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Taste of Home Cooking School and Giveaway

Filed under :Giveaway

Taste of Home Cooking School is coming to Provo.  If you haven’t attended one of these school before, here is your chance.  It will be at the Provo Marriott on April 19th. They will have a boutique that is always full of fun ideas, and then the cooking show where you will see easy to cook recipes and demostrations.  It is also FULL of giveaways.  A fun way to spend the night.  Boutique shopping opens at 3 p.m. Cooking School Starts at 7 p.m.

If you would like to enter for a chance to win 2 tickets, here is how:

1.  Leave a comment on this post

2.  Like me on Facebook and say “I want to go to the Taste of Home cooking School”

3.  Follow me on Twitter and tweet: “RT @alecooking is giving away a free pass to the Taste of Home Cooking School in April.

4. Head over to the savvyshopperdeals website and let me know (comment below, Facebook or Twitter) what is your favorite deal for this week.

You can enter until April 3rd, 10 pm mt.  Winner will be announced here on April 4th.

If you want to buy tickets, they are on sale now, check this out!

There are two different ticket types available for purchase:

$10 Ticket : entry ticket for the show, giveaways and the boutiques

$20 Ticket : entry ticket for the show, giveaways, boutiques and an all you can eat Soup and Salad Bar dinner at the Marriott before the show.




Meringue Coffee Cake

Filed under :Desserts, The Dairing Kitchen

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

This was a delicious, amazing coffee cake recipe. This recipe will make 2 cakes. I made one with dark dove chocolate and one with mixed berries.  The dough is fabulous.

FILLED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE (From the Daring Kitchen Archives)

Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake.


4 cups  flour
¼ cup  sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 package active dried yeast
¾ cup  whole milk
¼ cup  water)
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup  sugar

For the Chocolate filling:

1 cup  chopped pecans or walnuts
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup  semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

For the Mixed Berry filling:

1 1/2 cups mixed berries
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes


Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups  of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the  1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Prepare your filling:In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling if using. You can add the chopped nuts to this if you like, but I find it easier to sprinkle on both the nuts and the chocolate separately.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch  from the edges. Sprinkle filling of choice evenly over the meringue

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch  intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.

Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.

Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash.  Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Here is the chocolate one:

Here is the berry one:

Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.

Spaghetti Squash

Filed under :Main Dish, Vegetables

A healthy version of Spaghetti and very delicious!

Slice the squash in half, drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour or until you can fluff it with the fork and it comes out looking like Spaghetti.

Top with your favorite sauce. I used red sauce.  You can serve it on the squash itself. It is kind of cute that way!  I added some fresh mozzarella slices on top.


Burrata Cheese

Filed under :Pastas

I watched a show a long time ago where Lidia Bastianich made a dish with Burrata cheese.  Since then I started looking all over for this cheese.  I finally found it at a local Italian market (Caputo’s in SLC).  Wow, it really is delicious. The outside is like a fresh mozzarella and inside it is creamy, soft almost like a ricotta cheese.  I opened it and sprinkled with black pepper, salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Delicious to eat with crackers, bread, salads or as you see on the picture above on top of you favorite pasta dish.