Saturday, May 31, 2014

Huffed & Puffed

So I apologize about this entry being a day or so late.  With an unfortunate incident involving a blender and stitches, I had trouble getting online.  I'll try to share that story with you next week.  But Yay! I'm here and ready to show you another new recipe.

Potato Puffs:

That question that weighs on everyone’s mind while they’re cleaning out a fridge on the weekend, what to do with those leftover mashed potatoes?  I’m not a fan of reheated mashed potatoes; they always taste funny to me.  Typically I make dumplings out of them, and add the dumplings to stew or chicken soup. 

This time I was making turkey burgers and wanted something yummy to go with them.  So I found a recipe for potato puffs.

Potato Puffs

10 min of prep time
20-25 min cooking time
·       2 cups leftover mashed potatoes (Mine were leftover red potatoes mashed with the skins)
·       1 egg (beaten)
·       ½ cup of parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
·       ½ cup of flour
·       ½ Tablespoon of baking soda
·       ½ Tablespoon of baking powder
·       2 Tablespoons of garlic powder
·       1 Tablespoon of salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Beat egg before starting with potatoes.  I typically only do this so I don’t forget later and add it without beating the egg.  

Add leftover mashed potatoes, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg to a large mixing bowl.  Mix well.  

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt.  The slowly add dry mixture to potatoes.  

Line baking pans with parchment paper.  Add dollops of mixture about 2 inches round.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of dollops. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes until middle puffs out.  It’ll deflate a bit afterwards, it’s OK, still tastes awesome.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Set the Batter Rolling

I am so excited to bring you yet another yummy bread recipe.  This one I stumbled upon while looking for ways to use up leftover baked sweet potatoes.  Just to warn you, these are extremely addictive.  The key to their delicious flavor is the addition of nutmeg and cinnamon.  It adds just a little something extra.  I love that these rolls can be used as dinner rolls, hamburger rolls, or sandwich rolls depending on your fancy. I've been making them to use as buns for turkey burgers, as well as vegetable sandwiches.  

Sweet Potato Rolls

3 hours of prep time
25 min cooking time

·       1 5in sweet potato (baked with skins removed)
·       ½ cup brown sugar (you can use light or dark)
·       2/3 cup of milk
·       1/3 cup of warm water
·       3-4 cups of AP flour
·       1 packet of yeast
·       2 teaspoons of salt
·       ½ teaspoon cinnamon
·       ½ teaspoon nutmeg
·       1 egg

Bake one large sweet potato.  I typically bake 3-4 and then use the leftovers for this bread.  Sweet potatoes are pretty easy; Poke them all over with a folk and wrap in foil.  Bake for 375 degrees for an hour or so.  
Assemble ingredients, poof yeast in warmish water and set aside for 5 minutes.  In a large bowl  ( I used a Kitchen Aid Mixer because it was way easier), combine brown sugar, sweet potato, and milk to make a paste.  Then add salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and yeast mixture.  

Begin to gradually add flour to the mixture.  After all of the flour is added, knead for 10 minutes or so until completely combined.  It should have a sticky texture.  

Allow dough to rise for 2 hours or so.  It should double in size.  
(TIP: If you're having problems getting it to rise, or your home is a little cooler than the bread dough likes, try heating your oven to 200 degrees for 5-10 minutes.  Shut off the heat and pop the covered dough inside.  It'll rise.)

After it has risen, spread flour on counter top and knead again for 10-15 minutes.  Grease a 13x18 pan. Roll dough into a long thin loaf.  Use a knife to cut 12 equal pieces.  Place in greased pan and allow to rise for 45 min to an hour.

After the rolls have risen a second time, reshape them a little so they maintain their shape.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat an egg in a small dish.  Lightly brush dough with egg mixture.   Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and perfect.  


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Delivering that Veggie Goodness

This week marks the first delivery of produce from the experiment Tom and I began.  For the past year or so we had heard excellent reviews about investing in a Co-op group and the benefits that come with it.  Organic vegetables, once a week pick-up, what could be better? 
We also looked into the negative aspects of it as well.  Expensive, with only limited types of veggies to choose from each month, getting the same types of vegetables etc. lettuce, week after week.  Despite viewing all of the information, we decided to try it.  Both of us wanted to maintain healthier diets and eat more organic fruits and veggies. 
We chose Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op, for a few reasons. 
               1.  We're both originally from Lancaster County, therefor we know both the people and the quality of what would be offered.
               2.  The reviews online were excellent.  The only complaints were about the large quantities of veggies and that people couldn't eat them all.
               3. Tom had heard in person reviews from multiple co-workers on the quality of the produce.

So we signed up a few weeks ago and waited with breathless anticipation for the first delivery.  Deliveries (because of spring weather problems) were delayed a week, so we received our first box of veggies goodness today rather than last Tuesday, May 12.

I showed up at the address I was given after receiving confirmation on our delivery.  Where I saw this beautiful stacked yumminess.  I signed in and grabbed my box that featured lots of vegetables despite only ordering a half share.
Our box included spinach, romaine lettuce, mixed green and red lettuce, kale, asparagus, and red scallions.  You should then have seen me scrambling to look for new recipes to feature said ingredients.  Today's concoction included that fresh romaine and some leftover chicken to make for a very delicious Chicken Caesar Salad.

Stay tuned for next week's delivery and for the recipes that I will concoct from it.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Tis the Season to BBQ

I'm getting an early start to my blogging this "lovely" Friday morning.  Lovely is a loose term for the weather we're experiencing outside.  All I hope is you remembered your umbrella and raincoat before leaving for work this morning.  However this weekend, the weather is supposed to be absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.   So before I start bringing you photos of our fabulous weather on the Times Herald webpage, you can check out my new recipe. 

So tis the season for outdoor barbecuing! I love barbecuing outside.  Especially when it’s super hot and you don’t want to heat up your kitchen but you want to have hot delicious food.  I’m not a huge fan of bottled barbecue sauce, so I thought I’d whip up my own.  Here’s my tasty concoction.  I then used it to create Tangy Pulled Pork.  I know every family tends to have their own BBQ sauce recipe so please feel free to comment below to tell me about yours.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce
5 min prep time
30 min cook time
6 servings (about a Cup of sauce)

·       ¾ cup of ketchup
·       ½ cup of brown sugar
·       3 Tablespoons of Honey
·       pinch of salt
·       pinch of cayenne
·       1 teaspoon of garlic powder
·       ½ of teaspoon of chili powder
·       pinch of cumin
·       pinch of black pepper
·       1 teaspoon of salt
·       2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
·       ¼ Cup of water

Combine salt, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder. Set aside.

In a sauté pan, add brown sugar, ketchup, honey, and combined seasonings.   

Heat under low heat for about 5 minutes.  Then add water and soy sauce and bring up to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.  

Add sauce to any barbecue dish.  I added it to chicken.  

Tangy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
10 min prep time
5 hours cook time
12-15 servings

·       3 lbs of pork shoulder
·       1 cup of BBQ Sauce
·       ¼ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
·       ½ cup of Orange Juice
·       ½ cup of Brown Sugar
·       1 Large onion chopped
·       2-3 Tablespoons of flour

Ready your slowcooker.
Add pork, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar, and onion to slow cooker.  Cook on High for 4.5 Hours.  

Ladle out a cup of broth from the cooking pork into a dish.  Add 2-3 Tablespoons of flour to broth.  Add mixture back to crockpot and let cook for another 30 minutes or so. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Brunch for Mother's Day

Many people across America celebrate Mother's Day by taking Mom out to dinner or lunch on Sunday.  Perhaps if you're not up for a fancy meal out, or can't afford it, you could try making brunch instead.  Here are two brunch items for you try out together for Mom on her special day.

Once a long time ago, in a land far far away, ok… not that far away, I’m talking downtown Philadelphia.  I tried a fabulous little ramekin dish filled with eggs, tomato sauce, and mozzarella at a buffet.  Since then I’ve been trying to replicate it.

Italian Eggs
10 min prep time
15 min cooking time
1 serving

·       2 eggs
·       ¼ cup tomato sauce
·       2-3 slices of bread
·       ¼ cup mozzarella
·       dried basil
·       red pepper flakes

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Toast bread slices in the oven, it’ll take about 10 minutes.

Grease ramekin dish and layer the bottom with tomato sauce.  You can either make your own sauce or use your favorite store bought kind.  

Crack two eggs gently and layer them on top of the sauce in the ramekin dish.  Sprinkle a little dried basil and red pepper flakes on top of the eggs.  Then top off with the mozzarella cheese.

Place dish in oven for 13-15 minutes.  This will make the eggs runny, which is great to dip the bread in.  You can always cook the eggs longer if you don’t want the yolks runny.  

Sunshine Berry Mimosas
10 min prep time
4 serving

·       8 oz of Champagne
·       8 oz of Orange Juice
·       1/4 Cup of frozen mixed berries
·       1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Ready 4 mimosa or champagne flutes.

Take a microwavable dish and heat up berries and sugar together for 30 seconds or so.  You want them to be just defrosted but not hot. Puree mixture.  Evenly pour small amounts of mixture into each glass.
Pour Orange juice first, very slowly.  Then add champagne and Voila!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

May is a fun month to enjoy.  You have a variety of holidays, such as Memorial Day and Mother's Day.  The weather is getting warmer and the flowers are blooming.  So to kick off the month of May, I want to celebrate one of my favorite Holidays, Cinco de Mayo. 

Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for the 5th of May, is a holiday primarily celebrated in the United States, and parts of Mexico.  In the state of Puebla in Mexico, it’s known as the El Die de la Batalla de Puebla, the Day of the Battle of Puebla.   It originated with Mexican-American communities as a way to celebrate freedom and democracy during the Civil War.  Today it’s a date that celebrates Mexican heritage and pride in the U.S.  For most people, it’s a night out to enjoy tacos and margaritas.  For me, it’s a chance to make my own.  

One of my favorite combinations of food is avocado and smoked salmon.  The richness of the avocado pairs really nicely with the smoky, saltiness of the fish.  So I thought a great way to put it all together was to create this guacamole.  You can pair this was corn chips or small toast points.

Smoked Salmon Guacamole
40 min prep time
4 servings
·       1 avocado
·       1 small tomato, chopped
·       ¼ cup of chopped white onion
·       1 clove of garlic
·       1 pinch of cayenne 
·       1 teaspoon of lime juice
·       1 oz. of smoked salmon
·       2 Tablespoons of fat free sour cream

Scoop out avocado and mash in a small bowl.  Chop up garlic or utilize a garlic press.  Add garlic, tomato, and onion to bowl.  Sprinkle cayenne pepper on top and mix thoroughly. 

 Chop up salmon into small chunks.  All salmon and sour cream to the bowl and mix.  Squeeze or sprinkle lime juice on top.  Chill for 30 minutes and serve.

Who doesn't love a cold margarita on a warm day? Typically I'm a traditional lime on the rocks king of margarita gal, but I wanted to try something new for the upcoming summer.  That's all summer is, warm days accompanied by cool drinks.  So I spent some of those fabulously warm days in April experimenting with different margarita recipes.  This one turned out very well.  A tangy and cool concoction.  

Tangerine Margaritas
5 min prep time
2 servings
·       1 cup of Tangerine juice (any citrus juice will pair nicely with margaritas)
·       ½ cup of ice
·       1 oz. of triple sec
·       4 oz. of tequila (optional)
·       salt or sugar for the rim

Combine tangerine juice, ice, triple sec, and tequila in a shaker.  Shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. Take the sugar or salt and place on a paper plate.  Shake it a bit to spread it out.  Wet the rim of the glass and dip onto the plate until covered.  Pour contents of shaker into glass until full.  Should be enough for 2 servings.