>> Friday, November 27, 2009

The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives.
She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book

Cannoli forms/tubes - optional, but recommended if making traditional shaped cannoli.

Dried cannelloni pasta tubes work just as well!
Deep, heavy saucepan, enough to hold at least 2-3-inches of oil or deep fryer
Deep fat frying thermometer. although the bread cube or bit of dough test will work fine.
Metal tongs
Brass or wire skimmer OR large slotted spoon
Pastry bag with large star or plain tip, but a snipped ziplock bag, butter knife or teaspoon will work fine.
Cooling rack
Paper bags or paper towels
Pastry Brush
Sieve or fine wire mesh strainer
Electric Mixer, stand or hand, optional, as mixing the filling with a spoon is fine.
Food Processor or Stand Mixer – also optional, since you can make the dough by hand, although it takes more time.
Rolling pin and/or Pasta roller/machine
Pastry or cutting board
Round cutters - The dough can also be cut into squares and rolled around the cannoli tube prior to frying. If making a stacked cannoli, any shaped cutter is fine, as well as a sharp knife.
Mixing bowl and wooden spoon if mixing filling by hand
Plastic Wrap/Clingfilm
Tea towels or just cloth towels


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Approximately 1/2 cup sweet Marsala or any white or red wine you have on hand
1 large egg, separated (you will need the egg white but not the yolk)
Vegetable or any neutral oil for frying – about 2 quarts (8 cups)

Note - If you want a chocolate cannoli dough, substitute a few tablespoons of the flour (about 25%) with a few tablespoons of dark, unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process) and a little more wine until you have a workable dough (Thanks to Audax).

2 lbs ricotta cheese, drained
1 2/3 cups cup confectioner’s sugar, (more or less, depending on how sweet you want it), sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or the beans from one vanilla bean
3 tablespoons finely chopped good quality chocolate of your choice
2 tablespoons of finely chopped, candied orange peel, or the grated zest of one small to medium orange

Note - If you want chocolate ricotta filling, add a few tablespoons of dark, unsweetened cocoa powder to the above recipe, and thin it out with a few drops of warm water if too thick to pipe.


1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.

2 Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Lightly flour a large cutting or pastry board and roll the dough until super thin, about 1/16 to 1/8” thick (An area of about 13 inches by 18 inches should give you that). Cut out 3 to 5-inch circles (3-inch – small/medium; 4-inch – medium/large; 5-inch;- large. Your choice). Roll the cut out circle into an oval, rolling it larger and thinner if it’s shrunk a little.

3 Oil the outside of the cannoli tubes (You only have to do this once, as the oil from the deep fry will keep them well, uhh, Roll a dough oval from the long side (If square, position like a diamond, and place tube/form on the corner closest to you, then roll) around each tube/form and dab a little egg white on the dough where the edges overlap. (Avoid getting egg white on the tube, or the pastry will stick to it.) Press well to seal. Set aside to let the egg white seal dry a little.

4. In a deep heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 3 inches, or if using an electric deep-fryer, follow the manufacturer's directions. Heat the oil to 375°F (190 °C) on a deep fry thermometer, or until a small piece of the dough or bread cube placed in the oil sizzles and browns in 1 minute. Have ready a tray or sheet pan lined with paper towels or paper bags.

5. Carefully lower a few of the cannoli tubes into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry the shells until golden, about 2 minutes, turning them so that they brown evenly.

8. Lift a cannoli tube with a wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, out of the oil. Using tongs, grasp the cannoli tube at one end. Very carefully remove the cannoli tube with the open sides straight up and down so that the oil flows back into the pan. Place the tube on paper towels or bags to drain. Repeat with the remaining tubes. While they are still hot, grasp the tubes with a potholder and pull the cannoli shells off the tubes with a pair of tongs, or with your hand protected by an oven mitt or towel. Let the shells cool completely on the paper towels. Place shells on cooling rack until ready to fill.

9. Repeat making and frying the shells with the remaining dough. If you are reusing the cannoli tubes, let them cool before wrapping them in the dough.

Pasta Machine method:
1. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Starting at the middle setting, run one of the pieces of dough through the rollers of a pasta machine. Lightly dust the dough with flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Pass the dough through the machine repeatedly, until you reach the highest or second highest setting. The dough should be about 4 inches wide and thin enough to see your hand through

2. Continue rolling out the remaining dough. If you do not have enough cannoli tubes for all of the dough, lay the pieces of dough on sheets of plastic wrap and keep them covered until you are ready to use them.

3, Roll, cut out and fry the cannoli shells as according to the directions above.

For stacked cannoli:
1. Heat 2-inches of oil in a saucepan or deep sauté pan, to 350-375°F (176 - 190 °C).

2. Cut out desired shapes with cutters or a sharp knife. Deep fry until golden brown and blistered on each side, about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from oil with wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, then place on paper towels or bags until dry and grease free. If they balloon up in the hot oil, dock them lightly prior to frying. Place on cooling rack until ready to stack with filling.



>> Sunday, November 22, 2009

I love Thanksgiving
Its the most delicious holiday in the year
There is nothing better thing then this time when all the family gather together and we all enjoy the great food..

Applebee's garlic mashed potato


32 ounces red potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup garlic cloves

Place a single layer of garlic cloves on a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap tightly.
Roast in 400 degrees F preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until soft.
Unwrap and let cool.
Peel cloves and set aside until the potatoes are ready.
Wash and rinse potatoes under cold water.
In large pot, bring red potatoes to a slow boil for about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and drain in colander.
In pan or bowl, combine potatoes, peeled and roasted garlic cloves,
and all other ingredients and mash with a potato masher.
Keep warm until you serve.

Turkey Gravy


5 cups turkey stock
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 celery stick


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the turkey stock to a boil. In a small bowl, dissolve flour in water. Gradually whisk into the turkey stock. Season with poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and celery salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.
String Beans


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 or 3 small garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 pounds tender green beans
Salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter and olive oil with the garlic
Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Drain and toss with garlic butter and seasonings.
Serve with sesame seeds.

Green salad with Pear vinaigrette

for the vinaigrette...
1 ripe pear
1/2 cup white wine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup unseasoned wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

for the salad...
a nice combination of lettuces, radicchio, spinach, or other wild greens
thin slices of pear
thin slices of sweet red onion
a handful of toasted hazelnuts

Kraft Stove stuffing mix


I box Kraft stove top stuffing mix
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, unsalted
2 1/2 cups (2 - 3 onions) yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups (2 – 3 stalks) celery, chopped
2 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 to 3 cups chicken or turkey stock


In a large heavy sauté pan,
melt butter and sauté onions and celery
on medium heat until vegetables are tender.

Add herbs and sauté for an additional minute.
Combine vegetable mixture with bread, seasonings and stock.
Transfer to a deep buttered baking dish.
Bake for 45 minutes uncovered
until stuffing is hot and crusty on the top.

Dinner Rolls

3 1/2 Cups flour
1 tbsp. dry yeast
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm water
1 egg
1/4 cup oil


in the mixer bowel
mix the flour, yeast and sugar together
add the water, egg and oil
and mix for 5 minutes.
add the salt
and keep mixing for another 5 minutes.

grease large bowl and let the dough rise for one hour
divide the dough to 3 equal balls
and let rise for another one hour.
open each ball to a thin circle and with pizza knife
cute triangle
roll the dough from the base to the top
brush each rolls with beaten egg
and bake for 45 min. or until the rolls are golden brown

Individual Melon Fruit Bowl
1 Melon cut to 2 half's
1 large apple peeled and cut to slices
1 kiwi peel and cut to slices
Melon balls that we made with pearsiean cup from the other half
Mint leaves for decoration

Cut off a thin piece of one end of the melon so that
it leaves a flat surface on the melon.
scoop out the contents of the melon with a large spoon.
Cut some of the melon into
ball shaped pieces using the melon ball spoon
Put the cut up fruits and the melon balls into the
melon bowl and add the blueberries.
Peel the kiwi and slice them into thin slices.
Then add them to the fruit bowl.
add as much fruit as you want and love
(strawberries, star fruit, pineapple etc.)
Decorate with mint leaves and serve.


Tomato Soup

>> Thursday, November 19, 2009

This soup is the best tomato soup ever!

Tomato Soup

1 Chopped onion
1 chopped carrot
1 Tablespoon flour
1 Tomato paste can (small)
5 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 1/2 cooked rice
Juice from one lemon


In a large pan over a medium heat, saute the onion and the carrot.
add the flour and stir well.
add the chicken broth and the tomato paste and stir frequently until boiling.
dd the salt, paper the lemon juice and the sugar and stir.
Reduce the heat add the cooked rice and cook for another 10-15 min.
Serve with fresh parsley (suggestion)


Choclate Caramel Babka

>> Sunday, November 15, 2009

There is nothing better in winter days then a warm piece of chocolate babka cakes.
This dough is so easy to use and the result is amazing.
usually I fill the logs with chocolate alone, but this time I tried one of my Dulce de Leche (caramel) can that I have, the combination was divine.

I loved to see how the dough rose and the smell in the house spread ...

Chocolate Caramel Babka

For the dough
7 Cups + 1 Tablespoon Flour
2 1/4 Teaspoon dry yeast
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups warm milk (or water)

Nuttela Chocolate spread
Dulce de leche

1 bitten egg
2 Tablespoon milk

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
boil together until the sugar desolved close and let it cool


Put all the dough ingredients in a bowl, combine to make dough, and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic.

Wrap the bowl in a cling film or cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it's sit for 1 hour our until it's doubled his size.

after the dough has risen knead it down for a while, put the dough on a light flour surface and knead it to a ball, cut the dough to a 6 small balls.

roll the dough to a thin square.

Cover the dough with chocolate and Dulce de leche over the dough and roll it into a snug log.
place the Babka on a baking mat, brush with the beaten egg and milk and bake for 30 min. in 350 F. until puffed and become golden brown.
transfer the babka to a cooling rock and brush them with the water sugar syrup.



Chocolate Chip Cookies

>> Friday, November 6, 2009

Double Tree Hotel - Chocolate Chip Cookies - adopted from foodgeeks

½ c rolled oats
2¼ c all purpose flour
1½ t baking soda
1 t salt
¼ t cinnamon
1 c butter, softened
¾ c brown sugar, packed
¾ c granulated sugar
1½ t vanilla
½ t lemon juice
2 eggs
3 c semi-sweet, chocolate chips
1½ c chopped walnuts


Grind oats in a food processor or blender until fine. Combine the ground oats with the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and lemon juice in another medium bowl with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix until smooth. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend well. Add the chocolate chips and nuts to the dough and mix by hand until ingredients are well blended.

For the best results, chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator before baking the cookies.

Spoon rounded 1/4 cup portions onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the scoops about 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350°F oven for 16-18 minutes or until cookies are light brown and soft in the middle. Store in a sealed container when cool to keep s


Orange Cake with walnuts cinnamon filling

>> Sunday, November 1, 2009

There is nothing better in the winter then Orange cake, and when this cake combines with walnuts and cinnamon this cake taste two times tastier.

Orange cake with walnuts and cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 cup orange juice
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix together all the filling ingredients in a small bowel and set aside.


Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a baking pans.
In the mixer bowel beat on medium speed the ingredients. (batter will be thin).
Pour batter into prepared pans.
Spread the walnuts filling and put the rest of the batter on top of the nuts.
Bake 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.


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