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Monday, December 26, 2011

Almond Torte for the Secret Recipe Club

Today I greet you with a beautiful recipe for an Almond Torte.  This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was assigned to an amazingly savory and creative food blog called, Gastronomical Sovereignty .  My goodness is Kristy a talented cook!  She makes dishes that I dream of having on my table every night.  Vegetables of all kinds is one of her focuses along with many, many spices all coming together to make beautiful dishes.

As many of you know so well, I tend to gravitate towards the sweets of life.  I choose an Almond Torte to make from Kristy's collection of recipes.  A simple recipe that requires simple ingredients yet has a very satisfying result.  As mentioned by Kristy this cake is perfectly paired with a nice HOT cup of tea.  I do have to say that in order for this cake to be a success you must have a food processor as you will need to grind roasted almonds and granulated sugar to achieve the right consistency for the recipe.

Almond Torte

450 g whole blanched almonds, lightly roasted
10 1/2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 eggs
1 cup flour
2 tsp grated lemon rind (1 lemon gave me the perfect amount)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease 9" spring form pan.

2. Place roasted almonds in food processor and grind for about 20-30 seconds to obtain a fine consistency.  Do the same with the granulated sugar.
3. Cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time to combine well after each addition.
3. Stir in ground almonds, sugar, flour and lemon rind. Mix just until all combined.

4. Pour batter into prepared spring form pan and bake for 1 hr and 20 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes before removing side of pan.

Share with dear friends and family - serve with hot tea or coffee.  YUM!

Happy Almond Torte Baking!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shrimp Fried Rice

It is essential to have a quick, super yummy, stress free and healthy dinner recipe up your sleeve for this time of year. I am sure many of you are starting to get that heavy almost dizzy feeling of holiday craziness swirling around in your head by now.  Goodness it is almost 2 1/2 weeks until Christmas (yes, I said 2 1/2 weeks!) by golly!  Don't panic.  It will ALL get done some how or another.  And if it doesn't....well, there is always next year.  Can you tell how I calm myself down when I start to panic about not being able to fit it all in or complete all those last minute "most make" or "must bake" or "must finish" projects?  I reason with myself.  That's all there is to it.  And then I eat something delicious and all my stress disappears just like that!  Magic. Simple and pure magic. 

 Today I want to share with you a little magical recipe for dinner time (or lunch if you are so inclined).  It is simple.  It is quick. It is even flexible as far as ingredients are concerned.  And yes, it is SUPER good!  Shrimp Fried Rice.  And, if you really want you could add cooked beef or chicken to the rice instead of shrimp.  Or you could just load it up with lots of veggies and call it a Veggie Fried Rice.  Go nuts with this recipe.  Make it your own variation of fried rice with what you choose to add in to it.  No matter what it will be magically d'lish!

Shrimp Fried Rice
(recipe found on my go-to recipe source, Tasty Kitchen - I just LOVE this site!!)

1 cup rice (white or brown)
4-6 Tbsp butter (you choose how crazy you want to get with your butta...I used 4 Tbsp and it was plenty)
1 lb shrimp,  washed, shelled and deveined
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 onion, chopped
1/3 cup soy sauce (more or less depending on your taste)
3-4 green onions, chopped


1. Cook rice in 2 cups water until done.  Add in butter and toss around a bit so that it melts into rice nicely.

2.  Saute chopped onions until soft and translucent.  Add to rice along with soy sauce, peas and shrimp.   Cook all together for a good 5-7 minutes making sure peas are no longer frozen and shrimp is not over cooked.

3. Just before serving toss in chopped green onions and then sprinkle some on top of dish just for good measure (and to make it pretty).


Happy Shrimp Fried Rice Making!


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