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Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup homemade whipped cream (or frozen whipped cream, thawed if you are in a crunch)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Don’t worry if there are a couple of cracks; when you refrigerate it they will close up. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Garnish with whipped topping before serving.


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Black-Bottom Cupcakes!

For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used mini chocolate chips)

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup unflavored vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the filling: Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.

Make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat to 350°F (175°C). Butter or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring until just smooth. Stir any longer and you will over mix the batter and end up with less-than-tender cupcakes.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. This will fill the cups almost completely, which is fine.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed. These moist treats will keep well unrefrigerated for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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* Chicken Madeira!*

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken

breast fillets

8 asparagus spears

4 mozzarella cheese slice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

3 cups Madeira wine

2 cups beef stock

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place chicken breasts between plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in saute pan; add chicken and saute 4 to 6 minutes per side, until lightly browned; remove from pan and wrap in foil to keep warm.
Prepare Madeira sauce- Using the same pan, over medium heat, add2 tablespoons oil and heat; add mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes.Add Madeira wine, stock, butter and pepper; bring to boil, reduce heat; simmer about 20 minutes or until sauce has reduced to 1/4 of its original volume and is a dark brown color.
Meanwhile, bring a half saucepan of water to a boil; add salt;return to boil; add asparagus and boil 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. The asparagus should be cooked crisp-tender.
Transfer cooked chicken to baking pan; top with mozzarella cheese and broil 3 to 4 minutes or until light brown spots begin to appear on the cheese. To serve, arrange 2 breasts on each plate, top each with 4asparagus spears and spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of Madeira sauce over each.

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Napoleon Of Tuna With A Mosaic Salad
For the Mosaic Salad
◦2 large artichokes, rinsed
 ◦ Juice of 2 lemons
 ◦1 large tomato, peeled, cored, split horizontally, seeded with a teaspoon, in 1/8-inch dice
 ◦4 large white mushrooms, very fresh and firm, caps only, in 1/8-inch dice
 ◦1 small avocado, firm but ripe, split, pitted, peeled, in 1/8-inch dice
 ◦1/4 cup small black olives (Niçoise), pitted and coarsely chopped
 ◦3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 ◦ Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 ◦2 tablespoons chopped chives
 ◦1 bunch watercress of mâche, leaves only, cleaned
For the Napoleon of Tuna:
◦6 thin slices white bread
 ◦1 clove garlic, peeled
 ◦8-ounce slice tuna fillet, sushi quality, center cut, about 1 inch thick, well chilled (when serving raw fish, you must buy extra-fresh fish of the highest quality and serve it the same day)
 ◦1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
 ◦1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
 ◦1/2 tablespoons finely minced chives
 ◦ Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Napoleon of Tuna:
2.Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.
 3.Stack the slices of bread and trim off the crusts. Cut the square bread stack into 2 even rectangular ones.
 4.Place the 12 pieces of bread in a single layer on a baking sheet with a rack or another pan on top to prevent them from curling when drying. Bake them in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden.
 5.Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Carefully rub each dried toast with the garlic clove and discard the garlic or chop the clove and add it to the vegetable salad.
 6.With a sharp knife, cut the cold tuna at an angle into 12 thin slices 1/4 inch thick, about the size of the toast. Place the tuna slices on a plate and season them with the lemon juice, olive oil, chives, and salt and pepper.
 7.Place a slice of tuna on each slice of toast and then assemble these to make 4 napoleons of 6 layers each (three toast, three tuna).
9.Place each napoleon in the middle of a chilled individual serving plate.
 10.Evenly spread a thick layer of vegetable salad on top of and around each napoleon.
 11.Place a small, right bunch of watercress or mâche leaves on each vegetable-salad-topped napoleon.
 12.Drizzle the sandwich and plate with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and remaining lemon juice.
 13.Serve immediately so that the toast remains very crisp.

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes!!!
 2 sticks butter
 9 oz. chopped semi-sweet chocolate (1 1/2 cups chocolate chips)
 1 3/4 cup sour cream…
 1 1/2 cup sugar
 6 eggs
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 2 cups cake flour
 3/4 cup cocoa powder
 3 teaspoons baking soda
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 Preheat oven to 375º. In a microwavable bowl or double broiler, combine the sour cream, butter, and chocolate. If using microwave turn down the power a little and stir every 45 seconds or so. Heat and stir just until chocolate is completely melted. Beat together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla and add to the chocolate mixture, mixing well. Sift in the flour, cocoa, soda, salt, and powder and fold together until well combined and no lumps remain. Fill lined muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
 Chocolate Buttercream
 1 lb. butter (2 cups)
 12 oz. chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (2 cups)
 Melt together in double broiler or in microwave with power turned down a little (in case you haven’t noticed, I always like to turn down the microwave heat when I’m melting chocolate). Whisk together until combined. Throw it in the freezer while the cupcakes bake until it’s pretty firm. Beat for at least 5 minutes until fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes immediately and then chill. I suggest serving them cold. That’s how they’re the best.

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Spagetti Squash Pasta!
1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
 and seeded
 2 tablespoons vegetable oil…
 1 onion, chopped
 1 clove garlic, minced
 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
 3 tablespoons sliced black olives
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
 2. Place spaghetti squash with cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
 3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are warmed through.
 4. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.!/photo.php?fbid=626982404015320&set=a.566408803406014.1073741829.562930410420520&type=1&theater

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Turkey Chili Recipe
◦2 cups chopped onion
◦4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
◦1 cup chopped green pepper
◦1/4 cup olive oil
◦Two 35 oz cans stewed tomatoes, crushed
◦Two 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
◦2 Tbsp tomato paste
◦3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock
◦2 Tbsp chili powder (or up to 4 Tbsp if you like it really hot)
◦1 Tbsp ground cumin
◦1 Tbsp dried hot red pepper flakes
◦1 teaspoon dried oregano
◦1 Tbsp salt, plus more if desired to taste
◦1/2 teaspoon black pepper
◦3 to 4 cups of shredded, cooked turkey meat
◦Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream for optional garnish.
1 In a large, 8-quart, thick-bottom pot, cook the onion and green pepper over medium high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for a minute or two more. Add a bit more olive oil if needed.
2 Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock. beans, oregano, salt, pepper, and cooked turkey meat. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour.
3 Salt to taste. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar to take the edge of the acidity of the tomatoes if desired.
The chili may be made in advance and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for 2 months.
Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, and or sour cream. Serve alone, over rice, or with corn bread.

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Blueberry Muffins!
6 Tbsp of Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
¾ of a cup of Sugar
2 Eggs…
½ Cup of Sour Cream
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
½ tsp of Fresh Grated Orange Zest
1 ¼ cup of Self Rising Flour
1 cup of Fresh Blueberries
1)Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
2)In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream and orange zest, whisk until the mixture is creamy and thick.
3)In a small bowl, toss together the blueberries with about 2 tbsp of the self rising flour. Set aside.
4)Add the remaining flour to the butter mixture and just mix until the flour is mixed through but don’t over mix.
5)Using a spatula, fold in the blueberries making sure not to burst them.
6)Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop even amounts in your prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.!/photo.php?fbid=626482544065306&set=a.566408803406014.1073741829.562930410420520&type=1&theater

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Sesame Chicken in a Slow Cooker!
1 1/2 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce…
2 tablespoons dried onion
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds
Put chicken into crock pot. Combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 3 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and return to crock pot - can leave chicken in and simmer on low or serve. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice.!/photo.php?fbid=625950760785151&set=a.566408803406014.1073741829.562930410420520&type=1&theater
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