Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hot Malasadas

Beignets-Fastnachts-Hot Malasadas-Paczkis-King Cake-Tortelli di Carnevale-Pancakes

Hot Malasadas

Depending where you live or your cultural background one of these is probably familiar to you. Fastnacht means "eve of the fast", all of these goodies are a type of fried pastry as you would expect.  Originally it was to use up the sugar, fat, flour the things you wouldn't be needing during the Lenten season.

When we planned our trip for New Orleans we thought we were a week early for Mardi Gras celebrations but since they were hosting the Super bowl they moved the first week of partying back a week.  Lucky for us we got to enjoy the parades with lots of revelry.  The music, food, people, weather it was all great and a nice break from these cold cold days up north.  So when we got back we were ready to watch a super bowl we previously  weren't that into, and more than ready to enjoy Fat Tuesday.  I made these Scallop Po Boys which are always a hit around here and then remembered something I learned to make in Home Ec class back in the mid 70's---Hot Malasadas.  I was living in Hawaii at the time (Air Force Dad made me an Air Force brat----wow googled where that comes from and can't believe I hadn't known).  It comes from the British and the United States adopted it over 200 years ago, it is an acronym for British Regiment Attached Traveler----BRAT.  Yes you learn something new everyday.  Also in searching for that I find out we are a "subculture", like other brats it was the only way of life I knew so didn't think much of it till you raise your own kids and look back.

The Malasadas became popular in Hawaii in 1952 when decendents of early Portuguese immigrants started making them at their bakery Leonard's Bakery still going strong and still family owned.

On to the recipe........this is a quick super simple version but amazingly comes out great.  They must be eaten when you make them so have a crowd around or reduce this recipe they'll still come out fine & the measurements don't need to be exact.

Hot Malasadas

about 6-8 slices White bread (yes it must be white bread)
1 1/2 c Bisquick (hadn't used this in years glad they still make it)
1 t baking powder
1 T sugar
1 egg
3/4 c milk

canola oil for frying
1 c sugar

Combine the Bisquick, powder, 1 T sugar, egg, and milk in a bowl and whisk together with a fork till blended well about pancake consistency.  Trim crusts off white bread and cut each slice into 4 pieces, squares would be traditional.  Using a large shallow frying pan heat oil and prepare a plate with paper towels for draining Malasadas.  Dip bread into batter and place into hot oil, oil must be hot or they will absorb to much oil.  They will fry on one side then carefully flip them and fry the other side, this all happens very quickly.  Remove from oil drain about 1-2 minutes then toss into sugar just to coat.  Some people like a cinnamon sugar mixture on them.  Eat while still warm with a coffee.  You will probably only want one or two they are rich.

The Mississippi River as we flew into New Orleans.

He never looked just kept tossing the dough into the fryer.
Cafe Du Monde
The overload the powdered sugar, the Chikory
coffee was so good.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Brandy Apple Pie

I adapted this recipe I found on Martha Stewarts web site.  It was an award winner from a Pie Contest she was a judge at created by Ron Dube who later appeared on her show to demonstrate it.  I opted for my own regular pie crust, and could not make an apple pie without the usual crumb topping, so the filling is the only part of the recipe I ended up using.

Brandy Apple Pie

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t allspice
pinch of mace
10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1/4 c brandy (if you don't have brandy you can buy a small bottle usually by the checkout                    counter of your liquor store)
1 T vanilla

Crumb topping:

1/4 lb butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c flour
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c oats

Line pie plate with your favorite pie crust recipe or store bought crust.  Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine sugars, flour, cornstarch, and all spices in a bowl and set aside.

Mix brandy and vanilla together, set aside.

Peel and slice apples into large bowl, then drizzle with brandy vanilla mixture tossing to coat.  Sprinkle 3/4 of the sugar mixture over the apples and toss to coat again.  Sprinkle rest of sugar mixture over the bottom of the pie crust.  Place apples on top of this mounding up in the center.

Pulse crumb topping first 3 ingredients in food processor till just combined then add oatmeal and pulse a few times.  Top pie with crumbs.

Bake at 400° covered with a layer of parchment and a layer of foil over that for 1 hour.
Reduce temp to 375° and cook another 40 minutes remove parchment and foil bake another 10 minutes to brown crust.  Adjust your cooking time according to your ovens cooking times.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Nick & Mallory

We traveled down to DC to celebrate an early birthday with Mallory.  We enjoyed dinner at "Ripple" in Cleveland Heights, a visit with Nick, Mallory, their new puppy Darcy and a Blueberry Coffee Cake for birthday cake. This cake has a nice flavor and could be made with whatever berry is in season, a very moist, light cake.
Blueberry (Birthday) Coffee Cake

2 sticks butter, softened
2 c sugar
4 eggs (med-large)
juice & zest of one lemon
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz plain greek yogurt (I used one 6 oz pkg)
fresh blueberries (or berry of your choice)
1 c powdered sugar
2-3 T lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375°, grease & flour tube or bundt pan.  Mix flour, soda, salt & lemon zest.
In mixer bowl cream butter & sugar, add eggs one at a time then add lemon juice.  Add flour and yogurt mix till just blended (don't over mix).  Toss the berries with a little sugar or flour to keep their color from running into the cake then fold them into batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan, reduce oven temp to 325° and bake for about 1 hour check  for toothpick to come out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool about 20 min before removing from pan.  When cool mix 1 c powdered sugar with lemon juice to desired consistency drizzle over cake.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cauliflower, Leek, Blue Cheese Soup

Super healthy, thick, rich, easy, perfect for a cold night.  I made this up as I went along but great way to get your vegetables in even for those who don't think they like cauliflower they'll enjoy this.


1 head cauliflower cleaned and broken into pieces
2 leeks, cleaned & sliced
1 onion sliced & large chop
2-4 c chick broth
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 oz blue cheese crumbled


Place cauliflower onto baking sheet toss with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Roast in 400° oven for 20-30 min or till beginning to brown and softened.  Meanwhile in large sauce pan saute onions and leeks in a small amount of olive oil over low heat till browning begins, remove from pot and set aside.  When cauliflower is done remove from oven place in same sauce pan with 2 c broth using immersion blender blend till creamy (you could leave some chunks if you prefer).  Add back in the onions, leeks stir adding more chicken broth to your desired thickness.  Stir in a few blue cheese crumbles and use rest to top soup, some crunchy onions make a good topping also.  If you like you could add some milk or cream which would also give it a lighter color if you like.  Also I think next time I'll add some chopped celery to the onion mixture when it is sauteing.  

I served it with Scallop Po Boys click here for that recipe.

Banana Muffins

This is a flour and sugar free recipe adapted from multiple recipes which turned out really well.  They rise nicely as they bake but as soon as they are out of the oven they begin to collapse.  The do retain a nice texture, lighter than I would have expected and very moist.  With such a super simple recipe these mix up quickly & bake in about 15 min.  You could change them up with different add ins, I used walnuts, chocolate chips, blueberries, but cranberries, any nuts would be good, diced apples the list is endless.  I also added 1/4 tsp almond extract the last time I made them for a slightly different flavor you could change that up also.  I first saw this recipe here: Fit and Healthy with Debbie she has some great recipes & lots of fitness information.

Banana Muffins


2 1/2 c oats

1 6oz container plain greek yogurt

3 eggs

1/2 c agave syrup (honey works I just prefer agave flavor)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 T ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

2 ripe bananas, cut into slices for better processing


Preheat oven to 400° and prepare muffin pan even if I use paper cups I still lightly spray them with canola oil.

In food processor put dry ingredients oats, powder, soda, ground flax seed, run processor until oats are ground (just a few pulses for my processor).

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well (banana lumps should not be visible)

I place one scoop of batter in each muffin cup paper then place the extras (nuts, chips, blueberries, apples, etc.) I'm using on top of that, fill the cups almost to the top, since they rise well but will deflate I  like the cup full.

Bake for about 15 min depending on your oven.

Batter is more than 12 muffin cups so I fill a ramekin with extra.

deflated right before my eyes