Friday, January 30, 2009

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

If you have been around here awhile, you have probably realized we love breakfast in this household! I realized yesterday we had never done a blog post on our favorite pancakes, Blueberry!

Blueberries were on sale and I knew I needed some Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes! My husband was happy to oblige!

Here they are baking on the griddle, YUM!

As we have mentioned before, we use Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix for almost all the pancakes we make. You simply add a pint of buttermilk and mix in dry Krusteaz Pancake Mix to reach your desired consistency.

We prefer our pancakes on the thin side. By using buttermilk instead of water (what the dry mix actually calls for) you get a fluffier and VERY tender cake. This is one of the very few items we prefer to use a mix for.

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • pint buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup additional blueberries
  • Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix
Mix your Buttermilk with your Pancake mix until you get your desired consistency.

Add the 1/2 cup blueberries to the 1/4 cup water and microwave on high until it starts to boil, drain the water and add the blueberries to your pancake batter, mix well

Add in your remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries and make pancakes as you would normally. Serve with additional berries, butter and syrup!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Scotch Eggs


My husband has made this for me several times to take along on camping trips, and I though it would be fun to make a more creative version of it for breakfast last weekend. (We made our own sausage). It was fun to make, wonderful to look at and tasty as heck!

Traditionally the final product is breaded and deep fried. I could not bring myself to fry something already so fatty, so we baked them in the oven using the convection feature.

5 hard boiled eggs (put eggs in pan with water to cover, bring to full rolling boil, remove from heat, add lid and let sit for 15 minutes, rinse with cold water)
1 lb ground pork (you could use chicken or turkey I imagine)
1 tsp ground fennel
2 tbl ground sage
dash nutmeg
1 tsp white pepper
couple dashes Cayenne
onion powder 1 tbl
thyme 1/2 tsp
2-3 tbl maple syrup
bread crumbs

Mix the meat and spices well, add bread crumbs as needed to make a cohesive mixture.

Remove shell from the eggs and split the meat into 5 approximate portions

Using your hands make patties and wrap around the egg

Place the eggs on a non stick sheet pan

Cook for 30 minutes at 350, we used convection bake

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower Planks


I was reading an article in the Food Day section of our local newspaper about new ways to cook Cauliflower This one looked interesting and I decided to try it.

Essentially, you cut your Cauliflower into planks about an inch thick, and roast them simply with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cauliflower is very low in carbohydrates as well!

It turned out beautifully and was very delicious! I served with a Ribeye Steak smothered in garlicky sauteed mushrooms.

1 head cauliflower cored (carefully so you don't break it apart)
2 tsp good quality olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
cracked pepper to taste

Cut your cauliflower into 1 to 1.5 inch planks
Lay flat on a non stick sheet pan which you have sprayed with pan spray

Brush the olive oil on the top side of the cauliflower

sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper

Roast at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until fork tender and browned

Use a spatula to remove the cauliflower from the pan or it will fall apart

My version of Famous Dave's Bread Pudding


My husband and his work mates are in love with something called Famous Dave's Bread Pudding, which they always have when they are in Arizona for business trips.

I have been making bread pudding for years and my husband generally hates it, so I figured I would give this a whirl (I found the recipe on the web) and change it up a bit to see if he would like it.
I made a few changes, and it turned out spectacularly!

Unsalted butter, softened
1 (11/2-pound) loaf cinnamon egg bread (I used Cinnamon Raisin Bread)
2/3 cup golden raisins (since raisins were in the bread already I used 1 cup of golden raisins)
11/2 cups sugar
4 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup vanilla extract
8 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Coat the bottom and sides of a 2-inch deep baking dish heavily with butter.

Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces (I took the crust off and cut into 1 inch cubes), mix with the raisins in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, milk, 2 cups whipping cream, vanilla, eggs and cinnamon.

Add the bread mixture and let soak for 20 minutes mixing with your hands occasionally

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place the mixture into the well greased baking dish

You are gonna need a WATER BATH, so find a container that will fit your pan and add enough water to reach halfway up sides of the baking dish.

Bake for 1 hour. (I had to cook for well over the hour the recipe indicated, I removed from water bath and cooked for an additional 30 minutes)

Let stand for 20 minutes. Serve while still warm.

Dave's serves with a Pecan Praline Sauce, I made my own using a jar of Caramel and Toasted Pecans

Monday, January 19, 2009

Savory Crepes


I have been on a Crepe crazy lately and we have made them two weekends in a row. The second time I decided to make them savory and my husband put together an incredible filling. It was delicious!

Crepe Batter
1/2 Cup Flour
2 Tbs Sugar
1 Egg
1 Cup Milk
1 Tbs butter (melted)
1/4 tsp salt

This Recipe makes about 3-4 of the 10" pancakes or two servings

Use a "10-12" round non-stick skillet or frying pan.

First lightly beat the egg in a medium sized bowl, then add sugar, milk, salt and flour, mix well, melt the butter in the frying pan (or skillet) then while stirring the mixture add melted butter to it, continue mixing until there are no lumps, don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Once the batter is well mixed, then over medium heat pour just enough batter in the pan to cover the bottom of the pan, cook until the top of it is "dry" then flip the pancake. This takes a fair amount of finesse, as the pancake is large and not very 'tough'.

Get the spatula underneath the pancake and make sure that all around the pancake is loose first, then quickly flip it. After the flip, shake the pan a bit to get the pancake flat

Cook each one for about 30 seconds only after the flip. Slide the finished pancake out onto a dinner plate.

Filling
Boursin - Garlic and Herb Cheese
Monterey Jack Cheese shredded finely
Finely sliced tomato
dash of salt and pepper
crumbled bacon (we used turkey bacon)
red bell pepper slices (thin)
After your crepes are made, place the cheeses on each crepe and microwave for 30 seconds.

Then add the remaining ingredients (save some tomato and Boursin back to top the crepes with)

Roll the crepes up and dot each with some additional Boursin, microwave for about 20 seconds more and then top with the fresh tomato.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup


I had never made this particular soup before and decided to give it a try. I looked at several recipes on the web and gave it a go! Hub and I think it turned out quite well, a bit spicy and very yummy!

I roasted my chicken breasts first which amped up the taste, and I let some of the tortilla strips cook in the soup which proved to be a natural thickener. At the end, however, I ended up adding about two tablespoons of corn starch to get it to my husbands desired consistency
  • Chicken Stock (I had a gallon Ziploc full of home made stock)
  • 5 chicken breasts roasted then thinly sliced or pulled apart
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ~1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 Avocado, peeled, pit removed and cubed
  • Corn Tortillas, sliced into long strips
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Fresno Pepper, seeded and minced (the medium red ones - same size/look as jalapeno but red)
  • ~1 1/2 cups roasted corn (you could use canned, I had roasted corn in the freezer from last summer)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with Mexican spices
  • 1 can Niblets
  • 2 cans of black beans drained
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • Cumin to taste
  • Chili Powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Limes cut into wedges for serving
    Cilantro for topping
Preheat your oven to to 350 degrees. Place a small bit of oil in your palm and rub all over the breasts, place on a non stick baking sheet and sprinkle on salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook for 30 minutes, remove and set aside to cool.

In a large Soup Pot, saute your onions and garlic in vegetable oil until translucent, about five to seven minutes. Add your broth.

Add the carrots, peppers, black beans, roasted corn, can of tomatoes, tomato paste and the cut up fresh tomato. Add your spices to taste and about 3/4 cup of the long thin strips of corn tortillas.

Simmer for at least 30 minutes or until the carrots are done. Re-taste the soup for spice, re-season as necessary. When the soup is nearly ready, add the chicken and serve.

I garnished with the cubed Avocado, sour cream, Monterey Jack Cheese and cilantro.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cinnabuns Part Two

I have not made Cinnamon Rolls for quite some time and decided I wanted to make them, but tweak the recipe just a bit. I was also dying to try out the "proof" function in my new Electrolux Oven.

I added some Ginger for the "what is that taste" factor, reduced the butter a bit, and made some with nuts and some without. I also took pictures of the process for fun!

I haven't had much time to do anything lately as I have been re-modeling my kitchen. I am however, almost done!






Dough
1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
5 tbl unsalted butter, cut up
4 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Filling
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tbl ground Ginger

Icing
one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Manual/
Mixer Method: Combine all of the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring till the mixture becomes cohesive.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and knead it for 5 to 8 minutes, till it’s smooth. Or knead it in an electric mixer, using the dough hook, for 4 to 7 minutes at medium speed.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to grease all sides, cover the bowl with a proof cover or plastic wrap, and let it rise for 60 minutes, till it’s nearly doubled in bulk.

Assembly:
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and roll it into a 16 x 21-inch rectangle. Spread the dough with the 1/3 cup butter. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle it evenly over the dough.

Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log, and cut it into 12 slices.

Place the buns in a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan or 2 cake pans.
Cover the pan with a proof cover or plastic wrap, and let the buns rise until they’re nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake the buns in a preheated 400°F oven until they’re golden brown, about 15 minutes.

While the buns are baking, make the icing.

Icing: In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla. Spread the icing on the buns while they’re warm.

Yield: 12 big buns.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Prime Rib the Dunkin Way



Prime Rib – The best you will ever eat!

My husband and I found this recipe in the Oregonian Newspaper many years ago and have been making it ever since. It is flavorful and easy to make.

1 six pound bone in beef rib roast (Prime Rib)
2 tbl kosher salt
1 tbl freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh Rosemary
6-8 Rosemary sprigs

Creamy Horseradish Sauce
¼ cup Horseradish
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
¼ cup finely chopped scallions or chives

At least 1 day ahead of time, unwrap roast and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine salt, pepper, dry mustard and chopped rosemary. Rub generously all over the roast, refrigerate uncovered.

Up to two hours before cooking the roast, remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature loosely covered.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Place roast bone side down in a large, shallow roasting pan on a bed of Rosemary springs. Place meat in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then without opening the door, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

After about 45 minutes, start checking the internal temperature of the roast with an Instant Read Thermometer or use a probe thermometer.

Remove the roast at 115 degrees for rare (1 to 1 ½ hours)
120 to 125 degrees for medium rare and 130 for medium

Remove from oven, tent with foil and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes before carving

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Milk Chocolate Surprise Baby Cakes


I love making cakes and I especially like experimenting. Today, I decided to bake a milk chocolate cake and have a sweet surprise in the middle. I mixed cream cheese, toffee bits and a bit of Kaluah together, and added them to the middle of my sweet little cakes. They were soo tasty, no frosting was needed!~ and I got a thumbs up from my favorite taste tester!

My husband reminded me of the trick a sweet little old Jewish baker shared with me that keeps your cakes, cupcakes, etc from developing that rounded top. You cook your cakes at no more than 300 degrees, ALWYAYS. You have to monitor it a bit more, but it works every single time!!!

1 brick of cream cheese, softened at room temp
1 16 oz bag of Toffee Chips
1 Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate Cake Mix
1 tbl Kaluah
Confectioners sugar for the top

Make your cake according to the package directions

Mix your softened cream cheese, toffee bits and Kaluah until well combined

Using a well greased muffin tin or any decorative cake pans you might have (a bunt cake pan would work as well), fill about 1/2 way full of cake batter

Using a spoon, add a large tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture, spreading it evenly betweeen all your muffins (you may need to add more to use up the mixture).

Add another dollop of cake batter on top spreading evenly between all your muffins.

Tap your muffin tin on the counter until the batter settles down and is flat on the top.

Bake in a 300 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes, checking often. When a knife pulls out clean they are done.

Let cool, invert onto a plate and dust with confectioners sugar

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pasta Bake Deluxe



My husband had been talking about making a baked pasta dish, I am afraid of eating anything with a red sauce as I get horrible heartburn. He said he would make it less acidic and it worked.

It was soo delicious, rich and flavorful. It was a family effort! I started everything while he was on a conference call and he swooped in and made it delicious!
  • 1/2 lb Italian pork sausage
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed and minced
  • 1 1lb box of Rigatoni (dry) noodles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of sour cream (I used fat free)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
  • 3/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated (save 1/4 cup for the top)
  • 1 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese (save about 3/4 cup for the top)
  • 1/2 cup of Cheddar (save for the top)
  • 1 tbl fresh or dried Basil
  • 1/2 tbl ground Fennel seed
  • 1 tbl Oregano (dried)
  • 1 tbl Tomato paste
  • 1 tbl beef bullion
  • 1/2 c dry red wine
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar

Place your sausage and beef in a non stick pan, break apart with your spoon or hands and cook until it seems about 1/2 way done. Drain any excess water/fat and add your onions, garlic and spices. Continue cooking till no longer pink.

Add your tomato sauce, can of tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, beef bullion and let simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. Add the vinegar, cream cheese, ricotta and sour cream and stir in for an even distribution.

In the meantime cook your pasta in well salted water, cook the pasta for 1/2 the time recommended on the package, it will be very al dente, run cold water on it to stop cooking and drain. Set aside until sauce is ready.

In a large, deep casserole, combine sauce and noodles and mix in the mozzarella and asiago noted above (save the topping cheese for later).

Cook, covered in at 350 for approximately 30-40 minutes. You want the entire mixture to be bubbly and the noodles will be thoroughly cooked.

Remove the cover, add the topping cheeses, return to the oven for about 10 minutes. Next, I powered up the broiler to HIGH to put some color on the melted cheese. Watch carefully to prevent burning the cheese.

Serve immediately with crusty hot buttery french bread.

This recipe should feed about 8 very hungry people.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Roasted Garlic and Feta Appetizer II


I have been making my regular Roasted Garlic with Feta Appetizer for years. For New Years Eve I decided I would make it, but I wanted to change it up a bit.

I have been on a Shallot kick lately, so I caramelized shallots and added fresh chives. The caramelized shallots lent a slightly sweet flavor the chives a slightly savory flavor, it was huge hit!

1 baguette, sliced thinly and lightly toasted
2-3 heads garlic
1 package Feta Cheese (I used low fat)
1 tub of sour cream (I used fat free)
1 bunch of chives, chopped
2 shallots, skins removed and sliced thinly
1 tsp olive oil

Cut off the top 1/4 to 1/3 of your garlic heads, drizzle on a bit of olive oil and kosher salt. Roast in a 350 oven for about an hour, remove and let cool slightly. If you squeeze the entire pod from the bottom, the garlic will pop right out.

After removing skin and slicing the shallots thinly, add a tsp olive oil to a non-stick pan and saute until caramelized and nicely browned

Mix the sour cream and Feta on a 1 to 1 ratio (or to your taste), add your chives and shallots, mix well.

Smear 1 garlic pod onto your baguette slice, and top with the Feta mixture

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Deep Fried Turkey

This is a little late, but....

We have been deep frying all kinds of protein over the years, including Duck which was delicious! This year for Thanksgiving we decided on Deep Fried Turkey and a Baked Ham.

The key to the best deep fried turkey you will ever sink your teeth into is brining it for 24 hours before frying, and using a meat thermometer during cooking. We did a 21 lb turkey so we had to dis-assemble it as the light and dark meat cooked for various lengths of time. In fact it was so big we had to put it in our party bucket for the brine process!

Legs cook at 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes per pound (internal temp 175)

Breast cooks at 350 degrees for 3-4 minutes per pound (internal temp 165)

The brining process! Needs to be refrigerated~





The Deep Fryer in action!



The Mahogany colored turkey breast. It had crisp, delicious skin and was so tender and juicy inside! Due to the sugar in the brine, it turns a really dark color and it may seem burnt, but it isn't, trust me!


We carved it at Mom and Dad's house, so no final pictures!

Strawberry Muffins

I had some beautiful local Strawberries that were looking a little sad, I decided to make Strawberry Muffins out of them.  I do have to ...