Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Walnut Bread

I found this recipe on a bag of Southern Grove Walnuts that I bought at Aldi's.  Since I didn't have any lemons but did have a lot of oranges I substituted everything lemon with orange.  It reminded me of the Orange Kiss Me Cake which I still have not made since I came across the recipe.

Yield: 12 servings

1 cup shelled walnuts, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 cup blueberries

3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Spread a single layer of walnuts onto a baking sheet. Toast walnuts in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes (until light brown) then let cool.
  • Using a whisk, mix all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • Using a whisk, mix sugar, lemon zest, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, melted butter and oil in a medium bowl.
  • Pour liquid ingrediens into a pit created in the center of the dry ingredients and lightly combine. Take care not to over mix. Introduce chopped walnuts and blueberries by folding into mixture.
  • Flour and grease an 8 x 4 (I’d use a 9 x 5) loaf pan. Spread mixture into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour (If using a tester, insert into center, baking complete when tester comes out clean). When finished baking, let cool for 20 minutes on rack, removing from pan and cool to room temperature.
  • To create a glaze, add sugar and lemon juice to a small saucepan. Boil over high heat, then reduce. Stir until sugar has dissolved. 
  • Brush on glaze while bread is still warm.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


We went to Pittsburgh this weekend to see Kris and family and see Claire in Annie.  We went down on Saturday and came back on Sunday and were happy to have good weather both ways.  Kris made one of her usual spectacular breakfasts on Sunday.
She had also made chex mix, a sweet batch and a savory batch.  I loved the sweet one but I better lose 5 pounds before I make it because it is addicting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Created by Us

Mary and I went to Created by Us in Fairport to use the Groupon I bought.
This is what I made, before it was fired.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chicken Curry Soup

I made this soup today using leftover chicken breasts from store bought roasted chicken.  I added it during the last 10 minutes of cooking time druing Step 2.

Chicken Curry Soup

6 servings, 1 1/3 cups each

Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

    1 tablespoon canola oil
    1 large onion, chopped
    4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
    3 slices fresh ginger, peeled and lightly crushed
    3 tablespoons curry powder, preferably Madras
    1/2 cup white rice
    2 bone-in chicken breasts, (about 1 pound), skinned and trimmed
    4 cups Homemade Chicken Broth, (recipe follows) or reduced-sodium chicken broth
    3 cups water
    1 vine-ripened tomato, seeded and chopped
    Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
    Lemon juice, to taste
    Finely chopped fresh cilantro, or chives for garnish

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over low heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger; stirring occasionally to prevent browning, cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add curry powder and rice; cook for 5 minutes longer.
  2. Add chicken, broth and water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Simmer, stirring frequently, just until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool. 
  3. Puree soup in batches in a food processor until smooth, adding water as needed for a creamy texture. Return soup to cleaned pot and heat again to a simmer.
  4. Shred the chicken into small strips and add to the soup along with tomato; cook 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro or chives.


Per serving: 197 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 37 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein; 2 g fiber; 176 mg sodium; 271 mg potassium.

Garam Masala

Easy Garam Masala

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Ready In: 5 Minutes
Servings: 12
"This recipe produces a quick version of Garam Masala, the aromatic blend of spices often used in Indian cooking."
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Mix cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl. Place mix in an airtight container, and store in a cool, dry place.
Printed from 2/11/2013

this is the next recipe

1/3 cup cumin seeds (jeera), 40 gram
2-1/2 tablespoons black pepper (kale mirch), 20 gram
1/4 cup whole black cardamom (kali ilachi), 20 gram
2-1/2 tablespoons cinnamon powder (dal cheene), 20 gram
1 cup packed bay leaves (tajpat), 20 gram
1/4 cup cloves (long), 20 gram
2 teaspoons mace powder (javantri), 8 gram
2 teaspoons nutmeg powder (jaiphal), 8 gram


Mix all the spices and grind to a powder. Store the Garam Masala in air tight glass container. I use powdered cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, and black pepper because most home blender are not powerful to properly blend these spices.

All of the spices used in Garam Masala are strong in flavor and have warmth. I prefer to sprinkle Garam Masala to a dish to give it a finishing touch.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

1880 House

We went on a Hugger trip this weekend to the 1880 House.  First time since 2006 and we had a really good time.  We got the cute little Annex next door all to ourselves.

Because of the weather forecast, we went up a day early and were able to go XC skiing on Friday
and then try out our new snowshoes on Saturday when it was beautiful and sunny.  It was the girls and Larry.  Obviously Larry took this picture.
 Here he is being our trailblazer.

Linda got a new cat, Teeka, since we were there last and just love his Buddha pose.
We didn't get as much snow up there on Friday as they did back in Webster but probably 6-8 inches but we did have a bit of excitementwhen the snow started coming down and the roads were slippery.  Some poor 17 year old boy who was driving an impenetrable truck skidded up the front steps and was stopped by the house.  No one was injured and the truck didn't even look dented but a storm window was broken and a lamppost knocked down.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl Football Cake

When I asked what I should bring to her Super Bowl Party, and Patti said "you’re my go-to sweets girl so a dessert would be good,"  I wanted to make something chocolate and when I went to Wegmans and walked past the bakery department and saw this cake for $12 I thought,

"I can make one that
looks better than that!"

<--Wegmans                    Mine -->
 I used a Devil's Food Cake mix (a little lazy here) in 2 - 9 in cake pans

and the buttercream frosting recipe from here  (YUM, YUM).  After creaming the butter and sugar I took out 1/2 cup to leave white and then continued with the chocolate using the same proportions as if that 1/2 cup was still there.

To shape the football
1- make sure that 1 of the halves is flat on top (while still warm, lightly press down with a towel to flatten)
2 - when completely cool and ready to frost, stack the halves with flat one on top and cut in half through both

3-frost the inner halves and put together
4-frost the outer ones and add to the inner
5-Trim ends to shape for football, pressing sides together to make it more compact.
6-Move to the serving dish before frosting the top and sides
7-Add cream/milk to the white frosting and more sugar to get desired amount and consistency
8-pipe through a cake decorator to get the desired trim
I added some team emblems for the party and strawberries around the side.
 Go Ravens!!

I brought a little spring into our kitchen but I should have cleaned the island before taking this picture.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lentil/Moroccan Stew

My favorite meal the last few months at Penfield CC is their Lentil Stew. I think I have finally figured out a way of making it by using a couple of different recipes I have.


The main ingredients in this recipe are couscous, lentils, chickpeas and carrots.  Omitting the chicken would make it a vegetarian meal.

1 tblsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut in pieces
3 cups carrots, diced
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup lentils
1 cups Israeli (pearl) couscous
1 can chicken or vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
4 tsp ras el hanout (see here --> Moroccan spice blend)
baby spinach (if desired)
cilantro (if desired)
Feta cheese

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.
Pre-cook the chicken either by sauteeing it in the olive oil or boiling or roasting.
Saute the onion, carrots and garlic in saucepan until onions become transparant.
Add the spices and lentils and mix to coat everything.
Add the broth and chickpeas (with liquid).
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour.
Add tomatoes, chicken and couscous and cook for 20 more minutes until couscous tender.
Add the spinach for the last 10 minutes,
Add more liquid if needed while cooking.

Can add cilantro and feta cheese before serving.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I haven't made home made chocolate frosting in ages so I looked up some recipes and came up with this one that I'm going to try.  I always used milk not cream but since we only have skim milk I might try some cream with this.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Prep time: 2 mins
Cook time: 3 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 3 cups

A simple recipe for classic chocolate buttercream frosting. Perfect for frosting cakes, cookies, brownies, or cupcakes.

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!)
3 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
Turn off the mixer.
Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl.
Turn mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter.
Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes.
If frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar.
If frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

Ras El Hanout

Moroccan Spice Blend

I found a bunch of recipes for this spice and picked the ones I wanted and used this in my Moroccan Lentil Stew

My recipe:
    •    1 tsp coriander
    •    1 tsp cinnamon
    •    1 tsp cumin
    •    1 tsp turmeric
    •    1 tsp ginger
    •    1 tsp cardamon
    •    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    •    1/2 tsp black pepper
    •    pinch of saffron

Mix all ingredients together

    •    2 teaspoons ground ginger
    •    2 teaspoons ground cardamon
    •    2 teaspoons ground mace
    •    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    •    1 teaspoon ground allspice
    •    1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
    •    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    •    1 teaspoon turmeric
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
    •    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Blend all of the spices in a bowl. Transfer to a glass jar, and store in a dry, dark place.
Use Ras El Hanout to season tagines, stews, meat, poultry, fish and vegetables. It keeps well for several months.

    •    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    •    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    •    1 teaspoon salt
    •    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
    •    1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    •    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well. Spice blend keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 month.

    •    2 teaspoons ground ginger
    •    2 teaspoons ground coriander
    •    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    •    1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    •    1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
    •    1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
    •    1 teaspoon ground allspice
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

    1.    Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container.