Not too little, not too much

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

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Sweet Cranberry Breads 12/02/2010

Filed under: Baking,Breads,Breakfast,Christmas — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 21:46
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It’s already Thursday night and I don’t know when this week went by.

It started with some touches on the Christmas decorations, followed by a ruined afternoon at the doctor’s office while waiting for a blood test, the MOPS meeting and child care center volunteer work. The time flew for me this week.

Yesterday I told you I attended my first MOPS meeting. It was such a great experience. I met new wonderful moms and amazing mentors. As i said, we celebrated Romania’s anniversary so I thought it would be nice to share with them a Romanian cinnamon swirl bread and they all loved it. I came back home with just 2 slices. Now I have to make it again and I share it with you, well, at least the recipe, I’ll be thinking about you while eating it 😀

While I was at the meeting, I dropped Tiffany at the nursery. It was the first time we were apart for more than 5 minutes.  Needless to say how stressed I was for leaving her with strangers. But she was fine, she loved it. When the meeting was over and had to take her back home she start crying, she wanted to stay longer.I felt so helpless.

Getting home I went quickly through my mail and found a letter from the child care center asking me if I’m still interesting to volunteer. Yeeee I was so happy. I knew this way Tiffany gets to play with other kids while we are still together.

She was so happy to see the kids again. The big smiley on her face melt my heart.

 

Today, I’m not going to post any recipe, just tease you with a photo

 

Hungry for some more? Head over to Chef Dennis blog to read my guest post.

http://www.morethanamountfull.com/2010/12/its-guest-post-friday-with-green-girl.html

 

I can’t even describe how honored I was when Chef Dennis asked me to be a guest on his blog.

 

And if you think my day could not get any better, you’re wrong, hihi, Nancy from Spicie Foodie just let me know I won $75  yeeeeee

http://spiciefoodie.blogspot.com/2010/12/giveaway-winner-2011-calendar-and.html

Thank you once again Nancy.

 

Enough about me, let’s go over Chef Dennis blog and enjoy a cranberry bread

 

 

Later Edit – adding the recipe

Sweet Cranberry Breads

 

 

Ingredients

4 cups bread flour

1 1/3 cups lukewarm milk

1 package dry yeast

2-3 tbsp honey/sugar/agave syrup whatever fits your taste

3 tbsp butter

1/3 cup dried cranberries

 

Directions

In a bowl pour the lukewarm milk and add the yeast

honey

stir well and leave until the yeast dissolves (is not going to foam, don’t worry)

add the cubed butter and cranberries

start mixing slowly adding the flour

continue until dough cleans itself off the sides of the  bowl and forms a smooth ball

place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover with foil and leave at room temperatures until it doubles in volume.

when the dough has risen divide it in 12 small balls. place them on baking tray and leave another 30 minutes at room temperature.

heat the over at 400 F. brush the breads with egg wash and sprinkle some sugar (brown in my case) on top

bake them for 16-17 minutes

anyone, care to join me?

I don’t want to hear I didn’t ask 😛

 

Dinner Rolls 11/27/2010

Filed under: Baking,Breads,Christmas,Holiday — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 21:59
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Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and got lots of good deals on Black Friday hehehe, for those outside US, hope you all are having the time of your life. C’mon, chin up, Christmas is right around the corner. Oh, the cinnamon aroma taking over the kitchen, the smell of fresh-cut Christmas tree, the carols playing at the radio while driving, the cookies, oh, the cookies, the sexy gingermen, and let’s not forget about the presents and the kisses under the mistletoe 

I love this time of the year, if it is up to me I’d skip Thanksgiving and start decorating next day after Halloween

Now, back to my latest dinner rolls accompanied by some Christmasy music

 

 

Ingredients

4 cups bread flour

1 package dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm milk

1/4 cup butter

1 egg

For topping

1 egg

poppy seeds

sesame seeds

black sesame seeds/nigella

sea salt

* you can use whatever you want to top them or even leave them plain.

Directions

Make a well in the middle of the flour. Cream the yeast and little milk, pour into the well and leave about 5 minutes.

Add the egg and  melted butter

 

Start mixing while slowly add the rest of the milk forming a smooth and elastic dough.

Place in a greased bowl, cover with foil and leave to rise until doubled.

When risen, take the dough out and divide it into 12 (almost) equal balls.

Shape each ball as you wish or as shown HERE

 

Place them on baking sheets and leave to rise again. Meanwhile heat the oven at 425F.

Brush them with egg and sprinkle with seeds/salt if you use.

 

Bake them for 16-18 minutes or until golden.

 

enjoy

 

In case you were thinking we don’t have the tree up, you were wrong, hubby did today

Did you start decorating the house ?

 

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

 

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

 

 

Honey Crescents 05/28/2010

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 21:12
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These rolls go hand in hand with milk or coffee in the morning.

Ingredients

1 sachet dry yeast (7 gr)

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp honey

250 ml lukewarm milk

2 tbsp butter

500 – 550 gr all-purpose flour

1 egg for brushing

In a bowl cream the yeast with 1/4 cup milk. Let stand about 10 minutes.

The rest of the milk mix it with the melted butter and honey.

Mix the flour with salt and make a well. Add the yeast mixture.

Gradually add the milk-butter mixture to make a soft dough, kneading for 3-5 minutes.

Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it double in size, about 45 minutes.

When the dough doubled, place if on the working table and flattened it. Cut it in (almost equal) 12 – 16 triangles.

Roll them and place on 2 baking sheets. Leave another 5 – 10 minutes at room temperature. Brush them with the lightly beaten egg.

Bake them in preheated oven at 350 F  for 15 minutes.

 

 
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