It’s Aloha Friday and I’m dreaming of the BEACH!!
Monthly Archives: June 2017
I love Bundt® cakes! For the most part, they’re moist and tasty. I even have more than one type of Bundt® pan, with another one on its way.
I saw a recipe somewhere for Chocolate Bundtlettes, heh, I have a pan like that!
But as I thought about the recipe, I figured I could one up that! I’ll make the cake in my Half-sized Bundt® pans and then guild the lily farther.
Triple Chocolate Bundt® with a Deluxe Ganache Frosting
1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 box Instant Chocolate Pudding (the small one)
1 1/3 C. Vegetable Oil
½ C. warm Water
1 C. Sour Cream
1 C. Chocolate Chips
Preheat the oven to 350⁰
In a Stand Mixer or using a Hand Mixer, combine all of the ingredients until smooth, excluding the Chocolate chips, stir those in last. The batter with be like thick pudding. Using a Baking Spray, grease the two Half-sized Bundt® pans; immediately pour the batter evenly between the two pans (I use a scale to be accurate). Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Place the cakes on a cooling rack and set aside until completely cooled and then turn them out (I run a disposable plastic knife around the edge of the pan first) on to the rack, fitted in a sheet pan.
Now comes the fun part, frosting and decorating those two cuties!
I wanted a bumped up Ganache Frosting, so I kinda winged it.
Deluxe Ganache Frosting
1 C. Chocolate Chips
1 C. Half and Half (or Cream, we use ½ & ½ in our coffee)
½ C. Shredded Sweetened Coconut
½ C. Chopped Pecans
In a glass bowl, heat the ½ & ½ in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, just til hot but not boiling. Add the Chocolate Chips and stir gently until all of the Chocolate is melted. You might need to “nuke” it again for a few seconds.
Pour the still warm Ganache over the two cakes; sprinkle the Coconut and Pecans into the Ganache, pressing very lightly in so that they stick.
Slice and enjoy with a cup of coffee or a big glass of cold milk.
I took one of the cakes to our next door neighbors and put the other one into our Covered Cake Plate.
It should keep for 4-5 days, that is if you don’t devour it!
DH and I don’t go out to breakfast very often, but we started talking about The Lone Spur Café and how we hadn’t been there for breakfast in a really long time. So, let’s go!
I’ll go first. This is my favorite breakfast/Sunday Brunch item of all times! This is the Cowboy Benedict. You’ll get 2 Biscuits topped with a generously thick slice of Smoked Ham, two Basted Eggs, Country Gravy (don’t let that throw ya though, it’s the best Sausage Gravy I’ve ever flipped a lip over!) along with a side of either Country Potatoes or Hash browns. I had the half order with Hash browns and I wound up taking most the Potatoes home.
DH enjoyed the Ham Steak & Eggs. This a nice sized hunk-o-Smoked Ham, 2 Eggs (although that looks more like THREE Eggs to me) cooked to order and your choice of Country Potatoes or Hash browns. DH had the “regular sized order” with the Country Potatoes and scrambled, but you can get a larger “Cowboy size”.
We were both stuffed to the gills, so we went across the street to the Court House Square to walk it off. Ya gotta love small towns!
I think my brain is stuck on Lemons just now…
Meyer Lemon Bars
For the crust:
1 ¼ C. All purpose Flour
½ C. Powdered Sugar
1 Tbsp. Corn Starch
½ C. softened Unsalted Butter
For the filling:
1 ½ C. Granulated Sugar
The zest of 1 Meyer Lemon
½ C. freshly squeezed Meyer Lemon Juice (approx. 2 Lemons)
½ C. All purpose Flour
Extra Powdered Sugar to dust the tops later
Preheat the oven to 350⁰
Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the crust with a whisk; cut in the Butter with a fork or pastry cutter until it’s crumbly (I used a Food Processor, it’s faster and easier).
Transfer the mixture to the pan and press the dough firmly into the bottom of the pan; bake for 10 minutes.
Whisk together the filling ingredients, minus that extra Powdered Sugar; pour the filling mixture over that still hot crust and bake for another 25 minutes or until the filling is set.
Cool on a rack to room temp and then refrigerate uncovered for at least 2 hours.
Dust the top liberally with that extra Powdered Sugar and slice, how good does that look?!
*Cooks note: If you can’t find Meyer Lemons, regular Persian Lemons are perfectly fine, just a little bit more tart than Meyers. I like to freeze Meyer Lemon juice in half cup portions when they’re in season, November through March.
You’ve heard of Greek Seasoning before right? NO?! Take a look down the Spice aisle in your local supermarket and you’ll find only one brand of commercially produced Greek Seasoning.
See the ingredients on the back panel: Black Pepper, Garlic, Oregano, Parsley and “five other spices”, along with some other stuff. On top of that, it’s not cheap either!
So I did an internet search for a recipe, a formula if you will; there are oodles of them. I already had all of the ingredients in my Spice Rack, so I put together a blend that we really like and I use it in and on just about anything.
Greek Seasoning Ala Auntie Doni
3 tsp. Dried Oregano
2 tsp. each Dried Mint, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley and Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp each Dried Basil, Marjoram, Granulated Garlic and Onion Powder
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
I go one more step and grind everything, working in small batches, in either a Spice Grinder or small Food Processor, or my favorite method, using a Mortar and Pestle, you’ll get a finer grind.
Store in an airtight container for as long as 6 months, but I don’t think it’ll last that long. I put this in Salad Dressing, on grilled Meats and Vegetables, on Bread dough, like Focaccia before it goes in the oven, anything that you want a hint of Greek in.
I make multiple batches of my Greek Seasoning, they make great gifts 😉
Gluten-free and Dairy-free dishes have been coming to the forefront in recent times. Some folks choose to be GF and DF for health reasons and others just do. My Friend, Missus Dear Friend is now GF/DF and Vegetraian for a little more than a year now. This has nudged me onto that culinary path and researching recipes has been very eye opening. I made this dish for our Easter Brunch Potluck (yeah, I know I’m behind, but what can I say, we’ve been busy).
GF/DF Cauliflower Crust Mini Quiches
1 head of Cauliflower
1 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Granulated Garlic
1/3 C. diced Sweet White Onion
½ C. Dairy-free grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
6 Eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 375⁰
*Rice the Cauliflower by either using a large holed Box Grater or whiz it up in a Food Processor fitted with its Metal Blade.
Place Cauliflower in a Microwave safe dish; stir in well the Salt and cook on high for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool until you can handle it. Transfer the now steamed Riced Cauliflower to a large piece of Cheesecloth, and wring as much of the water out as you can (this will take a lot of upper body strength, believe me!)
In a large bowl, whisk 2 of the Eggs; add the Cauliflower, Olive Oil, Granulated Garlic, Onion, Parm and S&P to taste, remembering that the steamed riced Cauliflower already has 1 teaspoon of Salt. Combine well. Spray a Muffin Tin well and divide the Cauliflower mixture evenly in the cups.
I used a small round, flat bottomed glass to press the Cauliflower into each cup, pressing firmly, but you could just use your fingers, making sure to push the mixture up the side of each cup. So what you’re doing is forming the crust on the bottom and side as evenly as possible.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and set firm.
Whisk the remaining 4 Eggs and pour evenly between all of the cups.
Here’s where you can show your personality. Add in any fillings (or not, plain is good too) that you like in a Quiche. I chose leftover steamed Rapini with Garlic and Olive Oil, leftover sautéed Crimini Mushrooms with Olive Oil and Garlic, diced Tomatoes, freeze dried Chives and topped each with more DF Parm. Bake 15-20 minutes or til the Eggs are set.
Allow to cool slightly before removing, using a plastic-disposable knife is best.
Serving Suggestion above, either warm or at room temp.
*Cooks Note: For convenience, just buy a bag of already Riced Cauliflower, also they stick like a son-of-a-gun! Be sure to spray non-stick-spray liberally just before putting in the Cauliflower mixture.
Also, Mrs. DF later tried this recipe as well and used a silicone Muffin pan, works even better!
This was a lovely Easter Potluck Brunch, what a schpread!
(You’ll note that the only Meat, Dairy or Gluten ((those are GF Crackers and Chips there)) is the Ham and Cheese Sandwich Platter meant for DH)
While on my last visit to Trader Joe’s, I saw Pink Lemons. Hmmm, what’s this? I murmured. I turned around and one the helpful team members said, “Doesn’t that look interesting? I haven’t tried those yet, but I’m going to.”
Okay, so will I.
I rolled the Lemons on the cutting board, using the heal of my hand for a bit before slicing them across their “equators” to ensure maximum juice release first off.
I’ve never made Lemonade from scratch before, so I did a quick search on the Internet and found several pretty simple, basic recipes, all saying about the same thing.
1 C. Granulated Sugar
1 C. Water
1 C. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
Combine the Sugar and Water in a small pan and place over low heat, stirring until the Sugar is completely dissolved; allow to cool. To a pitcher, add an additional 3-4 cups of water along with the Lemon Juice; stir and refrigerate for at least an hour. Taste and adjust to your taste.
Well, I didn’t exactly get a full cup of Lemon juice, so we adapt. If it’s a one to one ratio of everything and then add additional water, no problem.
Geez! All I got out of those three Lemons was two glasses of Lemonade, and does that look Pink to you? I thought not. Oh well, it tasted lovely, though next time I make Lemonade from scratch I’ll try it with Meyer Lemons instead.
There’s got to be a gazillion different ways to make Baked Ziti. What is Baked Ziti you ask? Well, it’s pretty much any type of tubular pasta, like Penne or Rigatoni, but my personal favorite right now is Cavatappi, combined with Red sauce and Cheese, then baked in a casserole dish.
Let’s get started.
Once the pasta of your choice is cooked to al dente, drained well and returned to the pot, I stir in enough of my homemade Marinara to get it nice and saucy. Next goes in the cheese. Now most recipes call for three to even four different ones, but I went with grated Grana Padano and Mozzarella, give it a good toss and then dump it all into a baking vessel. Add some more cheese to the top and bake, uncovered at 350⁰ for about 20 minutes, until the cheese melts and turns a bit brown.
It’s that simple. This smells like Lasagna! I made enough for two pans of pasta. One stays here and the other goes to our next door neighbors for their lunch. All we need now is some nice bread and a salad.