Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bacalhau com Natas (salted cold with cream sauce)

Growing up every year for Christmas Eve our traditional Portuguese dinner was, boiled bacahau, boiled potatoes, and steamed broccoli rabe. While it is a traditional Portuguese dish, it's not one that I'm fond of.

Since getting married and now hosting Christmas Eve each year this is the recipe that I tend to make each year. I tend only to make it once a year because It's loaded with tons of calories, but the way I see it...if you're going to indulge it might as well be during the holidays!

I hope you call enjoy it as much as we do! Happy cooking!

Recipe Adapted from my mother's kitchen

5lbs. salt cod, (thinker pieces are best)
3 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
5 tbsp. olive oil (this is to saute the onions)
5 lbs. potatoes, (peeled and cut into fries)
2 cups milk
8 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
ground pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 cups heavy cream (told you this was loaded with calories)


Soak the cod in water for 24-48 hours in several changes of cold water.

Drain the cod, rinse, and drain again.

Boil cod, once cooked remove from water and let cool to room temp.

Once cool, remove bones and skin and pull the cod into small shreds, set aside.

In a heavy skillet over low heat, saute the onion in olive oil until soft and golden.

In your deep fryer, fry the potatoes in the oil until they are tender, they do not need to be golden because you will be making them.

As soon as the onions are softly golden, lower heat to the lowest heat, and mix in the cod and 1 cup milk, mix everything together stirring occasionally, for about 10 min.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat and blend in the flour, add the remaining milk and heat , stirring constantly , until thickened.

Blend in the pepper and reserve.

preheat the oven to 400.

Take your baking casserole dish and layer have half cod mixture in the bottom.

Take half your fries and layer that on top.

Then take half the cream sauce and pour over the fries.

Repeat the last 3 steps.

Finally pour heavy cream over the top of prepared casserole and top with panko bread crumbs.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Serve hot.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Egg and Cheese Souffles

So being that it's Christmas and we have guests today,I wanted to make something different for breakfast. This was so good and everyone loved and came back for seconds. I'll surely be making this again when we have out of town guests. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Happy cooking and Baking!

Adapted from the food network

1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim and it works wonderfully)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus for ramekins
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Pinch cayenne pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 Cup lightly packed coarsely grated full-flavored cheese like Gouda, Gruyere, or Fontina (I used a mixure of all three)
4 (6-ounce) ramekins


Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Butter ramekins and sprinkle with Parmesan to lightly coat, tapping out excess.

Put prepared ramekins on a baking sheet and refrigerate.

To make the souffle, Put the milk, and bay leaf in sauce pan and bring the milk and herbs just to a simmer and then pull from the heat.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add the flour, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture (roux) lightens and foams, about 2 minutes.

Whisk in the warm milk, bring to a boil, and cook, whisking constantly, until the souffle base thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

Remove the herbs and transfer the base to a large bowl and whisk to cool.

Add the egg yolks, the Parmesan cheese, the salt, cayenne, and nutmeg.

Slowly whisk the egg whites in a very clean bowl with lemon juice,

and pinch of salt with a hand-held mixer until foamy.

Increase the speed to high and whip until the whites hold a soft peak.

Quickly, but gently fold 1/4 of the whites into the base with spatula.

Fold in the remaining whites just until streaky, then scatter the grated cheese on top and fold everything together, do not overmix.

Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins, and bake until golden, puffed, and just set in the center, about 30 minutes.

Using an oven mitt or towel, transfer the ramekins to individual plates and serve immediately.

Oatmeal White Raisin Cookies

For Christmas my husband told our son that "Santa" would love some oatmeal raisin cookies, since everyone else leaves him chocolate chip cookies. Can you guess what happened the night of Christmas Eve...when I told Jonathan we had to make cookie for Santa? Well in case you can't guess, my 2 and a half year old started with "Santa NEEDS oatmeal cookies mommy." Luckily I had everything that the recipe called for. But before I realized, that I had everything to bake oatmeal cookies, I faced another dilemma. What was that dilemma you ask...

I had never made a batch of true oatmeal cookies, and being that it was a holiday I wanted a good recipe. I was fortunate enough that Cathy, of (Cathy's kitchen journey) came to my rescue, and was kind enough to share her recipe with me last minute. I have to say they were delicious!

"Santa" said they were the best oatmeal cookies he has ever had. Thanks for sharing Cathy! I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday and a happy and healthy New Year!

Recipe from:


1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (real vanilla please!)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup raisins (I used white raisins, they are a little sweeter)
1 Tbsp of sugar for dipping


In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.

Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture.

Mix in oats and raisins. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375° F

Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Using a small cookie scoop out dough and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven.

Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: about 3 and a half dozen!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ina Sour Cream Coffee Cake

The holidays always seem to bring out my need for baking. This weekend was no exception, the fact that my in-laws were coming for a visit just gave me that added push to bake something. Ideally, I really wanted to bake some type of muffin but after thinking about it for a little,I decided that a coffee cake would be the way to go.

The goal was to bake something to keep on hand so they could have a snack with their tea. I have made the weight watchers recipe and while I like it, and find it to be filling, my husband thought that my in-laws would fine it to be too dense, therefore he recommend I look for another recipe. So now you know the reason I had to look for a new recipe.

So after about an hour of reviewing a few cookbooks without success in finding a recipe, I decided that I would just go onto the food network website and see if I found anything appealing. After about 10 minutes I found the recipe that I was looking for.

INA recipe for a beautiful coffee cake. This cake ended up being the most moist, lite, fluffy cake ever! I must try, I promise, you will not be disappointed. I need make a few adjustments due to the fact that my father-in-law as a mild case of diabetes and I wanted to use less sweeteners even with all the changes the cake was still

12 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (use real extract)
1 1/4 cups lite sour cream
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons of water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light.

Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined.

Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife.

Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel.

Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate.

Whisk the confectioners' sugar and water together, adding a few more drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny.

Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Toddler approved Weight Watcher Blueberry Muffins

The winter months are upon us again, that means longer commutes to work...well if you live in New England you expect to have longer commutes =) With longer commutes it means more time on the road, which means you have to get up earlier...which means you would rather have something that you can just take and eat in the car, or eat once you get to work.

Has you all know by now, I'm always looking for recipes that are lighter, and less fating. Muffins are not an exception I'm always looking do was to make them healthier while still trying to make them taste good. I got this recipe from weight watchers, and I did make a few minor adjusts to this recipe and I'm very happy with the end results. Hope you all like it as much as my toddler and I have.

Happy baking!


2 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour,
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 of sugar (I use splenda)
2 large egg whites -- slightly beaten
3/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup canola oil (I used unsweetened applesauce)
3/4 cup blueberries (I used a little more than 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Make a well in the center. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, vanilla and applesauce.

Add egg mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture.

Stir until just moistened.

The batter will be lumpy. Stirring all the lumps out will make a tough muffin.

Carefully fold in the blueberries.

Line muffin tin with baking paper cups; fill each 2/3 full.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from pans.

Calories 158; Fat 6; Fiber 1, 3 Weight Watcher Points

Thanksgiving stuffing 2010

I am always surprised to see how many Foodies are out there. More surprisingly is how many men are foodie as well. As some of you know, I recently changed jobs. I have to admit that the patients I have are too funny and while they are being treated we start talking about currents events. Since Thanksgiving was just a week ago the current event topic of conversations was based on the holidays and where we were going to spend it.

One on my patents is a boy scoots leader (who is actually in the processing of finishing his first cookbook). Every year he does this amazing Thanksgiving fest with his troops for the parents in the middle of the woods. While talking to him, I ended up telling him that I didn't have a good recipe for was stuffing. His response was "I have the most amazing stuffing recipe that I made up, next time I come in I'll bring you the recipe". I not going to lie I was excited to get a new recipe for a side that I haven't had much success with, and from someone who is having his cookbook published was a big deal for me.

The next day when I got to work I started checking my work email, and what's in my inbox but...a new recipe for stuffing. For a minute I wondered how he got my email, then I realized that my work email was on my business cards. Thanksgiving came and I decided that I would give this recipe a try, and I am so happy I did. It came out so good, and even my picky eater mother-in-law liked it.

Thanks Joe for making my Thanksgiving sides a success! FYI this recipe is tailored for a 20 to 25 pound turkey

Recipe source Joe X (sorry no last names due to hippa regulations)

Happy Cooking!


2 lbs. Plain pork sausage browned in olive oil
4 or 5 onions chopped and sautéed
5 celery stalks chopped and sautéed
½ of a fennel bulb chopped and sautéed
½ of a bunch of flat Italian parsley chopped
1 large or 2 small cans of pears in heavy syrup, strained and chopped, discard syrup
2 or 3 fresh apples peeled, cored and chopped
12 ounces of cornbread stuffing
1-14 ounce box of raisins
1-6 ounce package of craisens (dried cranberries)
4 or 6 eggs


Prepare each of the items as listed.

When everything is done carefully blend all except the eggs in a large bowl and let stand for a couple of hours.

This allows all of the flavors to meld.

Prior baking beat the eggs and carefully blend into the mix.

Put mixture into prepared casserole dish and bake for 30-45 mins until hot.

All that is left to do is enjoy your dinner.