Tuesday, June 29, 2010

100 Posts and a Pampered Chef Give Away!

I started this blog because I like to cook and eat. My children moved away and were calling me on a daily basis for recipes. One of my daughters suggested I start a food blog as a way to share family favorite recipes, then I wouldn't have to give the same recipe out over and over. I laughed at her idea, I'm not very computer smart. With the encouragement of my kids this blog was born.
I believe in eating dinner together as a family. I also know that families are busy. I have tried to combine busy families and good food. I use fresh ingredients, simple recipes and probably too much butter and heavy whipping cream.
I enjoy sharing my recipes and other little snippets of my good life. I have finally hit 100 posts! Leave a comment on this post and one lucky winner will win a $25.00 Pampered Chef  Gift Certificate! I love Pampered Chef, my kitchen is full of fun, quality Pampered Chef tools.
Thanks for sharing this blog journey with me, I enjoy feedback and am happy to answer questions and give wanted or unwanted advice. I will pick a winner on July 5th at 10 PM, I have more recipes to share so stay tuned!

I can't wait to make this simple Caprese Salad, Amber made it for us last summer. It must be made with just picked garden tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper. It is delish!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ice Cream Cake for Fathers Day

Here is a yummy dessert for a warm summer day. I found the recipe at Prudence Pennywise, a fun blog that has 'Scandalously Good Food on a Budget'! This recipe starts with a Texas Sheet Cake baked in two 9-inch round pans. A cake mix can be used in a pinch especially if you 'doctor' it up just a bit. Remove the cake from the pan and freeze for at least two hours. Line same pan with plastic wrap and fill with softened ice cream; freeze for two hours.

Place frozen cake on cake plate, top with frozen ice cream round. Smooth edges with an offset spatula and return to the freezer. Frost cake with chilled ganache. This tastes better than its ColdStone look a like.
Just a few helpful hints. Don't use a brownie mix, it will freeze too hard. I used  peppermint ice cream but I can think of other combos that would be delicious. Use premium ice cream--it will just taste better!

Monday, June 14, 2010

TWD Raisin Swirl Bread

I think I better stick with muffins. I was excited to make Dories Raisin Swirl bread. All went well, it mixed up beautifully, the dough was easy to work with. The added nutmeg made the dough smell delish. All was going well until I cut into the loaf. Please someone tell me what I did wrong??

Our hostess this week is Susan, check her blog, for the complete recipe. Her bread is beautiful. I'm excited to see what other TWD members created. Hopefully something better than this!
I think this recipe would work well as monkey bread. I would make two smaller loafs, dip small balls of dough in melted butter then in cinnamon sugar. Stay tuned.....
It is tasty bread, this loaf will have a future as bread pudding!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Banana Mini Muffins

It seems like I always have brown bananas begging to be used. My last two batches of banana bread failed, they kind of 'fell' in the middle. Baking is supposed to be fun and I was not having fun.
My daughter Amber posted a recipe on her blog of a yummy banana mini muffin. She sang their praises.

 Daughter Jill called me and said she made 'the muffins', they were a hit. Even picky Jack ate them.
So I made them--they were perfect! Delicious little morsels made with honey, whole wheat flour, bananas and the best mini chocolate chips from King Arthur Flour.
So hop on over to The Sassy Chronicles, you will find 'the muffin' recipe. While you are there check out my darling grandchildren. You will be glad you did!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TWD Tender Shortcakes

Strawberry Shortcake should not start with a little round Hostess sponge cake! I am so glad I made Dories Tender Shortcakes. A few simple ingredients combine to make a most delicious dessert. Top these yummy cakes with sweetened berries and whipped cream for a perfect summer dessert.

 We have some excellent bakers in our TWD group, Cathy is our hostess this week. Check her blog for the complete recipe. I made half the recipe and got 8 shortcakes. I put 4 in the freezer to be baked another day. I love putting treats in the freezer, it is like finding hidden treasures. We just finished the last slice of Banana-Coconut Ice Cream Pie, it was delicious!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Idaho Party Cookies

My daughter called to tell me she tasted the best cookie. My girls know I am always on the lookout for a good cookie! She said they were rich, delicious, chewy, full of nuts, coconut and chocolate. 'Get the recipe',  I begged!

Candise called me a few days later, 'there's good news and bad news mom'. 'I have the recipe, but it has butter flavored Crisco'! We have a general dislike for Crisco at our house. Butter is so much better. So, being the good daughter she is, Candise made the recipe with all butter. Good but not beautiful, the cookies spread more and just weren't as uniform. She then made the recipe with all Butter Flavored Crisco. Perfect shape, delicious cookie. I ate several and decided they were pretty good. We made one more batch with 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco. They had a great flavor, and better shape especially if the batter was chilled before baking.

So, my friends, I will leave the decision to you. You can't go wrong here. If Crisco doesn't bother you you will have one beautiful, delicious tasting cookie. Use butter and you sacrifice the looks. So many decisions.
Try one and let me know what you think.

Thanks Candise for all your help with this recipe. I feel like America's Test Kitchen!

Idaho Party Cookies
1 cup butter flavored Crisco ( may use butter)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup corn flakes, crushed to 1/2 cup
3/4 cup coconut
2 cups flour
1 cup walnuts
2-3 cups chocolate--I used a combo of lagre milk chocolate chips and Peter's Semi-Sweet Burgundy Chunks
Cream butter, Crisco, and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix in dry ingredients, nuts, and chocolate!
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Last Brownie

I have been trying to find the perfect brownie recipe for about 35 years. I have made many delicious recipes and I continue to try new recipes. But this Brownie I named 'The Last Brownie', meaning this was the best, the last one I needed to try. It is that good. I have never had a failure. It is the perfect chewy without being gooey. Try it and let me know what you think. It is delicious as is, but a drizzle of ganache is always a good thing.

The Last Brownie
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate--I use Ghirardelli baking bars
Melt butter and chocolate over low heat, whisk in:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add 3 large eggs beating well after each
Gently stir in 3/4 cup flour (don't over mix).
Fold in 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

Bake in greased 9 inch square pan for 35-40 minutes at 350. Brownie is done when edges slightly pull away from pan. Let cool completely. These are better on day 2, if they last that long. They freeze great. I just plate them, double wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Take them out an hour before serving, they will be delish!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

TWD White Chocolate Brownies

What do you get when you combine white chocolate, butter, almonds, orange and raspberries? A 9x13 pan of delicious! 
White chocolate and butter are melted over simmering water--this just takes a few minutes, watch carefully.  I love to rub orange zest into sugar it smells so wonderful. It really doesn't take a lot to make me happy. Add eggs and beat for 3 minutes until a beautiful lemon color. Add vanilla and gently stir in chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients, which include ground almonds, and stir until moistened. Pour batter in pan and top with fresh raspberries. Costco had beautiful big berries at a great price.
At this point I altered the recipe a bit. Dorrie topped the uncooked brownies with meringue and baked at 325. I'm not a meringue lover so I deleted this step. I baked the brownies about 15 minutes longer than suggested. I am not fond of a gooey brownie center.

How did they taste? Wonderful! The almonds added a fun texture, the flavor of the white chocolate was sweet and rich, the raspberries added a pop of tart. I thought a drizzle of orange butter cream would look nice. My drizzle got away from me, but it still was delicious. 5 stars no question.

Next time I will omit the drizzle and top with whipped cream and a few berries. Our hostess this week is Marthe at Culinary Delights. Check her blog for the complete recipe. Dorie stated this recipe will make 32 brownies, they would be pretty small brownies! Or, I can't believe how many brownies I've eaten.