June 23, 2010

Apricot Smoothie

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , , , , at 6:45 am by Liliana

Apricots in season

Apricot season

Early summer is apricot season.

I love to eat this fragrant fruit fresh or cook it in a variety of  ways.

Apricots are delicious when roasted with meat; blanched, pealed and eaten as desert with vanilla ice cream; or slowly simmered into jam.

I found this delicious sounding smoothie in the New York Times food section.

Doesn’t it sound like the perfect treat for a light breakfast or a refreshing summer afternoon delicacy?

The writer advises that “an apricot smoothie should be pure apricot, with no other fruits to dilute the intense flavor.”


  • 3 medium-size apricots (about 6 ounces), pitted
  • 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon mild honey, such as clover or acacia
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 or 2 ice cubes

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed until smooth. Serve right away.

Yield: One serving. Drink this right after you make it. Enjoy!

Source: New York Times Food Section


May 6, 2010

Jelena’s Recipes

Posted in Food, Friendships, Recipes, Women tagged , , , , , , , at 7:17 am by Liliana

Jelena and I

Jelena and I

Jelena is one of my oldest and dearest friends. She is also an amazing cook and baker. These are the recipes for the cakes she made last Saturday, to celebrate my husband Jeff’s birthday.

All I can say is –  the results were glorious! I am sure all our guests would agree.

Here are the recipes, in Jelena’s own words:

Blueberry Squares (an old Polish recipe)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tspn. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • 1 tspn. cinnamon
  • 4 cups washed and drained blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Mix butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until smooth and light. Add dry ingredients and blend well. Pour into a greased oblong pan (about 11×13). Arrange blueberries evenly on top and press down a bit with your hands. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and top is nicely browned. Cool completely, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and cut into squares.

Note: Instead of blueberries, you can also try blackberries, black cherries, or chopped apricots. All work well. Enjoy!

Diablo Cake (courtesy of Ann Ramsey, a marvelous cook and wonderful neighbor)

  • 14 oz semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter or margarine, cut up
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • 1.2 c plus one tablespoon flour
  • 1 2/3 c. ground (toasted or not, but toasted are better) almonds

Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour a large springform pan. Melt together chocolate and butter over very low heat until fully melted and smooth. Set aside. Separate eggs, and beat yolks and sugar until light. Add the chocolate/butter mixture, and then the flour and ground almonds. Mix until well combined and smooth. Beat the eggwhites (in a separate bowl) until stiff, and then gently combine with the other mixture. Pour into the springform pan and bake 45-50 minutes, until the middle is set. The cake will crack as it bakes, and that’s normal. When done, cool in the pan completely, then unmold and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Decadently delish. Enjoy!