Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chocolate- Cinnamon Fudge with Sea Salt

I love the combination of Chocolate and Salt. Earlier this year, while in California, I tried it for the first time as they were serving it with wine at a winery. It is amazing. As you are making, it seems the cinnamon will be overwhelming, but it's not. It, along with the salt enhances the taste of Chocolate. Make sure to use either Kosher or Sea Salt, as table salt is too fine and would not work well. Also, you can substitute Bittersweet chocolate for the dark chocolate experience. Enjoy.

Chocolate-Cinnamon Fudge with Sea Salt
  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound (about 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli recommended)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 pieces, at room temperature
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt, optional
Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8 inch baking pan. Line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium glass or stainless bowl, combine the condensed milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate chips and butter. Put the bowl on a saucepan of barely simmering water and mix until the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle lightly with Salt. Refrigerate at least 2 to 3 hours until firm.

Peel off parchment paper and cut fudge into small pieces. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blueberry Oat Bars

These bars are filled with deliciousness. Looking at them just makes your mouth water. They are sweet, salty and full of texture with the chewy blueberries, oats and Walnuts. You can use any fruit combination of your choice. The recipe was originally written with Apricots as the fruit. We love blueberries, so I decided to go with them on my first try.

Just look at the fruit popping out - such sweetness! Enjoy.

Blueberry Oat Bars
  • 1 - 13 oz jar blueberry jam or preserves (can use any fruit of choice)
  • 1 pkg - dried blueberries (fresh fruit would not work well with texture)
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 packed cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cup old- fashioned oats
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Put oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13 by 2-inch metal baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Line the bottom ad sides of pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray the parchment or foil with cooking spray and set aside.

Filling: In a small bowl, mix together the jam and the blueberries. Set aside.

Crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in the oats and walnuts. Add the butter, egg and vanilla and stir until incorporated.

Using a fork or clean fingers, lightly press half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the crust leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the pan. Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture and gently press to flatten. Bake until light golden, about 30-35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pasta

We have definitely been on a pasta kick lately. And boy, do we love this pasta. It's like a flavor explosion when it touches your tongue. Lemon Pepper, garlic, basil, pepper and did I say lemon?
First you start with some Pancetta. If you don't have Pancetta, bacon will do. But Pancetta is so worth it...

Fry it crisp..

Enters the shrimp...mighty tasty with the pancetta flavor. (I won't use the word grease.)

Season them with a little basil, and let them get slightly brown on each side. Remove from pan.

Add a little olive oil if needed and toss in the garlic. It only needs to saute a minute or less. You don't want it to burn.

Then, throw in your mushrooms with the garlic and enjoy the aroma....WOW.

After the mushrooms are tender, remove those from the pan as well. Let the pan keep it's heat and pour in the wine. This deglazes the pan and gets all those bits off the bottom so they can stick around for the good part - the sauce.

Add the mushrooms and garlic, lemon zest (I love lemon zest!!), lemon juice, chicken broth, salt pepper and butter. It will reduce in half...

and throw in the pasta. Gently stir and let the pasta soak up the sauce. Toss the shrimp and pancetta in at the last...and enjoy.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pasta
  • 4 ounces Pancetta
  • 8 ounces pasta of choice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine (drinking wine)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Shrimp
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cut Pancetta into small pieces, saute in large pan. Remove from pan and place shrimp seasoned with basil. Cook about 1-2 minutes on each side and remove from pan. Add olive oil if needed and saute garlic for 1 minute, add mushroom and cook until tender, remove. Pour wine into pan and stir the bottom to deglaze and get all bits off bottom of pan. Add chicken broth, mushroom garlic mixture, lemon juice, butter, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by about 1/2.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water, drain. Add to sauce mixture and stir. Let pasta begin to soak up sauce. Toss in shrimp and Pancetta and serve.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fruit Salsa!!

Summer is here, and there's nothing better than refreshing fruit on a hot summer day. This salsa recipe is absolutely amazing and addictive!!

You could use any combination of fruit, or preserves. I used Sugar Free Strawberry. I also serve mine with Cinnamon Grahams, but to be perfectly honest, I could eat this right out of the bowl with a spoon and have no regrets.

Fruit Salsa
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 Fuji Apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 8 ounces Raspberries, cut in half
  • 1 pound Strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
  • Cinnamon Graham crackers
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, brown sugar and preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes. Serve with cinnamon graham crackers. (Best if served the same day).