Saturday, October 31, 2009

Loaded Potato Potluck Favorite from Carnation

Preparation - 15 min | Cooking - 45 min
Yields - 16 servings, 1/2 cup each

* 8 medium potatoes (about 2 1/2 to 3 lb. total), peeled and cut
      into 1-inch chunks
* 1 cup NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 2 cups (8-oz. pkg.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
* 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
* Sliced green onions (optional)

PLACE potatoes in large saucepan. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain.

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole dish.

RETURN potatoes to saucepan; add evaporated milk, sour cream, salt and pepper. Beat with hand-held mixer until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese and half of bacon. Spoon mixture into prepared casserole dish.

BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, remaining bacon and green onions. Bake for an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

• This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated. Cover with foil and bake at 350° F for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated. Uncover; top with cheese, bacon and green onions; bake for an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Click here to be taken to the Carnation site with nutritional info

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Southwest Cheesecake

I serve it on a platter with tortillas chips around it. I like to use a variety of chips like blue and corn. This is also good served on crackers.

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1-1/2 envelopes taco seasoning
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
2/3 cup salsa
Tortilla chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat cheeses until fluffy. Stir in 1 cup sour cream and taco seasoning. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in chilies. Pour into a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven; let stand for 10 minutes (leave oven on). Spoon remaining sour cream over top of filling. Bake 5 minutes loner. Cool completely on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Place on serving plate. Top with salsa. Serve with tortilla chips. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 20-24 appetizer servings.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicken Club Brunch Ring

Source: The Pampered Chef

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, snipped
1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
1 (5 ounce) can chunk white chicken, drained and flaked
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1 cup finely shredded Swiss cheese, divided
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper
2 cups shredded lettuce

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix mayonnaise and mustard; add parsley and onion and mix well.

Mix chicken, bacon and 3/4 cup cheese with 1/3 cup mayonnaise mixture.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into 16 triangles. Arrange in a circle on baking stone with wide ends of triangles overlapping in center and points toward outside. Put chicken mixture onto widest end of each triangle. Bring outside points up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered.) Place 1 tomato half over filling between openings of ring. Bake
20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Cut off top of pepper, scoop out inside and fill with remaining mayonnaise mixture. Place in center of ring and arrange lettuce around pepper. Cut and serve.

Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza

Source: The Pampered Chef

Pizza Crust:
1 (16 ounce) pouch Pantry Pizza Crust & Roll Mix (including yeast packet)
1 1/4 cup very warm water (120 to 130 degrees F)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Salad Toppings:
2 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, grated, divided (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup fat-free Caesar salad dressing
1 teaspoon Pantry Lemon Pepper Seasoning Mix
1 garlic clove, pressed
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked (about 12 ounces)
4 cups romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 (3.5 ounce) can pitted ripe olives, sliced

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

For pizza crust, combine mix, water and oil. Mix dough according to package directions. Roll out dough to edge of Large Round Stone using lightly floured Baker's Roller. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown; remove to Nonstick Cooling Rack.

Grate Parmesan cheese using Deluxe Cheese Grater. In Small Batter Bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the cheese, dressing, Seasoning Mix and garlic pressed with Garlic Press; mix well.

Place cream cheese in Classic Batter Bowl; add half of the dressing mixture and mix well. Chop half of the chicken using Food Chopper; add to cream cheese mixture. Slice remaining chicken into thin strips; set aside.

Slice lettuce and chop bell pepper using Chef's Knife. Slice olives with Egg Slicer Plus. Place lettuce, bell pepper and olives in large Colander Bowl. Add remaining dressing mixture; toss to coat.

Spread cream cheese mixture over crust using Large Spreader. Top with salad mixture. Arrange chicken strips over salad; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Cut with Pizza Cutter; serve using Slice 'N Serve.

Yield: 12 servings or 24 sample servings

(Light) Nutrients per serving: Calories 260, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol 30 mg, Carbohydrate 32 g, Protein 18 g, Sodium 770 mg, Fiber less than 1 g

Cook's Tip: One (10 ounce) package refrigerated pizza crust can be substituted for the Pizza Crust & Roll Mix, if desired. Roll out dough to edge of Baking Stone as directed. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Chicken and Broccoli Braid

Source: The Pampered Chef

6 servings

2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 egg white, beaten
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup diced onions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together chicken, broccoli, red bell pepper, garlic, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed, salt, almonds and onion.

Unroll crescent roll dough, and arrange flat on a medium baking sheet. Pinch together perforations to form a single sheet of dough. Using a knife or scissors, cut 1 inch wide strips in towards the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side. Spread the chicken mixture along the center strip. Fold the side strips over chicken mixture, alternating strips from each side. Pinch or twist to seal. Brush braided dough with the egg white. Bake in the preheated oven 25 to 28 minutes, or until golden brown.

Triple-Chocolate Cherry Bars

Give your chocolate fudge cake mix a cherry twist by making these scrumptious moist and chocolaty bars!

Total Time: 1 hour 48 min
Makes: 48 bars

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® chocolate fudge cake mix
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 bag (12-ounce size) miniature semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
1 container Betty Crocker® Whipped chocolate frosting

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour 15 x 10 x 1-inch or 13 x 9-inch pan, or spray with baking spray with flour.

2. In large bowl, gently mix dry cake mix, pie filling, eggs and chocolate chips with rubber scraper; break up any undissolved cake mix by pressing with scraper. Carefully spread in pan.

3. Bake 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan 25 to 30 minutes, 13 x 9-inch pan 35 to 40 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Frost with frosting. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Heat oven to 350 degrees F for all pans.

Special Touch
A dazzling drizzle of melted white chocolate makes these bars look even more special.

Make Triple-Chocolate Strawberry Bars by using strawberry pie filling instead of the cherry.

Did You Know...
Shiny metal pans are preferred for making bars because they reflect the heat away from the bars, preventing the crust from getting too brown. If using dark nonstick or glass baking pans, follow the manufacturer's directions, usually reducing the oven temperature 25 degrees F.

Recipe provided courtesy of Betty Crocker/© 2009 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved

Parmesan Bread

The topping on this delicious bread gives a subtle, savory taste to the whole loaf.

Servings: 6

1 loaf Rhodes™ Bread Dough
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

Place dough in an 8 x 4 x 2-inch sprayed loaf pan. Thaw according to package directions. In a small bowl mix cheese, parsley, oregano and salt. Brush loaf with butter and sprinkle with cheese mixture. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise until 1-inch above pan. Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe provided courtesy of Rhodes Bake-N-Serv

Funeral Potatoes

Also known as Cheesy Potatoes - This is a HARD recipe to mess up.

2 lbs of frozen hash browns (shredded or cubed)- thawed in a colander - not in bag
2 cans of cream of celery soup (or chicken if you prefer)
8 oz of sour cream
1/2 stick of cubed butter
8 oz of cheese
Cornflakes (I didn't have any!)
Salt and Pepper to taste

We're going to start with thawed hash browns. (I learned the hard way NOT to thaw these in the bag one Christmas. They will taste like plastic.) Once your hash browns have thawed in a big bowl, mix in the soup, sour cream, 4 oz of cheese and half of the cubed butter. Transfer to casserole dish or crockpot. Top with 4 oz of cheese, the remaining half of the cubed butter and a few handfuls of cornflakes. Cover and bake at 350 for an hour or until bubbly. You can remove the foil for the last 5 minutes to help brown the top of the casserole if you wish. Or, if you're using a crockpot, you can let this cook on low for 4 or 5 hours or until the potatoes are tender.

Sauerkraut Pizza - It's to Die for

Because this is a heavier pizza, it's not suited for a thin crust. When I'm in a hurry, I use a Boboli purchased crust.

YOUR favorite crust
(thin is not the best choice)

Potatoes - Leftover mashed potatoes are fine or bake some to top this.... slice thinly, toss with melted butter, salt and pepper and bake covered with foil for 40 minutes at 350 - cool)

Sauerkraut- drained - 1 small can ( I prefer the stuff in a jar and use a little of that - I don't rinse my kraut since I like it but some rinse to make it milder)
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar
Cooked bacon - crumbled
sliced green onions - optional
sliced green olives

Assemble in this order -
Crust on a cookie sheet
Potatoes to cover -about a 1/4" thick
Sour Cream - cover the potato layer
Shredded Cheddar
Crumbled Bacon
Sliced green onions (optional - I love them and use them)
Sliced Green Olives

Put in the oven until heated through and cheese is melted.......yum!

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies
Courtesy of Pioneer Woman (I love her recipes as much as I love Ina's!)

Fresh Jalapenos, 2-3 inches in size
Cream Cheese, softened
Thin (regular) bacon, sliced into thirds

Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat; leave a little if you like things HOT). Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon piece (1/3 slice). Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle. (At this point, you can freeze them, uncooked, in a Ziploc bag for later use.)

Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. You don’t want the bacon to shrink so much it starts to squeeze the jalapeno. If, after 20 minutes, the bacon doesn’t look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off. These are best when the jalapeno still has a bit of a bite to it.

Serve immediately, or they’re also great at room temperature. (or on a burger)

Dirty Martini Cheese Ball

Another great recipe from Ingredients, Inc.

Prep: 10 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 appetizer servings
Ingredients1 (5-ounce) package crumbled blue cheese
1 (8-ounce) package light cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped green olives
1/3 cup chopped pecans
Assorted Crackers

1. In a medium mixing bowl combine blue cheese, cream cheese and garlic. Fold in chopped olives.

2. Mold cheese into a ball. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours. When ready to serve roll cheese ball into chopped pecans. Serve with crackers.

Pork Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce

This recipe comes from Ingredients, Inc - one of my favorite food blogs....please check her blog out. Recipe provided here because so many times the links don't work or they get changed.

I love recipes that are easy and quick......this one starts with a purchased, pre-marinated pork tenderloin (I like the cracked pepper version) and grill it or prepare it in the oven. Then, stir together this sauce

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes
6 to 8 servings

1 (8-ounce) container low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
2 (1 pound) pre-marinated pork tenderloin, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1. Combine sour cream, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and chives in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Cook pork in a lightly greased grill or sauté pan over medium-high heat 10 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve on rolls with horseradish sauce and toppings, if desired.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thin n’ Crispy Pizza Crust

(Adapted from Cooking Light December 2007)

1 package active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons yellow cornmeal

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Stir 1-1/4 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt into yeast mixture to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with coil, turning dough to coat. Cover; let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a pizza pan or baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Drizzle dough with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place pan on lowest oven rack; bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; top with desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes or until crust and cheese is lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


(Source: Barefoot Contessa Parties! and the Food Network)

Serves 12

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 stalks celery cut in slices
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

The World's BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from America's Test Kitchen
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until warm
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

-Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
-Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.
-With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter & sugars until thoroughly combined.
-Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined.
-Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in chips.
-Roll scant 1/2 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.
-Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft & puffy (about 17 minutes in my oven).
-Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

Makes about 24 give or take how much batter you eat before they get in the oven! ;)

Baked Sweet Potato and Chile Wedges

Baked Sweet Potato and Chile Wedges
  • 3 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes (5 to 6 large)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt or 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3-1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 8-oz. carton dairy sour cream
  • 1/3 cup snipped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut each unpeeled potato into 1-inch-thick wedges. Place in a large self-sealing plastic bag; toss with oil, sea salt, and pepper. Arrange in two 13x9x2-inch disposable foil pans.

2. Meanwhile, in small bowl combine orange juice, 3 teaspoons of the chili powder, and honey; set aside.

3. Bake potatoes, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until tender, brushing three times with orange juice mixture, and shaking pan occasionally.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine sour cream, remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/3 cup cilantro. Transfer potatoes to a serving dish; serve with sour cream mixture. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Irish Coffee Meringues

Bon Appétit | May 1996

83% would make it again

yield: Serves 6

  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder


For meringues:
Preheat oven to 250°F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder in small bowl to blend well. Using hand-held electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until medium-stiff peaks form. Add remaining 4 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar to egg whites by tablespoonfuls and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold coffee-sugar mixture into meringue.

Drop meringue by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Using knife, gently spread meringues 2 1/2- to 3-inch rounds. Bake until meringues are dry and can be easily be lifted from parchment, about 45 minutes. Transfer meringues to racks and cool completely. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.)

For filling:
Beat 1 cup whipping cream in medium bowl to medium-firm peaks. Add sugar, Irish whiskey and instant espresso powder and beat until firm peaks form.

Place 1 meringue on plate, flat side down. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon of espresso cream filling over. Top with another meringue, flat side down, and press gently until filling spreads to edge. Repeat with remaining meringues and filling. (Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Beat remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream in small bowl until firm peaks form. Spoon small dollop of cream atop each meringue. Garnish each with chocolate-covered coffee beans, if desired.


Made without the filling and they were great! Mixed sugars and espresso together and added to beaten egg whites in tablespoonfuls (instead of mixing in some and then folding in rest). Piped into cookie sheets in a small 1-1 1/2" mountain. Cooked about 2 hours before dry.

Very easy and very good! I brought them to a St. Pat's party and my husband overheard positive comments and two people asked for the recipe. I filled them with bittersweet chocolate ganache instead of the cream because there were kids at the party.

now this is just damn wonderful! i just love the merianges and so easy to make - i "test drove" this receipe in advance of making for a st. patrick's day dinner and amiable spouse and i just love it - in fact he really like it - only 1 note: if you are going to make these in advance, they do get a little "leaky" on the bottom - just serve on a desert plate and all is well - also, i highly suggest the instant espresso instead of coffee!

Easy to make and very good. I did not sandwich the cookies together. I just topped each with the filling and the covered beans.

Crispy Flatbread Pizza

Adapted from Food & Wine
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • pizza sauce
  • pizza topping of your choice

In a large bowl, whisk the yeast and sugar with 1/4 cup of the flour. Stir in 1/4 cup of the warm water and let stand until slightly foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary, salt, pepper and the remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of water; stir until a dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a draft-free spot (the microwave) until billowy and doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°. Place a pizza stone* in the bottom of the oven, and preheat for at least 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Press and stretch the dough into a 13-inch round or 3 individual size pizzas (about 8 inches- the larger the flatbread the thinner and crispier it will be) then transfer to a lightly floured pizza peel or the back flat side of a sheet pan.

Slide the flatbread onto the hot stone and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the crust is very lightly golden. Place your sauce and desired pizza toppings on it then transfer the flatbread back into the oven til cheese melts and toppings are warmed through.

A pizza stone will yield the crispiest crust, but an aluminum pizza pan (with holes in it for ventilation) comes in a close second. A regular cookie sheet worked fine but didn't get as crisp and it took a little longer to crisp up.

Onion Tarts with Mixed Greens

Onion Tarts with Mixed Greens
Williams-Sonoma...with a pinch of bitterness.

2 rolled-out rounds savory tart dough, each 12 inches in diameter
5 Tbsp olive oil
4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz. mixed salad greens
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

-Place the dough rounds on separate parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
-Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
-n a saute pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
-dd the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the thyme, parsley and 2 tsp. of the vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
-Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
-Spread half of the onion mixture on each dough round, leaving a 1-inch border.
-Fold the dough up and pinch together at 2-inch intervals.
-Lightly brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg.
-Bake the tarts until the crusts are golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
-Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the tarts cool for 10 minutes.
-In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tsp vinegar, the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to form a vinaigrette.
-Toss half of the vinaigrette with the salad greens, then place the remaining vinaigrette in an oil mister.
-Top the tarts with the salad, dividing evenly, and sprinkle with the cheese.
-Mist the salads with the remaining vinaigrette.
-Serve immediately.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

World's Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry

Garlicky Green Beans Stir FryBeans are one of those plants that don't get too much respect from me in the garden. I find them hard to keep picked, and truthfully, sometimes I end up with overgrown beans I have to throw away. I also notice I don't think of beans as a summertime food in the same way I do things like tomatoes and zucchini, so when I'm wondering what to cook, beans are less likely to pop into my mind. Hopefully next summer when I"m thinking of beans I can remember this garlicky green beans stir fry, because I could eat beans every day if they were cooked like this.

This recipe was adapted from Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America, a great cookbook that was sent to me by the publisher. The recipe was in the "cooking for a crowd" section of the book and made 25 servings! I only had about a pound of beans left in the garden, so obviously I had to cut it down quite a bit. You've probably had stir-fried green beans at your favorite Chinese restaurant, but this has to be one of the easiest recipe around for this type of dish, only six ingredients, plus a bit of water! I decided to call it "World's Easiest" Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry after I thought about how easy it was, although it's just called Garlicky Green Bean Stir Fry in the book. Once again, I used the principles I learned in a Chinese cooking class many years ago:

Principles of Chinese Cooking
  1. Preheat the wok (before you put the oil in.)
  2. Season the oil (with whole pieces of garlic and sometimes ginger root, which you often remove when you add the food to be cooked.)
  3. Symmetry of cut (all pieces must be cut the same size and shape.)
  4. Have all ingredients cut and sauces mixed before you cook.
  5. Use very high heat and cook fast.

Here's how much I got when I picked the very last of the green beans from my garden. This year I planted bush beans (they grow on a bush instead of on vines) and they were a variety called French beans. This type was a big improvement over the beans I've grown in the past, because the beans grow at the top of the plant so they're easier to keep picked.

I like to trim the beans and cut them into the length I want before I wash them in the salad spinner, because garden veggies can be pretty dirty. In this case I cut the beans about 2 inches long. After I had trimmed them and washed them, I had just under a pound of green beans.

Start by heating the wok or pan over very high heat for 1-2 minutes, then add oil and heat about 30 seconds more, then stir fry the onions and garlic for about 20-30 seconds. (In this recipe the garlic is kept in the dish, which is a slight variation from the Chinese cooking principles.)

Then add the beans and a bit of salt and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring several times.

Add a tablespoon of water, cover and let the beans steam for about 5 minutes. (I peeked once to see if it needed more water, and added about a teaspoon more.)

After they've been steamed, the beans and onions will be looking a lot more done, like this.

Stir in the oyster sauce and stir-fry about 2 minutes more, until all the beans are well-coated with sauce. The beans should still have a slight crunch when they're done.

World's Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry
(Makes about 4 side dish servings, recipe adapted from Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America.)

1 lb. fresh green beans (preferably long thin "French" beans, but any type will work)
2 T peanut oil
2 T chopped garlic
1/2 large yellow onion, cut in half top-to-bottom and then into slivers the same size as the beans (next time I'd probably just use the whole onion)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T water (plus a bit more if you check and the pan seems dry)
2 T oyster sauce (comes in a bottle near the Asian foods in any major supermarket)

Trim both ends of green beans. (I do this by taking a handful of beans , standing them up in my hand, loosely enough that they fall down to the cutting board and ends line up, trim that end, the turn over and line up the other side and trim.) Cut green beans into 2 inch lengths, wash, and spin dry or dry with paper towels. (Purchased beans may not need washing.)

Heat the wok or a heavy frying pan over high heat for 1-2 minutes, until it's too hot to hold your hand over it. Add the oil and heat about 30 seconds more, then add the garlic and onion slivers and cook for 20-30 seconds, stirring the whole time.

Add beans and salt and cook about 2 minutes, stirring several times. Then add water, cover wok, and let beans steam for 5 minutes. (I checked once to see if the pan seemed dry and added about 1 tsp. more water.)

Uncover the pan and add oyster sauce, then cook 2 minutes more, stirring so all the beans are uniformly covered with the sauce. Beans should still be slightly crisp when they're done. Serve hot.

This can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two and reheated in the microwave, but you probably won't have any left over.

The Family Crockpot Applesauce Recipe

From the blog, Cooking Canuk

5 medium-sized Gala apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced
5 medium-sized Golden Yellow Delicious apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup water or apple juice

Place all of the apple pieces in a large bowl and stir in sugar and ground cinnamon. Pour water or apple juice into the bottom of a large crockpot (slow cooker) and add the apple mixture. Cover, turn the crockpot setting to Low, and cook for about 8 hours (or on High for 5 hours), stirring occasionally.

Serve warm or room temperature.

Makes approximately 4 cups of applesauce.

Breakfast Sandiwich - Nutella and Bananas

I had this for breakfast with toasted challah bread, which, is an eggy bread, like brioche,(they are great for puddings and french toasts!). The warmth of the toasted bread melts the nutella and enhances the sweetness of the banana. It's simple, yet decadent - pure joy!

Banana and Chocolate on Brioche
(per sandwich)

1 challah roll halved lengthwise or 2 brioche slices
1 banana sliced thin
3 T chocolate hazelnut spread
a little butter to toast the bread

Toast the bread slices with a little butter. Spread nutella generously on both slices of bread. Make a layer of the banana on one of the slices. Dollop some more Nutella and layer the rest of the banana slices. Top with the other slice and enjoy!

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots

Isn't everything better with BACON?

A recipe from Williams-Sonoma

2 lb. brussels sprouts
5 oz. bacon, diced
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/4 to 1 1/3 c. chicken
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 tsp salt

-Cut or pull off any dry outer leaves from the brussels sprouts.
-Trim away any brown spots and slice off the dry stem end. Cut the brussels sprouts into quarters and set aside.
-Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
-Cook the bacon until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
-Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl.
-Pour off the fat in the pan and discard.
-Return the pan to medium heat, add the shallots and thyme and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
-Transfer the shallot mixture to the bowl with the bacon.
-Pour 1/4 c. of the stock into the pan and, using a wooden spoon, stir to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom.
-Pour the stock over the bacon mixture.
-Using paper towels, wipe out the pan and place over medium-high heat.
-Melt the butter with the olive oil.
-Add the brussels sprouts and salt and stir to coat evenly.
-Cook until the brussels sprouts begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
-Stir again, then cook for 3 to 4 minutes more.
-Stir in 1/4 cup of the stock.
-Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and adding more stock as needed, until the brussels sprouts are soft, about 15 minutes more.
-Add the bacon mixture and any remaining stock and stir to incorporate. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.

Rustic Chicken and Bacon

This recipe serves a big crowd, but is easily divided (with it's few ingredients) to serve 4-6 (with 1 - 4lb. chicken) as well. Try this for your next dinner gathering. I promise you won't be disappointed.

3 roaster chickens (3-4lbs each)
16oz. black label grade sliced bacon
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1/2 tsp garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste

-Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
-Rinse chickens, pat dry, and lift skin off of breast and legs to form a pocket under skin.
-Salt and pepper liberally and place breast side up into large roasting pan with roaster rack.
-In small bowl, combine butter, herbs de Provence, garlic salt, and pepper to liking.
-Take 1/3 of butter mixer and spread evenly underneath skin of one chicken.
-Repeat with remaining chickens.
-Lightly salt and pepper tops of chicken breast and place 2 slices of bacon, in 'X' pattern across the top of each.
-Spiral remaining slices of bacon and place alongside of chicken on roasting rack.
-Insert thermometer into thickest part of the thickest chicken breast without touching the bone, and place into oven to cook.
-Cook until internal temperature of breast reached 170 degrees, about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours. (if the bacon starts browning too quickly, cover with foil)
-Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes, covered.
-Line serving dish with spiraled bacon slices (to be served alongside chicken pieces on individual plates).
-Remove chickens from roasting pan and quarter (cutting down alongside backbones and then separating the breast and the leg).
-Place chicken quarters onto large serving platter and top with bacon 'X's, serving immediately.

Serves 12 to 16.

The Ultimate Roasted Artichoke and Spinach Dip

2 (14 oz) cans of premium artichoke hearts
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
16 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 c. mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 c. assorted cheeses, grated (I used pecorino, parmesan, asiago, mozzarella, and fontina)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced thyme leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, grated

-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheet with foil.
-Toss drained artichokes with 1 Tbsp oil, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper.
-Spread out over the baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally. Until browned at the edges, about 25 minutes.
-Let the artichoke cool and chop coarse.
-Meanwhile heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat until just shimmering.
-Sauté spinach until wilted and drain thoroughly and transfer.
-Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to pan and add the onion.
-Cook for until softened, about 5 -7 mins.
-Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds..
-Transfer to bowl with spinach.
-Stir in mayo, cream cheese, cheeses, lemon juice, thyme, and cayenne until uniform.
-Add more cheese as needed! (oink! oink!)
-Gently fold in artichokes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
-Transfer mixture to large baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan.
(Here you can cover and refrigerate up to three days if needed)
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Bake dip uncovered until hot throughout and top is golden brown, about 20-25 mins.
-Let cool at least 5 mins before serving.

Hearty Beef Stew

Hearty Beef Stew

(Adapted from America’s Test Kitchens)

3 lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 in. cubes
Salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup dry red wine (I substituted 1 cup beef broth + 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar)
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes
4 large carrots (about 1 lb.), peeled and sliced 1/4 in. thick
1 c. frozen peas

1) Dry beef throughly and season generously with salt and pepper.

2) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add half the meat so that pieces are not touching and cook not moving until brown (about 2-3 min). Use tongs and rotate pieces until all sides are browned (about 5 additional min.). Transfer beef to medium bowl and add another 1 tablespoon oil to pan, repeating previous steps with other half of beef.

3) Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now empty pan and swirl to coat bottom. Add onions and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, scraping bottom of pan for brown bits until softened (about 5 mins). Add garlic and continue to cook for 30 sec. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored (1-2 min.). Add wine, scraping the bottom and stiring until thick and flour is dissolved.

4) Gradually add the beef broth, stirring constantly, scraping up the remaining browned bits on bottom of pan. Add bay leaves and thyme and return to simmer. Add beef, return to simmer, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.

5) Add potatoes and carrots, leave uncovered, increase heat to medium and cook for additional hour. (After adding the carrots and potatoes is when I added a slurry of approximately 1/4 cup broth and 1 tablespoon flour – whether or not to add this would be based on personal preference and how thick or thin you like your stew sauce!)

6) Add the peas, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 min.

7) Discard bay leaves, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Lemon Burst Cookies


Taking a bite into these cookies and you truly get a “burst” of lemon. The lemon cake mix is augmented with lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract. If you wanted to spice things up a bit, you could also substitute limoncello for the lemon juice in the recipe. Mmmm… The cookies, not surprisingly, have a soft and cakey texture. Rolling them in powdered sugar provides a perfect balance to the tartness of the lemon. I think they would be a wonderful addition to a brunch spread, great for a wedding or baby shower, and a great complement to afternoon tea.

1 (18.25-ounce) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Zest of 2 lemons
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

2. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract until well blended.

3. Place confectioner’s sugar in a bowl.

4. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in confectioner’s sugar until lightly coated and place on baking sheet.

5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

(Adapted from Playing House and My Baking Addiction)

Williams Sonoma Brown Sugar Raisin Bread


1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 to 6-1/4 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
3/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup dark raisins

For the filling:
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
mixed with 4-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the granulated sugar over 1/2 cup of the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the remainig 3/4 cup water, the milk, butter, the remaining granulated sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and 1/2 cup of the flour and beat for 1 minute. Add the raisins, then beat in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed, adding 1 Tablespoon at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased deep bowl and turn to coat it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough in half and roll or pat each half into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle. Lightly sprinkle each rectangle with half of the filling, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up each rectangle into a compact log. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal in the filling. Place each log, seam side down, in a prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto wire racks and let cool completely. Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves.

Rosemary Potato Bread


In a word, this bread is spectacular. Utterly spectacular. Probably in the Top 5, maybe even the Top 3, of breads I have ever made. The potatoes give it a soft and tender texture, and all of the ingredients combine for a sensational flavor. Roasted garlic is optional in the recipe, but I highly recommend including it – it adds even more depth and flavor to the bread. If you’ve never roasted your own garlic, it’s super easy and I’ll be posting a tutorial tomorrow with pictures so stay tuned! Now back to the bread – it may sound weird, but I couldn’t stop smelling the bread. It made the house smell fantastic while it was baking, and once baked and cut into, it may have been even better.

If you have some leftover mashed potatoes to use up, you should definitely use them to make this bread. And if you don’t have leftovers… well, everyone loves mashed potatoes! Whip up a batch and use some for this bread. Bottom line: this bread is a MUST to add to your to-bake list. You and everyone you share it with will be glad you made it.


Potato Rosemary Bread

Yield: Two 1-pound loaves or 18 dinner rolls

Days to Make: 2

For the Bread:
1¼ cups (7 ounces) biga (recipe follows)
3 cups plus 2 Tablespoons (14 ounces) unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
1½ teaspoons (.38 ounce) salt
¼ teaspoon (.03 ounce) black pepper, coarsely ground (optional)
1¼ teaspoons (.14 ounce) instant yeast
1 cup (6 ounces) mashed potatoes
1 Tablespoon (.5 ounce) olive oil
2 Tablespoons (.25 ounce) coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons to 1 cup (7 to 8 ounces) water, at room temperature (or warm if the potatoes are cold)
4 Tablespoons (1 ounce) coarsely chopped roasted garlic (optional)
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
Olive oil for brushing on top

For the Biga:
2½ cups (11.25 ounces) unbleached bread flour
½ teaspoon (.055 ounce) instant yeast
¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons to 1 cup (7 to 8 ounces) water, at room temperature)

1. Make the biga: Stir together the flour and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons of water, stirring until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball (or mix on low speed for 1 minute with the paddle attachment). Adjust the flour or water, according to need, so that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff. (It is better to err on the sticky side, as you can adjust easier during kneading. It is harder to add water once the dough firms up.)

Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for 4 to 6 minutes (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 4 minutes), or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The internal temperature should be 77° to 81°F.

Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, or until it nearly doubles in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly to degas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it in an airtight plastic bag for up to 3 months.

2. Remove the biga from the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to make the bread. Cut it into about 10 small pieces with a pastry scraper or serrated knife. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour to take off the chill.

3. Stir together the flour, salt, black pepper, and yeast into a 4-quart mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the biga pieces, mashed potatoes, oil, rosemary, and ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons water. Stir with a large spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) for 1 minute, or until the ingredients form a ball. Add more water, if necessary, or more flour, if the dough is too sticky.

4. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin to knead (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook). Knead for approximately 10 minutes (or 6 minutes by machine), adding more flour if needed, until the dough is soft and supple, tacky but not sticky. It should pass the windowpane test and register 77° to 81°F. Flatten the dough and spread the roasted garlic over the top. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it by hand for 1 minute (you will probably have to dust it with flour first to absorb the moisture from the garlic). Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

5. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

6. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 equal pieces for loaves, or 18 equal pieces (about 2 ounces each) for dinner rolls. Shape each of the larger pieces into a boule, or shape the smaller pieces into rolls. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment (use 2 pans for rolls) and dust lightly with semolina flour or cornmeal. Place the dough on the parchment, separating the pieces so that they will not touch, even after they rise. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

7. Proof at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours (depending on the size of the pieces), or until the dough doubles in size.

8. Preheat the oven to 400°F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Remove the plastic from the dough and lightly brush the breads or rolls with olive oil. You do not need to score these breads, but you can if you prefer.

9. Place the pan(s) in the oven. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking. The loaves will take 35 to 45 minutes total to bake. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes, rotate the pans, and then bake for 10 minutes longer. The loaves and rolls will be a rich golden brown all around, and the internal temperature should register at least 195°F. The loaves should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. If the loaves or rolls are fully colored but seem too soft, turn off the oven and let them bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.

10. Remove the finished loaves or rolls from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 1 hour for loaves and 20 minutes for rolls before serving.

(Source: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart)

Pumpkin Oat Scones

I’ve had Starbuck’s decadent pumpkin scone a couple of times now and I truly enjoy them. I was feeling inspired by their pumpkin scones, so I went ahead and created a recipe that consisted of whole wheat flour and oatmeal. Remember the leftover pumpkin puree from the Pumpkin Spice Cookies? I used it to make these awesome autumn spiced sweet treat. What’s also special about these scones instead of having a cinnamon glaze, I rubbed some brown sugar on top of them. These pumpkin oat scones were so soft and crumbly on the inside while each bite tingles your taste buds with the aromatic spices of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Pumpkin Oat Scones

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2-3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • brown sugar as topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl add flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt

pumpkin oat scones

Then add the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves

pumpkin oat scones-2

Whisk all of the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined

pumpkin oat scones-3

Add the pumpkin puree and milk

pumpkin oat scones-4

Followed by the butter and vanilla extract

pumpkin oat scones-5

Using a hand mixer, mix just until the dough comes together. Try not to over mix the dough. Once the dough has come together, add a little more flour to the dough and knead about five to seven times until it does not stick to your hands.

pumpkin oat scones-6

The dough should look like this once the kneading is complete

pumpkin oat scones-7

Pat the scone dough into a circle that is about 7-8 inches round

pumpkin oat scones-8

Cut into 8 individual triangles and arrange them on the baking sheet. Rub the top of the scones with some brown sugar

pumpkin oat scones-9

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

pumpkin oat scones-10

Apple and Blueberry Hand Pies

Makes about 16 pies

6 Apples
2 tablespoons butter
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
2 boxes prepared frozen puff pastry
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Flour for dusting work surface


Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Thaw the sheets of puff pastry as per the box instructions.

Peel and core the apples and cut into quarters. Toss the apples in the lemon juice so they do not brown while you are dicing them. Cut each quarter into about 2-3 one inch pieces.

In a large saute pan over medium heat melt the butter until lightly browned, add the apples and saute for about 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add the honey and a pinch of salt and toss to mix in well, transfer to the oven and roast for about 15 minutes until apples are soft. Mash with a fork while still warm. Let the apples cool to room temperature and gently fold in the berries.

Turn oven down to 400 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl beat one egg. In another small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar.

Lay the thawed puff pastry sheets out flat on a floured work surface. Cut large circles out of the pastry with a ring cutter, about 4 per pastry sheet. Brush with the egg-wash on the outer edge of half of the circle. Spoon two tablespoons of the apple berry mixture in the center of each round of pastry dough. Fold the dough over to cover the filling, making a semi-circle and sealing the edges.

Place pies on a buttered oven tray. Repeat with the rest of the pastry dough. When all of the pies are on a sheet tray cut air holes in the top of each pie and brush the tops with egg-wash. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed and nicely browned.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Salt -Michael Chiarello

Serves: Serves 4

1 chicken, about 4 pounds

Seasoned Salt:
2 tablespoons very finely minced lemon zest
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons sea salt, preferably gray salt
Several grinds of black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 1/2 lemons, cut into chunks


Preheat the oven to 450ºF if you have no convection fan, or to 425ºF if you have a convection fan.

Rinse the chicken inside and out and dry well.

Make the salt: In a bowl, combine the zest, rosemary, salt, and pepper, mixing well. Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil, then rub with 3 tablespoons of the seasoned salt. (Reserve the remainder for another use.) Tuck the rosemary sprigs and lemon chunks into the chicken cavity. You don't need to truss the chicken.

Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature by 75 degrees and continue roasting until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a skewer, 50 to 55 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Biscotti

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chunks
  • plus chocolate for dipping, optional

Position racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Continue to cook until the butter browns and gets a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar while beating. Then slowly add the butter and vanilla until evenly mixed, about 30 seconds more. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined. While mixing slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet, in 2 additions, mixing just until absorbed. Fold in the peanuts and chocolate pieces.

Divide the dough evenly into thirds, and put each portion in the center of a baking sheet. Shape the dough with slightly wet hands into logs about 2-inches wide and 15 inches long. Bake until set and brown around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. (For even baking take care to rotate the pans-- top to bottom and front to back--about half way though.) Cool logs on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting board. Cut logs crosswise, with a long serrated knife at about a 45 degree angle, into 1/2-inch thick cookies. Place cookies cut side down on the baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 8 minutes. Flip the cookies over and bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes more. Cool biscotti on the baking sheets. Serve.

Makes 5 dozen.

Store cookies in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.

NOTE: I divided the dough into 2 logs, instead of three. They took a few minutes longer to brown up, but I wanted them bigger and longer (DON'T WE ALL!). They fit on one pan, but they grew together, so I'd advise baking each log of dough on it's own pan lined with parchment, just to make your life a little easier.


Forever Roasted Pork Michael Chiarello

I call this "Forever Roasted Pork" because it takes (almost) forever to roast, about eight hours. The meat is well seasoned and cooked in a slow oven until it is so tender it shreds. Once it’s done, I challenge you not to stand at the kitchen counter and pick.

This is also my favorite thing to cook at home as it makes the entire house smell fantastic!

Serves: 6

2 medium onions, peeled
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Gray salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup water
4 pounds pork leg or shoulder, at room temperature
About 1/4 cup Fennel Spice (make it, or buy it)


Thinly slice the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 1 minute. Add the sage and cook until the onions cease throwing off water, about 3 minutes. Add the water, cover, and cook until the onions are very tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover and saute until the onions are very soft and the pan is dry again, about 2 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Peel back the pork skin and spread the onions directly on the fat layer. Fold the skin back over the onions and tie closed with kitchen string. Season well all over with the fennel spice.

Arrange the meat on a rack in a roasting pan (or using the Cocorico, see below) and cook until the meat is very tender, 6 to 8 hours. It is ready when it pulls away easily if picked at with a pair of tongs. It is often easiest to cook the meat overnight, or put it in the oven in the morning and let it cook all day. It does not need to be attended.

On the Cocorico
You can also roast the pork using our Cocorico! Prepare the meat as instructed above but don’t add the onions before tieing the meat —you’ll add them later, and can prepare the onions while the roast is cooking. After tieing the meat with kitchen string and seasoning it with Fennel Spice Rub, set the roast on the Cocorico by "skewering" it over the cone through the side of the roast that you cut to butterfly it for seasoning. Add 3/4 cup water to bottom of pan and place cocorico and roast in the oven. Cook time will decrease by about 1 hour because the it will cook from the inside too!

While the pork is roasting on the cocorico, prepare the onions as instructed above, sliced about 1/4" thick. In last hour of cooking, skim off the fat that is in the bottom of the cocorico. Place onions in bottom of cocorico with the pork for the last hour of cooking.

Variations: This dish can be simplified or made more elaborate depending on your taste. You can omit the onions and simply season the meat with the fennel spice. You can roast aromatic vegetables until caramelized and add them to the bottom of the roasting pan. Or you can add another layer of flavor to the onions: mince fresh rosemary and fruits such as oranges, kumquats, Meyer lemons, apples, pears, or quince, and cook with the onions.


Don’t rush! If the meat cooks too fast, it will dry out and be tasteless.

Try it on the Cocorico too (see notes in recipe, above)!

Zucchini Jam Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup peach jam or preserves
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 zucchini (4 oz. total) shredded and drained on paper towels
  • 1 cup dark raisins or dried sweet cherries
  • 1/4 cup pecans or almonds, chopped (optional)

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Grease muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, jam, vanilla and zucchini until blended. Add the flour mixture in three additions and beat just until evenly moistened and smooth. Stir in the raisins or cherries and nuts (if using) just until evenly distributed. The batter will be stiff.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each no more than three-fourths full. Bake until the muffins are golden, dry and springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 (mine took 18) minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins. Serve them warm or at room temperature, with butter and more jam.

Makes 10-12 muffins.

NOTE: I froze these after they were cool in a large Ziploc bag. I defrosted/warmed them in the microwave for 45 seconds and we were able to enjoy them throughout the week and they tasted just as fresh, if not better.

The original recipe calls for canola oil, but I used softened butter and it worked out just fine.

Key Lime Frozen Yogurt dessert cookies

  • 1 (32 oz.) container whole milk French vanilla yogurt
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice (about 1 bag of limes)

Whisk together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Refrigerate overnight (see note). Pour mixture into the freezer container of a 1 1/2-quart electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and times will vary.) Cover and freeze until desired firmness.

Makes about 6 cups.

NOTE: It's best if you refrigerate this mixture overnight even if it is cold. It will speed up your freezing time in the ice cream maker.

I used fresh key limes but regular limes or bottle key lime juice would work just as well.

I used Horizon Organic Whole Milk Vanilla Yogurt and full fat sweetened condensed milk. Fat free can be substituted.

I made about 10 graham cracker sandwiches then I ran out of graham crackers. I found a box of Nilla wafers in the back of the pantry and improvised. I liked these because they were easy to pop in your mouth (which I did several times!) and because the vanilla was a nice compliment to the key lime, but my sister loved the graham cracker version.