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Monday, March 31, 2008

Spinach Salmon Roll

Yay, spinach is in season! The spinach, cream cheese and salmon flavors really complement each other. Recipe from here. Makes about 15 slices/7 servings.


125 g spinach
4 eggs
50 g monterey jack, or other hard cheese, shredded
250 g smoked salmon (can also use chicken strips or ham)
150 g cream cheese + 50 g yogurt, stirred together*
parmesan cheese, salt, pepper to taste

*Recipe says 200 g Frischkäse which, as best as my palate can tell, is a light version of cream cheese. I imagine you can use straight cream cheese, but it would be heavier.


Cook the spinach if you are using fresh.
Beat together eggs, shredded cheese, chopped cooked spinach and seasonings.
Oil a large baking pan - the larger, the better as the eggy part of the roll gets thinner. I used a 10" x 14" (25 cm x 35 cm).
You might also want to line it with parchment or baking paper, as the egg mix tends to stick.
Carefully pour the egg mix in the baking pan, spreading it evenly.
Bake at 200C/400F for 10 minutes.
Let it cool.
Once cooled, flip egg and spinach mix on a piece of foil.
Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.
Put a layer of smoked salmon on top of the parmesan.
Stir cream cheese with yogurt (with a fork, not a mixer).
Finally, spread cream cheese mix on top of the salmon.
With the help of the foil and rolling along the longer side of the rectangle, form a tight roll.
Wrap with foil and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours to tighten.

A slice (it looks huge because of the zoom, but is only about 2 inches/5 cm in diameter):

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Does anyone mind

If I use their recipe for the cookbook I'm making for X? Everything will be properly cited with links to the original website and it won't be passed around. I just want to make sure first.

And yes, I will probably upload the cookbook once it's done.

Microwaved Instant Enchiladas

Original Recipe Here:

This is so good. This is beyond good. I was unable to contact to the 'net when I made it, so this is how I did it:

- Refried Beans (they said fat-free. We're not wusses. I forgot...)
- Cheese if you want
- Black Olives
- Tortillas
- Spinach
- Frozen Corn

- I took a plastic container out of the cupboard
- I ripped a tortilla into pieces and put it on the bottom.
- I spooned a good amount of salsa on it.
- I topped it with frozen corn.
- I sprinkled cheese on it (bad me, but this was also for X's lunch)
- I ripped up another tortilla and put it on top.
- I spooned on refried beans
- I put on three or four LARGE pieces of spinach
- I sprinkled a little bit more cheese
- Put on another layer salsa
- topped it with the tortillas
- X dumped WAAAAY too much cheese on top (that made it even yummier but STILL), then the olives)
- I covered the container with plastic wrap
- As it was a large container I nuked it (microwaved it) for 4 minutes.
- We ate.
- And it was good.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Has anyone ever cooked with seitan or nutritional yeast?

I'm trying to be better at what I'm eating and I found two fabulous recipes I want to try:

But I've never used either and I'm a bit hesitant. I thought I'd post this here and somewhere else to see if I figure it out.

Siri - the once strict vegetarian who has started cheating waaaay too much.


Husband and I changed a lot of roommates during college and one of them left us a waffle maker. It is one of those super cheap versions and sat in storage for three years as I thought it is the most useless thing ever. A few months ago I dug it out and what do you know - it turns out that waffles make a great lazy Saturday brunch. The recipe is my own combination of a few different recipes, as I wanted waffles that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.


1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/6 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup milk


In a mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
In a separate bowl beat egg with milk and egg.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingedients and mix.
The resulting batter would be very thick, but still pourable.
Follow the directions of your waffle maker for preparing the waffles.

Makes 5 small waffles (i.e. those on the picture plus two more):

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Herbed Potato Wedges

I am fairly sure I got this from the Taste of Home website, but I can't seem to find the exact recipe right now. This is a quick and easy side dish that works with any type of potatoes but is best with the fresh potatoes that are in season right now.

Ingredients (for two servings):

2 medium potatoes
2 teaspoons thyme (or rosemary, or other spices to taste)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons parmesan cheese
~ 1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste


Cut potatoes in bite-size pieces.
Layer potato wedges in a microwave safe dish, cut side up.
Brush potatoes with oil.
Sprinkle with spices first, then with parmesan cheese.
Drizzle with a bit of lemon juice.
Layer a second layer of potatoes on top.
Brush with oil.
Sprinkle with spices and parmesan again.
Drizzle with lemon juice again.
* The dish that I use is small but tall, that's why I end up with several layers of potatoes.

Close the dish with its lid.
Microwave on high for about 10 min or until the potatoes are tender.

If your dish doesn't have a steam vent on the lid, be very careful when opening it, as the trapped steam comes out fast.

The potatoes on this picture are with red pepper only, but you get the idea:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Macaroni Salad (my mom's style)


What you will need:

One lb of shell noodles or elbow noodles
7 eggs
1 jar of green olives
one onion
Mayo or Miracle Whip
Celery Salt


Cook and boil your noodles. Drain the water and put the noodles in bowl.


Boil your eggs. Boil them for atleast 10 minutes.


Peel the shells from your eggs and cut them up and put them in the bowl with the noodles.


Cut up green olives and put in bowl with noodles and eggs. It is up to you how many olives you use. I only use half the small jar.


Cut up the onion and put it in the bowl.


Add your miracle whip to the bowl and mix up well. Add in a little bit of milk and then some more miracle whip until thick and creamy.


Add your parsley, salt, pepper and celery salt. Mix well.


Sprinkle the paprika on top for garnish. Then place in the refridgerator until it is cold and you are ready to eat.

And that is it. Your done! Go and enjoy your salad. :)

Posted by Egyptian Princess

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Delicious Vegetable Soup

So good, so incredibly, incredibly, incredibly good. It's relatively easy to make you and adjust it however you want.

5-6 cups vegetable broth (or beef boullion cubes, it was what we had on hand. :-D)
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 16-ounce cans beans, rinsed and drained (I used kidney beans and white beans)
2 1-pound bags of frozen vegetables
4 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
a shake or two of hot pepper sauce (or even a jalapeño)
black pepper and salt to taste
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup small pasta OR 2 cups diced potatoes OR 1 cup frozen corn or other starchy vegetable OR 1/2 cup of quick-cooking grain (pearled barley, millet, or quinoa) or cooked rice (We used sweet potatoes)

Put 5 cups of vegetable broth and all remaining ingredients into a large pot and cook until vegetables are done, about 20-30 minutes. If the soup seems too thick, add more broth.
Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.

We adjusted this as to what we had on hand, since right now neither of us can afford groceries. Instead of spinach we used cabbage, added at the beginning. We used peas, carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes. Very good. It's incredibly filling and it's 2 points per half cup.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Instant Tomato Sauce

There are NO exact measurements in this, it was truly "this is what we have and I need tomato sauce" It was really good and easy to make.

- Sun-Dried Pesto - 2tbs to 3tbs
- Can of fire-roasted tomatoes (15.5 ounces)
- Handful of black olives
- Fresh garlic (as much as you want)
- Oregano and Crushed Red Pepper (to taste)
- Roasted Red peppers

Toss it in a saucepan, put a cover on it, and wait till it thins. It's incredibly good and easy to make...and pretty low-fat.

Friday, March 14, 2008


In honor of St. Teodor's Day (which falls on March 15 this year), nameday boy has requested the insanely calorific dessert that is baklava. I remember I posted my family recipe on BtN and someone commented that it looks really complicated. It is not!


500 g (1 lb) phyllo (fillo) dough
500 g (16 oz, 2 cups) butter, melted
250 g (9 oz, 2 cups) chopped walnuts (or pistachios) + 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the syrup:
500 g (2 1/2 cups) sugar
350 ml (1 1/2 cup) water
3 teaspoons lemon juice or 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract


Melt the butter and set one half aside.
Mix walnuts with cinnamon.
Brush the bottom of a 10" x 14" (25 cm x 35 cm) baking pan with butter.
Put in one sheet of phyllo dough. Brush it with butter.
Put another sheet on top. Brush with butter and sprinkle some walnuts.

Continue layering the baklava, putting butter on every phyllo dough sheet and walnuts on every other phyllo dough sheet.

It may look like the walnuts are too sparce but you end up with about 10 layers of walnuts on top of each other, so every piece gets decently walnutty.

* Walnuts on every other sheet is the way we like it layered in my family. Some people put all the walnuts on one layer in the middle of the baklava. Some put walnuts after every sheet. It's pretty much up to you.

End with a phyllo dough sheet on top.

Cut into diamond shapes:

Carefully pour the butter that was set aside on top of the baklava, making sure you get the edges, as that's where it is likely to remain dry.

Bake at 250F/120C for 20 min or until golden. There is nothing that needs to be cooked per se, you just need the phyllo dough to get crunchy.

Let the baklava cool before proceeding to the next step.

Mix the water and sugar for the syrup.
Bring to a gentle boil and let boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Do not under- or overboil. Less than 2 minutes will result in a runny syrup; more than 5 minutes will result in a thick syrup that will give you quite a sticky baklava.

Take syrup off the stove and stir in lemon juice or lemon extract.
You can omit the lemon juice/extract, but keep in mind that you can't really taste it anyway. Its purpose is to prevent the syrup from forming a sugary coat on the baklava.

Pour the *hot* syrup on the *cooled* baklava.

You need to let it stand at least 12 hours (ideally 48 hours) so it takes in all the syrup.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Skillet Sausage and Peppers

This is one of my ultimate comfort foods. My mom used to make this time-intensive version but I changed it up to be a one-dish wonder.

3 mild (or spicy if you prefer!) Italian sausage links - sweet gives it an off flavor to me, but I guess you could use it; casings removed and crumbled
2 or 3 green peppers, chopped
half an onion, chopped
minced garlic or powder if you don’t have any (or fresh. whatever. just give it some garlic.)
a little over a quarter of a large jar of traditional marinara-style tomato sauce
1 small can diced tomatoes
1 cup of rice or a pouch of instant

This is really easy.
1. Brown the sausage crumbles.
2. Add veggies and saute for about five-seven minutes. Cook the rice.
3. Add sauce and simmer for another five-ten.
4. Stir in the rice.
5. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired (and you should).

This feeds two ridiculously starving people or three to four normal ones. Can you guys tell I adore onions and garlic? Yah... I promise to post something that doesn't require it. Like my favorite chocolate cake. ;)

Tomato Cream Sauce

I adapted a recipe from "The Pioneer Woman Cooks!" this week and it turned out scrumptious. Here is an easy sauce to toss on pretty much anything... especially ravioli. :)

1 small white onion
as much garlic as you can stand
1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth OR white wine
16 oz. tomato sauce - not chunky. I prefer Hunts because it's thin.
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
fresh parsley
fresh basil (lots)
bit of flour (optional)

I'm so precise, aren't I?

So chop the onion and mince the garlic if you're using fresh, pretty finely unless you don't mind your sauce with onion chunks. (I don't mind, and I'm lazy so you can guess how much chopping I do.) Put a saucepan on medium heat and add a bit of olive oil and a bit of butter, allow to melt, swirl around pan, then toss in your onion and garlic. Let cook until soft and starting to color, then add your wine/broth. Stir occasionally and let that evaporate off for a few minutes until reduced a bit. In the meantime, chop and/or chiffonade your herbs. Then add your tomato sauce, stir, and slowly add in your cream, stirring the whole time. Add in the parsley and basil and pepper to taste. If you don't like a thin sauce, add the flour now and allow to cook for a few minutes longer to blend the flavors a bit and to thicken the sauce.

Pour over pasta or whatever you're eating. This will make enough to coat a full pound of rotini.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Italian Minestrone Soup

This is by far the best and most filling soup I've had in a long time, and I'm a soup fan. We almost always have a pot of homemade soup in the fridge and I'm thinking this one will quickly become the favorite. It's a very thick soup - we added a can of tomato soup - and we also (of course!) used vegetable broth instead of beef broth. It's absolutely perfect with homemade bread...and that's a filling dinner. It's also four points per serving, so it's also points friendly. Yay.

1 med. onion, chopped
1/4 c. celery leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
1 c. chopped carrot
1 c. chopped celery
1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes with liquid
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 c. beef stock or broth
1 c. red wine
1 zucchini, sliced
1 1/2 c. chopped cabbage
1 (14-16 oz.) can white beans or pinto or kidney beans
1 c. elbow macaroni
Water or V-8 juice
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. oregano

Saute onion, garlic and celery leaves in olive oil until
onions are clear, 5 to 10 minutes. Add chopped carrots,
celery, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef stock, wine, bay
leaves, oregano and pepper. Simmer until carrots are
tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add zucchini and cabbage and
simmer until they are tender. You may need to add 1 to 2
cups more water or V-8 juice to get desired consistency.
Add beans and macaroni and cook until tender. Serve with
Parmesan cheese. You can vary this recipe with other beans,
vegetables or rice.

We didn't use Parmesan cheese.

Self-Layering Light Fruit Cake

I call this invented cake recipe ‘self layering’ because the gentle cooking temperature means that the fruit is able to settle a little. When the cake is cooked and turned out you end up with a bottom layer of soft, moist butter cake with almost no fruit, and an upper layer full of juicy fruit embedded in a little cake. Sounds like an accident (well, it was an accident), but it’s very tasty that way!

This is a two-day process as the fruit has to soak overnight.


Approx 1.5 metric (250mL) cups mixed dried fruit (mine included sultanas, mixed peel, currants, raisins and glacé cherries).
Enough sherry to cover the fruit

4 oz (110g) plus two tablespoons white sugar
4 oz (110g) margarine plus extra for greasing
2 large eggs, or 3 small eggs
4 oz (110g) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence


1. Place the dried fruit in a small bowl and cover with sherry, then sprinkle over two tablespoons of white sugar. Leave to soak overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 160 C / 320 F. Prepare a cake tin (cake pan) – I used a round tin with a 20cm / 8inch diameter and a capacity of about 1 litre / 16 oz – by greasing the tin with margarine then covering the base and sides with greaseproof paper (baking paper) and coating the joins with more margarine.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs to mixing bowl and mix until fully combined.

4. Using a slotted spoon of some sort, lift the fruit out of the sherry mixture and add it to the butter mixture along with the vanilla essence. Reserve sherry mixture as it is used in the icing. Mix fruit in until fully coated in butter mixture.

5. Add sieved (sifted) flour to fruit mixture and stir until it forms a smooth batter around the fruit.

6. Spoon mixture into cake tin and smooth top. Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until top is golden. The top may still be a little moist and should appear bubbly when the cake is cooked.

7. Allow cake to cool completely in the tin (pan) before turning out. Ensure cake is completely cold before icing.


The Icing:

I expected this icing to harden when the cake was refrigerated, but it didn’t, so apparently I’ve invented an icing that stays very soft! It’s hard enough to stay where it’s put but still very sticky when touched, and it tastes delicious if I do say so myself!


1 cup sieved (sifted) icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons Philadelphia cream cheese
1 tablespoon milk
1 dessertspoon sherry mixture from fruit
1 teaspoon vanilla essence


1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mash margarine and cream cheese into the icing sugar, then beat all ingredients until they form a smooth mixture.

2. Smooth onto cake using a flat utensil. The cake should be fruit-side-up when iced.

3. Keep cake refrigerated until serving so that icing doesn’t run.

4. Enjoy!

The last piece, right before I ate it!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cinnabon (tm) Knock-off Cinnamon Buns

I love Cinnabons but I rarely have them as they are incredibly fattening and somewhat expensive. So when I found this recipe, I *had* to try making them at home. They turned out really good, though not quite as good as the real thing. This is not your everyday dessert, as they are quite filling, but they are great for special treat, and they come up to about 75 cents a pop, which is way cheaper than the real thing.

Ingredients (for 10-12 rolls)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
1/3 cup (75 g) butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups (500 g) all-purpose (plain) flour

1 cup (220 g) packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup (75 g) butter, softened

Icing (Frosting):
1/4 cup (60 g) butter, softened
1/4 cup (60g) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup (190 g) confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
~ 1 tablespoon water or more to achieve desired consistency


For the rolls:
Put all the ingredients for the rolls in the bread machine and use the dough setting. The resulting dough was a bit too soft for my bread machine, and it kept getting under the paddle. Other than that, the machine did just fine. If you don't have a bread machine, see the recipe on top for instructions on making it manually.

On a piece of plastic foil flatten the dough into a rectangle approximately 21 inches long, 16 inches wide (53 cm x 40 cm), and about ¼ inch (1/2 cm) thick. Or so says the recipe, but next time I am going to split it into two balls and two smaller rectangles, as the resulting buns were too big for me.

For the filling:
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread the softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough rectangle, and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar evenly on top.

With the help of the foil form the dough rectangle into a tight roll along the longer (21 inch) side. Tight is the operative word here, or the cinnamon filing will fall out when the roll is cut.

When working with a roll like this, I like to stick it in the freezer for 15 min so it's easier to cut. Don't overdo it though, as freezer temperatures kill the yeast.

Cut the roll into 2 inch (5 cm) thick slices and place slices on a greased baking sheet.

Proof until they double in size (about 30 minutes).

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 F (205 C) until they are golden on top.

While buns are baking, beat the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, then add the flavorings and enough water (or milk) to obtain the desired consistency. Mix on high speed again until the icing is smooth and fluffy.

Let the buns cool for about 10 min and cover with frosting.

As you can see, my frosting skills are pretty much non-existent:

Moroccan Honey Lamb

Early last year, after moving house, I was buying recipe base sachets pretty much at random at a little corner shop, and picked up one for a honey lamb casserole. This Moroccan-inspired recipe base was absolutely divine, but I’ve never been able to find it again. So I looked up the ingredients on the manufacturer’s website, and I’ve managed to recreate it. It’s a smooth, slightly spicy and very aromatic bake, incredibly easy to make.

Serves 4, but easy to adapt.


4 lamb shoulder chops (preferably the sort with the little round bone in them, but you could use any lamb chops)
100mL tomato paste (tomato concentrate)
150mL honey
Juice of ½ lemon or orange
2 teaspoons dried garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground Chinese Five Spice (contains cinnamon, star anise, clove, fennel and pepper)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
Dash of salt
Ground pepper to taste
1 brown onion
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)


Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F.

1. Cut the onion into rings and spread them out in a shallow microwave dish. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish and microwave uncovered on medium high for five minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomato paste with 400mL water. Stir until it forms an even mixture.

3. In a small jug, combine the honey with 300mL of very hot or boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add to the tomato mixture and stir in thoroughly.

4. Add lemon/orange juice to the tomato mixture.

5. Once onion has finished microwaving, pour off the water into the tomato mixture and reserve onion rings.

6. Add all of the spices to the tomato mixture (including salt and pepper) and whisk or mix thoroughly until spices are evenly distributed.

7. Place the cornflour in a dry glass or jug, add 200mL of cool water and stir firmly until cornflour is dissolved. Add to tomato mixture and stir thoroughly.

8. Take a casserole or baking dish large enough to spread out all of the chops. Pour a small amount of the tomato mixture into the base, enough to cover the bottom of the dish. Arrange onion rings across base, then place chops on top (do not overlap unless necessary). Pour all of remaining tomato mixture into the dish. It should cover the chops completely.

9. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour. It will fill the house with the exotic spicy aroma while it’s cooking – delicious!

Serve a chop with sauce and onion over rice, with some green veggies (I had green peas).

I made the full amount of this along with four serves of rice, and froze the chops, onion, sauce and rice together in individual serves for future easy meals. There was a lot of sauce left over which I’ve frozen to use as a stock base for a future casserole or stir-fry.

PS: The sides of your casserole dish won't be as messy as they are in the pic . . . unless you're like me and repeatedly drop the lid into the sauce while serving!

Melting Moments

These are light, crumby, buttery, sweet biscuits (cookies) that I’ve been baking for years. The plain version is the original but I’ve developed my own chocolate version, which is also included here.


120g / 4oz butter or margarine (recipe says butter but I’ve always used marg) OR
140g / 5oz butter or margarine if you’re making the choc version
60g / 2oz icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
30g / 1oz cornflour (cornstarch)
1 cup Self Raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa for the chocolate version
About 2 tablespoons white sugar for choc version


Preheat oven to 150 C / 300 F

1. Melt butter/margarine and sieve (sift) in icing sugar. Mix well.

2. Add sieved (sifted) flour and cornflour to butter mixture (and cocoa for choc version). Mix thoroughly until it forms a dough.

3. Roll into balls – this quantity should make 20 balls. Place the balls on a greased / oiled baking tray (cookie sheet) and squash down with a fork. I generally push the fork down twice, the second time at right angles to the first time, to form a cross-hatch on top.


4. Choc version only: using a sieve, sprinkle white sugar over the biscuits.

5. Bake at 150 C / 300 F for 15 minutes.

6. Allow to cool on the tray. Once cooled they can be kept in a sealed container or on a cling-wrapped plate in the fridge.

Icing (Frosting)

There are a variety of ways to ice (frost) these. Traditionally they’re sandwiched together with vanilla icing, but there’s many variations and you can simply pipe squiggles of icing on top of the biscuit if you don’t want to make sandwiches.


4 metric (20mL) tablespoons icing (confectioners’) sugar
2 metric (10mL) teaspoons butter / margarine, melted
1 metric tablespoon milk
1 metric teaspoon vanilla essence (can be substituted for any other flavour of essence, such as lemon, orange, raspberry or peppermint)
Food colouring if desired.


Mix all ingredients together to make a creamy mixture. Spoon or pipe onto the biscuits as desired, and chill before serving.