Sunday, April 29, 2012

Peach Strawberry Smoothie

I had a busy morning and the time flew by so I opted for an easy lunch that is refreshing and brightens up a cold and windy day.

Peach Strawberry Smoothie

1 cup Vanilla non-fat yogurt
1/2 cup strawberry sauce
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup milk
1 dash vanilla
1 dash cinnamon

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender until well mixed.

Pear Coffee Cake

It's time for a Sunday morning treat.  I had buttermilk and pears that both needed to be used so I created a coffee cake to start off the morning.

Pear Coffee Cake

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 large egg
2 large pears, peeled, cored and small diced
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter cut into small pieces

Mix together first 4 dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Add in buttermilk, melted butter (slightly cooled) and the egg.  Mix completely and stir in diced pears. 

Put in a greased pan to bake.  In a small bowl, combine the dark brown sugar, 2 tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp butter and mix completely.  Place on top of batter.

Bake for 40 minutes at 325°F

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

Yes, I took something healthy and made it not so healthy.  I would feel guilty about it if these weren't soooooooooooooo good.  The cayenne gives the sweetness a gentle kick that is a treat for your tastebuds. 

Bacon wrapped sweet potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 9 pieces each
9 slices bacon, cut in half
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp  cayenne

Cut the sweet potatoes into 9 sticks and boil for 10 minutes or until just soft enough to be able to stick a toothpick through them.

Cut bacon in half and bring to room temperature - it's easier to use to wrap at that temperature.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and spices.

When sweet potatoes are ready, drain and wrap bacon around and secure with a toothpick.  Place in cast iron frying pan (or an oven ready fry pan) and brown lightly.  Cover with brown sugar mixture and finish by baking for a half hour.

Servings: 3

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

I have warm weather dreams and chocolate cravings...

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp dark cocoa
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli Evening Dream)
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla

In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream, sugar, salt, dark cocoa powder and chocolate and heat to a simmer.

Lightly beat egg yolks, gradually temper with chocolate mixture and then add into saucepan.  Heat until thickened, stirring frequently.

Cool mixture and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Pour into ice cream maker and run per manufacturer's directions.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Peach Rice Pudding

I can't believe how much nicer it was in March here than April has been so far.  It's a good day to have the oven on and the scent of cinnamon in the air.

Peach Rice Pudding

3 cups milk
1 cup white rice uncooked
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups peaches, peeled and thinly sliced (frozen work great)
1/2 cup peach juice
1/2 cup sugar

Combine in a large saucepan, milk, rice, butter and cinnamon.  Let simmer until the rice has softened and the milk absorbed.  Let cool down.
In small bowls, separate the egg whites and yolks.  Add sugar to egg yolks and stir into the cooled rice mixture with the peach juice.

Beat egg whites and gently fold into the rice mixture.

Pour half into a greased 2 quart casserole.  Place sliced peaches on top of bottom mixture and then pour the remainder of the rice mixture on top.  Dust the top with a little bit of cinnamon.

Bake in a water bath.

Bake for 1 hour at 350°F

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parmesan & Cayenne Potatoes with Spicy Bacon Dip

I've fallen in love with the Parmesan and Cayenne flavor combination.  Here's what I came up with today ~

Parmesan & Cayenne Potatoes

10 small red potatoes
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
3/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix Parmesan cheese and spices in a bowl.  Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.  Dip cup side of potato in butter and then in Parmesan spice mixture.  Put face down on baking sheet.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F

Spicy Bacon Sour Cream Dip

1 cup sour cream
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tsp hot sauce

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Paprika Chicken Breasts

An easy Monday night dinner recipe ~

Paprika Chicken Breasts

2 chicken breasts, bone-in
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter and stir in spices.  Brush mixture on chicken breasts and roast in oven uncovered.

Servings: 2

Bake for 45 minutes at 350°F

Blackberry & Brie Phyllo Wraps

It's a chilly morning on the plains today so it was a good day to play in the kitchen.

Blackberry & Brie Phyllo Wraps

8 sheets Phyllo dough
7 ounces brie, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup blackberries (any type)
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Thaw phylo per package instructions.

Melt butter in a small bowl for brushing on phyllo dough.

Take1 sheet of phyllo, fold in thirds and brush with butter. 

Put a piece of brie and three blackberries dusted in powdered sugar at one end and fold in triangles up the length of the phyllo sheet.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Parmesan & Cayenne Popovers

My family celebrated Easter & our birthdays one week late this year so I had leftover ham to create with today.  I did a simple hash but wanted to add some zing to my dinner so I came up with adding cayenne to my popover recipe and it worked well.

Parmesan & Cayenne Popovers

1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated

Preheat oven to 450°.  Spray popover pan with olive oil spray and heat in oven for 10 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl with a lip, whisk together milk, eggs, melted butter (slightly cooled), flour, salt and cayenne.  Add in grated Parmesan cheese.

Remove hot pan from oven and fill popover cups half full.

Bake for 15 minutes and reduce oven heat to 400°.  Bake until golden brown,

Serve while hot.

Servings: 12

Blackberry Peach Smoothie

I was in the mood for an easy breakfast today so I opened my freezer to see what I could create.

Blackberry Peach Smoothie

1 cup Vanilla non-fat yogurt
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup frozen blackberries
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp peach preserves
1 dash vanilla

Place all ingredients in your blender and set on blend for one minute.

It's so refreshing.  Enjoy~

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuscan Turkey Soup

My Easter plans changed so I ended up with a cooked turkey breast and I needed a new way to eat it.  Soup seemed to be a good option since the weather is on the chilly side.

Tuscan Turkey Soup

2 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil
1/4 cup onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup carrots peeled and diced
2 cups turkey breast cubed
4 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place olive oil at the bottom of a dutch oven.  Add in onions and garlic and allow to lightly cook.  Add in carrots.  Add in broth and remainder of ingredients.

Let simmer until carrots are fully cooked.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter Egg Baskets

One week to Easter so it's time to start making some goodies...

Easter Egg Baskets

10 oz marshmallows
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp peanut butter (I used natural)
4 cups chow mein noodles
small Easter egg candies (I used Cadbury Mini Eggs)

Combine marshmallows, butter and peanut butter in a large saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until all ingredients are combined and then add in chow mein noodles.  Butter your fingers and make small nests that you place in greased muffins pans.  You'll need to keep extra softened butter on hand and frequently grease your fingers.  Place eggs in the middle of baskets and refrigerate until set.

Happy Easter!