Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lemon Ginger frozen yogurt with candied mint leaves

Is that title too long? Maybe, but it's because there is a lot going on in this frozen yogurt, yet it maintains a very delicate flavor. This recipe is so easy, just take some plain yogurt and let it sit in a layer of paper towels over a colander over night. Then, replace all that liquid you lost with your own invention. Here I put corn syrup and granulated sugar (a scant 2 tablespoons each for a cup of yogurt) lemon zest and grated ginger. Mix the drained yogurt with the other flavors and throw it in an ice cream machine for a little. Then I decided to utilize the mint in our front yard, by coating it with candy (equal parts sugar and water boiled until dripped into a cup of water it hardens instantly) and folding it in with the post ice cream machined frozen yogurt. Make sure everything you use to handle the frozen yogurt is cold otherwise this stuff melts pretty fast. And thats all it is. Next time I might replace the liquid lost with pureed strawberries and mint, or cardamom scented sugar syrup. You could really go anywhere with this recipe. Looks great in a fancy martini glass at a dinner party with a little garnish. Best of luck with your frozen yogurt adventures if you try to doll this one up in your own way. Let me know how it goes!

Mustard Glazed Salmon Hors d'oeuvres

Sexy huh? Sexiest salmon I've ever seen... The glaze is only THREE INGREDIENTS : 4 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, and 3 tablespoons dijon mustard. The most involved part of this recipe is the process. Here are a couple tips:
1) make sure you rub every surface of the grill that you put salmon on with an oil soaked paper towel. That salmon sticks like glue without it!
2) make sure you soak the skewers first and cut them real small. Then arrange the salmon pieces so that the skewers don't knock each other. It pays to be organized here.
3) Brush them with glaze as much as possible, it makes a nice crusty outside, and DON'T OVER COOK THE SALMON. I find the key to really good salmon is just not over cooking it, what a delicious fish it is!

So that's all there is to it! I threw in a couple garnishing tricks, the casual pile, little drizzle woops all over the plate..., toss some rough chop sage from the garden over that, and dink, a little rosemary sprig in the middle. It tastes as good as it looks and its not even that hard. This is a great way to impress at a cocktail party, bon appetit!

Chocolate meringue mousse ¿cake?

So this looks like a cake, BUT look at it now...
Psychologically I'm more comfortable eating this cake if I'm told it's a pudding. It's only chocolate merangue for the layers, top, and perimeter, with chocolate mousse filling. It tastes GREAT, very chocolaty, but the consistency didn't meet cake standards. Also, by day two you're dealing with softened merangues (which, again, taste GREAT but don't help the lack of cake structure problem). Maybe someone else has some ideas about how to fix the situation with this cake...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Devil's Food with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ok, you caught me, this really isn't cream cheese frosting at all. It's some marshmellowy stuff, but I really think this cake would be better with cream cheese frosting instead. The devil's food is really good here, and the frosting just wasn't matching up. A good garnish for this cake would be a chocolate clay rose. You mix chocolate and corn syrup and let it sit, then mold it to make petals and walaa, a rose. My chocolate clay didn't come out so well, so that never made it on the cake. Live and learn. One might also want to play with the name of this cake, I was thinking zebra cake? I'll show you why...See? its those stripes. Well I'm not going to give away Dorie Greenspan's secrets, you'll have to buy the cook book BAKING: From My Home to Yours, to get the recipe. But this chocolate cake recipe is DELICIOUS. Maybe the best I've ever had. Over and out - Katie.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Peace Orange Muffins for Two

Sometimes I see a piece of fruit and just think of the endless possibilities. This morning, my sister Katie was sleeping in, and I wanted to surprise her when she woke up. I wanted to make a sweet, no yeast bread, but I only wanted to make small portions in the toaster oven (my new found energy saving technique). So I created the muffin-bread-cake combo and it turned out great. It was moist with just the right amount of sweetness and little bursts of tart peach. The recipe was simple, I was inspired by the raspberry pecan bread at Baking Bites and altered it a bit to serve two.

Peace Orange Muffins (makes 2 muffins)
1/4 cup flour
1/8 cup sugar (2 Tbls)
1/8 tsp baking soda ( I used half of a 1/4 tsp to measure this)
1/8 tsp baking powder
small dash salt
1/8 cup orange juice (2 Tbls)
1/8 cup egg (again 2 Tbls)
Fruit: I chose cubed peaches.

Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl. Then mix in orange juice and egg. Stir in the fruit pieces. Put in a small muffin tin and place in toaster oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until slightly brown around edges and a toothpick comes out clean. Toaster ovens vary considerable so keep an eye on them. If you like your muffins on the large side and don't want to use a toaster oven, then I suggest doubling the recipe.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Vegetable Lasagna

Today's Vegetable Lasagna was inspired by two of my favorite food bloggers and our inspiration for this blog, Two Fat Als. These two have been cooking up a storm ever since they started dating and ever since the initiation of their blog, I've been in blissful food heaven. I've made many recipes from their repertoire of tantalizing dishes, but this was one of the more intensive recipes for us to try. Alanna has touted this recipe as no fail, and since it was my first lasagna, I reasoned that it was my best bet. Because I don't really like to fail in the kitchen, and I was hosting one of my best college friends for dinner, it seemed challenging but with a bit of a safety net. As I embarked on a journey of roasting and layering, I soon realized that with fresh ingredients and the right flavors, it would be difficult to mess this one up. As it turns out, this dish was a hit. We loved the cornucopia of the veggies, and my urge to sneak in a layer of meat was put to shame with this vegetarian masterpiece. So here is the recipe from our favorite foodie muses.