In this section of my site I will be posting recipes that I find appealing. These will range from tea beverages and sweets to dishes prepared with New Jersey produce.

If you have a comment or a recipe you would like to share, please contact me. Happy cooking! Judith
Election Cakes | Lemon-Orange Sponge Cake | Blueberry Fritters | Fried Apples with Cheddar Cheese | Yellow Salsa
Spiced Cranberries | Peachy, Tomato, Fennel Salad | Punch
Valentine's Day 2015

Valentine's Day Tea Recipe

Soon Valentine’s Day will be upon us – a sweet holiday of love, romance, and chocolate! In honor of this charming day and for all my family and friends – I created a dessert using another love of mine - tea. 
                                                           Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!


Chocolate Tea Gelatina

2 ½ teaspoons of unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup of Crème de Cacao liqueur
1 ½ cups of strong  ChocolaTea by SerendipiTea
½  scant teaspoon of  unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/3 cup of white sugar
Pinch of salt
Whipped cream sweetened with Crème de Cacao liqueur,          vanilla extract and sugar.
Garnish – grated dark chocolate

In a large bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the Crème de Cacao liqueur. Let stand until the gelatin softens about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile boil 1 ¾ cups of water. Pour boiled water over 3 teaspoons of ChocolaTea by SerendipiTea and ½ teaspoon of unsweetened dark cocoa powder.

Brew for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Strain the tea. Add to the gelatin the hot tea mixture, sugar and salt. Stir until gelatin dissolves and liquid is clear. Pour into 4 dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 2 ½ – 3 hours.  Top with sweetened whip cream and  garnish with grated dark chocolate.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
Pour 4 ounces of heavy cream in a bowl. Add ½ teaspoon of Crème de Cacao liqueur, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon white sugar. Beat until firm and cream forms peaks.

Valentine's Day 2013

Valentine Day Recipes
Adapted from: American Cookery Magazine – February 1938
Article: “Seasonable and Tested Recipes by Louise Pryor Skilton and Doris W. McCray

Jellied Beet Salad

Soften two tablespoons of gelatin in one fourth cup of beet juice, add one-half a cup of boiling liquid strained from cooked celery, sir until the gelatin is dissolved; add one-fourth teaspoonful of salt, one half cup of sugar, a few grains of pepper, one teaspoonful of lemon juice, one-half a cup of vinegar and the remaining contents of the number two can of diced beets. (Note: Pour mixture into a shallow pan. When mixture sets cut out heart shapes using a cookie cutter. Place on white paper doily or on a bed of lettuce.)

All italic notes are my comments


Valentine Punch

Remove the stems from one quart of large, firm cranberries; wash berries and place them in a saucepan. Cover with one quart of water. Bring to the boiling point and simmer until the berries are just soft; overcooking darkens the color. Strain, and to the juice add two cups of sugar and return to the saucepan. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Strain and chill.  When ready to serve, add one cup of orange juice, one-half a cup of lemon juice, and one pint of ginger ale of carbonated water. Pour over crushed ice and serve garnished with maraschino cherries.



Cherry-Coconut Cake

Cream one-half cup of butter, add gradually one cup of sugar and blend until very smooth. Sift 2 ½ cups of cake flour with three teaspoonfuls of baking powder and one-fourth teaspoon of salt. Mix one-half cup more of cake flour with one-half cup of coconut, one-half cup of cut walnuts and fifteen maraschino cherries, cut into small bits.

Pour the juice from the small bottle of cherries into a cup and add cold water to make one cup of liquid. To the creamed butter and sugar, add alternately, the liquid and the dry ingredients. Next, the cherry and nut mixture. Combine the stiff-beaten whites of four eggs with one-half cup of sugar and fold into the batter. If part of the sugar is added with the egg-whites, it seems to make a finer texture in the completed cake.

Add one teaspoon of lemon extract and bake in one large loaf pan (Note: 8 or 9 inch square pan at 350ºF for one hour. Always half fill a cake pan with batter and expect the thickness to practically double during the baking. Frost with a white frosting, and border with coconut. This makes a rich, moist cake with a distinctive flavor, and the pink tint from the cherry liquid is both attractive and different.



Punch is a hot or cold beverage served either in a punch bowl or pitcher. Punch means five and there are five ingredients in a true punch:

  1. Strong (brandy, rum, wine, champagne or any alcoholic beverage),
  2. Weak (water or tea),
  3. Sour (lemon, lime, orange or pineapple),
  4. Sweet (sugar),
  5. Spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, or cardamom).

The drinking of Punch began in the 17th century as a beverage for sailors. When they sailed into tropical areas such as India and Indonesia their ration of beer spoiled due to the heat.  The sailors used local ingredients to make a new beverage. – Punch. It became a popular drink with the public in Britain into the early 19th century. There has been a recent interest in the early style Punch and many restaurants offer punch on their menu. Here are two of my versions of Punch. 

Plum Crazy ‘Punch’
16 ounces of iced Plum Crazy Tisane by Serendipitea (see note 1)
16 ounces of a berry flavored seltzer
8 ounces of cranberry juice such as Ocean Spray
Juice of one lemon or more
4 ounces of simple syrup or to taste (see note 2)
 1 cup of plum wine or to taste
Slices of lemon for garnish
Whole fresh cranberries frozen into ice cubes for garnish

Pour brewed tea in a punch bowl that has been filled at least 1/3 with ice cubes. Pour in flavored seltzer and cranberry juice. Add juice on one lemon and simple syrup.  Add Plum wine. Stir. Garnish with slices of lemon and frozen cranberry ice cubes. Makes approximately 10  five ounce cups.

Note 1 – When making ice tea use 50% more tea. Brew 1 and ½ teaspoons for each 6 ounces of water. For Plum Crazy Tisane pour boiling water over tisane and brew for 5 minutes.

Note 2 – To make simple syrup put one part water and one part granulated sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to boil. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cool.

A Spicy Cocoa Tea ‘Punch’
16 ounces  of hot Xocatlatl Chai Tea by Serendipitea (see note 1)
16 ounces of Spicy Hot Chocolate by Equal Exchange made with 2% milk
4 ounces or more of simple syrup (see note 2)
4 ounces of heavy cream
1 cup of tequila or to taste
Dusting of nutmeg

In a large heat resistant pitcher pour in Xocatlatl Chai and Spicy hot chocolate Mix in simple syrup and heavy cream. Add the tequila. Stir. Before serving grate a dusting of nutmeg over the ‘punch’. Makes approximately 10  five ounce cups.

Note 1 – Use one teaspoon of tea for 6 ounces of water. Bring water to boil. Pour over tea. Brew for 5 minutes.

Note 2 – To make simple syrup put one part water and one part granulated sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to boil. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cool.

Plum Crazy Tisane,  Xocatlatl Chai Tea, and Spicy Hot Chocolate can be purchased at Marafiki Fair Trade, 20 New St., Metuchen, NJ 08840.


Election Cake
Adapted from: “American Cookery Magazine” - November 1925

1/2 lb Buter
1 lb Sugar
Juice and grated yellow rind of a       large lemon
5 Egg yoks
2 t. Cream of tartar
1 lb pastry flour
1 t. Baking powder

Cream one half pound of butter, work in gradually a pound of sugar, beating until the sugar is dissolved in the water if the butter. A few extra drops of water may be needed, but the mixture should be smooth and velvety when done. Add the juice and grated yellow rind of a large lemon, and beating, one by one, the unbeaten yolks of five eggs.  Sift two teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar with a pound of pastry flour; add this to the first mixture alternately with one cup of rich cream.  Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in a very little hot water, add this to the batter, and lastly beat in the stiff-beaten whites of five eggs.  Bake in a tube pan, or a loaf tin, for an hour and a quarter, it until done. At 350º F.


Hartford Election Cake
Adapted from: “American Regional Cookery” by Sheila Hibben, 1946

3/4 cup of butter
1 ¼ cup of bread dough(purchase pizza dough in the      refrigerated section of your market)
1 egg
1 ¼ cups of brown sugar
½ cup sherry
2/3 cup of raisins – chopped
8 figs chopped finely
1 cup of flour
1 t. of cinnamon
1/4 t. each of cloves, nutmeg, mace, and all-spice
1 t. salt

Put dough in a bowl, cover and set in warm place to rise to double its size. Cut down dough and work butter into the dough. Add egg, sugar, sherry, fruit dredged in 2 T. of flour. Sift remainder of flour with spices and salt. Fill cake pan 2/3 full, cover, and let rise 1 ½ hours in a warm place. Bake at 325ºF for about 50 minutes.  Spread Milk Icing on top, letting it dribble down the sides.

Milk Icing

1 ½ cups of sugar;
1/3 cup of whole milk or light cream;
2 t. butter;
1/2 t. vanilla

Mix sugar, milk, and butter in a saucepan and stir while bringing slowly to the boiling point. Stop stirring and cook until mixture form a soft ball when tested in cold water. Cool, flavor with vanilla and beat until desired consistency for spreading on cake.


Lemon-Orange Sponge Cake

4 Eggs
3/4 cup Sugar
8 T Unsalted butter, melted
1 Grated rind of one lemon
2 tsp. Grated orange rind
1 ½ cups Unbleached flour
2 tsp. Baking powder

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Whisk eggs until frothy, then slowly add sugar, butter and lemon and orange rinds, beating thoroughly after each addition. Fold in flour and baking powder. Grease an 8-inch cake pan, pour in the mixture. Bake for one hour or until the cake is golden brown and well risen; a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. When cool, dust with powered sugar.

This cake is perfect for an afternoon tea and would go well with a Darjeeling tea. Darjeeling is a black tea from India so you want to bring the water to a boil and steep for 2 ½ to 3 minutes.


Blueberry Fritters

1 cup of unbleached flour
1 t. of baking powder
2 T. of sugar
1/4 t. of salt
½ cup of milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup of New Jersey blueberries
powdered sugar

Sift together the dry ingredients; add milk and well-beaten egg yolks and beat the batter until smooth. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and then fold in the blueberries. Drop by spoonfuls in hot oil (365º F.), cook until light brown; drain on paper towel. Dust with powdered sugar. Serves 4.


Fried Apples with Cheddar Cheese

1T. - olive oil
2T. - butter
4 - 5 large apples
1 - 2 T. - brown sugar
sharp cheddar cheese to taste

Peel, core and slice apples. Heat oil in a medium hot skillet and add butter. When butter melts add the apples and stir to coat. Heat thoroughly.  Dust the apples with brown sugar and stir to mix. Continue to heat until apples soften. Sprinkle with grated sharp cheddar and cover until cheese melts. Serve with slices of crusty bread.


Yellow Salsa

1 ear of New Jersey Sweet corn – kernels cut off the cob
3 -4 yellow New Jersey Tomatoes – sliced and diced into ½” pieces
1 cucumber – peeled, seeded and diced into ¼” pieces
1 yellow pepper – seeded, sliced, and cut into ¼” pieces
1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion – sliced and diced into ¼” pieces
1 jalapeño – seeded and chopped
½ cup of chopped cilantro leaves
3T rice wine vinegar.
 Dash of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash or two of hot sauce (optional)

Mix corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and jalapeño in a large bowl. Add cilantro leaves. Mix in vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and optional hot sauce. Chill for one hour.

Serve with fish, chicken or taco chips.


Spiced Cranberries

3 cups of fresh cranberries
1 cup of brown sugar
¾ cup of water
1/8 teaspoon powered cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
2 sticks of cinnamon
1/8-teaspoon mace
¼ cup AppleJack (optional)

Cook sugar and water in medium size saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium high and bring to boil.  Add the cranberries and spices (and optional AppleJack). Cook until berries pop about ten minutes, then cook an additional five to ten minutes.  Remove cinnamon sticks.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


Peachy, Tomato, Fennel Salad

1 ripe, large peach – peeled, pitted and cut in slices
1/2 bulb of fennel – cut in thin slices
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
½ t. of grated fresh ginger

 1 -2 t. lime juice
Salt to taste
Drizzle of the best Extra-Virgin olive

Mix peaches, fennel, and tomatoes in a bowl. Add grated fresh ginger then stir in lime juice. Sprinkle with a little salt to taste. Place mixture on a platter and drizzle olive oil over the salad. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Note: Use the best olive oil that you can afford.


Subscribe (or unsubscribe) to my Newsletter

©2006 Judith Krall-Russo, L.L.C.
PO Box 515, Fords, New Jersey 08863
 Phone 732-985-2486                  FAX 732-985-5138

Magtree Designs