Archive for February, 2009

Pesto Pinwheels

They are delicious and super simple to make for a party.

Pesto Pinwheels (Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

Basil Pesto
makes about 1 cup
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (2-3 bunches)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place all the ingredients in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.


1 cup prepared pesto (above)
1 tube package of croissant dough
1 egg, scrambled (for egg wash)

Preheat your oven to 350.

Line your baking sheet with parchment. If you don’t have parchment, an ungreased baking sheet will do.

Remove the croissant dough from the packaging and unroll. Separate the dough into 4 rectangles (made up of 2 preforated triangles). Press the dough on the preforated edges to seal.

On each rectangle of dough, spread 1/4 cup of your prepared pesto. Taking the short side of the rectangle, roll the dough to create a log. Cut the log into 1/2″ slices and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Repeat with the remaining rectangles of dough.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, rotating your pan after 5 minutes for even baking.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving warm.


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Chipotle Sliders

These are super easy and a big hit. Next time I will make them I will try to make the burger patty a bit thinner and wider.

First, the bun recipe that I used for ALL the sliders.

Hamburger Buns (King Arthur Flour)

3/4 to 1 cup (6 to 8 ounces) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
1 large egg
3 1/2 (14 3/4 ounces) cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (or whatever)
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast

Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—to make a soft, smooth dough. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 hour, or until it’s doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough. Shape each bun my taking a golf ball sized amount of dough and make into a ball. Place the buns on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until very puffy.

If desired, brush buns lightly with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water), and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, till golden.

Now onto the sliders:

Chipotle Sliders (Food Network)


Chipotle Mayonnaise:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 lime, juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck, 80/20
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cheese slices, your choice
Mini burger buns

Burger Bar (if desired):
Chipotle Mayonnaise
Red onion slices

Chipotle Mayonnaise:
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and puree. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill over medium-high heat.

Form the meat into 2 to 3-ounce portions, packed tightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the sliders on the grill. Wait until they are nice and crusty on the first side, about 4 to 5 minutes and then flip and cook another 4 minutes. When the sliders are about done, top with desired cheese and close the grill, allowing the cheese to melt.

Place the slider on mini burger buns and top with chipotle mayonnaise and any other desired toppings.

I also made BBQ Bacon Sliders by using the same meat patty and adding bbq sauce, cheddar cheese, and bacon.

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I made sliders for our annual Super Bowl Party and decided to try some veggie sliders. I took a veggie burger recipe and just made them into mini burgers. They were so good! I will make these again for sure.

Southwest Pinto Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise (Cooking Light)

1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no salt-added whole-kernel corn, drained

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon canned minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce

To prepare burgers, combine the first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pinto beans and corn; partially mash with a fork. Divide bean mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 3 1/2-inch patty, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

To prepare chipotle mayonnaise, combine mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon chipotle in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until thoroughly heated. Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each patty with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 lettuce leaf, and top half of bun.

I made these into sliders and used mini buns. You can make regular burgers too.

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Thumbprint Cookies (Trios)

I love thumbprint cookies, so I thought I would try to make them myself. I followed the recipe exactly, but next time I would not use apricot jam (not a fan) and would not join them into trios as it calls (cookies were way too big!).

Trios (epicurious.com)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
About 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
About 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
About 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves


Make dough:
Whisk together flour and salt. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, then beat in egg and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 6-inch disk, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 hour.

Assemble and bake cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll 3 separate level teaspoons of dough each into a ball, then flatten each ball slightly (to 1 inch wide and less than 1/2 inch thick). Arrange them in a triangle on baking sheet with edges touching in center, then make a deep indentation in center of each round with wooden spoon handle. Make more cookies, arranging them 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Note: You can make them as individual cookies

Fill indentations in each cookie with about 1/88 teaspoon jam (each cookie should have 3 different fillings), avoiding any large pieces of fruit.

Bake until cookies are baked through and golden-brown on edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Bake more batches on cooled baking sheets lined with fresh parchment.

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Pumpkin Pancakes

I love pumpkin and pancakes, so this combo is excellent. The pancakes puffed up a lot so if you like thinner pancakes you might want to thin the batter out a bit.

Pumpkin Pancakes (The Way the Cookie Crumbles)

Serves 2-3

1 cup (5 ounces) flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ nutmeg
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
½ cup pumpkin
1 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil for the pan

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg until thoroughly combined, then add the butter, pumpkin, and buttermilk. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently until batter is mostly mixed but still contains small lumps. Let batter rest while pan heats, at least 5 minutes.

2. Heat non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a few drops of oil and spread it over the bottom of the pan. Using a ¼ cup measure, pour pancake batter onto hot griddle. When pancake is golden brown, flip to cook other side. Keep warm in oven heated to 275 degrees.

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