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Dec 10,2007

2 c Vanilla Wafers, fine crush
1 c Ground Toasted Almonds
1/2 c of Butter, Melted
1/2 c of Sugar
12 oz of Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 c of Milk
1 ea Env. Unflavored Gelatin
16 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2 c Sour Cream
1/2 ts Almond Extract
1/2 c Heavy Cream, Whipped
1 x Garnishes
Whipped cream and chocolate shavings (optional)

In a large bowl, combine vanilla waver crumbs, almonds, butter and the sugar; mix well. Pat firmly into 9-inch springform pan, covering bottom and 2 1/2 inches up the sides. Set aside.

Melt over hot (not boiling) water milk chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Set aside.

Pour milk into small saucepan; sprinkle gelatin over top. Set aside for 1 minute.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until gelatin dissolves. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and melted chocolate chips; beat until fluffy. Beat in gelatin mixture and almond extract. Fold in whipped cream.

Pour into prepared pan. Chill until firm (about 3 hours).

Run knife around edge of cake to separate from pan; remove rim.

Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired. Makes 1 9-inch Cheesecake

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  • Valentine Fluff

    Dec 10,2007

    1 can of cherry pie filling
    1 can of sweetened condensed milk
    1 small can of crushed pineapples, drained
    1 container of Cool Whip (12 oz)
    Pecans (optional)

    Its real easy, Just mix all the ingredients together and chill.

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  • Shortbread Valentines

    Dec 10,2007

    500 mL butter at room temperature
    250 mL brown sugar, lightly packed
    1 L all purpose flour

    Preheat oven to 300 F. In bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the flour and mix throughly.
    Place the dough on a sheet of wax paper and roll it out with the rolling pin until it is about 0.5 cm (1\4 in) thick. Cut hearts with cookie cutters, and use lifter to transfer them to the baking sheet.
    Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until just cooked. the cookies should be very pale.
    Cool for 5 minutes then use the lifter to transfer the cookies to the cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
    (store cookies in an airtight container)

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  • Monday
    Dec 10,2007

    For the crepes:
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    Pinch salt
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 cups milk
    2 large eggs
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Vegetable oil, as needed for cooking
    16 (6-inch) squares parchment or waxed paper

    For the filling:
    1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 cup pureed fresh strawberries
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    For the sauce:
    1/2 stick butter
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 pound fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and quartered
    1/4 cup strawberry liqueur
    1 cup chocolate sauce, store bought or home made

    # For the crepes: Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
    # In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the butter, milk, eggs and vanilla and whisk until blended.
    # Add the liquid mixture a little at a time to the dry mixture, whisking to dissolve any lumps. Whisk until smooth.
    # Refrigerate for 1 hour.
    # Lightly brush a 6-inch skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat.
    # When the pan is hot, remove from the heat and pour in 1/4 cup of the batter. Swirl the pan around to spread the batter evenly over the bottom. Return the pan to the heat and cook until lightly golden, 30 to 40 seconds. Turn the crepe over and cook the second side for about 15 seconds. Remove from the pan.
    # Repeat the process until all of the batter is used, stacking the crepes between the squares of parchment or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together.
    # Set the crepes aside.

    For the filling:
    # In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
    # Add the sour cream, sugar, strawberries and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    # Put 3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the lower third of each crepe. Fold the bottom of the crepe over the filling and roll up gently but firmly.
    # Place the filled crepes on a large platter or baking sheet, cover lightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    # In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
    # Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
    # Add the strawberries and continue to cook for 1 minute.
    # Add the liqueur and simmer for 2 minutes.
    # Add the chocolate sauce and continue to cook for 1 minute.
    # Add 8 of the filled crepes to the pan and cook for 1 minute, basting with the sauce.
    # Remove the crepes from the pan, set aside and keep warm.
    # Add the remaining crepes and cook for 1 minute, basting with the sauce.

    To serve, crisscross 2 crepes on each dessert plate and drizzle with the sauce.

    Yield: 8 servings

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  • Floating Island Valentines

    Dec 10,2007

    3 cups fresh strawberries
    1/4 cup honey
    1 tsp. grated orange zest
    2 egg whites
    1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
    2 cups milk
    Shredded orange peel
    Mint sprigs

    Puree 1 cup strawberries with 2 tablespoons honey and orange peel;
    refrigerate until serving time. Slice remaining strawberries; spoon into 4 individual serving dishes. Spoon pureed strawberries over slices.
    Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons honey in a thin stream while beating whites; beat until stiff peaks form.

    Heat milk in a skillet to a simmer. Spoon 4 mounds of meringue onto
    milk. Poach gently about 4 minutes; turn meringues over once. Do not allow milk to boil. Lift meringues out of milk with slotted spoon. Tap spoon lightly on towel. Top strawberries with meringues. Garnish with
    orange peel and mint sprigs.

    Note: Partially thawed frozen strawberries may be used in place of
    fresh strawberries. Or, substitute raspberries for strawberries.

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  • Meringue-Mousse Valentines

    Dec 10,2007

    For the Meringue Hearts
    – 4 large egg whites, use at room temperature
    – 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
    – 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    – 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    – 1 1/4 cups sugar
    – 4 squares (4 oz) of bittersweet melted chocolate

    For the Mousse
    – 2 cups whole strawberries, washed, hulled and mashed
    – 3 tablespoons sugar
    – 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice
    – 1/2 package unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
    – 1 cup whipping cream

    For the Garnish
    – 6 whole strawberries, washed and dried
    – Preparation Time: 50 minutes plus chilling

    Making the Meringue Hearts
    1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Using a 3 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter as a template, trace 6 heart shapes onto the parchment.

    2. Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat egg whites until foamy, about 30 seconds. With the mixer set on low speed, beat in orange zest, cream of tartar and vanilla. On high speed, beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until combined; beat mixture until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes.

    3. Transfer meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large serrated tip. Pipe meringue onto heart outlines on the parchment; fill in with meringue for the bottoms. Pipe 2 more layers of meringue on heart edges to make sides.

    4. Bake meringue for 40 minutes. Turn off oven; let meringue dry in oven for at least 8 hours or overnight.

    5. Using a pastry brush, coat bottoms of meringue hearts with melted chocolate. Set aside remaining chocolate.

    Making the Mousse
    1. In a large bowl, combine strawberries and sugar. In a small saucepan, combine orange liqueur and gelatin over low heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir gelatin mixture into strawberry mixture until well combined.

    2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat cream until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Whisk one-third of whipped cream into berry mixture; fold in remaining whipped cream. Chill until thickened and firm, about 45 minutes.

    3. Spoon mousse into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip; pipe mousse into meringue hearts.

    Garnishing the Hearts
    1. Place reserved melted chocolate in a resealable plastic bag; snip off 1 corner. Drizzle chocolate onto edges of hearts.

    2. Make several cuts from bottom of each strawberry toward stem, leaving stem end intact; separate slices to fan. Garnish each heart with a fanned berry.

    Baking Time: 40 minutes plus standing 8 hours minimum

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