Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Bites

If you need an appetizer, try these. Pick your favorite dip, (like Melissa's Spicy Artichoke Dip) and make them into individual bites. The shells are wonton wraps placed in a mini muffin pan. Use just under a tablespoon in each cup. Bake for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blueberry {and Strawberry} Shortcakes with Lemon and Thyme Biscuits

This is from my bon appetit magazine and are super amazing. Puts a whole new spin on the normal shortcakes. I made them for Mother's Day {yes, I love cooking that much} and none of us were saying a word other then, Mmmmmm...., because they were so good. I added some strawberries too, because I can't do a shortcake without them.

4 cups fresh blueberries (21 to 22 ounces), rinsed, drained well
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water

3/4 cup chilled buttermilk
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1 tablespoon raw sugar

Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream

Berries: Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until berries are slightly softened and syrup coats spoon, about 10 minutes. Transfer to medium glass bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Biscuits: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with silicone baking mat, smooth side up, or parchment paper. Mix buttermilk, lemon peel, and thyme in small bowl. Whisk next 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend, breaking up any large clumps of brown sugar with fingertips. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk mixture and stir with fork just until blended (dough will be sticky). Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Knead gently just until dough comes together, 4 to 5 turns (do not overwork dough or shortcakes will be tough). Pat dough out to 3/4-inch-thick round. Using 3-inch-diameter cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut out dough rounds. Gently gather dough scraps and pat out to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut out additional rounds, for 6 rounds total. Transfer dough rounds to prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Sprinkle dough rounds with raw sugar.

Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool slightly. Using serrated knife, carefully cut biscuits horizontally in half. Place bottom half of each biscuit on each of 6 plates. Spoon blueberries and syrup over, dividing equally. Cover with biscuit tops. Place scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream alongside each and serve.

Sloppy Veg-Head Joe

This is from Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book that I got for Mother's Day... this is the first recipe I've tried and it's yummy! I made whole wheat hamburger buns with it {good buns, but use half the salt - they were way too salty for us}. Made it nice and cheap being meatless and with homemade buns and all... and when you borrow the yeast from your neighbor, it makes 'em even cheaper! ;) thanks Dude

1 T. canola or vegetable oil
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 red, green, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 (21-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
salt and pepper
1 (15-ounce) can diced fire-roasted or chunky-style crushed tomatoes
1 rounded T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce (see Note below) or vinegar of any kind
1 lime
4 crusty rolls, split and lightly toasted
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. To the hot oil, add the jalapenos, bell peppers, onions, and garlic and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

Fold in the black beans, cumin, and coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir in the tomatoes, brown sugar, and Worcestershire or vinegar and simmer the mixture for a few minutes to combine the flavors.

Squeeze the lime juice into the pan and stir. Serve the joe mixture on buns with cilantro to top.


NOTE Worcestershire sauce contains everything but the kitchen sink, including anchovies. I love it, but if you follow a strict vegetarian diet you might prefer to substitute vinegar.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Homemade Marshmallows

2 oz. unflavored gelatin
2 cups cold water, divided
2 egg whites
2 cups sugar
1 t vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
3 T cornstarch

Mix powdered sugar and cornstarch. Liberally coat a 9x13" pan with sugar/cornstarch mixture. Reserve remaining for later.

Place 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top and stir to dissolve. In a medium sauce pan, combine remaining water (1 1/2 cups) and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook to 250 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved.

While sugar and water are boiling, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. While mixer is running (at about medium) slowly pour in sugar mixture. Whip for about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and mix for another minute or two. Mixture should be glossy and shinny and will begin to thicken. Pour into prepared pan and cover with more powdered sugar mixture. Let rest and set-up for a minimum of 4 hours and up to overnight.

Remove marshmallow from pan and place on a cutting board. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 1" squares. Coat marshmallows in powdered sugar mixture. Store in an air tight container.

*Marshmallow can be colored with liquid food coloring. You will need to add the food coloring at the beginning of the mixing time.

**You can also make marshmallow eggs for Easter. Fill a 9x13" pan with flour. Using plastic (or real) eggs, make indentations for the mold. When marshmallow mixture is whipped, use two large spoons to spoon marshmallow into the mold. Eggs can then be chocolate covered.

I used these to make "gourmet" s'mores at a "faux campout" over the weekend. We used organic graham crackers and high quality chocolate. They were quite the hit!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime-Mint Dressing

We made this for a work meeting and everyone was freaking out over how good the fruit tasted, not realizing it was the yummy dressing doing it. You can also make it without the mint and it's still awesome.

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 3-pound cantaloupe, halved, seeded, chopped
1 12-ounce basket strawberries, hulled, halved
4 kiwis, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Whisk lime juice, honey and mint in large bowl to blend. Add all fruit to syrup in large bowl and toss. Let stand at least 15 minutes to let the fruit absorb the dressing. You can make it up to 3 hours ahead if you want, just cover and chill. Spoon fruit into cute bowls or goblets if you're feeling ambitious.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sweet Potato Pancakes with honey-cinnamon butter

For the honey-cinnamon butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the sweet potato pancakes
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk, plus more if necessary
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup store-bough pancake mix
1 small pinch ground nutmeg
1 small sweet potato, broiled, peeled and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)

Beat together the butter, honey, and cinnamon until smooth. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Stir in the pancake mix and nutmeg until just combined. Fold in the sweet potato. If the batter seems too thick, add more buttermilk until it reaches the desired consistency (it should be thick but still pourable).

Place a large, greased griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, spoon the batter onto it and cook until the surface of the pancake is covered with bubbles, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Serve, topped with the honey-cinnamon butter and a little maple syrup. YUM!

from cookie magazine

Monday, May 4, 2009

North Texas Student Union Coffee Cake

I made some of this coffee cake for Mom last night to see if it was like the "real thing" that she my grandmother's old Bridgeport Methodist Cookbook, we now have the also helps that Imust have guessed right on a few of the vague instructions, like add vanilla....didn't say how much, just to add it!

So, here is the recipe for one and all....

North Texas Student Union Coffee Cake

Cake Ingredients:
4 cups flour
4 Tablespoons of Dry Milk
4 teaspoons of backing powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/3 cup of sugar
12-14 Tablespoons of shortening (I used the butter shortening because I had it open)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla (I used the real vanilla, not imitation)
1 1/2 cups of water

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 stick of butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1 Tablespoon of cinnamon

Combine flour, milk, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Add shortening and cut in as you would a pie crust.

Add eggs, water, vanilla, and beat (I used my paddle attachment on my kitchen aid and barely had to mix it, just mix until it is incorporated nicely.) The mixture will be fairly thick.

Pour into a greased (I greased my glass 13X9 baking dish with butter because I was out of Pam) baking dish.

Melt butter and pour or brush it on the top. Mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon for the topping and layer on top and pat down a little. You can top with chopped pecans if you like.

Bake for about 55 minutes until a toothpick in the middle comes out fairly clean. This puffs up pretty tall, so it take a while. My instructions said to cook for 35 minutes but I found it needed a lot more, so just keep an eye on it.

This is a great cake for breakfast or a brunch. I am sure it is good with coffee as well but I don't drink coffee so I had it with milk!