"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

I love making this recipe when I know we will be having weekend guests! These scones are so good - and actually a lot more moist than scones usually are. The ingredients and measurements are from a recipe by Tyler Florence, but I use a much easier way to actually make the scones. I make the scones ahead of time and then make the glaze right before I serve them. They will keep for several days in the refrigerater and can be reheated easily.

Blueberry Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries

Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough (some say that using frozen blueberries helps to prevent bruising). Using a mechanical ice cream scooper, scoop the dough into a ball and release it onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Blush the tops with heavy cream. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Let them cool slightly before applying glaze.
For the glaze... you can either make it this way in the microwave or use a double boiler. Mix the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and butter. Nuke it for 30 seconds on high. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This is a really unique recipe by Rachel Ray. There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but none are too expensive. There are some good veggies hidden in the meal. In fact, she made this as a healthy recipe for kids, but it works for adults, too! And it's not very messy since it's all in one dish!

tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey or ground sirloin
1 zucchini
2 carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons chili powder, 3 palm fulls
2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2/3 palm full
1 tablespoon coriander, a palm full
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup beef stock
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3 cups shredded Chihuahua cheese or Monterey Jack
4 scallions, chopped
2 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a large high sided skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the meat and brown, 5 minutes. While meat browns, grate the zucchini and carrots with a box grater. Add the vegetables to the meat and grate in the onion and garlic. Season the meat with chili, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and cook 7 to 8 minutes more to soften vegetables. Stir in beef stock. Grease a 8 by 13-inch baking pan with vegetable oil. Layer in 3 overlapping flour tortillas and top with 1/3 meat, 1/3 cheese. Repeat the layers twice and bake 10 to 12 minutes to brown cheese. Top with scallions, lettuce and tomatoes, cut into squares and serve.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Kent and I went to dinner last night with our friends, Kate and Lee. Kent and I both ordered Monte Cristo sandwiches that were so good! We were all talking about making them at home, and I remembered that I made some last Spring. This is the recipe (from about.com) that I used - but I adjusted it for two sandwiches! Also, I think I only used two slices of bread for each sandwich instead of three. Kate and Lee suggest using a thick white bread, like Pepperidge Farm.

Monte Cristo Sandwiches
18 slices bread
6 slices ham
6 slices turkey or chicken
12 slices Swiss or Gruyere cheese
a little mustard and mayonnaise, if desired
3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt

For each sandwich use 3 slices of bread. Butter one side of bread first, then cover with a slice of ham and a slice of turkey or chicken. Butter both sides of the second slice of bread and spread with a little mustard or other dressing, if desired. Place on top of turkey or ham slice and top with 2 thin slices of cheese. Butter third slice for top; press sandwich lightly and trim crusts. Cut into halves diagonally and secure with toothpicks.
Beat eggs with milk and salt. Dip sandwich halves into the egg mixture and fry on a hot skillet or griddle in butter or margarine. Brown on all sides, adding more butter when necessary. Remove toothpicks before serving.Makes 6 sandwiches, 12 cut triangles, to serve 4.

There are a lot of ways to make these unique: dip in syrup/sprinkle with sugar, dip in a dressing/mustard/sauce/jelly, add pickles, or even serve with a fried egg on top!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Wings

This is another great tailgating recipe! We love making these on Saturdays while we're watching football! Homemade chicken wings are usually much larger than wings served in restaurants - so you can definitely make a meal out of them!

Baked Chicken Wings - Recipe by Alton Brown

Whole chicken wings

Place a 6-quart saucepan with a steamer basket and 1-inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Replace the paper towels with parchment paper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

Kent's Buffalo Sauce
For hot wings - equal parts butter and hot sauce
For mild wings - substitute tomato sauce for some of the hot sauce

Mix the ingredients together and drizzle over the wings.
(To get different flavors, try adding garlic or honey)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

White Bean Dip with Pita Chips

This dip is a great appetizer (and works well for tailgating too!) It's super easy (seriously, anyone can make it) and has a lot of flavor. I've been making it for years. I took it to Thanksgiving one year, and it was a big hit!

White Bean Dip
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (loosely packed)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
1 garlic clove

In a food processor, combine the beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pulse on and off until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually mix in 1/3 cup of oil until the mixture is creamy. Season the puree with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside. The pita wedges and bean dip can be made 1 day ahead. Make sure to keep the bean dip refrigerated if you're not serving it immediately.

Pita Wedges - Cut 4 slices of pita bread into 6 or 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges evenly over a large baking sheet. Brush the pita wedges with 2 tablespoons of the oil, then sprinkle with the oregano and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees, the turn the pita wedges over and bake until they are crisp and golden, about 6 minutes longer.

Notes - This dip can easily be changed around - use different herbs, use chick peas instead of cannellini beans, or serve it with warmed pita wedges instead of crisp pita chips. There are a lot of ways to give it different textures and flavors!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wine Wednesday - O'Reilly's Pinot Noir

O'Reilly's Pinot Noir - "Oregon's most popular Pinot Noir."

Kent and I bought a bottle a while back when they were on sale at Whole Foods. We drank it with friends, Kate and Lee, when they were over for dinner one night. I think we all really liked it! It went very well with our spinach salad and pork.

O'Reilly's is a wine produced by the Owen Roe Winery. Many Owen Roe wines are much more expensive, usually in the $40-70 range. The O'Reilly Pinot Noir is advertized as the "flagship" of their value brands and appears to be made from slightly lower quality juices produced on their vineyards in the Northwest. It can be purchased on-line or in some retail locations, like whole foods. It usually cost between $15 and $20 but is said to have qualities representative of wines usually prices above $25. Tasting notes I read on-line describe it has having fruity flavors with hints of cinnamon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sally's Pumpkin Bread

This is the perfect recipe for October! My friend, Sally, made it in college and took it to the Grove for football games - everyone always loved it. I made it this weekend, and it was wonderful! Our whole house smelled like fall!

Sally's Pumpkin Bread
3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 15oz can of pumpkin

Sift dry ingredients together. Stir in oil, water, eggs, and pumpkin. Pour into 2 greased and floured bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 65-75 minutes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ham and Cheese Rolls

This is a great dish for football parties! It might be hard take to a tailgate since it is best served warm - but it would be wonderful when having guests to your house. I even made these for dinner one night, and then Kent and I took the left-overs for lunch the next day.

Ham and Cheese Rolls
1 lb. deli ham, sliced
1 lb. Swiss cheese, sliced
1 pkg. cooked dinner rolls
1 stick butter
1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seed
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. mustard
1 tbsp. minced onions

Split rolls in half. Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on each roll - replace top. Place in 13x9 inch baking dish. Melt butter and add all remaining ingredients except poppy seed. Pour over rolls and sprinkle with poppy seed. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. For crusty rolls, remove foil.

Possible alterations:
1) Instead of pouring the mixture on top of the rolls, you could mix the ingredients to create a paste and spread it on the inside of the rolls.
2) You could also use bagels instead of rolls to make it perfect for a brunch!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Elegant Layered Apple Cake

This recipe comes from The Junior League Centennial Cookbook - so you know it has to be good! I made it this weekend for my church's cake baking contest that was part of their 31st birthday picnic celebration. And my cake won the "best taste" category! I was so excited, so I thought I would share the recipe! It's wonderful for Fall and makes a great presentation.

Elegant Layered Apple Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups grated pared tart apples (I used Granny Smith)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 eggs

Frosting Ingredients:
1 (8 0z) package cream cheese, softened
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 box (1 pound) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Grease well and flour three 9-inch cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the grated apples, nuts, and lemon rind. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, oil, and eggs; mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until smooth. Incorporate the apple mixture; stir until well combined. Spread evenly into the prepared pans. Bake the 30 to 40 minutes or until the surface springs back when pressed lightly. Cool the cake in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool thoroughly on wire racks.
Prepare the frosting: Cream the cheese and butter together and beat in the sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread between layers, on sides and top. Press nuts around sides of the cake. Refrigerate until serving time.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...