Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Mix Salad with Manderin Oranges, Roasted Slivered Almonds, and Raspberry Vinegarette


My new-found go to meal or snack that is amazingly easy but bursting with vibrant flavors!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spiced Plum Upside Down Cake

On a dreary and rainy day I often want to feel the warmth of my oven and have my house filled with the smell of baking comfort. Last Sunday afternoon  I found myself thinking that it was the perfect day to bake something full of spice. Needing to use up some plums, I came up with this delicious and rather beautiful plum cake! It has a hint of sweet and tart surrounded by the warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg. This is very simple but looks so elegant. When I saw the end result I realized that it would be the perfect desert for the holidays or a dinner party. It's so beautiful!  It is simple gourmet.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

3 tablespoons butter 
1/4 cup brown sugar

Coat a 9 inch round pan with baking spray. (I used a silicon pan) Melt butter and brown sugar in the oven until bubbly. Set aside.

1/3 cup soft butter
1 cup unbleached sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cups unbleached white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
4 black plums, pitted and thinly sliced

Cream the butter, and sugar together. Add egg, vanilla, and milk. Mix in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Lay out the sliced plums to cover the pre-baked butter and brown sugar mixture. Make any design you desire. Pour out the batter to cover the plums and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Try switching up the fruit to make a brand new creation! Or line the outside of the pan with plums and fill the inside circle with fresh blueberries. The possibilities are endless!!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ginger Snap Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Although I am not a longtime fan of biscotti, my love for coffee is growing as big as my love for any other food group! In my developing ritual of enjoying some french-pressed decaf at night, I began thinking of having something to add onto my coffee treat. Mainly for the evenings that we have good friends over for late night games of Settlers of Catan. So I passed quickly by scones, because seriously no one needs to be eating those at night, and stopped at the thoughts of biscotti. I found some basic recipes and went from there with my experimentation. I had chocolate chips, of course, and ginger snaps. The rest is just biscotti history! These are wonderful cruchy and perfect for dipping. The official description from my trusted guinea pigs was a cookie form of Mexican hot cocoa. In my own words..... divine!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coffee
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
7/8 cup unbleached sugar
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
8 crushed up ginger snaps
1 cup of chocolate chips

Mix the wet ingedients. Add the dry ingredients.

With wet hands form the dough into a square measuring the desired width of your biscotti.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Until firm.
LOWER OVEN temperature to 275 degrees.
Allow cookie square to cool until it is cool enough to touch. Then with a serrated knife, slice to the desired sized biscotti . Spread the sliced biscotti out around your baking sheet. And place back into the 275 degree oven for around 25 minutes or until your desired crunchiness!

Dunk and enjoy!!!!