Tuesday, February 2, 2016

White Bean Bruschetta

White Bean Bruschetta
You know you live in Texas when…  
one week you have a legitimate need for an electric heater blanket on your bed.  The following week, you have a discussion with your husband about whether you should turn on the ceiling fan so you can use the blanket.  Because the following week, you will need the blanket again.  <<cue the violins>>  And that is a winter in Texas. 

Enough about me – what are you serving for the Super Bowl?  We had a white bean bruschetta throwdown to help you out.  A variation of this recipe won.  Other delicious options include:

Happy birthday Claire!

Ingredients:
  1. 1 15 oz. can Cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  2. 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  3. 1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives (optional)
  4. 6 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  6. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  7. 1 French bread baguette, cut into -inch-thick rounds
  8. 5 to 6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), room temperature

Place rinsed and drained beans into a bowl. Mix in tomatoes, olives (optional), 4 tablespoons oil, basil and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler. Place bread slices on baking sheet. Brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Spread with cheese. Top with bean mixture.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Chicken Picatta

Chicken Picatta
Gosh, none of the movies that I have seen in the past year were nominated for the Golden Globes this year.  I’m shocked that movies like Peanuts, Inside Out, Minions, or Alvin and the Chipmunks are not in competition with Revenant or Room or The Big Short… (side note: I think that Inside Out is one of the smartest, meaningful movies out there with a great message for kids and adults alike).

Yes, I am playing PowerBall.  Yes, I know the odds of getting struck by lightning (or anything else, for that matter) are greater than winning but…

Yes, I have New Year’s resolutions and so far, 10 days in they are still in tact.  I am still considering adding others.  Is there a time limit?  One of those resolutions is to keep trying new recipes.  This one is a top rated recipe from Giada.  The cooking method is similar to the Parmesan Chicken but adds a flavorful sauce on top.

Happy Birthday Michael!!

Ingredients
  1. 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
  2. Kosher or sea salt
  3. Ground black pepper
  4. All-purpose flour, for dredging
  5. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 1/3 cup lemon juice
  8. 1/2 cup chicken stock
  9. 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  10. 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

I know that I have a lot of “you” in me.  I just hope that I also got your genes for your sense of pleasure and joy and happy and boundless energy when I am around my family, and someday, my grandkids. 
Raspberry Cream Cupcake

While I know that Butterfinger ice cream pie is your favorite dessert, thank you for sharing your day with a new recipe by Giada.  I think it is a winner and is worthy of celebrating you.  The cake tasted like angel food and the whipped cream thickened with powdered sugar and raspberries was heavenly.  Now to try it as a layer cake so we can cut ourselves a bigger slice!

Happy Birthday Dad/Gigi!

Ingredients
  1. 1 box white cake mix (i.e., Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
  2. 1 1/3 cups water
  3. 3 large eggs whites
  4. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  5. 2 teaspoons almond extract
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries, cut in half (or you could substitute strawberries)
  8. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  9. 1/3 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting

Line muffin cups with muffin papers (the recipe said makes 18 – we ended up with 21 and weren’t complaining!). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat the cake mix, water, egg whites, melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, or until the batter is well blended. Using about 1/3 cup of batter for each cupcake, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake the cupcakes until they are very pale golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely on a cooling rack.

Using a fork, coarsely mash 1 1/2 containers of raspberries in a medium bowl. Beat the cream and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream.

Remove the muffin papers from the cupcakes and cut the tops off of each cupcake. Spoon the raspberry whipped cream atop the cupcake bottoms. Place the cupcake tops on the cupcakes. Dust with more powdered sugar and serve with the remaining berries.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

South Georgia Caviar

South Georgia Caviar
“Eat your black-eyed peas!”  That refrain from my dad still rings in my ears.  I’d choke down a few every New Year’s Day that I lived under his roof.  Then my friend, Katie, brought this Paula Dean appetizer and all of a sudden, I like black-eyed peas!  There’s a Georgia version and a Texas version – battle of the southern states based on dressing and white or red onion, from what I can tell.

Happy New Year to you and yours!!
(look Miss Ginger, no more monkey bread!)

Ingredients
  1. 2 15 oz. cans of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  2. 1 15 oz. can of corn, rinsed and drained
  3. 1 10 oz. Ro-Tel
  4. 2 cups chopped red pepper (about 2 peppers)
  5. 1/2 cup chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
  6. 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  7. 1 8 oz. bottle Italian dressing
  8. 1 4 oz. jar chopped pimento, drained (I opted out)

Combine all in large bowl and stir gently to combine.  Refrigerate mixture overnight (mine was only about 4 hours).  Serve with corn chips, Fritos Scoops work best.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread
When Andrew was younger, we tried putting styling product in his hair to make it stay put for a picture (in case you were wondering, it didn’t work).  When David said “let’s put some mousse in your hair,” Andrew gasped “Daddy, don’t put a moose on my head!”  Being older and wiser, he just smiled and chuckled when I told him that we were having monkey bread for breakfast (later he did ask “why do they call it monkey bread?”)

Monkey Bread - it didn't last long
The bundt love continues.  When Susan sent me this recipe I thought, wow – this decreases the per use cost of my new bundt pan even more.  And who wouldn’t enjoy biscuits rolled around in cinnamon-sugar and covered in melted butter.  I baked it in a bundt pan – Krista uses a loaf pan.  Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.  But if you do make it in a loaf pan, halve the recipe - 1 can biscuits, half the sugar, etc.

Ingredients
  1. 2 cans of Grands biscuits (flaky layers or homestyle)
  2. 1 c sugar
  3. 1 T cinnamon
  4. 1 stick butter (8 T)
Remove biscuits from the can.  Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.  Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.  Roll the cut biscuit pieces in the cinnamon-sugar mix.  Grease the pan and place the sugar-coated biscuit pieces in a greased bundt or loaf pan.  Melt one stick of butter, pour in the remaining cinnamon-sugar mix and mix.  Pour over biscuits in the pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

It is nearing the end of May which means that in about 2 weeks, I am totally screwed.  I have not scheduled any camps which means “Mom, I’m bored” is going to echo through these halls.  Today I am simply focused on making it through final tests and presentations, recitals, baseball games (most of which have been rained out), etc. etc.

Since I am now the Iron Chef of bundt cakes, I made another one using Krista’s recipe.  Yum!  Except that the first time I made it, I turned it over too soon and the pan didn’t release the cake so it broke in half and David affectionately named the blob on the platter the doo-doo cake (but it tastes really good).  Nice – good role modeling.

Ingredients  

  1. Chocolate box cake mix, like Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines 
  2. 8 oz sour cream
  3. 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, like Nestle Toll House
  4. Chocolate pudding mix (i.e., Jell-O chocolate instant pudding and pie filling, 3.9 oz.)
  5. Vegetable oil
  6. Eggs
  7. Powdered sugar

Follow directions on chocolate cake box (this time I used Betty Crocker Super Moist cake mix so this included adding water, vegetable oil and eggs) and then add in pudding mix (only the powder mix – don’t actually make pudding), sour cream, chocolate chips.   

Bake at 325 (or 350 – depending on your cake pan – refer to the cake mix box) for 50-55 minutes.  Test for doneness.  Allow to cool before inverting bundt pan to release the cake. Generously sprinkle with powdered sugar (or ice with cream cheese frosting)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake

I came.  I saw.  I (finally!) kicked some bundt cake a**.  Yep – took me 3 tries until I decided to purchase a new bundt cake pan.  It is all about the equipment.  Mind you, we did not throw away the other 3 cakes.  They were all consumed - they were delicious - they just weren't pretty.

Since we are under a flash flood warning in Dallas, this is not the day to spend at the Arboretum eating my favorite lobster rolls.  So this Mother’s Day is all about the raspberry (and a 9 year old's basketball game).  Started with raspberry French toast casserole and will end it with this cake from Favorite Family Recipes. 

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."  Abraham Lincoln

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who loves, inspires, teaches, shapes, develops, hugs and giggles with a little one (or two or more)!!

Happy birthday Hannah!

Ingredients
White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake
For the cake
  1. 1 pkg. white cake
  2. 1 (5 oz-ish) pkg. instant white chocolate pudding (although Hershey’s instant White Chocolate pudding is 3.56 oz) or vanilla pudding if you can't find white chocolate
  3. 1 c (8 oz) sour cream
  4. 4 large eggs
  5. ½ c water
  6. ½ c oil
  7. 1½ c (12 oz) white chocolate chips, chopped into smaller pieces (I did mine in the mini food processor)
  8. 1 c raspberry pastry or pie filling (I found "Solo" brand pastry/cake filling at Central Market or you can use raspberry pie filling too)

For the icing
  1. 2 (8 ounce) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  2. ½ c butter, softened
  3. 3-4 c powdered sugar
  4. 2 t vanilla extract

Grease and flour a bundt pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix first six ingredients together with a beater. Fold in white chocolate chips.

Fill prepared bundt pan with half of the batter. Spoon half of the raspberry filling in separated spoonfuls over the batter (so it looks like separate clumps of filling over the top). Using a knife swirl the filling through the cake. Do not overdo it! Only swirl around 2-3 times.  Pour remaining batter in evenly and spoon in remaining pie filling, repeating the "swirling" process above.

Cook in oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.  Check for doneness (toothpick, skewer, etc.  If it does not come out clean, place the cake back in the oven for 3-5 min at a time until it does.

Remove from oven. Let cool for 20 minutes.  Flip over the pan and remove.  (Favorite Family recommends putting the cake on a serving plate, wrapping it well in Saran Wrap, and letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator before frosting and serving.)

To frost: in a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the powdered sugar (start with 2 cups then keep adding more until it is nice and thick).  Fill a Ziploc bag with the frosting and cut off the bottom corner depending on how big you want the "frosting strips." Frost cake by squeezing out the frosting from the outside of the cake toward the middle.