Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baked Sweet Potato Fries



What could possibly be better with the Stromboli sandwich from yesterday, than sweet potato fries?!? I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes and will eat them anyway I can! I prefer to bake the fries over frying not only because its a healthier alternative, but also for an easier clean up. I find that sticking the sheet pan in the oven as soon as the pre-heat cycle starts helps to crisp up the fries even more during the baking process. The recipe below calls for a little bit of brown sugar, but if you are a fan of ginger, I would also recommend a few shakes ground ginger to the mix.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil greased with cooking spray.

Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into long spears. Soak potatoes in cold water for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

Place the potato spears on the sheet pan and toss with olive oil. Spread them in a single layer. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn with a spatula or tongs. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and serve hot.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Monday, August 30, 2010

Stromboli Sandwiches



This recipe comes from my dear sister-in-law and is one of my favorite hot sandwiches! The weather in NY got a little chilly last week. Our temperatures were in the sixties and I started to get in the mood for some comfort food. This is an easy prep, easy assembly, and quick to the table kind of sandwich that both me and my hubby enjoy. I will admit that I have not had a proper Stromboli before, so I have no clue how close this version compares to the real thing, but we both love it and that is good enough for us! My SIL’s version calls for using Jimmy Dean Sausage, but up here in the North there are a lot of good Italian sweet and hot sausages that would also work for this sandwich. It also makes for a good left over lunch sandwich the next day!

Stromboli Sandwiches

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1/2 lb Jimmy Dean Sausage, or other breakfast sausage

1/4 lb lean ground beef

1/4 of a medium sized onion, chopped

1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms (I used a can)

1/4 cup green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 loaf Italian bread

Mozzarella cheese, sliced

Combine the sausage, beef, onion, mushrooms, and green peppers in a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pick. If needed, drain meat to remove grease and return to pan.

Stir in water, tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, salt, oregano, garlic, and rosemary. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for five minutes or until thickened.

While the mixture is simmering, cut the top third off the loaf of bread and carefully hollow out the bottom, leaving a 1/2 inch shell. Line the bottom half of the bread with mozzarella cheese. Top with sausage mixture and add another layer of mozzarella cheese. Replace bread top.

Wrap sandwich loaf in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand for five minutes before slicing.

Source: The Brookshire Fam; originally from Taste of Home

Friday, August 27, 2010

Peach Crumb Tartelettes



I have been enjoying peach season thus far, but I always end up over purchasing peaches! I guess my eyes are bigger than my stomach when I shop! On the other hand, I was secretly hoping to have extra peaches so I could make a sweet treat with them. I saw this recipe on my reader and new I needed to make them. Cute little mini peach pies that you can quickly devour in one bite, complete with a crumb topping and all the peach flavor one can desire! I guess the family enjoyed them too because they were not around for long!

Have a great weekend…I’m planning to enjoy the last days of summer weather. It has already started to get cooler here.

Peach Tartelettes

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1 1/2 cups finely chopped ripe peaches

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out pie dough round onto floured surface, as thinly as possible. Using a round cookie cutter, cut dough into small rounds. Place rounds into a 24 cup mini muffin pan. Prick dough with a fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden; remove from oven and cool completely.

In a small saucepan, stir together peach, cornstarch, granulated sugar, and lemon juice until combined; bring mixture to a boil; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in vanilla until combined.

To make the crumb topping, in a medium bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar and salt until combined; knead in butter, using fingertips or a fork, until well incorporated and mixture clumps together.

Spoon peach filling into tart cups. Evenly sprinkle crumb topping over each tart. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer tartelettes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Sugar Plum

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zucchini, Shallots, and Parmesan



After discovering how much I enjoy zucchini, I have been trying different ways to incorporate it into our weeknight meals. The recipe includes many of my favorite ingredients, so I knew it would make for a delicious side! The shallots gave the dish a nice mild onion flavor and the parmesan added a hint of salty flavor, both pairing well with the zucchini. I loved this dish so much, I actually think I ate more of it than our main course of the evening! The zucchini season will be ending soon, which I’m a little bummed about since I have so many more recipes to try. Who knows, maybe I’ll plant my own zucchini next season.

Zucchini, Shallots, and Parmesan

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3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large shallots, chopped

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 cups sliced zucchini

1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan

Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a nonstick skillet over low, heat olive oil. Add shallots and cook on low until they are soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, mix well, and allow to cook for 1 minute.

Add zucchini, salt, and pepper. Sauté over medium-low, turning occasionally, until cooked through, but not wilted, about 10 minutes.

Once the zucchini is cooked, sprinkle with Parmesan and toss quickly so that it is evenly distributed. Serve immediately.

Source: The Novice Chef Blog; originally adapted from The Family Kitchen

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cajun Pork Chops



You can almost always find some type of pork on sale at the grocery store every week. Last week it was bone-in pork chops, which at the time sounded pretty good. I typically cook pork chops right on the stove top, but last week I was in the mood for grilling. I found this recipe while searching and it sounded like what I was in the mood for. While the spice didn’t scream Cajun, it still provided the pork with lots of flavor. Both my husband and I thought it tasted more like a barbecue rub. Although I resisted, it would have gone great with our homemade barbecue sauce! We both enjoyed the dish and were happy to get out and grill!

On another note – my lighting equipment broke on me last week, so I was forced to take some not-so good photos. I have since fixed the problem, but this weeks pics are not the best.

Cajun Pork Chops

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6 whole Pork Chops

3 tablespoons Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons Salt

3/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

2 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Mix the paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, pepper, and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Generously rub the spice mix on the outside of each pork chop and work it in as well as possible. Let sit, covered, in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Grill pork chops on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on each side, or until the pork reaches 165 degrees.

Source slightly adapted from: Tasty Kitchen

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Chicken


So I changed the name of the dish from Fancy Schmancy Chicken to just Bacon Wrapped Chicken. Don’t get me wrong, the chicken was good, but I felt a little cheesy about the original title!  Chicken stuffed with creamy ricotta and wrapped in bacon with a honey mustard glaze sounded too good not to try! The bacon helped the chicken stay nice and moist while enclosing the filling stuffed inside. The filling was light and provided the chicken with lots of flavor. The chicken reminded me of a meal I’ve made several times before, which used a cream cheese and chive filling. Same concept, different flavors, but still a great dish!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

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3 chicken breasts

3 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons coarse mustard

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons ricotta

Zest and juice of one lemon

9 to 12 bacon slices


Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine 3 heaping tablespoons ricotta with a pinch of lemon zest, a small handful of finely minced parsley, salt, and pepper. Combine the honey, coarse mustard, Dijon mustard, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Using a sharp knife, cut a slit into the thick edge of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Spoon a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture into the pocket, close and season chicken with salt and pepper. Wrap bacon strips around each breast making sure to fully cover the ricotta.

Brush the chicken on both sides with the honey-mustard marinade. Grill chicken at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or each side, or until done.

Source: Kayotic Kitchen

Friday, August 20, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes



So there has long been a battle between myself and my father-in-law between waffles and pancakes. He loves waffles, I love pancakes. We try to share Saturday morning breakfast together every week. Sometimes we fight over pancakes and waffles. My mother-in-law had to step in and designate an every other Saturday rule, so that we switch off between waffles and pancakes in an effort to make both of us happy. Since she does the breakfast cooking, I didn’t really have a go-to, from scratch recipe for pancakes. My brother recently asked me to find a pancake recipe for him…so I was on a mission! I knew right away I would want a recipe made with buttermilk (only the best) and it didn’t take long to find rave reviews with this particular recipe. The recipe makes a lot, which I didn’t mind. I like to cook all the pancake batter and freeze any leftovers for a quick breakfast solution when I’m running short of time. This recipe is a keeper for me!

Buttermilk Pancakes

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2 eggs

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

½ teaspoons vanilla extract

oil or cooking spray (for cooking)

In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth.

Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray. You can test to see if the pan is hot enough by adding a few drops of water, if or when the drops start to dance its hot enough.

Pour batter onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking, if it is the pan may be too hot and you will need to adjust the heat. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Let cooked pancakes rest on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

Source adapted from: Joy the Baker

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Onion Strings



This recipe should come with a warning of dangerously good and highly addicting. I have been making onion strings now for a couple of years and they are still one of my favorite, sinfully delicious side dishes. They are perfect with pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, or just by themselves! The cayenne and black pepper are essential for giving the onion strings the right amount of seasoning. I usually add even more than 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, but we enjoy a good kick! I use a mandolin in order to get really thin onion slices, but they don’t have to be that precise. Try them once and you’ll be hooked!

Onion Strings

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1 whole large onion

2 cups buttermilk

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 quart (to 2 quarts) canola oil

Black pepper to taste

Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least 1 hour.

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil to 375 degrees.

Grab a handful of onions, place into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and plunge into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.

Repeat until onions are gone.

*Note: I like to place the onions strings on a wire rack after frying with a baking sheet underneath (to catch any excess grease) and place in a 200 degree oven until all onion strings have been fried and ready to serve.

Source: Pioneer Woman

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Barbecue Chicken Thighs



My brother-in-law can make some mean barbecue chicken. When we still lived in Oklahoma, we would occasionally go to their house for dinner and I would almost always request barbecue chicken. Over the years I have attempted to make the chicken myself, but it has never quite tasted like his. You would think that barbecue chicken sounds simple enough to duplicate, but it has always come up short. For a couple of years now, my husband and I have been making our own barbecue sauce, which we absolutely love, but I had never considered using the sauce to make barbecue chicken until last week. Once the idea was in my head, I had to try it right away and I’m so happy I did. This is the closest I have come to replicating his chicken. I am happy to have found a recipe that satisfies my expectations of good barbecue chicken and that we can enjoy once again!

Barbecue Chicken Thighs

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2 to 3 pounds chicken thighs (or 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces)

2 cups homemade barbecue sauce, plus more for basting and serving

Marinate chicken in about 2 cups of barbeque sauce for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place chicken on grill, skin side down, and cook for about 20 minutes, turning once. Brush with additional barbeque sauce as needed.

Serve with extra barbecue sauce on the side.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Banoffee Pie



First things first, today his my hubby’s Birthday so in honor of him I am celebrating with a pie dish he recommended me to make last week. It is another banana dish, but this time it is paired with some homemade toffee, yum! I was hoping to also share with you a recipe for homemade pie crust, but if I’m being honest I still haven’t mastered pie crust. I typically don’t make a lot of pies. I prefer cake, cookies, and most other sweets over pie, so my experience with homemade pie dough needs a little more practice, especially in the looks department…I haven’t mastered the ruffled edge! All that to say, this pie was nothing short of sweet and delicious. Normally I would say that a pie with banana should be eaten the day it is made, but I was surprised by how good the pie was the second day after all the flavors had set together and mingled for a while. The homemade toffee is super sweet, but toned down with the banana and whipped cream. All together, the banana and toffee worked really well together and made for a pie even I wanted more of!

Banoffee Pie

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2 cups canned sweetened condensed milk (21 oz)

1 9-inch round of refrigerated pie dough (from 15 oz package)

3 large bananas

1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pour condensed milk into pie plate and stir in a generous pinch of salt. Cover pie plate with foil and crimp foil tightly around rim. Put in a roasting pan, then add enough boiling-hot water to reach halfway up side of pie plate, making sure that foil is above water. Bake, refilling pan to halfway with water about every 40 minutes, until milk is thick and a deep golden caramel color, about 2 hours. Remove pie plate from water bath and transfer toffee to a bowl, then chill toffee, uncovered, until it is cold, about 1 hour.

While toffee is chilling, clean pie plate and bake pie crust in it according to package instructions. Cool pie crust completely in pan on a rack, about 20 minutes.

Spread toffee evenly in crust, and chill, uncovered, 15 minutes.

Cut bananas into 1/4 inch thick slices and pile over toffee.

Beat cream with brown sugar in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks, then mound over top of pie.

*Note: Toffee can be chilled up to 2 days (cover after 1 hour). Toffee-filled crust can be chilled up to 3 hours.

Source: www.gourmet.com

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies



So a couple weeks ago I had a sudden urge to make oatmeal raisin cookies, but I didn’t have a go-to recipe for them. In fact, I have never really considered oatmeal raisin cookies to be a favorite of mine. Growing up, I had one of the sweetest neighbors that often made oatmeal raisin cookies. She would invite me over after she made them and I was always happy to help eat! I would have loved to have her recipe, but never considered asking at that age! I couldn’t decide which recipe to try, so I ended up making three different oatmeal raisin cookie recipes and this was by far my favorite recipe. It has just the right cinnamon and nutmeg included in the batter, packed with oatmeal and raisin goodness. This recipe is a keeper!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup raisins

1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla with a hand held mixer until well blended. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, stirring until just combined.

Fold in rolled oats, raisin, and walnuts (if desired). Drop dough by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto a cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sticky Lemon, Thyme, and Honey Drumsticks



I’m always in the mood for chicken, and typically chicken dinners consist of breast meat, but every now and then I come across a recipe that calls for chicken legs that sound so good, I’m happy to switch things up. I was a little skeptical about using lemon slices in the dish, since I usually just add the zest or juice of lemons, but the lemon ended up being my favorite part of the meal. The slices of lemon really took on the flavor of the sauce and became almost candy-like. The chicken was flavorful and sticky, just like the title says!

Sticky Lemon, Thyme, and Honey Drumsticks

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8 to 10 chicken drumsticks

salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 to 5 slices of ginger

1 heat garlic, all cloves peeled and lightly crushed

2 to 3 thyme sprigs

2 tablespoons white wine

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

3 tablespoons honey

1 cup hot water or chicken stock

1 lemon, finely sliced

Steamed rice, if desired

Season the drumsticks with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken pieces on each side over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pan.

Add ginger, garlic, and thyme to the pan. Stir fry lightly.

Add white wine to deglaze the pan. Drizzle over the soy sauce and honey.

Pour in hot water, add lemon slices and drumsticks. Lower heat to medium high, let the liquid bubble until it becomes thick, about 10 minutes or until the drumsticks cook through. Add spoonfuls of water at a time if the sauce becomes dry.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and serve immediately with steamed rice.

Source: Lululu at home

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with a Lemon Mustard Sauce



I have tried plenty of pork tenderloin recipes and have posted quite a few as well. If I had to pick my absolute favorite pork tenderloin recipe it would be a toss up between this recipe and the Spicy Pork Tenderloin with a Ginger-Maple syrup. I was actually surprised to find that I have not shared this recipe with you. I have made it several times and it is one of my absolute favorites! The pork holds the Dijon flavor and the rub provides a subtle kick. The sauce placed over the pork is nice and light with highlights of lemon and shallots. The pork is tender and so, so good! While the recipe calls for grilling, which I highly recommend, it could also be made indoors by searing the meat in a skillet for a few minutes and finishing off in the oven. As I’ve said before, invest in a thermometer to monitor the temperature until it reaches 155 degrees. I would also baste some of the sauce over the pork halfway through baking.

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with a Lemon Mustard Sauce

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2 (12 to 14 oz) sections of pork tenderloins

For the Rub:

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

For the Sauce:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

kosher salt

Cut off any scrawny tail ends from the tenderloins. Slice each tenderloin into six equal rounds. Pound the medallions with a meat mallet to about 1 inch thickness. In a small bowl, mix together the rub ingredients. Coat the medallions with the rub. Allow to sit for a couple of hours to deepen the flavor, if desired. Let sit uncovered at room temperature while the grill heats to medium high heat.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft and beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and mustard, and continue cooking until reduced by about one half. Stir in the lemon juice, parsley, and salt to taste. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.

Transfer the pork medallions to the grill. Grill, turning once, until cooked through and tender. If any of the medallions begin to look dry, drizzle with a bit of sauce. To serve, place medallions on plates and top with a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce.

Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from Made by Melissa

Monday, August 9, 2010

Muffin Melts



This dish could best be described as a breakfast egg salad with a couple of unexpected ingredients. I don’t normally think of Dijon mustard, garlic powder, or Worcestershire sauce with breakfast, but after tasting the ingredients all together, the dish would not be as good without it! The Dijon mustard especially adds a great flavor. For those that might be skeptical, give it a try before ruling it out…I think you will be pleasantly surprised! The egg mixture can be made the night before for a quick prep the morning of. You can also add in extra spices such as cayenne pepper or paprika for those that enjoy an extra special kick of flavor. This is a great dish for feeding a crowd, but can also be halved for a smaller crowd.

Muffin Melts

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12 whole Hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

6 whole English muffins, split

Combine eggs with cheese, mayo, bacon, mustard, garlic powder, and Worcestershire . Fold together gently. At this point, the mixture could be covered and stored in the refrigerator overnight.

Spread mixture on English muffin halves, then broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serve immediately.

Source: Pioneer Woman

Friday, August 6, 2010

Banana Whoopie Pies



Have you noticed a theme here on my blog….I have been posting a lot of banana recipes lately. I guess we have been on banana overload, but that is okay with me! There are so many recipes to incorporate overripe bananas. Before you throw any away, consider freezing them for later use or bake something up. I love whoopie pies maybe even more than cupcakes. The cookies are soft, almost cake like with cream cheese frosting layered in between. I was really tempted to use a peanut butter frosting, but for the sake of my husband I used the cream cheese. The combination of banana and cream cheese reminded me of individual banana pudding (in a good way)! They were delicious. Next time, I think I will make half with the cream cheese and half with peanut butter so I can decide which is my favorite!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Banana Whoopie Pies

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2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup mashed ripe banana

1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)

4 oz. unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

Combine banana and sour cream in another bowl, mashing well.

Beat butter and sugars with mixer on medium high speed until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beating until incorporated. Add banana mixture in two additions, alternating with flour mixture.

Using a 1 inch cookie scoop, scoop out batter on to the baking sheets, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden, about 12 minutes.

Slide parchment with cookies onto wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.

To Make Cream Cheese Frosting:

Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Pipe or spoon 1 tablespoon of frosting onto the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. If desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Source adapted from: Good Things Catered

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee



One of my favorite things when the temperature gets warm is a medium caramel iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. If I didn’t practice self-control I could get seriously addicted! I had no idea cold brewed coffee could be so easy on your own. My husband decided to make a batch of coffee about a month ago and I loved it so much we have been enjoying iced coffee every morning since then! The process takes about 12 hours, so the prep should be done the night before. Another plus about this method is the coffee grinds can be reused for a second batch, as long the coffee rests for 24 hours. The first batch of coffee should be strained twice. I place the coffee in a French press for the first strain and then run the coffee through a paper filter for the second strain. If you are in to iced coffee, try making it from home. It will save you money and taste just as good!

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

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3/4 cup ground coffee

3 cups water

Milk, Half-and-Half, or Creamer (if desired)

In a French press, or jar, stir together coffee and water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.

Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice mix in coffee and (if desired) milk, cream, or half-and-half.

Sourced adapted from: New York Times

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chipotle Lime Grilled Shrimp Tacos



A while back I made homemade flour tortillas, but what I haven’t shared with you is what we else we made to go with the tortillas. The shrimp tacos were so yummy! The chipotle chili gave the shrimp a little bit of heat, but not overly strong. The addition of the corn and black bean salsa really added to this dish and helped to give the tacos a Tex-Mex flavor. The best part about this meal to me was being able to get two meals out of it. My hubby and I had no problem eating all the shrimp, but we did have some of the salsa left over. With homemade tortillas and a tasty salsa, I knew we would make quesadillas the next night and that is exactly what we did! Using some left over white cheddar cheese, I put together a quesadilla that was just as good as the shrimp tacos.

Chipotle Lime Grilled Shrimp

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1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 lime (juice and zest)

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let marinate for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, skewer the shrimp.

Place oil on the grill grate and grill the shrimp until cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

15 oz can sweet corn, drained

1 red pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

2 green onions, sliced

In a small bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, sugar, black pepper, and cumin.

In a medium bowl, stir together black beans, red pepper, jalapeno, green onions, and corn. Toss with vinegar and oil dressing and garnish with cilantro. Cover, and refrigerate.

Source adapted from: My Baking Addiction, originally from Closet Cooking

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs



The cucumbers in our garden are starting to grow like crazy! I don’t have a lot of recipes that incorporate cucumbers other than throwing them in a salad or making some tzatziki sauce so I was happy when I saw this recipe with a recommendation of dipping the chicken into tzatziki sauce. The chicken contains a good garlic-lemon flavor and dipped in the sauce, gives a refreshing and light dinner, perfect for a hot summer day! As I do with many recipes that call for a marinade, I prepped everything in the morning before leaving for work, so all that was required once home from work was to skewer the chicken and grill!

Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs

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3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

Preheat grill to medium heat. If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 20 minutes before use.

Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers and discard the excess marinade. Lightly oil the grill grates. Place the kabobs on the grill, cover, and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 8 to 12 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking. Transfer to a warmed platter and serve immediately.

Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from Williams Sonoma