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No-Bake Cake

In Cakes & Cupcakes, Desserts, Creams & Sauces On February 1, 2019 0 Comments

Create the best Valentine’s Day dessert ever! All you bake is a 10-minute crust!

Serve this chilled dessert with Kickback CBD Ground Coffee –  you’ll chill, too! Get the brew here- CALI RISE – MEDIUM ROAST  |  CALI DAZE – DARK ROAST

Prep time: 25-30 minutes (crust & filling)
Cake cool/set time: 6 hours or overnight
Makes: One 9-inch cheesecake

First, make the crust:

Crust Ingredients:
One 9-inch springform baking pan
One 9-inch parchment paper circle (place paper on inverted pan and trace a circle; then, cut it)
1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (use 1 to 1-1/3 packages inside box; ground in food processor)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Butter the springform pan (bottom only); place parchment circle inside pan bottom and gently press so that it sticks. Set aside.

3. In a 2-cup mixing bowl, using a fork, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter together until uniform.

4. Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture to springform pan.

5. With the fork, smooth out the crust ingredients up to the pan edges. With your fingers, press the crust evenly.

6. Bake the crust on a rack set in center of oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, transfer the pan with crust to a counter or trivet to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the raspberry cheesecake filling:

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
2 cups boiling water
One 6-ounce package raspberry-flavored Jell-O®
Two 8-ounce packages Philadelphia® cream cheese (regular, not “light”), at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Decoration – raspberries, mint leaf sprigs, cherry gummy candies, chocolate hearts covered in red foil, white chocolate pieces

Directions:
1. In a 2 or 3-quart glass or porcelain bowl, slowly add the boiling water to the Jell-O® mix until it is all dissolved. Keep stirring the mix with a spoon until you no longer see the pink powder.

2. Transfer the bowl with liquid Jell-O® to refrigerator, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes. It should be cool, NOT SET.

3. In the meantime, in a stand mixer bowl (or a bowl using a handheld electric cake mixer), beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract.

4. Beat at high speed until mixture is uniform. Set bowl with cream cheese mixture aside.

5. If using a stand mixer, transfer the cream cheese mixture to another large bowl – you will now use the stand mixer bowl to beat the whipping cream.

6. In a clean 4-quart bowl and using a handheld mixer (or the stand mixer bowl), beat the whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.

7. Using a spatula, gently and gradually (a little at a time) stir the raspberry Jell-O® liquid into the whipped cream.

8. Mix it slowly until the mixture is evenly-colored (reddish-pink).

9. Then, with a handheld wire whisk or spatula, gently and slowly add the whipped cream mixture to the cream cheese filling in bowl. Mix until it is all evenly-colored.

10. Pour the raspberry cream cheese filling into the prepared springform pan.

11. Transfer the cheesecake to refrigerator – uncovered – for 6 hours or overnight.

To Serve Cheesecake:
1. Take a knife and run it between pan sides and cheesecake.

2. Carefully/slowly release sides of springform pan.

3. Place cheesecake (with bottom of pan) on a serving platter and decorate it. Serve.
Note: Cheesecake keeps (refrigerated) up to 5 days.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Shrimp & Scallop Salad with Olive Oil & Lemon

In Meats On January 8, 2019 0 Comments

We’re a week into 2019 and you’re probably on a diet, right? Okay, I get it. But it doesn’t mean you have to eat bland or boring foods.

Make this simple shrimp and scallop salad. Dress it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Enjoy it with a green salad or your favorite side dish!  If it’s just two of you, the leftovers will last 3 days (refrigerated).

Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
3/4 pound fresh wild, medium shrimp (shelled & deveined)*
3/4 pound bay scallops (frozen & thawed)
1/2 red bell pepper, stem & seeds discarded
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 2 fresh lemons (limes can be substituted)
salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Place shrimp in a 3-quart saucepot and cover with cold water; bring to a boil.

2. When shrimp come to a boil, cook 3 to 4 minutes or just until their flesh turns opaque and pink.

3. Drain shrimp and place in a 2-quart glass or porcelain bowl; set aside.

4. Place scallops in a 1-quart saucepot and cover with cold water; bring to a boil.

5. When scallops come to a boil, cook 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, taste a scallop. If it tastes raw, cook for up to 1 more minute.

6. Drain scallops and add them to the shrimp in bowl; set aside.

7. Cut the flesh of red bell pepper into 1/4-inch thick strips. Cut strips into 1/4-inch pieces and add them to the seafood in bowl.

8. Add parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss gently.

9. Taste the shrimp and scallop salad; adjust seasonings, to taste.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

*NOTE: Opt to purchase wild, medium shrimp from Mexico – their flesh tastes sweet. If shrimp are farm-raised, they taste bland and flavorless. When seafood markets sell shrimp either frozen or frozen and thawed, they are considered “fresh” or “fresh frozen”.

Matcha-Cranberry Biscotti

In Cookies, Candies & Sweets, Holidays On December 9, 2018 0 Comments

Hey, Everyone – following that “Matcha” craze? I thought it would be a great idea to combine some Matcha tea powder (green) and dried cranberries (red) for a holiday recipe. Here are some mean Matcha-Cranberry Biscotti. The best thing about making these is that you can make them now and freeze them until Christmas!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 – 30 minutes
Makes: 25 – 30 biscotti

Ingredients:
3-3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Matcha tea powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1-3/4 cup unbleached, granulated sugar (you can substitute regular granulated sugar)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (sunflower or safflower preferred)
3/4 cup slivered, roasted almonds

Prepare Dough & Shape Dough Logs:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line two 18″ X 12″ baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

3. In a 1-quart bowl, combine the flour, Matcha tea powder, salt and baking powder; set aside.

4. In stand mixer fitted with a bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and oil on medium speed until well-blended. Alternatively, you can use a 3 to 4-quart mixing bowl with a hand mixer.

5. Gradually stir in the almonds and the flour mixture (a little bit at a time) until a smooth, uniform batter has formed.

6. Transfer the batter to a smooth, floured surface and gently knead. You should add enough flour so that the batter does not stick to the surface.

7. Divide the batter into 3 even balls; set aside.

8. Take one ball and gently roll it out on a lightly-floured surface until it measures about 13 to 15 inches long. Transfer the log onto the baking sheet (leave room for two more logs).

9. Repeat rolling and transferring the dough log onto baking sheet, leaving about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in between each log.

Bake the Dough Logs:
1. Place the baking sheet with dough logs on a rack fitted in center of oven.

2. Bake the logs for 25 to 30 minutes or until dough springs to the touch and feels firm.

3. When done, transfer baking sheet with logs onto a a counter top; cool 5 minutes.

Cut Biscotti & Bake:
1. After 5 minutes, using a serrated knife, on a diagonal slant, cut down 1/2-inch from edge of one log (DO NOT USE A “SAWING MOTION” OR LOG WILL CRUMBLE).

2. Continue cutting 1/2-inch thick biscotti from the baked log; repeat cutting biscotti from the two remaining logs.

3. Place biscotti – cut-side down- on baking sheet.

4. Return baking sheet to oven and bake 5 minutes.

5. After 5 minutes, transfer baking sheet with biscotti to countertop.

6. Turn the biscotti over and bake once more for 5 minutes.

7. When done, transfer the baking sheet with biscotti to countertop to cool.

8. Freeze biscotti in double freezer food bags up to 1 month.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

Italian Roasted Potatoes & Yams

In Holidays, Sides, Vegetables On November 13, 2018 0 Comments

Here’s a Thanksgiving recipe my family and I have made for years. The potatoes and yams get the “Italian” from the rosemary, garlic and olive oil. You mix the ingredients together and the oven does the rest! Happy Turkey Day!

Prep time: 15 minutes for peeling & cutting
Prep time: 30-40 minutes for roasting
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:
4 medium-large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & placed in a bowl with cold water
4 medium-large yams, peeled & added to potatoes in bowl with cold water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Two 3-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stem, chopped with shears & set aside in a small bowl
3 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Drain potatoes and yams; dry them with paper towels.

3. On a chopping board, cut potatoes and yams into 2-inch chunks; immediately transfer them to a large 16 x 10-inch Pyrex® baking dish or rectangular, disposable aluminum baking pan.

4. Add the olive oil, chopped rosemary leaves, garlic, salt & black pepper; toss together until all ingredients are uniform.

5. Place Pyrex® baking dish or aluminum baking pan with potatoes & yams on a rack set in center of oven.

6. Roast potatoes and yams, uncovered, for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check doneness by tasting a potato (potatoes will take a few minutes longer to bake than the yams). If potato is still a little firm, roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Serve immediately as a side to turkey, meat or seafood.

Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

Halloween Cake

In Cakes & Cupcakes, Holidays On October 1, 2018 0 Comments

Enjoy baking and decorating this cake with kids – young & old. Happy Halloween!

Ingredients:
One 16.25-ounce cake mix (Betty Crocker® preferred), any flavor
One 16-ounce  ready-made white frosting
One package Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme®
One tube orange frosting decoration, fitted with a star tip
Assorted Halloween cake candy decorations, including orange sprinkles

Instructions:
1. Prepare cake according to package directions, using two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans.

2. Bake cake according to package directions.

3. Cool cake on a countertop.

4. Invert one layer cake onto a serving platter; place 3-inch wide foil strips between cake and platter (this will avoid frosting spreading to platter).

5. With a frosting knife, spread 1/4 cup white frosting evenly onto middle of cake.

6. Invert second layer cake over frosting.

7. Frosting sides of cake first and then top of cake.

8. Next, using frosting knife, spread the marshmallow creme onto sides of cake and then over top of cake.

9. If marshmallow creme is sticky, wet your fingers in a bowl of cold water and spread the creme manually.

10. Add the orange frosting to the cake – use any pattern you like.

11. Lastly, add Halloween candy decorations.

12. This cake can be made one day ahead and covered with tented aluminum foil – place toothpicks over top of cake and tent the aluminum foil over it.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real