Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cream Puffs with Dark Chocolate Filling


1/2 cup margarine
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 eggs

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk (I used 1-1/2 cups 2% milk and 1-1/2 cups light cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, coarsely chopped



Preheat oven to 400. Bring water to a boil, melt margarine in boiling water. Once it is melted turn to low heat, add flour and salt and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat, beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is smooth after each addition.

Place spoonfuls of batter on ungreased baking sheet, making 12 mounds. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheet to cooling racks to cool.


Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top part of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, mix well and use a spatula to scrape the bottom and ensure all dry ingredients are mixed in. Put over the bottom part of the boiler with gently simmering water. If you don't have a double boiler using two sauce pans one slightly smaller that will nest inside works just fine and this is what I did.

Stir frequently scraping the bottom and using the wisk to prevent lumps from forming. After approx 10 minutes the mixture will start to thicken up, when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon add the chocolate and stir until it is all melted and the mixture appears dark and smooth.

Remove from heat and pour into a pan to cool - cover with saran wrap placed on the surface of the pudding to prevent a film from forming.

Cool for at least 30 minutes.

When puffs are cool and pudding has cooled it's time to assemble - it's best to only assemble the number you plan to serve as they don't keep well assembled. Cut the top 1/3 off the cream puff, spoon in the filling and then replace the top, sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate or top with whipped cream - lots of choices.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lick The Bowl Guacamole


2 avocados (should yield easily to firm pressure)
1 tomato
1/2 red onion
lime juice


Cut avocados in half, discard seeds. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin. Cut up tomato and red onion. I cut them pretty small, but it's a matter of preference. Add lime juice, salt, cilantro, tomato and onion. Stir till the avocado binds everything.

Yields enough for 2-3 servings

Slacker Fudge

This is the easiest, most foolproof fudge recipe I've ever heard of. It's still somewhat sensitive to the humidity level, so it's not a rainy day activity.


7 oz. marshmallow creme
1 1/4c. sugar
2/3c. evaporated milk
1T butter (you can use more- up to 1/4 c.)
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
1 t. vanilla


Line an 8x8 pan with foil. In a large saucepan, combine marshmellow creme, sugar, milk, butter and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cook 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate until smooth. Add vanilla and any additions (I use mini marshmallows and slivered almonds for rocky road). Pour into pan and chill for 2 hours or until firm.

Chicken Parmesan


Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (1 per person you wish to feed)
Flour for dredging
1-2 eggs
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
Grated Parmesan (or Romano which is what I use)
Mozzarella or Provolone Cheese

Pasta (I prefer angel hair)
Spaghetti Sauce (can make your own or use your favorite jar sauce)


Preheat oven to 350 and use a broiler pan or a baking sheet with a cooling rack on it to cook chicken on. Spray with nonstick spray to prepare.

Place chicken breasts between sheets of saran wrap or put in big plastic bag - pound flat with meat hammer of if you don't have one a rubber mallet from the workshop works well too! ;-) Pound the breasts to about 1/2" thick all over.

Place flour in a bowl big enough to dip chicken into.
Beat eggs with a fork in a bowl big enough to dip chicken into.
Pour 3 parts bread crumbs to 1 part grated Parmesan cheese and mix well with a fork.

One at a time dredge the chicken breasts in flour, then dip in eggs, and then place in bread crumb mixture and coat well on both sides.

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and brown the chicken pieces on both sides - may need to add more oil between pieces of chicken.

Place the browned crispy chicken on the broiler pan or baking pan with racks and place in the oven. Bake 20-30 minutes until chicken is completely cooked and juices run clear. Then pour a few tablespoons of preheated sauce on top of chicken and cover with mozz or provolone cheese, return to the oven to melt cheese.

While the chicken is baking - heat water and boil your pasta, then heat up your sauce and combine the pasta and sauce so it's ready when the chicken is done - make sure to reserve some sauce for on top of the chicken.