Pear Cake


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(This cake is too sticky, but tastes great)

4 pears, peeled
100g soft light brown sugar
4 tbsp milk
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp clear honey, plus extra to drizzle
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I do not like cinnamon flavor so I added a pinch)
2 egg whites

1. Grease and line the base of a 20 cm/ 8 inch cake tin

2. Put 1 pear in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of water and blend until almost smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

3. Sieve in the flour and baking powder. Beat in the sugar, milk, honey and cinnamon and mix well.

4. Chop all but one of the remaining pears and add to the mixture.

5. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and gently fold into the mixture until fully incorporated.

6. Slice the remaining pear and arrange in a fan pattern on the base of the tin.

7. Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and cook in a preheated oven 300 degreeF for 1.5 hour or until cooked through.

8. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cook in the tin for 10 minutes.

9. Turn the cake out on to a wire cooling rack and drizzle with honey, leave to cool completely then cut into slices to serve.

Choclolate Fudge Pudding


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(This pudding tastes good only when it is hot, just out from oven)

50g vegetarian margarine (margarine has a specific smell and taste to it, different than normal butter, some people might not like it or find it strong)

75 g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
350 ml milk
50g chopped walnuts (I used cashew instead of walnuts)
40g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
icing sugar and cocoa, to dust

1. Lightly grease a 1 litre ovenproof dish.

2. Cream the margarine and sugar until fluffy and beat in the eggs.

3. Gradually stir in the milk and add the walnuts.

4. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold in gently until well mixed.

5. Spoon the mixture into the dish and cook in a preheated oven at 350 degree F, for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sponge is cooked. Dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder and serve.

Mixed Bean Soup


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1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, halved and sliced
100 g potato diced
1 carrot, diced
1 leek sliced
1 green chilli, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 litre vegetable stock
450 g mixed canned beans, such as red kidney, borlotti, black eye drained
salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped coriander, to garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, potato, carrot and leek. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring, until slightly softened. Add the chilli and garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.

2. stir in the ground coriander, chilli powder and the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Stir in the beans, season well and cook for a further 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

Red Pepper and Chilli Soup


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225g/ 8oz red peppers, seeded and sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green chilli, chopped
300 ml passata (boil tomatoes and its puree is called passata)
600 ml vegetable stock
2tbsp chopped basil
fresh basil sprigs, to garnish

1. Put the peppers in a large saucepan with the onion, garlic and chilli. Add the passata and stock and bring to the boil, stirring well

2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the peppers have softened. Drain, reserving the liquid and vegetables separately.

3. Sieve the vegetables by pressing through a sieve with the back of a spoon or blend in a food processor until smooth.

4. Return the vegetable puree to a clean saucepan with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the basil and heat through until hot. Garnish and serve.

Red Pepper Risotto


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3 large red peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
14oz cans chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups rice (preferrably arborio rice)
6 fresh basil leaves, snipped
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the grill. Put the peppers in a grill pan and grill until the skins are blackened and blistered all over. Puthe peppers in a bowl, cover with several layers of damp kitchen paper and leave for 10 minutes. Peel off the skins, then slice the peppers, discarding the cores and seeds.

2. Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes, then add the pepper slices and bay leaves. Stir well and cook for 15 minutes more, still over a gentle heat.

3. Pour the stock into a large, heavy- based saucepan and heat it to simmering point. Stir the rice into the vegetable mixture and cook for about 2 minutes, then add two or three ladlefuls of the hot stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the stock has been absorbed into the rice.

4. Continue to add stock in this way, making sure each addition has been absorbed before pouring in the next. When the rice is tender, season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes before stirring in the basil and serving.

Leek and Potato Pie


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6 tablespoons butter
5 cups trimmed and sliced leeks
2 cups dry hard cider (I used sparkling cider)
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons while grain mustard
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 pound potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
salt and pepper
12 sheets of phyllo pastry dough, defrosted if frozen (You can find these at any grocery store, 1 pack contains around 50 sheets)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt one-third of the butter in a large skillet. Add the leeks and saute for 6 to 8 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the cider, bring to a boil, and boil rapidly, uncovered, until reduced by about two-thirds. Add the cream, return to a boil, and boil rapidly for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce reaches the consistency of thick cream Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard, eggs and cheese.

2. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes until tender; be sure they are cooked through, because the acidity from the cider will prevent them from cooking further when added to the sauce. Drain and stir gently with the leek mixture. Season to taste.
3. Melt the remaining butter. Use a little to brush the bottom of a 13X9 inch baking dish. Place a sheet of phyllo pastry dough on a top and brush with a little more butter. Repeat with 4 more sheets of dough to cover the bottom and sides of the dish, overlapping the edges. Spread the filling inside, then layer another 5 sheets of dough, in the same way, over the top; fold over any overlapping dough. Brush 2 more sheets with the remaining butter, gently crumple, and place on top of the pie.

4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden.

Feta and Herb Briouats


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4 tablespoons butter or 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoon coarsly chopped fresh cilantro
3 ounces feta cheese, diced
salt and pepper

For the Pastry:
12 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted if frozen
4 tablespoons melted butter or 4 tablespoons olive oil

For the red bell pepper and tomato sauce:
1 (14 ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers - (I roasted bell peppers at home, you can google the procedure)
1 (14 ouce) jar diced tomatoes - (I cut 2 tomatoes and didn't use the jar)
Pinch of saffron strands, softened in a little boiling water
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
squeeze of lemon juice - I bought it and forgot to add :(
(I added some tofu, which wasn't in the original recipe)

The original recipe is for rolls, I felt it was a little time-consuming so I rather made a pie instead of rolls. It tastes amazing.

1. Melt about half the butter or heat half the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the thinly sliced onions and sprinkle with the salt. Cook for a few minutes, stirring. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft but not colored.

2. Stir in the ground cinnamon, beaten eggs, and remaining butter or olive oil. Keep over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes until the eggs are thick but still moist (like scrambled eggs). Stir in the chopped herbs, tofu and the feta; season to taste. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.

3. To make the red bell pepper and tomato sauce, first drain the peppers. Then put them in a blender or food processor with the tomatoes, saffron, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend this mixture to a puree. Pour into a pan, add the garlic, and simmer for 30 minutes, until reduced by about half and thick. (I didn't use all in the recipe, I put the remaining in some Indian curries, that tasted awesome)

4. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Cover the pan with 2 phyllo sheets, butter them , spread the feta mixture and cover it with 2 phyllo sheets, repeat the steps and put the red bell pepper sauce as the uppermost layer and cover it again with 2 phyllo sheets.

5. Bake the pastries for 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Remaining bell pepper sauce (if any) can be used for decoration

Spicy Gazpacho with Basil


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1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 slices white bread (I used wheat bread); roughly torn
1 can (14 ouce) tomatoes pureed with their juices
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar (I used some other vinegar that was available)
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper
Handful basil leaves, to garnish

1. Pour 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil into an ice-cube tray and freeze

2. Put the onion, garlic, bell pepper, ripe tomatoes, and bread into a food processor and blend until finely chopped but not too smooth- you need to keep some of the crunchy texture.

3. Transfer to a large bowl with the pureed tomatoes. Add 5 tablespoons of the remaining oil, the vinegar, hot pepper sauce, stock, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste; remember, food to be served chilled needs to be strongly seasoned. Mix thoroughly, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. You can prepare ahead up to this point.

4. Just before serving, pour the soup into serving bowls. Drop a couple of frozen olive-oil cubes into each, and drizzle with a little more oil. Tear some basil leaves over each bowl and serve

Caldo Verde


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1/2 cup dried cannellini beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large potato, diced
2 large fresh sage leaves, shredded
about 2 1/2 cups shredded Savoy cabbage (I didn't find any so used regular cabbage)
2 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper

1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water.

2. Drain the beans and then put in a large pan with 5 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the beans are tender.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the potato and sage, and saute for 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir the onion mixture into the beans, together with the cabbage and stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste. Serve with crusty bread.

Chinese broth with Curly Kale Seaweed


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(This soup tastes Amazingggg)

2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, chopped
5 scallions, sliced
1 red chile, seeded and shopped
6 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon chile or olive oil
1/2 cup baby corn, halved lengthwise
2 small carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 1/2 cups shredded kale
1 1/2 cups quartered button mushrooms
8 ounces fresh Chinese noodles, or 4 ounces dried
1 tablespoon dry sherry (I did not use any)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
Vegetable oil for frying
salt and pepper

1. Place the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, scallions, and chile in a food processor and blend to a coarse paste. Heat the stock in a pan with the paste until boiling. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the chile or olive oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the corn, carrots, 1 1/4 cups of the kale and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms and stock mixture, and cook for 3 minutes longer. Add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes (4 if using dried noodles). Stir in the sherry, soy sauce, and lime juice, and simmer for 1 minute longer. Season to taste.

3. Heat about 3/4 inch vegetable oil in a skillet. Add a little of the remaining kale to the pan. if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough. Add the rest of the remaining kale and fry for a few seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; it should become crisp.

4. Serve broth and noodles in bowls, topped with crisp kale.

New Vegetables a la Grecque


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(This tastes great with Roti)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed
3 baby eggplants or 1 small eggplant, finely diced
1 red or yellow onion thinly sliced
1 large tomato, skinned and chopped
3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
salt and pepper
1 pound baby new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
12 ounces baby carrots, halved
3 cups shelled fava beans (I did not find these at the grocery store, so didn't use it)
4 ounces asparagus stalks

1/2 cup ripe olives
1 tablespoon capers
flat-leaf parsley leaves
crusty bread or Roti to serve

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic, eggplant, and onion, and cook over medium heat until very soft, about 10 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to a very large bowl and stir in the chopped tomato and sun-dried tomato paste. Add the red wine vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper, set aside.

3. Cook the potatoes and carrots in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for about 15 minutes, until tender; drain well. Meanwhile, steam the fava beans and asparagus for about 5 minutes, until just tender.

4. While the vegetables are still hot, add them to the eggplant mixture. Stir well to coat and leave to cool for about 5 minutes before serving so they absorb the flavors of the sauce.

5. Serve sprinkled with ripe olives, capers, and parsley leaves accompanied by crusty bread - I bought all of these from the market but forgot to add :(

Feta and Cherry tomatoes Stuffed Peppers


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3 red bell peppers
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
5 ounces feta cheese
Fresh Basil Leaves, shredded

1. Preheat the over to 375 degree F. Quarter and seed the peppers, put them in a single layer in a roasting pan. Skin-side down.

2. Mix together the garlic, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon a little of this mixture into the cavity of each pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes untill the peppers are tender. Leave to cool

3. Sprinkle with the crumbled feta and shredded basil

Spiced Lentil Soup with Lemon Yogurt


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Sprig each of fresh cilantro, parsley and thyme (I did not use thyme)
1 celery stalk
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions chopped
2 carrots, chopped
5 garlic clovces, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 1/2 cups French Lentils
2 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Butter
salt and pepper

7 tablespoons thich plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
grated zest of 1 lemon

1. Tuch the herbs into the hollow side of the celery stalk and bind with string to make a bouquet garni,

2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and spices and saute for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.

3. Add the bouquet garni, lentils and stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender. Discard the bouquet garni.

4. Process until smooth in a blender or food processor; you may need to do this in batches. Return to the clean pan and reheat slowly. Stir in lemon juice, cream and butter. Season.

5. Make the lemon yogurt: Mix the yogurt with half the cilantro and half the lemon zest. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and add a spoonful of the lemon yogurt to each.
Scatter the remaining cilantro and lemon zest over to serve.

Simple Curried Vegetable Broth


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(I forgot to take pictures for lot of soups I tried)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onion, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped into large chunks
2 tablespoons mild curry paste (or garam masala)
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper

1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the vegetables, toss well, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until light brown.

2. Stir in the curry paste or garam masala and the flour, and stir together well. Pour the stock over and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the begetables are tender.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the garnish: Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onion and slowly saute for 7 to 10 minutes until brown.

4. Stir the cream into the soup and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the fried onion and chopped cilantro.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup (One more type)


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(Original recipe is with Jerusalem Artichokes, I didn't find them so I made it with Artichokes)

2 tablespoons Butter
2 onions sliced
1 3/4 pounds Jerusalem Artichokes (or Artichokes)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper(black or white)
pinch of sugar
2 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons light cream to finish
croutons to serve

1. Melt the butter in a large heavy pan. Add the onions, cover, and let them sweat for 5 minutes until soft but not brown.

2. Peel and slice the jerusalem artichokes, then add them to the softened onions and saute for about 15 minutes, or until they are just tender.

3. Pour in the vegetable stock and season with salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the Jerusalem artichokes are soft.

4. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches. Pour the puree back into the clean pan and stir in the milk.

5. Heat the soup slowly to just below a boil. Stir in the cream.

6. Serve with croutons.

Mushroom - Wonton Soup


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1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I used some other vinegar that was available)
1 1/4 ounces dried shiitake or other drieed mushrooms
2/3 cup boiling water
6 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms
bunch of scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 small red chile, thinly sliced
1 inch piece ginger root, grated
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons dry sherry - (I didn't use it)
Peanut oil for brushing
3 ounces chinese thin egg noodles
3 cups shredded bok choy (or spinach)

1. Mix flour, sugar, sesame oil, and vinegar with enough warm water to make a firm dough, and knead lightly. Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Soak the dried mushrooms in the boiling water for 10 minutes, drain, reserving the liquid. Place half the mushrooms in a food processor with two-thirds of the crimini mushrooms, half the scallions, and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and blend to a paste.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough very thinly into a 12 inch square. Trim and cut into sixteen 3 inch squares. Spoon a little mushroom paste into the middle of each. Bring one corner diagonally over the filling and seal the edges to form little triangles.

4. Bring the stock and mushroom liquid to a boil in the bottom of a steamer. Add the remaining mushrooms and the scallions, soy sauce, chile, ginger, garlic and sherry.

5. Oil a steaming rack and arrange the wontons in a single layer. Cover and steam for 10 minutes. Add the noodles and bok choy to the soup. Turn the wontons and cook 3 to 5 minutes longer, until tender.

6. Serve the soup and noodles in bowls, topped with the steamed wontons.

Spicy Parsnip Soup


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1 heaped tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon each cumin seeds and turmeric
1 dried chile or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, split
2 to 3 large parsnips, cubed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 cups vegetable stoock
2/3 cup light cream
chopped chives and parsley to garnish

1. Pound the coriander and cumin seeds with the turmeric, chile and fenugreek in a mortar, or grind them in a spice mill.

2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onion, garlic, and parsnips and cook, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture. Cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring from time to time. Pour in the stock gradually and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer. When the parsnip is really tender, puree in a blender. return to the clean pan and diluute to taste with water.

3. Reheat, add the cream, and adjust the seasoning. serve scattered with chives or parsley. croutons of bread can be served also.

Velvety Cauliflower - Cheese Soup


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1 large cauliflower 2 pounds, broken into large florets
salt and pepper
5 tablespoons butter
1 white onion, chopped
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons light cream
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
chopped fresh parsley to garnish

1. Reserve about 1 cup of the cauliflower, then blanch the rest in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes, drain well.

2. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the onion and saute for 4 minutes until it is soft but not brown. Add the blanched cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the milk and 1 and 1/4th cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and soft.

3. Break the reserved cauliflower into tiny florets. Heat the vegetable oil in a small nonstick pan until hot. Add the florets and saute until light brown. Add the mustard seeds and shake the pan until the seeds pop and release their flavor, the care, some of the seeds may jump out of the pan.

4. In a small bowl, mix the cream and flour to a paste. Add a spoonful of the hot soup and stir well. Stir the mixture back into the soup and cool slowly, stirring, until slightly thicker. Season the puree in a blender until smooth and creamy. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Minty Pea and Potato Soup


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4 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup very thinly sliced leeks
3.5 cups frozen peas
1 and a three fourth cups finely diced boiled potato
2 quarts good quality vegetable broth
1 tablespoon shredded fresh mint plus a few sprigs for garnish
salt and pepper

1. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the leeks and saute slowly for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peas and potato and toss together

2. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

3. Puree half the soup in a blender until very smooth. Return to the pan with the remaining soup. Mix well, then add the mint and heat through.

4. Spoon some soup into each of 4 warmed bowls and garnish with mint sprigs.

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw


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• 2 pounds green cabbage
• 4 carrots
• 1 medium yellow onion
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup mustard
• 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1.Cut cabbage,carrots and onion. (You can use food processor to do this but it becomes sticky). In a large bowl, toss vegetables together.

2.In another medium bowl, prepare the coleslaw dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, mustard, cider vinegar, sugar, black pepper, and cayenne.

3.Toss dressing with the cabbage mixture, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


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• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
• 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
• 1 pound cream cheese, softened
• 2 sticks butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar


1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

2.In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

3.In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer.

4.Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

5.Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled.

6.Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

7.For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup


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This is great for breakfast
• 1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
• 8 large eggs
• 2 cups half-and-half
• 1 cup milk
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon - I do not like cinnamon, you can add it if you like
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• salt
• Praline Topping, recipe follows
• Maple syrup


1.Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.

2.In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly.

3.Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

4.The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

5.Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.
Praline Topping:
• 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 cup chopped pecans
• 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

Veg Lasagna (one more type)


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• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
• 1 1/4 cups whole milk
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
• Pinch ground nutmeg


• 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
• 1 (10-ounce) chopped spinach
• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
• 2 ounces thinly sliced carrots, chopped
• 2 ounces thinly sliced broccoli
• 1 large egg, beaten to blend
• 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 15 uncooked lasagna noodles
• 2 cups marinara sauce
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)


1.To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.

2.Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

3.Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, carrots, broccoli, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

4.Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

5.Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 5 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle.

6.Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. (In layers)

7.Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna. Cover tightly with foil.

8.Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer.

9.Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.

Apple Cake


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• 1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I do not like cinnamon at all, I always feel that it overtakes all other flavors. I added a pinch of cinnamon in my recipe, you can add it if you like)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples

Crumble Topping:
• 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Brown Sugar Glaze:
• 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons water


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter.

2.In a large bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each.

3.In a separate bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.

4.To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

5.To make the glaze, in a bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly. Serve warm.

Vegetable Omelet


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a. 4 tablespoons olive oil
b. 1 onion sliced
c. 1 garlic clove, minced
d. 1 eggplant, cut into chunks
e. 2 zucchini, cut into chunks
f. 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
g. salt and pepper
h. 6 eggs
i. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
j. handful fresh basil leaves

1. Heat the oil in a skillet with a flameproof handle. (Don't buy a new one if you don't already have it... I have a workaround for this.) Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic, eggplant and zucchini chunks, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until soft and light brown. Add the tomato wedges and season with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl. Stir in the dried oregano and season. Preheat the broiler.

3. Pour the beaten eggs over the vegetables and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until the bottom starts to brown and the eggs look softly set.

4. Slide the omelet under the broiler and broil until the top looks puffed and golden. (If you haven't used the skillet with flameproof handle then cut the omelet into 4 pieces and put it on aluminim foil. Slide the foil under the broiler.)

5. Tear the basil leaves over. Cut into wedges and serve. (Putting it under broiler gives it a amazing flavor)

Vegetable Lasagna


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This recipe may look long and complicated, but it isn't. This is one of those curious dishes that are much more difficult to explain than they are actually to make.

a. 1 eggplant
b. 3 zucchini
c. salt and papper
d. 3 tablespoons olive oil
e. 3 red or yellow bell peppers
f. 1/2 pound cooked lasagna noodles (cooking time is specified on the packets, special pasta cooker makes it easier to cook noodles, pasta and even vegetables)
g. 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
h. 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
i. 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

You can use readymade pesto sauce, or:

a. 2 tablespoons olive oil
b. 1 onion minced
c. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
d. 1 carrot, grated
e. 2 (14 ounces) cans crushed tomatoes
f. salt and pepper
g. handful fresh basil leaves


a. 4 tablespoons butter
b. 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
c. 2.5 cups 2% milk
d. Pinch grated nutmeg

1. First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, until soft. Stir in the carrot and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and season to taste. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is thick and reduced. Stir in the basil; set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into one-fourth inch slices. Brush with some olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until brown and soft. At the same time, bake the peppers whole for 15 to 20 minutes, until the skins are lightly charred and wrinkled. After removing them from the oven, place the peppers in a paper bag until completely cool. Halve them, remove skin and seeds, and cut the flesh into wide strips.

3. To make the bechamel sauce, first melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Then stir in the flour and cook, stirring, over low heat. Remove from the heat and gradually pour in the milk, stirring constantly with a balloon whisk or wooden spoon. Return to the heat and continue stirring for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Stir in the nutmeg and season well. Remove from the heat; set aside.

4.To assemble the lasagna, spoon about half of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 8 X 10 inch lasagna dish. Arrange about one-third of the lasagna noodles in a single layer on top.

5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cover the lasagna with half of the eggplant and sprinkle with a little parsley. Add half the peppers and zucchini. Spoon one-third of the bechamel sauce on top and sprinkle with one-third of the Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

6. Repeat with another third of the pasta, the remaining tomato sauce and vegetables, and another third of the bechamel sauce and cheeses. Finally, top with the remaining pasta, bechamel sauce, and cheeses.

7. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes longer until golden brown and bubbling.

Chilled Beet Soup with Horseradish Cream


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This brightly colored soup tastes just as vivid as it looks, and couldn't be easier to make. Use a blender rather than a food processor for a smoother finish.

a. 1 orange
b. 12 ounces cooked beets, chopped
c. 2 cups vegetable stock
d. 1 cup thick plain yogurt
e. salt and pepper
f. 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (horseradish is very hot, try it before you add; I personally do not like it but you might)
g. Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish
h. good crusty bread to serve

1. Using a zester, remove the zest from half the orange, or thinly pare off the zest with a potato peeler and shred it finely. Place in a cup with just enough boiling water to cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes to soften. Finely grate the remaining zest and squeeze the juice from the orange.

2. In a blender, combine the beet and vegetalble stock and blend until smooth. Blend in the orange juice and half the yogurt and season to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

3. Add the horseradish to the remaining yogurt. Pour the chilled soup into 4 serving bowls. Add a spoonful of the horseradish mixture to each. Drain and pat dry the softened orange zesh and scatter over the crea. Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve with some good crusty bread.