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Coffee Crisp

6 egg yolks
8 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp instant espresso or coffee powder
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 deg F.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and 6 tbsp of the sugar for 1 minutes, or until smooth and pale yellow in color.

In a second med bowl, add espresso granules and 1/4 c of the cream.  Whisk until smooth, then add remaining cream and vanilla, and whisk until blended.

Very genly, fold espresso cream mixture into the egg yolks.

Use a ladle to pour custard in a baking dish or roasting pan and transfer to oven. Fill a pitcher with warm tap water.  Before closing oven door, pour water into pan (but not into the cups) until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cups.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the custards jiggle just slightly when you shake the pan.  Remove pan from oven and leave out on the counter, allowing the resitual heat of the water to finish the cooking process.

When custards have fully solidified, refrigerate for two hours.

Just before serving, sprinkle 1/2 tsp of sugar evenly overtop each custard.  Use a small blowtorch to carmalize the sugar.  Alternatively, place the cups 1 inch below oven broiler under a watchful eye for approximately 2 minutes, or utnil the sugar caramelizes.

7 Layer Dip Pinwheels

Large Flour Tortillas (10-11 inch), corn also works very well if available

The Layers:
Spreads:
Refried Beans
Guacamole
Sour Cream
Salsa
Toppers:
Cheddar Cheese
Black Olives
Green Onions

Assembly:

1.  Lay a tortilla out flat on a table.
2.  Spread the tortilla with one of the spreadable ingredients
3.  Top with the topping.
4.  Carefully starting at one edge roll the tortilla up, then slice into uniform pieces about 1/2 an inch thick.

Your combination possibilities are numerous.  Try keeping only one or two spreads per pinwheel, and only one or two toppings (about 3 layers per roll).

Torrejas

Ingredients

Corn or Vegetable Oil
3 eggs
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp or less salt

Pour the oil into the fryer or skillet. Clip the thermometer to the edge.  Position it so the tip of the thermometer is in the oil but does not touch the bottom or sides of the pan.  Lay a pile of 6 paper towels on the counter

Have an adult help you separate the egg whites and egg yolks.  Let the whites drop into the medium mixing bowl, and the yolks in the small mixing bowl.

Stir the yolks with the fork.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt the yolks, and stir it all together.  Set the bowl aside.

Beat the egg whites until they are shiny and slighly stiff, soft peaks.

Use the wooden spoon to scoop about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture, and stir until the mixture is soft and fluffy.

Gently stir the yolk mixture into the rest of the egg whites.

Heat the oil. Whit it is 350degF  slip a mounded tbsp of batter into the oil.  The batter will immediately puff up to about double its size.

Use the slotted spoon to turn the torreja, fry it until it is golden brown and crisp all over.

Use the slotted spoon to remove the torreja, and place it on the paper towels to drain.

Use the remaining batter by spoonfuls.  you can cook several torrejas at a time, but don't crowd them as they cook.  Be sure the oil temp doesn't go above 375degF, or the torrejas will burn.

Serve immediately.

Loaded Spinach Salad

Serves 2  
Active Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Prep Time: 30 mins

8 large eggs, hard-boiled
6 c baby spinach
4 tbsp dressing, such as creamy blue cheese dressing, divided
1 8-oz can beets, rinsed and sliced
1 c shredded carrots
2 tbsp chopped pecans, toasted

Peel hard-boiled eggs, remove and discard 6 of the yolks, chop the remaining yolks (2) and whites.

Toss spinach and 2 tbsp of the dressing in a large bowl.  Divide between two plates.  Top with chopped eggs, beets, carrots and pecans.  Drizzle with the remaining two tbsp of dressing.

Italian Chicken Salad

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 pound farfalle pasta
4 c coarsely shredded cooked chicken (about 1 1/2 purchased whole roasted chickens)
1/2 c diced roasted red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
1/2 c diced roasted yellow bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely
1/4 c drained capers
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/4 c red wine vinaigrette
12 butter lettuce leaves (about 2 heads)
2 oz chunk of parmesean cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Preheat oven to 350degF.  Spread the almonds on a small baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl to cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, 10-12 minutes.  Drain.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the chicken, bell peppers, onion, parsley, almonds, capers, salt, and pepper.  Drizzle with 1 cup of the vinaigrett and toss gently.

Arrange 1 large lettuce leaf and 1 small lettuce leaf on each plate, overlapping slightly.  Spoon the chicken salad into the lettuce "cups."  Drizzle the remaining 1/4 c of vinaigrette over the salads.  Garnish with shavings of parmesan cheese and serve.

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Red Wine Vinaigrette

1/2 c red wine vinegar
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp honey
1 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in a blender.  With the motor still running, gradually add the oil.  Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper, adding more to taste if needed.

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My New Bento Box

P4240045

Isn't it spiffy??  And so cute!

Thats a raspberry cookie up in the top part.  My lunch is inside but its not very cool looking so I didn't take pictures of it.

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Fattoush

2 6-in whole wheat pitas, split
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/4 tsp ground sumac, divided
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 large head of romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
2 large tomatoes diced
2 small salad cucumbers or 1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 c thinly sliced red onion
1/3 c thinly sliced fresh mint

1.  Preheat oven to 350deg F
2.  Place pita halves rough-side up on a large baking sheet.  Brush with 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp sumac.  Bake until the pita halves are golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.  When cool, break into bite-size pieces.
3.  Whisk lemon juice, salt, pepper and the remaining 2 tbsp oil and 1/4 tsp sumac in a large bowl.  Add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, mint and the pita pieces; toss to coat.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.