Chocolate chip-orange cannoli

Posted on June 21st, 2010 by Danielle.
Categories: dessert, italian.

Mmmm Cannoli.  I found this reicpe here.  My changes are reflected below.

For dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

For filling

  • 1 pound (2 cups) fresh sheep’s- or cow’s-milk ricotta, drained 1 hour in cheesecloth-lined sieve
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole chocolate chips blended in the food processor
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To fry and serve

  • About 8 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
  • Special equipment: deep-fat thermometer, 4-inch diameter round cookie cutter, 6 (roughly 5 5/8-by-5/8-inch) metal cannoli tubes


Make dough
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon. Using fingertips or pastry blender, blend in butter just until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternatively, pulse in food processor.) Drizzle limoncillo over mixture and gently stir with fork until incorporated.

Turn out dough onto sheet of plastic wrap. (Dough will still look somewhat dry and crumbly.) Gather together into ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Make filling
In medium mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, sugar, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Spoon mixture into pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch round tip and refrigerate until ready to use. (Filling can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered.)

Form, fry, and fill shells
Cut dough into 4 even pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece to 1/8-inch thick. Using floured cookie cutter, cut out 2 to 3 rounds from dough. Transfer rounds to baking sheet and keep covered with plastic wrap. Roll out remaining dough and cut rounds in same manner, then gather scraps, roll out, and cut again.

Fill heavy 4-quart pot with oil to depth of 3 inches. Heat over moderate heat until thermometer registers 375°F.

Meanwhile, brush bottom edge of 1 dough round with egg white. Wrap dough around 1 cannoli tube with egg white–brushed end overlapping other end and gently press edges together to seal. Make 5 more shells in same manner. (Keep remaining rounds covered with plastic.)

Working in 2 batches, fry formed shells in hot oil until deep golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate to drain and cool 5 minutes. Stand tubes upright and tap gently against countertop to loosen shells. Twist molds to remove shells.

Wrap remaining dough around tubes and fry in same manner. (Shells may be made 1 day ahead and stored at room temperature, unfilled and uncovered.)

When ready to serve, pipe filling into 1 end of cannoli shell, filling shell halfway, then pipe into other end. Repeat to fill remaining shells. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately.


Basic Crepes

Posted on June 21st, 2010 by Danielle.
Categories: breakfast, dessert.

I found this recipe here in a desperate attempt to make crepes for breakfast. Everything’s the same except I use whole wheat flour and I add a little more milk.


  • 1 cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  3. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.


Mixed Fruit Jello Cake

Posted on March 6th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: cake, dessert, fruit, recipe.

Every year my big, extended family tries to go on a vacation together.  Usually it involves a combination of sun, a beach, hotels, a condo, hiking and always, always lots of good food.  We have a lot of summer b-days so we always need a cake.  We love to have Jello cake when it’s hot out.  It’s Refreshing! and chilly. It can usually be made with any combination of cake and jello but I prefer the following.

click for larger image Mixed Fruit Jello Cake:

1 box of Cherry Chip cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 large box Berry Blue Jello
1 tub of whipped cream
Fresh berries

For this particular cake I bake the cherry chip cake into two 13″ round pans by following the directions on the box. When the cakes are done, set them aside still in their pans and prepare the jello following the normal directions on the box.  When the Jello is ready and the cakes have cooled a bit take a dinner fork and poke holes all over the two cakes.  Then, pour the jello over the cakes, making sure you get both cakes thoroughly.  Put the cakes in the refrigerator over night.

The next day use whipped cream between the two cakes and stack them.  Coat the whole cake with whipped cream and sprinkle some fresh berries on top.  Serve.

Follow The Recipe Extra:
This is a really simple recipe so the extras are in short supply.  The best I can do is give you another of my favorite combinations.  Vanilla cake, pineapple and cherry jello.  It’s an easier pineapple upside-down cake.


Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Posted on December 17th, 2007 by Danielle.
Categories: blue cheese, chicken, dessert, sandwich, spicy.

So, my husband (and I, but to a lesser extent) loves Buffalo chicken. Wings, sandwiches, whatever. So since I knew how to make oven fried chicken, and really tender chicken piccatta, I thought, “I can totally make sandwiches!” and I was right. This recipe is easy and really good, just like a restaurant. You can also make it (as long as you have a big enough wire baking rack) for lots of people. Here you go!

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (for 2)

2 chicken breasts
2 eggs
1 cup of bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray, olive oil or vegetable oil
Buffalo Wing Sauce
Blue cheese salad dressing
2 hamburger buns

Preheat your oven to 450. With a tenderizing hammer, beat chicken between plastic wrap until it is about 1/2″ thick. Trim flattened chicken until it is a nice round shape that will fit nicely on a bun. In a shallow bowl, crack the two eggs and beat them until they are a nice smooth yellow color. In another shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs and salt and pepper. Prepare a wire cooking rack by rubbing it with cooking spray or oil. Then set the wire rack on a cookie sheet to catch extra crumbs that fall off the chicken. Dip each chicken breast into the egg getting it good and coated. Allow some of the egg to run off, then move the chicken into the bread crumb bowl and cover with the bread crumb mixture until fully coated. Place the chicken on the wire racks and place in the oven. Bake them for about 15 minutes or so, rotating once halfway though. After 15 I always cut open the thicker piece just to make sure it’s cooked. If not done, return to the oven, but check every few minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and coat each breast with buffalo sauce. Prepare your Hamburger bun with your chosen condiments. I like mine with Blue cheese dressing, lettuce and tomato. Sometimes I like avocado on it too.

Follow the Recipe Extra:
Do not over cook the chicken! My husband is kind of an under-cooked-chicken-phobe so you want the chicken to be moist but not pink and if it helps, check the internal temp, it should be about 165 degrees F. Also it may seem like a time saver, but don’t coat the chicken with sauce until they are done cooking. If you do it while the chicken is cooking the bread crumbs get soggy and nothing comes out crispy or “fried”. Finally, “Frank’s Redhot buffalo wing sauce” is the best I’ve come across so far that you can get at your grocery store. I’ve also used this recipe to make tenders and barbecue fried chicken and all sorts of other meals. Depending on the sauce you use and the kind of protein (it’s also a good technique for fish) you can make at least 10 different meals. Enjoy!


Pumpkin cake roll

Posted on November 18th, 2007 by Danielle.
Categories: breakfast, cake, christmas, dessert, pumpkin, thanksgiving, Uncategorized.

Ok, technically I cannot take credit for this recipe. Technically it’s off the back of a can of Libby’s pumpkin filling. However I’m including it for 2 reasons: 1) I’ve changed it a little over the years since I started making it and 2) It’s my signature holiday dessert.

Anyone can make this, but very few people have because it looks like it would be complicated. It’s not. My mom and I started making this when I was younger, and I never stopped.

P.S. If you aren’t one of those people who insists on fruit, granola or egg white omelettes for breakfast (in other words healthy things), Pumpkin cake roll is by far the best morning after breakfast with a cup of coffee. Mmmmm. Libby’s

Pumpkin Cake Roll

Pumpkin Cake Roll

The roll:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pure pumpkin filling (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar sifted
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Extra (and things you’ll need):
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 dish towel
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet and line with wax paper. Grease and flour the wax paper.

Combine four, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. In a separate larger bowl Beat eggs and sugar until thick. Beat in pumpkin until mixed. Stir in flour mixture. Pour the batter into the wax paper on the cookie sheet. Shake or spoon to spread evenly in the pan. Sprinkle walnuts onto top of batter. Place in the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes on the center rack. Top should spring back when touched.

Lay the dish towel flat on the counter. Spread 1/2 cup powdered sugar over the towel to prevent sticking. When the cake roll is done remove it from the oven and overturn it onto the powdered towel. Walnuts should be down (this is easier with two people). Immediately and carefully remove the wax paper from the cake. Start on one side of the towel and roll the cake in the towel (should make a spiral). Place in the refrigerator for about an hour.

In small bowl, Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla together. Filling should be wet and easy to work with. Remove the roll from the fridge and unroll it so it’s open. Frost the top side of the cake (without the walnuts) evenly. Remove the towel and re-roll the cake. Slice and serve.

Follow The Recipe extra:
the nuts: almost any holiday nut will do if you don’t like walnuts. I’ve used pecans, almonds and hazelnuts.
the cake: it sounds weird, but a Tbs or so of olive oil really works well to coat the pan before the paper. The wax slips right out of the pan when it’s done. Really, If you’ve got a buddy who can help you flip the cake onto the towel that’s a good thing, it’ll prevent rips in the cake, however make sure your friend is wearing an oven mitt or using a utensil to steady it other wise there will be burns.
the filling: there’s almost always too much, and that’s ok. Don’t over fill the roll or filling will come gushing out when you try to cut it. It’s bad for you and very sweet, so you don’t need to over-do it. It will be tasted.
overall: this recipe takes a little bit of technique to pull off perfectly. I have yet to do it. Cakes will split, things will stick and get pulled off, you will forget the nuts until after the cakes are baked. It’s OK. Use the filling as glue and don’t panic if it’s not as pretty as it could be; it still tastes phenomenal!


D’s EZ Fruit Cobbler

Posted on November 3rd, 2007 by Danielle.
Categories: cobbler, dessert, fruit.

I’m the type of person that would eat dessert before dinner everyday if my parents hadn’t taught me better. That doesn’t mean that I don’t know how to make and eat a few sugary desserts. One of my favorites is cobbler. I have an aunt that makes the most remarkable cobbler from scratch that would put most desserts to shame. Let’s be clear…this is NOT that recipe :) This is the bad-for-you, next-to-no-talent-needed, easy-bake-oven-esque recipe.

Fruit Cobbler

1 large can cherry (or whatever fruit) pie filling
1 cup Bisquick
1cup Sugar
1 cup milk
1 stick of butter softened

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread pie filling in a glass pan (9-10″ diameter or 8″x8″ square). In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. The ingredients should be sort of lumpy and soupy, don’t worry about making it smooth. Pour on top of the pie filling. Place pan on a baking sheet to prevent spill over. To prevent clean up, put foil on the baking sheet first.

Follow the Recipe extra:

If you want to gourmet this up a little, use fresh cut fruit in addition or instead of pie filling. If you use fresh fruit only be aware that you’ll need quite a bit. You lose a lot of volume if you aren’t using the canned fruit because fruit off trees do not come with that sugary jelly like stuff..Mmmm. Also, make sure your oven rack is in the center of the oven. If your cobbler sits too high in the oven the top will get burned; too low and the sugar from the fruit caramelizes. Last thing; set your timer for 30 minutes and then check on it, if it’s really golden brown, you might want to reduce the time in. If it’s not done, then set your timer for the remaining 15 min.