Saturday, January 31, 2009

FIESTA SOUP

Yup, four weeks into my Biggest Loser thang and some stuff is getting old. Like soup every day or salad every day. Yikes, I need to get out of my salad/soup slump. I guess the fact that we have had chicken soup quite a bit lately didn't help at all. It's good but I need to spice things up a little. So I did.

I basicly used a Chicken Soup base here and did some add ins. The add ins are really what makes this soup shine.

FIESTA SOUP
These vegetables decided to get together, not just for vegetable soup, but for a vegetable party!

6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup carrots, sliced thinly
1/2 cup celery, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup corn
s and p to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup salsa
2-3 ounces per person of deli turkey or chopped poultry

Saute onions, celery and carrots in canola oil. When they have turned transluscent add broth and bay leaf. Cook for 15 minutes. Add corn and cook until the corn is heated through. Divide soup into four bowls, about 1 1/2 cups per bowl. Top with sliced or chopped turkey. Spoon salsa and cilantro over that.
About 300 calories per bowl, depending how much turkey or chicken you use.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

DARING BAKERS: Tuilles

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Baking Soda and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf.
They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

When I saw what this months challenge was, I was very excited. Tuilles (pronounced "twill" from what I understand) are something I have been wanting to make since I saw them on Tartelette's Opera Cake. I had never seen this type of cookie before or at least I didnt realize it. I was also glad to see it would tie in nicely with my daughters birthday cake.


I wasn't real inventive here, coming up with a shape, because I just love the ideas of butterflies. So I made a flower cake. If I had more time, instead of spending it all the gym, I would have made the petals out of cake. Instead I just made the petals out of paper. I topped the cake with the butterflies. The kids loved that they could eat the decoration on the cake, always a bonus for kids.


TUILLES

Following is a recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.

Recipe:
Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

Oven: 180C / 350F

Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.

Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.

If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….

I cut the tuille with cookie cutters as soon as they came out of the oven and put them back in the oven to crisp the up a little.

(I just couldn't resist.)

Go and visit the rest of the Daring Bakers for more ideas and a savory recipe as well. Click here for the blog roll.

Oh, the cake. You can find a recipe for it here. It is an excellent white cake. And the frosting. Well, I thought the frosting that went with it was kind of bland. So I added some lemon zest and a teaspoon or so of lemon juice with mascarpone and folded it into the Italian meringue. OMG. Yup, I loved it. But I guess any kind of dessert would taste stellar to a girl that hasn't really been eating any dessert.

Click this link to go to Bake My Day and this one to go to 1x Umruhren bitte. Thank you to both of you for an amazingly fun challenge.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Muffins to Widdle down the Muffin Top


I am on a muffin kick. Why, because they are a way to satisfy my sweet tooth without eating something I shouldn't. They also make a great on the go breakfast. Eat one with 10 almonds and you have a nice satisfying breakfast that will stay with you a little while.

I will warn you that these are not that sweet. When you haven't been eating sugar you have a heightened sense of sweetness. If you want them sweeter just ad a 1/4 cup more of sugar.

Zucchini Muffins
Lipsmacking Goodness Original

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour or all purpose
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one lemon
1 egg
1 1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded zucchini (if frozen squeeze and use 1 cup squeezed)

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. Combine wet ingredients and pour into dry ingredients. Bake in a 350 F preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Makes 12 regular sized muffins.

Calories 148 per muffin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Feeling snacky?

You just don't know what to have. You want something salty and you don't want to reach for a bag of chips or something that will take away all the hard work you have done so far. What do you reach for? Here are a couple of my favorites.

First, there are these munchable carrots. I just got this pretty cheap mandolin for Christmas. I picked it out, told my Mom thats what I want and she got it for me. Thanks Mom. They retail for about 20 bucks. Not too bad for a mandolin. Anyway it makes incredibly thin slices. Not so great in the matchstick department (but doable). I eat them just like that or I roast them in the microwave. They get nice and crispy and are way better than potato chips. Lots of flavor, lots of body.

Here's how you do it. Lay one piece of papertoweling down on a microwave safe dish. Lay the carrots all around the dish. Its okay to overlap since they shrink quite a bit anyhow. Lay another piece of paper toweling over top. Microwave for about 3 minutes. Keep checking every minute or so because they burn quickly. Once they are done, let them cool and there you have one healthy snack.

The next favorite is really a surprise favorite. It's no surprise that I like popcorn. I eat a lot of popcorn. I make it air popped and oil popped. I do like microwave but I dont like how incredibly salty it is. And it doesnt really have a lot of corny flavor. Now, I have seen a number of blogs that you can make your own microwave popcorn - eh, I didnt quite buy it. I thought I just know this will end in disaster in my kitchen. It will burn, the smoke alarm will go off and it will smell for days in our house of burnt popcorn. But the other day I felt a little brave and decided to give it a try. Surprise, it worked. Here's what I did.

I mixed 1/4 cup popcorn with 1/2 teaspoon of oil in a little bowl. I dumped that into a lunch bag. I opened another lunch bag and enclosed the first bag with the second. So there is no open end. Slide it back and forth a little just to disperse the popcorn around in the bag instead of a little pile in the bag. Microwave until there are about three seconds between pops. Open the bag and salt the popcorn. Whoa, I have to tell you, I think I like the taste of it better than oil popped. Yup! And for a fraction of the oil! Yowzaa. I feel like I struck gold. It's a big deal for me when you find a lower calorie solution that has more flavor. AND it is WAY cheaper.

Okay so those are my favorites. Anyone else have a favorite healthy snack idea?

One more thing, I found these snack ideas from Ellie Krieger on the Food Network. Click here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

African Peanut Stew, done lightly



I have been wanting to make this stew for a while now. I figured it would be off limits as it usually has quite a bit of fat in it from the peanuts. Yes, I know, I could have eaten it and maybe had a quarter of a cup but I always want more, don't we all? Instead here is a version that has been healthified. Usually the soup does not have beef but I have been in need of some iron so you can easily eliminate it and replace with endamame and vegetable broth.

AFRICAN PEANUT STEW


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped (about 1½ cups)
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1¼ cups)
½ cup chopped carrot
½ cup chopped celery
4 garlic cloves, minced
one inch piece of ginger, grated
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 bay leaf
8 cups water or broth
1 lb. of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1½ lbs. of very lean stew beef, chopped into bite sized pieces
¼ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

Saute onions, carrot, celery and pepped over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Add chopped beef and cook until beef is browned.
Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, ginger and bay leaf; cook, uncovered, until tomatoes are slightly reduced. Add broth or water and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 8 minutes. Stir in peanut butter until combined. Cook until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and and chopped peanuts.


No craft today but check out this animal that appeared out of nowhere. I was peeling my sweet potato for the soup and I looked down and saw this. Had to laugh and take a picture to share with all of you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Muffin, A Spot of Tea and a Good Cry

I was blog hopping tonite and I came upon this blog, Wonderings and Wanderings that had this video to share. It was pretty powerful for me and I wanted to share it with all of you. It is about Women and Friendships. A very moving vignette. Grab a cup of tea and a muffin (see below), find a few (five) moments to watch it, uninterupted. click here.

I am offering up this recipe to A Southern Grace's Cinnamon Event. Cinnamon, can you believe it? Ha. If you read her blog you know that she is an avid cinnamon fan. Hey Grace we could call you Cinnamon Girl (music fills my ears).

APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup of chopped apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup skim milk
zest of an orange

Combine dry ingredients, set bowl aside. Combine wet ingredients and mix into the dry. Stir to combine. Pour into muffin tin. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Friday, January 23, 2009

BROWNED BUTTER OAT BARS



These are amazingly flavorful bars. And they are the kind of bar that you can fool yourself into thinking that their healthy. With 2 cups of oatmeal you can make up some good excuses why they are okay to eat when you are trying to lose weight. Just so you know, so far I have successfully avoided that trap. Of course they are only a few hours old. But seriously before I would have eaten at least two by now.

We have company coming tomorrow so there was a good excuse to make them and a good excuse why they need to leave the house tomorrow when my company leaves.

One thing you need to do when you make this recipe is that you really need to brown the butter. Don't just see it starting to turn and remove it from the heat, make sure it has turned golden, you know the color of butterscotch.

BROWNED BUTTER OAT BARS

2 cups oats
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a bowl combine flour, oats, salt and baking soda. Set aside. Measure out brown sugar and set aside. In a large bowl place the butterscotch chips.

In a small sauce pan melt butter until it has browned, turning a deep golden color. It goes from golden to burnt quickly so keep an eye on it. Once it is done whisk it into the butterscotch chips, whisking until it is smooth. Add the brown sugar and then the vanilla. Finally whisk in the egg. Using a rubber spatula stir in half of the flour mixture, combine and add the remaining flour.

Spoon into pan, patting with the back of a rubber spatula to smooth out. Bake for about 20 minutes. The edges should be golden.


JUST try to eat one...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

CHICKEN BURRITO with fire roasted salsa


One of my must do's in the summer is to make fire roasted salsa. Once you have had fire roasted salsa, regular salsa seems somewhat bland. I am not tooting my horn here, it's really just the process of smoking the tomatoes on a grill that makes this salsa stellar. My friends love this salsa, so I make plenty to share. You can scale this recipe back, find these amounts in parentheses.

Lori's Fire Roasted Salsa
Inspiration from Chevy's Restaurant

(10) peck of tomatoes
(1 or 2) 3 or 4 jalapenos (red is better but green works as well)
(1 cup) 5 spanish onions, skins removed
(1/4 cup) 1 bunch of cilantro about 1 cup chopped
(1 teaspoon) 1 tablespoon kosher salt
(2 tablespoons) 1/2 cup distilled vinegar
mesquite or hickory wood chips

Soak wood chips and place a few over a hot fire. Roast the tomatoes, onions and jalapenos. The skin should be blistering and splitting on the tomatoes before you remove them. The more you smoke the veggies the better they taste. Remove the skins off the tomatoes and jalapenos too (if you have the patience). Discard the water from the tomatoes. Place all the smoked vegetables in a large pot, including vinegar and salt and cook for about twenty minutes. Remove from the heat and process in the food processor. Add chopped cilantro.

If you are canning them, pour into sterilized jars with about 1/4 inch head space. Place lids and bands on. Cold pack for thirty minutes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mini Ham Tortillas with Mango Chutney

Want a little something for your snacking pleasure? Bite into this!

I have these HUGE multi grain tortillas that cost me 215 calories to eat. I haven't been eating them. When I do, I usually have a half, but then it looks like a half. I want it to look like a whole, while I make my body a half. Did you follow that?

So out with the wine glass to indent a perfect little circle inside the big circle. It made quite a few. The little scraps I will toast up and sprinkle on some soup or salad. No waste.

Anyway, sprinkle these little tastey bites with some shaved ham and top with a smidge of mango chutney.

MANGO CHUTNEY
Loris Lipsmacking Goodness

6 cups mango, chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
1 cup distilled vinegar
2 cups ganulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon light colored mustard seeds

Stir the sugar into the vinegar and heat in a sauce pan until the sugar has dissolved. Add the remainder of the ingredients and cook over medium heat ( a slow simmer) uncovered until the mixture has dissolved. Stir occassionally, especially towards the end. When the mixture has thickened, it has finished cooking.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Simple Red Cabbage but delicious just the same

I really tried to do this cabbage justice but....

Amazingly, I lost five more pounds. Yeah. Two years ago when I joined Weight Watchers, I lost four my first week and it was a pound or two every week until I hit this major plateau that lasted nine weeks. Nine weeks. Do you know how agonizing that was? I tried everything in that time, more exercise, less food, more food, more protein... I talked to everyone about it. I researched about it. Nothing was budging. I thought I would eat my old way again and I stayed the same. So I stopped the effort. Oh, I still went to the gym, but I wasn't minding my portions. Of course the weight came back on. I had lost 25 pounds and over the past two years, I put it all back on again. It wasn't in vain though.

I learned that going back to your old way of eating and eating for emotional reasons will bring you right back to where you were and even past it!

I learned that pounds are not the only measure of success. These days I am focusing on the pounds of course but also how I feel. Going to the gym every day maybe a huge commitment but it has had big payoffs. I feel so much stronger. I'd even say that I am stronger than when I had lost that 25. I am able to lift heavier weights and I am able to go faster on the rowing machine and the arc trainer.

This recipe here may not be the most fascinating but it packs a huge flavor punch and it has a huge amount of fiber!

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
Based on Cooking Lights recipe

10 cups purple cabbage, chopped
1 onion, sliced lengthwise
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 slices ( 1 oz)prosciutto, chopped
2 apples, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oil in the pan until hot, add onion and prosciutto. Cook until the onion is soft and lightly golden. Add apple and cook two minutes more. Add cabbage and cook for about three minutes. Pour in vinegar and add the spices and salt. Cook until cabbage is soft and tender, about one hour or so.

Calories are 70 calories per cup.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A CRAFT and SOUP: Minestrone for a Crowd

At our birthday party I served some soup and sandwiches. It was nice because it meant that I could spend more time with guests. Who wants to be in the kitchen alone when all the guest are over, um not me.

I have a question for all of you. If there are two people, both heavy, weighing the same amount and having the same amount of activity. Assume all things being equal between them. Person A eats 1500 calories of bad food, refined sugars, flour, processed, etc. Person B eats quality food, vegetables, fruit whole grains, 1500 calories as well, who would lose more weight or would they be about the same? What do you think? Obviously one would be a little healthier.

MINESTRONE SOUP


2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups onions, chopped
2 cups zucchini chopped
2 slices (about an ounce) of prosciutto
4 quarts (16 cups)of tomato juice
4 cups water (depending on how thin or thick your tomato juice is)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil (fresh if possible)
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1 can (2 cups) canneloni beans
1 can (2 cups) garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil and butter along with prosciutto. Saute until the vegetables are golden. Add juice, water, 1 cup each of the beans and spices. Bring to a boil and then simmer for up to an hour. After you get the soup to a simmer stage, in a processor combine garbanzos and canneloni until pureed. Add only enough water to help turn it into a puree. Add to soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Bench Notes:

I have been known to add 1/16 to 1/8 of a teaspoon of cayenne. It gives it a flavor boost without being to overly powerful. It also helps to warm your body on a cold day.

A T-shirt bag. Sew bottom. Shape top into handles with scissors and sew to reinforce. I got all fancy and put the decoration on it. I picture it loaded with greens from the Farmers Market this Spring... Can't wait.

There's a little video on You Tube on how to make one of these with duck tape, no sewing required. Check here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

And the winner is......


I asked my daughter to pick a number from 1 to 23. Maybe that's random, maybe not. She chose 4. So Shelly of This Old Farm, you are the proud new owner of Cooking Light 2009. Yeah!

On with the recipe of the day. Tapenade. It may not look pretty but it sure is tastey. I was looking for a recipe for tapenade the other day and came across Dave Lebovitz's Tapenade. It was different than all the rest. I like the sweet addition of figs to counter the saltiness of the olives. This recipe is a winner. If I had to do it all over again, which I inevitably will, I will add the rosemary.

TAPENADE
based on this recipe from Dave Lebovitz

4 oz Black Mission figs
1/2 of a pound of kalamata olives, pitted
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons parsley
1/4 cup (150 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
black pepper, freshly grated

Rinse the olives in a colander before you begin. In a food processor, place garlic and let run to finely chop garlic. Add parsley and do the same. Add the figs, kalamatas, lemon juice, capers and oil. Pulse in two second intervals. Do not process to much. You want it a little coarse, not a puree.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Italian Chocolate Nut Cake and Hippos

Yup, that's a cake. An amazing cake. Vera, over at Baking Obsession, one amazing baker and creator, made this incredible cake. I so wanted to try it and my daughter's birthday was an excuse to make it. It was for the adults. I made a hippo cake for the kids (see below). If you haven't seen Vera's blog, you seriously need to go check it out. Lots of beautiful creations!

I am seriously okay with having that cake. Usually it would mean at least two days of feeling guilty and overeating. Today, however, it means, I had a piece of cake and tomorrow is another day. And one piece was fine. I packaged up the rest of the cake and sent it home with my parents. It's about learning to eat healthy 99 percent of the time. Right?

I have not forgot about the giveaway. Just a few more hours and I will do the draw. I will let you know tomorrow.

Italian Chocolate Nut Cake
Recipe from Vera over at Baking Obsession

I did make a few minor changes. I did put cannoli cream in between the layers to get it out of my freezer. It was from this recipe here. I had previously used this recipe for a Cassata cake I made.

Makes about 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unblanched or blanched whole toasted almonds
  • ½ cup toasted and skinned whole hazelnuts
  • 7 oz good-quality unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 8 large egg whites (1 cup)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Unsweetened or lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving

Preparation:

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a jelly roll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, grease again.

Combine the almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate, ½ cup of the sugar, and the salt in a food processor and pulse until the nuts and chocolate are very finely chopped but not completely pulverized. Set aside.

In a clean, dry mixer bowl or other large bowl, combine the egg whites with the cream of tartar and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase the speed and gradually add the remaining ½ up sugar, then beat until the meringue forms stiff but not dry peaks. Add one-third of the nut mixture to the meringue, and fold in with a large rubber spatula just until nearly incorporated. Fold in half of the remaining nuts, then fold in the rest of the nuts.

Scrape the batter into the lined pan and spread it evenly. Bake until the cake has risen and is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, or with a little melted chocolate, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold. Cool completely on a rack. Cover or wrap tightly, and store for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Divide into thirds and layer with the cannoli cream or your favorite frosting.

I should have done a practice run. But you know, I was more focused on the gym, than making sweets. That's a good thing. Check here for the how to's of this cake.

My girls are seriously obsessed with hippo's lately. Why? I dunno. They keep singing I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas...

Friday, January 16, 2009

LOW CALORIE DRESSING, HIGH FLAVOR

If you live here in the USA, you know that the North East and North have been in a deep freeze. Today our windchill factor is up to 20 below zero (farenheit). Yup, it's cold. It bites any exposed area of your skin. However, sitting in the car and driving by all the trees with their fresh snow covered limbs sparkling in the sun, was simply beautiful.

Even on this cold day I had a salad. Why? Because I love salad and this salad dressing rocks! It's very low cal. I must say it is very tastey and with only 15 calories per tablespoon, it is a keeper. Without that dressing I can add a tablespoon of chopped, unsalted peanuts.

MISO DRESSING
based on this recipe

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 inch piece of ginger grated
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon miso
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Whisk together (or in a processor) the miso, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger and water. Slowly drizzle in the sesame oil.

This whole recipe is 240 calories. 1 tablespoon is 15 calories.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

SEITAN... not the bad guy, the Vegan food alternative



Whoever thought of the name seitan anyway. Does anyone know where it is derived from? You can read more about it here on Wikipedia but it still does not really explain where the name came from.

Well, I will tell you this about last Sunday's dinner. While everyone enjoyed their ribs (yes, I know I could have had one), I was really enjoying my seitan "rib". It was nice, knowing that I could have more of them and the flavor was really good. So sometimes the fattening choices are not the desirable choices.

Below is an excellent recipe for Seitan that I found this past summer. I did quite a bit of playing around with seitan. This recipe that Fat Free Vegan has is pretty good. I left out the liquid smoke as it stays with me, reminding me of it's flavor over and over again. Ugh.

Seitan, Rib Style
based on this recipe at Fat Free Vegan

1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
any type of barbecue sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish with canola oil. Mix gluten, paprika, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder together. Combine soy sauce and canola oil and mix into the dry ingredients. Once combined, place on the counter and knead for about five minutes.

Place in baking pan and cut into 16 strips. Place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for about 25 minutes.

Remove it from the oven and carefully re-cut each strip. Fry in a pan with barbeque sauce. Or you can grill it. (It's just a little too cold right now for that).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Carrot Orange Bisque

Today my three year old was at Granny's so I had time to set up this shot for the soup. So I asked myself, is this normal to have this grande love affair with food. Ah, probably not but it is one of the most essential things to life isnt it? So I guess if I was going to pick an obsession, this is a pretty good one. But, alas, the times have changed and my focus isnt pastry, it is light. Light done right. This would be one of those light done rights!

In the recipe below I used corriander. Many people dont realize that corriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. It's funny, to me, it has kind of an orangey kind of taste. I thought it would go nicely in this soup.

Carrot Orange Bisque

2 lb. bag of carrots, peeled and cleaned
1 medium onion, chopped
zest and juice of two oranges
pinch of corriander
2 teaspoons canola oil
enough water to cover the carrots by about an inch

Chop carrots into one inch chunks and set aside. In a stock pot saute onion in canola oil until lightly golden. Add carrots and cook one minute more. Add water to cover the carrots plus about an inch. Add corriander, zest and orange juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Once the carrots have become tender, remove from heat and puree in a blender (or with an immersion blender). Serve with a dollop of sour cream or garnish with parsley.
calories 85 per cup.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NEWS AND A GIVEAWAY

365 days after starting my blog, I am so excited to offer a gift for one of my readers. Thank you to all of you who read my blog, especially for the ones who leave comments. Your comments make me smile!

Okay, so much to say today. First, the giveaway. I figured since I am going light (in more ways than one), I ought to give away something light. I bought two of these today, one for me, one for you. I have to say that I have been a big fan of Cooking Light since the late 90's. There are always great recipes inside. Not to mention they have some workout ideas as well. This giveaway does come with a price... ok, all you have to do is tell me about your favorite, savory, light recipe in the comment section. It could be a link, a reference or a description.

And in other news, after 7 hours of cardio and 2 hours of strength, I am happy to report that I got rid of 7 pounds, wah hooooooooo! Thank you for all your support in regards to my weight as well. It will be a long journey but this was ONE BIG step!

UPDATE: Yup, I forgot the date for the announcement of the winner. You have until Saturday at midnight to leave one comment. I will announce the winner Sunday.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Brown Rice Pilaf

We have a lot of rice. By that I mean, I buy it by the 20 lb. bag. Yup, we are not big pasta or potato fans, we are big rice fans. I love rice. Jasmine, sushi, long grain, short grain, whatever, I love rice. However, I am not such a big fan of brown rice. Until today. You see I buy my huge bags of rice at the Asian store we have here locally. Yesterday, while I was there, picking up a bag of barley, I saw the brown rice. I know that I am suppose to have that instead of white rice as it will help me to keep my hunger at bay. I haven't had the heart to buy it, not with all the white rice I already have. Eh, I bought it. Okay, white rice for them, brown rice for me. But today we all had it, my parents included.

If you have never had brown rice, it is a different experience than white rice.

We all like this recipe after we put the vinegar on it. Let me explain, I made a brown rice pilaf of sorts. I figured if I was going to make it, I should pull out the flavors! I chopped some dried apricots, pecans, parsley, etc. I made my pilaf but when it got to the table it was well, kind of blah. I went to the pantry and pulled out some seasoned rice vinegar. I drizzled a teaspoon of it on my rice. Woah. It was really good. Good enough that it made me look forward to having it again tomorrow. My parents followed suit and liked it that way as well. I guess its in the genes.

I found a great write up on How to Cook Brown Rice. It worked like a charm. Check it out here.

Put brown rice and water together in a pot with a lid. Use the ratio of 1.5 cups water to 1 cup rice.

Set the heat to maximum, and bring the rice/water to a boil uncovered. Then put the lid on the pot, and reduce the heat to low/simmer.

Let the rice simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the rice sit in the covered pot for another 10 minutes or more.

Brown Rice Pilaf
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

10 unsulfured dried apricots ( they look awful but taste sensational), chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup parsely, chopped
juice of half of a lemon
4 cups cooked brown rice
seasoned salt
garlic powder
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 cup celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped

Cook brown rice. Set aside. In a small frying pan, saute onions, celery and carrots in olive oil until lightly golden. Pour into a large bowl. Place parsley, chopped pecans and apricots in the bowl as well. Measure out four cups of brown rice and add it to the bowl. Add salt and pepper, garlic and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Drizzle with seasoned rice vinegar.

Calories 250 calories per cup.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Black Bean Chili for a Chilly Day!

With all the squash I have been consuming, I should rename my blog, "Squash Licking Goodness". Did you get a mental picture there? In this recipe I have added it to chili. I am happy to report it was some tastey!

For dinner I had two cups of this chili with an ounce of regular cheddar and a half of a slice of wheat bread. A whopping 460 calories for dinner. That's not bad for a dinner and it was very filling. Some of those instant frozen dinners have about the same amount of calories and they are not nearly as satisfying. And you can freeze this to boot! Package some up in one or two cup servings for a quick go to meal.

Vegetable and Black Bean Chili
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

4 cups black beans (2 cans)
2 cups roasted squash
1 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups salsa or chopped tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons canola oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, minced
1/2 cup chilies, chopped (I used Hungarian Peppers)

Saute onion and pepper in oil. Heat until softened and slightly golden. Add minced garlic, cook one minute more. Add tomatoes, beans, chilis and spices. Cook about twenty minutes ( a little less if you used canned beans). Add squash at the end and heat just until the squash is warmed. Before serving sprinkle with cilantro, green onions and cheese.

Calories per cup (just the chili, no cheese): 150
I generally use Calorie King to figure my food values.

Bench Notes:
If you really want to carmelize your onions do not add garlic until they are almost there. The garlic tends to stick and burn.

I use to use the canned chilis all the time, thinking that is what I HAD to use. Now I realize that the chillis that I roasted and chopped and froze in the summer are really much more flavorful. Try it, you like it!

Creamy Fruit Salad


This dessert was such a treat. It tasted so good, it might have been a piece of cake for how much I enjoyed it. This tastey little indulgence only cost me 180 calories which really was worth it. Knowing I can have it again tomorrow, if I mind my calories, makes me smile. Oh, the little things in life!

Today, I went to Zumba (which is actually yesterday by the time you read this). I have to tell you folks I was seriously bummed when class was over today. I have been going for a while now but it was such a break from my week of cardio machines that I simply loved it. In case you haven't heard of it, it is a dance/aerobic class. Lots of Latin music, Hip Hop and African music to PUMP you up! It's addicting. There are, no lie, about 80 people in our class! It really is infectious. Check out my teacher Shelly here. She is the COOLEST! Sometimes I think I go just to see her funny faces she makes while we all sweat our tushies off (literally).

So I offer up this "recipe" as more of an idea than an actual recipe. I had it once at a restaurant long ago and I just loved it.

Simply mix up some fruit. I used apples and pears. Mix some yogurt (plain) with honey and drizzle over the fruit. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of walnuts. Of course you can add whatever flavors you like. I used vanilla yogurt (low fat/aspertame) on mine and it was about 180 calories for the bowl (1/2 cup pears and apples, 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 tablespoon walnuts).

Friday, January 9, 2009

QUICK TOMATO STEW


Okay, while this is not a very photogenic soup it was tastey and easy. Truth be told, I sometimes am so hungry at dinner that the photo thing gets kind of on the back burner.

You know when I started this weight loss plan of mine I made a decision that I would watch what I was eating and exercise but most importantly it was a decision to be hungry. That is what I HATE about this process. I love working out so that's no problem. I love eating healthy so that's no problem. Although I do like to have my sweets too. But really and truly the real decision was about accepting the hunger and it being okay with me. I think I make this decision on a daily basis. This soup helped with that a lot, it filled me up without stuffing me. I walked away from the table after I ate before my mind had a chance to think about a dessert. That's a new habit of mine. Get up from the table and just walk away! Just walk away....just walk away... mantra...


QUICK TOMATO STEW
Lori's Lipsmacking Original

2 cups marinara
1 carrot
1 onion, chopped in 1/2 inch chunks
2 celery ribs chopped in 1/2 inch chunks
2 cloves of garlic
8 oz. cooked chicken, diced
2 cups cooked kale ( I cooked this seperately just in case there was any bitterness)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Saute the carrots, celery and onion (mirepoix) in oil until just a little tender. Add marinara and cook for about fifteen minutes. Throw in chopped kale. You can water this down to your desired consistency. I probably added about two cups of water.

In a bowl place your chopped chicken and if you so desire some tubetti pasta (which I threw in for DH).
Calories: I used my own tomato juice so I have figured the calories with that in mind. whole recipe 640 calories. If you add the tubetti its 200 calories per cup.

Bench Notes:
If you have these ingredients in your fridge or pantry, which most of you probably will, it will come together very quickly. When you are counting calories or just trying to stay light it helps to have some ready cooked chicken in the fridge. It's so easy to make a meal out of, especially in a hurry.

For the tomato in this soup you really can use anything, watered down marinara, tomato juice or even in a pinch tomato paste reconstituted.

And so funny, thought I'd share this, the kale in this soup was from a fruit bouquet that my brother and sister in law sent her! Thanks guys! Yup, your either saying go girl or your saying eek gats, what are you crazy? Yup.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Coconut Shrimp Soup

I have worked out every day since Sunday, about an hour and a half. Actually, I feel some changes already. I find with my food plan that I am very successful if I plan out what I eat. It gives me a guideline for the day and I pretty much stay within the guideline. It's kind of like a check book. If I know my dinner is going to be 550 calories then I can eat accordingly all day. It's a pain in the neck but others have all said that it really helps you to be more successful.

This was an amazing soup. It had so much flavor! The coconut really jazzed things up. I found that with the carrots and the coconut it was a little too sweet. I added some lemon in to balance that out.

Yesterday when I was eating the last of this soup I threw in some roasted butternut squash. The shrimp and the butternut squash really complimented each other. It was a surprise for me. Next time its going in as part of the soup. (Yes, I still have squash from the fall).

Coconut Shrimp Soup
Lori's Lipsmacking Original
105 calories per cup (There is 1050 calories for the whole pot of soup)

8 cups shrimp broth (I made mine from boiling the shrimp peels in water)
1 pound salad shrimp
juice of half of a lemon
1 cup peas
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic
2 carrots, chopped
2 teaspoons canola oil
4 green onions, chopped
1 can lite coconut milk

Saute carrots and red pepper in canola oil until carrots are crisp/tender. Add garlic, cook one minute more. Add broth and cook for about fifteen minutes. Add peas, coconut milk and shrimps and cook until heated through. Sprinkle chopped green onions over soup when serving.

Stay tuned for my Blog Birthday giveaway...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Moroccan Chicken Salad


I imagine this would be a great salad in the summer but I decided to have it last night. Why? Because I was throwing together a fattening meal for everyone else at my daughters little birthday party. Yup, cake too. You know it was great anyway, even if it was a little chilly.

The picture doesn't show how heaping my plate was. I placed the salad on a bed of iceburg (I like very kind of lettuce there is). So with all the veggies already in it, that plate was heaping, heaping I tell yah! The recipe below is modified for one. Click on the link and you will find servings for more.

MOROCCAN CHICKEN SALAD
recipe source can be found here

3/4 cup rice, cooked
4 oz diced cooked chicken
5 kalamata olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of half of a lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup shredded carrot
(I wished I had cilantro or mint to throw in as well)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Pour over a bed of greens.

Bench Notes:
I imagine you can even make this a heated dish as well. If I make it again while it is cold I will warm it.
I think a tablespoon of raisins in it would be real good as well.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Macarons, Dulce de Leche


I know, you weren't exactly expecting macarons were you. let me explain.

Today is my first day (and by the way, its going great). I have so much support around me, people at the gym, all of you and your supportive comments, my family and friends. What more could I ask for in this journey.

Last night I had my "Four Corner" friends over (our little group, click here to read more). It was my last day on the indulgent wagon and what could be better then going out with a bang- French macarons. I wasn't so bad, I had soup and salad for us and some toasts with brie. So all in all it wasn't too bad for the last day of indulgeville. I figured that it would be self defeating to eat too much. I only have to work it off anyhow. Who would I be fooling?

So here is my thought for the day on this incredible, nonedible journey. "Embrace the journey", here is what I plan to do. I am going to love every part of this journey, the scale, the hunger, the egg whites, the plateaus, the sore muscles. Every hootin' detail of the whole shebang, I am going to love. Why not? It's my beautiful life and I will appreciate it all!

So alas, enjoy these beautiful macarons. A kiss goodbye to them and a kiss hello to a healthier me.
MACARON

  • 125 grams almond flour
  • 225 grams powdered sugar
  • 100 grams egg whites(that have been at room temp for 24 hours)
  • 25 grams sugar

Preheat oven to 300 °F . Combine almond flour and confectioners together in a bowl and stir to combine. In a mixing bowl whip egg whites at medium speed. When they begin to get foamy add the granulated sugar slowly. Beat until the whites form medium-peaks and are glossy.


Fold in your dry ingredients slowly to the meringue. Pipe the batter to a diameter of about an inch. And let rest for 30 minutes before baking. Bake for about 11 minutes or until done, turning the sheets halfway through.



Bench Notes:


I find that my macarons do much better on parchemnt rather than the French baking sheets.

Pans do make a difference (at least for me). Play around a little with what you have. The Chicago Metallic one that I have seems to work the best.



Dulce de Leche Cream

Lori's Lipsmacking Original

8 oz of cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat), room temp

1 can of dulce de leche


Beat them together until they are combined and smooth.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

A CRAFT and SOUP: Curried Apple Squash Soup

So this "going healthy girl" is starting the Biggest Loser Diet tomorrow. I am doing my own program at home. I would love to be on the show, at the ranch. However, even if I could get on the show, I doubt that I could do it because of my children. Who would watch them? So I opted for a program at home. Their "diet" can be found on WebMD. It's fairly sensible.

I will also be doing LOTS 'O' EXERCISE. I consider myself to be the "fittest, fattest person" at the Y. I work out quite regularly. I have been a member of the Y for about three years now. I have always been active. Despite the fact that I am active, I have always been heavy. I won't bore you with all the details but I will tell you that I will soon be doing about three hours a day at the gym.

I also joined SparkPeople, a free online diet spot. It has exercise videos, a place to log cardio, message boards, etc. It's a great site.

I decided to make some low cal soups to eat as snacks or lunches. So I will be doing a soup every Monday and if time permits it will be accompanied by a craft.

Curried Apple Squash Soup
based on a recipe from WW, Great Cooking Every Day
calories 100 per cup, fiber 5 grams, carbs 22g, fat 0g

6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 medium sized onions, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 teaspoons of canola oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder (I used garam masala)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 pounds of roasted squash (you can use it without roasting but it does add a lot of flavor that way)
4 granny smith apples, chopped

Saute onions and celery in canola oil. Once softened add in broth and the remainder of the ingredients. If you did not roast the squash cook until it is softened. If you roasted it, cook for about twenty minutes. Puree, return to pot until ready to serve.

And now the craft that helped keep me out of the kitchen. I was so taken with Kat's creation, you can find it here. Kat is one creative, bright idea girl! Thanks Kat for the inspiration.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stollen and Some News


I have "stollen" a recipe from Jude over at Apple Pie, Patis & Pate. Okay, so I am a little corny, I will admit it.

One of the things I enjoy at Christmas time is Pannetone or Stollen. Either one is fine in my book. Pannetone is light and luscious but takes a great deal of time and planning. Stollen is a similar animal, not quite as fattening but definitely tastey nonetheless. This recipe is no exception. It was very tastey and easy. Instead of taking days to make it took a morning. And there it was, we had it for New Year's. It was nice to have a lighter style dessert. I am "sweeted" out!

Oh, yes, the news, this blog is about to take a major turn. A turn for the light. No, not the tunnel (at least I hope not). Lori's Lipsmacking is about to go healthy. My new goal for this blog is to serve up some majorly tastey, light and healthy food for me and all of you. Food that will make you not even miss the fattening stuff (at least for the most part).

Stollen
taken from this recipe with some minor changes

350g bread flour (about 2 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup sugar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp mace
½ tsp clove
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup raisins
½ cup candied orange peel
2/3 milk
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, plus 2 yolks
2 tbsp dark rum
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Extra melted butter and icing sugar

Combine the white flour, sugar, salt, spices, yeast and fruit in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor.

In a pan, whisk the milk and wheat flour, bring to a boil. The mixture will become very thick. When it has thickened to a porridge like consistency then it is done. Place the butter in the pan with the porridge. It will melt sufficiently in the pan.

Combine this mixture witht he dry mixture, then add eggs, rum and zest.

Knead or use mixer to fully incorporate the mixture. You may need to add a 1/2 cup or so of flour. You should end up with a smooth ball of dough. Let rest for 10 minutes, then knead lightly.

Place dough in a bowl with a little bit of oil, let rise for about 90 minutes. Fold dough over on itself a few times and shape into a form, log or round.

Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on shape used. If you do a round, tent it toward the end of the baking process.

Remove and set aside. When cold, spread all over with a thin layer of melted butter, then a thick layer of icing sugar.



Friday, January 2, 2009

Garlic Leek Soup with saffron


I was intrigued by a recipe that I saw on this site. I saw a show on Create with this Chef Hubert Keller making a spinach cream soup with crab. I thought it looked really good so I went on the internet in search of the recipe. While perusing the site I saw a recipe for Garlic and Saffron Soup.

Have you watched PBS's Create TV? Ever since we got our converter box for regular television, we receive a signal for this really nice channel. We are avid PBS fans so we were thrilled to find out we now had Create and World! We do not have cable, really there isn't any time to watch it anyhow.

GARLIC and LEEK SOUP with saffron
based on this recipe

1 cup leeks
3 heads of garlic, blanched and peeled
2 cups oyster broth
2 cups water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small potato, skinned and diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup half and half
pinch of saffron
1 tomato, chopped
2 green onions, minced

Saute leeks in olive oil until soft. Add garlic, saffron, broth and water. Add potato and s and p. Cook until potato is tender. Puree and return to pot. Pour in half and half and heat until just about to boil. Remove from heat. Ladle into bowls and garnish with tomato and green onions.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

RECIPES TO RIVAL: Appetizers

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May this year be filled with prosperity, good health and peace!

Appetizers- Just in time for New Years!

Oysters were a first for me. I bought six as they are pretty expensive. I steamed them all for easier access. I didnt have a clam knife to try and pry them open. Part of me wanted to try it raw but the other half was worried about its freshness. I steamed them for about nine minutes until they opened. I was thinking before I tried that it would be an awful lot like a clam but it wasn't. It definitely was more "ocean tasting", earthy... Kind of hard to describe. I can see why they would go good with beer.
I wasn't into deep frying so I just wrapped some turkey bacon around them and fried them a little more. They were pretty good that way. I used the broth to make a soup.... more on that tomorrow.

Galatoire’s Oysters en Brochette
Copyright New Orleans Times-Picayune December 21, 2000
Serves 4 as an appetizer or two as main course

12 strips bacon, cut in half
2 dozen oysters, raw
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour
Oil for deep frying
Toast point and lemon wedges for serving

Fry bacon until not quite crisp. Alternate six oysters and six half strips of bacon folded on each of four 8-inch skewers. Make a batter with egg and
milk and season well with salt and pepper. Dip each skewer in batter.
Roll in flour and deep-fry in hot oil until golden. Serve on toast points
with lemon wedges.

Now for the Blue Cheese Pear Crostini...

Easy and simple and so delicious. It packs a major flavor punch. Absolutely yummy. Great for entertaining and I can see why it is a favorite for everybody.
Blue Cheese, Pear and Walnut Crostini:
Hunt County Wines

a baguette, thinly sliced about ½ inch each
olive oil
mascarpone, for spreading (optional)
any type of bleu cheese (gorgonzola, Roquefort, stilton), thinly sliced, or crumbled
freshly hulled walnuts
a few pears, peeled and sliced into small cubes

1. Brush your bread slices with olive oil, line on a baking sheet, then toast in a hot oven for a few minutes until browned and crispy. You can broil them as well, if you prefer.

2. Remove from heat and spread each toast with some mascarpone.

3. Lay blue cheese slices, or spread some crumbles, on each toast and add walnut pieces on top. Return to a 375-400°F oven for a few minutes, just until the cheese is melted.

4. When the cheese is nicely melted, take the crostinis out of the oven and top with a few cubes of pear. Serve soon after.

And finally the
Gougères

These were absolutely delicious. I saved the best for last. My kids, husband and I went crazy for these. They were delicious! A Pop-In-Your-Mouth-Cant-Stop, kind of delicious. The marinara added a nice contrast to the cheese.

Gruyère Cheese Gougères
Copyright 'The French Laundry Cookbook' By Thomas Keller, November, 1999
Makes about 4 dozen gougères

Gougères are a classical preparation often served at wine tastings in France. The puffs are made from a savory pâte á choux, or cream puff dough-flavored here with Gruyère. They are best served hot out of the oven, offering that creamy-dough gratification. Don't add the cheese, and the puff is a base for a dessert.
1 cup water
7 tablespoons (3-1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more to taste
Pinch of sugar
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
4 to 5 large eggs
1-1/4 cups grated Gruyère (5 ounces)
Freshly ground white pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil. Add all the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium, and stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes, or until the mixture forms a ball and the excess moisture has evaporated (if the ball forms more quickly, continue to cook and stir for a full 2 minutes).

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle and beat for about 30 seconds at medium speed to cool slightly. Add 4 eggs and continue to mix until completely combined and the batter has a smooth, silky texture. Stop the machine and lift up the beater to check the consistency of the batter. The batter in the mixing bowl should form a peak with a tip that falls over. If it is too stiff, beat in the white of the remaining egg. Check again and, if necessary, add the yolk. Finally, mix in 3/4 cup of the Gruyère and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch plain pastry tip with the gougère batter. Pipe the batter into 1-tablespoon mounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the gougères as the mixture will spread during baking. Sprinkle the top of each gougère with about 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining grated cheese and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they puff and hold their shape. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. And bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. When the gougères are done, they should be a light golden brown color. When you break one open, it should be hollow; the inside should be cooked but still slightly moist. Remove the pans from the oven and serve the gougères while hot.

To join us for Recipes to Rival, go to Recipes to Rival blogroll for complete instructions. For a detailed account of these recipes and more ideas, go here.
Thank you Temperance of High on the Hog and Jen of Delightful Delicacies. This was a really fun challenge!

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