1. Crusty Italian Bread - recipe

    Yield:
    2
    loaves Units: US | Metric
    1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
    1 1/4 cups warm water (test as with a baby’s bottle)
    3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
    cornmeal (for dusting pan)
    1 egg yolk
    Directions:

    1
    In a small bowl, dissolve yeast with a quarter cup of the lukewarm water. Pour yeast into a large bowl. Mix in flour, sugar, salt, and remaining lukewarm water and mix in until dough starts to form. If too sticky, add a bit more flour.
    2
    Turn out onto flat surface and knead for 6-8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Put dough into an oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with a thick towel, and let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in size, or about 1.5-2 hours.
    3
    For bread machine, just use to mix and do the first rising of the dough, then remove to shape into loaves and do second rise, following instructions below.
    4
    Preheat oven to 425°F.
    5
    Remove dough onto a floured surface. Punch down and shape into 2 oblong loaves about a foot long each. If you own a baking stone or unglazed ceramic tiles, dust lightly with cornmeal and put into preheated oven. Put loaves on a peel (large wooden spatula), also lightly dusted with cornmeal, or on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise again for 40 minutes. Loaves will about double in width.
    6
    In a small dish, add egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water. Slit tops of risen bread 3 or 4 times, making slits that are a quarter of an inch deep. With a brush, paint tops with egg wash. If on a peel, slide loaves onto stone or tile; otherwise put cookie sheet in oven.
    7
    Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F Then lower heat to 400F and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, until golden and baked through. To check if it’s done, thump the bottom of each loaf; if it sounds hollow, it’s done.
    8 Allow the bread to cool completely before cutting into it.

  2. Marshmallows - recipe

    image

    This fabulous recipe I decided to try it, it’s from CHOW.

    For the coating:

    • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 cup cornstarch or potato starch

    For the marshmallows:

    • Cooking spray, for coating the baking pan
    • 4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (about 2 [1/4-ounce] packets)
    • 3/4 cup cold water
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
    • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    INSTRUCTIONS
    For the coating:
    1. Sift the powdered sugar and cornstarch or potato starch together into a large bowl; set aside.

    For the marshmallows:

    1. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
    2. Whisk together the gelatin and 1/2 cup of the cold water in a small microwave-safe bowl and let soften at room temperature for 5 minutes.
    3. Stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup, remaining 1/4 cup water, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240°F on a candy/fat thermometer. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1/4 cup of the corn syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Microwave the gelatin on high until completely melted, about 30 seconds. Pour it into the mixer bowl. Turn the mixer to low and keep it running.
    4. When the syrup reaches 240°F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl (the mixer should still be running). Increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium high and whip 5 minutes more. Add the vanilla, increase the speed to the highest setting, and whip until opaque white, fluffy, and tripled in volume, about 1 to 2 minutes more.
    5. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth it into the corners. Sift 1/2 cup of the coating evenly and generously over top; set the remaining coating aside. Let the marshmallow set uncovered for at least 6 hours in a cool, dry place.
    6. Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow slab from the edges of the pan. Dust a work surface with a thin layer of the reserved coating. Invert the marshmallow slab onto the work surface and dust it with more coating. Cut into whatever size pieces you wish (a pizza cutter works great for squares). Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in the remaining coating, patting off the excess. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
  3. Flounder Nuggets

    You’ll need:

    As much boneless  flounder as you desire

    1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal (not self rising)
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 pack of sazon
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 beaten egg
    2 - 3 cups canola oil

    This recipe is very simple, if you need more seasoned cornmeal because you are frying a lot of fish, simply double the recipe.  One batch of seasoned corn meal can coat approx 1 - 2 pounds of flounder nuggets

    Cut the flounder into at least 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Then combine the beaten egg and flounder in a bowl.  In another bowl combine the cornmeal and spices.  Remove fish from the egg allowing the excess egg to drip off, then dredge all of the fish in the cornmeal.  Remove from the cornmeal shaking off all the excess cornmeal.

    Heat the oil in a deep pot or a deep frying and heat oil until it’s about 355-360 degree F.  Fry the fish nuggets for 3 to 4 minutes or until the fish floats to the top of the oil.  Remove from the oil and place on a pan lined with paper towels to allow the fish to drain.

  4. Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake

    Ingredients

             Graham Cracker Crust

             ¾ (you may need more if crust does not pull together) cup butter, melted

             4 cups graham cracker crumbs

    Cheesecake

             16 oz cream cheese, at room temp

             3/4 cup sugar

             1 tablespoon vanilla

             2 large eggs

             1/2 cup sour cream

             Orange Creamsicle Layer

             1 - 3 oz box orange flavored gelatin

             1 1/2 cup boiling water

             1 - 8 oz container of whipped topping such as Cool Whip

    Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 350 F. then drop the temp to 325 once the cake is in the oven.

    In a mixing bowl combine the butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs. Stir until combined. Pat half of the mixture into a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan.

     In a medium mixing bowl whip the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time then beat in sour cream. Pour the filling into the crust.

    Bake for 40 minutes. Turn of the oven and crack the oven door for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

    Once cooled mix the cream-sicle layer by stirring the gelatin with the boiling water until it dissolves. Then gently whisk in the whipped topping until it’s completely combined. Pour over the cheesecake. Set on a plate or dish in case of dripping and place in the freezer for an hour. Remove from the freezer and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. I suggest chilling it over night.

    When ready to serve use a sharp knife and run it around the pan to separate the gelatin layer from the side. Unhinge the pan and gently lift from the cheesecake.

  5. Creamy Red Wine Chicken

    8 oz spaghetti (cooked al dente)

    4 medium chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes

    2 tablespoons cooking oil

    ½ teaspoon kosher salt

    1 teaspoon black pepper

    1 ½ tablespoon oil

    8 oz broccoli

    1 medium onion

    ½ cup red wine (or chicken stock, if using chicken stock adjust salt to taste)

    ½ cup sour cream

    1 cup heavy cream (add more if sauce is too thick)

    1 tablespoon dried parsley

    1 tablespoon dried cilantro

    1 tablespoon dried chives

    2 teaspoons minced garlic

    ½ teaspoon dried thyme

    ½ teaspoon kosher salt

    1 teaspoon black pepper

    2 ½ oz. grated parmesan cheese

    2 tablespoons butter (if using salted butter, adjust salt to taste by adding salt to sauce at the end to prevent from being too salty.  If the sauce ends up too salty, simply add more heavy cream or add a little water.)

    In a skillet heat oil on a medium flame, then add chicken, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.  Cook the chicken, stirring often until the chicken is about 90 % done.  It’s ok that the chicken is still pink, it will finish cooking in the sauce.  Doing this will prevent the chicken from being dry.  Once the chicken is 90% done, remove it from the skillet and set aside.

    Then add 1 ½ tablespoons of oil to the skillet (do not wash the skillet) then add the broccoli.  Cook the broccoli for 2 minutes then, add the onions and cook for one minute.

    Return the chicken to the skillet with the onions and broccoli and turn the flame on high.  Once the skillet is very hot, quickly add the red wine and tilt the pan to ignite the wine and allow the alcohol to burn off while shaking the pan.  (if you are using an electric stove you will need to ignite the flame using a barbecue match or lighter.  You will need to quickly ignite after adding the wine or the alcohol will not burn off and the flavor will change.)

    Then add the remaining ingredients, (except pasta) stirring to make sure everything is well combined.  Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if needed. 

    Combine the sauce and pasta and then serve.

  6. Hot Shrimp In Soy Sauce

    You’ll Need:

    1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tails removed.
    2 - 3 tablespoons cooking oil
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    2 tablespoons oil
    1 medium onion, julienned
    1/2 red & yellow pepper, julienned

    2 tablespoons oil
    12 oz broccoli florets

    Slurry (thickener) (mix together)
    2 tablespoons corn starch
    1/4 cup water

    Sauce: (mix all the ingredients together)
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon sesame chili oil
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    2 tablespoons garlic (you can use less)

    In a nonstick skillet on a high flame, add the shrimp, then season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 1 1/2 minutes then turn the shrimp, cooking them for an additional minute or until the shrimp is no longer translucent and pink in color.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

    In the pan add 2 tablespoons of oil on high flame, then add peppers and onions.  Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes, remove from the pan and set aside.  Clean the pan then add 2 more tablespoons of oil and stir fry the broccoli for 2 to 3 minutes.  You want the broccoli to be tender and not mushy.  Remove from the pan.

    Add the sauce mixture to the pan and bring to a boil, add half of the slurry to the sauce mixture and stir until thickened.  If you desire the sauce to be thicker add the remaining slurry.  Then add all of the remaining cooked ingredients to the sauce, stir to coat and serve on top of white rice or lo-mein noodles.

  7. Eggless Chocolate Ice Cream

    image

    You’ll Need:

    1 cup milk
    2 cups heavy cream
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 teaspoon vanilla 
    1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)

    In a bowl mix together the sugar and cocoa powder, then in a medium sauce pan on medium low flame, heat the milk and cream.  Do not allow this to simmer or come to a boil. Once the milk and cream is warm, add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix until everything has resolved.  Turn off the flame and add the vanilla extract.  Pour the cream into a container and allow it to chill in the fridge for 4 hours or over night.  Church in the ice cream maker according to manufacture’s directions for 45 to 50 minutes.  Put into a freezer  safe container and freeze until firm.  Makes approx 1.5 quarts.

  8. Butter Pecan Ice-Cream

    You’ll Need:

    1 1/2 cups half and half
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 beaten eggs

    of course…an ice cream maker

    1. Beat the two eggs together in a medium size bowl.

    2. in a sauce pan, combine, heavy cream, half and half and brown sugar.

    3. Bring to a simmer while whisking.

    4. Temper the eggs by adding 1/4 cup of cream into the eggs, then whisk quickly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.

    5. Once you’ve added half of the cream to the eggs, slowly pour the tempered egg mixer back into the pot while whisking quickly.

    6. Return to heat on medium flame, whisking constantly until the mixer begins to simmer slightly.  

    7. Strain the custard into a bowl, cover and set aside.

    8. Toast the pecans by melting the better on medium flame, then add the pecans and cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly.  Toasting the pecans prevents them from turning the ice cream blue.

    9.  Add the pecans into the custard and mix quickly.

    10.  Cover the custard with cling film and chill for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.

    11.  Churn the ice-cream in your ice cream maker according to your manufacture’s directions.

    12.  Remove from the ice-cream maker and freeze until firm.

  9. DesignMantic

    As you all know, I’ve been searching for a logo designer.  After not getting any response, I did a search on google.com and I came across this awesome website called DesignMantic.com.  This website allows you to create your own logo hassle free.  It was easy and didn’t take any time at all to create an awesome logo.  I am surprised that anyone I know has not came across this site, or even head of it.

    This is the perfect company if you are looking for a logo design on a budget and you can’t afford to have a logo designed by a graphic designer.  ou can create your own logo by going to DesignMantic.com and fill out their account form, enter the name of your business or organization, then choose from primary designs and from those primary designs choose different varieties. Once you’ve chosen, click select and edit it, after that all you need to do is download the logo and that’s it!   Instant and beautiful logo under five simple minutes

    I will update my site soon showing my new logo.  If all of you like my logo, head over to DesignMantic.com and get your logo designed today.

  10. One Bowl Pound Cake

    To make this recipe in a bundt pan, you will need to double it.

    3 large eggs, room temperature
    3 tablespoons milk, room temperature
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    150 grams sifted cake flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    150 grams granulated white sugar
    185 grams unsalted butter, room temperature

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter or spray the paper.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.

    In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar) and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about one minute to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg and strengthen the cake’s structure.

    Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the cake browning too much as it bakes, cover with a piece of lightly buttered aluminum foil after about 30 minutes.

    Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a lightly buttered wire rack.

    The Pound Cake can be covered and stored for several days at room temperature, for one week when refrigerated, or it can be frozen for two months.

    Makes one 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf.