Tag Archive for 'BlogHer'

Dessert Fit for an Ogre >ahem< Princess

There is no better way to celebrate a bit of Christmas than with a titch of green. To fill that green quota, with kids in tow, we headed to the San Francisco production of Shrek to feast our eyes on two of the most charming singing ogres – Shrek and Princess Fiona. As we say in the biz, “it was a recipe for success” for both kids and adults alike. Hence, a perfectly kid inspired treat. While I can’t claim credit for this recipe, I can tell you that it has a bit of my spin on it. This faux key lime flavor, which I sampled at another fun holiday function this week, is all the rage, “I am a believer!”

Key Lime Ogre Miniature Tarts (fit for a princess)


8 egg whites
3 TBS sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (3 oz) package lime JELL-O
8 mini graham cracker ready-crusts
4 TBS chocolate syrup
dark chocolate, shaved (or chocolate sprinkles)


In a large-size bowl, beat the egg whites on low speed until they begin to foam. Slowly add the sugar, a bit at a time, and gradually increase the speed. Beat until egg whites appear glossy, and reach a firm consistency. To test the consistency, turn the mixer off lift the beaters out of the bowl, stiff egg white peaks (AKA meringue) should form. Set the meringue aside.

In another large-size bowl, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until turns into whipped cream. Sprinkle the JELL-O packet evenly over the whipped cream and gently fold by hand until fully incorporated. Then, gently fold in the meringue.

Place 1/2 TBS of chocolate sauce evenly in the bottom of each tart (or miniature pie shell). Spoon the mixture into the graham cracker pie crusts. Top with chocolate sprinkles or shavings. Set securely in a baking dish and place in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.

Note: A fun summer alternative to these mini-tarts is to turn this recipe into ice cream sandwiches. To make these you will need to substitute the graham cracker pie crusts for 24 graham cracker squares and eliminate the chocolate sauce. It is still possible to partially dip the sandwiches in chocolate once they are frozen, but the sauce will need to be one similar to one used to dip strawberries, so that it will harden. To assemble the sandwiches, once mixture is ready, place in a zip lock bag and cut off a small corner so that you can easily spread (or pipe) the mixture onto 12 graham cracker halves; and then top with the remaining 12 pieces to graham crackers to form a sandwich. Place the ice cream sandwiches in the freezer for at least four hours, or overnight. Give the sandwiches plenty of time in the freezer so that they soften and the lime mousse freezes. At this point you can dip half of the sandwich in a chocolate sauce and place back in freezer for 30 minutes. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap or seal in an airtight container in the freezer for three to four days, if not eating immediately.

Just to tell you how fashionable this flavor, earlier this week I attended the San Francisco BlogHer holiday event and Wrigley’s featured three new gum flavors- Mint Chip, Strawberry Shortcake AND Key Lime Pie. So trust me when I say, that I am convinced KEY LIME is the gusto du December. Green isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day anymore, break it out for the holidays!

One of my favorite foodie out-takes from the Shrek story, when Gingy is in trouble. Something about that cookie makes me want to bake! 😉

And of course, a few of my favorite San Francisco-based ogres: Prima, Secondo and Cugina.

The Ultimate Cappuccino Brownie

My triumvirate post in honor of BlogHer Food09 – I am excited for the festivities and the conference and to finally meet my friends behind the icons- fellow Foodies. Since I have yet to make my own champagne (or as we say in the Napa Valley ‘sparkling wine’ — since the laws in Europe and other countries reserve the word Champagne for a specific type of wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy from the Champagne region of France) I went for the next best celebratory item for the palate – dessert. This concoction is ridiculous – brownie, espresso, butter bliss. Take a good long gander at the drool-some photo and then wash those digits, roll up your sleeves and get ready to lick your fingers as each sugary bite reveals its flavors. I DO want to know when you make it and I am betting against you. I think once you read this over, even the kitchen weary will jump in to make this dream a reality.

Hold onto your taste buds, it’s an explosion!

(Note: Be sure to read over the entire recipe as there are three ingredients lists and three sets of directions.)

The Brownie


1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
1 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 square baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, espresso powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix and set aside.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and butter. It is important not to burn the chocolate chips – I recommend setting the microwave on medium power in 30-40 second intervals and stirring in between until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Mixture should be warm.

Add in sugars and vanilla until completely combined. The mixture should be room temperature. Add in the eggs one, one at a time, whisking lightly after each addition.

Using a spatula, fold the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until combined. Do not over beat!
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake in the center of the oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.



2 1/2 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
1 – 2 TBS milk or cream
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/4 cup butter, softened


In a bowl, combine espresso powder and 1 TBS of milk or cream, stirring to dissolve.

Add in butter and sugar.

Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed to blend then on medium speed until creamy, adding more milk, if necessary to make a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread evenly over the brownie.

Chill to harden, about 1 hour.



1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup whipping cream


Put the chocolate chips in a medium size bowl and melt on medium heat in 30 second internals stirring regularly. When melted, add in heavy whip cream. Stir until well combined.

Let cool to lukewarm.

Spread over frosting.

Chill until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Cut into bars or squares.

Hearty Cabbage Salad & Turkey Panini al Fresco

With BlogHer Food around the corner, my mind is reeling with visions of food recipes dancing in my head. It may sound like Tech-no-geek girl has lost her other edge but in effect this is the other side of my duality- my passion for food. So to help celebrate I am doing some additional late night food posts….I’ve been DM with the Foodies that I am eager to meet and I can’t wait to talk dish!

Now, back to dinner- the weather is hot and there is no sense in turning on the stove but that doesn’t mean dinner has to be compromised. Tonight I indulged in a great Middle Eastern salad with an open faced turkey sandwich. Yes, I’ll share!

Three Recipes:
– Hearty Middle Eastern Cabbage Salad
– Salad Vinaigrette
– Turkey Panini al Fresco

The salad recipe is compliments of www.justforlicks.com with a few slight modifications. The result – RAVE REVIEWS! And if you are interested in another great recipe on Bowl Licker from Sue Barkett Zumout please take a look at Lebanese Stuffed Artichokes.

Hearty Middle Eastern Cabbage Salad


1 head red cabbage, medium chop or shredded
3 tomatoes (Shady Lady if available), diced
1 English cucumber, diced
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 can (15 oz) dark kidney beans, rinsed
2 cans (4 oz) oil packed tuna, drained
1 container (5 oz) crumbled Feta


Wash and dry all vegetables.

For the onion, consider quartering and soaking it in ice water in the refrigerator for at least two hours. This will cut the sting and leave only the sweetness.

In a large salad bowl, add all of the ingredients in this order: cabbage, cucumber, beans, tomoatoes, onion, mint, tuna and cheese.

Salad Vinaigrette


2 small cloves garlic, crushed or pressed
2 tsps coarse salt
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


Add salt and garlic to a mortar. Mash them together with a pestle. (If you don’t have a mortar/pestle it’s not a problem, press the garlic, add the salt and mix together.)

In a small high sided bowl, add lemon juice, black pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Transfer garlic mixture to measuring cup and whisk until blended well.

Pour over salad and gently toss.

Turkey Panini al Fesco


1 loaf cranberry walnut bread *
1 container (4 oz) cream cheese
2 oz cranberry chutney*
8 slices honey roasted turkey


Slice bread thin. Spread cream cheese over bread and then a light layer of the cranberry chutney. Top with a think slice of honey roasted turkey.

* while I have good recipes for these items, let’s keep this post simple, after all it is hot out!