Sweetheart’s Dessert

acakkee

For my valentine I made this old-fashioned shortcake that was inspired by a recipe found at:  http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/berry-shortcake. 

I added a teaspoon of vanilla for extra flavor. 

For the sour cream  I used fat-free half & half and  added a Tblspoon of vinegar to neutralize the baking soda.  

I used my fingertips to  press the dough gently into the heart-shaped pan.  Baking time was about 20 minutes.   I based it on desired color and not the toothpick test. 

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1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Dash salt

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup sour cream  (or Fat-free half n half + 1 T vinegar)

1 t vanilla

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine vanilla,  milk and sour cream; stir into crumb mixture just until moistened.
  2. Spread batter into a greased 9-in. pie plate (batter will be thick). Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 350° for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. 
  3. Cut into six wedges and top with berries sweetened with a  small amount of sugar.  Garnish with whipped cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meat-filled Tamales

tamales

Dough

4 lbs of maseca 

8  level tsp salt

3 cups of oil

juice from peppers

 ~~~ 

Filling

6  lbs meat, cooked with salt, and shredded (beef, pork or chicken)

4 oz dried, ancho peppers,  cleaned and cooked (save juice)

4 tsp chopped garlic

4 tsp cumin powder

4 oz of chili powder (for more color if needed)

2-3 t salt

 Blend cooked peppers with 2 cups of  pepper juice or water and seasonings. Save extra juice for masa.

Add 4 T oil to dutch oven and cook the meat with the peppers and  seasonings.  Add water as needed to prevent sticking.  Cook at med for 15 minutes; then med low for 30.

 ~~~

Husks – 2 packages – must be soaked overnight to be pliable.  Clean and cut the next day.  Save extra pieces for lining the pot.

 ~~ 

Mix maseca, warm water, salt, oil and some pepper juice to make dough.  Keep moist by covering bowl with a cloth.  Spread dough onto each husk.  Fill, roll  and tuck under the end. 

~~~

Steam tamales by standing them with a prop in the center of the soup pot.  Stand with open side up.  Cover with a light towel.  Pour  hot water over the towel to where the level is about 1/3rd  the height of tamales.   Bring to a boil.  Lower heat to med/med-low for 25 minutes…then med-low for 20  minutes.  They are done if husk removes easily  from the dough.

 

Makes about 10 dozen.

Flour-free Chocolate Cupcakes

 

acps

These chocolate delights are light to feast upon and fast to make.  They have become a favorite  to serve my guests and family.  The recipe was inspired by a flour-free chocolate cake made by Adeena Sussman.

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/recipe/flourless-chocolate-cake/

Ingredients:

1 cup margarine or butter (butter)

10 oz good-quality semisweet  chocolate chips

6 large eggs, slightly beaten

3/4  cup sugar*

2 teaspoon vanilla

 Directions:

Grease a 10-inch springform pan, then line bottom of pan with parchment paper.  Or line cupcake tin with paper liners.

  In a large saucepan, combine chocolate and butter.  Cook over medium-low heat until completely melted.   Stir in sugar.  let cool. 

 Once cool, turn  oven on to 350. 

Mix eggs and vanilla in another bowl and gradually add to chocolate mixture. Fill to 3/4’s full.

 Bake until there are cracks visible on the  surface. The cooking time will vary between 40 and 20 minutes, depending on size. 

 Decorate with sifted confectioner’s sugar and berries.  Or serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

 Makes a dozen large or 18 small cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup sugar if using Hersheys (yellow bag chips)  or 1 cup if using Enjoy Life dairy-free chips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Sugar Cookies

SAMSUNG

I  made these for a New Year’s eve party and am naming them this … for lack of a more creative name.   Debbie, JP and Andrew tasted and approved them before I served them to a larger group.  JP and Jenni decorated them.

I make half the  dough recipe  and use the whole frosting recipe for the half batch.

 Ingredients

3/4 lb. butter (3 sticks)

  1 1/2  c  sugar

  2 eggs

  1 T vanilla

  4 c Flour

  1/2 tsp baking soda

 

 Instructions

Blend butter & sugar.

Beat eggs with vanilla and add to butter mixture.

Blend flour and baking soda.  Mix in slowly into butter mixture.  

Chill for half an hour.  Divide into three balls.  Work with one at a time while keeping the rest in refrigerator.

 Roll out on floured surface or between wax paper.  Using cookie cutters to form into  shapes.   Place on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes  until a light golden color.

 

Sugar cookie icing:

2 cups xxx sugar

1 T butter

2 T water

2 T corn syrup

1 t clear vanilla

cookies 

 

 

 

 

 

Tu bi’Shvat Cake

.

  • 1 c flour
  • dash of salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (opt)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves Opt…or 2 t vanilla which I prefer
  • 1 heaping cup diced dried fruits, (blueberries, cherries, cranberries, raisins, or figs, pineapple, apricots, papaya, peaches)
  • 1 heaping cup pecans, walnuts, or other nuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ºF (150ºC).  Grease well the bottom and sides of a 9 inch loaf pan or 8 x 8 square pan.
  2.  Mix the eggs and spices in a large bowl. Mix in the flour/salt combo a small amount at a time and continue mixing until there are no lumps.
  3. Stir in the fruits and nuts.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes.

 

With a sturdy bread knife carefully cut into slices while still warm and still in the dish. Remove to board.  let cool.  Wrap the slices in wax paper and then in a plastic bag. Keep in the frig.

 

~ adapted from The Book of New Israeli Food by Janna Gur.

Shopping In Rome

A lavish indoor mall in Rome, above.

Shopping in Rome is a scavenger hunt but these shops listed below were luckily stumbled upon on our trip to Rome this summer of 2015.

  1. Tazza de Oro.  Coffee and coffee supplies.  Near the Pantheon. 

http://www.tazzadorocoffeeshop.com/

  1. Cartoleria Pantheon.   stationery shop. 

http://www.pantheon-roma.com/en.html

  1. L’Artigianato.   Kitchen items, Murano jewelry, misc gifts.   At Piazza Navona.

http://www.artigianato-italia.it/Ecommerce_Default.aspx

  1. Andrew’s ties.   Near Spanish Steps.

http://www.andrewsties.com/

  1. Airport, duty free shop.  Great selection of sweets, perfumes, spirits.
  1. Stilvetro.   Kitchen shop.  Lovely trays, silverware, and various supplies.  Near Spanish Steps.

http://www.stilvetro.com/

  1. Panella, L’arte del Pane.   Jams, chocolate topping, breads,  candy.   

http://www.panellaroma.com/

  1. Romeo.   Cool dining establishment.  Pasta and food gifts.

http://www.romeo.roma.it/

Leather purses are everywhere.  We bought a couple in the shops next to where we stayed,  Hotel Napoleon.

No recommendations for shoes.  We bought  a pair of men’s  shoes at Adry, next to our hotel right by  metro entrance, Vittorio Emanuel.

Mango Jam

3 cups mashed mangos, 24 oz 

1 ½  c sugar

½ cup water

1 box pectin

          

Thaw and drain well if using frozen mangos.   Stir sugar into prepared fruit.  Mix well.

Combine 1 box  Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin and ½ cup water in small sauce pan. (Pectin may start out lumpy).   Bring to boil, stirring constantly for one minute. Remove from heat.  Stir pectin into fruit.  

Pour into prepared containers, leaving ½ inch at top for expansion during freezing.   Cover with lids.

Let stand at room temperature 24 hours until set.  Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. Otherwise, store in freezer up to a year. Thaw in refrigerator.  Makes four cups.

 

Moscato Sangria

1  12 oz bag of frozen fruit

1 32 oz bottle of blood orange soda*

1 bottle of moscato  (or your favorite white wine)

Pour fruit into clear pitcher.  Cover with soda.  Serve half a glass of sangria and top with half moscato.  Garnish with some of the fruit.

* a sparkly water (with low sodium) and a red juice can be combined and substituted for the blood orange soda.