What’s loveable about a coffee cake is that it can be eaten at any time of the day. I prefer a one that is not too sweet but is topped in sweet frosting and nuts, such as this lemon pistachio coffee cake. The lemon flavor is carried throughout in the cake and the frosting, then complemented with a topping of nice roasted salt pistachios. The addition of the sour cream boosts the lemon flavor.Read More
This garlic mushrooms with cream sauce is a deliciously wonderful “meatless” meal. I love serving it with rice and sliced spring onions. It’s easy to make, just some chopping, and a quick sauté. Large white mushrooms are transformed into golden meaty-like morsels. The cream sauce is made with light cream that is flavored with tarragon, white wine and lemon to brighten the taste. I confess, there never seems to be enough sauce.
I used the largest white button mushrooms I could find. They were 2” to 2-1/2” across the top. I like to clean mushrooms with a soft brush or just a paper towel. Mushrooms will absorb more water if washed in water which can result in a soggy water-filled cooked mushroom.
Mushrooms have a lot of water in them. When sautéed on a low heat and crammed together, the effect is steamed mushrooms. To get nice golden brown sautéed mushrooms, cook on a medium high heat with lots of space between the mushrooms. It takes longer to cook a large number of mushrooms because they need to be sautéed in batches. But the effort is well worth it.
Prep Time: 30 minutes, Cook Time: 25 minutes, Total Time: 55 minutes
Suggested tools: 12-inch 4-quart heavy bottom or stainless steel pan
24 ounces of large white mushrooms, each sliced into 4 slices
4 - 1 Tablespoon of 100% olive oil (not extra-virgin olive oil which should not be used for high heat cooking)
4 large fresh garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tablespoons butter
1 cup light cream
1/3 cup of water
Juice from 1/2 large lemon
2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
1/4 cup white wine, preferably a sweet Riesling
white ground pepper and kosher salt to taste
4 large fresh spring onions, ends cut off and sliced diagonally (include as much of the green stem as possible)
Divide the sliced mushrooms into 4 batches. Add 2 Tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet. On medium-high heat, allow the olive oil to reach sizzling hot. Add the first batch of sliced mushroom. Making sure the mushrooms are not touching each other, brown one side for about 2 minutes. Gently stir at least once. Turn over mushrooms and brown 1 minutes. Note: If the skillet is too full, the mushrooms will cook as steamed rather than browning. Push the mushrooms all the way to the side of the skillet.
Repeat the above step for the next 2 batches of mushrooms, adding 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil if/when necessary.
On the last group, add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil if necessary. Brown for 2 minutes, Turn over the mushrooms and add the garlic on top. Sauté for 1 minute, then bring in the first 3 groups of mushrooms and stir. Remove about 1/4 to 1/2 of the mushrooms and garlic to a warm bowl. Set aside.
The skillet will be very hot, so remove it from the. Turn the heating unit to low. While the skillet is cooling down to a lower temperature, push the remaining mushrooms to the side. Melt the butter in skillet. Slowly stir in the cream, while scraping up the bottom of the pan for any juices and residual from the mushrooms. Stir in the water, lemon juice, wine, and tarragon sprigs. Mix well with the mushroom. Add pepper and salt to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes.
Serve hot. Garnish with the reserved mushrooms and sliced spring onions.
Clean mushrooms with a soft brush or just a paper towel. Mushrooms will absorb more water if washed in water which can result in a soggy water-filled cooked mushroom. Mushrooms have a lot of water in them. When sautéed on a low heat and crammed together, the effect is steamed mushrooms. To get nice golden brown sautéed mushrooms, cook on a medium high heat with lots of space between the mushrooms. It takes longer to cook a large number of mushrooms because they need to be sautéed in batches. But the effort is well worth it.
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A wonderful alternative to white cauliflower is the green cauliflower. Its flavor is sweet, mild and nutty. In this recipe, I chose to complement and intensify its flavor with sweet onion and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. The cheese is baked on cauliflower florets while some of the cheese falls onto the sheet pan and browns. The results is a very tasty side dish. I found myself snacking on the cold leftover.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
Tools: Sheet pan spread with no-stick bakery spray
1 large head of green cauliflower, broken up into florets cut in half
1 large sweet onion
8 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
2 eggs beaten
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Cut the sweet onion into wedges about 1-1/2” wide, then in halves
Toss florets and onion together, and salt and pepper to taste
Pour beaten eggs over floret mixture and toss thoroughly
Pour melted butter over floret mixture and toss thoroughly
Toss the coated florets in the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Pour and spread out the florets and onions onto the sheet
Bake for 20 minutes, turn over the florets and continue to cook for 15 minutes
You may decide to substitute Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with Parmesan. However, do note the cheese flavor will be less intense because of the difference between the two kinds of cheese. The latter being an imitation. Yes, it’s less expensive. I get around this by waiting for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to go on sale.
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I used my delicious leftover Chunky Strawberry Compote. You can substitute your strawberry shortbread milkshake with strawberry preserve or even frozen strawberry that includes a syrup. But frankly, I preferred a compote that was made with fresh strawberries.
I used sugar-free shortbread cookies made by Vootman Bakery. The cookies measure 3” in diameter. If you can’t find this brand, then, of course, use another brand. I strongly suggest using a sugar-free shortbread cookie or simply bake your own.
Yields 1 - 16-ounce glass
Tools: Electric blender and a long handle spoon
1 pint vanilla ice cream, frozen
1/3 cup whole milk
2-3 shortbread cookies, crushed
3-4 Tablespoon strawberry compote
1 strawberry cut into quarters for garnish
Piped whip cream for garnish
Pack the crushed shortbread cookies into the bottom of a glass.
Add a layer of the strawberry compote to fill about 2” or more.
In a blender, add 1 pint of scoops of ice cream.
Pulse the ingredients on chop (or mix) about 4-5. Take care to blend sufficient for a very thick texture.
Pour milkshake into the glass to about 3/4” from the top.
Top the milkshake with piped whip cream and garnish with a slice of strawberry
To keep the milkshake nice and cold, especially during the preparations, chill both the blender container and the serving glass. Add more shortbread cookies to yield about 2” at the bottom of the glass.
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10 ounces of washed packaged mixed lettuce greens
4 ounces fresh strawberries, washed, tops cut off and then cut into quarters
1 sweet orange, peeled and segments cut into pieces
2-3 ounces of whole pecans with some broken into large pieces
Orange and ginger vinaigrette (yields 1 cup):
1/3 cup orange juice
Juice from 1/2 orange
Grated orange from 1/2 orange
1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated or 1-2 teaspoons dry ginger
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Whisk together the first six ingredients, blending it well. Then continue to whisk while drizzling in the olive oil. Chill the vinaigrette for at least 1-2 hours. However, for flavors to best come together, make it the day before needed.
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