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Sagu do Vinho (posted 04/14/2020 by Paul T)

A friend of mine from Brazil shared this refreshing warm-weather dessert with me years ago. Don't let the tapioca scare you off; this isn't your grandma's tapioca pudding.

1 cup tapioca beads (small)
1 cup water
3 cups grape or cranberry juice or 2 cups of red wine mixed with 1 cup water
sugar to taste

In a thick bottomed saucepan bring the water, juice/wine mixture to the boil with the tapioca pearls. Reduce the heat, add the sugar and cook over low heat for about 35 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all pearls become clear, almost transparent. Add more juice or wine, if necessary. Pour into a serving bowl or on individual martini or wine glasses and serve cold.

Lemon Squares (posted 04/14/2020 by Paul T)

These are rich and packed full of lemon flavor. Enjoy!

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, butter, and powdered sugar.

Press into ungreased 9"x9" square pan, build up 1/2" edges.

Bake 20 minutes.

Beat remaining ingredients until light and fluffy, abut 3 minutes. Pour over hot crust.

Bake about 25 minutes, until no indentation remains when touched lightly in center.

Cool. Cut into about 1 1/2" squares. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Chocolate-Chip Cookies (posted 04/14/2020 by Paul T)

This is a favorite recipe I developed over the years that got published in the Oregonian back in the late 1990s. Pay special attention to the details; they make a difference in the end result. Enjoy!

Wet Ingredients
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
3 sticks salted butter, slightly softened
2 eggs, brown
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (real not imitation)

Dry Ingredients
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
24 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

The quality of ingredients, the temperature/texture of the butter, and the method used for mixing the cookie batter have a major impact on the final cookies. Don't use a mixer, or poor quality ingredients or the cookies won't taste right. Although you can substitute white flour for the whole wheat in a pinch, there is a difference in texture and taste. The butter should still be cool, but soft enough to knead with the first batch of ingredients.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all of the "wet" ingredients in a large mixing bowl using a "kneading" technique. IMPORTANT: The butter should be distributed throughout, but there should still be some "marbling" to the mixture, with some visible lumps of butter, about the size of a blueberry or a grape. Do not overmix!

Add all of the "dry" ingredients at once, other than the chocolate chips. Continue kneading the mixture just until it begins to look fairly uniform (it does not need to be absolutely perfect, but ensure all of the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined with the wet ingredients).

Add all of the chocolate chips into the mixture. It will look like you've got too many chocolate chips for the amount of cookie dough, but once distributed, it will look "right". Again, keep the mixing to the minimum needed to do the job.

Form rounded balls between about 1 1/2" to 2" in diameter on an ungreased cookie sheet (hint: use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough). Please the cookies on a middle rack for 8 - 10 minutes, depending on whether you would like softer or crisper cookies. If you choose a shorter baking time, the cookies may look as though they aren't done, but they in fact are. It's important to bake by time, especially after the first batch. The cookies are very delicate until they cool. Carefully transfer them from the cookie sheet to a foil-covered surface to cool for about 10 minutes before stacking or packaging.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes for a soft bake or 10 minutes for a crisp bake

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