Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lentil Soup

Treasured Heirloom Recipes

Lentil Soup

2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of garlic, pressed
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
5 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped 
2 cups of lentils, picked and rinsed
4 medium peeled, seeded and finely chopped tomatoes
2 quarts vegetable broth
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground grains of paradise
kosher salt and pepper
1 bag of frozen spinach

Heat the olive oil into a large Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery a dash of salt, stirring until the vegetables are tender, approximately 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine, add salt and pepper to build flavor. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
While Lentils are simmering, in a separate sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté frozen spinach on medium high heat about 2 to 3 minutes then add to the soup when its about 45 minutes into the simmering.  

1. Add left over ham bone when you add the lentils, tomatoes, broth...
when the Lentils are tender add 1 cup of ham chopped about 1/4 inch square and 1/2 cup of lemon juice, simmer for about 5 more minutes and its ready to serve.
2. Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice at the end and let it simmer for about 5 more minutes and its ready to serve.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New York Style Cheesecake

Treasured Heirloom Recipes

New York Style Cheesecake

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs 
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Tips:  Sometimes the surface of the cheesecake cracks.  To help prevent this from happening do not over beat the batter, especially when creaming the cheese and sugar. 
Another reason for cracking is over baking the cheesecake.  Your cheesecake is done when it is firm but the middle may still look a little wet. 
Also, make sure the springform pan is well greased as cracking can occur if the cheesecake sticks to the sides as it cools.
New York Cheesecake: Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Place the springform pan on a larger baking pan to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fº with rack in center of oven.
For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
For Filling: In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese and sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well about 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, almond extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan and place in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees Fº and continue to bake for about another 60 -90 minutes or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. The baking time can vary due to the differences in ovens, so make sure to check that the cheesecake is firm with only the center being a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to oven to bake for 15 more minutes.  Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools.
Let cool completely before covering. Refrigerate at least four hours, preferably overnight. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit sauces.
To freeze:  Place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Then wrap in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. Can be frozen for several months. Thaw uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
note for Splenda user: for the filling- use 1 cup of Splenda or 1/2 cup of Splenda Sugar Blend,  for the topper- use 2 tbsp of Splenda or 1 tbsp of Splenda Sugar Blend

Monday, December 9, 2013

Grain-free PeanutButter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

from my peeps

Grain-free PeanutButter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams)natural peanut butter, SunButter Natural or almond butter - room temperature
¼ cup (80 grams) honey (commenters have used agave and maple syrup with success!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn't have salt in it
½ cup (90 grams) chocolate chips (use vegan and dairy-free chocolate chips)
Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they're combined.
Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
With wet hands, form into 1½" balls. Place onto a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don't do much rising.
Bake for about 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pear Upside-Down Cake

from my peeps

Yield: two 6-inch cakes or one 9-inch cake
Pear Base
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted
1/2 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
dash of sea salt
1 large or 2 small pears, cored, thinly sliced
Dry Ingredients
heaping 1/4 c. almonds
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Wet Ingredients
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Creaming Ingredients
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line bottom of pan(s) with parchment paper. Set aside.
Pear Base. Mix together butter, brown sugar, and salt. Spread evenly on bottom of pan(s). Place pear slices in a circular pattern. Set aside.
Dry Ingredients. In a food processor, blend almonds and powdered sugar together until fine. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
Wet Ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together wet ingredients. Set aside.
Creaming Ingredients. whisk together eggs and sugars lightly then add the butter whisking slowly.
Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients into the creaming mixture.  
Add or evenly divide batter into pans. Bake for about 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from pan to allow the pears to set. Invert and place on cooling rack. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
 Recipe adapted from United Cakes of America.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

from my peeps

Makes 12 cupcakes
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
2 large eggs 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
3/4 cup evaporated milk 
2/3 cup all purpose flour 
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp baking soda 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 12 cup muffin tin with silicone liners, foil liners sprayed with cooking spray or just spray the cups with cooking spray. Either of these three methods will make it easy to take the cupcake out after it’s cooked. Paper liners make it difficult to remove the cupcakes. 
Mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Add the flour, pumpkin spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda to the mixture. Fill each muffin cup with 1/3 cup of the mixture. Bake for twenty minutes and let cool for twenty minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle more pumpkin pie spice on top and serve. 

Original credit to this recipe is unknown _thank you whoever you are... 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Guinness Beef Stew

from my peeps

yield: 6 - 8 servings 
prep time: 30 minutes, cook time: 3 hours, total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
A fabulous beef stew recipe featuring a robust sauce flavored with Guinness.

(Recipe adapted from Cook's Country)
1 (3½ to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, chopped fine
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Draught, divided
4½ teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat to 325 ºF.
2. Season the beef with salt and freshly ground pepper.
3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the onions and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 1 minute.
5. Whisk in the chicken stock, ¾ cup of the Guinness, brown sugar and thyme, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beef and return to a simmer.
6. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 90 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
7. Stir in the potatoes and carrots and continue cooking until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour, stirring halfway through cooking. Remove the pot from the oven and stir in the remaining ½ cup of Guinness and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Notes: Do not use Guinness Extra Stout in this recipe, as it is too bitter.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thai Grilled-Beef Salad

from my peeps

Serves 4 to 6

Serve with steamed jasmine rice, if desired, although any style of white rice can be used. Don't skip the toasted rice: It's integral to the texture and flavor of the dish. If a fresh Thai chile is unavailable, substitute half of a Serrano Chile.


1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon white rice
3 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 (1 1/2 pound) flank steak, trim
Salt and white pepper, coarsely ground
4 shallots, sliced thin
1 1/2cups fresh mint leaves, torn
1 1/2cups fresh cilantro leaves
1 Thai chile, stemmed and sliced thin into rounds
1 seedless English cucumber, sliced 1/4 inch thick on bias

  1. Heat paprika and cayenne in 8-inch skillet over medium heat; cook, shaking pan, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to small bowl. Return now-empty skillet to medium-high heat, add rice, and toast, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to second small bowl and cool for 5 minutes. Grind rice with spice grinder, mini food processor, or mortar and pestle until it resembles fine meal, 10 to 30 seconds (you should have about 1 tablespoon rice powder).
  1. Whisk lime juice, fish sauce, water, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon toasted paprika mixture in large bowl and set aside.
3a. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

3b. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).

4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Season steak with salt and white pepper. Place steak over hot part of grill and cook until beginning to char and beads of moisture appear on outer edges of meat, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip steak and continue to cook on second side until charred and center registers 125 degrees, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to plate, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes (or allow to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour).

5. Slice meat, against grain, on bias into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer sliced steak to bowl with fish sauce mixture. Add shallots, mint, cilantro, chile, and half of rice powder; toss to combine. Transfer to platter lined with cucumber slices. Serve, passing remaining rice powder and toasted paprika mixture separately.

Five Tastes of Thai Grilled Beef—and One More

One of the keys to this salad is balancing the signature flavor elements of Thai cuisine. In addition to achieving this, we added one more complementary flavor: the earthiness of toasted cayenne and sweet paprika.

 HOT A fresh Thai bird chile creates bright, fruity heat in the dressing.

 SOUR A generous 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice adds bracing acidity.

 SALTY Derived from salted, fermented fish, pungent fish sauce acts as a rich ¬flavor enhancer.

 SWEET A 1/2 tsp of sugar tames the dressing’s salty-sour flavors without becoming cloying.

 BITTER Charred steak adds both a pleasing textural contrast and a subtle bitter edge.

 EARTHY Ground cayenne and sweet paprika add earthy flavor without too much heat.