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Thursday, May 31, 2012

♥ Chocolate Strawberry Torte ♥

•5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
•3/4 cup butter, cubed
•1-1/2 cups sugar
•3 eggs
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1-1/2 cups water

•4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
•2 tablespoons sugar
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
•1 tablespoon butter
•1 cup confectioners' sugar
•3 tablespoons water
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

•In a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Cool. Transfer to a large bowl; beating sugar until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with water beating well after each addition.

• Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 28-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

• In a large bowl, combine filling ingredients; set aside. For glaze, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla until smooth. Cool slightly.

• Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with half of the whipped topping; drizzle with half of the glaze. Top with half of the filling. Repeat layers. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 10-12 servings.

~~ Country, February/March 2002~~

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

♥ Heavenly Filled Strawberries ♥

•1 pound fresh strawberries
•2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
•1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
•1/4 teaspoon almond extract
•Grated chocolate


Remove stemsfrom strawberries; cut a deep "X" in the tip of each berry. Gently spread berries open.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and extract until light and fluffy. Pipe or spoon about 2 teaspoons into each berry; sprinkle with chocolate. Chill until serving.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

~~Country Woman, June/July 2010~~

Sunday, May 27, 2012

♥ Berry Cheese Torte ♥

•1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)
•3/4 cup crushed vanilla wafers (about 25 wafers)
•1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
•1/3 cup butter, melted
•1 envelope unflavored gelatin
•1-3/4 cups white grape juice
•1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
•1/4 cup sugar
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
•1-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

•In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, wafer crumbs, walnuts and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan.

• Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

• In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over grape juice; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until partially set, about 45 minutes.

• Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over crust.

• Place berries in a large bowl; add gelatin mixture and gently stir to coat. Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove sides of pan.

Yield: 12 servings.

~~Taste of Home June/July 2009~~

Friday, May 25, 2012

♥ Almond Chocolate Torte ♥

•2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
•8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
•2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
•1 cup sugar
•1 envelope unflavored gelatin
•1/4 cup cold water
•2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped


•Set aside 1 tablespoon almonds for garnish. Chop remaining almonds; sprinkle into a greased 9-in. springform pan. In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

• In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. Beat into cream cheese mixture. Beat in melted chocolate until smooth. Fold in whipped cream.

• Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with reserved almonds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Yield: 10-12 servings.

~~Quick Cooking March/April 2001~~

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

♥ Banana Nut Bars ♥

•1 cup butter, cubed
•1/2 cup water
•1-1/2 cups sugar
•1/2 cup packed brown sugar
•1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
•1/2 cup buttermilk
•2 eggs
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

•1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
•1/2 cup butter, softened
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

•In a small saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil. Remove from the heat; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the sugars, bananas, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until blended. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to sugar mixture. Beat in butter mixture until blended. Stir in nuts.

• Pour into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

• For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 3 dozen.

~~Country Woman May/June 2003~~

Monday, May 21, 2012

♥ Apple and Goat Cheese Salad ♥

•6 cups torn mixed salad greens
•2 medium apples, chopped
•1/2 cup raisins
•1/2 cup green grapes, halved
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•4-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
•1 tablespoon honey
•1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
•1 garlic clove, minced
•3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
•2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

•In a large bowl, combine the greens, apples, raisins and grapes. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, honey, lemon juice and garlic. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts and goat cheese.

Yield: 8 servings.

~~Light & Tasty, October/November 2007~~

Thursday, May 17, 2012

♥ Lemon-Berry Shortcake ♥

 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries    

1-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk, butter, lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Fold in strawberries. Pour into a greased and floured 9-in. round baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 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 topping, in a large bowl, combine the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Spread whipped topping over cake. Drain strawberries; arrange over top.

Yield: 8 servings.

~~Simple & Delicious May 2010~~

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

♥ Scallops with Green Tea Cream ♥

1/3 cup crème fraîche
1 1/4 teaspoons matcha (Japanese green tea powder), divided 
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
18 large sea scallops (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or other sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh chervil (optional)

1. Place crème fraîche in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 teaspoon matcha, lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and paprika, stirring with a whisk.

2. Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon matcha and ground ginger in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; press ginger mixture through sieve. Sprinkle the ginger mixture evenly over scallops.

3. Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Arrange half of scallops in a single layer in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned and desired degree of doneness. Remove scallops from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and scallops. Arrange 3 scallops and about 1 tablespoon crème fraîche mixture on each of 6 plates. Sprinkle evenly with fleur de sel and chervil, if desired.

6 servings.

Note: Look for matcha, a Japanese green tea powder with a vibrant color and deep, somewhat bitter, flavor in Asian grocery stores or gourmet markets. If you can't find it, pulverize regular green tea in a spice grinder.

~~Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2010~~

Sunday, May 13, 2012

♥ Chai Tea Mini Biscuits ♥

1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
3 regular-size chai tea bags
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Cook milk in a small nonaluminum saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring once, 2 to 3 minutes or just until bubbles appear (do not boil); remove from heat. Add tea bags; cover and steep 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags from milk, squeezing gently.

2. Stir together granulated sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or a fork until crumbly. Add 3/4 cup milk mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Reserve remaining milk mixture for later use.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 to 5 times with floured hands. Pat dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

4. Bake at 400° for 6 to 7 minutes or until golden. Let stand 5 minutes. Whisk together reserved 1 Tbsp. milk mixture and powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over warm biscuits.

Makes 2 dozen.

~~Southern Living JULY 2007~~

Friday, May 11, 2012

♥ Watermelon and Basil Iced Tea ♥

8 cups boiling water
8 tea bags
1/8 medium-sized watermelon, cut into small triangles 
1 small bunch fresh basil sprigs
Sugar, to taste (if desired)

Pour the water into a heat-resistant pitcher. Add the tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bags and allow the tea to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Add the watermelon, basil, and sugar (if using), and pour over ice.

8 servings.

~~Real Simple, JUNE 2007~~

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

♥ Earl Grey Tea Cookies ♥

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves, from approximately 6 tea bags
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Heat oven to 375° F. Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor until the tea leaves are pulverized. Add the vanilla, 1 teaspoon water, and the butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed.

Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a 12-inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Slice each log into disks, 1/3 inch thick. Place on parchment- or foil-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart.

Bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

Makes 6 dozen.

~~Real Simple MAY 2005~~

Monday, May 7, 2012

♥ Smoked Salmon-Wasabi Tea Sandwiches ♥

 1/2 avocado, pitted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
8 slices very thin white bread, crusts removed 
2 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
4 thin slices red onion
1 1/2 tablespoons each of chopped fresh chives, sesame seeds, and wasabi sesame seeds 

1. Combine avocado, wasabi, and lime juice; mash with a fork until smooth. Spread 1 tablespoon avocado mixture on 4 bread slices. Top with smoked salmon and red onion.

2. Top with 4 remaining bread slices; cut in half diagonally to form triangles. Spread one side of shorter edge of triangle with avocado mixture; dip edge into chives or sesame seeds, pressing to coat. Transfer to a platter; serve immediately.

Yield 4 servings (2 each).

~~Health SEPTEMBER 2010~~

Saturday, May 5, 2012

♥ Mint Tea Custard ♥

1 1/4 cups low-fat evaporated milk
5 regular-size black tea bags
3 fresh mint sprigs,
bruised 1 large lemon, quartered
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs 
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
Garnishes: shaved chocolate, fresh mint sprigs

1. Cook milk in a small nonaluminum saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring once, 2 to 3 minutes or just until bubbles appear (do not boil); remove from heat. Add next 3 ingredients. Cover and steep 20 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags, without squeezing; discard mint sprigs and lemon quarters. Reserve 1 cup tea mixture.

2. Whisk together sugar and eggs in a large bowl until mixture is thick and pale yellow. Gradually whisk in reserved 1 cup tea mixture and half-and-half until well blended. Pour mixture into 6 (4-oz.) custard cups or ramekins. Place custard cups in a roasting pan; add hot water halfway up sides of cups.

3. Bake at 300° for 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center of custard comes out clean. Carefully remove from oven, and let stand in pan in water bath 30 minutes. Remove from water bath. Serve immediately, or cover and chill at least 2 hours. Garnish, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

~~Southern Living JULY 2007~~

Thursday, May 3, 2012

♥ Green Tea Honey Cake ♥

2/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup honey
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons green tea powder

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside.

Place sugar, eggs, and yolks in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until thick and pale (about 6 minutes).

Combine milk and honey in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring well.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a small mixing bowl; add tea, stirring well with a whisk. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield 8 servings.

Note: If you can't find green tea powder, available at many Asian markets, use a clean coffee grinder to pulverize green tea leaves. We used gunpowder green tea.

~~Cooking Light, MARCH 2002~~

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

♥ Gluten-Free Almond Crispies ♥

•1/3 cup maple syrup
•1/4 cup canola oil
•1 tablespoon water
•1 teaspoon almond extract
•1 cup brown rice flour
•1/2 cup almond flour
•1/4 cup sugar
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

•In a small bowl, beat the syrup, oil, water and extract until well blended. Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually beat into syrup mixture until blended. Stir in almonds.

• Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets; flatten slightly. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

~~Healthy Cooking August/September 2010~~