Friday, October 28, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Crisps

Adapted from Kumquat



3 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cups sifted cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups chocolate chips

2 tsp vanilla

2-4 large egg whites


Preheat oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.


In a bowl, combine your powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, chocolate chips and vanilla. Add two egg whites, and give it a stir. It will probably look like wet chalk. Add another. Maybe another. You’re looking for anything between brownie batter (a slightly thicker cookie) and Elmer’s Glue (a thinner cookie).


When desired consistency is reached, put your cookies by spoonful onto your cookie sheets. Two tablespoon-sized heaps will give you 24 cookies. One tablespoon-sized heaps will give you smaller cookies, and more of them.


Bake 14 minutes per sheet, or until the cookies are shiny on top and slightly cracked. Cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then carefully move your paper/mat to your cooling rack. When you are able, peel your cookies off and allow them to finish cooling on the rack.

Marshmallow Popcorn Treats

marshmallow popcorn balls

Marshmallow Popcorn Treats

Makes two 9x13 pans- can be halved

Pop one cup of popcorn. 

In a large pot over medium low heat, melt 3/4 cup shortening.  Add 1 large bag of mini marshmallows, about 10 cups, and melt them, stirring occasionally.  You want to keep the heat low, so the sugar doesn't cook too much and make your treats crispy!  Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn, and mix quickly before it cools off too much.  I did this in another large pot, or you could do it in batches in a big bowl.  This is a LOT of popcorn!  The easiest way is to grease your hands and just dig in and mix it around- wait just a minute or two for the sugar to cool enough to handle.

Press lightly into two well-greased 9x13 pans and let cool.  Turn onto a cutting board and cut into squares.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whole Grain Corn Bread

This is, hands down, my favorite corn bread.  It's sweetened, but not sweet.  It's made with freshly ground corn and wheat, so it's filling.  It's soft and hearty and moist, with little crunchy bits of corn, and so, so good.  The original recipe is from the side of the Alber's Corn Meal box.  I've doubled it, and substituted freshly ground grains.

This is fantastic with chili or beans.  I like it plain, and some in my family smother it with butter and honey.  I remember, growing up, drizzling molasses over my corn bread- I highly recommend it!  (Plus, molasses is a good source of iron.)

Whole Grain Corn Bread
1 heaping cup popcorn, ground into coarse flour
1 heaping cup winter white wheat, ground into fine flour, plus more (see below)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten.

Measure out 2 cups of corn meal and 2 cups of wheat flour.  (I normally grind a bit of extra wheat flour, to make sure I have 4 cups of grain flour total, since I can more easily use up excess wheat flour than corn meal.)  Mix with dry ingredients in a bowl.

In a large measuring cup, combine liquid ingredients- stir to beat eggs.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, with as few strokes as you can.  As soon as everything is wet, stop mixing- lumps are OK!

Baked in a greased 9x13 pan, at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Every member of my family, including the infant, loved this soup.  L.O.V.E.D.  Also, it had a boat load of vegetables in it.

Cream of Broccoli Soup
2 heads broccoli, chopped
1/2 head celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 Tbsp. oil
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp dried onions
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
8 cups water
Chicken base or bullion (I used 2 tsp)
1 1/2 cups powdered milk (or amount indicated on package for 2 quarts of water)
Cooked corn, optional

Heat oil in a large pot, and add chopped vegetables, granulated garlic, and dried onions.  Saute until softened, and stir in flour.  Cook a few minutes, then add a little of the water and clean the bottom of the pot.  Add the rest of the water and worcestershire sauce .  Once heated through, add powdered milk.  Let simmer, stirring often to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until carrots are softened.  Puree in a blender (or with an immersion blender) and pour through a colander to strain.   We served ours with corn stirred in.

You could also add potatoes, or other mild flavored vegetables like cauliflower, or young turnips.

If you have extra milk, that could easily be substituted for the powdered milk and water.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

LoLo’s Marmalade Cake

This cake was an experiment, to use up part of a quart of lemon marmalade I had in the refrigerator. (Why do I have a quart of marmalade? Well, because I canned it! I put it in a quart jar to save time, so I didn’t have to can a half dozen tiny jars. Guess the joke’s on me. Nobody likes the marmalade!)

This is rather loosely based on a cake I found here, on Orangette.  The way I made it, it was sticky, and sweet, and absolutely awesome. Even the kids loved it. So. If you have large quantities of marmalade on your hands, give it a go!

LoLo’s Marmalade Cake
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
4 large eggs
½ tsp. table salt
1 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup marmalade (I used lemon, and it was quite tasty)

Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare your pan. I used a jelly roll pan, lined with a Silpat. Whatever you use is probably fine, just adjust baking time accordingly. A bundt cake will take longer to bake than a 9x13 pan or a jelly roll pan.  This is a STICKY cake, so whatever you use, either line it with silicone or parchment paper, or grease and flour liberally!

1. In a bowl, sift together your flour and baking powder. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine your eggs and salt. Beat until light and frothy. Gradually add  your sugars and mix until combined. Slowly add your flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add your olive oil, vanilla and marmalade. Mix again, just until everything is incorporated.
3. Scrape the batter out into your prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out batter free. (A few crumbs stuck to the stick are ok.) (I baked mine in a 1/4 sheet pan, luckily on top of another 1/2 sheet pan. This cake  has some lift to it! If baking in a 1/2 sheet pan, start checking it at 40 minutes.)

EDITED TO ADD: (11/10/11) When the cake is cool, spread it with glaze, wait about 20 minutes, and then cut into small pieces. These are lemon blondies.

Glaze recipe:
1 cup powdered sugar
Lemon juice (about 8 Tbsp.)

Mix powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to make a drizzly glaze. Spread over the cooled cake.

These were lemon bars in a cake form.

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Guys, help me out here. I got this recipe from a friend. All I know is that it is copied from chapter 15 of a cookbook, and it is officially called “Healthy mac and Cheese, Believe it!” For all I know, it’s from a diet book. (Come to think of it, it probably is from an Eat-Clean book.)


Wherever it’s from, this friend (Jen) came over on Friday with a dish of it and I ate way, way too much. It is absolutely delicious, and totally crave-worthy. I wouldn’t say it’s a trick-you version of mac n’ cheese, but it’s absolutely delicious in its own right. The whole point of Jen bringing it over was to try it together, and tweak it if it needed it. Here’s what we came up with.


Healthy Mac and Cheese



2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. flour (any kind – whole wheat, gluten free, etc.)

3/4 cooked, mashed sweet (or regular) potato

3/4 cup liquid (low-fat or skim milk, or broth) heated to just warm

1 cup yogurt cheese (made by draining plain yogurt in cheese cloth)

2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste

Worcestershire Sauce, to taste (about 1 Tbsp.)

Nutmeg, to taste (about 1/2 tsp.)

3/4 pound whole grain pasta

Panko bread crumbs


1. Cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.  Also, grease a small casserole pan and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat your olive oil over medium heat and add your flour. Whisk to make a roux – don’t let it burn! Gradually add your warmed liquid (milk, broth, etc.) and continue to whisk and cook until thick. Add potato puree and continue stirring.

3. Add parmesan cheese and yogurt cheese. Add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and nutmeg to taste. Add your noodles and stir to combine.  Taste again, and adjust seasoning if needed.

4. Move your sauced pasta into your prepared casserole pan and sprinkle liberally with panko bread crumbs. Broil in the oven just until the bread crumbs turn golden brown. Serve hot.

You may also stir in steamed veggies, or sliced chicken, to make this into a one-pot meal.



Tomato Pepper Carrot Puree (Raw Spaghetti Sauce)

Staring down a pile of ripe tomatoes, I knew I wanted pasta sauce for my freezer.  I knew that I wanted to make a huge batch, eat some for dinner, and freeze the rest.  I knew that dinner was in 30 minutes.  So, I punted (which is a luxury I can afford, when I don't intend on preserving the final product in a jar, on the shelf.)

After finding this recipe and taking stock of what I had, I scoffed at the suggested three tomatoes, grabbed as many things from my fridge as I dared, and came up with this.

Technically, I'm going to call it a tomato-carrot-bell pepper puree.  Eat it cold and plain, it's gazpacho.  Warm it up and thin it down with some chicken stock, it's a nice warm soup base.  Cook it down thicker, and it would make an excellent spread for crackers or little toast points or crusty baguette rounds.  Use it as a pizza sauce.  Do what I did, and spoon some into a hot pot of drained pasta, add back some of the starchy pasta water, and stir it over low heat till the sauce is thick and clingy on the noodles.  The main thing to remember is it's raw, it's delicious, and it's fast.  Oh, and it's smooth.  Very, VERY important to my kids.

Tomato Pepper Carrot Puree
Makes about 5 Cups

1/4 cup olive oil
10 medium sized tomatoes, halved (I used Early Girls and very, very fat Romas from the garden)
3-4 cloves garlic
1 small onion, halved
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp dried basil (use fresh if you have it- I made ALL of my basil into pesto yesterday)
2 Tbsp white vinegar (for a little kick, and to keep it bright looking)
2 red bell peppers, topped and seeded, then torn into quarters
2 good-sized carrots, chopped into 1" cubes

Start with the first eight ingredients, but only put in two or three halved tomatoes.  Blend well- as you can, add the rest of the ingredients.  I have a workhorse of a vintage VitaMix, you might need to adjust things or use a food processor at home.  Grating the carrots would also help in smaller blenders.  Taste test, and add more basil or salt or pepper or garlic or red pepper, or whatever you fancy.

As a pasta sauce, I'd say this made enough for about 5 pounds of pasta.

Alton Brown’s Super Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from LoLo’s Cooking School, session 2)


The Chewy

(Adapted from Alton Brown’s Good Eats: The Early Years)

(I ADORE this cookbook. If you do not have it, I HIGHLY recommend it. Not only are the recipes foolproof, but the book is packed full of interesting culinary facts, scientific facts and trivia bits from the Good Eats cooking show.)


1 cup butter, melted and cooled

2 1/4 cup (12 oz) flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt (3/4 tsp. table salt)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup (2 oz) white sugar

2 cups (8 oz) brown sugar

1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

2 Tablespoon milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips


1. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and the two sugars. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

3. In a third (small) bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract.

4. Lower the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the egg mix. Mix until totally combined, about 30 seconds.

5.  Still on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, stopping several times to scrape down the sides. 

6. When the flour is all mixed in, put the mixer on its slowest setting, and add the chocolate chips.

7. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for one hour, then preheat your oven to 375.  Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.

8. Scoop the dough onto parchment or silicone lined cookie sheets, and  bake two sheets at a time, 10-15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through cooking. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.