Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Apricot Cheesecake Pockets


2 cups flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup apricot jam
1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar
Gold sparkling sugar, for decoration

To Prepare

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar and salt.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat 8 oz. cream cheese and the butter on medium-high speed, until fluffy, 1 minute. Beat in the flour mixture on low speed. Divide the dough in half; place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Using the wrap to help, form the dough into disks and seal. Chill the dough until firm, at least 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix half the beaten egg into the remaining 4 oz. cream cheese. Stir 1 teaspoon water into the remaining egg. Chill both the cream cheese mixture and the egg wash.
4. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment. Working on a floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough ¼ inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut out the cookies and place on the pans. Repeat with the remaining dough disks. Reroll any scraps and cut out enough cookies to total 24.
5. Transfer 1 of the pans to the refrigerator. Working with the other pan, place 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture and 1 teaspoon jam in the center of each cookie. Using a pastry brush, coat the cookie edges with the egg wash; fold over the filling. Using the back of a fork, seal the edges. Brush the tops with egg wash. Place the pan in the refrigerator; repeat with the remaining cookies.
6. Bake the cookies until golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a rack; let cool.
7. In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons water. Working over the parchment, drizzle the cookies with the glaze. Sprinkle with the sparkling sugar. Let the glaze set.

Coconut Snowflakes


2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (10.5 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice plus teaspoon lemon zest
White sparkling sugar, for decorating
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

To Prepare

1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream 11 tablespoon butter and the granulated sugar on medium low speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and the extracts, scrapping the bowl, for 2 minutes. Mix in the flour mixture in 2 batches on low speed.
3. Divide the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the wrap to help, shape the dough into 2 disks and seal. Chill for 2 hours.
4. Meanwhile, using the mixer, beat the remaining 10 tablespoons butter, ½ teaspoon salt, the confectioners' sugar, half-and-half, lemon juice and lemon zest on low speed until smooth. Beat on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Chill the filling.
5. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, preheat to 375 degrees. Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment. Working with 1 dough disk at a time, roll out on a floured surface to 1/8 inch, rotating the dough as needed. Using a 2 ½ inch cutter, cut out the cookies. Divide the cookies among the pans, chilling the pans as you work.
6. Sprinkle the cookies with the sparkling sugar. Bake 2 pans at a time, switching them halfway through cooking, until the edges are brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack; let cool.
7. Spread the bottom of 1 cookie with 1 teaspoon of the filling. Sandwich with another cookie. Use your fingers to scoop and press the coconut onto the filing. Chill for about 30 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Recipe: Shrimp, Cod & Fennel Soup with Tomatoes

This recipe is guaranteed to warm you up during the coming chilly, fall days and nights. It's easy to make, and it tastes absolutely delicious! Try it.

Shrimp, Cod and Fennel Soup with Tomatoes

Tip: Poaching shrimp and cod in wine-and-garlic-spiked fish stock elevates their flavor but keeps calories minimal. If you can't find the fish stock at your grocery store, ask your fishmonger.


2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small fennel bulb, quartered lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced crosswise,

fronds reserved for garnish

Coarse salt

Freshly ground white pepper

1 cup dry white wine

4 cups fish stock

12 ounces skinless cod fillets, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

12 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left intact)

To Prepare

  1. Prepare an ice water bath. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Score an X into the bottom of each tomato using a sharp paring knife. Blanch tomatoes until skins loosen, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to ice water bath using a slotted spoon. Peel and discard skins. Core and coarsely chop tomatoes.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium Dutch oven or a large pot over medium high heat. Cook onion, garlic, and sliced fennel until fragrant and softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper. Remove from heat, and add wine. Return to heat, and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom using a wooden spoon. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add stock and chopped tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Stir in cod and shrimp, and return to a simmer. Remove from heat, and let stand, stirring halfway through, until cod and shrimp are just cooked enough, about 3 minutes. Divide soup among 4 bowls, and drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds. Serve immediately.

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes to prepare.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Classic Recipes for the Summer

It's grilling season!!!

When you want to try something different to grill, try the following two recipes. The Patty Melt is really good, and it uses good, old fashioned rye bread. The Veggie Burger is just plain healthy (and delicious). Try them out for yourself!

Classic Recipe: Classic Patty Melts on Rye

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
Kosher salt
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
12 slices crusty rye bread, each about 1/3 inch thick
2 pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups (about 4 ounces) grated Havarti or Swiss cheese
Dijon or spicy brown mustard, optional

To Prepare
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions, sprinkle with the sugar, cover and cook until the onions are tender and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt. Remove from the heat.
2. Butter the bread on each side and set aside.
3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat. In a large bowl, gently mix the ground chuck with the Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper, incorporating the spices evenly. Gently shape into 6 patties of equal size and thickness, about ¾ inch thick. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of each patty.
4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the patties over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to medium, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Transfer the patties to a work surface.
5. Lower the temperature of the grill to medium heat. Grill the bread slices over direct medium heat until toasted on one side only, about 1 minute. Transfer the bread, toasted side up, to a work surface.
6. Evenly divide the caramelized onions on 6 of the toasted bread slices and top each with a patty. Scatter the cheese over the patties. Place the remaining bread slices, toasted sides down, on top of the patties. Using a wide spatula, carefully place the patty melts back onto the cooking grate and grill over direct medium heat until the brad on the bottom is toasted, about 1 minute, and then carefully turn the sandwiches and toast the other side. Serve the patty melts warm with mustard, if desired.

Serves 6; Prep time: 25 minutes

Perfect Veggie Burgers

1/3 cup quick cooking barley
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small stalk celery, chopped
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 tablespoons barbeque sauce
1 medium carrot, finely grated
1 cup canned pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
6 soft buns, split
Onion rings, for topping

To Prepare
1. Prepare the barley as the label directs. Let cool completely.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Add the garlic, 3 tablespoons barbeque sauce and the carrot; cook, stirring until the mixture dries out slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool completely.
3. Add the barley, beans, breadcrumbs, walnuts, soy sauce, egg whites, parsley and ½ teaspoon salt to the food processor. Pulse until finely ground with some chunks. Form into six 4-inch-wide, ½ inch thick patties and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate until firm, 1 to 4 hours.
4. Preheat the broiler. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the patties until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Meanwhile, place the buns, cut side up, on a broiler pan and broil until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the patties on the buns; top with the remaining 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce and onion rings.

Makes 6 burgers; total prep time 1 hour 40 minutes.

Cool & Refreshing Smoothie

These two ingredients: cantaloupe and pistachio make a delicious smoothie.

I really love making and drinking smoothies. Nothing cools you better than a delicious smoothie on a hot summer day. The following two recipes are a continuation of those that I recently placed on my eNewsletter. Want to get my newsletter? Send me an email to adrienne@adriennecc.com or visit my website at http://www.adriennecc.com/.

Cantaloupe-Pistachio Smoothie

1 cup fresh cantaloupe chunks
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons agave nectar, Domino
2 teaspoons finely chopped pistachios
Garnish: cantaloupe slices

To Prepare
1. On a small baking sheet, place cantaloupe chunks; place in freezer for 30 minutes, or until firm.
2. In the container of an electric blender, combine cantaloupe, yogurt, and agave nectar*; process until smooth. Top with pistachios. Garnish with cantaloupe slices, if desired. Serve immediately.

* 2 tablespoons honey may be substituted for agave nectar.
Note: Fresh unfrozen cantaloupe chunks may be used. Add 4 ice cubes to blender before processing.

Makes 1 serving; Prepares in 5 minutes, freeze time: 30 minutes

Blueberry-Ginger Smoothie

1 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger

To Prepare
1. In the container of an electric blender, combine blueberries, yogurt, honey, and ginger. Process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Males 1 serving; prepares in 5 minutes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Classic Recipe: Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Continuing from my May eNewsletter, here's another great recipe for you to try at home. It's low in calories, healthy, and very easy to make. Enjoy!!!

Ingredients for Soup

1 large potato (about 14.5 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 cup light plain soymilk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon precooked real crumbled bacon
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for Topping

5 teaspoons shredded fat-free chedar cheese
5 teaspoons fat-free sour cream
5 teaspoons diced scallions
2 1/2 teaspoons precooked real crumbled bacon


  1. Pierce potato with a fork in multiple places, and then place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 8 to 10 minutes, until potato is soft. Once cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin.

  2. Mash the potato pulp with a fork and set aside. Bring a medium pot sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add chopped onion and minced garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until onion has softened. Add broth and soymilk. Slowly add the flour, continuously stirring until it has completely dissolved.

  3. Add mashed potato and stir until fully blended. Add all other ingredients for soup. Mix well, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes.

  4. Top each serving with a teaspoon each of cheese, sour cream, and scallions. Sprinkle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon crumbled bacon. Enjoy!

Makes 5 servings. 130 calories, 1g fat, 564mg sodium, 22g carbs, 2g fiber. 2.5g sugars, 7.5g protein.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Don’t let the intricacy and kaleidoscopic beauty of a marbleized design fool you.  These ripples of color may look hand-painted or machine-printed, but they’re actually created by liquid.  Take a close look and you will detect the telltale signs of motion:  tiny waves, graceful swirls, and dappling reminiscent of raindrops falling on a pond.  In fact, all marbleized patterns begin as paint floating on water.  Marbleizing dates to the twelfth century, when it was practiced in China and Japan.  Today, you can follow in this tradition to make your own rich designs.  Marbleize paper to use as stationery or add distinctive swirls of color to simple wooden boxes or bins.  In doing so, you’ll be clued in to an age-old secret.  Although it appears elaborate, marbleizing is actually quite easy.

About The Materials

Alum: Alum is a mordant chemical that makes paint adhere to paper.

Paintbrushes, Knitting Needle, Rake:  These tools are used to manipulate floating paint and create patterns.

Paper:  It’s important to use uncoated paper products, so the alum can bond properly.  For gift wrap, use oversize pieces of paper so one sheet will cover a box.  Use card stock or other heavy paper to make cards.

Clothesline, Clothespins, Iron To minimize warping, clip alum-coated paper to a clothesline to dry (this will take about 1 hour).  Once it is dry, iron the paper on a medium setting to flatten it.

Absorbent Ground Gesso:  Wooden objects are brushed with gesso, an art supply used for priming canvases and other surfaces, before being marbleized.  If you are marbleizing a painted wooden object, combine the gesso with acrylic paint (follow package instructions), then apply the mixture to the area you’ll be marbleizing.

Liquid Acrylic Paints Speckle paints onto the surface of the marbleizing solution-they’re what add color to your paper or objects.

Methyl Cellulose:  When mixed with water, methyl cellulose, a thickening agent, forms a syrupy liquid on which the paint floats.

Pans and Trays Use shallow pans, which will allow you more control.  For most projects, baking pans will work.  If you’re marbleizing larger sheets of paper, use photo-developing trays.

Basic Supplies
  • Alum
  • Pencil
  • Uncoated (nonglossy) medium-weight paper, or wooden object, such as boxes
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clothesline and clothespins
  • Iron
  • Absorbent ground gesso (for wood projects)
  • Methyl cellulose
  • Whisk
  • Shallow baking pans or trays
  • Liquid acrylic paints
  • Knitting needle or skewer
  • Rake
  • Plain newsprint
How to Marbleize

To create marbleized designs, you’ll need some specific supplies.  They are inexpensive and readily available at art supply and craft stores.  To start the process, first coat the object with a liquid mordant, such as alum, which gives the paint something to hold on to.  After it dries, fill a tray with water and a thickening agent; then speckle the surface of that liquid with paint.  By slowly moving the paint around, you manipulate the pattern.  Finally, slip the object onto the surface of the water, then lift it up to capture the design, and hang to dry.
  1. Prepare the Surface  For paper:  Dissolve 2 tablespoons of alum in 2 cups of warm water.  Use a pencil to mark one side of the paper, then brush that side with the alum mixture.  (The pencil marks will indicate which side you prepared, as the solution will dry clear.)  Hang the paper to dry, then iron it flat.  For wooden boxes and bins:  It’s easiest to marbleize only one side of the three dimensional object (the top of the box, for example), as multiple dippings can result in messy looking corners.  Brush the surface with absorbent ground gesso (or gesso mixed with acrylic paint, if desired).  Let it dry about 1 hour.  Then coat it with the alum mixture as described above for paper, and let it dry again.
  2. Mix the Marbleizing Solution  In a bowl, combine ½ cup of methyl cellulose with 4 quarts cold water, whisking to incorporate the powder.  When the mixture is free of lumps, let it sit about 1 hour, stirring at 15 minute intervals until it is syrupy.  Pour the liquid into an empty pan.  Lay down wide strips of painted newspaper to lift out air bubbles.  Thin the paints, until they’re runny, with small amounts of water.  Dip a brush into your first paint color, and hold it over the tray; tap on the handle with a pencil, letting the paint speckle the mixture (this will produce a stone pattern).  Continue to add paint (use up to 5 colors), covering as much of the mixture’s surface as you like.  Leave the speckles as they are, or move the paint by drawing a marbleizing rake through the paint, first along the width of the tray, then across the length.
  1. Embellish the Surface For paper: Hold the paper by two opposite corners, and lower it (prepared side down) so it floats on top of the solution. Let go of the corners, and smooth out any air bubbles with your fingertips. (Air bubbles will leave while spots, so try to eliminate them.) Let the paper float for a few seconds, then gently lift it from the solution. For wood: Lower the edge of the object onto the surface of the solution, and coat it in one smooth rocking motion.
  2. Rinse and Dry  Immediately after removing the paper or wooden object, place it in a pan, and pour water over it. Then hang paper to dry; place wooden objects on paper towels to dry, marbleized side up. Do not touch the paper or object until it is dry (most objects should dry within 2 hours, depending on humidity levels).
Project:  Marbleized Pencils

Take poetic license with a box of ordinary pencils, and dress them up in shades of pink, orange, and red.
Project Supplies:  Basic marbleizing supplies, ruler, scissors, white craft glue, small paintbrush, plain wooden pencils.
How-To:  Begin by marbleizing paper following my instructions above, then cut dried paper into strips (about 1 by 6 ¾ inches).  Brush the back of a strip of marbleized paper with white craft glue; affix one long edge of paper to the pencil, then roll it against a hard surface to warp the pencil and remove air bubbles.  Sharpen the pencils once the glue has dried.

Saturday, April 9, 2011



This sweet, crunchy root contains more carotenoids, the antioxidants that give carrots their yellow-orange pigment, than any other veggie. That’s why they are so good for you! Carotenoids may protect against certain types of cancer, heart disease, and cataracts. What’s more, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A, essential for healthy skin and a strong immune system. Other virtues of carrots: soluble fiber, vitamin C, and bone strengthening calcium.

Buy & Store: Choose firm, deep orange carrots without splits or cracks. If the leafy tops are attached, they should be bright green. Trim them down immediately to one inch; otherwise the roots will go limp and lose nutrients more quickly. Compost or discard the greens, or toss them into a salad (they taste a bit like parsley). Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, carrots without their tops will stay fresh for about two weeks.

Preparation Tip: Since beta-carotene is fat soluble, combining carrots with a little healthy fat-for instance, tossing them into a salad with a vinaigrette-will help your body absorb the antioxidant more fully. If you’re cooking carrots, try steaming them: put carrots in a basket or colander, cover, over simmering water until crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Just be sure not to reduce them to mush-overcooking carrots can destroy all that precious beta-carotene.