White Cake

Ingredients
  250g butter, room temp
  500g sugar
  5 egg whites, room temp
  2 teaspoons vanilla
  375g flour
  4 tsp baking powder
  ½ tsp salt
  350g milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
  Yellow, green, red, orange, , blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough!

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. 
2. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have 
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites 
5. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.
6. Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls, and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. 
7. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each. 
8. When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly. 

creme brulee french toasts

Ingredients
Toasts
1 loaf unsliced white bread
1/3 cups whole milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp orange zest
2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Method
1. Cut bread into 1 1/2-inch thick, generous slices; a 9-inch loaf should yield 6 slices. 
2. Whisk together milk, cream, eggs, sugar, salt, liqueur, and vanilla extract, 
3. Whisk vanilla extract with one tablespoon of custard, then whisk in another and a third tablespoon, then pour the vanilla bean-custard mixture back into the main batter. 
4. This avoids having vanilla clumps that don’t disperse in your batter. 
5. Preheat oven to 325. 
6. Arrange bread slices on the smallest rimmed tray that will fit them in one layer (encourages maximum absorption) pour custard over slices. 
7. Allow them to absorb the custard for 30 minutes, turning the slices over at one point to ensure they’re soaking it up evenly. 
[Do ahead: You can also soak them overnight in the fridge. No need to flip them if so.]
8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer custard-soaked slices to prepared sheet, arranging them with a smidge of space between each to avoid making one French mega-toast. 9. Flipping them halfway through if you wish, bake French toast slices for 30 to 35 minutes, until a slim knife inserted into the center of a slice and twisted ever-so-slightly does not release any wet custard. Keep warm until ready to serve.
10. To caramelize the tops: Either leave toasts on their baking sheet, or transfer to a serving platter. 
11. Have ready a small offset spatula and a potholder or trivet to rest your caramel pot on.
Melt remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a small, heavy, completely dry saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a small spoon or fork until fully melted and the color of honey. 
12. Move it over to the potholder or trivet you’d set up and working quickly, spoon one generous tablespoon caramel over your first slice of toast, spread it thinly and evenly with your offset spatula and repeat with the remaining toasts. 
13. Because your caramel will continue to deepen slightly in color as you work, it’s best to work quickly but carefully. Let no fingers or forearms be harmed in the melted sugar’s path and should a single drop land on the counter or on your towel or on the rim of the plate, do not swipe it. Just leave it until it cools.
[Hot water will melt all hardened caramel and make your clean up job easy. Simply soak your pot/spoon/spatula and all will melt off.]
14. Serve with fresh berries and if you’re feeling extra fancy, loosely whipped cream. We don’t find that it needs any maple syrup.

Makes 6 servings

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients
To fill and crumb coat:
  9 egg whites
  350g sugar
  500g of butter, room temp
  2 tsp lemon extract

To frost:
  5 egg whites
  200g sugar
  250g butter, room temp
  1 tsp lemon extract

Method
1. Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it's completely smooth, it's done. 
2. Pour into another bowl and whip on high speed until room temp. 
3. Add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until it has come together, about five minutes. Add the extract, beat briefly and then use.
4. If the buttercream seems soupy after all of the butter is added and does not come together after whipping, refrigerate for 5 to 7 minutes and continue whipping until it becomes fluffy and workable.

Assembly
5. Stack the layers in your preferred order and fill and frost as you would any other cake. 
6. Once frosted, the cake can be left on the counter without any problems, but feel free to refrigerate it. 
7. Just be sure that the cake is at room temperature when serving or the frosting will be hard, not

Pasta with eggplant and zucchini

Ingredients
 1/2 kg small cut pasta
 2 tbls olive oil
 1 clove of garlic
 1 small eggplant, cubed
 1 fresh green onion
 2 zucchini, cubed
 3 tbls vinegar
 200 grams spinach
 60 grams feta cheese
 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
 Black pepper and salt to taste

Method
1. Heat the oil, add onions and garlic and sauté for a minute, add eggplant, zucchini, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. In a separate pan boil spinach, drain and add to the mixed vegetables.
3. Now mix pasta, sprinkle coriander, and serve.

Chinese Chicken Salad

It’s so easy to put together, the dressing is delicious, and all in all, it’s pretty healthy.
Again, it’s something that requires barely any cooking time; all you need to do is cook the chicken.

Ingredients
 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce (You can use whatever you like)
 1 cup finely sliced purple cabbage
 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
 ½ cup grated carrots
 1 tbs sesame seeds (optional)

For the dressing
 ¼ cup white vinegar
 1 tbs sesame oil
 1 tsp soy sauce
 1 tbs brown sugar
 1 tsp oyster sauce
 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
 Salt and pepper, to taste

Method
1. In a large platter, layer the lettuce, then cabbage, carrots, and finally the chicken. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad before serving. Add salt. Lightly toss together and serve.

Serves 8 to 10.

Alternative Note: You can add and/or substitute other vegetables as well, like thinly sliced bell peppers or green cabbage. To add a bit of crunch, sprinkle crushed peanuts or cashews over the salad just before serving.

Macaroni Pasta Salad

It takes very little time to put together and easily feeds a crowd. It is best served cold, so you can prepare it ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

Ingredients
 1¾ cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
 1 onion, finely chopped
 1 tomato, finely chopped
 1 (400g) can sweetcorn, drained
 ½ cup sliced black olives
 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken

For the dressing
 ½ cup mayonnaise
 ½ cup yogurt
 1 tbs lemon juice
 1 tsp cumin
 1 tsp paprika
 1 tsp dried oregano
 1½ tsp garlic powder
 Salt to taste

Method
1. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked macaroni, bell pepper, onion, tomato, sweetcorn, olives, and chicken. Mix well.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients.
3. Add the dressing to the pasta salad and mix well.
4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 6 to 8.

Pasta with tomato and basil/coriander

Ingredients
 3/4 kg pasta
 1/2 kg tomatoes
 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
 2 tablespoons minced white onion
 10 basil leaves, or bunch of coriander
 2 tsp crushed garlic
 4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano cheese
 Salt and pepper to taste

Method
1. Boil the pasta and set aside after draining the water.
2. Dip tomatoes into boiling water for about 10 seconds and place in a bowl of ice water for a minute. Remove from ice water, and dry.
3. Peel and slice the tomatoes.
4. In a pan, brown onions in olive oil, add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Fold the boiled pasta into the sauce, add coriander/basil and sprinkle cheese over it. Enjoy.

Almond Granola with Cinnamon

Ingredients
1½ cups rolled oats
¾ cup unsalted almonds, chopped
2 tbls flaxseeds
2 tbls sesame seeds
1 oz (2 tbls) unsalted butter
2 tbls honey 
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup raisins (you can also used chopped dates, chopped dried apricots, dried blueberries, or dried cranberries)


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Use large mixing bowl, add the oats, almonds, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and 1 tsp cinnamon and stir to mix.
3. In a small saucepan, add the butter, honey, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Heat gently until the butter has melted.
4. Add the liquid to to the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Place a sheet of foil on a baking tray and spread the granola mixture in an even layer.
6. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir, and bake for another 10 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
8. When the granola has cooled, stir in the raisins.
9. Store in an airtight jar.

Makes approx. 2 cups

Coffee Cake

Ingredients
200g flour
4 eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla essence
1 cup castor sugar
2 tsp baking powder
225g butter

Method
1. Cream butter and sugar with a cake beater.
2. Sift flour and baking powder, adding 1 tbsp. of the dry mixture and 1 egg into sugar/butter and beating it using cake mixer until all four eggs and vanilla essence are added.
3. Add remaining dry mixture and mix with spatula.
4. Divide batter into two 8-inch cake pans and bake in a pre-heated oven (350 degrees F. or 180 degrees C.) for 20 to 22 minutes.
5. Cool completely on wire rack and ice.

Icing
1. In a pan, melt 150g butter and ¾ cup white granulated sugar. Set aside to cool.
2. Add 3 beaten eggs to butter and sugar and cook on lowest heat until sugar dissolves and icing has thickened. Set aside to cool.
3. Once cool, add 1tbsp. coffee (dissolved in 1tbsp, water) to icing.
4. After setting the icing in the fridge for 20 minutes. ice one cake, then top with the second cake and ice it on top and all around. Set in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Your cake is ready for devouring and sharing!

Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups

This recipe results in a unique and tasty lasagna dish. The individual rolls are a great variation on the traditional lasagna.

Ingredients 
  3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  1/4 cup milk 
  1 cup cheese
  1/8 tsp white pepper 
  1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained 
  1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  2 cups Spaghetti Sauce 

Method
1. In medium bowl, combine chicken, cheeses, milk, and pepper
2. Spread 1/2 cup mixture on each lasagna noodle; roll jelly-roll fashion
3. In a baking dish, spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce
4. Arrange lasagna rolls, seam-side down in sauce in baking dish 
5. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce
6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes 
7. Serve hot, if desired, with additional Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 8 Servings 
Prep: 1 hour 10 min 

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

Ingredients
for the cupcakes
  2 cups sugar
  1 3/4 cups flour
  3/4 cup cocoa powder
  1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  1 tsp salt
  2 eggs
  1 cup milk
  1/2 cup vegetable oil
  1 tsp vanilla extract
  1 tsp peppermint extract
  1 cup boiling water

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
2. Line 2 muffins pans with cupcake papers and set aside.
3. In a large bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
4. Add in eggs, milk, oil and extracts. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour in boiling water and whisk to combine. Batter will be thin.
5. Fill each cupcake paper 2/3 of the way full with batter and bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

for the frosting:
Ingredients
  6 egg whites, room temperature
  1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbs of sugar
  1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) of butter, room temperature
  2 tsp of vanilla extract
  2 tsp peppermint extract
  green food coloring, as desired

Method
6. Whisk together egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
7. Set bowl over a small pot of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves. You know it’s ready with the you cannot feel the sugar when you rub a small amount of mixture between your fingers.
8. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, about 10 minutes. 
9. The bowl should be cool to the touch before you move on.
10. Switch over to the paddle attachment and set the mixer to medium speed. 
11. Add the butter 2 Tbs at a time, letting it incorporate before adding another piece. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat until the frosting comes together. 
12. This will take a while, so don’t worry if it looks soupy or curdled at any point. 
13. Place half of the butter cream into a small bowl and whisk in vanilla extract. 
14. Set aside. Using the remaining half of frosting in the stand mixer bowl, mix in peppermint extract and green food coloring. 
15. Alternately, you can mix 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of peppermint into each bowl if you want the peppermint flavor to be consistent through both colors. 
16. Sprinkle cupcakes with chopped Andes or other chocolate mint candies.

makes 24 cupcakes

Strawberry Lemon Bars

Ingredients
for crust
  1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  1/2 cup rolled oats
  1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  1/2 tsp salt
  seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  12 tbls of unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes
for filling
  3/4 cup halved then sliced strawberries
  1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4 large eggs lightly beaten
  1 cup granulated sugar
  3 tbls all purpose flour
  1 tbls meyer lemon zest
  2/3 cup strained meyer lemon juice
  powdered sugar for dusting 

Method
1. Line a lagre pan with enough parchment paper to go about 1″ up on all sides. 
2. In the work bowl of a food processor, add the flour, rolled oats, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla seeds. 
3. Pulse a few times to combine, then add the butter and pulse until the dough looks like pea sized gravel (about ten, one second bursts). 
4. Sprinkle the dough evenly over the parchment lined sheet and use your fingers to press the dough into a uniform sheet of dough that goes about 1/2″ up all the sides. 
5. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
6. In a small bowl, combine the strawberries and 1/4 cup of sugar and toss to coat. This will release excess moisture and sweeten the strawberries. 
7. To prepare the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour and lemon zest. Add the lemon juice and whisk to combine.
8. Remove the crust from the freezer and put in oven and bake for around 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown and fragrant. When the crust is done, take it out of the oven, then immediately scatter the strawberries around the crust, pour any accumulated juices into the lemon mixture and whisk to combine. 
9. Pour the lemon mixture over the strawberries. 
10. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, then put the pan in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the center of the lemon bars doesn’t jiggle anymore. 
11. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Slice, then dust with powdered sugar and serve. 

makes about 12 lemon bars

Nutella Banana Bread

Ingredients
  2 cups all-purpose flour
  3/4 tsp. baking soda
  1/2 tsp. salt
  1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1 cup granulated sugar
  2 large eggs
  1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana
  1/3 cup skim milk
  1 tsp. vanilla extract
  3/4 heaping cup Nutella 

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda & salt.
3. In a separate large bowl, beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
4. Add banana, milk and vanilla. Beat until blended.
5. Add flour mixture, beat at low speed just until flour is incorporated (don’t over mix).
6. Spoon Nutella into a small dish and soften in the microwave for about 15 seconds. 
7. Add 1 cup of the banana bread batter to the Nutella and stir until blended well. Spoon Nutella batter alternately with plain banana bread batter into the prepared pan. Swirl batters together with a knife.
8. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, it will seem a tiny bit undercooked but that’s what makes it good. Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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