Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter treats

Easter treat idea. Melt Hugs on top of pretzels then put an M&M on top & put it in the freezer until hard. YUM!

Murphy's Hot Hamburger

This recipe is from Pioneer Woman. Apparently is a recreation from a restaurant. It was really good. I had to cook the burgers in a little olive oil because I used really lean beef.

Murphy's Hot Hamburger


  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 2 cans (14 Oz. Can) Beef Broth OR 4 Cups Water With Beef Bouillon
  • 5 whole Large Potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil, Or As Needed
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice potatoes into fries. Place on a large baking sheet. Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil over the fries and toss with fingers to coat evenly. Sprinkle fries with seasoning of choice. I use seasoned salt. Place in the oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until golden and crispy.

In a mixing bowl, mix hamburger, garlic, seasoned salt, onion powder and salt and pepper. Mix well with hands. Form 4 large patties. I like to make really rustic, greasy diner-style patties with no uniform shape. Place in a large preheated skillet over medium heat, preferably one with deep sides. Brown burgers on each side until done.

Remove burgers from the skillet and place on a plate covered in paper towels. Do not drain the grease. Add the flour a tablespoon at a time, stirring with a whisk. You have enough when the grease is all absorbed and the flour mixture gets thick and bubbly. Slowly add the broth a little at a time, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and allow to thicken.

To serve, place an ample amount of fries on the plate. Place a hamburger on top of the fries and cover it all amply in gravy. Enjoy!

Magical Butter Sauce

This butter sauce is from Pioneer Woman. She says you can put it on whatever you want! It was really easy and added a zip to this salmon. I will definitely use it again. I used apricot simply fruit.

Magical Butter Sauce Recipe

In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1/3 cup butter. Add 2 tablespoons fruit preserves (apricot, mango-jalapeno, blackberry, etc.), 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, a good turn of the pepper mill and a generous pinch of salt.

Pour this over whatever your little heart desires.

Caramel Brownies

I made these brownies from Sister's Cafe yesterday. They were really easy and yummy. They were a little burnt around the edges, so next time I will cut the cooking time some.

Caramel Brownies

submitted by Brittany

1 box German chocolate cake mix
1/3 c evaporated milk
1/2 c butter,melted

14 oz package of Kraft caramels (50)
1/3 c evaporated milk

1 cup milk chocolate chips (Guittard or other large chips)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together dry cake mix, butter, and evaporated milk. Press half of this mixture into bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 6 minutes.
  2. Melt caramels with 1/3 c evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Set aside.
  3. Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked crust. Drizzle caramel over chocolate chips. Spoon or sprinkle the other half of the cake mixture on top. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes to set. Cut and serve.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pesto pizza

My mom and I recreated this creation from Central Market many years ago. It's really good. You just take your favorite pizza crust (cooked & cooled), top it with a layer of pesto sauce, then put diced sun dried tomatoes and dollops of goat cheese (as much as you like) on top of that. I made my pizza crust using the no-knead bread recipe and after the second rise I just stretch the dough on a cookie sheet pan with some olive oil on it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Roasted gold beets

I really really dislike beets...that is until I tried gold beets! I just roasted them in 450 degree oven with a little olive oil, salt & pepper until tender. Yum! (something I never thought I would say about beets)


I made this colcannon recipe from Sister's cafe for St. Patrick's Day last week. It was really good!

submitted by Brittany at Sister's Cafe

6 large potatoes, peeled
4-6 Tb half-and-half
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 onions, finely chopped
6 Tb butter, divided
1/2 of a small head of cabbage, sliced thinly

1. Slice peeled potatoes in half and place in pot. Fill with enough water to cover and boil for 25 minutes, or until soft. While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tb butter in large saucepan. Add minced onion and stir to coat with butter. Add cabbage over onions. Cover saucepan and cook over med-low to medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until cabbage is soft.

2. Drain potatoes and add half-and-half (or milk) and salt. Mash with electric mixer. Stir together onion and cabbage mixture with mashed potatoes. Spoon into an oven safe dish and place under broiler until top is browned. Traditionally colcannon is served with a deep well in the center filled with melted butter... so I place 2 more Tb of butter on top and let it melt into colcannon.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Asian Cabbage Salad

I made this salad last week. It was really good. I used napa cabbage and it was great. I will use napa in future cabbage salads. I loved the texture of it and the lighter crunch.

Sandee's Sensational Asian Salad with Chicken and Cabbage

(Makes about 6 servings, recipe adapted by my sister Sandee from several sources.)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning (optional, for poaching water)
4 cups thinly sliced and chopped cabbage (or use 4 cups purchased coleslaw mix)
1/2 cup sliced green onion (or less, I like a lot of onion)
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted in dry pan
2 T sesame seeds, toasted in dry pan
1 pkg. dry ramen noodles, crushed (leave out ramen noodles for South Beach Diet but save seasoning packet for dressing)

2 1/2 T rice vinegar ( or more, to taste)
2 T Splenda or sugar (use Splenda for South Beach Diet)
chicken ramen noodle seasoning packet (or use about 1/4 tsp. chicken flavor base)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
4 T olive oil + 2 T canola oil

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts. Then fill a small frying pan with water, whisk in poultry seasoning, add chicken breasts and cook at a very low simmer until chicken is firm to the touch and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool.

While chicken cooks, mix together rice vinegar, Splenda or sugar, chicken ramen packet or chicken soup base, salt, and pepper, the whisk in the oil, one tablespoon at a time. Taste dressing to see if you want a little more vinegar, and when it's flavored to your liking set aside to let the flavors blend.

Thinly slice and then chop enough green cabbage to make about 4 cups chopped cabbage (or use 4 cups packaged coleslaw mix.) Add cabbage to large bowl. Slice green onions and add to cabbage.

As soon as chicken is cool, dice into small pieces (less than 1/2 inch square) and add to cabbage mixture. Add dressing until the salad is as wet as you prefer, then toss to combine. (You may not need all the dressing.)

In a large dry frying pan, toast the almonds over low heat, about 90 seconds, or until almonds start to be fragrant. Add sesame seeds and toast about 60 seconds more, or until nuts and seeds are barely starting to brown.

Add toasted almonds and sesame seeds to salad, toss again to combine, season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and serve.


I made panini for a baby shower last week using the no-knead bread method I've been using like crazy lately. You seriously have to try it! The panini were awesome! I made turkey pastrami with provolone & turkey pesto with provolone & ham, turkey, salami, havarti with olive tapenade from Costco & nutella panini. Yum!

No-Knead Bread
Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery via Mark Bittman at New York Times

Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf

3 cups bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 c cool water
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add water, and stir until blended; dough will be sticky. Add a little more water if you need to make it sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at room temperature, out of sunlight, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles and it's a little bit darker of a color. Use lightly floured hands to pull the dough off the edges of the bowl and tuck the edges in to make it a round ball. Make sure there is a light coating of flour all over the ball of dough, not too much, just enough so you can pick it up without the dough sticking to your hands.

3. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Fold towel over to cover dough and put it in a draft free place to rise. Let it rise for 1-2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. A half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 475°. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes (I ended up only baking mine 10 minutes extra), until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Blueberry Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for a baby shower and baptism that I made food for recently. They turned out really good. Instead of making the meringue buttercream I just made cream cheese frosting and added blue food coloring.

Trophy Cupcakes Debuts New "Farmer's Market Blueberry" Cupcake!

Blueberry Cupcakes:
Makes 12 cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line cupcake pan with paper liners
2 Cups + 2 tablespoons sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 1⁄2 cups of Sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄4 cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of blueberry puree (recipe follows)
1⁄2 teaspoon of pure Vanilla extract

Blueberry Puree:
Bring one pound of blueberries (fresh or frozen) to a boil in a sauce pan (preferably
organic and from your local farmers market). Reduce heat to low and simmer until most
of the liquid has evaporated (about 1⁄2 hour) and the mixture is thick (stir occasionally).
Cool the blueberries slightly and place in a food processor. Mix until smooth. For an
extra smooth puree pass mixture through a fine sieve before using. Makes about 1 1⁄4

For Cake: Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating
until incorporated after each one. Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix milk
with 1⁄2 cup of blueberry puree and vanilla. Add wet and dry ingredients alternately to
butter, sugar mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients in three additions.
Mix until just incorporated after each addition. Do not overbeat batter. Fill cupcake
liners 3⁄4 full of batter. Spoon 1 teaspoon of blueberry puree into the center and mix in
slightly with a wooden skewer or small spoon. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until cake
springs back to the touch. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire
rack and cool completely before frosting. Frost with Blueberry Swiss Meringue
Buttercream. Top with a dollop of puree or a fresh blueberry.

Blueberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 egg whites
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
2 cups room temperature unsalted butter (4 sticks or 1 pound)
1⁄4 cup + 2 tablespoons of blueberry puree
Pinch of salt
Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a
pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are
hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it
should feel completely smooth. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk
attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff
and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until
incorporated after each addition. The buttercream may appears curdled after all the
butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add
blueberry puree and salt and beat just until combined. Switch to the paddle attachment,
and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. If using
buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room
temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the
refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and
beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Brazilian Lemonade

I found this recipe on Our Best Bites. It's seriously good! I find it a little funny that it's called "Lemonade" when it's made with limes and the ingredient list and directions made me really leary. I was looking for a good lime drink to serve with tortilla soup tonight and this hit the spot. We had guests over for dinner and everyone really enjoyed it.

Brazilian Lemonade
Our Best Bites

4 juicy limes (try and find ones with thin, smooth skins; they're the juiciest and the thin skin cuts down on the chance of your drink being bitter)
1 c. sugar
6 c. cold water
6 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk

Mix cold water and sugar very well and chill until ready to use. This step can be done ahead of time.

Wash limes thoroughly with soap (I just use hand-dishwashing soap or regular hand soap); you need the soap to get the wax and pesticides off of the limes because you're using the WHOLE lime, baby. Cut the ends off the limes and then cut each lime into 8ths.

Place 1/2 of the limes in your blender.

Add 1/2 of the sugar water, place the lid on your blender, and pulse 5 times. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a pitcher (the one you'll serve the lemonade in) and pour the blended mixture through the strainer and into the pitcher. Use a spoon to press the rest of the liquid into the pitcher. Dump the pulp and stuff in the strainer into the trash. Repeat with remaining limes and sugar water. Add sweetened condensed milk; DO NOT leave this step out unless you will die of a horrible sweetened condensed milk allergy because this is the secret ingredient! You may want to taste test it at this point; I used giant, thick-skinned limes tonight and didn't test it and it came out a little bitter. If it's bitter, just add some more sugar and maybe a little more milk. Serve immediately over lots of ice. This does not keep well, so don't make this in advance (although you can cut the limes, mix the sugar water, and measure the sweetened condensed milk in advance). Serves 4