Monday, April 30, 2012

Savory Cheese Waffles

I was a little skeptical of a savory waffle at first. I like my waffles sweet with maple syrup but a savory waffle is just as good. These are wonderful paired with this Tomato Bisque

Savory Cheese Waffles

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups whole buttermilk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda three times; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, and butter until well combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Batter should have a pudding-like consistency. If necessary, add more buttermilk, 1/4 cup at a time, until pudding-like consistency is reached. Stir in cheese, sugar, and salt; season with pepper.

Preheat a waffle iron. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup batter to heated waffle iron; close and cook until dark golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes, depending on your waffle iron. Repeat process with remaining batter and serve immediately.

Recipe source: Martha Stewart

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Baked Breakfast Taquitos with Lime Chipotle Dip

These are fantastic! You must make the dipping sauce with this. It is wonderful.

Crispy Baked Breakfast Taquitos with Lime-Chipotle Dip

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
12 large eggs
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 C grated pepperjack cheese
1/4 C chopped roasted red bell peppers
1/4 C sliced green onions
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1-2 tsp hot sauce
16 6″ flour tortillas
cooking spray or olive oil

Dipping Sauce:
1 1/2 C Sour Cream
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up.  Spray with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Crack eggs into large mixing bowl.  Whisk in 1/2 C sour cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  When skillet is hot, add egg mixture to pan.  Using a rubber spatula, gently scrape bottom of pan and fold eggs over to scramble.  Remove from heat when slightly undercooked.  Add cheese, roasted red peppers, green onions, cilantro, and hot sauce to taste.  Gently fold to combine.

Warm tortillas in microwave to ease rolling process.  Working with a few tortillas at a time, place a scant 1/4 C egg mixture into the center of each one and roll up into a cylinder.  Place rolled tortillas on prepared baking sheet, seam-side down, so they are not touching each other.  When all tortillas are rolled and filled, lightly spray tops with cooking spray, or lightly brush with olive oil.  Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown and crisp.

While taquitos are baking, combine 1 1/2 C sour cream, lime juice, chipotle chili powder and kosher salt.  Stir to combine and store in fridge.  Remove taquitos from oven , let cool for 5 minutes, and then serve with dipping sauce.

Make Ahead Prep: The egg mixture can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use.  You can also prepare the taquitos and instead of baking right away, cover tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight, or freeze for later use.  To prepare frozen taquitos, place (un-thawed) directly on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.  Follow original baking instructions, increasing time by 5 minutes or until taquitos are golden brown.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites

Friday, April 27, 2012

Banana Slush Punch

I can't wait to have this on a hot summer day.  The recipe says to use Sprite or Ginger Ale, but I used Fresca and it was great.

Banana Slush Punch

6 cups water, divided
4 very ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups white sugar
6 cups (48 ounces) pineapple juice
2 12- ounce cans orange juice concentrate
1 12-ounce can lemonade concentrate (pink or yellow)
3 liters Sprite or ginger ale

In the jar of a blender, combine 3 cups water, bananas, and sugar. Blend until smooth and set aside.
In a large bowl or pot, combine remaining water, pineapple juice, orange juice concentrate, and lemonade concentrate and mix well or blend with an immersion blender. Add banana mixture.

Divide the mixture evenly among 3 freezer-safe containers or gallon-sized Ziploc bags and freeze for several hours or overnight (at least). When ready to serve, place 1 container of banana mixture at a time into a drink bowl or jar and pour 1 liter of chilled ginger ale or Sprite over the banana mixture. Mix with a spoon (or immersion blender) and serve immediately. If desired, you can garnish with frozen berries.

Recipe source: Our Best Bites

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cupcake Filling and Buttercream Frosting

The filling can be used as a filling and a frosting but it isn't as sweet as I like my frosting to be so I used a buttercream Frosting to do the top of these cupcakes.

Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling

3 T Flour
1/2 C milk (whole milk is best, but I use non-fat when it’s all I have and it’s actually fine)
1/2 C real butter (I prefer salted, but you can use also unsalted and add salt to taste)
1/2 C sugar (that’s granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
1 t vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat.

Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring with a rubber spatula, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan.   Continue to cook until mixture has the consistency of pudding.

Put  mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. As it’s cooling, feel free to stir it occasionally to speed up the process and keep it from forming a crust on top.

In an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer if you have one, instead of the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides.

Mixture will separate and look messy, keep beating!  Continue beating until mixture comes together and is light and fluffy, about 7-8 minutes, but time varies.  Take a sample of frosting between your fingers; frosting is done when light and fluffy and sugar granules are dissolved.

Recipe source: Our Best Bites

Buttercream Frosting

1 c. solid white vegetable shortening
1 tsp. flavoring (vanilla, almond, butter flavoring or combination. I use 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. almond and just a drop of butter flavoring)*
2 Tbsp. water or milk**
1 lb. (about 4 cups) powdered sugar (I like the pre-sifted 10x kind, Kroger brand is a good one)
1 Tbsp. Meringue Powder (I don't always use this but if you want your frosting to crust then use it)
A pinch of salt

Cream shortening, flavoring, water and salt. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Blend an additional minute or so until creamy.

*If you want bright white frosting, make sure you use clear vanilla.

**This recipe is for stiff consistency frosting. For thinner consistency add 1 tsp. per cup of icing. I usually just add small amounts of water until I get the consistency I want.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Poppy seed Chicken

Poppy seed Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 roll Ritz crackers, crushed
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Combine sour cream and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts and stir until all pieces are coated with sour cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375. In a shallow dish, combine crackers, melted butter and poppy seeds. Remove chicken from sour cream mixture and dip into cracker mixture, coating well. Place in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Springtime Bunny Bites (Jello-Chex Mix)

This is a mixture between Muddy Buddies and Jello popcorn. There are endless flavors and combination possibilities. I can't wait to try them all. For this picture, I made combined pineapple, berry blue, and tropical fusion flavored Jello. The pineapple was the best!

Springtime Bunny Bites
6 cups rice chex cereal 
1/2 cup light corn syrup 
3 tbsp sugar 
1/4 cup white chocolate chips 
2 tbsp butter 
1/4 cup packaged jello, any flavor or flavor combinations* 
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Powdered food coloring, if desired (I didn't use this)

      In a small Ziploc bag, mix together powdered sugar and a small amount of food coloring.
      Until desired shade is reached. Set aside.
In a large bowl place cereal. Set aside.

In a medium sized sauce pan, stir together syrup and sugar. Cooking over medium heat, stir in butter and chocolate. Stir until smooth and melted. When it begins to simmer around the edges, remove from heat, and add powdered jello and stir until it is dissolved.

Pour over cereal and stir to coat well.

Spoon mixture into a large Ziploc bag. Add powdered sugar mixture. Seal and shake to evenly coat. When well coated, spread evenly on parchment covered baking sheet to cool.

Keep in an airtight container.

Flavor combination suggestions, Substitute 2 tbsp of each flavor for the 1/4 cup amount of Jello in the recipe.

Orange Apricot
Lime-Berry Blue
Pineapple-Tropical Fusion

Makes 6 cups 
Recipe source: Studio 5

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

This salsa is fantastic!
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
3-4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeno pepper (if you’re worried about heat, remove the seeds and membranes; I do and it’s the perfect heat for me), cut in half lengthwise
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1/4-1/3 c. chopped green onions
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
After husking the tomatillos, rinse them well in cool water (they can be sticky). Cut the stems and hard portions (if any) off the tomatillos and cut any very large ones in half.
Combine the tomatillos, unpeeled garlic, onion, and the jalapeno on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss the ingredients with your hands to make sure they are all well-coated.
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. If the vegetables have not charred, turn the broiler on to high and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until the skins of the peppers and tomatillos begin to turn black. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
When the vegetables have cooled, carefully squeeze the skin of the roasted garlic, releasing the soft, roasted garlic clove, into the jar of a blender or workbowl of a food processor. Add the remaining roasted vegetables and then add the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Process until the desired consistency is reached and then transfer to a serving dish. Stir in the chopped cilantro and green onions and serve with chips.
Recipe and photo source: Our Best Bites

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Overnight Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

The amount of water needed is based on how thick you want your oatmeal. Only add 6 cups if you like it really thick and 8 cup if you like it a little thinner.

Overnight Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

6-8 cups water (see note above)
2 cups steel cut oats
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup dried blueberries (optional)

Lightly coat the inside of a 4-5 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker and stir. Cook for 7-8 hours on low. Stir thoroughly before serving with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Serve immediately. The leftover oatmeal can be portioned into tupperware-like containers and refrigerated to be reheated and enjoyed for 3-4 days.

Recipe and photo source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
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