Friday, December 28, 2012

Auntie Em's Oatmeal Cookies, the BEST!!!!!!!

45246176

Now, I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  They've always been my favorite, and I've tried many recipes over the years, searching for the "perfect" cookie.  Is this it?  Well, maybe it's not perfect, but it's pretty darned close, these are the best I've ever made.  I've had the recipe for Auntie Em's Oatmeal Cookies on Jan CAN cook for a couple of years, but I never had wheat germ to make them, and I was a little skeptical, after all, wheat germ is "healthy." ;o)

So yesterday, hubby was at the store, and I had him pick me up a package of wheat germ, and I made a batch of these cookies.  I made them exactly like the recipe said, with cinnamon and golden raisins, and scooping out 1/4 cup measured amounts on my Silopat Baking Sheet.  I only put six on a sheet as they spread, you will want to leave quite a bit of room between cookies.   I took them out of the oven, they looked good, they tasted great, but cold oatmeal cookies are the true test.  I don't like them hard and flat, I want them to be chewy, yet crisp, and these were all of the above.  They aren't puffy and cake like, they are a crisp oatmeal cookie around the edge with a perfect chewy center.

So, if you're an afficiado like moi when it comes to oatmeal cookies, don't take my word for it, buy yourself some wheat germ and golden raisins and bake them for yourself.

The only thing I did differently was bake them for 18 minutes, 14 minutes wasn't enough in my oven.  It makes  a huge amount, my dough is in the fridge, waiting to bake when we want them, I'll probably put some on a cookie sheet pop them in the freezer to firm and then bag them in the freezer for later use.

Four stars on this one, ladies.  Here's the quick link.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Andrea's Garlic Salad

Salad


This salad is so good,  very lemony, and garlicky, it is just superb.  I found it years ago on a now defunct site, Gail's Recipe Swap.  Gail's had so many wonderful people that posted daily, chefs, gourmet cooks, everybody shared their favorite recipes.   It was sponsored by Epicurious and it was a sad day when they closed it.

This Salad is from Gail's Swap, it's so good, another keeper recipe...

Andrea's Garlic Salad

DRESSING
Mix together and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving:
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
3-5 cloves of garlic crushed
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

SALAD
1 head of Romaine
1/2-1 lb. of bacon, cooked crisp and diced
2/3 cup of toasted almonds
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup julienned Swiss cheese
2 cups of sliced plum tomatoes, or cherry
tomatoes quartered
1 cup of croutons

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hummingbird Pancakes with Cream Cheese Anglaise

NewImage
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup drained, canned crushed pineapple in juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Garnishes: sliced bananas, chopped fresh pineapple

Preparation

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk and next 5 ingredients in another bowl. Gradually stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in toasted pecans. Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto a hot buttered griddle or large nonstick skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry and cooked. Turn and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until done. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 200° oven up to 30 minutes.

Serve with Cream Cheese Anglaise

Note: When using a griddle, heat it to 350°.

Tip: For tender pancakes, don't overmix the batter; it should be lumpy.

Cream Cheese Anglaise

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups half-and-half
 1/2 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Process half-and-half, cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt in a blender until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and vanilla. Serve immediately

Source:  Southern Living

The Pioneer Woman's Bacon Appetizers

FN Thanksgiving Live Ree Holiday Bacon Appetizer s4x3 lg Ree made these on FoodTV and they are calling my name. It's a "must try" recipe this holiday season at our house.

This recipe is so simple, all you do is take a Keeble Club Cracker, put a mound of brown sugar on it, she also makes some using a mound of parmesan cheese on the crackers. Then you take a half a slice of bacon, wrap it several times around the sugar or parmesan and the cracker, put it on a cookie cooling rack that you've sprayed with Pam, put the rack on a jelly roll pan, put it in a preheated 250 degree oven for two hours.

That's it! She said they freeze really well, too.

I will line the jelly roll pan with foil, this isn't my first rodeo with brown sugar, and I don't want a sticky mess to clean up.

They freeze well, you can just reheat, or you can eat them warm or at room temperature. What's not to love with this recipe... Picture Source: FoodTV

Beef Tenderloin in Wine Sauce

tenderloin

This beef tenderloin with mushrooms, onion and wine is perfect for a very special dinner.   It was given to me by a friend thirty years ago and I’ve  made it many times since for Christmas dinner.

My friends make this recipe, my family makes it, and it always gets rave reviews, always!

My son, Ryan, makes it using ribeye steaks if he’s just making it for two, it would be really good made with filets or New York strips, also.  You won’t be disappointed with this recipe, it’s wonderful with horseradish mashed potatoes and glazed carrots, it’s so delicious and since you  make it ahead and marinate it, there are no last minute hassles preparing it.  I never alter the recipe, why mess with perfection...

Beef Tenderloin in Red Wine Sauce

whole beef tenderloin
6 Tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, slivered
2 Tablespoons Heinz Chili Sauce
10 ounces dry red wine, I use a Cabernet
2 onions, sliced
1 pound mushrooms, whole button ones, or thick sliced large ones
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
2 dashes Worchestershire sauce
2 beef boullion cubes
4 slices bacon
flour, salt and pepper

Saute onions and mushrooms in butter, adding garlic for the last minute or so.  Add marjoram, Worchestershire sauce, wine and boullion.

Sprinkle tenderloin with flour, salt and pepper.  Lay slices of bacon on top of meat in large roasting pan that has been sprayed with Pam.  Broil for 7 minutes on each side.

Pour the liquid over the meat and marindate it for 5 hours in the refrigerator basting frequently.  (May be refrigerated overnight).

Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.  We let it set for awhile, and then slice.  Test it after 30 minutes, if it’s too rare for your family, cook a bit longer.  Since this cooks at 450 degrees, it doesn’t take long, watch it carefully. 

Note:  I let it come to room temperature before baking.  The 30 minutes baking time is more accurate if you do this.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Silver Palate Gingerbread with Warm Lemon Sauce...


 I've talked before about my love of cooking and how it began back in the 80's with a little jewel of a cookbook called "The Silver Palate Cookbook."

Mine is tattered and worn, I've read it countless times, cooked countless meals from it, and it's still my "go to" for fabulous, never fail, recipes.   But anyway, I decided that I need to make Gingerbread this month.  And what I call Gingerbread is not rolled cookies, but old fashioned Gingerbread Cake.  So instead of looking through my cookbooks, I simply Googled it and found a recipe that looked good.  I like cakes made with oil, not butter, as the results are more moist.

So yesterday I was talking with my buddy V, telling her that I was going to make Gingerbread. And she reminded me of my Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce from years ago, and told me how much she enjoyed it and that she had copied the recipe and would give it to me.  And the wheels started turning, I was trying to figure out where that recipe came from, and since all my good recipes from long ago were from The Silver Palate, I Googled it, and sure enough the recipe popped right up.

So, this is my gift to you today, dear hearts, perhaps you would like to make a pan of Gingerbread memories for your family this holiday season.  Especially if you have older family members, they will love this.  Gingerbread is such an old-fashioned dessert, I just bet you will bring a smile to someone near and dear to you.  

Enjoy ~ Jan



Silver Palate Gingerbread 

1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsps baking soda
1 1/2 tsps ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.
Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Add egg, sugar, and molasses. Mix well.
Pour boiling water and the oil over mixture. Stir thoroughly until smooth.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set on the middle rack of oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top springs back when touched and the edges have pulled away slightly from the sides of the pan.

Lemon Glaze

2/3 cup confectioner's sugar, and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Mix together (don't cook) and pour over warm cake.

 If you're not a fan of lemon glaze, dust your cake with confectioner's sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.

Or, if you want to take this to the ultimate level, candy some lemon zest, and top the lemon glazed cake with a dollop of whipped cream and some candied lemon zest.

Here's Martha Stewart's recipe for Candied Lemon Zest

Ingredients:

  • 6 lemons, scrubbed
  • 2 cups sugar
Directions:
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel zest from lemons. Use a knife to remove any white pith; cut zest as thinly as possible.
  2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add zest; blanch for 1 minute, drain, and rinse under cold water.
  3. In another medium saucepan, combine sugar and 2 cups water; bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar dissolves completely, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest. Simmer until translucent, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let zest cool in syrup. When cool, transfer zest and syrup to an airtight plastic container.
Makes 1 cup

Can be rolled in sugar for sparkly zest...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars…

bliss

This is an amazing recipe for Starbucks Amazing Cranberry Bliss Bars.  Seriously, who doesn’t love these?  And who wouldn’t want to make their own at a fraction of the cost???

My daughter-in-law, Lindsay, introduced the real thing to me a few years ago, and it took no time at all to find a copycat recipe online.  They are so, SO good, if you are a fan, do your friends and family a favor and make these!

Here’s the link, enjoy….   ~ jan

Friday, December 7, 2012

New York Times No Knead Artisan Bread from Jim Lahey

photo(53)

This is the easiest, most amazing bread, anybody can make this.  The crust is so crisp, because you bake it in cast iron or a Le Creuset dutch oven.  I’ve tried for years to get a crackle crust at home, putting bowls of water in the oven to steam, throwing ice cubes on the oven floor, but I’ve never had results like this.  The only difference I make in the original recipe is that I use an entire package of rapid rise yeast, and I add 3 TABLESPOONS of sugar, because our family likes a sweet bread.  I always use warmer water from the tap, not room temperature or cold water.

This picture is my bread after it came out of the oven.  Doesn’t it look amazing?  It was just fantastic!

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast – I just use a whole package of Rapid Rise Yeast
1 1/2 cups water
*I add 3 Tablespoons of sugar

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours.  Overnight works great.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

Note:  There are two ways people shape the dough and let it rest.  Some recipes tell you to shape your dough, cover it and leave it for 2 hours before you bake it.  The recipe above jus has you let it rest and rise for 30 minutes – I couldn’t tell any difference in letting it rise for 2 hours, both ways gave great results.

I’m including two videos, the original video, and the second, upated one, that makes bread in just a few hours.  He bakes his at 500 degrees, I wouldn’t do that, as I  think his crust looks a little too brown.  I bake mine at 450 in my le creuset dutch oven with the lid on for 30 minutes, take it off and bake it an additional 15 minutes and it comes out perfectly.  Don’t oil your pan, this bread does NOT stick.

And now for his updated video that lets you bake bread the same day.

Holly Clegg’s Praline French Toast with Orange Sauce

praline_edited
You won’t find a better french toast recipe than this, the taste is just amazing!  it’s fluffy, crunchy, yummy, with a hint of orange, not overpowering, it’s just right.  And, it’s an overnight dish, wonderful for the holidays, and very simple to make. 

Your friends and family will love this.  Pinky swear, they will.  ~ jan

PRALINE FRENCH TOAST WITH ORANGE SAUCE

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. white corn syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
2 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (16 oz.) loaf French bread, cut into 12-15 (1 inch) slices

In a large 9x13” ovenproof baking dish, melt the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup by putting it in a warm oven until everything  turns to liquid.  Then sprinkle the bottom of the dish with pecans.  The original recipe called for 1/2 cup, I used at least a cup, because I like lots of pecans, and 1/2 cup just wasn’t enough.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, orange juice, sugar, milk, orange rind, vanilla and cinnamon. Arrange the bread slices over the mixture in the baking dish and pour the egg mixture over all.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Serve this immediately, flip each slice when you take it out of the dish so that the praline sauce is on top.  Serve with Orange Sauce.

ORANGE SAUCE

¼ cup margarine
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup orange juice
orange zest
2 Tbsp orange liqueur or flavoring (optional) – I omitted this
Mix ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat.
Note:  I doubled the orange sauce because I wanted everybody to have plenty.  Serve the sauce in a small pitcher so people can drizzle it on the french toast.