Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall is Here and that means......Cranberry treats!

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

A serious treat for a fall day, enjoy with a lovely cup of vanilla chai

Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

Continue cooking for a few more minutes until the sugar starts to caramelize
Then remove from heat, and pour into your prepared cake pan. Sprinkle evenly with the fresh cranberries.

The cake batter is mixed with an electric mixer, then the beaten egg whites are added last with a spatula
Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 -40 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned, starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Topping:

5 Tbsp(1/3 cup) (70 grams) unsalted butter

2/3 cup (140 grams) light brown sugar

8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) (227 grams) fresh cranberries

Cake Batter:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, separated

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Cranberry Upside Down Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan.

Topping: Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking for a few more minutes until the sugar starts to caramelize. Then remove from heat, and pour into your prepared cake pan. Sprinkle evenly with the fresh cranberries.

Cake Batter: In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture (in three additions), alternately with the milk (in two additions), ending with the dry ingredients.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar just until the whites hold a firm peak. With a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two additions. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Bake in preheated oven for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned, starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate.

Serve with softly whipped cream.

Note: Because of the moisture in the cranberries, and because ovens do vary, the baking time can vary significantly. If you use frozen cranberries (do not thaw) the cake will take longer to bake than if you are using fresh cranberries.

Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) cake. Serves 6 to 8.

Black Beans and Corn Salad

I love a challenge...especially with food. Cal needed something to go with chili for a work luncheon. I hunted for a good side dish and came across this salad. All the fresh vegetables make this unbelievably good!

Love green onions and celery....
Red bell pepper for snappy color....
The finished product.....

So easy and so good!

INGREDIENTS

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (14.5 ounce)

4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1-1/2 cups fresh corn, roasted

1/4 cup sliced green onions with tops

1/4 cup thinly sliced celery

1 garlic clove, minced

1 small sweet red pepper, diced

1 diced tomato

3/4 cup picante sauce

2 T olive oil

2 T lemon juice

2 T Cilantro

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Cover and chill several hours or overnight.

Have It Your Way, Every Way

1. Substitute avocado for the cheese or use both.

2. Use canned corn, drained, instead of fresh roasted

3. Substitute pinto beans for black beans

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It has happened.....

Our family has joined the hundreds of families that are insanely busy. Three soccer practices a week, two games on Saturday and church twice a week are just a few of the events that fill our calendar. Despite our busyness, we still have a family dinner every night. It's important to us to hear about the children's day as well as each other's. Loving to cook, and a willingness to try new things, ensures that there is good food waiting for us as we all come around the table and relax from our day. I have spent many hours looking through cookbooks, magazines and other blogs for dinner ideas and it has provided a reef of recipes.

This particular recipe is simple, but has a ton of flavor.
Pork Chops with Apples and Pears

Granny Smith apples and Bosc pears are perfect for this particular dish.
So glad I found these treasures, they were a great addition to the meal
If you've never tried couscous, I urge you to give it a go. My kids even eat it! There are many different flavors from plain to broccoli and cheese. Our family favorite is roasted garlic and olive oil. Tonight we tried Toasted Pine Nut and it was delicious!

Dinner is served!
Pork Chops with Pears and Apples
4 boneless pork chops
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
2 pears cored and sliced
4 TBSP brown sugar
cinnamon, to taste
1 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper, to taste
4-5 TBSP butter
line a 11x9 baking dish with foil, place a few slices of apple and pear in bottom and lay the pork chops on top. sprinkle with salt and pepper
now toss in the rest of the fruit. sprinkle with brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon. cut the butter up and place all over. cover with foil and bake at 375 for one hour....so good
!

Monday, August 29, 2011

German Night!

Decided to have Theme Nights on Mondays (let's see if this holds up against the crazy school/soccer schedules) This Monday was German night! Brats, hashbrowns and sauerkraut skillet dinner with steamed carrots.Start with 4 slices of bacon chopped....
Slice bratwurst into 1 to 2 inch slices
chop the onion, peel and chop a medium Granny Smith apple
Yummy!
Saute onion and apple in bacon drippings....
add the sauce and the bratwurst back to the skillet for about 10 minutes
then add the hashbrowns and sauerkraut
cook for 10-12 minutes
Serve with bacon crumbled over the top and a side of steamed carrots

Bavarian Bratwurst Supper from Tasteofhome.com

Ingredients

· 4 bacon strips, diced

· 4 fresh bratwurst links, cut into 2-inch pieces

· 1 medium tart apple, chopped

· 1 medium onion, chopped

· 1/2 cup cider vinegar

· 03 tablespoons brown sugar

· 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

· 1/2 teaspoon salt

· 1/8 teaspoon pepper

· 4 cups frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed

· 1 can (14 ounces) Bavarian-style sauerkraut, drained

Directions

· In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. In the drippings, cook and stir bratwurst for 10-12 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings. Saute apple and onion in drippings until lightly browned.

· Add the vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, salt, pepper and bratwurst. Cover and cook for 12 minutes or until bratwurst are no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160°, stirring frequently.

· Add potatoes and sauerkraut; cook and stir 12 minutes longer or until heated through. Sprinkle with bacon. Yield: 4 servings.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ready for colder weather....

because of dishes like this. The other day I picked up a butternut squash just because it looked good. I didn't have specific plans for it, just thought maybe I would roast it, which is wonderful. Then I received my AllYou magazine and there it was. It was meant to be, a black bean butternut squash recipe. It sounds a little out there but oh my goodness is it good!These beauties add such flavor
These babies add some kick
It all comes together to make a fantastic bowl of chili. Your tummy will be very happy!
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 onions chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapenos seeded and minced
2 14.5 oz cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes
4 15 oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
salt and pepper
heat oil in large skillet, cook onions and garlic until tender, add peppers and cook until crisp tender, transfer to slow cooker and add remaining ingredients except for the squash. mix well. arrange squash over the chili, cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours season with salt and pepper serve with cornbread...so good

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Simmering Summer Recipes

Today the temperature did not exceed 100 degrees for the first time in a week, so I celebrated by being creative in the kitchen with some chicken!I started with a little extra virgin olive oil, onion and chopped green chiles
then added the sauce; which includes ketchup, coke, oregano, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I brought this to a boil for one minute
Then I added boneless chicken thighs and let them simmer for 20 minutes covered and then 40 minutes uncovered.
Served with Cal's mashed potatoes and steamed squash from Uncle Jerry's garden...so yummy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Anniversary

Celebrating the day I married my best friend!

Happy Anniversary Calton :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blueberry Goodness

Finding blueberries on sale...what a sweet deal!

we needed a new dessert for our Fourth of July celebration.....
and Blueberry Streusel Cake won the prize!
Yummy Yummy Goodness :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Coconut Bread

Toasting coconut flakes.....smells so good!!
This was the first time I have made a coconut bread...
The end result was good...not great but good. The outer layer was crunchy and sweet, the inside was a little dry. But it was good enough that I will tweak the recipe until I'm satisfied :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Strawberry Daze

Calton is so sweet! He brought home flowers and strawberries for me :)
They were divine. Some of them were dipped in a homemade chocolate sauce, but most of them went into this delicious muffin recipe I came across on Taste of Home. The muffins are not overly sweet and they are wonderful with either coffee or hot tea!

Ready for the oven:
Ready to eat!




Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Building a masterpiece for dinner.....

Fresh baby spinach lightly sauteed with extra virgin olive oil and garlic....
Lasagna noodles: I use the oven ready kind, but I softened them up in near-boiling water. This helps to ensure they are soft and cooked thoroughly.
Making your own sauce is the secret to a fantastic lasagna. My sauce includes celery, green bell pepper, onion, and Italian sausage.
The layering is the funnest part! I do not like ricotta cheese, therefore I use a cream sauce drizzled in between the layers. Sometimes I make my own, however, this time I used Alfredo sauce from a jar.
Ready for the oven!

Ingredients

4 celery ribs, chopped

· 1 large onion, chopped

· 1 large green pepper, chopped

· 2-1/2 cups water, divided

· 3 Italian turkey sausage links (4 ounces each), casings removed

· 1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce

· 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

· 3 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste

· 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

· 5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced

· 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning

· 1 teaspoon sugar

· 1/8 teaspoon salt

· 1/8 teaspoon pepper

· 6 cups hot cooked spaghetti

· Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions

· In a Dutch oven, combine the celery, onion, green pepper and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and water is reduced.

· Crumble sausage over vegetable mixture; cook until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, garlic, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, pepper and remaining water.

· Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with spaghetti. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. Yield: 12 servings.