Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Peanut butter ice cream truffles!

These creamy, delicious truffles taste like reese's candies that died and went to heaven...

You'll need:
1 jar of peanut butter
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp sugar (optional)
1 bar of milk or dark chocolate or 1 cup chocolate chips

Mix peanut butter, ice cream, vanilla extract and sugar until completely blended. Freeze for at least 3 hours. With a melon scooper, scoop the peanut butter mixture into balls and place on a cookie sheet with wax paper. Drizzle on melted chocolate, or dip them in the chocolate and stick them back in the freezer for at least 1 more hour or up to a few months (though they'll probably be eaten in a day!) Enjoy!

Citrus Avocado Chicken Salad on Bell Peppers

This recipe resulted from the aftermath of a trip to Costco: I had 5 ripe avocados and a giant pack of spinach that would both go bad in a day. The family absolutely adored these bell pepper sandwiches!

2 chicken breasts
1 lemon
1 avocado
1 1/2 cup spinach leaves
4 mushrooms
3 bell peppers
2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
1 lime

Preheat the oven to 425. Place the chicken on a cooking sheet and sprinkle on salt, pepper, and cilantro. Thinly slice 1/2 of your lemon. Cover the chicken with lemon slices and bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, until it's completely cooked. Thinly dice the avocado, mushrooms, and spinach. Steam the spinach and mushrooms about 5 minutes. Toss in a bowl with the diced avocado. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette and the juice of the lime and remaining half lemon. Ad salt and pepper as desired. When chicken's complete, remove from oven and create shredded chicken using a fork. Combine the chicken with the avocado salad. Slice the bell peppers into 4 pieces. Put a spoonful of the salad on each piece of bell pepper. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sesame Street Cupcakes

Elmo...coOkie mOnsteR... and Oscar the Grouch
Use your favorite gluten free cupcake recipe or ready made cupcakes. 
For the icing:
1/2 stick butter
2 egg whites
1 bag (16 oz) powdered sugar
3 cups shredded coconut. 
Food colors red, blue, green, yellow, and black

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy and add 2 tbsp powdered sugar. In a large bowl, beat butter until light in color and creamy. Pour in powdered sugar. Once butter and sugar are combined, add fluffed egg using a spatula. Add milk if desired to soften the icing- but be very careful adding the milk, if there's too much, the icing will run and drip. 
Divide the icing into 3 bowls, and set aside 1/2 cup white icing for the characters' eyes and 1/8 cup to dye orange for Elmo's nose. 
Dye one bowl red, one bowl blue, and one bowl gary-green. Ice 1/3 of the cupcakes in each color. 
Divide the coconut into three bowls, and dye each bowl the same colors as the icing. Dip the iced cupcakes into the dyed coconut shreds.

To make eyes, pipe out dots of white icing on a cutting board and freeze for at least 10 minutes. Remove with a spatula and place on the characters. Dye the remaining icing black. Pipe out dots for the eyes. 
Dye 1/8 cup icing orange for elmo's nose and pipe out. 
For Cookie monster's mouth, cut a wedge out of the cupcakes and fill with halves of cookies.
For Elmo's mouth pipe a smile.
For Oscar's mouth, cut a wedge out of the cupcakes and fill with red icing for the tongue and black icing for the rest of the mouth. 


Swedish Strawberry Tårta

This fresh strawberry cake is a Swedish Midsummer must have! Jordgubbstårta tastes light yet savory and will be gone in a flash.
The inside is a "sockerkaka" or sugar cake, similar to yellow cake.
It's cut into three layers. Between the layers there's pastry cream, strawberry jam and mashed bananas. Top the cake with whipped cream and decorate with strawberries.

Use my Wonderful Cake Recipe, for a gluten free "sockerkaka"
Pastry Cream from http://svenska.yle.fi/matochfritid/matartikel.php?id=729

3 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
2 dl cream
2 cup milk
1 tbsp corn flour
1 vanilla pod
Michael Björklund's recipe for authentic custard that is perfect for Jenny's apple pie. 

1st Mix the egg yolks in a saucepan with sugar, cream, milk, corn flour and cut open a vanilla pod. 

2nd Simmer mixture gently until it receives a good texture. 

3rd Strain the sauce and serve it warm or cold.

Red, White & Blue USA Cupcakes

Use any cupcake recipe and ice stripes and stars onto cupcakes! Happy Birthday USA

"Pastrami Roses with Avocado Petals" Salad

This salad takes just a minute to make... and less than a minute to devour
For the salad:
  • 1 Pastrami slice
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Feta cheese
  • Bell pepper
  • Spinach

For the dressing:
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • Mustard

Start with spinach as the bottom layer of your plate. Add bell pepper and feta cheese. Pour on a dressing (recipe follows). Slice the avocado into six slivers and place as petals. Roll a pastrami slice into the shape of a rose as the topping. 

Mix the ingredients for dressing and pour over the salad prior to adding the avocado petals and pastrami rose. 

Toasted Meringue Coconut Cupcakes

Up for a light and (nearly) healthy cupcake? I baked these delectable little cupcakes by altering a recipe from Elana's Pantry- http://www.elanaspantry.com/vanilla-cupcakes-with-chocolate-frosting/ and combining it with Martha Stewarts 7 minute frosting- http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/best-seven-minute-frosting
You're gonna love these!

The Cupcake
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1 stick butter
1/3 cup honer
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs and almond extract, adding the eggs one at a time. Throw in the mixed dry ingredients. 
Pour into cupcake tins and bake 15-17 minutes. Enjoy these as muffins or whip up the frosting! 

The Frosting
1 cup sugar
1 tsp corn syrup
1/2 cup water
4 egg whites

"Put 1 cup sugar, the corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water into a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to simmer and sugar has dissolved, about 6 minutes. Wash down sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Raise heat to medium-high. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 235 degrees.
Meanwhile, put egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining tablespoon sugar, and beat until peaks are fluffy but still soft. Slowly pour in hot sugar syrup down side of bowl. Raise speed to high, and beat until mixture has cooled and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately."

Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes. Use a culinary torch or the broiler on your oven to toast the tops of your cupcakes. Enjoy!