Monday, August 17, 2009
2 (3 oz) pkg. instant French Vanilla pudding
3 cups of cold milk
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip
1 box graham crackers
1 container of chocolate cake frosting
Combine pudding with milk and mix well. Place in the fridge for 3-5 minutes or until slightly set. Fold in Cool Whip and beat 2 mins. Place a layer of whole graham crackers in 13X9 pan. Cover with 1/2 of pudding mix. Top with a second layer of graham crackers. Spread remaining pudding over crackers. Top with 3rd layer of graham crackers.
In the microwave heat container of chocolate frosting at 30 sec intervals until just melted enough to be able to easily spread or poured onto the top layer. Pour and spread evenly over the top of the cake.
Put in refridgerator for at least two hours before serving.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I recently bought a new home. We've decided that one of the many projects in the new home will be a brand new kitchen! I am very excited to have a kitchen that we can design and love, but that also means that I won't be able to cook as much when the kitchen gets torn apart. I still plan on posting other helpful cooking information, but the recipes will be few a far between for a little bit. Once the new kitchen is up and running, you can expect the Gorgeous Gourmet to be back in action!! :D
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Cucumber Summer Salad
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced (use any kind you like, I used baby portabellas)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
A splash of white wine
1 puff pastry sheet
2 tablespoons water
6 thin slices of brie cheese
Monday, July 20, 2009
Pasta with Pesto, Shrimp, and Cherry Tomatoes
(adapted from Bride & Groom: First and Forever Cookbook)
8 oz. angel hair pasta
1 Tbs. olive oil
freshly ground pepper
8 oz. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp. garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup Pesto, homemade or purchased (recipe below)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
grated Parmesan cheese
Fill a large sauce pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
Heat the olive oil in the same pan, over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and add the garlic. Continue to cook until the shrimp is opaque in the center, about 1 minute more. Add the reserved cooking water and pesto and stir until incorporated. Add the pasta and tomatoes and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Makes 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and cook until aromatic and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the nuts frequently to avoid burning. Remove and let cool.
Combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the ingredients are well incorporated, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the processor back on and slowly add the olive oil. Add the cheese and pulse until the mixture comes together and looks like a thick paste.
Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
(adapted from Everyday Italian)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
For the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.
Beef and Cheese Manicotti
(Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. flat-leaf parsley , chopped
2 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. olive oil
1 (8 oz) box Manicotti pasta
2 cups Marinara sauce
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and onion and saute until the meat is brown and the onions are tender. Drain any grease. Cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in the meat and onion mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Brush 1 tsp. of the olive oil over a large baking sheet. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the Manicotti and cook until softened but still firm, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Manicotti rom the pot to the prepared baking dish and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the remaining 2 tsp. of oil over a 13X9 pan. Spoon 1/2 cup of Marinara on the bottom. Fill the Manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture.
**I use a gallon Ziplock bag, fill with mixture and cut the corner to make a piping bag. This allows me to neatly fill each of the Manicotti with a lot of filling with less mess!
Arrange the pasta in a single layer. Spoon the remaining marinara over the pasta. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Bake, uncovered, until it is heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 35 minutes.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I also love how both recipes are perfectly portioned for two people to enjoy a relaxing Sunday dinner.
Salmon with Honey-Mustard Glaze
(adapted from Bride and Groom First and Forever cookbook)
2 salmon fillets (about 8 oz. each), skin removed
3 Tbs. Spicy Brown mustard
2 Tbs. sour cream
3 tsp. honey
1 tsp. dried dill weed
8 crackers, crushed
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Place the salmon on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine mustard, sour cream, honey, and dill weed. Spread over the salmon fillets. Top with crushed crackers just before baking.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked through and flaky.
Savory Maple Glazed Carrots
(adapted from Bride and Groom First and Forever cookbook)
3 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1/8 inch thick)
¼ C. water
3 Tbs. butter
3 tsp. maple syrup
¾ tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 to ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (add more or less to desired level of heat)
In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook on high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce to low heat and continue to cook until the carrots are tender and the sauce is reduced to a glaze, about 7 minutes.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread with Buttermilk Frosting
6Tbs. butter, melted, divided (this is used to grease the pan, for the filling, dough, and brushing on top. Just less than one stick will be used for the entire recipe)
¾ C. packed brown sugar
¼ C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. salt
2 ½ C. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ C. buttermilk
2 Tbs. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs. buttermilk
1 C. powdered sugar, sifted
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour 1 Tbs. of the melted butter into a 9-inch cake pan and brush to coat. Set aside.
For the Cinnamon-Sugar mixture: Combine the sugars, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 Tbs. of the melted butter and mix with a fork until it resembles coarse, wet sand. Place in a Ziplock bag and set aside.
For the dough: Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk and 2 Tbs. of melted butter in a measuring cup or small bowl. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon just until the liquid is absorbed.
Dust your work surface and hands with flour. Put dough on the work surface and knead about 30 seconds until the dough looks smooth.
Working in batches, take about 1 Tbs. of dough, roll into a ball and place into the ziplock with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Shake until the dough balls are coated. Drop the dough into the cake pan. Once all of the dough has been coated and put into the pan, pour any remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough. Brush with 2 Tbs. melted butter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is cooked through. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
For the icing: While the Monkey Bread is cooling, begin making the icing. Whisk the cream cheese and buttermilk in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, whisking as you add it. Whisk until the icing is smooth and there are no lumps. Pour over the bread and smooth evenly. Cut into wedges and serve.
The Monkey Bread goes great with a tall glass of ice-cold milk!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Honey Lime Chicken Burgers
1 lime, juiced (save the lime rinds to rub on avocados to prevent browning)
2 tablespoons honey
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 rounded teaspoons cumin
A handful cilantro, finely chopped, about 1/2 tablespoons
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 Lb. ground chicken
1 teaspoon grill seasoning blend or coarse salt and pepper
Possible Toppings: lettuce, tomato, red onion, and sliced avocado (remember to rub the leftover limes on the avocado to prevent browning)
1 cup prepared fresh salsa
4 crusty rolls, split
Combine all burger ingredients in a small bowl. Mix together well. Form into 4 patties. The mixture will be loose, but firms up as it cooks.
Grill burgers chicken 6 to 7 minutes on each side or pan fry over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet uncovered 6 minutes per side. Slighty salt, to taste.
Place burgers on toasted roll bottoms. Top with desired condiments like lettuce, tomato, red onion and sliced avocado. Spread fresh salsa on roll tops.
And here's the good news: when divided into individual portions, each flan is only about 230 calories ~ I can live with that!
Mini Kahlua Flan
(adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
4 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur (recommended: Kahlua)
Cocoa powder, garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease 12 muffin tins with butter and set aside. In a small saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat until it starts to melt. Lower the heat and cook until caramelized to a golden brown. If you need to stir, only use a wooden spoon. Cooking the sugar low and slow will make sure that it doesn't stay hard after baking. It will be a smooth caramel sauce when finished.
Pour into prepared muffin tins. (If you would like one large flan, simply use a metal flan mold or 9-inch cake pan.) Turn the dish and swirl to evenly coat the bottom. Let caramel cool and harden.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the condensed and evaporated milks and Kahlua and whisk well to blend. Pour into the prepared pan. Place the dish in a larger roasting pan and add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake until set and just firm in the center but still jiggles slightly 20-25 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure you do not overcook. Let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
To serve, run a thin sharp knife around the rim of each flan. Place a platter or large plate on top of the flan and gently flip over so the plate is on the bottom. Lift away the mold. Garnish with powdered cocoa or chocolate shavings.
Tropical Fruit and Berry Smoothie
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup fat free yogurt, plain or vanilla
1/4 cup frozen roughly chopped papaya
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup frozen roughly chopped pineapple
1/4 cup frozen roughly chopped mango
1/2 to 1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend, pulsing the machine if necessary, until smooth. Make sure the honey is dissolved. Top with fruit and serve immediately.
Spiced Yogurt Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. plain lowfat or fat free yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 Tb. All-Purpose spice blend
1 tsp ground cumin
1tsp. ground ginger
1tsp. onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 chipotle in adobo, chopped
1/4 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
In extra large mixing bowl combine all ingredients but chicken and stir to combine. Reserve ¼ cup to top cooked chicken. Pound chicken breasts into even thickness across (about 1 or more in thickness) and add to marinate. Toss to combine and coat well, cover bowl tightly and place in fridge 4 hours and up to overnight. Turn heat of grill on high and preheat for 15 minutes. Turn down to medium low and place chicken on grill.
Cook until starting to brown and grill marks appear, about 5-8 minutes and flip. Cook breast side up until starting to brown and grill marks appear, about 10-12 minutes. Flip again to create alternating grill marks on breast side, until done (no more pink inside) about 10 more minutes. Remove from grill, place on platter. Top with reserved yogurt sauce.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I had such a great time cooking with my uncle! I learned a few really clever tricks (like actually using the olive oil that the sun-dried tomatoes are packed in) and was so happy to share this time with him. He's a great man and a great cook that makes me proud to call him Uncle. I hope he had as much fun sharing recipes and stories as I did.
Below you will find the list of dishes and recipes that we decided to cook. There really wasn't any rhyme or reason, just dishes that we enjoy and wanted to share.
Uncle Tom's Dishes:
Blue Cheese and Carmelized Onion Galette
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Carmelized Onion
Pasta with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Sweet 'N Spicy Asian Pulled Pork
Israeli Couscous with Apples, Cranberries, and Almonds
Honey Balsamic Chicken Satay
2 C. Lemon-lime soda
1 package flour tortillas (12 tortillas, 6-inch round)
BBQ Chicken Pizza
(from my Uncle Tom)
1 pizza crust (we used Boboli)
1/2 C. (or so) BBQ sauce
1 C. chicken, shredded (we used chicken from a store-bought roaster)
1/2 C. Carmelized onions
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese
Assemble the pizza crust with the BBQ sauce, chicken, onions, salt and pepper. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in a 500 degree oven until the cheese melts and begins to brown.
Monday, June 22, 2009
1 banana, slightly frozen
1/3 C. coarse sea salt
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. dried thyme
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Use a fork or your fingers to break up any brown sugar lumps. Store in an air-tight container up to 6 months.
4 tsp. paprika
In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients. Summer, whisking occasionally until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 40 minutes.
3/4 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 C. Romano cheese, grated or shredded (can subsitute parmesan)
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
Cut the stem off the bottom of the artichokes and peel off the very bottom leaves. Cut the very top off the artichokes to create a flat top. Using kitchen shears, trim away the sharp points on the remaining leaves. Whack artichokes on the counter a few times to help them open up. Go on, get that agression out - whack 'em!
In a small bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together. Carefully separate/ spread the leaves of the artichokes. Fill with bread crumb mixture. Drizzle each artichoke with a little olive oil. In a large pan, place artichokes. Add enough water to the pan to just barely rise up the side of the artichoke, about 1/4 inch. Cover pot and simmer until the leaves in the middle pull out easily - about 40 minutes.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 Dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garlic salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed/minced
Marinate fillets at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better. Heat grill to medium-high. Cook the fish about 6 minutes per side until it is fully cooked, white, and flakey.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I always think of my mom when I make this dish and it makes me realize that what truly makes a house a home is the love and laughter that fills it.
Cut in half to show meatball filling
Stuffed Sweet Peppers
(adapted from Mom's Stuffed Green Peppers)
Makes 4 large portions
2 Peppers (green, red, orange, etc. - whatever you like and have on hand!), cut in half, seeded
1 lb. meatball mixture (recipe below)
2 cans (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
water, if needed
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
Heat oil over medium heat. Generously fill pepper halves with meatball mixture. Any unused mixture can be rolled into extra meatballs. Place the peppers meat-side down in the oil and fry until meat has browned. Drain grease. Add tomato sauce and water (if needed) until the peppers are almost covered. Salt and pepper to taste (typically just a dash or two will do). Cover and simmer over low heat about 45 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
Serve over rice or egg noodles.
1 lb. ground turkey (use beef for traditional meatballs, but the turkey is a great substitute!)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 C. Romano cheese (can substitute Parmesan if that's what you have)
1/2 tsp. basil
1 lg. clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 onion, finely diced
garlic salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Couscous with Apples, Cranberries, and Herbs
(by Giada De Laurentiis)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Israeli couscous (or barley or orzo)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 medium green apple, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, see Cook's Note
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
For the couscous: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries, and almonds.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.
Cook's Note: To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before using.
Peanut Butter Blondies
(adapted slightly from Good Things Catered)
4 Tbsp butter, almost melted
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/8 c. milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/3 c. honey roasted peanuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 pan with foil and lightly grease. In a small microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter for 20-30 seconds until melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
In bowl of stand mixer, add oil, peanut butter and butter and mix until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the egg and stir to combine thoroughly. Add milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the peanut butter mixture and stir just to combine (will be quite thick). Gently fold in chocolate chips and peanuts.
Place into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool completely and cut.
Pina Colada Cupcakes
(from Good Things Catered)
2 1/4 c. sifted cake flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 C. sugar
1/3 c. oil
2 large eggs
1/2 c. canned pineapple, diced and patted dry
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
Splash (or two!) of dark rum
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped vanilla frosting
1/2 bag of shredded coconut
Maraschino cherries, drained and dried
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with baking cups. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine rum and coconut milk in small bowl, mix to combine and set aside.
Place sugar and oil in mixer and mix until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and coconut milk mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla and fold in pineapple. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap the pans once on counter top to remove air bubbles.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. When cupcakes are completely cool, frost with whipped vanilla frosting and roll tops in shredded coconut. Top each with a cherry and a cut straw.
BBQ Shrimp Skewers
50 Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
10 kabob skewers
4-6 Tbs. BBQ dry rub of your choice (I used Coffee BBQ Blend from Galena Garlic Co.)
2 Tbs. Lime juice, plus some for garnish
2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped, plus some for garnish
1 tsp. olive oil
Soak the wooden kabob skewers in water for about 20 minutes to make sure they do not burn on the grill. Skewer 5 shrimp on each kabob. (To make the appitizer go a little further, you can always cut each kabob in half and skewer 3 shrimp) Place all skewered shrimp in a 13X9 pan. In a small bowl whisk together the rub, lime juice, cilantro, and olive oil. Pour over the shrimp and let marinate 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Heat grill to medium high. Cook shrimp on one side until there are grill marks, about 3 minutes. Flip and finish cooking, about 4 minutes more. Remove from grill, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and lime juice.
Brie and Almond Tartlets with Fruit Preserves
1 puff pastry sheet
3/4 lb. Brie cheese
1/3 C. sliced almonds
Fruit preserves/jam: I used blackberry, apricot, and raspberry
Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the sheet into a 14-inch square (doesn't have to be exact). Cut into 36 (2 1/4-inch) squares. Gently place each square into mini muffin tins.
Cut the Brie cheese into 36 pieces. Spoon about 1/4 tsp. of preserves into the bottom of each pastry square. Sprinkle with almonds, saving some for the tops of the appetizer. Top the preserves and almonds with one piece of cheese. Top with any remaining almonds.
Bake the tartlets for 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool on a wire rack, but serve warm.
(adapted from Uncle Tom)
4.3 oz. package of REAL crumbled bacon (I suggest Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium tomato, chopped
3/4 C. grated Gruyere cheese (you can substitute regular swiss, but the gruyere really makes it tasty!)
1/2 C. Miracle Whip (or mayo if you're not a Miracle Whip person like me!)
1 Tb. fresh basil, chopped
1 large can of refrigerated biscuits, flaky style
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine bacon, onion, tomato, cheese, mayo, and basil. Separate each biscuit into 2-3 layers. Flatten slightly with your hands and press each layer into one well of a mini muffin pan. Spoon the filling mixture into each muffin.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot and biscuits are lightly browned.
These are great hot but are also just as good at room temperature. :)
Green Olive Dip
1 1/2 cups green olives (I used Spanish Manzinilla with pimento)
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In your food processor, combine the olives, parsley, garlic, lemon juice and pepper. Pulse to combine roughly. Add the olive oil and pulse, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dip will be chunky, not smooth.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
(from Amy Haar and Abby Litteken)
3 chicken breasts (you can also use canned chicken here)
8 oz. cream cheese
2 C. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¾ small bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce
¾ small bottle Ranch dressing
*You can adjust the hot sauce and ranch to taste.
Mix all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. You can also put all ingredients into a small Crockpot and heat until warm.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Baked Chicken and Roasted Corn Taquitos
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe
Makes 12-14 taquitos
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. salsa
1 Tb. lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
4 Tbs. chopped cilantro
1 ear corn on the cob, roasted or grilled (can substitute canned, but roasted it much better!)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
12-14 small tortillas
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.In a medium-sized bowl, mix softened cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and corn. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don't crack while rolling. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can.
Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don't touch each other. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Serve immediately. Taquitos are great dipped in salsa or sour cream!
(Adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
1 to 1 1/4 C. plus 1 Tb. sugar (more or less depending on the tartness of the cherries)
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 C. fresh or jarred sour cherries
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 recipe Lattice - Top Pie Dough (below)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Mix 1 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the cherries and almond extract. Add up to 4 more tablespoons of sugar if the cherries still taste tart. If using fresh cherries, let the mixture sit about 20 minutes. Then spread the cherry filling in the unbaked pie crust bottom.
Weave the lattice strips over the top of the pie. Seal and crimp the edges. Lightly brush the lattice top with egg wash. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Place the pie of the heated baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until the top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature again to 375 degrees and continue to bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is a golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature before serving.
Lattice - Top Pie Dough
(America's Test Kitchen)
3 C. all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
2 Tb. sugar
1 tsp. salt
7 Tb. vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
10 Tb. butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, chilled
8 to 10 Tb. ice water
Process the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Scatter the shortening over the top and continue to process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.
Sprinkle 8 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a rubber spatula, until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Divide dough into two even pieces and flatten one piece into a 4-inch disk (for the crust bottom). Flatten the other into a 4 by 3-inch rectangle (or the lattice strips). Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Roll the bottom crust out and fit to a 9 inch pie plate. Roll the lattice strips to form a 10 ½ by 13 ½ - inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or knife and a ruler, cut lattice strips. Freeze the strips slightly to make them easier to weave on your pie.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Valentine's Day cookies for Darren
Grandma's Sugar Cookies
Makes 3-5 doz
(depending on the size of the cookie cutter)
3 C. flour
1tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. butter
3/4 C. sugar
2 Tbs. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat well. Blend in dry ingredients slowly. Chill mixture overnight or at least 1 hour. Roll out on a floured surface, 1/3 of the dough at a time to about 1/4 thickness (I like a thicker cookie, but you can definitely make these thinner by rolling out to 1/8 thickness. They will cook faster and be slightly crispier.). Cut out using your desired cookie cutter. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes. Cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Sugar Cookie Icing
1 C. confectioner's sugar
2 tsp. milk
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp lemon extract (you can use any flavored extract here - almond is also great!)
In a small bowl, stir together confectioner's sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and extract until icing is smooth and shiny. If it's too thick, add more corn syrup. Divide into bowls and add food coloring. Decorate as desired.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
It’s a basic quiche recipe (from Everyday Food) that I tweaked to include some of my favorite flavors. The sun-dried tomatoes add a rich sweetness and roasted chicken makes it a more filling meal for my husband.
1 Tb. Olive Oil
2 roasted chicken breasts (from a store-bought roaster or leftover chicken)
1 large yellow onion, diced
¾ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3-4 pieces of sun-dried tomato, chopped
¾ cup half and half
1 to 1½ cups Gruyere cheese, grated
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 pie crust (I use a premade, frozen crust when cooking on the fly!)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. of the pepper (you can also add other seasonings/spices here to change the flavor slightly. I have added Jamacain seasonings, red pepper flakes, etc.). Cook until the onions are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cooked chicken and parsley and cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and half and half. Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, remaining salt and pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and onion-chicken mixture. Place the pie crust in a pie dish or tart pan. Scrape the mixture into the pie crust. Bake until filling is set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
- Baby Arugula Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
- Taffy Apple Salad (Dad doesn't think this should be called a "salad" but it's SOO good!!)
- Mini baked brie in puff pastry with apricot or raspberry preserves and slivered almonds
- Bacon pastries or Spiced Chicken pastries
- green olive tapenade for bread
- Garlic Beer bread
- Buffalo Chicken Dip (you'd think this had CRACK in it...it's so good!)
- Chips and corn salsa
- Mushroom asparagus tarts
- Carmelized onion and blue cheese tart
- Baked Mostaccioli
- Honey Balsamic Chicken skewers
- Symphony Brownies
- Texas Sheet Cake
- Cupcakes (too many to choose from!)
- Summer berry pie (blackberry again?)
- Lemon Berry Tartlets
- Lemon or Raspberry squares
So I have a long way to go before I can narrow this down...and it's still feeling pretty random to me. I want food that will be somewhat easy to make but also keep for people to munch on throughout the night.