This is the Horde. Below are our Recipes. Thanks for sharing our Kitchen

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sex in a Pan with a Twist

Surprisingly enough the first time I had this recipe it was brought to our home by a priest. I obviously did not grow up with wrath of God type priests. Imagine the shock of an 8 year old girl when a priest brought over Sex in a Pan. (followed by another version called Prostitute Pie, made with pistachio pudding)

This recipe is great and really very good, hence the name. I've added a little twist to the classic recipe that brings it up another notch. Using traditional recipe, I've added baby food apricots as an additional layer, and crushed skor bar.

1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 1/2 cups graham crushed graham wafers
1 cup crushed pecans

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
1 package chocolate pudding instant
1 package vanilla pudding instant
1 jar apricot baby food
4 cups prepared whip cream (you can use a big tub of cool whip. I use fresh whipped)

1/4 cup crushed pecans and 1 crushed skor bar for the topping

Combine melted butter with graham wafer crumbs and crushed pecans. Flatten into a 9 x 13 pan to create crust and bake at 375 F for 9-10 minutes. Let cool completely

Whip cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 cup of prepared whip cream until well combined.

Prepare the vanilla pudding and chocolate pudding, placing in the fridge until ready to use.

Once the base crust is cooled, place first layer down. The cream cheese mixture goes first, followed by baby apricots. Place in fridge for 10 minutes to set.

Layer vanilla pudding over apricots and cool again for a few minutes. Place chocolate pudding layer over vanilla layer. Final layer is the balance of whip cream. Top with 1/4 cup of crushed pecans and crushed Skor bar. Place in fridge for minimum 4 hours. You can freeze leftovers as well.

Sinfully good!!!
To make prostitute pie, simply omit the apricots, vanilla and chocolate puddings, replacing with pistachio pudding. Top with slivered pistachios.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gnocchi with Basil and Butter

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I was looking again for a simple easy dinner and came up with this one tonight. It was quite good and both simple and fast to make. I made the gnocchi fresh as it's very easy to do but you can substitute store bought if desired.


4 boiled potatoes mashed (skinless)

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

4 cups all purpose flour


1/2 cup unsalted butter

4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1-2 cloves minced garlic

You can substitute fresh potatoes with instant potatoes as well to speed things up. Bring two cups milk to a simmer, add 1 1/3 cup potato flakes and stir until smooth and mashed like.

Gnocchi instructions from scratch

To make the gnocchi, place mashed potato into mixing bowl, add in eggs and salt and combine until smooth. Slowly add flour 1/2 cup at a time until very well combined.

Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead until smooth, (about 10-15 times). Cut sections from the dough and roll into a snake like ribbon.

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Cut the dough into 1/2 inch pieces, flip through the flour and press a fork into each piece to flatten a little bit.

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Move to a cookie sheet, until ready. Making the actual gnocchi dough takes about 1/2 hour.

Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to the water and stir occasionally. Boil approximately 5 minutes and strain into a colander. Place cooked gnocchi into a large serving bowl.

In the meantime while gnocchi is boiling, melt the butter in a large heavy skillet. Bring to a simmer, add the garlic and basil and simmer while the pasta is boiling. Pour over gnocchi in the serving bowl and mix to combine. Serve immediately topping with Pecorino or Parmagean cheese.

All told this dish took about 45 minutes to make from scratch, start to finish. If using premade gnocchi it can be ready in about 10 minutes. Served with Caprese Salad it make a lovely, substantial but light tasting dinner.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Better than Cinnabon, Cinnamon Bun Recipe with Cream Cheese Icing

Ravioli, cinnamon buns 019 We adore cinnamon buns. What's better than sticky, gooey cinnamon buns either at breakfast or for dessert.

This recipe is all mine. I tinkered with variations over time and this one hits the mark. They are gooey and delicious and best served warm. You can pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to rewarm them. I have an uncle with a standing order whenever I make them.

Base Ingredients.

Dough from basic bread recipe found Here , prepare the dough

Cinnamon filling
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup crushed pecans

Mix the softened butter, sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium size bowl until smooth and easy to spread.

Cream cheese icing.
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)

Whip butter and cream cheese together with salt using a mixer until smooth. Add 1 cup icing sugar and beat well, add vanilla and beat again. Add final cup of icing sugar and beat well for approx 3-5 minutes until well whipped. Set aside. Whip it another minute just prior to spreading over baked buns.

Prepare the dough. Remove from breadmaker and roll out on a floured surface to approx 6-8 inch by 15 inch shape as follows
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Combine sugar, butter and cinnamon in a seperate bowl. Spread the mixture evenly over the rolled dough. Sprinkle pecans over mixture evenly.
Roll the dough starting along the longest edge.

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Cut the dough slicing approximately 1 1/2 inches in width and place in a prepared 9 x 12 pan (parchment paper lined or very very well buttered). Leaving plenty of space between the rolls to allow for rising (as illustrated below). Sprinkle additional pecans over top if desired.
You should have enough to make an addition 9 inch round cake pan as well. This recipe really works best lining the pans with parchment paper.

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Cover with clean tea towel and allow to rise until about doubled in size (as illustrated). Approx 45 minutes
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After rising bake at 425 F for 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with cream cheese Icing.
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Proscuitto Ravioli

Ravioli, cinnamon buns 021 My dear husband bought me a new cookbook this past weekend. Sadly I have been sick and unable to delve into the pages until today. He knows my passion for pasta and this book did not disappoint. Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentis.

Given that I'm just getting over a stomach bug I didn't want to make anything too heavy so I found a recipe that I felt fit the bill. The wonton wrappers vs homemade pasta were nice and light and certainly cut down on prep time.

This recipe is delightful. I made some changes to it however as it was actually a little bland. I added a little lemon juice to the butter mixture to give it a little more infused flavour. The lemon added another dimension to this recipe.

My husband has suggested adding some shredded chicken as well which I think would be excellent and will incorporate next time.

From start to finish this recipe took only an hour to prep and make. If you prep ahead of time the actual cooking time was only about 5 minutes. This makes a nice light pasta dinner.

Proscuitto Ravioli

1 tub whole ricotta 454 grams

1 Package frozen spinach squeezed and drained of water

4 oz thinly sliced proscuitto chopped

3/4 tsp salt

1/2-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 large egg yolks

48 square wonton wrappers

1/2 cup butter

1 tbsp dried oregano leaves. (I used 3 tbsp fresh finely chopped oregano)

juice of 1/2 small lemon (my own addition)

Grated parmasean or pecorino cheese.

Combine the ricotta, spinach, salt, pepper, egg yolk and ricotta to form a smooth mixture. I throw it all into the mixer to combine.

Place 1 tsp full of the mixture onto each of the wonton wrappers. Moisten the edges of the wrappers by brushing with a little water and close to form a triangle. Pinch or flatten the edges to ensure they are sealed. Place onto a cookie sheet as you proceed. You can do this step ahead of time and refrigerate the raviolis, covered for several hours until you are ready to use them.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and working in batches boil the wontons for about 4 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place, drained into a large serving bowl or platter.

In the meantime melt the butter in a large heavy skillet. Add the oregano and simmer to allow the flavours to infuse (about a minute or two). Add in lemon juice if desired. Pour the butter over the cooked wontons, top with shredded parmagean or pecorino cheese and serve.

My kids LOVED it, as did I, and my husband. I will add some shredded cooked chicken to the next batch as I think it will be delicious.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Almond Croissants, and Epic Failure

I went up to visit my parents this past weekend who run a bed and breakfast in Cottage Country. My mom had this lovely cookbook for breakfasts "Do Breakfast", by Jane Donovan.

I decided to pull some of the recipes and try them out. This one is involved but I was feeling adventurous and decided to give it a try. I've never made croissant before but I also had never made bagels either and they turned out so well I though why not?

I can tell you without question that this was an EPIC failure. My dough didn't rise properly in the end. The almond paste oozed out of the dough. I kept at it but truth is...I can say I did not do this well. I'm sure the recipe itself is fine but I've never made pastry before so I'm sure it was something I did. I'm going to try again though. I will make some adjustment to the almond paste though as the one set out in the recipe was too runny.

Ingredients (makes 24 croissants)
1 1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 package dry active yeast
3 - 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 egg with 1 tsp water for glazing
Confectioners sugar for dusting

almond paste ingredients
2/3 cup blanched almonds
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 stick unsalted butter cut into pieces and softened
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp almond extract


In a small saucepan, heat the milk and half of the sugar over low heat until very warm. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast and 1 tbsp of the flour and mix by hand until dissolved. Allow to stand until foamy (about 15 minutes). With a hand whisk, beat in 1 cup of the flour, the salt and remaining flour.

The milk once the yeast has become foamy.

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Fix the mixer with a dough hook and gradually beat in 2 cups of flour on low speed. Beat on high until dough comes together and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. if the dough is very wet, sprinkle a little more flour into the mixture; Beat until smooth. Scrape the dough into a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough doubles in volume (about 1 1/2 hours).

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Punch down the dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly until smooth, about 4 to 5 times. Wrap in a dish towel and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

While the dough is cooling prepare the butter.

Place the butter between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll the butter into a rectangular shape. Fold the butter in half and roll out again. Repeat until butter is smooth a pliable but still cold. Flatten to form a 6 x 4 inch rectangle.

Butter rolled
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Roll the dough to a 18 x 8 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface, keeping the center third thicker than the two outer ends. put the butter rectangle on the thicker center of the dough, and fold the bottom third of the dough over the butter. fold the top third of the dough over the bottom to enclose the butter; with the rolling pin press down the "open edges" to seal the dough and create a neat dough "package"

Turn the dough package to that the short open edge faces you, the folded edge is on the left and it resembles a closed book. Gently roll the dough to a rectangle about 18 inches long, keeping the edges straight; do not press out the butter. (tip: if the butter squeezes out of the package, or the dough becomes sticky at any time, slide it onto a cookie sheet and chill until easier to handle.) Fold the rectangle in thirds, as we did for the butter, and press down the edges to seal. Press your index finger lightly into one corner to mark the first turn clearly. Wrap the dough in plastic warp and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Repat the rolling and folding, or turns, twice more, wrapping, marking and chilling the dough between each turn. After the third turn, wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the almond paste. Put the blanched almonds, flour, cornstarch and sugar in a food processor, and process until very fine crumbs form. Sprinkle over the butter, the egg, egg yolk, and almond extract, and process until a smooth paste forms. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate.

Lightly grease 2 large cookie sheets. Allow the dough to soften at room temp about 5-10 minutes for easier rolling.

Roll the dough to a 1/8 inch thick rectangle about 13 inches wide on a lightly floured surface. Trim the edges straight. Cut the rectangle in half to form 2 long, narrow strips. Cut each strip into triangles, 6 inches high and 4 inches wide at the base. With the rolling pin, roll gently from the base to the point, stretching each triangle lengthwise.

Place 1 tbsp of almond paste about 1 inch up from the base of each triangle. pulling the base slightly to widen it, roll up the dough from the base to the point Arrange point side down on the cookie sheets, curving the ends to form a crescent shape. Brush each croissant with a little egg glaze; cover and leave to rise in a warm place until almost tripled in volume, about 2 hours. (At this point the formed croissants can be refrigerated overnight and baked the following day, be sure to refrigerate the egg glaze until ready to bake the croissants)

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Brush each croissant again with the egg glaze, then sprinkle each with a few flaked almonds. Bake for 2 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 375 and bake until a light golden colour, approx 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Dust lightly with confectioners sugar, and serve warm with fresh coffee.

Here are my horrible looking Almond croissants. You will note, the almond paste was oozing out of the dough while they were rising. These are prebaked. Once baked they puffed up a bit. They are chewy as opposed to flaky. They taste good, but definately not light and flakey

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Swedish Meatballs

I've never made Swedish Meatballs before, so I thought I'd give it a shot tonight. This recipe was rated pretty highly over at the Food Network. This recipe is from Alton Brown, and was very easy to make. It is also available on the Food Network website

I served this over egg noodles. I used ground veal instead of beef (just because I had it kicking around). It is quite a tasty recipe.

2 slices fresh white bread
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons clarified butter, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
A pinch plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 pound ground chuck
3/4 pound ground pork
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small mixing bowl along with the milk. Set aside.
In a 12-inch straight sided saute pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread and milk mixture, ground chuck, pork, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and onions. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a scale, weigh meatballs into 1-ounce portions and place on a sheet pan. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds.
Heat the remaining butter in the saute pan over medium-low heat, or in an electric skillet set to 250 degrees F. Add the meatballs and saute until golden brown on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon and place in the warmed oven.
Once all of the meatballs are cooked, decrease the heat to low and add the flour to the pan or skillet. Whisk until lightly browned, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the beef stock and whisk until sauce begins to thicken. Add the cream and continue to cook until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Remove the meatballs from the oven, cover with the gravy and serve.

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Banana bread has to be one of my family's favorite treats. My daughter decided to make some all by herself today for her first time. I am busy making almond croissants today and she wanted to spend some time in the kitchen with me.

She did a pretty good job. The batch that came out of the actual oven vs the easy bake oven turned out much better!!

This is my failsafe easy banana bread recipe.

3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp. soda
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans(optional)
1/8 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar in mixer. Add bananas and mix well. Add eggs and continue mixing. Add soda that has been dissolved in buttermilk. Add with flour and salt. Fold in nuts. Bake in 1 large or 2 small greased and floured loaf pans for 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Caprese Salad

I love this salad. It always reminds me of being in Rome, sitting on the rooftop terrace of the Forum Hotel, or at an outdoor cafe.

There are other foods that remind me of Rome as well. Canteloupe wrapped in prosciutto, and Penne Alla Carbone come to mind immediately. We found a fabulous local trattoria in Rome in the Aventine district that was probably one of the best meals we ever had. It didn't even look like a restaurant. We were quite far off the beaten track and when we got to the address I thought...uh's closed.

Behind two layers of frosted glass and an imposing entranceway a jewel was hidden. Our waiter spoke little english, and we little Italian. We managed to choose our first course easily but when it came to the meat course and pasta course we were pretty clueless. We told him to pick for us. I did also get across that tripe would not be ideal...LOL. We dined on the most marvelous roast of lamb I've ever had, and discovered penne alla carbone.

I've never been able to duplicate the lamb, but I'm getting close with the penne. Once I perfect it I'll share. In the meantime we had a light dinner tonight and had Caprese salad.

Very easy to make, and just scrumptiously good.

1 or 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 package fresh mozzarella ball (s)
handful of fresh basil chopped
salt to taste
olive oil

All you do is slice your tomatoes and place on a plate. Spread the chopped fresh basil over the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and a dash of salt. Cut the fresh mozzarella and place over the tomatoes.'re done.

This is the sure fire way to get my kids to eat fresh tomatoes. Given the season the tomatoes and basil are both from our struggling garden this year.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Roast of Lamb

I love lamb. I especially love it in Souvlaki, but I also enjoy roast of lamb.

I've never really found a decent way to cook lamb roast. Today I invented one. It actually was quite good. The lamb was deliciously moist and tender. I decided to try a little tzaziki sauce with it and that worked well too!!

Easy Lamb Roast.

1 cup lemon juice
1 cup white wine
3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons rosemary
2 teaspoons greek oregano
2-3 lb lamb roast ( I use the ones wrapped in the twine, boneless)

Combine all of the ingredients into a ziploc bag and place the lamb into the bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Place in small roast pan and bake at 325 farenheit for an hour and a half, covered. Place about 1/4 of the marinade into the pan. Once the meat is cooked you can uncover and increase heat to 350 for 10 minutes or so to brown the outside of the roast.

An alternative to browning in the oven is to place on preheated bbq for a few minutes to grill the outside of the roast.

We served this with rice and steamed broccoli.
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