Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie--Blueberry Crumb Cake

I finally did it--joined a blogging/baking group. I have been a follower of TWD for a year, I love the cookbook and the awesome bloggers that bring this book to life each Tuesday. So todays recipe was chosen by Sihan check her blog for details. This Blueberry Crumb Cake was delicious! I love blueberries and have numerous recipes that include this delicious berry. But I think this recipe 'takes the cake' or crumb cake for that matter. It was everything that Miss Dorie promised. I wanted to share this treat so I made 16 crumb cake muffins. I tried some with shiny foil liners and some in my greased stoneware muffin pans. Both were yummy and perfect for sharing.

I used frozen berries--fresh are still pricey and a bit wilted in our neighborhood. Frozen berries worked great. I tossed the frozen berries with flour just before adding them to my batter. This prevents the berries from sinking. Mixing frozen berries also keeps the 'blue streaking' to a minimum. This recipe is my new 'go to' blueberry treat!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mini Almond Cheesecake--A Bite of Wonderful!

I'm a sucker for those cute little cookbook/magazines you find near every grocery checkout. This little gem was entitled, "Great Cheesecakes" it was published by Betty Crocker. The photography was great and the book boasted 30 most popular cheesecake recipes. It was mine! Several of the recipes will be tested for sure. I love cheesecake! But I needed a bite size treat for a dinner party so I knew
Mini Almond Cheesecakes would be perfect--and they did not disappoint! Just a bite of wonderful I would say.

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and ground
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Grease 24 mini muffin pans. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon ground almonds into each cup. Gently shake to coat bottom and sides of cups with almonds (do not shake out excess nuts).
Combine cream cheese and sugar. Beat with electric mixer until smooth . Add egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract. Beat on low speed till just combined. Spoon mixture in muffin cups filling each 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 for 18 minutes or till golden. Cool in pans. Carefully remove from muffin cups.
For topping combine powdered sugar, sour cream and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Spoon topping on cheese cakes and garnish with almonds just before serving.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Everyone Loves Quiche

Crustless Ham and Artichoke Quiche
Saute' 1/4 pound sliced mushrooms in a little butter or EVOO, drain
Add to:
4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 drops Tabasco
1 ½ cups shredded cheese, I like pepper jack or sharp cheddar
¾ cup artichoke hearts, diced
1 cup diced ham

Pour in a greased 10 inch quiche pan. Bake 350 35-45 minutes till golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold with diced tomatoes or fresh salsa. This is another great recipe from Judi Sears. It is perfect for weekend brunch, leftovers (if you have them--and we do now there are just two of us) make a great lunch. This recipe is in my 'most requested' file. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Morning Muffins

There is something about Sunday Morning and muffins--they just go together! Nothing like a sweet rich treat to start your Sunday. Lemon and poppy seeds are a great combo. Enjoy!!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. In another bowl whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and butter. Pour liquid mixture over the dry ingredients. Add poppy seeds and mix gently with rubber spatula to blend. Do not over mix—there may still be lumps.
Bake in muffin tins that have been sprayed with Pam. 400 degrees for about 18 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes then remove from tins. Cool and glaze or frost! I like to make a cream cheese lemon frosting.
Recipe is from my favorite cookbook, ‘Baking: from my home to yours’ by Dorie Greenspan


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Think Spring!

With a knock on the door Spring arrived at the Harris Home. I opened the door to greet Pam my 'flower lady'.

I first met Pam when Dad passed away. We wanted beautiful bright flowers for Dads funeral and Pam delivered! Since then Pam has been my official 'flower lady'. Her beautiful bouquets have brightened weddings, funerals, birthdays, hospital rooms etc. I love fresh flowers, they make life a little better.
So....I was surprised to see Pam at my door with a breath of spring. I opened the card and read, "Think Spring!", (there were 4 inches of snow on the ground Tuesday when she arrived).

Thank you Amber, you made my day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yogurt Creme

I came across this recipe on one of my favorite blogs Pioneer Woman. It really is so simple I can hardly call it a recipe but it is delicious all the same! Just thin plain yogurt with a little cream, sprinkle with brown sugar, cover tightly and it will make it's magic as it sits in the fridge overnight. In the morning stir and drizzle over blueberries (I'm using frozen today) and top with Judi's yummy granola. Now that is a breakfast worth getting up for! Pioneer Woman has quantities on her blog but I used less brown sugar because my granola is quite sweet. I also used less cream--I like thick yogurt! Have fun, you can't go wrong.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Judi's Granola

I like to pretend I'm eating healthy when I eat granola--I mean it is full of oats, raw cashews, almonds, dried cherries. All ingredients that should make for a very nutritious breakfast or snack. But something happens when I add a pound of melted butter.....It turns into the most delicious treat you have ever eaten!! Try this granola recipe, there will never be another. The recipe came from Judi, again. I think she had to beg a chef, who will remain nameless on this blog unless Judi wants to tell. However I have made a few changes.

Judi's Granola

7½ cups rolled oats
2 cups sliced or slivered almonds
1 ½ cups raw cashews
1/2 pound butter, unsalted
2/3 cup honey
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
1 t. nutmeg, ground
1 t. cinnamon, ground
6 oz. dried cherries
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a very large bowl. Melt together the next 5 ingredients while whisking. It should just come to the boil. Pour over the oat mixture and toss around until all oats and nuts are coated. Disperse onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees, tossing the mixture ensuring even baking. Stir after 15 minutes, cook 3 more minutes and stir, cook one more minute and remove from oven. Granola should just begin to brown. It will get darker as it sits. Don’t overcook it will still be good but too hard.When the granola has reached desired color, dump the granola onto a counter and toss a few times during its cooling time.When the granola has cooled, sprinkle on the dried cheeries, toss and put into a container. Cover and place in the pantry.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thai Chicken Salad

My good friend Judi just stopped by, we go back about 25 years, yes we are getting old!! Years ago we enjoyed monthly scrapbook retreats. We did a little scrapping but the friends and the food are what made these retreats wonderful. We talked for hours about our children (then toddlers and rowdy teens), our joys and struggles as parents. We shared advice, photos and recipes. I looked forward all month to this mini vacation--it seemed to be 'just what the doctor ordered'. Back to the purpose of this ramble...Judi is a great cook. One summer retreat she brought 'Thai Chicken Salad', I fell in love and have been making it ever since.

Thai Chicken Salad
Peanut Ginger Dressing
Combine following ingredients in a blender or food processor:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 Tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons grated ginger root
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Grill 2 chicken breasts, slice and pour 3Tablespoons of the Peanut Ginger Dressing over meat—refrigerate. Cook 6 ounces thin spaghetti, drain and add 3-6 Tablespoons of Peanut Ginger Dressing. Chill. Arrange on a large platter: chopped romaine, shredded Chinese cabbage (Napa), 2 shredded carrots, sliced red pepper, cucumber and ¼ cup chopped cilantro. Top with chilled pasta, grilled chicken and a sprinkle of chopped dry roasted peanuts. Serve with additional dressing.

When my children came home from their missions they would always want to go to Taco Amigo and get a bean burrito and then have Thai Chicken Salad for dinner! It is a bit labor intensive but it feeds a crowd and is good the next day. I always double the dressing ingredients—it is so tasty!
Try it—it could become a family favorite!