Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Morning Masterpiece

Let me know if you want this recipe. I haven't tasted this yet. It's for a party tonight, but I'll let you know. Yum! Ganache!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chicken Dinner

Dinner Tonight: (from ole martha again)

Chicken, Lemon and dill with Orzo

4 c chicken broth
1 T butter
1 1/4 t corse salt
1/4 t pepper
1 pound chicken tenderloins, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound orzo
2 c crumbled feta( 4 oz)
1/4 c chopped fresh dill
2 t finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 T fesh lemon juice
1 c parmesan

Preheat oven to 400. In a sauce pan bring broth, 3/4 c water, butter, salt and pepper to a boil. in a 3 quart baking dish, combine chicken, orzo, feta, dill, lemon zest, and juice. Pour broth mixture over orzo and stir once to incorporate. bake until orazo is tender and cooking liquid is creamy, 40 minutes. sprinkle parmesan on top and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

In other news....

We also made gingerbread men (eric's favorite christmas cookie, other than this super complicated one that uses anise oil and requires drying overnight and then baking. called springerle. they are german, maybe darin knows about them? anyway, i refuse to make them b/c they are roll-out, cut-out, dry-out and bake cookies. way too many steps for me) so we compromised on gingerbread men, eric iced every single one.
then i bit the bullet and made candy-canes b/c they are my favorite high-maintenance christmas cookie. i have pictures somewhere...

we made more peppermint fudge and last night wrapped them up and delivered a plate of fudge, cookies, and a 'merry christmas' to our friend's houses. it was fun. i think that's it for my holiday baking though. we are going to have christmas eve dinner with a couple friends who are in town since i work all that day and christmas day. i am making a dessert. i'm thinking the pecan pumpkin pie of aunt jan's you sent me a while ago. did you ever try that?

Balsamic Baked Potatoes

from everyday food:

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, halved or quartered if large
3/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
8 garlic cloves, smashed
5 sprigs thyme
coarse salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 425. in an 8 inch square baking dish, combine potatoes, broth, vinegar, garlic and thyme; season with salt and pepper. bake until potatoes are tender and liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 1 1/4 hours, tossing twice.

mmmm soooo yummmmm. we had this last night with steak and a salad. it would be good with chicken too.

Double Chocolate Cranberry cookies

from Everyday Food

16 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 c flour
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1/2 t coarse salt
1/2 c butter
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 c dried cranberries

1. preheat oven to 350. place 10 oz chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a sauce pan of simmering water. stir until melted, set aside. in a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt.

2. in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy (or until you don't want to beat it anymore, whichever happens first :) ) add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. beat in melted chocolate. with mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture. beat just until combined. fold in 6 oz chocolate and cranberries.

3. drop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. in batches, bake cookies until edges are dry and tops are cracked, 15-17 minutes. cool on wire racks.

P.S. Have you found the joy of parchment paper yet? Oh man, how have i baked this long without it? TOTALLY changes my baking life :)

Peppermint Fudge

Peppermint Fudge
2 1/4 c chocolate chips
1 c round peppermint candies, plus 18 for garnish
3/4 c heavy cream
3 1/2 c mini marshmallows
5 T unsalted butter
1 1/4 c sugar
1 t coarse salt

1. lightly coat a 9 inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. line pan with 2 pieces parchment paper in both directions, leaving 2 inches of overhang on all sides; spray parchment. Place chocolate in a medium bowl. in a food processor, pulse candies until finely chopped. in a medium saucepan, combine candies, cream, marshmallows, butter, sugar and salt over medium-high heat. whisk until smooth, about 5 minutes

2. pour mixture through a strainer into bowl with chocolate. let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth. pour into baking pan and refrigerate until set, 3 hours, cut fudge into squares. with a sharp knife, cut 18 candies in half; press a candy half into each square before serving.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

I just made this and haven't yet frosted it. Also, I didn't take pictures. I should have though, it's beautiful! and the house smells deeeee-licious!

from cooking light:

2 1/4 c flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon (i also added nutmeg, cloves, and allspice)
1/4 t salt
1 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c butter, softened
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)

2 T butter
1/2 t vanilla
1 package cream cheese
2 c sifted powdered sugar

1. preheat oven to 350

2. combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stir with whisk.

3. combine brown sugar, butter, and 1 t vanilla in alrge bowl. beat with mixer until combined. add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. add pumpkin, mix well. fold in flour mixture. spread batter into 13x9 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray (i used 2 9inch round cake pans b/c i want to stack them)
4. bake at 350 for 25 minutes until wooden pick comes out clean.

5. to prepare frosting: combine 2 T butter, 1/2 t vanilla, and cream cheese in bowl, beat with mixer at medium speed until combined. gradually add powdered sugar, beating well until combined. spread over cake.

Maple and Dried Cranberry Granola

this is the recipe from Thanksgiving and one of my favorites i've tried so far:

3 C old fashioned oats
1 C roasted sunflower seeds, hulled and salted
3 T flax seeds
3/4 c maple syrup
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t cinamon
1/2 t cardamom
3/4 c dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, except the cranberries. pour mixture onto baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. when well toasted and fragrant remove from oven. toss well. allow to cool. mix in cranberries and store in air tight container.

you could also add white chocolate chips.or any other thing y ou like in your granola.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Raspberry Crumble Coffee Cake

Printed from COOKS.COM


2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
3/4 c. water or raspberry juice
2 c. frozen or fresh raspberries
1 tbsp. lemon juice

For filling, combine sugar, cornstarch, water or juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened and clear. Add lemon juice and cool.


3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

In a bowl combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter to form fine crumbs. Add milk, eggs, and vanilla. Spread half of batter in a 9x13 pan. Drop filling by spoonfuls over batter and spread over batter. Drop remainder of batter over filling and spread.


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Combine ingredients and drizzle over coffee cake.

Bake 35-45 minutes at 350°F.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones






  1. 1
  2. 2
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  3. 3
    Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.
  4. 4
    In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.
  5. 5
    Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  6. 6
    Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
  7. 7
  8. 8
    Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.
  9. 9
    When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.
  10. 10
  11. 11
    Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Acclaimed, Sought-After, and Famous Tortilla Chicken Soup

in the crock pot combine:
1 15oz can diced tomatoes and juice
1 chopped onion
1 4 oz can green chilis
2 minced garlic cloves
3 14.5oz cans chicken broth
1 t cumin
1 T chili powder
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 t oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 c chopped cilantro
3 chicken breasts
1 can black beans, drained
3 chopped carrots ( i only added these b/c they were in the fridge and i wanted to boost the veggie content. you can add whatever you like)
1 can drained corn or 1 package frozen corn- if you use a can add it with everything else in the beginning. if you use frozen corn add it at the end before shredding the chicken. that way it will retain a little bite and not be so soggy.

*cook on low for 7 hours. then take out the chicken and shred it with two forks. replace the chicken into the soup.

*serve with garnishes such as:
sour cream
avocado or guacamole
shredded tortilla chips
green onions