Monday, August 31, 2009

Chocolate dipped candied orange peel recipe

5 medium oranges
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water

For the chocolate dipped candied citrus peel
8 ounces bittersweet or white chocolate, chopped
1 cup candied citrus peel

Wash the fruit thoroughly. To remove the peels without tearing, slice off the stem end of the fruit, then make vertical cuts about 1 inch apart through the peel. Carefully peel off the scored sections of rind. With a sharp paring knife, trim away as much of the white pith from the peels as you can. Cut the peels lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

2. In a small pan, cover the peels with water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Drain.

3. In the same pan, stir together 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and the water over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the peels and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 40 minutes.

4. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the peels to the rack. Let them stand until almost dry, about 1 hour.

Dip the peel
1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

2. Dip the peels about halfway into the chocolate, shaking any excess chocolate back into the bowl. Place the peels on the waxed paper.

3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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  • Monday, August 24, 2009

    Coriander Tabouli Recipe

    This dish is a little spicy so be careful for those who can't tolerate too much spice.  Luckily I am not one of those people.
    ...the more spice the better to me :-). 


    3/4 cup fine bulgur
    1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
    1/2 teaspoon each whole cumin and fennel seeds
    10 whole allspice berries
    3/4 cup minced red onion
    1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
    1 cup finely diced seedless cucumber
    1 cup finely diced seeded tomato
    3/4 cup each minced fresh coriander and fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
    1/2 cup finely chopped scallion
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Cayenne pepper to taste


    1. Wash the bulgur in several changes of cold water, pouring it back and forth between a large bowl and a very fine sieve, until the water is clear. Drain the bulgur in the fine sieve. Return bulgur to the bowl, cover it with one inch of cold water, and let it soak for one hour.

    2. While the bulgur is soaking, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds in a small skillet over moderate heat until very fragrant, one to two minutes. Let the seeds cool completely and then grind them in with the allspice berries in a spice grinder or pound to a powder in a mortar and pestle.

    3. Stir together the red onion, ground spices and salt in a large bowl and let stand while the bulgur is soaking, at least thirty minutes.

    4. Drain the bulgur in the sieve, pressing hard to extract as much water as possible. Add the bulgur to the onion mixture with the cucumber, tomato, herbs, scallion, lemon juice, olive oil and cayenne pepper; toss the salad well. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt if necessary. This salad is best if served immediately.

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  • Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Homemade Ricotta Cheese

    Some of you know that I've recently started a new hobby. It's been a blast making my own home made cheese. Ricotta is super yummy when it's fresh. Plus it's not that hard to make. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


    * 2 quarts whole milk
    * 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
    * Optional: 1/2 cup heavy cream
    * 2 teaspoons white vinegar
    * 1 teaspoon salt

    Here's what you do:

    1 In a large pot, bring the milk, yogurt, heavy cream (if using), vinegar, and salt to a boil. Very gently boil for one to two minutes, until the milk is curdled.

    2 Meanwhile, line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and set it over a deep bowl.

    3 Pour the milk mixture into the strainer and let drain for 15 minutes. Gather the cheesecloth around the curds then squeeze gently to extract any excess liquid. Voila! you have cheese. I told you it was easy :-)

    Storage: Homemade ricotta is best served slightly warm, although it can be refrigerated for up to three days, if desired.

    Makes 2 cups.

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  • Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Split Pea Soup

    I found this recipe online for split pea soup, but I liked some aspects of another that I found so I combined the 2 recipes to make this one. YUMMMMMY!!

    1 ham bone
    1 lb. dry split peas
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tablepsoon each butter and olive oil
    1 can of chicken broth
    2 quarts water
    2 bay leaves
    1 lb baby carrots
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1 can evaporated milk or 1 cup light cream or milk

    olive oil
    lemon zest

    Empty package of split peas into a colander or bowl. Sort through well, removing foreign matter and imperfect peas. Rinse well. Soak for two hours in 2 cups water.

    In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, sauté minced garlic in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil until garlic golden, but not brown in color. Add ham bone, water in which peas have been soaked, 2 extra quarts of water, 1 can of chicken broth and bay leaves.

    Bring to a boil for 1 minute; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour. Remove cover and simmer an additional hour or until soup is desired consistency. Add baby carrots during final 20-30 minutes of cooking.

    If you prefer a pureed soup, process using a hand blender before adding carrots.

    Taste soup one half hour before serving; add additional garlic or garlic powder and salt and pepper, as desired. Bring a separate pot of water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.

    Stir in milk or cream 10 minutes before serving. If you have any leftover ham, add at this time. Remove bay leaves before serving and garnish with lemon zest, paprika and a drizzle of olive oil.

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  • Thursday, August 6, 2009

    Orange Blueberry Bread Recipe

    I was so happy with this recipe. Truly delicious. You can see by the photo I did a little twist on the recipe as I didn't have enough blueberries on hand. So I threw a few raspberries in too and it was fantastic.

    Recipe for blueberry orange bread, with blueberries, orange peel and orange juice.
    Cook Time: 55 minutes
    * 2 tablespoons butter
    * 1/4 cup boiling water
    * 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
    * 1/2 cup orange juice
    * 1 egg
    * 1 cup granulated sugar
    * 2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1 teaspoon baking powder
    * 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries

    * Topping:
    * 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
    * 2 tablespoons orange juice
    * 2 tablespoons honey

    Combine butter and boiling water in a small bowl; add 1 tablespoon grated orange peel and 1/2 cup orange juice.

    In a mixing bowl, beat egg and granulated sugar with an electric hand-held mixer until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; add to egg mixture a little at a time, alternating with orange juice mixture, ending with flour mixture.

    Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes; remove to wire rack.

    Combine 1 teaspoon orange rind, 2 tablespoons orange juice, and 2 tablespoons honey, mixing well. Spoon over hot bread; let cool.

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