Monthly Archives: May 2012

Mashed Potatoes w/Caramelized Onions & Rosemary

Everyone needs a little comfort food now and then, and these Mashed Potatoes w/Caramelized Onions & Rosemary are definitely the perfect dish.  I served them with a nice, grilled steak (thanks for grilling, Dad!).  I caramelized some onions, garlic, and fresh rosemary.  Rosemary goes really well with potatoes, so that was my herb of choice.  Herbs are one of those things that I play around with in dishes.  Some herbs are notorious for complementing certain foods; mint, for example, goes really well with fresh fruit and peas.  I love making pasta with peas and fresh mint.   Trust me, it takes delicious.  Here’s a picture on Pinterest that I thought I’d share with you.  Enjoy the mashed potatoes!
Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper, for seasoning
Directions:
  1. In a large stock pot, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil.  Cook until a fork easily pierces the potatoes, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized, about 15 minutes.  Add garlic and rosemary to onions and saute an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Drain potatoes and mash, adding milk until smooth.  Add onions, garlic, and rosemary and stir to combine.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.

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Grilled Pineapple w/Tequila & Brown Sugar Glaze

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day!  Grilling season is definitely upon us, so why not break out the beer tequila?  Several months ago, I went to Mexico City for work and brought my hubby back some good tequila.  It’s been sitting in our freezer, so I decided to break it out and make this delicious Grilled Pineapple w/Tequila & Brown Sugar Glaze.  This dish is simple, yet the flavors are amazing; the tequila and brown sugar combo truly tastes awesome. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream and this dish is perfect.  Enjoy!


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into wedges
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for topping
Directions:
  1. Stir first 4 ingredients in small bowl until sugar dissolves.
  2. Prepare barbecue or grill pan over medium heat.  Grill pineapple until brown, basting with tequila mixture and turning occasionally, about 10 minutes total.
  3. Remove pineapple from grill and serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream.
*Adapted from Bon Appetit


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Filed under Desserts

Tomato, Cucumber & Mozzarella Salad

Sometimes a few fresh ingredients make the best dishes.  Even though it’s technically not summer yet, it still feels like summer, and this Tomato, Cucumber & Mozzarella Salad is perfect with any sort of BBQ or grilled dish.  This salad is simple, but so delicious, especially when your ingredients are fresh.  A little Italian olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and cracked fresh pepper and this salad is good to go.  Enjoy!

What is your favorite summer salad?

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, and cut into small wedges
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, sliced
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, roughly chopped into chunks
  • A generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
  • A splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and cracker pepper for seasoning
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Directions:

  1. Toss the tomato, onion, cucumber, and mozzarella with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Season liberally with sea salt and pepper and top with fresh basil.

Yield:  4 servings

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Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

I made these Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies for one of my co-worker’s birthdays last week.  Because I love peanut butter and chocolate, I figure everyone else has to… right?  I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, I do not like chocolate by itself.  Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting = gag; plain chocolate candy bar = whoof; chocolate molten lava cake = yawn.  However, when you throw peanut butter in the chocolate mix, things go from whoof to smiles.  Nothing says comfort food like a chewy brownie topped with peanut butter filling, chocolate ganache, and peanut butter chips.  This is a guilty pleasure, but we all deserve one sometimes!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure food?

Ingredients:

  • 1 box brownie mix & water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp milk
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan).  Grease bottom of 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray or shortening.  Make brownies as directed on box.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and milk on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.
  3. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and butter uncovered on High 30-60 seconds and stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes and then spread over filling.  Sprinkle peanut butter chips over chocolate, pressing lightly to set.  Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

*Adapted from Betty Crocker

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Angel Food Bruschetta w/ Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

I hope everyone had a fantastic Mother’s Day weekend!  After my work visits to Toronto and Buffalo, I  stopped by my parents house to spend the weekend with them and to celebrate my mom’s special day.  This was a great visit because I was able to spend some quality time with my mom and dad and also see my two best friends.  I always wish that my visits were longer, but it just reminds me of how blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life, and it makes me look forward to my next visit with them.  🙂

Saturday evening my dad and I decided to cook my mom a special meal.  My mom has a huge rhubarb bush outside, so I decided to make this Angel Food Bruschetta w/Strawberry Rhubarb Compote.  I toasted the angel food cake and served this strawberry rhubarb compote on top.  It was light, delicious, and perfect for the season.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups 1/2-inch-wide pieces fresh rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, more for garnish
  • 1, circular angel food cake, cut into 8 wedges
  • Whipped cream or ice cream for topping

Ingredients:

  1. Combine rhubarb, sugar, water, and lemon zest in large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.  Simmer gently until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in strawberries.  Transfer to a bowl, stir in mint, and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, cook cake wedges over medium-high heat 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Turn to brown evenly. (I cooked 4 wedges at a time.)
  4. On a serving plate, place angel food wedge and spoon compote over.  Dollop whipped cream or ice cream on top and garnish with fresh mint.

*Adapted from Bon Appetit

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Blackberry Muffins w/Streusel Topping

 
Fresh berries are slowly but surely popping up at the markets!  While it’s still too early for fresh picked blackberries, I did see these organic blackerries at Trader Joe’s and could not resist.  It’s been a while since I’ve made muffins, so I decided the perfect breakfast treat would be Blackberry Muffins with Streusel Topping.  There’s something about brown sugar and blackberries that tastes so delicious when paired together.  These muffins are no exception!  In other news, Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mamas out there!  Happy Mother’s Day to my own mama, my sister (her first Mother’s Day!), Grandma L., Nana, Mama Leone, and all my aunts!!!!  Truly blessed to have such amazing women in my life 🙂
 
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen blackberries, unthawed
Directions:
  1. Preheat an oven to 375°F.  Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the first four ingredients.  Set aside.
  3.  To make the muffins, in a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the egg, melted butter, and milk (the batter will be slightly lumpy).  Gently fold in the blackberries with a rubber spatula just until evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes.  Try not to break up the blackberries.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each a bit above the rim of the cup.  Top each muffin with the streusel topping, dividing it evenly (the sugar will melt and produce a glaze effect).
  5. Bake until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.  Unmold the muffins and serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield:  12 muffins

*Adapted from William Sonoma

 

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Filed under Baked Goods, Breakfast

Buffalo Chip Cookies

Don’t ask me where the name “Buffalo Chip Cookies” comes from because I have no clue.  My mom told me about these cookies via her friend who couldn’t stop eating them at an office party.  My mom’s friend is an awesome baker and she was able to get the recipe from her coworker, so I knew that these cookies were definitely up-to-snuff.  These cookies are basically the kitchen sink of cookies – they have chocolate chips, corn flakes, oats, coconut, and I added peanut butter chips.  I also halfed the recipe and still came out with 4 dozen cookies, but if you want to feed a football team or an office, then definitely use the original recipe.  These are delicious so enjoy!
PS.  I find it very ironic that about 2 days after I made these cookies, I found out that I had to travel to Toronto and BUFFALO for work.  Ironic or the power of the Buffalo Chip Cookie?

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

 Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line  several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, oats, corn flakes, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and coconut and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until creamy.  Add the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.  With a cookie scoop, place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet about 1-1.5″ apart.  Press down slightly with the palm of your hand.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.  Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.

Yield:  4 dozen

*Adapted from Cooks.com

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