BOB Recipe: Hot Fudge Sauce

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from:  Baker’s
Product:  Unsweetened chocolate squares

BOB Recipe:  Hot Fudge Sauce

Pre:  10 minutes

1 pkg. (8 squares) Bakers Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream

Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwavable bowl on High 2 minutes or until butter is melted.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Add milk, cream and sugar; stir until well blended.  Microwave 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and sugar is completely dissolved, stirring after 3 minutes.  Stir in vanilla.  Store in refrigerator.  Makes 3 1/2 cups or 28 (2 tbsp) servings.

To warm sauce: Spoon sauce into microwavalbe bowl or measuring cup.  Microwave on High 2 minutes or just until heated through, stirring after each minutes.

Bob Recipe: Salted Caramel ice Cream Topping

from:  Grassland
Product:  Butter

Bob Recipe:  Salted Caramel ice Cream Topping
Active time:  15 minutes  Total time:  15 minutes   Amount:  About 1 1/2 cups

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tbsps water
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Ice cream

In large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, butter, water and salt.  Cook until melted and bubbly around the edge, stirring frequently.  Continue cooking 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat; stir in baking soda and vanilla.  Stir until caramel darkens in color (about 1-2 minutes).  Let stand 1 minute; serve over ice cream.

Note:  Caramel topping will harden slightly when poured over ice cream.

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Bob Recipe: Apple Shortbread Crumble

from:  Grassland
Product:  Butter

Bob Recipe:  Apple Shortbread Crumble
Active time:  15 minutes  Total time: 50 minutes  Amount:  24 bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling

In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture, press remaining mixture into bottom of a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish.  Top with apple pie filling; sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over pie filling.

Bake in a preheated 375 F oven 28-32 minutes or until lightly browned.

Apple_Pie_Filling-6

Smart Reasons to read “Smart Eating Made Simple by Jane Ibbetson”

SMART EATING MADE SIMPLE
If you desire to eat healthy, then this book is for you.   Author Jane Ibbetson, a nutritionist and educator, offers simple guide to healthy eating with the end of improving quality of life and high level of wellness.   Jane’s book to me is really a smart book for smart people.  We hear new names of diets almost every week and we get sick and tired of being treated as “gullible and confused consumers”.   All we need is a good advice and tips to eating healthy, along with taste-tested recipes — as simple as that, as smart as that.   So I love this book for all the smart reasons — foods that heal, choosing the healthy fats, information on trans-fats, glycemic index, quasi-vitamins and yes, more than 125 recipes.   I already bookmarked and included in my to-do list:  Bulgogi, Succotash with Barbecue Sauce, Daily Instant Miso Soup, and Avocado Tuna Salad.
Ambrosia

1 cup mandarin oranges
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup dates, chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped
Mix the yogurt, orange juice and honey, then combine the oranges, pineapple, and coconut with the yogurt mixture.  Top with dates and pecans.  Serve well chilled.

Here’s the presss release shared to me….

Health advice making your head spin?    Nutritionist offers a simple guide to eating to improve quality of life

Don’t eat that.

The list of foods we are told to avoid in order to maintain a healthy diet grows longer by the day. Try this new approach: do eat this. Nutritional counselor Jane Ibbetson shares how achieving a healthy diet can be easy in her new book.

Smart Eating Made Simple is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to nutritional eating and a better lifestyle. With an emphasis on plant-based meals, Ibbetson’s formulas aim to reduce the risk of chronic disease and increase energy and lifespan in people of all ages.

“We hear what we should not eat all the time,” Ibbetson said. “In today’s hectic world, people seem to have lost knowledge of how to have a healthful and fulfilling lifestyle. People are tired of being sick and sick of being tired. This book is a comprehensive guide to smart eating in order to achieve an invigorated and healthy life.”

Ibbetson’s advice, explanations and more than 125 recipes offer a full nutritional package and assist readers of all ages and budgets in areas from the grocery store to food preparation.

Smart Eating Made Simple
By Jane Ibbetson
Paperback: $19.95
Hardcover: $28.99
E-book: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1-4685-6657-8
Available at: amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and authorhouse.com.

About the author:
Jane Ibbetson holds a Master of Science in nutrition and works as an educator and nutritional counselor for high-risk families. Along with her more than 16 years of nutritional counseling experience, Ibbetson developed an interest in healthy eating over an extended period of time and is a prime example of the lifestyle changes she advocates. She lives with her husband in Arizona and enjoys spending time with her six children and 12 grandchildren.

DECEMBER 8 2012

Bob Recipe: Quick & Easy Southern Banana Pudding

Who makes the best banana pudding?  Not Paula Dean.  You..with this yummy banana pudding recipe.

from:  Benton’s
Product:  Vanilla Wafers

Bob Recipe:  Quick & Easy Southern Banana Pudding

1 pkg (3 1/2 oz) vanilla instant pudding & pie filling
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whipped topping, divided
40 vanilla wafers, divided
2 bananas, sliced, divided
1/4 cup caramel topping or 2 tablespoons  chocolate topping

In medium bowl combine pudding mix, milk and vanilla.  With electric mixer, beat 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened.  Add 1 cup whipped topping.  In 1 1/2 quart round dish layter half of wafers, bananas and pudding.  Drizzle with topping.  Repeat layers, ending with pudding.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup of whipped topping.  Top with 3 crushed cookies, if desired.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

“LIGHT AND CRISP ON THE EDGES” Buttermilk Waffles and Strawberry Maple Syrup

So we start with lazy summer mornings.  I love breakfast, I want my breakfast.  Specially summer,  I love me some home cooked breakfasts.   Bacon, sausage and eggs — I’ve got to have them.   And they’re simply out from the fridge and into the frying pan, so easy, so simple as 1-2-3.   My guilty craving though — wonderful “light and crispy on the edges yet soft and not heavy on the inside” waffles.  Sorry not frozen “eggos”, but only homemade waffles.   From basic buttermilk waffles to the wicked double chocolate and brownie waffles…paired with whipped cream, berry or maple syrup, nutella, butter…that simply adds a special touch to the start of my day.   With a very efficient waffle iron (I can only think of one at this time, World’s best Chef’s Choice Classic Waffle Pro, from Edgecraft Corporation, please read my full review below), the possibilities are endless.   The waffle ingredients are similar to pancake ingredients, with just few minor changes to ensure waffles have that light and crisps texture on the waffle edges.  Oil instead of butter is preferred, as butter has water particles on it and results to more moisture in the waffle batter and makes waffles limp more.   Substitute cornstarch to some of the flour for lighter and less heavy batter.  Baking soda is the preferred leavener as it aids in giving that nice browning to cooked waffles.   Recipe for my winning combo of Buttermilk Waffles and Fresh Strawberry/Maple Syrup follows, but start by making the strawberry syrup first since it can sit while you make the waffle batter.

“LIGHT AND CRISP ON THE EDGES” BUTTERMILK WAFFLES

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour    1/4 cup cornstarchStra
4 tablespoon dried buttermilk powder (I’m not a big fan of buttermilk in the jug)
3 tablespoons sugar   1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda    1 teaspoon salt   2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream   1/4 cup vegetable oil   1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract    1 1/4 cups water
Combine the first 6 dry ingredients in a large bowl, and use a wire whisk to aerate or combine.  Whisk eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl, mixing well.   Whisk in water gently into the egg mixture.  Pour wet ingredients to dry ingredient and combine using wire whisk and spatula, stirring until just combined and there are no large visible lumps of flour mixture in the waffle batter.   Pour the waffle batter onto “lightly Pam-sprayed” hot waffle iron according to manufacturer’s manual or guide (using Chef’s Choice Classic Waffle Pro, setting on # 6 or highest temperature, and use 1/3 cup measures for each preheated waffle form square).  Bake for 3 minutes or until waffle is crips and nutty brown.  Makes 10 waffles.   Drizzle with strawberry maple syrup and top with whipped cream…oh it’s summer relief goodness.

FABULOUS STRAWBERRY MAPLE SYRUP
Maple Syrup and almond extract added just elevates this syrup to another level, “to-die for”.

1 lb ripe fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced   1 cup sugar    1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook strawberries and sugar until they become mushy and syrupy.   Remove from heat and use an immersion or stick blender to make a smooth syrup.   Stir in maple syrup and almond extract.  Return to heat to boil 1 more minute.   Store refrigerated. Serve over pancakes, waffles, ice cream or angel food and pound cakes.

Sarah’s Favorite Ice Cream Sundae Sauces

Always screaming for ice cream….and now that summer is almost knocking at our door soon, I expect these sauces not to last long.   But chill any leftovers, and reheat in the microwave before pouring/spooning into scoops of your favorite ice cream.  Love the marriage of frozen ice cream and hot toppings.

CHOCOLATE SAUCE
1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup water
2  tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl; set aside. Combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in a small liquid measuring cups.  Microwave for 2 minutes, stir well until sugar is dissolved.   Pour hot sugar mixture over chocolate; stir gently with a wire whisk until smooth.
STRAWBERRY SAUCE
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
few drops of red food coloring
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and let stand for 5 minutes.  Cook to boiling, then reduce heat, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.

 

Sarah’s “Firm Enough” Bread Pudding

 

There’s not a whole lot of directions in making a bread pudding.   Back in the days (before the computer age, of course), there was not even a need to have a recipe.  It was simply tearing stale (not moldy) white bread, a bit dry then, into small pieces then tossing with a custard base of evaporated milk, beaten eggs, sugar and vanilla.  We loved it, we still do now, bread pudding that is firm and can nicely be cut into squares.  I know “pudding”  should be a bit soft…but the kind of bread pudding we used to bake and enjoy eating never had butter mixed in nor heavy whipping cream.   And we never had to make a sauce to go along with it…what for!

Well, I had to try another pandesal (Filipino bread) but I still had many gallon-size plastic bags filled with old pandesal and dinner rolls and challah.  Only 2 options — make a bread pudding or run bread pieces in food processor for homemade bread crumbs.   I only need about 6 to 8 cups of bread cubes to make my bread pudding.  So the rest of the bread…packed in freezer bags as bread crumbs (and just a question, why commercial plain bread crumbs are so pricey?).

I made my bread pudding with 7 cups of bread — firm enough, soft enough, just perfect for me.  If you see a pool of custard base still with 6 cups of bread, then add more bread pieces.   And be sure to let the bread gently soak up the custard base.   Ready to make the bread pudding with me?

Sarah’s “Firm Enough” Bread Pudding
Not eggy, not buttery-rich…but simply yummy!

7 cups bread (with crusts) cut into nice chunks, lightly packed

Custard Base
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups whole milk
½ cup raisins
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat oven t 350 F.  Pam-spray (or lightly grease/butter) a 9 x 13 baking dish (I prefer Pyrex glass dish for bread pudding); set aside.

In a medium saucepan, warm milk to almost boiling; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla.   Gradually add warmed milk, whisking well (this is the custard base).  Add bread pieces and allow to soak up some of the custard base.  Fold in raisins and crushed pineapple.  Transfer to prepared dish and add more bread slices, if needed, up to 1 cup.   Bake for about 45 minutes or until a thin-bladed knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  If you want a darker top, just run under the broiler for some 30 seconds (watch it!).  Cool completely in wire rack.  Cut into squares and serve.   Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Delicious…I never like it warm…I love it chilled overnight first in the fridge.

Tembleque (Coconut Custard)

There are plenty of eats at La Palma Puerto Rican restaurant, 1340 N Homan Ave, Chicago, you are guaranteed “…you will not leave hungry !”.   So true (jibarito and tostones, to die for).    But for this post, I’d like you to meet “tembleque”…a sweetheart of a dessert — pillowy soft, velvety smooth, delicately rich and definitely a pudding of the “Gods”.   Tembleque is the Puerto Ricans’ version of Hawaiian’s haupia or Filipinos’ maja blanca  — a sliceable thick coconut pudding chilled until firm.   I begged for the recipe of the tembleque from La Palma’s owner Don Kramer…and really thought I had a good chance of getting it, but nope, must be another recipe secret “not to be shared”.  I googled tembleque and found a recipe, got excited to try it…but the recipe wasn’t even close to La Palma’s tembleque.   It thickened nicely, but it was too rich, the coconut flavor was overpowering, instead of just “sweet enough” and light, delicate coconut flavors.

I printed a haupia recipe I found online and to my surprise (and why didn’t I think about this ingredient right away…sorry I’m no Todd Wilbur)….milk was added to the pudding mixture.  Yes, yes, yes….I think I solve the mystery of the Tembleque.

Result of my first try with the recipe:  close, very close to La Palma’s and I love that it cuts nicely too.   Make sure to leave in the fridge to chill (overnight for me) and firm up.  Yummy!
TEMBLEQUE
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
1 can (12 oz) unsweetened coconut milk (Chaokoh brand is best)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together to combine: cornstarch, salt and 1/2 cup whole milk.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil the remaining 1 cup whole milk, coconut milk and sugar, whisking well to dissolve the sugar.   Reduce heat to medium-low heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.   Whisk constantly until pudding thickens.   Off the heat, stir in vanilla.  Transfer to an 8 inch square Pyrex dish and chill until firm.    Cut into squares, dust top with cinnamon powder and serve.

Make sure to dine in at La Palma on your next visit to Chicago (http://lapalmarestaurant.com/), and share your wonderful experience and photos too.

Make sure to dine in at La Palma on your next visit to Chicago (http://lapalmarestaurant.com/), and share your wonderful experience and photos too.

Green Tea (Matcha) Jelly

A small can of good quality green tea powder costs about $ 7.00, but it’s worth it.  Since you really don’t need a lot of matcha to impart that “grassy green tastes” in your cooking or baking, a little matcha goes a long, long way, you’d use your matcha for months.  Once opened, I store my canned matcha in the fridge to retain its sweet and mild tastes.

I used matcha for cookies and ice cream.  But it’s time to make something different, something new.  I found this recipe of Green Tea Jelly from Harumi Kurihara’s book, Harumi’s Japanese Cooking.  I tried it  with some minor adjustments and I fell in love with it…it didn’t last too long in my fridge.  It’s easy!

GREEN TEA (MATCHA) JELLY
(Adapted from Harumi’s Japanese Cooking)

The Jelly:
1 packet Knox unflavored gelatin, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
3 teaspoons green tea (matcha) powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cold water

Slowly sprinkle unflavored gelatin in liquid measuring cup filled with 1/4 cup water; let bloom for a minute.  Zap mixture in microwave 1 minute (may need to zap more in 10 seconds intervals) to fully dissolve gelatin.   In a medium mixing bowl, mix green tea powder and sugar and mix in gelatin mixture.   Slowly stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water, whisking well to combine.   Transfer to a mold and refrigerate overnight until set to a soft gel.

The Sauce:
1/2  cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2  cup whole milk

Combine the 2 milks together in a medium bowl.  Drop scoops (using a spoon) of the jelly in combined milk and blend well.   Serve in parfait glasses and top with “halo-halo” mix (available in oriental stores).

It’s addicting…and it’s healthy!