Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fool Proof Pavlova

I am replacing my old "PAV" recipe with this one. I made it today using this recipe and it was a huge hit! I reduced the heat on the oven temp to 225 degrees because I am at a high altitude and the result was fluffy sweet perfection! If you really want to impress guests, this is the recipe for you. It may look intimidating, but with this recipe it was SOOO easy. I put everything in my kitchen aid let it run 15 minutes and presto! That's it. It's that easy!

What to do with 6 egg whites left over from another ice cream experiment? Make a pavlova of course!

Pavlova is the national New Zealand dessert. The Australians claim that they invented it, however, published recipes in NZ cookbooks, firmly mark the pavlova as a Kiwi icon.

Making a pavlova, here at high altitude, has had it's challenges. No matter what I did, my pavs never came out like they did back home. That was, until an online aquaintance sent me a recipe for a never fail pavlova. The recipe sounds a bit odd, in that you use boiling water and beat all the ingredients together. However, it works and I'm back to making loftier pavs.


6 egg whites
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
6 tbsp boiling water
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp vinegar (white)

Put all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 15 - 20 minutes or until very stiff. When you pull the beaters out, the mixture should stand up in stiff peaks. (I find at altitude, I usually have to beat the mixture for 30 minutes or more.)

Pile on to baking paper on an oven tray. You can also use aluminium foil on the baking tray. Lightly dust with cornflour so the pav won't stick. Pile it up high and do not spread out, as the pav will spread while cooking. Use a fork to mark ridges up the side.

Put in the middle of a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 250 deg F. Cook for 2 hours. Turn oven off and leave the pav in the oven, with door closed, overnight or until the oven is cold. This takes at least 6 - 8 hours. (Do not open the oven at any point during the cooking or cooling. Not even a quick peak!! This may cause the pav to fall.)

Cut around the top of the pav with a sharp knife and allow the top to drop into the pav. This forms a shell for the cream. Fill with whipped cream (NOT THE TYPE IN THE AEROSAL CAN) and decorate with fruit or topping of your choice.

For whipped cream topping

Whip at least a pint of whipping cream and a tbsp of sugar till the cream has stiff peaks. Spread over pav.

Serve and enjoy!!

Bowtie and Black Eyed Peas Pasta Salad

This is a great, summery pasta salad. Whip it up for your next summer get together.

8 oz bow tie pasta cooked according to package directions
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes I used a pre-seasoned variety
1 16 oz can black eyed peas drained and rinsed
1 small jar artichoke hearts coarsely chopped
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c pre-crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c cooked and crumbled bacon
3 T fresh parsley chopped

Drain cooked pasta. Drizzle with olive oil. Stir in all other ingredients. Serve room temp or chilled.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A recipe I want to remember!

Here is another M.writes recipe that she got from someone else. It is one of those things that I have NOT YET TRIED, but looks like a lot of fun is a great gift for the Holidays. I don't want to forget where it is, so, now . . .it is here!!

Oreo Truffles
1 package oreo cookies (divided… use cookie including the cream center)
1 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)
white chocolate bark
1. Finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and crush into a fine consistency. Reserve for later.
2. Crush remaining cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together.
3. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.
4. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. You can sprinkle the tops with the 7 crushed cookies for decoration. (I usually eat mine before they make it to this stage.)
5. Once dry, refrigerate and enjoy!

Makes about 36 truffles.

Notes: I used a small cookie cutter to push the mixture through for the heart shaped truffles. Also, it helps to freeze the uncoated balls for a few minutes to keep the mixture from starting to fall apart in the melted chocolate. If this becomes a problem, dip them in the chocolate, let dry and then dip again. They are also good dipped in regular milk chocolate 9ydawi. And for an extra twist, use the mint oreo sandwich cookies( if you like mint).

To see pix, go here .

A Twist on Broccoli Salad

One more recipe from M. Writes. Delish broccoli salad! This looked so good and yum I had to give it a try!

Twisted Broccoli Salad

3 cups chopped Broccoli2 cups red Grapes halved
1 Granny Smith Apple dicced
1 medium red Onion (optional)
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts


3/4 cups Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar

Combine broccoli, grapes, apple chunks and walnuts in a medium bowl. Slowly stir in the dressing and mix well until coated. Flavor is enhanced if prepared 24 hours ahead and chilled. Extra delicious when you add any of the following: shredded chicken, sunflower seeds, cucumber and/or craisins.

To see pix, go here.

Applesauce and Oat Muffins

I found this recipe on M. Writes, one of my favorite reads. It is a delicious muffin recipe that is a little different than your standard muffin recipe. SO delicious and a tad bit healthy. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cup Oatmeal
1 1/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 tsp. Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Applesauce
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 Egg Whites (or 1 whole Egg)
1 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Butter
1/2 cup Coconut
1/2 cup Oatmeal

BATTER: Stir together all dry ingredients. Add applesauce, oil, egg and vanilla. Mix lightly, just until moistened. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Mix topping ingredients together in small bowl and sprinkle on top of unbaked muffins.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Makes a dozen muffins.

To see pix, go here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Angel Strawberry Cream Dream

I made up this goofy name to describe this variation on angel food cake. It's easy to throw together and the look will impress your guests. It also takes light and sweet like a dream. Enjoy!

1 round full size angel food cake
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 8 oz tubs cool whip topping (you can use light)
3 T additional sweetened condensed milk
3-4 cups chopped strawberries

You can make or purchase an angel food cake. I tried making my own, but I burnt it and had to run out and buy one, but my husbands grandma makes them all the time and highly recommends the Western Family brand of angel food cake mix.

Chop and wash all strawberries and place in a medium mixing bowl. Pour can of sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 tub (you can use more or less cool whip depending on the taste/consistency you like) of cool whip into strawberries and mix well. The consistency should be thick but still runny. Spoon this mixture into center hole of angel food cake until it is level with the top of the cake. (You will have some mixture left over)
Add 3 additional T of sweetened condensed milk to other 8 oz of cool whip topping. Stir well. Spread over all exposed surfaces of the cake like frosting. Cover the hole with strawberry filling with frosting as well. Garnish with 4 strawberries halved. Refridgerate or serve immediately. Use extra strawberry mixture as a topping over sliced cake when serving.

Black Bean Hummus

This is a great appetizer for a party, or just a great snack to stick in the fridge with pita chips and veggies. The flavor is milder than original hummus, so I think even non hummus lovers would like it.

1/2 of 16 oz can garbanzo beans (reserve juice)
1/2 of 16 oz can black beans
2 cloves garlic
3 T Tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 t salt
2-3 t cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c olive oil (or less depending on desired texture)
sprinkle of pepper and paprika

In food processor, chop garlic. Add 1/2 of the garbanzo beans and 1/2 black beans with 1/2 of the garbanzo bean juice. Add just 1/2 of the lemon juice. Add other ingredients except olive oil. Add olive oil and additional lemon juice through hole in top of food processor while it's running until you've reached desired consistency. Depending on how thick or thin your desired consistency is. Spoon into bowl and garnish with cracked pepper and paprika. Enjoy with warm pita bread, chips, crackers, or veggies.

For Regular Hummus: Use whole can of Garbanzo beans and omit black beans from recipe.

Variation: Sun dried Tomato Black Bean Hummus: Add 1/4 c sun dried tomato with 1 Roma tomato into food processor before adding olive oil.
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