Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lemon Ricotta Cake

This is a super moist cake that has just the right amount of lemon flavor not to be overpowering and perfect to serve with your favorite summertime fruits.

Lemon Ricotta Cake

In a large bowl combine ~

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

Whisk together and then using a pastry blender, add in 1/4 cup of cold butter that is cubed.  Blend until the butter is in small bits throughout the flour mixture.  Add in the following ~

3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
zest from 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla or lemon extract
1 cup milk

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

In a smaller bowl (or clean out the large one and reuse it for less dishes) combine ~

15 oz whole milk ricotta
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla (or lemon extract)

Stir until it's completely blended and pour over the top of the cake batter.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350°.  Allow to cool before serving.  Serve with strawberry or blueberry sauce.   Cover and refrigerate the leftover cake...if there's any.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Peach Bellini Sorbet

Ripe peaches blended with Prosecco make this a refreshing dessert on a hot summer day.   The peaches just keep getting better and better and we still have months of them to enjoy in so many different ways.  You don't even need an ice cream maker for this sorbet.  Just allow the mixture to cool in the refrigerator before placing in the freezer and it turns out perfect.  

Peach Bellini Sorbet

5 ripe peaches
2 tbsp lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup Prosecco

Puree the peaches until they are completely liquid.  Pour into a large saucepan with the lemon juice, sugar and corn syrup.  Heat over a medium low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the head and cool to room temperature.  Stir in the Prosecco and place in the refrigerator in an air tight container.  When it has cooled completely, place in the freezer for 24 hours. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Sunflower Wheat Hamburger Buns

My grocery store was out of regular wheat hamburger buns and I really don't like the "lite" ones since they fall apart.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and make some buns that are even better than the wheat buns.  I had some sunflower seeds on hand so I made these buns ~

Sunflower Wheat Hamburger Buns

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

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, chopped

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 and sunflower seeds in bread machine.  Pour in yeast and water mixture and set to dough setting.

When done, remove from machine and roll into a log.  Cut into 8 equal pieces, shape into a bun and place on a greased baking sheet.  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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mascarpone Meatballs

These meatballs are so tender and packed with Italian flavors that you'll want to make them again and again.  They are great for a light summertime meal.  Just add some vegetables and you are set.  

Mascarpone Meatballs

1# extra lean ground beef
1/2# ground pork
1 large egg
4 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1.8 tsp crushed red pepper

Cream together milk, egg and mascarpone.  In a large bowl, mix together the meat, panko and spices.  Add in the milk mixture and mix until completely combined.  Scoop out into balls and place on a non-stick aluminum foil lined large baking pan.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350°.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Raspberry Peach Cobbler

Fresh Georgia peaches are now in my grocery store so I couldn't resist making a peach dessert this weekend.  I added in some raspberries for a little bit color and flavor and topped it with a cinnamon dough.

Raspberry Peach Cobbler

4 peaches, peeled and sliced
1 pint raspberries
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour

Mix the fruit, lemon zest, sugar and flour together in a medium bowl.  Pour into a greased 8 x 8 pan.  In another medium bowl, combine the following -

1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cut in 2 tbsp cold butter with a pastry blender.  Stir in 1/2 cup buttermilk and spoon over the fruit.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Orange Scones

I enjoyed making the first batch of scones that I decided to make a new kind using an orange I had leftover in the refrigerator.  That's all you need - the zest for the scone and then use the juice for the glaze.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar

1 orange - use all the zest in the dough
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg


1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp orange juice

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the dough turns into course crumbs.  In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and the egg.  Add into the dry ingredients and stir until it's completely combined. Turn out on to a floured surface.  Pat into a circle that is approximately 1/2 - 3/4" thick.  Cut into 8 slices and put onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Make sure they are spread out since the scores will spread slightly.  Brush 2 tbsp whipping cream on top of the scones.  Bake for 15 minutes at 400°.  Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes and then spoon glaze over the scones.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ancho Chili Pulled Chicken Tostadas

A great summertime quick meal that you can make the chicken ahead of time and just throw it together in the oven or on the grill for a delicious lunch or dinner.  I make the refried beans in a large batch in the crock pot and then freeze them in 1 cup containers for future use.  Refried Beans recipe below.

Ancho Chili Pulled Chicken Tostadas

1# chicken tenders
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup onion, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Tostada shells
Mexican cheese blend
Lemon Crema

1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.  Add in the chicken fingers to lightly brown and the onion.  This won’t take long to cook.  Remove the chicken and fork shred before returning to the pan.  Add in the chicken stock and spices and allow the stock to reduce down over medium heat.  Use right away or refrigerate for future use.

Place a tablespoon of refried beans on top of each tostada.  Top with the ancho chicken, tomatoes, avocados and a Mexican cheese blend.  Heat oven to 350° and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.  For the grill, place on carefully and cook for about 4 minutes until the cheese melts.  Drizzle the lemon crema over and serve.

Crockpot Refried Beans ~

2 cups pinto beans
1/2 cup onion, peeled and chopped
2 dried chile chipotle
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin
1 cup V8 Juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rinse and clean pinto beans and soak overnight in 6 cups of water.  Put in crockpot on high with onions, garlic and chile chipotle on high.  Cook for 8 hours occasionally stirring and adding liquid as needed (the V8 juice and water).

When the beans are soft, mash and add cumin, salt and freshly ground pepper.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Honey Chipotle Ribs

It’s grilling season.  These spicy ribs didn’t spend all day out on the grill though.  They started for 4 hours in the crock pot and just finished up for the crisp exterior and the final coating of bbq sauce to make them cooked perfectly.

Honey Chipotle Ribs
1 rack baby back ribs
¼ cup honey

Rub –
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ cup of your favorite bbq sauce

Cut ribs into 3 piece sections.  Brush the fronts and backs of the ribs with honey and then pat the rub into both sides.  Place in the crock pot for 4 hours set on medium.  Remove from the crock pot and place right on a hot grill.  Grill on both sides for  few minutes until you get a nice crisp exterior.  Baste with bbq sauce and allow to cook on for a few minutes.