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Saturday, March 31, 2012

♥ Mushroom Quiche ♥

•1 unbaked deep-dish pastry shell (9 inches)
•4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
•1/2 cup diced onion
•1/4 cup diced sweet red pepper
•1 tablespoon butter
•1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
•2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
•1-1/4 cups milk
•4 eggs, lightly beaten
•1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh savory or 1 to 2 teaspoons dried savory
•1 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

•Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450° for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 350°.

• In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, onion and red pepper in butter until mushrooms are tender. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, combine cheese and flour. Stir in the milk, eggs, savory, salt and cayenne until blended. Stir in mushroom mixture. Pour into crust.

• Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean (cover edges loosely with foil if needed to prevent overbrowning). Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

~~Mushroom Quiche in Taste of Home June/July 2004~~

Thursday, March 29, 2012

♥ Gluten-Free Double Corn Cornbread ♥

•1 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
•1 cup cornmeal
•1/4 cup sugar
•1 tablespoon baking powder
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1 teaspoon salt
•2 eggs, lightly beaten
•1 cup rice milk
•1/4 cup canola oil
•1 tablespoon cider vinegar
•1 cup frozen corn, thawed

•In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, rice milk, oil and vinegar. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened; stir in corn.

• Transfer to an 8-in x 4-in. loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 loaf (6 slices).

Editor's Note: Read all ingredient labels for possible gluten content prior to use. Ingredient formulas can change, and production facilities vary among brands. If you’re concerned that your brand may contain gluten, contact the company.

~~Healthy Cooking, October/November 2010~~

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

♥ Mini Lemon Pound Cake ♥

•1/3 cup sugar
•1 egg
•3 tablespoons canola oil
•3 tablespoons orange juice
•1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
•2/3 cup all-purpose flour
•3/4 teaspoon baking powder
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon poppy seeds, optional
•1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
•2 tablespoons lemon juice

•In a small bowl, combine the sugar, egg, oil, orange juice and extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in poppy seeds if desired.

• Pour into a greased and floured 5-3/4-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

• For glaze, in a small bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth; drizzle over cake.

Yield: 1 mini loaf (6 slices).

~~Reminisce April/May 2009~~

Sunday, March 25, 2012

♥ Basil, Feta & Roasted Pepper Muffins ♥

•2 cups all-purpose flour
•2 teaspoons baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1 egg
•1 cup buttermilk
•1/4 cup olive oil
•3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
•1/2 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
•3 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil

•In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the cheese, peppers and basil.

• Fill greased muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 375° for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Yield: 9 muffins.

~~Taste of Home April/May 2010~~

Friday, March 23, 2012

♥ Lite Pineapple Nut Cake ♥

•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1/2 cup sugar
•1/2 cup sugar blend
•2 teaspoons baking soda
•2 eggs, beaten
•1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
•1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

•1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
•2 tablespoons butter, softened
•1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, sugar blend and baking soda. Combine eggs and pineapple; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in nuts.

• Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 32-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

• For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost cake. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 16 servings.

Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Splenda sugar blend.

Nutritional Facts 1 piece equals 253 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 40 mg cholesterol, 237 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

~~Pineapple Nut Cake in Healthy Cooking April/May 2008~~

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

♥ Citrus Pound Cake ♥

•1 cup butter, softened
•2 cups sugar
•6 eggs
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
•1 teaspoon grated orange peel
•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1 cup (8 ounces) lemon yogurt

•1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
•2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
•2 tablespoons finely chopped candied lemon peel
•2 tablespoons finely chopped candied orange peel

•In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, lemon peel and orange peel. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with yogurt. Beat just until combined.

• Transfer to a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 325° for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

• In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and enough lemon juice to achieve desired.
Serves 12.

~~Simple & Delicious April/May 2011~~

Monday, March 19, 2012

♥ Tangerine Chess Pie ♥

1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plain yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons tangerine or orange zest
1/3 cup fresh tangerine or orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, tangerine slices $

1. Preheat oven to 450°. Unroll piecrusts; stack on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 12-inch circle. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp. Prick bottom and sides of crust with a fork. Bake 8 minutes; cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

2. Whisk together sugar and next 8 ingredients until blended. Pour into prepared piecrust.

3. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until center is set, shielding edges with foil after 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool 1 hour.

Serves 6 to 8.

~~Southern Living, FEBRUARY 2012~~

Sunday, March 18, 2012

♥ New Teaball Infusers ♥

Yes, it's time to add more tea infusers to my Etsy shoppe! I have so many more to make, but wanted to share what I've done so far. I seem to not be the only one who loves owls. Everytime I add owls to my shoppe, they get snatched up quickly. It's a great problem to have. ;)
I have a terrible addiction to Farmville I must admit. And when I saw this adorable little black and white cow, I had to get him. I know plenty of Farmville addicts! ;)
Of course, you know I'm irish, so I have to always have a good supply of shamrocks on hand!
This is my favorite tea infuser of all times. It's just so dainty and elegant!
I'm not a frog lover, though I know people who do collect frog items. But I had to have this cute little guy! He reminds me of an amazon rainforest frog!
Hope you're having a wonderful TEA-rrific weekend!
Sheri :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

♥ Irish Soda Bread ♥

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and frozen, plus more, softened, for skillet
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 large egg
2 cups raisins
1 cup buttermilk
Caraway seeds (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a rack set in lower third of oven. Lightly butter a 10-inch round cast-iron skillet; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter, sour cream and egg; mix, using a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins, buttermilk, and caraway seeds, if using, and mix until a sticky dough forms.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a floured bench scraper, form into a round loaf; using a sharp knife score a large "X" in the center.

4. Place in prepared skillet and transfer to oven. Bake until loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. If top begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover with a piece of parchment paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 1 loaf.
~~Martha Stewart, March 2010~~

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

♥ Chocolate Stout Cupcakes ♥

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purposeflour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine salt
1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

To make the icing:
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.

Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

~~Food Network~~

Sunday, March 11, 2012

♥ Lemon-Pistachio Wreaths ♥

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
5 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups confections' sugar
1 1/2 cups shelled unsalted pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Put butter and granulated sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to a generous 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round fluted cutter, cut out wreaths. Reroll scraps, and cut out. Cut out centers of wreaths using a 7/8-inch round cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake until just golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks.

3. Stir together confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Dip surface of each cookie in icing, and sprinkle with pistachios. Let set on wire racks.

Makes about 4 dozen.

~~Martha Stewart Living, Dec 2006~~

Friday, March 9, 2012

♥ Black and Tan Brownies ♥

Historically, the phrase "black and tan" referred to the much-reviled auxiliary force of English soldiers sent to Ireland to suppress the Irish rebels after the 1916 Easter Rising. Eventually, a much-loved drink made with half Guinness Stout and half Harp Lager assumed the name, and now this two-toned brownie (with the addition of Guinness) shares it.

Tan Brownies:
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cooking spray

Black Brownies:
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Guinness Stout
4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Place one rack in lower third of oven; place another rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare Tan Brownies, place 6 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 4.5 ounces flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well. Add flour mixture and pecans to sugar mixture, beating just until combined. Spoon into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly with a knife or rubber spatula. Bake at 350° in lower third of oven for 15 minutes.

3. To prepare Black Brownies, melt chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter in a large microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 1 minute or until melted, stirring after every 20 seconds until smooth. Add granulated sugar, stirring until well combined. Add 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and Guinness, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 4.5 ounces flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Pour mixture evenly over Tan Brownies.

4. Bake on the center rack at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack; cut into squares.

32 servings.

~~Cooking Light, MARCH 2010~~

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

♥ Gingerbread Cake With Stout Buttercream ♥

2 (14.5-oz.) packages gingerbread cake mix
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups stout beer, at room temperature, divided
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
Garnishes: toasted pecans, rosemary sprigs

1. Stir together gingerbread cake mix, eggs, and 2 1/2 cups stout beer in a large bowl until combined. Pour batter evenly into 2 lightly greased 8-inch square pans.

2. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool on wire rack 1 hour or until completely cool.

3. Beat softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and remaining 1/4 cup stout beer, beating until blended after each addition. Beat 1 minute or until light and fluffy.

4. Spread stout buttercream between layers and on top of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix and Guinness Extra Stout beer.

12 servings.

~~Southern Living, OCTOBER 2007~~

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

♥ Jasmine Tea and its many Health Benefits ♥

Derived from Chinese Green Tea leaves, jasmine tea has become one of the most popular teas around. Other names it is known by include Xiang Pian or Mo Li Hua Cha. This tea offers many health benefits, ranging from reducing stress to preventing certain types of cancer.

Jasmine tea is also widely known to lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, lower cholesterol levels and regulate aging processes in our bodies. It is claimed that drinking jasmine tea can assist those who want to lose weight. It also possesses sedative qualities and is said to help prevent strokes, arterial sclerosis and heart attacks.

A study done at Kansas State University showed that jasmine teas are able to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella, as well as those responsible for causing cholera, flu and dysentery. Gargling with this tea and/or using it as a mouthwash is said to help prevent tooth decay.

Using Jasmine tea can also assist with relieving headaches and respiratory problems. It helps to balance fluids in the body, making it a good choice for those suffering from water retention caused by PMS or any other medical condition. It has been claimed to have aphrodisiac qualities because of the fact that it contains linalool, jasmon, Indole and benzoic acetate (all of which are utilised by herbalists when preparing aphrodisiac remedies).

Preparing different types of jasmine tea:

Many people prefer to simply purchase the ready-prepared varieties, although you can also prepare the tea yourself from scratch using the following tips.

Iced tea can be made by using the green and white varieties of jasmine tea. Ensure that it is properly cooled before adding ice to it though. The green and white varieties of jasmine tea also contain higher concentrations of antioxidants than the oolong or black varieties.

Black: Boil some water and pour 1 cup (250ml) over a teaspoon of loose leaves. Cover and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Oolong: Pour 1 cup (250ml) boiling water over a teaspoon of loose leaves. Cover and steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain and serve.

White: Bring water temperature to 185F and pour 1 cup (250ml) over 2 teaspoons of loose leaves. Cover and steep for 5 to 8 minutes. Strain and serve.

Green: Bring water temperature to 160F and pour 1 cup (250ml) over a teaspoon of loose leaves. Cover and steep for 1 to 2 minutes. Strain and serve.

The reasons for different steeping times is that should it steep too much or too little, it can cause the tea to either be too weak or become bitter.

Pregnant women should exercise caution and not consume too much jasmine tea. It should also not be consumed on an empty stomach as it can cause raised levels of acidity in the body.


Monday, March 5, 2012

♥ Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free Fadge ♥

In Scotland this recipe for potato rolls is called "Tattie Scones or Potato Scones" and in Ireland "Fadge or Potato Bread."

Whatever you call them, these little potato cakes are easy to make, economical and a good use for leftover mashed potatoes. Fadge can be baked or pan-fried. The fadge pictured here was baked.

•1 pound mashed potatoes (I used unpeeled red potatoes)
•2 1/2 tablespoons light olive oil OR melted butter if you aren't avoiding dairy
•3/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix with good results)
•3/4 teaspoon salt
•1 medium egg
•1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
•2 tablespoons minced chives (optional)
•Extra gluten-free flour blend for rolling fadge dough
•Extra olive oil OR melted butter to brush tops before baking

To bake gluten-free fadge, preheat oven to 400F / 200C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with cooking spray.

Measure and blend dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a mixing bowl blend mashed potatoes, olive oil OR melted butter and egg. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Turn fadge dough out onto a lightly gluten-free floured cutting board. Roll or press the fadge dough with hands to 1/2-inch thickness.

Use a round biscuit cutter to shape the fadge cakes or cut them with a knife in any shape you like. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Brush with olive oil OR melted butter and bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes. After baking for 15 minutes, remove baking sheet from oven and turn the fadge over so that both sides brown evenly. Serve warm.

To pan-fry fadge, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and heat over a medium burner. Add fadge and fry each side until golden brown.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

♥ Coconut Biscuits ♥

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast coconut on a rimmed baking sheet in oven, stirring often, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

2. Stir together flour, granulated sugar, coconut, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a stiff dough (about 5 tablespoons water total). Form the dough into a rectangle. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Transfer dough on parchment to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

4. Cut dough into 40 small rectangles (about 1 1/4-by-2 1/2 inches each) using a sharp knife. Transfer biscuits to parchment-lined baking sheets using a thin spatula. Lightly brush tops with water. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until biscuits just turn golden brown, about 11 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Makes 40.

~~Martha Stewart Living~~

Thursday, March 1, 2012

♥ Salted Caramel Strawberries ♥

20 large fresh strawberries
40 caramels
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped mixed nuts
Wax paper

1. Pat strawberries completely dry with paper towels.

2. Microwave caramels, 3 Tbsp. whipping cream, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a 1-qt. microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 3 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 1-minute intervals.

3. Dip each strawberry halfway into caramel mixture. Roll in nuts, and place on lightly greased wax paper. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.
Makes 20.

~~Southern Living, APRIL 2009~~