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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Easy Smoked Fish Cake Recipe

This is part of the Secret Recipe Club. Recipe source: Cook Book of Trial and Error


  • 350g peeled potatoes
  • 75 ml milk
  • 350g smoked fish
  • 15 ml lemon juice
  • 5 ml dijon mustard
  • 115 g breadcrumbs
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

1.      Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain, mash with milk and season to taste.
2.      Dice the smoked fish. Add it to the mashed potato, along with the lemon juice and mustard. Mix well.
3.      Shape the mixture into fish cakes and coat with crumbs. Chill for about 30 minutes
4.      Shallow fry the fish cakes until golden brown on each side

Half Moon Cookies


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup milk (do not use non fat)

White Icing

  • ½ cup white chocolate coating or pieces
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon corn syrup
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Icing

  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
For the dough: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, lemon zest, salt, vanilla and baking powder. Beat in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, making sure you mix well after each addition. Carefully mix in flour, alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
Using a large cookie scoop, drop dough on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with a glass dipped in flour. Be sure you leave about 2 inches between each cookie on the cookie sheet.
Bake cookies until golden, about 9-11 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the icing: microwave chocolate in bowl until smooth. Sift powdered sugar in a large bowl. Stir in corn syrup, water and vanilla. Whisk in melted white chocolate until smooth. (To make cherry glaze add 2 tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice) Add more hot water a teaspoon at a time if chocolate is too thick. Using an offset spatula spread white chocolate over one half of each cookie. Let chocolate set completely.
While white chocolate sets, prepare semi sweet chocolate icing in the same manner. Spread semi sweet on second half of each cookie and let chocolate set completely.
Makes 36 cookies

Italian Black Bean Soup

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 lbs of hot or sweet Italian sausage and option is also to use meatballs
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 4 slices of pancetta chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 2/3 cup (1 can/16 oz) cooked Great Northern beans
  • 1 2/3 cup (1 can/16 oz) black beans
  • 1 2/3 cups (1 can/16 oz) of diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp of paprika 

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil/coconut oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop all the vegetables and sauté them in a pot with the olive or coconut oil and the panchetta. You should sauté them about 5-10 minutes, at least until the onion is translucent.
Add the sausage/meatballs to the vegetables. Then add the spices and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. After that add the chicken stock and beans and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.

Adapted from: This Chick Cooks

Mango Piña Colada Parfaits

Yield: 2 large parfaits (4 layers each) or about 8 small parfaits (2 layers each)

  • 1 box (4 bars) of Chunks O’ Fruti Mango Pineapple frozen fruit bars
  • 8 oz. of liquid – piña colada mixer, pineapple juice, mango nectar (or 6 oz. liquid + 2 oz. of Bacardi rum for adults)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of vanilla ice cream (or frozen yogurt, or coconut sorbet), softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Garnish with toasted macadamia nuts, coconut and pineapple crisps

To toast the macadamia nuts and coconut, place a few tablespoons of each in a dry skillet on medium heat.  Stir constantly and keep a close eye on them.  When you can smell the nuts and coconut (it took about 3-4 minutes at my place), remove the mixture from the pan and set aside to cool.

Stir the coconut extract into the softened ice cream.  It should be soft but not too liquid, so return it to the freezer for a minute or two if you need to before you assemble your parfaits.

Cut the Chunks O’ Fruti Mango Pineapple bars into 1 inch chunks and place in the pitcher of your blender.  (The Fruti bars are really easy to remove from the sticks and cut into pieces.)  Add the liquid to the blender and blend until smooth.

In pretty glasses, sundae cups or small bowls, layer the mango pineapple mixture and ice cream.  Sprinkle the tops of your parfaits with toasted macadamia nuts, coconut and crunchy pineapple crisps for a yummy crunchy tropical topping.

maple glazed whole wheat spiced apple pizza

adapted from chef in disguise
45 minutes, serves 8+

sawsan's original recipe calls for the zest of a whole orange, so that's what i used. and honestly, it was a bit overpowering. i like the combo of apples + orange, so i think the zest is good, it could just be toned down a bit. if you don't care for the combo, skip the orange zest completely.

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted 

for the apples:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large hard apples (gala and jonagold are good choices), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • zest of half an orange (optional, see note above)
  • zest of half a lemon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

for the streusel:

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

for the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons water 

If using a pizza stone, place it in your oven and preheat it to 450F. if you aren't using a pizza stone, preheat your oven to 450F. stretch your pizza dough into roughly a twelve inch circle and set aside.
Saute the apples. melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. once melted, add the brown sugar and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute. add the apples, turn down the heat to medium low and cook until the apples are tender and the sauce has been reduced to a glaze - it will become watery before it thickens - about 10 minutes. remove from heat and mix in the zest and spices.
Make the streusel (if you're super organized, make the streusel while the apples are sauteing). mix the flour, oats, sugar, and salt in a bowl. add the butter and use your hands to rub it into the mixture until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Spoon the hot apple mixture over the pizza dough evenly. sprinkle the streusel evenly over the apple mixture on the pizza. brush the crust with melted butter. bake until the crust is golden, about 8 minutes. remove from the oven and cool completely.
To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth. if the glaze is too thick, add water a little bit at a time, until it's the consistency you want. pour glaze over the cooled pizza. store leftover pizza in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sweet Tea Brined Chicken

Recipe from Southern Living Annual Recipes 2011

  • 8 regular tea bags
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 small sweet onion sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon cracked pepper
  • 2 cups ice cubes\
  • 1 whole chicken cut up, or a mix of chicken pieces

Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add tea bags. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes.

Toss tea bags. Stir in sugar and next 6 ingredients. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cool mixture completely, about 45 minutes. 

Stir in ice.

Place tea mixture and chicken in a large plastic bag. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Pat chicken dry.

Light one side of the grill to medium heat. Leave other side unlit.

Place chicken skin side down over the unlit side of the grill. Cover with lid and cook 20 minutes. 

Turn chicken and grill, covered for 40-50 minutes or until done.

Transfer chicken, skin side down to the lit side of the grill and grill 2-3 minutes until skin is crispy.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Actimel Mango and Passion Fruit Smoothie with Fresh Basil

For the smoothie

  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 large mango
  • 1 passion fruit
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 pots of Actimel Mango & Passionfruit Yogurt
  • 3 cubes of ice

Prepare the mango by standing it stem-down on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut through both sides of the mango, straight down so you're left with two "shells" on either side of the middle.

Take one shell, and slice three our four lines down the length of the mango, flesh side up. Do not cut through the skin, you're simply scoring the flesh here.

Rotate the mango shell and score across the flesh, making a grid.

Pick up the scored shell and push gently on the skin to cause the mango cubes to pop out of the skin. Using your knife, carefully slice between the base of each cube and the skin to remove each chunk of mango. Repeat with the second shell and, if you can feel the hard, fibrous core of the mango on the middle piece, discard it. Otherwise, slice thinly until you reach the inedible center.

Next, halve the passion fruit and set aside. Tear the basil leaves and set aside.

Pour the milk and yogurt into the base of your blender or smoothie maker along with the ice, mango and the passion fruit seeds from 1/2 of the passion fruit.

Drizzle in the honey, sprinkle in the basil and blend until smooth.

Serve topped with the remaining passion fruit and garnish with a sprig of fresh basil. Swirl to disperse the passion fruit evenly before drinking.