Sunday, May 3, 2015

Banana Coffee Cake

It's Sunday morning.  My refrigerator has 1 egg in it. Oops, grocery shopping error.  I also have 1 very ripe banana.  It was time to be creative and come up with breakfast.  I chose a coffee cake because it's Sunday morning and time to splurge a little.  It smells just like banana bread when you cut into it but the bonus is you get the cinnamon streusel topping.

Banana Coffee Cake

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour


1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
6 tbsp cold butter

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in vanilla, banana and sour cream.  Gradually add in the dry ingredients, alternating with adding in the milk.  Place the dough in a greased 9 x 9 pan.  In a bowl, add in the flour and dark brown sugar (you can use light brown sugar).  Blend together.  Gradually add in pieces of cold butter by using a blending tool or fork.  When all incorporated, sprinkle over the top of the cake batter.  Bake for 50 minutes at 350°.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Honey Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

It's grilling season but sometimes red flag warnings make that a little difficult.  My Saturday dinner became lunch in order to beat the wind gusts.  After you make the sauce, save some in a separate dish for dipping later. 

Honey Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
 1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup pineapple chunks
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Combine all the ingredients in a large measuring cup or bowl and allow to sit a half hour.  Lightly toast the sesame seeds while you are waiting for the sauce.  Alternate pieces of chicken and pineapple on skewers.  I used steel ones but if you use bamboo, remember to soak them so they don't start on fire.  Brush on glaze and place on your grill.  Turn once and reapply the glaze.  When done cooking, allow to sit for 5 minutes on your serving dish covered with aluminum foil and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds on top before serving.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bacon Green Beans With Pine Nuts

It's hard to come up with a new way to flavor vegetables.  I decided to try a few additions to green beans and I liked how it turned out.  I've used bacon before (with pears) so I wanted to try that again but this time with toasted pine nuts.  The pine nuts are so good on their own that I might try making a snack mix with them sometime.

Bacon Green Beans With Pine Nuts

1# green beans, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces, cooked and drained
1 tbsp butter
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook green beans in salted water.  Drain, toss in butter, bacon, pine nuts and seasonings.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Coca~Cola Shredded Pork Chops

These are awesome.  No other way to describe it.  I did not intend for them to fall apart on their own but I'm glad they did.  It would have only been better if I had toasted some buns, placed the meat on top and then poured a little juice over it before serving.  Next time I make these, I'm going to try using Dr Pepper.

Coca~Cola Shredded Pork Chops

4 sirloin pork chops
1 cup Coca~Cola
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place pork chops at the bottom of your crock pot.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the top of the pork chops.  Cook on medium heat for 4 hours and then turn down to low for 3-4 hours.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blackberry Pear Jelly Roll Cake

The temperature is finally heading up and my windows are open and there's the sounds of a lawn mower and birds...Spring has officially arrived.  Again.  I'm in the process of Spring cleaning and that meant the freezers also.  I happened on some of last years freezer jam and decided I wanted to make a jelly roll cake.  It's a nice, light sponge cake that you fill with your favorite jam or jelly.  My jam choice was a blackberry pear jam that I created a few years ago but I loved it so much it's a yearly must make in my kitchen.  The recipe for my blackberry Pear Jam can be found here ~ Blackberry Pear Jam

Blackberry Pear Jelly Roll Cake

3 eggs at room temperature, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup cold water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of your favorite jam/jelly

Start off by greasing your jelly roll pan.  Place a layer of wax or parchment paper down (cut to size) at the bottom of the pan and grease that also.  

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with vanilla until thick (at least 3 minutes) and then beat in the sugar.  In a larger bowl, whip the egg whites until they form a soft peak.    

Gently fold in the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites.  Gradually add in the flour, baking powder and cream of tartar.  You don't want to over mix but make sure the flour isn't hiding into any little air pockets.  Spread out over jelly roll pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes (it's done when you can touch the middle and it doesn't indent) at 375°.  Gently cut along edges to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan.

Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel.  Hold towel tight across and turn over.  Carefully remove the wax/parchment paper.  Roll up the cake in the towel and allow to cool completely on a rack.

When cool, carefully unroll the cake.  Cut off any dried edges.  Spread the cake with your favorite jam/jelly.  Re-roll the cake and you can sprinkle some powdered sugar on if you'd like.  Cut into slices approximately 1/2 to 3/4" thick.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pear Upside Down Cake

Pears, cinnamon and caramel.  Yes, I am a fan.  And eating this warm and fresh from the oven (well, after the 15 minute waiting time) is truly a treat.  Doesn't need whipped or ice cream.  Tasting the hint of molasses from the dark brown sugar is enough.  The juice from the pears release and meld into the topping.  Hungry yet?  Here's the recipe ~

Pear Upside Down Cake

Bottom layer ~

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup dark brown sugar

Pour the melted butter in a lightly greased 9" springform pan or a 9" square pan.  Sprinkle dark brown sugar evenly over the butter.  Add slices of 2 pears evenly over the brown sugar.

Cake layer ~

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk

In a medium bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar.  Add in cinnamon, egg, vanilla and milk.  Fold in flour, baking powder and salt.  Evenly spread cake mixture gently over the pears.  Bake in a 350° for 45 minutes.  Place a piece of aluminum foil under pan because it might leak pear juice during baking.  Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before carefully turning over onto a serving plate.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Raspberry Bacon Jam

So we've all seen it.  Some have even tried it.  I was one of those that had not.  I decided to pick up an extra pound of bacon this week to try my hand at it and since my favorite vinegar is a Raspberry Wine on.  And it will be a good game time snack tonight while watching the Wild game.  The only thing I would change is to add a little bit more of the crushed red pepper flakes.  Sweet & heat always works for me.  I cooked it in a crock pot but you can easily make it in a pan on top of the stove.

Raspberry Bacon Jam

1 pound thick-sliced bacon
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Ancho Chili Pepper
1/3 cup Raspberry Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Slice bacon into 1/2" pieces (I just cut through the entire pound instead of individual slices).  Cook until the fat has been rendered off over medium heat.  Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.  I cooked in two batches.  Place in your crock pot with the dark brown sugar and Raspberry Wine vinegar.  Drain all except 2 tbsp. of bacon grease in your frying pan.  Cook the onions until translucent and then add in the minced garlic and cook for another minute.  Add into the crock pot.  Stir in the spices and allow to cook for a couple hours over medium heat.  You can leave this chunky or pulse a few times in your food processor.  Refrigerate the bacon jam.  You can heat it to serve or it tastes fine cold too.