Thursday, August 27, 2015

Peach Tart

White peach score!  I found some beautiful and giant white peaches at the grocery score.  Originally I had planned on using 3 to make this recipe but only needed 2 to fill the tart pan.  This is one of the reasons I love summer.

Peach Tart

Tart Shell ~
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup cold butter, sliced in small pieces
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla
Put all the dry ingredients in your food processor with the blade and pulse until combined.  Add in butter slices.  Pulse again until just combined so the butter doesn’t get too warm.  In a small dish, combine the milk, egg and vanilla.  Pour into the flour mixture and pulse until a dough forms.  Remove the dough from the processor and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for a half hour.  Remove from the refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes.  Roll out until the dough is ¼” thick.  Butter  the bottom only of your tart pan.  Place dough in pan.  Only lightly pressing down and on the sides.  Trim off any extra.  Return to refrigerator while your oven heats up to 350°.  Cover the bottom of the dough with aluminum foil and add pie weights.  When the oven is heated, bake for 30 minutes.

Let the tart cool for 15 minutes.  While that is going on, melt 1/2 cup butter and allow to cool slightly.
When cool, stir in ~
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Skin and slice the peaches and lay in a circular pattern on your tart crust.  Pour butter mixture evenly over the top.  Return to the oven and bake for an additional 50 minutes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuscan Baked Beans

Baked beans without your normal sweet and tomato sauce.  There is a mild taste of tomato in the background but it's not overpowering.  

Tuscan Baked Beans

2 - 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 oz pancetta, cooked, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 - 3/4 cup chicken stock

Cook the pancetta.  After you remove the pancetta, cook the onion until carmelized and then add in the garlic and cook a minute longer.  In a crock pot, place in the cannellini beans, crumbled pancetta, cooked onions and garlic and stir in the honey, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup chicken stock.  Cook over medium heat for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add in up to 1/4 cup chicken stock if needed.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pear Crisp

Another sign of Fall going to make an appearance is that of beautiful pears showing up in the grocery stores.  I did try planting a pear tree a few years ago but one wicked cold winter did it's damage to the poor tree and it did not survive so it's back to store bought pears.  As with any crisp, the wonderful smell of cinnamon and fruit coming from your oven is one of the best smells that no candle can come close to copying.

Pear Crisp

6 pears, pared and sliced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cups brown sugar
4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small slices
1/2 cup quick oats

Grease a 9 x 9 glass baking pan.  Place the sliced pears and lemon juice at the bottom.  In a small bowl, combine the white sugar, cornstarch and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Sprinkle evenly over the pears and turn them over to coat on both sides.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon and brown sugar together.  Blend in the cold butter slices with a pastry blender until a crumbly mixture forms.  Stir in the quick oats and cover the pears.  Bake for 50 minutes at 350°.  Let cool 15 minutes if you are going to serve warm.  You can serve it like it is or top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Three Cheese Turkey Pasta Hotdish

After making turkey, you always need to find something to make with the leftovers.  I combined ingredients that were in my refrigerator and pantry to make this hotdish on a day that the temperature was in the low 60's and the house was chilly.  

Three Cheese Turkey Pasta Hotdish

2 cups cooked turkey, cut into small pieces
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth
8 oz soft cream cheese
3 oz Fontina cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp green chilies
1 cup peas
6 oz Dumpling noodles, cooked and drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Topping ~

1 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a small pan, melt 1 tbsp butter.  Add in Panko bread crumbs and spices.  Top the pasta mixture.

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil.  Add in minced garlic and cook for a couple minutes until softened.  Add in the 3 cheeses and broth.  When the cheese has melted, stir in the cream.  In a greased casserole or baking dish, add in drained pasta, turkey, green chilies and peas.  Stir until combined.  Pour the cheese mixture over and gently toss to combine.  Sprinkle with the topping.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Brined Turkey Breast

I've always wanted to try brining a turkey or turkey breast to see what it would be like.  It was soooooo moist and tender that it's worth the extra steps to make it. 

Brined Turkey Breast

1 - 6# fresh turkey breast
4 cups warm water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme

Place the turkey breast in a large pot.  In a bowl, combine the warm water, brown sugar, minced garlic and spices.  Stir to make sure the brown sugar and salt are dissolved before pouring into the pan with the turkey.  Cover the pot and place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.  I brined it over night.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bacon Waffles

What better way to start off the day than with the aroma of the ultimate comfort food ~ bacon.  It seemed like a good day to start off with a nice breakfast since there's been a break in the 90+ degree weather and high humidity outside.  A piece of bacon is in almost every bite and it adds that bit of saltiness that works well no matter if you want maple syrup or a berry one.  It works well with bit of apple butter as a topping too.  

Bacon Waffles

6 slices of bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs, separated
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

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

Bake per your waffle makers instructions.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Take 5 Bars

I like taking really good candy bars and transforming them into dessert form.  Maybe it started years ago when I had a Mounds bar frozen drink at Grandma's Restaurant in Duluth.  I still enjoy that occasionally.  I'm still grieving the loss of our Grandma's here in Fargo.  Good food.  Good times.  Back to the present...I had bought a bag of Take 5 candy bars to share for the office blues or stress relief. That got me thinking of ways to recreate it.  Although the candy bar doesn't really have a caramel layer,  mine do and it likes to ooze out.  I recommend storing them in the refrigerator.  I used a family hand me down pan that is 8 x 10.  If you use a 9 x 13, your bars will be thinner and I recommend an additional 2 Hershey's bars for the topping.

Take 5 Bars

Bottom layer ~

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

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

Cream together butter, peanut butter and brown sugar.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Fold in the dry ingredients and spread out in an greased baking pan.  Bake for 25 minutes for the 9 x 13 or 30 minutes for an 8 x 10 pan at 350°.  Allow to cool completely.  Break up 1 1/2 cups of pretzels and place on top of the bottom layer.  I broke them up in a plastic bag to contain the smallest pieces. 

Caramel layer ~

20 oz caramels
1/4 cup whipping cream

Mix in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the caramels are completely melted and mixed together with the cream.  Spread out over the pretzels.  Allow to cool completely.  Heat the oven again and spread out 4-6 Hershey's bars on top of the caramel mixture.  Return to the oven until it's just melted enough to spread out evenly.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then place in the refrigerator before cutting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Barbecue Potato Chips

It's funny how things change as you get older.  I never liked the ripple potato chips as a child (or old fashioned wieners).  No one else's parents had them.  They had the regular thin potato chips and thin-skinned hot dogs.  Now, I'm my parents daughter and prefer things just like they did.  At least potato chip and hot dogs.  I still will cringe at the thought of asparagus.  Since I love rippled potato chips, I wanted to season some in a barbecue flavor myself.  You'll see sugar as an ingredient.  You can leave it out but if you want your chips to taste like those you buy at the market, you need to add the sugar.


Barbecue Potato Chips

1 bag ripple potato chips - 5-6 oz
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 dash cayenne

Lay the potato chips spread out on a jelly roll pan. Bake for 5 minutes at 350°.  While the chips are heating mix the spices in a small dish.  Remove the chips from the oven and place in a gallon size sealable bag.  Careful - the chips are hot.  Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chips and shake until evenly distributed.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Turkey Teriyaki

Sometimes it's fun to spend a Sunday in the kitchen preparing a meal and other times it's fun to spend the day outside enjoying the beautiful weather while it lasts.  I went for the second option.  This turkey basically cooks itself in the crock pot once you pour the sauce on top of it.  I just turned the tenderloins occasionally so they cooked evenly and were easy to fork shred.

Turkey Teriyaki

2 turkey tenderloins
1 cup pineapple

In a small saucepan combine ~

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp corn starch

Cook over medium heat, whisking until it thickens.  When it's thickened, add in 3 tbsp honey.  Pour over the turkey tenderloins and cover.  Cook over medium heat for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally.  Fork shred the meat and discard the pineapple.  I do recommend you serve it with fresh pineapple if over rice.  Top with green scallions if desired.

Serve over rice or toast some Hawaiian Rolls and serve as sandwiches.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Snickerdoodle Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches

Two summertime desserts combine to form another dessert.  You take a cookie and some ice cream for a cinnamon peach ice cream sandwich....a match made in heaven.  It's peach season and that makes me very, very happy.  Our area is getting them from Georgia and Colorado and they are all delicious.  I first thought about making oatmeal cookies to use and adding cinnamon to them but I thought they'd be too wimpy so I went for a Snickerdoodle that has plenty of cinnamon flavor.  This is a dessert you can make ahead and keep in your freezer for a week if you'd like.

Snickerdoodle Cookies ~

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 3/4 cups flour

Topping to roll dough in ~

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream together sugars and butter.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Fold in the dry ingredients.  Scoop into even sized balls and roll in the cinnamon & sugar mixture before placing on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes at 350°.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes on the baking sheets before moving to racks to finish cooling.
Makes 40 cookies.

Peach Ice Cream ~

In a large food processor place ~

3 large ripe peaches, peeled and pitted
1 cup sugar

Pulse until peaches are completely pureed.

Add in ~

1 cup whipping cream
1 - 12 oz can of evaporated milk

Place in your ice cream maker and run per manufacturer's directions.  When done, put in an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

To assemble ice cream sandwiches, take a cookie and place it upside down.  Add a scoop of the peach ice cream and top with another cookie.  Wrap in plastic wrap and return to freezer for at least an hour before serving.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Carrots

These carrots are sure to please even the fussiest vegetable eater in your home.  The brown sugar makes this sweet vegetable more so and the little kick from cayenne will please the older eaters.

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Carrots

1# fresh regular carrots or baby carrots
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne

Place the carrots on a non-stick baking sheet or use non-stick aluminum foil for an easy clean up.  In a small saucepan, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Stir until the butter has melted and everything is combined.  Pour over the carrots and bake for 45 minutes (or until fork tender) at 350°.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Crock Pot Beef Ragu

My tomatoes in my garden aren't quite ready to use for a ragu yet but this fall and winter, I'll be using some to make this recipe again.  And it paired perfectly with the creamy cheese polenta that I shared the recipe for yesterday.

Crock Pot Beef Ragu

2 pounds round steak
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 sprigs thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Place the olive oil to heat in a frying pan.  When heated, add in round steak to brown each side.  In your crock pot, mix together the remainder of the ingredients.  Add in the browned round steak and nestle down into the tomato mixture.  Cook on medium for 4 hours and then turn down to low.  Cook until the meat falls apart.  Serve over polenta or potatoes.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Creamy Cheese Polenta

I love an easy side dish, especially when I'm making a few dishes all at once.  Just a stir occasionally and this is pretty much good to go on it's own.  Plus it's a delicious base to a meat dish that you top it with.  I'll be posting what I topped mine with tomorrow.  The combination was pretty tasty.

Creamy Cheese Polenta

1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup polenta
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp mascarpone cheese

Bring the water and milk to a boil.  Whisk in the polenta and turn down the heat to medium low.  Add in sea salt and pepper and stir (with a wooden spoon).  Continue to stir frequently as it cooks and thickens.  This will take about a half hour.  When it has thickened, remove from heat and stir in the butter, mascarpone and cheddar cheeses.  

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Meatball Pizza

I had a pound of extra ground beef that needed a home.  What better than resting on top of a pizza?  Little meatballs nestled in cheese and sauce.  The red pepper slices are a little camera shy and hide until the cheese but they added a nice flavor to the pizza.

Meatball Pizza

Meatballs ~

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 large egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, grated

Mix all the ingredients together and shape into small meatballs.  Place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 350°.

Pizza Dough ~

2/3 cup warm water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast

Combine the above in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups flour and 1/2 tsp salt.  Pour in the yeast measure and stir with a wooden spoon.  Turn out onto a lightly dusted board and knead for 3 minutes.  Place a teaspoon of olive oil into the bowl and return the dough, turning to coat the oil on all sides.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled.  Punch down and knead again.  Cover and let rest for a half hour before taking out to use.  Spread out evenly on a pizza pan and pinch up the sides.

Pizza Sauce

1 - 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 - 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Put everything in a small saucepan and heat.  Super easy sauce.

Top the dough with pizza sauce (however much you like ~ I froze the remainder for the next pizza).  Top with peppers, mushrooms or whatever you like.  Spread 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup shredded Fontina cheese.  Spread out the mini meatballs.  Place in a 350° for 20-25 minutes.