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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cake Flour

Interesting thing I learned while making red velvet cupcakes-of which the recipe I will post at a later date if successful-Is that for every one cup of All-purpose flour you use, you can substitute it for 1 cup and 2 tbsp. of cake flour...just in case you were curious!

Buen Provecho!


So, these are the best brownies I have EVER had! Let me tell you!
And oh so simple.

I got this recipe off of favorite website of mine), courtesy of Alice Medrich, though I tweaked it a bit to make it simpler and more accessible...

2 sticks of unsalted butter-melted(I melted mine in the microwave for a minute)
2 cups sugar
1 cup plus 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
and chocolate chips, or walnuts, or marshmallows, or whatever you want to put in it, if anything....they are delicious all on their own!

preheat the oven to 325 F, and put the rack in the lower third of your oven.

Mix the melted butter, cocoa, sugar and salt together and mix on medium-medium high speed until it has the consistency of thick mudd---I know, I know, not a pretty visual, but it gives you an idea :)

add the eggs one at a time-make sure you crack them into a separate bowl first to catch any shells---I had the fun experience of fishing through my batter to find a shell piece. I am far to good of a baker to let someone crunch into an egg shell

once the batter is smooth, add the flour and continue mixing until a thick, frosting like(better comparison than mudd *Smiley*) consistency.

Grease a 9 x 13 pan and line with parchment paper, so a little is hanging off the side--as to be able to life it out of the pan later.

bake about 15-20 minutes. Check at 15 minutes. A toothpick should come out moist with a little bit of batter on it. If it's covered in batter...put it in five more minutes.

once done and chilled, drizzle with melted Andes mints for a Christmas feel, brulee marshmallows on top, or just enjoy by themselves! These would make GREAT Sundays, I might add!

Buen Provecho!

Monday, December 20, 2010


So, I got it!

I got my Cuisinart mixer!! And I am sooooo excited. It was of course my Christmas present, and I can't wait to make something with it.

I'm thinking.....

Bourbon cookies
Sugar cookies
Pumpernickel bread pudding
lemon cupcakes

I'll post all the successful recipes with pics!

Check out the mixer!

Until next time, buen provecho!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Ideas...

I know, I've been blogging like crazy today!
I have a couple ideas for fairly inexpensive gifts especially if your family doesn't do the whole gift thing.

Bruschetta "Gift Baskets" which will cost around ten dollars


Cookie/cupcake mixes which will also cost around ten dollars, with endless possibilities, however I'm thinking a lavender cookie with a white chocolate lemon gancahe...mmmmmm :)

I'll let you know!

something I learned

Just so everyone knows...
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a lower smoke point--375 F
Virgin Olive Oil has a smoke point of--420 F
Pomace Olive Oil is--460 F
Extra Light Olive Oil--468 F


Bruschetta...Oh My Word!

So, the family is over today and we wanted something light and flavorful for lunch, so I picked a classic...Bruschetta, and Oh My Word! One of the best things I've ever made, and it only gets better each time I make it!

What you need:
3 large tomatoes or 1 carton of campari tomatoes from publix-seeded and diced
5 or 6 garlic cloves minced very well
4 or 5 largish basil leaves-chiffonade
salt pepper and olive oil to taste
loaf of good french or Italian bread and more olive oil to drizzle on top

Once you prepare all the ingredients mix them together in a bowl wit the salt and pepper to taste and olive oil to coat. Heat your oven to 300 F. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and bake for about 7-8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Put bread on a platter, top with bruschetta and enjoy!!

Hope you love it, I know I do!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010


In regards to my last post...I have NOT made the balsamic mousse yet. I'm actually kind of nervous to do it, consider it's a weird ingredient to work with for a dessert...or maybe I'll make it a savory mousse, but again, mousse isn't usually a savory dish. Anyways, to get back on track. I'm thinking of doing the balsamic mousse, and reducing the DELICIOUS tangerine-balsamic vinegar that I got from "From Olives and Grapes" In cocoa Village. Once it's reduced I'll whip 3 or so egg whites to medium peaks and fold them into the cooled reduction. Once the egg whites are well incorporated I'll beat cream with...say 1/2 cup sugar to 1 cup hard peaks, then fold THAT into the egg-balsamic mixture. I'll let it set for an hour or two in the fridge, covered of course, and then serve the interesting mousse in watermelon cups, since we all know watermelon and vinegar go so well together....we'll see. I promise I'll do it this week!

On another note. I DID make a Ricotta Mousse, which turned out much better than I expected. I took about 3/4 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese...use authentic Italian recipe ricotta(or make your own) because American ricotta has vinegar in it, which can de-stabilize the mousse. Gently stir the ricotta to break it up a little bit. DO NOT over mix, get canoli filling which is NOT what we're going with!! beat 2 egg whites to medium peaks using cream of tartar-about 1/2 tsp.-to stabilize the egg whites since the ricotta is so heavy. Beat 3/4 cup cream with about 1/2 cup sugar-more to taste if necessary...the cream should be sweeter than you actually want it to be since the ricotta isn't sweet...beat the cream to medium/stiff peaks and fold that into the ricotta-egg white mixture. Once all that is done, let the mousse settle for about an hour or two. And it's ready to enjoy! My favorite way to serve this mousse, since it is such a unique and subtle flavor that can adapt to many different uses, is to put down sliced strawberries then mousse on top of that, then MORE sliced strawberries, then melted chocolate on top of that. Put it in the fridge about 5 minutes, to harden the chocolate and ENJOY!!!!!!!!

Let me know what you think?!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I do believe this is my signature dessert. Never before had I made a mousse until I started my current job. And now, I can't stop thinking of things to make mousse's...meese?...out of. My newest one i'm thinking of is a Balsamic mousse, using a balsamic reduction of a Tangerine-Balsamic vinegar that I purchased from "From Olives and Grapes". I made a ricotta mousse, that I had a dream about and decided to carry out. Turn out AMAZING, by the way. So, on my next day off, I'm going to attempt a Tangerine-Balsamic Mousse. We'll see!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Must Eat's in Key West!!

So, my husband and I just returned from our three day short, paradise vacation in BEAUTIFUL Key West Florida. The best part, aside from the ocean...was the FOOD!!! Some of the best, most luscious food I have ever eaten! We spent the majority of our trip eating, and what a wonderful trip it was!
To start--Santiago's Bodega Which is a Tapa's(little appetizers...kinda) Place. EXCELLENT food, and just right portions that allow you to try several different things. Nothing here costs more the $13, so if you decide it's not your cup of, plate of tapas, you can order something else without feeling too guilty. But, be warned...the SPICY shrimp bisque is certainly spicy, though equally delicious! The delicious food-especially the French Onion Soup-met my high expectations! The sangria is also super yummy, with the right amount of tannin and sweetness! Located On Petronia Street about 1/2 mile west of Duval St.

Dessert--Better Than Sex Dessert Cafe is almost that! With the BEST cheesecake I have ever had and a homemade caramel sauce that is to die for! You can also get your wine in a chocolate dipped glass. The BEST Moscato d' Asti I have ever had! My husbands brownie sunday-provacatively named "Jungle Fever" was gooeing with chocolate and ice cream! The ambience was romantic and seductive, the food sensual, and the experience arrousing ;) Not the best place for families, for a MUST for couples! They are, however and unfortunately, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Located on Petronia Street about 1/4 mile West of Duval St.

Breakfast--My new favorite bakery! Croissant de France right on Duval St. about half way down. Everything is Made fresh daily on premises by real french people!! The BEST beignet I have ever had, stuffed with one of the best things God ever made...Nutella!! My husband had the Key Lime Beignet which was equally delicious. I nearly bought out the shop on our way home. They have everything French! Baquettes, croissants, tarts, cakes, everything! You MUST try the Ginger Molasses cookies! Yumm-e! Seriously delicious stuff!! A MUST in Key West!

Dinner--We ate our Anniversary Dinner at Roof Top Cafe about 2 blocks west of Duval on Front St. Beautifully Decorated with lights and trees! A romantic and inviting ambience, with a large selection of wines and cocktails. Considerably higher priced than some other restaurants in the area, but worth it! The Lobster & Gnocchi was to DIE FOR!!!! The nightly specials are yummy and decadent! And the key lime pie, topped with meringue, is a must!!

KEY LIME PIE!!!--Go to KERMITS!! more like a cheesecake than a pie, but soooo delicious! And totally themed for us tourists! They don't just have key lime pie though...they have Key Lime Wine, which I seriously recommend, BBQ sauce, honey, jam, soda, bath products, all themed appropriately. A beautiful outdoor seating area to enjoy your yummy pie. You might wanna get two me, you'll want it!! Located about 5 blocks east of Duval on Greene St. But totally worth the walk!

I hope this helped, and I hope you enjoy your trip to Key West!