roasted tomatoes become pizza sauce

I pureed 6 roasted roma tomato halves (here’s the link to the roasted tomato blog post) and I had instant pizza sauce.
The pureed roasted tomatoes / pizza sauce needs no ingredient additions to achieve great flavor. Everything was added during the roasting stage.
Add a little browned sausage and some shredded cheese. Transfer from bread peel to a very hot, hot baking stone in a very hot oven. The semolina in the image above helps the pizza slide off the peel and onto the stone, and it adds a little crunch to the bottom of the pizza.

"as much fun to make as they are to eat"

No, it’s not Jiffy Pop. Do you have to be as old as I am to remember Jiffy Pop?

I saw cranberry almond baked apples on sophistimom’s blog and knew I wanted to try these. Along with a little help from my friends, we set up an assembly line. K prepared the apples, A molded the pastry, and I photographed the process. A couple of hours later, we all enjoyed a delicious dessert on this beautiful fall Saturday afternoon.
There was a learning curve to master with the peeler/corer/slicer. K only lost part of a fingernail; thank goodness there was no blood. By apple #3, she was a pro.
Here’s the link to sophistimom’s delicious recipe. Next baking, I might add a little more cinnamon and a little more almond flavoring. The pastry does break away from a few of the apples in places, but this does not affect taste nor presentation. Actually, steam was escaping in a curling stream through one of the pastry holes as I took the apples from the oven. It was pretty.
Notice the ‘dish tiles’ handmade by glass artist My Friend A.
Here’s the link to other pictures from today’s baking.

dish ’tiles’


No, I didn’t misspell dish towels. These are small glass dish ’tiles.’

You will be seeing these throughout my future posts. Aren’t they cute! They were a birthday gift from a friend who knows I love to bake. A set of these tiles and a dry erase pen, and I’m ready to bake.
You simply write, place, enjoy, (photograph), and erase. It’s that simple. And, they are ready for the next dish.
They could actually be used to identify anything – cheese, wine, dinner guests place settings – but “as for me and my house,” I plan to use them with my food photography.
“My Friend A” made these! Wouldn’t they be a great Christmas, birthday, just any day gift for someone you know? Comment on this blog post and I’ll help you contact “My Friend A” if you are interested.
They are soooo cute…

a can of soup

Tommy’s soup

aka
Weight Watcher’s Taco soup
aka…it’s good by any name.
This idea is not new, and the recipe is not mine, but the soup is simmering in my kitchen and it smells good. This is a taco soup recipe, and it is spicy (and a bit salty) – I love spicy. I’ve scaled the ingredients for a Viking recipe for cheddar corn muffins made with whole-grain cornmeal. These will make great ‘dippers’ into the soup bowl tomorrow.
Open these cans and pour contents into a large pan. (I opened these with a hand can opener – it’s time for an electric model!) Listed below is my version of taco soup.
1 lb ground turkey, browned (don’t add salt)
30 oz can of kidney beans, drained
2 – 10 oz cans of Rotel / I used traditional / this soup is very spicy without adding heat here
4 oz can of chopped green chilies and juice
11 0z can shoepeg corn, drained
2 – 15 oz cans Chili Beans Ranchero Style including juice
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
28 oz (empty crushed tomato can) water
2 packages of dry taco seasoning
2 packages of dry ranch dressing mix
Mix all ingredients in a large pan. Heat slowly and allow to simmer to meld flavors. I made mine the night before it was to be served.
This makes a big, big pan of soup. Freeze some for later.
My version of the recipe calculates to approximately 150 calories per 8 oz serving.

ginger – bread

This gingerbread is a lower fat version (approximately 150 calories per square) of the traditional fall favorite. I included last fall’s apple and pear butter in the batter, along with chopped candied ginger.

Long after the last bite, the ginger flavor will linger among your senses. If you like ginger in your gingerbread, this is the recipe to sample.
The recipe can be found in Mia King’s “Good Things” page 333. The book is a work of fiction revolving around a remote diner run by an awesome cook- recipes included!
I have recently contacted the book author for permission to post the recipe here.
UPDATE:
She was so kind to answer my email very promptly.
She gave her permission for me to reprint the recipe, and you can find all the recipes from her books on her web site here.

From: GOOD THINGS (Berkley Books, February 2007)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 6 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 cloves, ground

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, brown sugar, egg, egg white, crystallized and fresh ginger, lemon zest , buttermilk, molasses, and boiling water.
  • Sift the flours, baking soda, salt, ground ginger and cloves. When ready, stir the dry ingredients into the applesauce mixture.
  • In a butter and floured 9” x 12” baking pan, pour the batter and bake for 25-30 minutes, until toothpick comes clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool for 30 minutes. Cut into squares or slices and serve.

(Also, notice my pretty fall teacup found last weekend at an antique store near St. Louis, MO.)

biscotti wraps your senses in a warm blanket of ‘divine’

Fall is in the air here in TN; I saw frost on the neighbor’s rooftop this Sunday morning.

I was born in October; I have always loved this month. My uncle Bennie, now deceased, would speculate every year whether the first frost would be before or after my birthday (14th). I think about that every year when I see the first frost…
But, I’m not baking with pumpkin – yet. Today it’s a super simple recipe for biscotti.
I’m a sucker for books of fiction which include recipes. I rationalize it as double value for my money. I recently found Mia King’s series, and today’s recipe comes from “Sweet Life.”
Kava Java’s Kona Mocha Mac Nut Biscotti. It’s quite obvious that the story is set mostly in Hawaii. The recipe is on page 322. (recipe makes 24 & I calculate about 155 calories each)
I have a biscotti recipe that I really like to bake. However, this recipe captured my attention due to its simplicity. Cake mix! My theory is that biscotti may have developed as the result of a baker’s desire to not waste yesterday’s leftover cake; so, I decided to try the recipe.
My entire house smells divine!!!!!!!!!! A warm blend of chocolate and espresso on this beautiful sunny, but cool, fall afternoon permeates every room of my home.
(as an addition to the original post: it’s now October 30. The biscotti has been sitting on the kitchen counter inside a glass cake dome. It still tastes great, and has a good crunch; yet, it’s not too hard. This has a long shelf life.)
Here’s the link to Mia’s web page where she posts recipes from her books.

From: SWEET LIFE (Berkley Books, September 2008)

Recipe courtesy: Debbie Davis, Kamuela Coffee N’ Cones

Yields: 2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup instant Kona espresso powder
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Cut parchment paper to fit large cookie sheet
  2. In a large bowl, blend dry ingredients for biscotti. Add eggs and blend just to mix.
  3. Add melted butter into biscotti mixture. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Add the macadamia nuts. Continue to blend until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Using your hands, shape the dough into a log and lay it on the parchment paper. Roll it out to approximately 5” wide and ½” thick.
  6. Shape into a rectangle.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove pan from oven and cool for 20 minutes.
  9. Cut biscotti into even horizontal strips, approximately 1” wide. Lay each biscotti on its side on the cookie sheet, leaving space between each one.
  10. Bake at 350º F for another 10 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 200º F and continue baking for another 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Glaze

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup powdered confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Kona coffee, cooled

Directions:

  1. Mix confectioner’s sugar with 1 tablespoon of cooled Kona coffee. Stir until consistency is a little thicker than maple syrup, adding the remaining coffee as necessary.
  2. Place glaze in a plastic sandwich bag and squeeze the glaze to one end. Cut off the tip of the corner of the bag.
  3. Glaze top of biscotti in a zigzag pattern. Let the glaze cool completely before serving. Store any remaining glazed biscotti in an airtight container.