Saturday, May 12, 2018

Cleveland Treats - Cookbook, Kindle Countdown Deal



A great, fullcolor cookbook of easy desserts loved in Cleveland, Ohio!

Kindle Countdown $0.99

Cleveland Treats at
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0988414724

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

My sister's favorite cookie is a Linzer cookie. The cookie is composed of two large round, butter-flavored cookies with raspberry jam in the center. A round hole is cut in the top cookie so one can see the beautiful red layer. The entire double cookie often has a fluted edge. The cookie is sometimes dipped in chocolate and/or powdered sugar. As Linzer cookie purists, we prefer the Linzer cookie without a topping. In addition, like the Linzer torte, ground hazelnuts are preferred in the dough, but almonds are good too. Omitting the ground nuts entirely is possible if one is allergic to nuts, but the ground nuts add aroma and flavor to the dough.

As mentioned in the Introduction of this volume, the Linzer torte (or Linzertorte) is a German-Austrian torte with a lattice design on top of the pastry, named after the city of Linz, Austria. It is believed to be the oldest cake in the world. I can vouch for anyone that had my Mom's Linzer torte, which won the grand prize in any bake sale.

The Linzer cookie is reminiscent of the torte. If the cookie dough does not have some kind of ground nuts, our family does not consider it authentic!

The dough for Linzer Torte includes flour, unsalted butter, egg yolks, lemon zest, cinnamon, lemon juice, and ground nuts, usually hazelnuts. They are ground with the skins on for this holiday classic dessert. The filling is traditionally raspberry jam, but red currant jam is popular in Europe as are other flavors. The torte is covered with small leaves cut from dough to form a lattice design or a more simple version is covered with thin strips of dough also formed into a lattice design. The lattice allows one to see the beautiful layer of red jam. When made with red currant jam, the torte has a bit more of a sour taste as it is very, very sweet when made with raspberry jam.

In the days before food processors, I remember my Mom grinding the hazelnuts and when visiting Germany, although the tortes are not as good as homemade, the German bakeries made them with ground almonds. I personally prefer the torte made with hazelnuts, but it is wonderful with any ground nut.

Although not traditional, I have seen the Linzer cookie frosted with chocolate. A dust of powder sugar is more traditional, but not necessary for this very sweet treat.

The recipe is based on butter and is one recipe that I have never modified and also rarely make, as I am better off buying two cookies than making a tray of them and eating them all. Here is a recipe, but note that the traditional recipe ingredients are weighed and in grams and this recipe uses cups, which is not as accurate as weighing the ingredients to get a consistent product.


1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole almonds -- most cookbooks say to blanch the almonds but I do not
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons raspberry or red currant preserves
2 teaspoons powdered sugar (optional)

Grind the almonds with about 1/2 cups flour until fine, add the ground mixture to the remaining flour which has been sifted with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix. Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy and add egg yolks. Add the flour mixture gradually to form a soft dough to roll out after chilling for about an hour. Roll out the dough and cut the tops and bottoms of the cookies and bake them at 350 F for about 10-12 minutes, leaving some room for spreading. After baking and cooling, spread the cookie bottoms with raspberry preserves and cover with the window-like cookie tops.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Crusty, French Bread






Here is some background information before I jump into the recipe and directions.

My husband asked me to bake some crusty French bread. I had not made French bread in over 40 years and remember watching Julie Child on television in the late 1960's. I would rush home from college to turn on her TV show. Today I use her videos on YouTube to refresh my memory.

I checked several recipes and decided to combine some things to try to recreate the bread my husband remembers. I keep a jar of yeast in the refrigerator and keep several types of flours on hand. I decided to follow Julie Child's advice and use unbleached flour as she states the unbleached flour creates a crisp crust.

Julie Child also mentions that the addition of salt (besides controlling the yeast's growth) gives color to the inside of the bread. I rarely use salt in any of my recipes, but decided to use half the salt recommended. I used a bit of sugar to feed and "proof" the yeast and used water instead of milk in the bread dough.

A bit of corn flour/cornmeal is used to keep the sticky bread dough from sticking to the pan. To make doubly sure I would not have a sticky problem, I set the dough to raise on my silicon baking sheet.

To insure I would get a crisp, crackly crust, I used an enamel pan on the lowest shelf in my upper oven and added boiling water to it just before placing the bread dough in the oven. The key to the crust is the brushing of the bread dough with a bit of salt water. Since I could not find my pastry brush, I wet a folded paper towel with the salt water and used it as a brush to quickly cover the loaves with the slightly salted water while baking! This bread requires the yeast to be proofed to make sure it is alive and the dough is left to rise 3 times, most recipes I use require that the dough rise only twice.

My ingredients for 3 loaves of French bread include:

1/4 cup lukewarm water (I use cold tap water and microwave it to lukewarm - take care as hot water will kill the yeast
2 tsp of dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
5 cups unbleached flour plus about 1/2-1 cup extra for kneading
1/2 cup fine corn meal

For brushing the bread I used 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 cup water (I would lower this to 1/4 tsp next time).

Directions to be continued.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Herbs from the Garden



There are no flavors as great as freshly picked herbs. We have a deer issue in our area, so I include herbs that flower. Although they tend to get huge and I rarely use them, I grow leeks in my garden as the deer do not seem to want to cross over the tall leeks. I am planting more and more herbs. My garden has lots of Lemon Thyme forming a carpet and newly planted sage has taken off. I love spearmint and basil too, but keep it in pots in the front of my yard to protect plants eaten by deer.

I have frozen herbs and I also dry some, but even in winter, I can find some fresh Thyme and kale.





Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fall Veggie Spaghetti


We love vegetables in our spaghetti instead of meat. I include tomatoes (canned these days as the deer eat anything that I plant but for herbs), a can of no salt kidney or other beans labeled no salt, sliced mushrooms, thin sliced zucchini, garlic, herbs such as fresh lemon thyme and basil, cinnamon, tumeric, and today I added a few tablespoons of a butternut squash that was not as naturally sweet as usual. I included half of a jar of a prepared sauce from the grocery store and the small bit of baked butternut squash gave the sauce some body and a very smooth texture.

I will always add some baked winter squash to future sauces as it thickened the sauce and added a hint of sweetness. Sometimes, I add a bit of honey to the spaghetti sauce.



Fall is Here!


Although the weather is still warm in Cleveland, Ohio, the leaves and pumpkins tell us it is Fall. It is an unusually "pink" Fall as the summer, especially the last few weeks have been very dry!



One grill is packed in the garage and the other is covered in a much too big grill ccvoer. Soon the green grill tarp will be covered with snow!



It is almost time to make pumpkin pie. I love canned pumpkin, but the very best pies are from a "pumpkin pie pumpkin." I never carve a "pumpkin pie pumpkin," but let it stay whole as a great table decoration until it is cut up and prepared as a substitute for canned pumpkin in a few pumpkin pies.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Roasted Asparagus

For roasted asparagus follow Ina Garten's easy recipe on foodnetwork.com at

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-asparagus-recipe

Basically, clean, trim off hard outer areas of stem, place on parchment paper (the best as I hate to scrub pans) add a tiny bit of oil (I put a small amount of canola or olive oil on my hands and rub each stalk which I dried after washing) and roast at 400 F in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. If I am lazy I break off the hard stem at the bottoms, if I have a lot of energy, I also peel off some of the outer skin.

This is how they look prepared for the oven the "lazy" way.


My husband prefers his veggies more cooked than most, so I often leave his portion in the oven while serving everyone else.

When I roast root veggies, like fresh beets, they need 45 minutes of roasting and I crank the heat up to 450 F.

Happy husband, happy life!

Scones



Scones

My husband loves scones, but per his restricted diet, I had to come up with a fool proof recipe that he would love and not feel restricted about eating more than one! This is a wonderful scone recipe. I use baking powder without aluminum or salt. Since my husband became allergic to dairy, he makes the recipe without using the buttermilk powder, but once the buttermilk is removed, the recipe no longer tastes like traditional scones. The scones need the buttermilk powder or the product is more cake-like.

Reduced-Fat Scones

4 cups flour 2 tablespoons baking powder (no aluminum, no salt) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons sugar plus additional sugar for the topping 2 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk powder 4 tablespoons canola oil 1 1/2 cups water and some extra milk or water for brushing the dough 1/2 teaspoon orange rind 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, etc.)

Place the dried fruit in the 1 1/2 cups liquid to soak. Add the oil and orange rind creating a liquid mixture. Sift the first four (dry) ingredients, add the buttermilk powder, and the water mixture containing the dried fruit. Stir until just moistened, knead about 6 times, form into 9-13 balls (depending on the humidity the dough may be sticky, so wet hands to form the balls), and brush with milk (or water) and sprinkle on some sugar. Bake at 400 F. for about 15-18 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. I brush the tops with water or milk and roll each ball in sugar.

As luck would have it, in addition to being restricted on fats, my husband became dairy intolerant, thus, below is the current recipe he uses. The recipe substitutes applesauce for some of the fat, reducing the oil to one tablespoon. I have made the recipe without oil, omitting the one tablespoon of oil, but the product was not as good as with one tablespoon of oil.

The recipe below, for lowest-fat scones, results in a product something like scones, but so much has been modified that it might pass as a cake-like cookie!

Lowest-fat, Non-dairy, Scones

2 cups of unbleached flour 1 tablespoon baking powder (no aluminum, no salt) 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons honey 2 tablespoons applesauce 1 tablespoon oil (canola) 3/4 cup liquid (water or juice of choice) 1/2 cup raisins 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Put the raisins in the liquid and add the honey, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together including flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Dump the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix, and knead about 5 times. Drop by spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet (spray a cookie sheet and place the parchment paper on top of the cooking spray). Bake at 400 F. for about 8-12 minutes until the scones are lightly browned.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Braiding a Challah Bread



When braiding a challah bread I have to remember to number the 4 strand positions as

1, 2, 3, 4

Then, put strand 4 (the farthest to the right) over strand 2.
Then put strand 1 (the farthest to the left) over strand 3.
Then move strand 2 over strand 3.
Repeat the above until all 4 strands are braided into the bread.

I will add photos the next time I make a bread!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Chocolate chip, fruit cocktail, Noodle Kugel




We are trying to make something for a meal or side dish, that everyone will eat. The idea is to entice a preschooler who is a chocolate lover. As she said to me, "Auntie Rosie, I love any kind of chocolate."
I thought of lots of recipes and then came up with this one. This recipe makes 12 kugle cupcakes and one larger, flatter, 9" x 13", kugel. I will also include the ingredients for a dozen kugelettes and a larger rectangular 9" x 13" thicker kugel.

The recipe for 12 cupcake kugelettes and one 9" x 13" rectangular pan of thin kugel include:

butter and/or cooking spray (I suggest using both in the cupcake tins)
22 ounces of medium noodles
6 large eggs slightly beaten
10.3 ounces (two small containers) of vanilla, Greek Yogurt
1 cup of dried cranberries (craisins or raisins)
2 cans of fruit cocktail in juice (drain, but save the juice from both cans)(save a few cherries too)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup or more of mini chocolate chips

Take the cold eggs and the yogurt out of the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Spray and butter the insides of the cupcake and rectangular baking pans.

Boil the 22 ounces of noodles in a large pot per package directions, drain well, and set aside to cool. In another bowl, beat the 6 eggs slightly, add the yogurt, add the dried cranberries (or raisins), and add the drained two cans of fruit cocktail, saving the fruit juice. Add the cinnamon and stir the egg mixture gently. One should have about one cup of fruit juice for later use in the baking of the kugelettes and larger kugel.

Temper the egg mixture by adding a few of the luke warm noodles (tempering not needed if cooked noodles are at the same temperature as the egg mixture). Then gently add the entire egg mixture to the big pot of drained noodles. Fill the well-greased cupcake tins and 9" x 13" pan. Add mini chocolate chips to the tops of the kugels and add a cherry, dried cranberry or other fruit for extra decoration.

Bake at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the saved juice on each of the 12 kugels and spoon the rest of the canned juice on the large kugel. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the tops look brownish and crunchy.


Cool slightly and gently remove all of the kugels from the pans.

Kugels may be eaten at any temperature, warm, hot, or cold.


To make a thicker rectangular kugel, in addition to the 12 smaller round kugels use:

33 ounces of noodles
3-4 cups of vanilla, Greek yogurt (15-20 OUNCES)
9-12 eggs
3 cans of fruit cocktail
1-2 cups of craisins or raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
mini chocolate chips per taste (optional)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Black Bean Brownies using Two Eggs




I made the black bean brownies with a can of pureed, no salt, black beans, two eggs and a box of brownie mix (family-size).

Since one 15.5 ounce can of no salt black beans makes the perfect amount of puree for one package of brownie mix, I had to remove about 1/3 cup of the fluid from the can of black beans to account for the two eggs I added to the recipe.

The ingredients are as follows:

One can of NO SALT Black Beans (15.5 ounces) minus 1/3 cup of bean juice
Two eggs
One box of family-sized brownie mix.

Remove about 1/3 cup of liquid from the can of beans. Puree the remaining entire can of black beans and add them to the slightly beaten whole eggs. Add the dry brownie mix to the bean-egg mixture and stir about 30-40 strokes or until the mixture is moist.

Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan and dump the mixture into the pan and bake at 350 F for about 30-35 minutes.

Cut the brownies when cool. These are very reasonable and delicious "protein" bars and should have more fiber than brownie mix made with oil or butter.

If eggs are not tolerated, skip the step of removing the 1/3 cup of bean liquid from the can and see photos in an earlier post.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Black Bean Brownies -- alternative to buttery, rich, made-from-scratch egg-type brownies



I am nervous today about the election, so I tried a 2 ingredient recipe for very simple brownies. 1 can of no-salt black beans 1 box of family-sized brownie mix

Dump the entire can of black beans (no-salt from Whole Foods, 99 cents) into a blender, I love my little Ninja for this. Pour the smooth bean contents into a bowl containing one box of family-sized brownie mix. Stir about 40 times, pour into sprayed pan (I used a 9" x 14") and bake at 350 F for about 28 minutes or as directed on the brownie box.

These brownies look great and are delicious!

For a richer brownie see "Cleveland Treats" or "Cleveland Treats:Sweet Recipes on amazon.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Cleveland's Signature Dessert in Two New Books

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rosa Shine Raskin
Address: 451 Lassiter Drive, Highland Heights, Ohio 44143
Phone: (440) 461-4125

New Books: Cleveland Treats and Cleveland Treats: Sweet Recipes

Cleveland, Ohio - August 31, 2016 – Cleveland's signature dessert, Coconut Bars are included in two new books published this summer by Rosa Shine Raskin. The first, Cleveland Treats, includes nature photography of the Greater Cleveland area along with treats to eat. The second book, Cleveland Treats-Sweet Recipes, is a subset of the larger Cleveland Treats. Both cookbooks contain color photographs.


The motivation for the books was the author's nephew born with 30 food allergies and earlier that same year, Raskin's husband had to be taken to zero fat after a heart attack at the age of 49. A treat for everyone is included in the variations of the recipes, which include low-sugar, fat-free, dairy-free, and/or gluten-free versions. The modified recipes took months of trial and error to create. The variations of a recipe are presented with the traditional version. When the author's nephew liked a recipe, he would say “Auntie Rosie, put it in your cookbook.” He was 3 years-old the first time he asked his aunt to document the invented dessert. The books were published this summer, 20 years later.
Recipes include Russian Tea Biscuits, Baked Brown Bread, Lady Locks, Banana Cake, Pies, Dutch Apple Squares, Eier Kichel and Cleveland's own version of cassata cake, etc.
Print copies of both books are available from Amazon.com and CreateSpace.com.

Cleveland Treats-Sweet Recipes - https://www.amazon.com/dp/098841473

Cleveland Treats - http://www.createspace.com/5388841
Cleveland Treats-Sweet Recipes - http://www.createspace.com/6464784

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Granola

It is easy to make granola using ingredients we keep in the pantry. I use old fashioned oats, ground or chopped nuts, a bit of maple syrup, and dried fruit.

I start by placing parchment paper on a cookie sheet, spray the entire sheet. Place about 1/2 of a small box of old fashioned oats and toast in the oven. After 15 minutes, I add about 1/2 to 1 cup of ground nuts over the oats in the pan

I squirt the mixture with some maple syrup (not too much as we do not want our granola to be too sweet). I continue toasting the mixture in the oven, using a metal spatula, I turn the mixture once during the toasting process.

When I see the level of browning I prefer (about another 15-20 minutes --  I do not want the granola to be too hard), I add about a handful of dried fruit such as cranberries, cherries or blueberries, and toss the mixture. We love it warm or at room temperature.

When it is cool I place it in a gallon storage bag.

Enjoy!