Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Cheesecake Kisses

From the genius Bakerella

I have been meaning to post this recipe for months now and am just now getting around to it. I made these for Valentines Day and they were a hit. I got the idea from one of my favorite food websites: Bakerella. If you have never been to her site, you should really go over and take a look, but I'm warning you it is not good for your diet! She is incredibly creative and always has fun dessert ideas to try out. Just don't say I didn't warn you about the diet thing.

Anyway, I was looking for a special Valentines Day recipe and decided tried this one out and loved it. It is very rich, with a cookie/cheesecake flavor and were really fun to make and eat!

1 package of oreos (18 ounces or 500 grams) of cream filled chocolate cookies
8 ounces (226 grams) cream cheese
1 1/2 cups chocolate bark (I used regular baking chocolate, you could use chips or whatever)

First, finely crush all but about 7 cookies in a ziplock bag, cream filled center and all. Try to get rid of all the big chunks. Stir in the cream cheese, using the back of a spoon to mash the two together. Roll the mixture into 1 inch (2.5 centimeter) balls and place the on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Then, form the balls into the shape of a kiss (cone shaped) coming to a point at the top. Put the balls in the freezer for 20 minutes or so to harden them a little bit so they dont fall apart when you cover them with chocolate.

*mine turned out a little different from Bakerella because they don't have oreos often in Austria, so I used a vanilla/chocolate cookie. Hence the multicolored inside instead of the dark oreo brown.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or very carefully in the microwave, stirring frequently) until you get about 1 1/2 cups of melted chocolate in a bowl. One at a time, dip the kisses one at a time into the chocolate, tap off the extra chocolate and slide them off onto the wax papered cookie sheet to dry. Once dry, refrigerate and enjoy!

To Decorate:
Write or type messages onto thin strips of paper. Cut out foil into 5 inch squares (about 13 centimeters), place a dry kiss in the center. Insert the message near the top and secure it as you wrap the kiss in the foil, covering it completely.

There you have it, homemade kisses for the one you love.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup

from Mom

I remember my mom making this growing up, always from scratch and always telling us how simple it was to put together and haw much better homemade was compared to the canned stuff. How right she was! This soup is so delicious and comforting.

Serves 6-8

8-10 cups chicken broth
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks
1 package of egg noodles
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook chicken pieces through and set aside. In a large soup pot, boil vegetables in broth until they are just beginning to soften.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan create a light roux by melting the butter over low heat, and then gradually adding flour, mixing constantly until incorporated. Then slowly add milk, stirring to get rid of lumps. Once the mixture is smooth, pour into the soup. Add chicken to heat through, and just before serving add the noodles and let simmer until they are just soft. Don't let the noodles sit for too long or they will get mushy. Serve immediately with fresh bread.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ben's Favorite Salad

I'm blessed. I married a man who likes salad. Loves it really. Which makes eating healthy in our house much easier. Lately Ben has been on this tuna+avocado+balsamic vinegar kick and made this creation last week for me and I was in heaven.

2-4 servings

1 bowl of leafy greens, torn into pieces
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 can high quality tuna (packed in water)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted almonds
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the greens and top with avocado, tomatoes, tuna, red onion. Drizzle with equal amounts of oil and vinegar and sprinkle on some salt and pepper to taste. Lets be honest here, you just toss it all together and eat. Perfect!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Angel Food Cake

adapted slightly from allrecipes

In Ben's family, the traditional birthday cake is a light fluffy cake with whipped cream and strawberries. Where my first instinct is to choose the darkest, densest chocolate cake possible, I have become fully converted to this lovely, chocolate-free treat. It is so light, and you feel so good after eating it! Anyway, this recipe was excellent and it turned out beautifully.

serves 20

12 eggs (1 1/2 cup egg whites)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar*
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C). Separate eggs; discard yolks. Place 1 1/2 cup egg whites in a mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (room temperature eggs whip better)

Meanwhile, sift confectioners' sugar and flour together and set aside. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Gently spoon batter into an ungreased 10 inche tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake at 350 F (176 C) for 40-45 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan, cool completely before removing cake.

nutritional analysis: each serving (1/20 of the cake) is about 100 calories (before toppings)

*I can not for the life of me find cream of tartar here in Europe. I'm sure they have it somewhere, but it's under a different name or something and I'm sick of trying to describe it in broken German to the salesperson. Anyway, if you don't have cream of tartar, you can substitute it with 1 1/2 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar.