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Archive for June, 2009

Buttermilk Blueberry Scones

These scones were pretty good, but I’d recommend eating them right away. They didn’t taste as great later in the day. I also think that I should have cooked them a bit longer to get a more golden glow.

Buttermilk BlueBerry Scones (Average Betty)

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp salted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

For the tops:
2-3 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven 400(F).
In a bowl, combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together.

Cut stick of butter into pieces. Add butter pieces to dry mixture.Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, incorporate butter pieces until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl combine egg, 2/3 cup buttermilk and vanilla.

Carefully coat blueberries with dry mixture. This will also prevent blue “bleed.”

Create a well in the center of mixture. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to the well. Carefully combine, just until moistened.

Pour onto lightly floured countertop and shape into a circle. Cut into 8 pieces.

Brush tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a preheated 400(F) oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.

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This pasta is delicious and very easy to make on a weeknight. You can control the level of heat by adjusted the amount of cayenne pepper you add.

Spicy Shrimp & Bell Pepper Pasta (Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

Ingredients:
1 cup syrah wine
1 1/2 lbs frozen raw shrimp, de-shelled with tails on
2-3 cloves minced garlic
dried rosemary, oregano, thyme to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1.5 teaspoons to give it more of a kick)
2 cups homemade or prepared tomato sauce
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, green)
1-2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box dried bow tie pasta, cooked

Directions:
In a saute pan, pour in wine and allow it to reduce by half over medium heat.
Once reduced, add your tomato sauce and garlic and stir to combine.
Season with dried rosemary, oregano, thyme to taste.
Add 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and stir.
Add the shrimp and bell peppers and cook until shrimp turns pink and absorbs the wine sauce.
Add the cream and butter; stir.
Add the pasta, toss to combine and serve with freshly grated parmesan.

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Mascarpone Brownies

Wow.. these brownies are amazing. They are super rich though, so be prepared to get some help to eat them all. I’ve made lots of brownies from scratch and have always preferred the box kind. Not anymore. These are the best brownies I have ever had.

Mascarpone Brownies (Kerri’s Recipe Blog)

Ingredients
– 1/2 cup quality unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey’s)
– 3 oz finest dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used Trader Joes brand)
– 2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 lb) butter
– 1/2 cup flour
– 1 cup sugar
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 3 eggs
– 4 oz mascarpone (softened to room temp)

Ganache Ingredients
– 6 oz finely chopped finest dark chocolate
– 3 T butter
– 6 T heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325. Butter 8 inch square glass baking pan. Put 3 oz chocolate in large glass mixing bowl. Melt butter in saucepan, bring to boil (I used the microwave to melt the butter). Immediately pour butter over chocolate, allow to stand for 30 seconds before mixing to combine melted chocolate and butter. Add mascarpone, sift in sugar and cocoa, combine thoroughly. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Carefully fold in salt and flour until completely incorporated. Pour mix into prepared pan, bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until inserted knife comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes.

Then make ganache. Put 6 oz chocolate into a medium glass mixing bowl. In a saucepan, bring 3T butter and 6T cream barely to a boil (heated in the micro too). Pour immediately over chocolate. Allow to sit 30 seconds, then mix well to combine. Spread ganache on top of brownies, allow another 15 min to set before eating.

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I love quiche. Its really easy to make and you can put pretty much anything into it and it tastes good. One of my favorites is a simple spinach and mushroom quiche.

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche (Adapted from Paula Deen’s Spinach and Bacon Quiche)

Ingredients
6 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper
2 packages chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and press the water out
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (I used Gruyere)
1 8oz package mushrooms
1 small onion chopped
dash red pepper flakes
1 9inch pie crust (see below)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add spinach, mushrooms, red pepper flakes, and onion. Mix until combined. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set (My oven took 65 minutes). Cut into 8 wedges.

Pie Crust (Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:
Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

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Spicy Tofu

This was simple and delicious. Tofu is pretty easy to work with, just make sure that you drain/press it well.

Spicy Tofu with Peppers (Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations)

Ingredients

1 block tofu, pressed (to get the extra liquid out) and cut into bite-sized pieces
Thinly sliced onion – about 3 slices off 1 small onion.
Sliced peppers – I used about 2 red and yellow peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp chili-garlic paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 c chicken broth
Optional: chopped green onions

Directions
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat
Add tofu and cook about 5 minutes until starting to lightly brown
Add onions, garlic, and peppers. Saute 2-3 minutes.
Add chili-garlic paste, soy sauce, and chicken broth. Stir everything together and bring to a simmer. Let simmer 10 minutes – sauce will slightly thicken
Serve over rice or noodles and top with green onions

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Couscous Salad

I get sick of sandwiches for lunch, so this salad was a welcome treat for lunch. Its very filling and quite healthy. I just save the dressing until just before I’m going to eat it.

Couscous Salad (Recipe based off a suggestion from Cocina de Doyle)

Salad Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat couscous (cooked according to box directions)
1 cup fresh spinach (or as much as you like)
1/3 cup garbanzo beans
1 tea garlic
1/4 cup feta cheese w/ mediterraean herbs

Dressing:
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Layer salad ingredients into a container. Mix dressing in a separate container. Right before eating, toss the salad with the dressing. Enjoy!

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French Toast

French toast is really easy to make and a great way to use up leftover french bread. This recipe is pretty much foolproof.

French Toast (allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:
6 thick slices bread (I used french bread)
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
salt to taste

Directions:
Beat together egg, milk, salt, desired spices and vanilla.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle of skillet over medium-high flame.
Dunk each slice of bread in egg mixture, soaking both sides. Place in pan, and cook on both sides until golden. Serve hot.

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