Helado Malagueño (Rum Raisin Ice Cream) Recipe

Helado malagueño is a favorite on the beaches of Spain – and it could become your summertime favorite as well!

1 cup packed raisins
2/3 cup dark rum
12 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream

  1. Combine the raisins and rum in a 2-cup glass measuring cup.  Cover and let stand for 2 hours.  Pour off the rum, reserving 6 tablespoons.  Add the 6 tablespoons back to the raisins.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a glass bowl until creamy.
  3. Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Stirring constantly, use a 1/2  cup measure or large spoon to gradually add the hot milk mixture to the eggs and sugar.  Return the mixture to the saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes.  Do not let boil.
  4. Pour the custard into a glass bowl.  Stir in the raisins and rum.  Refrigerate until cold.
  5. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Transfer to a covered plastic container and place in the freezer until ready to serve.
Makes 8 servings

Recipe courtesy of The Fire Island Cookbook by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen

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Quinoa Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

quinoa carrot cake
Classic carrot cake takes on a nuttier flavor and finer consistency when made with quinoa flour.  With the quinoa, the applesauce, and the carrots, we think this is a healthier option than most traditional carrot cakes – although the rich cream cheese frosting certainly tips the scales back in the direction of sinful!


2 cups quinoa flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tspn baking powder
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn salt
3 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tspn vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and grated carrots
3/4 cup raisins

Maple Cream Frosting
1  8oz. package cream cheese
1/2  cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 tbsp maple extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans with butter or shortening, or cooking spray. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs at low speed, increasing to medium.  Beat in the applesauce, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides occasionally.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in the carrots.  Gradually add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Remove the mixer bowl and fold in the raisins using a spatula or a wooden spoon.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the two prepared cake pans.  Rap the filled pans a few times against a counter to settle the batter and remove any air bubbles.  Bake until the cake springs back when touched and a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool in the pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes.  Then turn the cakes out onto the wire racks to cool completely.
  5. For the frosting:  Place the cream cheese and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium speed until fluffy and well combined.  With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, mixing well after each addition, until the frosting has a fluffy but spreadable consistency.  Beat in the maple extract.
  6. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread icing over the top.  Place the second layer on top, then frost the top and sides of the cake.  Sprinkle the walnuts over the top of the cake, if using.
Serves 8 to 10

Recipe courtesy of Quinoa Cuisine by Jessica Harlan and Kelley Sparwasser.

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Spinach and Black Olive Calzone Recipe

quinoa calzones
From Quinoa Cusine by Jessica Harlan and Kelley Sparwasser.....

My family loves calzone night; the kids can play with extra chunks of dough or even fill their own calzones with toppings of their choosing.  I love the spinach and black olive combination, but you can use whatever fillings you like.  Some of our other favorites are roasted red peppers, canned artichoke hearts, meat or veggie sausage, and wilted arugula.  If you have a favorite homemade pizza sauce recipe, feel free to use it; you’ll need about 4 cups.

2 recipes of quinoa pizza dough
Cornmeal of semolina flour, for baking sheet
4 cups prepared pizza sauce
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess water
1 cup sliced black olives
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Prepare the pizza dough according to the recipe instructions, making a double batch.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit; if you have a pizza stone, put it into the oven before preheating.  If you don’t have a pizza stone, sprinkle a rimmed non-stick baking sheet lightly with cornmeal or semolina flour.  Heat the pizza sauce in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
  3. Divide the dough into four equal pieces.  Work with one piece at a time, keeping other pieces covered with a towel or plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.  On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, use your hands to pat and stretch a piece of dough into a flat oval about 12 X 8 inches.  Arrange a quarter each of the spinach and black olives on half of the oval, leaving an edge of about 1 inch uncovered.  Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and drizzle with about 1/4 cup pizza sauce.  Fold the dough over the filling and, beginning at one end, roll the edge to seal.  Tuck the rolled edge under the calzone.  Carefully transfer the finished calzone to the baking sheet or slide onto the hot pizza stone in the oven.
  4. Repeat with the remaining dough and the filling.  Bake the calzones until the dough is golden and they sound hollow when tapped, about 15 minutes.  Serve hot with the remaining pizza sauce spooned over.
Makes 4 calzones.

Recipe courtesy of Quinoa Cuisine by Jessica Harlan and Kelley Sparwasser.

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Quinoa Pizza Dough Recipe

quinoa pizza dough
Adding quinoa flour to a classic pizza dough recipe adds not only some healthy protein but also a nice nuttiness to the crust.  Use this dough for pizza or calzones or, for an easy appetizer, simply flatten it, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with dried pizza seasoning, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.  You can also brush the flattened dough with olive oil and cook it right on a hot grill to make flatbread; cook it 2 or 3 minutes per side.


1  1/4 cups very warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 to 2 1/2  cups bread flour
1 tspn kosher salt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tspn extra-virgin olive oil
1  1/2  cups quinoa flour

  1. Place the warm water in a large bowl.  Stir in the yeast, honey, and 1 cup bread flour.  Let sit in a warm place until foamy, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and quinoa flour.  Gradually add the remaining bread flour, 1/2  cup at a time, until the dough forms a slightly sticky ball.  Turn out onto a well-floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Add more flour if needed.  The dough will be slightly sticky.  Form into a ball.
  3. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil into a clean bowl.  Place the ball of dough in the bowl, turning to coat with oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Use in your favorite pizza or calzone recipe.
Makes dough for one 12-inch pizza.

Recipe courtesy of Quinoa Cuisine by Jessica Harlan and Kelley Sparwasser.

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Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This recipe is our version of the traditional shepherd’s pie. Instead of mashed potatoes, we use the less-starchy Sweet Potato Mash. We’ve also upped the veggie factor significantly and made sure not to overcook them. This is a delicious meal for a cold winter’s night – hearty and warming.

1 tspn ghee
1/2 red onion, small diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
1/2 tspn sea salt
2 celery sticks, small diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
1/4 tspn chili powder
1 tspn paprika
2 tbsp thyme
1 pound ground grass-fed beef or ground turkey
1 cup chopped (into 1/2 inch pieces) green beans
1 14.5oz. can of no-sodium diced tomatoes
Sweet Potato Mash

  1. Heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion with the salt for 2 minutes until just translucent. Add celery, chili powder, paprika, thyme, and mix well. Add the ground beef and stir to mix. Chop the green beans and add them to the meat as it cooks. Add tomatoes and mix well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Spread the meat mixture into and 8 inch by 8 inch pan. Using a spatula, press down so that there are no air bubbles. Spread the sweet potato mash on top of the meat mixture, using the spatula to smooth out the top.
  3. Turn on the broiler to high and cook pie for 5 to 7 minutes, until top is a nice shade of brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving warm.
Makes 6 servings

Recipe courtesy of the Naked Foods Cookbook by Margaret Floyd and James Barry

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Sweet Potato Mash Recipe

sweet potato mashThis recipe is a great alternative to your standard mashed potatoes and makes great use of the oven if you’re already using it for roasting. For a vegan version of this recipe, blend the potatoes with water; for a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock; and for an omnivore version, use beef broth.

2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 to 1 cup water, vegetable stock, or beef broth.
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 395 degrees Fahrenheit. If your kitchen is slightly cool and your coconut oil is solid, put it in a large heat-resistant bowl and into the oven to melt.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes and garlic with the oil to coat thoroughly, and spread out on oven tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until soft.
  3. Put the cooked potatoes, garlic, and 1/2 cup of water or stock into your blender or food processor. Blend until they reach the desired consistency. You may need to add more water or stock. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Makes 4 to 6 1/2 cup servings.

Recipe courtesy of the Naked Foods Cookbook by Margaret Floyd and James Barry

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Florentine Omelet Recipe

florentine omeletThis omelet is our twist on the Florentine omelet. Instead of spinach, which is overused and has oxalic acid (an antinutrient that inhibits your body’s ability to absorb minerals and is the source of that squeaky feeling on your teeth when you eat lots of spinach), we use kale. Instead of your standard white or crimini mushrooms, we use shiitakes, giving it a slight Asian feel. The sun-dried tomatoes are a nice touch to make the flavor pop.

1 tbsp butter or ghee
3 to 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced lengthwise (about 1 cup)
1/8 tspn sea salt
2 sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
2 cups finely chopped kale
2 tspn butter or ghee
4 eggs
Freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp grated Parmesan

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter or ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. When melted, add the mushrooms and salt and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until just soft. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and kale, which might still be a little wet from being washed – this is fine, it will help it steam. Cook for 2 more minutes. Remove all veggies from the heat and put on a plate.
  2. Using the same skillet, add 1 teaspoon of butter or ghee and let melt. Break 2 eggs into a bowl and whisk together lightly with a fork. When the butter has melted, pour the whisked eggs into the pan, adding a pinch of freshly ground pepper. As the eggs cook, sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese and use your spatula to fold up the edges and let the uncooked egg on top run to the bottom of the pan. Flip the eggs to cook the other side. Put on a plate and set asidewhile you repeat this step for the next 2 eggs. If you don’t know how to make an omelet, visit www.eatnakednow.com and search “omelet” for a video on how to make a basic omelet.)
  3. Put half of the kale and mushroom mixture onto one half of each of the omelet, and fold the egg over it. Sprinkle with a little more Parmesan cheese and serve warm.
Note about sun-dried tomatoes: We prefer to get our sun-dried tomatoes dry, not packed in any oil. If your sun-dried tomatoes are extremely hard, you’ll need to reconstitute them by soaking them in water for 10 to 15 minutes. If they’re a little soft and chewy, you can use them as is, without reconstituting.

Makes 2 servings

Recipe courtesy of the Naked Foods Cookbook by Margaret Floyd and James Barry

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Egg Nog Recipe

egg nogFrom Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Saetre

I usually make egg nog for Christmas. I quite simply make a vanilla sauce that I add liquor to, such as blending chilled vanilla sauce with vodka. I prefer to store the nog in bottles in the refrigerator. The nog thickens when it stands, so it's important to shake it well before use.

Vanilla Sauce

This is a basic sauce that is the starting point for many sauces and desserts and the base for egg nog. It is important to be careful when a sauce is thickened or warmed so that it doesn't separate. Take the saucepan off the burner several times during the warming so that you have control of the temperature. Be sure to have a bowl and sieve on hand before you begin to thicken the sauce.

1 cup (120 proof) vodka
1 vanilla bean
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks

  1. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.
  2. Heat the milk, whipping cream, vanilla bean, seeds, and half of the sugar to the boiling point.
  3. Lightly whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar together.
  4. Pour the hot liquid into the egg mixture gradually while stirring with a whisk. Then, pour the sauce back into the saucepan.
  5. Heat the sauce while stirring the bottom of the saucepan with a spatula. It is important to stir the entire time to prevent the egg yolks from hardening in the bottom of the pan.
  6. When the sauce thickens. 183 - 185 degrees Fahrenheit(84-85 degrees Celsius) on a thermometer, strain it into a bowl. To see if the sauce is thick enough, lift sauce up on a spatula and drag a finger through it. If the sauce doesn't flow together again, it's ready.
  7. Chill the sauce in the refrigerator.
When you warm milk and whipping cream for something like vanilla sauce, it is important that it does not boil, but is only heated to the boiling point. Boiled milk doesn't taste particularly good.

Recipe courtesy of Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Saetre

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Curry Dressing Recipe

curry dressingThis dressing pairs nicely with any Indian-style dish. Curry dressing is also a really easy way to add a curry flavor to anything.

1/2 cup yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tspn honey
1/2 tspn curry powder
1/2 tspn dried thyme
1/2 tspn cumin
1/2 tspn sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a pint-size mason jar. Shake vigorously to mix. Either use immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Keeps for up to 1 week. Shake well before using.

Recipe courtesy of the Naked Foods Cookbook by Margaret Floyd and James Barry

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Book Review: Cook Wild

Cook Wild CoverReading the book, Cook Wild by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi (available in North America on April 15, 2012) brought back memories of a smelt fishing trip that some friends and I took some years back during one cold April night on Lake Michigan on Chicago's north side. We built an impromptu hobo oven from an old oil drum and some drift wood that we found along the lake (or was it a few smashed up packing crates that we found behind a Jewel-Osco supermarket)....I can't remember. Anyway, although we did not catch many smelts that night, it was a lot of fun being with friends, around a fire, on the lake, in the great outdoors.

In her twelfth book, Cook Wild, Fischer-Rizzi encourages readers to cook outside with friends around an open fire and get closer to nature. She provides all of the essential information that you will need in order to do just this. The author walks you through the process of selecting the best type of wood to use along with choosing the best and safest location for your fire. She also provides various types of cooking methods to use in preparing each of the more than 130 recipes included in the book. Many of these methods encourage the reader to utilize the art of improvisation by using things that are available in nature such as branches and stones to create make-shift utensils. Throughout the book, Susanne Fischer-Rizzi draws upon her experience as an outdoor specialist, herbal expert, and traditional healer to provide interesting background information related to each of her recipes.

In our review of Cook Wild, we tried the author's recipes for Chai Tea, Juan Carlos Paella, and Bannocks. The recipe for chai tea was really easy to prepare and required only a basic set of ingredients. Despite its simplicity, it beat the Starbucks version by a mile. The recipe for Juan Carlos Paella calls for paella rice which is probably the same thing as yellow Spanish rice. Anyway, that's what we ended up using for this recipe and it turned out great. We used one of the author's suggested variations for her bannocks recipe using Genoa salami added to base recipe. The texture of this type of bread/roll was a little heavy but the bannocks were filling and tasted good too. They would be the perfect food to have in your pack on a long hike.

After trying these recipes, we give Cook Wild four stars out of five. The section in the book about cooking methods that can be used while cooking on an open fire is very interesting and informative. In addition, the photographs by Sabine Mader and Ulrike Schmid of Fotos mit Geschmack Studio featured throughout the book are amazing. However, we would have liked to see more photos in the Wild Plants section that could help readers identify the plants described. The recipes that we tried were fairly easy to prepare and they all turned out well. This book is a must for someone who does a lot of camping or anyone that enjoys coking outside. We think this book is also a great companion to the book Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann.

Puff Pastry Sticks with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

puff pastry sticks with brown sugar and cinnamonFrom Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Saetre

Puff pastry is a classic baked good that has a long tradition in Norwegian baking. This pastry is an important part of the pastry chef examination, and there are probably more than a few who have wept over it. To get puff pastry to rise correctly is, namely, an art. It is folded, buttered, and rolled until you have 256 layers. Puff pastry in itself does not have much flavor, but it has fantastic texture. You can combine it with savory just as much as with sweet, so this dough is used a lot in the savory kitchen, as well. It’s filled with meat, fish, vegetables, and stews, and in the past there were many pastry chefs who worked supplying chefs with puff pastry. Now, industry has pretty much taken over. We make our own puff pastry in my bakery, but it is very tedious, so I recommend buying it from the freezer section. Here, I have made sticks out of it and flavored it with sugar and cinnamon. These sticks are good to munch on, and are ideally suited as an accompaniment to desserts with rich creams and sour fruit or berries.

1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg
1 tspn cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 335 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celcius).
  2. Roll the the puff pastry dough on a floured surface until it is 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick.
  3. Whisk the egg with a fork and brush it on the dough.
  4. Mix the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it over the sheet of dough.
  5. Use a pastry cutter or divide the dough into rods of 1/2 x 3 inch(1 x 8 cm). Lay them on parchment paper and bake until they rise and turn golden, about 12 – 15 minutes.
  6. Let cool then serve.
Replace the brown sugar and cinnamon with:
  • grated firm white goat cheese and paprika
  • poppy seeds
  • finely chopped nuts
  • cinnamon and crushed, dried apples
Recipe courtesy of Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Saetre

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