Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"The Family that prays (and EATS ) together, stays together...."

I chanced upon this very good article. There are indeed many ways to enrich family life...and that includes cooking and baking together....A happy kitchen life makes a healthy, happy family. It is eating together, sharing the food, how much more if you make the food together. Go through the list and you will find food everywhere....sharing and enjoying the goodness of food together as a family. It is in sharing that our bonds get stronger....
I now say:
"The family the prays (and EATS and cooks and bakes) together stays together...."

30 Simple Family Pleasures

Spending time with family can be lots of fun.
(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Barwick)
Do you remember to have fun every day?
I’m sure you remember to brush your teeth, to eat, and to go to work. I’m confident you have a handwritten or a technology-based to-do list that you carefully go through each day. But if you read this blog, it means you want more from your life. You want to de-stress, to be present, to enjoy the journey instead of rushing through it like a madman.
Having fun with your family, especially the simple kind of fun – the one that doesn’t drain you emotionally and financially, is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy life. And in times of economic uncertainty, it is especially important to enjoy family time that does not involve spending lots of money. Here are 30 ideas for high-quality, low-cost, stress-free family fun.

1. Play together in the snow or in the rain, then go inside for a cup of hot chocolate made with real chocolate and marshmallows.
2. Make a large bowl of popcorn and snuggle in front of the DVD to watch a family movie.
3. Have a picnic. In wintertime, it’s just as fun to have a picnic indoors.
4. Snuggle together in bed on a cold Sunday morning.
5. Go out for a leisurely Sunday brunch. Many restaurants offer great Sunday buffets, and prices these days are more reasonable than ever. Kids often eat free of charge. Although buffets can be challenging if you’re trying to lose weight, or maintain your goal weight, once in a while is probably OK. Since kids usually have very limited choices as far as food goes – they eat what we give them – they really appreciate the selection and choice a buffet offers.

6. Just talk. The older my kids are, the more interesting our conversations become.
7. Try tongue twisters. Last week when we waited forever for the check to arrive at a restaurant, my husband started a tongue twisters game. We laughed so hard, I nearly choked. My favorite tongue twister: “She sells seashells by the seashore.” Repeat three times, FAST!
8. During dinner, ask each family member to tell one good thing and one bad thing that happened to them that day. The good things are obviously fun to share. The “bad things” are a great opportunity for your kids to talk about things that bother them and for you to be more involved in their lives.
9. Create a story together. Each family member gets to add one sentence at a time. These stories can be seriously funny, especially if one of the kids happens to be in a silly mood.
10. Look at a picture album together and tell your kids the stories behind the pictures.
11. Make cookies or cupcakes together and decorate them. Try this fabulous recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies.
13. Visit the library. Browse the children’s books together. Read them a story or two. Listen to Story Time if the library offers it. Browse the grownups’ selection too: it’s good for your kids to see you’re interested in books.
14. Have a family make-your-own-pizza night. Prepare several topping options. Let each child decide what kind of pizza they want. More tips here.
15. Play a board game. I don’t know about you, but my husband and I play to win. We don’t believe in letting the kids win. After all, their friends won’t let them win. The good news (or bad news, depending on your point of view): they often win anyway!
16. Go for a hike. We love to go to a local park that has beautiful redwood trees in addition to a small playground and a shaded picnic area.
17. Go to the museum. If your kids are younger than 5, take them to the children’s museum. If they are older, they can probably handle an hour or two in a “real” museum. A natural history museum is great, but many kids enjoy modern art museums as well. Many museums are free of charge for kids under 12, and many offer free admission for the entire family on monthly “family days.”
19. Go to the movies. While going to the movies is not as cheap as it used to be, matinee tickets are usually reasonably priced. It’s entirely possible to find PG-rated movies that are appropriate for elementary school kids yet are fun (or at least not mind-numbingly boring) for the grownups. During winter break we took the kids to see “Marley and Me” and “Bedtime Stories.”
20. Make breakfast foods for dinner, together. It never fails to make the kids happy. We like to make pancakes together. When they’re ready, we decorate them with berries to make fun “faces.” If your kids have milk and fruit with those homemade pancakes, it’s a pretty balanced meal. And if you’re really brave, try making whole-wheat pancakes.
21. Go to the beach. The beaches here in Northern California are cold and windy, even in summertime, and very rocky. But even though they don’t provide the classic beach experience, we love to go tidepooling. We often manage to spot interesting sea creatures and shells.
22. On a warm summer night, it’s fun to go camping in your own backyard and sleep in sleeping bags, under the stars.
23. Jump rope.  We do it outside in the yard in summer and inside during the winter. My kids are already experts. I’m still learning, or rather relearning.
24. Make the most of power outages. During a recent power outage, we all sat together in the kitchen. Since we were bored (no technology!) and had to use candlelight to light the kitchen, we used the candles to make s’mores. Seriously. It was one of our best nights ever. More tips for making indoor s’mores here.
25. Exercise together. I exercise at home using a yoga mat. My kids love to watch me exercise and they love even more trying to imitate what I’m doing on our extra mat.
26. Dance together. Play some loud music and go crazy with the moves. Don’t tell anyone, but I love to dance to ABBA music.
27. Bake homemade bread. You can use a bread machine if you have one, or you can knead the dough by hand. This takes time and is great for a winter day when you’re inside anyway. There’s nothing like the smell of bread as it’s baking, and there’s nothing like eating it fresh with homemade butter on top. Try this bread recipe. To make homemade butter, simply whip heavy cream with a pinch of salt until it turns into butter. Separate it from the remaining liquid (buttermilk) and spread on the freshly baked bread.
28. Write letters to the grandparents. Even if they live nearby, they will love getting letters from their grandchildren. If you join your kids and write a few words too, you will not only set a great example for your kids but will also make your parents very happy.
29. Read a book together. You can read to your child, or she can read to you, or you can simply snuggle together, each of you reading her own book.
30. Watch TV together. TV is not just a convenient babysitter: it can be an opportunity to share an experience with your kids. Once in a while I join my kids when they watch one of their favorite TV shows. They snuggle close to me, and whenever something funny happens on the show, they watch me closely to make sure I get it. When we’re done watching, we talk about what we saw. I often use it as an opportunity to talk about advertising, since there’s so much of it these days aimed at children.
To read more from Vered, see her blog: mommy blogger. /hire-me/
(Photos by links as provided)

                                     Photo by Alexander Shalamov                              

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Cure for that Chocolate Craving....

Healthy Dessert: Dark Chocolate-Bourbon Torte
By Southern Living
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  dark chocolate morsels
  • 1/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 3/4  cup  granulated sugar, divided
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  large egg
  • 1/4  cup  fat-free milk
  • 2  tablespoons  bourbon (optional)
  • 1/4  cup  Dutch process cocoa
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 4  egg whites
  • 1/4  teaspoon  cream of tartar
  • 1/2  cup  thawed reduced-fat whipped topping
  • 1  tablespoon  powdered sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  unsweetened cocoa


1. Preheat oven to 300°. Coat bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Microwave chocolate morsels in a small microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) for 1 minute or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals.
3. Beat butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat 1 minute. Add milk and, if desired, bourbon; beat 1 minute. (Mixture will look curdled.) Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended. Gradually add cocoa and flour, beating at low speed just until blended.
4. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into batter; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake at 300° for 45 minutes or until set. (A wooden pick inserted in center will come out with just a few crumbs on it.) Remove torte from oven; immediately run tip of a small knife around edge of torte. Let cool on wire rack 30 minutes. (Torte will rise to top of pan while baking but will sink while it cools.) Remove sides of springform pan.
6. Spoon whipped topping into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. (Do not seal.) Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe dollops of whipped topping around base of torte. Sprinkle torte with powdered sugar and cocoa.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips.

Healthy Dessert: Lightened Chocolate-Coffee Cheesecake 
By Southern Living
Prep: 20 min.; Bake: 1 hr., 10 min.; Stand: 30 min.; Cool: 1 hr.; Chill: 4 hrs.
Yield: Makes 10 servings (serving size: 1 slice cheesecake and about 1 tbsp. mocha sauce)


  • 2  cups  crushed chocolate graham crackers (about 18 crackers)
  • 1/3  cup  reduced-fat butter, melted
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 4  (8-oz.) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1/4  cup  coffee liqueur
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  teaspoon  instant coffee granules
  • 4  large eggs
  • 4  (1-oz.) bittersweet baking chocolate squares
  • Mocha Sauce


1. Stir together crushed graham crackers and melted butter; press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.
2. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
3. Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add liqueur, vanilla, and coffee granules, beating at low speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition.
4. Remove and reserve 1 cup cream cheese mixture. Pour remaining batter into prepared crust.
5. Microwave chocolate in a medium-size, microwave-safe bowl 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir reserved 1 cup cream cheese mixture into melted chocolate, blending well. (Mixture will be thick.) Spoon mixture in lines on top of batter in pan; gently swirl with a knife.
6. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.
7. Remove sides of springform pan. Serve with Mocha Sauce.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kahlúa for coffee liqueur.

Mocha Sauce: Makes 3/4 cup (serving size: about 1 tbsp. mocha sauce)


  • 1  cup  semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/4  cup  half-and-half
  • 2  teaspoons  reduced-fat butter
  • 3  tablespoons  strong-brewed coffee


1. Cook first 3 ingredients in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in coffee. Serve warm.

Other Guilt-Free Healthy Desserts from Southern Living Magazine:

 Banana Pudding

 Lemon-Cheesecake Bar

 Cherry Bread Pudding

 Peach-Rhubarb Crisp

 Key-Lime Pie

 Vanilla Ice Milk

 Chocolate-Oatmeal Parfaits

Photos courtesy of

The Honeycomb

One Lion, Two Rats, A Snake, The Honeycomb....

I heard the following story from a pious brother. Hopefully, this story will be beneficial for everyone, Inshallah.

Once a man saw in his dream, that a lion was chasing him. The man ran to a tree, climbed on to it and sat on a branch. He looked down and saw that the lion was still there waiting for him. The man then looked to his side where the branch he was sitting on was attached to the tree and saw that two rats were circling around and eating the branch. One rat was black and the other one was white. The branch will fall on the ground very soon. The man then looked below again with fear and discovered that a big black snake had come and settled directly under him. The snake opened its mouth right under the man so that he will fall into it. The man then looked up to see if there was anything that he could hold on to. He saw another branch with a honeycomb. Drops of honey were falling from it. The man wanted to taste one of the drops. So, he put his tongue out and tasted one of the falling drops of honey. The honey was amazing in taste. So, he wanted to taste another drop and then another and as a result, he got lost into the sweetness of the honey. He forgot about the two rats eating his branch away, the lion on the ground and the snake that is sitting right under him. Suddenly when the branch broke he remembered all the dangers woke up from his sleep.

Since this was an unique dream, the man went to a pious scholar of Islam to know its meaning. The scholar said "The lion you saw is your death. It always chases you and goes where ever you go. The two rats, one black and one white, are the night and the day. Black one is the night and the white one is the day. They circle around, coming one after another, to eat your time as they take you closer to death. The big black snake with a dark mouth is your grave. It's there, just waiting for you to fall into it. The honeycomb is this world and the sweet drops of honey are the luxuries of this world. We like to taste a little of the luxuries of this world and it's very sweet. Then we want to taste little more and then more. Meanwhile, we get lost into it and we forget about our time, we forget about our death and we forget about our grave."

May Allah wake us up from the sleep and save us before it's too late. Ameen.

Muslim Youth Corner/Facebook Group!/note.php?note_id=133853736638327&id=119445634737002&ref=mf

~ The Boy and the Apple Tree ~

(Photo by :

Here is a touching story.....

~ The Boy and the Apple Tree ~

A long time ago, there was a huge apple tree. A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday. He climbed to the treetop, ate the apples, took a nap under the shadow…he loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him. Time went by…the little boy had grown up and he no longer played around the tree every day.

One day, the boy came back to the tree and he looked sad. "Come and play with me” the tree asked the boy. "I am no longer a kid, I do not play around trees any more” the boy replied.
“I want toys. I need money to buy them.” “Sorry, but I do not have money… but you can pick all my apples and sell them. So, you will have money.” The boy was so excited. He grabbed all the apples on the tree and left happily. The boy never came back after he picked the apples. The tree was sad.
One day, the boy who now turned into a man returned and the tree was excited “Come and play with me” the tree said.
“I do not have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?” “ Sorry, but I do not have any house. But you can chop off my branches to build your house.” So the man cut all the branches of the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see him happy but the man never came back since then. The tree was again lonely and sad.
One hot summer day, the man returned and the tree was delighted. "Come and play with me!” the tree said. “I am getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?” said the man. "Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy.” So the man cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and never showed up for a long time.
Finally, the man returned after many years. "Sorry, my boy. But I do not have anything for you anymore. No more apples for you …” the tree said. "No problem, I do not have any teeth to bite" the man replied. "No more trunk for you to climb on”
“I am too old for that now” the man said. "I really cannot give you anything... the only thing left is my dying roots” the tree said with tears. "I do not need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years” the man replied. "Good! Old tree roots are the best place to lean on and rest, Come, come sit down with me and rest.” The man sat down and the tree was glad and smiled with tears…

The tree is like our parents
When we were young, we loved to play with our Mum and Dad...
When we grow up, we leave them…only come to them when we need something or when we are in trouble.
No matter what,
parents will always be there and
give everything they could
just to make you happy.

You may think the boy is cruel to the tree, but that is how all of us treat our parents.
We take them for granted we don't appreciate all they do for us, UNTIL it's to late.

Love your Parents ...
Source: Muslim Converts/Facebook group

Some Real, Super Pastry Treats!

Here's a collection of yummy pastries, tarts, pies....YUMMY!

Fresh Fruit Danish

fresh fruit danish
Fresh Fruit Danish
Yield: 16 pastries
Time (once dough and fillings have been prepared):
  • Roll, cut, and shape: 30 minutes
  • Refrigerate: overnight (if you want morning pastries)
  • Proof: 1.5 – 2 hours (30 minutes if the dough has not been refrigerated)
  • Fill: 10 minutes
  • Bake: 10 – 13 minutes
  • One recipe well-chilled pastry dough (recipe follows)
  • About one cup almond and/or cream cheese filling, at room temperature (recipes follow)
  • Fresh fruit of your choice: pitted cherries, blueberries, strawberries, apricot halves, etc.
  • One egg, lightly beaten (or egg left over from making cream cheese filling)
  1. Cut the dough in half to make two rectangles. While working with the first half, keep the second one chilled.
  2. Roll one piece of dough into a 20 x 10-inch rectangle.
  3. Trim the rectangle just enough to give it cleanly-cut edges. Cut the dough into eight pieces, each 5 inches square. I used a pizza cutter for this. If using a knife, cut straight down on the dough. Do not drag the knife through the dough; this makes the layers stick together.
  4. Shape each piece as desired (see below) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Depending on how you shape, you will need two or three baking sheets to accommodate all 16 pastries.
  5. Brush lightly with egg. Try to avoid washing the cut edges of the dough, as this tends to glue them together. Reserve the extra egg.
  6. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap or slip into a large bag, and refrigerate overnight.
  7. In the morning, remove the pastries from the refrigerator and let them proof, still covered, for about 1.5 – 2 hours, until they feel light and puffy.
  8. Meanwhile, space two racks evenly in the oven and preheat on the convection setting to 375F. (If you don’t have convection, preheat to 400F. You may have to rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking.)
  9. Brush the pastries again with egg.
  10. With wet fingers, make a depression in the center of each pastry. Fill with about one tablespoon of filling, and press fruit of your choice into the filling. If using multiple pieces of fruit, crowd them as closely as possible; they will spread during baking.
  11. Bake for 10 – 13 minutes, until the pastry is flaky and golden brown.
Pastry Dough
Yield: 16 pastries
  • Bring milk and egg to room temperature: about 30 minutes
  • Mix and chill: 8 hours to 4 days
  • Roll and fold: 20 minutes (longer if dough warms and needs to be re-chilled between folds)
  • Chill: 30 minutes to 4 days
  • 57 g warm water (110F)
  • 120 g milk, at room temperature
  • 50 g (one large) egg, at room temperature
  • 5.8 g (generous 1-3/4 t.) instant yeast (original recipe calls for 2.5 t. active dry)
  • 50 g sugar
  • 6 g (1 t.) salt
  • 330 g all-purpose flour
  • 226 g cold unsalted butter
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the water and yeast. Let stand for a minute, then whisk in milk, egg, sugar, and salt.
  2. Place the flour in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the cold butter into 1/4-inch slices and add to the flour. Pulse the processor briefly about 10 times, until the butter is cut into pieces of approximately 1/2-inch diameter. Don’t overprocess!
  3. Add the flour and butter mixture to the wet ingredients. Fold with a rubber spatula until the liquid ingredients are just barely incorporated. The dough will be very rough and chunky with butter.
  4. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least 8 hours and up to 4 days.
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface; a cool stone or metal counter is best, if you have one. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and pat it into a roughly square shape. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 16-inch square. Fold it into thirds, letter-style
  6. Roll the dough into a 24-inch by 10-inch rectangle. Again fold the dough in thirds so you have a 8 x 10-inch rectangle. (At this point, my dough was getting a bit warm and flabby and so I wrapped it in plastic and returned it to the refrigerator for about 45 minutes.)
  7. Roll the dough into a 20-inch square and again fold in thirds.
  8. Roll the dough into a 24 x 10-inch rectangle. Fold into thirds to end up with an 8 x 10-inch rectangle.
  9. Wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 days.
Cream Cheese Filling
Yield: About 1-1/3 cups
Time: 5 minutes
  • 226 g cream cheese
  • 113 g sugar
  • 19 g butter, at room temperature
  • 28 g flour
  • 21 g egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature (This is a little less than half a large egg. Save the rest of the egg to wash the pastries.)
  • 4.5 g (1 t.) vanilla extract
  1. Soften the cream cheese with a hand mixer on low speed.
  2. Add the butter and beat on medium speed until incorporated.
  3. Add the sugar in three portions, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla.
  5. This can be made ahead and refrigerated for several days. Bring it to room temperature before using.
Almond Filling
Yield: About 1-1/2 cups
Time: 5 minutes
  • 112 g butter at room temperature
  • 112 g sugar
  • 112 g almond meal (or you can grind blanched almonds finely in a blender or food processor)
  • 35 g flour
  • 50 g (one large) egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature
  • 3.4 g (3/4 t.) rum
  1. Blend flour and almond meal together.
  2. With a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the egg little by little, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Beat on medium speed until light.
  5. Add the flour/almond meal mixture and mix until incorporated.
  6. Add the rum and mix well.
  7. This can be made ahead and refrigerated for several days. Bring it to room temperature before using.
Shaping the Danish
Each 5-inch square of dough makes one pastry. I made three different shapes:
The two-corner fold: fold two opposite corners in to meet in the center.
The four-corner fold: fold all four corners in to meet in the center. Leave a little space between the folded edges.
The pinwheel:
Use a dry pastry brush to lightly brush any excess flour from the dough after shaping.
Fresh Fruit Tart
This makes one round, fluted 10-inch tart.
Pâte Sucrée
I used a 10-inch round, fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Set aside the baked tart dough to completely cool. Do not remove from pan.
7.5 ounces of butter, slightly cold to room temperature (plastic consistency)
3 ounces of sugar
1/3 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces beaten eggs
12 ounces pastry flour (I use organic unbleached)
1. Sift flour and salt together in a bowl and set aside (I sift my dry ingredients over parchment paper).
2. Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. The goal is to mix until combined and incorporated, not light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs a little bit at a time ensuring that the mixture is well incorporated before adding the rest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla extract.
4. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and just mix until just combined.
5. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten to a disc. Wrap it tight and chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours or even overnight.
6. To prepare the tart shells, roll out the chilled dough into a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and drape over your tart pans and firmly press in place. If you are using small tart pans like I did, you can use a pizza cutter to cut small rounds of dough. If the dough breaks, you can easily patch it with scraps.
7. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and chill for at least 20 minutes before blind baking at 350° F for 12 to 14 minutes. Just remember that if you are using a big tart pan, place a piece of foil or parchment on top of the dough and put some pie weights or uncooked pinto beans on top. The pricking and the pie weights help prevent the dough bubble up while baking. But if you are using small tart pans, no need to put pie weights. The incredible amount of butter in the dough will help release the tart shells pretty easily off the pan… but still do the pricking on small tart pans.
Crème Pâtissière
This recipe is also from my pastry school era.
16 ounces milk
1 vanilla bean
4 ounces vanilla sugar
5 egg yolks
1 ounce cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 ounces of white chocolate, melted
2-3 tablespoons apricot preserves
1. Start by pouring milk in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds off the bean. Add the seeds and the bean to the milk. Heat the milk mixture to scald over medium heat.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl.
3. As soon as the milk starts to simmer, turn off heat. Temper eggs by gradually whisking in the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture.
4. Place the tempered mixture back into the saucepan to heat and boil (over medium heat). Whisk constantly.
5. Turn off heat as soon as the custard starts to boil and is thick enough to cover the back of the spoon.
6. Strain mixture over a bowl to discard the vanilla bean pod and other solids. Add in the butter and stir. Place a plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent skin from forming. Immediately chill in the refrigerator or place bowl over an ice bath (this will make sure that the egg yolks do not continue to cook).
1. Remove the tart dough from the pan by gently pushing the removable bottom up. You can leave the tart on the pan’s bottom or very carefully slide the tart dough to a round cake board. Brush the empty tart dough with melted white chocolate.
2. Spread the chilled pastry cream into the tart dough. Use an offset spatula to spread the pastry cream all the way to the edges.
3. Decorate the tart with fresh fruits. Place the apricot preserves in a small microwave-safe bowl with a tablespoon of water and heat in the microwave for about a minute. Brush the fruits with the warmed apricot glaze. Chill the tart in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.
Grapefruit-Lemon Tarts with Blackberries
Pâte Sucrée
This is also available via Le Cordon Bleu’s Professional Baking Book by Wayne Gisslen
7.5 ounces of butter, slightly cold to room temperature (plastic consistency)
3 ounces of sugar
1/3 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces beaten eggs
12 ounces pastry flour (I use organic unbleached)
1. Sift flour and salt together in a bowl and set aside (I sift my dry ingredients over parchment paper).
2. Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. The goal is to mix until combined and incorporated, not light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs a little bit at a time ensuring that the mixture is well incorporated before adding the rest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla extract.
4. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and just mix until just combined.
5. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten to a disc. Wrap it tight and chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours or even overnight.
6. To prepare the tart shells, roll out the chilled dough into a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and drape over your tart pans and firmly press in place. If you are using small tart pans like I did, you can use a pizza cutter to cut small rounds of dough. If the dough breaks, you can easily patch it with scraps.
7. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and chill for at least 20 minutes before blind baking at 350° F for 12 to 14 minutes. Just remember that if you are using a big tart pan, place a piece of foil or parchment on top of the dough and put some pie weights or uncooked pinto beans on top. The pricking and the pie weights help prevent the dough bubble up while baking. But if you are using small tart pans, no need to put pie weights. The incredible amount of butter in the dough will help release the tart shells pretty easily off the pan… but still do the pricking on small tart pans.
Grapefruit-Lemon Curd
8 egg yolks
1/4 cup grapefruit juice (use a combination if you like: Ruby Red, Pink and Rio Red; you will have a lot of grapefruit halves left)
1/4 cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 grapefruit
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
6 ounces of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1. Whisk yolks, grapefruit and lemon juice, half of the zest, and the sugar in a medium-sized pan and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly and continue to cook until the mixture is about 160° F on an instant read thermometer, no more than 10 minutes. Visual clue: when the mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon, it’s ready.
2. Remove it from heat and add in the salt. Add the butter pieces one at a time and stir to melt. Add in the remaining zest.
3. Strain the curd using a fine sieve and cover it with a plastic surface (directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming). Chill in the refrigerator at least three hours before use.
Note: You can also cook the curd over bain-marie (water bath or double boiler). This is safer if you find yourself overcooking your eggs when making any type of curds.
1. Remove cooled tart shells from pan. Put the curd on top of the shells and smooth out with a spatula.
2. Top them with blackberries and brush the fruit with apricot glaze for some shine.
Banana Split Tart Recipe
Top an easy unroll-and bake Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust with a yogurt filling and fresh strawberries.
1 box (15 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted*
2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free banana crème or French vanilla yogurt
2 small bananas, sliced
1 can (21 oz) strawberry pie filling
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1.Heat oven to 375°F. Remove pie crusts from pouches; unroll 1 crust flat in center of ungreased large cookie sheet. Place second crust flat over first crust, matching edges and pressing to seal. With rolling pin, roll out into 14-inch round.
2.Fold 1/2 inch of crust edge under, forming border; press to seal seam. If desired, flute edge. Prick crust generously with fork.
3.Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
4.Spread 1/4 cup of the melted chocolate chips evenly over cooled baked crust. Spread yogurt over chocolate. Arrange banana slices on top of yogurt. Spread pie filling evenly over top. Arrange strawberries over pie filling. Drizzle remaining melted chocolate over top. Cut into wedges. Store in refrigerator.
*To melt chips, place in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on High 45 seconds; stir until smooth. If necessary, microwave an additional 15 seconds.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 17 to 22 minutes.
Yoplait is a registered trademark of YOPLAIT Marques Internationales SAS (France) used under license. 
Drunken Apple Tarts
any alcoholic beverage(s) of your choice (we drank whiskey & ginger ale w/lime)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
2 seven or eight-ounce Golden Delicious apples, peeled, halved, cored, each half very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 teaspoons honey
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll out pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to very thin 18x14-inch rectangle.  Using small plate as guide (Just wing it), cut out four seven-inch (whatever) rounds.  Transfer two rounds to each prepared sheet; cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.  Screw that.  Make yourself another drink and move on to the next step.
Position one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F.  Overlap slices from 1/2 apple on each pastry round, leaving 1/4-inch plain border (Or whatever.  It's all about guesstimation.)  Sprinkle each tart with cinnamon and sugar, then drizzle with melted butter.
Bake tarts until pastry is golden and apples are tender, about 25 minutes.  At this point it's probably time for another drink - and then you might want a fresh one when they're ready.  Drizzle each tart with one teaspoon of honey.  Transfer tarts to racks; cool 10 minutes.  Eh, who needs to wait?  Serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream if you feel so inclined.

Drunken Poached Pears
Please note that the amounts in the recipe for poached pears are approximate.
1 cup white wine
1 1/3 cup red wine
1 cup water
1 whole vanilla bean
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 Tbspn cloves
2 extra ripe Anjou pears
10 firm ripe Seckel pears (4 Bosc pears also work, if Seckels aren't available)
1. In a deep medium saucepan, combine the wine, water, and sugar.  Split the vanilla bean; scrape the seeds into the saucepan and add the entire bean.  Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
2. In a food processor, puree the extra ripe Anjou pears.  Strain the puree through a fine sieve into the wine mixture in the saucepan.
3. Bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
4. Meanwhile, use a melon baller to remove the center of the seckel pears, starting from the bottom.  Peel each pear.
5. Once the wine mixture has come to a simmer, add the seckel pears.  Cook at a simmer until done, about 10 minutes, depending on the original firmness of the pears.
6. Strain the pears from the liquid once they are done and set them on a cooling rack to cool and drain.  Keep the remaining poaching liquid in the refrigerator for future use.

Frangipane tart filling
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Doris Greenspan.  (Note: I never did have the original recipe, and this one's been cobbled together and hand-scribbled by me a few times over, so changes have been made, I think.)
3/4 cup blanched and slivered almonds
2 tspn AP flour
1 tspn cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
6 Tbspn butter, at room temperature
1 large egg + 1 egg white
1 tspn vanilla
1 tspn almond extract
1 tspn brandy
1. In a food processor, combine the almonds and flour.  Grind finely.
2. Add in sugar, butter, and flavorings.  Blend.
3. Finally, blend in the eggs until the mixture is smooth.
4. Allow the filling to rest in the refrigerator for two to three hours.

Sweet tart pastry crust
This is my go-to sweet tart pastry recipe, with a hint of almond added especially for this tart. I even have to resist eating the dough raw!
makes enough for a 9" round tart
1 3/4 cups AP flour
7 Tbspn cold butter
4 Tbspn sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 Tbspn water
1/2 Tbspn almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Blend just until a dough begins to form.
3. Remove from food processor and place the dough on a floured work surface.  Knead gently just until the dough comes together.  Chill if the dough is too warm.
4. Roll out the pastry or pat down evenly into the bottom of the pan. (The patting works perfectly for this crust.)
5. Chill the dough for about 20 minutes in the freezer.
6. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the pastry several times.  Top with a layer of foil or parchment paper and then fill the crust with pie weights.  (I use dried beans--multi-purpose! Don't waste your money on pie weights.)
7. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until almost done.  Remove and let cool.

Tart assembly and final baking
additional ingredient: apricot jam/preserves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spoon the frangipane filling into the baked tart shell and smooth.
3. Slice the poached pears thinly and arrange on top of the frangipane filling.  The filling will puff up during baking, so keep that in mind when you make your pear arrangements.
4. Bake the tart for 40-50 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed and firm to the touch.
5. Remove from oven and let cool.
6. Heat the apricot jam in the microwave until it is liquid.  Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of glaze onto the tart.

Cherry Clafoutis
1 1/2 cups fresh cherries (pitted)
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pre-heat oven to 375F
Butter a 9" pie dish and set aside
Pit the cherries. I just cut them in half and took the stone out.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl for about 2 mins until they begin to turn pale. Add the cream, milk, vanilla, nutmeg, sugar and butter. Mix well.
Sift in the flour and mix until very smooth.
Pour the batter into the pie dish and then evenly spread out the cherries.
Bake for 30-40 mins until golden.
An inserted toothpick should come out clean and it should be firm inside.
Allow to sit out of the oven for 20 mins before serving.

Apple-Blackberry Pie with Ginger
Makes 1 9-inch pie
1 recipe for double pie crust
3 cups of frozen blackberries
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sweetened crystalized ginger
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 egg, beaten thoroughly
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
Mix the blackberries with the brown sugar and set aside. Roll out half of the the pie dough and press into a greased pie pan. Trim. Put in the freezer to chill. Roll out the other half of the dough into a round top crust or cut out shapes instead. Put these pieces into the freezer as well.
Chop the ginger finely. Peel, core, and chop the apples. Mix the nutmeg, salt, and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Mix the blackberries, ginger, and chopped apples. Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the fruit and stir thoroughly until well combined; you shouldn't see any white flecks in the bowl.
Remove the pie dough from the freezer. Lightly brush the inside of the pie dough with the beaten egg. Pour the filling into the pan and top with cut-out dough. If doing a full top crust, cut slashes in the top. Brush top crust with beaten egg.
Bake at 375°F for 35-40 minutes or until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.

BIG Mama's Pizzeria! by:,,,,

Ingredients and Method:

Starting with the dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

You may need to add water to the dough one Tablespoon at a time, depending on the humidity. Your dough should be very pliable, but NOT STICKY!

After you've mixed your ingredients for three minutes on low, separate the dough into two balls and roll out onto your two pizza pans. I prefer to cook on baking stones, well seasoned. I prebake the rolled dough at 375 for 10 minutes, then add my toppings. Toppings are an individual preference, all the way down to the sauce. I use whatever sauce I have on hand, but prefer tomato puree seasoned with oregano, basil and thyme. After you've loaded your pizza with toppings and cheese, bake in oven again for 15 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

So easy! And you read that recipe rising time for the dough.

Some other variations (think CiCi's!) that we've tried:

Sauteed onions, bell peppers and black olives (for the grownups, of course)

Mexican Pizza: I've been known to use leftover taco meat, but you can fry one pound of ground beef and add an envelope of taco seasoning, prepared according to directions. Replace the mozarella with Jack or cheddar cheese, and after cooking, load on the taco toppings: lettuce, sour cream, chopped tomatoes...whatever you like!

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza: Fry one pound of ground beef, add one envelope of onion soup mix, and one cup of water with two tablespoons of flour (hint: whisk in flour well to the cold water before adding to the meat) . You can grill some more onions, bell peppers and mushrooms for a topping and finish with melted velveeta!
1 rolling pin sanded
extended shopping
1 sheet gelatin
2, 5 dl milk
1 lemon peel
2 eggs
50 g sugar
20 g flour cornflour
strawberries q. b.
Powdered sugar for dusting
dried bean paper vegetable
1.Connect oven to 180 degrees. Line a pie shape with the mass sanded, Cover with greaseproof paper, fill with dried beans and bake for 15 minutes. Discard after the beans and paper and take another five minutes in the oven. Remove and let cool.
2. Place the gelatin to soak in cold water. Bring to the boil the milk with the lemon peel and heat well.
3. Pour the eggs and sugar into a bowl, stir well, add the flour cornflour, Mix, add milk thread without the lemon peel, stir again, pour into a saucepan and bring to simmer stirring constantly until boiling.
4. Remove from heat, add the drained gelatine and stir until thoroughly mixed.
5. Throw into the pie let cool, decorate with the strawberries, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve. May then take the cold.
Half Moon Apple Pies
Pastry for a two crust pie
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light or golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Glaze: 3 egg yolks + 3 teaspoons milk
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease and flour a large baking sheet. Set aside.
2) Combine both sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small saucepan. Add apples and lemon juice; toss to coat. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4 to 5 or until apples are tender, stirring often. Remove from the heat.
3) Divide pastry into two sections. Roll each as for a 9-inch pie. Using a 4 or 6-inch round cutter, cut dough into 4 or 6-inch circles. Using a tablespoon if for 4-inch pies or a 1/4 cup measure for 6-inch pies, spoon filling into center of circle. Moisten edges with water, fold in half and crimp with tines of a fork. Place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with milk. Generously brush half moons with glaze.
4) Bake on center rack of oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until deep golden brown. These are best if served warm. Yield: 8 to 16 servings.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Lattice Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold vegetable shortening
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1¼ cups sugar
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 pound (3 cups) fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 pint small ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Luscious Raspberry Ice Cream (optional)
STEP 1: To make the pastry pulse the flour and salt in a food processor until well blended. Add the shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over the mixture and pulse 2 or 3 times. Repeat the process with the remaining cold water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, following each addition of water by 2 quick pulses, just until the dough comes together when a small bit is pressed between your fingers. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other, and shape into disks. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight, wrapped in wax paper.
STEP 2: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Have ready a 9-inch pie plate.
STEP 3: To make the filling combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the rhubarb, strawberries, and lemon juice.
STEP 4: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger pastry disk to a 1/8-inch-thick round. Transfer the dough to the 9-inch pie pan. Trim the edges leaving a 1-inch overhang. Spoon the filling into the shell, top with any sugar mixture remaining in the bowl, and dot with the butter.
STEP 5: Roll out the remaining disk of dough to a 1/8-inch-thick round. Cut into ¾-inch strips and arrange in a lattice pattern on top of the filling. Fold the edge of the bottom crust up over the end of the strips, building a high rim. Seal and crimp decoratively. Place the pie on a baking sheet.
STEP 6: Bake for 15 mintues. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 45 to 50 minutes longer, until the berries are bubbling and the pastry is golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Step 7: Serve, cut into wedges, with the ice cream, if using.
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl and pan
2 packages of yeast
5 cups of bread flour/ maybe a little more for kneading
1 cup of plain yogurt
dried oregano to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon salt
a handful of Parmesan cheese
Mix yeast, sugar and water and let it sit for atleast 5 minutes in a bowl. It will look kind of bubbly.
Add yogurt, olive oil, salt, oregano, Parmesan cheese. Mix it all together.
Start to slowly add the flour at about a cup at a time. Mix it in. It will get to be hard to mix with a spoon. At this point, dump the mixture onto a lat loured surface. Mix the rest of the flour in by hand until it does not stick to your hand. At this point the dough is pretty elastic - press it and it comes back.
Now roll the dough into a ball. Coat a bowl with olive oil. Place ball of dough into bowl and cover with a towel or plastic. Leave for an 1 1/2 hours, the ball should have doubled in size.
Dump the ball onto a flat loured surface and "punch it down" by pressing it flat with the palm of your hand. I like to put a little oil and flour on my hands.
Cut it with a sharp knife into four equal pieces. Let each person have a dough piece. Make a ball and flatten it with a roller or your hands. place in an oiled pizza pan and even it out and make a nice edge.
Let it sit for 30 more minutes so it can rise again, this way when you cook it it will be very soft. this recipe will make four crusts.
8 to 16 ounces of mozzarella cheese
3 ounces of feta cheese
8 ounces to sixteen ounces of pesto
fresh tomato, squash, peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc...
Cover your hands with a light coating of oil. Work the pizza crust in the pan to you get desired thickness. Then cover crust with pesto, cheese, tomatoes, etc. Take the pizza to the grill and plate on the grate just on the edge of your coals. Cook for ten to 15 minutes until the bottom of the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted. I like to grill my vegetables separately then add them at the end. Enjoy!
Hide A Squash Vegetarian Quiche
1 pastry crust (use your favorite recipe)
1 summer squash, shredded
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
2 tablespoons of flour
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup whole milk
salt & pepper to taste
powdered garlic to taste
1.  Preheat the oven to 450.  Prepare your favorite single layer pie crust recipe in a 8 or 9 inch platter.  Do not prick the pastry.  Line it with a double lining of foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans to prevent the pastry from puffing up.  Bake for 8 minutes, remove the foil or paper and the weights and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.  Set aside.  Turn oven to 325.
2.  In a bowl, combine the shredded summer squash (I like to use the large holes on a box grater) and cheeses.  Toss together with the 2 tablespoons of flour.  Pour into the pie shell.
3.  In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and powdered garlic.  I like to give a few good twists of the pepper and salt grinders and a couple hard shakes of the powdered garlic.  Beat until combined and pour over squash-cheese mixture.
4.  Bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes or until a clean knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Be careful not to over bake--let's keep this a creamy textured quiche instead of a dry one.  =)
Thanksgiving (Leftover) Quiche
Leftover stuffing--Approximately 2 cups
6-8 ounces breakfast sausage (optional)
1 small onion, diced & 3 diced red potatoes   OR  1 cup scalloped potatoes
1 cup grated cheese   (you may want to alter this depending on what potatoes you use)
6 eggs
3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste  (or about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper)
small splash of olive oil
1.  Preheat the oven to 450.  Lightly grease a 9 inch quiche pan.  Press stuffing on the bottom and sides of the pan trying to make sure there are no gaps.
2.  If using sausage, cook sausage until done in a pan, remove and set aside.   If you are using the onion and red potatoes saute them in the same pan.  You may or may not have to add a small splash of olive oil depending on your sausage.  Saute until onions are tender and potatoes are medium tender.  Place sausage (if using), onion and potatoes (or scalloped potatoes) in the quiche pan.  Spread evenly and sprinkle with cheese.  Set aside.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk and cream.  Add salt and pepper and mix well.   Pour over potato mixture.  If it seems very full, don't worry, just put the quiche pan on a rimmed cookie sheet.
4.  Bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top and eggs are set.  A knife inserted into the center should come out clean of egg mixture.  Enjoy!
Pizza Margherita
1 quantity of pizza dough for a 12 inch pizza
3 medium sized tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon of sea salt
Pinch of oregano, dried or a few minced leaves of fresh
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 ounces mozzarella
6-8 leaves of fresh basil
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano
Additional extra virgin olive oil
1.  Seed and dice three tomatoes.  In a bowl, combine the tomatoes with the garlic, sea salt and oregano.  Stir in the olive oil, cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
2.  Preheat the oven to 500.  Prepare your pizza dough for a 12 inch pizza and brush it lightly with a little olive oil.  Spread the mozzarella over the top, leaving a small 1/2-1 inch border for the crust.  Spoon the tomato mixture over the cheese. 
3.  Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  While the pizza is baking, roll up the basil leaves and cut them into thin strips.
4.  When the pizza is finished baking, remove it from the oven and top with the fresh basil.  Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and serve immediately.
Breakfast Pizza
Ingredients & Method:
Par Baked 14″ Crust cooled
1/4 Cup Mascarpone Cheese - this melts like butter!
4-5 Cloves Minced Garlic
1-2 Tbsp Minced Sage
1 Cup Shredded Fontina Cheese
4 Eggs – break yolk if you don’t like ‘em runny
1/4 Cup Thinly sliced Red Onion
1/2 -1 Cup Pre-cooked Breakfast Meat we used spicy chicken sausage, but bacon or breakfast sausage would be nice too.
1/2 Cup Blanched Asparagus
Bake at 475°
until eggs are cooked about 15-20 minutes then top with:
Handful Shredded Parmesan
Rustic Crustless Quiche
Ingredients & Method:
     2 Stalks of Cleaned and sliced Leeks
     Roast 6 Cloves Garlic in foil in oven until soft and mushy or just slice up the garlic and saute with leeks.
Then place both in the bottom of a greased 10″ round very deep skillet.
Top with:
     Frozen Chopped Spinach 10oz package drained
     Handful Chopped Basil
     2-3 Sliced Tomatoes
     1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Wisk together:
     1 Dozen Eggs
     1 Cup Plain Yogurt
     Salt & Pepper
Place pan in oven then Pour egg mixture over all ingredients
Bake at 350° for about an hour or until center is set.
Quiche with a Perfect Crust
Ingredients & Method:
Crust for one 9” pie plate
     1 cup flour, sifted
     1 teaspoon salt
     1/3 cup butter
     3-4 tablespoons milk
Combine the flour and salt.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are pea-sized (or smaller) pieces of butter.  Gradually pour the milk in, one tablespoon at a time while stirring the mixture.  Grasp the dough (still in the bowl) and mix with your hands, gently.  Place dough on heavily floured countertop, put flour over entire rolling pin surface and roll it out, gently until it’s about ¼ inch thick and large enough for your pie pan.  Carefully, with a spatula to keep the dough from sticking to the counter, roll the dough around the rolling pin then roll it out over the greased pie plate. 
Cut off excess (about 2” from edge of plate), fold 1” under and flute the edges with your fingers.  Perforate the bottom of the crust to prevent it from bubbling up while it’s cooking.
     1/3 cup onion, chopped
     1 tablespoon butter
     ¼ pound Swiss cheese
     4 eggs
     2 cups light cream
     1-1.5 cups broccoli, chopped and lightly steamed
Saute the onion in the butter
Cube the cheese and place on the bottom of the pie crust
Mix the eggs and the cream together (I find that I need less liquid when making a quiche, so you may want to see what works best for you), add the sautéed onion and pour into the pie crust.  Do not overfill.  Place the broccoli into the mixture. 
Place on a cookie sheet (in case it overflows while cooking), bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes. 
For Quiche Lorraine, substitute 6 slices of crisp bacon for the broccoli. 

Dutch Baby Pie
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh fruit, of choice If you’re using strawberries sprinkle with sugar 30 min before using.
Fifteen minutes before baking preheat the oven to 425°.  Put the butter in an 8 inch pie plate or oven-proof skillet.  Place in the oven just until the butter is melted. Swirl around to coat the sides.
Whisk together the milk, flour, eggs, sugar and vanilla; Slowly pour batter into hot pan; bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake another 8-10 minutes, until pancake is well-browned; remove from oven and sieve confectioners’ sugar over the top; serve immediately with fruit spooned into the center of the pancake. 
Watch it closely when cooking and adjust times temps as needed due to size of skillet/pie plate.
Raspberry Peaches and Cream Pie
Ingredients & Method:
9″ Deep Pie Crust par bake to light golden brown -
store bought or make your own
I may even make this crust-less next time – the filling was SO good!

In a mixing bowl combine:
      2 Eggs
      1/2 Cup Sugar
Beat with wire whip or hand-held mixer until slightly thickened and pale.
Add and fold in with rubber scraper:
      3/4 Cup Plain Yogurt - Greek, Regular or Non Fat
      3/4 Cup Sour Cream - Full Fat, Lite or Non Fat
      2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla
Mix just until blended then SIFT over the top and fold in, in batches – NOT all at once:
      1/2 Cup Flour
Fill COOLED Pie Crust with:
      Sliced Peaches – about 4 Peaches
      Raspberries – about a half pint.
Optional to sprinkle sugar over top if you want a sweeter pie.
Pour custard over the top.  DO NOT over fill the crust - if you have extra just bake it in a seperate bowl along side the pie for less time.
Bake at 325º  for about 40-50 minutes until slightly golden on top and custard is firm.
Cool before serving.
Ohio Lemon Pie with Ginger
Ingredients & Method:
Pie Crust – use a basic DOUBLE pie crust recipe.  I add a 1/2 Cup of sour cream to the dough!  Once you try it you won’t make anything different!

Zest 2 Meyer Lemons
Slice the Lemons PAPER THIN
Optional to add one peeled orange also sliced thin.
Combine in a Ziploc bag:
Lemon Slices
Lemon Zest
¼ Cup Honey
1 and 3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Ginger peeled and sliced in matchstick slivers.   
Marinade overnight on the counter.

Whisk together well:
 4 Large Eggs
Then add:
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
Stir in the lemon mixture.
Pour into crust.
Put on top crust and crimp edges and cut vents.
Optional to brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar in the raw.
Bake at 425 for 30 minutes.
Reduce to 350 and bake another 20-30 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean from the center.
Monica's B is for Blueberry Pie
For the crust (9 inch, 2 crust):
2 and 1/2 cups flour (white or whole wheat/white mix)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening (Earth Balance shortening sticks are easiest to work with)
6-7 tbsp cold water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix flour and salt in large mixing bowl.  Cut shortening into chunks and work into flour with either a pastry cutter or two knives - mix until you have a crumbly texture with the shortening in pea-sized lumps.  Add cold water one tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork, until the dough starts to ball around the fork.  Form into a dough ball and divide into two parts as evenly as possible.  Wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare filling.
For the filling:
4+ cups fresh or frozen blueberries (If using frozen, Monica recommends thawing and then draining them to remove excess liquid)
3 tbsp flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
1 tbsp Earth Balance butter substitute
1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour and sugar, toss blueberries in, then add lemon juice (if desired). 
2. Remove dough from fridge and lightly flour your work surface.  Roll out one of the pieces of dough for the bottom of the pie.  When you have this piece rolled out to your liking, fold lengthwise in half, then fold in half again.  Place folded dough in bottom of pie pan, round edge facing out, and unfold and position it - this is the bottom of your pie.  Trim edges evenly with a knife or scissors (save your scraps!***).  Fill with blueberry mixture and dot with little tabs of Earth Balance.  For the top sheet of crust, repeat as you did with the bottom and place on top of pie filling.  Seal edges with a little cold water and roll up the edges to further close them.  At this point you can give your edges a little flair (like in my picture above) by simply pressing in opposite directions around the perimeter of your pie (sorry, I don't know how better to describe that, and Monica did it so fast and so well!)  Cut steam vents into top of pie and brush crust with soy or almond milk (optional).
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes then turn oven down to 350 and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes, until crust is lightly browned and filling is bubbly.  Let cool until filling starts to harden, then enjoy!  Or, you can do what we did and dig in almost right away, when the pie is still bubbly but no less tasty.  
***Monica used her scraps to make itty bitty mini-pies that she topped with some preserves.  You can also roll the scraps out and cut them into slices, spinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake until lightly golden. 
Amish Whoopie Pie Recipe
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Whoopie Pie Filling (see recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together shortening, sugar, and egg. In another bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a small bowl, stir the vanilla extract into the milk. Add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture, alternating with the milk mixture; beating until smooth.
3. Drop batter by the 1/4 cup (to make 18 cakes) onto prepared baking sheets. With the back of a spoon spread batter into 4-inch circles, leaving approximately 2 inches between each cake.
4. Bake 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Make Whoopie Pie Filling. When the cakes are completely cool, spread the flat side (bottom) of one chocolate cake with a generous amount of filling. Top with another cake, pressing down gently to distribute the filling evenly. Repeat with all cookies to make 9 pies. Let finished whoopie pies completely cool before wrapping.
6. Wrap whoopie pies individually in plastic wrap, or place them in a single layer on a platter (do not stack them, as they tend to stick).
7. To freeze, wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap. Loosely pack them in a plastic freezer container and cover. To serve, defrost the wrapped whoopie pies in the refrigerator.
Makes 9 large whoopie pies.
Whoopie Pie Filling:
For this recipe, you are basically making a homemade Marshmallow Fluff/Creme.
3 egg whites, room temperature
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted powdered (confectioner's) sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1. In large bowl of an electric mixer, add egg whites, corn syrup, and salt. Using your electric mixer on high speed, mix for approximately 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and volume has almost doubled.
2. On low speed, add powdered sugar and mix until well blended. Add vanilla extract just until well blended.
3. Your homemade marshmallow fluff/cream is now ready to use on your Whoopie Pies or other recipes. Use immediately, or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 2 weeks.
Makes a large quantity.

(Photo by,1637,157182-238195,00.html

□   1 (9 inch) pie crust
□   1 can cherry pie filling
□   2 or 3 fresh peaches
□   Bit of butter (about 3 tsp.)
□   1/4 c. minute tapioca
□   1/3 c. flour
□   1/2 to 3/4 c. sugar
Optional: Top crust or lattice work for top of pie.Method:
Peel and slice peaches. Place in layer in pie crust. Add mixture of sugar, flour and tapioca to peaches, then add butter. Add cherry pie filling to above.
Cover with top crust or lattice work over top of filling. Bake at 350 degrees (preheated oven) for approximately 45 minutes or until desired browning of crust.
Vanilla Cream in Pastry Shells
Makes 6 servings.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 package (10 ounces) frozen puff pastry shells
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Prepare and bake pastry shells as directed on package. Cool completely.
2. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until smooth and creamy. Whip cream in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir into cream cheese mixture. Cover.
3. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Fill or pipe cream mixture into pastry shells just before serving. Garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves, if desired.
Flavor Variations: Prepare as directed. Use 2 teaspoons McCormick® Raspberry Extract or 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Almond Extract in place of the vanilla.

Cream Tarts: Prepare as directed. Use graham cracker tart crusts in place of puff pastry shells.
Adapted from Chef Alain Morville
Makes about 4 servings
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup water
1 stick (4 ounces) butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
Prepare to fry the churros by heating about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a deep pan.  The oil should be about 360 degrees F.
To make the dough, bring the water, butter, cinnamon and salt to a rolling boil in a 3-quart saucepan.  Stir in the flour all at once.  Reduce the heat to low and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute.  Remove the pan from the heat.
Beat the 3 eggs until well blended then add them, in 3 additions, to the mixture in the saucepan – keep stirring until the mixture comes together and is smooth.  (You can do this in a mixer with a paddle attachment if you’ve already had your daily workout.)
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.  Have a scissors at hand.  Hold the bag over the hot oil, squeeze a strip of dough about 4 inches long, snip it with the scissors and let it drop into the oil.  Fry 3 to 4 strips at a time, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on a side.  Drain on paper towels.  Roll the churros in the sugar and serve immediately.  These are really best minutes after they’ve been fried.  
Easy Chocolate Eclairs
Makes 6-8
1/2 cup butter
1 cup boiling water
1 cup flour with 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
Vanilla pudding – 1 package (some people make the filling. I’m a guy; I use pudding.)
2 cups milk (for pudding)
Semi sweet chocolate – 4 oz
1/2 cup heavy cream (mixes with melting chocolate)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Bring water to a boil and add butter
Add flour and vanilla, and stir vigorously – until its a gooey ball
Remove from heat and cool slightly (you don’t want the eggs to cook)
Beat in eggs with wire wisk, one at a time (wisk each egg until smooth before adding the next egg)
Form into six oblong baguettes on greased baking sheet.
They may seem a little more like pancake batter than bread dough, but they puff up while baking. They’re like popovers and may deflate again too.
Get them into the oven fairly quickly
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes – DO NOT OPEN OVEN.
Then at 325 for up to 25 minutes (they might be browned in 15, as with our oven)
• While they’re in the oven, make the pudding (add milk and whisk) and refrigerate
Remove and place on a cooling rack

• While cooling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler with the heavy cream. I don’t have a double boiler so just boil water in a large pot, put the mixture in a smaller one, and set it inside. Stir it with a rubber scraper till smooth

Once cooled, slice the tops off and put pudding inside – you can hollow them out, or use an injector, but nobody complains if you don’t.
Spread chocolate on the tops

Chill them in the fridge for 20 minutes – don’t rush here, they taste better chilled.

If you like, put whipped cream on top, and sprinkle on a little chocolate powder, or my favorite, some ground nutmeg.
Churros con Chocolate
Churros con Chocolate
from Chocolateria San Gines

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
vegetable oil, for frying
confectioners’ sugar
Chocolate Sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups milk (any kind)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips)
1/4 cup sugar
In a medium saucepan, combine butter and water and bring to a boil. When mixture is boiling, add in flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Continue to stir and cook the dough for about 1 minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl or to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Turn the mixer on medium-high. Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each has been well incorporated before adding the next. Batter may look wet before it comes together, but keep mixing and a smooth dough will form.
Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a medium or large star tip.
Pour about 2-inches of oil into a deep saucepan. Bring the oil to about 365F.
Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate sauce.
Whisk together the cornstarch and milk. Add mixture, along with chocolate and sugar, to a small saucepan. Bring just to boil, whisking occasionally, and cook until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.
Pipe 5 to 6-inch pieces of churro dough into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, then flip and cook until golden on the second side (about 5-6 minutes total). Remove from oil and set on some paper towels to drain, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Serve churros with small cups of chocolate sauce.
Makes about 20 churros.
Eclairs Filled with Vanilla Pastry Cream 
Recipe adapted from

(makes 12)
Eclair Shells:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp (half stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1 egg white, beaten
Pastry Cream Filling   (adapted from
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water (more as needed)
Chocolate Icing
handful of semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place rack in center of oven. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (I used wax paper).
2. Stir together flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine butter and water for the eclair shells into a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil.  Remove pan from heat and immediately stir in the flour mixture all at once, stirring until a ball of dough forms in the pot. This should happen pretty quickly.
4. Let the dough cool slightly (you can stir it up to release the heat), then add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition until the egg is well-blended to form a smooth batter.
5. Spoon the dough into a ziplock bag and snip off the tip to about 1 inch in diameter. Pipe the dough into 3-4 inch long stripes onto the lined baking sheet, spacing the eclairs 2 inches apart.
6. Gently brush the surface of the piped eclairs with the beaten egg white.
7. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down oven temperature to 350 degrees F to continue baking for another 30 minutes. The shells should be a nice golden-brown color. Turn off the oven and leave door ajar, with the eclairs sitting inside for another 10-15 minutes to let them dry fully. Remove from the oven to cool on a wire rack, peeling eclairs off carefully (this is where all of my eclair bottoms broke off). They will have a wonderful cracked appearance on top.
Pastry Cream
1. In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl, mix together sugar and egg yolks.
2. Combine flour and cornstarch in a separate bowl, then add to egg mixture and stir until a smooth paste forms. Add vanilla.
3. In a saucepan (preferrably stainless steel, I find non-stick pans to be awful for making custards), heat milk on medium until just boiling. Remove from heat and slowly whisk into egg mixture, careful not to let egg curdle.
4. When fully incorporated, place egg and milk mixture back onto the stove to cook on medium heat, whisking constantly until it starts to boil. Keep stirring and it should thicken up very quickly. When it has reached a desired thickness (I prefer mine to be pretty thick), remove from heat immediately and whisk in the water. You can add more water if your pastry cream is too thick.
5. Chill pastry cream in fridge for several hours, covered with a layer of plastic wrap touching the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.
Normally you would slice the eclairs open by cutting horitzonally on each one to cut off the tops. Since mine had holes in the bottom I just pried the holes open until they were the same size as the eclair and piped in the pastry cream (using the same ziplock bag trick that I used for piping the elcair dough). Fill each eclair with enough pastry cream to fill out the shell, but not so much that it bursts. If using cut open shells, replace the tops once the filling has been added.
Finally, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, and stir in the vegetable oil to thin out the consistency enough to drizzle. I just eyeballed this, so you can adjust the chocolate icing how you like. Take a fork and dip it into the chocolate to drizzle it over the eclairs. Serve immediately for the best taste and texture. If not serving right away, I suggest you not fill the shells so that they don't get soggy. Fill them just before serving and you will wow your guests with how fresh they taste, nothing like the pre-filled ones you buy at stores!
Cookie-topped Cream Puffs
Adapted from Chou Cream No Hon by Junko Iida (Original recipe in Chinese)
For the choux pastry

30g cake flour, sifted
30g bread flour, sifted (If you don't have cake and bread flours, I'd suggest just using 60g all-purpose)
40g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
100ml water
5g sugar
1g salt
2 eggs (around 100g)
1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
2. Place water, butter, sugar and salt into a small saucepan and heat over medium flame until butter is all melted and water is at a rolling boil.
3. Remove from heat, and add in the flours in one go. Mix together with a heatproof spatula until a dough forms.
4. Back on the heat, stir the dough continously until a thin layer of dough coats the base of the pan.
5. Transfer dough into a large metal bowl. Slowly add in the egg whilst mixing with a spatula until the egg is absorbed and formes a soft dough. An indicator is the formation of a 'triangle' when you lift the dough up using a spatula. Set aside the left over egg if not all of it was added.
6. Using a piping bag with a 1-cm tip (I just snipped off the end of a plastic bag), pipe around 10 mounds of dough, each around 4cm in diameter.
7. Brush over the left over egg, and with a wet finger, lightly press down any peaks on the dough.
8. Bake at 200 C for 30 minutes until golden brown.

For the chocolate cookie topping
20g cake flour
5g cocoa powder
25g unsalted butter, softened
25g sugar
1. In a small bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
2. Fold on the flour and cocoa powder.
3. Press together the dough, and shape it into a log with 2-cm diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
4. Slice into 10 portions (or enough slices for the number of puffs you got using the recipe above). Place them on each mound of dough, and bake as per instructions above.

For the pastry cream
1/2 vanilla pod
250ml milk
40g sugar
3 egg yolks
25g cake flour
20g unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
2. Place the vanilla seens and pod into the milk in a small saucepan, along with half the sugar. Heat until the mill is just about to boil.
3. Whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a large bowl. Sift in the cake flour and whisk until well incorporated.
4. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk. Add the milk into the egg yolks in portions, stirring well after each addition.
5. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens into the consistency of thick cream and bubbles start to form.
6. Remove from heat and beat in the butter chunks.
7. Let cool completely before chilling and filling the cream puffs.
Traditional Puff Pastry Recipe
2 parts flour (3 cups or 300 grams)
1 part ice water (1.5 cups or 0.7 liter
1 to 2 tsp (5-10 milliliters) lemon juice, if desired
1 part unsalted butter (1.5 cups) [149 grams], brought to room temperature but firm enough to roll flat
In a large bowl, mix the flour with water and lemon juice to form moist dough. Turn it onto a lightly floured board and form a square. On a separate work surface, use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into a rectangle with the same consistency and width of the dough, but half the length. Place the butter rectangle on the bottom half of dough and fold the top half of dough over it, pressing the dough edges together to seal air inside along with the butter. Roll the dough-butter rectangle to one-fourth of an inch (6.4 millimeters) thickness. Fold the dough in half from left side to right and refrigerate for one hour. Repeat five more times, alternating the direction of folds from left-to-right and top-to-bottom. Changing the direction of the fold helps ensure that the butter gets worked through all layers [source: Editors of Cooks Illustrated, Farmer, McGee].
The point of all the turnings is to work the dough into 729 layers of dough suspended between 728 microscopic layers of butter [source: McGee]. Puff pastry relies on steam escaping from the boiling butter layers to lift it up as it bakes, so it needs a fully preheated and consistently hot oven temperature. If you cut the dough before baking, be sure to use a very sharp knife. Otherwise, you'll mash the layers together and the pastry won't rise at the edges.
Chocolate Tarts with Peppermint Crème These velvety chocolate-filled phyllo cups topped with peppermint crème are like tiny presents for the mouth.
Makes 15 (2 tart) servings.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
2 packages (15 shells each) frozen mini phyllo shells
1/3 cup plus 3/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet baking chocolate, cut into chunks
2 ounces (1/4 package) cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Peppermint Extract
1. Prepare phyllo shells as directed on package for crisp unfilled tarts. Cool completely.
2. Microwave 1/3 cup of the cream and chocolate in microwavable bowl on HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 minutes or until chocolate ganache starts to thicken. Spoon a heaping teaspoon ganache into each tart shell. Cool completely.
3. Beat cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat remaining 3/4 cup cream, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and extract in medium bowl with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 of the whipped cream to cream cheese mixture; stir until well blended. Gently stir in remaining whipped cream.
4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon Peppermint Crème into each tart. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Lemon Pizzelles with Choice Fruits
Photo by
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon extract
Preheat a 7-inch pizzelle iron .. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt
into a large bowl and make a well in the center .. Add the eggs, beating
until just blended .. Stir in the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and lemon
extract until well blended .. Drop 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the
center of the iron .. Lower the top so that the batter spreads .. Cook for 1
minute, or until browned at the edges .. Lift
minute, or until browned at the edges .. Lift up the top and remove the
cookie from the iron. and place on a rack to cool. . Repeat with the
remaining batter.
Makes 12 cookies· Prep: 20 min .. Cooking: 1 min. per cookie
(Photo by:,,
Pizzelles are wafer-like cookies that can be made flat or rolled into a cone-shape cookie. However, making pizzelles requires one piece of special equipment--a pizzelle iron--found at most cookware stores. This recipe can easily be doubled. On hot, humid summer days you'll find the pizzelles have a softer texture instead of the usual crunch. To recrisp, warm baked cookies in a moderate oven (about 300°F / 150°C) for about 5 to 10 minutes.
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

  1. Preheat pizzelle iron as directed by the manufacturer. (This is often as simple as plugging it in and letting it heat for 15 to 20 minutes.)
  2. In an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar. Add extract and melted butter. On low speed, gradually add flour and baking powder to make a sticky dough.
  3. Drop dough from a teaspoon onto the hot iron. If the iron you are using allows you to bake 2 pizzelles at once, drop a teaspoonful into the center of each pattern outline.
  4. Close the cover of pizzelle iron and bake for 30 to 45 seconds, or until nicely browned.
  5. Using two forks, remove the hot wafer from the iron and place the pizzelle flat on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Be sure to lay the hot pizzelles in a single layer on the cookie sheet. When they are completely cool, you can stack them. Dust with confectioner's sugar.
Makes about 30 pizzelles.
  • Chocolate: add 1/2 cup cocoa to the dough along with the flour.
  • Lemon: substitute 2 teaspoons lemon extract for the vanilla. Add 2 tablespoons lemon zest (grated rind from 2 large lemons).
  • Almond: Replace vanilla with 2 teaspoons almond extract. Reduce the amount of flour to 1 3/4 cups. Add 1/2 cup finely ground almonds.

Traditional-Style Vegan Pizzelle
1/2 cup unsweetened soy yogurt
3/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup mild-tasting oil or margarine, melted and returned to room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon toasted green anise seed, ground
With a stand mixer or handheld, beat the soy yogurt and sugar together until well incorporated. Add the oil (or melted and cooled margarine) and vanilla, mix well. Sift flour and baking soda together and mix with the ground anise seed into the yogurt mixture. The resulting batter will be very thick, but will spread out on the iron when pressure and heat is applied. Follow instructions to bake on your pizzelle iron.
For chocolate hazelnut, omit anise seed, decrease flour to 1 1/2 cups, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts or hazelnut flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder.
For amaretto almond, omit anise seed, add 1/4 cup ground almonds or almond meal and 1 tablespoon amaretto.
Chocolate Fudge Pie 
by Southern Living 4 hours 50 minutes
Yield: Makes 10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)


  • 1/2  (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 6  ounces  unsweetened chocolate baking squares, chopped
  • 1  (14-oz.) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1  (8-oz.) container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
  • Garnish: fresh raspberries


1. Preheat oven to 425°. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp. Line piecrust with aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
2. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes. Remove weights and foil, and bake 5 to 7 more minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 15 minutes).
3. Meanwhile, microwave chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in milk until smooth; let stand 2 minutes. Fold half of whipped topping into chocolate mixture until combined; pour mixture into crust.
4. Cover and chill 4 to 8 hours. Spread remaining whipped topping over pie; garnish, if desired.
Homemade Apple Pie Recipe With Fresh Apples
Recipe for Apple Pie Baked with Granny Smiths in a Flaky Pie Crust
Recipe for 9" Double Crust Pie Crust (The Best Ever Pie Crust Recipe) makes enough for 4 single crusts or 2 double crust pies. Divide the recipe in half or freeze the extra crusts.)


  • 6 cups Granny Smith apple slices, peeled and cored
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon milk or cream for brushing the top crust
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon for dusting the crust
Directions - How To Make an Apple Pie:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the pie crust bottom and tops according to The Best Pie Crust directions, leaving enough overhang to fold underneath. Place the bottom pie crust evenly in a 9" pie pan or ceramic pie dish and set aside. Fold the top crust in half and place a towel over it so it doesn't dry out.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice. Add sugars, flour and spices if desired, mixing gently.
  4. Fold into prepared pie crust and dot with cold butter.
  5. Follow the double crust directions below.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbly. Place a piece of aluminum foil around the rim if the edges start to brown too fast.
  7. Remove to cooling rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Serve Apple Pie à la mode with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
  9. Refrigerate any leftovers.
  10. Makes 1 double crust apple pie. Serves 8.

How To Make a Double Pie Crust:

  • Unfold the top crust and place over the top of the apples. Fold the edges of the top crust over and under the bottom edges and flute with your fingertips. Likewise, the crust can also be sealed with the tines of a dinner fork.
  • Brush the pastry crust with milk or cream and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar.
  • Cut small slits or vent holes into the top crust using a knife or a very small cookie cutter.
by Donna Diegel recipe looks complicated but once you master this easy technique for making perfect pie crust, you'll never go back to your old recipe again.

Pie Crust Recipes Tips 101:

  • All purpose flour works best. Whole wheat makes a heartier crust, but it can also come out gummy and tough.
  • Any solid shortening will do, except all butter. Crisco® Zero Trans Fat Shortening is great way to cut the trans fat from your diet.
  • Pie pans can be disposable aluminum, glass Pyrex, or Grandma's favorite embossed tin. Do not spray or grease the pie pan.
  • Rolling pins can be a Grandma's wood rolling pin, or the newest stainless steel. It doesn't matter as long as you keep it coated with flour as you work the pie crust.
  • The pastry blender is a handy gadget usually made of stainless steel. It has a handle attached to 5 or 6 sharp thin blades that cut through the shortening and dough. Much like using two knives, it is quicker and less messy with the same results.

Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup cool water (more or less) not cold

How To Make a Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

1st Step:

  • Measure flour and salt into a large bowl making a well in the middle. Put shortening into the well.
  • Coat both hands with flour well. Being careful not to touch the shortening, break up the shortening into chunks.
  • This is an important step. Do not let the heat of your hands melt the shortening. The least amount of contact with the shortening the better.
  • With both hands, work the shortening into the flour using a circular, rubbing motion, always keeping contact with the flour, not the shortening, pick up more flour and shortening as you go. Always keep the shortening in the middle of the flour.
  • It should look like a small peas, with the shortening being totally incorporated into the flour.

2nd Step:

  • Pour half the water in, gathering it into a ball. Continue adding the water until it comes together in a soft ball of dough. You may need more or less water depending on the humidity. Do NOT knead the dough as in bread making.
  • Work the dough as little as you have to, just enough to keep it formed in a ball.
  • Divide the dough into 3 or 4 equal portions.
  • Cover the dough and refrigerate it for later, or use now.

3rd Step:

  • Take a handful of flour and throw/sprinkle it down on a counter top. Put the ball of dough in the middle of the flour.
  • Coat your rolling pin with flour. Start rolling the dough with the pin, turning the dough to get a round shape. This may take several passes over the dough, turning this way and that. Flip the dough over carefully, adding flour to your surface as needed. Finish rolling on this side to make a circle that is 4" bigger than your pan.
  • Fold the dough in half, place it in the pan unfolding to fit. Trim if necessary, but not too much. You want to have enough to fold the edges under.
  • Fold the edges under, turning the pan and pressing the edge as you go.
  • You now have a choice as to how you want to finish the crust. If you are making an open pie as in pumpkin or pecan, press the edges down with a fork to seal the edge and give it a nice pattern.
  • Or, you can crimp the edges using your thumb and forefinger of your left hand and the forefinger of your right hand, and go around the edge of the pie making a v-shaped pattern, all the while keeping the edge slightly higher than the pie pan.
Makes 3-4, 8 or 9 inch crusts

(Photos by links as provided and

    Le Bonhuer....

    Meet Perry

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    Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
    I got a confession to make. I am food addict, over-indulgent! I crave for anything especially sweets, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, strawberries, halo-halo, leche flan, banana Q, breads, pasta, Nasi Goreng....tell me what you got in your fridge ;-D. Thank heavens for I got my mum's genes, I can gain and lose pounds that easy and quick. I am here to share with you my food recipe collection (almost forgotten in a corner of my room) and search for new, exciting recipes, meet good people, and discover more about the world of baking. I am no professional baker or chef (just a wanna-be for now) but we'll get there in time. In sha Allah. Afterall, DREAMS just got to start somewhere, and it starts right here, right now! Meantime enjoy this food journey with me among other stuff....amigos to the kitchen! [Thank you for visiting my blog,you're always welcome to come by! Feel free to dig deep into the posts, much treasures there. And leave your comments, I'd appreciate your words....] [P.S. Borrowed articles/photos can be deleted anytime, please advise.Thank you.]

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