(I don’t know how these things are determined but hey)
Chocolate Covered Almonds
2 1/2 cups (13 ounces) unblanched whole almonds
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds for 15 minutes on a baking sheet. Line two baking pans with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine granulated sugar, 1/4 cup water, toasted almonds, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar becomes golden and granular and almonds are completely coated and separated. Pour nuts onto prepared pans. Chill in freezer, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place chocolate in a medium bowl; place bowl over simmering water until melted. Transfer half the chilled almonds to a large bowl, and pour half the melted chocolate over nuts. Stir until nuts are thoroughly coated. Transfer nuts onto prepared baking pan. Using two forks, separate nuts so none stick together. Return almonds to refrigerator until chocolate has set, about 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining almonds.
Place cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar into two separate bowls. Toss half the nuts in cocoa and half in sugar, and gently tap off any excess powder. Store separately in airtight containers for up to 1 month.
Seattle’s vision of an urban food oasis is going forward. A seven-acre plot of land in the city’s Beacon Hill neighborhood will be planted with hundreds of different kinds of edibles: walnut and chestnut trees; blueberry and raspberry bushes; fruit trees, including apples and pears; exotics like pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, and lingonberries; herbs; and more. All will be available for public plucking to anyone who wanders into the city’s first food forest.
My coworker mentioned this to me yesterday! I got so excited!
This is a recipe that President Obama has apparently been using since college.
Obama Family Chili Recipe
1 large onion, chopped 1 green pepper, chopped Several cloves of garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 pound ground turkey or beef* (I suggest substituting with Morningstar Crumbles, or Gimme lean’s Vegetarian Groundbeef) ¼ teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon ground oregano ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric ¼ teaspoon ground basil 1 tablespoon chili powder 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar Several tomatoes, depending on size, chopped 1 can red kidney beans
Saute onions, green pepper and garlic in olive oil until soft.
Add ground meat and brown.
Combine spices together into a mixture, then add to ground meat.
Add red wine vinegar.
Add tomatoes and let simmer, until tomatoes cook down.
Add kidney beans and cook for a few more minutes.
Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, onions and sour cream. (You might also like adding chives)
I think most of us remember the Pretzel incident of 2002. So here’s a fun reminder. (I have no reason for them being pumpkin, it just sounded delicious, I think dunking them with apple sauce would be tasty)
Pumpkin Beer Pretzel Bites
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbs. light brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp. (or 1 package) active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Olive oil (you can use another type of oil here, it’s just what we had)
2 pumpkin beers
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbs. cold water
Coarse sea salt
Honey dijon mustard (or other preferred dipping sauce)
1. Using the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, yeast and butter. Mix until combined and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the salt and 4 1/2 cups flour and mix on low speed, using dough hook, until blended together. Increase the speed to medium and knead dough until it is smooth and begins to pull away from sides of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes. If dough appears too wet add flour, 1 tbs. at a time. Remove the dough from the hook and shape into ball. Place in a bowl lightly coated with oil, and turn dough to evenly coat with oil. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm spot for about 1 hour, until dough doubles in size (I did this step and let it sit for about 4-5 hours, so that I could make sure the pretzel bites were made immediately before company arrived and it worked out perfectly).
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. As the oven heats, divede the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a long, thin rope (somewhere between about 15-55 inches, depending on size). Place dough on a flat surface and cut into one inch pieces. Repeat for all of the dough.
3. Bring the beers to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Working in small batches (about 15 pieces at a time), place the dough in the boiling beer for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a baking sheet, that has been coated with cooking spray. Make sure dough pieces are not touching.
4. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place on a baking rack; let cool for 5 minutes then serve with mustard (or other dipping choice) and enjoy! (These are best served warm).
Bill Clinton caused a bit of a scandal…by replacing the French White House Chef, Pierre Chambrin with Chef Walter Scheib, because he preferred authentic All-American Cuisine. You can’t get much more American than a homemade apple pie.
Not many people know that Ronald Reagan was a movie star before he became President. One of his films was Santa Fe Trail (1940).
2-1/2 cups cut fresh green beans
1 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped1 small red onion, chopped
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Place green beans in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately place beans in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
For dressing, in a small bowl, combine the cilantro, sour cream, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, cumin, salt and cayenne.
In a large bowl, combine the green beans, corn, pinto beans, black beans, red pepper, onion, chilies and olives. Sprinkle with cheese. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 10 servings.
Carter hails from the Peach State of Georgia and grew up on a peanut farm so I thought this was fitting.
4 ripe petite bananas, skinned & frozen 1 cup peaches, frozen 2-3 ice cubes 3/8 c. reduced fat peanut butter at room temperature 1 1/2 tsp vanilla dash cinnamon and nutmeg
Gently blend and pulverize frozen bananas and peaches and ice in a food processor or chop by hand. Warm peanut butter in a stainless steel bowl in hot water or in unopened can in steamer to about 140°F so it will flow easier. If peanut butter separates, beat together with a fork.
Blend peanut butter into frozen fruit mixture for 15-30 seconds. Blend in spices. Portion into cup servings. Refreeze to 10°-20°F.
Clam Chowder was rumored to be JFK’s favorite food and was a classic throwback to his New England roots. This recipe is great for vegetarians and the lactose intolerant.
2 cups chopped oyster mushrooms 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped celery 1 small crumbled dried chipotle pepper fresh thyme leaves from several sprigs (or 3 teaspoons dried) 3 finely chopped sage leaves (or 3 teaspoons dried) 1 bay leaf 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water 6 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 2 cups lactose free or soy milk 1 10 oz. container of Tofutti sour cream OR 1/4 cup flour (or corn starch or potato starch) diluted in 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh dill
Put the oil in a soup pot and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, chipotle pepper, thyme, sage and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add potatoes to the soup pot with the vegetable broth or water. Simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the milk and the mushrooms. Stir in the tofutti sour cream or flour/water mixture. Heat thoroughly for another 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle finely chopped fresh dill over soup and cover pot with a fitted lid. Let stand at least 10 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.
This is a tribute both to FDR’s New Deal and the fact that he helped repeal Prohibition.
2 cups ground chocolate wafer cookies
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
1/4 cup white crème de cacao
1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin*
9 ounces imported white chocolate (such as Lindt), chopped
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup sour cream
Dark chocolate curls
For Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind ground chocolate cookies and half of semisweet chocolate in processor. Add melted butter and blend in using on/off turns until moist crumbs form. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9 1/2-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish. Bake until crust is set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle remaining chocolate over crust; let melt. Using back of spoon, gently spread chocolate over crust. Cool.
For Filling: Combine 1/4 cup whipping cream and 1/4 cup crème de cacao in heavy medium saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over and whisk to blend. Let stand 10 minutes to soften. Stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Add white chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in brandy. Transfer mixture to large bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Beat remaining 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup sour cream in medium bowl to stiff peaks. Fold cream into white chocolate mixture in 2 additions. Transfer filling to crust. Refrigerate until filling sets, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Mound chocolate curls atop pie. Cut into wedges and serve.
Crust Prepare a 9” springform pan by applying nonstick spray or greasing the surface. Process the teddy grahams and almonds to a fine crumb. Transfer to a bowl and gradually mix in the melted Earth Balance margarine. It should stick together when pressed. Pour out into the springform pan, and press with spoon or fingers up the sides and evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place in fridge to chill.
Filling Process the tofu until smooth and set aside. Cream the Tofutti and sugar until smooth. Use the lowest speed on your mixer to incorporate the least amount of air bubbles (these will cause more cracking). Add the tofu and other ingredients, and mix until smooth. A few small lumps are ok.
Bake Pour mixture into springform pan on top of crust. Spread with a pastry knife to even it out. Place pan on top of jelly roll pan or similar, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F, then 40-60 minutes at 250 degrees F, or until the center is set but still a little jiggly. To avoid cracks, make sure you don’t over-bake, and you might want to add a water bath (a little water in the jelly roll pan, with the springform wrapped in foil on the bottom to avoid seepage). NOTE: you will probably have some melted margarine leak from the bottom, and that’s ok. OTHER NOTE: If you do end up with some cracking- as I did, not to worry. That’s what the topping is for!
Topping To make the topping, just warm the preserves until melted. While it’s still liquid, pour on top and spread to make even. Chill in fridge to set.
Chocolate Dipped Raspberries To make the dipped raspberries, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double boiler (indirect heat). The coconut oil will give a softer, creamier texture- straight chocolate can sometimes be a bit hard, especially when chilled. Dip the raspberry bottoms and place on parchment paper to cool. Arrange on top of cake as desired. I had quite a bit of chocolate left over, so I made chocolate dipped almonds to arrange around the base- a nice little touch!
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour - 1/3 cup cocoa powder - 1 teaspoon baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon salt - 3/4 cup sugar - 1/2 cup vegetable oil - 1 cup cold water or brewed coffee ( I prefer my friend Jane’s version, putting 1 cup of cold water plus 1/4 cup cold espresso) - 2 teaspoons vanilla extract - 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
-1 pkg of medium-firm silken tofu -1 pkg of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler and blend with tofu in the blender, until smooth. Place in the fridge for about an hour or until firm and mousse-like.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. In a large measuring jug, mix together all liquid ingredients except for the vinegar. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Add the vinegar and stir until evenly distributed throughout the batter. Pour onto un-greased edged cookie sheet (a flat one won’t hold in the batter and you’ll have quite the mess on your hands) and bake 10-20 minutes, depending on your oven.
When cake is cooled, remove from pan and lay out on a flat service. This is easiest if you lay a piece of wax paper between cake and counter top. Smooth about 1/3-1/2 of the chocolate mousse over the cake. Slowly roll the cake into a log like you might if you were making sushi rolls. Don’t worry if the cake cracks or crumble here and there. We’ll hide that after. Coat the log in the remaining mousse and decorate.
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large howl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat till foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat till no large lumps remain (a few lumps are okay.)
3. Mix into cupcake batter 1 cup (about 10 cookies; chop first then measure) of coarsely chopped vegan chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies (like Newman-O’s).
Looking for creative ways to chop your cookies. See the video below.
This recipe is a throwback to John Adam’s involvement in the Midnight Judges incident of 1802. Plus the recipe is chocolately vegan goodness.
Chocolate Pudding Cake – makes 2 cake rounds 1 and 1/2 cup chocolate soy milk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup Provamel chocolate soy pudding 2 tsp apple cider vinegar 1 and 1/2 cup white sugar 2 cups AP flour 2/3 cup cocoa powder 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F and lightly spray with cooking oil 2 round cake pans
- Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda
- Combine the soy milk, vinegar, oil, pudding and sugar into a large bowl and beat together till the sugar is mostly dissolved
- Pour the soy milk mixture into the flour mixture and combine completely
- Pour half of the mixture into each baking pan and bake for 24 – 25 minutes. Check with a knife or toothpick into the center of each cake to make sure they are completely done. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before removing from their pans and placing on cooling racks
Midnight Ganache Topping 500 grams of high quality dark chocolate 3/4 cups chocolate soy milk 4 Tbsp maple syrup 2 Tbsp agave nectar
- Bring the soy milk to a gentle boil in a saucepan, then add the chocolate and maple syrup and agave nectar. Stir continually and once the chocolate has melted completely remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature
Assembling your Cake - Spread 1/3 of the ganache topping onto one layer of cake, place the other layer on top of that and pour the rest of the ganach on top of it. I let the ganache dribble down the sides and don’t worry about it looking too perfect.
Your favorite pie crust or pie dough recipe for 2 crust pie
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, to dot
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle
Place cherries in medium saucepan and place over heat. Cover. After the cherries lose considerable juice, which may take a few minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the almond extract, if desired, and mix. Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornstarch.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Use your favorite pie dough recipe. Prepare your crust. Divide in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 8 to 9-inch pan. Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust. Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie. Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.
So I feel like no one actually notices when we get certain holidays off from work and school. In honor of President’s Day I’m posting recipes that I think relate to some of our most memorable presidents.
I went to the local U-Pick citrus farm by my house today. I took my little brother, my sister and the neighbor girl to get us out of the house. We got a 15lb bag of produce for 10$! We had a great time; got to spend a few hours in the sunshine, exercising and we actually know where our oranges, tangelos and grapefruit came from.