Monday, August 31, 2009

Fresh Asian Pear Cake

I hope you have all tried an Asian Pear at least once in your life, if you haven't go do so now! They are an incredible fruit which has the texture of an apple and the taste of a pear/apple. I adore them, especially when they are cold right out of the fridge.

They had them at Costco and I snapped them right up, they are soo expensive, however, the Costco ones were reasonable for the amount of Pears you got! I had 3 leftover and decided to make a cake with them.

The main recipe for this came from, but I changed it up a bit to suite my tastes. It was quite moist and needed no frosting at all!

4 small or 3 large Asian Pears
1 cup chopped Pecans (I used Walnuts)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (I only used 1/2 a cup)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon (I used a full teaspoon)
1 tsp ground Ginger (my idea)
fresh cracked ground pepper (just a few turns)
Lemon Zest or Candied Ginger would be fantastic in this as well

Puree 3/4 of your pears and mix with the sugar, let sit for an hour

Chop the remaining pear and set aside

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter and flour a tube or Bundt pan

Using a spoon, stir the oil, vanilla and eggs into the pear/sugar mixture

Add remaining dry ingredients and stir till well combined

Pour into your tube pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 until your toothpick comes out clean (it only took my cake 1 hour to bake)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Today is side dish #2 during Side Dish Week at Cooking Dunkin Style!

I adore Brussel Sprouts and my husband hates them. I told him I would make some that even he would love. The fact that I roasted them, really brings out the flavor and caramelizes the sprouts. A squirt of lemon juice and some zest, took them into heaven for me and likable town for him.

Hopefully, I can now eat them on a more regular basis, instead of just when he is out of town. My house still pleasantly stinks of them today!

Brussel Sprouts (however many you want to eat)
Olive Oil
Sea or Kosher Salt
tsp or so of lemon zest
1/2 lemon juiced (or juice of 1/2 a lemon)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Cut the bottom stem off of your sprouts and take off any yucky outer leaves

Rinse them well and cut in half

Place the sprouts on a non-stick sheet pan, and drizzle on some olive oil and salt, mix well with your hands

Roast for 15 minutes or so, using a spatula, flipping them on occasion

Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the zest and lemon juice

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yamalishious Yams

Welcome to Side Dish Week here at Cooking Dunkin Style! I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as we did creating and eating them!

My husband travels all over the world for both work and Graduate School, and on occasion wants to re-create what he has eaten at a restaurant. The following recipe came to me via a text message from him and all it said was; YAMS, SOUR CREAM, BROWN SUGAR AND WHISKEY. That's it!

Tonight we are having Ham Steak and I thought this would accompany it wonderfully. I used the above ingredients and guessed at the amounts. The taste is sweet, savory and totally unexpected. I adore it and it is my new "go to" Yam recipe!

Because I love you I am sharing!!!

2 large yams , peeled and diced
1 mini size bottle of the Whiskey of your choice, we used Makers Mark
1/4 cup brown sugar (you could use less or more to your taste)
1/4 cup fat free sour cream (you could use less or more to your taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Place your yams in a pan of water and boil until tender and you can slip a knife in quite easily, drain and return to the pan.

Add the brown sugar, whiskey, sour cream and salt and pepper. Mash with your potato masher for a more rustic yam or use a hand held mixer to whip them.

Taste and re-season if necessary. You can place a pat of butter on them and serve

Friday, August 21, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup Cake

I wanted to make a special cake for a friends birthday, and as you know I love using candy in my cakes and cupcakes. I decided to try using Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups, and it was a hit! This is my first cake using two mixes, it makes a larger and more "professional" looking cake. I was not able to take a photo the day I made it and it cracked a bit in the fridge overnight.

I am also a fan of using cake mixes and jazzing them up. My late Aunt Jerry used to make cakes for weddings, including the one for my wedding and she always used a cake mix. I figure if it is good enough for her, it is good enough for me!

2 cake mixes I prefer Duncan Heinz as did Aunt Jerry
1 quart heavy whipping cream
2 to 3 tbl Vanilla
sugar to taste
Small individual Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, packaging removed, you will need about 25

Combine both cake mixes and add ingredients as directed, bake until a toothpick comes out clean, set the cakes aside to cool (I have 9 inch cake pans they it filled them right up)

Place your whipping cream in a (preferably cold bowl), and add sugar and vanilla. Whip until medium to hard peaks form. Taste for sweetness, add more sugar or vanilla if needed.

If any doming occurred on the cakes trim it off so they are evenly flat across the top. Save the trimmings, I will tell you about that in a later post.

Frost as normal and arrange peanut butter cups on the top, I also chopped up some extra cups for the middle.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cheeseburger Macaroni Part II

I love Cheeseburger Macaroni and have made it several times, each time changing it up a bit. I was feeling poorly earlier this week and craving total comfort food, so I decided to whip some up.

I added a few new ingredients to my usual recipe and it was better than ever! FYI this recipe makes enough for an Army!

1 box elbow macaroni
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
2 small cans of tomato sauce or 1 large can
1 can of Campbells Cheese Soup
8 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (as Paula says grate it yourself)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 small tub of cream cheese

*cook your ground beef and sausage in a non stick pan, when it is about half way thru cooking add your onion, garlic, salt, pepper and the rest of the spices

*cook your macaroni to "al dente", drain and set aside in a large bowl

*combine the soup, 2 cans of tomato sauce, shredded cheese, cooked meat, cream cheese, cheddar, soup and the noodles, stir until well incorporated

*pour into a greased 9x13 pan

Cook at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly

**I served with garlic cheese bread and steamed green beans**

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bacon Pancakes

Yes I said it, Bacon Pancakes. I love Bacon Waffles and wondered what Bacon Pancakes would be like. When I ask I receive, every time!

My husband put together a winning combination by adding corn meal to the buttermilk batter, it gave a wonderful texture. The salty bacon coupled with butter and syrup, WOW this is my new #1 favorite breakfast!

6-8 pieces of Thick Cut Hickory Smoked Bacon, cooked and diced
Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
Buttermilk Pancake Mix
Pint Buttermilk
1 egg

Mix the corn bread mix with approximately the same dry amount of pancake mix.

Whisk your egg and pint of buttermilk together, add in your dry ingredients, but don't overmix

Use the milk to thin to the consistency you wish for your batter

Place the diced bacon on each pancake after you place the batter on your skillet, turn and serve warm with butter and syrup!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Peach Ice Cream

We bought 12 luscious peaches and they were ripening quickly, so we decided to make ice cream. This is the full fat, full flavor ice cream, no fake stuff here. I have to say it is the best ice cream I have ever eaten! Live a little and try it!

It tastes so fresh and summery, I highly recommend it!

2 cups finely chopped ripe peaches
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice (the juice from 1/2 a lemon)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream
1 cup milk


1 Combine the peaches, lemon juice and 3/4 cup of sugar in a bowl.

2 Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

3 Remove the peaches from the fridge and drain the juice into another bowl and set aside.

4 Return the peaches to the fridge.

5 Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

6 Slowly whisk in 3/4 cup of sugar until completely blended.

7 Add the cream and milk and whisk to blend and then add the peach juice and mix until completely blended.

8 Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the ice maker's directions.

9 When the ice cream is almost frozen (about 2 minutes before it is done) add the peaches and continue freezing until it is ready.

10 If your ice cream maker is anything like mine, you may need to put the ice cream into a container and let it finish freezing in the freezer.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Apple, Raspberry and Pecan Hand Pies

In my quest to "use stuff up" I had another idea today, I had one pie crust left (the round kind), one apple, some Raspberries, and a brand new bag of Pecans.

I got to use my new "Turbinado Sugar" too, I am so glad I finally got some, it adds a gorgeous look to baked goods. I simply added the pie filling and folded it over, crimped the edges and was good to go. I turned out a bit tart and very delicious!

1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 a pint of Raspberries rinsed and picked over
1/3 cup of Pecans, chopped
1 flat round pie crust
1 egg beaten
1/2 tbl cinnamon
1/2 tbl ground ginger
Turbinado sugar
2-3 tsp regular sugar

Mix the fruit, pecans, spices and regular sugar, let sit for a few minutes to meld the flavors

Place in the middle of your pie crust and fold over, crimping the edges

Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle on the Turbinado sugar

Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes, serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pizza Margherita

My Basil Bush is out of control and I decided I better start using it, and what better way than to make a Margherita Pizza! My husband is a Pizza FREAK, seriously he could eat it every day, I on the other hand have eaten so much bad pizza (back when I actually had a career), that I can barely stand it.

If I had to pick a local favorite it would be Pizza Schmizza, theirs is amazing. My husband spent several of his formative years working for Giovanni's, a local pizza joint, so he knows how to throw em, I love watching! I am a pizza throwing pervert I guess!

When I was looking around yesterday I found this amazing blog and she explained in detail how to cook a pizza on a barbecue (which oddly enough we have never done), it worked out perfectly and her instructions were right on the money!

You will need:

1 ball of pizza dough (you can get them at Trader Joe's and New Seasons and even some grocery stores these days) one ball made 2 pizzas
1 large ripe tomato sliced
Basil leaves
good quality olive oil
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)
Fresh Mozarella Cheese, thickly sliced

Essentially you stretch your dough, brush on olive oil, grill olive oil side down, for a minute or two till crisp (in the meantime brush oil on the top side), flip and cook the 2nd side for a minute or two

Turn barbequeue to low low low

Bring inside and add the toppings

Place back on the grill until the cheese melts and it gets bubbly

How to spatchcock a chicken or turkey!

Finishing some of Cheryl's drafts... Keeping spatchcocking simple. Using a VERY sharp cleaver or kitchen shears -- not scissors, carefu...