Sunday, February 22, 2009

4 thumbs up for this butterscotch almond crunch thumbprint!

The saying goes " Give only what you want to receive." Well, I have been working on this recipe to make the end result more than just "great and was inspired by my butterscotch cat here in "All my Giddy Kitties"!!! I have not made dessert since December and I figured now was as good a time as any especially when a good friend asked me to bake for the less fortunate! What I received in return were many" dirty chocolaty faces", all 40 of them and most importantly "smiles!"

This is also my entry for a garnishing event hosted by Food Fanatic also Chitra Ammas kitchen for her kitchen masterpiece event. See details below!!

I really have no rules where presentation and garnishing are concerned. I will use just about anything to complement the main dish. The edgier and the more unconventional, the better!

These are butterscotch almond crunch thumbprints with a stencil of a bear made from dark cocoa powder as a garnish. I used the tip of a skewer to "draw the strings that is tied to the balloons." These thumbprints have melted dark and butterscotch chocolate and this is my "kid" version of the presentation. The dough itself is made with very little sugar so it is not that sweet!

Please lick my tummy! I love you thissssss

Visit Food Fanatic, click on her logo below for more on this beautiful event!

This is the more " grown up" presentation with the
butterscotch mousse and cream on the inside. The
taste.....naughty but oh! so nice! It is a close second
to S.. and being seduced!

This " buttery creamy mousse" reminds me of a South
African toffee ice pop I used to love!

Ryk en lekker!

Lightly brush the melted chocolate inside the cavities!
Use "Valrhona Gran Couva" for the dark chocolate. I
received a few bars from the manufacturer to try in my
desserts. Now I am hooked!!!

Praline: this is a half cup of organic sugar and three oz.
of almonds. Pour the organic sugar in a heavy bottom pan
and cook over medium heat until golden. Place
the almonds evenly on well sprayed parchment and
then pour the melted sugar evenly over the almonds.

When the Praline is cooled down, process in a food
processor to this consistency below. Or you can use a
mallet to crush the praline.

Brush the balls with beaten egg-
white and then roll into the praline.
Place these unbaked thumbprints
about two inches apart. They do spread!
Once baked and the aroma hits the "fan,"
you will have friends (..... and maybe admirers ) , ones you never
knew you had!!

These butterscotch chocolate morsels are the stars in my "Butterscotch
almond crunch thumbprints!

Food Fanatic is hosting a "garnishing and food presentation" event. Check out her site for details! Now this is an event that is just so much fun!!!Click on the logo below!

Recipe: Makes about 12 ( I bet you are going to triple this recipe!!!!!)

Please use organic ingredients when possible
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted European Butter
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk( use the egg white as indicated below) Egg-lands best please!
  • 1 t vanilla ( I use the one from Santo Domingo)
  • 2 oz melted butterscotch morsels( use the rest for filling cavities}
  • 3 t instant butterscotch pudding ( kosher kind)
  • 1 cup Mc Arthur's ( I meant to say King Arthur ha! ha! ) all purpose flour( sifted) plus 3- 4 T extra if dough is too wet.
  • some dark chocolate to fill cavities
  • whipped heavy cream
Cream the sugar and the butter and the salt until creamy in your Kitchenaid ( I make times four the amount). Add the vanilla, the yolk and incorporate and then add the melted butterscotch morsels and mix again. Sift the flour and the butterscotch pudding together and incorporate this by hand , do not overmix, and then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make little balls and then brush with beaten egg white and roll into the praline. Make the indentations with your thumb and bake at 350 ( pre-heated) degrees for 15 mins until golden. Take the cookies out after 10 mins. of baking time and use the back of a wooden spoon to define the hole again and then place back in the oven for that last 5 mins. of baking time. Cool completely! I make mine the day before and then the next day I fill the cavities with chocolate so that cookies are completely dry on the inside.

For the mousse:
Make the rest of the butterscotch instant pudding according to package directions with very little milk and lighten this with some organic whipped cream. You can also pipe the two tone colors with the butterscotch mousse and the plain whipped cream like in my picture above.

This entry is also going to Chitra for a blog b/day masterpiece event! Visit and enter and have some fun!!! Click on her logo below!

Nazarina A

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Falafel and tzatziki no longer in its comfort zone!!!

Earmarking anything in my house will be of no avail! I would never allow for anything to just have a single purpose. I could never be that rigid, never has been and never will be. So with that said, whether it be kitchen gadgets or specific types of groceries, my mind goes into overdrive just contemplating what I'm going to manipulate next!
" There is absolutely no need for this showmanship!" I am thinking. It is only a Saturday night and my family just wants a simple dinner on the table already, but no, this need to please has become a neurosis that I have adopted from my dear Mother. Preparing something simple just "aint going to happen."
I was eyeballing the falafel mix and decided to coat the chicken kebabs with it instead of breadcrumbs and hey, maybe when I am in the mood for falafel, will I then gladly oblige but for now it has another destiny! The tzatziki, too, is also presented just a little differently.

The result...... nothing less than spectacular! The falafel chicken kebabs were juicy and that alluring spicy aroma sent everyone into a ravenous "tizzy"( Is there such a word?) . Well, they refused to wait another minute for this much prolonged supper! The couscous was so flavorful with the addition of the green chili and the orange juice and the tzatziki, a refreshing finale to a memorable meal! Silence always follows when we sit down to eat and like a rich benefactor, I always come to the rescue of my family's dinner dilemmas. In the end the wait was definitely worth it and the clean plates alone were all the "thanks" I really wanted!

Couscous prepared with oven roasted garlic, bell peppers, green chili and citrus juice. I had to be very careful unmolding this delicate design !

Chicken kebabs dusted with falafel mix and spices
then baked

Click on the picture!

Cucumber "spaghetti" tzatziki and baked zucchini
on the


Without further ado, here now is the recipe:

Please use organic ingredients when possible.

Do not forget to soak the skewers for an hour in water!

  • 3 lbs organic boneless and skinless breast pieces ( cubed)
  • falafel mix
  • tahini
  • roasted bell pepper seeds
  • garam masala mix( I make my own mix, toasting all the spices and then grinding them)
  • fresh lemon juice
  • lots of pounded oven roasted garlic ( roast with the bell pepper)
  • olive oil
  • parsley
  • pure pickle masala
  • red bell pepper( roast in the oven)
  • small can green chili
  • Orange juice
  • fresh lemon juice
  • Greek yogurt
  • couscous ( garlic and olive oil)
  • cucumber
  • a little miracle whip
Sprinkle the chicken kebabs with kosher salt, 2t bell pepper seeds, 2t garam masala and then squeeze with the lemon juice. Stir the pounded garlic( about 2 t) into olive oil( just a little more than quarter cup but not quite a half cup) and then pour over the chicken and let sit for an hour.
Meanwhile chop the bunch of parsley( no stems) and mix into the falafel mix and half teaspoon of pure pickle masala . Dredge the kebabs very heavily in this mix, thread onto the skewers and then bake ( convection bake ) on 375 degrees for 30 mins. Do not forget to pour all the remaining garlicky olive oil over the chicken kebabs prior to baking!

For the couscous:
Remove the skin from the red bell pepper and chop, drain the can of green chili and mix together. Prepare the couscous as per directions on the box but substitute a quarter cup of the water with the orange juice, also use a little less H20 than suggested on the box . Make sure that the liquid is a rolling boil!!!!! I used the little sachet in the box as well and when you add this add some roasted pounded garlic as well ( 1 t) . When the liquid has evaporated add the green chili and roasted pepper mixture, fluff the couscous and then close the lid and let the couscous steam.

For the zucchini;

Slice the zucchini into thin slices, sprinkle with some pure pickle masala( very little) and some bell pepper seeds, brush with olive oil and then bake for about 20 mins until crispy.


Cut the ends off the cucumber and rub these ends on the sides of the cucumber. Peel and slice into thin strands. Take some of these strands and chop into small dice and mix into half cup of yogurt , leave the rest for presentation , 2 T tahini , 1 T fresh lemon juice, 1 T orange juice, some bell pepper seeds and some kosher salt. I also added 2T of miracle whip to this mixture.

Nazarina A.

Probeer hierdie resep. Jou hele famielie sal jou liefhe en die wereld van jou dink ! Ek is verseker dat jy sal vriende he wat jy nie eens geken het nie!