Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!

Just wanted to take a moment to check in and wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!  I promise, yes promise that I will be posting more regularly this coming year.  I have my cooking mojo back...or more appropriately my baking mojo!!!!!  So that mean lots of cakes and cookies and also some healthy food too!




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Banana Cake (my new favorite)

If  you've been following my blog for any length of time you know that I just adore banana breads and cakes.  This one is so good and I'm so happy to share it with all of  you.  My favorite banana cake for the last few years had been one that you immediately put in the freezer after you remove it from the oven, but this one tops it.  Also, if any of you have a dairy allergy, this one is dairy free so that is a plus!  This one is also just so simple to make and more than likely you'll have all these ingredients on hand.  I absolutely hate recipes that have all kinds of crazy ingredients that you'll likely end up using only one time. Another pet peeve of mine is a recipe that has a loooong list of ingredients. Nope. I just can't be bothered with that.  Sometimes simple is the best.

Don't know how many piano players are out there reading my blog but I am currently learning how to play piano!  I have always wanted to play piano and just feel that it's now or never. I have to say I absolutely love it!!!! I don't think I have ever found anything so relaxing to do in a long time.  It's a great stress reliever but that is just an extra benefit!  We have an old upright piano that has just been sitting around here for years and hasn't been played since my oldest son was living at home.  I'm sure the old piano missed being played!

In the meantime, hope you enjoy this banana cake!  Original recipe was found here.

2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of sugar (I used a little less)
1/4 cup oil (I used vegetable)
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9 in square baking pan.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl whisk together the sugar, oil and then add the bananas.  Add water and vanilla, stirring to combine.
Add the flour mixture and mix together just until wet.
Bake for 45 to 50
minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.



Friday, October 11, 2013

Pumpkin Bread

Fall is in the air here!  Along with lots of rain that will hopefully be finally leaving us by Sunday.  Just like we  had days on end last week of hot summer weather, it's been raining days on end here.  Enough is enough. How about some nice cool, crisp weather?  I know I'm ready.  And I am sooo ready that I made two loaves of this pumpkin bread recently.  One for right away and one went in the freezer.  It lasted only about 3 days in the freezer.  Just too good to wait and eat.  So we ate one loaf and had the other one right away.  This bread has no eggs or dairy whatever in it.  It has a ton of flavor and it's very moist.  It's a really good recipe, promise!  So go make one for now and freeze the other one for later......or maybe sooner!!!! (You can get the original recipe here).

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or you can use all white)
2 cups light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ginger
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cup soy, almond or rice milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.  Place a rack in the center of the oven.  Line two 9 x 5 in loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Pour the soy milk into a small bowl and add the apple cider vinegar.  Stir it together a little and let it sit for a few minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a very large bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, oil, orange juice and soy milk until nicely combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients about a cup at a time.  Stir well after adding each cup of the dry ingredients using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and incorporate all of it together.
Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees F then lower over to 325 degrees F and bake for another 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center of bread.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lemon Baked Tofu

This is a recipe that I can make over and over again.  I've made this twice since I took these pics and there is always plenty of leftovers for me.  Of course no one here wants to even try it. All I can say is they don't know what they are missing. Seriously, this is REALY good.  I read a review on this and the comment was that it tasted like chicken picatta...and it does!  So if you have never had tofu and are thinking about perhaps giving it a try I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Just wanted you to also know that right here in the state of Virginia we are having summer all over again!  But without the humidity and the nights are in fact quite cool.  Ah, this would be perfect weather year round.

If any of you reading this are from the DC/Northern Virginia area, did any of you go to the DC VegFest?  I wanted to but of course other things got in the way. Like heart flutters and ending up in the ER!  All is well for right now however, and my doctor doesn't think it was anything serious.....but....i did miss the DC VegFest and had been looking so forward to it. Ugh!

You can find the original recipe for this dish here.

Lemon Baked Tofu

2 blocks firm or extra firm tofu, well pressed
2 Tbs soy sauce (I used low sodium)
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Slice your pressed tofu into 1/2 inch thick strips. I love to cut mine diagonally.  Just cut each strip into 2 squares and then cut each square diagonally from corner to corner.
Whisk all ingredients together except for tofu and place in shallow pan or zip-lock bag.  Add tofu, making sure to coat well.
Allow tofu to marinate at least one hour- the longer the better.  I marinated mine about 6 hours.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F and bake for about 25 minutes.
Transfer tofu and marinade to baking dish.
Make sure to turn tofu halfway through cooking time.  (Mine probably cooked for about 30 - 35 minutes.)

You can serve this with a salad, potatoes or rice.  It is really delicious over rice.



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vegetarian Lentil Loaf

I have to say that this dish definitely surprised me.  Since I don't eat meat anymore it's nice to find recipes that balance out a meal.  This is one of them.  When I first ate this after I had just made it I thought the recipe was okay at best. A bit dry and bland. My husband had been looking forward to trying this but after the first bite he was out.....Not interested....No way.   My son would have nothing to do with it.  I, however, really wanted this recipe to work so I gave it another chance. I decided to try it again later in the week for leftovers just for me.  I had a big beautiful yellow pepper that needed to be eaten, so one evening I decided to fry that up in some olive oil.  When the pepper was finished frying I sliced myself some of the lentil load and fried it up in the oil that was left from cooking the pepper.  Best decision I have made in a while.  It was THAT good!  What a difference a little time makes in letting the loaf rest and then frying in the oil that already had some of the flavor of the pepper in it.  If you are vegetarian or want a vegetarian meal for a change please give this a try.  Just remember this is best if you make it a day ahead of time and slice and fry in some olive oil.  Don't eat it straight from the pan. That won't do it justice!!!!  This makes a pretty big loaf and can easily feed 6 people.  You can also find the recipe here.

1 1/2 cup lentils
3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth (I used vegetable broth)
2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups precooked rice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce (I used tomato sauce)
1/2 tsp sage (do not leave this out)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (I recommend using double that amount)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large soup or stock pot, simmer the lentils in water or vegetable broth until cooked. About 30 minutes.
Mash half the lentils while keeping the other half whole.
Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes.  ( I saute the onions alone first for a good 5 minutes and then add the garlic in for only a minute or until it is fragrant).
Combine onions, garlic and olive oil with the mashed lentils and add the rice, sauce, sage and Italian seasoning.
Gently press the mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan.  Drizzle a bit of the sauce on top, if desired.
Bake for one hour.  Remove and let rest. This will help it firm up.  You can serve this right out of the pan but I  highly recommend frying it in slices the next day or later on in the week.
This is a great make ahead recipe.



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Debbie's Pasta Salad

I am finally getting around to posting another recipe. I really am hoping to post more often.  I don't like posting only once a week. My goal is get back into the swing of blogging and post at least 3 recipes a week.
I have a new addiction. Smoothies. McDonald's smoothies. I don't know how healthy they are but they can't be all that bad especially since they are mostly ice.  I have a new Kitchen Aid Blender that I definitely plan on using to make smoothies but damn McDonald's just makes it so convenient to drive thru and just order one!!  Now I do have frozen peaches and bananas in my freezer that I am going to use soon.  With some almond milk....oh that sounds so good.

Anyhow, here is a delicious pasta salad that I made recently that is definitely a hit in my house.  While visiting my cousin on Long Island this past summer I noticed she added a small can of corn to her pasta salad and thought I would give that a try. So good!!!!  It add a touch of sweetness to it. Just perfect!  So here is my basic and simple pasta salad recipe.  Feel free to add any other vegetables of your choosing.  These are just the ones I used and they did blend very well together.

1 box multicolored corkscrew pasta
1 bottle Italian Salad dressing
1 small can of corn
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (I used 1/2 large green pepper)
2 tomatoes, chopped

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  While pasta cooks, chop vegetables for salad.  Rinse pasta under cold water and drain well.
Place pasta in large bowl and add all vegetables.
Empty 1/3 of bottle of Italian salad dressing onto pasta and vegetables and mix well.
(I used only about 1/3 bottle since I don't like it to taste overpowering.  You can add more if you like).


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vegan Peach Upside Down Cake

Hard to believe that it's fall with the temps being in the low 90's here.  Went to a festival today and when we got back to our car to leave the temperature on the car read 99 degrees.  Wow!  Not complaining here though. I am loving these last days of summer.  M son started high school this past week and so far so good. It's very early in the year though, but let's hope he still feels this way in another month.

This cake doesn't look like much but it was really very good. It was the first time I made it and I would definitely make it again.   I had a problem with it sticking to the bottom on the skillet though when I tried to remove it but I think I just need a little more practice with that.  I've been making some other vegan dishes and a wonderful vegan yellow cake and will post that once I make it again and add some kind of topping.  If you decide to give this cake a try just make sure you grease the bottom of your skillet really well so you have no problem removing the cake.  You may also want to add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream as a cake topper.  Enjoy!

Peach Upside Down Cake (from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen)

1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vanilla soy milk (mixed with one teaspoon lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest (or 1/4 tsp lemon extract)
4 cups peeled and sliced peaches
2 tablespoons raw sugar or brown sugar
1/4 cup raw sugar or brown sugar
2 tablespoons of water

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Combine the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl.  Set aside without mixing them together.
Combine the peaches with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Wipe or spray a 10 inch well seasoned cast iron skillet with oil.  Begin heating it and add the 1/4 cup of sugar and the water.  Heat and stir until the sugar is completely melted.  Continue to cook and stir until the mixture is bubbly and slightly reduced. Be careful not to burn it.  Place the peaches on top of the sugar and remove from heat.
Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring briefly just to moisten.  Pour and smooth the batter over the peaches, covering them entirely.  Put the skillet into the oven and bake until sides of cake pull away from pan and toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.   Note: You may want to put a cookie sheet on the rack below to catch any drips).
Allow cake to cool in pan for 15 to 30 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Place a large plate or serving platter over the top and invert the skillet.  Remove the skillet carefully from the cake.  Enjoy while warm.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chincoteague Island, Virginia


Chincoteague Island is located on Virginia's Eastern Shore which is also known as the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia).  We purchased a home here a while ago and try to get there as often as we can. Chincoteague Island was voted the #1 family beach town by AOL at one time.  Most of the homes on the island are vacation homes, however there are quite a number of local folks who live there year round.  The ocean is beautiful and not commercial in any way.  Just the beach and lifeguards. No boardwalk with neon signs here. There are scooters that you can rent if you chose not to drive on the island and there are plenty of those on the road in the summer.  The center of town is Main Street where there are family owned seafood restaurants and also some nice shops and a movie theater.  It only has one movie playing at a time. There are not many of those type movies theaters around anymore!  If you are an ice cream lover there are 3 ice cream parlors.  One is a beautiful old fashioned one. There's also a bakery with fresh donuts every morning. About a half hour away are tour boats that will take you to visit nearby Smith or Tangier Islands.  Also about one hour away is Ocean City, Maryland.

 Assateague and Chincoteague Islands are mostly known for their beautiful ponies that live a tranquil, quiet life.  The most popular time of year to visit Chincoteague Island is the last week of July when the ponies make their annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. Mind you it is a very short swim and the local cowboys make sure that none are injured or in danger.  Being the animal lover that I am I would never write about this or promote this event if it endangered the ponies in any way.  The herd is taken care of very well during their time on Assateague Island with many of them living out their lives there.  It is a natural and beautiful setting.  Anyhow, the ponies swim to Chincoteague Island  to keep the herd at a number that can be managed.  The ponies are auctioned off to many people whose dream has been to own one of these ponies.  Several every year are donated back to the island and those are sold at at some of the highest bids. As high as $17,500.00  All monies raised are given to the local volunteer fire department of the island, who also maintain and care for the ponies. I don't have any pics of the pony swim itself this year since a sudden thunderstorm came over us and we ran for cover.  Hope you enjoy the pics and you may want to keep this Chincoteague Island in mind for a family vacation.  It is a wonderful getaway!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Black-Eyed Susan Salad

This is a great recipe that I found in a magazine called Cooperative Living.  A definite for summer. I love these kinds of salads as a side dish with just about anything.  I think the only thing I would change would be adding a pasta.  Maybe a tricolor pasta or perhaps a bow tie pasta.  Either way this salad is a keeper and hope you enjoy it.

15 oz can of black-eyed peas, drained
10 oz package of frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 T chopped pimento
2 T minced onion (I used a red onion)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 T white sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine the black-eyed peas, corn, pimento and onion in a mixing bowl and set aside.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and pepper.  Slowly whisk in the vegetable oil until the dressing emulsifies.  Stir the dressing into the vegetables until evenly coated.
Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu

At the moment this is my very favorite tofu recipe.  Since I still haven't cooked all that many dishes with tofu that is subject to change. However, even ordering tofu in restaurants hasn't changed my opinion. This sauce is sweet with just a touch of tang to it.  Plus it looks so pretty too. Nice and brown with a glaze...oh delicious!  I have to admit that my transition into eating a vegan diet has not been as easy as some people make it seem. I find it really, really hard to eat 100% vegan while on vacation.  While most restaurants certainly have vegetarian dishes (forget vegan, that's almost impossible) most of those dishes are bland and as expensive as ordering seafood or meat.  I find my best bet is to search out Asian and Oriental restaurants. Always something delicious there.

Anyhow, back to this dish.....I made basmati rice with this and another time I made quinoa.  Both are equally good.  Personally, I liked this better with rice.  Also some broccoli and corn mixed together.  Good combo.  Hope that if you are thinking of cooking up some tofu you try this.  I really, really think you will like it!!  I found the original recipe here.  The site also has a great step by step guide into making this...so it's really idiot proof.  Thank God!

Sweet Chili Lime Sauce
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs reduced sodium sauce
1 3/4 Tbs fresh lime juice
Zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 clove of fresh garlic, pressed, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

Whisk all ingredients together until sugar and salt has dissolved.  Drain tofu and cut into small triangles.  Start by slicing the tofu into 8 rectangles, then cut each rectangle in two so you have two squares. Then cut square from corner to corner to then have two triangles. (See here for step by step instructions).

Heat a 10 in well seasoned cast iron skillet or non stick skillet over medium heat. I love my cast iron skillet for this. It works perfectly!  You should be able to fit all the tofu triangles in a skillet this size.  Heat about 5 minutes per side till nice and brown and a little crisp.  After about 10 minutes turn heat up slightly to medium high and add sauce.  This should bubble nicely.  Cook until it forms a glaze.  When a glaze forms turn off heat and pour into dish.  All the tofu should be completely covered in this glaze.  I enjoyed this over a bed of rice.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mocha Me is Back Up and Running...!!!

Boy did I ever make a mistake by closing up Mocha Me.....What I didn't realize was this - a blog is much more than just mere words and recipes.  I started  Mocha Me 5 years ago and didn't realize that a blog is almost like giving birth.  An idea that you gave birth to and nurtured with your recipes and whatever else you choose to blog about over the years.  I missed Mocha Me. I missed all the people who visited Mocha Me and who I formed "blog friendships" with over the years. Even if the friendship just consisted of an occasional comment. Even though I was excited to start a new blog it just didn't work. At least not for me. It didn't feel like "home." This is home to me and I am back. Period.  I will definitely be blogging my vegan recipes but also vegetarian ones. My husband who has always been my biggest fan and supporter will also contribute so that I have recipes for everyone. He's not vegan nor is he vegetarian. He loves all food!  So I'll be posting his recipes too. I also plan on posting lots of different things. Not just recipes. Just things I think are important or love and want to share with all of you.

So hello again all my Mocha friends...I've missed you....and I've missed Mocha. Stay tuned for pics that I'll be posting soon from our vacation on Chincoteague Island. Why can't every day be a vacation..?????

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sauteed Kale with Butternut Squash and Rice

This dish is one that I have truly enjoyed more than anything else I have eaten lately.  I didn't think that meatless would ever taste so good and flavorful but it does.  You see I have given up eating meat.  I've tried it before and it only lasted a few weeks....However, this time I plan on it lasting for good.  The main reason  is really just my love for animals and I simply don't want to eat them anymore.  I could go into a whole long post about this but my views are my views and if anyone is interested they can email me.  Hence to say, there won't be any more meat recipes.  I've also cut waaaaay back on sugar. However, I have no plans on giving up cake. Oh no, there will still be cake recipes but not as frequent.  It had gotten to the point that every afternoon at work I would have a cup of coffee with half & half and a big cookie. Really.....just too much. NOT a good habit. I'm lucky because I have a great metabolism. Even at 55!  But I'm human and over the years I have gained a few pounds. Not really many, but losing maybe 5 would help the pants feel better!

Seriously though, I found that I really had gotten addicted to sugar. Every afternoon I would have a slump.  Just tired and dragging.  Instead of having coffee and cookies, I now have mango tea (with caffeine of course)  and an orange. So much better.  And as far the meat goes, I don't even miss it. Not one.single.bit.  I was never a big meat eater anyhow.  I've even discovered tofu and will try and experiment with that.

So here is the dish that was inspired by Lynda.

Butternut squash (I bought 3 pounds, already cut up)
1 bunch of kale
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place butternut squash on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.  Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender.
Wash kale, drain and chop.  Remove any large stems.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and add chopped onion and cook for a few minutes.  Add minced garlic and kale.  You may want to only cook this for a few minutes until it softens or you can also cook for several minutes and then add a little vegetable broth and cover and simmer for 10 or 15 minutes until it softens to your taste.  I like my kale with a little bite to it.
Add some seasoning salt and stir.
Serve over rice and add butternut squash on top.  You will have quite a bit of squash left so you can save some for another night.
Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Well this is one simple recipe.  But let me tell you these small tomatoes are packed with sweetness.  They are just so good. Please give this a try.......They are delicious hot but you can also eat them cold. I made a bunch and found myself eating them at dinner and lunch the next day.  I paired them with flounder in the picture, but the star of this dish are the tomatoes. Believe me!  If any of you have an Aldi's nearby you can find grape tomatoes there. I paid $1.39 for a small box of these.  The same ones were double the price at other local grocery stores.  It ALWAYS pays to buy your produce at Aldi's. And I'm NOT being paid to write this...I just want to spread the word for those who like have more money in their pockets and spending less at the grocery stores!

1 small carton of grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Toss tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in bowl.  Coat well with the olive oil. Place tomatoes in a 9 x 13 inch glass baking pan.  Let roast in oven for 25 - 35 minutes.

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

IHOP Pancake Recipe

I came across this recipe on Pinterest and since I had some buttermilk on hand I knew it would be a good time to try it.  Delicious!!!!  Who can resist a good pancake?  I just have to say that while IHOP's pancakes are terrific, the coffee lately has been downright awful.  Has anyone else been there lately and ordered coffee?  The first time it happened I chalked it up to just a bad pot but then on my next visit it was just as bad and I even asked the waitress for a fresh pot and it was the same. Awful. My friend who I was with felt the same way so I knew it wasn't just me.  We asked the waitress what was up with the coffee and she said they started ordering a new coffee that was cheaper. Honest waitress. Awful coffee. I won't be heading back there because why would someone go to a breakfast place where the coffee is awful?  Being fair, I sent them an email regarding my experience and never heard back. Oh well. I wonder if I went there if I could perhaps bring McDonald's coffee and order their pancakes?  I'll let you know if I try that !!!  In the meantime I'll be making these pancakes at home!

1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
2 tbs melted butter
1/4 c. sugar

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix the egg with the buttermilk and add to the flour  mixture, stirring only until smooth.  Add the melted butter and sugar.  Fry on a greased griddle.  Serves 4.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chocolate Cream Pie (with sweetened condensed milk)

This has become my favorite "go to" chocolate pie.  As soon as I saw that this used sweetened condensed milk I knew that I had to give it a try.  I expected it to be very sweet but it's not.  It's just the perfect amount of chocolate and sweetness.   What I love about this recipe is that it's just so easy and fairly inexpensive to make.  You just use cocoa....no expensive chocolate, no chopping chocolate etc.  You can use a store bought pie shell and just bake it according to the directions or use your own recipe.  I think next time I make this I will make a graham cracker crust. Think it would be great with this pie.

This has been a tough winter for me so far.  This past month I have caught bug after bug and now to top it all off it looks like I may have torn a tendon in my left shoulder.  At least it's the left and not the right.  Going in for an MRI tomorrow and I am one claustrophobic person.  I work in a hospital so I know the techs that will be doing this so I am hoping that keeps my anxiety in check....we'll see.  I just plan on bringing a cd and listening to it and closing my eyes BEFORE I get in the machine and keeping them buggers shut until it's over....Wish me luck!

Recipe found on Pinterest

1 2/3 cups water
3 tablespoons cornstarch (I used 4)
5 tablespoons cocoa (I used 5 very rounded)
1 (14 ounce) can eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (9 inch) baked pastry shell

Mix water and cornstarch and cocoa until smooth.
Sir in Eagle Brand milk and egg yolks.
Cook until thick in saucepan stirring constantly.
Stir in 2 tablespoons butter.
Add vanilla.  (Mixture might be very lumpy - keep stirring and this will eventually become smooth)
Pour into baked pie shell.   Place plastic wrap evenly over entire surface of pie and let cool.  Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  
Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
























Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Butternut Squash with Olive Oil, Parmesan Cheese and Thyme

I wanted to prepare something really quick the other night for dinner and found a large bag of butternut squash ravioli in the freezer. Well that's all well and good I thought to myself but what kind of sauce would I use on this?  Tomato....no. That didn't appeal to me. Luckily on the back of the bag was a great little sauce that you literally prepare in 5 seconds. No kidding!!!  Needless to say, I'm picking up another bag of this and making the sauce again and again.  It turned out so good that I just ate this for dinner. A whole plate of it. Not diet food but really who cares.  When it's this good (and it must be healthy with squash and olive oil) you just have to enjoy it. And eat a whole plate of it. My son did not like it so that was good - more for me.  My husband is not a big pasta lover (don't even go there) so it was ALL MINE!

One large bag (25 ounces) butternut squash ravioli
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
sprinkle with fresh thyme or dried (I had only dried on hand and it worked fine)

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain well.  Put into large pasta bowl and add all ingredients and mix well.  Enjoy!

Giveaway Winner!!

The winner of my giveaway was number 7 - Teresa!!!!! Please email me your address so I can mail this to you.  Congratulations and I hope you enjoy the book!!!  A recipe will be posted later today!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Moist Chocolate Cake and a Giveaway (Finally!)

Chocolate cake with white frosting is probably my all time favorite cake.  I have a few of these recipes with this combination on my blog and this is another worthwhile addition.  With colored sprinkles added it just can't get any better for me.  This recipe comes from the new Taste of Home Magazine- 100 Most Requested Recipes.  I don't buy many cookbooks these days because you can just find so much online. Rarely do I buy a magazine but this one is special.  It has recipe after recipe that I just can't wait to make.  This cake is the first recipe I've made from the magazine so we're off to a good start!

I also am having a giveaway!  It has been FOREVER since I've had one so I guess it is about time!  Since I have 2 copies of Nick Malgieri's The Modern Baker book I thought this would be a good one to give to someone else.  This has all your basic baking recipes with lots of pictures.  The cover alone made me buy it! To enter this giveaway please just let me know what your favorite thing to bake is - cake, cookies, pies, casseroles, etc.  For more than one entry please "like" Mocha Me on Facebook and for another entry just "follow" me on Pinterest!  Leave a separate comment for each entry!  Contest is open until midnight on February 12.  Good luck!!! (Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.)

Moist Chocolate Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Favorite Icing
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl. Add oil, coffee and milk; mix at medium speed for 1 minute.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 more minutes. Mixture will be thin.
Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-in baking pans or (8-in round baking pans and 6 muffin cups).
Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 - 30 minutes. I used 8-in pans and baked it for about 35 minutes.  Cool cakes for 10 minutes before removing from pans.  Cool on wire rack.
Meanwhile, for icing, combine the milk and flour in a saucepan; cook until thick.  Cover and refrigerate.


In a bowl, beat butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until creamy.  Add chilled milk/flour mixture and beat for 10 minutes.  Frost cooled cake.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Citrus Sour Cream Pound Cake

Well I came across this recipe on the internet and now I can't find the site to give proper credit due to the original blogger.  I did make some changes though so I can kind of say it's mine...maybe?  It wasn't a blog I normally visit. I just googled lemon pound cakes and found this.  The original called for only lemon but I have a ton of oranges I need to use so I incorporated both fruits into this cake.  This to me is a small pound cake. The recipe stated it was a Bundt cake but from the amount of sugar, eggs and flour - no way. So I used a 9 x 5 in pan.  It's really good.  If you like a "lighter" pound cake (if there is such thing) then this would be for you. I prefer a heavy, dense cake but that's just me. I would have no problem making this again and again.  I like the fact that there is not too much of it.  Because when I start on pound cake, I don't look back! I also cannot believe I remembered all the ingredients. I guess that means I have made plenty of pound cakes!

1 stick room temperature unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon zest (save juice for glaze)
1 tablespoon orange zest (save juice for glaze)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 9 x 5 in pan with baking spray.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes.  Add both extracts and mix.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after adding each. In separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda.   Add this to mixture and mix slowly until combined well.  Add sour cream and mix well.  Bake for approximately 1 hour (mine took a little longer) but start checking at 55 minutes.  Remove from oven when toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.  Let cake rest in pan for 10 minutes before removing.

Citrus Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar, well sifted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice

Mix all ingredients together.  More sugar can be added for a thicker consistency or more liquid can be added for a thinner glaze.  Pour onto cake while still warm.



















Sunday, January 27, 2013

Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad

After hearing many complaints from my son that "you don't cook things I like" I decided that he should take a look at my Pinterest Board and pick out a few recipes that looked good to him.  This happens to not only look good but is good.  I've made this twice in this past week and once I made it exactly as the recipe was written (with the exception of adding the pecans, onions).  The second go around I used a Rotini pasta and only mayo.  I omitted the red wine vinegar and sugar.  My son asked me to use only mayo and being the mom the I am (do I cater to him you ask) I obliged.  Tastes good either way.  A really good year round pasta salad that I think would be great side with fried chicken or burgers.  I will definitely be making this again and again.

So how has your winter been so far?  We had some snow this past week and the schools closed for one day.  Another day they had an early release but I am not complaining.  We're supposed to be getting a wintry mix early tomorrow morning and then warming up over the next few days.  I will say this.....I am ready for spring. I am not a winter person and the older I get the less I like it!

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 package (16 oz) bow tie pasta or pasta of your choice
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup  mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cups seedless, grapes, halved
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled.


Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  2. 2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
  4. 4. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Lemony Cream Butter Cake

Here comes another recipe that I found on Pinterest.  Another winner too!  Very, very good.  It's a bit thinner then I thought it would be but the flavor is delicious.  This should definitely be served with some powder sugar sprinkled on top and berries.  I have this with both blueberries and strawberries and any berry will do.  This is a cake that will remind you of summer!  You can find the original recipe for it here.

I have to admit that I find myself getting lost when I visit Pinterest.  It starts with pinning different recipes (one  which I made this afternoon and a dinner one that I am making tonight). Then I will go over to the history board and just get lost looking at all the antique pictures, etc.. A dangerous addiciton.  Just like this cake!


For the cake --

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (heaping)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice (which was about 1 lemon for me)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
zest of two lemons
For the cream cheese filling --

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease or spray a 9" springform pan with vegetable spray.

Make the filling -- In a large bowl or bowl of a standmixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high to high speed for about 5 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

Add confectioners' sugar and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg and beat until completely combined, about 1 minute. Add butter, both extracts and lemon zest. Beat until completely combined, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Make the cake -- In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in melted butter, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest until combined. Do not overmix.

Pour batter evenly into springform pan. Carefully pour filling mixture evenly over the cake batter to within about 1/2 inch of the edge of the pan. (The filling should cover all but the outer 1/2 inch, at which point the cake batter will be visible.)

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake has puffed up and toothpick inserted near edge of cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove springform sides and allow to cool on rack for 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator and chill completely before serving.

Serve chilled, with a little sprinkling of confectioners' sugar.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Applesauce Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping

This recipe comes from Betty Crocker.  It's delicious and simple to make.  Plus it has applesauce and oatmeal in it. A little added health bonus!  The only thing I would change is maybe a little less sugar next time I make it.  The topping is pretty sweet so I'd think I'd cut back maybe 1/4 cup of sugar.

I have a question to ask and I'm hoping some of you can help me.  I would like to redo my blog and will probably need someone to do this for me.  I'm not a computer wiz by any stretch.  So can you tell me how you all did your sites?  Did you do them yourself or have it done?  If you had it done, who did it for you?  I'd appreciate any help I can get.  Thanks!

Cake

1 1/4
cups applesauce
1
cup old-fashioned oats
1/2
cup butter or margarine, softened
1
cup granulated sugar (I'd use 3/4 cup)
1
teaspoon vanilla
2
eggs
1 1/2
cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1
teaspoon baking soda
1/2
teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2
teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4
teaspoon salt
Topping
3/4
cup flaked coconut
1/2
cup packed brown sugar
1/3
cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4
cup butter or margarine, melted
3
tablespoons milk



  • In 1-quart saucepan, heat applesauce to boiling over medium-high heat. Stir in oats. Let stand 20 minutes.
  • 2Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan with shortening. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and eggs until fluffy. Beat in applesauce mixture just until mixed. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, scraping bowl once, just until blended. Pour into pan.
  • 3Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • 4Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix all topping ingredients until well blended. Spread topping over hot cake. Broil cake with top 6 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly. Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm