Make Ahead

Mother’s Day Chocolate Mousse

May 8, 2012

Mother’s Day Chocolate Mousse


Here is an easy, but elegant Chocolate Mousse that is sure to make your mother smile. 



3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter

3/4 Cup Unsweetened Dutch Cocoa

3 Large Separated Eggs

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 1/4 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

3 Tablespoons Orange Liqueur

3 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Extra Whipped Cream For Garnish

Raspberries For Garnish


In a medium saucepan melt the unsalted butter over a low heat.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa.  Mix until smooth.  Set aside to cool.  In a large size bowl beat the egg yolks, with a hand mixer, until they are nice and thick.  They should have a lemon color.  Slowly beat in 1/4 cup of sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Now beat in the cocoa mixture on low.  Stir in 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and the orange liqueur.  In a medium size bowl beat the egg whites until they are stiff.  Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Beat the remaining heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium size bowl until soft peaks form.  Be careful not to over beat.  You don’t want to end up with butter.  Fold into the chocolate mixture.  Spoon into individual dessert dishes.  Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.  Garnish with whipped cream and raspberries.  Serves 8


Cinco De Mayo Salsa

May 5, 2012

Cinco De Mayo Salsa


Is there anyone who doesn’t love a good salsa?  This salsa can be made as hot or mild as you want it.  Serve it with chips as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to eggs, tacos or grilled meats and fish. 



4 Ripe Plum Tomatoes

1 Ripe Slicing Tomato

3/4 Cup Chopped Onion

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

3 Seeded & Minced Jalapeno Peppers

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt


Coarsely chop the tomatoes and put into a medium size bowl.  Chop the onion into fine pieces and add to the tomatoes.  Add the cilantro, jalapeno peppers and salt.  Toss to mix.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or more before serving.  Makes 2 cups. 

Sour Cream Gratin Potatoes

May 4, 2012

Sour Cream Gratin Potatoes


All I have to say about this side dish is DELICIOUS!  Serve beside beef steak or chicken and you have a beautiful meal. 



1 1/4 Pounds Russet Potatoes

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 Beaten Egg

1/2 Cup Milk

2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic

1 Tablespoon Minced Dill

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese


Preheat your oven to 375° F.  In a medium saucepan put the potatoes in lightly salted water and bring to a boil.  Cook the potatoes on low boil for 15 minutes until just tender.  Remove from the heat and drain.  Let cool slightly and then peel.  Slice the potatoes and put in layers in a buttered 9×6 baking dish.  In a medium size mixing bowl combine the sour cream, egg, milk, garlic, dill, salt and pepper.  Pour over the potatoes.  Evenly spread the cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.  Serve alongside the main dish of your choice.  Serves 4

Belgian Chocolate Brownies

May 3, 2012

Belgian Chocolate Brownies


To get the best brownies use the best chocolate and use a lot of it. 



8 Ounces Chopped Unsweetened Belgian Chocolate

1 Cup Unsalted Butter

6 Large Eggs

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 1/2 Cups Sugar

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Tablespoon Half & Half


Preheat your oven to 375° F.  Line a 13×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper or you can butter the baking dish.  We don’t want the brownies sticking to the pan! 

In a double boiler or a heavy saucepan melt the chocolate and butter together over a low heat.  Stir often and make sure not to overcook the chocolate and butter mixture.  Remove from the heat and set aside to let cool. 

In a large size bowl combine the eggs, vanilla and salt and sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Add the flour and the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture – alternating.  Mix until the batter is nice and smooth.  Pour the batter into the baking dish and then brush the half & half evenly on top.  Bake for 35 minutes.  The brownies should look risen and lightly cracked on top.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan before cutting.  Makes 18 brownies.

Camille’s Chocolate Cheesecake

May 1, 2012

Camille’s Chocolate Cheesecake

If you want friends then make this cheesecake!


Cheesecake Crust:

1 1/3 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/2 Stick Butter

1 Tablespoon Cocoa



12 Ounces Semisweet Chocolate (Chopped Small)

3 (8 Ounces Each) Packages of Cream Cheese

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Tablespoon Custard Powder

3 Large Eggs

3 Large Egg Yolks

2/3 Cup Sour Cream

1/2Teaspoon Cocoa (Dissolved in 1 Tablespoon Hot Water)



3 Ounces Finely Chopped Bittersweet Chocolate

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

1 Teaspoon Dark Corn Syrup


Preheat your oven to 350° F.  For the crust put the graham crackers in either a blender or food processor.  Add the butter and cocoa.  Pulse until the crumbs are damp.  Pour the crumbs mixture into a 9 inch springform pan.  Spread evenly into the bottom of the pan and press well.  Place into the freezer while you are preparing the filling.

To make the filling:  Boil a small pan of water.  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and then set it aside to slightly cool.  Beat the cream cheese to get it nice and soft.  Add the powdered sugar and the custard powder.  Beat again until well combined.  Add the 3 eggs and also the additional 3 egg yolks.  Beat for 20 seconds.  Add the sour cream, the cocoa dissolved in hot water and melted chocolate.  Beat until you have a smooth batter. 

Remove the pan from the freezer and pour in the cheesecake filling.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour.  You will notice that the top of the cheesecake will be set, but the underside will have a bit of a jiggle to it.  Don’t worry about that.  Remove from the oven and let the cheesecake fully cool, in the pan, on a wire rack.  When it is fully cooled cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.  When you are ready to serve remove from the fridge and let it sit on the courter for 45 minutes before removing from the springform pan. 

Remove from the pan and place on a cake plate.  To make the chocolate sauce: Slowly melt the chocolate, cream and syrup in a double boiler.  When the chocolate has almost melted remove from the heat and whisk it to make a smooth sauce.  Let the sauce cool, on the counter, for 10 minutes and then pour over the cheesecake on the cake plate.  Serves 8


*Note: You should be able to find custard powder in any British section of the grocery store.  I usually use Birds Custard. 

Watermelon Cocktails

April 30, 2012

Watermelon Cocktails


These Watermelon Cocktails are refreshing and easy to make. Make sure to use good quality tequila and they will make any summer party a big hit.



1/4 Cup Water

¼ Cup Sugar

14 Cups Diced Seedless Watermelon

¼ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

8 Sprigs Mint Leaves For Garnish

8 Lime Slices For Garnish

1 ¼ Cups Good Quality Tequila



Pour the water and sugar into a small saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a simmer for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  In a blender or food processor puree the watermelon.  You want the watermelon to be nice and smooth.  Strain the watermelon over a large bowl and throw away any pulp.  You want to get as much watermelon juice as possible.  In a large pitcher combine the sugar water with the lime juice.  Add the watermelon juice and tequila.  Store in the refrigerator for 3 hours.  Pour the cocktails into tall glasses filled with ice.  Garnish with mint sprigs and lime slices and serve.  Serves 8


Individual Shepherd’s Pies

April 29, 2012

Individual Shepherd’s Pies


In this recipe I use lamb.  Many people use beef, but the shepherds didn’t watch over their cows at night.  Make sure to use quality meat and the mashed potatoes seal the deal. 



1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1 Chopped Medium Onion

2 Pounds Ground Lamb

1/2 Cup Water

4 Cups Beef Stock

2 Large Diced Carrots

1/2 Bunch Finely Chopped Thyme

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Pound Mashed Potatoes (Enough to Cover Six Pies)


Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a large skillet heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion.  Cook for 4 minutes until the onion is tender.  Add the ground lamb and sauté for 3 minutes to break up any large pieces.  Add the water and then transfer to a baking sheet and put into the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  The lamb should be golden brown.  Remove from the oven and drain off the excess fat.  Return to the original skillet and add the beef stock.  Bring to a boil over a medium heat.  Meanwhile, blanch the diced carrots in salted boiling water until they are soft.  You do not want them to be mushy.  Drain the carrots and place them in a cold water bath and set aside.  Turn the skillet with the lamb down to a low heat and add the chopped time, salt, pepper and carrots.  Simmer for 10 minutes and then transfer the meat mixture into individual earthenware pie dishes.  Press the meat mixture down so that you will have a smooth surface onto which the mashed potatoes can be piped.  Using a piping bag with a large nozzle carefully pipe an even layer of potatoes over the surface of the pie. If you do not have a piping bag don’t worry about it.  Just do the best you can to neatly cover the pies. Place the individual pies on a baking sheet and put into the oven for 5 minutes.  The potatoes should begin to turn golden brown and the pies should be piping hot in the center.  Remove from the oven and serve.  Makes 6 individual pies. 


Coconut Cream Pie

April 28, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie


Forget the diner and make your own delicious Coconut Cream Pie.  It will be much better than the diner’s…trust me!




6 Ounces Animal Crackers

2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1 Tablespoon Raw Sugar

5 Tablespoons Melted & Cooled Unsalted Butter



1 Cup Whole Milk

14 Ounces Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1/2 Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon Sugar

3/8 Teaspoon Salt

5 Large Egg Yolks

1/4Cup Cornstarch

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Cut Into 2 Pieces)

1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract


Whipped Cream:

1 1/2 Cups Cold Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon Toasted Unsweetened Shredded Coconut


Move your oven rack to the lower middle and preheat to 325° F.  In a blender or food processor combine the animal crackers, coconut and sugar.  Pulse for about 20 seconds until the crumbs are almost powdery.  Pour the crumbs into a medium size bowl and add the butter.  Stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened.  Pour the moistened crumbs into a 9 inch pie plate.  Using the bottom of a drinking glass press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.  Bake for 15 minutes until medium brown.  Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. 

While the crust is cooling make the filling.  In a medium saucepan bring the coconut milk, while milk, shredded coconut, 1/2 cup sugar and salt to a simmer over a medium high heat.  Stir occasionally to make sure that the sugar dissolves.  In a medium size bowl whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of sugar until well mixed.  Gradually pour about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture over the egg yolk mixture.  Whisk constantly and whisk well to combine.  Slowly add the remaining milk mixture to the yolk mixture in 4 additions.  Make sure to whisk constantly.  You don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs!  Return the mixture back to the saucepan and cook until thickened and the mixture reached a boil.  Whisk constantly for 1 minute.  The filling must boil in order to fully thicken.  Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla until the butter is fully melted.  Give a stir and then pour the hot filling into the cooled pie shell.  Smooth the surface with a spatula.  Press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the filling and refrigerate for 4 hours until firm.  You may refrigerate up to 12 hours. 

Just before serving you want to make the whipped cream.  Beat the cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until soft peaks form. Top the pie with the whipped cream.  To toast the coconut take a small dry skillet and toast 1 tablespoon of the unsweetened shredded coconut until it turns a golden brown.  Sprinkle the whipped cream with the toasted coconut.  Cut the pie into wedges and serve.  Makes one 9 inch pie – Serves 8


Rice Krispie Treats

April 25, 2012

Rice Krispie Treats


1/4 Cup Butter

1 (10 ounces – approx 40) package regular marshmallows or 3 cups miniature marshmallows

6 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal


In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over low heat.  Next, add the marshmallows and continue to stir until the marshmallows have completely melted.  Remove from heat and stir in the cereal – coating them well with the melted marshmallow mixture.  Using a silicone spatula, press the mixture evenly into a 13x9x2 inch pan which has been greased or lined with wax paper.  Cut into squares when the mixture cools.  Makes approximately 24 squares. 

This is sticky to make, but you’ll have fun licking your fingers!


Cream Cheese Pound Cake

April 15, 2012

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This cake is moist, tender, golden brown and very velvety.  It has all the richness and pure buttery flavor of classic pound cake, but with a delicate tang. 


3 Cups Cake Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

4 Large Room Temperature Eggs

2 Room Temperature Egg Yolks

1/4 Cup Milk

3 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Sugar

24 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (3 Sticks)

6 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese


Before you turn on the oven adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Preheat your oven to 300° F.  Grease and flour 12 cup nonstick Bundt pan.  In a medium size bowl, combine the flour and salt.  In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup whisk the eggs, 2 yolks, milk and vanilla.  In a separate large size bowl, beat together (by hand or with an electric mixer) the sugar, butter and cream cheese for 3 minutes until fluffy.  Reduce the speed to low and very slowly add the egg mixture until incorporated.  The batter may look slightly curdled.  Add the flour mixture in 3 additions.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Give the batter a final stir by hand.  Scrap the batter into a prepared pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles.  Bake for 80 to 90 minutes.  Rotate the pan halfway through baking.  Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely, for about 2 hours.  Serve plain or topped with frosting or fruit.  Serves 12

Latest Recipes

Roasted Cod Tacos

Roasted Cod Tacos

Black Eyed Pea Salad

Black Eyed Pea Salad

Eggnog Lattes

Eggnog Lattes

Christmas Wreath Pavlova

Christmas Wreath Pavlova

Spicy Mussels

Spicy Mussels