Thursday, May 5, 2016

Egg-Free Meringue Cookies

Egg-free meringues that taste as good, if not better than the traditionally variety. Use the liquid from a 14.5-16 oz can of beans for each recipe. The liquid also known as AQUAFABA from chickpeas or great northern or cannelini works best because they don't change the color of the food.


MERINGUES
1/2 cup AQUAFABA
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the sugar. Whisk/beat 10-15 minutes or
until stiff peaks appear. After peaks appear, gradually whisk/beat in
sugar. Once all sugar is added, beat for an additional 5-15 minutes
until peaks reappear.

Set the oven at 225 degrees. Spoon meringues or squeeze using a ziploc
bag onto a parchment paper on a cookie sheet. (Once you seal the
ziploc bag with the sugary mixture, cut a small diagonal in the lower
corner of the bag and squeeze the meringue onto the parchment paper.
Bake for 1-1/2 hours.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Eggless Mother's Day Cheesecake


Mother's Day is this weekend. Have you decided how to honor your mother or a significant woman in your life? I am making a cheesecake. No eggs involved in its creation. Instead of eggs, I use AQUAFABA - the liquid from a 14.5-16 oz can of chickpeas. Here is the recipe.




CHEESECAKE
1/2 cup AQUAFABA
3- 8 oz. boxes of cream cheese
1-1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 8-9 tablespoons water

Crust--
2 cups graham crackers
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix AQUAFABA, and cream cheese together until smooth. Add in sour
cream and mix in remaining ingredients until smooth. Use an electric
mixer to blend ingredients.

Line a spring form pan with parchment paper on the bottom and grease
the sides of the pan. Mix the crust ingredients in a separate bowl.

Place the crust's ingredients into the bottom of the spring form pan
and press the mixture down using a cup. press part of the mixture
around the sides of the pan.

Pour the cheesecake mixture into the spring form pan on top of the
crust. Place into a 350 degree oven for 50- 90 minutes or until the
cake jiggles slightly.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Gerbera Daisy in Bloom


Must be spring when the gerbera daisy begins blooming. Outside my door, in a sunny location, the lily-of-the-valley have flowers buds that are ready to open. Rhubarb has sprouted. Can the asparagus be far behind?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Painting Birds




To relax, I started painting watercolors of birds. Each painting only takes an evening to complete and each painting makes a great gift for a birthday or wedding. Take a look. The top photo features a dove, the middle bird is a woodpecker and the bottom image is a bluebird.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Designing with a Sharpie


Look what you can do with an oil-based sharpie and a plain, white coffee cup. It becomes a one-of-a kind Valentine's gift. All right, maybe not a Valentine's gift, but really cool. And it's permanent. If you are nervous that the design might disappear in the dishwasher, don't be. It's called "Permanent" for a reason. Design away!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Limecello

After getting a great deal on some organic limes, I decided to make Limecello, my version of the popular Italian aperitif limoncello.It's based on a recipe from Epicurious.

  • 10 limes*
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) 100-proof vodka
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 5 cups water
Wash the limes, then peel them so there is no white pith on the peel. To a 1 gallon jar add one bottle of vodka and lime zest. Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for at least (10) ten days and up to (40) days in a cool dark place. After the mixture sits for a desired amount of time, it's time to make the syrup.  In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; cook until thickened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Let the syrup cool before adding it to the Limecello mixture. Allow the syrup and vodka/lime mixture to rest for another 10 to 40 days. After the rest period, strain and bottle: discarding the lime zest. Bottle and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Winter Barn Scene

It's snowing gently as I write this, so I thought I would post yet another winter watercolor. Can you imagine how prolific I will be once summer is here?!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Great Deals at Salvation Army Thrift Stores


Woohoo! Check out this outfit. The entire ensemble cost $11.50. That's right, eleven fifty. The top is Ann Taylor, the skirt is Athletica and the booties are all leather. Who says you can't find great deals. They are at your nearest Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ginger Syrup and Candied Ginger


Rather than using ginger ale when you make your Moscow Mule, try ginger syrup . It's easy. The syrup is a result of making candied ginger. Here's how you make the candied ginger:

Peel and slice a pound of ginger very thin, or dice into small pieces. 

Place the ginger in a non-reactive 4 quart saucepot with 4 cups of water. I like the enameled cast iron version. Bring the water to a boil. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. Drain and repeat.

After draining for a second time, mix 4 cups of sugar with 4 cups of water and the ginger. Heat the mixture to 225 degrees F.

Once it reaches 225 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat. Drain the syrup and save it. Let the slices cool for about 2 hours. 

Place a 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in a bowl and place the ginger in the sugar, coating all sides.

Place candied ginger in tight fitting jar. 

Once the syrup has cooled, place it in a clean bottle. I like the versions with a resealable cap.