I use extra virgin olive oil and garlic in my mayonnaise (it’s so much healthier than the alternatives), but that means it’s almost “Aioli”. Which sounds so classy. Aioli is an emulsion of garlic and olive oil, sometimes containing egg yolk to help it emulsify.
If the olive oil flavor is too strong, use part coconut oil or refined olive oil, for a milder dressing.
I sabotaged my early efforts at making mayonnaise by using an over-sized mixing container. The food processor did work, as long as I was making deli-sized quantities. But for smaller, home-sized quantities, best results come with using an immersion blender and a narrow, tall container.
Note that, unlike the typical preservative-laden mayonnaise, homemade mayonnaise won’t keep as long. At all. Eat it all now! Or a week or two, for optimum freshness and flavor.
Makes almost a quart
2 TBS. Dijon mustard
3 egg yolks (or 2 whole eggs)
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
2 3/4 c. olive oil, divided
3 TBS. lemon juice (or to taste)
Optional: Chopped herbs and black pepper
In a narrow, tall container, mix well with an immersion blender: > 2 TBS. Dijon mustard > 3 egg yolks > 1/4 c. olive oil > 3 cloves garlic > 2 tsp. salt > 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
Add the next round of oil in very slowly, letting it get emulsified into the mix: > 1/2 c. olive oil
As soon as it thickens, add remaining oil in steady stream: > 2 c. olive oil
When thick, stir in just until smooth: > Chopped herbs and black pepper > 3 TBS. lemon juice (or to taste)
Use this special sauce as a veggie or bread dip, or on seafood, in slaws, potato salad, etc.
I had been pretty disappointed in my earlier attempts at homemade probiotic root beer. I bought all these individual ingredients to make it from scratch, only to realize it would’ve been much easier to just buy natural root beer extract
(or even a root beer blend
But then I started adding “Ginger Bug” to the second ferment of this “root beer”. I discovered this made a pretty authentic, healthy substitute for the typical root beer soda. And now that I have the root beer ingredients on hand, I can make many batches of this extract, for considerably less cost than buying the store-bought extract. And–the blend can be customized to individual tastes.
I finally have a great root beer soda recipe, even though it took awhile. First off, some folks said, “boil the bark for for a long time”, or “pour more boiling water on the strained bark, to extract more flavor and make a second batch.
Nope–that did not work out well. I discovered that the best flavor comes from simmering the first four ingredients for twenty minutes only. I suspect that other less-desirable elements start coming out when it’s simmered for longer. Personal opinion- just sayin’.
This recipe makes 2-3 cups, enough for two or three batches of 32-oz. brew. The extra can be stored in refrigerator for several months.
This was a popular thirty-some years back, when we first opened the deli. It still goes over well when I bring it to a potluck. One nice feature: it uses ingredients I usually have on hand–carrots and frozen peas. They give it color, and the sunflower seeds and pine nuts add a nice crunch.
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta. Rice could also be substituted for the pasta, making it gluten-free.
Serves 6-8 or so.
8 oz. orzo
Splash olive oil
3/4 lb. carrots, peeled
1/4 c. mayo
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 TBS. rubbed, dry Italian herbs
Half bag (12 oz. size) green peas, frozen, thawed
2/3 c. sunflower seeds
1/3 c. pine nuts
Cook: > 8 oz. orzo
Drain and rinse pasta; let cool. Toss cooled pasta with: > splash olive oil
Steam or microwave until tender, then dice when cooled. Use: > 3/4 lb. carrots
In bowl, mix well: > 1/4 c. mayo > 1/2 tsp. pepper > 2 tsp. Vege-Sal > 1/2 TBS. rubbed, dry Italian herbs > pinch cayenne
Mix all ingredients in bowl, adding: > 12 oz. green peas, frozen, thawed > cooked, diced carrots > cooled pasta > 2/3 c. sunflower seeds > 1/3 c. pine nuts
Like a lot of health-foodies, I got into making my own golden milk. I also created a blend for the morning, which includes matcha green tea, gelatin, and some serious power herbs. (The benefits of these herbs are impressive, as a quick word-search will prove!)
This recipe is not the one you stir together in the evening, in some “relaxing” ritual. (I don’t have time for that myself!) No, this is a quick, handy version, to get optimal nourishment in minimal time, Perfect for those of us who need to stay healthy and keep up with a tight, rigorous routine.
Every morning, I whirl up a hot drink for husband Tom and I in the blender. I use a scant 1-oz. scoop of this Golden Milk AM blend, plus about 2 TBS. “bullet-proof coco-nut milk” (or coconut cream or oil), for two drinks. I fresh-grate some black pepper on top, since it works synergistically with the turmeric.
Oh, I also add a raw egg (yes, I sometimes feel like Rocky Balboa). But it’s delicious!
You can leave some of these items out. Or you could do like me and invest in these bulk herbs. After researching their benefits, I invested, and have been glad I did!
This particular recipe yields almost a quart of concentrated blend, and will make about 40 drinks.
My mom subscribed to Sunset and Bon Appetit magazines for years (back in the seventies and eighties), and was inspired to make fancy cakes like this, found among the pages. I made the cake again, some fifteen or more years ago, for our oldest son’s birthday. I guess it made quite an impression–he recently asked if I could make it again. I had to do some serious file-digging to turn it up, but I found it. We really enjoyed this birthday cake!
I originally made this cake with cake flour. Well, I don’t make too many cakes, so the next time I went to use it, ew–it had bugs in it! So…I’m much happier with the alternative: using less regular flour and adding a bit of cornstarch. That brings the protein level to that of cake flour, and makes quite a light cake in the process.
Serves 12 or so.
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. corn starch
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar (.96 lb.)
1 c. butter (.50 lb.)
1 TBS. lemon peel
4 large eggs
Scant 2 TBS. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. room-temperature buttermilk
2 TBS. poppy seeds
3/4 c. sugar (.37 lb.)
3 TBS. lemon juice
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
3 c. cream, whipped
2 pt. fresh strawberries
Optional: White chocolate curls or leaves*
Use 10″ spring form pan; line the bottom with a circle of buttered wax paper.
Mix and set aside: > 2 1/2 c. flour > 1/3 c. corn starch > 2 tsp. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/2 tsp. salt
In stand mixer, beat until light: > 2 c. sugar > 1 c. butter
Add one at a time: > 4 large eggs
Also add: > scant 2 TBS. lemon juice > 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Bake 50-60 minutes at 375 degrees, until toothpick comes out clean.
White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
The sugar-lemon-egg mixture can be done pretty quickly in the microwave, or use a double-boiler. First, heat sugar and lemon juice until bubbly: > 3/4 c. sugar (.37 lb.) > 3 TBS. lemon juice
In a separate bowl, beat well: > 2 eggs
Pour the hot sugar-lemon mix into the beaten eggs, stirring well.
Microwave about three times, at about 11 seconds per time, stirring well afterward, until mixture thickens. Or, stir constantly while heating gently in a double boiler until thickened.
When eggs have thickened the mix, add: > 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
Stir until chocolate’s incorporated, then let cool.
Fold cooled mixture into the following: > 3 c. cream, whipped
Cut cake into 3 layers, using buttercream and strawberry halves between layers. Optional—garnish with: > White chocolate curls or leaves, plus any additional strawberries
* If cake flour is on hand, use 3 c. cake flour, sifted (.75 lb.), omitting the all-purpose flour and the corn starch
* For chocolate leaves, microwave a half cup or more of chocolate for a minute or so, until melted when stirred. Then, paint the undersides of lemon leaves with the chocolate; refrigerate on wax paper until firm. Gently peel leaf away from chocolate.
My husband says a cake can use a fancy name, to distinguish it from any average cake. Of course, a good recipe helps too!
There are a lot of recipes for this type of cake, but I wanted one that wouldn’t leave me with pools of leftover Tres-Leches liquid. Yes, we managed to gag down the extra liquid the first time, when I had to leave some of the mix out to avoid an over-soggy cake. (We had some especially-good coffees.) But I didn’t want to make a habit of that!
I discovered I could sub coconut manna (found on Amazon here), for the evaporated milk–the cake had just the right consistency. (But I’ve also included directions for using the traditional ingredients too, sans coconut.)
I made this cake yesterday for a going-away party for two of our New Deli staff. I topped it with chocolate leaves, writing on it, “So sorry you have to leave”. That was fun!
Serves 12 or so.
4 eggs, divided
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. + 1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 TBS. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. whole milk
1 can sweetened, condensed milk
1 c. + 1 c. cream
1/2 c. coconut manna (ie “spread”, “manna”, “concentrate”, “butter”)*
Optional: 14-oz. can evaporated milk to sub for coconut manna
1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
Optional: maraschino cherries
Beat to soft peaks: > 4 egg whites
Add slowly, beating until stiff: > 1 1/2 c. sugar
Lower speed and mix egg yolks in one at a time, plus the vanilla: > 4 egg yolks > 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix dry ingredients together: > 1 1/2 c. flour > 1 TBS. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. salt
Slowly add the dry ingredient mix to the whipped egg mix, alternately with the milk: > 1/2 c. whole milk
Bake in buttered, floured 13×9″ (or 2- 9″rounds), at 350 for 30 minutes
Prepare the “three-milk mix”, stirring until smooth: > 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk > 1 c. cream > 1/2 c. melted coconut manna* (see directions below to sub evaporated milk for the coconut milk
Pour the mixture over the cake after it has cooled a few minutes. For that, poke holes in the cake with fork tines, and pour the three-milk mix over it. Loosen edges of cake as needed, for mix to flow everywhere.
Let cake soak for hours or overnight.
To frost, whip cream with the sugar until light. (For a layer cake, use double these amounts). Whip: > 1 c. cream > 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar > 1 tsp. vanilla
Frost cake with whipped cream frosting. Traditionally, maraschino cherries might garnish the top, or festive, colored sprinkles. I’ve used candied citrus peel—also very good!
Chocolate Leaves worked well to decorate our going-away cake!
* Or sub 12-oz. can evaporated milk (the traditional ingredient), boiling the evaporated milk and cream down to about a third (1 1/3 c. volume or so)
For our first granddaughter’s first birthday, my daughter-in-law and I made this cake. Everything went fairly well except that the cocoa powder was especially stiff; it did not want to break up, so the cake had teeny little cocoa balls in it! Not what we were going for, but it was still delicious.
This dessert uses the “Chocolate Sponge Cake” (recipe here). The frosting is made with “Crème Fraiche”, which is a fancy name for cream that’s been allowed to “mellow”. This adds a touch more flavor—delicious!
So, the cake and flavored layers are pretty fancy, but decorating the cake can go fast if you use something like real roses (or other edible flowers). Beautiful and easy.
1 qt. whipping cream
1/4 c. buttermilk
Chocolate Génoise Cake (see recipe)
1/3 c. seedless raspberry jam
1/3 c. Frozen Raspberry/White Grape Juice Concentrate
Process dry, blanched almonds until smooth. To processor, add: > 2 egg whites
Process until fairly smooth. Add: > 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar > 1/2 TBS. almond extract
Set almond paste aside.
Prepare chocolate mousse filling, and frosting for cake. For that, microwave 30 seconds or so, and stir until melted: > 1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips > 1/4 c. water
Set the melted chocolate mixture aside and let cool off some. Meanwhile, whip just until soft peaks form: > 6 1/3 c. chilled Crème Fraiche (or substitute straight whipping cream)
To prepare the Chocolate Mousse, fold into the cooled chocolate mixture: > Approx. 1-2 c. of the above whipped Crème Fraiche.
Meanwhile, to the rest of the whipped Crème Fraiche add: > 11/2 c. Confectioner’s sugar > 1 1/2 TBS. vanilla
Set the frosting aside.
Split the sponge cake into three layers using serrated knife, setting the first layer (cut-side up) on a cardboard cake square (or flat, square plate). Set the other two layers on wax paper, cut side up. Drizzle the raspberry mixture over the cut side of all three layers.
For the first layer, after adding the raspberry mixture, add about half of the chocolate mousse mixture. Next, add half the Almond Paste, rolled out into a 9″ square (or whatever shape the cake is). Roll it between two layers of plastic wrap, then lift onto the cake, pulling the top half of the plastic wrap off afterwards.
For the next layer, carefully set the middle layer of cake drizzled with raspberry syrup, on top of first layer of cake, raspberry, and almond paste. Add the other half of the chocolate mousse mixture. Also, add the second half of the almond paste, again rolled into a 9″ square.
Finally, lift the top layer of cake (raspberry side down) onto the other two layers.
Frost the cake with the Whipped Crème Fraiche/Confectioner’s sugar mixture. Decorate accordingly. Can make a day ahead.
*For home-blanched almonds, dry them thouroughly before processing, for a smoother almond paste.
Turmeric! It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and about ten other things. Basically, the answer for everything. (OK, maybe we can’t go that far…) It’s gone mainstream, too. I just saw “Golden Milk Powder” samples featured on display at a local store. But the product had dextrose and other weird ingredients in it and it was pricier, so I’ll continue to make my own. Mine is higher quality, even if it is a little more time-consuming.
Most golden milk formulas include a few particulars. Like, black pepper and Ceylon cinnamon (the best of the various cinnamon varieties), which work synergistically with turmeric to increase absorption of nutrients.
Once I’ve made a batch of Golden Milk Paste, I like to blend it with some “Nut Milk, Bullet-Style” (same idea as “bullet coffee”). Adding coconut and butter to the golden milk helps sustain good energy levels; the healthy fats level out sugar levels.
Heating the turmeric mix helps bring out more of the healing qualities, hence the method. This mix keeps two weeks, refrigerated, so freeze some of it (or make a half recipe) if not making several drinks of it daily. Makes about 10 ounces of concentrated paste, for quite a few drinks.
2 TBS. fresh ginger, sliced thin
1 tsp. or so fresh black pepper (grated or whole peppercorns)
1/4 c. turmeric root, sliced thin (or sub powder)
2 TBS. Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne
Optional: 1/4 c. honey
1 1/2 c. boiling water
Per serving: Milk of choice (dairy, coconut, etc.)
To make “golden milk paste”, mix the first six ingredients in a small pot. Use: > 2 TBS. fresh ginger, sliced thin > 1 tsp. or so fresh black pepper (grated or whole) > 1/4 c. turmeric, sliced thin (or substitute powdered) > 2 TBS. Ceylon cinnamon > 1/2 tsp. cayenne
Slowly stir in the boiling water and simmer for 10-20 minutes, to get the flavor out.
Let pot cool some. Optional: Stir in the honey, if desired, using: > 1/4 c. honey
Stored in glass jar in refrigerator, this will keep for two weeks or more. Or, freeze some of it, to prolong shelf life.
I have an older post about Brazil Bark, which gives nutritional reasons for this concoction. But by now, “bullet-proof” coffee, tea and smoothies has kind of gone main-stream…an explanation is hardly required. If you haven’t heard yet, the idea is that adding pastured-butter, plus maybe some coconut (or MCT) oil to various beverages, can help boost energy, suppress appetite, and help regulate blood sugar.
I like to melt a pound or so of butter with an equal amount of coconut spread (AKA coconut manna, coconut butter, etc.). Some folks would rather substitute coconut oil or MCT oil. That’s your choice! I personally am big on whole foods, so I figure, why not throw the whole, ground-up coconut into the mix, fiber and all?
I also add my favorite blend of nuts (or whatever’s available). I like to add macadamias, since they’re lower in polyunsaturated fats (which are inflammatory). Brazil nuts have selenium, so I add some of those too.
Oh dear- sounds like I’ve got off on the nutrition tangent once again. I was intending to just post this “bullet-proof nut milk” recipe. Did I go too far?!
Here goes- an easy way to make a big batch of nut-milk-bark, which will keep for a month or so in the fridge. Just add boiling water to several chunks of this, to make a thick “nut milk cream”. It’ll blend smoother when mixed with the boiling water, making it easier to add to hot drinks and/or smoothies. A jar of the pureed nut milk cream blend will keep for about a week.
1 lb. (or one 15-oz. jar) coconut spread (or “coconut manna“, coconut cream concentrate, or coconut butter, which are all 100% coconut meat, ground to a puree)
1 lb. butter (grass-fed, like Kerry Gold. “Organic” is not necessarily grass-fed)
3/4 lb. nuts (macadamias, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, or a mix)
To get hardened coconut cream out of the jar, set the jar on a folded cloth in a small pot of hot water. Let it warm gently on low heat.
Mix the softened coconut butter with the butter in a small pot, until melted. Use: > 1 lb. butter, melted > 1 15-oz. jar coconut spread, softened
Last, stir in: > 3/4 lb. nuts of choice
Cover a cookie sheet or large pan that has edges, with parchment or heavy-duty foil. Pour mixture into lined pan; refrigerate overnight.
Next day, break bark into pieces and store in glass jar. (Or leave on the foil, to break up as needed.) Refrigerate.
To make the nut milk concentrate, blend several big chunks with enough boiling water to process, in the blender. Mix until smooth. The refrigerated blend will last a week, although the “bark” will keep a few months in refrigerator. Use in smoothies or hot drinks as needed. It makes “smoother smoothies” this way!
I love having some preserved veggies on hand. They can give a more boring dish a savory, salty, tangy kick. Sauerkraut or kimchi can serve as a garnish, or a last-minute addition to stir-fries or soups. And, of course the probiotics in the fermented veggies are so good for the gut.
Some folks shy away from the saltiness of fermented foods, but salt is a natural preservative. One might use as little as 3 TBS. salt per 5 lb. of veggies, but it’s best to not go lower than that.
The recipe below is a loose guideline. You can change up the spices, or add some shredded beets or carrots as well. It’s best to use a larger proportion of cabbage, since it has the most fermentable properties. Note that veggies like onion, garlic and peppers are better used in small quantities, for seasoning, due to their low acidity. Makes 1 qt.
2 lb. total of veggies (1 head cabbage, plus some carrots and/or beets if desired)
scant 2 TBS. salt, non-iodized (about .10 lb.; a scant half ounce of salt per pound of produce)
optional: garlic, spices, caraway seed, pepper flakes, ginger, curry, etc.
optional: kimchi-style ingredients (fish sauce or kelp powder, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, green onion, etc.)
Fine-slice the cabbage. If using carrots or beets, grate those. If a Korean-style kimchi is desired, use napa cabbage! Use: > 2 lb. total (approx.), of cabbage (including a small amount of carrot, beet, or onion, if desired)
Add the prepped veggies to a large bowl and toss with the salt and any other seasonings of choice. Use: > scant 2 TBS. salt > optional garlic, caraway seed, ginger, pepper flakes, etc.
The mixture will soften up after twenty minutes or so, creating its own juices as well. Then add to a quart jar, pressing in to fit. The vegetables should be pressed down enough that they are submerged in the liquid.
Cover the jar with a coffee filter or a cloth and let sit on counter for about 5 days. Check the jar daily to be sure the vegetables are covered with the juice. If they float to the top, press them down again.
After 5 days or so (this depends on the room temperature), the veggies should be fermented. It will taste fermented! Put a lid on them and refrigerate. Will keep for months.