Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Strawberry Schaum Torte

These wonderful, lightly sweet and crunchy dessert shells are also called Meringues or Pavlova.  However, in Wisconsin, we call them Schaum Tortes.  Instead of a birthday cake, my family often requests this dessert. 

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup white sugar
coconut, if desired

sliced strawberries, sweetened with a little sugar - set aside until juicy
vanilla ice cream
whipped cream

Heat oven to 275 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in small mixer bowl until foamy.  Slowly beat in sugar (a tablespoon at a time).  Continue beating until stiff and glossy.  Do not under beat.  Drop meringues by 1/3 to 1/2 cupfuls onto parchment.  Shape into circles with the back of a spoon,  building up the sides.  Sprinkle each with 1 TBS coconut if desired.

Bake 1 1/2 hours.  Turn off oven; leave meringue in oven with door closed for 1 hour.  Finish cooling meringue at room temperature. 

Top with vanilla ice cream, sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.

**Tip:  When you separate your eggs, watch that not even a speck of yolk gets in there.  You also need a super clean mixing bowl.  Even the tiniest bit of fat will prevent your egg whites from whipping up properly.

Also, I do not recommend that you make these on a humid or rainy day.  They may become sticky and tough.

Serves 8-10

Source:  Betty Crocker


Monday, February 27, 2012

Shiitake Hot and Sour Soup

I saw Ming Tsai make this delicious soup on his show "Simply Ming" and I knew I just had to make it.  He said this soup was designed for super immunity. The shiitake mushrooms along with the garlic, ginger, onions, and peppers all have immunity-boosting properties. Bolster your defenses against germs while enjoying this hearty dish.

1 TBS grape seed oil (or olive oil)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 jalapeño, minced (remove membrane and seeds if you don't like it too spicy)
1 TBS minced ginger
7 garlic cloves, sliced
1 lb shiitakes, stems removed and tops 1/4-inch sliced
16 fresh Brussels sprouts, quartered 
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
2 TBS soy sauce
Juice of 2 lemons
1 block silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups shredded carrots
Freshly cracked black pepper

In a stockpot over medium-high heat, add oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add chopped onion and cook til tender.  Add jalapeño, ginger and garlic. Sauté until aromatic, about 2-3 minutes. Add shiitakes and sauté and additional 2 minutes, until softened.  Add Brussels sprouts.

Add stock and soy sauce, bring to a simmer and cover and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Add lemon juice, tofu and carrots and cook gently for 2 more minutes to heat tofu through. Season with black pepper.

If needed, you may add 2 TBS sugar.

Ladle soup into serving bowls and enjoy!

Serves 4

Source: Ming Tsai


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chicken Biscuits

I received this recipe from a lady I used to babysit for...almost 30 years ago.  She set out the ingredients and asked me to make these for her kids one night for dinner.  I went home that night with my $1 an hour pay and a yummy recipe that I have made many, many times.  This is so easy and so delicious! 
I like to serve these Chicken Biscuits with Stove Top Stuffing, a green vegetable and a salad. I use a few tablespoons of the dry stuffing mix for my crushed croutons to sprinkle on top.

1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

2 (5 oz) cans chicken
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 TBS butter, melted
2 TBS milk
salt & pepper to taste

crushed dry bread crumbs or crushed seasoned croutons
2 TBS butter, melted

Mix together the chicken, cream cheese, 2 TBS melted butter, milk, salt and pepper.

Seal the crescent rolls to form 4 rectangles.  Top each rectangle with a fourth of the chicken mixture.  Fold up the corners to meet in the center.  Pinch edges to seal.

Brush the top of each chicken bundle with 2 TBS melted butter and sprinkle with crushed bread crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serves 4


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spice Cookies

So soft, moist and chewy.  These cookies are one of my family's favorites.  A cup of tea or a glass of milk and a couple of these cookies are sure to satisfy anyone.

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter.  Add the sugars and beat for 3-5 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla, mix together.  Add molasses and beat for 20 seconds.

Sift together the dry ingredients.  Gradually, incorporate the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture (in about 3 batches).  Chill dough for 2-3 hours.

Roll dough into balls the size of a walnut (about 1 1/4 inches).  Place a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl.  Roll the balls in the sugar to coat.

Place balls 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  Do not over bake.  Cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.  Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

Makes about 4 dozen