May 28, 2015

Homemade Tiramisu

Originally posted in June, 2007 - I am traveling and not doing much cooking of my own so this morning I'm posting a recipe from June 2007!  

Just in time for Father's Day... which is what my husband is going to be surprised with this morning when he wakes. Authentic Tiramisu.

Incredible Tiramisu

1 lb. mascarpone cheese
6 eggs, separated
2 packages Ladyfingers
4 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla
2 oz. brandy
8 espresso's (2 pots of the 4 cup Melitta Espresso maker I mentioned above)
3 T cocoa (approximately)

Bring all ingredients to room temperature for easier whipping. When you make the espresso pour it into a flat bottomed container (not a bowl) and add 1 oz. brandy and 1 t of the cocoa.

In your mixing bowl mix the egg yolks and sugar until it's creamy, pale yellow and thick. Add 1 oz. brandy and the mascarpone cheese. Continue beating until blended and smooth. In another bowl beat the egg whites and vanilla until light and quadrupled in size. They will hold their shape when you lift the beaters. Fold the beaten egg whites into the mascarpone mixture. Do not over mix and do not use an electric mixer or you will ruin it. Fold by hand until blended and light. 

Dip each of the lady finger cookies quickly into the espresso and place in the bottom of a 9X13 dish. Place sugar side down and cover the bottom. (Do not let the cookie sit in the espresso. Just dip and remove.) When the bottom is covered, add a layer of the mascarpone about one centimeter in hight. Add another layer of dipped ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. Top it off by sprinkling the top of the dessert with cocoa to cover. Refrigerate overnight.

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May 23, 2015

Beer Margarita's! Frozen and Non-Frozen Versions

Re-post from 2013

I've posted both these recipes in past years, but I've never put both of them in the same post even though they are for two versions of a very similar drink.

I rarely drink because I simply don't like the taste of alcohol.  The one drink I will enjoy once in a great while is a frozen margarita.  When it comes to Margarita's, you can find a vast array of flavors and a rainbow of colors as it's a fun drink to play with and improvise with fruits and flavors, however, a couple years ago, BEER MARGARITAS became the 'next big thing' in summer backyard bbq's and get-togethers.

Here are two versions.  The first is a frozen concoction using crushed ice and the second is a quick and easy stir and serve version.  Both have gotten rave reviews from readers in years past.

Beer Margarita's

1 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 cup tequila
1/2 cup orange liqueur (like Triple Sec)
Crushed ice
1/2 to 1 cup cold beer

Stir together first 3 ingredients until well blended. Fill 4 medium glasses with crushed ice. Pour limeade mixture evenly into glasses. Add beer to taste.

Three ingredient Beer Margarita's

1 can of frozen Limeade
beer - bottle or can

Pour the Limeade into a pitcher.  Fill the empty can with Tequila and add to the pitcher.  Pour in one cold beer.   Stir, serve.

You might also be interested in;

Libbey Colors Margarita Glass Set, 4-Piece
1 Gross (144) of Cocktail Umbrellas for Your Tiki Drinks
Libbey 5786YS6 7-Piece Yucatan Margarita Pitcher with Glass Set, Clear
Ass Kickin' Margarita Drink Mix Gift Set

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Cucumber Margarita

A re-post from Memorial Day Weekend 2009

Reading through my emails I saw the latest e-newsletter from one of my favorite sites and a special section on great summer drinks. Since my husband and I rarely drink, when we entertain we are sadly naive when it comes to 'fun' drinks to serve. When I saw the name of this drink I had a brief second of "oh, ew? Really?" followed by interest and I admit, I'm intrigued! See if you are; Cucumber Margarita's.

I know!!!

Crazy isn't it? This one is from Coastal Living, back in September of 2005 but by golly I was surely going to copy it down to my collections to make this summer. What do you think?

Cucumber Margarita
Makes 4 servings

12 slices fresh cucumber
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
4 ounces (1/2 cup) Cointreau
6 ounces (3/4 cup) tequila reposado
6 cups ice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
Lime slices

Combine cucumber and next 4 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Pour into glasses. Top each serving with a tablespoon of Grand Marnier, and garnish with lime. Print Friendly and PDF

Spiked Lemonade

Re-post from Memorial Weekend, 2009!

We've been on a summer margarita kick for the past couple weeks but this one is just too good and too popular of a drink to not include; Spiked Lemonade! Always a favorite for adults at backyard bbq's or poolside it's cold, refreshing and flavorful while providing a little 'kick'.

Spiked Lemonade

2 cups lemon-flavored sparkling water or club soda, chilled
1/2 cup citrus-flavored vodka, chilled
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange liqueur
Ice, crushed
Garnish- lemon slices

Mix everything but the ice and lemon slices in a large pitcher. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish each serving with a lemon slice, if desired. Print Friendly and PDF

Summer Drinks for your Backyard Get Togethers: Mango Mimosa's, Sour Apple Martini's and Mojito's

This is a re-post from Memorial Weekend - 2012

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend in the USA and the unofficial start of summer parties, gatherings, bbq's, wedding showers, friends and more.  There are some social drinks that go perfectly with the warmer summer weather and these are three of them.  Mimosa's, Sour Apple Martini's and Mojito's.  The difference in this mimosa is that it's made with my personal favorite fruit; mangoes.  

I've had these drink recipes sitting in my personal files for about 5 years already and realized I've never posted them.  Well, here they are!   

Note that you will see one calls for simple syrup.  This is just a mixture of 2 cups sugar in 1 cup boiling water.  Let it cool completely (you can even keep it in your refrigerator if you enjoy these drinks often).   The recipes are for individual sized portions so adjust accordingly to as many as you want to make.

Mango Mimosa

Heavy splash  (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) of mango puree or nectar
Heavy splash of simple syrup
Heavy splash of peach schnapps
1 c  Champagne, chilled

Combine mango puree, syrup and schnapps in a champagne flute; stir. Top with Champagne. Garnish with a small piece of mango if you wish.

Sour Apple Martini

1/4 c vodka
3 T sour-apple schnapps
Splash melon liqueur
Splash of fresh lime juice
A thin Granny Smith apple slice to garnish

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake 1/2 minute, until ice crystals form; strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish.


4 mint sprigs
6 thin wedges of a lime
1 t  sugar - superfine
1/4 c light rum
Chilled club soda
Mint sprig and lime slice, for garnish

Put 4 mint sprigs in tall glass with lime pieces and sugar. Using wooden spoon, mash mixture to release oil from sprigs and press out lime juice. Add rum; stir until sugar is dissolved. Add ice cubes. Top with club soda. Garnish.

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May 20, 2015

Homemade Almond Breakfast Rolls - (Like a Cinnamon Roll but... Almond!)

A couple weeks ago I was going to make a batch of Orange Breakfast Rolls but just make them with my regular bread dough.  I got the ingredients to the dough out and had left the pantry door in my kitchen open.  As I rested my backside against the kitchen counter, I looked over at my pantry and was mindlessly scanning the shelves.  When I saw a can of Almond Paste on the shelf, I suddenly had a brainstorm.

Almond Breakfast Rolls!

I love the Dutch Pastry Letters I make - the flaky pastry with that incredible almond filling.  What if I made my regular dough for cinnamon rolls but used the filling to the Dutch Pastries as my filling?

So that day I made two batches of rolls; one cinnamon and one almond.  You will also see in my photos that I make them in disposable pans.  I like to make double batches of things and freeze them.  I buy steam pans with lids from Sam's Club or Costco and use them not only to make and freeze meals and desserts ahead of time, but also to bake things like lasagna, that can be messy and hard to clean.  If I bake in a regular pan, I will line them with parchment paper.

I have a few different dough recipes posted on An American Housewife - most of the time I'm lazy and don't want to have to think or even read a recipe, so I use my 'fall back' bread dough recipe that I use for almost anything (bread, rolls, garlic bread, hamburger buns, cinnamon rolls).

Here is the dough to the Orange Rolls that inspired this recipe;

1 pk. dry yeast (about 2 1/4 t)
3/4 c warm water
1/3 c sugar
1 t salt
1/3 c oil
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 c evaporated milk
4 - 4 1/2 c flour

Dissolve yeast in the water in a bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and knead either by hand or with the dough hook of your electric mixer.  Use more or less flour so the dough is the right consistency and not too sticky or wet.  Knead about 5 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, cover and let raise until doubled.  Punch down. 

OR this fall back basic dough recipe: 

Classic Homemade Bread or Rolls

12 oz. water, warm
1 1/2 t salt
2 T butter
4 c bread flour
2 T dry milk
2 T sugar
1 3/4 t yeast, dry

Put in your bread machine or your mixer bowl in this order.  Use the dough setting in a bread machine.  If using your stand mixer, use the bread dough hook.  Knead for about 5-8 minutes.  Let rest to raise.  Take it out of the bowl, turn it out and make your bread, rolls, buns from it.  Let them raise until double in height.

When you make your filling you can make it LESS sweet by adjusting the sugar or natural sweeteners you use.  This is a very sweet filling and I would suggest 1/4 c and 1/4 c if you are like me and don't like things too sugary.  Or use a natural sweetener like I do - either Ideal or Just Like Sugar.

Almond filling from my Dutch Letters recipe

8 oz. almond paste
1 egg, separated
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 t molasses
1 t vanilla extract

TO MAKE:  Roll dough out on parchment paper or a floured surface to form a large rectangle.  Aim for about 16-18 inches across and 12-15 wide.

Spread the almond filling on the dough, leaving about an inch free on one of the long ends to form a seal when you roll it up.

Roll up the long way.  Pinch the edge to seal.  Slice into 1 inch slices and place in a heavily greased baking pan or even muffin tins.  Cover and let raise in a warm place until double in size (about 1-3 hours).  Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes until center rolls are done.  If you want to make them ahead and freeze; let rise about 1 hour and then cover and place in the deep freeze.  When you want to use them, remove from the freezer, let thaw and then let them raise about 1-2 hours past thawing until they double in size.  Bake as directed or until golden brown and done in the center.

I always replace some of my flour with whole wheat flour so that is why you can see little wheat specks

An action shot. My bread machine spinning and kneading

Almond paste is sometimes hard to find. Look for it by the pie fillings - either in a can or sometimes in a little wrapped package

My almond filling all ready to spread. If you can't find almond paste I've linked to it on Amazon below this post

Rolling out the dough

All ready to slice

Going into the deep freeze in my steamer disposable pans

Ready to be baked!

You might also be interested in related products;

Nordic Ware Classic Metal 9x13 Covered Cake Pan
Solo Almond Paste, 8-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)
9 X 13 Half Size Deep Foil Steam Pans with Lids 30 Pack
Beyond Gourmet Unbleached Parchment Paper, 71-Square Foot Roll
Oster  2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker, White
KitchenAid 4.5-Qt. Classic Plus Stand Mixer



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May 19, 2015

Making a Triple Batch of Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder Today!

I've posted this a couple times already... but mmm my house smells so good when I make this and I just had to post again.  Aren't these colors so yummy looking!?  Don't taste it though!  It's a mixture of grated Fels Naptha and Zote!

 I make a double or triple batch at a time and like to mix the two brands soaps.  The two scents together smell awesome, but I have used essential oils, Downey fabric scent pellets, and the new little Snuggle fabric scent packs (they just recently came out with - I used a knife to cut them open and added about 15 to a double batch but I honestly think this laundry detergent smells best on it's own!).

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 bar either Fels Naptha or Zote laundry soap (bar form)
1 c Arm & Hammer WASHING soda
1 c 20 Mule Team Borax
1 c Oxi-Clean (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons essential oil in your favorite scent (optional)
1 container to store it

Grate the soap bar into a large bowl with a hand grater or use a food processor. Fels Naptha tends to be harder to grate and is worth using a food processor or salad shooter with the shred disc.  Zote is easily grated by hand as it's far softer.  When grated, add 1 cup each of the Oxi-clean, washing soda and Borax. Add oil to scent if you are using - we like our laundry to smell wonderful so I use about cap full.

You can use the mixture as it is, I suggest making a fine powder of it to ensure it's mixed equally all the way through, and is quickly and easily disintegrated in the laundry.  If you only have a blender:  Put 1 cup at a time through your blender and blend smooth. Only do 1 cup as the soap particles might clog your blender. For food processors:  I've tried both the S-blade and the grating blade.  I think the S-blade works best and makes the smoothest powder.

Place in a container and 2 heaping tablespoons.  We love this stuff so much we use about 4 on average.  Just use more or less depending if the clothing are heavily soiled or a large or small load.

(For the container - I found a simple "flour storage" container at a local retail store that works great for a double batch.  Any tightly sealed container will work to keep out moisture and keep it from spilling.)

Items can be purchased most frugally at your local Walmart or retailer.  If you can't find them, you can order online through Amazon too:

Airtight Watertight Container
Premium Home Fragrance Oil, Our Version of White Linen, 8 Fl Oz / 236 ml
Twenty Mule Team Natural Laundry Booster & Multi-Purpose Cleaner, 76 oz.
Church & Dwight Co 03020 Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz.
Church & Dwight Co 03020 Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz.
Zote Laundry Soap Bar Pink 14.1 Oz (4 Pack)
Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap,5.5 oz(Pack of 2) 

 Laundry Soap Kit - Fels Naptha-3 bars, Borax & Washing Soda


Someone even started to sell a "kit" on Amazon to make it easier...

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