Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Chocolate Cherry Tea Bread

Okay, chocolate lovers.  Here’s a goodie for ya!  This is wonderful with your afternoon tea while you’re watching “Keeping Up Appearances” while using your Royal Doulton with the handpainted periwinkles.  If you’ve never experienced Hyacinth Bucket (it’s pronounced boo-kay), you really have to check out KUA.  Everyone knows or is related to a Hyacinth or a Richard or an Onslow.  ;0)  Anyway, i digress.  Chocolate bread.

Now–if you cannot find cherry chips, just double up on the chocolate or perhaps venture down another road like white chocolate, peanut butter, or the like.  Same thing with the almonds.  You can easily use walnuts, pecans, pistachio, etc.  Makes great mini loaves to give as gifts or as a special treat for someone.

Chocolate Cherry Tea Bread

1/2 cup applesauce

1/3 cup shortening

2 eggs

1/3 cup brewed tea or water

1 1/4 cup sugar or Splenda

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup cherry flavored chips

1/3 cup slivered almonds

Combine applesauce, shortening, eggs, tea/water and sugar; beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Combine dry ingredients and add to applesauce mixture.  Beat on low for 30 seconds; beat on high for 2 1/2 minutes.

Fold in chips and nuts.  Pour into a greased, floured 9 x 5″ loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Can be eaten as is or with a glaze.

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Tortellini Caprese Bite Skewers

In anticipation for those of us who don’t have ripened tomatoes hanging on our vines yet and for those of you who are blessed to, this is a fantastic little number that works great as an appetizer, salad, party food, and some would say dessert!  It is yummy!  We had these at the Ladies’ Tea at our place and they not only tasted good, they made a cute display.  Because they’re on skewers, you could stick them into a styrofoam cube/ball and place that inside a container.  Since ours was a tea, we used one of the large teacup/saucer planters you see in stores.

If you have any trouble finding the fresh mozzarella, you can easily use a nice block of mozz and cut it into cubes.

Tortellini Caprese Bite Skewers

1  (9 oz) pkg refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini

3 cups grape tomatoes, halved

3 (8 oz) containers fresh small mozzarella cheese balls

Basil leaves (as many as the number of skewers you plan to make)

6″ wooden skewers

Prepare tortellini according to directions on package.  Drain and rinse under cold water.

On each skewer, thread a tomato half, basil leaf, cheese ball, tomato half, tortellini, and another tomato half.  Place skewers in a 9 x 13″ casserole dish.  Pour Basil Vinaigrette over skewers, turning to coat.  Cover and chill two hours or overnight.  Transfer skewers to a platter and discard the remaining vinaigrette.  Can be sprinkled with salt and pepper, if desired.

Basil Vinaigrette

1 cup olive oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup honey

3 Tbs chopped fresh basil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix ingredients thoroughly.  If not used right away, refrigerate and shake before using.

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