Friday, April 29, 2011

Tomatolicious Bruschetta

I love Tomatoes!  I eat them plain with salt and pepper all the time.  During the summer I use them in just about every meal I make.  They are versatile, delicious, and have so many different variaties and flavors that they make my mouth water!

A few weeks ago I told you about my Bruschetta recipes I have been working on, so here is #2....

6 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Baguette loaf
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a mixing bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper.

Let the mixture sit and marinate for about 15-20 minutes.

Turn the Broiler on the oven on low, and place tin foil on a cookie sheet.

Cut the Baguette into 3/4 inch slices, and place a couple inches a part on the cookie sheet.

Spoon the tomato mixture evenly onto each slice, and drizzle with just a little olive oil.

Sprinkle the cheese on top of each piece.

Broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  (Once the cheese is melted I normally turn the broiler up and "toast" the cheese so it's a little harder then regular, smooth, melted cheese, but it's totally up to you.)

Kirkie's Blue Cheese Burgers

In the honor of grilling season (and hoping that I can wish this snow falling in Utah, away) I have come up with a few different Burger recipes.  The first one is dedicated to the cutest 57 year old I know...Kirkie Poo (my Dad).  
My Dad raised all of us on Blue Cheese.  My entire family loves the dressing, and so it's only right that I make a hamburger for him out of it.  
A lot of people use ranch to "dip" things in, but we always have used Blue Cheese.  Because of this over the years I have tried it with many, many, different things.  When I was 13 I even created my own Blue Cheese dressing recipe, which I will have to post.  Anyway I love this cheese, and I love this burger, so I hope you do too!

3lbs. Lean Ground Beef
6 oz. crumbled Blue Cheese
1/4 cup minced FRESH Chives
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. freshly ground Pepper (you want this kind of coarsely ground)
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Mustard
12 Hamburger Buns

In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients (minus the buns).  I normally use my hands to smash everything together because it just mixes it really well.

Once everything is mixed, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.  (DO NOT miss this step.  Letting it sit will really bring out the flavor of the cheese in the meat and will let the cheese break down enough to hold the meat together while on the grill.)

Make the meat into 12 hamburgers.  The easiest way to do this is to take a palm size ball of meat and slowly form into a circle making the outside a little thicker then the middle.  Make a little dimple in the center with your thumb while you are forming the meat.

Oil your grill, or trust me these will stick.  I know a lot of people don't oil their BBQer, but this is a must.  Just take your pastry brush, or napkin and soak it with oil and brush onto the grill.

Grill the hamburgers until they are thoroughly cooked.

Serve with any toppings you like.  I normally grill my bun just a little and then put the hamburger on the bun with a little mayo, tomato, romaine lettuce, red onion, a little grated garlic, some crumbled blue cheese, a little mustard, and a dash of BBQ sauce, and Bacon is always amazing on hamburgers, so go ahead and add that too!  It turns out delicious!!  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

Okay, Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes....need I say more?!  :)  I have always been in love with "Nothing Bundt Cakes" lemon raspberry cake, so I had to come up with a smaller version that I can eat with my stomach.  :)  So here we go!

For the Cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two lemons
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray

To Make The Cake:
1.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
3. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.
4. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean.
Cool on wire rack.

For the Raspberry Buttercream
1/2 cup raspberries (blended into a puree and pushed through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds)
1 stick salted butter – room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1/2 cup shortening*
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of raspberry extract*
1 1/2 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
2-4 tablespoons milk (add until you reach desired consistency)

1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add extracts and raspberry puree.
2. Begin adding in the sugar and mix thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the milk… one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.

*If you don’t have raspberry extract, simply add a little bit more raspberry puree until you reach your preferred level of raspberry flavor. If you add more puree, cut back on the milk.
*If you do not like to use shortening, simply sub in butter. The frosting will not be as structurally sound, but will taste just as delicious.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Turkey Burgers and Brats

In Utah we never know when it's going to be a good day or not, so when it is my husband and I take full advantage of it.  We decided to do one of our favorite things today for lunch....BBQ.  I love coming up with new Burger recipes, but I normally don't work with ground Turkey.  Today that was Dave's special request.  He wanted a Turkey Burger, so here is what I came up with.

1.25 lbs Ground Turkey
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
1/2 Onion diced
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
1 egg
1 palm full grated Parmesan
5-10 Saltine Crackers crushed

Mix everything together with your hands.  Squish it in and out of your fingers to make sure everything gets blended really well.  Form into 3 hamburgers.

Grill on your BBQ (or you can do it on the stove top) until it's completely cooked.

Then I like to use a homemade bun or a bakery fresh bun.  I warm them up so they're soft and then put your juicy burger right on top.

On top of the burger slather on your favorite BBQ sauce, and enjoy.  Yup....that's it.  Bun, burger, sauce..Perfection. 

As for the Brats....those are my favorite.  I purchase a really high quality brat from my butcher here in Utah.  Then I just place them on the grill and wait for them to pop open.  I eat them with a really high-grade German mustard, and it's delicious!

For the grilled asparagus that you can see, I make them really simple.  I line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Prepare the asparagus and drizzle with Olio and Company Olive Oil (my favorite) and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  I normally toss them with my hands before I put them in the oven.  I just feel like everything comes out better when you do it with your hands instead of a spoon/fork.  
Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.  After 6 minutes I just toss them around a little bit and then arrange them in a line again.

3rd Time's a Charm Cinnamon Rolls

This particular name comes from me, because it took me 3 times on a Saturday making these cinnamon rolls until I finally produced an actual batch that worked.  Make sure to read the entire directions before starting cinnamon rolls.  Enjoy!
 Letting them raise
 roll them out
 let them raise again
 Time to Bake!

2 Tbs. active dry yeast
1½ cup sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbs. salt
½ cup canola oil
½ cup canned evaporated milk
2 beaten eggs
7-8 cups flour (enough for a soft but not sticky dough)
½ cup (1 stick) melted butter
Cinnamon for dusting
This is what you want your yeast to look like before use.
Dissolve the yeast in 2½ cups very warm water.  Allow yeast mixture to bloom, usually about 10-15 minutes.  

During this time, combine the salt, 4 cups of flour and ½ cup of sugar in the mixer.  Add the yeast mixture, evaporated milk, oil, and eggs to the dry ingredients.  Mix all ingredients together, adding the rest of the flour 1 cup at a time, until incorporated.  Cover and let rest and rise for 30 minutes in the mixer, or until the dough has doubled in size. Cover with a paper towel.

After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and hook back up to your mixer.  Beat the dough with the mixer for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a floured surface.  

Roll out the dough about 12” wide by 24-30” long, keeping it about ¼”-½” thick.  Spread with the melted butter, then sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of Brown sugar over the rolled dough.  Dust liberally with cinnamon.  

Roll up and pinch the flap to seal the roll.  Cut in about 1” slices.  Makes about 12-24 rolls.  Arrange in baking pans sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Let rise until double or triple in bulk. (I normally put 6 rolls on a baking sheet and let rise until the entire baking sheet is covered).
Bake in a 350o oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool for about a half hour before frosting.

1 bag Powdered Sugar
1 stick of butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. cream cheese 

Mix all ingredients together with electric mixer.  Slowly pour milk until the frosting is the consistency that you like.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Christmas Morning Aebleskiver

My entire life every Christmas morning my Dad has made Aebleskivers for anyone and everyone who wants to come.  I remember Christmas morning my house being filled with people from my church and all of our neighbors coming to have breakfast.  I love it on Christmas, but I have started making them every Easter for my family as well.  I wanted to share this delicious recipe for you in case you want something delicious and fun for Easter morning.

2 Egg Whites 
2 C. All purpose flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 T. White Sugar
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Egg Yolks
4 T. Butter Melted
2 C. Buttermilk
1 Cube of butter cut into little chunks

In a bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they can hold a stiff peak. Set aside.   

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, sugar, egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk at one time and beat until smooth. Gently fold in the egg whites last. 

Put about 1tablespoon of butter in the bottom of each aebleskiver pan cup and heat until hot. Pour in about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each cup. As soon as they get bubbly around the edge, turn them quickly (Danish cooks use a long knitting needle, but a fork will work). Continue cooking, turning the ball to keep it from burning.

#2 Bruschetta-Roasted Tomato Garlic


2 pints grape tomatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 loaf baguette bread

2 cloves garlic, halved

4 scallions, finely chopped

1/2 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Coat the tomatoes in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes to concentrate the flavor and burst the tomatoes.
Cut 2 large "planks" of bread each 1-inch thick by slicing the bread lengthwise horizontally. Reserve the rest of the loaf for another use.
When you remove the tomatoes from the oven, switch on broiler. Char bread on both sides then rub hot bread with cut garlic.
In a bowl, lightly mash the roasted tomatoes and combine with scallions and basil. Top the large planks with tomato mixture then cut each giant crostini into 4 pieces, 8 pieces total.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rosemary Crock-Pot Chicken

6 Chicken Breast Halved
½ Cup Sliced Celery
1 Cup Sliced Carrots
1 Can white beans
1/3 Cup Italian Dressing
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Rosemary

Brown Chicken.  Drain and Rinse white beans.  Put beans, carrots, and celery in the bottom of the crock-pot.  Layer chicken over that.  Mix together salt, pepper, italian dressing, and rosemary.  Dump over chicken mixture.  Let cook on low for 7 hours.

I serve mine over brown rice, but you can also do white.

Coconut Cream Rice Pudding

Coconut and Cream Rice Pudding

1 Cup Shredded Coconut
14oz./1 can Coconut Milk
14oz./1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Cups Milk 
2 Cups Half and Half
4 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Jasmine Rice (absolutely vital that you use Jasmine)
1/2 teaspoon of Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Put wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Spread out the 1 cup coconut on the cookie sheet.  Place in oven and TOAST the coconut until lightly golden. (About 5-8 min.) Remove from oven and let cool.

In a bowl whisk the 4 eggs just until broken and mixed thoroughly.  Mix coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, milk, half and half, the Jasmine rice, salt, and cooled coconut into the egg mixture.  Whisk very gently until everything is combined well.

Pour the mixture into a prepared crock-pot (by prepared I mean that it is sprayed with a butter flavored non-stick cooking spray).  Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or until the rice is tender.

Place in bowls and serve with fresh raspberries or frozen cherries.

Ice Cream Caramel

1 18oz can of Sweet and Condensed Milk

Turn can on side in a pot and immerse in water.
Leave on a simmer or light boil for 2 hours making sure the can is covered in water the whole time.
Remove from heat and let cool completely before opening.  If you don't let it cool you will have a mess!
The condensed milk will be thick and a caramel color.  Enjoy!