Friday, October 8, 2010

Autumn Pumpkin Roll with Marscapone Filling

(Balsam Moutain, Catskills, New York)

Living in Los Angeles I truly miss the east coast autumns. I remember it being the most romantic time of year. Sweaters, colorful leaves crunching under foot, the first hint of a chill as you catch the smell of smoke from wood fires. It is the perfect time for walking hand-in-hand, kissing and curling up together. Yes, romance burns in autumn like the blazing leaves spreading across the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains in New York.

Apple picking and pumpkin picking are the order of the season. Now let's use some of that great pumpkin!



1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
6 egg whites
1 1/3 cups pureed pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or use 1 tsp each of cinnamon & ground cloves)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda


8 oz marscapone cheese
2 oz light cream cheese (Neufchatel is perfect here!)
2 Tbsn pureed pumpkin
2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
2 tsp vanilla

For finish touches & pan prep:

(2) 1/4 cup powdered (confectioner's sugar)
1 clean dishtowel


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper, oil/flour and then, using a sifter, coat with 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Set sheet to the side.

Mix all cake ingredients together until smooth and then pour onto paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven.

When done (cake will feel springy to touch), remove from oven and flip onto clean dish towel. Carefully peel parchment paper off. Now it's time to roll it up.. it's going to be hot.. so be prepared!

Starting at one end roll the cake length-wise. It will roll easiest when hot, so this is the best time to do it. When it cools it may break. You will notice when you're rolling that the towel is rolling up with it. That's good and keeps the cake from sticking to itself. Place the towel-wrapped cake on a wire rack to cool - about 1 hour.

While you're waiting, mix all of your filling ingredients together until very smooth. I used the whisk on my electric mixer for about 4 minutes for this. Place this in the refrigerator until about 15 minutes before you're going to use it. You don't want it too cold when you use it.

Once your cake has cooled carefully unroll it. It will retain its curl and you will now spread your filling as evenly as possible over the entire inside roll of the cake. Don't try to flatten the cake as that will cause it to crack. Once you've spread it evenly roll the cake back up so that you now have a log. You'll see the lovely spiral of cake and filling from the side.

Now set it on a plate and sprinkle with 1/4 powdered sugar. If you want to be fancy outfit the plate with seasonal items like pinecones, acorns or even some cleaned colorful autumn leaves.

Slice width-wise about 1/2" wide (or however big makes you happy) and serve!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Sweet Pea Pesto Pasta

You know that commercial where the two guys walk around the corner the peanut butter ends up on the chocolate? Well.... that's kind of what happened here! I thought the green of the basil looked bright like peas...that started the wheels turning. My result is tasty, fresh and probably one of the fastest, most exciting summer meals that will get your taste buds jumping. Missing the flavor of summer while stuck in winter? Let this little dish brighten the darkest winter day! (Also great for bringing for pasta salads to parties)


1 bag frozen sweet peas (allow to thaw in bag on countertop)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 basil leaves, rough chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsn pine nuts (you can use walnuts too!!!)
1 lb. of rotelle or rotini pasta (any pasta that you love will be great!)
Grape or cherry tomatoes
Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta. While pasta is cooking throw everything (except pasta tomatoes & cheese) into a blender and blend til smooth.

Once pasta is finished. Drain and put back into the hot pot. Pour everything from the blender into the pot and mix well. Cover for 3 minutes, give it another good stir and plate.
You can either serve it into a large bowl, adding tomatoes & cheese or you can plate individually garnishing with tomatoes & cheese.

Then it's eat and enjoy. This entire meal will take you less than 30 minutes from the time you walk into the kitchen until the moment you put the first deliscious bite in your mouth!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

UPDATED: Acorn Squash & Ham Stuff Shells topped with Mushrooms in Sage Butter

I made this the other night and made one tray without meat for my vegetarian guest who was eating over! A tasty treat that gives you a hint of fall any time of year.


1 medium-large acorn squash, peeled, cubed, steamed and mashed
1 box shells, boiled until tender, rinsed
2/3 cup ricotta cheese (low fat)
2 egg whites
2 Tbsn pumpkin pie spice
1 cup low-fat turkey ham, cut into tiny cubes
3/4 cup low-fat shredded mozzerella cheese

1 cup margarine
8 fresh sage leaves
8 ounce container crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
1 shallot (or 1/2 small onion) minced

Mix ricotta cheese, egg whites, cooled squash, nutmeg, cheese and cinnamon thoroughly. If cooking for a vegetarian, set aside enough for 4-6 shells per person. Add ham, mixing again.

Stuff shells (vegetarian in separate pan please) and lay in greased pan stuffed side up. Bake in oven at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

While shells are cooking, melt margarine in frying pan and add sage leaves. Allow to cook on medium for about 3 minutes so that the sage can release its flavors into the margarine. Turn heat to medium high and add mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms have released their liquid and have browned. Do not allow to overcook and don't let all juice to cook off. Strain out sage leaves.

Remove shells from the oven and give each person 4-6 shells spooning mushroom mixture over top. Do not serve sage leaves as there is a possibility that they may upset your stomach to each them. The margarine and mushrooms should have retained the strong sage flavor.

Serve with a giant salad, baby carrots or any bright vegetable for a beautiful contrast! Enjoy!

(This recipe was updated because I wanted it better... and it was! :) )

A New Twist: Teriyaki Bangers & Wasabi Mash

When I was in England in May, I made sure to try the English classic Bangers & Mash. That means sausage and mashed potatoes. The dish I had was lovely and hearty with a dark gravy that was divine!

I've decided to Teachezvous it up a bit with a new twist:

Chicken-Mango Teriyaki Bangers with Wasabi Mash

It is soooo good and will impress anyone! Did I mention how easy it was? Whoa! Way easy!

Serves 5


7 medium organic red potatoes, skin on, washed and cubed
5 chicken mango sausages (I got them at TJ's)
4 Tbsn wasabi (you can buy it in any grocery store).. more if you like it stronger
1 1/2 cups teriyaki sauce (I use Soyiyaki from TJ's)
1 cup skim milk (more if needed)
1 medium onion, sliced thin into rings
1/2 cup tempura breading
1/4 cup olive oil

Butterfly sausages and lay in a shallow dish. Cover with teriyaki sauce and bake in oven at 300 degrees for 1/2 hour.

Boil potatoes and drain. Add milk and wasabi and mash until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if they're too thick.

In a small frying pan heat olive oil on medium until a small test of batter mix makes it sizzle. Bread onions in tempura batter and add to oil. Cook until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Spoon about 3/4 cup mashed potatoes in the center of each plate. Top with sausage and then onions. Spoon teriyaki sauce from pan over top and a thin drizzle around the edge of the mashed potatoes.

Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lavender Cake with Lemon Curd & Raspberry

Have you every tasted the smell of something? It truly leads you to know that your sense of smell is as important to the foodie experience as the taste is. I'm am constantly on a search for the perfect aromatherapy food.

Nothing was as important for my wedding cake as creating the perfect balance between aroma and taste. Rob, an herbalist, and I, a soap maker, work with herbs in our hobbies so they're a big part of our lives. We use them for healing, beauty and peacefulness.

I chose lavender as the aromatic smell and flavor and decided to couple it with two tart tastes in tangy raspberry and tart lemon curd.


For cake
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 3 egg whites
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
* 3/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup & 2 Tbsn lavender flowers
* 3/4 cup lemon curd
* 3/4 cup raspberry preserves

For icing
This is for plain white frosting with a hint of lavender. For this cake I made homemade whipped cream with lavender in it.
* 1 cup milk
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1/2 cup margarine
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For cake

Heat milk and lavender flowers on stove until hot. Strain and reserve liquid discarding flowers. Let milk cool.

Mix all ingredients, including cooled lavender milk, in a large bowl and, using hand mixer, beat until smooth.

Grease two 9" cake pans and distribute cake batter evenly between them.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool thoroughly.

For icing

In a small saucepan, combine the milk and flour. Cook over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. When the milk mixture is cool, add the margarine, shortening, sugar and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer for 10 to 12 minutes, scraping the bottom of the bowl occasionally.

Putting the cake together:

Now cut the first layer of cake evenly so that you have 2 thinner cakes. Spread the lemon curd evenly over the top of the first layer.

Set the next thin layer on top and spread the raspberry preserves over that layer.

If you need to, use a skewer through the center of the cake to hold the layers steady.

Now put the full-sized layer on top and completely frost the cake.

You can touch up the icing before serving after the cake has chilled. Keep frosted cakes refrigerated until 1/2 hour before serving.

Cool Crunchy Coleslaw

Hot days are here and picnic food is the order for the season!

Here's a coleslaw recipe to start you out.

Serves 6


1 medium head organic green cabbage
*make sure the outside leaves are tight to the cabbage
3 medium organic carrots
2/3 cup no cholesterol mayonnaise
3 Tbsn lemon juice
Salt & pepper

Cut cabbage in half and slice into thin ribbons, turn sideways and cut into thirds.

Cut carrots length-wise into long strips, turn sideways and cut into thirds.

Mix cabbage and carrots in large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.

Just before serving add mayonnaise. Salt & pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.

Will keep in fridge for up to 5 days.

NOTE: Once mixed the dressing will cause the cabbage to 'shrink' and be less crunchy, so if you want to preserve the crunchiness only add dressing just before serving.

(finishing photos to follow)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Harvest Stew

This stew is rich, hearty and a staple in my house from Samhain, or All Hallows Eve, right through to Ostara, or the Vernal Equinox.

When it's a celebration or company is over I serve it in individual sugar pumpkins from a large roasted pumpkin that I make into a tureen. If it's just us then it's straight from cooking on the stove into our bowls.

Serve it with a nice hearty loaf of homemade bread and you'll feel happy and sated. Leftovers freeze beautifully!


2 cups of celery tops, chopped, including leaves
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large butternut squash
8 oz package of mushrooms (shitakes give a lovely earthy flavor, but criminis or white will do fine as well), thickly sliced
2 medium organic potatoes, washed, cut into chunks
1 sweet potato, washed, cut into chunks
5 organic carrots, washed, cut into bit-sized pieces
1 lean turkey sausage, sliced into 1/2" thick rounds
16 oz chicken or vegetable broth
8 oz water
1 bayleaf


In a large 5 quart pot, saute turkey sausage, onions, garlic and squash for 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add broth, water and celery cooking for 1/2 hour.

Add potatoes and carrots and simmer for 1/2 hour.

Serve with thick sliced grain bread.

NOTE: If you want to serve in pumpkins, then simply clean the pumpkins as you would a jack-o-lantern and roast upside down on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Carefully place large pumpkin on a strong platter and fill with stew. Place pumpkin lid on top and arrange little pumpkins & grain bread for guests around main pumpkin.