- 16 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
5 1/2 qt. water (22 cups)
1 c. frozen limeade concentrate
3 cups of sugar
1 large bottle Sprite/7up/Sierra Mist
Mix water, until the limeade and sugar are completely dissolved. Pour drink mix into gallon size freezer Ziploc bags (each about 2/3 way full, sealed tightly) and freeze until completely frozen (over night). When ready to serve punch, smash bags on hard surface to loosen up frozen drink mix and pour into punch bowl. Pour bottle of soda over it and mix until nice and slushy.
5 qt. water
3 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon extract
1 Tbsp powdered citric acid
lemons, limes, and oranges (about 2 or 3 each)
Dissolve the water and sugar together. Add lemon ext. and citric acid and stir until completely dissolved. Add ice. Cut up citrus fruits in slices and place on top.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
My absolute favorite thing that I am craving going into summer is angel food cake. I got this recipe from Williams Sonoma, I've been wanting to make one from scratch. In the past I have taken the easy route and made one from a box, so we'll see how it goes. I know there is a TON of egg whites in here, but it's the yolk that's got all the cholesterol and fat...ahhh but I hate waste...I'll have to find some other recipe now that just calls for yolks!
After the cake is cooled I hull and cut about 20 strawberries or so and add about 1-2 tbsp of water and some sugar (add to taste - at least a couple of Tbsp.) and I smash the crud out of them with a potato masher (lol! I know but it's all I have!) Then in a separate bowl I whip up about 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (add 1 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla) use a handheld mixer and whip it until consistency of cool whip (do not over mix though or cream will curdle)
I have to find a good recipe for some lemon curd, I was at a dinner and they served angel food cake with warm lemon curd and it was heavenly! Just another idea for ya :)
Eggs are easier to separate when they are cold. Carefully crack the egg and, holding it over a bowl, pass the yolk back and forth between the shell halves and let the whites fall into the bowl. Drop the yolk into a separate bowl, then transfer the whites to a third bowl. Separate each additional egg over an empty bowl, for if any speck of yolk gets into the whites, the whites will not whip up properly. If a yolk breaks, start fresh with another egg. Let the separated egg whites come to room temperature before using them in the batter.
1 cup cake flour
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups egg whites (from about 10 eggs)
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Fresh berries for serving
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a 10-inch angel food cake pan with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, 1 cup of the superfine sugar and the salt three times; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the whites are soft and foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup superfine sugar and beat until medium-firm peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Do not overbeat. Stir in the lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest.
Transfer the egg mixture to a very large bowl. Sift one-fourth of the flour mixture over it and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold it into the whites using deep strokes. Add the remaining flour mixture in three equal additions, sifting and folding each time.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth the top. Bake until the cake is golden and springs back when touched, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto its feet or the neck of a wine bottle. Let cool completely.
Gently run a long, thin-bladed knife around the outer sides of the pan, pressing it firmly against the pan to prevent tearing the cake. Then run the knife or a skewer around the inside of the tube. Invert the pan and let the cake slide out. Remove the paper lining. Garnish with berries and dust with confectioners' sugar. Serves 10.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I'm always looking to one-up my recipes that I have on hand. I have about 3 or 4 go to banana bread recipes I use but this one just blows them out of the water. The butterscotch really sweetens up the bread - it's more dessert then bread I guess you could say...but that's what I like. This bread is dense but also light at the same time, which I would say is a perfect balance. I lightened the caloric and fat load which makes me feel just a tad better after I eat the entire loaf myself.
1/4 c. butter (softened not melted)
1/4 c. low fat sour cream
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp lemon juice (didn't have so I squeezed fresh lime)
1 c. browned bananas, mashed (about 2 1/2 lrg ones or so)
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 350 Grease 1 or 2 bread pans (I made 2 half loaves)
Combine the softened butter, sour cream and sugars. (Do not use mixer it will take away from natural denseness of bread) Add the egg whites and stir well after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Add mashed bananas, stir well until combined. Add all the dry ingredients to the mixture and stir until just blended (do not over stir, it's the dang gluten I tell ya!) Lastly add the chips and fold in gently. Pour the mixture into pan(s). Bake for 35-40 minutes ...check inside w/ toothpick or dry spaghetti noodle. If not clean stick in for 5 more minutes.
Now praise the brown banana gods and try to share with others.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The Pioneer Woman constantly astounds me with all her excellent recipes. I honestly don't think she's capable of make something mediocre, and it's all simple. As in simply incredible! This is a must try ASAP! The Bryce-man loved it and even the squirt gave it thumbs up...as any two year old is capable of doing. But the pictures are brought to you buy PW, by the time I thought to snap a picture this pasta was looong gone!
Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
3 red bell peppers
2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
Flat leaf parsley, finely minced
Fresh Parmesan, shaved or grated
1/2 to 1 pound pasta: orecchiette, penne, fusilli, etc.
Roast red peppers, (I placed them in a pre-heated broiler and flipped them every couple minutes to get all the sides nice and black) then place in a Ziploc bag to allow to sweat. (While peppers are "sweating" you can toast the nuts as shown below) Peel the charred skins from the peppers, then removed seeds. Set aside.
Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside.
Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add plenty of salt.
Pour in cream and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Add cooked pasta, then stir together.
Place pasta into a bowl, top with chopped parsley and plenty of shaved Parmesan.
Give thanks for Italy.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I have never been a real soup/stew maker, but maybe (just maybe) I'll have to become one. It's supposed to be so easy right? Stick all your ingredients into a crock pot/ stock pot and boom bang bam your done. I just couldn't pass up putting this recipe in my bloggy cook book. Every ingredient in it sounds amazing, there is just no way to go wrong.
But you just might want to stand to the side while I blow out all the dust from my crock pot. Time to put this sucker to good use.
Thank you Annie's Eats!
Black Bean, Chicken and Red Pepper Stew
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2-3 chicken breasts, cut up into chunks
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, chopped (or fresh roasted peppers)
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring, until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion to the pot and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Mix in the black beans, diced tomatoes, red peppers, green chiles, chicken broth, cumin, and cayenne. Return the chicken to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. When finished, remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and stir in fresh cilantro.
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped plum tomato (about 2)
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped
1. To prepare chicken, combine cilantro, lime juice, garlic, chicken and olive oil in a large bowl; toss and let stand 3 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Grill over medium-high heat until done.
2. To prepare salsa, combine tomato, onion, lime juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add avocado and cilantro; stir gently to combine. Serve salsa over chicken.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Now I made these 2 loafs with no mixer and no bread maker...talk about skill! Haha no really that's how unprepared I was...I was lucky I had packets of yeast in my cupboard (what the crap were they doing there anyways!?) Also, I didn't proof the yeast but not having a bread maker I probably should of (didn't rise as much as it should have) and I only ended up using 4 cups of flour - all purpose...I know that's a no-no in bread making (bread flour has more protein in it to aid in rising) ...again probably why my dwarf loaves didn't rise completely...
That just goes to show anyone can really cook and not have a clue about what they should be doing.
Well this domestic episode has me coveting for a bread maker. I want it right this moment! So I guess we'll see. I should have it by the end of this week :)
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 1/2 cups bread flour
- Proof yeast in warm water.
- Place the butter or margarine and buttermilk in a small saucepan. Heat slowly until butter or margarine has melted. Cool to lukewarm.
- Place sugar, salt, baking soda, buttermilk mixture, and yeast in large mixing bowl. Add 3 cups flour one cup at a time, and mix with the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer. Gradually add the remaining flour while continuing to mix. When dough is not sticky, turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead for several minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. Place in a greased bowl, and turn once. Allow to rise until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough. Divide, and shape into 2 loaves. Place in two well greased 8 x 4 inch bread pans. Allow to rise until dough has risen one inch above pans.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Loaves are done when nicely brown and hollow sounding when thumped.
So to save it's buttery life and to fill our tummies we have had buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk bread (recipe to follow), homeade buttermilk ranch dressing, buttermilk in my brownies...wowee I swear if there was any left I probably would have put the rest in my bathtub!! (good for the skin? maybe!)
So these pancakes are STELLAR! I (like most of you) always made pancakes from the bag (Krusteaz, Betty Crocker, Bisquick, etc.) But after eating these I don't think I can go back! Seriously they are drool worthy!
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons and 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, melted
- 2 cups and 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 2 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/8 pinch salt (optional)
- 2 tablespoons and 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter and buttermilk. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar; stir into the wet ingredients just until blended. Adjust the thickness of the batter to your liking by adding more flour or buttermilk if necessary.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. Continue with remaining batter.
I was first introduced to cooking with Risotto from my good friend from Italy. I buy it at Costco, but for smaller packages I'm sure you can get at Trader Joes or maybe even local supermarkets. Risotto is known to be a tad more temperamental than regular rice, so your first time I would recommend you not to Facebook or watch Dexter or Good Eats...as I often do while cooking:) Enjoy!
I haven't tried this one out yet...but seriously how could it not be good??? I'll return and report soon!
Chicken, Lemon and Pea Risotto
Inspired by Donna Hay
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and thinly diced
1 stick of celery, thinly diced (optional)
1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly chopped
zest of half a whole lemon
1 cup Aborio rice or really any type of risotto you can find
Good splash of dry white wine
Approximately 3 c. Chicken stock
Good couple handfuls of frozen peas
1 cup shredded cooked chicken, white, brown meat or a mixture
Juice of half a whole lemon
Salt and pepper
handful of parmesan cheese
- Heat the stock in a small saucepan.
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot add the onion and celery and sweat (with the lid on), stirring occasionally until soft but not brown (5-10 mins).
- Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for a few minutes, again stirring frequently.
- Add the rice and turn up the heat. Stir to coat the rice (from here on you need to stir much more frequently to stop the rice sticking or burning and also to release the starch to make it deliciously creamy).
- You should notice the rice become translucent and at this point you need to add the wine and continue to stir.
- Once the wine has been absorbed by the rice, add the first ladel of stock and turn the heat back down to medium. Keep stiring.
- Once this ladel of stock has been fully absorbed by the rice, add another ladel, stir and repeat until the rice is cooked (try it - is it soft with a little bit of bite left? Yes - then move on to the next step, No - add more stock).
- Add the frozen pea before the last couple of ladels so they have time to cook.
- Once the rice and peas are cooked, remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and chicken. Stir to mix well, season to taste.
- Scatter the parmeson (and a few small knobs of butter if you like) over the top, replace the lid and leave to become oozy/creamy ( few minutes).
- Once the cheese and butter(if using) have melted, stir well and serve.
I really do love homeade Mac n Cheese. So here is good ole Martha's take on it. Yum!
Martha Stewart's Macaroni & Cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
1 pound elbow macaroni
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside.
Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer's directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.