad

Yield: 1 salad
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

2 cups mixed greens
goat cheese crumbled

1 tsp vinegar
olive oil (about 4-5 Tbsp)
fresh thyme, chopped
squeeze lemon juice

¼ cup walnuts
2 tsp brown sugar
sprinkle cayenne
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp butter

½ apple, chopped
4 strawberries, chopped

1. In a saucepan on med high heat, combine the walnuts, butter, sugar, cayenne, salt and pepper and mix until the nuts begin to smell like toast, and the sugar and butter are melted onto them. Set aside
2. Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, lemon, salt pepper and thyme for the dressing
3. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and toss for a wonderful salad!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I love fresh herds mixed with fruit on a salad. This is a very simple summery dish. I made it early in the morning, which is weird for breakfast to have salad, but it was awesome nonetheless. It travels well, just keep the dressing separate until you get to your destination, or its lunchtime. This is also an easy salad to make more of in case you are having a dinner party. You can use pecans, or pine nuts, or other fruits! Try it out. Oh, a nice basic ratio for dressing is 4 parts oil, 1 part vinegar, so play around with different flavor combos.

Day 239: Chocolate Decadence

Yield: 2 8inch cakes
Time (Start to Finish): 2 hours

12 oz semisweet chocolate chips (guittard)
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cup melted butter
½ cup water
7 eggs
2-3 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease 2 pans, and put them on a cookie sheet that has sides. You will be filling the sheet pan with hot water so they are baking in a water bath
2. Chop up all the chocolate and make sure it is in equal sized pieces.
3. Melt the butter, and pour it over the chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate
4. In a saucepan, heat up the water and 1 ½ cups of the sugar until it just begins to boil. Pour it over the chocolate and stir. This will finish melting the chocolate
5. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and the ¼ cup of sugar until it begins to get pale in color. Gently fold it into the chocolate mixture until it is combined
6. Pour the batter through a strainer into each of the 8 inch pans, making sure to be even. The strainer will take out any cooked egg or unmelted chocolate.
7. Bake in a water bath for about 45 min until it is stiff in the center, and wiggles like jello.
8. Take out CAREFULLY (there is hot water involved) and it will fall a little bit
9. Place in the fridge and serve cold!

Rating: 5 strawberries
Notes: This gluten free chocolate cake (without the vanilla) is out of this world. I made if for my neighbors, scott and alan who were moving out next door, so sad! Scott cant have wheat, so this was a treat to say I will miss them. I brought some to work, and lets just say I have never seen cake go do fast. It is really morel like chocolate fudge. It is thick and dense, so only eat it in small slices. Whipped cream goes best, it cuts the intensity, or you can just eat a few bites every hour, that’s what I would do. This is really a great treat. It is a commitment, but once you make it once, you will see how easy it is. It is very impressive, and something I am already getting requests for again! I will miss you guys next door!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 238: Bourbon Milkshakes

Yield: 2-3 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

2-4 shots good bourbon
1-2 shots espresso
1 pint dulche de leche ice cream
ice to taste
splash milk
dash cinnamon

whipped cream (optional)

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. You want it to be thick and not runny.
2. You can serve with whipped cream if you would like an added touch

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: One of the reasons why this is so good is the memories. The idea came from being in the Roxy in Austin and drinking a similar drink. What a great day! I had to recreate it at home, and who better to share it with than my roomie alley and her friend sam. It’s a great ice breaker and something to have when just hanging out. It tastes like nothing ive had before. You simply have to give this a go. Its filling, so just one will do. Try having it on a warm day, I have only had them on cold rainy ones. I know this can only get better.

Day 237: Sriracha Limeade

Yield: 1 glass
Time (Start to Finish): 20 min

2 limes
¼ cup sugar
(vodka optional)

1. Squeeze the limes into a glass
2. Add the sugar. You can add less if it is too sweet, but this is the most you would need
3. Fill the rest of the glass with water, and then squeeze siraracha in to taste
4. If you want to add liquor, now is the time.
5. Enjoy over ice

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: I don’t know how I thought of this, but this is a pretty tasty beverage! The sriracha is a nice touch. You can really do any sauce you like, but I like this with the lime juice. It doesn’t work so well with lemon juice. This is also something that works best on a hot day, and maybe while you are serving tacos or some type of Mexican food. You have to try it. The flavors work great together, you can control the spice, and it is also refreshing. You can also salt the rim for an added touch. Cool!

Day 236: Annie Cristo

Yield: 1 sammy
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

2 slices sourdough bread
2 slices turkey
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 egg
1/8 cup milk
salt and pepper
½ tsp dried basil
1 Tbsp butter

1. Take the bread and fill with cheese, turkey, and a little salt and pepper
2. In a bowl, mix the egg, milk, and basil. A little salt and pepper to taste
3. Heat up a skillet on med and add the butter to grease it
4. Dip the sammy in the egg coating each side and place in the center of the skillet
5. Cook until it browns and then flip and cook. Make sure the cheese melts and the outside it crispy
6. Serve with chip and cut at an angle

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Who likes French toast? Who likes turkey and cheese sammies? Who likes them combined?! If you have ever had a monte cristo, this is a take on that. I love this sandwich. Mine was a little soggy, but you can crisp it up more if you need to. You can add ham, or bacon, or anything you like as long as there is cheese to melt. You can even just have it be a grilled cheese. They are quick, and a good lunch or snack!

Day 235: Red Wine Reduction Dressing

Yield: 1 cup dressing
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

2 cups red wine
1 shallot
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. In a sauce pan, place the wine and cook on med heat until it reduces by half
2. In skillet, take the shallot and chop fine. Cook it in the pan on med with salt and pepper and a little olive oil until it is either caramelized or translucent.
3. Add the shallot to the wine reduction and take of the heat and let cool
4. When making dressing, use however much wine you want, but it will be a 2-1 ratio, olive oil to wine. So, add 2 Tbsp of wine, and 4 Tbsp olive oil. You can add more if you like, and whisk while you combine them
5. Pour over greens or salad and enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: I love wine reductions, and this one with the shallot is awesome. I always love caramelized onions and shallots. I just put it over mixed greens, nothing else, but you can put it on any salad you like. It was a tiring day, but this is pretty low maintenance. You just set it on the stove and let it reduce. Use a wine you would drink. I used 8 zinfandel. So so good! I hope you like it.