Dinner

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Christmas Time in the Summer!  
Who doesn’t like homemade ice cream?  What about Peppermint Flavored?  This is one of my favorite flavors and reminds me of when I was a kid going to Howard Johnson’s for Ice Cream.  Mom, Dad and I would go in to the one nearby and sit at the counter and get a dish of ice cream.  Now I did like the Swiss Chocolate Almond flavor and use to play this game with Mom on how many almond pieces we would get, but my all time favorite was peppermint stick.  
Around here you only see this at Christmas Time.  So this past Christmas season, i picked up a couple extra boxes of peppermint sticks for just this occasion.  We unwrapped them, put them in a storage bag and then into another Ziploc bag.  Took out the meat tenderizer and went to work crushing the sticks to bite size chunks.   Too bad I didn’t make this in June for Leon Day
Prepping the ingredients

Crushing the peppermint sticks

PEPPERMINT STICK ICE CREAM

Preparation: 5 – 10 minutes, 25 – 30 minutes chilling time; optional 2 hours to
“ripen” in freezer.
Makes about ten 1/2-cup servings.

 Ingredients

1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup crushed hard peppermint candies

Directions

In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and
granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 – 2 minutes on low
speed. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla and peppermint extract. Turn the
machine ON, pour mixture into freezer bowl through ingredient spout and
let mix until thickened, about 25 – 30 minutes. Add the crushed peppermint
candies during the last 5 minutes of mixing
Uncategorized

Lovely Lemon Pound Cake

This spring the weather has been horrible.  We really can’t catch a break, especially on the weekends.  So wen it is not warm enough to work or relax outside on our patio oasis,  I bake!  This weekend was just that weekend.  This was our dessert course after grilling some tenderloins and zucchini on the grill  and  roasting up some crispy red potatoes.  Crispy potatoes that are a smash
This cake with out any glaze, turned out very moist.  Our son made it his breakfast yesterday morning!  I think I will keep this recipe handy. 

Lemon Pound Cake


Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
5 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray or butter and flour one large Bundt pan. (I use the Pam baking Spray) Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each one. Add dry ingredients in three additions to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and zest. 
Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes.  Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.

Uncategorized

Snickerdoodles!

Cinnamon Yummy!

I love Snickerdoodles!  A cinnamon covered cookies that is soft and very tasty.  Normally in our house when cookies are made it is generally around Christmas time or it is our favorite chocolate chip cookie.   One Saturday a couple of weeks ago I had a hankering for Snickerdoodles.  I hadn’t made these in a really long time.  I am not sure where the recipe came from, other than my handy recipe box.  These were so good!  I might have to make them again real soon.

Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

2 3/4 cup flour
1 Tblsp. Baking Powder
1 cup of Butter
1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 Tblsp. cinnamon

Directions

On wax paper, stir together flour and baking powder, set aside.  In large saucepan or heat resistant bowl melt butter over low heat.  Remove and stir in 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs until smooth. Gradually stir in flour until smooth dough forms.  Cover and chill for 1 hour  or up to 3 days.

On wax paper or small bowl, mix remaining sugar with cinnamon.  Drop round teaspoon full of dough into mixture and turn to coat well.  Place on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes.  Cool on sheet for 1 minute and remove to cool.

Enjoy with a cold glass of milk! I like to cool cookies on a clean dish towel

Uncategorized

Dinner Club Time – Tres Leche Cake

Last weekend was our dinner club dinner at our neighbors across the street.  It was a Fajita Fiesta night that also included a little pool party time to cool down from our run of 90 degree plus days. Our assignment was dessert.  And what betther way to cool down that a Tres Leches Cake that is light and refreshing.

Now I have never made this before and was a bit puzzled on the size of the platter needed to serve it on.  The cake was baked in a 10″ pan and need to go on a platter with 1 inch sides to capture the “juices” of the 3 milks (Tres Leches) and Grand Marnier.  I could not find one and ended up using the casserole dish that was just a tad bit bigger than the cake pan.  Having now made this I know that I could use a different plate for presentation.

The recipe was also very approprate for me.  I work in the dairy industry and what better way to support it than a recipe which actually had 4 types of dairy products involved.  So, for a international flair and somthing that is refreshing and moist – give this recipe a try.

Tres Leches Cake

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray, for the cake pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the cake pan
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and flour a 10-inch cake pan with 2-inch high sides and then line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.

Mix the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the whole milk in 2 additions.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake slightly, about 10 minutes, then invert onto a platter with 1-inch high sides.

Pierce the top of the cake all over with a thick skewer. Mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, 1 cup heavy cream and orange liqueur in a medium bowl. Pour the mixture over the cake while warm. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours or overnight.

Combine the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream onto top of the cake and sprinkle with the ground cinnamon.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/tres-leches-cake-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Uncategorized

Chocolate Brownie Tart

Some say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  Probably a good idea when you are newly dating and want to impress your date, but when you have been with someone for 30 plus years, you know you have captured his heart a long time ago.  This past Valentines Day I wanted to  prepare a complete dinner for the two most important men in my life – my husband and our son.  We are not ones for showering each other with flowers or extravagant gifts for Valentines Day.  A simple exchange of cards will do and a great dinner prepared at home.  
I prepared a great au gratin potato dish (to be posted later) and Ina Garten’s steakhouse steaks.  To finish off the evening I made her Brownie Tart.   With only a half a cup of flour you know the dish will be rich and delicious. And this is not just a Valentines Day dessert…  Any special dinner will do.  Possibly Easter?

Chocolate Brownie Tart

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 1/4 cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3 extra-large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream


Grease and flour a 9-inch tart pan with removable sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Melt the butter in a bowl set over simmering water. Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips, remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool completely.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cooled chocolate. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the walnuts. Fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is puffed (the top may crack). The inside will still be very soft. Cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan.


Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips with the heavy cream and drizzle on the tart.


Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/brownie-tart-recipe.html?oc=linkback


Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/brownie-tart-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Uncategorized

A Classic Returns- Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake

Sometimes you need to revisit a classic recipe. I had a craving for a moist cake that was both easy to make and would also take care of my need for something with a lemon twist. This recipe originally came from Cooking Light so I felt a little less guilty eating this.  I originally made this for our son’s christening party 16 years ago.  It has been repeated a couple of times since then, but not in the recent past.  This cake is great on its own or with some sliced berries on top.  A very simple dessert when you need one.
 

Ingredients

 

Cooking spray
3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
1 cup powdered sugar
 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray, and dust with the breadcrumbs.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Beat the butter in a large bowl at medium speed of a mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and lemon extract, beating until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add grated lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; beat 30 seconds. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beating at low speed, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over top of cake.

Uncategorized

Mini Muffin Treats

 
A couple of Sundays ago I decided I wanted to a bake a little treat for not only us but to send down to our daughter at school.  They reminded me of the little muffins that you could buy at the store in the bread aisle.  They were always a little special treat that my mom and dad would pick up when I was younger. There is something about cinnamon streusel cake that I can’t resist.
 
I sent our college sophomore about 8 mini muffins and other supplies she needed and when I talked to her later she said she didn’t know what there were so she had a friend give them to a friend.  He immediately knew what they were and told her “They’re Coffee Cake muffins!” I believe she took back the remainder of the muffins for herself and her room mate. Great for a quick bite with a cup of coffee mid morning. 
 
 

Cinnamon Streusel Mini Muffin

Ingredients

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray mini muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray (I like using the nonstick spray that contains flour for these).
Stir granulated sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Stir in milk.
In a medium bowl, whisk baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Fill muffin pans with 1 tablespoon of batter per cavity (33-36 muffins).
Melt the butter in the same bowl you used for the dry ingredients. Stir in cinnamon, 2 tablespoons flour, a pinch of salt, and brown sugar. Mixture will be crumbly. Place about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of crumb topping on each muffin.
Bake for 9-10 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin. Cool before removing from pan and serving. It’s easiest to use a knife to help remove these from the pan.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days for freeze for up to one month. You may also bake them in in mini muffin liners instead of straight in the muffin pan.
Uncategorized

Apple and Cranberry Crisp

There is this great spice company that we love to buy from when we get the chance.  It is called Penzey’s and is headquartered out in the Midwest.  There was at one time a kiosk in Grand Central Station that we would always stop at to purchase what we might need but has now moved to a mall outside of the city.  Their prices are very good and the quality is the best.You are able to buy what you need in all sorts of sizes.  Once you start shopping through them you would receive a catalog on a quarterly basis that not only has all of their spices and extracts but great recipes too.  This recipe came from a recent catalog I picked up when I was in their Buffalo store.  I had to be in Buffalo for my job and I made it a point to stop by the store with my list of needed spices and extracts.  Hubby found the recipe and made it for dinner last weekend.It is a great fall recipe, maybe even for Thanksgiving this week because it features both Apples and Fresh Cranberries.

Apple and Cranberry Crisp

Filling:
1 3-lb. bag McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/2 Cups cranberries, optional
3/4 Cup sugar (you might use a bit more if adding cranberries, which are quite tart)
2 tsp. PENZEYS CINNAMON
1 tsp. GROUND NUTMEG
1 tsp. GROUND ALLSPICE
1/2-1 tsp. GROUND CLOVES (recipe calls for full teaspoon)

Crust:
2 Cups flour
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Cup shortening

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries (if using), sugar and spices. Toss to coat. In a second large bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Add the shortening and cut with a fork until the mixture resembles pebbles. Spoon the filling into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with the crust crumbles. Gently press the crust to form a flat surface. Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes.

Uncategorized

Easy Apple Strudel

My husband dressed the part! 

When you think of fall you remember the leaves changing colors, apple picking, pumpkins, Oktoberfest and hearty meals. Well that is what we had at our last dinner club dinner a few weeks ago. Giada and hubby from across the street created an Oktoberfest menu that included some traditional German foods including  Sweet and Sour Cabbage, Jagerschnitzel (Pork Cutlets with mushroom gravy), Zwiebelkuchen (Onion Pie) and Apple Strudel.  

Our dinners are decided by the host and recipes are distributed and assigned to each couple.  Our contribution was the apple strudel.  Pretty easy recipe but I had some difficulty with the puff pastry that I decided to make a second one.  I thought the first one just didn’t look right and luckily the pasty comes in two rolls, so I was able to remake it with a little help from a video from the Pepperidge Farms website on working with the dough.  The end result was delicious topped off by my homemade vanilla ice cream. 

Apple Strudel

1/2 of a 17.3 ounce package of Puff Pastry (Pepperidge Farm), thawed
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 egg beaten lightly with 1 tablespoon water
Confectioners’ sugar for serving (optional)
Ice Cream (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Add cranberries and walnuts and stir to combine. Add apples and lemon juice and toss, stirring until the apples are well coated; set aside.

Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll puff pastry out to a 16 by 12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, sprinkle 1/2 of pastry with apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border at the end closest to you. Roll the pastry up, jelly roll-style, and crimp to seal edges. Transfer strudel to prepared baking sheet and brush top with egg wash. Cut three slits on top of the pastry to let steam escape. Bake until top is golden, about 35 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving and serve with ice cream, if desired.

Uncategorized

Time to feed the sweet tooth

Saturday morning,  Hubby left early to go to the gym and then had some errands to run. So, he wouldn’t be home till early afternoon.   I decided I needed to get motivated as well and set a plan for my day.  I wanted to pull out some fall decorations, get the mountains of laundry done and I needed to feed my sweet tooth as well.  I had this recipe from the Noble Pig saved on the Facebook feed and decided that Saturday was the time to make it happen. 
 
To get the day started I headed to the Y to get in some cardio (in preparation for the calories I was going to consume). From there I would go to the grocery store with my list of ingredients needed.  Then head home and tackle my to do list and get everything done in order to enjoy the beautiful fall day we had.
 
This cake was not only calling my name I knew my mother would like it as well. I was planning on going out to see her on Sunday and would take about 1/4 of the cake with me.  I had to share the calories with someone and I get my sweet tooth from her.  And who can resist a cake with 2 and 1/2 sticks of butter? I would of thought this cake came from a Paula Deen recipe, but it didn’t.  The house smelled just wonderful while this was baking.  There was so much flavor to it, especially the glaze. And even now when I take the lid of the cake plate I get that almond scent in the air.  It won’t last long in my house.
 
 
 

Butter Almond Pound Cake

Ingredients

 

3 cups (12 oz) cake flour, more for dusting (do not substitute)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon pure almond extract
1 cup whole milk (do not substitute), room temperature

Almond Glaze:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon almond extract
1/3 cup slivered almonds for garnish
 
 

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
 
Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time and almond extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk and ending with flour. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
 
Add batter to a one-piece tube pan* (16-18 cup capacity) that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray and dusted with cake flour.(I did not have a one piece tube pan, so I had to use my standard two piece, extra coating of cooking spray)

 Bake in a 325 degree F oven that has NOT been pre-heated. This will give you a loftier cake and a nicer crust. (Do not open the oven door). Bake for 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick comes out the center clean.

 
Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes and then turn out on the rack and turn right side up. Let cool for three hours.
 
Mix together all ingredients for the glaze and pour over the top. Sprinkle with almonds before glaze is dry.
 
 
* Tip – When adding batter to a tube pan you have to be careful around the hole in the middle.  Our tip is to cover the hole with a Tupperware sippy cup.  Once the batter is in the pan, carefully putt the cup off.  And yes, the sippy cups are left over from when my children were little.  Great cups that we could never get rid of.  
Don’t you see the butter oozing out of this? 
 
From the Noble Pig Website – one of my favorite blogs!