Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Decor

I was excited when I went to the market today.  They finally got the pumpkins, gourds and indian corn in the store.  I pulled out the harvest basket and fall lights that I picked up at Joann's and the antler we found on our property. I went to work on my first decoration for the fall season.  A few pheasant feathers would have look nice but I  have not been able to find them at any of the stores around here.  

 I have it sitting on top of the bar in my kitchen. (please ignore the stuff in the back ground) Not sure if this will be permeant home for the arrangement. I will decide after I pull out more fall decorations then everything should fall into place.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Doughnut That Shall Not Be Named

Baking Partners August Challenge "The Doughnut That Shall Not Be Named"

I saw a photo of a CRONUT on Pinterest months ago, my first reaction WOW! That is beautiful.  I didn't click on it or pin it.  I thought there is no way I would ever made something like that, it looks way too hard and complicated and I went on my merry way.

Fast forward to the present I received my email from Baking Partners - We are making the CRONUT.

Until this challenge I didn't know a thing about the Cronut and just incase you were in that cave with me here is a little history on this lustful "doughnut".

The Cronut is a cross between a croissant and a doughnut developed by Chef Dominique Ansel for Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC.  In May 2013 Chef Ansel trademarked the name hence the Harry Potter reference "The Doughnut That Shall Not Be Named"

New Yorkers having been lining up at the Bakery waiting for hours in the rain to get this $5.00 gem.  Here is the 411 from Dominique Ansel Bakery

I'm going to be cheating a little on this blog post.  There are a lot of steps for this recipe and I think it is best to refer you to the website for the recipe and photos of the steps.  They are the professionals and I don't want to leave anything out.

Get the Bootleg Recipe Here Kitchensurfing

I have to say this recipe is labor intense.  A 3 day process and some upper arm workout. Which is a good thing when you think about the calories in these babies.

I am very proud of the work I did, look at those flaky layers in my photo.  I chose to dip them in cinnamon and sugar instead of making the glaze to my husbands disappointment.  I promised to make him some plain ole' glazed doughnuts soon.

I think everyone should make these once in your life just to say you did it.  I have never made any type of doughnut and I even own a few doughnut cookbooks.  After making the cronut regular doughnuts should be child's play, right?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Teriyaki Chicken Stacks

I've been in the mood for teriyaki lately.  I started pulling things out of the refrigerator to see what I could come up with.  Chicken, check, ham, check, swiss cheese, check.  I think all of these will go very well with teriyaki.  This is a fast dish to make, what takes the longest is the marinating and when you pound the chicken out it takes no time to cook.  If you don't have ham you could replace it with bacon because bacon goes with everything, right?

Teriyaki Chicken Stacks

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons butter
8 slices deli black forest ham
8 slices swiss cheese

Pound out chicken breasts place in a ziploc bag with the teriyaki sauce.  Marinate for one hour.  In a hot skillet melt butter and add chicken breasts.  Cook on each side for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove and add to a foil lined cookie sheet.  In the same skillet add ham in piles of two slices bunched up and heat through on both sides just a couple minutes for each side.  At this time turn your broiler on high.  Top the chicken with the ham and add two slices of swiss cheese.  Place under the broiler until the cheese has melted and starting to bubble.  Serve as a main dish with sides or you can make it into a sandwich.

Note:  If you are going to serve this as a sandwich add grilled pineapple slices, I like to dip one side into the teriyaki sauce, gives it just the right amount of flavor without over powering it.

Just a reminder there is still time to enter to win John Currence's cookbook Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey.  Just click here for my Facebook Link

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Black-Eyed Pea and Corn Salad

It's going to be one of those days...I'm totally a loss for words.  I could talk about the weather...right now we have a cloud sitting on us and I can't see 5 feet in front of me, that's pretty boring.  I could talk about my day...Hmm, I've got nothing.  Letting out a heavy sigh - that just about sums it up.

Instead of sitting here staring at a computer screen which looks like it could be for hours trying to think of something clever to write about.  I think I should just get to the recipe.  

Black-Eyed Pea and Corn Salad

2 15oz cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh corn or 2 15oz cans of corn
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
2 large jalapeños, seeded and diced
3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 red onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions including greens, sliced
1 bunch cilantro, rough chop


2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup canola oil
3 cloves garlic, mined
2 tablespoons ginger, grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
lime zest
juice from 1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon sugar

Chop and slice all your salad ingredients and place in a large bowl.  In a jar with a lid put all your dressing ingredients place the lid on and shake hard until all incorporated.  Pour over salad and give it a toss.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Jam Hands

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hershey's Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

It's Sunday, football is on the TV and on the internet (my team is not being televised) it's raining and it's in the 50's.  With this chilly weather I'm enjoying a nice big hot cup of coffee.  That's when it hits me...I want some brownies. 

 I was checking out recipes on the web and seeing what I had in my pantry.  Hershey's brownies won out...with just a little bit of tweaking. (not to be confused with Twerking)  The recipe below contains my tweaks. I also tweaked the frosting recipe just a tad.  I have the link to Hershey's for their recipe for the brownies and frosting.

Hershey's Ultimate Chocolate Brownies 

3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted and divided
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons finely ground instant coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2  cup peanut butter chips

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees and grease a 13x9x2 pan

Stir together cocoa and baking soda in a large bowl; stir in 1/3 cup butter.  Add boiling water stir until batter thickens.  Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining butter, until smooth.  Add flour, instant coffee and salt, blend completely. Stir in chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.  Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

One Bowl Frosting

6 tablespoons butter
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup strong coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter in a medium bowl or a stand up mixer. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk/coffee beating to a spreading consistency.  (additional milk or coffee may be needed) Stir in vanilla.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Teriyaki Steak Sandwich

Back in the early 1980's I worked in North Hollywood there was this little hole in the wall sandwich place that was between two buildings on Laurel Canyon Blvd.  They made the best Teriyaki Steak Sandwiches.  Sadly they are  long gone.  I have been craving that sandwich and tried my best to recreate something I haven't had in over 20 years.  It is pretty darn close to what I remember.

1 1/2 to 2 lb Top Round Steak
Teriyaki Sauce
olive oil
3 onions, sliced
1 large orange bell pepper, sliced
2 jalapeños, remove seeds and slice
8 slices of sharp swiss cheese
4 large rolls
salt and pepper

Put steak in the freezer for 1 hour, using a sharp knife cut thin slices, salt and pepper, place steak in a zip lock bag.  Pour enough teriyaki sauce in the bag to coat the steak slices.  The steak only needs to marinate for an hour since it is cut so thin.  While the steak is marinating sauté the onions and peppers in olive oil until golden.  In a hot skillet cook the meat small amount at a time.  After all the steak is cooked add enough for one sandwich back to the skillet, add some of the onion mixture and toss together.  Arrange the steak and peppers as you would add to the roll.  Top with two slices of cheese and top with some more of the onion mixture.  Cover skillet for the cheese to melt evenly.  Using a flipper scoop up the meat mixture and add to the bun and serve. 

Note:  The teriyaki sauce I used had sesame seeds this is optional

Until Next Time,

Shared on Weekend-Potluck #83

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Spicy Sausage Bean Dip

Can you believe the first NFL game of the season is tomorrow. The Broncos and the Ravens are going to kick the season off.  Yes I am a little bit Giddy - Not just because I get to fix some game day food but because I love football.  

Thursday September 5th 6:30 (MT)

Do you fix a big spread hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks or do you keep it simple with some manly kick ass finger foods?
I like to trade off - some days I will fix hot dogs and potato salad and other times I just like a bunch of different small bites
No matter what you fix I think you need to have a great dip that everyone can enjoy throughout the game.  Here is one of my favorite dips a Spicy Sausage Bean Dip.

Spicy Sausage Bean Dip

3 links Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage (remove from casings)
2 16oz cans refried beans
1 onion, chopped small and divided
1 4 oz can chopped roasted jalapeños 
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle 
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet cook sausage until crumbly and no pink remove from skillet to a paper towel to drain.  Place 1/2 the chopped onions in the skillet with the sausage grease, add chipotle and cumin and sauté for 5 minutes.  In a saucepan over medium heat add refried beans and half the can of jalapeños and the sautéed onions, heat through.  Spread the refried beans in a casserole dish, top with sausage and cheese. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven cook until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven top with the remaining raw onions, jalapeños, olives and salsa.  Serve with tortilla chips, extra salsa and sour cream.

Who are you rooting for?

I am a die-hard New Orleans Saints Fan

Monday, September 2, 2013

Roasted Root Vegetables

It's raining and gloomy outside it feels like fall and I'm craving those fall flavors.  It doesn't get any more fall than with root vegetables.  I love root vegetables and make sure I always have them on hand.  You can use any root vegetables you have on hand for this dish.  

While I was reading through the September issue of Southern Living I came across a recipe for a fall vegetable hash.  I had all those vegetables and then some and decided to roast them instead of cooking them on the stove top. 

Roasted Root Vegetables
Inspired by the Southern Living Fall Vegetable Hash September 2013 issue

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 large turnip, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
15 small to medium brussels sprouts, cut in half
1 head of garlic, peeled
3 large sage leaves, minced
1 sprig rosemary, minced
2 sprigs thyme, minced
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
5 slices bacon, cut into bite sized pieces

Pre-heat over to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet/jelly roll pan with foil (for easy clean-up).  Chop vegetables into uniform small pieces place on baking sheet top with bacon.  Drizzle with olive oil lightly.  Sprinkle with herbs and salt and pepper.  Toss to coat everything and spread out evenly on baking sheet.  Roast for 30 minutes or until vegetable are cooked through and have a beautiful color.

Blogging tips