• Mai


Each fall and winter in the Midwest, I anxiously await the arrival of pomegranates at the market. Growing up, we had a few pomegranate trees in our garden. These ruby fruits hung like ornaments on Christmas trees. We use pomegranates in so many ways in the Middle East. My favorite way is by making freshly squeezed ruby juice.

Chocolate and olive oil make for a great combination in this ultra-moist and easy cake

Pomegranates’ crunchy texture and sweet/tart flavor make them the perfect compliment to chocolate flavors. This cake is definitely for the chocolate lovers in your life.


Pomegranate, Chocolate & Olive oil Cake



YIELD Serves 8 to 12

PREP TIME 10 minutes

Bake TIME 25 minutes to 35 minutes



INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the pan

  • 1 tablespoon pure pomegranate molasses

  • 1/4 cup sliced raw almonds

  • 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup boiling water*

  • Serving suggestions: Freshly whipped cream

Directions:



preheat the oven to 325°F.

  • Line the bottom of a 8- or 9- inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Coat the paper and sides of the pan with olive oil. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, Add the olive oil, eggs, egg yolk, pomegranate molasses and sugar. Whisk to combine.

  • In a separate bowl whisk the dry ingredients: cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, until combined.

  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until the batter is almost smooth; do not overmix. Mix in the boiling water and mix to combine*. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  • Top with sliced almonds and pomegranate seeds

  • Bake until the edges of the cake have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.

  • Transfer the cake in its pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Run a knife around the cake to loosen it. Once cooked flip the cake onto a plate, peel away the parchment, and flip it back onto the serving plate.

  • Serve slices topped with whipped cream and pomegranate flowers.



*why add the boiling water!!

The hot liquid helps "bloom" the cocoa powder, creating a deeper, more rich chocolate flavor.



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  • Mai

Making edible or homemade gifts for others is a rewarding way to express your love and gratitude. It is an experience that heightens the love and joy of giving this holiday season. Hope you give these simple Naughty Or Nice truffles to someone special on your list. Espresso and chocolate Brigadeiro truffles so decadent and rich in chocolate flavor and snowballs truffles made with honey and coconut


Espresso Chocolate Brigadeiro

Ingredients:


  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened good quality cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • A drop of coffee extract (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp of instant espresso powder (optional)

  • Chocolate sprinkles for coating or unsweetened good quality coco powder



In a pan over a low heat, melt the butter, add the condensed milk, once warmed and loosened a bit add the cocoa powder and the espresso powder, stir until all combined and cocoa powder is dissolved. You know the mixture is ready when you use you spatula and slide it down the pans and separates easily. Turn off the heat and add the coffee extract and mix to combine.

Add the mixture to a glass container and chill for an hour



Using a small spoon or a mini cookie scoop. Scoop out the mixture and roll into balls in the palm of your hands.

Roll the balls in sprinkles, nuts or coco powder to finish

  • store in the fridge, they will last a week


No Bake Coconut and Honey Snowballs

Serving: 24 snowballs about 2 tsps each

  • 2 cups desiccated unsweetened coconut + additional for rolling

  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 3 Tbsp Honey (adjust to your taste)

  • 2-3 Tbsp coconut milk or coconut kefir honey flavored or plain

  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract or vanilla



Directions



  • In a food processor, pulse cashews until you get a coarse crumble. Add coconut, and coconut oil in a food processor and pulse until very fine

  • Add honey and coconut milk/coconut kefir and blitz until well combined and starting to come together in a ball, you may need an extra tablespoon of coconut milk or coconut kefir

  • Refrigerate the mixture for approx. 15 mins, this makes it easier to roll into balls

  • using a mini cookie scoop or spoon, scoop out mixture and Roll into balls and then roll balls into desiccated coconut, or sprinkles.

  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hrs before serving

  • store in the fridge it will last a week







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  • Mai

Shrimp shells, lobster tails, and crab shells are packed with delicious, briny flavor. Don't toss them. Instead use them to make a quick stock to use in seafood sauces, soups, and stews. Homemade seafood stock is far superior than any store bought variety and you can make it just using your leftover seafood shells and few aromatics that you probably already

have at home.


Shellfish Stock makes about 2 quarts

5 cups shells (from about 1 1/2 pounds whole shrimp) crab or lobster 1 onion quartered 3 celery stalks roughly chopped 2 carrots cup roughly chopped 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2 bay leaves

fresh thyme and parsley (optional)

a 1/2 an inch of ginger root 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns 2 quarts water Salt


Directions:




Rinse the shrimp heads and shells in cold water and drain. Then place them in a stock pot with enough cold water to just cover the shells. Add all the aromatics.

Simmer the whole thing uncovered until the water takes on a light orange-y stock color, about 45 minutes, then strain all the shells out. Use the stock in place of water, clam juice, or other kinds of stock for your recipes. Homemade seafood stock is far superior than any store bought variety and you can make it just using your leftover seafood shells.



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