Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Homemade Steak Sauce

A beautiful and hot weekend meant grilling time.  I made this spicy steak sauce to go with the filets on the grill.  You can use this for more than beef, it goes well with pork and chicken too.

Homemade Steak Sauce

1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp yellow mustard
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until completely mixed.  Allow to simmer until it thickens (about 15 minutes).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake

I like lemonade but in a dessert form.  Citrus and I have a love/hate relationship.  I love the taste but my tummy doesn't like it.  I was looking for frozen raspberry lemonade, since I had used that before to make cookies, but could only find strawberry lemonade, which is a great substitute for this cake.  Plus, I had a brand new bundt pan that I wanted to try out or else I probably would have never made two cakes within a few weeks of each other.

Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake

3 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 cup mascarpone, room temperature (or sour cream)
3 cups flour
2 tsp lemon zest
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup frozen strawberry (or raspberry) lemonade, thawed

Strawberry Lemonade Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp + 2 tsp strawberry lemonade

In a large bowl, cream together butter, mascarpone and sugar.  Mix until a light and fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time.  Alternate mixing in the dry ingredients and strawberry lemonade.  Batter will be very heavy.  Spoon into your greased (and floured, if necessary) bundt pan.  Bake for 1 hour at 350.  Insert a toothpick to check to see if it comes out clean or bake additional time.  Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of pan.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles

What a better way to start off a morning (or even have them for dinner) than the tangy taste of lemon and the little crunch of poppy seeds when you take a bite.  Topped with a blueberry sauce and that makes it the perfect bite. 

Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles

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

2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 large eggs, separated
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup Mascarpone

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

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

Bake per your waffle makers instructions.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Blueberry Lemon Sauce

I was making Lemon Poppyseed waffles and wanted a blueberry topping for them.  This sauce worked well and the hint of cinnamon added a nice touch.  The leftovers are going to top some vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. 

Blueberry Lemon Sauce

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tsp cornstarch
10 oz blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 dash cinnamon

Whisk together the sugar, water and cornstarch in a small saucepan.  Add in the blueberries, lemon juice and zest and bring to a boil.  Stir until the sauce thickens, remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon.  Serve warm or cold.

Monday, June 22, 2015

BBQ Salad Dressing

I love salads in summer, especially with grilled chicken on top.  I made this easy salad dressing that compliments the chicken.  I used the sunflower bread I made earlier to make croutons with.  Perfect combination.  This dressing is thick.  If you prefer a thinner salad dressing, use 1/3 cup of buttermilk.

BBQ Salad Dressing

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup bbq sauce, use your favorite
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Place all the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until everything is incorporated together.  Refrigerate until you are ready to use.  This will last in your refrigerator for one week.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunflower Honey Wheat Bread

Yesterday started off with a brief period of heavy rain early in the morning and humidity continuing on after.  Dinner plans were for a lettuce salad with chicken so I decided to bake some bread to go along with it.  I had some sunflower seeds on hand, along with oats so this bread was created using both.

Sunflower Honey Wheat Bread

2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, chopped
1/4 cup oats

Combine warm water, honey and yeast and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  Add in olive oil before adding to the bread machine.  Put flours, salt, sunflower seeds and oats in bread machine.  Pour in yeast and water mixture and set to dough setting.

When done, remove from machine and put on a greased bread pan.  Let rise for about a half hour in a warm area.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350°.  Remove from oven and brush on 1 tbsp of butter.  Return to oven for an additional 2 minutes.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Oven Roasted Vegetables

I had a mixture of fresh vegetables in the house and decided to combine them for an easy side dish to go along with the turkey breast that I made.  This is an easy way to make them and clean up is even easier since you use a plastic bag to add spices and oils to the vegetables and bake them on a lined baking sheet pan.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

12 fingerling potatoes, cooked and cooled
2 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2" slices
3/4# green beans, cleaned

Seasoning ~

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian Seasonings

Cut fingerling potatoes in half lengthwise, and place in a gallon plastic bag.   Add in the rest of the vegetables, olive oil and spices.  Close top and shake until spices and oil are evenly distributed.  Place on a non-stick aluminum foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350°.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Poultry Spice Rub

It was raining on Sunday (a total of 1.5") and that's when I wanted to grill a turkey breast.  Since it wasn't going to let up anytime soon, I opted for the crock pot.  It worked out great and the meat was still very moist with a crispy, spicy skin shell.

Poultry Spice Rub

2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder]
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Rub 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on your turkey breast or chicken that has been rinsed and patted dry.  Apply the spice rub.  Place in your crock pot or a pan and bake until the temperature of the poultry is 165°.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Strawberry Mascarpone Cake

I love strawberry season.  They are so good to eat plain or in desserts.  I decided to make a cake and I used some Mascarpone that I had in the refrigerator.  You could substitute in sour cream if you don't have any Mascarpone. 

Strawberry Mascarpone Cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup Mascarpone
2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

8 oz strawberries diced (1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup cake flour

In a small bowl, combine the diced strawberries and 1/4 cup cake flour.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until a light yellow.  Add in eggs, lemon juice and zest.  Blend in Mascarpone.  Stir in the dry ingredients and spices.  Gently fold in the strawberries.  Place in a greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake at 350° for one hour.  Allow to cool for 20 minutes before turning over unto a plate.  Cool completely before icing.

Icing ~

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pecan Chicken Breasts

I had leftover pecans from a dessert that I made so I decided to use them rather than leaving them sitting on my kitchen counter.  I was making chicken breasts for dinner so I grabbed my rolling pin and crushed them since it was far less mess than dragging out the food processor.  The rolling pin works great and it can also take out any underlying anger or frustration...not that that ever happens. 

Pecan Chicken Breasts

2 skinless, boneless (or bone-in) chicken breasts
1/4 cup pecans, crushed
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 egg

Take out 3 bowls for your dipping stations.  In the first, place the flour and spices.  In the second, whip the egg and 1 tsp water with a fork.  In the third bowl, place the pecans and Panko in.  Dip the chicken breasts in the flour, then the egg and finally the pecan/Panko mixture.  Place in a non-stick aluminum foil lined pan or greased one.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sweet Potatoes & Apples

It's a beautiful day.  Naturally rain is in the forecast for tomorrow so it's grilling time today.  I started off with a lunchtime side dish.  I had a sweet potato in my pantry and an apple in the refrigerator that both needed to be used so I combined them.  This is a perfect side for 2 people. Double the recipe if needed.  No water needed.  The apples will provide enough moisture in the packet.  

Sweet Potatoes & Apples

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 apple, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt

Take a 14" piece of heavy duty or no-stick aluminum foil.  Place the sweet potato and then the apple on top.  Sprinkle the brown sugar and spices on top.  Fold up into a packet.  Place on the side of the grill for 45 minutes.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Grilled Mexican Pork Chops

Such a tasty way to make pork chops on the grill.  The spices darken so nicely and the brown sugar caramelizes to give the chops a sweet crust.  

Grilled Mexican Pork Chops

3 - 4 pork chops
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Rub olive oil on both sides of the pork chops.  Grill over medium heat.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tuscan Fried Corn

I've been waiting for fresh vegetables all winter long and now that they are appearing in the grocery stores and at the Farmer's Market, the wait is over.  My little vegetable garden is just making it's appearance from the ground so I'll have to wait a little bit for them.  I've grilled sweet corn so far and now it's time for a new way to serve fresh corn.  Cutting the corn from the cobs is easy.  Just make sure you put it in a 9 x 9 pan or something similar to hold the kernels as you cut them off.

Tuscan Fried Corn

4 ears corn, shucked and sliced from ears
2 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 slices Prosciutto, cut into ribbons
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Melt butter in a large frying pan.  Add in corn and Prosciutto and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes stirring often.  Add in salt, freshly ground pepper and red pepper flakes.  Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Bites

This chicken bites do not need a dipping sauce since all the flavor that you want is layered on them.  The preparation is a little messy since you use 4 bowls but clean up is a breeze since you can bake them on a non-stick aluminum foil in the oven or on the grill.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Bites

1 1/2# chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

1st bowl - 

1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2nd bowl -

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3rd bowl -

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

4th bowl -

1/2 cup Chili Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup honey

Dip the chicken pieces into the flour mixture, then the eggs, roll in the Panko and dip into the honey & Chili sauce before placing on a baking sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil.  Sprinkle 1 tsp sesame seeds on top before baking.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350°.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Pumpernickel Bread

This is a recipe that I revisited.  The day started off beautiful but by 9:30 a.m., the lawn mowers were out in the neighborhood and everyone was out trying to beat the anticipated rain.  Around noon (and after a couple showers), I decided to bake bread.  I used dark cocoa last time I made this recipe.  This time I wanted to use instant coffee to see which one I liked better.  It's a tie.  They are both good.  

Pumpernickel Bread

4 cups bread flour
1 cup rye flour
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
2 tbsp instant coffee
1 3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup molasses
1 tbsp canola oil

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add in warm water, molasses and canola oil.  Stir with a wooden spoon until completely mixed.  Turn out on a floured board and knead for 5 minutes.  Put dough back in the bowl that you've placed some canola oil on the sides.  Turn dough over so all sides are oiled and cover with a clean towl.  Let rest until dough has doubled in size (approximately an hour).  Remove from bowl and cut in half and place in greased bread pans and let rise again.  Preheat oven to 350°.  When the oven is ready, place the pans in and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread 1 tbsp softened butter on top.  Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Grilled Ham Steak

Finally the weather warmed up and the wind made grilling possible.  Every available spare inch on the grill surface was filled with potatoes, corn on the cob and this ham steak.  Since I'm not a fan of mustard, I made a simple marinade and sauce to brush on while grilling that contained Heinz 57 sauce.  It wasn't overly tomato and sugar flavors like ketchup and still had the vinegar undertones.

Grilled Ham Steak

1 ham steak, approximately 1/2" thick
1/4 cup Heinz 57 sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp brown sugar

Trim the excess fat, if any, from the outside of the ham steak.  This will prevent fire flare ups.  Pour half the marinade mixture into a gallon size plastic bag that seals.  Add in the ham steak and let rest for one hour in the refrigerator.  Place the ham steak on your pre-heated grill.  Brush on the leftover sauce,  Flip with browned side and repeat brush on the marinade on the 2nd side.