Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
This is a perennial family favorite and sometimes I think it may be the only reason my brother comes to Christmas Eve brunch (just kidding, Bri!) When I make it for my family I omit the celery because no one really likes it, but I like the crunch it adds so give it a try!
Colleen's Chicken Salad
from Colleen's Kitchen
Makes about 4 servings
2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound), cooked and shredded
1 stalk celery, diced
1/3 to 1/2 of a large cucumber, peeled and diced
1/3 cup mayo, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
kosher salt and coarse ground pepper to taste
Combine chicken, celery, and cucumber in large bowl.
In small bowl, combine mayo, mustard, and lemon juice. Pour over chicken mixture, season with salt and pepper; toss gently to coat.
Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
So I was so happy when on Christmas Eve I received a package with all of the goodies Katie has been blogging about. They included Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies, Warm Wishes Cookies using her awesome sugar cookie recipe, and homemade Marshmallows!
Friday, December 26, 2008
When you put the cake to cool on a wire rack, put it on a baking sheet with wax paper or foil underneath it. That way when you pour both glazes over it, the excess will fall on the wax paper and you have an easy clean-up.
There are no pictures of the preparation because I was so busy getting everything else ready for brunch. But here is a pic of the table!
from Ina Garten
Makes one loaf
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze:nocoupons
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.
Monday, December 22, 2008
1. When I was younger two of my favorite sandwiches (my cousin Katie loved these as well) were (1) peanut butter and margarine on any bread and (2) bologna or liverwurst and American cheese with ketchup on white bread. Yum!
2. I am still afraid to make "big cuts" of meat - this includes whole chickens and turkeys and things like roast beef - I am petrified I won't cook it all the way!
3. I don't like to keep leftovers in my refrigerator for longer than 4 days. I will throw them out even if they are still good!
4. A favorite childhood drink of mine was orange soda mixed with milk - a creamsicle!
5. I do not like to mix anything sweet with my actual meal - this includes fruit (or nuts) in salads, any sort of chutney or fruit topping on meat, or sweeter vegetables like butternut squash.
6. If you couldn't tell already, my absolute favorite course to make AND eat is the appetizer course!
7. And finally, I am also afraid to work with any sort of pastry dough or yeast-based recipe - I just don't have the patience!
And now I am tagging 7 others!
1. Brooke of ...and a cookie for dessert
2. Sarah of A Taste of Home Cooking
3. Cara of Cara's Creature Comforts
4. Jenn of Jenn's Jumpin' Kitchen
5. Lauren of Lauren's Kitchen
6. Kristen of Le Petit Pierogi
7. Stephanie of Macaroni and Cheesecake
Happy Holidays everyone!
Friday, December 19, 2008
I have changed it slightly, adding more cheese and such, and my mom suggested the addition of the salsa as well. This is a tasty, easy dish that can be made in advance (prep through the assembly step) and then heated through later if you are crunched for time. As always with comfort food, not pretty to photograph, but delicious to eat!
adapted from Best-Loved Casseroles
Makes 4 servings
9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package ground turkey (usually about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup (8 ounce bottle) taco sauce
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilis, drained
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa
sour cream (optional)
4 cups prepared rice (for serving)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat an 11 x 7 baking dish with cooking spray.
Place tortills on large baking sheet; overlapping tortillas as little as possible. Bakes 4 minutes, turn tortillas. Continue baking 4 more minutes or until tortillas are crisp. Set aside to cool.
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and onion. Cook and stir until turkey is browned and onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
Add taco sauce, chilis, and corn. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Break 3 tortillas into pieces and arrange over the bottom of prepared baking dish. Spoon half of the turkey mixture over tortillas, sprinkle with half of the cheese, and top with all of the salsa.
Repeat broken tortilla, turkey, and cheese layers. Top with remaining 3 broken tortillas. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.
Garnish with sour cream if desired and serve over rice.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
So when we got married, I wanted to start some traditions and one of them included a Christmas Eve Brunch with the ten of us. Just a relaxing time at our house, filled with good food, some mimosas, and lots of laughter! Here is what we will be eating this year:
Christmas Eve Brunch
- Scrambled Eggs with Herbs
- Crispy Shredded Potato Gratin
- Bacon (and lots of it)
- Spring Mix with Pears, Blue Cheese, Walnuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Colleen's Chicken Salad (a family fave) served with rolls
- Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls
- Lemon Yogurt Cake
- Fresh Fruit
Beverages include coffee, tea, mimosas, and juice.
As always, recipes to follow!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Divine Chicken Divan
from Dinners for a Year and Beyond
Makes 6 servings
1 1/4 cups rice, either white or brown
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups of broccoli florets, steamed (about 3 broccoli crowns)
4 cups of cooked chicken, shredded in large chunks (about 3 chicken breasts, or 1 1/2 pounds)
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook rice according to package directions. Place cooked rice in a 2-quart baking dish. Set aside.
Heat a medium sized saucepan to medium high and add olive oil and onions. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute. Add the chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil.
Combine the cornstarch and wine in a small bowl and whisk into the saucepan. Cook until sauce thickens, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add the cheddar cheese and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli and chicken.
Spoon chicken mixture over rice. Combine panko and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over chicken and rice. Cover baking dish with foil.Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 8 - 10 minutes or until top is browned.
Note - This dish can be assembled ahead of time, unbaked, and covered and refrigerated. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake dish for 30 - 35 minutes covered with foil. Then uncover and bake an additional 8 - 10 minutes. It can also be frozen. Thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours, then follow the refrigerated baking directions.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Make sure to let the loaves cool for at LEAST 10 minutes before slicing them to bake again. No cheating here, because your loaves will collapse on themselves if you don't allow the proper cooling time. To make these even prettier - dip the ends in melted chocolate!
adapted from America's Test Kitchen via Good Things Catered
Makes about 3 dozen
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and smooth, about 2 min. Beat in eggs then the extract. Stir in coconut.
Fold dry ingredients into wet until dough is just mixed. Stir in chocolate chips.
Halve the dough and turn portions onto prepared baking sheet. Stretch each portion into a rough 13 by 2 in. loaf and pat smooth. Bake about 35 minutes or until the loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top. Remove baking sheet from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
Lower oven temp to 325 degrees and cut each loaf diagonally into 3/4 in. slices. Lay each slice cut-side up on baking sheet and return to oven. Bake, turning each cookie half way through baking for about 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
...and out of the oven ready to be sliced.Priscilla Bakes. Thank you so much!
I would like to pass this award onto two blogs that I have been using a lot of recipes from lately - you ladies deserve this! Congratulations to:
Melissa of Delicious Meliscious and
Elle of Elle's New England Kitchen!
This particular recipe appealed to me because they were so cute! I bought peppermint sprinkles to mix in and they give off a minty fragrance and flavor. On the original recipe, it says that this makes 160 bites, and Elle says she got 90. Well, I only got 48 - I don't see how you can get any more from that - I mean, look at how little my bites are! Regardless, it still made a whole bunch and I can't wait to try this with different kinds of sprinkles!
Elfin Shortbread Bites
from Elle's New England Kitchen
Makes about 4 dozen
1 1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons red and green sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
If using a food processor, pulse the flour and sugar until blended. Add in the butter until it all resembles fine crumbs. Add the sprinkles and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. (Don't overdo it, or the dough will turn pink from the red sprinkles.)
Remove to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough forms a ball. Pat the dough out into an 8x5 inch rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares, and separate them on the baking sheet.
If you're not using a food processor, mix the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until you get fine crumbs, stir in the sprinkles and knead until smooth. Continue with cutting.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, and then transfer the cookies on the parchment to a cooling rack. Store in a tightly covered container at room temp for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
Line two 12-cup mini muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
Meanwhile, place semisweet chocolate in another microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, stirring once or twice, until almost melted, 2 to 3 minutes.
Dividing evenly, use a spoon to layer semisweet chocolate and peanut-butter mixture into liners, beginning and ending with chocolate; sprinkle with peanuts.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
And now for a short reprieve from baked goods (but not too long, don't worry!). With all this baking for Christmas going on I am definitely not making as many new dinners as I normally do, but we gotta eat sometime, right?
This is an old favorite - super easy for a rushed weeknight, yet nice enough for a casual dinner with friends as well. It basically consists of making a paste of butter and cheese (and seriously, how can you go wrong with that) and spreading it on broiled fish.
Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil (I add parsley too)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder (or minced onion)
1/8 teaspoon celery salt (or garlic salt)
2 pounds tilapia fillets
Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes.
Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.
...and after. Yum!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
These cookies are a favorite of mine from last year, pointed out to me by my baking buddy, Rita. They combine my favorite Christmas flavors (which you have probably figured out by now) of cranberries and white chocolate!
I like to plump the dried cranberries before using them - I think it gives you more cookies, and also results in a fuller-looking product. There are instructions at the bottom of the recipe on how to do this!
Makes 3-4 dozen
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels
1 (6-ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries, plumped*
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; set aside.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries.
Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
*To plump cranberries: Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place cranberries in a heat-safe bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Let sit for several minutes; pat dry.
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (4.5 ounce) packages chocolate covered thin mints (Andes)
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll cookie dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, be careful not to overbake. When cookies come out of the oven, Press one mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1 minute. When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon or toothpick to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer. For smaller cookies, break mints in half. Mints will harden again so that cookies can be stored.