Thursday, February 25, 2010

Teryiaki Salmon and Orzo Pasta

Most of the recipes I share on my blog are family favorites or recipes I have found from other great cooks and modified to suit our tastes. I'm excited to say this recipe is pretty much an original! We ate something similar at Macaroni Grill. We couldn't afford it as often as we wanted to eat it. So Jill and I went to work! After each attempt we would write the recipe down and decided what corrections were needed. I think we have it! With a few minutes of prep work this really comes together in 30 miutes. I do love 30-minute meals.

                                      Teriyaki Salmon and Orzo Pasta

Make a marinade with;
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pour a little over half of the marinade on two salmon fillets. Warm the remainder of the marinade and set aside. Let fillets marinate about 20-30 minutes. Pour a little olive oil on a small foil lined pan, gently place marinated fillets on pan. Broil 3 minutes on each side.

Orzo Pasta
Boil salted water and cook 1/3 cup Orzo pasta as directed  on package. Drain.
Saute 1/3 cup diced red pepper in a little olive oil till soft, add a clove of pressed garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add some fresh grated ginger, cooked pasta and 1/2 package baby spinach, slightly chopped. Cook and stir till spinach wilts, season to taste. Serve with broiled salmon. Drizzle reserved marinade over all. Serve with a lemon wedge and a few steamed aspargus spears.
Fresh salmon from Alaska is the best. Hubby spent a week in the wilds of Alaska so I could have the best for this recipe. He is so kind. In a pinch the salmon fillets from Costco are consistently good.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TWD Honey-Wheat Cookies

I love cookies and am always game for a new recipe. But when the recipe lacks chocolate, nuts, coconut etc. and focuses on honey and wheat germ I must say I was a bit skeptical. I made the cookie, lemon zest added interest, the dough which required a brief chill was quite tasty.
I baked a batch and ate a warm cookie. The wheat germ added a fun texture and the lemon zest gave this cookie a fresh flavor. The honey was a little strong for my taste. Did I like this cookie? I must have because I ate plenty! Would I make them again? Probably not. So many cookies, so little time! But it was a fun.

 Check out the TWD site and see what other bakers thought of this unusual cookie. The recipe for Honey-Wheat cookies is on page 81 in Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. It will also be posted on Michelle's blog  Flourchild.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TWD My Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

'My Best Chocolate Chip Cookie' said Ms. Greenspan. With a name like that you can bet I will try it. I personally have perfected a chocolate chip cookie, but my cookie is loaded with oats so we really can't compare the two.
I don't make chocolate chip cookies, they tend to go flat, taste greasy and are easy to burn. But I was game, my sweet granddaughter was spending the day, cookie making was high on our priority list. Butter and eggs were out, we had 3 types of chocolate, toasted walnuts and coconut as our 'add ins'. I could tell these were going to be 'the best'. I made a few minor adjustments for altitude, the cookie dough looked (and tasted) delicious, we were ready to bake. First pan was ready to slide into the oven, out of the corner of my eye I saw it. A lone cube of butter. I could easily blame it on my 3 year old helper. How can one forget half of the butter in a recipe?? I take the blame.

What could it hurt I pondered, I'll just call it my 'lower fat' version of Dories Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. Verdict: these cookies were not terrible, they were a soft, cakey, chewy cookie. I thought they might get hard, so as a test I left one out uncovered much to my surprise it stayed soft and chewy. Maybe the coconut helped. It is nice when a 'mistake' gets eaten!
I would like to try this recipe again with all the butter--I'm sure they would be excellent. Our host this week is kait, she will have the correct recipe posted. Check out the TWD blogroll to see how others liked this cookie, they probably made it right!

MSCC

I know the purpose of a baking group is to stretch ones self, try something new; but I'm afraid this months pick involved too much stretching! S'mores Cupcakes sounded fun, but as I read thru the recipe I realized I was lacking too many ingredients, tools and even the desire to make 'marshmellow' frosting. Sorry, maybe another day. I did have to bake, it was the birthday of my sweet Mother-In-Law. Cupcakes were certainly in order.

I tried to think of the perfect cupcake for her, one she would love (and that I didn't need graham flour, unflavored gelatin and a torch to make). I knew she liked spice, cream cheese, lemon, she is not a fan of nuts and oft times chocolate is not her favorite.
I came up with the perfect birthday cupcake, it combined all her favorite flavors and was delish! Did you realize that you can make Zucchini Cupcakes anytime?? You really do not have to have a huge zucchini begging to be used!I remember Martha's moist spicy zucchini cupcakes we made last fall. They have a good amount of lemon zest in them, this provided the springboard for my birthday cupcakes.

I knew the cupcakes would be yummy but I really wanted the frosting to shine. The frosting was a perfect combination of cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and pure lemon extract. It was creamy and so good. I topped the cupcakes with toasted walnuts. I left a few plain for those that don't like crunch in their cake.
They were a success. My mother-in-law was quite happy with my choice. Last year I began my blog with her birthday cake--The Perfect Party Cake! Has it really been a year? Stay tuned for a little blog candy! Coming soon. Check out our MSCC and see what S'mores Cupcakes really look like.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Last year several of my sweet grand daughters spent Valentine's Day with me.  We made sugar cookies, and used plenty of sprinkles...their creations were masterpieces!

I hope you all had a Happy Valentines Day; full of sweet children and tasty treats!

Monday, February 8, 2010

TWD Rick Katz's Brownies for Julia

Tanya at Chocolatechic is the host this week for an over the top brownie recipe. I had to read the instructions a couple of times as I made this recipe. The mixing method was unique but the end result was fabulous.

I love brownies and this recipe did not disappoint. I prefer the 'edges' of a brownie especially if the recipe tends to be of the 'fudgy, chewy variety. The middle of such a brownie is often too fudgy. Long story short my daughter suggested baking brownies in a muffin pan--more edges. I tried it with this recipe, it made 18 wonderful, edgy brownies. My muffin brownies required chilling before removing from the pans.
This is a delicate, rich, decedent treat. My individual brownie 'cakes' would be delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I certainly will make them again as they are a 5 star treat! Check the TWD blog roll to see what other bakers thought of this recipe.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake

Can one have too many chocolate cake recipes? The answer is simple, no. This oft requested chocolate orange bundt cake has been a hit for years. It looks elegant, tastes delicious, serves a crowd and is simple to make. This moist cake improves with age and is covered with smooth decedent ganache, Serve it with vanilla ice cream and you have one classy dessert.

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake

1 chocolate cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1 small package instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
4 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water
¼ cup double strength hot chocolate (cooled)
2 Tablespoons orange zest
Place all ingredients in bowl of mixer and beat about 3 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured (I spray with Bakers Joy or Pam with Flour) 10 inch bundt or springform pan. Bake 350 degrees about 50 minutes until center is set. Cool and remove from pan. Top with Ganache.

Ganache

12 ounce package chocolate chips, semi sweet, milk or bittersweet (I like a combination)
1 cup heavy cream
Heat cream until just boiling. Pour over chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute, stir till melted. Chill until Ganache is the desired thickness, pour over chilled cake.

The recipe originated from Marguerite Henderson. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

TWD Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

Well friends I'm afraid to say that we have another 5 star recipe. It is rich, delicious and cute. I don't know what it is about mini pans, they are just fun to use and fun to serve. Dories recipe made 6 mini bundts but my Pampered Chef Mini-Bundt Stoneware pan must make bigger cakes, I only had batter for 4 minis. These minis really were too big for one serving, we cut them in half for a generous serving. Which defeats the purpose of a Mini, maybe that is why PC no longer sells this piece of stoneware. Sorry, more pointless info.

The important info will be on  Kristins blog 'I'm Right About Everything', she is hosting  TWD this week. This recipe used 'premium-quality' milk chocolate, melted. I had a yummy bar of milk chocolate just waiting for the right recipe. The cake had a mild milk chocolate flavor with a delicious cocoa-walnut swirl. I topped my cakes with a generous drizzle of chocolate ganache. Served with vanilla ice cream it was a delicious special occasion dessert.

I will make this recipe again, I would like to try it without the swirl in cupcake pans. Can one really have too many chocolate cake recipes? I think not! I'm anxious to see what other TWD bakers did with this recipe.