A new direction  

Posted by Rachel

I have realized I am really horrible about blogging about my normal, everyday life. Perhaps this is because I don't feel that I have anything to report, or really, it is probably much more likely that the things that I do have to report are on a more personal nature, and I'm not sure the whole blogosphere (I think I have always wanted to use that word in a sentence) needs to know.

Either way, I have decided that the one thing I can blog about and enjoy immensely, is cooking and baking. So, the format of the blog may change slightly to mostly report of the food I've been cooking, the sweet treats I've been baking, then the recipes (good and bad) that I can then report on. I have so many friends who request this sort of information from my constantly, so I've decided to give in. Also, a while back, Nick and I decided to cook ethnically (trying new and exciting recipes) as much as possible, so those recipes may show up here as well, and since we've done this about three times since that decision, I may have some catching up to do.

For now though... dinner last night. Mark came over since he recently moved to Oviedo, so we had a little Italian themed dinner party.

Main dish: Italian meatloaf in the crock pot (recipe here). I followed the comments on the recipe and crumpled up foil under the meatloaf to let the fat cook off and not saturate the meat. The only problem was that the meat turned out a little dry. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with some extra spaghetti sauce, but still... not the best ever. BUT, I figure it was a whole lot healthier, so I'm ok with that.

Side dish 1: Risotto (recipe here)! I had yet to use my new pressure cooker, so I decided to find a recipe so that I could remedy that. Granted, the pressure cooker is a little, um, scary as it bangs around and shoots steam out for 10 minutes straight, but the final product was delish.

Side dish 2: Broccoli. Simple - steamed in my little electronic steamer.

And then of course, the classic Italian dessert of tiramisu, which I actually had never made before. Again, a HIT of a recipe - one I'll keep to use again, though I will say that my egg whites almost didn't set up right. I think the 160 degrees in the sauce pan is pretty important, so next time, I might opt towards using my candy thermometer, which I didn't do this time. So, not the simplest recipe, but definitely delish. And pretty light on the coffee flavor actually. Nick who doesn't like coffee (what a weirdo!) even liked it. Bekah on the other hand? Not so much. I got the recipe from tasteofhome.com, and it was a subscriber only recipe, so I'll post it below. (Sidenote: it was delish AND a low fat recipe.)

Sensational Tiramisu


  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers, split
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking cocoa


  • In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping; set aside.
  • Combine 1/2 cup sugar, egg whites and water in a small heavy saucepan over low heat. With a hand mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating on low over low heat until mixture reaches 160°, about 8-10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Fold into cream cheese mixture.
  • Arrange half of ladyfingers in an ungreased 11-in. x 7-in. dish. Combine the boiling water, coffee liqueur, coffee granules and remaining sugar; brush half of mixture over ladyfingers. Top with half of cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Spread remaining whipped topping over the top; sprinkle with cocoa. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
So, that was dinner last night. Yum! And it was really great to spend some time with Mark and others as well. Welcome to the area, Mark!