Sunday, November 23, 2014

Orange Ricotta Waffles

I opted for waffles instead of pancakes to use with my cranberry syrup.  Maybe I just like the way the syrup pools in the little pockets or it could be that I didn't feel like my pancake flipping technique wasn't going to make pretty cakes this morning.  It turned out delicious so that's what matters, right?

Orange Ricotta Waffles

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp orange zest
2 large eggs, separated
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup ricotta
3/4 cup milk

Sift all dry ingredients and zest into a large bowl.  In a small bowl, beat egg whites until light and fluffy.  Gradually mix milk, egg yolks, butter, ricotta, orange juice into dry ingredients.  Gently fold in the egg whites.

Bake per your waffle makers instructions.

Makes 6 waffles

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cranberry Pear Sauce

I started playing with recipes for Thanksgiving a little early for some of the sides this year and as you might have noticed, cranberries has been the star of quite a few now.   I've mixed cranberries with applies before and orange juice so I wanted to try something a little bit different and decided on pears.  The mellow flavor of the pears works well with the slight tartness of the cranberries.

Cranberry Pear Sauce

12 oz fresh cranberries
3/4 cup cranberry juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup pears, diced

Put cranberries, juice, sugars and salt in a medium saucepan.  Set at a medium heat and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally and wait until the berries pop, approximately 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the pears.  Gently pour into your serving dish and allow to cool.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cranberry Syrup

I do enjoy cranberries in all forms.  I was tempted to use fresh cranberries to make this syrup but opted for a more traditional clear syrup this time for pancakes and waffles.  This is a wonderful start for your holiday breakfast plans.  I'm going to make orange ricotta pancakes to go with mine but a nice cinnamon pancake or waffle will also be pretty tasty.

Cranberry Syrup

2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cornstarch

Mix the cornstarch with 1/2 cup of the cranberry juice.  Add to the remainder of the juice, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a large saucepan.  Thicken over a low heat, stirring frequently.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cranberry Ketchup

It's cranberry season and I've stocked up for the coming months.  Has anyone else noticed that the berries seem smaller this year?  I decided my first cranberry recipe would be a ketchup.  I really enjoyed the blackberry ketchup that I made this summer and wanted to try it with these tart, little berries.

Cranberry Ketchup

1 bag (12 oz) cranberries, rinsed and sorted
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup onions, minced1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbsp honey1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ancho chili pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix the cranberries, onions, vinegar and water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook until the berries pop.  Remove berries from pan and run through a food mill.  Return strained mixture to the pan, add spices, dark brown sugar and honey and simmer until it thickens to a consistency that you like.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Italian Cheese Flatbread

I wanted something to go along with my Tuscan Chicken & Corn chowder.  I decided to stay with the Italian flavors and make a flatbread.  It takes over a little over an hour and a half to make this so I started the yeast as I was starting my soup.  I added ground red pepper flakes to the bread but if you don't like heat, they can easily be left off.  

Italian Cheese Flatbread

1 cup warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar

Mix together in a large glass measuring cup or glass bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.  

In a large bowl, combine the following ~

2 cups bread flour
1 tsp sea salt

After the 10 minutes, stir in the yeast mixture and 2 tbsp garlic olive oil in the flour with a wooden spoon.  Mix until the flour is all incorporated and the dough naturally forms a ball and pulls away from the sides.  Cover and let sit for a half hour or until the dough has doubled.  

Knead on a floured surface (it may take up to another 1/4 cup of bread flour) for 5 minutes.  Roll out the dough to the size of your greased baking sheet.  Lay down on the sheet and top with the following ~

1/4 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp ground crushed red pepper flakes

Bake at 350° for 22 minutes.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tuscan Chicken & Corn Chowder

It's been on the chilly side outside and unfortunately snow has made a reappearance.  Time to make soup to help keep you warm inside and out.  I had some frozen corn and carrots from summer that worked great for this soup and dried herbs to add an Italian taste.

Tuscan Chicken & Corn Chowder

1# chicken breasts, cubed into bite size pieces
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup carrots, diced
2 cups sweet corn, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf 
2 dashes hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in the bottom of your soup kettle or dutch oven.  Add in cubed chicken and cook until it's no longer pink, stir often.  Once cooked, add in chicken brother, carrots, corn and herbs and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender.  Add in milk and hot sauce and reduce heat to a simmer.  Add in the salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste.  Allow to cook for another 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Apple Butter Meatballs .

It's already time to use some of that fresh apple butter that I made and what better way to use them but for snacks for watching football and hockey.  And the sauce is so delicious that I'm going to make some ribs with the same simple recipe.

Apple Butter Meatballs

1# extra lean ground beef
1 large egg
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp parsley
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Place all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Hand mix until all the ingredients are combined.  Form into 1 1/2" meatballs.  Bake on a baking sheet for 25 minutes at 350°.  Place in a crock pot or large saucepan that has the following combined in ~

1/2 cup apple butter
1/2 cup bbq sauce ~ I used Minnesota Lakes BBQ Sauce

Stir to coat the meatballs and allow to cook for at least 15 minutes before serving.