30 May 2010

Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 30 May 2010

*** Check out what's happening at all 14 of Denny's blogs: news, politics, political cartoons, poetry, great recipes, science and health news, photography, humor and spiritual thoughts from great quotes.



Cup of coffee from Brazil by il Quoquo @ flickr




The Social Poets:

Obama Cowers to BP: Rejects Super Tankers for Gulf Clean Up

Whats Happening in America This Week: BP Oil Spill Cartoons - 29 May 2010

Peace Upon The Land poem – Libations Friday 28 May 2010

Check It Out: Rolling Stones Mag Names 5 Best Songs Ever

BP Oil Spill: White House Updated News - 24 May 2010

Transcript of White House Press Briefing on 24 May 2010

Roundup of Late Night Funnies and Funny Videos - 24 May 2010

Funny Video: Outgoing British Leaders Walk of Shame After Election

Funny Video: Colbert Mocks Glenn Beck for Comparing Himself to God and MLK


Funny Video: Jon Stewart Sees BP Fixing Oil Spill with Stupid Anagrams

Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 23 May 2010




Dennys Global Politics:


American and World Politics Cartoons - 29 May 2010


Child Porn Social Site Busted - News Headlines 27 May 2010

Use NASA 4 Oil Spill Help, Corrupt MMS, Lightning Rod Rahm Emanuel - News Headlines 26 May 2010




Beautiful Illustrated Quotations:


What Is Your Quality of Listening to Truly Benefit From the Hearing?





Photo by Helen Maria Bjornsd/Nordic Photos/Getty Images


The Soul Calendar:


Passionate Volcano Chasers: Photographing Eruptions Around the World

Why Black Holes Burst With Light When Galaxies Merge




The Healing Waters:





*** Photo by asobitsuchiya @ flickr



Heart Health: Beware of Sugar Pirates in Your Diet

Coming Soon: Get an Orgasm Boost with Female Viagra




Humor blogs:


Tea Party and Rand Paul Cartoons - 29 May 2010

Funny Facebook Cartoons - 29 May 2010




Romancing The Chocolate:






Cream Cheese n Sour Cherry Filling 4 Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cream Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Battle Belly Fat: Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies, Chocolate French Toast

Simple Summer: 2 Super Easy Spaghetti Sauces



Comfort Food From Louisiana:


Seafood Recipes: Crawfish Casserole, Crawfish Corn Bread, Crawfish Tortellini

Easy Recipes: 4 Versions of Crawfish Pie



Unusual 2 Tasty:

Battle Belly Fat: Pan-Seared Shrimp Tacos, Crunchy Crust "Mac n Cheese,” Oven Fries

Spicy Shrimp Fra Diavolo Sauce Used 3 Ways: Seafood, Chicken, Polenta

Elegant Cheap Dishes From Manhattan Chef: Chicken With 40 Garlic Cloves, Salad and Dessert

2 Crowd Pleasing Easy Casseroles: Mexican Lasagna, Turkey Tetrazzini




Visual Insights:


Memorial Day Madness Cartoons - 29 May 2010





Poems From A Spiritual Heart: This is a poetry only blog so the poems don't get lost in the noise of all my other posts on The Social Poets. So, if you are in the mood just for a quick read of some simple poetry I'm parking it here after it debuts on the Libations Friday segments.


Peace Upon The Land

The Mystics Arrive

We Are All Sleeping Beauties

Legacy of Love

Honoring Ourselves

Pollen Storms

Snowing The Perfect Balance

The 11 Choices

The Smallest Earth Day Poem

Three Endings and One Beginning

One Mother and One Child

Release Your Dreams and Spring into Life



*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

28 May 2010

Cream Cheese n Sour Cherry Filling 4 Chocolate Cupcakes

*** Check out a new cookbook creating clever new twists on classic flavors for our favorites!





From Denny: I like this chef's style! She loves the classics and she loves tinkering with the classics to update and experiment with new exciting flavors that are sure to be crowd pleasers. Cat Cora sure grabbed my attention with her chocolate recipes. The combination of cream cheese and chocolate is a classic people love. Another classic like Black Forest Cake is the combination of cherries with chocolate. Cat took both and paired them into one delicious chocolate bomb to explode all over our taste buds! :)

When you place the chocolate cake batter in the cupcake tin, you place only one third of the batter, add only one half teaspoon of the cream cheese filling on top of that, place one sour cherry on top of the filling and then cover with the chocolate cake batter and bake. Nothing could be simpler yet so elegant with that unexpected surprise as you bite into the confection.

This simple yet elegant cupcake would be divine for a birthday celebration or special day like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day. OK, I'd make it any time being the shameless chocoholic that I am. :) I love how pretty it is and yet so simple and bursting with flavor. Check it out and see what you think. Provided also is a link to her book at Amazon which is now discounted too. This is not a dessert cookbook but rather has a wide range of recipes to enjoy.




Chef Cat Cora's cookbook - Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes



Sour Cherry–filled Cupcakes

Makes: 12 cupcakes

From Cat: The cream cheese–cherry filling pairs perfectly with the chocolate cake. You can use the small amount of leftover filling to make a little white-icing decoration on top of each cupcake.

Ingredients

Chocolate cupcakes

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk, well shaken

Cream cheese filling

1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 canned sour cherries, drained

Chocolate–sour cream frosting

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sour cream

Instructions

To make the cupcakes:


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.

3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the oil, beating well. Beat in the egg and then the vanilla.

4. Turn the mixer speed to low and add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

To make the filling:

With a wooden spoon, beat together the cream cheese and the sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and stir until incorporated.

To bake the cupcakes:

1. Pour the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup about one-third full. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the batter and top with 1 sour cherry. (You will have about 1/4 cup of the cream cheese filling left.)

2. Spoon the remaining batter into each cup, filling the muffin cups no more than two-thirds full. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes are springy to the touch.

3. Let the cupcakes cool while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting:

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips, microwaving for 10 seconds. Remove the bowl and stir, then return to the microwave for another 10 seconds. Continue microwaving and stirring until the chocolate is smooth. (If you don’t have a microwave, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a skillet of simmering water.) Stir in the sour cream.

Spread the frosting evenly on each cupcake. If you want to decorate the cupcakes, spoon the remaining 1/4 cup cream cheese filling into a ziplock bag with a small corner snipped off or into a pastry bag fitted with a narrow pointed tip. Pipe a curlicue or 2 thin white lines down the center of the top of each cupcake. Serve.




Chef Cat Cora's cookbook - Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

27 May 2010

Check It Out: Rolling Stones Mag Names 5 Best Songs Ever




*** Rolling Stone Magazines choice for the 5 Best Songs of All Time with music videos.

From Denny: I just spent a couple of hours running down some great music video of the Rolling Stones Magazine's choices for the 5 Best Songs Of All Time. They are putting out a special collector's issue tomorrow that has the best 500 songs of all time. Most of it is grounded in the 60's and 70's but some also in the 2000s decade.

I parked this special post over at Dennys Art Sanctuary where some history of the making of the songs is discussed:

***Rolling Stone Magazine Names 5 Greatest Songs of All Time


Take a look and feel free to put up your choices of the all time best songs in the comment section! :)

Photo by Jsome1 @ flickr

*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

26 May 2010

Funny Posts to Get U Thru Your Work Week - 26 May 2010



Chew on some funnies today...


From Denny: Hey! It's Wednesday and you still need to finish out the work week with a laughing attitude that will dismay your boss, wilt your spouse with relief and annoy your teenage children. Take a look at this short list of posts on several of my blogs this week for your laugh of choice!


BP Oil Spill Funny Quotes and Jokes: Cheeky Quote Day - 26 May 2010

Roundup of Late Night Funnies and Funny Videos - 24 May 2010

Scary Video: Dumb Kid Alert

Hunh? Funny Political Cartoons 15 May 2010

Funny Story: New Funny World Myth


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

25 May 2010

Chocolate Cream Cake with Chocolate Frosting

*** Made from scratch a hearty cake with an intense chocolate flavor in the icing for a man's birthday. Just make sure to cut those slices thinner for women to enjoy. Cream cakes are tasty desserts of the past but tend to be heavy by modern standards. But oh, the flavor! :)




Photo by Tommy Simmons, Food Editor @ The Advocate


From Denny: Our local newspaper's food editor has decided to learn how to bake cakes. She is brave to chronicle her baking journey as it happens in real time. This is her first cake.

Most of us these days bake with cake mixes which are lighter versions of cakes our mothers and grandmothers used to bake. The difference is usually in the type and amount of flour utilized.

When I was eleven years old I made my first simple white cake recipe but doubled the dose of butter by mistake. It was awesome! My Cinderella style evil stepmother, a real killjoy personality, fussed about the expense of an extra stick of butter. I didn't see her in the kitchen trying to help guide the process as she hated kids, even her own grandkids. Of course, the funny part was the cake was a huge hit at the dinner table with the rest of the family. I've kept that recipe of beginner's luck with me all these years because the story still makes me smile.

So, when I see an adult food writer brave the cold cruel world of criticism to learn how to bake, well, I just have to support her! :) Tommy Simmons goes on to talk about this cream cake as "so dense and sturdy it would not dream of crumbling." A good cake for a beginner as it's easier to get these kinds of cakes out of the cake pans after baking.

She learned all the basics a novice learns about baking like not to leave the baked cakes in the pan for too long or you practically "have to get a crowbar to pry the cooled layers from the cake pans. The problem was I had left the cakes in the pans overnight." Been there and done that mistake! :) The reason for that issue is because the greased pans had oil that solidified, holding the cake in place.

An easy fix to that problem is to reheat your oven and pop the baked cakes back into the oven for anywhere for 2 - 5 minutes at 300 degrees F. to melt the oil on the sides of the pans to release the cake. Once the metal of the pan is reheated, but the cake is not hot or warm to the touch, the job is done. You don't really want to re-bake the cakes. You could also reheat the bottoms of the pans over the stove burner though I've found you can still encounter issues with the sides of the pans not releasing well so I use the oven method.

How do you know the cake is ready to be released from the pan? Run a knife around the edge of the pan, then shake gently, you will feel a little give from the cake which means the oil has softened. That's when it's time to invert the cake onto the cooling rack.

Food editor Simmons goes to to remark that the cake's flavor improves the second day. Such is the case with most cream cakes. That's why they are still so popular in south Louisiana and the American South in general. They are forgiving cakes, easy to make and store well in the refrigerator.

Simmons did not enjoy the Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa in the frosting as she found it too assertive and downright bossy for her favorite chocolate taste. She thought it was too much chocolate. When she bakes this cake in the future she made a mental note to herself to substitute Hershey's Cocoa, the regular one.

As an experienced cake baker who adores chocolate what I would do is use the lighter version of cocoa for the layers and use a thinner layer of the dark chocolate icing just for the top. You just divide the icing by 2/3 and 1/3, using the 1/3 as the dark chocolate. Or to keep it really simple just make two chocolate icing recipes, one light and one dark. Icing keeps well and you know you are going to be making another cake in need of icing very soon! :) Besides, Simmons advised you to make two recipes of the icing to have enough volume to properly ice the cake anyway.

Any time you have an assertive taste for a cake, it's best to use it in moderation. Lemon cakes are like that too. When using lemon curd, just use it on the filling and use a lighter lemon taste for the icing.





Cream Cake With Hershey’s “Especially Dark” Chocolate Frosting

From: “Cake Keeper Cakes” by Lauren Chattman and “The Fannie Farmer Baking Book” by Marion Cunningham

Serves: 12 to 16

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbl. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 large eggs, room temperature
2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tbl. vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream, not whipped, room temperature
Hershey’s “Especially Dark” Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)


Directions:

1. Grease and flour 4 (8-inch) layer-cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.

3. Beat eggs and sugar together in large bowl until mixture is thickened (about 5 minutes). Stir in vanilla.

4. Alternate adding flour mixture with the cream to the egg mixture. Don’t overbeat at this stage. Beat for about 1 minute just to make sure everything is combined.

5. Distribute batter evenly among the 4 cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Let cake layers cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

7. When cooled, you can slice each layer in half crosswise if you like thin cake layers and then frost and stack to assemble the cake. To store, seal the cut surface with plastic wrap and cover the whole cake with additional plastic wrap or a cake cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.





Hershey’s “Especially Dark” Chocolate Frosting

From: Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa can label

Makes: about 2 cups

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2/3 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa (very intense chocolate flavor, you may want to just use Hershey's Cocoa, the regular one, for the normal level of chocolate flavor if you are not used to deep dark intense chocolate flavors.)

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, if desired


Directions:

1. Melt butter and stir in cocoa.

2. Alternate adding confectioners’ sugar and milk. Beating to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency.

3. Stir in vanilla.

4. Frost between cake layers, sides and the top of the cake.

5. Press chopped pecans onto top of cake.

Note from Tommy Simmons: Double the frosting recipe so you have plenty of frosting. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

24 May 2010

Battle Belly Fat: Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies, Chocolate French Toast

*** Eat your favorite comfort foods and still battle the belly fat. Recipes the whole family will enjoy they won't even know they are eating healthy!



Brownies photo by FotoosVanRobin @ flickr


From Denny: This cookbook and recipes are geared to family healthy eating without sacrificing great taste and favorite foods. While she does limit each meal to about 400 calories the real success is combining a MUFA with each meal.

What's a MUFA? Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid. They are found in olive oil, olives, nuts and seeds, peanut butter or other nut butters and the biggest favorite: dark chocolate.

Liz tested these family recipes on her five year old girls and they were a big hit.

Here are the three basic rules from Liz Vaccariello, Editor in chief of Prevention Magazine, to help lose that belly fat:

1. Eat a MUFA with every meal

2. Stick to 400 calories per meal

3. Never go more than 4 hours without eating



Recipes Featured:

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
Chocolate Stuffed French Toast
Peanut Butter Strawberry Wrap





Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook by Liz Vaccariello







Fudgy Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

From: "Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook"

Makes: 8 servings (2 brownies each)

347 calories

INGREDIENTS

• 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
• 5 tablespoons trans fat free margarine
• 2 large eggs
• 1 large egg white
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup fresh raspberries
• 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar (optional

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Press a sheet of aluminum foil into the bottom of a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan, making sure there is enough foil to overhang two opposite edges. Coat generously with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.

Combine the chocolate and margarine in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool 2 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, egg white, sugar and extract in a bowl. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture, stirring until combined. Gently fold in the raspberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 48-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan 10 minutes. Carefully lift sling from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, before serving.







Chocolate Stuffed French Toast

From: "Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook"

Makes: 4 servings

416 calories

INGREDIENTS

• 4-ounce semi-sweet chocolate bar, finely chopped
• 3 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened
• 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
• 6 ounces Italian bread, cut on an angle into 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices
• 2 large eggs
• 2 large egg whites
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon trans-free margarine

DIRECTIONS

Combine the chocolate and cheese in a small bowl; mix well. Combine the strawberries, sugar and orange zest in a separate bowl.

Spread 1/4 of the chocolate mixture on 4 slices of bread. Top each with remaining bread and press lightly to form a sandwich.

Combine the eggs, egg whites and vanilla in a medium bowl. Working one a time, dip both sides of each sandwich in the egg mixture and set on a plate.

Melt the margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the foam subsides add the sandwiches and cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Divide among 4 plates and top each with some of the strawberries. Serve immediately.






Peanut Butter Strawberry Wrap

From: "Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook"

Makes: 1 serving

332 calories

INGREDIENTS

• 1 (8-inch diameter) whole wheat tortilla
• 2 tablespoons natural crunchy unsalted peanut butter
• 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced

DIRECTIONS

Lay the tortilla on a work surface. Spread on the peanut butter. Cover with the strawberries. Roll into a tube. Cut on an angle into desired number of pieces.



*** See Also:
Battle Belly Fat: Pan-Seared Shrimp Tacos, Crunchy Crust "Mac n Cheese,” Oven Fries




Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook by Liz Vaccariello


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

23 May 2010

Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 23 May 2010



Cup of coffee from Brazil by il Quoquo @ flickr


From Denny: Thanks for visiting all my blogs! It's amazing how much the web has changed in only 18 months. Now people can read blogs without ever physically visiting - just read the posts in a reader.

At the top of the list here for each blog are the most recent posts. I've included many of the most popular posts you've enjoyed the past few weeks too.

I've just started up yet another interest blog for posts and news on music and art. Thank you for the great response! I had no idea people would respond so well to those couple of posts so quickly.

And special thanks to the folks who posted the Jazz Music poem up on social sites this week. Apparently, there are a number of music fans out there! :) Thanks for visiting The Social Poets!




The Social Poets:


America This Week: World Politics Cartoons and Commentary - 22 May 2010

Jazz Music poem - Libations Friday 21 May 2010

Funny Poet: Guy Wetmore Carryl

Funny Volcano and Weather Quotes - Cheeky Quote Day 19 May 2010

Scientists: New Airport Scanners Not Safe

Roundup of Late Night Funnies - 17 May 2010

Funny Video: Stewart Skewers Conservatives 4 Obama-Bush Comparisons

Funny Video: Colbert Lampoons Kagan Confirmation Hearing

Posts Roundup This Week at Dennys Blogs - 16 May 2010






Dennys Global Politics:


Political Cartoons: Local and World Economy

Actor Kevin Costner Pitches Solution to BP Headache, Intelligence Head Resigns, Why Kagan Elitist Good - News Headlines 20 May 2010

Russia Furious With America Over Afghan Drugs, Terrorism Financing Un-Islamic, White House Food - News Headlines 19 May 2010

Sticking It to Iran, Obama and Jobs Creation, Survey Goes Against New Oil Drilling - News Headlines 18 May 2010

Airport Scanners Safety Questioned, Iran Skirts Nuke Sanctions, Sex Criminals Indefinitely Detained - News Headlines 17 May 2010





The Soul Calendar:


Ground-Breaking King of the Lab: Venter Creates Synthetic DNA

Video: Check Out the River Monsters Swimming Near You


Bloggers: Get The New Google Buzz Buttons

Neuroscience: Want Your Man to Better Understand You? Try Empathy Nasal Spray



Beautiful Illustrated Quotations:


Sometimes What You Sideline is a Good Thing

3 Quotes: Have You Validated Yourself Recently?

3 Positive Attitude Quotes to Help Shape Your World

Are You Stuck in Life Not Knowing Where to Go Next?

Mothers Day Quote From Rose Kennedy

How Can You Help Your Child Keep Their Balance And Yours?

Mothers Day Quote: The Funny Stages of Motherhood

4 Special Quotes to Anchor Your Dreams




Humor blogs - Dennys Funny Quotes, Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd:


Dark Humor: BP Oil Spill Cartoons - 22 May 2010

Outrageous: Graduation Debt Cartoons - 22 May 2010

Funny Video: Colbert On BP Oil Containment - No One Knows What The Flock They're Doing

Funny Video: Cartoonist Mocks Tea Party Hypocrisy

Funny Video: Betty White On SNL Monologue

Funny Video: Betty White, SNL Golden Girls Lampoon Lawrence Welk Show

Funny Video: Cover Up Your Sex Scandal With A New Batch Of Euphemisms

Terrorism and Times Square, Immmigration Cartoons - 15 May 2010

Hunh? Funny Political Cartoons 15 May 2010

10 Funny Odd Photos - cute animals and crazy dressed people!

Funny Video: TV Anchor Falls off Chair




The Healing Waters:


Controversial Successful New Treatment 4 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Injuries During Sex, Miracle Baby, Bad Drug Ad Snitches Wanted - Health News Stories - 14 May 2010

Funny Wall Street Political Cartoons - 15 May 2010




Food blogs - Romancing The Chocolate and Comfort Food From Louisiana:


Simple Summer: 2 Super Easy Spaghetti Sauces

Easy Recipes: 4 Versions of Crawfish Pie

Triple Chocolate Toffee Brownies

Elegant Cheap Dishes From Manhattan Chef: Chicken With 40 Garlic Cloves, Salad and Dessert

Sweet Breakfasts: Caramel Pecan Buns, Sweet Blueberry Drop Biscuits, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Tradtional Sandwiches Updated: California Tuna Melt, Egg Salad

Chocolate Wonders: Kentucky Derby Pie, Make-ahead Chocolate Soufflé

Easy Moist Chocolate Mayo Cake From Bon Appetit

Video: Louisiana Chef Makes Crawfish Etouffee

5 Easy Recipes 4 Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

2 Crowd Pleasing Easy Casseroles: Mexican Lasagna, Turkey Tetrazzini

Awesome Cajun Barbecued Shrimp — New Orleans Style

Yummy Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

Awesome Sauces 4 Louisiana Seafood

Spring Into Grill Season: Mouthwatering Steaks

Chef Rocco Dispiritos Cheap Yet Healthy Comfort Food

Kid Friendly Recipes: Chocolate Quesadillas, Very Best Fudge




Visual Insights, photo blog:


Political Cartoons: Memorial Day - 22 May 2010

Supreme Court Nominee Political Cartoons - 15 May 2010

Dennys Funny Photo Gallery: The Nose Knows

Dennys Photo Gallery: Garden Views

Dennys Photo Gallery: Life is Just Plain Funny

Dennys Photo Gallery: How to Know Its Spring

Funny Odd Couples: Cats and Their Weirdo Friends

Dennys Photo Gallery: Spectacular Sunrises

Dennys Photo Gallery: Beautiful Blues in Our World

Photography, Beautiful Metaphor for Life: 17 Boats

Only White Theme: 26 Photos

Photo History: 1st Lady Gowns, Michelle Obama Donates Hers




Dennys Art Santuary:


The Stones, Otis Redding, Ronnie James Dio - Arts and Music News 17 May 2010

Featuring Marilyn Monroes Jazz Pianist Hank Jones - Arts and Music Headlines 18 May 2010


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

19 May 2010

Check Out 2 Funny Posts 2 Get U Thru the Work Week



British Petroleum giving "face" to President Obama about paying for their oil spill


From Denny: Check out some funnies and hike on over to one of my other blogs, The Social Poets, for some mid-work week fun!


Funny Volcano and Weather Quotes - Cheeky Quote Day 19 May 2010 - Funny volcano and weather quotes, jokes, political cartoons and funny video all designed to make you laugh til your boss fires you for "excessive merriment."

Roundup of Late Night Funnies - 17 May 2010 - Chock full of funny video clips from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Betty White on SNL as well as the late night show jokes and quips.


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

18 May 2010

Simple Summer: 2 Super Easy Spaghetti Sauces



Fresh tomatoes photo by epSos.de @ flickr


From Denny: This chef, Guiliano Hazan, suggests simple dishes of the freshest food for an easy summer meal. Read that as you don't spend a lot of time slaving over a hot stove in the heat of summer. He uses the food processor to create a raw veggie puree as a sauce that is simple and bursting with fresh flavor. He does suggest peeling the tomatoes and the bell pepper and demos how. If you are worried about pestacides - and who isn't? - this might be a good idea. He shows us how easy it is to do and is about the only thing about these recipes that could be found to be somewhat time-consuming.

The second sauce uses fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs and yummy mozzarella cheese that you toss into warm pasta and then set aside with plastic wrap over the dish to melt the cheese. What could be easier?

What's good about large bowls of pasta is it provides a casual simple and easy way to entertain without too much heat or effort in the kitchen. This chef's book has over 100 easy pasta recipes that are worth the read! Click on the cookbook title link to go to the review of his new book to find out more about this award winning famous chef.






To check out his book, go here:"Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta"













Spaghetti all checca

From: Giuliano Hazan, "Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta"

Makes: 4 servings

From Chef Hazan: I originally discovered this classic, refreshing Neapolitan summer dish at a restaurant called Cambusa in Positano. It is an uncooked sauce where the ingredients are simply scalded with hot oil before being tossed with the pasta. Use tomatoes whose flesh is firm and flavorful. Plum tomatoes are a good fall-back if nothing else seems suitable.


INGREDIENTS

• 2 pounds fresh tomatoes
• 8 ounces fresh whole milk mozzarella
• Salt
• 1 pound spaghetti
• 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 6-8 fresh basil leaves
• 4-5 sprigs fresh oregano
• 3-4 springs fresh thyme
• Freshly ground black pepper


DIRECTIONS

Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.

Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and cut into small 1/4-inch dice. Put the tomatoes in the serving bowl you’ll be serving the pasta in.

Add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, put in the spaghetti, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until very al dente (about 30 seconds less than you normally would).

While the pasta is cooking, put the olive oil in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat until the oil begins to smoke then remove from the heat.

While the oil is heating, cut the mozzarella into small 1/4-inch dice. Coarsely chop the basil. Chop enough oregano to a medium fine consistency to measure about 4 teaspoons. Finely chop enough thyme to measure about 1 teaspoon. Add the herbs to the bowl with the tomatoes and season well with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, pour it into the bowl and mix thoroughly.

When the pasta is done, drain well, and toss it with the ingredients in the serving bowl. Add the mozzarella, toss again, then cover the bowl and let stand for about a minute to allow the cheese to melt a bit. Uncover the bowl, toss one last time, and serve at once.






Spaghetti with raw peppers and tomato

From: Giuliano Hazan, "Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta"

Makes: 4 servings

From Chef Hazan: Saucing pasta with raw sauces is not uncommon and makes for a great refreshing summer dish. Some require a period of maceration but this one is best soon after it is made.


INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound fresh tomatoes
• 1 yellow bell pepper
• 3-4 sprigs flat leaf Italian parsley
• 1 tablespoons whole milk
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound spaghetti
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


DIRECTIONS

Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.

Peel the tomato and remove the seeds. Peel the pepper, core it, remove the seeds, and cut away any white pith inside. Put the parsley leaves, tomato, pepper, milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a light grinding of black pepper in a food processor. Run the processor until you get a smooth puree.

When the water for the pasta is boiling, add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, put in the spaghetti, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until very al dente, about 30 seconds before they are done.

Transfer the sauce to the bowl where you will be serving the pasta. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil and mix well. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss thoroughly with the sauce, and let stand for about 2 minutes before serving.






To check out his book, go here: "Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta"


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16 May 2010

Posts Roundup This Week at Dennys Blogs - 16 May 2010



Cup of coffee from Brazil by il Quoquo @ flickr


From Denny: This sure has been quite the week with the drama unfolding out in the Gulf of Mexico with the BP oil spill off my Louisiana coast. The cartoonists have had great fun lampooning the various lies and finger pointing from the CEOs involved. The better news is that BP is finally making a bit of headway on corralling some of the oil for clean up, siphoning it into a tanker.

Some headway is better than nothing and at least it has slowed down the rate of gushing oil and natural gas for the moment. Definitely better than using an atomic bomb to blow up the well like the crazy Russians suggested. There's a plan. Nuke the Gulf of Mexico and irradiate the ocean waters for the next thousand years. Fortunately, BP and the government are contemplating lesser crazy options.

As a result of the oil spill there are countless great political cartoons and funny videos by the likes of Colbert to enjoy. And Betty White was the toast of late night TV on SNL after turning in some hilarious performances. She then proceeded to go out all night carousing with the SNL cast after the show. She's almost 89 years old and there's no time to waste for having fun! :)






The Social Poets:


BP Oil Spill Funny Political Cartoons - 15 May 2010

Love Gift Poem - Libations Friday 14 May 2010

3 Funny Videos: Hilarious Betty White On SNL, Cartoonist Mocks Tea Party

Funny Wall Street Quotes and Jokes, Stewart Lampoons Wall Street - Cheeky Quote Day 12 May 2010

One Million Homeowners Walked Away: Can It Kill Our Economy?

Video: The Case For Walking Away From Your Mortgage

Roundup of Late Night Funnies - 10 May 2010

Funny Video: Colbert Lampoons Conservative Preacher and His Rentboy

Funny Video: Stewart Slams Media, BP, And Hypocritical Politicians For Oil Spill Response

Funny Video: 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner with Prez Obama







Dennys Global Politics:


World Economy Political Cartoons - 15 May 2010

Russians Say Nuke BP Oil Spill, Hordes Leaving Facebook, Big Business Cheats, Obamas Tax Reform - News Headlines 13 May 2010

BP Found Cheating, Auto Dealers Sleazing Public, Voters Oust Porkers, Haiti Charities Stingy - News Headlines 12 May 2010

Hedge Fund Short Selling Caused Market Dive, Cameron New Brit PM, Govt Changes Approach to Oil Oversight - News Headlines 11 May 2010

Woman Chosen 4 Supreme Court, BP Sprays Chemicals into Oil Spill, Obscene Exec Perks - News Headlines 10 May 2010




Beautiful Illustrated Quotations:


3 Quotes: Have You Validated Yourself Recently?

3 Positive Attitude Quotes to Help Shape Your World

Are You Stuck in Life Not Knowing Where to Go Next?

Mothers Day Quote From Rose Kennedy

How Can You Help Your Child Keep Their Balance And Yours?

Mothers Day Quote: The Funny Stages of Motherhood

4 Special Quotes to Anchor Your Dreams




Food Blogs:


Triple Chocolate Toffee Brownies

Elegant Cheap Dishes From Manhattan Chef: Chicken With 40 Garlic Cloves, Salad and Dessert

Sweet Breakfasts: Caramel Pecan Buns, Sweet Blueberry Drop Biscuits, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake







Humor blogs:


Funny Video: Colbert On BP Oil Containment - No One Knows What The Flock They're Doing

Funny Video: Cartoonist Mocks Tea Party Hypocrisy

Funny Video: Betty White On SNL Monologue

Funny Video: Betty White, SNL Golden Girls Lampoon Lawrence Welk Show

Funny Video: Cover Up Your Sex Scandal With A New Batch Of Euphemisms

Terrorism and Times Square, Immmigration Cartoons - 15 May 2010

Hunh? Funny Political Cartoons 15 May 2010




Visual Insights photo blog:


Supreme Court Nominee Political Cartoons - 15 May 2010

Dennys Funny Photo Gallery: The Nose Knows




The Healing Waters and The Soul Calendar:


Injuries During Sex, Miracle Baby, Bad Drug Ad Snitches Wanted - Health News Stories - 14 May 2010

Funny Wall Street Political Cartoons - 15 May 2010



*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

13 May 2010

Awesome Easy Frozen Raspberry Layer Cake and Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes



Photo by Family Features Editorial Syndicate


From Denny: The weather is turning hotter and more humid now that pollen season is gone so what do our minds turn to thinking? Ice cream and frozen cakes! This cake is made with frozen pound cake, ice cream and sorbet. If you don't have any raspberries then substitute strawberries and strawberry sorbet. Isn't it just beautiful?

You could even make this cake for the special daughter or granddaughter in your life who loves the color pink. It's also a very pretty and showy cake for entertaining as school graduations are coming up along with weddings.

And check out this sour cream cupcake recipe from Redbook. Are these guys not clever or what? They updated the strawberry shortcake idea by turning it into a cupcake where you poke holes in the cupcake and drizzle strawberry syrup juice over it to flavor the cake, then top with whipped cream and strawberries. Awesome! Great for parties too.


Frozen Raspberry Layer Cake

From: Country Living

Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

2 (10-3/4-oz.) frozen pound cakes, crusts removed, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
4 cups raspberry sorbet, slightly softened
1 pint fresh raspberries, rinsed and picked over
3 tbls. Chambord, or other raspberry-flavored liqueur

(From Denny: I love Chambord as it's flavor is more mellow yet intense berry flavor compared to other liqueurs. The expensive is worth the price but do try to use it up inside 6 to 8 months or refrigerate it after opening. Goes great in dark roast coffee too.)


Directions:

1. Prepare the pan: Trace and cut out a 9-inch circle from parchment paper and fit it into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Cut out a 3x27-inch strip of parchment and fit around inside of pan. Tape to secure parchment paper and set aside.

2. Assemble the cake: Cover bottom of pan with a single layer of pound cake slices and spread ice cream evenly over cake. Freeze until ice cream hardens — about 25 minutes.

3. Spread 2 cups sorbet over ice cream, followed by another layer of pound cake slices. Return cake to freezer for 10 minutes.

4. Combine raspberries and Chambord in small bowl. Remove cake pan from freezer and place berries evenly over cake.

5. Top with a final layer of pound cake and remaining sorbet. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until firm — at least 4 hours.







Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

From:
Redbook

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsps. vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream

Topping:

1 quart strawberries, cleaned, hulled, thickly sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbl. lemon juice
1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
3 tbls. confectioners’ sugar
1 tbl. vanilla extract


Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

2. In medium bowl, whisk to blend flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In large bowl with mixer on medium, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture and sour cream until combined. Continue to beat until batter is smooth.

4. Spoon batter into a zip-top bag. Snip a 1/2-inch corner from bag and fill liners slightly less than 2/3 full. Bake 24 to 26 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely.

5. Toss strawberries several times in a bowl with sugar and lemon juice until very syrupy.

6. In large bowl, beat cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.

7. Use a skewer to poke holes in top of each cupcake. Spoon some syrup from strawberries over top, allowing it to absorb into cupcakes. Top with berries and whipped cream. Put a few sliced berries in the whipped cream and drizzle with remaining strawberry syrup.





*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

11 May 2010

Triple Chocolate Toffee Brownies

From Denny: Who doesn't love brownies? If more people fought wars with brownies instead of bullets there would be no squabbles worth fighting! :)

Here's a recipe I ran across in our local newspaper when they were doing a cookbook review on a Food and Wine cookbook that features the best recipes from many recently published cookbooks. This recipe really loads you up on chocolate: semi-sweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, mini-chocolate chips and then toffee chips. Whew! A serious download of chocolate and intense flavor. Sounds like pure Heaven.

Remember to stick with unsalted butter as the chocolate chips already have some salt in them - and eggs have natural salt in them too. Trust the recipe; you don't need to add any more salt.

There's also a link to my Amazon store where you can purchase the book at a discounted rate. Never pay retail is my motto! :)




From: “The Art and Soul of Baking” by Sur La Table with Cindy Mushet

From Amazon review:

2009 IACP Cookbook Awards Winner! Nominated for a 2009 James Beard Foundation Award.

Sur La Table teamed with pastry chef and baking teacher Cindy Mushet to bring you the ultimate guide to baking. Beautiful photographs and more than 250 easy-to-follow recipes lead you into a world of alluring aromas and light, flaky pastries. Illustrated asides take you step by step through important techniques, from carmelizing sugar to working with croissant dough. Plus, you'll find invaluable information on over 100 ingredients and 50 baker's tools. A true pleasure for anyone who loves to bake.

Each selection of the Gourmet Cookbook Club is handpicked and road-tested by the editors of Gourmet magazine, so readers can cook with confidence, knowing the recipes really do deliver. Online at Gourmet Book Club you can find videos of the authors demonstrating recipes, share your thoughts on the cookbooks in the forums, and learn more about each book's topic.

BENEFITS:

* The ultimate book for bakers.

* Professional tips and tricks are made easy for the home baker.

* Step-by-step techniques of baking.

* 100 photographs, 250 foolproof recipes and variations, and information on over 100 popular baking ingredients and over 50 pieces of baking equipment.






Check out this recipe from the cookbook:


Triple Chocolate-Toffee Brownies


Ingredients:

6 ozs. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ozs. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick (4 ozs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
1 cup toffee bits
1/3 cup mini-chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper, allowing the parchment to hang over the edges.

2. In a medium glass bowl, microwave semisweet and un-sweetened chocolates at high power in 30-second intervals until melted, about 2 minutes. In small bowl, whisk flour with baking powder and salt.

3. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated. Beat in the milk and vanilla at low speed. Beat in the flour mixture, then beat in 2/3 of the toffee bits and the minichocolate chips until evenly distributed.

4. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup of the toffee bits. Bake the brownies for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

5. Set brownies on a rack to cool completely, about 2 hours. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting. Use the parchment overhang to lift the brownie out of the pan; cut into squares and serve.


Make ahead: Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Authors’ note: Toffee bits are available in the baking aisle of most supermarkets, but you can also crush up a toffee bar for this recipe (even a chocolate-covered one will work.)


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

09 May 2010

Posts Roundup This Week at Dennys Blogs 9 May 2010




From Denny: This sure has been a wild ride for the news, the BP oil spill attempt at clean-up, the crazy British election and the huge sudden drop in the stock market. I gathered some of the better stories over at Dennys Global Politics.

You just have to read about the odd new health stories about empathy nasal spray for men and the strange neck treatment for PTSD relief. And the political cartoons were out in full force as social commentary on it all so you know I just had to park a number of those posts on several blogs for Saturday! :)

Hope everyone had a great Mothers Day! And thank you all for your great support!




The Social Poets:


Oil Spill Disaster Cartoons - Whats Happening This Week in America - 8 May 2010

One Mother and One Child poem 4 Mothers Day - Libations Friday 7 May 2010

Transocean Kidnapped Oil Rig Survivors, Coerced Signing No Legal Repsonsiblity

Funny Parenting Quotes 4 Mothers Day - Cheeky Quote Day 5 May 2010

BP Only Responsible to $75 Million 4 Oil Disaster By USA Law

Roundup of Late Night Funnies - 3 May 2010

Posts Roundup This Week at Dennys Blogs 2 May 2010





Dennys Global Politics:

Greek Debt Crisis 4 The World: Political Cartoons 8 May 2010

1,000 Point Stock Market Plunge, Brits Still Tied After Election, Examining Obamas Humor - News Headlines 7 May 2010

USA Offshore New Oil Drilling Halted, New USA Terrorist Screening, 3-Way Tie in Brit Election - News Headlines 6 May 2010

Supreme Court Pick Hunt, Dems Whimp Out on Finanacial Fund 4 Reform, How You Get on No-Fly List, Obama Tough on Airlines - News Headlines 5 May 2010

Pakistan Trained Bomber, Obamas Workaholic Ways, Catholics Polled About Sex Abuse - News Headlines 4 May 2010

BP Oil Spill Coverage - News Headlines 3 May 2010





The Soul Calendar:


Funny Wall Street Cartoons - 8 May 2010


Video: Check Out the River Monsters Swimming Near You


Bloggers: Get The New Google Buzz Buttons

Neuroscience: Want Your Man to Better Understand You? Try Empathy Nasal Spray




The Healing Waters:


Controversial Successful New Treatment 4 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder




Beautiful Illustrated Quotations:


Mothers Day Quote From Rose Kennedy

How Can You Help Your Child Keep Their Balance And Yours?




Dennys Funny Quotes:


The Great American Immigration Debate: Political Cartoons - 8 May 2010

Funny Video: Health Care Rage-Ex by Cartoonist Mark Fiore

Funny Animated Cartoon on Economy: Crashiversary Video by Mark Fiore



Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd:


Times Square Terrorist Bomber: Political Cartoons 8 May 2010

10 Funny Odd Photos - cute animals and crazy dressed people!

Funny Video: TV Anchor Falls off Chair





Food blogs:


Tradtional Sandwiches Updated: California Tuna Melt, Egg Salad

Chocolate Wonders: Kentucky Derby Pie, Make-ahead Chocolate Soufflé

Video: Louisiana Chef Makes Crawfish Etouffee


Easy Moist Chocolate Mayo Cake From Bon Appetit





Visual Insights:


Dennys Photo Gallery: Garden Views

Funny Love-Hate Relationships of Fox News, Republicans, Tea Party, Airlines and Obama Cartoons - 8 May 2010


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!
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