Flourless Chocolate Cake

Sugar & Butter (to coat spring form pan)

1 1/4 sticks butter

½ Cup Sugar (divided ¼ cups)

8 oz. Semisweet Chocolate

4 oz. Milk Chocolate

1 Tsp. Vanilla

4 Large Eggs Separated

¼ Tsp. Salt

Powdered Sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Butter spring form pan with 2 ½” sides and coat with sugar and tap out.
  2. Melt 10 Tbs. of butter with ¼ cup of sugar in saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Then add both chocolates and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  3. Divide eggs whites into a bowl and yolks into another. Using electric mixer beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Gradually add ¼ cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until soft peaks form.
  4. Next whisk yolks until thick and pale yellow about 4 minutes. Whisk in warm chocolate mixture with egg yolks.
  5. Whisk 1/3 of whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining whites.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until top forms crust but center of cake remains moist & moves when pan is shaken about 15 minutes. Cake will appear under-cooked. Let stand in pan overnight. Cake will fall as it cooks.
  7. Run small knife around cake pan side to loosen. Release pan sides from cake. Sift powdered sugar over to top, cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

This recipe came from the old Gourmet magazine.  According to The NY Times the magazine ceased publication in 2009.  So this recipe is old and The Boss has been making this chocolate wonder for years.  Expect compliments because it’s that good.

 

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Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche

It’s been two months since I posted a recipe.  Too many interesting research articles, bunnies, work…the list is endless.  Well the drought is over.  I had leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge and told myself “I am not going to waste perfectly fine leftover mashed potatoes”.  I hopped online to find  a decent potato pancake recipe.  But instead, I stumbled on a quiche recipe that used instant mashed potatoes for the crust.  One of my go to recipes is frittata that has plenty of potatoes in it.  So why not quiche?

Trigger Warning for Easily Offended Militant Vegans

Stop reading now.  This recipe has eggs and dairy.

You’ll need:

3 tablespoons EVO

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 small (or half a large) sweet onion, chopped

2 cups frozen organic chopped spinach, thawed & drained

2 large mushrooms (white button or baby bella) sliced thin

4 large eggs

1 cup organic half and half

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Two dashes nutmeg

salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9″ pie pan with 1 T of the olive oil.  Press the mashed potatoes into the pie pan to form a crust.
  3. Bake the potato pie crust for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes turn the oven off and leave the potato crust in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Cool thoroughly.
  4. Heat up the oven again, this time to 425 degrees.
  5. In a large pan saute onion and mushroom for approximately 10 minutes in 1T olive oil and 2T of butter.  Add defrosted and drained spinach and continue to saute until the mixture is somewhat dry.  Add a dash of nutmeg. You don’t want any visible liquid.  Set aside.  Cool thoroughly.
  6. In a small mixing bowl whisk the eggs & half and half.  Add the other dash of nutmeg, and a dash apiece of salt and pepper.
  7. Spread vegetable mixture evenly on your potato pie crust.
  8. Sprinkle Parmesan and cheddar cheeses over the spinach mixture.
  9. Pour egg mixture over the spinach and cheeses.
  10. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Turn oven heat down to 350 degrees and continue baking for approximately 30 more minutes or until golden brown.

Slice & serve.

 

Tips

Why yes, of course you can add cooked diced bacon at step 8.5.  Swiss instead of cheddar would be an excellent substitute.  If you don’t have any leftover mashed potatoes by all means use one of those deep dish frozen pie shells.  If you add bacon and use a frozen pie crust this recipe becomes my world famous spinach quiche that I’ve been making for years.  But as I move along the spectrum to more of a WFPB diet I’ve been leaving the bacon out.

I’m not quite sure how I would make this pie palatable for my easily offended militant vegan readers.  I need to think about this a little more.

Texas Corn Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 8 tablespoons margarine, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Beat eggs.  Add butter, margarine, and milk.
  4. Add wet to dry and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour into an 8 x 12 greased baking dish.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top and/or the sides are brown.

 

Adapted from a recipe in Delicioso! a cookbook from the Corpus Christi Junior League original copyright date December 1982.  The only change I’ve made over the years was to substitute light brown sugar for white sugar.  This is the family’s go to corn bread recipe.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne

  • 10-12 lasagne noodles (more if you’re making a big pan of lasagne)
  • one big butternut squash, halved, seeded and baked
  • a bunch of fresh spinach leaves, 8 ounces minimum
  • one large sweet onion, sliced, caramelized
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups bechamel sauce
  •  dash of nutmeg
  • salt and peppers (black and white)
  • grated parmesan
  • shredded mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Take the squash halves, lightly grease the cut sides with olive oil, and place cut side down on a baking sheet.  Bake for approximately one hour.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. Once cooled, scoop the squash into a mixing bowl.  Smash with a fork and season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Set aside.
  4. Caramelize your onion and set aside.  No salt or pepper at this step.
  5. Wilt the spinach in a pan over medium heat.  Cool, chop, season with salt, black pepper, nutmeg and set aside.
  6. Prepare your bechamel sauce (half stick of butter, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup parmesan, 3 cups milk, salt, white pepper).  Set aside.
  7. Cook the noodles until al dente.  Use more or less noodles, depending on how big you want your tray of lasagne to be.
  8. In a baking dish large enough for the desired dish of lasagne, cover the bottom with several spoonfuls of bechamel sauce.
  9. Arrange a layer of lasagne noodles in the baking dish. Spread prepared squash evenly over the noodles.  Sprinkle parmesan and mozzarella.
  10. Fold the spinach and onions into the ricotta.   Add another layer of noodles.  Spread some sauce, the spinach/onion/ricotta mixture, and cheeses evenly.
  11. Keep layering, alternating the vegetable layers, and ending with a plain noodle top.
  12. Cover the top with bechamel and cheeses.
  13. Bake uncovered for for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly.
  14. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

I had forgotten how much time it takes to make lasagne.  This recipe in particular takes hours due to the vegetable prep.  The next time I make this I’ll prepare the vegetables the night before and assemble/bake the next day.  There are a billion of these squash and spinach lasagne recipes on the internet.  I bet virtually none of them tell you how long this sucker takes to make.

But it was worth it!  If you like butternut squash and you like spinach you will like this veggie pasta bake.  But in the effort of full disclosure I thought I’d screwed up this lasagne because when I got to the final naked noodle layer I realized I had left out a few steps.

I forgot to put any parmesan or mozzarella on any of my layers.  I forgot to add parmesan to the spinach/onion/ricotta mixture.  Too late to deconstruct so I put the dish in the oven and hoped for the best.  To my surprise I didn’t miss the missing cheeses.  The lasagne turned out OK.  Less cheese allowed the flavors of the vegetables to shine.

I guess this recipe is a keeper.

 

 

Banana Oat Pancakes

I took some vacation days in a valiant “use ’em or lose ’em” effort.  Today is the first day of an extended weekend in which I have nothing planned.  So without any work to be done I did what most people would do with plenty of time on their hands.

Make pancakes.

When The Architect and The Doctor were kids I made pancakes all the time.  Nowadays with just two in the house and one a non-pancake lover I don’t make pancakes that often anymore.  But I had time, two very ripe bananas, and buttermilk in the fridge.  And I was getting tired of banana muffins so…

Banana Oat Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup low fat milk
  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed
  • Dash cinnamon

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flours, rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl combine eggs, buttermilk, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir batter just till blended.  Add two smashed bananas and fold gently into the batter.  Allow the batter to sit for 15 – 30 minutes before frying.
For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto a lightly greased preheated griddle or heavy skillet. Cook several pancakes at a time over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or till the tops are evenly bubbled and the edges are dry, then turn and cook until golden brown on the second side.

TIPS

The banana in the batter will burn easily so cook these cakes at a lower temperature than you normally use for pancakes.  I finally figured out medium was a good temperature.  The pancakes will take a little longer to cook but they won’t turn out dark brown.  These pancakes are pretty sweet by themselves but knock yourself out if you want to eat them with real maple syrup.  Fresh fruit would be better.  And peanut butter would be the best.

Peanut butter and banana pancakes.  Yup.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup low fat milk
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flours, rolled oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. In a small mixing bowl combine egg, milk, pumpkin, spice mix and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir batter just till blended.
For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto a lightly greased preheated griddle or heavy skillet. Cook several pancakes at a time over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or till the tops are evenly bubbled and the edges are dry, then turn and cook until golden brown on the second side. Repeat with remaining batter.

An unused cup of canned pumpkin stored neatly in a tiny plastic container  sat at eye level in the fridge for nearly a week.  This was really starting to bother me.  I really didn’t want to throw away perfectly good pumpkin.  Worse, I hoped the squash wouldn’t spoil before I figured out what to do with it.  Muffins?  Bread?  I just couldn’t make up my mind.  Eventually I settled upon pancakes.  Those with a keen eye will notice that this recipe is pretty much my standard pancake recipe with pumpkin in it.

Memo to Family:

This is a new recipe.  So don’t try to remember when I first made everyone orange colored pancakes.

Rocky Top Coleslaw – Food Network

I love coleslaw but most of the prepared slaw  in the markets are just OK.  One day I decided to make my own coleslaw and found Bobby Flay’s recipe on the Food Network site.  It didn’t take long for me to make my usual adjustments and now the recipe is my own version of Rocky Top.  It’s coleslaw so you have to keep it simple.  Use a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw from the market.  The quantities for the dressing are all reduced from the original recipe.  I’ve substituted garlic powder for fresh garlic and celery salt for celery seed and salt.  Who has champagne vinegar laying around?  I use apple cider vinegar.  All dressing quantities are estimated.  Let your taste buds be your guides.

via Rocky Top Cole Slaw Recipe : Food Network.

Cole Slaw Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
garlic powder (to taste)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 – 2 teaspoons celery salt
Pepper

Can you visualize a huge scoop of this coleslaw on top of a cold turkey meatloaf sandwich?  I thought so.