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  1. Chocolate Almond Biscotti, the twiced baked Italian Cookie

    November 28, 2011 by siera104


    • 12 ounces butter (3 sticks)
    • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon anise extract
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 6 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 8 ounces chopped almonds
    • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • More semi-sweet chocolate chips to melt


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F ( 165 degrees C ).
    2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time; beat until fluffy. Stir in the anise and vanilla extracts. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture along with the chopped almonds and chocolate chips. Stir with a spoon and as the dough comes together, Knead by hand. (Hint, you will want to flour the counter and your hands well, the dough is a bit sticky.)
    3. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each piece into a log about 15 inches long. Place logs onto cookie sheets, 2 to a sheet, the long way. Flatten the logs out until they are about 3 inches wide with a slight hump going down the middle. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, loaves should be firm. Cut the loaves into diagonal slices 1/2 inch wide, place the slices onto the cookie sheets and return to the oven. Toast on one side, then turn them over to do the other side. This will take about 7 to 10 minutes.
    4. Once the cookies have cooled melt some semi-sweet chocolate chips and use a butter knife to put a generous layer of dark chocolate on the bottom of the cookie, let cool, and enjoy.

    Recipe adapted from

  2. Sensational Peanut Butter Cookies

    November 26, 2011 by siera104

    Below is the modified recipe to the Peanut Butter Cookies,found on this link . My modification on the cookie, was on accident. When measuring the ingredients I picked up a 1/3 cup instead of a 1/4 cup, (my measuring cup’s labels have rubbed off). I tried to bake them using the recipe but they were better with my “mistake”.  


    Sensational Peanut Butter Cookies
    21 cookies

    1 1/3 cup peanut butter (see note)
    1 cup natural cane sugar
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    additional sugar for rolling

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees°F.

    Mix all the ingredients up in a bowl. Roll walnut-sized pieces into balls and roll balls in the additional sugar. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly with a fork in a crisscross pattern or leave in a ball and have your kisses ready to make blossoms. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before removing from baking sheet.

    Helpful Hint: To measure your peanut butter, I suggest lining your measuring cup with some plastic wrap, it makes it so much easier to get all of the peanut butter out of the measuring cup.

    Note: Peanut butter comes in all kinds of configurations and the kind you choose will influence your outcome. Some peanut butters are very sweet, some have been hydrogenated, some have a whole lot more in them than peanuts! Then there is the chunky versus smooth debate. I used a Creamy Skippy Natural and have used Jif Natural with success.




  3. Eggplant Parmesan Balls

    September 29, 2011 by siera104

    I love these eggplant Parmesan balls. I adapted the recipe from Rachel Ray’s Eggplant Parm Bites. I make a larger batch to freeze for later and bake them to cut on the greasiness. I like to eat them as a snack with some marinara sauce, or as a meal with pasta.

    Eggplant Parm Balls

    Crispy Eggplant Parmesan Balls


    • 3 medium eggplants
    • 5 to 6 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 1 medium onion
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
    • 2+ cups Italian breadcrumbs, divided
    • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided (sometimes I feel cheesy and have Romano and or Asiago on hand and use a blend of all of them)
    • 4 eggs, divided
    • 1 tablespoon of dried Thyme
    • 1 tablespoon of dried basil
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • Salt and pepper
    • about 36 mini mozzarella balls
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


    Preheat oven to 400ºF.

    Wash and cut eggplant lengthwise. Brush olive oil on the exposed inside. Bake flesh side down for 30-40 minutes until tender.

    Baked Eggplant

    Baked Eggplants

    While eggplants are cooling, chop garlic then onion in your food processor, or by hand. Then put them in a mixing bowl.

    Chopping onions and garlic.

    Now the eggplants should be a bit cooler to handle, using a spoon scoop the flesh out of the eggplants and into the food processor.

    Scooping Eggplant Flesh

    Blend eggplant in food processor, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

    Mixing Bowl

    Stir ingredients together (but not all of the cheese and breadcrumbs, saving them for later)

    In the mixing bowl, add a cup of breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of thyme, 1 tablespoon of basil, the zest of 1 lemon, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

    Eggplant mixture

    If the mixture seems to wet to handle, after the breadcrumbs get a chance to soak, add some more breadcrumbs. Then put the mixture in the fridge for a few minutes while you set up your rolling station.

    ball rolling station

    Ball handling station

    Get 3 bowls out and the prepare the cookie sheet you will be baking with. I highly recommend Silpats. In the first bowl, is for the flour. The second bowl is for your remaining eggs, beat them thoroughly. The final bowl is for your remaining breadcrumbs, parsley and cheese. Now is the time to get your mini mozerlla balls out of the liquid too. Now is a good time to turn your oven back on, to 350ºF.

    Making the balls

    Forming the balls

    Get the mixture out of the fridge, and begin forming balls. I like using a large cookie scoop for constancy, but it is not necessary. When you are forming balls, poke a small hole in the center, and place a tiny mozzarella ball inside, see below.

    Tasty surprise inside all of the balls

    Now for the assemebly line. Drop ball into the flour:


    Roll the ball in the egg. (This does not not have to be really covered, but if you are frying the balls, then you want to get a good egg coat, otherwise they will fall apart)

    Egg coat

    Finally roll the ball into the breadcrumb mixture. Helpful note: this is a pretty messy job but a set of tongs helps your hands from getting too sticky,

    Roll in breadcrumb mixture

    Place assembled balls on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then flip the balls over and bake for another 10 minutes. They should have a golden color and smell really good.

    I like to let the balls cool and place them in a freezer bag to save for later. When I reheat them I bake them for 12-15 minutes at 350 ºF.

    Prepped for the freezer

  4. Walnut Burgers

    September 22, 2011 by siera104

    I adapted this recipe for making veggie burgers from walnuts from a recipe online a few years ago. Here’s a link to the original recipe .The recipe is much easier if you have a food processor, but you can chop the veggies by hand too. The original recipe calls for frying the burgers in a pan, my patties often fell apart when I tried this, but I’ve had much more success when I’ve baked them.

    Walnut Burger

    Nutburger, with sprouts


    • 1 cup Walnuts, ground
    • 3 stalks Celery
    • 1 medium Onion
    • 1 cup Parsley (fresh or dried)
    • 1 cup Wheat Germ (or cooked rice)
    • 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese , shredded
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1 small Green or Red Bell Pepper
    • 1 teaspoon Salt
    • 1 tablespoon Basil
    • 1 teaspoon Cumin
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. Grind walnuts or buy pre-ground walnuts. If you don’t have any way to grind the walnuts, put them in a large plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.
    3. Finely chop celery and onion, or pulse in food process until peices are small.
    4. Finely chop bell pepper.
    5. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. If mixture is too wet add more wheat germ.
    6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, this makes it much easier to flip and remove the patties.
    7. Press into patties, recipe makes about 6, and place them on the cookie sheet.
    8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flip burgers, and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
    9. Serve warm like a burger, with condiments and toppings.

    The leftovers keep well for a few days, and the burgers freeze nicely too. When I re-heat the patties some time I put them on the George Foreman Grill.

    Mixing the ingredients


  5. Moist, Delicious, Pound Cake

    June 5, 2006 by siera104


    Pound Cake

    It's really tasty and rich.

    • 1/2 cup Butter (1 stick)
    • 3 cups White Sugar
    • 16 ounces Sour Cream 
    • 6 Eggs
    • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
    • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
    • 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder


    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C ).
    2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sour cream and sugar together.
    3. Beat the eggs in, one at a time.
    4. Mix in the vanilla extracts.
    5. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together;
    6. Add dry ingredients slowy to the wet mixture.
    7. Stir until blended, but don’t over mix
    8. Grease (and maybe flour) bunt or tube pan, pour in batter.
    9. Bake for 65 – 75. minutes until cake is slightly springy to the touch and edges have a golden color.
    10. Let cool, then release from pan.

    This delicious recipe was from Sharon Smith (June 5, 2006)