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Chocolate Pavlova

Filed under :Desserts, The Dairing Kitchen

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

Pavlova is meringue based dessert usually filled with cream and fresh fruits. It is very light and delicious.  The challenge this month had us make a chocolate version filled with chocolate mousse and drizzled with  a Mascarpone Cream that use Crème Anglaise as a base.  It was very good.  I decided to make mini pavlovas. I also had a bit of chocolate mousse and mascarpone cream left which turned into an amazing cake!  Will post pictures!  I hope you try this recipe. It was way worth it. There will be 4 recipes here. The first will be the meringue for the pavlova shell. Second will be the chocolate mouse. Third and Fourth will go together. You need to make Third (Crème Anglaise) so you can make recipe four which is the Mascarpone Cream

Recipes are adapted from the Daring Kitchen Arquives

Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):

3 egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
¼ cup powder sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside. Preheat the oven to 200º F.

In the mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)

Sift the powder sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white.

Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!) As you can see I made little cups.  I used the star tip and just piped the bottom as a circle, then piped one more time around creating the edge.

Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse:

1 ½ cups  heavy cream
grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces 72% chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups mascarpone
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp orange juice

Put ½ cup of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.

Place the mascarpone, the remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the orange juice and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)

Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse.  Pipe or fill your meringue shells.

Recipe 3: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream below): (I made half of this recipe)

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.

Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.

Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.

Recipe 4: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling): (also made half of this recipe)

1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
2 tbsp orange juice
½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream

Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the orange juice and let the mixture cool.

Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed.

Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.

Here is the cake idea I made with the leftovers.

It is a chocolate cake filled with chocolate mouse and mascarpone cream. Covered with Chocolate mouse. Topped with bitters sweet chocolate mouse, chocolate mouse, raspberries. Sides are crushed pavlovas and drizzled with mascarpone cream.

Heart Healthy Hotcakes Giveaway Winners

Filed under :Giveaway

Hi everyone, what a fun giveaway! Thanks for sharing your ideas and participating on this giveaway.  I hope you enjoy your heart healthy hotcakes!  Here are the winners:

Marie G3






To claim your prize,please send me an e-mail with your mailing address. I can’t wait to hear what you think about the hotcakes!  Thanks again.


Heart Healthy Hotcakes and Giveaway!

Filed under :Giveaway, Main Dish

My son loves pancakes for breakfast! I try to make it once a week deal, but he likes it so much that sometimes it is the only thing he asks for and he is very persistent.  I was very excited when I was contacted by Lehi Roller Mills to try their hotcakes.  When I read the ingredients on the package and the instructions it blew me away. I love when I read the product label and I can recognize what is on there, like 100 % whole wheat flour, milled flaxseed, non fat dry milk, brown sugar and dry egg whites. Heart Healthy Hotcakes features zero grams of trans fats, are low in total fat, have no preservatives and are a good source of fiber. They are made with organic wheat and Omega 3  and the instructions are  easy to follow, just add water.

I was concerned with how it would taste and if it would pass my son’s taste buds…

I love that all you do it add same amount of mix to water. That way I can make only the amount of  hotcake we will eat in the morning.

Then all you need to do is cook them. I only made 1 cup of the batter. 1 cup of  the mix yielded 6 hotcakes. Which is exactly the amount of pancakes on the directions. (Directions say “for 2 cups of mix you will get 12 pancakes), since I made 1 cup I got 6 pancakes!)

I thought it was nice and fluffy. For a whole wheat product, it was not heavy and the calories were not bad at all. (170 for two 4″ hotcakes.) I couldn’t believe it.  I had mine with a little drizzle of  Xagave and some strawberries. It passed my taste buds test! 😉

My son had his usual dollop of doce de leite and strawberries.  He ate the whole thing. It past his taste buds test too. 🙂

I feel much better serving him Lehi Mill’s Heart Healthy Hotcakes over the other mixes out there.

The only thing I wish is that they would develop are other flavors of the hotcakes, like blueberry, or buttermilk.  I also notice that the colder it gets, the chewier the hotcakes get.  So eat it while it is warm, which is true for any type of pancake!  But overall I really like this product. It is healthy and it tastes good.

Now for the better part, Lehi Mill offered to give away some boxes of Heart Healthy Hotcakes for readers! I know, exciting right. This way you get to try it too.  There will be 6 boxes given away to 6 lucky readers! The giveaway contest will end on Monday, June 21st, 2010 at 8 pm MST.  Winners will be announced here on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010.  US Residents only please.  The winner will be chosen using   You do not want to miss this one. It is just that good!!!!

Here is how you can enter: (one entry per person, just need to do one of the options bellow)

1. Leave a comment on this post.

2. Leave me a comment on the Facebook fan page. for the “Heart Healthy Hotcakes Giveaway” post.

3. Tweet about this post. (make sure to include #howicookgiveway

Good luck everyone. I am excited for you!

As part of Lehi Roller Mills 104th Anniversary, the company will be offering a Buy One Get One Free promotion at all Smith’s Food & Drug Stores in Utah during June 6th through July 3rd, 2010.

There is also a $1/2 coupon for Harmons. Good until 06/28/2010. I got this coupon because I signed up with Harmons Local. They will send you local coupons right to your e-mail!

Chicken Cutlets

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Chicken

I love this dish. It is a nice meal in which the kids help out in the kitchen (…if you are brave. Just kidding). I think allowing kids to help out in the kitchen lets them feel like they are part of decisions and it also helps them to not be afraid to experiment with food later on.  My son is two and he has been cooking with me since he was able to hold his head up. 😀  I would hold him in one arm and cook with the other hand and tell him all about what I was doing.  Needless to say he loves to be in the kitchen with me.  This is the first time we made cutlets together and he was so proud after it was done. It was adorable.

For the Chicken Cutlets:

1 large chicken breast

1 egg

1 1/2 c of bread crumbs

salt and pepper

Cut the chicken breast in little pieces. Line them in a cutting board.  Cover them with plastic wrap and pound them thin. Salt and Pepper each little cutlet.

Beat the egg with a little splash of water.  Put it into a plate or bowl that is large enough to dip the chicken in.  In another bowl or plate add the bread crumbs.

Traditionally you want to first dip the chicken into some flour, then egg then bread crumbs.  This technique makes the breading nice and crusty.  For today I skipped the flour and just dipped the chicken cutlets into the egg wash, then the bread crumbs.  Here is where your child can help out.  Give them a spoon and let them cover the chicken with the bread crumbs. My son just loved it.  Yes, it is messy, but well worth it. Nothing that a rag won’t clean, right?

In a frying pan, add about 1 T of oil, then fry the chicken cutlets. They are very thin so they fry quickly.

Tip: After each batch of chicken you will see some black crumbs. What I like to do it clean the pan with a paper towel (be careful since the pan it HOT). Then add new oil. It will make your next batch just as nice as the first.  Otherwise you might get some burn marks on the second batch.

I like to keep my oven at a low temperature. Mine has a setting for keeping food warm.  After I removed the cooked cutlet from the stove, I put it in the oven until everything is done. 😉

These are great. There is so much you can do with chicken cutlets.  Here are some ideas:

Cut them to top a salad (see Quinoa Salad idea)

Line them in a baking dish top with your favorite spaghetti sauce and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted. Also good with Alfredo sauce.

Good to serve as finger food.  Make dips and enjoy. (I love a BBQ, honey mustard or ranch dip)

Top your favorite pasta dish with the chicken cutlets (they go very well with Alfredo)

Use it for sandwiches

Quinoa Salad

Filed under :Salads, Side Dish

Quinoa is very healthy and I love the nutty like taste.  It is nice to have Quinoa as a salad because you can use your  imagination. This makes it easy to reuse leftovers or wherever is in the fridge to make it taste good  For this particular one I had some tomatoes, red pepper and a boiled egg (left over from another meal), so I started to put those items together until it was beautiful and colorful.

For the Quinoa:

3/4 c of Quinoa

1 t Salt

1 t olive oil

In a small sauce pan heat the oil slightly, add the quinoa and salt. Then add about 2 cups of water. Let the quinoa cook (medium heat) for about 20 minutes, covered.

You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.

For the salad:

Cooked quinoa

2 ears of corn (just the kernels)- you can use canned corn

1 avocado (sliced)

1 boiled egg (diced)

1/4 red pepper (diced)

2 tomatoes (diced)

2 T green onions (cut)

Mix it all together.  Then season it with Salt and Pepper to taste.  You can also add a little bit of lime juice and olive oil for a different taste.  My husband likes to eat this with a little bit of Italian dressing drizzled on top. I prefer without dressing and just a little squeeze of lime.  I also like to serve it on top of a nice green lettuce.

It is refreshing and it tastes very good!

Pair this recipe with the Chicken Cutlets and you have a complete meal!

Free Healthy Muffins Cookbook

Filed under :Uncategorized

Here is a great online  FREE download.  It is a free eCookbook for Healthy Muffins!

There are  25 amazing Healthy Muffins Recipes. Hope you like it 😉


Filed under :Appetizers, Vegetables

I love Artichoke and I wanted to experiment with different ways of cooking artichoke.  I tried 5 ways.  I liked them all, but I have to say my favorite was baking the artichoke.  Here is a summery of my adventures with artichoke:

Basics:  Before you start, make sure you trim the artichoke.  Cut just a little bit of the top and trim the leaves a bit. Then wash it well under cold water.  If you are going to use the artichoke as a serving dish you may also want to trim the bottom so it stands well. If you don’t need it to sit then go ahead and peel the outer side of the stem. The stem is a continuation of the artichoke heart so cook it and enjoy it.

Boil:  In a large sauce pan, bring water to boil. Add a little salt and add artichoke. Cover and boil it for about 45-50 minutes.  It will be done when you can insert a knife in the bottom of the artichoke easily. If your artichoke is small, keep an eye on it. You don’t want to over cook it.

Steamed:  Just like any other vegetable. Add a little bit of water to your pan, using  a steamer, steam your artichoke until a knife can easily be inserted in the bottom of the artichoke.

Baked:  I separated the leaves a little bit and seasoned the artichoke with 1 t rock salt, 2 t garlic powder and a little drizzle of olive oil.  Then I wrapped it in foil.  I used 2 sheets of foil to make sure it was nice and closed.  Bake in a 350 oven for about 1 hour.  It is just like baking a potato.  It will be done when a knife can go on the bottom of the artichoke with ease.

Microwaved :  Using a microwave safe dish, microwave your artichoke for about 10 minutes on high.

Grilled:  Cut the artichoke length wise.  Either steam or microwave it for a couple of minutes just to soften it a bit.  Take out the choke (as you can see on the picture). The choke is the fuzzy part.  Then season it (olive oil, salt and lemon juice) take it to your grill.  Grill the artichoke (cut side down) until they get a good color and are nice and tender.

How to eat it: Now the best part right???  Serving an artichoke for company is very nice. It is healthy and it looks very fancy!  To eat it, just pull the leaves out and scrape the bottom with your teeth.

You can serve it in place of tortillas with your favorite dips, or  you can serve it with melted butter. YUM!!! It is also delicious by itself. After you are done with the leaves, you will get to the artichoke heart.  This is the middle of the artichoke. It is nice and soft. You usually see this part used in cooking.  Just take the heart out and cut it into fourths.  Then scrape the fussy part of the artichoke (called choke) and discard it.  Now you can chop the rest and use in your favorite dish. I love to add it to pasta sauces, make a hot artichoke dip or just eat it by itself. It is so good!!!

Muir Glen

Filed under :Uncategorized

If you go on the right side of this page you will see a place where you can print coupons (FREE).  They have a great coupon for Muir Glen right now.  $1.00 of any product.

I hear some Walmart have the tomato paste for $1.00, with the coupon it would be free!!!  There is much you can do with tomato paste, or even just diced tomatoes!  Here are some ideas:

Stuffed Peppers

Pan Simmered Cod with Tomatoes

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Brazilian Beef Stroganoff