Monday, January 25, 2021

A Bountiful Broccoli Salad, and a Theory on Food


You might have seen this salad in your supermarket's service deli case, a creamy and delicious broccoli salad. Now let's make it healthier. Carly Knowles, who wrote the new book The Nutritionist Kitchen, The Healing Power of Whole Foods, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen with a colorful, flavorful Broccoli and Pickled Cranberry Salad. This salad's "saving grace" if you will, is the fact that Carli uses yogurt as opposed to mayonnaise. Everything is pure flavor. Carli told Tonia you can have fantastic flavor and stay true to the concept of "food is medicine." The opening part of her writings deal with how food can help you stay healthier, the second half, of course, are the recipes.


½ cup dried cranberries (I prefer apple juice-sweetened)

¾ cup apple cider vinegar

6 cups broccoli florets

6 cups broccoli stalks, chopped small or cut into matchsticks

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted (+ more for garnish)

¼ cup finely chopped red onion


1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

1 tablespoon maple syrup

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon (+ more for garnish)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (+ more for garnish)

⅓ cup blue cheese, crumbled 

1 teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 

Start by quick-pickling the cranberries. Soak the cranberries in apple cider vinegar in a small bowl for at least 20 minutes, until plump and saturated (the longer the soak time, the better!). Drain and add to large mixing bowl with broccoli florets and stalks, almonds, and red onion. Mix together until combined.

In a medium bowl, mix together all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over broccoli salad and mix together until salad is evenly coated in dressing. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until cool. Give the salad a quick stir before serving. Garnish with sliced almonds, tarragon, and parsley.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Bread Pudding: Nutella Flavor


And that summit goes very well!  Alice Medrich told Tonia's Kitchen about her recipe for Nutella Bread Pudding, and if you have kids, they're sure to love it!  Alice says she takes lightly toasted, good bakery-quality white bread, spread with Nutella and layered as you would with bread pudding.  Put the bread in a pan and pour a mix of milk, eggs, cream and sugar on it, and bake it all together in an oven.  And you know, not only will the kids love it as an after-school snack, chances are good the parents will love it to.

  • Enough 1/4 inch (.6cm) –[I used 1/2 inch (1.5cm)] slices of home-style or bakery white bread or baguette, with or without the crusts, to cover the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) square (I used an 8-inch round) baking dish, not too tightly, with 2 layers of bread
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup (64g-75g) of Nutella – I actually used about 2/3 cup (150g) – life is short, ya know
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (112g) sugar
  • Scant 1/8 tsp. (1g) salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) milk
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) heavy cream


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Put the bread in the bottom of the baking dish to make sure you have sliced enough to make two layers.

Remove the bread from the dish. If the bread is fresh, lay slices on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes on each side, or until very lightly toasted. Let the slices cool. Spread one side of each slice of bread with Nutella. Cut or break large whole slices (not baguette slices) into 4 pieces each. Arrange the bread, nutella side facing up, in the baking dish in one layer of overlapping pieces, with rounded crusts or trimmed angles showing attractively.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt together. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream. Pour the egg mixture through a strainer into the baking dish. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap and press any floating bread pieces back into the egg mixture. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Put a kettle of water on to boil.

Uncover the pudding and place it in a baking pan large enough to hold it with a little space on all sides, and then into the oven. Pull the oven rack out and carefully pour enough boiling water into the large pan to come halfway u p the sides of the baking dish. Bake until a knife inserted into the pudding comes out free of custard (or with a little Nutella clinging to it), 50-55 minutes. Cool for at least 1 hour.



Thursday, January 21, 2021

Big Party Food for the Big Game


The Super Bowl is right around the corner, and as everyone knows, you have to have super food for the big game. No getting around it, the biggest football game in America needs to be watched while eating some of the most American dishes possible.  We've got your ribs, we got your wings and we got your burgers.  Now how about some Jalapeno Poppers!  Instead of trying to handle those hot poppers with your hands, why not get that ooey, gooey goodness in dip form? Dana Bowen, who's the Executive Editor of Every Day With Rachael Ray Magazine stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her very super dip. It contains one of everyone's favorite cured meats, bacon!  And when better to eat bacon than on Super Bowl Sunday!


·       3 slices bacon, chopped

·       1 cup panko

·       3 4 ounce cans  diced jalapenos, drained

·       2 8 ounce packages  cream cheese, at room temperature

·       1 cup mayonnaise

·       1/2 cup shredded cheddar

·       1 small fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
·       1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

·       Tortilla chips, for dipping


1.      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium, stirring occasionally, until crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel/lined plate. Drain off all but 2 tbsp. of the drippings; add the panko and stir to coat. Remove from heat.

2.      In a bowl, mix half the bacon with the canned jalapenos, cream cheese, mayonnaise and cheddar. Transfer the mixture to a 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with the panko, remaining bacon, fresh jalapeno and Parmesan.

3.      Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with the tortilla chips.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A Crabby Dip for the Big Game!


In honor of the NFL Playoffs,, we celebrate with a treat...Crab Cake Dip.  Dana Bowen, who's the Executive Editor of Every Day With Rachael Ray told Tonia's Kitchen there's a twist to this dip, nothing fried.  To get that crispy crunch that offsets the sweet and soft crab, Dana told Tonia she uses crushed saltine crackers, which provides the cake for that crab. Serve it all up with celery sticks. Your Patriots fans will feel like your party is right in the middle of Boston Common!

1 1 pound container  lump crab meat, drained and picked over for shells

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . In a medium bowl, mix the first 8 ingredients; season with Old Bay, salt and pepper. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish; smooth the top. Sprinkle with the crushed saltines. Scatter the butter slices over the saltines.
  2. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Garnish with the chives. Serve with the celery and saltines
  • 1 8 ounce package  cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup tartar sauce
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Old Bay Seasoning or chili powder, to taste
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed saltines (about 1/2 sleeve)
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, thinly sliced
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
  • Celery sticks and saltines, for dipping
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2021

    An American Taste Treat Direct from Japan


    This next one is, admittedly, a different take on the classic cheesecake.  Alex Talbot, who authored the cookbook  Gluten Free Flour Power stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about his version of cheesecake, the Japanese Cheesecake.  Alex told Tonia the main difference is that it's extremely light (but still very flavorful)  Alex uses powdered sugar and...follow us on this, a wet towel that you place at the bottom of the pan when baking.  It creates steam which helps to allow for a lighter texture and a slightly browned top. Find out more about his book here

    • 400 g (14.1 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 60 g (5 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
    • 60 g (4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into ½" (1 cm) slices, at room temperature
    • 6 large egg yolks, beaten, at room temperature
    • 200 ml heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
    • 10 ml (2 tsp.) lemon juice
    • 1 Tbsp. rum (optional)
    • 80 g (8 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour
    • 3 Tbsp. Apricot jam + 1 tsp. water
    For Meringue
    • 6 egg whites, refrigerated
    • 100g (8 Tbsp.) granulated sugar for meringue

    1. Before you start prepping, remember to keep cream cheese, butter, egg yolks, and heavy cream at room temperature.
    2. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9" (23 cm) spring-form pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Wrap the base of the cake pan with aluminum foil (preferably with extra-large heavy duty foil) to prevent seepage. If you use regular size aluminum foil, make sure to seal the two sheets of foil very tightly by folding two edges and make one big foil.
    3. Preheat oven to 320F (160C) degree. Start boiling water.
    4. In the bowl of the electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth.
    5. Add the butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
    6. Add the egg yolk and heavy cream and mix well.
    7. Add lemon juice and rum and mix until the batter is very smooth.
    8. Sift the flour twice.
    9. Add the flour all at once and mix well.
    10. Transfer the batter to a large bowl. Wash the mixer bowl and dry completely. Make sure there is no oil or water in the bowl.
    11. To make meringue, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In the bowl of electric mixer, whip the egg whites on medium low speed (speed 4) till opaque and foamy and bubbly. Then add ⅓ of the sugar at a time as the mixer runs. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to high (speed 10) and whip for approximately 4 minutes, until the meringue has doubled in volume and is thick and glossy.
    12. To test for stiff peaks, the peaks should stand straight up when you lift up the beaters. The whites should not slide around. If the meringue has not reached the desired consistency, continue whipping at high speed for another 30 seconds, then stop and test again. Once the egg whites are over beaten, they can't be used for the recipe.
    13. Add ⅓ of the meringue to the batter and mix well first.
    14. Then add the rest of the meringue all at once and fold it in (not mix this time)
    15. Pour the batter in the cake pan and then drop the pan from 2-3" (5-7 cm) high to the countertop to remove any air bubbles.
    16. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan and pour 1" (2.5 cm) of boiling water in the roasting pan. Place the baking pan in the middle rack of the oven. (The reason why we put hot water in the pan is that steam will help making cake soft and moist and hot water around the cake will gradually cook inside the cake while baking in the oven.)
    17. Bake at 320F (160C) for 60 minutes or until light golden brown. Then reduce temperature to 300F (150C) and bake for another 30 minutes.
    18. When a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean without wet batter, turn off the oven. Let the cake sit in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Take out the cake pan from the roasting pan, and let it cool on a wire rack.
    19. In a small bowl, heat apricot jam and water in microwave for 30 seconds and spread the jam on top of the cake. When the cake is completely cool, take it out from the pan and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Cut the cake with a fishing line or a warm knife (run a knife under hot water and wipe off completely before each cut).