Stay tuned, stay hungry, and go cook something already!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Thanksgiving Tips 2018

My people! Rula is here for you! I know, I know, for some of you, cooking for Thanksgiving can be very stressful. That's why you should go check out my surefire hints to improve the evening's meal:

❯❯❯ Rula Gives Good Bird ❮❮❮

Yes, fellow Pilgrims, these are the same tips I post every year, but — like me — they never go out of style!

So, since Stacy's all set up at her new digs on Long Island, and Mary-Charlotte has retired from radio, there will be no more day-before-Thanksgiving Radio Café appearances. What can I say? Time marches on. But don't despair! There are still! eight years of Radio Café podcast archives that feature Stacy's Thanksgiving tips. I guess the internet is good for something besides swiping right on the hunky guys on Tinder!

Also! You can check out all the other Thanksgiving posts here at Mouth of Wonder by clicking on "Thanksgiving" in that big word jumble down there on the left. I know, it says "Browse by Ingredient" and Thanksgiving isn't an ingredient! Just roll with it, sweetie!

Well, my little Green Beans, it's back to Brooklyn for me — you know I'm all about the baste! Ciao!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Holiday Honey Cake

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Last week, Bernice enjoyed a lecture and tasting at her senior center about the amazing healing powers of eating local honey. When I heard this, I said get me some please! Today my mother brought me a beautiful little jar of this golden goodness which I immediately turned into a Jewish holiday classic — honey cake. I love this recipe! My baking mentor Susan Purdy included it in her high altitude classic Pie in the Sky, which I helped her test. This recipe, with very little modification, works at every altitude and you don't even need to use an electric mixer. What makes it so great is the inclusion of espresso powder, which gives it real depth and also adds a slight twist on the spices. I leave out the ginger (I'm allergic) and use cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and cardamom. Feel free to alter it to make it your own. Shanah Tovah! (Happy New Year!)



Ingredients
3/4 cup very hot water
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Procedure
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with oil spray, line with parchment and spray again. In a large bowl, dissolve the espresso powder in the hot water and then stir in the honey until it is smooth. Next mix in the sugar, oil, and eggs using a whisk. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and spices. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the liquids. Using your whisk, stir until smooth. The batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pan and set in the middle of the oven. Bake for 60-70 minutes until the top springs back and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on rack 30 minutes then remove pan and let cool all the way. If you want to dress it up, you can cut it into layers and fill it with apricot jam or glaze it and top it with toasted almond slices!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Best Blueberry Muffin of All Time (IMHO)

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Hello my peeps, yes it's been a while, but I'm back! Work has been taking up my entire life and basically killed me but now it's me time. Getting my juju back and starting to bake again, which I love! This is a recipe I recently developed (which I have been told is the best muffin ever) and of course can be used with a variety of fruit. The secret to the moistness and great texture is in the full fat Greek yogurt (so don't skimp). I promise to post more often, any requests?

 
 

Ingredients
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup blueberries
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 room temp eggs
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup melted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (like Sugar in the Raw brand)

Procedure
Preheat oven at 350. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Mix the berries and lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon from the total sugar amount and let sit in small bowl. Combine sugar, water, yogurt, butter, vanilla and eggs. In separate bowl combine flour, powder, and salt. Mix everything together with a spoon and put in muffin cups and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top. Bake 25 minutes until top is golden and it springs back when touched. Remember, less is more when it comes to making muffin batter, don't over mix as it creates tough and rubbery muffins.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Everyone should have at least one great cheesecake recipe in their repertoire. This is my new fave! I love the crust made from lady fingers (instead of the uninspired graham cracker crust) with the inclusion of espresso powder and chocolate chips. I love the addition of mascarpone instead of just cream cheese. And I love the chocolate chips in the cake which give your mouth something to do. Cheesecake is easy to prepare, but make sure you really whip the cream cheese because lumps are unacceptable! Making sure the ingredients are at room temperature helps them blend together more easily.



Ingredients
1 7-ounce packages crisp, Italian-style ladyfingers
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
boiling water

Procedure
Position a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Using a food processor, grind ladyfingers into fine crumbs. Add melted butter, espresso powder, and 1/4 cup chocolate chips then pulse until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press to form a crust halfway up the sides. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes, let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

While the crust cools, beat the cream cheese using an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar at high speed until smooth. Beat in the mascarpone, vanilla and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Set the springform pan in a roasting pan. Pour the mascarpone-chocolate chip mixture into the baked crust, then place the roasting pan in the oven. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the top is golden and the center is set but still jiggly, about 1 hour.

Let cool in the water bath for 15 minutes, then transfer the springform pan to a rack to cool completely. Refrigerate the cheesecake (still in the pan) for 6 hours or up to 2 days. Remove cheesecake from the springform pan and put on flat platter. You can decorate with some whipped cream with a little coffee liquor in it. Or melt some chocolate and do a little Jackson Pollock drizzle thingy.