Tag Archives: Martha Stewart

Chocolate Truffles

Day 44: “Martha Stewart’s Dinner at Home

February 13, 2011

With Valentines coming and all the hype of giving the perfect gift for men and women alike, I give what I give best…..a home cooked meal.  Part of our Valentine’s meal was these lovely truffles.  I have been taught that chocolate is one of the 5 major food groups and should be included with every meal.  In the food pyramid that we are taught in school of healthy meals I think it is located between fruits and vegetables.  Nothing says fancy chocolate like a truffle.  You can pay several dollars apiece for store-bought truffles.  These I made with everything I had at home.  I didn’t need to buy a single ingredient. 

This is two days in a row with cookbooks from Martha.  I must be in the “M” section of the public library where I am finding these cookbooks.  I like this cookbook much better than the one from yesterday.  If you are wondering why it is for one simple reason….pictures.  Glorious pictures for almost every recipe in the cookbook.  I like seeing what I am supposed to be making.  I really need to take a food styling class to figure out how they take all of those pictures.  Although I will say that the picture that I took of the finished truffles looks pretty darn good.  Let’s pretend I am a food stylist for a minute and oh and ah over it.

The Ruling:  I thought they were great, not too sweet.  However you need to be a fan of dark chocolate.  How many fans of dark chocolate do I have in my house……umm….that would be one.  Next time I might use a milk chocolate and see what happens.  For ease of preparation this got a gold star.  It really did not take too long and the fact that my oldest son’s girlfriend stirred them for me over the ice bath was a bonus.  She may have been bored to death….but I sure appreciate it.  You see, we make her work for her meals around here! (just kidding)  I only rolled ours in the pistachios and did not bother with the cocoa powder and the peanut brittle.  I also did not have brandy so I used an orange flavored liqueur that I had on hand.

Chocolate Truffles, page 258

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons best-quality unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces peanut brittle, finely chopped
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably 61% cacao, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon brandy

Directions:

  1. Prepare an ice-water bath.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Place pistachios, cocoa powder, and brittle in separate bowls.  Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl,  Bring milk and butter just to a simmer in a saucepan; pour over chocolate, and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in brandy.
  2. Set bowl in ice bath; whisk constantly, scraping sides of bowl, until mixture is thick enough to scoop with a spoon, about 5 minutes.  Use a mini ice-cream scoop (or a teaspoon) to form mixture into balls, dropping them into a coating as you go; roll to cover.
  3. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until set, at least 10 minutes. (Truffles will keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator; store in a single layer in an airtight container.)

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

 MS. Simplicity

 MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.

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Filed under Sweets

Baked Pears With Vanilla Mascarpone

Day 43: “The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics

February 12, 2011

I have fallen in love with Poached Pears.  My love affair started just a few months ago with a salad that I had at a local restaurant called Maxwells.  That salad had poached pears that were to die for.  I first tried making poached pears in January in the slow cooker and they were divine.  I learned a few lessons from that experience, such as peel the pears first.   But I must say that this recipe is even better…..and it really was simple to prepare and makes a great impression.

I found this recipe in the dictionary of Martha Stewart Living recipes.  This cookbook has over 1,200 recipes and is a bit overwhelming in its size.  But if you are looking for a recipe, chances are it is in here.  I must say that having all of the recipes in one book as opposed to them being scattered all over the magazines is a much simpler format.  I use to save all of my Martha Stewart magazines just for the recipes and do you know how often I went back through them to look for a recipes…..exactly zero times.  Off to the library went my collection of magazines.  This cookbook covers your need to have all of the recipes without taking up much space in your home.

The Ruling:  Delicious.  Those of us that ate the pears loved it.  My comment was, “I think I am going to lick the plate”.  The sauce made a syrup with a flavor out of this world.  The recipe literally took a few minutes to create.  The vanilla marscarpone that the pears sat on was heavenly.  When we are in the dead of winter, pears are one fruit that always seems to be in season without too high of a price.  I did not have a vanilla bean so I just added a teaspoon of good vanilla extract.

Baked Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone, page 395

Ingredients:

  • 3 Anjou or Bosc pears
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 sprigs thyme (optional)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Slice off the bottom of each pear just enough so it will stand upright.  Using a melon baller or small spoon, remove the seeds from the bottom.  Peel the upper half, leaving the stem intact; pat dry with a paper towel.  Rub butter over the peeled part of each pear; stand the pears in a small baking dish (about 7 x 11 inches).  Sprinkle with the sugar.
  2. Pour the wine into the baking dish add the thyme sprigs, is using.  Bake until the pears are soft when pierced with a paring knife and well browned, about 45 minutes; using a small spoon, baste the pears occasionally with the wine, adding a bit of water as needed to prevent the liquid from evaporating.  Remove from the oven.
  3. Combine the vanilla bean, mascarpone and sugar together.
  4. Spoon some of the pan juices into each serving dish, and place a pear on top.  Serve with a dollop of mascarpone and several biscotti on the side.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

 MS. Simplicity

 MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.

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Stuffed Poblanos

Day2: “Everyday Food, Fresh Flavor Fast

January 2, 2011

Well you know if the kitchens of Martha Stewart are involved this has got to be a great cookbook.  What I do love about it is that it is full of pictures.  I am a firm believer that people eat with their eyes first, and this book will fill you up fast!  What I loved about this cookbook is that it is available on the Kindle.  So I downloaded a sample of  it to my iPad and  it looks awesome.  The color photos transfer very well onto the iPad.  I predict, this is how cookbooks of the future are going to be.  Love the fact that I don’t have to try to get the cookbook pages to somehow stay open.  The iPad lays flat on my counter and I can even increase the font if my eyes are not seeing so clearly. 

I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to make and so I stopped at 3.  The three that I made were:

  • Page 77: bean, corn and tortilla salad
  • Page 27: Canadian Bacon Strata
  • Page 258: Stuffed Poblanos

My favorite of the 3 had to be the Stuffed Poblanos.  You see, about 2 weeks ago I cooked with poblanos for the first time.  Before that, they kind of scared me but now that I have used them twice, I have found how easy they are to work with and I can’t wait to make more yummy things with them. 

The Ruling: Stuffed Poblanos will go into my recipe keeper file, the other two I made will not.  Not that the Canadian Bacon Strata and the salad were not good, they just didn’t know our socks off like the Stuffed Poblanos did.  Prep for the recipe was easy.  Made easy with my food processor where I grated the cheese first and then made the sauce.  I had everything in the oven within 15 minutes.  Bonus for me is that this recipe is a vegetarian one.  A cautionary tale to pass on, poblano’s are hot and spicy.  I was careful when I cut the jalapeno but not so careful with the pablano.  Touching my lips and hour later caused stinging that lasted for well over 30 minutes.  Lesson learned, the peppers are hot and should be treated as such.

Stuffed Poblanos

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in juice
  • 1 jalapeno chili, ribs and seeds removed for less heat
  • 2 small onions coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 large poblano chiles, halved lengthwise, rids and seeds removed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven the 425 degrees.  In a blender, puree tomatoes along with their juice, jalapeno, half the onions and 2 of the crushed garlic cloves until smooth; season with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish and spread to cover evenly.
  2. In a bowl combine beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese, remaining onion, 1 clove of minced garlic, cumin and the water; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Dividing evenly, stuff poblano halves with bean mixture; place on top of sauce in baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese; cover dish lightly with foil
  4. Bake until poblanos are tender, about 45 minutes.  Uncover and continue to cook until sauce thicken slightly and cheese is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

 MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com

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Filed under Main Dishes, Vegetarian