- Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour 9 x 12-inch baking pan.
- Melt butter and chocolate in top part of a double boiler over boiling water. When melted, set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored; add vanilla. fold chocolate mixture into eggs and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
- Sift flour and fold gently into batter, mixing just until blended. Fold in walnuts.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until center is just set. Do not overbake.
- Allow brownies to cool in pan for 30 minutes before cutting into bars. (28 brownies)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and shallots, and cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, basil, stock, and salt and pepper. Stir, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces and add them to the soup. Let it cook for one minute, then remove from the heat and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve sprinkled with chopped basil and Parmesan cheese. (Serves 4-6)
- Note: To change this from a chunky soup to a more “drinkable” soup for hors d'oeuvres, puree soup with an immersion blender and add up to 4 cups of great quality tomato juice. The flavor is so substantial that it remains delicious.
~ Julee's miniature pecan tarts ... a memorable bedtime 'Sweet Dreams' Snack
1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
3 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sifted flour
1 slightly beaten egg
¾ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a hand held mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together and add flour continuing to mix until smooth, about 1 minute longer. Shape into 2 dozen 1-inch balls, press into 1¾-inch muffin cups.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix the egg, brown sugar, melted butter, salt, and vanilla.
- Divide ½ pecans among the pastry lined pans. Add filling and top with remaining pecans. Bake for 17 minutes. Reduce to 250°F and bake 10 minutes longer. Cool and remove from pan. (24 tassies)
PETITE NUAGES de CHOCOLATES
(JULIA/JULEE'S LITTLE CHOCOLATE BITES)
~ From Julee's website comes this shared recipe for these delightful bite-size versions of Julia Child's Flourless Chocolate Cake ... trust me, the burst of rich chocolate is memorable!
9 oz. best quality bittersweet chocolate (60-64% cacao)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 lightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- Roughly chop chocolate into pieces. Transfer to medium-sized bowl and add the butter,. Place the bowl over the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until the two ingredients have melted. Mix well and transfer to large bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Sift sugar and flour together, then stir into chocolate. Add eggs and mix well. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. The batter will thicken as it stands.
- Line 1 1/2-inch miniature muffin tins (24 to the pan) with cupcake papers. Of course, you can make these in regular muffin tins, but they are too rich to be large for our palate. Spoon batter to 3/4 full for each cupcake into the paper-lined cups. Bake 16-18 minutes (if large bake 30-35 minutes). The brownies will still be moist when done, but tops will puff up and the look crisp and rounded. They will fall slightly as they cool. Let cool in pan, if you can leave them alone. They're fragile and will fall apart if not cool. Best to disappear within 48 hours. (32-36 Little Bites)
Christmas tree in Breakfast Area
Fresh berries with Creme fraiche, Baked ham and sausage,
Apple Bismarck with Spiced Maple Syrup
Homemade granola, juices, yogurt, coffee and teas,
and Bishop's Cake
~ Classic, moist pound cake from the Silver Palate Cookbook
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) sweet butter
2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 eggs (always organic for me)
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
- Cream butter and sugar gradually; beat until fluffy.
- Sift flour and add to butter mixture. Stir just enough to blend.
- Add lemon juice and vanilla; stir well. Add eggs, one at at time, mixing well after each addition.
- Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted onto the center of cake comes out clean. (After 30 minutes cover closely with aluminum foil.)
- When cake is done, cool in pan on a cake rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. (8-10 portions)
Holiday Amaryllis blooming in every room
"Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing,
of just going along,
listening to all the things you can't hear,
and not bothering."
~ A.A. Milne
(Pooh's Little Instruction Book)