May 22, 2010

Spring Breakfast

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , , , , at 6:52 am by Liliana

Berries with Kefir

Berries with Kefir

At this time of year, this is my favorite breakfast. I eat it almost every morning.

All kinds of berries are in season now. I buy a selection of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries. I wash a handful of whatever kind I have that day, and place them into a pretty glass bowl. Over this colorful medley, I pour kefir (a dairy product found in most supermarkets, similar to yogurt but more liquid.) On top of this concoction, I sprinkle a handful of walnuts or a teaspoon of honey. Or both.

That’s it. It is refreshing, healthy, filling and delicious. A wonderful beginning to a warm spring day.

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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!