Archive for July, 2010


German Blitz Torte

July 31, 2010

This recipe comes from my Aunti Irma, who was a fantastic cook. You can make the cake as one rectangular sheet or as many as 3 layers! I love using a mix of berries, especially in the summer. In the fall, you could add a little bit of chopped cranberries to the meringue! You will love that it’s a pretty easy cake that advances the idea of strawberry shortcake and looks extra fancy for parties.

You will need:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1½ c sugar
  • ½ c butter
  • ¼ c milk
  • ½ c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 t vanilla
  • ½ c nuts, chopped
  • ½ c heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 pt fresh strawberries, sliced (or whatever berries look best)

Then you…

  1. Cream ½ c sugar with the butter.
  2. Blend in beaten egg yolks then add milk and flour alternately. Add baking powder and 1 t vanilla.
  3. Place mixture in 2 buttered 8-inch cake tins.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff; add 1 c sugar and continue beating while adding 1 t vanilla and the chopped nuts.
  5. Spread half of this meringue over each layer in cake tins.
  6. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.
  7. When cool, spread 1 layer with half of the strawberries and whipped cream; place second layer on top and top with remaining berries and cream.

Chicken and Stuffing Bake

July 25, 2010

This recipe reminds me of old-school casserole cooking and, yes, it’s basically a recipe off the stuffing box. I promise you that it is tasty and comes out of the oven with all sorts of delicious bubbling goodness. Another great thing about it is the simple ingredients and its quick prep/cook time.

You will need…

  • 1 pkg (6-oz) stuffing mix (I used chicken flavored)
  • 1 1/2 c stock
  • 4 T margarine
  • 1 1/2 lb chicken breast, cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can (10 3/4-oz) reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/3 c low-fat sour cream
  • 1 bag (16-oz) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 T cracked pepper

Then you…

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Prepare the stuffing as directed on the box, using the stock instead of water for more flavor (and margarine instead of butter). Set aside.
  2. Lightly grease a 13×9 baking dish. In the dish, mix together the chicken, soup, sour cream, vegetables, garlic powder and pepper. Spread evenly in dish.
  3. Top with the prepared stuffing. Bake 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the dish is bubbly and golden.
  4. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Key Lime Pie

July 20, 2010

Even if you don’t think you like key lime pie, try this one out (and if you still don’t…give the extra to me!). I adapted this from a 2003 Gourmet recipe, but it is still one of the easiest pies to put together plus its tartness seems to yell “SUMMER!”

You will need…

  • 1 graham cracker crust
  • 1 can (14-oz) fat-free condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c key lime juice (to taste)
  • Whipped cream for serving

Then you…

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and egg yolks.
  3. Whisk in 1/2 c of the key lime juice. Add up to another 1/4 c by the tablespoon. If you like extra tart, use the whole 1/4 cup. If you want slightly more mild, try one or two tablespoons. The mixture will thicken slightly as you blend.
  4. Pour filling into the crust and bake for 15 minutes. The pie may still look and feel soupy when you take it out of the oven. It will firm up as it cools.
  5. Allow it to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for about 8 hours until completely set.
  7. Serve topped with whipped cream.

Black Bean Salad

July 13, 2010

A bunch of co-workers and I recently got together on a Saturday for a Latin-inspired lunch. One of the dishes was this black bean salad that a co-worker adapted from Simply Recipes.  I wouldn’t call myself one who typically enjoys black beans when they are so “naked,” but this salad had oodles of flavor.  It’s especially nice in the summer when you can use fresh corn!

You will need…

  • 1 can (15-oz) can of black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 c freshly cooked black beans)
  • 1 1/2 c frozen corn, defrosted (or fresh corn, parboiled, drained and cooled)
  • 1/2 c green onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 t of sugar (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Then you…

  1. Make sure to rinse and drain the beans, if you are using canned beans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans, corn, onions, jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, basil, lime juice and olive oil. Add sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill salad before serving. Adding the avocado right before serving will help keep it fresh and green!

“It’s 100 Degrees Out” Summer Gazpacho

July 8, 2010

Now you may or may not be familiar with DC in the summer and, if you are, you probably don’t live here anymore because it’s built on a swamp and things like this happen:

It’s serious melting weather right now, and it has been for awhile now.  Since it doesn’t look like it’s going to cool down really for the month of July, I thought about posting a cool recipe to go with the froyo and all the other salad-type dishes I know I’ll be eating. I adapted this gazpacho from a 2001 Epicurious recipe; I like it because it has a hard-boiled egg to thicken it, plus it’s full of pretty sharp flavors. This definitely tastes better once the flavors have time to meld and should keep for about a week, if you store it in a sealed container in your fridge. It’s also cool, because you can serve it rustic with all the chopped vegetables or smooth and blended.  I personally like it a little of both and tend to blend about half of the mixture.

You will need…

  • 1 egg
  • 2 c fresh tomatoes, chopped (about 4-5 medium sized)
  • 1/2 c orange pepper, chopped (or whatever color you like best!)
  • 1 c cucumber, chopped (seeds removed if you want)
  • 1/2 c red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 1/4 c broth (veggie, chicken or beef)
  • 1/3 c red wine vinegar (or a seasoned white wine vinegar, like tarragon-infused vinegar)
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley or basil, minced
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 2 T Worcestershire
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bottle (46-oz) tomato juice
  • 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot sauce, to taste
Ready to Eat!Then you will…
  1. Fill a small pot with cold water and add the egg.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Run the egg under cold water and remove the shell. Roughly chop.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomato, orange pepper, cucumber, onion, oil, lemon zest and juice, broth, vinegar, parsley/basil, oregano, and Worcestershire.  Stir well to mix ingredients.
  3. Over a small bowl, grate the garlic into a paste. Sprinkle with a little salt. Add the roughly chopped egg to the garlic and salt mixture.  Mash together with a fork to make a delicious paste.
  4. Stir the egg mixture into the large bowl of vegetables.  (This is where I threw mine into a blender…pre-juice). Add the tomato juice and mix well.  Stir in the bread crumbs, allowing them to dissolve into the mixture.
  5. Taste test!  Season with salt, fresh cracked pepper and hot sauce till it makes your tastebuds tingle.
  6. Chill for at least 4 hours to cool it through completely and allow the flavors to party together.

Note:  Taste as you go along to find the right balance of flavors for you! If you like milder flavors, reduce the amount of onion, garlic, and vinegar. If spicy is your thing, add jalepeño or red pepper flakes.


Honey Ginger FroYo

July 3, 2010

During my Californian adventure, I stayed with some friend in San Francisco. They recently acquired an ice cream maker. Friday — while they were at work…ssssshh! — I made them some honey ginger frozen yogurt just because I could.  I honestly had no idea how it would come out, but it was a nice tangy yogurt with a ginger kick that would go perfectly with all those peaches that seem to be in season right now.

You will need…

  • 6 T honey
  • 8 T water
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 container (~17 oz) plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 2%)
  • 2 containers (6 oz each) vanilla yogurt (I used Brown Cow, cream top)
  • 1/2 t ground ginger (or less, to taste)
  • 1/8 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 t ground allspice
  • 1/8 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t almond extract, scant
  • 1 t vanilla extract, scant
  • 1/4 c crystallized ginger, chopped

Then you…

  1. In a small, heavy saucepan, bring the honey, water and fresh ginger to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.  Go longer for a more intense fresh ginger flavor. Remove from heat and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before adding to the yogurt.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurts.  Whisk in the spices and extracts.  Whisk in the honey-ginger syrup, tasting along the way till you get the right flavor profile for you!
  3. Chill the mixture for about an hour (This will help it freeze more consistently).
  4. Prepare according to your maker’s directions, adding in the chopped cyrstallized ginger in the last five minutes or so.  If you try to add it in at the beginning, the ginger will just sink to the bottom, so be sure to wait till you are near the end.
  5. If you want slightly sweeter froyo, add in some honey straight to the mixer and it will “swirl” in alongside your chopped ginger. If you want harder froyo, just pop it into an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 hours.  If it ends up too hard, allow it to thaw slightly in the fridge before serving.

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