Monday, May 2, 2016

Blueberry Lemon Bread

Finally Spring is here and time to enjoy the great outdoors but it's nice to start your day off with a tasty bread or have a snack when you finish yard work.  

Blueberry Lemon Bread

1/2 cup butter. softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon peel
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup lemon bits (King Arthur Flour), optional

1 pint blueberries mixed in 2 tsp flour

Mix together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs, milk and lemon juice.  Mix in sour cream.  Gradually add in dry ingredients. Gently fold in the blueberries coated in flour (so they do not sink).  Pour into greased loaf pan(s).  Cool in the pan(s) for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.  Bake for 45 minutes for 3 small loaf pans or 1 hour for a regular loaf pan at 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Parmesan Rice Pilaf

Lots of flavor and easy to kind of side.  I always use the Uncle Ben's boil in the bag rice because you cannot go wrong (and I have in the past with rice).  However you choose to make it, you just need to end up with 2 cups of cooked rice - white or brown.  

Parmesan Rice Pilaf

2 cups cooked white rice
2 tbsp slivered almonds
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Add all the ingredients together into the hot white rice.  Stir and serve.  Can it get any easier?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pancetta Wrapped Turkey Breast

I'm still not sure why I picked up pancetta but it turned out to serve a very good purpose.  I was wondering how to make the turkey breast yesterday and saw the pancetta out of the corner of my eye and grabbed it out at the same time.  I made of quick rub of different spices and dark brown sugar that I had on the counter for the turkey and then covered it with the pancetta.  The pancetta cooked and turned crispy while it kept the turkey breast tender and juicy.

Pancetta Wrapped Turkey Breast

1 - 1-2# turkey breast or tenders
3 oz pancetta slices

Rub -
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine all the spices and brown sugar in a small bowl.  Rub over all sides of the turkey breast and place into a greased pan.  Cover the top of the turkey breast with the pancetta slices.  Cover the roasting pan with a lid or aluminum foil for the first hour of baking.  Uncover for the last 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mounds Bar Ice Cream

Warmer temperatures outside, windows open and the music from the neighborhood ice cream truck made me think of this idea for ice cream.  I’ve had an ice cream drink made out of various liqueurs to taste like a Mounds bar but wanted to try making an ice cream.  The chocolate took over the coconut flavor so I added some coconut into the ice cream.  If you prefer an Almond Joy, just chop up some almonds or use almond slivers to add into your ice cream when it’s in the machine.

Mounds Bar Ice Cream
1 pint whipping cream
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 oz Ghiradelli 60# Cacao Bittersweet
1 cup coconut
1 tsp vanilla

In a large saucepan, combine the cream, coconut milk, sugar, salt, cocoa powder and chocolate. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat, cool and place in the refrigerator for a couple hours.  When chilled, add in vanilla and coconut.  Place in your ice cream maker and run per manufacturer's directions.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dr Pepper Baked Beans

It's time to fire up the grill and what better to have as a side than baked beans.  I made these using Dr Pepper for an unique flavor that works well with all the ingredients.  I used the crock pot but you can make it in the oven also.

Dr Pepper Baked Beans

1# extra lean ground beef
5 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup Dr Pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 16 oz can light red kidney beans

Cook the ground beef.  When it's almost done, add in onions and garlic.  Finish cooking and place in crock pot with beans.  Stir in spices, brown sugar, molasses and Dr Pepper.  Cook for 4 hours over medium heat.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Beef Short Ribs & Gravy With Mascarpone Polenta

There’s nothing better than spending a Sunday doing things you love and having dinner cook itself.  Last Sunday, I made this fall apart it’s so tender short ribs and an easy to throw together Mascarpone polenta.

Crock Pot Short Ribs & Gravy
1.5# boneless short ribs
12 oz beer, use your favorite
1 cup beef broth
2 shallots, cut in half
Season and brown the short ribs in 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.  Place into the crock pot with the beef broth, beer and shallot.  Cook over medium low heat for 8 hours.  Remove the meat to make a gravy.  In a plastic container with a tight lid, place 2 tbsp flour and ½ cup water.  Put the lid on and shake until the there’s no lumps.  Turn the crock pot on high and stir into the juices.  Return the meat to the crock pot and it should thicken in 10 minutes.  Taste to see if it needs any additional salt and pepper.  Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta.
Mascarpone Polenta
3 cups water
½ tsp salt
1 cup polenta
½ cup Mascarpone
½ cup Parmesan, freshly grated

Bring the water and salt to a boil.  Stir in polenta and keep stirring for 3 minutes.  Add in Mascarpone and Parmesan and stir until it’s fully incorporated.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Peach Bellini Jam

Peaches and Prosecco...a match that is made in heaven.  I combined the two a few months ago to make an ice cream topping.  I decided to pair them up again to make jam.  I did not use any pectin.  I just allowed the jam to gently boil until it thicken naturally.  I froze the extra containers instead of canning.

Peach Bellini Jam

2# peaches, I used frozen and thawed
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup Prosecco
2 tbsp lemon juice

Chop the peaches into small pieces in a food processor.  Place in a large saucepan with the sugar, Prosecco and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Skim off foam from the top.  Continue to boil until it thickens.  Place into containers that you can put in the freezer. Allow to cool completely before putting covers on containers and placing the freezer.