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January 4, 2011

Recipe for espresso chocolate custard cups

Espresso chocolate cups

A recipe adapted from Nirmala's Edible Diary, a South American cookbook I received as a holiday gift from my friend Laura, this rich, yet not overly sweet, espresso chocolate custard sustained my husband Ted through a long New England blizzard. It's cooked over the gentle heat of a double boiler; if you don't have one, improvise as I do, by setting a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips, which melted smoothly and saved a bit of chopping. The original recipe called for whole milk. I had skim milk and heavy cream on hand, and combined the two -- and it worked.

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January 2, 2011

Recipe for quinoa turkey meatloaf {gluten-free}

Quinoa turkey meatloaf

When you have a few cookbooks (okay, a few hundred cookbooks), only a few of your friends and family will chance giving you cookbooks for the holidays. My lovely friend Laura gave me Nirmala's Edible Diary, and right away I marked a dozen recipes to try. This Peruvian-inspired quinoa turkey meatloaf called for ingredients in my pantry, plus some basil, which I happened to have on hand for another dish. The original recipe includes chives, which are dead as can be in my garden at this time of year, and it doesn't call for ketchup, which really rounds out the flavor.

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December 30, 2010

Recipe for chile con queso dip

Chile con queso

TRUE CONFESSION: I like Velveeta. Really, I do; I've been eating it since I was a little girl, straight from the box. Velveeta is a cheese food product invented to be a more nutritious, longer-lasting alternative to real cheese, by reincorporating the whey that's usually removed in the cheese-making process. In Texas, folks traditionally combine Velveeta and Ro*Tel to make "queso", a spicy, gooey cheese dip for chips or vegetables. It's a tradition here in The Perfect Pantry to have a bit of fun with food at the end of the year (marshmallow fluff, anyone?), so why not invite some friends for a queso party?

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December 26, 2010

Recipe for easy cinnamon-apple coffee cake with streusel topping

Cinnamon-apple coffee cake

Are your guests still sleeping? Do you have friends coming for brunch today? Is your menu all set for New Year's morning? In the time it takes to pull ingredients off the pantry shelf, and peel and chop one single apple (or pear, if that's what you have on hand), you can make this quick and easy coffee cake. All it takes is a bowl or two, a whisk, a few things from the pantry, one piece of fruit, and less than ten minutes of work. Plan-ahead types can bake ahead and freeze this cake, right in its pan.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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