Friday, April 24, 2009

Must Have Margaritas

Must-Have Margaritas

Whether you like them straight up, on the rocks, or fresh from the blender, we've got a margarita recipe for you.

Lots of different lavors to choose from, you can access them here…

Source: myrecipes.com

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pavlova with Lemon Creme, Berries and Grapes

apav

For the meringue...
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large eggs at room temperature 30 minutes
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
For the filling...
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups mixed berries
2 cups grapes
Preheat oven to 300ºF and position a rack in the center.
To prepare the lemon cream, stir sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Add the lemon juice and butter, bringing the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat. Continue to whisk at a simmer, about 1 minute. Whisk about 1/4 of the mixture into the beaten egg yolks, then transfer the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Over low heat, continue to cook, but make sure not to boil, whisking constantly until the lemon curd is thick, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a shallow bowl, stir in the lemon zest, and place a piece of parchment over the surface. Refrigerate for about 1-1/2 hours.
To prepare the meringue, line a baking sheet with parchment and trace a circle about 7" in diameter in the center. Turn the parchment over.
Whisk superfine sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat whites with a pinch of salt at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the water and beat until whites hold soft peaks once again.
On medium-high, beat in sugar mixture 1 Tbsp at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute longer. Add vinegar, then beat at high speed until glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes (longer if using hand-held mixer). The meringue will be extremely thick.
Spread meringue carefully to cover the circle on the parchment, creating a cavity in the center (for the filling). Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, about 45 minutes. Avoid opening the oven door! Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringue in oven 1 hour. The exterior will be dry and possibly cracked, the inside more like the consistency of marshmallow.
To assemble the pavlova, beat the heavy cream just as it holds stiff peaks, then 1/4 cup at a time, whisk cream into the lemon curd. Check consistency each time before adding more cream. It should be able to mound. Spoon lemon cream into cooled meringue and mound fruit in the center. Serve with extra whipped cream if desired.

Southern Living’s Best Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilk-biscuits-m

I've spent countless Sunday mornings in a flour-covered kitchen trying to perfect this elusive delicacy. Like most of you, I'm always careful to use a light hand when working the dough, but Test Kitchens Professional Vanessa McNeil Rocchio and I discovered a secret that makes these biscuits our best ever.

The trick is in the unique dough-folding method, the same one used to make puff pastries and croissants. Folding creates multiple layers of dough and fat, giving rise to a tender, puffy biscuit. Combine the dry ingredients the night before, and refrigerate for an easy, hot breakfast in the morning.

Yield

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  cold butter
  • 2 1/4  cups  self-rising soft-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4  cups  buttermilk
  • Self-rising soft-wheat flour
  • 2  tablespoons  melted butter

Preparation

1. Cut butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl. Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-size piece of paper.) Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).

3. Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased jelly-roll pan. (Dough rounds should touch.)

4. Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used White Lily Self-Rising Soft Wheat Flour.

Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits: Omit 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Combine 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1/3 cup chopped pecans with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp. buttermilk until smooth. Drizzle over warm biscuits. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Black Pepper-Bacon Biscuits: Combine 1/3 cup cooked and crumbled bacon slices (about 5 slices) and 1 tsp. black pepper with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Feta-Oregano Biscuits: Combine 1 (4-oz.) package crumbled feta cheese and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Pimiento Cheese Biscuits: Combine 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese with flour in a large bowl. Reduce buttermilk to 1 cup. Stir together buttermilk and 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, undrained. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2007

Friday, April 10, 2009

How to make Creme Brulee

Auntie Em’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal cookie.

I had such good luck with Auntie Em’s Cupcakes that I  decided to post her recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  If they are half as good as the cupcakes, they will be a winner!

 butterfly-dog.SMALL

Dear SOS: I was at Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock today for the first time. While they are known for their amazing cupcakes and fantastic food, today I had the best oatmeal cookie I've ever eaten. It was thin, chewy and crispy at the same time, with subtle hints of spices. Absolutely delicious! I'm sorry I didn't bring home a few more. Do you think they might share the recipe with us?

Dear Michelle: These oatmeal cookies are packed with oats and raisins, and the scent of cinnamon and vanilla as they bake is all but overpowering. And you're right: with crisp outer edges and wonderfully chewy centers, these combine the best of both cookie worlds. You might want to plan ahead and make a double batch.

Auntie Em's Kitchen oatmeal raisin cookies

Total time: 30 minutes, plus baking time
Servings: 2 dozen large cookies
Note: Adapted from chef Michelle Risucci of Auntie Em's Kitchen.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 1/3 cups (10 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) flour
3/4 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups ( 1/2 pound) golden raisins
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, until each is incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in the raisins.
5. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop one-fourth cup dough for each cookie and slightly flatten them, leaving 2 inches between each cookie (they will spread). Slightly flatten the top of each cookie and bake one tray at a time, on the center rack, for consistent baking and coloring. The cookies will be done when set and lightly colored and the edges are slightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
Each cookie: 317 calories; 5 grams protein; 47 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 13 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 56 mg. cholesterol; 199 mg. sodium.

Source:  Culinary S.O.S. – LA Food Times

Apple-Pear Salad With Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

FEATURED RECIPE

Yield

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1  (16-oz.) package romaine lettuce, thoroughly washed
  • 1  (6-oz.) block Swiss cheese, shaved
  • 1  cup  roasted, salted cashews
  • 1/2  cup  sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1  large apple, thinly sliced
  • 1  large pear, thinly sliced
  • Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

Preparation

1. Toss together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; serve with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing.

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Yield

Makes 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2/3  cup  light olive oil
  • 1/2  cup  sugar
  • 1/3  cup  fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  poppy seeds
  • 2  teaspoons  finely chopped onion
  • 1  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt

Preparation

1. Process 2/3 cup light olive oil and remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week; serve at room temperature.

Lori Manry, Rochester Hills, Michigan, Southern Living, MARCH 2007

Monday, April 6, 2009

Applebee’s Triple Chocolate Meltdown with Ice Cream….

Applebee's Triple Chocolate Meltdown

http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/2752/zxabil6.jpgChocolate Cake
8 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate
1/2 C. unsalted butter
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C. flour

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Heavily butter and then flour 8 (1-cup) ramekins or coffee cups. Set cups on a cookie sheet. Chop chocolate into small even pieces. Melt with the butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water (or microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds after the first one or two minutes, until only a small chunk of solid chocolate remains). Remove from heat and stir until melted, smoother and cooled.

Beat eggs, yolks and sugar together at high speed for 6 to 8 minutes. The mixture will become thick like cream and become beige-colored. Fold in the cooled chocolate and vanilla extract. Sift the flour over chocolate and fold in. Pour batter into prepared cups. Bake 7 minutes. Pull out of oven and tuck a piece of frozen lava deep into the center of the half-baked batter in each cup. Return to oven and bake for 6 to 7 minutes more. Cakes will rise straight over the rims of the cups and may crack slightly. Cool in cups on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Sauce
8 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate
1 C. cream
1/2 C. sugar

Chop chocolate evenly. In a saucepan, heat half the cream with sugar until it boils. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until it melts and sauce is smooth. Add remaining cream and stir again, patiently, until thick and smooth. Warm sauce gently for pouring. If allowed to set at room temperature, it will turn the consistency of sour cream and can be used like frosting. Makes 2 cups.

To assemble, make Chocolate Sauce. Drizzle Chocolate Sauce in a north-south zigzag over the caramel. Pull a wooden pick or knife back and forth cross the chocolate, going east-west to create a feathering effect. Run a thin knife around each cake to carefully loosen, then invert onto the sauce. Top with warm Chocolate Sauce, letting sauce drip down the sides of the cakes. If desired, decorate with fresh berries. Serve warm. When cut, chocolate will spill out of the warm cake

Source:  Yahoo Answers

Lemon Creme Brulee, one of my very favorite things…

Lemon Crème Brûlée To ensure the custards cook gently and gradually, place the ramekins in a baking pan lined with a kitchen towel and partially fill the pan with hot water (known as a water bath). This helps insulate the delicate custards from the heat.
Ingredients:

Juice of 2 lemons
2 cups heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup plus 6 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 egg yolks

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 300°F. Line a shallow baking pan with a kitchen towel. Have a pot of boiling water ready.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the lemon juice to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the juice is reduced to about 1 Tbs., 3 to 5 minutes.

In another saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, lemon zest and the 1/2 cup sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until steam rises from the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the vanilla and egg yolks until smooth and combined. Slowly add the cream mixture, whisking constantly, then stir in the reduced lemon juice. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and divide among six 3.5-oz. ramekins. Place the ramekins in the prepared baking pan and add boiling water to fill the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake until the custards are just set, about 40 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the pan and transfer to a wire rack. Let the custards cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tsp. sugar evenly over the surface of each custard. Using a kitchen torch according to the manufacturer’s instructions, move the flame continuously in small circles over the surface until the sugar melts and lightly browns. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Emeril’s Signature Banana Creme Pie

bananna-cream Ingredients

# 5 large egg yolks
# 1/4 cup cornstarch
# 3 to 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
# 1 1/2 cups sugar
# 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
# 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
# 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
# 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
# 3 pounds of bananas, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
# 3/4 cup caramel sauce
# 1 cup chocolate sauce
# 2 cups heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks with 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
# shaved chocolate
# powdered sugar

Caramel Drizzle Sauce
# 1 cup granulated sugar
# 1/4 cup water
# 1 cup heavy cream   

Chocolate Sauce
# 1/4 cup half-and-half
# 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
# 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
# 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract   

Directions for the Pie

In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, cornstarch and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Whisk to blend well. Set aside. Combine the remaining 2 cups cream, 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, and the vanilla bean in a large heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, Whisk to dissolve the sugar and bring to a gentle boil, about 10 minutes.

Slowly add the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Be forewarned: the mixture will break. Don't be alarmed! Pour it into a glass bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely at room temperature.

When cooled, remove the vanilla bean and pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip. Beat at medium-speed to combine the mixture. If it will not combine, warm another 1/2 cup heavy cream and slowly add it to the mixture. Whip until you have a thick and creamy custard.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, the remaining sugar and the mashed banana. Mix thoroughly. Add the butter and mix well. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until browned, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool, for about 10 minutes.

Directions for the Caramel Sauce

1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and has the consistency of a thin syrup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream, return the saucepan to the high heat and boil the sauce until it regains the consistency of a thick syrup, about 2 minutes. Cool.

2. The sauce can be refrigerated until ready to use. Allow it to reach room temperature before drizzling it over the pie.

Directions for the Chocolate Sauce

1. Combine the half-and-half and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until a thin paperlike skin appears on the top. Do not boil. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and let cool.

3. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for several days, but it must be returned to room temperature before serving.

Assembling Directions

1. To assemble, spread about 1/2 cup of the custard on the bottom of the crust. Arrange about a third of the banana slices, crowding them close together over the custard. Next, spread 1 cup of the custard over the bananas. Arrange another third of the banana slices close together over the custard. Top with 1 cup custard and the remaining banana slices. Top with the remaining custard, covering the bananas completely to prevent them from turning brown.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.

3. To serve, cut pie into wedges and drizzle on the caramel sauce and chocolate sauce. Top with the whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Yields: One 9-inch pie, 8 to 10 servings

Maria’s in the kitchen, baking brownies – enjoy….

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

enchiladas-sl-257868-l

Ingredients

    * 3  cups  chopped cooked chicken
    * 2  cups  (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
    * 1/2  cup  sour cream
    * 1  (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
    * 1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
    * 8  (8-inch) flour tortillas
    * Vegetable cooking spray
    * 1  (8-ounce) container sour cream
    * 1  (8-ounce) bottle green taco sauce
    * Toppings: diced tomato, chopped avocado, chopped green onions, sliced ripe olives, chopped cilantro

Preparation

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over each tortilla, and roll up. Arrange in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Coat tortillas with vegetable cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Stir together sour cream and taco sauce. Spoon over hot enchiladas, and sprinkle with toppings.

Southern Living, FEBRUARY 2000

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lemon-Dill Chicken Salad-Stuffed Eggs

image

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4  pounds  skinned and boned chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 24  large hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • 1  cup  mayonnaise
  • 2  green onions, finely chopped
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh dill
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice

Preparation

1. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Grill, covered with grill lid, over high heat (400° to 500°) 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 15 minutes; cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

2. Slice hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise; carefully remove yolks, keeping egg white halves intact. Reserve yolks for another use.

3. Stir together mayonnaise, next 4 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl.

4. Pulse cooled chicken, in batches, in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until shredded; stir into mayonnaise mixture until blended. Spoon chicken mixture evenly into egg white halves. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Southern Living, APRIL 2007

Salted Caramel Strawberries

Salted Caramel Strawberries from Southern Living

Ingredients

  • 20  large fresh strawberries
  • 40  caramels
  • 3  tablespoons  whipping cream
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 1/4  cups  coarsely chopped mixed nuts
  • Wax paper

Preparation

1. Pat strawberries completely dry with paper towels.

2. Microwave caramels, 3 Tbsp. whipping cream, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a 1-qt. microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 3 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 1-minute intervals.

3. Dip each strawberry halfway into caramel mixture. Roll in nuts, and place on lightly greased wax paper. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Caramels and Planters NUTrition Heart Healthy Mix.

Southern Living, APRIL 2009