Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ribs, Smashed Potatoes and Carrots - Mozza Cookbook

It's a good sign to be able to admit when you have a problem, right? I am a cookbook addict! There I said it! I need to count but I know I have over 100! Out of all of the wonderful cookbooks published last year, I was able to narrow it down to just two for my Christmas wish list. Okay, that's progress isn't it?

A couple of years ago we celebrated my son's 30th birthday at Mozza. This was one of my all time favorite meals and restaurants! For the past two years there's been talk of a Mozza cookbook. When I saw it had finally been released, I immediately put the book on my Christmas list! The second cookbook I received was Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream's at Home. I will be blogging about the first recipe I tried soon!

If my first recipes are any indication, this cookbook rocks! Being a Kansas City girl, ribs to me mean BBQ ribs. When I saw the recipe for Pork Ribs with Fennel and Apple Cider Vinegar, I was intrigued. The recipe didn't disappoint, these ribs were fall off the bone tender and delicious.
Rounding things out for an all Mozza dinner, I tried the Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary and the Roasted Carrots. Roasting has taken on a new meaning in my kitchen. My new oven has a convection roast setting. The end result is perfectly roasted veggies in less time! This is a meal I will be adding to list of recipes to prepare when we are having dinner guests. Delicious and ones that do not require a lot of hands on prep!

If you're interested in these recipes, send me an email! I am linking this to Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

Funny my only holiday recipe left to post about is a recipe from this week's most talked about chef, Paula Deen. While a lot of Paula's recipes are way too rich for me, I've always enjoyed and respected her as a chef. This week she revealed she has diabetes which apparently she has had for three years. We also found out she recently signed an endorsement deal with a diabetes drug company. Coincidence or not?

Christmas week I wanted to make something for my neighbors. Pumpkin is perfect for the holidays but I wanted to make something different. I searched and found Paula's recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread. The cream cheese gives the bread a more subtle pumpkin flavor. I chose to omit the nuts and raisins. It's a great spin on traditional pumpkin bread.

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.
In a medium bowl and with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add sugar, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and next 5 ingredients, stirring to combine. Gradually add flour mixture to cream cheese mixture, mixing until blended. Stir in pumpkin, pecans, and raisins.
Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

I am linking this to Foodie Friday, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Tooth Friday and Let's Do Brunch!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mint Filled Brownie Cupcakes - MSC

I am not sure how many cupcake recipes I've made from Martha Stewart's Cupcake book but I do know I haven't made very many that I thought were real winners. January's recipe, Mint Filled Brownie Cupcakes is the exception. These cupcakes are delicious and I will make again, soon!

The recipe called for bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. I love dark chocolate, so I decided to use that instead. After you make the batter, you scoop one tablespoon into the cupcake pan, put a peppermint patty on top and scoop on more batter. I didn't have peppermint patties but I did have Andes peppermint chips. They worked out as a great substitution. The mint pairs nicely with the chocolate and these are a dense chocolately "cupcake". These are more like a brownie in a cupcake wrapper. Regardless of what you decide to call to call them, give this this recipe a try! It's a keeper!

Thanks to Rebecca of The Baking Sisters for choosing a winner! You can find the recipe on Martha's website and links to all of the MSC bakers here!

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Asiago Breakfast Bake

It's always fun when you run across a blogger who lives in the same town you do. Early in 2011, I ran across the blog You Go Girl. While checking out Susan's recipes, I realized she lives in Omaha, too. Of course, I commented. Susan sent me an email and asked if by chance I was related to Mike. As it turns out her daughters attended the same high school as Mike and she's good friends with the Mom of one the boys from Mike's soccer team. I continue to follow her blog and often bookmark her recipes.

This one particularly caught my eye. I am always looking for make ahead breakfast recipes, especially those that are good for company. I decided to make this for Tim and I for New Year's Day. We stopped at Panera to pick up Asiago Bagels and unfortunately they were out. The asiago bagel bins at Hy Vee were also empty. While debating whether to use plain bagels or make the recipe another time, I spotted Asiago dinner rolls. I decided to give them a try, they worked fine. This is a delicious make ahead breakfast dish. The next time you have company or want to make something special for Sunday morning breakfast, give this one a try!

Asiago Bagel Breakfast Bake

8 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp fresh chopped tarragon or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp paprika
freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 oz Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated
6 oz. Asiago cheese, grated
4 Asiago Cheese bagels

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, tarragon, paprika and season with pepper. Grate and mix the cheeses in another bowl. Cut the bagels in bite-size pieces. Grease a 2 qt casserole or souffle dish. Starting with the bagel pieces, alternate layering the bagel pieces and grated cheese into the dish. Pour the egg mixture evenly over everything. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 and bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour til eggs are set and top is golden brown.

I am linking this to Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Drunken Smokies

When Tim and I began looking for a house in the neighborhood we moved into last October, one of the things I really liked about it was the real community it is. We have a very active homeowners association and lots of neighborhood activities. I was thrilled to find there is a monthly BUNCO group. I played BUNCO years ago with a great group of girlfriends in Kansas City, if you haven't played it's what we always called an excuse game. An excuse for a bunch of women to get together and talk!

I joined our BUNCO group the first month after we moved in. I was welcomed with open arms, everyone is so friendly. This just reconfirmed what I already knew, Tim and I made a great decision moving to Riverside Lakes. December BUNCO was a pot luck and a yankee gift exchange. I was lucky enough to draw number one! I got to choose from all of the gifts, or at least the ones that hadn't already been stolen twice. I chose a high heel cake server!

It so happens Gayla who brought the cake server for the gift exchange also made a delicious appetizer, Drunken Little Smokies! I made these for Tim and I for New Year's Eve. They're a fun change from the typical BBQ Smokies.

one pack Lil' Smokies
one can cola
one cup brown sugar
spiced rum
one pack of bacon

1. Cut bacon into 2-1/2 to 3 inch strips.

2. Wrap Lil smokies in bacon; Place toothpick through center.

3. Place cup of brown sugar, Cola and rum in a saucepan over medium-low heat (until sugar has dissolved). Reduce to low heat and continue to cook until sauce thickens.

4. Preheat oven to 400°F.

5. Place Lil' Smokies on a baking sheet, brush with Sugar-Cola mixture and bake in oven until bacon is crisp.

6. Remove from oven and dip in Sugar-Cola sauce. Place in slow cooker to keep warm. ENJOY.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Probably by now everyone has had their pumpkin fix for the year. Just in case you haven't or if you're someone who bakes with pumpkin all year, give this recipe a try. These cupcakes are like mini pumpkin pies. I recently discovered how well pumpkin and chocolate chips go together when I made this cake. I added chocolate chips to a few of these cupcakes. With or without chocolate chips, these are a delicious and fun dessert!

Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Recipe Courtesy of Baking Bites
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup half and half (or evaporated milk)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and half and half until well combined. Add in dry ingredients and whisk until no streaks of flour remain and batter is smooth.
Fill each muffin cup with approximately 1/3 cup of batter.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan. They will sink as they cool.
Chill cupcakes before serving. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Makes 12

I am linking this to Foodie Friday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday and Sweet Tooth Friday.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Devils Food Cupcakes - Club Baked

As with most of my scheduled posts of late, I am running behind. I love all things chocolate and this cake is no exception. The recipe as written makes an 8" layer cake. Still recovering from all of the holiday sweets, I didn't want a layer cake around the house. I decided to cut the recipe in half and make cupcakes. I ended up with 12 cupcakes.

I double checked the recipe and am positive, I used the right measurements but my cupcakes didn't rise. Instead of the Angel Frosting the recipe called for, I added cocoa to some leftover cream cheese frosting that was in my fridge. It complimented the deep devils food flavor nicely. Despite their appearance, these cupcakes are delicious. They are light and fluffy with a deep chocolate flavor. I will be making this one again soon!

You can find the recipe at Just About Food Today. Thanks Natalie for a great choice of recipes!! Check out the links to the other Club Baked bakers cakes here!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chocolate Nut Biscotti - Chocolate With Francois

Happy New Year Everyone!

Chocolate With Francois was supposed to be posted yesterday but lately my favorite expression seems to be better late than never. Better late than never certainly applies to this biscotti, it's some of the best I've ever made. The recipe calls for aniseed, I didn't have any so I omitted it. Also, the nuts used is the recipe are supposed to be a combination of hazelnuts and pistachios. I only had pistachios, so I just used a few more of them. Despite the changes and omissions, the flavor is a nice, slightly orange and chocolatey. These were a perfect sweet treat with my coffee this morning.

Chocolate Nut Biscotti
Recipe courtesy of Francois Payard

Makes 25 Biscotti

3 tablespoons unsalted Butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon aniseed
1 cup shelled pistachios, toasted
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the butter, sugar nad orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until the ingredients are about halfway combined. Add the pistachios and hazelnuts and beat until everything is just combined.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour and remove the dough to it. Roll the dough into a log 12 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. Using your rolling pin, slightly press the log down to flatten its top. This will help the dough spread, to make long biscotti. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the biscotti feels firm when you press on its top. Remove from the oven and let the log cool to room temperature on the baking sheet. Do not turn off the oven.

Using a serrated knife, cut the log diagonally into 1/2 wide slices. Place the slices back on the baking sheet, cut side down and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. The biscotti will crisp up as they cool.

Once completely cool, store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw completely in the refrigerator, overnight, before serving.