Not too little, not too much

Cheesy Squash Soup 12/27/2010

Filed under: Cheese,Lunch,Soups,Squash,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 18:02
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Christmas is over. I hope everyone had a wonderful time and receive plenty of gifts.

Our Christmas was white as I wished for, plenty of laughs and lots of good food. The only sad part is that my camera broke down and we don’t have any pictures 😦

Until I get my dream camera (Easter Bunny, I’ve been really really good) is going to be a while   😛 . I can’t stay that long without a camera so meanwhile I have to improvise. I was looking at a cheaper Canon, something to hold me over for 3-4 months but still haven’t decided yet. If you have any suggestions, I’d be more than happy to take them into consideration.

Lucky me, I still have some recipes I haven’t shared with you yet. Today I’m going to post a delicious creamy soup made from one on my decorative Halloween squashes :)). I still have 2 peanut squashes waiting to be cooked. Yummy.

For this soup I used an Australian heirloom Blue squash, correct me if I’m wrong.

The idea of this soup came from Maya‘s  Creamy Patisson Squash Soup with Reblochon Cheese but I just couldn’t find a Patisson squash anywhere so I took matter into my own hands and came up with Creamy Blue Squash Soup with Comté Cheese or Cheesy Squash Soup 😛

Ingredients

2 lbs winter squash (mine was bigger, the rest was baked and mashed)

2 carrots

2 leeks

2 celery ribs

3 tbsp butter

6 oz Comté Cheese

stock

salt, pepper, nutmeg

Directions

Melt the butter and add the chopped carrots, leeks and celery ribs . Pour 1/2 cup stock over them.

Cook until soft.

Meanwhile clean the squash

When the vegetables are soft, add the chopped squash and cover with stock

Simmer until the squash is cooked. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and let cool slightly.

Puree the soup

Return the soup to the pan, add the shredded Comte cheese and heat gently.

Serve hot sprinkled with more cheese (optional).

closer view

 

Few days before Christmas I submitted my blog to AllTop and they already listed it, yeeee

 

 

This recipe goes to

hearthandsoulgirlichef

Thanks for reading, appreciate your support,

Roxana.

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Oregano Ricotta Knots and more awards 11/23/2010

Filed under: Awards,Baking,Breads,Cheese — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 23:35
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I know, I said I’m not going to post any recipe by Thanksgiving but I have some recipes I didn’t have time to write about when I made them and if I don’t post know I have the feeling I’m not going to do it soon. Plus, I still have to give the Lovely Blog Award to 30 more bloggers.

Today I’m going to share with you a Oregano Ricotta Knots recipe. Those of you who don’t like baking will say : ahhhh, another baking recipe but this is an easy one, actually I rarely do hard ones (I’m afraid of failure).

The ricotta cheese makes the knots stay moist even after 2-3 days, but for best results serve them warm to appreciate the oregano flavor.

Let’s start baking.

Gather on your working bench

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 package dry yeast

~ 1 1/2 cup warm milk

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

2-3 tsp dry oregano

2 tbsp butter

1 egg for brushing

and leave them at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour.


In a small bowl cream the dry yeast with a little lukewarm milk. Leave aside 5 minutes or so.

In the mixer’s bowl mix flour, ricotta, oregano, diced butter and yeast mixture.

Slowly add enough milk to form a soft dough.

Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with foil and leave until doubles in volume.

Divide the dough into 12 balls

Take one piece of dough and roll it on your working surface into a rope.

Lift one end of the rope over the other to make a loop. Push the end through the hole to make a knot.

Place the knots on baking sheets, cover with foil and leave to rest for about 30-40 minutes or until doubled in size. Brush them with egg wash.

Bake them in preheated oven at 425F for 16-17 minutes or until golden brown.

 

inside view

 

 

Yesterday I posted the list with 15 lovely blog, tonight I’m going to post 15 more blogs and for the rest 15 please let me know which blog you think deserves the award and I didn’t mention.

1. Lisa from Korean American Mommy

2. Sara from CaffeIna

3.Andreea from Andrea’ s wellness notes

4.  Raven from Ravie Nom Noms Blog

5. Nancy from Spicie Foodie

6. Lindsey from Gingerbread Cake

7. Koci from La Kocinera

 

 

8. Yesim from Yesim Style Kitchen

 

 

9. Zerin from Give Recipe

 

 

10. Dionne from Try Anything Once

11. Cardamom Hills

12. Spice Sherpa

13. Black Book Kitchen Diaries

14. Torview

last but not the least, ladies first, right?

15. Chef Dennis from More than a Mount Full

I also want to thank you all for you kind comments, they make me go on and brighten my day. From the bottom of my heart a big Thank you

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, hope you are surrounded by great people and delicious food

 

Asparagus and Pea Soup 11/03/2010

Filed under: Cheese,Lunch,Soups,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 19:57
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The weather is such a funny thing. If yesterday I could have sworn spring is coming, today I take my words back. The bloomed flowers call your name but the wind makes you stay inside and enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows or/and a bowl of soup.  I’m happy at least on Halloween it was sunny, I even saw a butterfly on the side of the house

 

I can’t say I like winter, last year was the ugliest of all, it snowed up to 26 inches in less than 24 hours, and to top it, the power went out. All the hotels were jam-packed that weekend. The next day we went out for brunch and enjoyed a warm bowl of soup. I know you rarely eat soup for brunch but I felt i just need something to warm me up and give me strength to go on despite the cold weather. Don’t you agree that a warm bowl of soup  may brighten your day ? I do think so.

Back to my today’ soup, Asparagus and Pea soup with shavings of Asiago cheese

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 pound asparagus

lit less than 1/2 pound frozen peas

2 onions

2 carrots

2 tbsp butter

parsley

~ 1/2 cup heavy cream

Asiago cheese

1 bay leaf

salt, pepper

 

 

Directions

 

Cut the wooden parts of the asparagus and chop them roughly. Chop the carrots and 1 1/2 onions. Add them to a pot, add the bay leaf, pour over 6 cups of water, bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

 

Melt the butter in another pan. Add the remaining chopped onion and cook over low heat 2-3 minutes.

 

Add the chopped asparagus stems (reserve some tips for garnish if you want), peas and asparagus stock.

Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender. When almost done, add the parsley.

 

Cook for further 3-4 minutes and let in cool slightly. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Return to pan, add the heavy cream and heat it gently; do not boil.

 

Serve hot with blanched asparagus tips and shavings of Asiago cheese.

 

 

Red Quinoa and Cauliflower Salad 10/17/2010

Filed under: Appetizers,Cheese,Fruits,Salads,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 22:14
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Quinoa (a name supposedly derived from the Spanish word for “fantastic”) is not really a grain. It is the fruit of a plant that belongs to the same botanical family as beets. The quinoa plant reaches a height of 3 to 10 feet and produces flat, pointed seeds that range from buff to russet to black. So why all the praise for quinoa? Quinoa is relatively easy to cultivate and withstands poor soil conditions and altitude. It also packs a nutritional punch in its tiny seeds. It contains more protein than most grains and offers a more evenly balanced array of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. It is higher in minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, and iron, than many grains. Quinoa seeds can be cooked or ground into flour. Several types of pasta are made from quinoa flour. The leaves of the plant also are edible, and the seeds can be sprouted and eaten.

Preparation Tips

Quinoa is cooked in the same way as rice, although it cooks in about half the time. Its flavor is delicate, and some describe it as hazelnut-like. Before cooking, it is important to rinse quinoa seeds until the water runs clear. They are covered with a bitter, powdery resin that can result in an unpleasant taste if it is not removed. Quinoa flour has a low gluten content. It cannot be used alone in baked goods because they will not rise properly.

Serving Suggestions

Quinoa is cooked like rice and makes an excellent substitute for it. “Toasting” the quinoa grains in a hot skillet before boiling gives it a roasted flavor. Adding cooked vegetables and fresh herbs also complements its delicate flavor. Quinoa flour can be used in many baked goods. Quinoa also makes an excellent hot cereal and can be added to soups and stews. Quinoa pasta is cooked and used like traditional types of pasta.

Encyclopedia of Foods

 

Red Quinoa and Cauliflower Salad

 

 

Ingredients

1 medium cauliflower

red quinoa

walnuts

dried apricots

feta cheese

green onion

parsley

 

Directions

 

Blanch the cauliflower and boil the quinoa.

 

Meanwhile, crumble the cheese and chop the rest of the ingredients.

 

Mix them all together, sprinkle with some extra virgin olive oil and season to taste.

 

 

Serve warm or cold.

 

 

 

Death by Chocolate Cheesecake 10/12/2010

Few days ago my baby girl turned 11 months so, as every month, I had to make a cake to celebrate. I really didn’t know what to do, I wanted a cheesecake but in the same time I wanted chocolate so I decided to go with a chocolate cheesecake. Easier said than done, by the time I manage to free my hands and get Tiffany out of the kitchen I told myself that a cheesecake is not actually a birthday cake so I went back to the idea of having a cake. Browsing through my recipes I laid my eyes on a Death by chocolate cake and my mouth started drooling, if that’s not a sign, that I give up.

 

 

I like chocolate cakes, actually I love chocolate cakes but I was in the mood some for cheese too so instead of using a chocolate filling why not use, let me think, oh yes, a cheesecake filling.

That seemed to be the  perfect cake, now all I needed to do is start making it.

Death by chocolate cake

Ingredients

8 oz chocolate chips

4 oz butter

2/3 cup milk

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2/3 cup sour cream

2 cups self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

 

 

Directions

 

Place chocolate, butter and milk in a saucepan. Heat gently until smooth.

 

Remove from heat and add sugar and vanilla. Mix well, let it cool for a while.

 

In a large bowl beat the egg yolks and  sour cream.

 

Add the chocolate mixture to it.

 

Sift the flour and baking powder and fold in.

 

Whisk the egg whites until stiff; fold into the mixture.

 

Preheat the oven at 350F. Pour the mixture into a greased 10 inch cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. (the recipe is for a 8 inch cake but i didn’t want it too tall so I used a wider cake pan)

 

Cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes then invert to a wire rack to cool.

 

When is completely cooled slice the cake in 3 layers, 2  thinner (bottom and top), about half-inch each and 1 (the middle) thicker, about 1 inch.

 

Leave the bottom and top to a side and with a large cookie cutter or a knife cut 5 rings out of the middle layer. Carefully, separate in 2 parts.

 

 

Cover the cake pan with foil. Place one of the thin layers in the bottom and then 3 rings.

 

Set aside while making the cheesecake filling.

 

Cheesecake filling – is actually a no bake cheesecake, one of those desserts that you lie shamelessly telling everyone how hard it is to make such a creamy, delicious  and no top cracks cheesecake, he he he, does that ring a bell?

Ingredients and Directions

2 8 oz packages cream cheese

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

juice from 1 lemon

vanilla extract

 

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese slowly adding the milk.

 

Add the fresh squeezed lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.

 

With a piping bag fill the 2 spaces between the cake rings with cheesecake filling.

 

Lay the other 2 rings on top of the cheesecake and fill the 3 spaces.

 

Cover with the remaining thin layer and foil and refrigerate over night.

 

Next day take the cake out of the fridge, remove from the pan and foil and set aside while making the frosting.

 

White chocolate cheesecake frosting – after all it is a death by chocolate cake, so why not add some chocolate to the frosting

Ingredients and directions

8 oz white chocolate

2 8 oz packages cream cheese

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

juice from 1 lemon

 

Melt the chocolate and mix it with the milk

 

In a bowl beat the cream cheese while slowly adding the chocolate milk mixture

 

Add the lemon juice and beat until smooth.

 

Frost the cake

 

Usually half of the frosting would be enough, but my husband loves a cake with lots of frosting, but you can only make out of 1 package of cream cheese and half can of condensed milk.

 

Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours before the final touches.

 

 

closer

 

stay away, the cake is all mine

 

 

Cheesecake in a Cupcake 09/30/2010

Filed under: Cakes,Cheese,Cheesecake,Chocolate,Desserts — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 22:55
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These little cakes are the perfect treat on a sunny afternoon while enjoying a cup of coffee.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup crumbs

6 Tbsp butter

8 oz cream cheese

2 8 oz mascarpone cheese

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

rum or almond extract

~ 1/2 cup chocolate chips

*all ingredients must be at room temperature

Directions

For the crust: mix the crumbs with the melted butter.

Press the mixture into the bottom on 18 cupcakes forms.

Put on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven and let cool before adding the cheesecake filling.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

For the filling: in a bowl combine the cheeses with the sugar until mix until completely blended.

Add the eggs, 1 at time, incorporating completely after each addition.

Add the extract and chocolate chips. Mix carefully.

Pour the filling into the prepared pans.

Put the cupcakes pans into roasting pans and pour in enough hot water to come 3/4 of the way up the sides. Bake at 325F for 20-25 minutes, turn off the oven and leave the cupcakes to cool for another 20-30 minutes without opening the oven.

Serve completely cold

 

Walnut and Ricotta Cake 09/25/2010

Filed under: Cakes,Cheese,Cheesecake,Desserts,Mediterranean — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 11:22
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Soft, tangy ricotta cheese is widely used in Italian sweets. The cake sinks lightly after baking, don’t worry, this gives it an authentic appearance.

Ingredients

1 cup toasted walnuts

2/3 cup soft butter

2/3 cup sugar

5 eggs

2/3 cup ricotta

1/3 cup flour

vanilla extract or your choice

Directions

Cream together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolks, vanilla, ricotta cheese and flout and mix together.

Add the walnuts and mix.

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until sniff. Gradually whisk in the remaining sugar.

Carefully fold the whites into the ricotta mixture.

Preheat the oven at 375 F. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan. Turn the mixture into prepared pan and lever the surface.

Bake for 30 minutes until risen and firm. Leave the cake to cool in the pan.

For garnish I mixed 1 8 oz container mascarpone cheese and 2/3 cup ricotta.

Coat the cake with the cheese mixture and decorate as you wish

and serve

a closer view

 

 
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