Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto and Celebrating a Blogging Milestone!

Six years ago this weekend, I posted my first Little Bit of Everything blog post.  Wow, where has the time gone?  In 2009, I began blogging as a way to work through recipes in my extensive cookbook and magazine clipping collection.  There aren't nearly as many cookbook recipes on here as I would like because of all of the recipes found on the internet.  Pinterest has replaced the magazine clippings and although I still use my cookbooks occasionally, many more recipes are inspired by the internet and all of the fabulous bloggers I follow.  I'm not blogging as much as I would like but very much enjoying the hobby when I do find the time.  Thanks to those of you who follow my Little Bit of Everything and take the time to post a comment, it means a lot!  Here's to another six years of blogging!

One of the things I love about blogging is discovering new foods, new to me that is!!!  Have you tried farro?  Farro is "a type of hulled wheat, especially spelt or emmer, typically used in salads, soups, and side dishes."  I had a hard time finding farro.  My regular grocery story only had farro mixed with something in box, like a rice mix.  I'm sure it's readily available at Whole Foods but Whole Foods isn't close to me.  I found a bag of 10 minute farro at Trader Joes.  

I bookmarked this recipe last summer when there was lots of fresh corn on the cob available.  Even though, fresh corn on the cob is no longer in season,  I decided to give this recipe a try with frozen corn.  Feeling rather lazy on a Sunday night, I wondered if I could make this in my rice cooker.  Having made risotto in the rice cooker before,  why not give it a try?  Score, the farro cooked beautifully in the rice cooker. I love that little appliance, one of my favorites!!

Of course, I knew Tim would be a little apprehensive about this Sunday night meal ... no meat.  He said it was good for a change but would be better with chicken or shrimp.  Actually, shrimp might be  a great addition.  I loved this dish, it was meaty even without meat and the nutty flavor of the farro is amazing!  Farro may be replacing quinoa on our dinner table!

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto
Inspired by this Foodie Crush recipe

Serves: serves 3-4 as a main, 6-8 as a side dish
¾ cup farro
1 1/2  - 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, small diced
1 small carrot, small diced
1 stick celery, small diced
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded
¼ cup butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a  10-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté until transparent. Add the sweet corn and stir. Add the farro to toast for a few minutes.
Place the farro mixture into the rice cooker and add the chicken broth.  Stir well and turn on or set your rice cooker to the cook cycle.  When the rice cooker cycle is complete, stir in the butter and gouda.   Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sea Salt Caramel Carrot Poke Cake

Nothing beats a good Poke Cake, moist, delicious and easy. Does it get better than that? Add in flavors of caramel and sea salt?  Amazing!!!  Terrible for the waistline but delicious!!!


Sea Salt Caramel Carrot Poke Cake
Recipe Courtesy of Living Better Together
  • 1 box Carrot Cake Mix
  • 1 package Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 4 Eggs
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • ¾ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1½ cups Chopped Pecans (Optional)
  • 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • ⅓ cup Instant Cheesecake Pudding
  • ½ cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Stonewall Kitchen Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
  • ½ cup Chopped Pecans
  1. Preheat 350 F.
  2. Combine cake ingredients except for Sweetened Condensed Milk and mix until combined.
  3. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  5. Let cake cool completely. Do not remove cake from pan, it cannot stand on its own.
  6. Once cake has cooled, use a skewer to evenly poke the cake about 25 – 40 times.
  7. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the cake and let set over night.
  8. Once cake has set, whip together frosting ingredients until light and fluffy, evenly spread frosting over the cake.
  9. Heat opened Sea Salt Caramel Sauce jar in the microwave for 20 – 30 seconds.
  10. Pour Sea Salt Caramel Sauce over the frosting and top it with chopped pecans.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Butterscotch Banana Bread - SRC

I have two exciting things to share today!  First it's Secret Recipe Club reveal day, seems like it's been forever.  Second,  I am now a member of Secret Recipe Club Group C!  I've been in Secret Recipe Club since  May 2011 and have always been a member of Group B.  When our leader said she was looking for a few volunteers to change groups, I volunteered.  I loved my fellow bloggers in Group B but change is always good!!  If you're not familiar with Secret Recipe Club, you can find out all about it here!  SRC is so much fun, one of my favorite things about blogging.  

This month I was assigned, Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl.  Desiree describes herself as " indecisive, messy, a night owl, emotional, guarded at times, an introvert, shy, impatient, stubborn, sarcastic, and pessimistic at times, yet loyal, detailed, empathic, silly, intelligent, hard working, friendly, humble, mature yet a kid at heart, open-minded, and thoughtful. " Sounds like qualities for a great friend.  She writes poetry and has some great recipes on her blog.  Check it out!!

The recipe that really caught my eye was her Butterscotch Banana Bread.  I love banana bread!  No matter the flavor, it's a delicious treat with morning coffee.  Have you ever made French Toast out of leftover bread (if there is any)?  Delicious!!!

When I began gathering ingredients, I realized I did not have any butter.  I substituted 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Also, her recipe called for melting the butterscotch chips, I chose to stir them in instead!!

I love the addition of butterscotch to this moist and delicious banana bread.  If you're looking for a new version of banana bread, give this one a try!!!

Butterscotch Banana Bread

*Makes 1 loaf
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and cook 3 minutes, whisking frequently until butter foams and turns golden brown. Whisk in mashed banana and cook for 2 minutes, stirring until creamy.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter-banana mixture and brown sugar until combined. Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla until combined.

Sift the dry flour mixture into the wet banana mixture, folding in and combining until well mixed, like a batter.
Pour batter into greased pan. Swirl the melted butterscotch into the batter using a knife or any other appropriate utensil. Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the loaf. Cool completely before slicing.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ham & Cheese Mini Breakfast Pies

If you're looking for an easy, delicious breakfast recipe for your family, give this one a try.  You could easily change up the ingredients to be meatless or add additional vegetables.  These mini piesrefrigerate or freeze well, making for a quick morning breakfast!  Pop them in the toaster oven or microwave and go! 

Ham & Cheese Mini Breakfast Pies
15 ounce box refrigerated pie crust
1 1/2 cups ham, diced
8 eggs
1/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Use a 4" round bowl or cup (I use a coffee mug) to measure 12 circles on the pie crust (6 circles on each crust), and cut them out with a sharp knife. Press the circles into the muffin pan, and prick the dough on the bottom of the cups with a fork. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper and set aside. Add about 2 tablespoons of the diced ham to each muffin cup. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the cups until almost full. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of each cup and bake pies for about 30 minutes or until the eggs are set and the crust is golden. Let pies cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes and serve warm.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

8 Minute Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

Nothing better than a warm cinnamon roll (or two or three or four) straight from the oven.  I love homemade cinnamon rolls but they are a lot of work or at least more work than I am usually up for on a weekend.  When I saw this easy recipe, I decided to give it a try.  You should do the same, these are delicious and easy!!


8 Minute Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

Makes 16 mini cinnamon rolls
1-8oz tube crescent roll dough
2 Tablespoons butter
brown sugar
For the maple icing:
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon skim milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven according to crescent roll dough package directions. Layout half the dough (4 triangles) and pinch all the seams together. Flip over and pinch the seams on the back side together too.
  2. Using a rolling pin, smooth the seams and roll the dough into a square about 1/4″ thick. Brush with half the butter, and sprinkle with as much cinnamon and brown sugar as you want. Roll into a log and cut into 8 pieces.
  3. Place mini cinnamon rolls into a non-stick sprayed mini muffin tin. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the other half of the crescent roll dough. Bake according to package directions.
  4. Meanwhile whisk together maple syrup and milk in a bowl. Add in powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls.