Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Braid

Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Braid

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It has been a while since I posted. Life gets in the way and often I forget to take pictures until about halfway through the recipe. I served this to my mother for a Mother’s Day brunch. I halved the recipe to make just one braid. This would also be perfect for tea time.
I found this recipe on “Chef in Training” blog. I did not use as much icing as I do not care for super sweet danish.
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Ingredients

RASPBERRY SAUCE
  • ¾ cup raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1½ Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup sugar
CREAM CHEESE FILLING
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Almond Extract
PASTRY
  • 1 box puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed to room temperature
FROSTING
  • 1¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

RASPBERRY SAUCE
  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine all the raspberry sauce ingredients ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Set aside
CREAM CHEESE FILLING
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and almond extract. Beat until smooth and creamy and set aside.
ASSEMBLY DIRECTIONS
  1. Open thawed puff pastry sheets on a flat working that has been sprinkled lightly with flour surface.
  2. Roll dough to make the square even. You aren’t rolling to hard though, just lightly enough that you can get all the sides even. The dough will still look like a trifold with creases.
  3. With kitchen scissors, or a pizza cutter, make 9 even slits on both sides of the puff pastry, leaving the middle third of the ‘trifold’ untouched. BE CAREFUL NOT TO GO PAST THE FOLD LINES. Do this to both pastry sheets.
  4. Divide the cream cheese filling in half and carefully spread down the center of the pastry sheet of both pastries.
  5. Next carefully spoon some of the raspberry sauce over the cream cheese layer. Repeat for both pastures.
  6. Next starting at the top of the pasty fold the flaps diagonally and alternately over the raspberry layer. When you get to the end, tuck the ends under the pastry sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry. Place on cookie sheet line with parchment.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes.
WHILE COOLING, PREPARE FROSTING.
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Drizzle the frosting over the top of pastry after it has been allowed its cooling time.
Spinach, Onion & Smoked Gouda Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Spinach, Onion & Smoked Gouda Quiche with Quinoa Crust

IMG_3973.jpgI love Quiche. I especially love the pastry crust that goes along with quiche but I have to say this was a wonderful way to eat quiche. I made a kale salad to go along with it. I will make this again with different fillings also. This was adapted from cooking light recipe. I used smoke gouda in place of feta (and used more cheese) because, well. Just because. I also added some cheese to the crust. This was an easy weeknight meal.

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Ingredients

CRUST:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten

FILLING:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat or skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup smoked or regular Gouda, shredded

Method

  1. For the crust, preheat oven to 375°.

  2. Combine quinoa, salt, pepper, cheese and egg in a bowl, stirring well. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9″ pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes; cool.

  3. For the filling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion; sauté 15-20 minutes until golden brown and caramelized. Add spinach; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.

  4. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Arrange spinach mixture in crust; pour egg mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with gouda. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into wedges.

 

Happy Easter – Hot Cross Buns

Happy Easter – Hot Cross Buns

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HE is Risen! I made these for my mom on Good Friday as we always had them growing up.
I have experimented over the past 3 years and this is the best recipe so far! Adapted from Mary Berry’s website. A hot cross bun is a made with currants or sultanas (golden raisins) marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the British Isles, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and some parts of America. The buns mark the end of Lent and different parts of the hot cross bun have a certain meaning, including the cross representing the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices inside signifying the spices used to embalm him at his burial.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ground spice mix (ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon finely grated zest only
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package fast action yeast
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 10oz whole milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins or currants
  • olive oil or spray for greasing

For the topping

  • 1 beaten egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of water
  • simple syrup for glaze (1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water)
  • Powdered sugar and water for crosses

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Directions

  1. Put the flour, sugar, spices and lemon zest into a large bowl and mix together. Then add the salt and yeast, placing them on opposite sides of the bowl.

  2. Melt the butter in a pan and warm the milk in a separate pan. Add the butter and half the tepid milk to the dry ingredients. Add the egg and use your hands to bring the mixture together, incorporating the flour from the edges of the bowl as you go. Gradually add the remaining milk, to form a soft pliable dough.

  3. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand incorporating the sultanas and mixed peel into the dough. Lightly knead for 10 minutes until silky and elastic and forming a smooth ball. The kneading can also be done in a food mixer with a dough hook.

  4. Oil a bowl and place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size.

  5. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and divide into 12 balls. Line 1-2 baking trays with paper and place the balls on the tray, placing them fairly close together and flattening them slightly.

  6. Slip each baking tray into a large clean polythene bag, making sure the bag doesn’t touch the buns. I did not have a bog large enough to do this so I made do with saran wrap, some cursing and tried to keep the saran wrap from touching. Leave for 40-60 minutes until the buns have doubled in size.

  7. Preheat the oven to 375.

  8. When the buns have risen remove the saran wrap and brush with the egg yolk water mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden-brown.

  9. While buns are baking, melt the sugar and water in a pan and bowl until the sugar has dissolved and mixture has thickened a bit. Remove buns from oven when ready and while they are still warm, brush the buns with a little syrup to give a nice shine. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

  10. When cooled make a cross on each bun with the powdered sugar water mixture. Make sure to adjust the sugar/water ratio so the mixture is not too thin or thick. Pipe on with a pasty bag or create one using a plastic baggie with the tip cut off.

 

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Moroccan Stew

Something From the Ovens

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A healthy Moroccan-spiced Stew with butternut squash, chickpeas, and lentils! You’ll love this protein and fiber packed meal!
I adapted this from a recipe from the Ambitious Kitchen blog. I added chicken to this but it could be completely vegetarian. You can also use sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
  • 2 sweet onions, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon roasted or regular cinnamon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 oz) fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 pound butternut squash, diced large (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (optional
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed well
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/2 cup cashews, if desired
  • 1 Tbs of lemon juice
  • few dashes of red pepper flakes, if desired
  • Couscous

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Directions:

  1. Heat the oil…

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Heart Shaped Spice Cookies

Heart Shaped Spice Cookies

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I hope everyone’s day is filled with love. These cookies are a little bit like love.. a little sweet,
a little spice and perfect to share with someone.. or all for yourself. This was inspired by a recipe on line from My Recipes. They are addicting! I made up little cookie bags for my husband and his hard working songwriters.

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flourimg_0372
1 teaspoon roasted ground ginger
1 teaspoon roasted cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons water
sanding sugar

Preparation

In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.

In a separate large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, and beat until mixture forms a stiff yet pliable dough. I added a little water to make the dough easier to work with. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle with white sanding sugar. Bake until cookies are firm in center, about 10 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough.

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Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

When life gives you Meyer lemons… make lemon chicken! This dish was just wonderful. I was not planning a post so I did not take many pictures, just a regular week night dinner, but it was so good I will put it on the regular list. Super easy to make. I served it over rice but it would be good with couscous or quinoa. Kalamata olives or a little white wine might be a good addition also.

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Ingredients

4 to 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large onions, sliced thin
Juice from 4 Meyer lemons (or 3 regular lemons)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon balsamic vinegar (optional)
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large pan heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions and sauté until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

While the onions are cooking heat the remaining olive oil in another pan (I used my paella pan) and add the chicken. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and paprika. Brown on both sides.

Add the lemon juice, lemon balsamic vinegar, oregano and caramelized onions. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until chicken is fork tender. Serve over pasta or rice.

Lemon Glazed Yogurt Cake

Lemon Glazed Yogurt Cake

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Everyone has a go-to cake that they pull out for guests, baby showers, when you see that Meyer lemons are available… both of these occurred at the same time this week. I had 2 neighbors that I see when I am out walking and decided it was past time to have them to tea. We had tea at 5 but I am not a stickler for these sort of things. This is simple a wonderful cake. Moist and lemony. This is wonderful without Meyer lemons but if you get a chance try them. A cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange they are just wonderful. This was adapted from a recipe in the “New California Cook” which called for sour cream and lemon extract but I tweaked until I got it the way I wanted.

This can be made 3 days in advance and kept at room temperature, tightly covered. It also freezes well, tightly wrapped for up to 2 months.

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Cake
1 3/4 all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon of lemon zest (I used the zest of 2 lemons)
2 tsps of fresh lemon juice
1 cup plain greek yogurt

Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9 inch Bundt pan.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, lemon zest and juice and mix for about 2 more minutes.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add half the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Add half the yogurt, and then the rest of the flour and then ending with the yogurt.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate. Make the glaze while the cake is still warm.
  6. To make the glaze sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest, whisking to break up any lumps.
  7. Using a long skewer poke holes in the cake, almost going through the bottom. Brush on the glaze with a brush giving it time to absorb.