Desserts · Family Favorites · Italian Dishes

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts and this recipe is heavenly.  I followed Chef Lucas during the COVID lockdown.  When I saw his Facebook Live featured Tiramisu, I was in!  I have found that Ladyfingers from Cost Plus World  Market are best, and appropriately crunchy. The ladyfingers from my local grocery store are soft, so I crisp them up in the oven before dipping into the water/Amaretto mixture.

I’d highly recommend a food scale to get the ingredients right, but I have adapted to U.S. measurements below. 

TIRASMISU

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 eggs
  • 130g sugar (4.58 ounces or .5725 cup)
  • 500g mascarpone (17.637 oz. or 2.205 cup)
  • 125g whipping cream (4.40925 oz. or .55116 cup)
  • 100g amaretti cookies (3.5274 oz. or .44 cup)
  • 30g cocoa powder (1.058 oz. or .1323 cup)
  • 1 package lady fingers
  • 1/2 cup amaretto liquor
  • 1/2 cup caffè (coffee) or water
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Using a tumbler, fill about 3/4 full with 50% Amaretto (or coffee) and 50% water.
  2. Quickly dip each ladyfinger in the glass; flip to get both sides. Place in 9×13″ glass dish.  There should be about 15 ladyfingers per layer.
  3. Crush the Amaretto cookies. Set aside.
  4. Separate the eggs.
  5. Add sugar to the egg yolks.  Mix well.  Add Mascarpone to the egg mixture. Folding in gently.
  6. Add a dash of water to the egg whites.  Beat until stiff peaks.
  7. Fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture.
  8. Add Amaretto cookies, crumbled, to the mixture.
  9. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
  10. Fold whipping cream into egg mixture.
  11. Spread 1/2 of the cream mixture over the first layer of lady fingers.
  12. Put cocoa powder in a sieve and sprinkle over the cream mixture.
  13. Repeat the dipping of lady fingers in Amaretto and water and place 2nd layer into the pan.
  14. Spread remaining cream on top of the lady fingers.
  15. Chill the Tiramisu.
  16. When ready to service, sift cocoa powder over the top.
  17. Cut into squares and serve.

Recipe from Chef Lucas Migliorelli

Asian Dishes · New Favorite

Vietnamese-Style Caramelized Ground Pork Bowls

Vietnamese and Thai food are a favorite of mine and I was delighted to find this recipe. The caramelized ground pork is out-of-this-world and makes the dish. I also thought the caramelized pork would be great in street tacos (ok, so now I’m on to Mexican food). The leftovers were equally as good, warmed in the microwave. For those that do not like spicy hot, I was relieved that the green curry paste from the grocery store was not at all spicy hot, it just added the right about flavor to the dish.

Vietnamese-Style Caramelized Ground Pork Bowls

INGREDIENTS:
  • For the Quick-Pickled Carrots:
    • 4oz grated carrots
    • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 Tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the Caramelized Ground Pork:
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • 1lb ground pork
    • 1 shallot, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • For the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice:
    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    • 12oz fresh or frozen cauliflower rice
    • salt and pepper
    • squeeze fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • For the Green Curry Drizzle:
    • 2 Tablespoons green curry paste (I like Thai Kitchen)
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk (I like full fat)
    • 2 Tablespoons chicken broth
    • squeeze fresh lime juice
  • For the toppings:
    • 8oz broccoli florets, steamed
    • sliced jalapeños
    • chopped cilantro
    • chopped green onion
    • kimchi
DIRECTIONS:
  1. For the Quick-Pickled Carrots: Add vinegar, water, sugar, and salt into a microwave safe dish then microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved then pour over carrots, stir to combine, and refrigerate. Can be done several days ahead of time.
  2. For the Caramelized Ground Pork: Place 2 layers of paper towel on a large plate then set aside. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add ground pork, shallot, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper (to taste) then saute until pork is just barely cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks. Add brown sugar and fish sauce to the skillet then stir to combine. Spread pork into an even layer in the bottom of the wok or skillet then saute for 2 minutes – DO NOT DISTURB OR STIR THE PORK as it caramelizes. Stir then spread the pork into an even layer again and cook for 2 more minutes, undisturbed. Continue cooking then stirring in two minute increments – leaving the pork alone as it cooks and caramelizes – until the pork is brown and caramelized. You may need to cook in 1 minute increments near the end to prevent the sugar from burning. Scrape the caramelized pork onto prepared paper towel lined plate to drain then set aside.
  3. For the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice: Get out a serving bowl then set aside. Place wok or skillet back over high heat then add oil. Once oil is hot, add cauliflower rice, season with salt and pepper, then stir fry until cauliflower is crisp tender, 3-4 minutes. Add lime juice and chopped cilantro then stir to combine. Scrape cauliflower rice into serving bowl then set aside.
  4. For the Green Curry Drizzle: Place wok or skillet back over medium high heat. Add curry paste then saute for 30 seconds, scraping/flattening/stirring it with a spatula. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, and sugar then stir until smooth and bring sauce to a simmer. Turn heat down to medium then simmer until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced, 3-4 minutes. Squeeze in a little lime juice to taste.
  5. To assemble: Scoop the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice into bowls then top with the Caramelized Ground Pork, Quick Pickled Carrots, toppings, and Green Curry Drizzling Sauce.

Recipe from IowaGirlsEats and RecipeTinEats

Breakfast · New Favorite

Sweet Potato Toasts with Eggs, Avocado & Spinach

Whoever heard of Sweet Potato Toasts? They are delicious! Making them in the toaster…brilliant! I love recipes from IowaGirlEats and this one did not disappoint. The only change I made was using Everything But the Bagel seasoning on the Sunny Side Up eggs and that was a game changer. I mentioned this recipe to a friend who suggested replacing the sautéed spinach with mushrooms…that is next on the list!

IowaGirlEats also suggests eating the sweet potato toasts with other toppings. I tried it with peanut butter and it was so good. I toasted several slices of sweet potato to use another day, storing them in the refrigerator. Heated up in the microwave, they were equally as good.

Sweet Potato Toasts with Eggs, Avocado & Spinach

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut lengthwise into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 giant handful baby spinach
  • evoo, garlic salt, seasonings (I used Everything But the Bagel Seasoning)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Add a sweet potato slice to each toaster slot then toast on high for the longest duration offered by your toaster. Flip and rotate the sweet potato slices then toast again on high and for the longest duration. If the sweet potato slices aren’t tender by this point, flip and rotate once more then toast a third time (might only need half the duration as previous rounds.) Top toasted sweet potato slices with avocado mashed with a little garlic salt then set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place a small skillet over medium-high heat then add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Add baby spinach then season with garlic salt and saute until tender. Place on top of mashed avocado.
  3. Turn heat down to medium then cook eggs to your liking – sunny side up, fried, scrambled, etc. – seasoning with the seasoning of your choice (I used steak seasoning but garlic salt and pepper is just fine!) Place eggs on top of spinach then serve.

Recipe from IowaGirlEats

Cookies and Bars · Family · Family Favorites

Dan’s Oatmeal Cookies

Dan sent the recipe for these delicious cookies to daughter, Megan, and we loved them! They are chewy and ‘healthy’ or so we told ourselves. It’s wonderful to share our recipes with family and friends! Thanks, Dan!

Dan’s Oatmeal Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pound margarine
  • 2 cups brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 cups uncooked oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 oz. walnuts (optional)
  • 6 oz. dried cranberries or cherries (optional)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture.
  4. Drop cookies onto cookie sheets and bake until golden brown.

Recipe shared by Dan Stout, a family favorite

Asian Dishes · New Favorite · Soups and Stews

Quick & Easy Won Ton Soup

Lunch time and what to eat? I had limited time and the ingredients to make this quick and easy Won Ton Soup. I first saw this recipe on the Facebook page, Favorite Trade Joe’s products. The Chicken Cilantro wontons from Costco (or Trader Joe’s) are delicious but I’ve never used them in Won Ton Soup. This soup took about 20 minutes to make, from start to finish and it was delicious. It would be easy to mix it up and use spinach and/or pea pods. It serves 2-3 for an entrée or 5-6 for an appetizer.

Easy Won Ton Soup

INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger (sliced thin)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 20 mini frozen wontons (I love the Chicken Cilantro one’s Costco but may be available at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (I used baby portabella)
  • 4 baby bok choy (halved lengthwise and halved)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • scallions (sliced green parts only for garnish)
  • Optional: I added a bit of onion powder and salt
DIRECTIONS:
  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot.
  • Smash the sliced ginger with the side of a knife to bring out the flavor and add to the pot with the garlic, cover and cook 5 minutes.
  • Add the bok choy and partially cook 5 minutes, then add the frozen wontons and mushroom, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the wontons are heated through and bok choy is tender and wilted.
  • Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Divide soup in four bowls. Garnish with fresh scallions.

Recipe slightly adapted from SkinnyTaste.com

Fish · New Favorite · Pastas

Tagliatelle with Swordfish

Tagliatelle with Swordfish

INGREDIENTS:
  • 11 ounces boneless Swordfish, skin removed and cubed
  • 1.3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup black olives or capers
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup Prosecco or white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian Parsley, Mint or basil (tear into pieces)
  • Olive Oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1-2 lemons
  • fresh pasta – Tagliatelle or similar
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil.  Add garlic, then fish.  Brown the fish.
  2. Add red pepper flakes (to taste) and Prosecco.
  3. Cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add cherry tomatoes and cook on high for 2 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add olives.
  7. Turn off heat.  Add fresh herbs.
  8. Toss sauce with cooked pasta.

Recipe from Chef Lucas Migliorelli

Poultry

Smoky Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

Smoky Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 2 tsp Smoky Spice Blend 
    • 1 Tbsp. chipotle powder
    • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
    • 1 Tbsp. onion powder (eliminate to make this FODMAP-free)
    • 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
    • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
    • 1/2 Tbsp. black pepper
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Combine all spices in a bowl, then store in a small container. 
  2. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 tsp of Smoky Spice Blend, then wrap each one in 2 strips of bacon.
  4. Sprinkle with the remaining Smoky Spice Blend and bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Recipe from Balancedbites

Family · Family Favorites · Garden · Home · Soups and Stews · Vegetarian

Roasted Tomato Soup

Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese were common in our house when the girls were growing up. Now that I’ve discovered homemade tomato soup, the canned stuff is out the door. I roast tomatoes all summer and freeze them for soup and sauces in the winter. The tomatoes I had frozen did not have garlic and onion in them, so I sautéed the onion in a little olive oil and added the garlic when the onions were brown. The end result was delicious. The soup was a little thick, so I added water to gain the consistency I like.

The perfect lunch or dinner for a snowy winter day!

Roasted Tomato Soup

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 lb. Roma Tomatoes (I used a variety of tomatoes from my garden)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup milk or cream (I used Half and Half)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil (I used pureed frozen basil)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Water or milk to thin the soup to your liking
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut tomatoes in half, drizzle with oil. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 40-50 minutes, until the tomatoes start to brown. (At this point you can freeze the tomato mixture for later or proceed with the recipe.)
  4. Scrape the tomato mixture into the blender and add the milk or cream, Parmesan cheese, basil, tomato paste, and sugar. Puree until completely smooth and adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Serve immediately with grilled cheese for dunking. Yum!

Recipe adapted from thereciperebel.com

https://www.thereciperebel.com/easy-roasted-tomato-soup-and-a-giveaway/

Czech Heritage and Dishes · Soups and Stews

Simple Sauerkraut Soup

Sauerkraut Soup is a wonderful winter meal, reminding me of my Czech roots and of my Mother’s homemade sauerkraut.  I’m obsessed with trying new recipes, particularly those of my family roots.

I have followed TresBohemes.com for some time and enjoy their stories and recipes.  This one is delicious and easy to make.  As they say in the Czech Republic, Dobrou chuť (Enjoy Your Meal)!

SIMPLE SAUERKRAUT SOUP

1/2 tablespoon duck fat (you can use butter or olive oil if you prefer)
1 Polish Kielbasa, sliced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 jar sauerkraut (lightly rinsed and drained)
1 cup fresh cabbage, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
water to cover
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
Sour Cream

  • In a large soup pot, melt the duck fat over medium heat.
  • Add the klobasa and cook until lightly browned.
  • While the klobasa is cooking, peel and cut the potatoes.
  • Once the potatoes are diced, add them to the pot.
  • Next add the sauerkraut and fresh cabbage.
  • Stir everything together.
  • Now add the paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir again and then add water until all of the ingredients are covered (you may add more or less water depending on how thick you like your soup).
  • Next raise the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.
  • Once the soup has reached a boil reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • The soup is finished when the potatoes and cabbage are soft.
  • To thicken the soup slightly and to give it a creamier texture, I like to make a rue once the soup is cooked.
  • To make the rue, cook the flour in a small pan over high heat, stirring continually, until it turns a light brown color. Then add the butter, continuing to stir the mixture until it forms a thick golden paste. At this point you should remove the pan from the heat.
  • Now add a ladle of the soup liquid into the rue and stir it until combined. Repeat this step until the rue has thinned in consistency. Once you have added 3 or 4 ladles of the soup liquid to the rue, you may pour the rue into the soup and stir to combine.
  • Serve garnished with a spoon of sour cream and a slice of Czech rye bread.

Recipe from tresbohemes.com

Desserts · Family · Family Favorites · Holidays

Chocolate Mousse by Megan

Megan is the dessert queen of our family.  She whipped up this decadent dessert and served it in an antique compote dish of my Mother’s.  It was rich, velvety and so wonderful.  Perfect for your Valentine’s Day dinner…or anytime you want to spoil your family and friends.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

6 ounces (170 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons (89 g) unsalted butter, cubed
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
Sweetened whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and fresh strawberries for garnish, optional

  • In a small heatproof bow, combine the chocolate and butter. Set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat but leave the pot of simmering water on the burner.
  • In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until well combined. Set the bowl over the pot of barely simmering water and whisk for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns pale and becomes slightly stiff. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the vanilla followed by the chocolate mixture. Stir for a few more minutes to allow the mixture to cool then set aside until it cools to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Whisk 1/4 of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture. Use a silicone spatula to gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until fully mixed in.
  • Divide the mousse among four 6-ounce ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 1 hours.
  • Garnish with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, raspberries, or strawberries if desired.

HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

  • In a medium bowl, whip cream with an electric mixer on medium-low speed just until soft peaks form.
  • Add vanilla extract and sugar. Continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Make sure not to over beat, the cream will become lumpy and butter-like.

Recipe from bakedbyanintrovert.com