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Apr. 13th, 2007




3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
4 large eggs
1 1/3 liquid cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups sifted cake flour
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a set of three 9 by 1 inch checkerboard cake pans (Checkerboard Baking Pans are sold in a set which includes three 9 by 1 inch cake pans and a divider ring to enable you to separate the cake pan into 3 rings), line with parchment, and then grease and flour.

In a double boiler melt the chocolate over simmering water, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl lightly combine the eggs, 1/4 of the milk, and vanilla.

In bowl of electric mixer, combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in three batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.

Divide the batter approximately in half. Stir the melted chocolate into one of the batchs of batter until uniform in color. Fill 2 large pastry bags fitted with large round tubes 3/4 inches in diameter with the 2 batters.

Place the divider rings in one of the prepared pans and pipe batter into each, alternating batter colors (for example - outer and inner ring yellow, middle ring chocolate). The batter should fill the pan about half full. Using a small metal spatula or the back of a spoon, smooth any seams or divisions in the batter. Now carefully lift out the divider and rinse it off. When piping batter for the second layer, alternate the colors, ie. if you started with yellow for the outside ring, start with the chocolate. Pipe batter for the third layer exactly like the first.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the centers. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.

Let the cakes cool in the pans on racks for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto greased wire racks. To prevent splitting, reinvert so that the tops are up and cool completely before wrapping airtight.

When stacking the layers, use a very thin coating of chocolate frosting to adhere the layers without disturbing the checkerboard effect.

Apr. 12th, 2007



Fruit'n Honey Granola

Original recipe yield:
18 servings
READY IN 1 Hr 40 Min

* 4 cups quick cooking oats
* 1 cup chopped toasted almonds
* 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
* 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
* 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/3 cup canola oil
* 2/3 cup honey
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple
* 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup chopped dried papaya


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, almonds, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, canola oil, and honey. Spread evenly over the prepared baking sheet, pressing down lightly with the back of a spoon.
3. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely.
4. In a large bowl, break the cooled granola into large chunks. Mix in the raisins, pineapple, sweetened dried cranberries, and papaya. Store in an airtight container.

Apr. 11th, 2007



Ham & Dijon Pastry Cups

1 pkg. (17.3 oz.) frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1 container (8 oz.) Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Swiss Cheese
5 slices Thin Sliced Smoked Ham, chopped
1/3 cup chopped red pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Roll out each pastry sheet to 12x9-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface; cut each rectangle into 12 (3-inch) squares. Place 1 pastry square, with pastry corners pointing up, in each of 24 medium muffin cups.
MIX remaining ingredients until well blended. Spoon 1 Tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture into each pastry cup.
BAKE 15 to 18 minutes or until filling is heated through and pastry is golden brown.

Thanks again kraft ;)

Apr. 10th, 2007



Roasted Pepper and Basil Skewers

1 pkg. (16 oz.) Mozzarella Cheese, cut into 16 cubes
16 fresh basil leaves
2 medium yellow or red peppers, roasted, cut into 16 small squares
16 small cherry tomatoes
16 wooden toothpicks or small wooden skewers
1/3 cup Classic Italian Vinaigrette Dressing

INSERT 1 cheese cube, basil leaf, pepper square and tomato onto each toothpick; place in small shallow dish.
POUR dressing over skewers. Let stand 20 min. to marinate, turning occasionally.
REMOVE skewers from marinade just before serving. Discard marinade.

Apr. 9th, 2007



Chicken Stir-Fry Wraps

Serving: Serves 4

* 1 1/2 Pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally and thinly sliced
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 2 Tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
* 1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
* 3 garlic, minced
* 1 1/2 Teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
* 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon red-pepper flakes
* 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
* 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
* 1 1/2 Teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
* 12 to 16 Boston lettuce leaves, (about 2 heads)


1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add half the chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.
2. Add remaining tablespoon oil to pan, along with the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender and golden, about 4 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).
3. Reduce heat to medium; add garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
4. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture; remove from heat. Add chicken and any accumulated juices; toss to coat. Serve in lettuce cups.

Apr. 8th, 2007



Braided Easter Egg Bread

Happy Easter!!


* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 2/3 cup milk
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 eggs
* 5 whole eggs, dyed if desired
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.

Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden.


Apr. 7th, 2007



Spring Flower Cake

1 cup Coconut flakes
2 drops food coloring, any color
1 pkg. (10 oz.) store-bought prepared round angel food cake
1 cup thawed Whipped Topping
3 cups halved strawberries

TOSS coconut with food coloring until evenly tinted; set aside.
PLACE cake on large serving plate. Frost top and side with whipped topping; sprinkle with coconut. Cut cake into 8 slices, leaving all slices in place. Carefully pull out cake slices and separate slightly to resemble the petals of an open flower.
SPOON 3 cups halved strawberries into center of "flower." Store leftover cake in refrigerator.

Apr. 6th, 2007



Mimosa Fruit Salad

When I saw this recipe I was like hell yeah champagne jello! Although... you still could...

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 5 hr 45 min
Makes: Makes 16 servings.

3 cups boiling water
2 pkg. (8-serving size each) Orange Flavor Gelatin
4 cups cold club soda
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin orange segments, drained
2 cups sliced strawberries

STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in club soda. Refrigerate 1-1/2 hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression).
STIR in oranges and strawberries. Pour into 9x5-inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.
REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until firm. Remove from loaf pan. Store leftover gelatin in refrigerator.

Thanks again kraftfoods.com!

Apr. 5th, 2007



Granola Balls Recipe

This is probably my new favorite site for recipes, they also have wine tasting cards that you can print out, how cool!

an easy to make no bake granola ball recipe for breakfast or any time

Makes 36 Granola Balls

2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted
1 3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats, divided
1 cup mixed dried fruit
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toast almonds and sunflower seeds together on a cookie sheet under the broiler 2 minutes. Process almonds and 1/4 cup rolled oats in a processor to fine crumbs, place in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl combine sunflower seeds, remaining oats, dried fruit, raisins, coconut, cinnamon, peanut butter, honey and vanilla blending well. With your hands, form mixture into 1" granola balls. Roll each granola ball in the almond-oat crumbs and serve with fresh fruit for a unique delicious no bake granola ball breakfast idea.


Apr. 4th, 2007



Cucumber Appetizer Cup

Makes 18 -20 vegetable appetizer

2 large cucumber, English or regular size unpeeled
1/4 cup celery diced finely
1/4 cup cooked fresh lobster or crab finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons green onion sliced thinly
1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
celery leaves for garnish

Cut cucumber crosswise into 1" pieces. With cut side down cut a small amount off each side angling the knife slightly toward the center leaving a small amount of dark green peel on each corner (see my photograph). Scoop out centers with a melon baller making a cup, leave a 1/4" wall on all sides.

Combine celery, lobster or crab, lime zest, lime juice, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lightly salt each cucumber cup, fill with vegetable appetizer, garnish with celery leaves and serve.


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