Round Peg in a Square Hole-recipes

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Chocolate update

Guittard Semi-sweet chocolate chips are Sam-safe!  They are usually available at Vons, sometimes at Ralph's (which is where we do our primary shopping).

Thus, my chocolate recipes can again be made!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Really Bad Dessert News

This weekend, while grocery shopping, I found that the label on Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips now say "May contain milk" instead of "Made on equipment that also processes milk". I have written to the company to find out if this is a change in the formula or just to the label, but have not yet heard back. This would be a serious blow, as virtually all my chocolate dessert recipes depend on this ingredient. :-(

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chocolate Mousse

By special request.....

4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Fleishman's unsalted margarine, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 cup rice milk
8 ounces Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whisk egg yolks, margarine, rice milk and half of the sugar in top of double boiler. Bring water to a boil, whisking the mixture constantly; cook over simmering water for about 3 minutes. Add chocolate chips and whisk until melted and smooth. Turn off heat and leave mixture over hot water.

Beat egg whites in another bowl until soft peaks form. (If you have a stand mixer, just get it started first and let it run while you're working with the yolks and chocolate.) Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold into chocolate mixture, stirring to mix. Pour out into champagne parfait glasses and chill at least 3 hours.

Got this recipe from, but made some changes. It says it makes 6 servings, but I usually make 9 (there are three of us) and the portions seem to be just fine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tea for N

How we have tea at our house. We usually have one of the sweets and three of the sandwiches, except on special occasions. (Note: regular mayo or Miracle Whip are acceptable, but NOT light/lite versions. Margarines must NOT have whey or any other dairy product in them. One commercial bread brand and variety that is Sam-safe Orowheat Whole Grain 100% Whole Wheat bread; usually we make our own.)


Use any standard scone recipe (e.g.), replacing the butter with a Sam-safe margarine (e.g. Fleishman's UNSALTED sticks) and the cream/milk with rice milk. Can also add a bit more margarine, to compensate for the lower fat content of the rice milk, but this is not required. Can include pecans, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, dried cherries, dried strawberries, apple pieces (dried or fresh), cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate chips, colored sugar on top. I usually cut them with cookie cutters appropriate to the nearest holiday, or into heart shapes, as a default.

Cucumber sandwiches (open faced):
  • peel cucumber and slice very thin
  • cut crusts from bread
  • spread thin layer of margarine on bread, and place cucumber slices on bread, overlapping
  • light sprinkling of salt and a blurp of mayo on top, with a sprig of parsley or rosemary or some other fresh herb (a plastic bag with the corner cut off makes a quick and dirty pastry bag)
Cucumber sandwiches (closed):
  • peel cucumber and slice very thin
  • cut crusts from bread
  • spread thin layer of margarine on half of bread slices, mayo on other half
  • layer cucumber slices on margarined slices and lightly salt
  • sprinkle with dried or fresh parsley
  • close and slice sandwiches
Curry chicken salad:
  • cooked chicken breast meat, chopped very fine
  • mayo
  • chopped almonds
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder/chicken breast
Cherry chicken salad sandwiches:
  • cooked chicken
  • dried cherries, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • mayo
Toast bread; spread with a thin layer of cherry preserves, then cherry chicken salad, and top with second slice of toast.

Ham sandwiches

Remove crusts from bread and spread with honey mustard. Put a layer of fresh spinach leaves or other salad greens on bread, then ham slices.

Tuna Salad

Canned tuna (Bumble Bee albacore or 365 brand from Whole Foods) mixed with mayo, with a dash of Tobasco or lemon juice, a spoonful or two of sweet pickle relish, and some chopped celery.

Egg Salad

Hard boil eggs; slice and separate whites and yolks. Mash yolks and mix with mayo, a squirt of mustard, salt, pickle relish, maybe some chopped celery. Chop whites and mix with yolks.

Fruit Salad

Chopped fresh fruit, which can include the following: oranges, strawberries, shredded coconut, cantaloupe, apples, green grapes, cherries. I sometimes put in almonds or pecans, too.

Angel Food Cake

Most has no dairy or soy in it (soy oil is O.K.), but check to be sure. Slice into fingers or chop into chunks, and serve with jam/jelly/preserves to dip them in.


The bite-sized ones are less messy; plain/vanilla are safer than other flavors.


Any decaf tea; Sam prefers mint or orange spice. Serve with sugar (cubes are always fun) and Rice Milk.

Monday, December 15, 2008

News Flash!

Campbell's Double Noodle Soup is no longer Sam-safe. :-(

Squash and Pepper Soup

This is an attempt to recreate a dish I thoroughly enjoy at a local restaurant. The chef was cagey about what was in it, but I think I'm closing in on it. May carmelize the onions next time, to see if that adds the finishing touch.

1 butternut squash
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup rice millk
1/2 stick margarine
1 onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
3 bell peppers, chopped
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup instant potato flakes

Stab squash a few times, then microwave on high for 5 minutes.

When cool, peel and seed, then chop into 2" by 2" chunks. Throw this and all remaining ingredients into crock pot, and cook on low for about 8 hours. Just before serving, blend or mash to a smooth consistency

Monday, July 16, 2007

Broiled Bananas

3 bananas
2 tbsp brown sugar
rum or rum flavoring

Slice bananas the long way, laying them flat side up. Cover flat side with brown sugar, then sprinkle with rum or rum flavoring. Place under broiler for approx 2 min. (time will vary with distance from broiler)

Banana Crepes

Make crepes from a standard recipe, replacing the milk with rice milk, and the butter with vegetable oil.

3 tbsp margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp almond extract
two bananas
powdered sugar

melt margarine in a pan

add brown sugar and almond extract

slice in bananas and heat over low heat until warm, approx. 3 min.

spoon banana stuff onto crepe and wrap; spoon a little more sauce and bananas on top, then dust with powdered sugar

Serves 3

Friday, April 13, 2007

Chocolate Bunnies

Made my first stab at molding chocolates for Samantha. The result was edible, but more fudge-ish than chocolate-ish. Set up nice and firm in the fridge, though, and popped right out of the mold, so that was good.

1 pkg. Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp Fleishman's unsalted margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1/8 cup rice milk

spray oil and cocoa powder

Spray molds with oil, then dust with cocoa powder.

Melt chips in microwave. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed. Fill molds, pressing to make sure there are no air bubbles.

Place in refridgerator for about 1 hour.

Pop chocolates out and wrap in foil or plastic wrap. Store in fridge.

As I said, this produces a quite rich, fudge-like chocolate. It was also a little gritty, because of the granulated sugar. Next time, I will use all powdered sugar, more rice milk, and less margarine, though I may have to add pectin to make it set up. Might need more vanilla, too. A work in progress.