Showing posts with label ricotta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ricotta. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bestseller #Giveaway A BREW TO A KILL + Chocolate Ricotta Muffins by Cleo Coyle




Today I'm celebrating another step in the publishing process with the release of A BREW TO A KILL in its mass market paperback format. (Huzzah!)

It's a beautiful edition with a foiled title, and for those readers who collect my Coffeehouse Mystery series in paperback, now is your chance to get it.



I'm at Fresh Fiction.com
this week with a giveaway...


Click here (or on the link below), comment on the Fresh Fiction post, and you are automatically entered to win an autographed copy of my hardcover mystery bestseller* in its new paperback edition. 

The winner of the book will also receive a fun Gimme Coffee Latte Cup, made in Italy, which you can sip from as you--


Read with joy...

(At least, I hope you will ~ Cheers!) 

~ Cleo

*Nielsen Bookscan



Jump to Fresh Fiction
and Enter my Giveaway by...



Low-Fat Chocolate
Ricotta Muffins

My readers might recall these light, chocolaty muffins, which are mentioned in A Brew to a Kill. As the story opens, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi hires a sweet-natured dietitian to help her lighten some of the higher calorie items on her menu.

When Lilly is brutally struck by a hit-and-run driver, Clare’s outrage propels her into tracking down the culprit; and once again, Clare is sleuthing her way in and out of trouble.

This recipe duplicates one of Lilly's coffeehouse menu makeovers. May you eat it with joy--and in good health!






To download a PDF 
document of this recipe
that you can print, save
or share... click here.







For new readers...
There are over 20 more recipes
featured in A Brew to a Kill.
For a quick, illustrated
look at them, click here
or on the image below...


Drink with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.






The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 

 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins: An easy, low-fat Coffeehouse recipe from Cleo Coyle



A Brew to A Kill:
A Coffeehouse Mystery
Cover art for the paperback
edition, releasing Aug. 2013
My readers might recall these light, chocolaty muffins from my recent Coffeehouse Mystery A Brew to a Kill

As the story opens, Greenwich Village coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi not only attempts to expand her business with a coffee and muffin truck, she also hires a sweet-natured dietitian to help lighten some of the higher calorie items on her menu. 


When Lilly is brutally struck by a hit-and-run driver, Clare’s outrage propels her into tracking down the culprit; and once again, Clare is sleuthing her way into and out of trouble. 

For today's recipe, I attempted to channel Lilly and duplicate one of her menu makeovers. May you eat it with joy--and in good health! 


~ Cleo






Cleo Coyle's 
Chocolate Ricotta Muffins 
With a mocha variation 



To download this recipe in a free 
PDF document that you can print, 
save, or share, click here.



A few quick notes...  

The star of today's recipe is, of course, the ricotta cheese, which brings creamy moistness to these muffins along with protein and nutrition. 
The fat component comes not from butter but canola oil. An even healthier option for the fat is one I sometimes choose--extra virgin, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil. (If you've never used coconut oil before, a helpful post on particulars and brands can be found here.) 

Natural cocoa powder adds flavor but also structure to the muffins, which allowed me to reduce the amount of refined white flour in the recipe. To make these muffins even healthier, you can swap in “white whole wheat” flour instead of all-purpose, which brings more dietary fiber to your snack table. Finally, gluten-free flour is always an option for those who need it. 


And now for the recipe...


Makes 6 large muffins or 8 small

Ingredients

1 large egg
½ cup ricotta (whole or part-skim)
½ cup light buttermilk (shake before measuring)
3 Tablespoons oil (canola, vegetable, or extra virgin coconut)
¼ cup granulated white sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 pinches of table salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour 


Variation: For Mocha Muffins, add 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso where indicated in Step 1. Instant espresso is freeze-dried espresso and not ground espresso roast beans. I use this brand (Medaglia D’oro), but you can certainly use any you like. 

Chocoholics: Feel free to fold in semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips before baking (1/3 to 1/2 cup, according to your own taste). You can even “go nuts” and add finely chopped hazelnuts or walnuts. 

Step 1 – Make muffin batter with one-bowl mixing method: Using a hand whisk or electric mixer, beat the egg until slightly frothy. Measure in the ricotta, light buttermilk, oil, white and light brown sugars, cocoa, vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, and baking soda (if making mocha muffin, add your 1-1/2 teaspoons of instant espresso now). Whisk well until fully blended. Measure in the flour. Mix only enough to make a smooth batter. Do not over-mix at this stage or you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough instead of tender. 

Step 2 – Spray the papers: Line muffin cups with paper holders and spray the papers with non-stick spray. This is a low-fat recipe, so if you do not spray the papers, the muffins will stick.

Step 3 – Bake: This recipe makes about 1-3/4 cups of muffin batter. You can make six large muffins or eight small ones. Divide the batter among your muffin cups. Bake in a well-preheated oven at 375° F. for about 20 minutes, depending on your oven. Do not over-bake. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into a test muffin comes out clean (with no batter clinging to it). 


TIP: Muffins will be fragile when they first come out of the hot oven. Allow them to cool in the pan for about ten minutes and transfer to a rack. If muffin edges are sticking to the paper, simply allow them to cool a bit more.



Optional frosting: 
If you like, finish cooled muffins with a dollop of my Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting (without butter or cream). What is the mystery ingredient in this "healthified" chocolate frosting? (Followers of this blog already know. :))

Get my healthier chocolate frosting recipe by clicking the link above or clicking here


 

F   o  o  d  i  e 

P h o t o s








To see more recipes from 
A Brew to a Kill, click here 
for the illustrated guide, and...


☕  ☕  ☕  ☕  ☕

Eat with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.








The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 
 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Passover Ravioli – How to make Italian Malfatti using Matzo Meal by Cleo Coyle


Malfatti, which translates to "badly made," are fun little Italian dumplings. They're also known as "gnudi" because they look and taste like "naked" ravioli—ravioli filling without the pasta pillow. 

There are many popular recipes for malfatti out there, some of which use flour. My family prefers bread crumbs, which is why I was easily able to turn my malfatti recipe into a Passover dish. To my happy surprise, I found the matzo meal worked even better than bread crumbs. Perhaps it’s the unleavened nature of the crumbled matzo that does the trick. It gives the malfatti a great structure, helping the dumplings stay together while cooking.   




Malfatti are also a great deal of fun to form, and I'll show you how to do this using a simple wine glass. I even made a little video to help illustrate the step.


As for finishing the dish, malfatti can be served with many kinds of sauces, just like ravioli. In my photos, you see a simple marinara sauce with a sprinkling of grated Pecorino Romano. The sauce is a big part of the taste of this dish so use a good quality jarred sauce or make your own from a favorite recipe. If you’re not a fan of red sauce, try a cream sauce, or simply sauté slices of garlic in butter and olive oil. Throw in some chopped basil and thyme and pour the buttery herb sauce over the malfatti. It’s absolutely delightful!

Gluten Free Note: Thanks to Avery/Daryl for sharing the info that gluten-free eaters can now get gluten-free matzos, as well.


Cleo Coyle, fan of naked
ravioli, is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Happy Passover!











Cleo Coyle's
Matzo Malfatti 

Free Recipe PDF!
To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.



Makes about 16 pieces – 4 servings of 4 each

Ingredients:

For the Malfatti:

2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning mix
   (*or your own mix of herbs,
     see my note at the end of this recipe)
1 cup whole milk ricotta (pour off any visible liquid)
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan or aged Asiago)
1/2 cup matzo meal + about 1/2 cup more for finishing

(optional) A few cloves of garlic and more salt for the boiling water


Variation: For Spinach Malfatti,
see my note at the end of this recipe.



Step 1 – Make the dough: In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs well. Add oil, salt, white pepper, and Italian seasoning mix. Add the ricotta and whisk vigorously until the mixture is completely smooth (no lumps!). Stir in the grated hard cheese. (If creating the spinach or kale version, add the pureed spinach onion and garlic mixture now.) Finally, stir in the 1/2 cup of matzo meal.



Step 2 – Chill the dough: Cover the bowl with plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. Do not skip this step. Chilling the dough makes it easier to work with and gives the matzo meal time to absorb the liquid in the dough.

Step 3 – Form the naked ravioli: Watch the video below to see exactly how to do this. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of dough into a bowl of matzo meal and lightly coat. Drop the dough ball into a large wine glass. Hold the glass by the stem and spin it vigorously in your hand as if you were swirling wine. The dough ball will knock against the sides of the glass, forming a smooth elongated oval, like a little football. Gently slide the finished dumpling onto a plate. Repeat with a new lump of dough. 



My 30-Second Video:
How to Form Malfatti with a Wine Glass




-------------------------

FREEZE (or not): If you have time, and for the very best results, freeze the dumplings before cooking. Otherwise, move to the next step and cook without freezing. 




Step 4 – To cook: Fill a deep pan with water, generously sprinkle with kosher salt and add a few cloves of garlic. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Gently add the malfatti to the water. Do not crowd, be sure the dumplings have room to expand while cooking. Boil for about 12 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove. Place them on plates covered with paper towels to remove excess water.





Step 5 – Cool: Allow the hot malfatti to cool to room temperature. As they cool, the texture changes, becoming more dense. To serve, move gently to plates, cover with well-heated marinara sauce, sprinkle with grated Pecorino, Parmesan, or aged Asiago cheese and…eat with joy!






*NOTE ON HERBS: In the recipe, I suggest using a standard "Italian mix" of dried seasonings to save time, but you can certainly create your own combination of dried or fresh herbs. I suggest oregano, rosemary, parsley, and basil, perhaps some garlic and/or onion powder. The final mix is to your own taste.

**NOTE ON SAUCE: If you’re not a fan of red sauce to finish the malfatti, try a cream sauce, or simply sauté slices of garlic in butter and olive oil. Throw in some chopped basil and thyme and pour the buttery herb sauce over the malfatti. It’s absolutely delightful!


SPINACH MALFATTI
(pictured below..)


This is a delicious and highly nutritious variation. To make it, simply dice up 1 large onion (3 cups roughly chopped) and 4 cloves of garlic. Warm a bit of olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onions and garlic. After the onions have caramelized into a light brown color, add no more than 2 cups of chopped frozen spinach (or kale). Stir and cook the spinach for a good ten minutes (see more on this below). 




You're watching for steam to rise from the spinach, which means the liquid is evaporating. That's your goal here--to dry out the spinach. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree. This spinach-onion-garlic mix should measure about 1 cup packed. If you have more than that, do not use the extra. Use only 1 cup packed. Pop the mixture into the fridge or freezer to cool it quickly to room temperature and add where indicated in Step 1 of the recipe. Then proceed as directed and...


Happy 
Passover!

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle 

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



Friend me on facebook here
Follow me on twitter here.
Visit my online coffeehouse here.






The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 

 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Healthy Snack: Foolproof Stuffed Mushrooms from Cleo Coyle and a Giveaway from Wendy Lyn Watson!






Cleo Coyle, mushroom eater
and author of the
Coffeehouse Mysteries

Cleo's Foolproof
Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Mushrooms are a great inspiration for a murder-mystery writer, which is why I eat them often. :) They're also incredibly low in calories. Five medium mushrooms clock in at about 20 calories with 3 grams of carbs, and they're fat free.

The health benefits are many: Mushrooms are a source of vitamin D, three essential B-vitamins, calcium (for bones), iron, potassium (which can help regulate blood pressure), and selenium, an antioxidant that's also great for the health of bones, teeth, nails, and hair, and is believed to help fight cancer, especially prostate cancer. Because selenium is primarily found in animal proteins, mushrooms are one of the best choices for vegetarians to obtain it. (Click here to read more about the health benefits of the humble 'shroom.)

Raw mushrooms are one of my favorite crudités, and in the past I've shared a tasty veggie dip for them. To get a free PDF of my recipe for Roasted Garlic Dip, click here.

For this week's recipe, I give you Foolproof Stuffed Mushroom Caps. Why are they foolproof? Because you won't have to worry about under- or over-cooking them. Ever.

You can certainly switch up the filling if you don't like mine--a combo of soft and hard cheeses + breadcrumbs combined with cooked sausage would be just as delicious.




Avery Aames posted a delicious stuffed mushroom recipe for us last year, this one with goat cheese! Click here to get Avery's recipe.






Here is my "Cleo" method
for stuffing mushroom caps:

Ten minutes in a 400 degree F. oven with open side down. 
Flip and fill.
10 minutes more, and they're done!


(Now for an example of said method in action... :))




Cleo Coyle's
Spinach and Ricotta
Stuffed Mushrooms


To download a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here. 






Ingredients:

1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8 to 10 fresh, white button mushrooms (medium to large)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese (whole or part-skim)
2 tablespoons strong, salty grated cheese (I use Romano)
1/4 teaspoon white (or black) pepper
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella cheese (whole or part-skim)

Step 1 - Make the stuffing: Thaw your chopped frozen spinach (but do not cook). Place the spinach in a colander over the sink and gently press out as much liquid as you can. (I do this hours in advance or even an entire day before. Then I place the spinach in a bowl, loosely cover it with foil and keep it in the fridge to dry it out even more.)

After your spinach is well drained, measure out 1/4 cup of it and mix it in a bowl with the ricotta, the grated Romano cheese (or your favorite hard, salty cheese), and the ground pepper. Do not add the mozzarella yet.




Step 2 - Prep the mushroom caps: Clean your mushrooms and remove the stems. Lightly scrape the inside of the caps with the tip of a small teaspoon to hollow them out a bit more. Place the mushrooms, open side down, on a baking sheet or pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes in a well pre-heated 400 degree F. oven.




Step 3 - Fill and bake: Remove the pan from the oven and, using two forks, flip over the caps. Now their open sides should be up. Fill each cap with the spinach-ricotta stuffing, garnish with a bit of shredded mozzarella and return the mushrooms to the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove the pan, plate the caps and…






Eat with joy!


~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or find out more about my books, visit me
 at my *virtual* coffeehouse:

 

Click on the book covers above
to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.


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