Sunday Share: 11/13/2011 {Recipe Finds}

{Sunday Share}

What is “Sunday Share”?

The Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page, {Recipe Finds} are shared daily.  I find cool recipes on twitter, blogs, Pinterest and internet searches and love to share them…

The below are links {Recipe Finds}  which were featured. Be sure to check out these great sites, blogs and recipes.  

If you have a recipe that you want “shared” which follows the week’s theme, please email me .  I will be sure to read your post.  If it fits the current week’s focus, I’ll share. 

Next weeks “sharing” will feature Sage and holiday recipes.

Enjoy!

Denise

Recipe Finds – Just Because

Recipe Finds – Holiday Cooking/Baking

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Mentions

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Sunday Share: 11/06/2011 {Recipe Finds}

{Sunday Share}

What is “Sunday Share”?

The Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page, {Recipe Finds} are shared daily.  I find cool recipes on twitter, blogs, Pinterest and internet searches and love to share them…

The below are links {Recipe Finds}  which feature Coffee or are holiday inspired recipes.  (Somehow Nutella recipes always get included…)

Next weeks “sharing” will feature Sage and holiday recipes.

Be sure to check out these great sites, blogs and recipes.   If you have a recipe that you want “shared” which follows the week’s theme, please email me .  I will be sure to read your post.  If it fits the current week’s focus, I’ll share. 

Enjoy!

Denise

Recipe Finds – Just Because

Recipe Finds – Holiday Cooking/Baking

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Brown Pumpkin Gravy

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

Do you have a picky eater?  I do and my picky eater loves beef.  

It was a chilly day and I decided to develop a new slow cooker beef recipe using coffee and pumpkin. 

Dedicated to my special “Picky Eater” who made my day when he told me that this was “sooooooo good” and even tried “white mashed potatoes” for the first time and loved them!

Enjoy!

Denise

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Brown Pumpkin Gravy

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef

with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

Ingredient List

1 medium Onion, sliced thinly

2.5 lbs. Boneless  Half-Eye Round Roast

1 teaspoon dried Oregano

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Sumac (optional)

2 Bay Leaves

1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree

1 teaspoon ground Sage

1 tablespoon Espresso Powder

Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Line the bottom with your onion.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

  • Season the beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder, sumac and oregano.  Place in slow cooker.  Add the bay leaves.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

  • In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, espresso powder and ground sage.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

  • Cover the beef with the pumpkin mixture.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serving suggestion:

  • Add a green vegetable or salad.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes (try adding 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg to them)
  • If you prefer a thinner gravy, add 1/2 cup beef stock or white wine to the slow cooker when you add the pumpkin mixture.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

Sunday Share: 10/30/2011 {Recipe Finds}

{Sunday Share}

Can you believe that Halloween is here? 

What is “Sunday Share”?

Well, on the Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page, {Recipe Finds} are shared daily.  I find cool recipes on twitter, blogs, Pinterest and internet searches and love to share them…

Currently, sharing recipes that related to coffee and the upcoming holidays… somehow Nutella recipes always get included. 🙂

Below are links to {Recipe Finds} shared last week. Be sure to check out these great sites, blogs and recipes.

Enjoy!

Recipe Finds – Cooking with Coffee

Creamy Mocha Pudding (momstart.com)
Creole Coffee (foodcreate.com)

Recipe Finds – Just Because

Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup Martini (daydreamerdessert.com)

Recipe Finds – Holiday Cooking/Baking

Cornbread Chorizo Stuffing (epicurious.com)
6 Steps to Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (thehungrygoddess.com)
Caramel Cheesecake Apple Dip (half-bakedbaker.blogspot.com)
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (lacosmopolatina.com)
Pumpkin Recipes (savvyentertaining.com)
Fall Fig Cocktail (thekitchn.com)
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake w/Creamy Pumpkin Glaze (iammommy.typepad.com)
Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting (sprinklebakes.com)

Sunday Share: 10/23/2011 {Recipe Finds}

{Sunday Share}


Hope you had a great weekend!

On the Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page, {Recipe Finds} are shared daily.   I find cool recipes on twitter, blogs, Pinterest and internet searches.

Currently, sharing recipes that related to coffee and the upcoming holidays… somehow Nutella recipes always get included.  🙂

Below are links to {Recipe Finds} shared last week.  Be sure to check out these great sites, blogs and recipes.

Enjoy!

AlDenteBlog.com’s Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

LatinFood.about.com’s Flan de Café con Leche

SkinnyTaste.com’s Pumpkin Sherbet

GardenBetty.com’s Balsamic Fig Jam with Black Peppercorns/

TheArtofTwoTarts.com’s Nutella Truffles

Cinnamon Spiced Cappuccino Cannoli Dip

This “not diet friendly” dessert recipe was actually inspired by one of my favorite low calorie desserts/snacks….

It is all about balance.  So, go ahead and have a treat once in a while.  Be sure to counter the calorie intake with exercise and be mindful of portions.  

Definitely worth the extra workout… 

Enjoy!

Denise

Cappuccino Cannoli Dip with Cookies

Cinnamon Cappuccino Cannoli Dip

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Ricotta Cheese (I used part-skim)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Espresso Powder
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 cup Confectioners Sugar
3/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips

  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, vanilla, cinnamon, and espresso powder until creamy.

Cappuccino Cannoli Dip Preparation I

  • Gradually add the sugars and mix until well blended.

Cappuccino Cannoli Dip

  • Stir in mini chocolate chips.

Cappuccino Cannoli Dip

Cappuccino Cannoli Dip

  • Transfer to an airtight container.  Refrigerate overnight (or at least 4-6 hours).
  • When ready to serve, transfer to a decorative bowl.
  • Serve with chocolate graham crackers, vanilla wafer or strawberries.

Note:

  • This was a big hit! 
  • We think that Polish Chrusciki would  have been really good because they have a flavor/texture reminiscent of cannoli  shells.  Next time….
  • My “diet” version is 1/2 cup fat free ricotta, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, pinch of cinnamon, 1 packet of Splenda.  Mix well with a spoon.  Sprinkle with 6 mini chocolate chips.  Yum! 🙂
Slow Cooker Beef Sandwichese ... Served Up Philly Style

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches (Served up Philly Style…Of Course)

It’s almost unbelievable that summer has come and gone…

Once it starts to get cooler, I tend to use my slow cooker a lot to make soups and stews. 

I recently purchased London Broil cut of beef and was inspired by my favorite hometown sandwich, the Philly Cheesesteak. 

While London Broil is definitely not the kind of beef used for Philly Steaks, the end result tasted very similar.  We bought hoagie rolls (not as good as those in Philadelphia…but they did the job), added the beef and cheese…  It was a big hit. 

There are different toppings for Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches.  Half the family goes for ketchup and the other half prefers marinara sauce. 

Enjoy!

Denise

P.S.  Dedicated to all my special “Philadelphia Peeps” ….

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwichese ... Served Up Philly Style

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwiches (Served Up Philly Style … Of Course)

4 stalks of Celery, trimmed to fit your slow cooker

2 medium Onions, sliced thinly

2 lbs. London Broil

1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/3 cup Red Wine

Salt & Pepper

  • Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Line the bottom with your celery.

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwichese ... Served Up Philly Style

  • Cover the celery with half of your sliced onions.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwichese ... Served Up Philly Style

  • Season the London Broil with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano.  Place in slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwichese ... Served Up Philly Style

  • Top with remaining sliced onions.  Season with salt and pepper.

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwichese ... Served Up Philly Style

  • Pour red wine into slow cooker (along the side so it goes straight to the bottom of the slow cooker).
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwichese ... Served Up Philly Style

  • Remove meat and trim fat.   Discard celery.  Shred meat with 2 forks.

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwichese ... Served Up Philly Style

  • Add meat back to the slow cooker.  Stir to coat with meat juices.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

Slow Cooker Beef Sandwichese ... Served Up Philly Style

Serving suggestion:

  • Add meat to roll.
  • Add cheese of choice (American or Provolone recommended).
  • Grill or microwave to melt the cheese.
  • Serve with ketchup or marinara.
Mediterranean Brushchetta

Mediterranean Bruschetta {for Rachel}

In one month, my niece Rachel is getting married!

For her shower present, I put together an appetizer themed gift. Below is the recipe that goes with it…

This very simple recipe actually came together by accident. On Saturday nights, we serve Tapas. One platter that has become a favorite has hearts of palm, olives and roasted red peppers. I season them with herbs and then drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar (that I’ve infused with rosemary).

Last time, I decided to package up the leftovers in the same container to save time. The next day at lunch we pulled it out. The flavors had married up overnight and the flavor/texture combination was perfect.

We all decided to make this “the recipe for Rachel”.

This recipe is dedicated Rachel and her groom-to-be Rusty. Here’s to many years of joy, love and good fortune….

This quote seems apropos…

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. ” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Enjoy!
(“Aunt”) Denise

Mediterranean Bruschetta

Mediterranean Bruschetta

Ingredient List

15 oz can Hearts of Palm, cuts and tips
15 oz can Green Olives, pitted and sliced
15 oz can Black Olives, pitted and sliced
4 oz jar Sliced Pimientos, packed in water
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried Marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried Savory
1/4 cup fresh Basil Leaves
Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Add drained olives, pimientos, hearts of palm, marjoram, thyme and savory to a large bowl.

Mediterranean Bruschetta Preparation

  • Chiffonade the basil and add to the large bowl.
  • Add the oil and red wine vinegar to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour over the olive mixture. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Stir gently to combine.

Mediterranean Bruschetta Prepartion

  • Transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate overnight (or to 3 days). Give a gentle shake every so often…
  • Serve with your bread of choice.

Mediterranean Brushchetta

Note:

This recipe is a good one for your “back pocket”. You can have all the ingredients in your pantry. It is great for a last-minute appetizer to put together to “make and take”.

You can also add to soup or salads… I served mine with Coco Pop Cakes that I bought at the local Italian Market. Each Coco Pop Cake is about the size of a small tortilla and only has 16 calories. This is a great low-calorie snack!

Mediterranean Bruschetta IngredientsCoco Pop Cakes

P.S. If you love weddings, check out the wedding post, Ali Love Cakes, that I posted last year when Rachel’s sister Alison got married.

Caribbean Cocoa Bean Muffins

Coo Coo for Caribbean Cocoa Bean Muffins

A few weeks ago, I was browsing the grocery store at lunch time.     A chocolate display caught my eye….in particular.. ground cocoa beans.   I’ve been reading recently about the health benefits of cocoa beans. 

They are very tasty…not as bitter as I expected them to be….and the flavor seemed to linger.   Pure chocolate flavor at its best without added sugar…. 

Hmmm…Creative Cooking Opportunity…

The Versatile Vanilla series was so much fun.  Chocolate is next !

Below is my recipe that is inspired by Caribbean flavors…chocolate, bananas, coconut, rum and spices.

Enjoy!

Denise

Caribbean Cocoa Bean Muffins

Caribbean Cocoa Bean Muffins

Yield:  12 Muffins

Ingredients

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Cardamom

1/2 teaspoon Salt

2 Bananas (very ripe)

1/2 cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut

3/4 cup Sugar

1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon Rum extract

1/2 teaspoon Coconut extract

1/3 cup Ground Cocoa Beans

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a muffin tin and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, use a whisk to combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large bowl, add oil, eggs, bananas, coconut, sugar, rum extract and coconut extract.  Use a mixer to blend ingredients.

Preparing Caribbean Cocoa Beans Muffins

  • Add dry ingredients to banana mixture.  Mix well.

Preparing Caribbean Cocoa Bean Muffins

  • Stir in the ground cocoa beans.

Caribbean Cocoa Bean Muffins Preparation

  • Divide batter between the 12 muffin cups.

Caribbean Cocoa Bean Muffins Prep

  • Bake for 18-20 minutes (until cake test comes out clean).
  • Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Caribbean Cocoa Bean Muffins

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake Preparation

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake (aka Torta Imposible)

Chocolate Flan Cake (Torta Imposible or “impossible cake”) is a decadent, layered dessert with Chocolate Cake on the bottom and Flan on the top.

You are probably wondering why they describe it as “impossible”….

Well, when the cake pan goes into the oven, the flan ingredients are on the top and the cake batter is on the bottom.

Then two hours later, when the dessert comes out of the oven, the cake is on the top and the flan is on the bottom.

My favorite step is to invert the cake pan onto a platter.  It is definitely a “TADA” moment.  The caramel runs all over both the Chocolate Cake and Flan layers.   It is very hard not to slice it right there and then.  But do let it refrigerate and the flavors will marry even more because as Chocolate Flan Cake refrigerates, the chocolate cake absorbs the caramel like a sponge.

I like to think that nothing is impossible  and had to master this recipe after reading about it several years ago.   It has since become a family favorite. 

Below is the recipe…  

Enjoy!

Denise

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake

12 Servings

Chocolate Cake Ingredients

  • 1 (18 oz.) box Butter Fudge Cake Mix
  •  3/4 cup Water
  •  3 eggs
  •  1 stick Butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  •  1/2 teaspoon Cardamom

Flan Ingredients

  •  8-12 oz Caramel Sauce (depending on how gooey you like it)
  •  1(14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  •  1(12 oz.) can Evaporated Milk
  •  1/2 cup fresh Milk
  •  8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  •  3 eggs
  •  1 Vanilla Bean
  •  1/2 teaspoon Cardamom

Instructions

  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a large bundt pan with nonstick spray.  Pour caramel sauce into prepare pan.  Set aside.

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake Preparation

  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions (adding cinnamon and cardamom).

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake PreparationGypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake Preparation

  • Pour cake batter into cake pan (over the caramel).  Tip:  I typically only fill my cake pan a little more than 1/2 way.  Then make cupcakes with the rest of the batter (or leave more batter for the kids to have fun with. 🙂 )

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake Preparation...

  • Pour condensed, evaporated and fresh milks into a blender.  Split and scrape the vanilla bean.  Add the tiny vanilla beans to the blender along with the cream cheese and the cardamom.  Mix well.

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake Preparation...Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake PreparationGypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake Preparation

Pour flan mixture very slowly (with a ladle) over the cake batter.

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake Preparation

  • Spray aluminum foil with non-stick spray.  Cover bundt pan very tightly with the aluminum foil.  Set the bundt pan into a large pan and set on the oven rack.  Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan to a depth of 2 inches.
  • Bake for 2 hours.  Note: Do Not Take the Aluminum Cover Off During Baking Process.
  • Cool for 15 minutes.  Remove aluminum foil.  Invert cake onto a large platter.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving. 

Gypsy Spiced Chocolate Flan Cake Preparation

Source:  Recipezaar

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Blogiversary!

Wow!  I absolutely cannot believe that it has been one year since my first post.  

I can still remember that feeling of publishing my first article,  Seeking Sumac.   It was exciting and scary at the same time.  Putting myself “out there” on the world-wide web…  Would people read my spice articles?  What would they think?  People wonder why I blog (or wonder how I have time to do this)… 

Time?  First and foremost, I am blessed to have supportive family and friends (that enjoy eating what I make).  

I plan the family meals around the spices that I plan to feature.  My sons often write down what I’m doing and help stage the pictures (we’ve gotten better at that…).   I also let them help in some of the decisions…  They love it!  They are very opinionated (hmm… wonder where they get that from? lol). 

I think if you are passionate about something, you make the time.  It might mean you have to get up earlier or stay up later… There is something to be said about how you feel when you achieve your goals.

Why Blog?  I started blogging to learn more.  I’ve learned a lot about designing my blog site and more about spices.  (You may have noticed the new landing page and drop down menus).

This year has been great!   Enjoy!

Denise

P.S. Be sure to follow on  Twitter and Facebook.

Gypsy World Spice Cafe – Favorites from the Archives… (Click on the pictures to get to the recipe!)

Paprika Party MixSweet & Savory Vanilla Bean Dip

Homemade MustardZesty Tomato KetchupSlow Cooked Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Herb Focaccia with OnionsBlack Pepper Tortillas

Caribbean Olive ChickenShrimp Penne Vanilla Vodka Sauce

Cardamom Coffee Cupcakes Saffron Frosted Orange Oregano Cupcakes

Chocolate Coated Pumpkin Gingerbread Bon Bons

Spicy Mocha CupcakesSumac Scented Cherry Almond Chocolate BarkMustard Poppyseed Cake with Lemon Glaze

Versatile Vanilla – Vanilla Infused Champagne Vinegar (Plus Bonus Recipe for Vanilla Champagne Vinaigrette)

Continuing on the Versatile Vanilla Voyage….

Lately, I have been into infusing vinegar with herbs and spices. 

Below are the steps on how you can make a vanilla infused vinegar.  Keep in mind that it does take a few weeks …so patience is key to success with this recipe. 

The results are worth it!

There is a bonus recipe below for a simple Vanilla Vinaigrette. 

Enjoy!

Denise

P.S.  If you are look ing for other ideas on how to use Vanilla, check out some “Vanilla Recipe Finds” on the Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/GypsyWorldSpiceCafe.  Please visit and remember to “like” while you are there.

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Vanilla Infused Champagne Vinegar

Yield:  16 ounces

Ingredient List:

  • 1 Pint Size Mason Jar (16 oz)
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 16 oz Champagne Vinegar

Extra:

  • Time
  • Patience
  • Sunny Shelf

Directions:

  1. Carefully split the Vanilla Bean with knife or kitchen scissors.
  2. Place Vanilla Bean in mason jar.
  3. Fill with Champagne Vinegar.
  4. Place cover on tightly.
  5. Place mason jar on a sunny shelf.
  6. Wait 3 weeks.  Give jar a soft shake every few days.
  7. Transfer to a nice vinegar dispenser (optional).

Blogger Comments:  I use vinegar on salads, in marinades, to deglaze pans, in vegetable saute’s and as a secret ingredient when I think a dish needs a little kick…  We tried this on berries and it was really good.

Gypsy World Spice Cafe – Bonus Recipe – Vanilla Champagne Vinaigrette

Yield:  8 oz

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Vanilla Infused Champagne  Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon rubbed Sage
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a jar.
  2. Put the lid on the jar and give a good shake

.