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.

 

Brussels Sprouts au Gratin and Green Vegetable Soup 12/11/2010

As much as I love green, no, I didn’t cook both today, just the soup.  The Brussels sprouts au gratin I baked the other day just didn’t have the time to resize the photos and post it.

I like Brussels sprouts, mostly roasted sprinkled with a pinch of nutmeg but lately that’s the only way I had them so I decided to make a gratin. Sounded good and tasted way better than I imagined. I know lots of people who don’t like these tiny cabbages and I don’t understand why. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C and are a good source of folate and vitamin A (beta-carotene). They are cruciferous vegetables and contain phytochemicals that may help prevent cancer.

 

Brussels Sprouts au Gratin

 

Ingredients

lit over 1 pound Brussels sprouts

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

few garlic cloves

1 oz grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp butter

salt and pepper

 

Directions

Mix the milk, heavy cream, Parmesan, finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Slice the Brussels sprouts

Butter 2 casseroles, divide the sliced Brussels sprouts between them and pour over the milk/cream mixture.

Bake in preheated oven (350 F) for about 45-50 minutes or until they are soft and start to brown on top.

 

 

Now, the soup.

 

I have a problem with my fridge. If  the vegetables are left outside the fridge drawers they freeze although the thermostat is set as low as it can be. The same goes for eggs if I don’t place them on one of the door’ shelves.

Last night my husband decided to make himself a salad and trying to get everything out of the drawers he put some vegetables on the fridge shelves and forgot them there. This morning when I opened the fridge to make breakfast, surprise, I had 3 frozen zucchini and 2 frozen broccoli crowns. Well, what was I supposed to say, nothing would make them fresh again. While we were enjoying our breakfast I remembered a broccoli-zucchini soup I had once and since we were out of soup the memory came in handy.

I melted some butter and sauté 2 chopped leeks and 2 celery ribs.

 

Meanwhile I chopped the zucchini, broccoli and 5 Brussels sprouts. Added them to the pot and covered with stock.

When the vegetables were cooked I let them cool slightly and purée the soup. Returned it to the pot and added 1 cup Greek yogurt.

Serve warm to hot with more yogurt.

Linking this to

 

hearthandsoulgirlichef

 

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

 

Cheesy Stuffed Bell Peppers 10/23/2010

Filed under: Latin America,Main dish,Mexican,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 19:50
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My plan was to make stuffed eggplants or stuffed carnival squash but, if there is one thing I’m good at that would be changing my mind in a heart beat. Since I had 6 bell peppers in the fridge, the first idea was to stuff them with rice and raisins, then with rice and other vegetables and other few combinations. In the end I remembered that I ate once at a Mexican restaurant peppers stuffed with beans. But I didn’t have Poblano peppers so why not use regular peppers instead? This is how a memory turned into a delicious and satisfying meal.

 

Ingredients

4 bell peppers

1  1/2 onion

1 1/2 tomato

few garlic cloves

1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar

2 eggs

corn oil

2/3 cup dried beans*

 

cook the dry beans with 1/2 onion, 1/2 tomato, thyme and 1 Jalapeño or Serrano pepper. when cooked remove the onion, tomato, pepper and thyme springs.

 

Directions

Turn on the broiler and roast the bell peppers until the skin get black and blistered. Meanwhile heat some oil and cook the onion and garlic for few minutes or until soft.

 

Add the tomatoes and cook few more minutes.

 

 

Remove from the heat and add the beans. Season to taste and mash almost half of them.

 

 

Back to the peppers. Remove the skin and seeds.

 

and fill them with the beans mixture.

 

 

Break the eggs and beat them lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix with the cheese. Pour over the peppers.

 

Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes until the egg is set and cheese melts.

 

 

Serve hot

 

 

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

 

 
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