Monday, November 7, 2011

November Week 1 {Menu Monday}

it's back! here are a few ideas to add to your menu.

French Dip Sandwiches, edamame in the pod, sweet potato fries

Asian Style Pork & Noodles

Meat-less spaghetti, homemade rolls

Chicken & Shrimp Gumbo, rice

Make Your Own Pizzas, assorted toppings

I bought this GIANT sweet potato at our local farmers made enough sweet potato fries for the 5 of us--and they were good :) I love farmer's markets.  Here's the recipe.

Easy Sweet Potato Fries

Wash and peel sweet potato(es).  Slice into thick julienne, french fry slices.  Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little (to taste) cumin.  Bake at 350 until soft and edges are crispy brown.  Enjoy!  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Zucchini Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling & Cream Cheese Frosting

Yum. About all I can say...give these a try-

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups finely shredded zucchini (leave the peels on)
1 cup oil (such as canola)
4 eggs
1 recipe lemon curd (follows)
1 recipe cream cheese frosting (follows)
1. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder & soda, and cinnamon.
3. Add zucchini, oil and eggs.  Beat with an electric mixer until well combined.
4. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan, filling each about 3/4 full.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean from a center cupcake.
6. Allow to completely cool.
7. Cut each cupcake in  half, fill with a little lemon curd (recipe follows) and top with a dollop of cream cheese frosting. (It's best to store all components separately and assemble right before serving).

Lemon Curd: {seriously one of my most favorite things to eat....ever} :)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice(okay to used bottled, make sure it is 100% real juice)
1/4 cup butter
2 beaten eggs
1. In a medium sauce pan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and zest.
2. Add butter and lemon juice, cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
3. Stir half the lemon mixture into the beaten eggs, stirring quickly, then pour back into the pan, whisking.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.
4. Cover with waxed paper and cool completely.  Stir in the refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
4 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1. Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. 
2. Gradually stir in 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Beat well.
3. Add remaining 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups remaining sugar, beating until it reaches a spreadable, frosting consistency.   Stir in the refrigerator.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple Puff Pancakes

 Apple Puff Pancakes are easily my family's favorite thing to eat. For fun individual sized pancakes (like the one pictured) just follow the same directions, dividing ingredients into 5 or 6 ramekins.  You just may want to double it...we always do :)
You will need:

3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 large granny smith apple, cored, 
  peeled and thinly sliced or diced
Powdered sugar (opt)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In an 8 x 8 inch baking dish melt butter in the oven while it is preheating.  When butter is melted, remove from oven and stir in 2 Tbs sugar, cinnamon and apples.  Return to oven and cook until apples are tender, about 4 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine eggs, flour, salt, and remaining sugar then add milk. (Mix the flour and eggs together first to avoid floaty flour bits).
4. Pour batter over cooked apples.  Return to oven and cook at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and cook until tested done (about 15 minutes or so).  Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies {after-school snack}

I'm back! & Happy to be cooking again :) This year has been quite the year for us---especially the last couple of months.  You can see more about the new addition to our family & other going on's here

These cookies are perfect for all those pb&j lovers out there & a great after-school snack.  Use your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe-I used peanut butter spritz cookies for evenly round, decorative cookies.  Don't have a favorite? Try these.

Bake & cool your cookies as directed.

For the filling:
1/2 pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups (more or less) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tb. seedless jam of your choice (I used blackberry)

Beat cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Gradually add powdered sugar until thick and creamy.  Mix in vanilla and can add more or less jam to taste.  Add additional powdered sugar if needed to make a thick frosting.

Pipe (or smear) frosting onto the backside of one cookie, top with another to form a sandwich.  Repeat with remaining cookies.  Store filled cookies/leftover frosting in the refrigerator. Frosting will thicken as it chills.