Monday, April 29, 2013

Asiago Peppercorn Salad Dressing

All the trees around here just popped there leaves out.  Its so nice to see green and pink and yellow and purple.  All the colors of Spring.  All the smells, the hyacinths- so fragrant.  Wonderful!

I am so looking forward to the fresh vegetables from the market.  Looking forward to arugula, spinach and leafy greens!  And I will be ready with some great salad dressing recipes.  This one is fantastic.  I bet it will taste phenomenol with arugula!

Asiago Peppercorn Salad Dressing

1/2 cup asiago
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonaise
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Whisk together mayonaise, buttermilk and sour cream.  Add in the remainder of ingredients.  Chill for at least an hour before using.  Overnight is best.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tomato and Walnut Flatbread

The funniest thing happened with this recipe.  The original recipe is from Mayo Clinic.  I put it all together and in my mind it was going to be something akin to the flatbread pitas I make.  Dough, dough flattened, fried on skillet.  Ah. No.  I made a mistake I poured the water that I had used to soak the sun dried tomatoes and then it looked like a soupy mess.  So I added enough flour to make it thicker along with some yeast and voila- flat bread like my pitas. Delicious.

I still would like to try it the way that it was originally written.  But this was great and that's proven by the fact that it is totally gone in no time flat.  Best judge of a recipe- how ffast it disappears.

Tomato Walnut Flatbread

from this source, food. com

2 cups boiling water
4 sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cup unbleached flour, divided
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg
1 teaspoon fresh thyme1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped

In a small bowl, pour boiling water over tomatoes. Let stand until tomatoes are slightly soft (2 - 3 minutes). Drain (reserving liquid)and pat dry. Chop finely.

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), sift together flours (only 3 cups of the unbleached flour), sugar, salt, baking powder and cayenne. Add the egg, reserved soaking water from tomatoes and thyme. Mix to combine. Add walnuts and chopped tomatoes and work them into the dough. Add more flour as necessary.  Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead a few times.You want a smooth supple dough, a tad on the tacky side.

Let rise for about an hour.  Divide into eight balls and flatten.

Preheat a skillet on the stove top.  When it is hot place it on of the rolled out flatbreads. Turn heat to medium. Heat about 3 minutes, the side you are looking at will go from shiny to dull.  That is when you flip.  While that is heating, roll out your next one.

Place in a brown paper bag or a container to keep them nice and moist until the whatever meal you are making is ready.  I placed mine in the microwave oven in the morning.  Just as a contained place to sit.  They will keep very nicely for a couple days if they can last that long.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad with Cranberries

Many of you may be aware of Wegmans.  It is a grocery store that started here in Rochester.  With the help of Danny Wegman it is in quite a few states in the North East.  And man do these people know how to market.  Every trip to the grocery store is filled with foodie inspiration.  I wander up and down the aisles ina food daze.  And I am not the only one.  I see others in there own world too.

They have an area where you can get take out dinners of all kinds.  This salad was featured a month or so ago and I could not take my eyes off of it.  I never bought it because I was trying to not spend the extra money.  I decided to make it myself.  In the store they have it with butternut squash- I used sweet potatoes instead.

Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries
see original recipe here at Wegman's

2 sweet potatoes, sliced
1 red onion or sweet onion, peeled, chopped
1 Tbsp  Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg (6 oz)  Food You Feel Good About Fresh Baby Spinach
3/4 cup  Food You Feel Good About Sweetened Dried Cranberries (Grocery Dept)

Toss squash and onions with basting oil in large bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer on large baking sheet. Roast 25- 30 min, until tender and brown. Remove from oven.

Toss squash, spinach, and dried cranberries in large shallow serving dish.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Senate Bean Soup

Had a great ham for dinner not too long ago.  We really enjoyed it.  Having a ham means having a ham bone. Not wanting anything to go to waste, I made soup. A delicious soup.

Senate Soup

1 ham bone*
enough water to cover ham bone
3 carrots, diced
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
2 cups dried and soaked Navy beans

Soak Navy beans overnight.  Rinse and drain beans.  Place about 3 quarts water (more or less, you want to cover the bone and have enough water for the beans to absorb liquid), Add bay leaf and ham bone.  Simmer about one hour until beans are tender (more or less time- you judge).  Remove beans from heat, let cool a little.  Remove bay leaf.  Drain beans, reserving liquid.  Puree 3/4 of the beans.  In a fresh pot sauté onions, garlic and carrots until tender.  Add the bean liquid and puréed beans.

*The ham had a sweet glaze on it so m,y soup was a tad on the sweet side.  I added about two tablespoons of vinegar.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tender Dinner Rolls

These were fabulous rolls.  I could've had just these rolls for dinner.  Never mind the ham sweet potatoes or green beans.  Wow, yum.

Tender Dinner Rolls

Adapted from this recipe at The Kitchn

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon butter

In a stand mixer place warm milk and water (105F) (like stick you finger int eh water for fifteen seconds and be comfortable kind of warm.  Add sugar, stir and then put the yeast in.  I know there is a protocol to bread making that you have to follow.  To be honest I don't follow it at all.  I place all my dry ingredients in the stand mixer and then add the liquid.  With yeast today- instant- I don't really feel I have to proof it.  I have never had a bread that didn't rise.  So if you want to brave - go ahead and throw it all in the mixer, except for the butter.  After mixing for about eight minutes, take out of the mixer and just give it a littel knead to make sure everything is pulled together nicely.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for about an hour.

Remove from bowl and fold like you would a business letter, in thirds.  Turn and fold again. Let rest for about five minutes.  Cut into 12 equal pieces.  Shape into rolls and place in a greased 9 x 13.  Cover and let rise for about 4o minutes. 

Preheat oven to 375F.  Brush rolls with melted butter and place in oven.  Bake until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blue Cheese Dressing

Here's a real treat, homemade blue cheese dressing.  I have to tell you if you have never made homemade dressings and you begin, it is really difficult to go back to store bought ones.  Other than Ken's Honey Mustard, I pretty much make all my own.  That's not to say that we dont go through Ranch by the gallon because really my daughter will eat just about anything if it has Ranch dressing on it. I have treid to make it before but she just wasn't thrilled.  I guess it has to have all the junk they put in their to taste good.... ugh.  Or maybe it was the recipe I used.  If you have any good ranch dressing recipes, please pass them along.

Blue Cheese Dressing

4 ounces blue cheese
3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Wocestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Whisk all the ingredients together and refrigerate for 24 hours. Really it is worth the wait.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Turtle Cheesecake: Celebrating the turtle in my life.

Can you stand it? Two weeks of no computer with a photo plug in, I dunno, I lost track of the time.  I had asked my dear husband to fix my computer... Stop. Okay, its fixed. I am not going to complain.

In the middle of writing a post a couple weeks, my computer, she crashed.  Poor little thing.  She tried running all day but she just kept crashing. Now, a new operating system and no pictures in the que.  I have to start over.  But that's okay.  I will keep this blog going no matter what because I still like it.  I like being able to find a recipe that I knew I made. 

So, without further ado, I bring you cheesecake, celebratory cheesecake.  Ha, my husband the turtle, he is a little slow at times but he eventually gets stuff done.  I made him turtle cheesecake for his birthday.  I didnt even realize the symbolism... Or did I? Now, I will share the lip smacking goodness with you.

Turtle Cheesecake

Recipe adapted from here at Nestle; Very Best Baking

Crust ingredients
1 3/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
2 tablespoons Chocolate Flavored Syrup
2 tablespoons caramel syrup or ice cream topping
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300° F.  10-inch springform pan.

Directly in pan mix crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of pan.

Beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lime juice and vanilla extract; beat until combined. Do not over mix.

Microwave 1 1/2 cups morsels in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 minute; stir. The morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Stir 2 cups of cheesecake batter into melted morsels; mix well. Alternately spoon batters into crust, beginning and ending with yellow batter.

Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until edge is set and center moves slightly. It should jiggle a little. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; run knife around edge of cheesecake. Cool completely. Drizzle chocolate and caramel syrup over cheesecake. Sprinkle with nuts and mini morsels. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of pan.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

technical difficulties

My computer is down. I will be up and running soon.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pea Pancakes

Easy, light and delicious.  This was a pretty fabulous meal. Matter of fact it is going to be a repeater today and when fresh peas come in locally.  Right now I used frozen peas.  Can't even imagine how fabulous they will be when I have some sweet peas from the farm.

In the original recipe it says to pour melted butter over top of then when serving.  I opted out of that, yes, of course it would be fabulous, but whoa talk about calories.  Honestly these are pretty fabulous without the additional butter.

Pea Pancakes
Adapted from this recipe at Bon Appetite

1/4 cup flour
1 cup cottage cheese
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic powder
1 cup peas, fresh, if frozen thawed but not cooked
4 green onions, sliced

Purée eggs, cottage cheese, flour, 2 tablespoons oil, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth. Transfer batter to a medium bowl and stir in peas and 4 scallions. (Batter should be thick but pourable; stir in water by tablespoonfuls if too thick).
Heat a lightly oiled large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add batter to skillet by 1/4-cupfuls, spreading out to 3-inch-4-inch rounds with a spoon. Cook pancakes until bubbles form on top, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until pancakes are browned on bottom and the centers are just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.
Sprinkle green onions over top to garnish.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cinnamon Buns

My husband's birthday request was cinnamon buns.  He loves them, better than cake. I also made a cake because the kids would just be crushed without it. More on the cake later.

These are awesome cinnamon buns.

Cinnamon Buns
recipe adapted from this recipe at All recipes.

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast


1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened


1/2  package or 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (maybe more depending on thickness)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean scraped
1/8 teaspoon salt

Place ingredients in the bowl of a mixer. Place all the dough ingredients in bowl, except water. Mix for a moment.  Add water and mix until dough ball is formed.  Add in water one tablespoon at a time if too dry. Add flour one tablespoon at a time if too wet. Place in lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size.

After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll dough into a 16 x 21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.