Blueberry Lemon Cake

Blueberry Lemon Cake

Blueberry-Lemon Cloud Cake

by: Lina Bifano

Yields: 1 cake
Serves: 8-12 slices

1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
6 eggs, separated
1 brick plus ¼ brick cream cheese
½ stick butter (unsalted)
⅓cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
¾ cup cake flour
2 ½ tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons corn starch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 325° F. Spray an 8 or 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Make blueberry swirl by adding blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan together over medium heat for 4-7 minutes, until blueberries are softened. Combine your cornstarch and water, smoothing out any lumps, then add to the saucepan. Bring everything to a boil, whisking and cooking for 2 more minutes. Let cool and use a hand blender to smooth out your blueberry swirl. Set aside.

On low heat, melt together the cream cheese, butter and milk. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside. Sift together the cake flour, corn starch and salt. Add sifted ingredients to the melted cream cheese mixture along with ¼ cup of sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat batter until smooth and silky.

Using the wire whisk on a stand mixture, begin beating the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar and continue to mix, slowly adding ½ cup of sugar. Keep beating until medium peaks form and the meringue is glossy and smooth.

Fold the meringue mixture into the batter mixture, a third of the meringue at a time. Start by lightly folding in each third of meringue, incorporating until smooth, then starting again with the next third and again with the final third, until the batter and meringue are completely mixed together and you’ve got a light and cloud-like batter.

Pour the batter into the springform pan until just shy of the top of the pan. Dollop 4-5 tablespoons of the blueberry swirl mixture on top of the batter and use a knife or chopstick to create a free-form swirl on top of the cake.

Place cake in a hot water bath and cook for 60 minutes at 325, lowering the temperature to 320 for the last 10 minutes. Once ten minutes are up, turn off your oven and leave the cake in there for an additional 35-45 minutes. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy! Cake should be stored in the refrigerator, taking care to cover completely, as it can easily pick up the flavors of other food you may have in your refrigerator.

Healthy at Home: Salmon Paradiso



Instructions for Salmon Paradiso

1. In a food processor, pulse a bag of baby spinach-set aside.2. Pulse an 8oz block of cream cheese with one teaspoon of dry dill.

3. Add the spinach back into the cream cheese & dill mixture and pulse just until blended.

*it should be the consistency of oatmeal.

4. Preheat oven to 350.
5. Begin with a flat piece of salmon-you may fillet further with a knife or mallet.
6. Lightly oil a cookie sheet and place sheet of parchment
7. Place two sheets of phyllo on parchment and brush with butter and repeat once.
8. Spread filling onto fillet leaving a 1/2 inch boarder -I aways roll the smallest end first.
9. Place the salmon onto the phyllo and roll-use the parchment to lift the phyllo without breaking it.
10. Wrap once more in this time tucking in outside edges.
11. Brush with a little more butter and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350.
12. Slice into pieces an inch and a half thick. Serve with Dill Honey Butter drizzled over top.

Instructions for Grilled Romaine Salad with Crimson Crystals and Parmesan Chips

1. Pour 1/4 cup of red vinegar and freeze until hard.
-preheat grill
1. Half 2 romaine hearts.
2. Brush with olive oil.
3. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
4. Place romaine cut side down on grill.
5. Flip and shut heat down.
6. Set aside.
-preheat griddle.
1. Mound 2-3 tablespoons of PR cheese onto hot griddle.
2. Cook until bubbly.
3. Lift gently around the edges.
4. Flip-over mounds, then shut down heat.
Assemble: chop grilled romaine, break PR crisps over romaine and finish by scraping the red wine crystals on top of everything.


Instructions for Dill Honey Butter

                 .  Combine 1 table spoon of dry dill, 1/2 lb butter, 1/4 cup of honey in a food processor.. Process until blended.

. Prepare at least 8 hours or 1 day in advance and refrigerate.


By Elaine Pusateri Cowan

Elaine Pusateri Cowan
Elaine Pusateri Cowan

Elaine strives to create beauty everyday. Whether she’s designing web pages or interiors, preparing appetizers or entrees and even refinishing furniture or making art, she always looks to satiate her appetite for all things artistic.

As an artist, foodie, interior designer and amateur photographer, Elaine believes in the quality of a sustainable life, not just living well. Her strong sense of duty to integrate such sustainability into every aspect of domestic life begins with perhaps the most basic of all elements: diet. She believes eating well to be fundamental to well being and with a stocked pantry filled with local produce, anyone can whip up quick, fresh and delicious meals every night.

Elaine holds a B.S. in Sociology from Worcester State University. From there, she worked as a social worker until the birth of her second child when she also became involved in creating Elaine’s Epicurean Enterprises, a catering and in-home meal service. At that time, she also acted as a substitute teacher in the culinary arts department for Worcester Technical High School. Currently, Elaine is enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design where she studies interior design a passion born from the major renovations of her home. She has also been the registration administrator at the Worcester Art Museum for the last ten years, managing their education department database and online registration system.

Elaine lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband Chuck, son Chad, daughter Antonia, dog Buster and, throughout the summer months, with her snow-bird mother Betty.



Sweet’s Bananas Foster

Sweet’s Bananas Foster

makes 1 serving


  • 1 banana, quartered
  • 4 medium-size spring roll wrappers
  • oil for deep frying
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (or sundae sauce)
  • 1 tbsp spice or dark rum (optional)


  • Heat the oil to 365º in the deep fryer or skillet.
  • Slice the banana into quarters and wrap each quarter in a spring roll wrapper, fold the edges in, then roll up.
  • Place the wrapped bananas, flap side down, into heated oil and fry until crispy (about 1 minute).
  • Remove from heat and place them in a paper bag containing the granulated sugar and give the bag a shake to coat fried bananas.

Caramel Sauce

  • Heat 1 cup of caramel sauce until it begins bubbling.
  • Add the rum and heat the mixture enough so it’s warm all the way through (it will bubble up and get foamy). Be careful as the mixture is extremely hot.

Alina opened Sweet Pastry Shop and Dessert Bar in the summer of 2008 and has been winning awards and critical acclaim ever since, including the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Worcester Living Magazine Best Dessert, the 2008 City Living Magazine Best Bakery and the 2010 Worcester Magazine Best Dessert.

Sweet was also featured on TV Diner and Phantom Gourmet and Alina has appeared on season one of Food Network’s Chopped and will be featured on season two of the network’s Cupcake Wars. Her recipes have even been featured in The National Culinary Review.

Foodies TV Episode 1: Italy vs. Asia

From Chris Rovezzi, Executive Chef/Owner, Rovezzi’s Ristorante, Sturbridge:



  • Two 4ouce boneless chicken breasts pounded thin
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 3 whole eggs scrambled
  • small bowl of flour for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 to 6 grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 oz. butter


Coat the bottom of a medium size saute pan with the oil and place it over high heat.

Dredge the chicken in the flour and then place into the egg mixture. When the oil is hot enough (you should see a tiny bit of smoke start to rise from the pan) place the two pieces of chicken in the pan and cook until egg turns golden…about 30 seconds. Flip the chicken and do the same on the other side. Place the chicken on a baking pan or baking dish. Add another ounce of olive oil to the pan and place the spinach in the pan. add a pinch of salt and pepper and sauteed the spinach just till it wilts. Turn the stove off. Place the spinach on top of the chicken. Distribute the cheese over the chicken evenly and place baking dish into a 350 degree oven. The chicken should take 15 to 20 minutes to cook through.. While the chicken is cooking. Reheat the pan to high and add one more ounce of oil. Add the

garlic to the hot oil; and just as it starts to turn white…NOT BROWN!!!…add the tomatoes, lemon juice and the wine. let the wine reduce for a few minutes and then add the chicken stock. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes. remove the pan from the stove and add the butter whisking until it makes a smooth glossy sauce. Transfer chicken to serving plates and top with the sauce. Mangia!


From Wilson Wang, Sushi Master, Baba Sushi, Worcester:


  • About one pound of fresh Atlantic Tuna, cut from the fish market in two-inch –wide strips, about 12” long each. One strip should be enough for four people.
  • Cut the tuna across the tender (the grain) in ¼” slices.
  • Heat a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil in a pan, sear 5 slices of tuna ONE AT A TIME on both sides.
  • Place some shredded Darkun Radish in a Martini glass for color (put in cold water 5 to 10 minutes and dry before placing in glass).
  • Place the tuna slices in a vertical position along the outside of the radish, like you’re building an upside-down cone, each slice joining the others at the pinnacle.
  • Sprinkle as artistically as possible, some Miso Wasabi Dressing, or Japanese Mayonnaise.
  • Add black or orange caviar by sprinkling with an espresso spoon.
  • Add (to taste) some colorful, green scallions.


  • Buy a pound of Japanese Sushi Rice. Let sit in a pan of warm water until water remains clear. This may take up to 10 times, rinsing and sitting. Use 1 part water, 1 part rice.
  • Finally, when water is clear, leave the rice 30 minutes in water without heat.
  • Squeeze a lemon once into some Sushi Vinegar and mix for 2 minutes until rice consistency becomes like sand – not sticky.
  • Buy a package of Roasted Seaweed/Yaki, or Sushi Nori (Gold). This is a wafer-like rectangle of seaweed to place Sushi onto.
  • Wet hands and fingers in a small bowl often, so as to prevent rice sticking to your fingers.
  • Apply rice to Nori along the entire piece, corner to corner.
  • Flip the Nori over with rice facing down.
  • Place fresh crab strips along the center with slices of avocado on both sides.
  • Roll and pat. Use a Bamboo Sushi Mat (available in some organic stores and supermarkets) to form the roll tightly (see Foodies November episode).
  • Top with strips of the following fish cut in ¼” slices: White fish, Tuna, Atlantic Salmon (not smoked), Shrimp. Alternate placement so as to create the true colorful “Rainbow” effect.
  • Garnish with avocado slices on top.
  • Add subtle amounts of black or orange Caviar and scallions.

The New Way to Eat Sushi

Cranberry Brie and Bacon Sushi
Cranberry Brie and Bacon Sushi

Seafood, it’s a New England staple. Lobster, cod, scallops–no matter the mollusk, there’s something on the menu for seafood lovers. But let’s face it, les fruits de mer aren’t always a favorite. And sushi can be even more difficult for some to swallow. However, there is one way around the raw fish route: make your own!

The possibilities are endless and don’t be intimidated by the illusory rigamarole of Japanese cuisine. Wilson Wang, owner and head chef at Worcester’s renowned BABA Sushi, assures that making your own sushi can be simple with the right tools. “All you need to start is a rolling mat and you can get those–or any other ingredients–at most asian grocery stores.”

Before you dig in to these simple recipes, here some simple tips to literally help you get rolling. Using sushi rolling mats may seem intimidating, but don’t let that get to you. Simply keep a firm grip and gently roll the sushi toward the the side of the nori where you left a tiny bit of seaweed showing. Once you near the end, use a bit water to seal the roll. While your first roll may not look like it came from BABA’s kitchen, it is guaranteed that you will have a great time making it. Let’s roll!

Classic California Roll


  • 1 cup of sushi rice
  • 1 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 4 nori sheets
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds


Slice 1/2 an avocado into long thin strips. Do the same with the cucumber.


Place one nori sheet on the rolling mat. Moisten your hands and grab a handful of rice. Using only two thirds of the nori sheet, pat the rice in to a layer no more than 1/3 of an inch thick.

Take the avocado and place it in a horizontal line on the rice, making sure to stretch from one end of the mat to the other. Repeat this using the cucumber. The less filling you use, the easier it is to roll.

Gently roll the sushi toward the seaweed only side using the mat. Once you near the end, use a bit water and pat the nori to seal the roll. Then, just slice your roll into 1 inch pieces using a sharp knife.

Brie, Bacon and Cran


  • 1 cup of sushi rice
  • 4 nori sheets
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • small wedge of brie
  • 2 teaspoons cranberry sauce
  • dried cranberries


Slice each piece of bacon vertically, making long thin strips. Then, cook as instructed.

Slice the brie the same way: long, thin strips. The smaller the strip, the easier it is to roll (half inch wide section would do nicely).


Place one nori sheet on the rolling mat. Moisten your hands and grab a handful of rice. Using only two thirds of the nori sheet, pat the rice in to a layer no more than 1/3 of an inch thick.

Lay the brie down in a horizontal line, stretching from end to end. This will help the bacon stick.

Next, place the cooked strips of bacon on top of the brie.

Drizzle cranberry sauce over the bacon and brie. Add in dried cranberries as needed.

Using the mat, roll the sushi toward the seaweed only side. Upon nearing the end of the roll, use some water to pat the nori and seal the roll. Lastly, slice the roll into 1 inch pieces using a sharp knife and serve.

Written by Julie Grady

  • Publisher: Mercury Media and Entertainment
  • Foodies of New England
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    Sturbridge, MA 01566