Welcome Fellow Food Enthusiasts

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tortellini Soup

Thank you Katie Rammell for this wonderful recipe in our cookbook.  This soup is one of my favorites!  Plus I just LOVE tortellini.

1 lb ground italian sausage
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup water
2 tomatoes, chopped (or 1 14oz can diced tomatoes)
3 large carrots, sliced
1 T oregano
1 3/4 c tomato paste
1 t parsley
1 bay leaf
1-2 zucchini, sliced
1 10-oz pkg. tortellini (I buy the frozen kind, with cheese inside!)

Brown sausage and drain.  Saute onion and garlic.  Add everything but zucchini and tortellini.  Simmer for a couple hours.  Add zucchini and tortellini 45 mins before serving.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Peanut Butter Blossoms

I really love cookies.  I love baking them, I love eating the dough, and I love giving them to people.  This recipe comes from my good friend Lindsey, and is quite possibly the best peanut butter blossom cookie recipe around.  The difference comes from rolling the cookies in raw sugar instead of regular sugar and using three milk chocolate chips instead of a Hershey's kiss on top.  They are delicious!

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 tsp. vanilla
48 candy kisses, or milk chocolate chips
(I did not get 48 cookies out of this batch, maybe I made mine too big!)
*Raw sugar for rolling

Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl, mixing until fluffy.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a seperate bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine on a low speed.  Shape the dough (it will be sticky not dry) into balls and roll in big-chunk raw sugar.  Bake 9-10 minutes (7 minutes in my oven) at 400 degrees.  Top immediately with a kiss (or 3 milk chocolate chips) and press into cookie.  Cool on a wire rack.

*Raw sugar, or turbinado sugar is found in all grocery stores.  Look for it where the regular sugar is, usually on the top shelf.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Featherweight (blueberry) pancakes

This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen . Have you seen that show?  It's on PBS on Saturday and it's pretty awesome.  It's this giant test kitchen on the east coast that basically takes every recipe known to man and tests and tests and re-tests them trying different methods and ingredients and finally coming up with what they think is the perfect result.  They are always right!

You need to know that I an a lover of all breakfast foods, pancakes in particular and basically these are the best homemade pancakes I've ever tried, perfectly tender and very light.  They don't make your stomach feel like it has a pit in it after eating 2...or 5.  We made them today with blueberries and served with homemade plum syrup and they were just divine! Oh, I also double this recipe and if we have leftovers (not lately) they freeze beautifully.

Featherweight pancakes

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk (plus an extra tablespoon or so if the batter is too thick)
1 large egg, separated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil - for brushing griddle (I just use my nonstick griddle and omit the oil)

MIx the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.  Pour buttermilk and milk into a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup.  Mix yolk with melted butter, then stir into milk mixture.  Whisk egg white in a large bowl to stiff peaks.  Dump wet ingredients into dry ingredients all at once; whisk until just mixed.  Quickley fold egg whites into batter.

Meanwhile, heat griddle or large skillet over strong medium-high heat.  Brush griddle generously with oil (or use a good non-stick griddle).  When water splashed on surface confidently sizzles, spoon batter, about 1/4 cup at a time, onto griddle, making sure not to overcrowd. If you are going to add fruit (blueberries or sliced bananas) add it now onto the wet batter so they sink in a bit.  When pancakes bottoms are brown and top surface starts to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes, flip cakes and cook until remaining side has browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer.  Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

My fabulous sister in law gave me this recipe long ago and it became a family favorite quickly.  This bread is so moist and succulent, and as a result doesn't last long in my house.

6 mashed bananas
4 eggs
4 c sugar
1 1/3 c oil
1 c sour cream
2 t vanilla
2 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
4 c flour
1 bag chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together, in order given.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean in the middle.  Makes 4 loaves. (Often times I HALF this recipe, because often I make this on a whim and I don't have six bananas layin' around.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Salmon Brown Sugar Glaze

Sorry, I don't have an original picture . . . we yummed this up way too quickly.  So here's a beautiful picture I found of Brown Sugar Salmon on the Internet. :)

3 T brown sugar
1 T honey
2 T butter
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
1 T finely grated ginger (I used powered ginger, just less - like 1 tsp)

Melt the brown sugar, honey and butter in a small saute pan over med-high heat.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger.  Let cool.

Brush over salmon before cooking (with veg. oil and salt and pepper to taste--optional).

Serve with broiled red potatoes and your favorite steamed veggie.  Melt in your mouth good!  Enjoy.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookies

I just found this recipe from the Picky Palate.  Our family tried them and loved them!

2 sticks softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
2 large eggs plus 1 egg white
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, chopped. 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer beat the butter, sugars and corn syrup until well combined….light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (probably don't need the whole bag). Mix only until just combined. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until just turning golden around edges. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Yields 4 dozen cookies

raspberry shortbread bars.


these were a family favorite growing up, and i continue to make and loooove them. i dare you to eat just one bar! {sorry, no picture of the cut bars. these went straight from the oven to gina's house to be devoured!}

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
approximately 1 cup raspberry jam, divided
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. gradually add flour, beating at low speed until blended.

divide dough into 2 equal portions; roll each portion into a 12-inch by 3-inch strip. place strips on lightly greased baking sheets. {i don't use a rolling pin, i just shape them with my hands, pressing them right on the cookie sheet.}

press indentations along the middle of each bar, allowing for jam to be spooned in without dripping off the sides. spoon half of jam evenly into indentations.

bake at 350° for 15 minutes. remove from oven; spoon remaining jam into indentations. bake 5 more minutes or until lightly browned.

whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and extract; drizzle over warm shortbread. cut each strip diagonally into 1-inch slices. cool in pans on wire racks.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Turkey Marinade

This is one super easy recipe. It is soooo good!

2 cups soy sauce
2 cups sprite
1 cup oil
3 T horseradish sauce

Mix well. It looks weird but it will taste yummy! Add raw turkey strips and soak overnight. You will need to flip sides for all sides of the turkey to be marinaded. When done, grill and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stars and Stripes Cake

Sorry, I realize that we've passed the fourth of July, but maybe you can remember this post and try it next year. Plus you can improvise and use the idea for lots of other holidays.

I got the idea from my friend Cameron who made this cake for his office. Here's the blog post where he got the idea. I really recommend following the instructions on the blog for how to build the cake. First I'll share the recipe that I used to make the cake. I got the recipe from this blog and loved it.

Easy White Cake
1 box MOIST white cake mix
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c granulated sugar
3/4 t salt
4 egg whites
1 1/3 c water
2 T vegetable oil
1 c sour cream
1 t vanilla extract
1 t almond extract

I actual made two batches of the batter, it made for a really tall cake though. After mixing all the ingredients, put 1/4 the mix into a separate bowl (about 3 cups of batter). You will make this separated portion your blue batter, so add blue food coloring to get the color you desire. Divide the remaining batter in half. This will be your red and your white batter. You'll see on the website, they encourage you to buy the cookie cutters. I sort of made my own rings. I'd recommend the cookie cutters for a consistent size. I also recommend making sure the batter levels are even before removing the rings. My top layers were a little off because the batter distributed unevenly.

OK, for the baking part. Heat the oven to 350°. For the time, it depends on how thick the cake is. The blog says 12-15 minutes I think? Nope - mine took longer. But I set the timer for 18 minutes, and if it wasn't done, I'd add 5 more minutes. And of course, they cook a little in the pan.

Also, I recommend cutting the round top off the cakes before freezing the cakes. But freezing the cakes was a great suggestion.

For frosting, I made 2ish batches as well. I made a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.
Ingredients (for the doubled batch):
3 cubes cream cheese, room temperature
4 sticks butter, room temperature
the rind and the juice of 2 lemons
Enough powdered sugar to give the taste you like (I used a whole bag, but that's about 1/2 the recommended amount)

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to frosting the cake.

Here is a photo of the inside of my finished cake. You can see how my blue is uneven.

I didn't decorate the outside until I got to my friend's home. I thought the kids would enjoy doing the decorating. So here's the cake ready to transport. The skewers did a great job of keeping the cake together for the 45 minute drive.

I loved the blog's idea of using food coloring and cookie cutters for doing the decorating - so did Jackson.

And it was so good, the kids didn't think silverware necessary.