Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring Breakfast - Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

I always feel like I'm at the end of finding new ideas for breakfast....

And then I find another recipe I wouldn't have thought of and I get excited again. Excited because I'm anticipating Spring and want everything I'm cooking/baking right now to reflect Spring.

Enter the Lemon Poppyseed Waffles with Blueberry Sauce thanks to our good friend the Epi App on the Iphone...

Unless I want to get up early on Sundays, I have a limited amount of recipes I can delve into so we can get to church on time. The great part about waffles is that once you make the batter you just pop them in and in a few minutes their done. So I can still sleep in and make a traditional weekend breakfast AND get to church on time...

This is what any working girl would call a win/win...

Poppy seeds are the one thing I've started adding to my shopping list because so many new baking recipes have cropped up with them in it. So it makes sense to keep them on hand.

So if you want to usher in spring make sure you make this recipe. Because I promise you, when we got up it was cold and cloudy but the sun definitely came out once we were finished eating.

Try it.

Lemon Poppyseed Waffles with Blueberry Sauce
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp grated lemon peel

Blueberry sauce
1 pint fresh blueberries
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar

Blueberry Sauce - in a saucepan combine blueberries, lemon juice and sugar and cook on medium until blueberry sauce becomes thick

Waffles - Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture and whisk until just blended. Let mixture stand 15 minutes. Preheat waffle iron according to instructions and spoon batter into waffle iron. Cook through about 7 minutes. Top with warm blueberry sauce.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

More Weekend Breakfast Recipes - Corn Muffin Souffles

Its fitting that I'm watching "Baking with Julia" as I write this....

Or more like a disgrace...

I've done a little research on souffles lately after really never making one on my own...Because I feel like you need to learn the skill or technique behind making a certain dish . Why? Because if you haven't guessed I'm all about making what's in your pantry. Us working girls can drive ourselves crazy by trying to make recipes for which we never have the ingredients for. We need to use what's on hand.

 It seems like the basic thread is that a classic savory souffle is made by making a roux (butter and flour) adding milk, when that get's thick you add the egg yolks (by tempering them) and then you whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry and then combine...There are always additives cheese, herbs - you name it but that is the basic technique.

So I tried this and failed the first time......Great...

OK - so I tried again...This time I did it my way. I had seen a grits souffle recipe and got the idea to use 1/4 cup of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix which I mixed with the egg yolks and aged gouda. Then I added in the egg whites and put in individual ramekins...

Success! So try it my way...It may not be classic but it works...This is also a great way to serve fancy corn muffins for dinner. Either way its worth a try.

5 eggs separated
1/4 cup Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1/2 cup grated aged gouda (or parmesean if you have more readily available)

First separate the eggs. Put the egg whites in a mixer and whip up until they are stiff but not dry. Put the yolks in a mixing bowl and add the corn muffin mix and the cheese. Whisk together.

Fold in the egg whites into the egg yok mixture until its completely incorporated. Place into individual ramekins into a 375 degrees oven for 10 - 15 minutes.

Put with some thick cut bacon and enjoy while you think about what you did wrong for your traditional souffle so you can tackle it again tommorrow.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chocolate Pots de Creme

I like to make the world better one Chocolate Pot de Creme at a time...

Because nothing makes you feel better than 5 egg yollks, 12 ounces of chocolate and heavy cream all mixed together and melted for your pleasure.

 When you look at this dessert, you do feel like its illustrating how bad your week was. Sometimes a bad work week can be described no better than a big black hole that has sucked your time and gives nothing back.

That's kind of what this looks like...

But the giving back part....Well that's where they are different.

Here's to hoping we have less bad weeks and more Pots de Creme.

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
5 egg yolks
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 tbsp of cinnamon

Heat the cream and milk together with the cinnamon until almost scalded. Beat egg yolks together and add 1/2 cup of almost scalded milk and whisk together. Then add egg mixture into the milk and heat on medium for 2 minutes.

Chop bittersweet chocolate and add to the milk/egg mixture and melt completely. Remove from the stove and put into individual ramekins. Makes roughly 5-6.

Top with whipped cream to lighten the mood.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sausages of all Flavors, Shapes and Sizes

You know those people who on the day after Thanksgiving are at the mall at like 3 a.m. waiting for the department stores to open?

That's me when the locally made lamb sausage is ready. Only instead of buying my family presents they will probably return, I'm buying amazing sausage that at best stands a chance of staying in my refrigerator for 1 day.

I'm amazed at the types of Sausages that are being made these days...

It used to be I had a single choice - the one that I grew up with - italian sausage...Now you could get spicy or mild or sweet but you had your basic Italian Sausage and pretty much that was it... There were better qualities and worse but that was the bulk of your choice....

I have recently discovered a locally made lamb sausage from a local farm that I'm pretty much in love with.

Whenever they send out the notice that they are selling it that week - I'm there.

And there are so many ways to use this sausage. It just depends what you're in the mood for:

1.  I've cut open the casing and made gyros with it.
2. I've sauteed them with a Syrah or Pinot and put it on top of risotto.
3. I've cut open the casing and browned the lamp to put in Sauces.
4. I've cooked it for breakfast.
5. I've used it as a hot dog substitute.

I've found as many ways to use this yummy sausage as humanly possible.
And when the next notice goes out for the next round of sausage I'll be there...
without the doorbuster coupons.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes Experience

Bread and I have had a contentious relationship...

I love eating it but making it has never been this fulfilling experience I always imagined it could be. The closest I've gotten until recently was mastering a pizza dough from scratch recipe which I then used for Cinnamon Bread and Cinnamon rolls...Until now it satisfied all my bread baking needs.

But lately everyone has been on this kick cooking from "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day"

I kept my distance...

I continued to bake my sweets and cook my meals...

Then my best friend The Fab Miss V and recent new blogger got on the bandwagon and started baking amazing looking bread...


Now she bakes all their bread even their sandwich bread...


So I decided to try it...

I found a  great recipe from the Baking and Books Blog that was taken from the

It was amazing...And not only that but it made 4 loaves...SCORE! When you are cooking for two that is like a month's worth of bread...

I'm pretty much addicted to bread making now. And its Fab Miss V's fault.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lemon Chicken Recipe - More accessible for the Home Cook

Lemons are not the primary thing that leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

The only thing that really keeps a sour taste in my mouth is recipes that are written for the home cook but clearly are better prepared in a restaurant... Always looking to make a fast buck they don't step back to think about the home cook at all.

And all you get are a bunch of confused home cooks thinking they did something wrong and frustrated they wasted time for something that didn't work out like the recipe.

And then I hear people say they hate to cook...They don't hate it, they are confused and unsure and recipes like the one I'm about to explain don't help.

Here is my recipe adapted form Rao's Lemon Chicken Recipe:

1 whole chicken
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

In my opinion you have two choices:

Version 1: Roast a chicken (approx 1 hour at 400 degrees) cut it up and place the pieces in a casserole and pour the lemon sauce over it. Then put the casserole under the broiler on high for 3 minutes. Plate the chicken and pour the sauce into a sauce pan and reduce on high for 1 minute and serve


Version 2: As stated in Rao's version: Cut up the Chicken into two halves and put under the broiler (Low) for 30 minutes turning once....I found that unless you had an anorexic chicken there is no way you could have cooked the chicken through in that time and you get the same result as the "Roast the Chicken first" method....Go with my method as stated in version 1

Directions for preparing the Lemon Sauce
Whisk lemon juice, olive oil and salt, pepper, and oregano together right before you pour over the chicken. Cut up the chicken put in a casserole dish and pour the lemon sauce over it. Put under the broiler on high for 3 minutes. Put the chicken pieces on a serving plate. Then pour the sauce into a sauce pan and reduce down for 1 minute on high. Pour over chicken on the serving place and enjoy.

Its a great dish and definitely went with the weather that gave us a dose of spring this past weekend.

I can't wait until its here for good!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

Most of the time I feel like I'm in a Pressure Cooker so this recipe is a tad appropriate...
But a while ago pressure cookers seemed to be the way to go. And my mom always used ours to make chicken soup. 

So when I moved out on my own she gave me her pressure cooker. I never really used it much but I really loved her chicken soup. So the other day my best friend and I were talking about how she was fasting for Ash Wednesday.

Sometimes your body just needs a break.

Chicken soup is also a great way to give your body a break after a winter of hearty heavy meals. But the great thing about a pressure cooker is you can take something like chicken soup, beef stew or even beef roasts and it cooks them in 15 minutes. 

And for us working girls who want to provide these meals for our families or for busy moms at home this is a great tool....Worth the investment.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

4 large ribs of celery chopped
4 large carrots chopped
1 large onion diced
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 pounds chicken wings
2 cups chicken stock
7 cups water
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp cracker pepper

Put all chopped vegetables, stock, water and chicken wings, salt and pepper.  Put stove on medium high. Once the steam pushes up the weight (you'll hear the hissing sounds) put the timer on for 15 minutes.

Afterwards turn off the stove. (the pressure cooker will need a while to cool down and won't let you take the lid off until its ready) Once you take the lid off take out the wings and separate the meat and add back into the soup. Boil 6 ounces of egg noodles (roughly half a bag) and add them into the soup.

Voila - Homemade Chicken Soup!

Hopefully cooking something else in a Pressure Cooker will make you feel less like you are in one...

Here's hoping....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weekend Breakfast Series: Creme Brulee French Toast

It may not seem it to look at it, but this recipe is perfect for when you have company.

This is another result of my research of breakfast recipes when I worked at a Bed and Breakfast. We were always looking for elegant recipes that worked for large groups.

And breakfast was always a zoo on the weekends. If we could make our lives easier we definitely took the opportunity.

I continue to use this recipe when I have company stay with us for the weekend. Because you never want to be stuck in the kitchen. You want to have the chance to visit with them and still make a great breakfast/brunch. Just make it the night before and all you have to do is place it in the oven while you all have your morning coffee

Its that easy.

Creme Brulee French Toast (Adapted from a Epicurious Recipe)

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
8-9 inch country loaf style bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Grand Marnier
1/4 stsp salt

In a small heavy saucepann melt butter with brown sugar
 and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13 x 9 by 2 inch baking dish. Cube the bread and add then to the baking dish.  In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring bread casserole to room temperature. Bake the casserole for 35-40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Cut out rounds with a large biscuit cutter for presentation and serve with thick cut bacon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Really Great Heirloom Tomato Salad

Ok, so lately I have been a little heavy handed with the sweets posts...

But let me tell you why before you judge my calorie counts...

A while ago I did need to lose weight... And I joined a group at work who was doing a "Biggest Loser" type contest. We all put money in and the person who lost the biggest percentage of their body weight won. To help me in this contest I got the "Lose It" app for the Iphone to help me record all my calories.

I was motified...

My calories per day were so high I couldn't even believe how I wasn't more weight (although I was regularly exercising) So I adopted a new norm of calories per day and eventually won the contest.

My philosophy is this: your total calorie intake is what will help you lose or gain weight. Removing carbs, fat, or anything where you deprive yourself will NEVER be a long term solution. 

I've continued to lose and maintain said weight...Even through the holidays. (Its been over a year)

So if I want to eat a salad for lunch or dinner so I can have a piece of pie - I damn well will do it...As long as my bank account of calories is not overdrawn...

Heirloom tomato Salad
Mini tomato Heirloom Tomatoes (I just found these in Greenlife)
Mixed Greed Salad (premixed or combine your own)
Shaved Aged Gouda (I like rich cheese in a salad - its more substantial)

Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
1 lemon
1tbsp dijion mustard
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Herbs de Provence - 1/2 tbsp

Take the juice of 1 lemon and dijion mustard and whisk then add olive oil while you whisk it together until it emulsifies.. Add salt, pepper and herbs de provence...

Drizzle on the don't have to put all of it on at once... Remember these leaves are delicate so make sure you are mixing thoroughly before you add more.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

I really love cooking for my hubby. Until he get's in my way in the kitchen.

Then we have issues...

The other day he used the last of teriyaki sauce without letting me know.

And  I'm not a mind reader...

I was cooking and developing a recipe with a peanut sauce and started looking for the teriyaki sauce. To no avail....Then I got the doe eyed look "Sorry!  I didn't know...." That dish turned into chicken pesto with spaghetti...Don't ask how I did it... We'll just call it an audible. I took the peanut butter and made a pie. Hubby was estatic..

Not that he deserved it...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup for whipping cream
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1 graham cracker crust

Combine the peanut butter, sugar, and cream cheese until smooth and combined. Transfer to a bowl and then with a clean beater - whip up heavy cream and the rest of the sugar.

Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture and add into the pie shell
Melt the choc chips in the microwave for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes and either drizzle on top or cover the entire top.

The choice is yours.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Getting Creative with Your Hot Dogs...

Monday's tend to be our night for "fun" dinner food.

I mean let's face it, Monday's are usually no picnic and you usually feel like you've survived the war of meetings, deadlines and issues you need to solve.

Enter Hot Dog Mondays...

So a couple of weeks ago I was trying to figure out a way to spice up my franks...
Although your probably thinking I should have taken that brainpower to come up with a real dinner...

Point taken...

Anyways, I decided to warm up some pastrami, add spicy mustard and top it off with mozzarella...It was divine.  My hubby decided not to try it.

Instead he prefers to drown his with 3 different types of sauces and a slice of cheese...

His loss.

Hebrew National Hot Dogs (they do answer to a higher power)
Shredded Mozzarella
Spicy Mustard
(Sauerkraut - This would have been perfect if I had had it at the time)

Cook the hot dogs and pastrami (you can warm this up in the microwave) assemble by putting the pastrami on top of the hot dog and then shredded mozzarella and then top off with spicy mustard (and sauerkraut if you want)

You'll start to feel your Monday worries slip away...
Your welcome.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Making Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt at Home

I work with an agency out in California that does nothing but talk about how great Pinkberry is...

Its like bragging about being too thin or too beautiful...

So I decided to try to formulate a recipe that is "supposed" to be the same flavor profile. This recipe uses Greek Yogurt (great because you can use the 0% for less calories) When this first comes out of the Ice cream machine is when its the best for me...Just like soft serve...

Delicious...And cheaper than the cost of a plane ticket...

Frozen Yogurt Recipe
1 container of Fage Greek Yogurt (roughly two cups) strained
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup Rasberry Preserves
1 tbsp Cointreau or Lemon juice

Combine yogurt, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and put in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight. Then put in your ice cream machine until frozen.

For topping - combine preserves and Cointreau in a saucepan or microwave until it has a glaze like consistency...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rosemary Creme Brulee - It doesn't need to be Spring To Enjoy

Spring...I'm so ready for you...

One of the biggest things I'll be excited to get back to, once the warmer weather arises, is my garden...I do like the winter as a break from the mountains of to do lists from weeding to fertilizing, etc that happen every spring and summer. Its like having a babysitter for six months.

There are a few of my plants that are machines...They go all year long and hardly pester me at all...

The best example of this? My rosemary....

I first planted my rosemary bush when I first moved to my house 6 years ago...Its huge. Almost a large shrub at this point. So besides rosemary chicken you need to find a use to keep this from taking over.

I decided to try a rosemary flavored Creme Brulee.

It was wonderful. I added the rosemary with the milk and when it was heated right before it got to the scalded stage I strained the milk right before I added it to the egg yolks. This recipe is adapted from  Barefoot Contessa's Creme Brulee recipe.

So easy, I can't even understand why people think Creme Brulee is unattainable at home.

 A couple of things I liked:  Rosemary (of course), I put the custards under the broiler to caramelize the sugar (and in Julia's words - its definitely better than a blow torch) and I put the custards in my teacups instead of just ramekins. Which made presentation a breeze. (but make sure they are oven safe)

Because that how I roll.

Rosemary Creme Brulee
1 extra-large egg
4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (recommended: Cointreau)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Whisk the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it's very hot to the touch but not boiled. Slowly add the cream to the eggs as you whisk them together. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into 6 to 8-ounce ramekins until almost full.

Place the ramekins/teacups in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins/teacups. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and put under the broiler for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Time for Spring Gardens and Spring Cleaning

So for the past few weeks we've been gearing up for Valentine's Day....Fun recipe ideas for desserts, breakfast and romantic dinners...

Its over...Now what?

Well first you polish off the last of that heart shaped chocolate cake and try to keep those overpriced but lovely flowers alive for as long as possible (trim at an angle every day and refill water) and then look towards spring...

For me, spring is two things...Planning my garden and spring cleaning...

These are two major undertakings. So we have homework...

Arm yourself with the newest Martha Stewart Garden issue and any of the newest garden magazines out there and stock up on cleaning supplies (think new mops, scrubbies, dusters)

We'll be exploring these two topics in detail in my upcoming posts...

But first and always we eat...

Heart Shaped Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Topping
(Chocolate Cake is the Perfectly Chocolate Cake recipe off the Hershey's Cocoa package)

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

Heat oven at 350 degrees. Grease and flour (Heart Shaped pan or 2 nine inch pans) Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on med. speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Pour into pan or pans and cook 30 - 35 minutes.

Take bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream and put in bowl. Put in microwave and heat for 2 minutes until chocolate melts. Take out and stir. Pour over Heart shaped cake. (If using two 9 inch then you should use an additional filling in between like chocolate mousse and pour chocolate ganache on top)

To my husband I thank him for the LOVELY orchid...Anyone have any pointers???

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Weekend Breakfast Series: Valentine's Crepes Two Ways

So we are here: Its Valentine's Weekend...

Now when you research great ideas for a Valentine's Breakfast, more times than not you will see crepes included...And from a girl's perspective crepes are a perfect idea - romantic, delicate, French...

Its definite chick food...

But when you want to make a special Valentine's breakfast for your husband, this may not be appreciated the same way...SO when I was reminded of crepes as an idea I decided to make them two ways:

Crepes with ricotta filling and raspberry sauce
Crepes filled with eggs and bacon and topped with mozzarella

When my husband started eating it he inevitably asked - "Why haven't you made this before?"

Why indeed...

Basic Crepe recipe:  (adapted from Martha Stewart)

3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Large eggs
6 tbsp butter melted

1 cup fresh ricotta
1 pint size jar raspberry preserves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp Cointreau
1 slice thick cut applewood smoked bacon
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Whisk together milk, vanilla and eggs. Gradually add milk mixtrue to flour mixtrue, whisking until smooth.  Whisk in melted butter. Strain through a fine sieve, discard lumps. Refrigerate batter for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Put 1 tsp oil in a small fry pan or crepe pan on med heat until just before it starts to smoke. Remove from heat and pour 2 tbsp batter and swirl pan in a circular motion to coat. Cook until edges are golden and flip.

For her crepes: combine Raspberry preserves, lemon juice and Cointreau in a sauce pan and cook until combined into a sauce. Fill crepes with ricotta, fold over and drizzle with glaze

For his crepes: chop and fry up thick applewood smoked bacon. Once crispy add 4 beaten eggs and scramble together. Fill crepes and roll up and sprinkle mozzerella on top.

Happy Valentine's weekend everyone

Friday, February 12, 2010

Brownie Tart -An elegant alternative for Valentine's Day

Ok everyone - its T-minus 2 days and counting....

This has always been the elegant alternative to brownies in my view....And yes, if you haven't had enough of Barefoot Contessa recipes on this blog - you are going to get another one. But unlike her Outrageous Brownies recipe this tart is great for two people...
Same great taste and brownie flavor but great for a romantic dinner for two...
Its a very easy tart in my view. You won't be disappointed.

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 1/4 cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3 extra-large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Grease and flour a 9-inch tart pan with removable sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a bowl set over simmering water. Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips, remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cooled chocolate. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the walnuts. Fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is puffed (the top may crack). The inside will still be very soft. Cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan.
Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips with the heavy cream and drizzle on the tart.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Biscuits - Their not for breakfast anymore

Most of the time my huband is a trooper when leftovers are on the menu...Somestimes he even loves them and looks forward to them.

Until he isn't...

Then there is the inevitable:

Hubby:  "Can't we just order a pizza?" which he says ever so delicately.
Me: ????

So sometimes I have to dress it up a little so he feels there is a new ingredient is in the mix... Biscuits are a great way to do this. Cheddar and dill are only a bonus. And the fact that these are drop biscuits are even better because there isn't rolling and cutting out of the biscuit dough. You just drop them on the cookie sheet.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp dried dill
  1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
 2/3 cup milk
1 egg

In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a bowl, whisk milk and egg. Stir into crumb mixture just until moistened. Add cheddar and dill. Drop by heaping spoonfuls 2 in. apart onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Successful Valentine's Dinner - Brought To You By Meat

You are planning on making a special Valentine's dinner.

The options are endless and you just can't pinpoint the perfect idea. Do you make duck, scallops, shrimp? Should it be French inspired? A nice big Italian meal? Maybe Asian themed? Something incredibly exotic? You scour over the internet and blogs. You read the latest Bon-Appetit/Food and Wine/Saveur  to find the newest most beautiful recipes their teams can think of...

And then...You vapor-lock and your brain shuts down. WHAT AM I DOING?!?!?!?!

Have a glass of wine and listen to me...

If you are cooking for a husband, significant male counterpart, fiance or boyfriend this is my advice:

Are you ready for it??? Wait for it....

Hit them with a big hunk of meat... (figuratively of course)

Its not rocket science or even poetry (ok I'm lying - meat is definitely poetry to men) But in the 6 years (plus 7 years we were friends) that is still the best meal I can make for my husband...

Insert all the neanderthal references you want. But a well cooked steak is the best way to say
"I Love You"

Meat is a man's best friend (remember Diamonds girls? See how it correlates?)

So use all that time you've now saved and find a better way to give them a hint on what you really want...
Don't believe this is necessary?
Then go sit outside a Victorias Secret the day of Valentines and tell me what you see...

Its not pretty....

Ribeye Steaks with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce:

2 -  6 ounce Ribeye Steaks
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
 1 cup heavy cream

Brush steaks with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 large nonstick skillets over medium-high heat. Add 3 steaks to each skillet and cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Pour heavy cream into sauce pan and bring to simmer. Add Gorgonzola and reduce down to about half.

Pour on top of steak and serve...Enjoy your praise - you deserve it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

More Valentine's Dessert Ideas - Chocolate Mousse Pie

Ok so let me first say that I've written about this before for our Pie Bakeoff Project

Having said that, (yes I'm going have a Curb Your Enthusiasm moment)
 there really isn't an easier dessert you can make than this pie and still look like a baking rockstar....

And really, I'm here to make you look better...

This pie is from the movie "The Waitress" starring Keri Russell. Great movie and great pie....Even for the pie challenged this is an excellent and easy pie to make.
And for Valentine's Day you can't do better than to make your loved one a  "Fallin In Love Chocolate Mousse Pie" - I mean how many pie recipes come with built in marketing for your Valentine's pleasure?

Your welcome...

9-inch baked pastry shell (I substituted a graham cracker crust for those of us who are time challenged)
1 14-oz. can condensed milk (not evaporated)
2/3 C. water
1 (4 serving) pkg. chocolate pudding mix (not instant)
1 1-oz. square unsweetened chocolate
2 C. (1 pt.) whipping cream, stiffly whipped

In large saucepan, combine condensed milk, water and pudding mix; mix well. Add chocolate. Over medium heat, cook and stir rapidly until chocolate melts and mixture thickens. Remove from heat; beat until smooth. Cool. Chill thoroughly; stir. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Chill 4 hours until set.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Perfect Idea for a Romantic Breakfast

I take full credit for finding this recipe.

When I was working at a Bed and Breakast I was always on the lookout for new breakfast ideas. I found this one on,  although I can't find it there anymore. 

But I remembered the recipe. It was single-handledly one of the favorite recipes we served on the weekends. It was our "Sunday Special".

And we always served it on Valentine's Weekend.
You almost feel guilty for eating dessert for breakfast...

And then you taste it and you get over the guilt real fast.

So if you are looking for a romantic breakfast to serve someone in bed....This is your recipe.

Chocolate Pancakes with Caramel Banana Topping

1 stick butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
3-4 bananas

Melt the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until starts to simmer and bubble up. Pour in heavy cream. Stir and lower to a simmer while you make the pancakes

Chocolate Pancakes:
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp melted butter

Combine all dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients including melted butter and wisk together. Cook pancakes on a griddle or frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil.

Add sliced bananas on top of pancakes and drizzle caramel over...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Traditional French Toast Breakfast - Without the Pups

Today the dogs are not happy with me.

It was their day to go to the groomers as their hair was getting out of control and mommy was sick of swiffering it up every two days....Plus nobody wants me to try to clip their nails and the groomers also take of care of the "unspeakable" things that I'm just not willing to do...

So off they went and I enjoyed the quiet....

Hubby and I then enjoyed this together...

Last week I shared a different way to spice up French Toast but sometimes traditional is the way to go...
So now I'm off to accomplish something today even if its to get caught up on my knitting.

Here is my very basic French Toast recipe:

2 large eggs
3 tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 loaf French bread

Mix eggs, cream and vanilla together. Heat 1 - 2 tbsp in a frying pan. Cut slices of french bread at a diagonal and dip into egg mixture. Fry on each side until golden brown. Sprinkle with cinnamon and a little sugar.
Serve with 2 slices of thick bacon and enjoy.

I hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Meatballs with a Kick

Meatballs can be boring sometimes...So last weekend, I decided to get all experiemental with my meatballs...

My family has always had a certain ratio of ground beef to veal to pork in their meatballs (some groceries have a meatloaf mix that works well) but I've been wanting to kick around some new ideas...

So when I was at Greenlife I found an array of different types of handmade sausages from lamb to chicken, turkey and including Chorizo and Andouille...

With all of this variety I had to buy some. The Chorizo definitely caught my eye. So I added it into the mix.

It added a great little kick to the meatballs. I then put them into little hogies with mozzarella and tomato sauce sprinkled on top and voila! I had a great little appetizer for some friends who came over...

Meatballs don't have to be boring...Try mixing in some different things and get experimental.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Forgot I Needed To Remember That Recipe

(What's this called again??)

I have a condition called recipe amnesia.

If I stop making a dish, mostly because I'm sick of it and feel I'm getting in a rut, I will forget it. It never existed.... Call it an existential food crisis...

And then the following scene will eventually happen:
Hubby:  Why don't you make that dish anymore?
Me:  Blink, Blink
Hubby:  You know that dish???
Me: ?????
Hubby: I really liked it with the ____ and the ____
Me:  Hey have some of these chocolate cookies I just made...

And scene...

This is why I have a food journal...Most people have a food journal to reduce calorie intake and track what they are eating....My journal probably packs more calories into my diet because the best recipes are never the ones that have few calories....

I go through periods where I will write everything in it and then there are periods of nothing....Did cooking happen? Were cakes baked? Who knows...

Maybe that's why I started a blog..

But I can't remember.

Asian Carrot Slaw
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp Sriracha
Juice of 1 lemon
1 bag of shredded carrots

Mix Mayonnaise, Sriracha and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add Carrots on top (if you aren't serving right away leave the carrots unmixed until you are ready. It will prevent them from getting soggy) Mix and top with poppy seeds as a garnish.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why You Should Never Make Your Husband a Breakfast Sandwich

Sometimes you can be too good of a wife...

A while ago I shared that I made my husband breakfast sandwiches every morning. This is how it happened....If you read this blog you know that I always do up a big breakfast on the weekends. Chalk it up to my slavery hospitality background or whatever.... I had made amazing waffles. There were leftovers and I clearly had 3 choices: Eat them and add two more inches to my hips, throw them away or find a use for them that made me feel I had not wasted three hours of my life on a breakfast for two people. So I took said waffles, made and egg, slapped some cheese on it and wrapped it up for hubby's breakfast the next day...

He was a fan....

In fact he came home and said that he didn't want to buy his boxed sandwiches anymore because he didn't know how good a breakfast sandwich could be until he had mine.

Clearly he knows how to work me...

So, I feeling very appreciated said "No problem! I can make them every day for you"

Clearly I am also a sucker...

And while I love the idea of making my husband breakfast sandwiches to take to work, I really love the idea of those little boxed sandwiches a little more right now. Because I am really sick of those sandwiches...

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