Food Hero

Apple Almond Custard Tart by Rachelle
November 26, 2008, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Baked Goods/Desserts, Dessert, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , ,

almond apple custard tart

Looking for something different to serve for Thanksgiving? I made this for Paul’s birthday last week and we were all bowled over at how delicious it is! The tart apples and lemon pair nicely with the sweet almond flavor, and the sugar forms a crisp caramelized crust reminiscent of a crème brûlée. This is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food which I highly recommend. The only changes I’ve made is to increase the proportions so that it filled my 11 inch tart pan.

For the crust:

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
12 T (1 1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 t pure almond extract

For the filling:

8 T (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs
3 t lemon zest
2 T lemon juice
6 T flour
1 c heavy cream
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 in thick
1/4-1/2 c sugar
2/3 cup blanched almonds (I used hazelnuts because I couldn’t find almonds in our Danish grocery stores)

In a small bowl whisk together flour and baking powder, set aside. In a large bowl using a mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and almond extract, beat until just combined. Set mixer to low and add flour mixture until just combined.

Using a spatula spread dough in 11 inch removable-bottom tart pan. Spread evenly over sides and bottom of pan. Freeze for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl using the mixer, beat butter and 1/2 c sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and lemon zest, mix until combined. With mixer on low, add flour and cream, mix until just smooth. Do not over mix or you will end up with something too much like whipped cream. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss apple slices with lemon juice. Arrange evenly in tart pan over chilled dough. Spread filling over apples. Sprinkle with almonds and remaining 1/2 c sugar. (I found you only needed about 1/4 cup) Bake until golden and set, about 40-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

almond apple custard tart happy


Happy Hour – Papa Doble by Katy K
November 17, 2008, 4:27 pm
Filed under: cocktails, happy hour, Katy K

papa-doble-iv6The Papa Doble is a variation of the Lime Daiquiri and “Papa” in the name refers to Ernest Hemingway. I found this recipe in a cookbook that was a gift from a great friend who always gives me Canadian books (novels or cookbooks) for Christmas every year. This cookbook is from Lumiere, a famous Vancouver restaurant.  Lumiere Light is a beautiful book and full of cocktail recipes. The food recipes are very complicated so I’m working on the cocktail recipes first. I heard that the bartender from Lumiere is now in charge of the bar at Vessel in Seattle (named a “best bar” by Esquire Magazine). I’ve been there once and had a couple of delicious drinks from a very exciting menu of cocktails.  

I really enjoy the Papa Doble.  This drink has both grapefruit and lime juices (great sources of Vitamin C) and no sweeteners other than a dash of maraschino liqueur.  The generous measure of rum and the bitter tang of the grapefruit results in a cocktail that is both delicious and … bracing.

with a pink star ice cube

with a pink star ice cube

For one cocktail…

 3   oz white rum (I use 10 Cane – it’s not white but I like it)
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice 
3/4 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice 
1/4 oz maraschino liqueur 

Mix all ingredient together over ice in a cocktail shaker, shake vimfully,as one always should with a cocktail shaker, and strain into a cocktail glass (the one they serve martinis in). Enjoy!


Lunchbox Leftovers Apple Muffins by Rachelle
November 16, 2008, 4:53 pm
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , ,



My kids take apple slices to school everyday — and almost as often bring a slice or two back home. Because the apples have browned over the course of the day, my girls don’t want to eat them anymore. But eco-mom doesn’t want to throw them away.


I adpated this applesauce muffin recipe to use shredded day-old apple slices instead. The yogurt makes up for the extra moisture you’d otherwise get from the apple sauce. I grate the apples and put them in a small container in the freezer until I’m ready to make the muffins. They are yum!


P.s. I don’t have a mixer here in Denmark, so all my baking recipes are mixed by hand.


Lunchbox Leftovers Apple Muffins


2 large eggs

1 c packed brown sugar

1 cup plus 3 T unsalted butter, melted

¾ c grated apples

¼ c plain yogurt



1 ½ t baking powder

½ t baking soda

¼ t salt

½ t cinnamon

½ t allspice

¼ t nutmeg

1 ½ c flour



2 T brown sugar

½ t cinnamon sugar


Lightly whip eggs. Add brown sugar and butter, stir until mixed. Add apples and yogurt. Mix in all dry ingredients except flour. Once blended add flour.


Pour into greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool in pan for ten minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling on a wire rack. Makes one dozen.



Cinnamon Spiced Mango with Toasted Coconut by Katy K
November 10, 2008, 3:59 am
Filed under: Baked Goods/Desserts, Katy K, quick fix | Tags:

img_24891Another winner from the Low Carb 1-2-3 cookbook by Rozanne Gold. I have been having good luck picking mangoes lately.  They say to pick one that gives a little under your thumb and that isn’t wrinkly. I picked an organic one that fit this description at the local food co-op and the cashier gave it to me for free because he thought it was bruised.  I left it on a shelf where I keep my tomatoes for a couple of weeks, and then I prepared this recipe. It turned out to be a great mango, in flavor, color, texture…and price!


Fresh mango
shredded coconut
cardamon and/or cinnamon

Toast the coconut over high heat in a pan, stirring constantly. As soon as they are as toasted as I want, I pour them out of the pan onto a cold plate to stop the toasting process. Slice the mango into attractive pieces.  I found that using a serrated knife (bread knife) was helpful because it bites into the skin of the mango instead of sliding off.  Put the mango on the cutting board on an edge. Use the serrated knife to cut close to the pit and slice off a “cheek”. Use a paring knife to make vertical slices in the cut side of the cheek (the goal is to not cut through the skin but it’s okay if you do a little).  Then use a spoon to remove the slices of mango from themango-en-place22 peel. I found it useful to remove one slice at a time with the spoon (see right).  Arrange the mango slices on a plate, sprinkle with some cardamon and/or cinnamon, and scatter the toasted coconut on top. I used a very little cardamon (for an exotic hint) and more cinnamon. I also used a tea strainer to sprinkle the spices, lightly and evenly. The mango tastes delicious with the coconut and spices. It feels like a really indulgent dessert – even without ice cream!

Peanut Butter Brownies by Katy K
November 2, 2008, 6:31 pm
Filed under: Baked Goods/Desserts, Guest Post, Katy K | Tags:

Having not cooked anything decent (postable) in several weeks, I need to be rescued by one of my food heroes – my next door neighbor, Sarah.  She and and her husband are real foodies, great cooks, super nice and fun, and they live next door – can you believe how lucky I am?   Take it away Sarah…

There were five food groups when I was a kid: meat, bread, fruits, vegetables, and peanut butter. It was understood that if the nuclear holocaust ever came, we’d be living off peanut butter for a very long time, so we might as well develop a taste for it now. (Mom never talked about the fact that it was cheap and didn’t make my backpack smell when I lost a sandwich in there for several days – it happened a lot.) So, I ate a lot of peanut butter growing up, and still love it. I have been known to compose spontaneous soliloquies to a jar of Jif. It’s definitely one of the five foods I’d take to a deserted island. Anyway, when I found this recipe for peanut butter brownies – did I rush into the kitchen to start baking? Of course not! I tucked the recipe away for a year until I needed it for a friend’s birthday. What a shame. A whole year of my life went by without tasting them. Don’t let it happen to you. These babies are special enough to take to parties, but homey enough to make and keep on your counter and cut off just the teensiest little sliver every time you walk by.  Either way, they will be gone in no time. 

Peanut Butter Brownies
Gourmet October 2007


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1¾ c sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
2 t vanilla
2 c flour
1½ c chocolate chips

Ganache (the real reason to make these brownies)

1½ c chocolate chips
½ c heavy cream
1 T unsalted butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF with rack in middle. Butter a 9×13 pan and line bottom of pan with parchment. Butter parchment.

2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, then add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Beat in whole eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, then mix in flour until just combined.

3. Mix in chocolate chips then spread batter in baking pan, smoothing top.

4. Bake until brownies are deep golden, puffed on top, and a wooden toothpick comes out with some crumbs adhering, 40-45m.

5. Cool completely in pan on rack about 1½ hours.

6. Put chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.

7. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan, then pour over chocolate chips and let mixture stand 1 minute.

8. Whisk in butter until incorporated, chocolate is melted, and a smooth mixture forms. 

Spread ganache on cooled brownies and let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

9. Savor with a tall glass of milk.

Baked Oatmeal by Rachelle
November 1, 2008, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , , ,

This recipe is from one of my brother’s in-law, Shane P. I adore it with diced peaches. My daughter Cate doesn’t like baked fruit, so I just sink the diced peaches (or apples, or nectarines) into half of the pan. Eat it straight or in a bowl with a little cream and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

3 eggs, lightly whipped
1/2 c honey
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 1/2c milk
3/4 T baking powder
2 t cinnamon
3 c rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 c raisins (opt)

Lightly whip eggs with fork or whisk. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 8×8 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the center doesn’t jiggle. Have Yum!

*8 Things To Love for Breakfast by Rachelle
November 1, 2008, 10:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

What is *8 Things? Click!

1) open-face grilled cheese sandwhich with sliced bell peppers
2) oatmeal with a scoop of greek yogurt and almonds
3) cottage cheese with a spoonful of apricot jam and a sprinkle of ginger granola
4) hallah toast with marscapone cheese and honey
5) easy peasy tun melt (tuna on toast with a slice of cheese)
6) cottage cheese with a spoonful of flavored yogurt and sliced bananas
7) a mug of green tea and a plate of figs
8) whole wheat toast with nutella and sliced apples

What’s you favorite quick breakfast? Tell us in the comments below! Got time for a longer morning nosh? Find great recipes here.