Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August Cooking Club Part TWO!

In the heat of August and with our gardens growing totally out of control, we decided to schedule an auxiliary meeting of the cooking club to share ideas about what to do with the late summer veggies that are producing themselves en masse. Take a look at what we came up with, and join us on September 17 for creative and healthy sack lunch solutions.

Ryan's Fresh Salsa

1 large onion, peeled and diced
3 lbs. roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 bundle cilantro, stems removed, finely minced
2-5 jalapenos, seeded (optional) and diced
1-2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lime
OPTIONAL: 1-2 serrano chilis, seeded and diced

1. Mix tomatoes, onion and cilantro.
4. Add jalapenos slowly to taste, and serranos if desired.
5. Add salt, cumin, and lime, to taste.
6. Chill before serving. It's better the next day when the flavors have mixed

Cauliflower Mac n' Cheese

1 C whole wheat pasta
1 head cauliflower, washed and chopped into florets
1 ½ C milk
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs flour
¼ tsp salt
¾ C parmesan cheese, divided
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 375

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta and cauliflower florets together until tender. Drain well and pour into a greased casserole dish

Meanwhile in another saucepan melt butter and add flour, stirring until it turns golden. Slowly whisk in milk until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and add ½ cup of the cheese, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.

Pour sauce over pasta and cauliflower and stir until well combined. Sprinkle remaining ¼ C cheese over top. Bake about 20 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

Summer Cukes

3-4 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thinly
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
½ C water
½ C vinegar

Combine cucumbers and onions in large bowl, salt liberally, and stir to coat. Let rest on counter up to three house, while vegetables sweat out their juices. Add water and vinegar and stir. Increase salt and/or vinegar according to your tastes. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Parmesan Summer Squash Cakes

1 large egg
2/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded seeded zucchini and/or summer squash (2-3 medium, about 1 pound)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Beat egg in a large bowl. Stir in shallots, parsley, salt and pepper. Place shredded squash in the center of a clean kitchen towel; gather up the ends and twist to squeeze out any liquid. Add the squash and cheese to the bowl; stir to combine.
3. Heat oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pack a 1/3-cup measuring cup with the squash mixture and unmold it into the pan; gently pat it down to form a 3-inch cake. Repeat, making 4 squash cakes. Cook until browned and crispy on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently turn the cakes over and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chocolate-Chip Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped zucchini
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups flour
8 oz chocolate chips

Mix oil and zucchini, blend until mixed and measures 3 cups. Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix. Add chocolate chips. Pour this mixture over dry ingredients and mix. Bake in greased and floured pans. Two big loaf pans or four little loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Cucumber-Lemon Ice Cream

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and seeded
¾ C sugar
2 Tbl lemon juice
pinch salt
2 C heavy cream
1 C whole milk
2 eggs
2 egg yolks

Purée cucumbers in blender or food processor. Pass mixture through a sieve to remove pulp. Discard pulp. In a large bowl, whisk remaining cucumber juice together with sugar, lemon juice and salt, and set aside. In a large saucepan beat eggs and yolks lightly, then add cream and milk. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Whisk hot milk mixture into cucumber juice. Lay plastic wrap over the surface of custard and chill. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August Cooking Club: DESSERTS!

Some very hungry and sugar-deprived sisters from the Coal Creek ward cooking club recently met to eat desserts at Carrie's house; we had a delicious selection of sweets to choose from. Take a look at the pictures and recipes below and maybe give some a try! The theme for September is Creative and Healthy Sack Lunch Solutions--both for our kids, who are sick of PBJ, and ourselves, who are sick of leftovers!

Word of Wisdom-friendly Tiramisu Cupcakes

1 (18 1/4 ounce) package white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Liquid "Coffee" Layer
2/3 cup chicory based herbal drink (such as Pero, postum, or a Celestial Seasonings herbal tea flavor such as Roastaroma or English Toffee)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsp coffee flavoring (be sure to get coffee flavoring, because coffee extract does contain coffee)

Mascarpone Filling
1 cup mascarpone cheese
3 tsp coffee flavoring
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C powdered sugar

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
chocolate shavings or cocoa(to garnish)


1. Make mascarpone filling: Beat mascarpone, flavoring and condensed milk until well blended. In a separate bowl, beat cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until fluffy, then add to cheese mixture. Beat until well mixed. Chill 4-6 hours.

2. Prepare cupcakes as directed on box of white cake mix & bake accordingly. While these are baking prepare the liquid coffee as below.

3. Liquid Coffee: Boil 2/3 cup water in microwave (or boil on stove) and stir in herbal drink powder, or steep teabag for 5 minutes. Add powdered sugar, coffee flavoring, and stir well.

4. Cut tops off cupcakes and set aside. Using a melon baller or similar tool, scoop out small hole in cupcake. Be sure to eat some of the holes that you dig out. Using tablespoon, pour liquid coffee into holes until there is none left. (You can avoid this step if you have a pastry bag and tip; just inject the filling directly into the cupcake.)

5. Fill each hole with mascarpone filling, then smooth another quarter inch of filling onto cupcake. Replace top of cupcake, and fill with more mascarpone if necessary.

6. Prepare Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy with hand mixer on low. Slowly add powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and increase mixer to medium. Blend until frosting is fluffy.

7. Gently frost each cupcake with frosting & garnish with chocolate shavings (use dark chocolate bar & cheese grater)or with sifted cocoa powder.

Homemade Nutella Oreos

Nutella Cookie
1 ¾ C flour
½ C + 2 Tbl cornstarch
½ C dutch process or dark cocoa
½ tsp salt
1 C Nutella
½ C butter
½ C sugar
2 eggs

Hazelnut Cream filling
1 C hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed
5 Tbl butter
2 Tbl light corn syrup
½ tsp hazelnut extract
2 C powdered sugar

1. Make cookies: In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add Nutella and eggs, and mix until smooth.

2. In a separate bowl stir together dry ingredients, then add to wet ingredients, mixing until well incorporated. Dough will be fairly stiff. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.

3. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, place on greased cookie sheet, and flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour.

4. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cookies rest on cookie sheet 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

5. Make hazelnut cream: Grind toasted hazelnuts in food processor until they resemble fine crumbs. Add butter, and process until well mixed.

6. While processor is running, add corn syrup and extract; scrape down sides. Add 2 C sugar, pulse a few times and then process until mixture begin to come together. Turn out onto flat surface and knead a moment or two until smooth.

7. Assemble cookies: Divide filling into enough balls for as many pairs of cookies as you have (recipe should make about 22 pairs). Roll a ball of filling in your palm, flatten it slightly, and place between two cookies. Squish them together until the filling squeezes to the edges of the cookies.

German Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

1 German chocolate cake mix
1/3 cup soft margarine
2/3 cup coconut
1 egg

Press in 9X13 ungreased pan.

Beat until smooth (but DON'T over beat!):
16 ounces softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs

Pour over cake mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
After cool, pour mixture of:
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream
over the top.

Refrigerate for 8 hours before serving.

Crème Brûlée

2 cups half-and-half or light cream
5 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar


1. Preheat oven to 325 degree F.

2. Heat half-and-half or light cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat just until bubbly. Combine slightly beaten egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with a wire whisk or rotary beater just until combined. Slowly whisk or stir the hot cream into the egg mixture.

3. Place four ungreased 4-inch quiche dishes or oval or round tart pans without removable bottoms into a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set the pan on an oven rack in the preheated oven. Pour custard mixture evenly into the dishes. Pour very hot water into the baking pan around the dishes until water is halfway up the sides of the baking pan.

4. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of each dish comes out clean. Remove dishes from pan; let cool about 30 minutes. Cover, chill for 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Before serving, let the custards stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

5. Place 1/3 cup sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat skillet over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly. Do not stir. Once sugar starts to melt, reduce heat to low; cook until sugar is completely melted and golden (3 to 5 minutes more), stirring as needed.

6. Spoon melted sugar quickly over custards in a lacy pattern or in a solid piece. If melted sugar starts to harden in pan, return to heat, stirring until it melts. If it starts to form clumps, carefully stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons water. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Caramel Shortbread Squares(aka Twix Cookies)

2/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together 2/3 cup butter, white sugar, and flour until evenly crumbly.
Press into a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Removed from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. Pour over baked crust (warm or cool). Cool until it begins to firm.
Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute, then stir and continue to heat and stir at 20-second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly to cover completely. Chill. Cut into 1-inch squares.

Christmas Crunch

8 C Corn Chex
6 C Honey Graham Cereal
2 C flaked coconut
1 C sliced almonds
1 C light corn syrup
1 C sugar
3/4 butter
1 tsp vanilla

In large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Set aside. In saucepan combine corn syrup, sugar, and butter and bring to a boil. Boil 2 min. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well until alll cereal is coated. Pour mixture onto wax papeer to cool. Place in an airtight container.