Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lemon Squares


2 cups white flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 sticks butter, melted

4 large eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5/8 cup lemon juice (one whole lemon-juice container that you buy at grocery store)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour and confectioners' sugar. Blend in the melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Combine the sugar, baking powder and 1/4 cup of flour so there will be no flour lumps. Stir the sugar mixture into the eggs. Finally, stir in the lemon juice. Pour over the prepared crust and return to the oven.
Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until bars are set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Emily's Homemade Lowfat Lactose-free Eggnog (Perfect for the Holidays!)

[serves 6 half cups (perfect for a small cocktail)]

3 eggs
1 cup of unsweetened organic soy milk
1 cup of vanilla soy creamer
1 cup of sugar
pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
rum to taste (i used a cup but as they say, the more the merrier.)

1. Seperate egg yolks from egg whites.
2. Put egg whites in the fridge.
3. In bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Beat until egg yolks are soft. Add soy milk, creamer, rum and vanilla extract. Do not overbeat - you want a nice thick consistency.
4. Chill both egg whites and yolk bowl overnight.
5. Before serving, beat egg whites until they form soft white peaks. Then whisk - do not beat - both bowls together. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon on top. Enjoy!


Yield: 6 cups
18 ounces of espresso
3 cups of mile (whole or 2% work best; skim milk won’t froth much)
4 tablespoons sugar

1. Make espresso, but do not pour it into cups yet.
2. Heat the milk until little bubbles form around the edge of the pot. Watch carefully so it doesn’t boil over and burn.
3. Pour the hot milk into a blender and blend briefly on high; this will froth the milk.
4. Fill each coffee cup with 1/3 cup of espresso. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and stir. Fill the rest of the cup with the foamy milk and serve.

Macchiato (Espresso with Milk)

Yield: 6 demitasse cups
18 ounces This coffee is ‘spotted’ with mild. (The word for spotted in Italian is macchiato.) According to Ms. Warren’s book, the drink is popular with elderly men who believe they are too frail for the undiluted espresso of their youth. In my experience, those who like their coffee strong order this. Jack often orders it. You will need a stove-top espresso pot or a modern electric espresso maker. The directions below are for a stove-top espresso pot that holds 2 ½ cups of water. In Eritrea, this is served in small glasses without handles.

6 level tablespoons dark-roasted Ethiopian finely ground coffee
4 tablespoons sugar
½ cup milk

1. Separate the top and bottom of the pot and remove the basket.
2. Put 2 ½ cups of water into the bottom half. It will come to just below the safety valve.
3. Return basket to the bottom half, and fill it with the ground coffee, packing it down with the back of a spoon. The basket will be filled nearly to the top.
4. Screw the top half of the lid on tightly.
5. Place the pot over medium heat and allow it to boil until it stops sputtering and the top half of the pot is nearly full of coffee. This takes 5 to 10 minutes (depending on altitude).
6. Put 2 teaspoons of sugar into each demitasse cup.
7. Heat the milk in a separate pot until bubbles form around the edge. Watch carefully or the milk will boil over and burn.
8. Fill each cup with espresso.
9. Use a spoon to drop a few spots of milk into the coffee, and serve.

M’es (Honey Wine)

Yield: 5 quarts
You may use 1 tablespoon of hops cones in pace of the gesho leaves. I had first ordered this at the Eritrean restaurant in Portland, Maine and was not impressed with it at all. In Eritrea, this rather sweet wine is drunk from traditional long-necked glass containers that look a great deal like bud vases. We drank this when we went with the International Women’s Club to the coffee ceremony restaurant about 11 kilometers outside of Asmara. The glass containers were a smaller version of the modern carafes that are very wide at the bottom with long thin necks. I liked the drink much better the second time.

M’es takes eleven days to prepare.
4 cups (32 ounces) honey
1 cup of gesho leaves

1. Mix the honey with 16 cups (1 gallon) of water and put it in a large glass container (such as a 2-gallon jar) and let it stand for 2 days at room temperature.
2. On the third day, place the leaves in a pot with 8 cups of the honey and water mixture. Bring it to a boil and simmer it for 20 minutes over a low heat.
3. Pour this boiled mixture back into the container of mixed honey and water and let it stand for an additional 7 days at room temperature.
4. Strain the mixture, discard the leaves. Cover the mixture and let it stand for another 2 days.
5. You may now strain the honey wine through a clean cloth and serve either at room temperature or chilled.

Suwa (Eritrean Beer)

Yield: 6 quarts
Gesho is a kind of buckthorn shrub with bitter leaves that have a taste similar to hops. One ounce (about 1 cup) of hopes cones, available in beer-making stores, can be substituted for the gesho leaves. Making suwa and allowing it to ferment takes thirteen days. We had it during the feast of St. Mary at an Eritrean teacher’s parents’ home. They served it room temperature.

½ pound gesho leaves
1 pound wheat berries (whole-wheat kernels)
8 cups of barley flour

1. Grind the gesho leaves in a blender or a food processor and put them into 8 cups of water and boil for about 15 minutes. Pour the boiled mixture into a large earthenware or glass container and add 16 cups (1 gallon) of water. Cover the container and let it stand for 6 days at room temperature, while you prepare the wheat berries.
2. Put the wheat berries in a covered container and add enough water to cover them. In about 3 days they will start to germinate. At that time, take them out of the water and place them in an empty container, cover it, and let them continue germinating at room temperature for 3 more days.
3. Remove the germinating wheat, spread it out on a baking sheet, and dry it in a 150°F oven for 1 hour, until they are crisp. Grind in a food processor, and add to the soaking leaves and water.
4. Mix the barley flour with 3 cups of water to make a dough. Spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it for about 10 minutes, until it browns on top.
5. Let it cool. Then break it into pieces and add it to the gesho leaves and wheat berry mixture n the container.
6. Let the container stand for an additional 7 days at room temperature.
7. At the end of that time, you will have a slightly alcoholic beverage. Before it can be served, it must be strained several times through a clean cloth.
8. Keep the suwa in the refrigerator or bottle it. It will keep for several weeks.

Spriss (Mixed Fruit Juice)

Yield: 32 ounces
In Eritrea, this is served at room temperature. I prefer to chill it or serve with ice.
1 guava
2 bananas
1 papaya
1 orange
4 tablespoons

1. Cut the guava in quarters, peel it, and put in a blender with 2 cups of water. Blend.
2. Pour the quava purée through a coarse sieve to extract the seeds. Put the guava purée back into the blender.
3. Peel the banana, break it into pieces, and add it to the blender.
4. Peel and cut the papaya into quarters and scoop out the seeds. Cut the papaya into pieces, add them to the blender and blend.
5. Peel the orange, separate it into sections and add it to the other fruits.
6. Add the sugar and blend thoroughly. Strain the juice through a coarse sieve and serve. The juice will be quite thick.