Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fudge cakes (low carb/no sugar)

If you aren't allergic to tree nuts, we've found that almond meal (almond flour) is a wonderful substitute for flour in making muffins & dessert breads.  My husband is diabetic (insulin-dependent) and has found that his blood sugar levels aren't really affected after eating a muffin. Or two... :)

Heat oven to 350º and line standard sized cupcake/muffin pans with paper liners.  This recipe made 16.

In a bowl, mix together:
2 large eggs
1/3 c lite sour cream
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 T vegetable oil
1 T honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir in:
4 T cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 C almond meal (Trader Joe's is the best @$5.99 LB, which is half the price of meal purchased elsewhere)

If you like, stir in a handful or 2 of sliced almonds or chopped nuts, dried cherries or Craisins... before spooning into papers.

Fill the papers 1/2 way and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Test center with toothpick to make sure they're baked thoroughly.

Remove from pan & cool on wire rack.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spinach Pie

This is my version of a deconstructed kind of spanakopita - it's easy as PIE (pun intended) and delicious!

Heat the oven to 375º. 
Have 4-6 sheets of filo leaves defrosted and covered, ready to use.

In an ovenproof 12"  skillet, heat 8 T butter and once it's melted, remove 2-3 T to a small bowl to use later.
In the remaining butter on medium heat, saute:
1 cup minced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used standard button mushrooms but any type would be good)

Saute for 10-15 minutes, until wilted, but not browned.  To this, add 16 oz. chopped fresh baby spinach (If you're using frozen chopped spinach, defrost and squeeze ALL the liquid out) and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.  Spoon this mixture into a mixing bowl.

To the spinach mixture, stir in 3 beaten eggs,  1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I used whole & not skim), 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1/4 tsp. fresh minced dill, 1/2 tsp. fresh minced marjoram and S&P to taste.  Add a dash of nutmeg if you like (I don't like).  

Return to skillet making sure you leave some space against the edge of the pan.
Cut the filo leaves in half.  Take one at a time and brush it with melted butter - then layer it onto the spinach mixture.  Do this one at a time (butter side down) and when they're covering the spinach (overlapping onto one another) finish up by tucking the ends under the spinach at the edge of the pan.  Messy and uneven is fine! :)

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or a bit longer if you like the pastry darker.  Remove, cook a bit and cut into wedges. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pumpkin Almond Meal Muffins - Flour & Sugar free

Heat oven to 350º  and place 12 paper liners in a cupcake/muffin pan.

In a  small mixing bowl, combine and mix well and set aside:

1 cup pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
2 Tblsp. honey (OR maple syrup)
2 Tblsp. coconut oil, mekted  (OR vegetable oil)
1 teasp. cider or white vinegar
1 teasp. almond extract

Put dry ingredients into another bowl and stir to combine:

2-1/2 C. almond meal, also called almond flour (do NOT faint at the price - I bought a small cellophane bag at Pete's Market today, approx. 3-1/2 C. and it was ON SALE for $8.50 - $2.50 off the regular price!!  You can make your own almond flour by using skinless, blanched almonds and process them until they become a fine, 'flour-y' powder.)

3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning (or allspice)

Combine the dry and wet ingredients together, mixing gently, yet thoroughly. Don't mix it up too roughly!   If you'd like, at this time mix in a cup of chopped nuts,  dried cranberries and/or craisins to the batter.

Divide the batter equally and spoon into the prepared papers (12)  --- bake in the 350º oven for 16-18 minutes, until the centers are set.  Remove from oven and cool.

*****NOTE*****  Although I haven't tried this (and I WILL, soon!), you can substitute the pumpkin puree with an equal amount of applesauce OR mashed bananas - and then eliminate the almond extract, using grated orange or lemon zest for a complementing flavor. The substitutions will not affect the recipe's outcome!  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Italian Food Chicago Style!!!

Here's a website with some great recipes called, "Shut Up and Mangia!!"  You'll need to C/P it to your browser:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Heat the oven to 350º ... line a few baking sheets with parchment.  

Have a bowl of mini marshmallows ready, approx. 3-4 cups -  you'll be QUICKLY pressing them into par-baked cookies and returning them to bake longer.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:

1 cup soft butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2=3/4 cups flour

Blend well. Stir in 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded (heaping) tsps. onto parchment, leaving an inch between each cookie (12-15 per pan). 
Bake for 8 MINUTES    - remove from oven and VERY QUICKLY place a few mini marshmallows on top of each cookie and gently press into dough (NOT hard - don't press them down to the bottom of the pan!!)...   return cookies to the oven and bake for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from oven.  While still warm, gently dust the marshmallows with cocoa powder (I used a small strainer to tap the cocoa powder onto them).  Cool completely before removing from parchment.

Chocolate Raspberry Bars

Lightly grease a 9X13" pan - heat oven to 350º

In a mixing bowl, combine:
1 cup melted butter
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups rolled oats

Pat HALF the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (save the rest for the topping).

Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.
Gently spread 1-1/2 C. raspberry preserves over the crust.
Sprinkle with 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips.

Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top (if you like nuts, now's the time to add a half cup or so of chopped walnuts to the crumbs).

Return to the hot oven and bake for an additional 15-18 minutes (until the topping becomes a light golden color).  Remove and cool COMPLETELY before cutting.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Deep Dish Mexican Bake

This recipe is TOO easy to be true and TOO good for words!!

Spray a 9x13" pan with nonstick spray.  Heat the oven to 375º.

In a small bowl, combine 2 C. Bisquick with 1/2 C plus 1 T water.  Pat mixture into prepared pan and partially bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

In a pan, saute (in a T of olive oil):  1 med. chopped onion with a large, chopped green pepper & a clove of minced garlic.  When softened, add a can (15 oz) of petite diced tomatoes.  Stir, then add a Tblsp. of chili powder, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. ground cumin & a shake of cayenne (or more if you like things hot, hot, hot!!), S&P to taste (OR you could add a packet of taco seasoning instead of the chili & seasonings).  Cook for 5 minutes. Add a can of (rinsed/drained) black beans.  Spread evenly over the crust.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup light (or 'full strength) sour cream, 1/3 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup shredded coJack cheese.  Spoon this mixture over tomato layer and sprinkle lightly with paprika.

Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 more minutes.
That's IT. :)

*****(IF you are a meat lover and need meat in your meal, saute 1# of ground beef before adding the onion and pepper...... and then continue the process.)*****