Sunday, July 12, 2009

No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie

Recipe courtesy Bon Appetit Test Kitchen

O.k. I have not tried this recipe yet.. BUT I am going to this week so I thought I would post it and if any of you make it feel free to let me know what "tweaks" you would or wouldn't make. It's a no bake berry cream pie with chocolate wafer crust... really wants not to like about that!

8 servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes (includes chilling time)

7 oz chocolate wafer cookies (about 32), coarsely broken
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup
crème fraîche
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (two 6-ounce containers)
Place broken cookies in processor. Using on/off turns, process until finely ground. Place chocolate chips, butter, and sugar in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high at 15-second intervals until melted, stirring occasionally. Add chocolate mixture to processor and blend until combined. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch glass pie dish (do not pack firmly). Chill crust while preparing filling.
Whisk condensed milk, crème fraîche, lemon juice, and lemon peel in large bowl to blend. Add half of raspberries. Stir, pressing gently on some raspberries, until raspberries begin to break apart and filling turns pink. Transfer filling to crust. Chill until filling is set, about 2 hours.
Scatter remaining raspberries over pie. Cut into wedges and serve.
Kitchen Science
The filling firms as it chills, creating nice clean slices of pie—but it doesn't contain any thickeners. The secret? Lemon juice. When it reacts with the other ingredients, it helps thicken the filling.

Creme Fraiche Info

With a tangy flavor and thick consistency, crème fraîche is the natural result of letting cream skimmed off the top of milk ferment at a warm temperature-or at least it is in its native France. In America, we pasteurize milk, killing off the bacteria that would cause fermentation. To make crème fraïche with American cream, you have to add buttermilk or sour cream; they contain bacteria that thicken cream.
Similar to sour cream, crème fraîche makes a delicious topping for desserts and adds body and flavor to sauces and pasta dishes.
How to make your own crème fraîche:
Combine 2 tablespoons of buttermilk with 1 cup of whipping cream in a glass container. Cover and let it sit at room temperature (about 70ºF) for 8 to 24 hours. Don't despair if your cream doesn't thicken after 22 hours; sometimes it happens nearly all at once. When it has thickened, stir well and refrigerate up to 10 days.

Friday, July 10, 2009

5 minute Creamy Bean Dip

Recipe from Linda Hughes
This is my husband and childrens favorite bean dip. It takes 5 minute to make and only has 2 ingredients (well 3 if you want a garnish). Use this as an appetizer for any occasion or use it as a fun way to serve your children chili.


2 regular cans chili (the original recipe calls for chili with no beans but I personally like the added texture of beans)
1 80z package of cream cheese softened.

In a medium size bowl mix cream cheese through chili. Place in the microwave and heat until hot all the way through. I like to do it one minute at a time and stir in between to make sure it's evenly heated.

Serve hot. With tortilla chips. I like to use scoops, you can pre-scoop them if you like or give it to you kids in scoops. Or just serve it the good old fashioned way with a bowl of chips and a big bowl of the dip. For a bit of colour garnish with small pieces of cilantro.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fresh Salsa

This is my favorite salsa EVER. I like it chunky, and I guess if you are not a fan of that you could always put it in the food processor for a little bit, everyone has their little salsa preferences. It makes alot but watch out because you will snack on this until it's gone!

6 lbs Canned tomatoes (or fresh blanched - I love the big tin you can get from costco the quality is great - but hey use whatever you can get)
1 large white onion -chopped
4-6 jalepenos (Depending on heat of peppers and size)
1/2 bunch cilantro (coriander) - chopped
1 1/2 TBSP minced/finely chopped garlic
2 Lemons
3 tsp oregano (dried)
parsley (dried/flakes)

2 TBSP salt

Drain Tomatoes - set aside liquid in a bowl for later. Roughly chop the tomatoes so they are not whole but mouthful size chunks.
Place in a bowl.
Add onion cilantro, garlic, lemon juice. Mix together. Finely chop Jalapenos with seeds and veins removed (keep the seeds in case you decide after tasting it needs some heat) add one at a time tasting after each to get it to the desired heat and flavor. If it's too hot just add some more tomatoe juices back in. Letting it sit overnight in teh fridge will change the spice temperature. My last batch I only put in 1 pepper because it was hot and then the next day it had all but dissapeared. Sprinkle oregano on top and then sprinkle parsley over the top until it is covered evenly in flakes. Add enough juice to the consistency you like.. I like chunky, but my husband likes his runny... so you can even put it in the food processor if you prefer. Cover and let sit in fridge over night. When ready to eat mix all the parsley throughout the salsa.

Serve with Tortilla chips. (Corn chips)

White Chili

This recipe is from my friend Kristy and I do not know where she got it. It's perfect for those cold winter months, and while it's more of a comfort food sometimes we just get those cravings and make it up during the summer months as well. Serve with a toasted bun or eat it as a thick soup. It's up to you ... however you like your chili. I love this options to the other more commonly known red chili.
1 lb. Chicken, cubed(raw)

1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 TBSP. Butter or margarine .
2x15oz cans Great Northern Beans (Really just any good white bean will do if you can't find them)
1 14oz Can of Chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
2x4oz cans chopped green chilies (as a substitute if you can't find them try just chopping up 2 medium sized ones of your own.. remove seeds and veins for no heat)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese

Brown Chicken, Onion, Garlic powder and Butter/margarine together in a large pot.
Add beans, chicken broth, salt,oregano, cumin, green chilies. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
To finish up add in sour cream and pepper jack cheese and let simmer 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Cuddle up by the heater and enjoy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Strawberry Pecan Sticky Buns

Adapted from a Recipe by Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa). I added strawberries instead of raisins, I never have been a raisen fan (I blame early childhood trauma from my older brother telling me they were squished flies) and I think the strawberry flavor gives it such a lift from the caramelized sugar to another level.

SUPER easy, the simplicity, in fact the hardest part is watching them cook and bubble in the oven and wondering how much longer you have to wait. Let me know what you think.


12 tbsps (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (make sure it is totally room temp)
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
1 package (17.3 ounces/ 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
For the filling
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup strawberries chopped into 1 cm cubes (errr about 1/4 inch)

Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees F (204.44 Celsius). Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (I used a teflon non stick muffin pan).
In the bowl of an electric mixer preferably fitted with a paddle, --I didn't have one.. so just make sure whatever you use whips and smooshes it together well. Combine the 12 tbsp butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Plop 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in the bottom of each muffin cup segment. Distribute pecans and spoon about 1 tsp of strawberries into each muffin cup on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Lightly flour a wooden board or flat clean surface. Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch (approx 2 1/2 cm) boarder on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and the remaining strawberries split between the 2 sheets. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling (firm but not tight) finishing the roll with the seam side down. Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch (1 1/2 cms) and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces (it's easy to do if you cut in half and then divide the sections into 3 even rolls). Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups (very lightly press it down). Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Be careful- they're hot! Allow to cool for 5 minutes ONLY, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon) and cool completely.