Thursday, October 31, 2013

throwback thursday.. homemade {cinnamon raisin} bread


today's throwback thursday doesn't go back very far.. only 3 weeks ago.. but since i've posted this recipe for homemade crusty bread i've made 10 more loaves.. and most of them with fun ingredients.. for a brunch i added fresh orange zest and a handful of cranberries.. for a dinner party i added the zest of 2 lemons and tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme.. i even replaced the water in one loaf with pumpkin ale and added sharp wisconsin cheddar cheese.. that one was amazing..



we went camping this past weekend and i wanted to have fresh bread to serve while i was making breakfast.. the first morning i offered grandmommy's zucchini bread and my pumpkin banana chocolate chip bread.. perfect for sitting on the beach sipping coffee while breakfast was being made..



the following morning i had out this cinnamon raisin bread which i made before we left.. we had planned on being on the road by 9.. so i set out 2 loaves of bread to rise the night before and i then got up early and baked the bread.. the truck was running and pete was waiting when i took the last loaf out.. i quickly wrapped it in foil then wrapped in a dishtowel and tossed in an insulated bag i have and away we went.. saturday morning i just unwrapped it and sliced it up.. it was soft.. sweet.. simply delicious ..


cinnamon raisin bread

prep time:12-19 hours
cooking time: 45 minutes
1 loaf

ingredients:

bread:

3 cups unbleached ap flour
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 cups luke warm water
1/4 cup golden raisins

cinnamon swirl:

2 tblsp. cinnamon
2 tblsp. sugar

directions:

in a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, salt and yeast.. add water and raisins and mix until a "shaggy" mixture forms.. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside on the counter for 12-18 hours.. {i also had a dish towel over the bowl} the next morning when ready to cook your bread heat oven to 450 degrees {f}.. when the oven has reached 450 place your empty cast iron pot {dutch oven} with the lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.. in a small mixing bowl combine sugar and cinnamon and set aside.. while the pot is heating up pour your dough onto a heavily floured surface, flatten out.. then all over the surface facing you smear the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the dough then shape into a ball {it's going to be kinda sticky} cover with plastic wrap and let sit while the pot is heating up..remove pot from oven {CAUTION it's hot}.. drop your dough ball in the pot, cover and return to the oven for 30 minutes.. after 30 minutes remove lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.. remove pot from oven and remove bread and place on a cooling rack.. you can then wrap in foil and put in a zip lock and freeze for later use or cut it up right then slightly warm slather with butter and enjoy!!!


enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. bbq ribs while camping at the beach are amazing..

 
every october since I can remember we have camped at doheny state beach.. some years we aren't lucky enough to get spots right on the beach but this year we got three!! jake and sam camped in one and my brother and family camped in another and pete and i camped in the middle.. we had such a good time.. the weather was perfect.. friends came down that i hadn't seen in over 30 years.. the food was good.. the company better.. all in all a great trip.. i was cooking for 12 people and at times i was perplexed on how to cook for that many on my little bbq grill.. so i improvised and well the results were great.. a couple quotes from the bbq rib dinner were: jake: 2 out of the 3 ribs i just ate were the best ribs i have ever had.. me: what about the 3rd rib? jake: i don't know it tasted like soap but the other 2 were amazing.. ha.. poppi: these are outstanding did you buy them pre made from costco? {for those that don't know to have my dad compare your cooking to something made from costco is a big deal he loves!! those pre made meals from costco..} so i was pretty happy with the results.. this way could easily be made at home or you could make my beer braised bbq ribs for similar results..
 

camping bbq ribs

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 2-3 hours
servings: 12

ingredients:
4 racks of baby back ribs
salt and pepper to taste
bbq sauce (we used sweet baby rays)
 
directions:

sprinkle each rack of ribs with salt and pepper and then wrap in foil.. heat your bbq grill to low {the one we camp with is pretty small} place 2 foil wrapped racks on the bottom and then add the other 2 foiled wrapped racks on top of those close lid.. then every 15 minutes for the 2 hours rotate the racks.. after about 2 hours or so they will be falling apart tender if not cook another 30 minutes.. when tender remove them from the foil and place in a disposable {if camping} or regular casserole dish and slather them with your bbq sauce.. place them back to the grill {2 racks at a time.. while 2 are cooking cover the other 2 that aren't cooking with foil} over low/medium heat grill them for about 10-15 minutes per side.. make sure to brush more sauce on when you turn them over..you basically want to caramelize the bbq sauce.. remove first 2 racks and place the other 2 on the hot grill.. cover the 2 that are now done or slice up and begin serving, replenishing with the ones on the grill when they are done... they were so tender and flavorful.. perfect for camping..

 
this little girl makes mornings bright!!

 
 
we had so much stuff.. bike rides and relaxing were the events of the day..
 
 
frankie was cold one morning so jake put his jacket on him.. he loved it he he {that was jake's campsite.. he, sam and frankie slept in their tent trailer, while shell and her friend bri slept in the tent}
 


everyone waiting patiently while jake makes coffee..
 


i heart that face..
 


the kids were supposed to be helping teo pete with the kite.. they lost interest very quickly..

 
ya ya the kite flew..
 

shell was annoyed with me taking pictures while they ate..
 


ha.. brat!!
 
enjoy and get camp'n!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

throwback thursday.. spicy buttermilk onion rings with a creamy sriracha dipping sauce


it's thursday!!! which means tomorrow is friday!! ya ya we are going camping on the beach 1 week from today and i am so excited.. todays throwback thursday recipe is spicy buttermilk onion rings  and it's one of my all time favorite "junk foods".. but to call these onions rings junk is NOT FAIR i tell you.. they are so delicate.. spicy.. crunchy.. the sauce is spicy.. creamy.. just an excellent combination.. make these with a juicy burger and ice cold beer this weekend.. you will want to stay my friend for life!!


spicy buttermilk onion rings

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 3-4 minutes per ring
servings: 4 (makes about 16-18 rings)

ingredients:

1 large sweet onion cut into 1/4 inch rings
1 1/2 cups low fat buttermilk
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 tblsp. tobasco
2 cups ap flour
2-3 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
vegetable oil

directions:

place onion ring slices in a medium mixing bowl and toss with salt and hot sauce.. then pour in buttermilk.. submerge the onions in the mixture and allow onions to soak in the buttermilk for about 20 minutes..

in a shallow dish, i used a pie plate, mix together your flour, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and garlic powder.. line a baking sheet with a layer of paper towels.. in a large cast iron skillet add enough oil until reaches about 3 inches up the sides.. heat your oil over high you want it to be about 360 degrees...when the oil is hot, remove the onion rings from buttermilk and transfer them to your flour mixture dredging them on both sides until coated.. gently place in the hot oil and cook until light golden brown on both sides.. about a total of 3 minutes and turning 1/2 way through.. just kind of gage it and pay attention.. transfer the onion rings to the paper towel lined baking sheet.. repeat until all the onion rings are done..


spicy dipping sauce:
prep time: 5 minutes
serving size: approx. 3/4 cup

ingredients:

1/4 cup non fat greek yogurt
1/4 light mayo
salt and pepper
1 tsp. lemon juice
3 tblsp. buttermilk
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dill
1/2 tblsp. sriracha

directions:

mix all together and keep in the fridge in an air tight container until ready to use.

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. this green chile casserole was my grandparents favorite..

 

several years ago.. probably 15 or so my grandma {aka grandmommy} fell and hurt her back, so i would make their meals and take them over once a week when i would go visit..she healed from that injury but then eventually a few years later i was back to making their meals for the week up until they passed away.. of all the dishes i made for the 10 or so years i cooked for them one of their favorites was green chile casserole.. my grandpa {aka pop} would ask for it each week.. i tried to change things up and bring them a variety of dishes but no matter what they always liked this casserole.. it's so simple.. i mean really simple.. but it's very flavorful!! and i love it because it reminds me of them..


green chile casserole

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30-40 minutes
servings: 4

ingredients:

1 cup diced green chiles { i used my roasted hatch green chiles my friend randi gave me} or Two 4 oz. cans of diced green chilis
2 cups cheese {my grandparents liked cheddar but i like to do a combo of 1/2 sharp cheddar and 1/2 monterrey jack}
6 eggs, slightly beaten
2.5 cups milk
1/2 cup corn meal
salt

directions:

pre heat oven to 350 degrees.. spray your casserole dish with pam.. in a medium mixing bowl combine chiles and cheese.. spread out over the bottom of the casserole dish.. now whisk together  eggs, milk, corn meal and salt.. pour over the cheese and chiles.. bake 30-40 minutes or until bubbling and the eggs are cooked through.. use your cake pick and test if it comes out clean they are ready.. slice and serve.. we like it for breakfast with a few slices of fresh tomato..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

recipe roulette.. neopolitan cheesecake

 
recipe roulette is going to be a new feature at my kaotic kitchen.. you see my grandma had/ i now have hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes she collected over the course of her 90+ year life.. at one point she even owned a restaurant.. when i say she had a lot of recipes i am not kidding around.. so rather than those recipes sitting there staring at me wondering why they are being neglected i have decided at least once a month, maybe more, i will close my eyes and pull out, point at or pick a recipe at random.. and make it as is... no changes!!! then i might revamp it to a more modern recipe {like i totally intended on doing with this one} or might not.. {like i totally decided not to do on this one.. this one was perfection on a plate and should not be changed in any way!!} today's recipe is C R A Z Y!! i used like 5 mixing bowls, 3 pots, more spoons and spatulas i can count and it took me like 3 hours.. {not something i suggest the morning before your about to have a dinner party for 13 guests.. like i did} but if you have a free sunday afternoon or your going to a pot luck and you want to bring, what will surely turn out to be the most amazing dessert ever, then i suggest this recipe here..
  

the name is misleading.. it's called neopolitan cheesecake.. so when my grandma told we were going to make it for the first time back in probably around 1978, i was not thrilled.. i can't stand, hate with a passion, won't eat, can't eat cause allergic but still hate, anything STRAWBERRY!! i know can you believe it.. but yes it's true i hate that little red "pretty" berry.. so when, my grandma knowing this, said we were going to make it, i was surprised, but much to my delight it had no strawberry.. but it did have 2 of my favorite things in the world.. chocolate and cheesecake!!
 

the addition of after dinner mints i thought was weird at first... but once you taste it you will realize it all goes perfectly well together.. 



it's supposed to look different.. i messed up.. *hanging head in shame* i doubled the recipe and dumbo me forgot to double the size of the casserole dish or use 2 which is what i should have done.. {actually there was no need at all to double the recipe, it's so rich and lovely that a small piece is all that is needed} it's supposed to have the yummy shortbread crust with a thick layer of chocolate and then a thick creamy white layer of the cheesecake and mine didn't do that because it spilled, drizzled, sloshed all over the edges of the casserole dish.. but even though it made a mess it didn't change the taste just didn't look as pretty!!



i screwed up my "meringue" also.. but it turned out just peachy keen.. jake and sam showed up while i was making this and well jake is kind of loud.. messes with stuff.. very distracting sometimes and i dumped my egg whites and sugar at the same time into the mixing bowl, rather than whipping the egg whites first then gradually adding the sugar.. it all worked out, but that was one of many things i did wrong with this recipe, yet it turned out just fine.. i am warning you the recipe is daunting.. it's long.. it's time consuming.. it's complicated.. it's heavenly.. it's like eating a cloud.. it's amazing and well it's worth it.. please make it!! if you love chocolate.. if you love cheesecake.. you will love this.. {weird story.. pete had to go 5 different stores to find the after dinner mints.. not sure why but no one had them.. weird.. :/ }



neopolitan cheesecake

prep time: 2 hours
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 10-12

ingredients:

crust:

1 cup ap flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup coarsely chopped after dinner mints
1/2 cup butter

neopolitan filling:

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 package of cream cheese{8 oz}

2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate pieces, melted {i used chocolate chips}
2 tblsp. crushed after dinner mints

directions:

crust:

pre heat your oven to 400 degrees {f}.. in a small mixing bowl combine flour, candy and vanilla.. cut in butter and use low speed to combine until mixture is crumbly.. press into a greased {i used pam}9 inch casserole dish.. press down to make sure it's all smooth and even.. bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown..

neoplitan filling:

in a sauce pan, combine 1/3 cup sugar, salt and gelatin.. add milk and slightly beaten egg yolks.. cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil... remove from heat.. add cream cheese and allow to soften.. with a rotary beater beat until smooth.. cool until slightly thick.. in a small mixing bowl combine eggs whites and vanilla.. beat on high until foamy.. add sugar gradually continuing to beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.. fold into gelatin mixture..  in a small mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until thick.. Fold into gelatin mixture also.. Divide the gelatin mixture in half.. {at some point you need to melt your chocolate, i melted it over low heat in a small pot, until creamy} pour your melted chocolate into one portion of the divided mixture.. spoon onto baked crust.. spoon vanilla filling over chocolate {mine kinda mixed into each other rather than forming 2 separate layers} sprinkle with crushed after dinner mints.. chill for at least 2 hours before serving..
it's amazing.. it really is.. i really really want you to try.. if you do let me know how yours turns out.. or any changes you make to it..


enjoy and get cook'n!!
 

Monday, October 14, 2013

heirloom tomato tart


i just love tomato and goat cheese together.. pete not so much.. he swears he hates goat cheese.. I found great looking heirloom tomatoes and decided to make this heirloom tomato tart.. pete tried it and ate 90% of it and said i didn't use goat cheese, i said yes i did... he wouldn't believe me.. *eyeroll*


i used a pre made pie crust, mainly because i had baked like 4 loaves of crispy bread already that day and i was not in the mood to tackle pie crust.. next time i will do it.. I promise :)


heirloom tomato tart

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 45-60 minutes
servings: 6 slices

ingredients:

1 pillsbury pie crust
5 oz. of crumbled goat cheese
2 tsp. of chopped fresh thyme
garlic olive oil
1/4 cup romano cheese, grated
3-4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

directions:

pre heat your oven to 375 degrees {f} let your dough sit out for about 10 minutes, then place it in an 11" tart pan.. using your fingers gently press the dough to the bottom and side of pan.. using a fork prick dough on the bottom.. brush with garlic olive oil.. sprinkle with goat cheese crumbles and thyme.. fan out the tomatoes all around in a circle.. sprinkle with romano cheese and bake 45 minutes.. remove from oven. if the crust doesn't look cooked enough or the tomatoes don't look roasted enough bake for another 10-15 minutes..  when done remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes.. slice and serve.. we had it for a light lunch with a crisp salad..

Friday, October 11, 2013

easy baked mostaccioli with sausage and peppers

 
this is one of the easiest recipes you will ever find anywhere.. and crazy enough pete "invented" it.. many many many years ago.. probably 15 or more years ago he made this one night and it immediately became a family favorite..  there are several versions you can make but today's is the stripped down, no fuss version, but know you can change it.. you can use a meat sauce instead of a plain sauce.. you could add ricotta {which i like but pete can't stand, some italian he is.. *eyeroll*} or you could add several different kinds of cheeses.. add herbs.. i mean seriously the possibilities are endless, just think of this recipe as a template and you change and/or add to suit your families likes or dislikes.. now your wondering how in the world did pete invent baked mostaccioli. ha ha well he didn't but he did come up with the "trick" that our family uses to make it.. you see we don't cook the pasta first..it goes in dry and uncooked.. pete's mom was a caterer for many years and she would make trays of lasagna all the time and she never once cooked her noodles.. now i know they now have no cook needed lasagna noodles, well she has been doing it for 40 years and just used your average noodle.. nothing special.. she would assemble her lasagna with the uncooked noodles then add water all along the edges until it reached the top of the pan and then bake the lasagna covered for an hour.. the water would cook the pasta.. so one night i wasn't around to make dinner so pete decided to make dinner and he wanted baked mostaccioi and he thought well my mom doesn't need to cook the lasagna noodles why do i have to cook the mostaccioli.. so he didn't cook it but made it just like below and it came out perfect.. and well a recipe was born!!! the first time pete made it he took a box of pasta poured it into the casserole dish.. he took a jar of spaghetti sauce poured it on top.. filled the empty jar of spaghetti sauce with water and poured it over everything.. {didn't even stir} covered it and baked it at 350 for 1 hour.. removed it from the oven uncovered it stirred it around and poured a bag of shredded mozzarella over the top.. stirred it around and baked for another 15-20 minutes!! that's it that's all.. viola..
 
 
add your uncooked pasta to the casserole dish
 

then add 4 cups of spaghetti sauce {not sure why my sauce looks neon but it does it's not radioactive i swear}


add 3.5 cups water... cover and bake 1 hour.. 


uncover  and add 2-3 cups of cheese {or more}


bake another 20 minutes ..


or until cheese is melty and bubbling!!


easy baked mostaccioli

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 1hour 20-30 minutes
servings: 8

ingredients:

1 lb. pasta {mostaccioli preferred but ziti or penne would do}
4 cups prepared spaghetti sauce {homemade preferred but a jarred is just peachy too}
3.5 cups water
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup parmesan

directions:

pre heat your oven to 350 degrees {f}.. take a 9 by 13 casserole dish and pour your uncooked pasta in it.. pour sauce over it and then pour your water over everything.. cover and bake for 1 hour.. remove from oven and stir.. add cheese and stir.. put back in the oven uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.. remove when the cheese is melted and bubbly.. serve immediately.. pete loves it with sausage and peppers.. which again is so simple..

 
sausage and peppers
 
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 6
 
ingredients:
 
2 packages of italian sausage, diced  {we like the hot and mild pete doesn't care for the sweet}
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 onion, sliced
crushed red pepper
lemon zest
olive oil
salt and pepper
 
directions:
 
in a heavy bottom skillet heat 2 twirls around the pan of olive oil over medium high heat.. add your peppers and onions.. salt and pepper..cook until tender and onions start to be come translucent.. add your sausage.. cook until sausage is no longer pink.. reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.. before serving sprinkle with lemon zest and crushed red pepper.. nothing could be simpler.. serve with a colorful salad.. any leftover sausage make a sandwich the next day!! :)  
 
 
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

throwback thursday.. sinful seafood mac n cheese


today is throwback thursday.. and today's post that i am pulling from the archives was so freaking popular.. umm why you ask?? cause it's seafood mac and cheese people.. there are scallops, lobster and shrimp.. not to mention a ton of cheese... this is the best mac and cheese around.. no it's not for everyday.. but on those special occasion kinda nights definitely make this!! you will not be disappointed.


seafood mac 'n cheese

prep time: 30 minutes
cooking time: 1.5 hours
servings: 8-10

ingredients:

1.5 lbs lobster meat, cooked and cut into chunks {i steamed my tails allowed to cool and removed the meat}
1/2 lb cooked scallops, chopped {i sauteed in butter with the shrimp until opaque and shrimp turned pink, removed and chopped up}
1/2 of cooked shrimp, chopped
1 lb. pasta {i used the little mini shells}
sea salt and white pepper
4 cups milk
8 tblsp. butter {divided}
1/2 cup of ap flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar, shredded
12 oz. gruyere cheese, shredded
6 oz. of colby jack, shredded {pete by accident bought pepper jack so i used that}
1 cup panko bread crumbs

preheat your oven to 375 degrees {f}.. set aside a casserole dish sprayed with pam, i used a 9x13.. in a large pot cook pasta according to package directions except cook the pasta about 2-3 minutes less than what the directions call for..drain and return pasta to hot pot.. in the interim, melt 6 tblsps. of butter in a medium heavy bottom pan.. {your going to use the other 2 tblsps. butter for your breadcrumbs}add flour to melted butter and whisk together and cook for about 1 minute, whisking the entire time.. whisk in milk {your making a basic roux} continue to whisk it will get thicker and smooth..when it does reduce heat and continue whisking for about 5 minutes.. remove from heat and add your cheeses and stir until thick and smooth.. add salt, white pepper and nutmeg.. add seafood and combine then add everything to the pot with the pasta.. stir to completely combine.. melt the remaining 2  tblsp. butter {i used a microwave safe bowl and zapped if for 30 seconds} add panko and stir to combine.. transfer cheesy seafood pasta mixture to your casserole dish and cover with buttered panko.. bake for 35-45 minutes until cheese is bubbly and top is golden brown.. remove from oven and allow to cool about 5-7 minutes then serve hot.. it's so good.. you can change up the seafood and the cheeses.. the type of pasta you use.. or add some herbs.. there are no set rules.. get creative in the kitchen and have fun..

 
enjoy and get cook'n!!
 
huge shout out to pete it's his b day today!!! happy birthday honey!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

take my word for it wednesday i got a secret basket of goodies and made a yummy dinner .. it was lamb chops with lentils

 
 

it's take my word for it wednesday.. and today is a fun post!! i mentioned yesterday that i had surgery last week and therefore was supposed to take it easy this past weekend.. and with that stipulation i had to "allow" pete to go to the grocery store unsupervised.. you see it's usually a nail biting experience... you seriously never know what pete will buy.. so when he said don't worry leave the menu of saturday's meal up to him I was a bit nervous.. i mean i would not put it past him to come home with cow brain and tripe and expect me to cook it.. so he walks in and hands me a bag and says this is what we are having for dinner saturday.. i started taking the contents out and there was lamb chops, lentils, asparagus, gnocchi, tomatoes and scallions... i ended up making a roasted tomato and red pepper sauce {recipe coming soon} for the gnocchi, i sautéed the asparagus in a little bacon.. and for the entrée i pan seared the lamb chops in lemon mint butter and served them over herbed lentils.. the lamb was so sooooooooooo good.. we both agreed that we can't wait until i make it again!! the lentils i really rather enjoyed.. i have never in my life cooked them before.. and apparently pete loves them.. they will be making an appearance again.. all in it was a very fun night and good food!!


pan seared lamb chops in lemon mint butter with herbed lentils

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes
servings: 2

ingredients:

4 lamb chops
1 can of lentils
the juice and zest of 1 lemon
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 sprigs of thyme, chopped
parsley, chopped
olive oil
crushed red pepper
lemon - mint butter {recipe below}
scallions, chopped {optional}
mint, chopped for garnish {optional}
salt and pepper

directions:

make your lemon butter {recipe below} and keep in fridge until ready to use.. drain your lentils and rinse.. in a medium pot heat 2 twirls around the pan with olive oil over medium heat.. add garlic.. cook for about 1-2 minutes.. add lentils drop heat to medium low and cook for about 5 minutes.. add lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, thyme and parsley, drop heat to low and continue to cook for about 10-15 more minutes.. when it's time to cook your lamb chops salt and pepper them.. then take your iron skillet and heat over medium high heat.. once your pan is hot add 4 pats of lemon mint butter to the skillet once butter is melted {but before it burns} add your chops and cook approx. 2 minutes per side... plate up a spoonful of lentils and top with 2 chops, scallions and mint.. surprisingly the lamb goes very well with the lentils.. i think we will actually have this again.. every now again i say play with your food.. have fun.. cook something you never ever not once thought you would.. have secret ingredient once a month.. just have fun!!


lemon-mint compound butter

ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tblsp. chopped fresh mint

directions:

add your butter to a bowl and mash with a fork add your lemon zest, juice and mint.. mash with a fork until well incorporated.. place on a piece of plastic wrap and roll up and shape into a log..keep in the fridge until ready to use.. can be used for lamb, fish, chicken or even beef..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

pumpkin banana chocolate chip bread


this weekend was going to be all about staying in and relaxing.. i thought i would be wiped out after the surgery.. especially considering how blah and tired i've been feeling.. the past few months i've been going to bed by 8 p.m. and if i could i'd sleep in until 9 and then maybe a nap.. that is sooooo unlike me.. i like to get an early start on my day and be up by let's say 6..so all this sleeping was really making me unhappy.. i had my surgery friday at 7:30 a.m. it was a wonderful hospital, wonderful staff, they were on time.. very cordial.. after surgery they said i should take it easy all weekend.. we got home and i fell asleep until around 2:00 p.m. and when i woke up and i was ready.. i mean i felt fantastic.. let's go do something.. i hadn't realized how bad i was feeling until i no longer felt like crap.. i got more done this weekend than i have 3 months.. it was really hard not to over do it, i felt so much better.. with all my new found energy i decided to try some new recipes.. i made this amazingly wonderful yet remarkably easy crusty bread.. pete brought home a bag of secret ingredients from the store that i had to make dinner from {that post tomorrow}.. i made a wonderful heirloom tomato tart.. {recipe soon} i made one of our stand by dishes.. sausage and pepper with baked mostacholi {that post friday} and then this recipe here.. this was so good.. so moist.. really rather divine.. very fall tasting.. everyone really enjoyed it!! i adapted my recipe from skinny taste pumpkin banana bread..


pumpkin banana chocolate chip bread

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 45-60 minutes
1 loaf

ingredients:

pam baking spray
1 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup pumpkin puree {not pumpkin pie filling}
2 tblsp. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels

directions:

pre heat oven to 325 degrees {f}.. spray a 9x5 loaf pan with pam.. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and salt... then set aside..  in the large bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together.. add bananas, eggs, pumpkin and vanilla.. beat on medium speed until thick.. scrap down the sides of the bowl.. add flour mixture and blend on low speed until well combined.. with a spatula stir in your chocolate chips.. do not over mix.. pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake on the center rack for 45-60 minutes.. or until a cake pick inserted in the center comes out clean.. remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes.. once cool slice and serve..

enjoy and get cook'n!!