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New Blog March 4, 2009

Posted by Sarah in Uncategorized.
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This blog is no longer in commission, obviously, due to lack of posts on my part.  My new blog is still coming together, but can be found at:  http://applicationofheat.squarespace.com/



Apple Nut Muffins September 9, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Uncategorized.
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The new school year has begun and that means fall is close behind! To help get me in the mood, I made these Apple Nut Muffins from the Taste of Home Muffins and Cupcakes magazine. The muffin itself has a slightly cake-y texture and is delicious warmed. The filling wasn’t difficult to make but I thought that it needed some brightness so I added in some lemon juice until I liked the taste. If you don’t have time to make the apple filling, you could use your favorite jam. These also freeze very well.

This recipe makes 2 dozen regular sized muffins or 1 dozen jumbo muffins.


Apple Nut Muffins


2 Tablespoons butter

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 Tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups diced peeled apples

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)


3/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) sour cream

Cinnamon sugar

In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth. Add the apples; cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes or until tender stirring frequently. Add lemon juice and cook for 30 seconds. Taste. If you are satisfied, remove from heat and stir in the nuts. Cool.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream.

Fill greased muffin cups 1/2 full with batter. Add a teaspoon of filling and top with remaining batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 – 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.

**For jumbo muffins, fill greased tin with 1/4 cup batter, then the filling and then the remaining batter. Bake 25-27 minutes.


Oh Barefoot… August 8, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking, Dinner.
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Last week I was flipping channels and I came upon the Food Network. Normally, I don’t watch it because it comes in really crappily on my TV. I figure, if I can’t watch it and see the beautiful food I don’t want to watch it at all. However, after hearing about what Ina Garten was going to be making that day, I couldn’t resist.

It was the “Memory Lane” episode where she makes Jefferey a steak sandwich and peanut butter swirl brownies. Even through the crappy reception on my TV the food looked amazing.

In an attempt to disspell a grouchy mood, I decided to make her special “Memory Lane” lunch for me and my husband. As with any Ina Garten recipe, it starts with a pound of butter! Actually, the steak sandwich starts with olive oil, but the brownies have a pound of butter and well over a pound of chocolate! Yum!

Barefoot Steak Sandwich 3

I skipped the arugula on this sandwich, although I’m sure it would taste great if you did use it. I also used ciabatta rolls instead of focaccia buns and had success. I cut the mayo-mustard recipe in half and it was still too much for just two sandwiches. If I made this again (and I probably will) I would not add any more oil to the pan after cooking the steak in order to caramelize the onions. The olive oil left in the pan plus the fat from the steak were more than enough to caramelize the onions. When I added more olive oil, the onions were almost too greasy. Alternatively, you could drain the oil from the pan and use a fresh addition of olive oil to caramelize the onions in.

Steak Sandwich

by Ina Garten

1 (12-ounce) 1-inch thick New York strip boneless beef top loin steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 yellow onions, sliced in rings (or 1 large Vidalia onion)

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 recipe Mustard Mayo, recipe follows
2 mini focaccia buns, sliced in 1/2
1/2 cup baby arugula

Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until it’s almost smoking, then sear the steak on each side for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook the steak for about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the middle. Remove to a plate, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Slice the steak into strips.Using the same saute pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and saute for 10 minutes, until the onions are brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread a tablespoon of Mustard Mayo on the bottom half of each bun. Place a layer the steak strips on top of the mayo, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the caramelized onion rings. Place the baby arugula on top of the onion rings, and cover the sandwiches with the top half of the buns.

Mustard Mayo:
3/4 cup good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve at room temperature.

Yield: 1 cup

Barefoot Steak Sandwich 2

Of course, no Barefoot Contessa episode would be complete without a rich decadent dessert. What I love about Ina Garten is the way she calmly says things that sound slightly outrageous. When she started making the brownies, she serenely said, “We start off these brownies by melting a pound of butter and a pound of chocolate.” To be fair, this recipe actually makes a ton of brownies (a 12″x18″ sheet pan) but it still is not something you hear every day especially when someone is talking about preparing brownies for herself and her husband.

This recipe was actually quite easy to put together. I didn’t have a 12″x18″x1 1/2″ pan so I used a 12″x17″ baking sheet with sides. I lined the sheet with a big piece of foil and built the sides up so it was about 1 1/2 inches high. I melted the butter and chocolates in the microwave which cut down on the prep time. Her recipe calls for 6 extra-large eggs. If you don’t have extra-large eggs on hand, you can just use 7 large eggs and the recipe will be just fine. Also, before I spooned the peanut butter onto the batter, I whipped it with a whisk for a little bit to make it more fluid and easier to swirl. These brownies are great from the pan, if not a little underbaked seeming. If you put them in the refrigerator (as Ina recommends) they become thick, chewy and fudgy. I recommend eating them both ways! These brownies are supreme, just don’t think about the calorie content as you are eating them… The Barefoot Contessa wouldn’t!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Peanut Swirl Brownies

By Ina Garten

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the prepared sheet pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.

Barefoot PB Brownies

Jam ‘N Cream Muffins June 27, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.
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goodness hiding inside

I have still been making my way through my Taste of Home Cupcakes and Muffins magazine. I had some cream cheese left over from the previous post and decided it would be perfect for this recipe to use up that cream cheese. However, I found the amount of cream cheese called for in the original recipe to be insufficient. There must have been a typo because they tell you to put 1 Tablespoon in each muffin. There is no way to get 12 tablespoons of cream cheese out of 3 oz. of cream cheese. At least not for me! So, I upped the cream cheese.

You could change the type of jam to your favorite kind but the strawberry was excellent.

muffin unscathed

Jam and Cream Muffins

Adapted from Taste of Home Muffins and Cupcakes Magazine

Filling Ingredients

1 – 8oz package cream cheese

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 – 1/3 cup strawberry jam, stirred until smooth


2 1/2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another small mixing bowl, beat the egg, milk, brown sugar, buttter and almond extract. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Spoon half of the batter into greased muffin cups. Top each with 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture and 1 teaspoon jam. Top with the remaining batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove and cool on a wire rack. Makes 1 dozen.

jam n cream inards

Cupcakes and Pupcakes! June 27, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Desserts.
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Way back in September, my husband and I bought our first home together. It was a newly built home so we had a lot of landscaping to do (and we still do). We have always wanted a dog so, in February, we adopted a wonderful European Golden Retriever named Staccato. He had been returned to his breeder due to family issues and we were allowed to adopt him from the breeder. We could not ask for a better dog. We did not have a fence at the time, but planned to build one in the spring when the ground was not frozen. We were finally able to get it constructed this June. In celebration, we decided to have a dog party.

Dog party 1

(Staccato is the big, white, pretty boy on the left)

Staccato (he was bred by a music teacher) has a lot of dog friends that he plays with regularly, so we invited them all over (with their humans, of course) for a party. At the height of the party, we had nine dogs playing in the yard, all their respective people and a baby. Fun was had by all and the dogs behaved quite nicely.

We served hot dogs, puppy chow and other “potluck” foods. I also made these cupcakes with a funny little mound of chocolate frosting on top. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions about what it was supposed to look like!


The dogs got some treats from Three Dog Bakery and some “pupcakes” that my mom made. They are muffin-y cupcakes with apples, whole wheat flour and other dog friendly items. They are frosted with cream cheese. If my mom gets me the recipe, I will post it here. The dogs loved them, although I was told that they were a little bland for the human palate (they are completely edible). I didn’t get a chance to have one since I was eating my tasty chocolate ones!

Yummy Dog Treats


I know that most people know this, but DO NOT give these chocolate cupcakes to your dog! Chocolate is poisonous to dogs. In small dogs, just a little can kill them so make sure you keep these away from your dogs. They are, of course, perfectly delicious for humans!

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


Recipes from the Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking recommends having all the ingredients for the cake at room temperature (68-72 degrees). I forgot about this, so I gently warmed my buttermilk in the microwave, softened the butter in the microwave, and put my eggs in warm water for 10 minutes. Then, it was all at room temperature!

They also suggest the variation of using half white sugar and half brown sugar. I did not do this, but would be interested in knowing what it was like. I thought it would be good to add some espresso powder or instant coffee to the buttermilk/vanilla mixture to add a little more depth and color to the cupcakes.

This cake was perfectly delicious without frosting. So, if you are feeling lazy, calorie conscious (although I wouldn’t recommend eating cake if you are), or don’t have the ingredients for frosting, feel free to simply dust with powdered sugar and eat it.

Devil’s Food Cupcakes


1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened (nonalkalized) cocoa

1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt

In a separate bowl, sift together:

2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

In another bowl combine:

1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a mixer bowl, beat until creamy (30 sec):

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

Gradually add 1 cup sugar and beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture, 3 – 5 minutes.

Beat in 2 eggs, 1 at a time.

Beat in the cocoa mixture. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 2 parts, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl.

Scoop into cupcake pan with liners (I always spray mine lightly with cooking spray so they don’t stick). This makes between 12-18 cupcakes, depending on the size of pan you use. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and they spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan about 5-10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Frost when completely cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Use cold cream cheese and room temperature butter.

In a mixer bowl, beat until blended:

8 ounces cold cream cheese

5 tablespoons unsalted butter (they claim this is optional. I used it and it was awesome)

2 teaspoons vanilla

Add one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency:

2 – 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

If the frosting is too stiff, beat for a few seconds longer. This keeps for 1 week refrigerated and 3 months frozen.

Chocolate Almond Raspberry Bars June 4, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.
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I haven’t been posting lately because it is the end of the school year (tomorrow is our last day!) and I have been trying to wrap things up at work so I can have a great summer full of cooking at the camp!

Last Friday, it was my turn to bring treats to work for the people that had birthdays in May and I chose to make these. I don’t remember if the recipe I tweaked came from Food and Wine or Cooking Pleasures magazine, however, the original recipe called for pistachios and fresh raspberries (which would also be good, but I didn’t have any). I also added espresso powder because I thought the chocolate flavor needed to be enhanced. These do not use any eggs and are quite fudgy and delicious.

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Chocolate Almond Raspberry Bars

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, cut up, softened
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries (you could also use fresh)
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray (or oil of your choice) or line the pan with foil or parchment and spray (if you care about being able to cut and get them out easily).

Toast the almonds for 5-10 minutes, until the are light golden brown.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, 1/3 cup toasted almonds, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, and baking powder. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the mixture.

Press the remaining mixture into the pan. Arrange the frozen raspberries over the crust. Sprinkle with reserved 1 1/4 cups chocolate-flour mixture, then the remaining almonds. Press mixture down lightly.
Bake 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Place chocolate and oil in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high 30 – 50 seconds, stirring once. Drizzle chocolate over the cooled bars. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Slice into 36 pieces. Store in the refrigerator.

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Raspberry Coffeecake Muffins May 7, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.

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Checkout lines are dangerous places for me. I am always drawn in by the food magazines. One time, my husband and I were checking out at the grocery store, and I was reading a magazine on the bottom rack. He didn’t see me crouched down and assumed that I had gone out to the car. When I stood up and found him and the groceries gone, I was a little surprised. I have since learned my lesson. Now I read them all standing up in clear view of my husband!

The one I most recently was drawn to and bought was Taste of Home’s Cupcakes and Muffins. Clearly, since I am obsessed with muffins I had to have it. The first muffins this magazine inspired were these Raspberry Coffeecake muffins. There are very yummy, and of course, freeze well!

When you layer the batter in the muffin cups, it may look skimpy, but it will fill out as it bakes.

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Raspberry Coffeecake Muffins

Topping/Filling Ingredients

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or nut of your choice)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Muffin Ingredients

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground (or fresh grated) nutmeg (depending on how much you like nutmeg)

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup raspberries, frozen

Glaze Ingredients

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 – 2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)


In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg, milk, vanilla and butter. Add the raspberries to the flour and stir to coat. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently fold until everything is just incorporated.

Grease your muffin pans and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (You want to give the batter a little time to sit so there aren’t big flour chunks in the raspberries)

Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into the muffin cups. Top each with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon-nut mixture and then 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of batter. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-nut mixture. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Combine the glaze ingredients and drizzle over the muffins.

Waiter, There’s Something in My… Bread! April 25, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.

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Last year at Christmas, my dad gave me a copy of the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. At the time, I wasn’t that excited because I wasn’t really a Martha fan (not that I was a hater either…), but I was always happy to get another cookbook, of course. I didn’t delve into it right away, like I do with other cookbooks. However, several months ago, it called to me. And I have enjoyed several recipes out of it since. When I saw her Chocolate Babkas, I knew I had to make it for my first “Waiter, There’s Something In My…” event. It looked so delicious.

I started making the bread on Sunday. It was the perfect day for bread-making because it was pouring down rain all day (much like it is right now…) It took quite awhile to make the bread, partly because I was taking my sweet time and partly because it took me awhile to grind up all the chocolate and get some of the ingredients to room temperature.

The other great thing about this recipe is that it makes 3 big loaves of bread. So, I baked one and froze the other two. The pictures do not even begin to describe how awesome this bread tasted. It was a very excellent sweet bread! Before I made this, I didn’t even know Babkas existed. Upon further research, I found that Babkas have Jewish and Russian roots. I’m not sure which Martha’s version takes after, but I do know that it tastes excellent!

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Chocolate Babkas

Adapted from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook

Bread Ingredients

1 1/2 cups warm milk (110 degrees)

2 envelopes (.25 oz each) rapid rise dry yeast

1 3/4 cups superfine sugar, divided (you can use regular, too)

3 whole eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature

6 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 lbs. bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped (you could use semi-sweet)

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Streusel Ingredients

1 2/3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/3 cups flour

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature


In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast and a pinch of sugar over the warm milk; stir until dissolved. Let stand until foamy (5 min.) In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs and the yolks. Add the yeast mixture and whisk.

In an electric mixer, combine the flour and salt. Add the egg mixture and beat on low speed with the paddle attachment until it is almost completely mixed together (30 sec.) Switch to the dough hook. Add 2 sticks of butter and beat until completely mixed in and a soft, sticky dough forms, 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a flour surface and knead a little bit. Place in a well greased bowl (Martha recommends using butter) and flip to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk (45 min. – 1 hr.)

While the dough rises:

In a bowl, stir together finely chopped chocolate, 1 cup superfine sugar, and the cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of butter until combined.

Also, make the streusel topping. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until there are coarse crumbs.

Generously butter/grease three 9 x 5 x 2 3/4-inch loaf pans. (Martha recommends putting parchment in the bottom so it hangs over the sides to make it easier to get out. This is a good idea. I didn’t do it because I didn’t have parchment. My bread still came out okay…)

When the dough is done with the first rise:

Punch down the dough and put on a floured surface. Let rest 5 minutes. While waiting, beat the cream and remaining egg together.

Cut the dough into three equal pieces. Roll a piece into a 16-inch square (1/8 inch thick). Brush the edges with the egg wash. Evenly distribute 1/3 of the chocolate filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2 border on all sides. Roll the dough up tightly, jelly roll style. Then, twist the dough-log five or six times. Put the log into a horseshoe shape. Brush the top with egg wash. Crumble 2 tablespoons of chocolate filling on top of the dough and gently press into the top. Cross the right half over the left to make a figure 8; press the edges to seal. Twist the figure 8 two more times and put in the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash. Sprinkle 1/3 of the streusel topping over each loaf. Loosely cover with plastic and set in a warm place to rise, about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves, rotating halfway through, about 55 minutes. Reduce the over to 325 degrees. Bake 20-30 minutes longer until they are a deep golden brown. Avoid under-baking the loaves or the center will not set up correctly. If the top browns too quickly, tent the loaves with foil.

Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool completely. These can be wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Spicy Ginger Chicken and Vegetables April 6, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Dinner.

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On Tuesday, I was having a hankering for homemade Chinese food. I tweaked a New Best Recipe recipe and came up with this tasty meal. The heat ingredients are the ginger and the chili garlic sauce. I’m kind of a wuss about spices, but my husband (who likes super, super hot spiciness) agreed that it was okay in the spicy department. He thought it could use another hit of chili-garlic sauce, but it was of tolerable spiciness for me. So, adjust the garlic-chili sauce and ginger to your liking.

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Spicy Ginger Chicken and Vegetables


Adapted from the New Best Recipe

Place 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken breast in the freezer for 20 minutes to make it easier to thinly slice. While the chicken is in the freezer prepare the marinade.


1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup dry vermouth or sherry

1 cup water

2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil (optional, I didn’t have any so I left this out and it was excellent)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Combine soy sauce, vermouth or sherry, and water in a medium bowl. Mix the cornstarch, flour and sesame oil in another bowl.

Slice the chicken into 1/4” slices. Place in the bowl with the marinade. Let marinade for 20 minutes to 1 hour. While the chicken is marinading, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

1/4 low sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons dry vermouth or sherry

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

2-3 teaspoons garlic-chili sauce

3/4″ – 1″ of ginger, grated (about 4 teaspoons?)

peanut or vegetable oil

1 green pepper, chopped

about 1 cup sliced carrots

1 medium onion, sliced thickly

1 cup frozen (or fresh) peas

(or substitute any vegetables you like; I was going to add cabbage but it had gone bad…)

Whisk the chicken broth, vermouth or sherry, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, garlic-chili sauce, ginger, sugar and corn starch in a pourable measuring cup or bowl.

When all ingredients are chopped and ready to go, drain the chicken and place it in the cornstarch-flour mixture. Stir (or mix with your hands) to coat the chicken thoroughly.

Place a wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat until smoking. Add 1/2 the chicken in as flat a layer as you can. Cook, without stirring (I know it sounds weird), but separating the pieces gently, for about 1 minute. Stir to turn them over and brown them on the other side. Transfer to a clean plate/bowl. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok and heat until just smoking. Add the peppers, onions and carrots. Stir-fry until they begin to brown and soften a bit, about 1 minute. Place the chicken back in the wok and add the sauce mixture. Stir fry to combine and finish heating the chicken through. Cook until the sauce is thickened and coats the ingredients well. The vegetables should be tender-crisp and the chicken should not be pink. Add the peas and stir. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

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Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake March 17, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Desserts.

I was pretty excited to see that Peabody was hosting the Donna Day Cheesecake event because I was just looking for something to take to a potluck. My best friend tore her ACL in Taekwondo and had to have surgery to repair it this week. Her kind roommate decided to throw a potluck for her once she got out of the hospital and I really wanted to bring something special. For my very first Donna Day submission, I give you Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake.


This cheesecake is extremely rich. If you decide to have some, cut a small slice. Trust me, it will be enough! It is very creamy and smooth. I topped it with some broken chocolate drizzle.

This recipe comes from Eating Well magazine’s cookbook. I haven’t made many things out of it, but I wanted a lighter cheesecake, and I wanted to see how Eating Well dessert recipes were. The recipe called for 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese and 1% cottage cheese. I had never made a cheesecake with cottage cheese before and was happy to see that it worked out pretty well. I felt that I could have cut back on some of the coffee in the filling. I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder and some good dark chocolate so the chocolate flavor didn’t need that much enhancement. I think if I had cut back on the coffee, it would have been less rich… but maybe that was Eating Well’s plan… make it so rich that you can only eat a little bit! It worked for me! It was delicious.


1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 20 wafers)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water


24 oz. 1% cottage cheese

12 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (1 1/2 cups) cut into pieces

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

2 tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water (I think you could get away with just 1 tablespoon)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 325. Put a kettle of water on to heat for the water bath. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap the outside bottom of the pan with a double thickness of foil.

Blend crumbs, sugar, oil and coffee in a small bowl with a fork or your fingers. Press into bottom of the pan.

Puree cottage cheese in food processor until very smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. Add cream cheese and blend. Pour into a large bowl. Whisk in brown and white sugars, cocoa and cornstarch. Add egg, egg whites, coffee, vanilla, salt and chocolate and blend well. Pour into crust-lined pan.

Place cheesecake in a roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come 1/2 inch up the side of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles, about 50 minutes – 1 hour. Turn off oven. Spray a knife with cooking spray and run it around the edge of the cake (I did not do the knife part and it worked out okay…) Let stand in the oven, with door ajar, for 1 hour. Transfer from the water bath to a wire rack; remove foil. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled.

Before serving, garnish as you like (whipped cream, chocolate covered coffee beans, chocolate drizzle…).

Makes 16 servings

228 calories, 8 g fat, 27 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein, 2 g fiber, 310 mg sodium