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Double Dessert

  • Monday, June 27, 2011
  • J-Mad
  • Labels: , , , ,

  • Since we haven't had many breakfast recipes on the blog so far, I thought that I'd start this post off with a delicious breakfast scone recipe. In addition to the scone recipe below, I found and made a great cake with a unique combination of flavors.

    Cranberry-Almond Scones

    2 cups Original Bisquick mix
    1/2 cup dried cranberries
    1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (or milk)
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Slivered almonds
    Additional heavy whipping cream
    Additional sugar

    • Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
    • Stir Bisquick mix, cranberries, 1/3 cup whipping cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, the egg, and vanilla until soft dough forms.
    • Pat into 8 inch circle on cookie sheet (if dough is sticky, dip fingers in Bisquick).
    • Brush circle with additional whipping cream, sprinkle slivered almonds, then sprinkle with additional sugar.
    • Cut into 8 wedges, but do not separate.
    • Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown; carefully separate. Serve warm and enjoy!

    Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

    (original recipe found here)

    Dry Ingredients
    3/4 cup spelt flour
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking power
    3/4 teaspoon (kosher) salt

    Wet Ingredients
    3 eggs
    1 cup olive oil
    3/4 cup whole milk

    Other Ingredients
    1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
    5 ounces (140 grams) dark chocolate (70 - 82 % cacao), irregularly chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
    2 tablespoons sugar for top crunch


    • Preheat the oven to 350F. Rub a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with olive oil.
    • Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring any bits of grain or other ingredients left in the sifter back into the bowl. Set aside.
    • In another large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly.
    • Add the olive oil, milk and rosemary and whisk again.
    • Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing just until combined. Stir in 2/3 of the chocolate.
    • Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and run a fork along the length of the chocolate so that the batter envelops it just a bit. Sprinkle with the second sugar.
    • Bake for about 40 minutes (even a little less because cake can dry out easily), or until the top is domed, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
    • The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, and garnished with whipped cream, fruit (strawberries or raspberries), and some chocolate syrup. Enjoy!

    A Mediterranean Meal

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2011
  • J-Mad
  • Labels: , , , , , ,

  • While browsing through my favorite bookstore, Schuler Books & Music, I found a great cookbook with recipes from some of my favorite countries' cuisines. The book, The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook, was on sale for a steal, so I bought it and decided to experiment. After the recipes turned out so well, I am excited to try more.

    I selected Psari Plaki, a Greek fish recipe, for the main dish (found on page 38) and a North African cucumber, feta, mint, and dill salad to accompany it (found on page 251). Find the recipes retyped below and enjoy!

    Psari Plaki - baked fish with tomato and onion

    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 onions, finely chopped
    1 small stick of celery, finely chopped
    1 small carrot, finely chopped
    2 cloves of garlic, chopped
    13 oz (400g) can of chopped tomatoes
    2 tablespoons tomato passata (I couldn't find this, so I used tomato paste)
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    2 oz (50g) day-old white bread (I used packaged bread crumbs instead)
    1 lb 2 oz (500g) white fish fillets, such as snapper or cod
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
    • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in frying pan. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until soft.
    • Add garlic, cook for 2 minutes, then add chopped tomato, passata, oregano, and sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until reduced & thickened.
    • Stir chopped parsley and lemon juice into sauce. Season to taste.
    • Arrange fish in single layer in baking dish. Pour sauce over fish. Scatter breadcrumbs all over the top, then drizzle remaining olive oil over fish.
    • Bake for 20 minutes, or until fish is cooked.

    Cucumber, Feta, Mint, and Dill Salad

    4 oz (120g) feta cheese
    4 cucumbers
    1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    1.5 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon dried mint
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1.5 tablespoons lemon juice

    • Crumble feta and place in large bowl. Peel and seed the cucumbers, cut into 1/2 inch dice. Add cucumbers to bowl along with the onion and dill.
    • Grind mint in a mortar and pestle. Combine with the oil and juice, then season with salt & black pepper. Pour over salad and toss.

    Summertime Couscous

    Last week, my family and cousins from out of state got together for a big summer cookout. Although we had only one committed vegetarian in our midst, the family chefs ended up selecting a vegetarian dish for our entrée. We copied the recipe from Food Network's website, and the dish was a hit with the whole crowd. Total preparation and cooking time was under a half hour, and since we doubled the recipe (and our grill died out), we sauteed some of the veggies. We also used 3 boxes of Near East couscous (2 boxes of Near East Parmesan couscous and 1 box of Near East Garlic & Olive Oil couscous).

    I suggest a large fruit salad to accompany the couscous. I used half a watermelon (diced), one honeydew melon (diced), 2 mangoes (diced), 2 boxes of strawberries (sliced), 2 boxes of blueberries, and 2 boxes of raspberries.


    • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    • 1 cup olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 2 green zucchini, quartered lengthwise
    • 2 yellow zucchini, quartered lengthwise
    • 6 spears asparagus, trimmed
    • 12 cherry tomatoes
    • 1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, quartered and seeded
    • 1/4 cup basil chiffonade (stack leaves, roll in a cigar shape and cut crosswise into thin strips)
    • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 pound Israeli couscous

    • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and garlic, slowly add the olive oil and whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Cut the zucchini and peppers into 1/2-inch pieces, cut the tomatoes in half.
    • Pour 1/2 the marinade over the vegetables and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Preheat the grill.
    • Remove the vegetables from the marinade and grill the vegetables until just cooked through.
    • Follow the instructions on the Near East box for preparation of the couscous itself. Boil 1.25 cups of water (per box of couscous) with some olive oil (optional, but 1-2 tablespoons total recommended) and the contents of the spice packets. When boiling, remove from heat and add all couscous. Cover completely and leave sit (for about 5-10 minutes) until water is absorbed. Couscous is now ready.
    • Place in a large serving bowl, add the grilled vegetables and herbs and toss with the remaining vinaigrette.
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