Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lettuce Wraps

I know you have made lettuce wraps before, but this is another good recipe to try. This recipe is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and it always turns out really good. I usually add some grated carrot, oyster sauce, bamboo shoots and deep fried vermicelli noodles.

Adapted from Mel's kitchen cafe
6-8 servings

2 tsp veg oil
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 c button mushrooms,, minced
1 carrot, grated
1/4 tsp salt
1 8 oz can water chestnuts, minced
1 can bamboo shoots, minced
1/2 c green onions
1/4 c oyster sauce
1/4 c soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp hot sauce
1/3 c chopped cilantro
1 head iceberg lettuce
*dipping sauce
** rice vermicelli noodles deep fried

Heat veg oil in large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot add garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute and then add beef, mushrooms, carrots, and salt. Cook until beef is cooked.

Add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and green onions. Cook a few more minutes. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, juice and zest from lemon, and hot sauce. When everything is cooked through, remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Serve in lettuce leaves, top with vermicelli and dipping sauce.

*Dipping sauce
1/4 c soy s sauce
1/8 c rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp green onions

Combine all ingredients.

** Deep fried Rice Vermicelli
Heat oil in a wok. Break vermicelli apart into small handfuls. Deep fry until puffed. Drain on paper towel.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

I'm not really sure why I picked this recipe because I don't even like lemon meringue pie. I think it was because they looked so pretty in the book and I had everything for them.If you like lemon meringue pie or know someone who does I would recommend these. They are good, just not for me. The only thing that I did differently was put them under the broiler for a few second because I don't have a kitchen torch.

For cupcakes:
3 c all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons(about 3 tbsp), plus 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tray with liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

With electric mixer on med-high speed, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire wracks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

For Lemon Curd:
2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 c sugar
2/3 c fresh lemon juice(about 6 lemons)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature

Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing in directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and fir, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

1 1/2 c plus 2 tbsp sugar
2/3 c water
2 tbsp light corn syrup
6 large eggs

Combine 1 1/4 c sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan: clip a candy thermometer to the side. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk, whisk egg whites on med-high until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tbsp of sugar, beating to combine

As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230, remove from heat. With mixer on med-low, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to med-high and whisk until mixture is completely cool(test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.

To assemble:
Spread 1 tbsp lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with large open star tip(wilton#8B or Ateco#828) with frosting. Pipe with frosting. Hold a small kitchen torch 3 t 4 inches from surface of frosting, and wave it back and forth until lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Book

Friday, February 25, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

I made this twice last week. It's easy to throw together and both my kids liked it. We topped it with some fresh fruit and milk. You can also add the fruit into the batter before it cooks. I have tried it both ways, but I prefer the fruit added after its cooked.I made a half batch because I didn't need a 9X13 inch pan of oatmeal for the three of us.
3 c oatmeal, either quick or old-fashioned
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c oil
1/4 c apple sauce
1 c milk2 beaten eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 8X8-inch pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with milk and fresh fruit.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sweet Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup

This soup was good and healthy. It made my house smell great.  I think next time though Id add red pepper as well as the 2 orange peppers to make it not so sweet. Would have been good with sour cream on top.

Preheat oven to 450. Cut a peeled large butternut squash into 1/2 inch squares. Quarter 2 orange peppers and spread veggies out over 2 baking sheets. Toss with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt and a pich of cayenne. Roast in oven until tender. About 1/2 hour. Saute onion and and garlic in sauce pan about 5 mins. Add box of chicken stalk. Add cooked veg. Purree until smooth. Thin with water or stock if needed. Salt to taste. I had to add quite abit of salt at this stage. Keeps in fridge 3 days or freezer up to 2 months.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

I have made these muffins many times and they always turn out great.You don't even need to use blueberries and lemon. You could use any kind of citrus and fruit combination that your heart desires. Pineapple orange and strawberry lime are also tasty.

1/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 c milk
1 egg
1 lemon zested and juiced
1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1/2 c white sugar
1/4 packed brown sugar
1 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line or grease a muffin pan. Whisk together the oil, milk, egg, and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix lemon zest, flours, salt, baking powder and sugars. Mix berries into the flour mixture. Stir in the oil mixture just until moist. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake about 25 minutes.

Hamburger Buns

These are very similar to your brioche bun recipe. You were right, they are maybe a tiny bit better.  Maybe a little easier to make/less rising time. Instead of separating the dough into 9, I would do 8. Mine came out a little small.

1 tbsp. sugar
2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
3 to 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. cold water
sesame, poppy or caraway seeds, or coarse salt, for topping

In a bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the sugar and then the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk, oil, salt and 1 ½ cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Gradually add flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough, about 7-9 minutes.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the entire ball of dough in oil. Cover with a tightly-woven dampened towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Working with oiled hands, divide the dough into 9 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and flatten into 3 ½ -inch disks. For soft-sided buns, place them on a well-seasoned baking sheet a half-inch apart so they will grow together when they rise. For crisper bun, place them three inches apart.

Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

15 minutes before you want to bake the buns, preheat the oven to 400°. Just before baking, brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with any desired toppings.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190°. When the buns are done, remove them from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rocky Mountain Cookies

This was my second time making these cookies.The first time I made them the dough was to dry, so I added a bit of milk. This time I used 1/2 cup less oats and they turned out perfect.

1 c sugar
1 c packed light brown sugar
1 c butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp
baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 c old-fashioned oats(I used 1 1/2 cups)
2 c rice Krispies
2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder to butter mixture. Mix. Fold in oats, cereal and chips. Drop tablespoons of thee dough onto lightly greased or lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden.

Soure: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Taco Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

For the dressing:
1/4 c honey
juice of 3 limes
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c olive oil

Put everything except olive oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil. Whisk until smooth.

For salad:
1 head of Romaine, shredded
3 gr onions, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
half of a red onion, sliced thin
grilled corn or a bag of thawed frozen corn( I forgot the corn)
half of a bunch of cilantro
grilled chicken(I marinated it in some of the dressing)
1/2 shredded cheese
tortilla chips, crushed
*1 can kidney or black beans(see recipe below)

Put everything except for the chips and beans in a large bowl. Toss it. Add some dressing. Top with chips and beans.

* Take a can of beans and rinse well. Put them in a pan with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 2-3 cloves of garlic, about 1 tablespoon oregano and salt and pepper. Heat the beans through and they are done.

Source: Baked Bree

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Caesar Salad Dressing

2 tbsp Mayo or 1 egg
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, plus a drop or two more, to taste
1 oil-packed anchovy fillet, finely chopped(optional)
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk all ingredients except olive oil together. Gradually whisk in olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pink Lemonade Ice Cream Cake

Mix softened vanilla ice cream with partially thawed pink lemonade concentrate. I just let them both sit on the counter for 10 minutes while I mashed Arrowroot cookies and mixed them with melted butter until moist. With a little bit of brown sugar too. The recipe called for graham crackers but the arrowroot was nice and calm.
Push into wax paper lined casserole dish and put in freezer while you mash and mix ice cream and lemonade. Once just combined smooth onto crust, cover loosely with plastic wrap. Freeze for 6-8 hours. Cut with a large pizza cutter or cookie cutter. Run cutter under warm water before slicing.

Source: Chatelaine

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Neapolitan Layer Cake

This would be a perfect cake for Valentine's day. My plan was to make it then, but I got to excited and make it last weekend instead. I used this recipe from Annie's Eats and didn't change a thing. Even if you don't make the cake I really recommend that you make this icing. You could just eat it out of the bowl or put it on some cupcakes.

Source: Annie's Eats, originally from Sweetapolita

Friday, February 11, 2011

Honey bran Muffins

I have been looking for a bran muffin recipe for a long time. This recipe was good, but I think it would be better with fresh fruit instead of the dried. Next time I will try adding some berries or banana.

Makes 12

2 eggs
1 1/3 c buttermilk
1/3 c vegetable oil
1/4 c honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c 100% bran or all-bran cereal
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c raisins( I used dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil, honey and vanilla; stir in cereal. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon ans salt. Pour bran mixture over dry ingredients; sprinkle with raisins. Stir just until moistened. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling to top.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden and tops are firm to touch. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack.

Source: The complete Canadian Living Cookbook

Monday, February 7, 2011


This is my new baking station. Its kinda like my office. I sit here whenever I have a spare minute and create magnificent breads and buns and muffins and cakes. Who would think not pulling out flour, sugar, soda and oats and putting them all away again would save me so much time. If you have a corner, you should make one. It will change your life.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cilantro Turkey Burger

On our way back from the farmers market today I almost got hit by car. It was an SUV and it honked really loud right in my ear. Im super emotional and pregnant today and so I started to cry. I cried all the way home. When we got home Lainey was asleep so I had to take the oppurtunity to mix the turkey I just bought for dinner, but I was still crying.  So I cried while I mixed the meat.  Its an emotional recipe but it was sooooooo good.
I mixed chopped cilantro, green pepper, onion, garlic, salt, pepper. And the secret emotional ingredient...one tablespoon of brown sugar. I served it on your bun recipe. Which by the way is SUPERB!!

Maybe their IS something to freshly ground meat. As gross at it might seem. Cuz this burger was amazing. Or maybe it was the tears and the brown sugar. In any case you should make it. A hit girlfriend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Remember when I made these.  Well this is better.  Way better.  I think your mom actually used to make these for us when we were little.  This recipe is adapted from Chef At Home. These pancakes are the best I've ever eaten. And im not a pancake person, but these were super quick to make and Lainey loved them.  You gotta try them.

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 egg
1/2 cup blueberries

Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk all the wet ingredients together in another bowl then add them to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spoon until all the ingredients are combined but not smooth, the mix should be a tiny bit lumpy. Fold in berries.
Preheat a cast iron skillet or sauté pan. Heat until a drop of water dances on the surface. If the water instantly evaporates the surface is to hot, if it just lies still, too cold. Use lots of butter to cook the pancakes in whatever size you like. Enjoy!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins Topped with Spinach and Roasted Garlic Potatoes

I would really recommend making these very soon. I am not one who usually likes meatloaf, but these are just the right size and full of flavour. This is the third time I've made these in the last few months. I served them with some roasted lemon and garlic broccoli.

1 tsp olive oil
7 button mushrooms, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
3(yellow, red, orange) small baby bell peppers, diced(I used 1/2 c regular sized peppers)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 tbsp garlic and herb bread crumbs(I used panko)
1-2 tbsp milk
1 egg
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste
Fresh spinach
Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
chives, chopped(I forgot these)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin tray with oil.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, and peppers and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft; add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Mix the veggie mixture with the ground turkey, bread crumbs, milk, egg, and parsley together in a bowl until well combined.

Scoop the meatloaf mixture evenly into the muffin tray, pushing down to flatten. Place in the oven and bake for 22-27 minutes.

While the meatloaf is cooking, make the roasted garlic potatoes(don't forget to roast the garlic earlier). Right before you take the meatloaf out of the oven, wash the spinach and place in a pan over medium heat. Cook the spinach with a touch of water, season with salt and pepper, to taste, for 1-2 minutes.

Remove meatloaf from muffin tins, top with wilted spinach, potatoes and chives.

Source:For the Love of Cooking

New York Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake last weekend when we had friends over for dinner. I served it with some fresh strawberry puree and whipping cream. It was so good that I couldn't help but eat it for breakfast and lunch the next day. I had to hide in the kitchen so my kids didn't know I was eating cake for breakfast.


15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tbsp butter

4(8 oz) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 c white sugar
3/4 c milk
4 eggs
1 c sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the melted butter

In a bowl, mix graham crackers with melted butter. Press into the bottom the springform pan.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling over prepared crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool until barely warm, about 2 hours. Run a paring knife between the cake and the springform pan sides. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.


Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus and Pancetta

12 oz pasta
3 oz pancetta or bacon, chopped
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 c frozen peas
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/3 c heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
2-4 tbsp fresh parsley, minced and divided
1/4 c fresh basil, minced and divided
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer pancetta to a paper towel to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Almond Chicken Penne

This recipe is from Giada. Apparently this is a classic Italian dish. I wish the pictures did it justice. They don't. It was really delicious. I love how creamy the almonds and chicken stock get when blended. The warmed peas? Delicious. The fresh basil? So good. And the lemon zest?  Are you kidding?  Get outta here.  You have to try it. It's a creamy pasta without all the fattening butter and milk and flour.  Really easy too.

1 pound penne pasta
2 cups (9 ounces) blanched, slivered almonds
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 store-bought, rotisserie chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 cup frozen petite peas
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 large lemon, zested
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a blender, combine the almonds, chicken stock, olive oil, and garlic. Blend until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the mixture into a large skillet and turn the heat on to medium. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken, peas, cream and lemon zest. Cook, stirring frequently until the chicken is heated through, about 4 minutes (mixture will be thick). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Put the cooked pasta into a serving bowl and add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Toss together until the pasta is coated. Add the chicken mixture, the remaining cheese and the basil. Toss the ingredients together, adding the reserved pasta water, as needed, to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pancetta and Kale Strudel

I sauteed pancetta, onion, garlic and then wilted in some chopped kale. Wrapped it up in some puff pastry with freshly grated parmesan, and a few dollops of sour cream and green onionbrushed it with olive oil. Id also like to try it with ricotta and maybe do like a bite size appetizer. Kale is good though. Id recommend subbing it in for spinach next time you have a spinach recipe.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Berry Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup Whole Wheat flour
1 cup White flour
2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 3/4 cup plain yogurt or 2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Zest of one lemon
1 T. vanilla
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries

In bowl, combine oats and yogurt; let stand for 10 minutes.
Then add eggs, oil, lemon zest, vanilla. Mix dry ingredients separately then add to yogurt mixture. Careful not to over mix. Gently fold in berries. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar and oatmeal. Bake at 400 for 20-23 minutes.

Adapted from Pregnant Again

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shrimp Scampi

It was 5 o'clock and I didn't have anything planned for dinner. I knew I needed a recipe that was going to be quick and easy or we were going to be ordering pizza. This was the perfect dish, super quick to make and full of flavour.

1/2 pound Linguine( I didn't have any so I used spaghetti)
1/2 pound large shrimp, cleaned and peeled
2 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
*1/2 c white wine(optional)I didn't need to use this

Cook linguine, reserve a few tablespoons of the starchy pasta water.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. I large skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chili flake and saute for 2 minutes. Add shrimp and lemon zest. Cook shrimp until they turn pink. Add lemon juice and parsley. Toss in cooked pasta, adding a tablespoon of the pasta water at a time until you reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

*If you would like a more saucy pasta dish, remove shrimp from skillet once they are cooked. Add in 1/2c white wine and turn heat to medium-high. Reduce liquids for 4-5 minutes.


Easiest Focaccia

I served this bread with this. This bread only needs 30 minutes to rise. It's the perfect bread if you don't have a lot time. Next time I will serve it with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

1 tsp white sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/3 c warm water
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp fresh rosemary

In the bowl electric mixer, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water.Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour to yeast mixture; mix until combined. Mix in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time until all the flour is absorbed. When the dough has pulled together, switch to the dough hook and knead about 5 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.
Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until double, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead briefly. Stretch the dough into a rectangular shape and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Poke dimples in dough. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh rosemary.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 20 minutes,depending on desired crispness.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Pot Spinach and Mushroom Pasta

These one pot pastas are all the rage lately. So I decided to try it. Actually it was a one pan pasta. It was easy, so easy. And it tasted good too. This is how I did it.

Onion, garlic and mushrooms sauteed for about 3 minutes. Add Chicken stock. I used about 3/4 of a carton. Add noodles. I used spaghettini noodles. Bring to a slow boil. Once the pasta is almost done and the chicken stock is almost all absorbed, add ricotta cheese or cream cheese, cheese, and spinach. Let cheese melt and spinach wilt and its ready to go.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mozzarella And Cheddar Cheese Rolls

I wasnt even going to post these, but this sandwich I made was so beautiful that I couldn't resist showing you.

So, I made this roll recipe. I used white flour. Just before I was done kneading it I added about 1 cup each of mozza and cheddar cheese. Once they were ready for the oven I topped them with grated cheddar.

And this beauty below is just tomato and cream cheese toasted. De-Lish.

P.S.  I've ended my cell phone contract and getting a home phone.  They can't hook the home phone up until Thursday so you won't be able to get ahold of me.  I may phone you from Shawns phone if it's important.  Love you.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Light Brioche Burger Buns

This is the bun recipe I used for the buns for buffalo chicken sliders. The only thing I did different was make 12 instead of 8 buns. You could even make 14-16 because mine were still on the larger side for a slider bun.

3 tbsp warm milk
1 c warm water
2 tsp instant yeast
21/2 tbsp sugar
11/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
3 c bread flour
1/3 c all-purpose flour
21/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

For topping:
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash
Sesame seeds

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg.Mix to combine. Add the flours, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the butter. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be somewhat tacky. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, 1-2 hours.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball and place on baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed and nearly doubled.

Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with a rack in the center. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 15 minutes rotating halfway through, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Citrus Shrimp Salad

This salad is so simple and yet so tasty.The dressing has a nice light flavour and really brings all the ingredients together. I served it as a dinner salad with a homemade loaf of french bread. If you don't like shrimp, you could always serve it as a side salad without them. This would be a really great summer salad, with the shrimp done on the grill.
2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1 avocado, cut into cubes
2-3 tsp fresh lime juice
6-8 c romaine lettuce
1/2 c red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deviened
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

For dressing:
6 tbsp plain yogurt
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
11/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, toss cubed avocado with lime juice to prevent browning. Add oranges, romaine and onions. Toss gently to combine.

to prepare dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to blend.

In a medium saucepan , heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and cook stirring often for 2-3 minutes or until they turn pink.
Remove from heat and set aside. Shrimp can be served hot or cold over salad.

Just before serving, toss salad with dressing and top with shrimp.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cookies

I used the peanut butter cookie recipe from "Joy Of Cooking". Except I added 1/2 Cup cream cheese. I think because I used all natural 100% peanut butter these cookies are not too sweet, which is nice.  And maybe the cream cheese calms the sugar down too?  Doesn't matter why really, they are just plain and simple goodness.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
Beat until soft

gradually add 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

Beat in
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour.

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chocolate Salted-Caramel Mini Cupcakes

This recipe is from the Martha Stewart cupcake book. My mom got me this book a year ago and that's how long it took me to finally choose what cupcake I wanted to make first. I would pickup this book once a month and then could never decide what to make because there are just so many beautiful cupcakes to choose from. These cupcakes do take some time to make, but they are worth the extra steps.

Salted Caramel Filling
Makes 2 cups
2 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c water
1 tbsp light corn syrup
3/4 c heavy cream
2 1/2 tsp sea salt

Heat sugar with the water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high, stirring occasionally, until syrup is clear; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Stop stirring, and cook until syrup comes to a boil. Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and just reaches 360 degrees F. Remove from heat; slowly pour in cream(mixture will spatter) and stir with wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sea salt. Use immediately; if at any time caramel begins to harden, reheat gently until pourable.

Dark Chocolate Frosting
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp boiling water
21/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 pounds best-quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined. Beat in the cocoa mixture.

Makes about 56 mini
1 1/2c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c buttermilk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 c warm water

Sea salt, preferably fleur de sel, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and the water.With a electric mixer on low speed, beat until smooth and combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer tins to wire rack to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

To finish, use paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece(about 1/2 inch deep) from the center of each cupcake(discard pieces). Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons warm filling into each hollowed-out cupcakes. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over filling.

Fill pastry bag fitted with a medium open star tip(Wilton#18) with frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. Garnish each cupcake with a pinch of sea salt.