Monday, February 24, 2014

Perfect Pancakes

As you may know, I really like having breakfast for dinner.  Not every day, mind you, but every now and then, I love to have the kind of breakfast that isn't really practical for a regular weekday morning.  Today's installment of  breakfast for dinner was pancakes.  I got this recipe from the pioneer woman via pinterest.  I have to insist that you serve it with real butter and real maple syrup.  I wanted fluffy whipped butter, and salted butter at that, but I only had unsalted sticks, so I poured some heavy whipping cream in a jar with a good bit of salt and set the kids to shaking.  While it isn't proper butter, it tasted a lot like it and was the perfect light fluffy consistency of whipped butter.  And truth be told, it was easy enough for morning time too.  I made the whole batch and froze the extras in plastic bags with wax paper between them.  I have reheated them with the toaster oven and the microwave.  They aren't perfect, but they are pretty good reheated.

Perfect Pancakes

3 cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Cake Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 cups Milk
2 whole Large Eggs
3 teaspoons Vanilla
4 Tablespoons Butter
Extra Butter

Maple Or Pancake Syrup

Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.

Mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined.

Melt butter and add it to the batter, stirring gently to combine.

Cook on a greased skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown.
Serve with an obscene amount of butter and warm syrup.  <--- best instructions ever ;)

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

One-Pan Pasta

After the successful one pan pasta "Spicy Sausage Pasta" I decided to take the plunge and try another. And while this one did have some of the issues I was worried about technique wise, it was a really great meal it was fast, easy and yummy; in short it is a great dish to have in your weeknight rotation.  Next time I would add a bit more basil or a lot of spinach ( oh or arugula) if I felt like upping the veggie content, and I did cook it a bit longer than called for so the sauce wouldn't bee too watery, but all in all the recipe works

One-Pan Pasta

12 ounces linguine
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 cups water

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

 Step 1 Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes. In this step: How to Slice Garlic

Step 2 Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mexican Eggs in Purgatory

This was a tasty dinner, but I think my pan should have been smaller so that the sauce the eggs cooked in was deeper.  Not a real problem but just to note for future.  It isn't my favorite of the baked egg dishes I have done, I think it is that I prefer the tomato based sauces for the eggs.  It isn't a pretty dish but not too bad.  Again writing a month after the fact, so hard to give too many details.  Say my mantra with me, I will catch up! and maybe it will happen;).

Mexican Eggs in Purgatory

1 pound tomatillos, husked
1 poblano or jalapeƱo, stemmed and seeded (see Note)
1 1/2 cups chopped cilantro leaves and stems
3 scallions, coarsely chopped, plus sliced scallions, for garnish
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 ounces thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated Cotija cheese or crumbled feta, plus more for garnish

Warm corn tortillas, for serving

1. Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat source. In a blender or food processor, add the husked tomatillos, poblano, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions and chicken broth and puree until smooth.

2. In a large, shallow flameproof casserole or skillet, cook the bacon in the olive oil over high heat until the bacon is browned, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the tomatillo puree and cook over moderate heat until the sauce is thickened and dull green, about 15 minutes.

3. Using the back of a spoon, make 8 depressions in the tomatillo sauce. Remove the casserole from the heat and carefully crack the eggs into the depressions. Sprinkle the eggs and tomatillo sauce with the 2 tablespoons of Cotija cheese. Broil the dish until the egg whites are set but the egg yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes. Garnish with more Cotija cheese and the sliced scallions and serve right away with warm corn tortillas.

Make Ahead The green tomatillo sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring the sauce to room temperature before adding the eggs.  For an extra-spicy dish, leave the seeds in the peppers.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quick Chicken Tikka Masala

I had chicken in the freezer and fresh turmeric in the fridge, so this recipe jumped out at me as the one to make.  Other than the turmeric wanting to stain every surface in the kitchen, this wasn't a hard dish and was really yummy.  I had chicken breasts, so they were cut up in to tender size pieces.  That made for a bit more work, but it made the recipe just that much more cost effective.  Everyone loved it, even the picky 4 year old.  This is out of eating well and seems to be fairly light and if you click on the title of the recipe below, it will take you to their site with all the nutritional information.  Some of us had it with rice, some with bread.  I personally preferred the naan with the chicken, but the people with rice enjoyed theirs too. 

4 teaspoons garam masala (see Note)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound chicken tenders
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Stir together garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour.)

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon flour and stir until coated. Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Stir in cream. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

I used the batter I had left after filling the cupcake pan
to make mini bunt cakes:)
The kids and the husband adored these. I have to say I did like them but can't get past the box, and real tiramisu is so much better. (Yes a ton more work too).    They looked pretty even with my subpar icing skills. The real winner for me was the icing. On myyyyy. I could eat a bowl of it :)  As with all fellow blogger recipes, the recipe is to be found through the link to their blog:)

1 box White Cake Mix
2 egg whites
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup strong coffee
8 oz mascarpone
1 tablespoon strong coffee
1/2 cup powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint heavy whipping cream

Recipe and Instructions here

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Scallops with Mushrooms and whiskey Sauce

Ok I am writing this weeks after we ate it. I remember really liking it but not so blown away I can remember a lot to say about it.  I did like the sauce enough to remember I want to use it for more stuff, but sorry guys.  I am really just phoning it in until  I catch up:)

1 pound mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
4 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
1/3 cup whiskey

1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Toss the mushrooms with the lemon juice. In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until they start to brown, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until the mushrooms are deeply browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet and melt over high heat. Add the scallops to the pan in an even layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook the scallops undisturbed until they start to brown and some juices are exuded, about 2 minutes. Stir briefly, then transfer the scallops and any accumulated juices to a bowl.

3. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter and the scallions to the skillet. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the whiskey and carefully ignite it with a long match. When the flames die down, add the cream, mushrooms and any juices from the scallops. Simmer the sauce until slightly reduced. Add the scallops to the sauce, season with salt and pepper and serve.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spiced Apple Martini

WOW!  I have to say, this was a tasty drink!  It is potent so be careful!  It doesn't taste as strong as it is.  But it is amazing!
Marcus Samuelsson's Spiced Apple Martini

For the Apple-Spiced Simple Syrup:
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
1 teaspoon allspice, ground
1 teaspoon nutmeg, ground (freshly ground if possible)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 slice of a red apple, 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup water

For the Drink:
2 ounces SKYY Vodka
1/2 ounce of above syrup
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 dashes angostura bitters
Slice of apple (for garnish)

For the Apple-Spiced Simple Syrup: Place all ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to boil. (Leftover simple syrup can be strained into airtight container, cooled and refrigerated. It will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.)

Add 1/2 ounce of simple syrup, the vodka, lime juice and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into chilled coupe glass and garnish with apple.