Saturday, November 12, 2016

Spaghetti Sauce






Hey y'all, here's a quick and easy spaghetti sauce recipe I think you'll like. I got this recipe from a friend years ago and I have been using it ever since.

1 Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 pound of  sweet Italian sausage
Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 granulated sugar

Cook the Italian sausage until it is completely browned. Drain and add to the spaghetti sauce. Add 1 cup or more as desired of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Add the sugar and simmer on low for about 20 minutes or so to give the flavors a chance to mingle. If you're like me and you like the sauce I bit thicker then you can blend/pulae about a cup of the cooked sausage with a little of the sauce before you simmer it all. This sauce is even tastier if you prepare it a day or so in advance. The flavors mellow quite nicely.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Peach Kuchen

This month's Improv Cooking Challenge ingredients are peaches and cream. Since I am a baker at heart  I decided to try baking a Peach Kuchen; a German peach cream cake. Now, I have never tried baking one before so I was excited to try it.  I gotta say that it was so much fun to make and the nutmeg made the house smell absolutely divine as it was cooking. Honestly the hardest part was waiting to eat it. Here's the recipe I used. It is a modified version from Beyond Kimchee

.

Peach Kuchen

Ingredients~
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 large can of sliced peaches, drained  
Custard Cream~
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Instructions
Preheat  oven to 400˚F
Grease a 9" spring form pan.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender, or two forks cut in the cold butter pieces until it becomes fine crumbs. In a small mixing bowl, whisk milk and egg well. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture, and mix with a fork just until it becomes wet. Now spread the batter on the bottom of the pan. Arrange the peach slices on top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. While this is baking make the custard cream. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the cream with the flour until there are no big lumps. Add the reminder of the cream, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt. Whisk well. After 15 minutes take the cake out of the oven and pour the cream mixture over the top. Return the cake to the oven and reduce the heat to 350˚F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake top is puffed, and the edges are deep golden and are beginning to separate from the pan. On a wire rack cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, and then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely. Enjoy plain or with a scoop of ice cream.
*Notes*
I used canned peaches for this recipe, but you can certainly use fresh peaches if you desire.

While you're here check out some of the other tasty creations from this months blog.






Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mom's Banana Bread



I have the perfect thing for those lazy Saturday mornings y'all. You know the ones I'm talkin 'bout. The ones where breakfast and the day is calling out to you, but it just feels perfect to sleep in just a wee bit more. Oh yeah, you know what I mean. Those kinds of Saturday mornings are perfect for some warm, fresh banana bread all buttered up. Oh, and you mustn't  forget the coffee.

My mom always made the best banana bread. She always made it with buttermilk and threw in some walnuts. I always loved the twang from the buttermilk.  Thankfully, I have made her recipe so many times I have the recipe in my head. 

Mom kept many of her recipes on index cards in a little hinged box. Somehow in our recent move I have misplaced that little box of recipes. šŸ˜ž I am still hopeful that it will be found.

Mom's Banana Bread

1 1⁄3 cups  sugar
1⁄2 cup  butter, softened
2 eggs
1⁄2 cup  buttermilk
1 teaspoon  baking soda
1 teaspoon  baking powder
2 cups  flour
1 teaspoon  pure vanilla
1 1⁄4 cups mashed ripe bananas
3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions~
Cream together the sugar and butter.
Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. Stir the baking soda into the buttermilk and add to the eggs, butter and sugar mixture. Sift baking powder with flour and blend into creamed mixture.   Add the vanilla and mashed banana. Mix. Stir in the walnuts. Pour into a greased and floured 9"x5" loaf pan. 
Bake at 300 degrees F for about 1 1/2 hours or until loaf tests done with a toothpick. 
Cool for about 20-30 minutes before removing from pan.
Enjoy!

*please note*
I used two smaller disposable pans this time, so I adjusted the cooking time to about 60 minutes.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Horchata




I interrupt your regularly scheduled Saturday evening to bring you Horchata.
This wonderful rice drink is super easy to make, sooooooo tasty and refreshing on our super scorching Arizona days. It's a favorite at our house. 
Try it for yourself and let me know what you think. 
Here's the super easy directions. The hardest part is waiting for it to be ready to drink!

Horchata
1 cup uncooked white long-grain rice

5 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup white sugar

Directions~
Pour the rice and water into the bowl of a blender. Blend just until the rice begins to break up, about 1 minute or so. Let rice and water stand at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours. With a cheesecloth strain the rice water into a pitcher and discarding the rice. Stir the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar into the rice water. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Best Ever Chocolate Cake


Now friends you might not know it yet, but trust me when I say; there are three essentials in life, chocolate, cheese, and coffee. Not necessarily in that order, but each as equally important as the other. And you should have each of these essentials on regular basis; everyday that is. Today's tasty recipe incorporates chocolate and coffee in a very tasty way. I love this recipe from My Baking Addiction. I have made it many times and it always gets rave reviews. This time around I omitted the black cocoa powder because I didn't have any and the Arizona heat was just to hot for me to make a trip to William-Sonoma to purchase some. But if you can, do use it because it lends a nice depth of flavor and makes the cake rich and dark. For the coffee I have always used what I have on hand. So whatever you have on hand should work fine, just make it good and strong.

So let's make the best chocolate cake ever! 
Here's what you need~

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons King Arthur Flour Black Cocoa, optional
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
1 cup strong black coffee 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set these aside. Fit your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric beater, combine the dry ingredients; mixing on low speed till they are thoroughly combined.
Now add the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil, vanilla, and beat on medium speed for about two minutes.
The batter is going to be thin. Pour it evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes if you are using the round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool the cakes for 10 minutes and then remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
Frost them however you like. I love to use a chocolate buttercream. One batch is plenty for this layered chocolate cake.



* if you don't have buttermilk you can add a teaspoon of white vinegar to a cup of whole milk. Stir and let sit a few minutes before adding. 

http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/the-best-chocolate-cake-recipe/

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Perks of Summer

One of the perks of not working during the summer is being able to make a special breakfast every now and then. This morning I made French toast. I love to use Sarah Lee's Artisano bread.  It's not quite as thick as Texas toast and not as thin as regular bread. I think I t's absolutely perfect for making a tasty piece of French toast. 
Add a little nutmeg and vanilla to the milk and eggs. 
Fry it up in some browned butter. 
Then you simply must top it with some maple syrup and fresh whipped cream and then...
BOOM, extremely yummy happens. And that my friends is always a good thing.



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Orange and Ginger Upside-down Cake

The ingredients for May's Improv Cooking Challenge were Orange and Ginger. A very tasty combination whether used in a savory dish or a sweet treat. Well since we've all been working so hard getting ready for our move next month  I decided we deserved a sweat treat for a reward. I thought it would be the perfect  way to cool down after all of our packing and purging.
I found this Orange and Ginger Upsidedown Cake recipe on The Chew website.  I decided that I was going to cheat a little though, and make the recipe using a white cake mix I already had at the house. It was very simple and worked out wonderfully. My family really enjoyed the finished product and I'm sure I'll  make it again. Here's my ingredients.


Zest the three oranges and set the zest aside.  Slice off the tops and bottoms of  the oranges. Now slice away the rind and pith, from top to bottom. Just  follow the curve of the fruit. Segment each orange, discard any seeds and set them aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of orange juice.


In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the brown sugar and reserved orange juice and stir until everything is dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place this mixture into the bottom of your cake pan. Place the orange segments on top of the brown sugar mixture in a circular fashion, overlapping as necessary. 
Now to get the cake mixed up. Put the cake mix, 3 eggs, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, 2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/3 cup of sour cream and 1/4 cup water. Mix on medium for about 3 minutes. Gently spoon over the oranges. Tap the pan on the counter a couple times to remove any air bubbles. Bake in a preheated oven at 350* for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and turn out onto your cake platter. Serve with a dollop of slightly sweetened fresh whipped cream.




*since I modified the recipe, I had a little leftover batter. I used it to make cupcakes for lunch treats for my brother.

Come check out the other tasty creations in this month's Improv Cooking Challenge.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fresh and Tasty Tomato Soup




Here's what you'll need to make this wonderful fresh and tasty soup.
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
pinch of salt
2 lbs tomatoes (about 10 med tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp uncooked white rice, this will thicken your soup
sprig of fresh thyme 
3-4 fresh basil leaves 
1/2 bay leaf 

Place the butter and olive oil in a heavy pot. I used my Dutch oven. To this add your pealed and sliced onions. Gently cook them over a medium heat while you wash and core your tomatoes. 
When your onions are nice and soft, toss the garlic into the pot and cook for a two minutes more.
Now, add the chopped tomatoes, salt, rice, bay leaf and your fresh herbs to the pot of onions.  Cover and simmer, stirring every now and then until the tomatoes are well cooked and break apart easily.

As I mentioned the rice is the thickening agent in this soup.  It does a good job, and it keeps the fat and calorie count down a little. However if you don't mind the calories you can substitute cream for the water. The calorie count goes up, but you will get a very fresh and tasty bowl of cream of tomato soup that quite frankly leaves Campbell's in the dust. 
Now you are going to add~ 

1 cup water or cream if you don't mind the į‘•į—©į’Ŗoį–‡ieį”• :)
1 more tbsp butter
another pinch of salt

Cover and cook for a few more minutes to melt the butter and to ensure that your rice is nice and tender.
Take the soup off the heat and remove the bay leaf and herbs. Puree it to your liking. I used my Ninja, but depending how thick or chunky you might like it an immersion blender would work fine too. 

Enjoy your soup with a salad or a grilled cheese sandwich. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Ham and Cheese and What?


We are in the middle of moving and I knew it was going to be difficult to get something posted for this month's Improv Cooking Challenge, but I didn't want to miss this month's challenge.
I decided that I was going to to do something super simple. So I decided to make Ham and Cheese Frittatas. They were so super simple to make. I can't imagine why I have never made them before. They were packed with ham and cheese and pig jowl bacon. Who knew that pig jowl bacon tasted soooooo good??? It does y'all. Then I decided to top the frittatas with a drizzle of some Creamy JalapeƱo Sauce and they were gone in 5. Which worked out perfectly and then we were back packing up.
So here's the recipe y'all:

5 eggs
1/2 cup cubed ham
3 slices of pig jowl bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 cup potatoes, cubed and fried (I used frozen to save time)
1/2 cup shredded cheese. I used Mexican blend
4 tbsp milk
Salt and pepper to season
~~~~~~

Mix the egg and milk together, cover and set aside. Fry up the potatoes and drain. Next fry up the bacon and crumble. Using 5 ramekins start layering your frittatas. Potatoes go in first. Next add the ham and bacon. Top each with cheese. Lastly cover with the milk and egg mixture.  Place in a Ban Marie and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm with a drizzle of Creamy JalepeƱo Sauce, you can find the recipe here Or top with your favorite salsa. 


Check out some of the other fabulous Ham and Cheese creations in this month's Improv Cooking Challenge ~





Thursday, April 14, 2016

Creamy JalepeƱo Sauce


I went to lunch with a friend recently and tasted this wonderful creamy JalepeƱo sauce. It was just so good that I knew I wanted to try and make some. The sauce I came up with tastes similar to what I ate at the restaurant, but I added some cilantro to mine.  I am sure this would even make a pretty spectacular dressing for salads too.
So here is my version of a creamy jalepeƱo sauce.

1 cup sour cream
1 cup of mayonnaise 
4 pickled jalepeƱos, remove the seeds of you like it milder
4 tbls of ranch dressing mix
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

Place everything in a blender and blend until jalepeƱos and cilantro are finely minced and all ingredients are incorporated and creamy.
Serve as a dipping sauce for your steak quesadillas or use as a dip for nachos . *Refrigerate any unused sauce.* 
This recipe makes 3 cups.

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Little Comfort Food



Ok y'all so I've been seeing this scrumptious looking biscuit and gravy bake floating around Facebook and decided it was worth trying out. I grew up on Southern comfort food so I knew it had to be good. It has biscuits, gravy, sausage, eggs and cheese all of which are comfort foods.
I made one slight change to the recipe though. I decided to use the grease from the sausage to make the gravy instead of using the butter. I love butter, don't  get me wrong, but the the flavor boost from the sausage grease is incredible.
So here are the simple and easy steps to making this dish.

Gather the following:
1 can of biscuits, I used Grands Buttermilk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
6 eggs
2-1/4 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste 
4 tablespoons reserved grease from the cooked sausage
4 tbls flour
Cut the biscuits and place them evenly in a greased 9x13 baking pan.


Spread the cooked sausage evenly over the biscuits.


Now do the same with your shredded cheese.


Set aside while you mix 6 eggs with 1/4 cup milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the biscuit, sausage and cheese mixture. Now let's use the sausage grease and make some gravy. Whisk the grease with the 4 tbsp flour and stir and let bubble a few minutes to cook the flour. Add the 2 cups milk, salt and pepper to taste and stir and cook until thickened. Pour evenly on top of mixture. 



Cook at 350* for 35-45 minutes. I did mine for 40 minutes and it was perfectly done. 









Thursday, March 17, 2016

Creamy Lemon and Lamb Meatball Soup

The Improv Cooking Challenge ingredients for March were lamb & rice. I had company from out of town come in and didn't get a chance to post my recipe.  What I had made was a lamb and rice meatball soup. I just love soup and one of my favorite soups is albondigas. (Spanish meatball soup) so it seemed this recipe had my name written all over it.  So...I made a trip to my favorite specialty store to purchase the ground lamb and few other goodies.  


MEATBALLS ~
1  large egg, lightly beaten 
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)  
1  garlic clove, minced 
Zest of 1/2 lemon 
3-4 drops of mint oil or 1 tbls fresh chopped mint 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/2 pound ground lamb 

SOUP Ingredients~
7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 
Wide ribbons of zest from 1/2 lemon, use a veggie peeler to make these
1/2 cup  rice  
vegetable oil 
3  large eggs 
Fresh juice of 1 large lemon 
Chopped fresh mint and parsley if desired for garnish


Let's Make meatballs~
In a large bowl, combine egg, panko, milk, garlic, lemon zest, mint, parsley, salt, and pepper and let sit a few minutes so the panko crumbs can soften a bit. Next add the ground lamb, and mix well with your hands. Form the meat mixture into 3/4-inch size meatballs. Chill them on a baking sheet until they are a little firmer, about 15 minutes  was ok for me.


While the meatballs chill, let's make soup: 
In a large covered pot, (I used my cast iron Dutch oven) bring broth and zest to a boil then add rice and lower the heat. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, until rice is par cooked, about 10 minutes.
While soup simmers, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. I really didn't need to much oil as you can see. Cook the meatballs in batches, turning once, so they brown on 2 sides, about 6 minutes should be enough browning/cooking time. Use a slotted spoon to remove them to the soup. Cook for another 15 minutes till the meatballs are cooked through.

Remove zest from soup and discard. Turn off heat. Whisk eggs to blend and add lemon juice. Whisk in a ladle of hot soup at a time, about 4-5 laddles should be enough, then return this mixture to the pot and stir. You are now ready to enjoy your soup.  Garnish with mint and parsley if desired and serve. 





Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cheating Is Allowed

Sopapillas are one of my favorite treats. And when I can't get out to my favorite restaurant to enjoy some I make my own. The cheater way. Yes, the cheater way. They are almost as good and so easy to make. Really.
Pop open a container of your favorite biscuits.


Flatten them a smidge. 


Heat up some oil and fry away till they're golden brown on both sides.


Remove from the oil to paper napkin lined plate. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and drizzle with honey. 


Be quick to grab one though 'cause I guarantee they will disappear in no time.



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Going Coconut



If you've ever lived out Arizona way you might remember Smitty's. They sold everything from groceries to household goods and lots of things in between. And inside the store they had a restaurant. The food was good homestyle cooking and they made really tasty pies. The coconut cream was always my favorite. Unfortunately for many years now they have no longer been in business. Bye, bye favorite coconut cream pie.
When we lived back east for a few years we would buy a brand of ice cream called Turkey Hill. They make a variety of flavors and I love each one of them. Once they started making a coconut cream pie flavor I was hooked. Just couldn't get enough of the stuff it was just so good. So when we moved back to Arizona I immediately searched for Turkey Hill ice cream. Well, even though they sell Turkey Hill ice cream here locally I have never been able to find their coconut cream pie flavor. The response I always get when I ask for it is that there is not enough interest in it. SAY WHAT?!?!? Well, what is wrong with people I say. Anyways, I had such a hankerin for it the other day I decided to make my own. Yes Indeedy I did. 
I must say that it turned out very good. It's no churn, packed with good coconut cream pie flavor, smooth and creamy. It was so good I wanted to hide it way, way back in the freezer behind the veggies. Seriously I thought about doing that because no one ever looks behind the veggies. However my conscience got the better of me and I did not. I left it out in plain sight and shared it with everyone. 

Well if you like Cocnut cream pie, then I think you will like this ice cream. Here's just how simple it is to mix up.



 Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream. Only 3 ingredients.
2 cups heavy whipping cream                                              
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of toasted coconut. 

Toast the coconut in a frying pan on medium high heat, stir often til it's brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the sweetened condensed milk. And last gently fold in the coconut. Freeze in a tightly sealed container for 6 hours. I know it's gonna be hard but resist the urge to gobble it up right then and there. Let it chill out and you will have some of the best tasting ice cream ever. I promise, on my word as a former Girl Scout.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Every month in the Improv Cooking Challenge we are assigned two ingredients to work with. This month our ingredients were tea and honey. With the series of health events I had going on this past month I wasn't sure I was going to be able to participate.  But at the 11th hour I found a recipe that knew I would be able to do time wise. So for the past hour or so I have been enjoying my time baking up some Earl Grey Shortbread cookies. I wasn't too sure about tea in a cookie though, but they are quite delicious with a subtle hint of the tea coming through. And I love the flecks of tea in the cookie. It certainly does give a new meaning to tea and cookies. :) I found the recipe over at Sugar and Soul and changed it up a bit adding 2 tablespoons of honey.  As I am typing this I am on my fourth cookie. Shh...Don't tell anyone.
Here's the ingredients you'll need to gather.


Cream together the butter and honey.


Mix the dry ingredients together. Gently
mix them into the creamed butter and honey.


Here's my trick, I roll out the cookies on
the silat. It saves time and the shape stays 
pretty round.


Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a cup of tea or
coffee.


Checkout the other tasty tea and honey creations from 
my Improv Cooking Challenge friends.



Friday, February 12, 2016

Did I ever mention....



I have the best coworkers ever. Well I do, and they mean quite a bit to me. So since it's Valentine's Day on Sunday I wanted to bring them a special treat today. What says Valentine's better than chocolate? Chocolate and fresh raspberries, that's what. So I baked up some chocolate fudge cupcakes and whipped up some fresh raspberry butter cream frosting to top them with. Couldn't have been any easier.
I started with a good cake mix, Ducan Hines is the brand I usually work with when I don't have time to bake from scratch.. :) Oh, and I always add one more egg than what the package calls for. I like my cakes to be really rich and moist.
Then I frosted them with raspberry butter cream frosting just like my mom used to make. She always used fresh raspberries and she'd let us lick the beaters when she was done whipping it up. Hmm... sweet memories. So here's the recipe for fresh raspberry butter cream icing if you want to try it.

Fresh Raspberry Butter Cream Icing

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, washed and dried
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
16 oz. powdered sugar

Mix the first 4 ingredients until they are creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. This will make enough icing to frost one 9x13 cake pan or 24 cupcakes.

If you try, it let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sweet Butter Mochi


At the church I used to attend, every year at the first of the year the Nichigo ladies would have a mochi pounding on Sunday after church. I wish had snapped pictures to show y'all. It was always fun to watch the men pound the rice and then the ladies make the mochi. It always plain mochi and some with the red beans in the middle. Either way it was delish and a cultural cooking adventure.
So today I decided to make sweet mochi. I don't need any special equipment and it couldn't be simpler. And did I mention it's sweet and good and has coconut. So I made a trip the the Asian store where I bought the mochiko (rice flour) and a few other goodies.
The mochiko was only $1.89 a box so I bought a few; for future mochi making adventures of coarse.
So here's the recipe I used. So simple and easy to make. I didn't even have to get out the mixer.

Sweet Butter Mochi 

1 pound mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 cups whole milk
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
Directions~
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and milk. In a separate larger bowl, stir together the rice flour, sugar, and baking powder. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir to blend. Mix in melted butter and coconut. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Cool completely, then cut into squares and enjoy. Store in an airtight container. Eat within 3-4 days for maximum freshness.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Crockpot Pozole


Easiest. Pork. Pozole. Ever.  I promise.

        







Place all ingredients in the crockpot and stir. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Add your favorite garnishes and tortillas and now you are ready to enjoy your pork pozole!!!!



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Brown Butter Pancakes




These pancakes are nutty, buttery, and so doggone delicious. I'm hoping that they'll be your new favorites y'all. The nutty goodness from the brown butter is the real star here. Brown butter is the star of any recipe. Goodness it should win a prize for it's nutty buttery goodness. Shoot these pancakes are so doggone good, around here we eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try a batch today and let me know what you think.

~Ingredients ~
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tbls Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup unsalted Butter
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 cup Buttermilk 
2 large Eggs
1 tsp salt


Pancake Directions~
In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. In a small sauce pan, add butter and melt over a medium heat. Keep cooking, stirring until it starts to develop an amber color and begins to smell nutty. Keep a good watch though, because it can get ugly and burnt pretty fast. Put the butter into a medium sized mixing bowl and set it aside to cool a bit.
Time to stir in the buttermilk. 
Now whisk in the eggs. 
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. 
 Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients. 
Do this just until there are no flour streaks. 
It's ok for batter to be lumpy. Trust me.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, spray or brush with a touch of oil and then ladle the batter onto the pan to make pancakes. When bottom of the pancake is golden and tops are bubbly then flip pancakes over and cook the second side until golden. Repeat this process until all the batter is done.
Serve with maple syrup, glazed apples or any of your favorite toppings.  


**If you don't have buttermilk on hand, don't fret. You can make your own. Yep, it's that simple y'all. Here's whatcha do~
add 1 tbls of lemon juice or white vinegar for every cup of milk, stir and let sit for 5 minutes and voila! Buttermilk!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Italian Lemon Cream Cake


I was thinking about how I could the last of the lemons that a sweet friend had given me when I came across this recipe for a lemon cream cake from An Italian In My Kitchen and I knew that I wanted to try it. I tried it and it was good, but I just knew that I had to tweak it a bit, 'cause I love a really tangy punch. It was a hit with my favorite taste testers and I think you might like it too. 


~~Italian Lemon Cream Cake~~

2 cups + 1 tablespoon flour 
1¾ cups icing/powdered sugar 
4 eggs
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
7 tablespoons butter melted 
Zest of two lemons
2 teaspoons baking powder 
½ teaspoon salt
7 drops of lemon oil
Juice of the 2 lemons

Lemon Soak
Take 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice and simmer over medium heat till the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool

Lemon Glaze
Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 -2 tbls fresh squeezed lemon juice until smooth.

Let's do this
Pre-heat your oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour a large bundt cake pan.  In a stand mixer  beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until they are light and fluffy. Melt the butter and let it cool completely. Zest the peel of two lemons and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, then alternating with the cream gently fold into egg mixture with a spatula, keep folding in until mixture is combined. Last gently fold in lemon peel, lemon oil drops and melted butter, pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. While the cake is still warm use a pastry brush to pat the cake with the lemon syrup. When the cake has completely cooled drizzle with the lemon glaze. Now it's time to enjoy a slice!