Sunday, July 15, 2012

Crock Pot Egg Brunch Casserole

5-8 strips of bacon
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (2lb) bag of frozen hash browns
1-1/2" shredded cheese
12 eggs
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Cook bacon until crisp, cool and chop into 1/2in pieces, set aside. Saute garlic and bell pepper for about 5 mins. Place 1/3 of the frozen hash browns in the bottom of the crock pot. Add 1/3 bacon, 1/3 of the pepper mixture and 1/3 cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. In a large bowl mix eggs, dill, salt & pepper. Pour over ingredients in crock pot, cover and turn on low. Cook 8-10 hours.When done, thermometer should read 160deg F in center.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cinnamon Wreath Bread

2 Packages ( ¼ oz each ) Active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
6 TBS butter
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
¾ tsp salt
4 1/2-5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 TBS butter melted
½ cup chopped almonds
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 TBS water
¼ tsp almond extract

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the butter, milk powder, sugar, egg, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. ( The dough will be sticky )

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 18 in x 12 in rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and chipped almonds to within ½ inch of the edges. Roll up jelly-roll style starting with the long side and pinch the seam to seal.

Place seam down on a greased baking sheet and pinch the ends together to form a ring. With kitchen scissors, cut from the outside edge to 2/3’s of the way towards the center of the ring at 1 inch intervals. Separate the strips slightly and twist to allow the filling to show. Cover and let rise again until doubled. (About 45 minutes to an hour)

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, Combine the confectioners sugar, water, and extract and drizzle over the warm bread.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Piruletas Italianas

Ingredients (12 lollipops):
12 cherry tomatoes
1 soup spoon tomato tapenade
12 minimozzarella
½ c grated lemon peel
Virgin olive oil 2 c/s
1 soup spoon chopped parsley
Cut 1 cm. of tomatoes, empty seeds. Fill with a little tapenade and end with the minimozzarella. Puncture.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest, oil and parsley. Batter mozzarella skewers and place them in a glass or dispenser of skewers.

Pesto Poppers

1 sheet puff pastry
fresh mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400F.

Roll out the puff pastry and using a 2 inch round biscuit cutter, cut out circles. In the center of each place a small piece of mozzarella cheese and a teaspoon of pesto.

Pull all sides together and attach with two toothpicks per popper. Place on a cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and discard toothpicks. Serve warm! (can be served room temperature but so much better warm)

Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime and Cilatro

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 red jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 cups fat free, low sodium chicken stock
  • Lime juice, to taste
  • 1/4 cup plain, non- fat greek style yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro


1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat.
2. Add the oil and sweat the shallot for 1 minute.
3. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and cumin and continue cooking for 1 minute.
4. Add the beans,chicken stock, and yogurt and bring to the simmer.
5. Let simmer for 5 minutes and transfer soup to a blender.
6. Working in batches, puree the soup until smoothness desired and return to a medium saucepot on medium heat.
7. Season the soup to taste with salt, pepper, and lime juice.
8. Ladle the soup into serving bowls, drizzle some yogurt over the soup and garnish with the chopped cilantro.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lemon Lime Gelato

Makes About 4 Quarts

12 Lemons, Zested
12 - 18 Medium Limes, Zested
2 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
2 1/4 cups fresh lime juice
6 Tbsp. of Lemon Zest
6 Tbsp. of Lime Zest
4 cups of water
6 to 8 cups of Granulated Sugar (Suit to Your Tangy Preference)
6 cups of heavy cream

In a large saucepan, combine 5 Tbsp. of Lemon zest, 5 Tbsp. of Lime zest, the lemon and lime juice, sugar and the water.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Allow to simmer for about 4 minutes until the sugar dissolves.  Strain and set aside to cool.

Mix the citrus syrup with the heavy cream.

Transfer into an ice-cream maker and follow manufacturer's directions.  As the mixture begins to firm up, add 1 Tablespoon of Lemon zest and 1 Tablespoon of Lime zest.  Continue churning until the ice cream maker labors.

Turn into medium Tupperware bowls with lids and freeze at least 24 hours.




2 jiggers vodka

2 jiggers Chocolate Liqueur

2-4 jiggers half and half (depends on how strong you want them to be!)

1/4 cup marshmallow creme

1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

2 graham crackers, crushed


Melt marshmallow creme and chocolate chips in a shallow bowl for 1 minute on half power in microwave bowl or over warm water.

Roll outside of glass rim in marshmallow/chocolate chip mixture and then dip into crushed graham crackers. Put in refrigerator to cool.

Fill cocktail shaker

or pitcher with 2 cups of ice.

Pour vodka, chocolate liqueur and half and half over ice. Shake well. Pour into cooled, rimmed glass.

Spear marshmallows with toothpicks or long skewer; toast marshmallows over flame and garnish cocktail.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Steamed Buns - Pau

Ingredients for the Skin:

500 gm Pau flour or Hong Kong flour
2.1/2 tsp dried yeast
100 ml lukewarm water
125 gm caster sugar
5 tsp Crisco shortening
2.1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
110 - 115 ml water

Ingredients for the Filling:

250 gm chicken breast - diced into small cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp light soya sauce
2 tsp each of - sesame oil, oyster sauce and dark soya sauce
3 tsp or more sugar
3/4 cup water
2.1/2 Tbsp cornflour + 2 Tbsp water to thicken
Oil for frying

Preparation for the Filling - (Cook this a day earlier and keep refrigerated).
Heat up a pan with the oil and mix in the diced chicken meat with all the sauces, stir fry.
Add in the water and let simmer till chicken meat is cooked.
Fine tune to taste and add in the thickening.
Dish up and let cool before refrigerating.

Preparation for the Skin

Mix the dried yeast with lukewarm water, stir well.
Add in 130 gm sifted pau flour, mix well with the yeast mixture. Roughly form into a ball of dough and set aside for 15 mins.

Mix the balance 370 gm sifted pau flour with the baking powder, sugar and salt, stir well.
Pour this mixture into (A) above. Add in the shortening and water sparingly, knead till dough doesn't stick to the hands.
Cover dough with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm place for about 1 hr. to 1.1/2 hrs or till double in size.
Knock down dough to expel some air, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a while.
Weigh out 50 gm of dough and roughly shape into a ball. Makes 18 pieces.

Flatten and roll out the dough into a circle. Cup it in the palm of your hand, spoon in the cold filling onto the centre of the dough and pleat up the sides and seal.
Place the pau onto a piece of greaseproof paper, on the rack for steaming. Cover with a piece of damp cloth and let rise for another 15 mins.
Steam the pau under rapidly boiling water on high heat for about 10 to 12 mins. (amonia added to the water will make them white)
Remove from steamer and serve, hot.

Source: No Frills Recipes (

Char Siew

600 g pork belly (there must be some fat with the meat but if less fat is preferred, then use pork fillet though it mi)

1/2 cup fine sugar

4 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons dark soya sauce

1 tablespoon red food coloring

1 teaspoon five-spice powder

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon Chinese wine (I suppose Sherry would do)


1 Mix everything together except the pork.
2 Marinate pork with the mix for about 1 hour (I normally marinate my meats for a longer time) Place on wire rack and roast at 200 degrees Centigrade or 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.
3 Or, you can fire up the BBQ and roast it in there.
4 (I've personally seen Char Siew roasted over coals in a cut out oil tin with a wooden lid.) Cool and slice.

Read more:

Baked Char Siew Pau

Cha siew pau or BBQ pork buns are commonly found at dim sum places or hawker stalls. But instead of steaming the buns, here, the skin is baked. The crispy pastry with melt-in-the-mouth filling makes these buns a crowd pleaser.

You can also make them ahead of time. Just keep refrigerated up to three days and bake when needed.

Makes 30 pieces

Water dough:
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g castor sugar
60g shortening
1 tablespoon lime juice
120ml water

Oil dough:
250g plain flour
200g shortening
½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
400g pork/chicken fillet, cubed
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon dark soya sauce
1 teaspoon chicken stock granules
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
50g sugar or to taste
100g green peas [optional]
2 big onions, peeled and cubed
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
2 tablespoons tapioca flour + 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 egg yolk, beaten lightly for glazing
extra sesame seeds for topping


1. Heat oil and sauté garlic till fragrant.

2. Add pork/chicken meat and sauté for 10 seconds. Add in oyster sauce, dark soya sauce, chicken stock granules, sesame oil, Chinese 5 spice powder and sauté till chicken is almost cooked.

3. Add sugar, green peas and onions.

4. Season to taste with salt and thicken with tapioca flour solution. Turn off heat, sprinkle sesame seeds over and mix well. Set aside filling to cool.

Water dough:

1 .Place all ingredients in an electric mixer or mixing bowl, except water.

2. Add water slowly and mix until combined to form a smooth dough.

3. Rest dough, covered with a clean tea towel.

Oil dough:

1. Place all ingredients in an electric mixer or mixing bowl, combine to form a soft dough.

2. Divide into 30 equal portions.

To wrap up:

1. Divide the water dough into 30 equal portions. Roll them into balls and flatten them.

2. Place a ball of oil dough inside the water dough and wrap it up.

3. Flatten and roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a rectangle.

4. Roll short side up tightly like a Swiss roll.

5. Flatten again and re-roll (Swiss roll style).

6. With the side up, flatten the dough into a circle.

7. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the centre, bring edges together and twist to seal.

8. Place on a greased tray, glaze the chicken bun then sprinkle some sesame seeds over. Continue the process with the other doughs.

9. Preheat oven at 200ْC and bake chicken bun in pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or till golden brown.

10. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chef Meg's Cheesy Grilled Banana Peppers


4 banana peppers, fresh

2 slices bacon

1 red or yellow tomato, diced

3 oz smoked Gouda cheese, diced

1 T parsley or cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup panko* (Japanese breadcrumbs)

*You can substitute whatever breadcrumbs you have on hand.


Preheat the grill to medium heat. Wash and cut the stems off the peppers. Using a fork or vegetable peeler, scoop out the seeds. Cook bacon until brown but not crisp; drain and crumble. Combine all remaining ingredients and stuff them into the peppers. Wrap each pepper in a piece of aluminum foil, taking care to cover the tops tightly. Place foil packets on the grill so they stand upright, keeping the filling inside the peppers. Cook with grill lid closed for 10 minutes.

Number of Servings: 4

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user CHEF_MEG.