Sunday, December 18, 2011 Winter Foliage

I've begun to notice even the Winter has some nice Flowers & Foliage.....

From Pike's Place Market. Cabbage and Greens in place of flowers.

The little ones were dried and still remain happily on my bakers table.

I'm not sure how this bloomed in the Winter but I'm glad it did.

Tulips ready for the early spring.

Buddha's Hand, an Ancient Citrus. Gooey Butter Cookies

Courtesy of Lottie & Doof Day 5 of 12 Days of Cookies,  (recipe by Mathew Rice of Nightwood Restaurant)
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound cream cheese
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped (optional (Tim thinks it is optional, but important))
3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extractConfectioner’s sugar for rolling and dusting

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar together until fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract.

Incorporate the flour mixture.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.  

Scoop roughly 1-ounce balls and toss in the confectioner’s sugar.  Place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment, a couple of inches apart.  Bake at 325° F until they spread and puff slightly, about 12-16 minutes.  They will be really soft in the center.  If they start to brown, they’ve gone too far.  Cool to room temperature.

From this point, Mathew usually refrigerates them on the tray because as the cream cheese and butter get cold, they’re easier to pick up. It is a good tip.  Dust with more confectioner’s sugar before serving.  Mathew always serves these cookies straight out of the fridge. He thinks they don’t taste as good warm.  I agree with Mathew! Store these in the fridge and you can serve them cold/cool.

Anxiously awaiting the first batch, complete with perfect posture and girly drink in hand.... a Surf & Garden Quesadilla with Avocado Salad

3/4 lbs Shrimp, Deveined, Precooked, Tails Removed
3 Cloves Garlic, Diced
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1 Tbsp Orange Juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1-1/2 Cup Sharp Cheddar, Shredded
1-1/2 Cup Jack , Shredded
4 Large (10 in) Flour Tortillas
3/4 lbs Zucchini, Shredded
3/4 Cups Corn Kernels
2 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced

Avocado Salad:
2 Avocados, Diced
2 Large Tomatoes, Diced
4 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced
2 Tbsp Cilantro, Chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all of the Salad ingredients in a bowl and gently toss them in the dressing, place it in the fridge while the Quesadilla's are being made.

Toss the shrimp with Garlic, Salt, Spices and Orange Juice. Mix until nicely coated and let them sit while you do some of the other prep work. (You can do this with uncooked Shrimp but the precooked made it very easy and cost the same.)

When all of the slicing and dicing is done heat a large pan to Medium High, once it's hot toss in the HALF the Shrimp in all their goodness and cook for a minute. (Just enough to heat them up and let the Spices sear into them.) Place them on a cutting board and chop them into large chunks.

Place the pan back on the stove but turn the heat down to Low. (Don't clean out the pan! It's coated in deliciousness and that's why you're only doing half the Shrimp and a time.) Place two Tortillas in there 'back to back' so only half of each is touching the pan. Start loading them up, do one Cheese, all the Veggies and then the remaining Cheese.

Turn the heat back up and heat them until the Cheese holds everything together and the Tortilla is a little crunchy and golden brown.

Since only two fit in a pan you can repeat everything from the 'Heat up the shrimp....', use two pans, make two one night and two the next, OR use a griddle that takes up two burners Pot Popped Popcorn

1/3 Cup Popcorn Kernels
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt to Taste
3 Quart Pot with Lid

Place the Kernels in the Pot with the Oil, turn the stove on to Medium High. Make sure the lid is open to let steam out but not enough to lose any popcorn. If you can count to 3 without hearing a POP then it's done!

Life without a microwave led me to this but it's better for you and even more delicious. Try it with other toppings Creole Seasoning in stead of just salt or Sesame Oil in place of Olive Oil. a Magic Cookie Bar

1 1/2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Cup Butterscotch-Flavored Chips
1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/3 Cups Flaked Coconut
1/2 Cup Toffee Chips

Heat oven 350°F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan. 

Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Saturday, December 10, 2011 a Tomato and Sausage Risotto Date

1 Can (28 ounces) Tomatoes, Diced
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
3/4 lbs Italian Sausage, Ground
1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
Coarse Salt & Ground Pepper
1 Cup Arborio Rice
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Bunch Flat-Leaf Spinach, Chopped (about 7 cups)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, G
2 Tbsp Butter

In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes (with their juice) and 3 cups water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid).

Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, Parmesan, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.

From Smitten Kitchen PaSketti

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, Diced
3 Stalks Celery, Diced
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1.25 lbs Ground Turkey Breast
2 medium (2-3 cups) Sweet Potatoes, Shredded 

(use a cheese grater or food processor)
2 tsp Oregano or Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 Cups Tomato Sauce

Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the Onions and Celery and saute for 5 minutes.
Add the Garlic and Ground Turkey and cook until browned.

Add Sweet Potatoes, Seasoning, and Tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and cover.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the Potatoes are tender.

Delicious recipe care of SM!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

.... is a Big Kid Mac’n’Cheese Date

12 oz Ziti Pasta*
4 oz Thick-Cut Bacon, Cut into ½” Pieces
2 Tbsp Flour
2 Cups Milk
4 oz Gruyere Cheese, Coarsely Shredded
4 oz Italian Fontina Cheese, Coarsely Shredded
2 oz Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Shredded 
1 Tbsp Chives, Chopped 

How to prepare:
Cook pasta according to the package directions.

Fry Bacon meanwhile in a medium saucepan over medium heat until brown and crisp, about 10 min. Transfer to paper towels to drain. 

Pour off all but 1 tbsp. fat from pan. Add flour and whisk over medium heat. Pour in Milk ¼ cup at a time, whisking well after each addition (it will be very thick at first) until incorporated and smooth. Add cheeses in 3 batches, whisking continually and making sure each batch is mostly melted before adding the next.

Drain Pasta, then stir into Cheese sauce (it will thicken upon standing). Divide Pasta among individual ramekins or bowls and top with Bacon and Chives.

*You can use any shape pasta, but ziti tubes are best at holding the molten cheese sauce. a New Pizza Recipe Date

Ingredients for the Dough:
2-1/2 Cup Flour
1-1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water

Mash the Yeast in the water with a fork until smooth. Pour over Flour and mix until a soft Dough is formed. Kneed will, pulling and stretching until it becomes smooth and elastic. Shape into ball, cut across the top place in a bowl and cover. Let it rise in a warm place for about 3 hours until it's almost doubled in size. 

Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a round about 1/4 in thick. Brush a cookie sheet with Oil or preheat your pizza stone. Brush the Pizza Dough with Oil and add the toppings, leave a 3/4 in margin around the edge.

A very important ingredient in the whole making is a lovely assistant to top the pizza. a Chocolate Pumpkin Pie and Whipped Cream

Follow the Pumpkin Pie recipe on the Pumpkin but add half a bar of melted Bakers Dark Chocolate to the mix.

I was in charge of the Whipped Cream:
8 oz of Heavy Whipping Cream
2-3 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp of Ginger
1 tsp of Cinnamon
1/2 tsp of Vanilla

Combine ingredients and whip on high with a hand mixer. Christmas Craftiness

Sometimes I get a little Crafty....

Ingredients, Purchased at Michaels:
Blank Ceramic Ornaments
Scrapbook Alpha-Stickers
(the glittery the better)
Bejeweled Snowflake Stickers

Layout the stickers, remove backing and go nuts. I had to go with a few nicknames to get them to fit (lucky for Michaela). I learned the lettering can be scraped off and repositioned with a fair amount of ease and a fingernail but the snowflakes stick once they're stuck.

....and the backs.

I've made a few more but as they haven't been gifted yet the pictures will have to wait. Variations on a Bread Theme

The main Bread Recipe I used is located here.

The difference is only in the Flour, instead of 6 Cups of Flour I braved the use of Bread Flour (4 Cups) and Wheat Flour (2 Cups).

Another variation: ROLLS!
(Used for our Thanksgiving Feast)

We used the original Recipe but made adorable fist size rolls and cut with a little X on the top.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...