Monday, February 28, 2011
Payard's explains Cracaos are a traditional European cookies. There isn't a picture of these cookies in the book. Being a visual person, I searched for Cracaos. Nothing, except a reference to the recipe in this book. Interesting! I am not sure I have ever baked anything that you can't find on the internet.
The recipe goes together easily. The challenging part for me began with the shaping of the cookies. Francois instructs the baker to roll the dough to 6 x 5 1/2 x 1 1/2, chill and then cut into 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1/4 strips. I realized you have to cut the dough in half to get to 1/4. I decided to cut mine into stars. The dough was hard to work with and tricky to cut into shapes. I halved the recipe and ended up with 12 stars. The recipe calls for a baking time of 10 - 12 minutes. I think because of the larger shape of mine, they required a little longer baking time. After about 17 minutes, I opened the door to pull them out and check on them. I touched my forearm on the oven door. Hot oven and my reflexes made me jump. All but three cookies were either in the oven or on the floor in pieces.
I picked up the pieces, salvaged the good ones and placed them on a rack to cool. Once they'd cooled, I tried a couple of the pieces. I thought they were blah! Not at all what I expected. Since these cookies have toasted pistachios and walnuts, I thought they would be packed with flavor.
I am looking forward to seeing what this month's host, Astheroshe and my fellow CWF bakers thought of these and how their Cracaos turned out.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Without my husband, there not be a Little Bit of Everything. Tim is my photographer. He's so patient with me. When I say, no I don't like that shot or not from that angle, he just smiles and takes another picture. Dinner is often delayed a few minutes while we get a shot for the blog. I am always saying I need a "pink" for Pink Saturday. He finds a picture in the mass of photographs on his computer. I know I don't say it as often as I should but thanks for all you do for me and Little Bit of Everything! I love you!!
Have you ever eaten one of those Betty Crocker Warm Delights Molten Chocolate cakes? They're a quick, yummy treat. Certainly not as delicious as a homemade molten chocolate cake but perfect for a quick chocolate fix! I used a small bowl to "bake" this cake and it was the perfect size. Be careful not to cook this too long. The recipes calls for three minutes. Next time, I am going to try 2 1/2 minutes and see if it comes out more gooey! It will be fun to experiment with other chips, flavorings and applesauce instead of the oil. Way too easy make!!! This dessert is dangerous.
Dangerous 5 Minute Chocolate Cake
Recipe Courtesy of Bargain Hoot
• 4 tablespoons flour
• 4 tablespoons sugar
• 2 tablespoons cocoa
• 1 egg ( I just used an egg white)
• 3 tablespoons milk
• 3 tablespoons oil
• 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
• Small splash of vanilla extract
• 1 large coffee mug
-Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.
-Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
-Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
-Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and mix again.
-Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts
I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I am really trying to waste less food. I heard a staggering statistic last week. Every day we waste enough food to fill the Rose Bowl. What to do with the red pepper in the fridge that was almost at the end of it's shelf life? How about a soup? I love the flavor of roasted red peppers, especially in soup.
The original recipe called for 2 cups of roasted red peppers and 2 cans of creamed corn. I really don't like creamed corn, so I chose to just use the frozen corn. The texture of this soup was more of a broth and less of a cream soup. The red pepper gives this soup a wonderful rich flavor.
Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Chowder
Inspired by the New England Soup Factory Cookbook
6 Tbsp. salted butter
2 cups diced onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 to 5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2" cubes
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground bay leaves
3 lbs. frozen or fresh corn kernels
2 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 4 Tbsp. cold water
2 cups light cream
1 roasted red pepper, pureed until smooth
2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
Kosher salt & black ground pepper to taste
In a stockpot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes more. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes soften but don't lose their shape, about 10 minutes. Add the coriander, bay leaves, and corn. Bring back to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.. Add the creamed corn and the cornstarch water mixture. Return to a boil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream, red peppers, cilantro, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a slow simmer for 2 minutes.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday , Tuesday's at the Table,
Souper Sunday's at Kahakai Kitchen and Let's Do Brunch at My Sweet and Savory.
Monday, February 21, 2011
All of the truffle recipes I am familiar with contain cream. Melissa's recipe calls for egg yolks. Egg yolks, seriously? Concerned that if I left the egg yolk out, the truffles wouldn't turn out properly, I decided to go for it. I quartered the recipe and ended up with seven truffles. These have a rich chocolate flavor with just a hint of rum. The egg yolk? I couldn't tell it was in the truffles. If you like truffles, give these a try. They're easy to make and are a beautiful treat! You can find the recipe at Nina's Cupcakes. Thanks for a great pick this week, Nina! Check out the other SMS bakers truffles here!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
I didn't have dark beer. I used Blue Moon, a light belgian beer, which is what is called for in the Pot Roast Carbonade recipe. I realized when I was reading Yvonne's post again, AFTER I'd finished making the carbonade, I forgot the allspice! This recipe is delicious and I can only imagine the allspice will add yet another layer of flavor. I will be trying this one again!!
Beer and Onion Chicken Carbonade
Recipe courtesy of Stone Gable
1 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS olive oil
4 large chicken thighs with skin and bones
3/8 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 cups onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup flour
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup baby carrots
3 tsp dark brown sugar
4 small or 2 large bay leaves
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup dark beer
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Melt butter and add olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Salt and pepper chicken. Add chicken to the skillet and saute until the skin is brown for about 4 minutes each side. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add onions and 2 tsp of brown sugar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and saute until deep golden brown stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add bay leaves, mustard and remaining tsp of sugar and gently stir. Add to slow cooker. Add mushrooms and carrots to slow cooker.
In a jar with a lid, make a slurry using flour and beef broth. Add slurry, beer and balsamic vinegar to the slow cooker. Gently stir the ingredients to incorporate. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, this is a guess. Make sure chicken is done through.
Serve this in a large shallow bowl on a bed of wide noodles.
I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Crock Pot Smoky Apple Butter Ribs
Recipe adapted from Crock Pot Recipe Exchange
3 lbs boneless pork country-style ribs
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion sliced
½ cup of apple butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. In 3 ½ to 4-quart slow cooker, place ribs. Cover with onion slices. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients, pour over ribs and onion.
2. Cover; cook on Low heat 8-10 hours.
3. Remove ribs from cooker; place on serving platter. Cover to keep warm.
4. Pour juices from cooker through strainer into 1 quart saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium. Cook about 5 minutes or until sauce has slightly thickened. Serve sauce with ribs.
I am linking this to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday's and Tuesday's at the Table.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I've never cooked much Mexican food. I can't wait to try and create some of the dishes we enjoyed during our visit. My favorites were chilaquiles and chiles en nogada (pictured above)!
The guys enjoyed a local cocktail, The Bulldog, at Maro's Shrimp House where we dined on some of the best lobster I've ever eaten.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak
Recipe adapted from Christina's Taste Test Project
2 pounds ground beef
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
¼ all purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup (I used cream of mushroom)
1 (1 ounce) packet dry au jus mix
¾ cup water
1. Mix together ground beef, onion soup mix, breadcrumbs and milk
2. Shape into 8 patties
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat
4. Dredge the patties in flour to coat and quickly brown on both sides
5. Place browned patties in slow cooker, stacking like a pyramid
6. In a separate bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, au jus mix and water
7. Pour over patties
8. Cook on low setting for 4 to 5 hours or until meat is well done
SUGGESTION: You can form and brown the patties ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready to use.
I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
We're enjoying beautiful weather in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We're vacationing with our good friends, Karen and Larry. Yesterday the guys went deep sea fishing. Larry caught the first blue marlin of the season on the boat they were on! Way to go Larry. Tim caught a 10 pound tuna. Stay tuned for a future sushi post!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I am linking this to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound!
Friday, February 4, 2011
I cooked the rice for this in my rice cooker. It produced perfectly cooked wild rice in about an hour. I don't know about you but I always have trouble cooking rice on the stove top. I love the depth of flavor the red wine adds to this soup. Whenever we have a little leftover wine, I freeze it in ice cube trays. Then when I need a little wine, I just toss in a cube or two. Like many soups, this one is better on day two or even day three.
Minnesota Wild Rice Soup
Recipe Courtesy of Lana Right Here Right Now
4oz wild rice
1 lb bacon
3 T bacon grease
1/4 c chopped green pepper
3/4 c chopped celery
3/4 c chopped onion
2 cans chicken broth
3 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c sherry or red wine, optional
Prepare wild rice as directed on package. While that cooks, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to drain, then crumble. Reserve 3 T for soup. Saute pepper, celery and onion in bacon grease until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on the stove for an hour or more (tastes better the longer it simmers).
I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum , Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen
and Fat Camp Friday at Mangoes and Chutney.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
My favorite recipe using hot sauce, totally Super Bowl appropriate is Hooter's Buffalo Wings. Here's a link to my post for these from Super Bowl Sunday 2010.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I made the recipe as written below. Next time, I would not use any additional oil to brown the sausage. I would just add a little olive oil, if needed, to the pan before browning the onions or garlic. I used Great Northern Beans but any of those beans or even a mixture, would be delicious!
Recipe courtesy of Food.com
1 -2 tablespoon oil or 1 -2 tablespoon butter
1 lb smoked kielbasa, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can peeled diced tomatoes
1 (16 ounce) can great northern beans or 1 (16 ounce) can navy beans or 1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
Change Measurements: US | Metric
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
1 Heat oil or butter in a large skillet, add Kielbasa and cook over medium high heat until lightly browned, remove with slotted spoon.
2 Reduce heat to medium, add onions and cook until transparent.
3 Reduce heat to low, add garlic and herbs and cook 1 minute.
4 Add kielbasa, tomatoes and white beans, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday's.