Saturday, June 28, 2008

June daring Baker Challenge

Today is the posting date for the June daring baker Challenge. This months challenge was a Danish Braid. By was I overwhelmed by the long recipe. I was certainly not disappointed by the results. For my 2 braids I chose apple for the first and Julia Child's almond for the second. Apple was a big hit here. This Danish braid was by far the best I have ever tasted. What a fun challenge, my favorite so far. Here is the recipe:

Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough

For the dough (Detrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

For the butter block (Beurrage)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Without a standing mixer: Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.

1. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
2. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Makes enough for two braids

4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 - 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.

Makes enough for 2 large braids

1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

Egg Wash
Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

Proofing and Baking
1. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

No i am off to see the other Danish braids. Please check the daring Baker's website for other great photos and flavor combinations.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Scali Bread


1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) cool water
pinch of instant yeast

Mix together, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.

all of the starter
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons (3/8 ounce) Baker’s Special dry milk or nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup (5 1/4 ounces) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) olive oil

1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) sesame seeds
1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water

To make the starter: Mix the 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup water, and yeast in a medium-sized bowl. Cover, and set aside to rest and rise overnight.

To make the dough: Combine the starter with the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead—by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—to make a soft, smooth dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for about 90 minutes, till it's just about doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a rough log, and let the logs rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. This gives the gluten in the dough a chance to relax, which in turn will make the logs easier to roll.

Working on a lightly greased surface, roll each log into a rope about 24" long. Brush each rope with the egg white/water, and sprinkle heavily with the sesame seeds, rolling the ropes gently in the seeds to pick up as many as possible. Grab one end of each rope, and squeeze the ends together firmly. Braid the ropes, tucking the ends under to make a neat braided loaf. Cover the braid with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise till it’s very puffy, about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Bake the braid for about 25 to 35 minutes, till it’s a deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.
Yield: one large loaf.

Sauce n Love Puttanesca

I found this sauce on sale the other day at Sam's Club. The sauce was really nice for the price, not as good as homemade but in a pinch it isn't bad.

Simple CHocolate Fudge

Recipe from ( I left out the walnuts today)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Butter an 8-inch square baking pan; line with two crisscrossed pieces of parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Butter paper.
In a large saucepan, combine butter, marshmallows, sugar, cream, and salt; cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows are melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in vanilla, chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup walnuts until chocolate is melted.
Pour fudge into prepared pan, and smooth top; sprinkle with remaining walnuts. Let cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
Using overhang, lift fudge onto a cutting board; cut into squares (6 rows by 6 rows).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Toll House Peanut Butter Cookies

Orange & Thyme Grilled Shrimp

Serves 4
1 pound large shrimp (about 24), peeled and deveined, tails on
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest, plus 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grates
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
In a shallow dish, combine shrimp, 1 teaspoon zest, cup juice, garlic, oil, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper; toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours). Soak eight 8-inch wooden skewers in water 30 minutes before cooking.
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, remaining 1/2 teaspoon zest, remaining cup juice, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme; season dipping sauce with salt and pepper.
Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. Thread shrimp onto skewers, and grill, turning once, until shrimp are opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve shrimp with dipping sauce.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Grilled Chicken Tostadas

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 to 4 limes)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil (plus more for brushing the tortillas)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 ounces each)
8 small corn tortillas (5 to 6 inches in diameter)
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack, or more if desired
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce

Optional toppings: salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, green onions
1. Place the chicken thighs in a gallon-size zip-lock bag and add all the marinade ingredients. Press the air out of the bag and seal it. Turn the bag to thoroughly coat the chicken, place it in a bowl, and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight), turning the bag occasionally. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 20 minutes before you want to start grilling.

2. Prepare a charcoal fire or set a gas grill to medium-high, close the lid, and heat until hot -- about 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Remove the thighs from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill the chicken until it's no longer pink inside, about 4 to 5 minutes per side on a gas grill. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it into 1/2-inch strips.

4. Lightly brush both sides of the tortillas with vegetable oil. Grill them on each side until they turn slightly brown, about 1 minute on a gas grill. Before removing the tortillas from the grill, sprinkle each one with 1 tablespoon of cheese.

5. To serve, layer the tortillas with shredded lettuce, the chicken strips, the remaining cheese, and any additional toppings. Serves 6 to 8.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

2 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
Coarse salt
2 slabs baby back ribs (about 2 pounds total)
Vegetable oil, for grates
Emeril's Rib Sauce
In a small bowl, combine mustard powder, paprika, celery salt, onion powder, red-pepper flakes, garlic powder, celery seed, and 1 teaspoon salt. Rub slabs on both sides with the spice mixture, and refrigerate, loosely covered, for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stack slabs on a double layer of aluminum foil; tightly wrap. Place on a rack on a baking sheet. Cook until meat pulls away from the bone and is easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 2 1/2 hours.
Heat grill to medium-high; lightly oil grates. Carefully remove ribs from foil, pouring off any liquid. Brush generously on both sides with rib sauce; grill ribs until sauce begins to bubble and brown around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve ribs with any leftover sauce, if desired.

Emeril's Rib Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup ketchup
1 cup canned beef broth
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Paradise Granola from Healthy Cooking June/July 2008

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup sunflower kernels
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
3 tablespoons raisins
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the honey, oil, orange peel, vanilla and salt; pour over oat mixture and mix well. Spread evenly into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. Cool completely on a wire rack. Stir in dried fruits. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 7 cups.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

1/2 C mayonnaise
1/3 C white vinegar
2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 T corn syrup
2 t Parmesan cheese
2 t Romano cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1T lemon juice
mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until well blended. Add a little sugar to taste if too tart. Create salad to you liking and toss with dressing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Peanut Munchers Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter ( I used creamy)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda; set aside.

In a large bowl beat together butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and 1/4 cup peanut butter until combined. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can. Stir in remaining flour mixture. Form the chocolate dough into 32 balls about 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Set aside.

For filling: Combine confectioners' sugar and 1/2 cup peanut butter until smooth. Shape mixture into 32 3/4-inch balls.

On a work surface, slightly flatten a chocolate dough ball. Top with peanut butter ball. For each cookie, shape the chocolate dough over the peanut butter filling, completely covering the filling. Roll dough into a ball.

Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a buttered glass dipped in 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

Bake cookies for 8 minutes, or until just set and surface slightly cracks. Let stand 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks; cool. Makes 32.

To store: Place cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container. Cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Chinese Sticky Ribs

This recipe is from Cook's Country Magazine. If you like Chinese style spare ribs you will love these!
2 racks pork ribs (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds each), preferably St. Louis cut or baby back ribs
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 (6-inch) piece ginger , peeled and sliced into rounds
6 garlic cloves, smashed
strips of orange peel from 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
30 sprigs fresh cilantro leaves , stems chopped coarse (reserve leaves for glaze)
8 scallions , white parts cut into 1-inch pieces (reserve green parts for garnish)

1 (10-ounce) jar hot red pepper jelly
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Minced scallion greens greens

1. For the ribs: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. With tip of paring knife, loosen membrane on underside of each rack of ribs. Grab membrane with paper towel and pull it off slowly in single piece. Combine remaining ingredients in large roasting pan. Add spareribs to pan, turning to coat both sides, and arrange meaty side down. Cover pan tightly with foil and cook until just tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer ribs to large plate.

2. For the glaze: Strain 3 cups cooking liquid from roasting pan into large nonstick skillet (do not wash roasting pan) and discard solids and remaining liquid. Using wide spoon, skim fat from liquid. Stir in jelly and vinegar. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat and cook until syrupy and reduced to 2 cups, 15 to 20 minutes. Off heat, stir in cilantro and cayenne.
3. Heat broiler (do not raise oven rack). Pour enough water into roasting pan to cover bottom and fit pan with flat roasting rack. Reserve 1/2 cup glaze for serving. Arrange ribs on rack meaty side down and brush with glaze. Place roasting pan back on middle rack in oven and broil until beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip ribs over, brush with more glaze, then broil, brushing ribs with glaze every 2 to 4 minutes, until ribs are deep mahogany color, 9 to 12 minutes (watch broiler carefully). Transfer ribs to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Slice between bones, transfer ribs to platter, and brush with reserved glaze. Sprinkle with scallions. Serve.( I left out the sprinkling of scallions. I really did not need or miss them.)

Orange Sesame Dressing

Over fresh garden spinach and sugar snap peas I used this tasty Asian dressing.
Mix together; 1/2 C fresh squeezed orange juice, 1 T sesame oil, 1/4 C soy sauce, 1 T fresh lime juice, 1 T sesame seeds.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Double Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Bars

18 regular graham crackers( can use whole wheat)
3T olive oil
2T minced fresh ginger
2T brown sugar
1/4 C whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 egg, room temp.
1/4 C packed brown sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
3/4 c dried blueberries
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 C toasted sliced almonds
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8" square baking pan with cooking spray. In a food processor , process graham crackers until they are finely ground. Add all remaining crust ingredients., pulse just until combined. Press crumbs into bottom of pan. Bake for 8 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Whisk flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Beat eggs, 1/4 C brown sugar and lemon peel in large bowl at medium speed 1 minute or until frothy. At low speed add flour, beat until just blended. Stir in dried blueberries and lemon juice. Pour filling over crust. Sprinkle with berries and nuts. Bake 25-30 minutes or until top is lightly brown and edges start to brown. Cool completely on wire rack.

Apricot Orange Bread

1 package (6 oz) dried apricots, cut into small pieces
2 C water
2 Tbsp margarine
1 C sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp orange peel, freshly grated
3 1/2 C all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 C fat free dry milk powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 C orange juice
1/2 C pecans, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil two, 9- by 5-inch loaf pans.

2. Cook apricots in water in covered medium-size saucepan for 10–15 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain and reserve 3/4 cup liquid. Set apricots aside to cool.

3. Cream together margarine and sugar. By hand, beat in egg and orange peel.

4. Sift together flour, dry milk, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with reserved apricot liquid and orange juice.

5. Stir apricot pieces and pecans into batter.

6. Turn batter into prepared pans.

7. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until bread springs back when lightly touched in center.

8. Cool for 5 minutes in pans. Remove from pans and completely cool on wire rack before slicing.

Iron Chef Orange cashew Chicken with Pad Thai Noodles & Veggies

I used the recipe on the back of the bottle ( Iron Chef Orange Sauce Glaze with Ginger) for the Orange cashew Chicken.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Chicken Cacciatore

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 medium onion , chopped
3 bell peppers, sliced thin
4 cans whole plum tomatoes
1 large package, sliced mushrooms
2 dashed granulated garlic
2 tsp. oregano
4 bay leaves
salt and pepper
3 T fresh parsley
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 c port wine
1/2 C grated Romano cheese
1 lb. pasta
Saute chicken in olive oil until cooked through. Remove chicken to crockpot. In the same skillet add a bit more olive oil and saute the onions, peppers and mushrooms until softened, Add to crockpot. Add remainder of seasonings and tomatoes to crockpot. Stir in the wine and cheese. Cook on high for 6 hours covered 30 minutes uncovered to thicken up the sauce. Serve with additional chhese and pasta.

Mini Iceberg Peanut Butter Pies

1 Cup Peter Pan® Creamy Peanut Butter, divided
1 Pkg. (4 oz. each) mini graham cracker pie crusts (6 pie crusts per pkg.)
2 Cups vanilla ice cream, or your favorite ice cream flavor, slightly softened
Chocolate syrup, optional
Reddi-wip® Original

Spread about 2 tablespoons peanut butter evenly over each pie crust with the back of spoon.
Place 1 scoop (about 1/3 cup) ice cream over peanut butter in the middle of each crust. Place in freezer for 15 minutes, or until ice cream is firm.
Heat the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter in microwave-safe container on high 30 seconds or until melted.
Drizzle peanut butter and chocolate syrup, if desired, over each pie. Top with Reddi-wip and serve immediately

Friday, June 13, 2008

Puttanesca Sauce

Today I also picked fresh basil! In a saucepan; heat olive oil, add 3T anchovy paste, dash of granulated garlic, cook until anchovy paste is melted. Now add 4 cans of Muir Glenn fire roasted diced tomato s and 8 basil leaves chopped. Cook down until it thickens a bit. Add salt and pepper, hot pepper, chopped green olives and 3T drained capers.

Spinach, Feta and Artichoke Heart Salad

Today I picked some lovely baby spinach from the garden. To make this dish rinse baby spinach well, dry. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place spinach,marinaded or plain artichoke hearts, feta cheese, Italian dressing and bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes. Serve.

Spicy Asian shrimp on the Grill

1T sugar
3T lime juice
1T hot water
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
1 1/2 tsp. fish sauce
1 T orange marmalade
2 tsp. sesame oil
24 large peeled and deveined shrimp
In a bowl combine: lime juice, water and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar. Now stir in chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, marmalade and oil. Stir well and set aside. Stir shrimp into marinade, cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Thread onto skewers and grill briefly on each side. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cranberry Cornbread Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
3/4 cup ocean spray craisins original dried sweetened cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a large cookie sheet.
Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl and stir until mixed.
Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form.
Add milk and stir with fork just until a sticky dough forms.
Gently stir sweetened dried cranberries into dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently about 10 times.
Pat dough into a ½-inch thick circle.
Cut out dough circles with 2 ½-inch biscuit cutter and place on cookie sheet.
Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pork Picadillo

from Everyday Food
1 T olive oil
3 lb ground pork (or lean ground beef)
1 medium onion,finely c
1 28 oz. can of Muir Glenn diced tomatoes
2 chiptole chilies (in adobo sauce), finely chopped1 tsp of the adobo sauce from the chiptole peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C tomato paste
1 tsp regular chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 C raisins
2T cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a dutch oven and brown the ground meat. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft. Add tomato paste, chipotles, chili powder cinnamon, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and liquid, vinegar. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until thick, 35-40 minutes. Add raisins. Serve with rice.

Olive Cheese Bread

You can find the recipe and some great step by step photos here:
Great tasty recipe.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Rhubarb Bread

2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c diced rhubarb
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1 C buttermilk or sour milk
2/3 C vegetable oil
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C flour
2T butter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 9" loaf pans. In a bowl stir together: milk and vanilla. in another bowl, mix together 1 1/2 C brown sugar, egg and oil. Combine flour and baking soda, stir into brown sugar mixture alternately with milk mixture. Fold in rhubarb and pour batter into prepared pans. For the topping:combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon,. Cut in butter with a pastry blender. Sprinkle evenly over both loaves. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cod with Olives and Potatoes

1 1/2 lb. cod
1 C dry white wine
4 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb. green and black Greek olives, pitted
Fresh herbs( I used tarragon, rosemary and thyme)
2-3 dashed granulated garlic
1lb. red potatoes, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a oiled jelly roll pan place potatoes and roast in the oven 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking and flipping often. In a 9"X13" casserole dish sprayed with cook spray, place cod. Pour the wine over the fish and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the olives, herbs and garlic over the top. Bake until the fish flakes easily 15-20 minutes, do not over bake.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


6 c quick cooking rolled oats
3/4 c toasted( raw) wheat germ
1/3 C sesame seeds
1 C coarsely chopped cashews
3/4 C flaked coconut
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
1/2 C butter, melted
1/2 C honey
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 C raisins
2 C dried mixed fruit
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the oats into an ungreased jelly roll pan. Bake 10 minutes, turning once with a spatula after 5 minutes. meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, place the wheat germ, sesame seeds, cashews, coconut and brown sugar; stir to combine. set aside. Place the butter in a small pan;over very low heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat. Add the honey and vanilla;stir vigorously until completely blended;set aside. Remove the oats from the oven, add the wheat germ mix and stir. Add the honey mix and combine. Place back on the jelly roll pan and bake 20 minutes, be sure to stir every 5 minutes. Cool completely. Store in zipper-seal bags. keeps up to 2 weeks at room temp. or 1 month in the refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Chips

Serves 4
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, preferably sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in center and lower positions. Divide sweet potatoes between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil, toss, and spread them in a single layer on sheets. Bake, flipping once, until centers are soft and edges are crisp, 22 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.

Oatmeal Raisin Bars

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, egg, salt, and cinnamon until smooth. Add flour, oats, and raisins; fold in just until combined.
Spread batter in prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 bars.

Blackberry Crumb Bars

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, and 1/2 cup (1 stick), room temperature, plus more for pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 containers (5 ounces each) blackberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter and flour paper, tapping out excess.
Make topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and teaspoon salt; add 1 cup flour, and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form. Refrigerate topping until ready to use.
In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and remaining teaspoon salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle with blackberries, then chilled topping.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Blanco Chicken Chili

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into bit size pieces
6-8 C chicken broth
2 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 dashes granulated garlic
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chopped thyme
1 tsp. paprika
1 bay leaf
1 bottle beer( i used Saranac Black and Tan)
1 can corn
1 zucchini, chopped
2T chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
1 ( 15oz. can) white cannelini beans, drained
1 ( 15oz can) white navy beans, drained
1/2 c chopped cilantro
1 bunch scallions, chopped
Add chicken broth to a stockpot , poach chicken. As soon as chicken is cooked through add to a crockpot on high. In the same pan add oil and saute;onions, peppers, jalapenos, and carrots. Cook until all is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, thyme, paprika and bay leaf, cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add beer to pot and bring to a boil, and stir to remove browned bits form bottom of pan. Add to pot corn, zucchini, chipotle peppers, beans, cilantro and scallions. Cook for 5 minutes and add to chicken and broth already in the crockpot. Cook on high for 5 hours. Top with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and Quesedillas.

Ooey Gooey Brownies

I package of brownie mixed prepared as per box. In a 9"X9' pan place foil so there is an overhang for easy liftout. Spray foil with cooking spray. Spread half of brownie batter in pan. Place 16 peanutbutter cups in rowns on the batter. Now spread remaining batter over the cups and bake as per box for 9"x9" pan.