Raspberry & Chocolate Cream Cheese Rugelach + Baking Chez Moi Review

rugelach-main

Dorie Greenspan is a baking god in my book. I look up to her. So when I was recently approached to adapt Dorie’s rugelach recipe with some fresh Driscoll raspberries, I got super excited. I jumped at the opportunity to check out her latest cookbook, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes From My Paris Home To Your Home Anywhere.

baking chez moi

And then it hit me. They wanted me to make rugelach. I’ve made rugelach once before, but only once. Rugelach meant that I would have to take out my rolling pin. You know how much I despise rolling out dough. But I’m doing it for Dorie. Because she’s a great teacher.

So I got to work. I read and reread the cookbook and studied the rugelach recipe. Her dough recipe is so simple and comes together fast. I mixed up the flour, butter, cream cheese and salt in my food processor. It took just a couple of minutes.

mixing-dough

I formed the mixture in to two squares, wrapped them up in plastic wrap and then chilled for a couple hours. While the dough chilled, I made the filling. I knew that I needed to fill the rugelach with some form of raspberry and chocolate, but it needed to be different than the last time I made rugelach. I decided to make my filling using cream cheese, sugar, the fresh raspberries and some 72% dark chocolate. I’m so glad I went in that direction.

raspberries

Next, I reviewed her rolling technique over and over. To be honest, at first I doubted her method. With the first batch of the cookies, I stuck to the pie slicing method that I’d used in the past. Of course it didn’t turn out the way I wanted to. I relented and tried Dorie’s method of rolling rugelach. She recommends rolling the dough into a rectangle and slicing in half and on each half, filling and then rolling the long way.

rolled-out-dough

I froze the two long rugelach tubes for a little bit before slicing. They sliced beautifully once chilled.

unbaked

 

I baked the rugelach for around 15 minutes. Lo and behold, Dorie’s version came out perfectly.

cooling

And that raspberry and chocolate and cream cheese filling? Amazing and rich. The perfect dessert. It meshes so well with the flaky and buttery dough. I am definitely making these rugelach again soon. I’m sure I will mix up the filling ingredients over and over again, but for now, this works for me.

Thanks to the publishers, I have a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook available to give away. Please enter below!



 

Raspberry & Chocolate Cream Cheese Rugelach + Baking Chez Moi Review
 
Author:

Ingredients
Dough:
  • 4 oz. cold cream cheese
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Filling:
  • 4 oz. room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 heaping cup fresh Driscoll’s raspberries (around 6 oz.)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 5 oz. chopped 70% or greater dark chocolate
For Top of Dough Rolls:
  • 1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water
  • ½ cup sugar (approx.)

Instructions
  1. Cut up the cream cheese and butter in to chunks.
  2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Add the butter and cream cheese to the food processor and pulse several times until it becomes crumbly. Don’t let it come in to a ball on its’ own.
  4. Transfer mixture to a floured board and form in to a ball with your hands. Separate in to two pieces.
  5. Shape each piece into a square and wrap in plastic wrap.
  6. Chill dough squares in fridge for two hours.
  7. For the filling, place the cream cheese, berries and sugar in the food processor and pulse until combined. You don’t want the raspberries completely pureed – you want some pieces. Set mixture aside.
  8. Chop up the chocolate well. Set aside in small bowl.
  9. Take one square of dough out of the fridge. Move to a floured surface and dust the top of the dough and your rolling pin with flour.
  10. Roll out the dough to a 12 x 12 rectangle.
  11. Slice the rectangle in half to 12×6.
  12. Spread filling on rectangle, leaving one long edge without filling.
  13. Roll up the dough from that one edge. Roll it up jelly roll style, with seam side down.
  14. Repeat process with the second dough rectangle,
  15. Transfer both rolls to the freezer.
  16. Preheat the oven to 400.
  17. Once the oven is heated to temperature and the dough rolls are chilled thoroughly, remove the rolls from the freezer.
  18. Brush the top of the rolls with the egg mixture and sprinkle on some of the sugar.
  19. Slice each roll in to 1 inch slices
  20. Baked on parchment lined baking sheets for about 15 minutes
  21. Transfer to cooling racks
  22. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.
  23. Enjoy!

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Rugelach-Vertical

The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer: Giveaway & Babka Bites

Babka-Bites-for-Blog

The holidays are upon us. So much craziness. I’m thrilled that I get a fresh dinner on the table –  let alone somehow manage to pull off a holiday meal. Each day I come home from work with a new menu idea and a new shopping list. I know I should probably just stick to just one idea, but I’m always inspired by new things I see. My menu tends to change up until the actual holiday day. As long as it’s a holiday I can cook on, I tend to play and go with whatever my mood dictates.  As long as I have some fresh veggies and proteins on hand, I’m good to go.

The only thing I have trouble with though is dessert. I love chocolate and cookies as much as every other person out there, but I’m not always creative about it. 90% of the time, I tend to rely on my trusty cookbooks.

HBKCover-(1)

That’s where a book like The Holiday Baker by Paula Shoyer comes in. This cookbook is filled with fabulous treats to bake up in my kitchen. Paula Shoyer makes holiday desserts simple to create. Her recipes are easy to follow and the photos in the cookbook make me want to make and eat everything right away. She even has a fantastic section on must-have tools and tips. Was thrilled to get a copy of the cookbook this holiday season. My daughter has flagged about 10 recipes that I MUST make. Everything with chocolate was at the top of my list.

Paula Shoyer’s recipe for Babka Bites are on my must-make list. Such an amazing treat and the recipe is super easy to follow. I highly recommend you make this now.

Don’t forget to enter this fabulous giveaway for this amazing cookbook!

Shana Tova! Happy New Year. May you have a happy and sweet New Year!



Babka Bites
 
Recipe from The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer Sterling / November 2013
Author:

Ingredients
Dough
  • ¼ cup (60ml) warm water
  • ½ ounce (2 envelopes; 14g) dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (50g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 2 ½ cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes
  • ¼ cup (60ml) canola oil
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg white
Filling
  • ½ cup (1 stick; 113g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
  • ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips

Instructions
To make the dough:
  1. PLACE WARM WATER, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and let it sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Add the ¼ cup (50g) sugar, flour, salt, margarine, oil, egg, and egg white.
  2. Combine with a wooden spoon or a dough hook in a stand mixer until all the ingredients are mixed in. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 1 ½ hours.
To make the filling:
  1. PLACE THE MARGARINE into a medium or large bowl and beat until creamy. Add the cocoa and sugar and beat until combined. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature while the dough is rising.
  2. PREHEAT OVEN to 325°F (160°C). Place mini muffin papers into a 12-cup mini muffin pan. You will need to bake Babka Bites in batches.
To assemble and bake:
  1. AFTER THE DOUGH HAS RISEN, divide it in half. On a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour, roll each piece of dough into a 9 x 12-inch (23 x 30-cm) rectangle so that the 12-inch (30-cm) side is facing you. Sprinkle a little flour on the rolling pin if the dough starts to stick to it. Use a silicone spatula to spread half the chocolate filling all the way to the edges. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips all over the chocolate filling and roll up tightly the long way. Cut into ½-inch (1.25-cm)
  2. slices and place one into each of the muffin cups, cut side up. You will have about 24 slices. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  3. BAKE for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.

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Smoked Plantain Chips

Smokey-Plantains

I love plantain chips when I am looking for something crunchy to snack on. I love the flavor. Sprinkled with a little salt – it’s the perfect treat.

It never occurred to me to make my own though. Whenever I pick up some green plantains in the market, I tend to stick with tostones or use them in a hash. I’ve always relied on the bagged chips though. Not sure why – especially now that I know how easy they are to make.

What I don’t like about the bagged variety are the additives. Way too much oil and sometimes other preservatives might be added to the mix. Plantains are a fairly healthy starch and when prepared properly, are not so bad for you!

plantains

So I made my own. And since I couldn’t just be all simple, I needed to spice it up. I chose to go the smokey route. I added some smoked paprika, garlic and salt. So easy! Tossed it all on some olive oil. Laid it on a baking sheet and then baked it for about 30 minutes or so, flipping over once. How easy can it get?

I let them cool about a minute before munching on them. They were so good. I’ve definitely given up my bagged plantain chip habit. These are so much better!



Smoked Plantain Chips
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 3 Green Plantains
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • sea salt
  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Peel the plantains (use the linked how-to guide)
  3. Slice the plantains thinly on a diagonal
  4. In a large bowl, toss the plantains with the oil and spices
  5. Lay the plantain chips in a single layer on a baking sheet
  6. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until crisp. Flip the chips half-way through the baking process and check on them toward the end to ensure that they aren’t burning.
  7. Cool for a few minutes before eating.
  8. Enjoy!

smoked-plantain-chips.jpg

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Butternut Squash & Kale Lasagna

finished piece

I am so happy that Passover is over and I have my kitchen back to normal. I have a love/hate relationship with Passover, and I’m just ready for some more low-key time in the kitchen.

This fabulous lasagna brings two of my favorite ingredients together. I love butternut squash and kale in so many ways, be it a hash or a salad. For some reason, they just go together!

This squash was actually purchased for Passover and I had intended to turn it in to this fabulous kosher-for-passover lasagna from Joy of Kosher. It was a huge hit last year, but I just didn’t get the chance to make it this year. So this dish is somewhat inspired by that amazing lasagna.

I like to use the no-boil lasagna pasta sheets because I’m lazy it skips one long step and they seem to work well.

I started by cutting down the squash. I peel off the hard skin and then using my trusty OXO peeler, I peel long strips of squash, using the full length of the squash. For this lasagna, used around 3 cups of squash strips, but you can certainly use more or less.

peeling butternut.jpg

I then cooked my kale and white sauce simultaneously.

I lightly sautéed the chopped kale in olive oil with fresh garlic. I didn’t need it to wilt completely. I just wanted some of the raw edge off of the leaves.

kale

While  the kale cooked down, I tackled the white sauce.

I heated up some olive oil in a pan with garlic, sage, thyme and chopped onion. Once they were soft, I added some flour to the mix, cooked that a bit and then whisked in some milk. Once the mixture thickened, I added some freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt and some black pepper.

I remove both of the pans from the heat.

I then got to work on the lasagna.

I layered each of the ingredients in my pan. This recipe makes a 9×13  or two 8×8 square pans of lasagna. I used the square pans because they were more easily accessible after I was unpacking my kitchen from Pesach mode.

I ladled some of the white sauce on to the bottom of the pan. I then added the pasta sheets. I spread some ricotta cheese over the pasta. I then added the chopped kale, then the thick layer of squash strips, then some sage leaves, then a small sprinkle of mozzarella and then more white sauce. I repeated this layer and when the pan was full and I used up the sauce, I topped everything with shredded parmesan cheese and more mozzarella. I also sprinkled on some more herbs and black pepper.

lasagna layers step by step.jpg

I baked everything in the oven until the cheese was bubbly and beginning to brown. We dug in. Amazing! My husband and daughter had two helpings! Totally making this dish again!

lasagna in 8x8.jpg


Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dairy, Pasta, Entree

Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash, skin removed
  • 1 package No-Boil Lasagna Sheets
  • Sage Leaves, About 16-20
  • 1 14oz. container of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 8oz. package of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Additional Parmesan Cheese
White Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6 sage leaves, chopped
  • 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from stem
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese shreds
For the Kale Layer
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 cups chopped kale (I like the bag from Trader Joe’s)
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise. I use the peeler to get thin slices of the squash. Peel about 3 cups of squash and set aside.
For the white sauce
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped onion, garlic and herbs. Once the onion and garlic have softened, add in the flour. Whisk quickly and then turn the heat to medium-low and whisk in the milk. Let the mixture thicken and add in salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Remove from heat.
For the Kale
  1. Heat up the oil oil in a large pan and add in the garlic and kale. Let the kale saute a bit so it softens. You are just trying to get the edge off a bit. You don’t need it to cook down completely.
On to the Lasagna
  1. In a 9×13, ladle a bit of the white sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.
  2. Lay down the lasagna noodles and spread a layer of ricotta cheese over the noodles.
  3. Next, layer the kale then the butternut squash strips with some sage. Sprinkle a small amount of mozzarella over that and then ladle some more white sauce. Repeat the layering process again.
  4. For the final step, ladle the rest of the sauce over the pan and then sprinkle on some more mozzarella and parmesan. Sprinkle on some black pepper to taste and some extra chopped sage and thyme.
  5. Bake for around 40 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.
  6. Enjoy!

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Gluten Free Mocha Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

cookie-bars

Have I told you lately how much I love cookie bars? Cookie bars make my life easier. They make it so I don’t have to get a cookie scoop or an extra tablespoon dirty. I don’t have to shape anything. I don’t have to roll anything. I place the dough or batter in whatever form, in to a pan. And then I bake. It’s that simple.

Can I tell you about something else that is also amazing and makes my life easier? Prepared Cookie Dough. Gluten Free Pillsbury Cookie Dough. It comes in a tub. Whoa! It’s also amazingly delicious. Everyone who tastes the cookies that come out of this prepared cookie dough can’t believe that it’s gluten free. Pillsbury has also released a few other gluten free options. I can’t wait to try them all.

I know that I just shared some gluten free cookie bars with you made with this same dough. I had to use the dough again though. I needed to see what else could be done with it.

I decided to make another layered cookie bar. I had some sweetened condensed milk in my pantry and I’ve been meaning to make some fudge with it for a while now. I decided to make some mocha fudge to layer on to the chocolate chip cookie layer. I’ve been told that it’s super easy to make fudge using a can of the sweetened condensed milk. And it is easy. And it comes out amazing.

I preheated the oven to 350. Then, I pressed the cookie dough in to a sprayed 9×13 glass baking dish.

pressed-dough

I baked the cookie dough layer in the oven for about 11 minutes, until I saw it begin to brown.

While the cookie layer baked, I made the fudge layer. I heated up the sweetened condensed milk in a heavy pan and mixed it with some chocolate chips. I let everything melt and and incorporate in to each other. I mixed in some instant espresso powder.

Once that mixture was ready, I poured it over the baked chocolate chip cookie layer. Holy deliciousness! I smoothed the fudge layer and sprinkled over some toffee pieces.

pouring-fudge

I made sure the pan was cool and then I placed it in the fridge to cool and set for a few hours. Then I dug in. Amazing! So rich and decadent. And super easy to make. Definitely put this on your next gluten free dessert list!

finished-bars

**This post was sponsored by Pillsbury. The recipe and content are my own. 

Gluten Free Mocha Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Gluten Free

Ingredients
  • 1 tub of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • 1.5 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3 tbsp. Instant Espresso Powder
  • 2-3 tbsp. Toffee Bits (optional)

Instructions
  1. Press the cookie dough in to a sprayed 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Bake the cookie dough in the oven for about 11 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. While cookie layer bakes, prepare the fudge layer.
  5. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix the sweetened condensed milk with the chocolate chips and instant espresso powder. Cook over low heat until everything is melted and mixed together.
  6. Pour mocha mixture over the baked cookie dough.
  7. Sprinkle toffee bits over the mocha fudge mixture. (optional)
  8. Let pan cool.
  9. Place cookie bars in refrigerator to cool and set. Should take 2-3 hours.
  10. Slice and enjoy!

cookie-bars

My Favorite Challah

September is a crazy busy month for this lady. September means a busy work schedule, a busy school schedule for the kids and this year, it also means a crazy busy holiday schedule in our house. The Jewish holidays sprung early this year. On one day, it meant searching high and low for the last protractor on this side of New Jersey, while also looking in the depths of every market for a new fruit I haven’t yet eaten.  On other days, it anchors me to my kitchen, dividing my time between my laptop and my stove. I do love this season of Jewish holidays though. As the cool air creeps in, there is this beautiful air of celebration and anticipation of the fall holiday season. Or maybe that’s just the pumpkin spice lattes I’m smelling. Whatever it is, the mood changes. Life is busy, but in a good way.

I recently celebrated the holiday of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) as well as the holiday of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Both of these holidays provide me with ample time for reflection and appreciation of the past year as well as the year to come. After the crazy roller-coaster I was on this winter, I am so appreciative and thankful for my good health and for all of the support I had from my friends and family. They’ve been there for me, and I love them for it.

This month’s Kosher Connection link-up is all about Spreading the Joy during this holiday season.

I want to share my challah with you.

Challah

Ever since I was a kid, I have looked forward to Shabbat with my family. Friday night dinner with the family is sacrosanct. You don’t mess with that tradition. It’s not about level of Jewish observance. You just find a way to be at the shabbat table with family and friends, celebrating the end of the week together. Shabbat has been the constant in my life. Through my own various cycles and changes in my own Jewish observance, Shabbat has always meant “home” at the end of a long week.

We come together on Friday evening and light candles, and then sit down together for a warm meal –  over good food, good wine, and good company.  This includes challah. Our special holiday and shabbat bread.

I may not be a baker, but I love making challah. I love the process of working with the dough and getting it just right. I also love some of the spiritual rituals that come with making challah. In Jewish communities around the world, people come together while making challah and use that time to pray for health and wellbeing for loved ones. While preparing the dough, it us customary to keep in mind the names of loved ones who may be unwell or possibly need a job. We say a blessing while keeping the names of these people on our minds.

This past month, I’ve had the opportunity to make challah a few times. Each time, I’ve made challah with a friend who had never made challah before. Somehow, when you make challah around others, it makes this ritual all the more special.

My favorite challah recipe is adapted from a recipe that I found on a bag of flour. Over the past several years, I have tried numerous challah recipes. I’ve had several failures and several successes, but this recipe that I am sharing with you, is a recipe that always results in good challah. You can dress it up with whatever topping you’d like. or you may like to fill it with apples or chocolate chips, like I did for our Rosh Hashanah challahs. On some cool fall days, I have also been known to add some roasted garlic to the mix. Just play with it, and enjoy!

My Favorite Challah
 
adapted from the back of the bag of Glick’s flour
Author:
Recipe type: Bread, Shabbat, Jewish Holiday

Ingredients
  • 3.5 tbsp. Active Dry Yeast
  • 5 cups warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 5 lbs of High Gluten Bread Flour plus extra flour for kneading and shaping (1-2 cups)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup, plus 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. salt

Instructions
  1. Place yeast, sugar, honey and warm water in to a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your mixer. I used a Bosch for this recipe. Allow the yeast to sit a few minutes until it bubbles.
  2. Add about 6 cups of the flour and mix in to a paste.
  3. Add eggs, ½ cup of oil, vanilla and the salt. Stir together.
  4. Add the rest of the bag of flour and knead for several minutes. The dough may be a little sticky.
  5. Add the 2tbsp, of oil and knead a few more minutes.
  6. If you are using a machine, turn the dough on to a floured counter and knead a few more minutes. You may need to add an additional half a cup of flour. The dough should be smooth and easy to work with.
  7. Oil large bowl and brush oil on the top of the dough and place in the bowl. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel or with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for around 45 minutes. You will need to punch the dough down halfway through. The dough should double in size.
  8. At this point, you can take challah.
  9. Now is the time to shape your challah. I love the various braiding tutorials on the Challah Blog.
  10. Once you’ve shaped your challah, cover your challahs with plastic wrap or with towels, and place in a warm spot. Allow the challah to rise for another 40 minutes.
  11. Preheat your own to 350.
  12. Brush your challah with an egg wash. Now is the chance to add any toppings like sesame seeds, poppy seeds and other goodies.
  13. Bake your challah at 350 for about 40 minutes.
  14. When you tap on yoiur challah, it should sound hollow. That’s a sign of doneness.
  15. Enjoy!

Peach and Cream Cheese Danish

peach-danishIt happened. I baked again. I don’t know what came over me, but out came the beaters and the oven turned on.

Actually, I know what came over me. Peach season happened. Or rather, is happening. I have an abundance of peaches between the CSA and my fruit share from the co-op. My kids are getting sick of the peaches in their bag lunches. I have a hunch that some of the peaches get traded off to some hungry friends. Other peaches manages to be found mushy in the corners of backpacks about a week or two later. I obviously needed a better plan.

I committed to using up my peaches over the weekend. I had to do something before the next batch comes in. I set aside a bunch of peaches for cobblers, but I still had a few left over. I decided to try my hand at some peach danish. I figured the family would appreciate a special breakfast treat, and the peaches would be a welcome addition.

I had some puff pastry in the freezer – so this came together quickly. I defrosted the puff pastry dough.

While the dough softened, I peeled and cubed the peaches and set them aside.

peaches

I then whipped up some cream cheese along with some sugar and egg to make the cheesy filling.

Once the dough was ready, I spread out the dough and spread some cheese filling along the center. I sprinkled some cubed peaches on top. I then cut slits in the dough like in the photo below.

peachandpuff

I criss-crossed the dough pieces over each other.

I then brushed an egg wash over the dough and placed in the oven for about 25 minutes.

This recipe makes two long danish pastries.

Peach and Cream Cheese Danish
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 10 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 6 very ripe peaches, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white for egg wash

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Defrost the puff pastry sheets.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whip up the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon juice.
  4. Make slits in the puff pastry as in the photo.
  5. Spread the cream cheese mixture down the center of the dough sheet.
  6. Arrange cubed peaches on top.
  7. Sprinkle some sugar on top of the peaches.
  8. Seal up the dough as in the photo.
  9. Bake in oven for around 25 minutes. Dough will be light brown.

 

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

kale-and-mushroom-frittata

Have I ever told you how much I love the summer’s bounty of fresh greens? Between my CSA and my local farmer’s market, I am able to get some amazing fresh and local goodies. It really pushes me to do more with what I have on hand. It also prevents me from reaching for easy and quick processed foods. I love finding new ways to cook with fresh ingredients. I’ve been having some great results.

My mom taught me about frittatas on a visit when I first became a mother. She showed me how a frittata could be the answer to a fast and easy dinner. It comes together quickly and it’s a pretty forgiving dish – allowing you flexibility with ingredients.

I picked up some amazingly fresh kale at the market and I knew I wanted it to be used for a main dish. I didn’t want it relegated for a simple roasted side dish. I settled on this frittata which did not disappoint.

I chopped up some shallots and garlic and sautéed in olive oil along with some salt, red pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper. I then added some kale and cooked for another few minutes.

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

Next, I added some cut up baby bella mushrooms to the pan and sauteed a few more minutes.

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

I didn’t want to cook the greens and mushrooms too much. I wanted there to be some bite in the finished dish. I beat some eggs with some milk, salt and pepper in a small bowl and then added it to the pan.

kale-with-eggs

I let the eggs set a little bit and then added spoons of goat cheese around the pan.

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

I then transferred the pan to the oven and broiled for a few minutes until set.

I served the frittata with a simple green salad. Delicious! This is perfect for any meal of the day!

frittata-sliced

Kale and Mushroom Frittata
 
Author:
Recipe type: Brunch, Main Dish

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 4 tbsp. goat cheese

Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large, oven-proof saute pan
  2. Saute the garlic and shallots for a few minutes
  3. Add in the chopped kale and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add in the mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.
  5. Mix up the eggs with the milk in a small bowl. Add in the spices.
  6. Pour the egg mixture in to the kale mixture and let set a bit.
  7. Spoon in the goat cheese around the frittata.
  8. Transfer the pan to the oven and broil for about 4-5 minutes, until completely set and the edges have browned a bit.
  9. Slice in to wedges and serve. Enjoy!

 

Mocha Pound Cake

I am slowly conquering my fear of baking cakes from scratch.

I am sheepishly admitting here that in the past, I have been known to simply doctor cake mixes in to creations of my own. I had no idea that it was so easy to create a cake of your own. I’ve made a few cupcakes here and there, but by and large I have stuck to Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker.

Until last week.

mocha pound cake

Last week, I made some chocolate brownies from scratch! Whoa! They came together super fast, and actually tasted pretty good! Who knew?

So the other day, when I was working on my chocolate crouton recipe for the Kosher Connection link-up post, I decided to come up with something on my own. I will admit that I did look for a chocolate pound cake at Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t find it. So I made my own. I decided to turn it in to a mocha pound cake. I was so amazed with the results, I had to share the recipe.

Mocha Pound Cake – (adapted from King Arthur)


Ingredients:

1 stick butter, room temperature

1.5 cups sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 tbsp. instant espresso powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

2/3 cup cocoa

2 tbsp. sour cream

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.

mocha cake batterIn a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, cinnamon and sour cream.

Beat in the eggs slowly.

Add in the flour and milk. Mix well – so that all the ingredients are combined.

cake batter in panPour the batter in to the loaf pan.

Bake the cake for an hour at 350°F. You may need an additional 5-10 minutes. The cake may be a little moist on top. That’s ok. Let the cake cool in the pan for a bit.

Remove the cake from the pan and let cool further.

I turned my cake into croutons. Check it out here!

mocha pound cake

 

Mocha Pound Cake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup cocoa
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, cinnamon and sour cream.
  4. Beat in the eggs slowly.
  5. Add in the flour and milk. Mix well – so that all the ingredients are combined.
  6. Pour the batter in to the loaf pan.
  7. Bake the cake for an hour at 350°F. You may need an additional 5-10 minutes. The cake may be a little moist on top. That’s ok. Let the cake cool in the pan for a bit.
  8. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool further.

VeganMoFo: Mushroom and White Bean Tart

After making the recent batch of mushroom soup for the holidays, I was left with over a pound of assorted mushrooms in the fridge. I had to use them up. I love mushrooms and would never want to waste them.

I wanted the mushrooms to be a part of a main dish, so I came up with this recipe – using ingredients I had on hand.


Mushroom and White Bean Tart (serves 4)
Ingredients:

For the White Bean Puree
1 can small white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper

For the Mushroom Mixture
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced (baby bella, shitake, white button)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground pepper

1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted
1/4 cup Daiya Cheese (I used Cheddar)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Process the white bean puree ingredients in a Cuisinart or other food processor. Set to the side.

Heat up some olive oil in a large saute pan. Add in the sliced onion and cook for a few minutes.

Add in the chopped garlic, mushrooms and spices and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until soft.

Roll out your puff pastry dough. Lay on a parchment paper lined baking tray.

Prick the dough with a fork along the inside of the edges. Leave about 1/2 – inch of clearance. This will form your crust.

Spread the white bean puree on the inside area of the puff pastry. You don’t need to use all of it. I ended up using about 3/4 of the mixture and set aside the rest to use as a dip for later.

Layer the mushroom mixture over the bean mixture and sprinkle some Daiya Cheese on top.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and puffed up.

This tart is great when served with a salad.

Enjoy!

Mushroom and White Bean Tart
veganmofo
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