Monday, December 29, 2014

Mini Taco Quiches


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 flour tortillas (10 inches)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F Grease 12 muffin pan cups. Set aside.
  2. Cook beef and onions in large nonstick skillet until meat is browned; drain. Remove from heat. Stir in olives, tomato sauce, 1/4 cup water, taco seasoning, hot sauce and egg; mix well.
  3. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut each flour tortilla into 3 rounds. Fit tortilla rounds into prepared muffin cups. Fill each tortilla cup wih 1/4 cup meat mixture. Top each with sour ceam and cheese. Bake 25 minutes or until heated through.
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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Downunder Cheese Puffs


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups cheese, grated


  1. Beat the egg in the milk; mix together with the flour, baking powder, salt and grated cheese.
  2. Put large teaspoonfuls on a cold greased tray.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes in a hot oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
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Friday, December 26, 2014

Cannoli Cake



  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar (divided)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 large oranges
  • 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (optional)


  • 1 (32 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate, mini pieces
  • 1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (for feather- design on top of cake)


  • 3 tablespoons margarine or 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whipping cream


  1. FOR THE CAKE: Begin early in day or day ahead to make Cannoli Cake.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F In small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually sprinkle in 1/2 cup sugar, beating until sugar completely dissolves and whites stand in stiff peaks.
  3. In large bowl, using same beaters and with mixer at low speed, beat egg yolks, flour, baking powder, salt, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 Tablespoons water until blended. With rubber spatula, gently fold beaten egg whites into egg-yolk mixture, one-third at a time.
  4. Spoon batter into UNGREASED 10 inch by 3 inch springform pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until cake is golden and top springs back when lightly touched.
  5. Invert cake in pan on wire rack; cool completely in pan.
  6. FOR BRUSHING CAKE LAYERS: From oranges, grate 2 teaspoons peel (use the rest of peel for the filling) and squeeze 1/3 cup juice (IF NOT USING LIQUEUR, INCREASE JUICE TO 1/2 CUP). Stir liqueur into 1/3 cup juice; set aside.
  7. FOR THE FILLING: In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat ricotta, cream cheese, rest of the grated orange peel, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup semisweet-chocolate mini pieces.
  8. With metal spatula, loosen cake from edge of pan; remove pan side. Loosen cake from pan bottom; remove pan bottom. With serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Brush orange-juice mixture evenly over cut side of both layers.
  9. Place bottom cake layer, cut-side up, on cake plate. Spoon ricotta-cheese filling on center of cake layer. Spread some filling out to edge, leaving a center rounded to achieve a dome effect.
  10. Cut a small wedge out of remaining cake layer; and gently rest cake layer over filling. (Cutting wedge will allow cake layer to bend, without cracking, to fit over dome shape.).
  11. PREPARE VANILLA-CREAM FROSTING: In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat 3 Tablespoons margarine or butter, softened, 3 Tablespoons milk, 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth, adding more milk if necessary until mixture has an easy spreading consistency. In large bowl, using same beaters and with mixer at medium speed, beat 2 cups heavy or whipping cream until stiff peaks form; fold confectioners’-sugar mixture into whipped cream. Spread over top and down side of cake.
  12. In a heavy small saucepan over low heat, heat remaining 1/3 cup mini pieces, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.
  13. Into waxed-paper cone, spoon melted chocolate. (Or, use small decorating bag with small writing tube.) With chocolate, make feather design.
  14. Refrigerate cake until filling is firm for easier cutting, about 3 hours.
  15. TO MAKE WAXED-PAPER CONE: Cut square of waxed paper; fold in half into triangle. Lay triangle on flat surface so wide side is at top. Fold left-hand corner down to center point. Take right-hand corner; wrap it completely around folded left-hand corner, forming cone. Both corners meet at center point of original triangle. Fold in these ends twice to hold together. Fill cone two thirds full; fold top over.
  16. MAKING FEATHER DESIGN: Piping circles on Cake: Using paper cone with tip cup to make 1/8 inch diameter hole, pipe melted chocolate on top of cake in concentric circles, starting in center and moving to edge of cake. Start with small circle in the middle of cake and go around each circle to the edge. This should be 6 circles.
  17. Drawing spokes towards center: Before chocolate hardens, quickly with tip of toothpick or small knife, draw lines in spoke fashion, about 1 1/2 inches apart around edge of cake; alternate direction of each spoke, first from edge to center of cake, then from center to edge.
  18. Completing feather design: Continue around top of cake, alternating direction of each spoke to make attractive feather design. 16 servings.
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Holiday Cranberry Punch


  • 1 (64 ounce) bottle cranberry juice
  • 1 cup orange juice (low acid is best)
  • 2 cups lemon-lime flavored soda
  • sugar
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced


  1. place slices of orange and lime in bottom of large punch bowl.
  2. mix all punch ingredients together pour on top.
  3. Serve ice cold.
  4. TIP: To prevent the punch from being watered down make ice cubes with punch instead of water.
  5. The punch will stay cold without being watery.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Magic Peanut Butter Middles Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg


  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar


  1. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar, and butter until well blended.
  3. Blend in 1/4 cup peanut butter to mixture. Add vanilla and egg, beat well.
  4. Add flour mixture until blended. Set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine filling ingredients, blending well.
  6. Roll filling into 30 one inch balls.
  7. For each cookie, with floured hands shape 1 tbs dough around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely.
  8. Place cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes or until set and slightly cracked.
  11. Cool on wire racks.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Baked Mozzarella Bites


1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3 (1-ounce) sticks part-skim mozzarella string cheese 
3 tablespoons egg substitute 
Cooking spray 
1/4 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon's) 


1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup panko to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and place the panko in a shallow dish.

3. Cut mozzarella sticks into 1-inch pieces. Working with one piece at a time, dip cheese in egg substitute; dredge in panko. Place cheese on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 3 minutes or until the cheese is softened and thoroughly heated.

4. Pour the marinara sauce into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring after 30 seconds. Serve with mozzarella pieces.
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Yule Log


  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 50 g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar, extra


  • 125 g white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 50 g hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped


  • 125 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • icing sugar, to dust


  1. Brush a 30x35cm Swiss roll tin with oil or melted butter and line the base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C,.
  3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together twice.
  4. Using electric beaters, beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and increased in volume.
  5. Sift the flour mixture over the eggs and pour the butter around the edge of the bowl. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the mixture together to incorporate the flour and butter. Take care not to over mix and lose too much volume.
  6. Spread the mixture into th eprepared tin and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the sponge springs back to the light touch.
  7. Sprinkle the extra caster sugar over a clean tea towel.
  8. Turn the sponge out onto the tea towel, close to one end, leaving th epaper on the cake. Roll up the sponge and tea towel together and leave to cool completely.
  9. To make the filling, put the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, then remove from the heat. Add the cream to the chocolate and stand the bowl over the pan of water, making sure the the base of the bowl does not touch the water, until the chocolate is soft. Stir until smooth.
  10. Repeat with the dark chocolate and the cream for the topping.
  11. Leave the white chocolate mixture until it has cooled to room temperature and is the consistency of cream.
  12. Leave the dark chocolate mixture until it cools to a spreadable consistency.
  13. Using electric beaters, beat the white chocolate mixture until soft peaks form- do not overbeat.
  14. unroll the sponge, remove the tea towel and paper and spread with the filling, finishing 2cm from the end. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts. Re-roll the sponge, and trim the ends. Cut one end off on the diagonal and place it alongside the log to create a branch.
  15. Place the roll onyo a serving platter, and spread the dark chocolate topping all over it.
  16. Run the tines of a fork along the length of the roll, to give a 'bark" effect.
  17. Just before serving, dust generously with icing sugar. Decorate with fresh green leaves.
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