Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Friday, July 30, 2010

Three words: raspberries, chocolate, almonds. Mmmm... a delicious combination of scrumptiousness. This is a rather dense cake (more of a brownie consistency that a cake consistency) with layers of chocolate, slivered almonds, and raspberry jam running through it. It is very tasty; however, I did not feel that it looked very pretty as far as presentation goes. I took my own pictures but ended up using one from the magazine because it looked so much nicer than mine.

Serves: 12 servings
Start-to-Finish: 2.5 - 3 hours (upto 1 hour prep time + 2 hour cook time)
Recipe By: Christine Moore


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
3 sticks butter, melted
4 large eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup Semi-sweet chocolate Mini Morsels (I do not advise substituting milk chocolate in this recipe; the raspberry flavors go better with the bitter, darker chocolates)
3/4 cup sliced almonds, divided


1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
2. Grease 9-inch spring-form pan.
3. Line bottom and sides of pan with wax paper and grease wax paper.
4. Sift together flour, cocoa and salt into medium bowl.
5. Combine sugar and butter in large mixer bowl on low until blended.
6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
7. Add the almond extract and vanilla extract; beat until smooth.
8. Pour into prepared pan, reserving about 1/3 of the batter.
9. Carefully smooth a thin layer of the raspberry jam over the batter in pan.
10. Top with morsels and 1/2 cup of the sliced almonds.
11. Carefully cover with the remaining batter.
12. Sprinkle batter with remaining 1/4 cup of almonds.
13. Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. (Be aware several others who commented on this recipe found it only needed to cook for 1 hour; so watch it closely! Mine cooked for 1 hour and 45 minutes)
14. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Remove side of springform pan.

Sirloin Stroganoff

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rustic presentation, hearty textures, satisfying flavors. This dish takes me to a Tuscan countryside in a sturdy, earthen kitchen with the smells and sights of home and good friends. The caramelization on the apples adds sweetness to the savory steak and potatoes. The salt and pepper is a simple seasoning that brings out the richness of the meat. Mike felt that the sauce drowned out some of the more subtle flavors in the meal so he choose not to add it; but I loved the sauce. This dish doesn't make good left-overs

Serves: 4 servings
Start-to-Finish: 55 minutes
Recipe By: Unknown-the creator of this recipe was not listed on the recipe card


4 large red potatoes, cut into wedges
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP butter
1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, thinly sliced
4 tart apples, cut into wedges and cored (I used Jazz apples)
1 cup apple cider (you can substitute apple juice)
1 (8-oz) carton sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Melt butter in large skillet.
2. Add potatoes, onion, and garlic to hot butter, cook over medium hight heat for 8 minutes.
3. Stir in beef sirloin.
4. Cook and stir another 3 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness.
5. Remove meat and potato mixture from skillet, cover and set aside.
6. In the same skillet cook apples, cut-side down in pan drippings until browned. (Turn up the heat a little to get a nice brown sear)
7. Stir in apple cider.
8. Bring to boil.
9. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes until boiled down.
10. Remove apples from skillet with a slotted spoon and add them to meat and potatoes dish.
11. Remove skillet from heat and allow sauce to cool (Don't jump the gun on this step; if the sauce isn't cooled enough your sour cream will curdle).
12. Once cooled, whisk in sour cream, salt, and pepper until smooth.
13. Serve sauce over steak, potatoes, and apples.

Georgia Peanut Salsa

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If you are looking for a new salsa recipe check out this great flavor combination. I have tried lots of veggie salsas, bean salsas, and fruit-based salsas but this is the first peanut salsa I have ever come across and it is wonderful ... and very addicting! It claims to serve 13 (1/2 cup servings) but Mike and I polished off the whole batch in one sitting. The peanuts add a nice crunch along with general substance in every bite, the bell peppers and cilantro add freshness, and the corn and tomato give your salsa base.

Serves: 6 1/2 cups
Start-to-Finish: 25 minutes (plus overnight chilling)
Recipe By: Lane and Elizabeth McCloud


3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 jar (8-oz) picante sauce
1 can (11-oz) white or shoepeg corn, drained
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups salted roasted peanuts
Tortilla chips


1. In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients.
2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
3. Just before serving, stir in peanuts.
4. Serve with tortilla chips.

Almond-Crusted Pork Loin

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This pork loin has a crunchy nut crust and is paired with a refreshing tomato salsa. The combination of flavors blend together very nicely and is a delicious meal to make for company. When I first found this recipe I was not sure how the salsa would fit in but it pairs nicely with the smokiness of the pork and adds freshness and lightness to the dish. I like to side this entrée with egg noodles and asparagus spears

Serves: 4
Start to Finish: 90 minutes
Recipe By: Almond Board of California


Pork Loin:
Vegetable Oil Spray
6-oz slivered almonds, chopped (approx. 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
2 egg whites
1 1/2 lb boneless pork loin
2 medium tomatoes, diced (approx. 2 cups) or you can use a can of diced tomatoes if you need to substitute
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 tsp ground cumin
2 TBSP lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375*
2. Line roasting pan with foil and place meat rack on foil. (I use a cooking sheet with edges instead of a roasting pan)
3. Spray meat rack with vegetable oil.
4. Chop almonds.
5. Mix chopped almonds, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl; set aside.
6. Whip eggs until soft peaks form.
7. Trim fat from pork loin.
8. Roll the pork in the egg whites and then the almond mixture; repeat rolling in egg whites and almond mixture.
9. Place pork on meat rack and press any remaining almond mixture onto pork.
10. Roast pork loin for 45 minutes (or until meat thermometer reads 160; if your pork is thick it could take up to 1 hour to cook through)
11. Meanwhile, mix the salsa ingredients together, add salt and pepper if needed.
12. Remove pork loin from oven and let rest 15 minutes.
13. Slice pork loin and serve with tomato salsa