Orange Vanilla Panna Cotta topped with Chocolate Ganache

Orange Vanilla Panna Cotta topped with Chocolate Ganache

Orange Vanilla Panna Cotta topped
with Chocolate Ganache

Servings

variable

 

Ready In:

30 min + cooling time

Good For:

dessert

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

This delightful dessert is perfect for the holidays – or any day, to be honest! OMG – it’s Monday! Let’s make some!!!! With its creamy texture and glorious flavors this one is an absolute crowd pleaser every day of the week!

Ingredients

  • 3 c whipping cream, divided

  • 1 envelope (3 tsp) gelatin

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp orange extract

  • pinch of salt

    Chocolate Ganache

  • ½ c dark chocolate

  • ½ c whipping cream

  • ½ tsp orange extract

  • ½ c Fresh cranberries or raspberries to garnish

Died & Gone to Chocolate Heaven…

For the love of chocolate, do not leave me alone in a room filled with this Orange Vanilla Chocolate topped Panna Cotta. I can’t control myself and it’s dangerous!

This smooth, creamy, chocolatey dessert is sure to satisfy every sweet tooth!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Pour half the whip cream into a heavy bottom pot over low heat. Sprinkle the gelatin overtop and let it bloom (start to dissolve) undisturbed, for about 5 minutes (there will be little wrinkles on top).

Bring the heat up slightly (You don’t want it to boil! You want it nice and hot, but well below a boil) and gently whisk the gelatin into the cream until it is completely dissolved. You will know that the gelatin is dissolved if you can stick a metal spoon into the cream and the spoon is smoothly coated (no little bumps or lumps). This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

Step 2

Next, stir in the sugar until completely dissolved  – less than 5 minutes. Again, mind the heat. No boiling!

Once the sugar is dissolved turn the heat off and add the rest of the cream along with the orange extract and pinch of salt. Gently whisk to combine.

Pour the cream into small, glass (preferably heat proof!) containers (ramekins, tiny canning jars, small dessert bowls), set the containers on a baking sheet and pop them into the fridge to set (minimum 2 hours!).

Step 3

Once the panna cotta has set up for 2 hours, prepare the ganache (Don’t make it ahead of time. If not kept at the right temperature it will set up (too cool) or possibly separate (too hot!). Chocolate does not like fluctuating temperatures.

Step 4

Place the whipping cream into a bain marie over low heat (or a heat proof bowl set (safely) over a medium sized pot with water in the bottom that reaches to the bottom of the bowl) and let it warm. When the cream is warm to the touch, add the chocolate. Keep the heat low and slowly and gently mix the melting chocolate into the warm cream.

Step 5

When the cream and chocolate are combined, add the orange extract, and whisk well to combine. When everything is combined let it cool a few minutes, then pour the ganache over the tops of the panna cottas. Top each serving with a fresh cranberry or raspberry and return the tray to the fridge until 15 minutes before you are ready to serve. Let the panna cotta temper for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Makes 10 – 12 (measured at one quarter to one third cup) servings

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Servings

30ish

Ready In:

40 minutes

Good For:

treat

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

How long does it take to unload and reload the dishwasher? Hardly a though I bump around in my mind too often… except when I pop the cookies into the oven, set the timer, forget to press start, and begin unloading the dishwasher.  Halfway through reloading it I realize that the timer has not gone off for the cookies, and it feels like it should have… 

Luckily, I didn’t burn them and they don’t seem undercooked. Such forgiving cookies!

Reminder: Always press start before wandering off to multi-task…

Ingredients

  • 1 c flour

  • ½ tsp baking soda

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

    ¾ c butter, melted

  • ¾ c brown sugar, packed

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 ½ c oats

  • ¾ c raisins

These are very accomodating cookies, so you don’t have to stop at raisin… They are awesome with walnuts, chocolate chips, coconut, pecans… There is no end to the variation. Add what you like!

A Classic

The classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, a little crispy, a little chewy, and perfect for dunking in coffee, tea, or milk. 

These cookies are an all time favorite in our house. Not fancy, hardly festive, but always in demand and they disappear quickly!

 

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until evenly mixed.

Place the brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and egg into another bowl and whisk together until smooth and uniform in consistency.

Step 2

Slowly add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until about ½ combined, then add the oats and raisins and mix until everything is evenly combined.

Once evenly combined let the dough rest for 15 minutes – why let the dough rest? Because my sister said, “let it rest,” and she is the cookie boss.

Step 3

Set the oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1” (ish) balls and place them on the cookie sheets in 3 X 4 rows. Give the dough balls a little squish with your fingers to flatten them a bit, then pop the pans into the oven, side by side, for 9 – 10 minutes.

Step 4

The cookies are done when the edges and bottoms are golden, and the tops are a bit soft to touch. Remove them from the oven when done and let them rest 5 minutes on the pans before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Why let them rest? Sister’s instructions… Just another cookie mystery… Perhaps these are lazy cookies?

Ginger Spice Cookies

Ginger Spice Cookies

Ginger Spice Cookies

Servings

3 dozen +|-

Ready In:

40 minutes

Good For:

treat

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

These are my favorite cookies – they’re just like the ones my grandmother used to make when I was a kid. Sadly, we never could find her recipe. 

One rainy West Coast day many years ago when my daughter’s school was having a bake sale I bought a couple of cookies that looked suspiciously like the ones my gran made, and to my absolute delight, they were the same!

It took me about an hour to track down the woman who had baked them and I was practically in tears by the time I found her and begged for the recipe, praying that she wasn’t one of those individuals who never allows the replication of their precious creations, and behold you see before you the recipe itself, for she was a kind soul and happy to share. Viva la Gran!!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 c sugar 
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 c butter, melted
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sugar to dip the cookies into before baking

If Cookies Could Kill…

Sweet, gingery, crispy, chewy cookie perfection!

If you love ginger cookies, you will die for these.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 

Place the butter into a small pot over medium low heat to melt. While the butter is melting whisk the flour, sugar, spices, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Set aside

Step 2

Measure 1/2 c of molasses into a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup. Add the vanilla and melted butter and whisk to combine, then add the beaten egg and whisk until the mixture is smooth and uniform.

Step 3

Gradually add the molasses mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. You might want to use your hands to finish the dough, which is smooth and soft and should barely hold its shape when done.

Step 4

Set the oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment. Roll the dough into balls (about 1″) then dip the balls in sugar and set them on the baking sheets, well-spaced (4 rows of 3 per pan seems to do the trick nicely).

Step 5

Pop the pans into the oven side by side for 9 – 10 minutes. The cookies will flatten and crack on top as they cook and will be slightly soft on top when done. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack and try not to eat them right off the pan – you will burn your mouth. Let them cool at least 5 minutes.

Fabulous Cheese Scones

Fabulous Cheese Scones

Servings

16 or so

Ready In:

About 30 minutes

Good For:

Snack

So-Fab Cheese Scones

Ingredients
  • 3 c flour
  • 1/3 c natural sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ c cold butter, cubed
  • 1 c plain kefir (milk will do it you don’t have kefir)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c grated cheddar (or cheese of your choice)
  • 1/4 c green onions, chopped (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten (optional) to eggwash the scone tops before baking
  • Sprinkle of garlic granules and rock salt on top of the scones before baking

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Pre-heat oven to 400° and line two baking sheets with parchment.

Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Add the butter cubes and cut the butter into the dry ingredients to pea size with a pastry cutter or two knives. When that’s done, add the cheese (onions too, if you opt for them) and mix well.

Step 2

In a smaller bowl whisk the kefir (or milk) and egg together.

Gently add the kefir into the center of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. I get it started with a large spoon and finish the job by rolling and gently folding the dough with my hands until it all comes together.

 – 
Step 3

Pull the dough in half and remove to a floured surface. Gently pat each piece into a ball and use the heal of your hand (or a rolling pin) to press the dough into circle with a thickness of about ¾”.

Cut the rounds into 6 – 8 wedges with and place them, well spaced, on the baking sheets. If you opt to apply an egg wash and sprinkle of garlic granules & rock salt, do it now, then pop the pans into the oven side by side and bake for about 15 – 16 minutes, until golden brown.

Step 4

When the scones are browned to perfection remove them to a rack to cool – but be sure to enjoy one slathered with butter while they are still warm!

DIY Greek Seasoning

DIY Greek Seasoning

Servings

about 1/4 cup

Ready In:

5 min

Good For:

Spice Blend

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

 

There are a couple of things that drive me crazy. One is premade salad dressing, and the other is overpriced, stale, spice blends. I’m not going to get into premade salad dressing on this page (because I loose my mind just thinking about it). Here we will give you a quick and simple option for Greek Seasoning.

It literally takes minutes to whip up, it’s nice and fresh, and you can adjust the flavors to your liking.

nolink

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Step by Step Instructions

  Step 1

Ok – you’re going to put this together in one step. It literally takes longer to ready the ingredient list than it does to make it. Are you ready? Here we go!

Toss all ingredients into a small bowl, mix well, and pour into an air tight jar for storage.

Done!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free!)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free!)

Servings

3 1/2 Dozen

Ready In:

About 1 hr

Good For:

Sweet Treat

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

A few simple ingredients make these delicious cookies quick and easy to prepare, and quick and easy to eat too! AND – they’re Gluten Free!

Ingredients
  • 2 c natural peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ c Panela or natural sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 c chocolate chips

These awesome cookies are best when made with natural smooth peanut butter. Crunchy works, but, hmmm – just not the same.

Also, if you don’t have any natural sugar or panela in the cupboard, use plain old white sugar – but cut it back to 1 cup only.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Heat oven to 350°

Step 2 

Place the peanut butter and sugar into a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until well combined and fluffy – about 3 minutes.

Step 3 

Add the eggs and mix well, then add baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Mix well. When everything is well combined use a spoon to mix in the chocolate chips. The dough is quite stiff (depending on how much oil the peanut butter contains) and you may need to use your hands to mix in the chocolate chips so that they are evenly distributed through the dough.

Step 4 

Roll the dough into 1” balls, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten them a bit with a fork, then pop them into the oven for about 14 to 15 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool.

Yeild: 3 ½ dozen cookies

Morgana’s Mango Salsa

Morgana’s Mango Salsa

Servings

Variable

Ready In:

15 min

Good For:

Lunch | Side

 

About this Recipe

 By: Morgana Jane

Oh how I love mango! This salsa is so fresh and delicious and it’s an absolute delight as a snack, side dish, or you can top it with a little protein and make a meal of it. It’s amazingly versatile!

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh, ripe mango, cubed
  • ½ – 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 green onion tops, chopped
  • 1/3 English cucumber, cut into thin quarter slices
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 small red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • ½ green pepper, cubed
  • Juice of a small lime
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In my neck of the woods it’s often challenging to find nice ripe mangoes and even if they look and feel ripe, sometimes they are quite sour which does not really lend itself this recipe (unless you are going for sour/savory!).

If you find that your mango is not up to snuff, add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey to the mix to boost it’s sweet and savory appeal.

Instructions

Step 1 – Everybody in!

Toss all ingredients into a bowl.

Step 2 – Mix it Up

Mix well until all ingredients are well coated in olive oil and lime juice.

Refridgerate for 1 hour and serve as desired!

Topped with a little garlic roasted chicken makes a great meal!

Lovin’ the Leftovers: Curried Chicken and Potato Salad

Lovin’ the Leftovers: Curried Chicken and Potato Salad

Servings

Variable

Ready In:

5 min

Good For:

Lunch|Snack

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

Leftovers… What to do!? Personally, I absolutely hate wasting food so I am always looking for something interesting to do with them.

Last week I had some lovely leftover roasted baby potatoes and chicken. Here’s what I created with them:

Ingredients

  • Leftover Roasted  Potatoes cut into bite sized chunks (use how ever many you have and gauge the rest of the ingredients accordingly)
  • Leftover Roasted Chicken, cut into bit sized pieces
  • Raisins
  • Mayonnaise
  • Curry Paste (or powder!)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • A Sprinkle of Dried Coconut (optional, but adds nice flavor and texture)

We are dealing with leftovers here, so there are no exact measures.

Use what you have and add curry, mayo, salt, pepper, and raisins to your taste preference. 

There are no right or wrong amounts, just delicious flavor!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 – Chop Chop!

Chop potatoes and chicken into bite sized pieces

Step 2 – Mayo!

Add a generous dollop of mayo, one or two tablespoons of curry paste, a handful of raisins, and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3 – Mix it Up!

Mix all ingredients until well combined and a creamy texture is achieved. Add more mayo or curry if needed. Sprinkle with shredded coconut (optional). Serve on a bed of fresh greens and enjoy this simple leftover masterpiece!

Leftover Potatoes??? Try This Delish Salad!

Leftover Potatoes??? Try This Delish Salad!

Servings

Variable

Ready In:

5 min

Good For:

Lunch|Snack

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

Have some leftover roasted or boiled potatoes? Don’t throw them out – that’s a sad waste! Here is a quick and easy twist on potato salad that super tasty!

Ingredients

  • Leftover Roasted or Boiled Potatoes
    cut into bite sized chunks 
    (use how ever
    many you have and gauge the rest of the ingredients accordingly)
  • Cherry Tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • Cucumber, chopped into medium chunks
  • Kalamata Olives, cut in half
  • Basil Pesto (here’s a great pesto recipe!)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Generous Sprinkle of Fresh Parmesan 

… To be clear – this recipe requires chucks of potato – mashed potato just will not do… If left over mashed is what you’ve got, try mixing all ingredients together with an egg, form into patties, and fry up some savory potato pancakes!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 – Chop Chop!

Chop potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, and olives as noted above and place into a mixing bowl.

Step 2 – Pesto!

Add a generous spoonful (or two!) of Basil Pesto (enough to nicely coat all ingredients) along with salt, and pepper to taste and mix well.

Step 3 – Cheese Please!

Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan (or Asiago!) and enjoy!

Perfect Basil Pesto

Perfect Basil Pesto

 

Perfect Basil Pesto

Servings

1 Cup

Ready In:

15 min

Good For:

Sauce | Dip

 

About this Recipe

By: Morgana Jane

It’s fresh Basil time, and what could be more wonderful than putting up a ton of basil pesto while the sun is shinning and the basil is fresh!? Nothing. I mean seriously – who of us does not appreciate a plentiful supply of fresh basil pesto to get through the winter months??!

Basil pesto is so quick and easy to make – once you have made a batch, you will wonder why you ever bought it pre-made! And it keeps very well in the freezer. There really isn’t a good reason not to have it on hand year round!

 

Ingredients

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) fresh Basil, stems removed
  • 1/3 c pine nuts (you can substitute walnuts or almonds)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 c fresh grated Parmesan Cheese (depending on how cheesy you like your pesto)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped (Don’t be shy with the garlic – I use 6 cloves, but 4 is likely satisfying for most people!)
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • Fresh Lemon Juice (I cut an 1/8th of a lemon wedge and squeeze it in)
  • ½ – ¾ c Olive Oil

The farmer’s market in our neighborhood is teeming with fresh basil right now, so I am going to be in full on pesto production next week! But I happened across a small bag of fresh basil at our local grocery store, on sale for $1. Fresh, organic Basil… One dollar!! I grabbed it and here is the result:

Nutrition

Basil, tastes amazing, is crazy versatile, and is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K. Also plentiful in potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus and is touted for being a great antioxidant with powerful antibacterial properties!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 – Wash and Let It Dry!

Gently rinse your basil, shake off excess water, then lay it on a towel to air dry, turning frequently so that the basil dries completely. I wash mine one day, let it dry, then pop it in the fridge overnight and make my pesto the next day. 

Step 2 – Prep & Process

When the basil is dry remove leaves from the stock and remove stems from the base of the leaves (stocks and stems make for bitter pesto). Place basil leaves into a food processor along with pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Pulse a few times until ingredients are chopped to a uniform, medium consistency, then drizzle in ½ c of olive oil and process on a higher speed until smooth. Add more olive oil if it’s too thick – but don’t over-do it. You want your pesto to have good texture and body. You can always add more olive oil when you use it, if needed.

Step 3 – Put a Lid on It

Scoop pesto into a jar with a tight fitting lid and store in the refrigerator. It will keep well for about a week.

If you want your pesto to have a longer life span, scoop it into smaller containers and freeze it! Pesto freezes well and freezing it is a great way to keep fresh pesto on hand year round.

Step 4 – Make Something Awesome!

… Maybe something like this!

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