Good Eats

Chocolate Kahlua Swiss Roll

Doesn’t that just look scrumptious and oh, so decadent? Well, it is both!

Several years ago I received Martha Stewart’s book, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” as a gift one year for Christmas. In it are all sorts of wonderful recipes including one for Chocolate Rum Swiss Roll. This is that recipe adapted using Kahlua (homemade, of course) instead of the rum. I also added a bit of Espresso powder to the cake batter. I like both versions but because I adore coffee, this Kahlua version is my preference.

Try it for an upcoming special dinner or birthday or anniversary. You’ll impress your guests more than you’ll ever know. And don’t be afraid of the “roll”. It’s really quite easy, just follow the directions and you’ll end up with a beautiful cake to showcase your cooking talents!

Bon appétit!

Chocolate Kahlua Swiss Roll
 
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Adapted from Chocolate Rum Swiss Roll recipe by Martha Stewart, "Martha Stewart's Cooking School".
Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup sifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large whole eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled completely
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Prepare oven and baking sheet: Heat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in bottom half. Coat a 12½-by-17½-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. Dust with cocoa powder and tap out excess.
  2. Combine dry ingredients: Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, espresso powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Combine eggs and sugar: Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over (not in) simmering water, whisk eggs, yolks, and granulated sugar until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Raise speed to high; beat until mixture is pale and thick, about 4 minutes more.
  4. Add dry ingredients: Sift cocoa mixture over egg mixture; using a large rubber spatula, carefully fold. When almost incorporated, pour melted butter down side of bowl; gently fold to combine.
  5. Bake: Using an offset spatula, spread batter evenly into prepared sheet. Bake cake until golden brown and springy to the touch, 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, dust a clean kitchen towel with cocoa powder. Run a knife around sides of cake. Invert onto prepared towel, and remove parchment.
  6. Roll into log and cool: While the sheet cake is still warm, gently roll, starting from one short side, into a log, incorporating the kitchen towel. Let the cake cool completely, rolled. (This will give the cake a "shape memory," so it will be easier to roll again with filling.)
  7. Meanwhile, make Kahlua syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the water and ¼ cup sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; add Kahlua, then let cool completely.
  8. Fill cake and reroll: Unroll cake. Brush entire surface generously with cooled Kahlua syrup. Whip cream and remaining tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form; spread over cake leaving a ½-inch border all around. Roll cake to enclose filling (without towel), starting at a short end. Wrap the towel around rolled cake, securing with clips or clothespins to help retain the shape.
  9. Chill and serve: Refrigerate 30 minutes (or up to 3 hours). Dust with cocoa powder, cut into slices with a serrated knife, and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 176 Fat: 15.7g Saturated fat: 9.2g Unsaturated fat: 4.6g Trans fat: 0.7g Carbohydrates: 10.5g Sugar: 5g Sodium: 1433.3mg Fiber: 5.6g Protein: 5.7g Cholesterol: 100.5mg

 

Ambrosia

Another holiday tradition! Ambrosia! And no, this isn’t the Ambrosia with the marshmallows and all that in it. This is just fruit, coconut, and cherries. My Aunt Dee used to serve this at Thanksgiving every year and then my Mom would make it too at Christmastime.

You really don’t need a recipe, it’s just sectioned oranges, basically, with a few other things added in. However you make it, you can certainly make it your own by adding another ingredient ie pineapple or Clementines. You really can’t go wrong!

Bon appétit!

Ambrosia
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Salads and Sides
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 oranges
  • 1 can Mandarin oranges
  • 2 tangerines
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup coconut
  • ½ cup maraschino cherries; rinsed and dried, stems removed
Instructions
  1. Using a sharp paring knife, remove the ends of the oranges. Set the oranges on one end and remove the peel by cutting between the peel and flesh, rotating the orange as the peel is removed.
  2. Then, working over a medium bowl, slice between the membranes to remove segments, allowing both the juice and the segments to fall into the bowl. Add the coconut and season with the sugar to taste. Stir to combine. Add cherries, toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 to 2 hours. Serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 213 Fat: 3.8g Saturated fat: 3g Unsaturated fat: .2g Trans fat: .1g Carbohydrates: 46.1g Sugar: 38g Sodium: 1748.1mg Fiber: 8.1g Protein: 2.9g Cholesterol: 0mg

Classic Spritz Cookies

Christmas cookies! Now, don’t those just look yummy? They are, trust me. I love these little spritz cookies and it’s a perfect excuse to use my Pampered Chef cookie press. I know I can use the cookie press any time of the year (there are lots of different designs) but it seems the only time I think about it is during the holidays.

These are quick, fun, and you can decorate with sprinkles of any color. As you can see here, I chose a Christmas motif, using the Christmas tree design and holiday sprinkles. It can’t get any easier than that!

And, yes, these are very kid friendly. They can help mix the dough and then add the sprinkles. The press takes a bit of practice so maybe leave that for the adult! In any event, I know you’ll love this very simple yet classic Christmas cookie!

Bon appétit!

Classic Spritz Cookies
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 6 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Colored sugar or sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed of the electric mixer about 3 minutes or until creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the egg and vanilla; beat well. Add the flour; mix on low speed just until blended, scraping down the sides as necessary. (The dough will be soft; do not refrigerate.)
  2. Fit the Cookie Press with the desired disk and fill it with the dough. Press the dough onto the Cookie Sheet 1" (2.5 cm) apart. Decorate the cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Cool the cookies 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  3. Chocolate Spritz Cookies: Increase sugar to 1¼ cups. Decrease flour to 3 cups. Combine flour and ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder in medium mixing bowl; blend well. Proceed as recipe directs.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cookies Calories: 140 Fat: 8g Saturated fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 15g Sodium: 55mg Fiber: 0g Protein: 2g Cholesterol: 25mg

 

Pecan Pie Cookies

Here is another holiday favorite. They’re like mini pecan pies! And oh so rich. You can surely only eat one at a time. But try with a cup of coffee or tea!

Perfect to have on hand during the holidays when unexpected guests drop in! Honestly, even though I said they’re a holiday favorite, you can make them any time of the year that you desire. I’m certain no one will complain!

Bon appétit!

Pecan Pie Cookies
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Melt ¼ cup of butter in a saucepan, and stir in the confectioners' sugar and corn syrup until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often, and stir in the pecans until well combined. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl, and set aside.
  3. Beat brown sugar, ¾ cup butter, egg, and vanilla extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until well mixed. Pinch off about 1 tablespoon of dough, and roll it into a ball. Press the dough into the bottom of an ungreased mini cupcake pan cup, and use your thumb to press the dough into a small piecrust shape, with ¼-inch walls up the sides of the cupcake cup. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Fill each little crust with about 1 teaspoon of the prepared pecan filling.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookie shells are lightly browned, 10 to 13 minutes. Watch closely after 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the cupcake pans for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 185 Fat: 10.4g Saturated fat: 5.2g Carbohydrates: 22.1g Sugar: 12g Sodium: 82mg Fiber: .6g Protein: 1.7g Cholesterol: 28mg

 

Tis The Season

Or is it? I have to say its been difficult to get into the holiday spirit the last few years mainly due to the fact that I find myself unemployed, yet again. Fourth year in a row.  That makes it hard to participate in holiday festivities so when I saw this drink recipe pop up on my Pinterest feed, you know I had to make it.  You know, feeling quite Grinch-like and all.

Funny, being a former bartender I seem to always have a pretty well stocked home bar.  I had all the ingredients to make this drink except the OJ and Sprite. Not bad!  I’m glad it worked out that well because this cocktail is quite good and would actually be good anytime of year. Due to its coloring, it could be a festive drink for Christmas, for St. Patrick’s Day, or you could even add a bit of blue food coloring to make it more turquoise and it would be a great summertime drink.

Whatever time of year you choose to make The Grinch, I’m sure you will totally enjoy it as I did!

Live it up and drink it down!

The Grinch
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 3 oz Bacardi 151 Rum
  • 12 oz Orange Juice
  • 4 oz Sprite
  • 3 oz Blue Curacao Liqueur
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large container with lid.
  2. Shake to blend well.
  3. Pour over crushed ice in cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with peppermint stick and a maraschino cherry.

 

Chorizo and White Bean Soup

I recently posted the fact that I don’t cook many soups mainly because I don’t have that much experience with them. Growing up in Florida, we just didn’t have a lot of soup during the winter. Mom would make chili, beef stew, white bean navy soup and such which were all delicious. Our winters were short and not nearly as cold as winters I’ve experienced since moving to Georgia!  But I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that I do tend to incorporate homemade soup much more frequently here in Georgia than I ever thought of doing in Florida. I am learning!

This recipe I found on Epicurious. It is actually from Bon Appetit and I’ve adapted it a bit from that recipe. It’s great, hearty (there is that word again), delicious and quick.  And I love the smoky flavor from the Chorizo. Really appetizing. You’ll love it too! Add a chunk of homemade fresh bread and you’re all set!

Hint:  If you plan to not have leftovers make as is. If you plan on leftovers, I would add the spinach as you go.  It will be fresher!

Bon appétit!

Chorizo and White Bean Soup
 
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Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo or Italian sausage links
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (about 10 cups)
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add onion, garlic, and thyme sprig. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5-8 minutes. Add beans and broth and cook, until slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach by handfuls and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Slice chorizo and fold into soup. Divide soup among bowls. Enjoy
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 570 Fat: 33g Fiber: 11g

 

Spiced Almonds

During the holidays most every year, I can be found making these wonderful and fragrant Spiced Almonds. You can also use pecans if they are more readily available to you but the almonds very much remind me of the same treat you can find at Falcon’s games or at the Renaissance Festival or usually at many outdoor festivals. They charge an arm and a leg for them so why not make your own at home?

They’re so good and this recipe is so quick to make. And inexpensive if you use almonds.  It’s a great snack to have on hand!! Or perfect for a hostess gift!

Bon appétit!

Spiced Almonds
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups almonds
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Combine sugar, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and water. Cook to soft ball stage. Add vanilla and almonds. Stir until almonds are surgery. Pour onto waxed paper and separate almonds. Cool. Store in a covered container.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ cup Calories: 166 Fat: 6g Saturated fat: 0g Unsaturated fat: 1g Trans fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 27g Sugar: 26g Sodium: 1mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 3g Cholesterol: 0mg

 

White Cranberry Martini

What’s a holiday without a special new cocktail? This one is tasty and festive. Perfect for this holiday season. Try one tonight.

Live it up and drink it down!

White Cranberry Martini
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1½ ounces Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 3 ounces white cranberry juice
  • Splash Triple Sec
  • Frozen Cranberries for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients, except for the cranberries, into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Vigorously shake the mixture for 35 seconds and then strain into a chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish the drink with the cranberries and then serve immediately.

 

Shepherd’s Pie

Aw, I can’t think of anything more comforting on a cold winter’s night than this wonderful dish, Shepherd’s Pie, for dinner. The flavor is robust and the meal is hot and hearty. Can’t beat that combination when its freezing outside. Add a fire in the fireplace and a few after dinner hot toddy’s and I call that evening a great success!

The recipe below was adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe. His called for lamb which you can definitely use. I prefer ground beef.

I also like the individual soufflé cups instead of one large dish but if you were serving a family, the large dish would be better. For me, the soufflé cups help a bit with portion control and Lord knows, we all could use a bit of help there! 🙂

Try making this tonight! It will satisfy your entire family and you, too!

Bon appétit!

Shepherd's Pie
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds russet potatoes
  • ¼ cup half-and-half
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 carrots; peeled and diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen English peas
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into ½-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
  4. Add the corn and peas to the meat mixture and spread evenly into 8 individual souffle cups. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 760 Fat: 59g Saturated fat: 23g Unsaturated fat: 23g Trans fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 9g Sugar: 8.6g Sodium: 491mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 45g Cholesterol: 238mg

 

Cornbread Dressing

Thanksgiving has always been a very favorite holiday of mine. I love to cook the entire meal from start to finish. Back in the day, I used to love to help my Mom, when she would let me. One of the dishes she made was the delectable Cornbread Dressing. I don’t remember her having a recipe nor have we found one. She died in 2001 and since that very year, I’ve tried to find a recipe that would stack up to hers.

I was chatting with a friend on the phone the other day and came to a startling realization – I will never, ever, be able to duplicate my Mom’s Cornbread Dressing. I can come close but it will never be the same as hers. And so, with that being said, I will cease my quest to do just that because I have finally found a recipe that I am happy with and going forward, will make every year. It can be my own new tradition. It is very close to Mama’s, for sure. I might add some poultry seasoning next time. She definitely used that in her recipe and this one doesn’t call for it at all. I didn’t miss it but we’ll experiment next time. And it’ll be my recipe going forward.

Cornbread Dressing
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Salads and Sides
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter; divided
  • 3 cups self rising white corn meal mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 large eggs; divided
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups white breadcrumbs; soft
  • 2 large sweet onion; diced
  • 4 celery stalks; diced
  • ¼ cup fresh sage; finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley; finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned pepper
  • 7 cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Place ½ cup butter in a 13 x 9" pan. Heat in oven at 425 degrees for 4 minutes.
  2. Stir together cornmeal and flour; whisk in eggs and buttermilk. Pour hot butter into batter and stir until blended. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs and set aside.
  3. Melt remaining ½ cup butter in a skillet over medium heat; add onions and celery, and saute 5 minutes. Stir in safe, parsley, and seasoned pepper. Saute 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir into cornbread mixture.
  4. Whisk together chicken broth and remaining 4 eggs, stir into cornbread mixture. Pour evenly into 1 lightly greased 13x9" pan and 1 lightly greased 8" square pan.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 322 Fat: 16.7g Saturated fat: 8.2g Unsaturated fat: 4.5g Trans fat: 1.5g Carbohydrates: 30.8g Sugar: 28.8g Sodium: 2387mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 13g Cholesterol: 193.2g

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