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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baileys Irish Cream

Here is the homemade Baileys Irish Cream recipe for all of my friends, both on and offline. It's easy enough that you should have time to whip up a batch for any event. 
    1 C light cream (I used heavy whipping cream, which made it even richer)
    14 oz sweetened condensed milk
    1 2/3 C Irish whiskey (I used Jameson's)
    1 t instant coffee (I use a shot of good coffee)
    2 T Hershey's chocolate syrup (I used Torani)
    1 t vanilla
    1 t almond extract (I skipped this entirely)

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and set on high speed for 30 seconds.
2. Bottle in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. Shake before using.

Will keep for up to 2 months.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Salted Caramel


  * 1/2 cup sugar  * 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  * 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  * 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  * 1 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling (sea salt)
  * 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan (or loaf pan with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil, allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.

In a deep saucepan (6 inches diameter by 4 1/2 inches deep) combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the caramel is a warm golden brown color (this color will be sweet/caramelly, this will be sweet with a bit of a coffee flavor, I wouldn't go darker than this, my caramels I made before were a bit too dark). Don't stir - just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!

In the meantime, bring the cream , butter, and 1 teaspoon fleur de sel (sea salt) to a simmer in a small pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat, set aside and keep warm.

When the caramelized sugar is the right color, slowly add the cream mixture to the caramel - it will boil up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully (it's hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate until firm (approximately 2-3 hrs).

When the caramels are cool, use the parchment paper to pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Starting at 1 end, roll the caramel up tightly until you've rolled up half of the sheet. Cut the sheet across and then roll the second half tightly. You will have 2 (1 by 8-inch) logs. Sprinkle both logs lightly with fleur de sel, cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut parchment papers in 6 by 4 1/2-inch squares and wrap each caramel in a paper, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vietnamese Salmon Salad with Mango, Chiles and Mint

(makes 4)

1 pound salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 portions

Salmon marinade
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp tumeric

3 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp sugar
1 small shallot, chopped
1 small jalapeno, minced

4 cups napa cabbage, chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 large mango, pitted and sliced
1 cup mint leaves, thinly sliced into chiffonade

Garnish; ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped

  1. In a zipper bag or bowl, mix the marinade ingredients, then put the salmon in the mixture and turn to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients
  1. Spread the napa cabbage on a platter. Top with cucumber, then mango and mint.
  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat and when hot, swirl with oil. Place salmon in the pan skin side up and let cook for 3 minutes, then turn. Cook until the fish flakes easily and is barely opaque in the center, about 2 minutes. Place the warm salmon on the greens and drizzle dressing over it all. Sprinkles with peanuts.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

My favorite part of fall - there's no better way to warm up to a new season than with the pumpkin spice latte. So, here’s the recipe I’ve used to make it all year around!  This is also an excellent way to spice up your warm milk. 

I want to give credit for this recipe to my amazing sister in law Parisa with whom I share an unusual strong love of good coffee.  

Pumpkin Spice Latte
For the pumpkin spice syrup:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks or 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp canned pumpkin

For a single latte:
  • 1 shot of espresso or 2-4 Tbsp very strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp pumpkin spice syrup (or to taste)

To make the syrup: Cook sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat until the mixture is completely clear.Whisk in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to come to a boil- the cloves and cinnamon will make it bitter. Allow mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Strain syrup through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a large jar and keep in the fridge, it will last a while.

To make the latte: combine espresso with heated milk, and 1-2 Tbsp of pumpkin spice syrup (add to taste).

To make spiced milk:  combine warm milk with syrup and enjoy.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hot Dog Spaghetti

This is from my friend Leah.  Picture is worth a thousand words.  Use whatever style of hotdog/veggiedog/turkeydog you name it dog you want.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


This soup in one of my favorite feel good recipes warm a cold autumn/winter day.  It looks complicated by really it is just putting a bunch of stuff into a slow cooker and letting it go all day, oh so easy.  Many times Abgoosht is referred to as Dizi, but this has to do with the dish it is cooked in- it is a large stone pot reminiscent of Le Crueset pots but really made of real stone. For many of us we use pots, slow cookers, or even pressure cookers for convenience and the amount of time we have. The traditional recipe for Abgoosht is what I am sharing with you here.


· Lamb meat ba ostokhan (with bones), or other meat as long as it has bones.

· 3-4 potatoes (depending on size of potatoes)

· 1 medium onion

· Salt/Pepper

· Turmeric
1 cup
· Nokhod (garbanzo beans)
 (soaked in adavance)
· 1 cup lobiya sefid (white beans)
( soaked in advance)
· 1-2 Limoo Amani (dried limes) or use lemon juice if don’t have this.

· 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
Lemon Juice (optional)


These directions are specific to slow cooker but may be modified for a pressure cooker or a regular pot.

  1. Place the meat, onion, , and dried lime(s) in the slow cooker. Pour in water to cover everything, you may just want to pour in the water used to soak the beans and maybe some more if its not enough.
  2. Cover the pot and place it on med. for 2-3 hours.
  3. Add white beans, garbanzo beans and cook for another 2 hours
  4. Then add the washed potatoes (do not peel the skin off yet), tomato paste, and a little bit of cinnamon. At this time if you feel it is necessary you can add some lemon juice.
 Cover the slow cooker again and allow everything to cook for another 2 hours on med. heat.
  5. This is a long cooking time but you want the meat to practically disintegrate on you and the flavors to mix together.

  •  you can serve this as a stew or separate it out and serve as below
  • Preparing the Mashed meat (goosht koobideh):
You will peel the skin off the potatoes, clean the meat off the bones, and take out the dried limes. Mash the meat, potatoes (maybe not all the potatoes), and beans all together. Then you can pour some of the water on it is you desire. It is ready to eat with bread.
  • Preparing the tilit (water/bread):
You will want to tear up pieces of pita or barbari bread (or a combination) and pour the water over the bread. The bread pieces become soaked and this part of Abgoosht is called Tilit.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fesenjoon (Sweet Walnut Stew)

· 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil
· 1 pound chicken legs, cut up
· 5/8 white onion, thinly sliced
· 5 ounces (~1C) walnuts (unsalted) finely ground in a food processor
· 3/4 teaspoon salt
· 2-2/3 cups pomegranate juice or ½ C pomegranate past and 2C water
· 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
· 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken and onions in skillet, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Mix in pureed walnuts, salt, pomegranate juice, and cardamom. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in 1/4 cup warm water.)
3. Mix in sugar, adjust seasoning, and simmer 30 minutes more.