Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Biscuits (filled with Cinnamon Sugar)


Biscuit
(filled with cinnamon sugar)

Today I have a simple biscuit recipe that will warm your heart and get your day going. It's a biscuit filled with cinnamon sugar but don't let this biscuit fool you. Warm out of the oven, a scent of toasted cinnamon with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a drizzle of sweet icing makes this a cinnamon roll alternative. Less time less ingredients makes this simple and fast not only that but they are easy to handle as your family is running out the door to start their busy day. This biscuit can be for breakfast or set them out for a brunch. They can even be filled with your favorite fruit preserve or cream cheese and fresh fruit for a lighter side. These would be great to serve at a party too. Make the biscuit as a shell in a mini cupcake pan and fill it with a chicken, tuna or shrimp salad as an appetizer. Just be creative and enjoy.

Biscuits (filled with Cinnamon Sugar)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups flour (I used all purpose)
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 -1 cup milk (you might need that extra 1/4 in case dough is too dry)

Cinnamon Sugar Filling
(Optional)

1/2 cup Stevia (or sugar of your choice)
2 tbsp cinnamon
4 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
(Mix together to form a paste)


blending shortening in
dry ingredients

Dough pulling together
from the sides to form a ball

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl place flour, baking powder, salt and shortening. Mix with pastry blender until dough looks like crumbs. Add milk just enough so the dough comes of the sides and you can form into a ball.

Dough  patted down
and placed on working area

Biscuit rolled out with
cinnamon sugar paste

Place dough on floured working area and pat down (or use a rolling pin to the thickness you desire) till dough is about 1/2 inch thick. Then take a biscuit cutter (2 1/2 -3 inches or round cooking cutter) and cut dough. Take your dough rounds and pat or roll them out.  Spread a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar mixer around the dough then bring the sides together to meet in the middle and press together.

Sides pulled together
on biscuit

Mini  pan filled with cinnamon sugar biscuits
& biscuit shells filled with fruit preserves and
topped with sugar cookie crumb top

 Place dough in a large muffin pan ( optional to brush with butter or milk)  and bake for 9-10 minutes or until done ( for a mini cupcake pan bake 7-8 minutes and 8-9 minutes for a standard cupcake pan). I brushed with butter while their in the pan when they come out of oven. After they have cooled for about 5 minutes or so I sprinkle powder sugar on them, then plate and serve.

Mini biscuits

When served warm these little gems are amazing and just right for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea. For the little ones a nice tall glass of cold milk will pair up just fine.
I have listed some serving suggest above but there are many more possibilities.


Remember, have fun and make it yours.

Biscuits
(filled with cinnamon sugar)
Plated on a cake stand


And that's the "DISH" for today!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Apple Butter

Apple Butter



Apple butter with peanut butter in a sandwich is one of my favorites. I remember growing up if mom had jar I wanted to be the first to open it. Just the smell of apples, cinnamon and spices cooking together reminds me of my younger days. The aroma of making apple butter just fills the house of hometown goodness. Though making my recipe takes a little work, the reward is great taste! Apple butter has many possibilities, not just for a spread only. You can use this on a sandwich, in sauces, just as a side dish and use it to enhance the richness of other recipes, in a dessert or main dish. This recipe makes 2- 8oz canning jars.
All I can say is be creative and enjoy.

Note:
*If you do not want to mess with straining and pressing the skins, then for the apples have them peeled and cored. Omit the straining step from the recipe as noted.


Apple Butter


Ingredients:


10 apples (washed, trimmed top and bottoms then cut into quarters)(small to medium size ,your choice of type)
1 strip of orange peel (or a 1tbsp of  orange zest)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup stevia (or your choice artificial sweetener)
2 tbsp  ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or allspice)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp vanilla
2 cups water

Apples being cut
All the ingredients in a large pot



In a large pot place all the ingredients and mix. Cook on high heat for 20 minutes (stirring every 5-10 so it doesn't stick) then reduce to simmer for another 25 minutes till apples are well cooked.Remove from heat. (They will start to smash when pressed down on them)
Apples cooked down

Apples processed in
 food processor

Pressing the mixture through
the strainer

Apple butter
(from strainer)



Next place the mixture in a food processor. Process till there are no chunks of apples.(you will see the orange peel and skins).* In a large bowl use a sieve or fine strainer over the bowl and press the mixture through the strainer(this is the part that takes a little work). You work the mixture back and forth in the strainer pressing down as you do this with a large spoon.What comes through the bottom of the strainer is the apple butter. In between pressing the mixture through, take a spoon and spoon mixture off the bottom of strainer to the bowl. Now if you decide to use a food mill you can skip the strainer part of this recipes.
The left over skins and peels that don't go through strainer, you can just through away( I probably had about 3/4 of cup skins and peels).

Poured Apple Butter in jars

Apple Butter Jared 

When you have all the apple butter strained in the bowl then you can store it in canning jars or containers. I used mine right away so I kept mine in the refrigerator but you can do the traditional canning method if you would like, to store it longer.
Of course I did my apples the hard way but that just means there's more love in it...(laughing)!


Remember, have fun and make it yours.

Home made waffles with fresh Apple Butter!
Mm.......


And that's the "DISH" for today!




Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies


Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
and a glass of milk


Chewy oatmeal cookies are my favorite.  I thought today would be a prefect day to make these cookies. To be even more delectable for serving I added some home made vanilla ice cream to make them into sandwiches. The brown richness in flavor is from the extra touch of molasses and butter, it just put this cookie over the top. A couple of steps I did different this time were putting the oatmeal and raisins (separately) in the food processor before adding to the mixture. Needless to say the chewy texture of this cookie is awesome! Did I also mention it's low in sugar. Today I am going to share my recipe with you. Be creative and enjoy!
Some serving suggestions are to put a scoop of ice cream between two cookies to make a sandwich, put a scoop of ice cream on top of one cookie then drizzle your favorite syrup over it(how great does that sound especially if its a warm cookie), plate them on small dessert dishes then add a shot glass of milk(for milk shooters) and or just eat them warm off the cooling rack like my family...(laughing).

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
(after cooled on rack)

Oatmeal cookies warm out of the oven
(mini scoop size)



Chewy Oatmeal Cookies


Ingredients:


1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup stevia (or your choice)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp molasses ( and additional 1 1/2 tsp for processing with raisins)
3 tbsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups quick cooking oats (processed down 30 seconds or so)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins ( room temperature, processed down with 1 1/2 tsp of molasses for 40 seconds or so)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl (or counter top mixer, that's what I use) place butter,brown sugar and stevia mix together until light and creamy. Add eggs, molasses and vanilla and beat together. Next combine the raisin and mix well. Then add the remaining  dry ingredients until well mixed.
Place parchment paper on a baking sheet (or use greased baking sheet)and scoop cookie dough on to baking sheet at least 2 inches apart . Bake for 7-10 minutes.
Depending on size a mini ice cream scoop bake(I over fill my mini scoops with cookie dough) 7-8  minutes and the standard size ice cream scoop bake 9-10 minutes.



Remember, have fun and make it yours.

Chewy Oatmeal  Cookies made into ice cream sandwiches
Mm...look at that goodness!



And that's the "DISH" for today!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mocha Fudge Ice Cream

Mocha Fudge Ice Cream

The summer days are here and the hot weather is upon us. How about cooling down with nice dish of Mocha Fudge Ice Cream. I have this recipe that I use for my ice cream maker(which is a Cuisinart) to make ice cream but I had to improvise and use what I had to adjust my ingredients. The result were outstanding. I always say be creative and well I did on this one. Its low sugar, low in fat and practically dairy free. Today I am going to share my recipe with you. This Mocha fudge ice cream is sure to please your cravings with a bold coffee flavor, trailing with a touch of chocolate essence. It's cool and satisfying, a frozen coffee delight! When you serve this you can top it with a drizzle of caramel, chocolate and toasted almonds.  Use whatever topping you like and be creative.


Mocha Fudge Ice Cream


Ingredients:


1 cup water
2 cup pastry pride non dairy whip topping (liquid not whipped)
   (you can buy this at smart & final or Cash and Carry)
2 tbsp chocolate cocoa powder (unsweetened, I used Ghirardelli)
1 tbsp stevia (or any other artificial sweetener, more or less to your taste)
3 tbsp instant coffee (I used Folgers, more or less to your taste)
1 jar of hot fudge or chocolate topping (or your choice, I used my homemade gnache)

Optional
Toppings (your choice)

Caramel
whipped topping
nuts
maraschino cherries


Mocha Fudge Ice Cream
(Close up)
In a large bowl place water, pastry pride, cocoa powder, stevia and instant coffee. With a hand beater mix ingredients together. Have your your ice cream machine ready and turned on. Make the ice cream according to your machine instructions. My machine takes about 25 minutes to make ice cream in a soft form. When it's done I take a storage container, drizzle hot fudge on the bottom then I put a quarter of the ice cream over it and repeat the steps and I end with hot fudge on top. This gives the ice cream layers, as you scoop it out of the container you can see it. This ice cream reminds me of ice milk because I'm not using whole milk ingredients but it still hits the spot! I freeze it overnight for a real firm ice cream. Before I serve the ice cream I let it set out for about 10-15 minutes to make it easier to scoop and serve.
I mentioned serving suggestions above but let me add this you can serve this between two fresh baked soft cookies as well.
Just sit down, have a bowl of this delicious Mocha Fudge Ice Cream and relax.  This makes about 10-12 1/2 cup servings so why not invite some friends over too!

Don't forget Father's Day is coming up and the kids can make dad their favorite ice cream!

Remember, have fun and make it yours.

Mocha Fudge Ice Cream
(2 scoops in dessert cup)

And that's the "DISH" for today!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gourmet Burgers

Gourmet Burgers
(with fries)


  Gourmet Burgers can be made from your own kitchen and look like they came from a restaurant. I believe it was  Chef Anne Burrell that said "You don't have to be a restaurant chef to cook like one". She is a great inspiration and her show is Secrets of a Restaurant Chef . I so truly believe this too. You can make your favorite meal like hamburgers and the way you present it can totally make that difference. Presentation is key. People eat with their eyes as well.
 Today I have a dish for you, Gourmet Burgers! Well at least it looks like one (to me ..laughing). This burger has the right amount of garlic and seasonings for that perfect combination of bold flavors. A toasted bun with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and red onions, a dollop of mayo and cheddar cheese only add to the greatness of this burger which makes it gourmet. This recipe is easy and fast. You can serve this with french fries, potato salad, macaroni salad and or coleslaw just to name a few side dishes. Don't forget milkshakes go great with burgers too! Just experiment and enjoy.

Gourmet Burgers


Ingredients:


1 lb ground beef(I use 80/20)
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/2 tsp garlic salt with parsley
1 tsp onion salt
1 tbsp dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper

Optional
Condiments:
Fresh romaine lettuce ( or your choice)
Sliced tomatoes
sliced red onions
sliced cheddar cheese
mayo (or your favorite dressing)


In a large bowl combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs and seasonings until well mixed.
Shape beef mixer into 6 burger patties (or less depending on how thick you like your burgers).
In a large skillet(counter top grill or barbecue) cook burgers to your liking. When done remove from skillet and set aside (place your cheese on them at this time to melt if you like). In the same skillet or a clean skillet on low heat toast the buns or rolls on both sides. I used the same skillet so they toasted in a little oil that was left in the pan from the burgers.
I plate this on individual dishes assembled and then serve. You can put the gourmet burgers on the bun together and place them all on a platter. Then have all the condiments set out for your family and or guest to make their own the way they like. When we have company that is how I usually serve the party, buffet style.

Remember, have fun and make it yours.

Gourmet Burgers



And that's the "DISH" for today!




Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fresh Cherry Pie

Fresh Cherry Pie


The aroma of the tender flaky crust and the bubbly red sweetness of the cherries fill the house as I type on my blog! Wow the scent is so comforting you want to grab a bowl, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and cut a slice of pie while it's still hot. Cherry Pie is so comforting to the soul and just American as the apple pie. It's no wonder this tiny fruit has many nutrients and minerals that are good for us. I have to say they take a little effort in pitting if you don't have pitting device but well worth it. Cherry Pie has always been one of my favorites to make.
 So I had about two pounds of cherries and started my pie making this morning. First with pitting the cherries (which is also the messiest) with gloves on my hands I got to work and then came forth a Fresh Cherry Pie ...Mm.
I believe you will enjoy this recipe it is very easy and low in sugar. This Cherry Pie has a slight tart and sweet explosion of flavor in your mouth when you take your first bite. You can top it with Ice cream, whipped topping,a drizzle of your favorite glaze or how about to be different, a dollop of sour cream with brown sugar sprinkled over it. Be creative and enjoy.

Fresh Cherry Pie


Ingredients:

2lbs Bing cherries pitted (or your choice)
1 cup splenda sugar (or your choice)
1/2 cup flour (I used all purpose)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp salt

Double pie crust for 9 inch pie(your favorite pie crust, pre-made or home made)



Optional:
Cream
Raw sugar


 Fresh Cherry Pie filling in bottom crust

  Cherry Pie brushed with cream
and sugar sprinkled on top.



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, salt and stir. Then add cherries, lemon juice and orange juice. Toss  until dry ingredients is wet.
Take a 9 inch pie plate spray cooking spray and place your first pie crust in the pie plate. Pour the Cherry filling inside the bottom crust. Then top with the second pie crust. Crimp the edges of the pie crust all the way around and cut four slots in top crust. I also put little decorative pie crust leaves on top. Brush the top pie crust with cream(or milk) and sprinkle raw sugar over that (it adds a little rustic appeal to me).
Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 50-55 minutes or until done. If the crust looks like it's getting dark fast then place a piece of tin foil over the pie.
Fresh Cherry Pie


Fresh Cherry Pie
(side view)

When done remove from oven and let cool. I have mentioned some serving suggestion above.
I believe the best way to serve this is warm with a little ice cream so you can see that sweet goodness being mixed all together and then you take your first bite!


Remember, have fun and make it yours.

 Cherry Pie
(view of filling)


And that's the "DISH" for today!



Sunday, June 3, 2012

Celebration Cakes

Birthday Cake(Engagement Cake) and Strawberry Shortcake  Cupcakes are celebrations cakes I did this weekend for family and friends.

White Cake with vanilla cream filling and whipped topping.
Malissa's birthday/ Congratulations on Engagement Cake



For Malissa's  birthday cake and congratulations on her engagement to Frank... it's a white cake with vanilla cream filling and whipped topping frosting...It's like eating an eclair without the Chocolate.....Mm.

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Dominique's Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake.



Now for Dominique's Promotion and confirmation, she chose the Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes.... a vanilla cupcake filled with fresh strawberries in a light strawberry gel then a swirl of whipped topping with a strawberry garnish on top. A light and refreshing dessert sure top please the crowd.

I would like to say Congratulations to both of them!

And so all the baking is done and you begin to look around.  On the counter over here you have the left over cake pieces from the trimming and hallowed cake pieces from the cupcakes. Then on the other counter you have the leftover filling from the cake and cupcakes. The leftovers are not enough to make any whole desserts but you can definitely make a couple of individual ones if your creative. I had a couple of ideas in mind so I took some parfait cups I had in the cupboard and yes, I made parfaits!


White cake, vanilla cream filling,whipped topping
and drizzle of chocolate gnache.
(Looks like ice cream, right!)

Eclair Cake Parfait




Today I'm not going to share a recipe, but give you some ideas and show you what I came up with.
All you have to do is take some filling place it at the bottom of you parfait cup then add some cake pieces(I used a mini ice cream scoop and pressed the cake in scoop, it reminded me of ice cream) then whipped topping and layer again. To top it off  I had some chocolate gnache and I drizzled it over the top of the parfait (now that tasted like an eclair cake). You could add chopped nuts, fruits and different flavored topping for the drizzle.  Just be creative and have fun with this.

Remember, have fun and make it yours.

And that's the "DISH" for today!