Sunday, December 5, 2010

Easy Sticky Buns

Great recipe from the "Back to Basics" cookbook.
Ina Garten's Easy Sticky Buns
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon. and 1/2 cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down. Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wides. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon), and cool completely.
I only made 1/2 of the recipe and placed them in individual ramekin cups.

Into the oven.

Cool for 5 minutes and turn over.

Ready to eat.

Give this recipe a try. They were wonderful:)
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Big Snow Is Here

This is what I woke up to this morning, and it's still snowing.
Enjoy your weekend:)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

Brined Turkey with Gravy
Broccoli Casserole
Roasted Butternut Squash with Fresh Garlic
Thanksgiving Potatoes
Cranberry Relish
Italian Olives
Pumpkin Crescent Rolls
Pumpkin Pie

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Brine

How easy is this.

Add contents of jar to one gallon water and bring to a boil.

Stir and let cool completely.

Here's the FRESH 12 pound turkey breast.

Put turkey in brine bag, add cooled brine, place in refrigerator until ready to cook.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all:)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Creamy Olive Spread

Creamy Olive Spread
1 8oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 small jar green olives, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Mix all together. I served it with Pita bread rounds

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fall Hominy Stew

Fall Hominy Stew
(Inspired by Delightful Country Cookin')
2 pounds Italian sausage (take out of casting)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano and cumin
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cans hominy, drained
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste
Brown meat in a large stockpot. Add green pepper and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add broth, spices, and squash, and bring to a boil; simmer for about 15 minutes, or until squash is tender when pierced. Add hominy and peas and simmer until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 12
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Monday, November 8, 2010

Marie-Helene's Apple Cake

I have seen Marie-Helene's Apple Cake on a few blogs and decided to try it.
My house smelled like a French bakery:) Marie-Helene's Apple Cake
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
2 large eggs
3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they're foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it's evenish.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it's fully opened, make sure there aren't any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a service dish.
The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Helene serviced her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination.
This was an amazing cake and so easy to make.
I can't wait to buy Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table cookbook.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Scones with Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Scones
2 cups flour (this time I used whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup pumpkin (if canned, be sure there are no spice or sugar added)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix together flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and cut into flour. Mixture should look like coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl mix together the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together (don't over mix).
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead gently 3-4 times, and then shape/pat dough into a circle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Slice in half, and then cut each half into 4 equal pie shaped wedges, (I used a pizza cutter.)
Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or cream)
Bake in a 400 degrees oven for 20 minutes.
Pumpkin Spice Butter
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Combine all and mix till creamy.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What to do with the leftovers..........

Saturday I made "Company Pot Roast" from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa.....Back to Basics cookbook. It was amazing!! I ended up with a lot of leftovers, so...........I created this.
Company Pot Roast
Shepherd's PieI added some thawed frozen vegetables, cut up the meat, added the sauce and put the leftover mashed potatoes on the top. Baked it at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Don't you just love Ina's recipes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Roasted Chicken and Butternut Soup

Roast butternut squash and onions
I used a rotisserie chicken

Roasted Chicken and Butternut Soup

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss together 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, (Iused a rotissery chicken) 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeler, seeded, and diced medium, 1 small yellow onion, diced medium, and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until squash and chicken are cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool. Transfer squash and onions to a medium pot and add 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water and 1/4 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground coriander. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. With a potato masher or back of a wooden sppon, mash the vegetables until soup is thick and chunky. discard skin and bones from chicken; cut meat into small pieces and add to soup. Stire in 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; season to taste with salt and peper. (I added cayenne pepper)

Parmesan Cheese Sticks

1/2 pkg. Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets (1 sheet)
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
black pepper

THAW pastry sheet at room temperature 30 min.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix egg and water.
Mix cheese and pepper.
UNFOLD pastry on lightly floured surface.
Roll into 14"x10" rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise.
Brush both halves with egg mixture.
Top 1 rectangle with cheese mixture.
Place remaining rectangle over cheese-topped rectangle, egg-side down.
Roll gently with rolling pin to seal.
CUT crosswise into 28 (1/2") strips. Twist strips and place 2" apart on greased baking sheet, pressing down ends.
Brush with egg mixture.
BAKE 10 min. or until golden.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Polenta with Corn and Chives

In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add 1 cup frozen corn kernels and 1 teaspoon fresh chives. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is warmed through, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup whole milk and 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and creamy, about 6 minutes. remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper.
Serve immediately.
Serves 4

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homecoming Weekend in Manteno

Friday nights game

Manteno wins!! Score 7-6

Nikos giving Nicole her flower

Nicole and Nikos

Picture time........

The girls


Nikos and Nicole

The guys



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nikos 16th Birthday ~ September 6, 1994

Spent the day in ChicagoWhat a great day we all had. The weather was wonderful!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jumbo Lump Crab Dip

Picked up this great recipe from "Relatively Unique" back in July.

Combine all the ingredients, except the crab.
Mix well.

Add Tabasco, Lemon, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
Gently add Crab meat.

Bake in a 325 degrees oven for 40 minutes.
Jumbo Lump Crab Dip
1 pound Jumbo Lump Crab meat
1 cup shredded Pepper jack cheese
3/4 cup Mayo
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup Green onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon Garlic, chopped fine
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon dry Mustard
salt and pepper
Serve with crusty bread, crackers, toast
(I served this dip with Tortilla chips)
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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

They ate my Parsley plant...............

A couple of weeks ago I went to water my plants and discovered my parsley had been eaten by five caterpillars.
They had orange and black stripes. The detail was amazing. As I watched they continued to eat my parsley.

I couldn't believe one day the plant was bushy and the next day it was twigs.

So I decided to do a bit of research. These are probably black swallowtail caterpillars. These would turn into beautiful butterflies.

If you touch these guys an orange structure that looks like horns extended by the head. Never saw anything like it. Then I noticed a very odd smell coming from the plant after the caterpillar had extended it's orange structures. It was a stay clear. Every time I touch the caterpillar it's horns would come and and the scent would be noticed. After watching my friends for two days they disappeared. I am now watching for the Swallowtail Butterfly to visit me in my yard:)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Peach Mimosa Chicken Breast and Salad

I marinated chicken breasts in Girard's Peach Mimosa salad dressing. Then seasoned with garlic powder, pepper, and oregano.
Used the Peach Mimosa salad dressing on the salad. If you get a chance try this dressing, it is great:)

Great dinner:)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler
(family recipe from Ginger Conroy)
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh fruit sweetened to taste (I used Nectarines)
In a deep casserole dish, melt butter in oven at 350 degrees. In a bowl mix flour and sugar. Stir to get rid of lumps. Gradually mix in milk. Pour over butter in casserole. Drop in fruit.
Return to oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour.
(I sprinkled cinnamon on top before putting in oven)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shrimp and Pineapple Pizza

Let's get started.

Fresh Pineapple, Shrimp, Banana Pepper, Chili Pepper, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion, Garlic.

Just love Betty Crocker Pizza Crust. It is so simple and in 5 minutes you are ready to go. Press pizza dough into pan, add some cheese.

It is all coming together.

Top with some more cheese.

Add the shrimp.

Add more cheese and into the oven @ 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese.
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