Rosemary Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

This is a tasty side to your upcoming fall dishes.

6 potatoes (peeled and chopped)
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
1 8oz. container sour cream
salt and pepper

1. Bring water (and a dash of salt) to boil in medium saucepan. Add potatoes and boil for 10 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes and set aside. In same saucepan heat olive oil, then add salt, pepper, and rosemary and let simmer stirring constantly for 30-60 seconds. Add rosmary mixture and sour cream to potatoes and mash. Add salt and pepper to taste.

*disclaimer: if you are not a fan of strong rosemary flavor, reduce fresh rosemary to 2 teaspoons.


Coconut Layer Cake

Delicious. What more can I say?

1 3/4 cups cake flour
4 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup milk, room temp
2 tsp coconut extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened but still cool, cut into 16 pieces
1 recipe coconut frosting (below)
unsweetened, shaved coconut

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350. Generously grease two 8- or 9-inch round pans and line with parchment or wax paper circles. Grease paper circles and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. Beat the eggs, milk, and coconut extract with a fork in a bowl and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a mixer and beat for 30 seconds to combine. With the mixer running on low speed, add the butter one piece at a time; mix until the butter and flour begin to clump together and look sandy and pebbly with some pieces the size of peas after all the butter is added.

3. With the mixer still at the lowest speed, add approximately one cup of the egg mixture then increase the speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. Stop mixer, scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat again a medium high until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.

4. Divide batter equally between two pans; spread to the side of the pans and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake until cake tops are light gold and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 22-25 minutes (add ~5 minutes for 8-inch rounds). Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the pan to loosen. Invert cakes on to a large plate, peel of the paper and reinvert to cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.

Coconut Frosting
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch salt
3 Tbsp coconut milk
1/2 tsp coconut extract

Beat butter in a small bowl until light a fluffy. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, salt, coconut extract and 1 Tbsp coconut milk. Mix slowly as the sugar incorporates then faster as is becomes smooth. Add remaining sugar and coconut milk and repeat mixing. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add more sugar or more milk to achieve desired consistency (but no more than 1/4 sugar or 1 tsp milk). Top with unsweetened, shaved coconut.

This recipe is a variation of Yellow Layer Cake. Just replace coconut extract with vanilla to make the yellow cake and frost with any frosting you like!

Spring Rolls

14 oz (one package) extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, shredded
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1/2 package rice vermicelli (very thin rice noodles)
10-15 spring roll skins (rice paper)
fresh cilantro
2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded
ripe avocado, thinly sliced
1 cup bean sprouts or very thinly sliced cabbage
* * * * * * *
Spring Roll (inside) Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
juice of half a lime
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, shredded
1-2 tablespoons water

1. Prepare tofu: drain and dry with a clean kitchen towel to get most of the moisture out. Cut in to half-inch 'cube-sticks'. Prepare 1/4 cup water + 1 tablespoon soy sauce + 1 teaspoon ginger + 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, stir. Place tofu in dry pan and cook off more moisture until edges turn a light golden color. Give 1/2 cup prepared soy sauce mixture a quick stir and pour over tofu and sauté until all the water is evaporated. Add a tablespoon of sesame oil, turn heat up to medium high and sauté until thoroughly browned (about 10 more minutes). Set aside in a small bowl. Meanwhile, prepare sauce for inside the spring rolls by stirring all ingredients together in a small bowl or cup.

2. Prepare rice vermicelli: bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, adding noodles and boiling for 3-5 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.

3. Assemble spring rolls: Fill a pie pan or skillet with warm water, and then gently dip one rice paper wrapper in the water for 3-5 seconds to soften. (Be careful not to over-soak the wrappers!) Remove, and lay on a flat surface or large plate. In a horizontal row across the top-center of the wrapper, first place a few cilantro leaves, then a finger-full of carrots, one avocado slice, one slice of tofu, a finger-full of cabbage and finally a finger-full of rice noodles, leaving at least 2″ space on the right/left sides. Fold the top right and left sides of the wrapper tightly over the mixture, making sure the two side touch in the middle over the filling. Then fold over the top side (taking care to pack in the filling so that it’s nice and snug!), and then finally roll the pack over the remaining bottom side. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Dipping sauces
Peanut Sauce
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
juice of half a lime
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, shredded
1+ tablespoon water, to achieve desired consistency

Soy Sauce
Use leftover inside sauce, adding 1-2 teaspoons additional soy sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce
Found in the Asian food isle

main photo and some instructions borrowed from this site.


England's famous summer cake

This recipe was found in relish magazine and made for a family dinner. It was enjoyed by both young and old and everyone wanted seconds. Too bad the recipe serves 8 (or 15+ as the family dinner required).

8 cups berries (blue-, straw-, rasp-, black-berries)
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tb vanilla
1 (18 oz) brioche loaf (or any dense sweat bread, we used cinnamon swirl)

1. Mix 6 cups berries with water and sugar in large sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently until berries soften and sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Stir in 1.5 cups berries. Strain berry mix reserving all juice. Line a 2-quart serving bowl with plastic wrap.
3. Cut a piece of bread to fit the bottom of the bowl. Dip in juice and place at bottom of bowl. Cut remaining bread into wedges (or if your bread is sliced, just use the slices), dip in juice one at a time.
4. Place 3/4 of juice soaked bread against the sides of the bowl, pressing to remove any gaps. Spoon berries into the center. Top with remaining bread.
5. Cover with plastic wrap. Press down with hands until juices rise to the top (we did not do this and everything turned out just fine). Place plate on top and set weights on the plate (2 cans of soup work well). Refrigerate at least 8 hours.
6. To serve, remove weights, plate and top plastic wrap. Place a serving plate on top of bowl and quickly turn bowl over, shaking gently so the the pudding releases from the bowl. Remove plastic wrap. Cute into wedges and serve with remaining berries and whipped cream (we used vanilla ice cream). Enjoy!