Archive for May, 2013

Starbucks Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino

Starbucks Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino


For the Strawberry Syrup
16 oz Strawberries, hulled
Sugar to taste

For the Frappucino
1 cup Whole Milk
3/4 cups softened Vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup Strawberry Syrup (either make your own or use store bought!)
5-6 Whole Strawberries, chopped finely
2-3 ice cubes
Whipped Cream (optional)


Make the Strawberry Syrup:
Note: You may also use store-bought syrup!

Chop the stem (hull) off the strawberries. You can then do a coarse chop or quarter the berries.

Place them in a colander and rinse them gently under cold water. You can wash them first and then chop if you like.

Drain the water well and place the berries in a saucepan. Cook them in medium heat. Give it a stir now and then. (After around 5 minutes you will find the berries releasing their juices.)

After around 15 minutes of cooking, add some sugar to taste.

Let cook for another 5 minutes and then wait until sauce has cooled.

Strain the sauce into another bowl pressing the fruit well to give more syrup.PS: Store remainder of strawberry syrup in an airtight container. You can use the fruit pulp in another recipe (pancakes, waffles, cakes, muffins etc)

Make the Frappuccino:
Add rest of the ingredients along with your strawberry syrup (other than the whipped cream and chopped strawberries) in a blender. Give it a whirl until blended.

Drop some of the chopped strawberries in a serving glass and pour the blended mixture into it.

Add some whipped cream on top if desired and serve chilled.

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BLT Macaroni Salad

BLT Macaroni Salad

1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
3 cups shredded lettuce
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Add the macaroni, tomatoes and onions; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, add lettuce and bacon; toss to coat. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe found here: BLT Macaroni Salad

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Devil's Food Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1/2 cup butter, cubed
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and melted chocolate.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add to the creamed mixture alternately with water and sour cream. Transfer to two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a small heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove from the heat; cool for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in chocolate mixture until frosting is light and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.

Recipe found here: Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

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Gruyère Soufflés

Gruyère Soufflé

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus softened butter for brushing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
6 large eggs, separated
8 ounces coarsely shredded Gruyère cheese (2 packed cups)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 400° and brush seven 1-cup ramekins with butter. Lightly coat the ramekins with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and set them on a sturdy baking sheet.

In a medium saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook over moderately low heat until smooth and very thick, about 2 minutes. Stir in the salt and cayenne. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolks. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the Gruyère.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar at medium-high speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until firm peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the soufflé base until no streaks of white remain.

Spoon the soufflé mixture into the ramekins, filling them to 1/2 inch below the rim. Run your thumb inside the rim of each ramekin to help the soufflés rise evenly. Sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and bake in the bottom third of the oven until the soufflés are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

MAKE AHEAD  The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. The soufflés can be assembled up to 1 hour ahead. The cooked soufflés can be reheated in the oven.

Recipe found here: Gruyère Soufflé

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Olive Garden Baked Pasta Romana with Beef

Olive Garden Baked Pasta Romana with Beef

1 5 pound flat brisket
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 chopped onion
16 – 32 ounces of beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
12 ounces of lasagna noodles
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup Fontina cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Additional Asiago, Fontina, and Parmesan cheese for garnish
1/2 cup spinach
1 teaspoon olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a dutch oven heat saute sliced onions in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt to the onions. Saute onions until they are translucent. Remove onions from pan. Sprinkle both sides of the brisket with salt and pepper. Place brisket into pan brown on both sides. Once brisket is browned on both sides, remove brisket from pan. Pour in 1 cup of beef broth into pan, scrape brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add two tablespoons of tomato paste, and whisk together well. Place onions, and then the brisket back into the pan, add enough broth to the pan to cover the brisket half way. Bake brisket for approximately 3 1/2 hours. The brisket is done when a fork slides into the meat easily. If the meat is still tough after the initial baking bake for an additional 30 minutes. Once the brisket is removed from the oven, let rest for approximately 20 minutes before slicing.

Prepare lasagna noodles as directed on the package. To use the noodles for the baked pasta dish, once the noodles are done, they need to be cut in half vertically, and horizontally. This way you don’t have to eat a whole lasagna noodle in one bite.

For the sauce combine heavy cream and butter in a sauce pan over medium to medium high heat. Once the butter and cream just begin to simmer, whisk in all cheeses. The sauce will thicken, remove pan from heat. Place noodles into a 2 quart casserole dish. Arrange the noodles by folding them over so they make nice curls. Pour sauce over the noodles. Toss spinach with olive olive, and then place the spinach around the sides of the casserole dish. Place 6 to 8 ounces of beef over the noodles. You may want to spoon a little of the cooking gravy from the brisket over the beef. Top with a little Asiago and Fontina cheese and place back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese melts on the top of the pasta.

I do not recommend making the pasta and sauce portion ahead of time. You can make the brisket ahead of time.

Recipe found here: Olive Garden Baked Pasta Romana with Beef

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Tre Formaggi Fritata

Tre Formaggi Fritata

10 large eggs
1/4 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. olive oil
3 to 4 links Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage Links, (coin sliced)
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
1/8 pound Asiago cheese, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 pound Provolone cheese, cut into 1/2 inch dice

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, parmesan cheese and the pepper together. Set aside. In a deep frying pan with an oven proof handle (or in the deep half of a frittata pan) warm the olive oil. Add the sausages and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and coin slice. Leaving only 1 tsp. of oil in the pan, on medium heat add the green onions and bell pepper and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the cooked sausage slices to the pan along with the egg mixture; allow eggs to set for 30 seconds. Add asiago and provolone cheese and continue to cook until the edges are just starting to set, using a rubber spatula, gently pull the edges away from the side of the pan allowing the uncooked eggs to flow underneath, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking (untouched) about 4 minutes more.

Meanwhile, reheat your oven to 375° and finish cooking until the center of the egg mixture is gently firm to the touch, and the edges are beginning to golden, about 6-10 minutes. (If using a Frittata pan set the shallow half of the pan over medium low heat and brush lightly with olive oil. Place the shallow pan upside down on top of the deep pan and flip the frittata into the shallow pan. Cook covered until the frittata is set, about 6 minutes.)

Gently shake the pan to loosen the frittata and use a rubber spatula to carefully slide it onto a serving plate, cut into wedges. Garnish with fresh thyme. Yield: Serves 6-8.

Recipe found here: Tre Formaggi Fritata

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Original Nestle® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies

Original Nestle® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg
1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts


PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Original recipe makes 5 dozen cookies

Recipe found here: Original Nestle® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Mild Fresh Salsa

Mild Fresh Salsa

3 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Chill before serving. Yield: 3 cups.

Recipe found here: Mild Fresh Salsa

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Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch Apple Pie

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
1 unbaked pie shell (9 inches)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the egg, vanilla and sour cream; stir until smooth. Add apples; mix well. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325° and bake for 30 minutes more.

For topping, combine flour and sugar in a small bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over pie; bake 20 minutes longer or until filling is bubbly and topping is browned. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or chilled. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 8 servings.

Recipe found here: Dutch Apple Pie

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Nut Fudge

Nut Fudge

3 tablespoons butter, divided
12 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
4-1/2 cups sugar
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
2 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped

Line a 13×9-in. pan with foil; butter the foil with 1 tablespoon butter and set aside. Break German chocolate into 1-in. pieces; place in a bowl. Add the chocolate chips and marshmallow creme; set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, milk and remaining butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly pour over chocolate mixture; stir until mixture is smooth and blended. Stir in nuts.

Pour into prepared pan. Let stand at room temperature until cool. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 2-1/4 pounds.

Recipe found here: Nut Fudge

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