Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Strawberry Oatmeal Scones

 Strawberry Oatmeal Scones with a vanilla lime glaze

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Whisk together the egg and buttermilk and set aside. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Add the cold butter pieces and cut in with a pastry blender or your hands, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir with a stiff wooden spoon until just incorporated. Gently mix in the chopped strawberries. The mixture will be very sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface and gently knead 8-10 times and press the dough into a disk about 1 1/2 inches thick. Portion the dough into about 12 wedges or balls and transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool about 10 minutes before serving.
 These were absolutely fantastic.Our kids loved them too and gobbled them right up. I made a glaze to go on top for just a little something extra.

  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lime zest
Combine all ingredients and mix till nice and smooth.Drizzle on completely chilled scones or dip the scones in the glaze.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Salad from my mom and dads garden.....

This is a salad dressing that just brings me back to my childhood. Growing up we always had a garden and there is just something so special about home grown things to me. We made a trip to my mom and dads a few little while ago and of course their garden is as always growing beautifully. We came home with a HUGE bag of leafy greens, spinach, radishes, dill and green onions. I got to work the next day!!!!

1 cup of buttermilk
3 Tbsp mayonaise
3 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon
3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
3 Tbsp green onion, chopped
1/4 cup radishes, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, and vinegar in a large bowl till well combined then add the remaining ingredients and mix. Chill for at least 30 min then serve over a salad.
Home grown leafy greens are a little more work. Most of them are covered in dirt and may have little creatures living in them so they need a very good thorough washing and then drying. All worth the extra effort.
Yummmmmy radishes!

Chicken stuffed shells in an alfredo sauce.....

I made this the other night and we literally wanted to lick the baking dish. It was super delicious and it's pretty easy to make with the help of some store bough ingredients. The sauce is actually a recipe that I got from Neal's mom. It's used for a slow cooker recipe but I have used it in so many ways.

Ingredients for the sauce:
1 Family size cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 packer DRY Italian dressing

Directions for the sauce:
Combine all the ingredients and mix till well combined.

Ingredients for the filling:
1 box of the large shells cooked according to the box directions
2 chicken breasts on the bone
fresh herbs of your choice (I used a few leaves of basil a tsp of fresh rosemary and 1/2 tsp thyme)
3 Tbsp roasted red pepper chopped
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

Preheat the over to 375 degrees.
Place the chicken in a baking dish. Separate the skin from the meat and shove the herbs underneath the skin. This gives the chicken a really nice flavor. Drizzle the olive oil all over the chicken then season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for about an hour till the skin is nice and crispy and the meat pulls off the bone. Let the chicken cool then pull off the skin and pull the meat off the bone and shred the meat. Add half the sauce to the meat and mix well then add the roasted red pepper and Tbsp of the leftover sauce mix till combined. Place a few Tbsp of the sauce on the bottom of your baking dish place the shells on top and pour the leftover sauce all over that. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. Bake for 45 min to an hour at 375 degrees or until nice and brown on top.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl Cheesecake...

New York Style Cheesecake with a Strawberry Rhubarb swirl

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp, butter, melted
4 8oz pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup strawberry rhubarb mixture

Strawberry Rhubarb sauce
1 cup rhubarb
1 cup strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1Tbs water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until all ingredients are soft and falling apart. Run the sauce through a sifter to get rid of the little strings of the rhubarb and the strawberry seeds. Let the sauce cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of a deep, 8 inch spring form pan with parchment.
 Mist paper and pan with cooking spray. 
Wrap the outside of the spring form with a double layer of aluminum foil.
Place the graham crackers in a ziplock bag and roll with a rolling pin until finally crushed. You can also use a food processor if you have one that works.....sob sob. I dropped mine and it broke!
Melt the butter and stir into the graham crackers until moistened.

Press evenly into bottom of pan. I used a measuring cup to help me get nice and even. Bake crust for 10 minutes: cool on a rack. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. 
Using in an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla until combined, scraping inside of bowl.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended after each. 
 Gently fold in the sour cream 
Pour the batter into the spring form pan.
Place little circle dobs all around the cheesecake the run a toothpick through the center of the circle dobs. 
Place pan in a larger roasting pan; fill outside pan with hot water until it comes halfway up side of spring form pan. Bake cake until it just appears to be set, but center is still slightly jiggly, 60 to 70 minutes. Remove pan from water bath and place on a rack. Run a small knife around inside edge of pan to loosen cake. Cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate until firm, 8 hours.

ohhh yum yum.....my behind just keeps growing!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Raspberry Macarons

Raspberry French Macarons
yields 50 (100 shells) macarons (feel free to divide it for fewer cookies)

  • 120g almond meal
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 100g egg whites
  • 30-35g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp raspberry extract


Line 2-3 heavy gauge aluminum baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners. Prep a piping bag with a round tip (I use a Ateco #11 for most of my macs, though I'll occasionally use a #804 for larger macarons or you can use a zip-lock bag). I place the bag into a tall drinking glass (or stout glass) and cuff the bag's opening over the top, this makes the bag easy to fill hands-free.
Weigh out almond meal and powdered sugar and coffee and sift together to remove any clumps. (If you own a food processor, I highly recommend blending the ingredients and then sifting)

Weigh out the egg whites into a large mixing bowl (stainless steel or copper), if you're using stainless feel free to add a pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or couple drops of lemon juice to help strengthen the whites ( I used 1 tsp of Meringe powder).

Weigh out the granulated sugar.

Begin beating the eggs on low speed. What you're doing here is unraveling the egg white's proteins (these are what will capture the air bubbles you whisk in), they're bundled up and you need to gently unwind them. A light touch does this far better than scrambling them on high speed. Once the egg whites are very foamy, begin sprinkling in the sugar as you beat. Increase the speed to medium, if necessary, and beat the meringue to stiff glossy peaks. (If they start looking grainy, clumpy or dry... uh... you've gone too far.) Add the raspberry extract and food coloring and mix till well combined.
Before I added the extract and food coloring
with the food coloring and extract
Add about 1/4 of the almond/sugar mixture and fold in until no streaks remain. Continue to add the almond mixture in quarters, folding until you reach the proper batter.
Mixing in the sugar and almond meal

Pour the batter into your prepared piping bag and pipe rows of batter (dollops a little bigger than a quarter) onto the baking sheets, giving them space to spread.

Tap the pan on the counter to bring up any air bubbles and quickly pop them with a toothpick.
Allow the cookies to rest on a level surface for 30-60 minutes. Until they are no longer tacky to a light touch. If you have problems with burst shells, you may need to allow them to rest longer or double stack your baking sheets to provided better insulation from the bottom.
While they rest, place an oven rack in the lower 3rd of your oven and preheat to 275-310°F (I've had the most success with about 285-290°F). I do not use fan-forced (convection) heat. If your oven tends to brown the cookies, consider placing a rack in the top of the oven with a baking sheet on it to shield the cookies. Occasionally my top element in my spastic electric oven turns on and browns my cookies, upsetting me greatly.

Bake the cookies for 16-20 minutes depending on their size.

Remove the cookies from the sheet soon after removing from the oven. If they're very sticky you may need to allow them to cool a little but ideally they'll have good bottoms and you can lift them right off the paper immediately. Place them upside down on a surface to cool (I find allowing them to cool upside down prevents the cookie's interiors from settling during cooling and creating hollows).

Once cool they're ready to fill.

Raspberry butter cream with a hint of lime

  • 150g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 4 Tbsp raspberry preserves (sift if they have seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
Cream the butter and icing sugar till pale in colour and fluffy add raspberry preserves and lime zest.
Transfer the butter cream to a piping bag and if its too soft , refrigerate to become firmer, about 30 minutes.Alternatively if it's the right spreadable consistency leave at room temperature until needed.
Makes approximately 60 finished macarons

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie....

Prep: 35 min     Bake Time: 55 min     Cool: 2 hours     *8 servings

Rhubarb is very tart so there is a lot of sugar in this pie. If you are using young rhubarb that is picked early in the season, the lower amount of sugar will probably be enough. Mature rhubarb needs more sugar.

Pastry for a Two-Crust Pie
2 cup sugar ( I only used 1 1/2 and it was perfect)
4 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp grated orange peel (optional)
3 cups 1/2 inch pieces rhubarb
3 cups diced strawberries
1 Tbsp butter or stick margarine

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Make Pastry.
 Mix sugar, corn starch and orange peel in a large bowl. Stir in the rhubarb and strawberries.
 Turn into pastry lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over the rhubarb and strawberries.
 Cover with top pastry that has slits cut in it to let out steam.
 Seal the edges of pastry and flute and if you have any left over you can use cookie cutters to cut out any decorations desired. Cover the edge with 2-3 inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove the foil during the last 14 min of baking.
Bake about 55 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the juice begins to bubble through the slits in crust. Cool on wire rack at least 2 hours.
Rhubarb on FoodistaRhubarb


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