This torte a minimum of ingredients–a super easy recipe. There’s not even gluten in it, for those looking for gluten-free. It is traditionally made with Kahlua; for a non-alcohol version, see this page.
If the 10″ pan is not available, smaller sizes can be used; just cook the cake longer. It won’t set up as traditional cakes set up (don’t bother sticking a toothpick in). But it will seem fairly “set” when giggled. Let it cool completely before serving. Serves 15 or so; can easily be reduced by half to serve a smaller crowd.
1 lb. chocolate chips
1 lb. butter
2 c. sugar
1 c. espresso (or strong coffee)(Decaf, if desired)
1/4 c. Kahlua
1 c. pecans, chopped
Optional: Whipped cream, berries, or raspberry sauce
1. Bake in unbuttered pan, lined with aluminum foil (heavy duty works best). Use a large, 10″ pan, or 2 smaller pans. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Microwave in large ceramic bowl, 2-3 minutes, until melted: > 1 lb. chocolate chips > 1 lb. butter
3. Stir the chocolate/butter mix until smooth. Add the following, stir, and microwave 2 min. more: > 2 c. sugar > 1 c. espresso (or strong coffee)
4. Stir in, one at a time: > 8 eggs
5. Pour into the foil-lined pan; sprinkle with: > 1 c. pecans, chopped
6. Bake at 300 degrees for 65 min. for a 10″ pan, or 30-40 min. for 2 smaller pans.
7.Let cool completely (for easiest handling). Transfer to cake plate, cut away foil, leaving a round of foil under the cake. (If completely chilled first, this foil can be removed, otherwise it can be tricky.)
8. Serve with whipped cream or berries. A raspberry sauce can also be drizzled onto the plates before serving.
This is a memorable holiday cake in our family. If you’re not big on rum, skip the alcohol, using other flavorings. Serves 12.
8 eggs total (divided)
5 c. sugar, divided (two 1/2 c. + 4 c. sugar)
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. butter
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
8 egg whites
4 c. water
1 c. rum (or substitute 4 tsp. almond, lemon, or orange extract, plus scant 1 c. water)
1. Beat until fluffy: > 8 egg yolks > 1/2 c. sugar > 2 tsp. vanilla
2. Microwave 40 seconds (until melted): > 2/3 c. butter
3. Set aside mixture of: > 2 c. flour > 1/2 tsp. salt > 2 tsp. baking powder
4. Whip until almost stiff: > 8 egg whites
5. Add slowly to beaten egg whites, while whipping: > 1/2 c. sugar
6. Fold the above ingredients together, incorporating the flour into the whipped egg yolk mix alternately with the melted butter, folding the egg whites in last of all. Bake in a buttered bundt pan at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
7. Begin syrup right away, stirring occasionally, boiling the following in a saucepan until it reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer: > 4 c. sugar > 4 c. water
8. When syrup is to temperature, remove and add: > 1 c. rum (or substitute 4 tsp. almond, lemon, or orange extract, plus scant 1 c. water)
9. Leaving cake in pan, pour hot syrup over cake immediately. Let cake soak 2 hours, then turn out onto plate.
This easy gluten-free soup uses coconut cream and curry powder. A non-dairy soup, perfect for vegans. A garnish of parsley adds contrast; grilled carrots add texture. Makes 6 servings or so.
2 lb. carrots, peeled, sliced into discs
2 lb. potatoes, peeled, cubed
1/4 c. coconut cream (or 1/2 c. coconut milk)
2 TBS. curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Optional: cilantro or parsley for garnish
1. Prepare and cook the carrots and potatoes as for Curried Carrot Soup; cook carrots first, for 20 minutes or so: > 2 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into discs > boiling water to cover
2. Set 2 c. or so of the cooked carrots aside for garnishing. To the remaining cooked carrots in the pot, add and cook until potatoes are tender: > 2 lb. potatoes, peeled, cubed
3. Once potatoes are cooked, process the soup just until the potatoes are smooth (over-processing will develop the potato’s gluten, making a “sticky” soup). Blend the following into the pureed potato/carrot mix: > 1/4 c. coconut cream > 2 TBS. curry powder > 1 1/2 tsp. salt
4. Reheat the soup to serve; garnish with: > Reserved cooked, sliced carrots, browned in hot skillet > cilantro or parsley, if desired
Homemade spaghetti and meatballs are quite a crowd pleaser! The homemade sauce for this is made easier by adding tomato paste last; less stirring is required while the sauce reduces. And the meatballs have that sausage-like flavor, without the extra fat and additives that pork sausage typically has. Another convenience: the browned meatballs are put in the oven for 20 minutes to finish cooking. Less minding of the pan, and the meatballs don’t fall apart as some tend to do. Make a full batch of this large recipe and freeze half if necessary; frozen meatballs covered in sauce keep well for 2 or more months. Serves 8 or so.
2 lb. ground beef
2 TBS. minced garlic
2 tsp. dry Italian herbs
1 tsp. dry sage
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. Parmesan
1/4 c. fresh, chopped parsley
6 c. (2 lb.) fine-chopped onion
8-10 garlic cloves (1/4 c.), minced
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. red wine (or 1/2 c. red wine vinegar)
3 lb. carrots
8 oz. can tomato paste
2- 28 oz. cans chunk tomatoes (almost 2 quarts)
1/2 TBS. salt
1/2 TBS. pepper
2 TBS. dry basil
2 lb. dry spaghetti (or less if making some of the meatballs and sauce for the freezer)
1. For the tomato sauce, saute’ in a med. skillet with lid on: > 6 c. (2 lb.) fine-chopped onion > 8-10 garlic cloves (1/4 c.), minced > 1/4 c. olive oil
2. Stir occasionally, over med. high heat. Turn burner down as the onions soften, and remove lid. Next add to the onion skillet: > 1 c. red wine (or 1/2 c. red wine vinegar)
3. Meanwhile, steam (or pressure-cook) carrots until tender, in just a half-inch or so of water: > 3 lb. carrots, chopped coarse
4. Turn the burner up again to let the liquid boil off some, stirring occasionally. Last of all, add the mixture to a large bowl or pot, mixing in the remaining ingredients: > 8 oz. can tomato paste > 2- 28 oz. cans chunk tomatoes (almost 2 quarts) > 1/2 TBS. salt > 1/2 TBS. pepper > 2 TBS. dry basil
5. For meatballs, mix all the meatball ingredients together: > 2 lb. ground beef > 2 TBS. minced garlic > 2 tsp. dry Italian herbs > 1 tsp. dry sage > 1 tsp. black pepper > 2 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted and crushed > Dash nutmeg > 1 1/2 tsp. salt > 1/3 c. oatmeal > 3 eggs > 1/2 c. parmesan > 1/4 c. fresh, chopped parsley
6. Ideally, scoop meatballs w/cookie scoop (or hand-roll). Brown batches of meatballs in large iron skillet. Remove to cookie sheet when browned, continuing with process. When finished browning, bake meatballs in 300 degree oven for 20 minutes to cook thoroughly. Add meatballs to tomato sauce, serve w/cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese. To freeze some of it, store in plastic pint containers (or freezer bags), covered with the tomato sauce.
This pork recipe offers an elegant entrée for special occasions. “Butterflying” the pork loin roast makes it a large, thinner rectangle. It’s then pounded with a meat hammer to further tenderize the meat. The surface is spread with a corn bread stuffing mixture, and cooked at higher oven heat for 10 minutes, then at a quite low temperature for the remainder.
4 c. crumbled Cornbread With Apple Sage (about half a recipe)
3-4 lb. boneless pork loin
2 TBS. fresh, chopped sage (or 1 TBS. dry)
1. Follow the recipe for Corn Bread with Apple and Sage. Set the corn bread aside.
2. To a bowl, add: > 2 eggs > 1/4 c. chicken stock (or water) > 4 c. crumbled Apple Sage Cornbread (about half a recipe)
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare the pork loin. Use: > 3-4 lb. boneless pork loin
4. To butterfly the meat, lay it fat-side down, and make a cut down the long, middle part. Do not cut all the way through! Cut a third of the meat open, as if “unfolding” a three-fold menu, creating a new layer of meat as it opens. Make another cut through the other third of the meat, opening it as if “unfolding” a menu, by cutting through the layer of meat. The goal is to make a somewhat round pork loin into a larger rectangle of meat that’s about an inch or so in thickness. Once it is of rectangular shape, pound with a meat hammer to further even out the thickness (which tenderizes the meat as well).
5. Season the meat; spread lightly with: > 2 TBS. fresh, chopped sage (or 1 TBS. dry)
6. Spread the corn bread stuffing on next, to about an inch from the edges. Roll it up like a jelly-roll, and tie the roast with kitchen string, every 2 inches or so.
7. Cook the roast at 450 degrees for 10 minutes only, then at 250 degrees for 50 minutes or so, until internal temperature reads 140-150 degrees with a meat thermometer.
Let the roast rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes or so. Remove any clunky droppings from the pan; deglaze the pan, adding some chicken stock, if available, to help loosen the flavors stuck to the pan. Remove the twine from the pork; slice 1/2 inches thick, and serve with the “au jus” (drippings from the pan).
When our good buddy invited us to a Superbowl Party at their house, I knew I could make a decent bean dip, so I told her I’d bring it along.
We used to make this pretty killer recipe all the time; we actually used it to make about fifty or so burritos a day. Back in the eighties, when we were silly, we named it a “Mad Mex Burrito” (a play on the movie, “Mad Max”). We’d come up with goofy names for our sandwich labels, and pack up boxes of stuff for health food stores, delivering around the Bay Area.
Ah, those were the days! Our competitors (Wildwood Foods), had a taco named the “Solar Taco”. We didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously, so we named ours, “Nuclear Taco” (with a sub heading that said, “It’s a blast”). It was a little tongue-in-cheek. Maybe we went too far. After all, we were delivering to a fairly tree-hugging community. Someone decided perhaps it was in poor taste. Maybe, but poor taste tasted pretty good!
We re-named the taco.
If you want to know how to make this bean dip, you might look at the Black Bean Chili recipe. It’s basically the same idea, but you sub pinto beans for black beans, and sub chili powder for the other herbs. It can become bean dip, but it can also be used for burritos, or thinned out for a soup. Call it Mad Mex Beans, if you like. Or Nuclear. It is a blast!
There are many versions of the 7-layer salad recipe around, and many people probably have their own favorites. This one is my favorite; the combination of green peas and parmesan go so well together, and the flavors of the finely-chopped veggies layered under it permeate the whole salad.
As a newlywed (almost forty years ago) I’d take this to many get-togethers, where most everyone would be excited about it. Part of the appeal may be that it contains a lot of finely-chopped salad veggies, so you get all the flavor without having to chew forever. I suspect easy-to-chew food is an advantage at social gatherings, as you can spend more time talking, less time chewing! Serves 8.
Iceberg lettuce (1/2 head or more)(yes, you can use Romaine if preferred)
Half of one bunch celery
1-2 green or red peppers
One red onion
10 oz. package frozen peas
1-2 c. Mayonnaise (8-12oz.)
2/3 c. Parmesan cheese (3-4 oz.)
1/2 lb. bacon
1. Hand-slice into fine strips, or use food processor w/ 4mm slicing disc to slice: > Iceberg lettuce (1/2 head or more)
2. Layer lettuce in bottom of a deep glass bowl, preferably one with steep, straight-up sides. A trifle bowl (as shown) is perfect. Otherwise, other glass or pyrex-type dishes will work.
3. In processor, or by hand, fine-chop the following, layering on top of shredded lettuce: > Half of one bunch celery (for first layer) > 2 green or red peppers (for next layer) > One red onion (for next layer)
4. Last, layer on the following: > 10 oz. package frozen peas (they’ll thaw as salad sits) > 1-2 c. Mayonnaise (8-12oz.) dolloped over peas to cover > 2/3 c. Parmesan cheese (3-4 oz.)
5. Assemble ingredients in order given. Can make one day early–the flavors blend nicely this way. Before serving, top with: > 1/2 lb. bacon, fried crisp, drained, cooled and crumbled
6. The bacon can also be cooked the day before. It stays crisp and keeps just fine in the refrigerator overnight. No need to toss the salad before serving; guests can dig in and get salad and dressing all in one scoop.
Though this is a quite textured corn bread, it is gluten-free, which can be a plus. The flavors go well with roasted meats (see Stuffed Pork Loin Roast here).
Use whole grain, organic corn flour from the health food store if possible (as opposed to the standard “degerminated” corn meal). Coconut milk can even substitute for the buttermilk. Maple syrup and frozen apple juice concentrate eliminate the need for refined sugar, while adding extra flavor and moistness.
Serves 4 (if half is used for the stuffed pork dish), or serves 8 as a side dish.
Half of a medium onion (about 3/4 c.)
1/2 c. celery
1 med. apple
2 TBS. fresh chopped sage (or 2 tsp. dry
2 TBS. frozen apple juice concentrate
2 TBS. maple syrup
1/4 c. olive oil
3/4 c. buttermilk (or substitute regular milk w/lemon added, or coconut milk)
1/3 c. golden raisins (Optional)
1 1/2 c. corn flour, not degerminated (found at health food stores)
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1. In a 12″ skillet, grill the following in a dash of olive oil, until translucent, about 10 min.: > Half of a medium onion (about 3/4 c.), chopped > 1/2 c. celery, minced
2. To the cooked onion and celery in pan, add: > 1 med. apple, peeled, cored, and diced (about 1 c.)
3. Cook the apple/onion mix just a minute or so. Turn off heat and add: > 2 TBS. fresh chopped sage (or 2 tsp. dry)
4. In a separate bowl, beat: > 2 eggs
5. Also add to the egg bowl: > 2 TBS. frozen apple juice concentrate > 2 TBS. maple syrup > 1/4 c. olive oil > 3/4 c. buttermilk (or substitute regular milk w/lemon added, or coconut milk) > 1/3 c. golden raisins (optional)
6. Mix the dry ingredients separately: > 1 1/2 c. corn flour, not degerminated (find at health food stores) > 4 tsp. baking powder > 1/4 tsp. salt
7. To the egg bowl, also add: > The grilled mix > The dry ingredients
8. Mix everything up, stirring just until smooth. Add a splash of olive oil to the iron skillet, and pour the batter into the skillet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or so, until golden. Serve warm (or room temperature).
A whole pork loin (about 6-8 lb.) can be cut in half, making it easier to fit into a zip-lock bag for marinating. If starting with a smaller roast, cut down a bit on the marinade ingredients. It may still take up to 1 1/2 hours to cook; a meat thermometer stuck in the middle of the roast should read 155 degrees when it’s done.
There are many ways of cooking the pork loin (longer on low heat, or a shorter time on higher heat); roast it at a steady 325 degrees for a most tender roast. Even for a smaller group, cook up the whole roast (cut in half), and save half for meals later in the week. A 6-lb. pork loin roast will serve 10 or so.
6-8 lb. boneless pork loin roast
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 TBS. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. frozen apple juice concentrate
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. black pepper
handful of fresh sage (or sub less dried)
handful fresh rosemary (or sub less dried)
3-4 fresh apples (optional)
1. Warm in a small bowl in the microwave, 30-60 seconds, until sugar dissolves: > 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar > 2 TBS. sugar > 1 tsp. salt
2. Mix above ingredients until smooth. Add: > 1/4 c. olive oil > 1/4 c. frozen apple juice concentrate > 1/4 tsp. cloves > 1/2 tsp. black pepper > about 1/4 c. total of chopped fresh sage and rosemary (or sub a lesser quantity of dried herbs)
3. Into a zip-lock bag or two, add the meat and the above mixture: > 6-8 lb. boneless pork loin roast, cut in half (or leave whole if using smaller roast) > The marinade mixture
4. Let the pork roast marinate for a day or two. To serve, roast the meat in an iron pan (or other baking dish), with fat side up, at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven to add: > (Optional) 3-4 cored, sliced apples, peeled (if desired)
5. Finish roasting the meat and apples, still at 325 degrees, for 45-50 minutes longer, until meat thermometer reads 155 degrees. Remove from oven, letting meat rest for 15 minutes or so, to reabsorb its juices. Slice, arrange on a platter, and serve.
You don’t have to have a gluten-intolerance to enjoy these cupcakes, adapted from the “Quinoa 365” cookbook. A tasty, nutritious alternative to wheat-based recipes. I actually like these better than regular chocolate cake.
I’ve made these the hard way (creaming the butter, sugar and eggs first), but then found that I could add ingredients one at a time to the blender (or food processor) and save steps. The cocoa powder doesn’t even need sifting. Yay!
A simple “buttercream” frosting, flavored with almond extract, is optional. Makes 36 mini-cupcakes, or 12 standard-size, or two 8” layer cakes.
2/3 c. black quinoa (or substitute red, beige, or mixed)*
1/3 c. yogurt (or substitute milk)
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. olive oil
3/4 c. lightly-packed brown sugar (or palm sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Quinoa contains a bitter element which can be rinsed off. It should always be rinsed, although some recipes don’t mention that. One can also presoak the quinoa overnight. The night before, in quart-sized container, soak: > 2/3 c. quinoa (black or other) > cold water to cover
2. Prepare pans for baking. For cupcakes, use cupcake liners; if those aren’t available, butter the cupcake/tart pans. For cake, butter two round layer pans, adding wax paper rounds to bottom of pans; butter again.
3. After soaking overnight, drain quinoa and cook in saucepan. (*See note below recipe if not pre-soaking quinoa.) Start on high heat, but turn to simmer, cooking for 12-15 minutes: > 2/3 c. quinoa, soaked and drained > 2/3 c. boiling water
4. Let quinoa cool some, then process it until somewhat pureed, in food processor or blender. Add and process again with the yogurt: > The cooked, processed quinoa > 1/3 c. yogurt (or substitute milk)
5. To the processed quinoa/yogurt mixture, add and process until smooth: > 1/2 c. butter, room temperature > 1/4 c. olive oil > 3/4 c. brown sugar (or palm sugar) > 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
6. Add the eggs to the processor/blender, pulsing just until mixed: > 4 eggs
7. Last, add the dry ingredients to the mixture, again pulsing just until smooth: > 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder > 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/4 tsp. salt
8. Divide the batter into one prepared standard-size cupcake tin (making 12), or into three tart-sized (making 36 mini cupcakes). (Or use 2 8” round pans.) Bake in preheated 350 degree oven. Standard-size cupcakes should take 22 minutes; bake minis for about 17 minutes or so (until a tester comes out clean.) (Alternatively, two 8” round layers should bake for 40 minutes or so.)
9. Let cool before unmolding.
1. For frosting, whip together for quite some time in the mixer, until light and fluffy: > 1 stick butter, room temperature > 1/2 tsp. almond extract > Scant 1 c. confectioner’s sugar
2. Frosting can be put into a quart-sized zip-lock bag until ready to frost. To decorate, snip the tip off one of the frosting bag’s corners, squeezing frosting in dollops onto each cupcake. Serve, or freeze for up to several weeks.
* Alternatively, quinoa can be rinsed instead of pre-soaking. In that case, cook in (almost) double the water—1 1/4 c. boiling water to 2/3 c. quinoa
** 2/3 c. uncooked equals 2 c. cooked quinoa, if using pre-cooked quinoa