9/10/14

Strawberry-Coconut Freezer Jam






This recipe was inspired by a trip to a cute little restaurant called Pig and a Jelly Jar, near Liberty Park in SLC.  I'm always looking for a fun place to have breakfast and love places that serve biscuits and jam. One trip to Pig, and I was hooked. The strawberry coconut jam was so good, I had to take a jar home.  I'm in love with the strawberry-coconut combo. I looked for a recipe online, but no luck. So I came up with my own version of their yummy jam.

If you live in SLC, it's worth a visit to Pig and a Jelly Jar.  They have the best ham-hash, Mexican skillet, and Jakes favorite-  chicken and waffles. Order a biscuit while you are waiting for your food (appetizers at breakfast- YES)  and make sure to try both the strawberry coconut and the blueberry lavender jam.






Strawberry-Coconut Freezer Jam
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 cups crushed fresh strawberries (about 2 pints)
4 cups sugar
1 (1.75 ounce) package Sure Jell 100% Natural Premium Fruit Pectin
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
2 teaspoons coconut emulsion, or  1 teaspoon coconut extract

Mix crushed strawberries with sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the pectin into the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Stir the boiling water/pectin into the strawberries. Mix well. 
Add the flaked coconut and the coconut emulsion or coconut flavoring. Mix well. Taste to see if you prefer a stronger coconut flavor. Add a small amount more emulsion or flavoring if desired. Remember, a little flavoring goes a long way. 
Ladle the jam into clean jars or plastic containers.
Place tops on the containers, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Place into freezer, and store frozen until ready to use.
Yield 3 pints

Tips:
-Emulsions may be found in stores that sell cake decorating/baking supplies, such as: Gygis (SLC,UT), Michaels, and some restaurant supply stores. It may also be ordered online. Occasionally, I have found it at grocery stores and at TJ Maxx/Marshalls Homegoods Stores.
-It's always a temptation to double the recipe in one bowl. I did this for several years to save time, against the warnings from experienced jam makers. After batches of runny or not quite right jam, I have learned to stick with one batch at a time in a bowl. I still make more than one batch at a time, just use a separate bowl for each batch.
-I always make a double batch.
-Four cups sounds like a lot of sugar, and it is! If you want to cut the amount of sugar, look for the low-sugar box of pectin. It works well. If you cut the sugar in this recipe, and use the Sure Jell pectin I used, your jam will turn out runny. Follow directions, choose the right pectin while at the grocery.
-I have used various types of pectin, and like Sure Jell the best. Some brands require using Corn Syrup in addition to sugar. With the Sure Jell freezer recipe, it's just fruit, sugar, water and pectin.
-9-1-1 for your grainy jam: If your jam seems grainy and you are not able to get the sugar to dissolve, stir in a couple tablespoons of corn syrup, it will help the sugar to dissolve. 
-At Pig and Jelly Jar, the jam is a bit cloudy or creamy looking. To achieve this look, pulse the strawberries with the coconut. This will produce a more milky looking jam, instead of a clear red jam. 




9/5/14

Slow-Cooked Beef Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce





Where did summer go? For us it was one long baseball trip (FL, CA 3 times, AZ, WA) , a pioneer trek to Wyoming and a week in Oregon to top it all off. Along the way we ate the good, the bad and the undeniably ugly. Here are a few photos of meals from our summer travels.

Dinner with daughters. OR Coast trip. More on this in another post...

Pok Pok in Portland. One of the best meals of the summer. Waited 1hr 45 mins for dinner.
Took a nap on the front lawn of the house next door to the restaurant while waiting...
Tip- go there in the middle of the day. No wait.


Blue Star Donuts. Portland, OR  
So. Darn. Good.


The aftermath.
Consensus- after trying half a dozen different flavors, the
Vahlrona Chocolate Crunch donut won the best overall award.


One of those "should we, or shouldn't we"  try places.
Glad we stopped. Had the pastrami sandwich with fries and gravy. Guy food paradise.
The Hat in Glendora, CA. 


Calamari, Jake is not a fan. 


Mayfield Bakery and Cafe. Tried many of their cookies and pastries, quiche and breads. All excellent.
The breakfast served in their restaurant next door was one of my favorite meals of the summer.

Lunch from the Asian Box restaurant near Stanford. Highly recommend this place.
Loved the caramel egg! 
Salt and Straw.
Strawberry Honey Balsamic Vinegar Ice Cream.
Portland, OR. Worth the wait.

Pastries from Ellies Table in San Clemente.
Oh. My. 


Kara's Cupcakes in Palo Alto.
Loved the Chocolate Velvet and the Key Lime cupcake. Still experimenting with
a recipe for the key lime cake. Watch for it on ABK soon...

Obviously, I'm a sucker for cupcakes!  Cupcake Royale in Seattle.
Got a little carried away with their ice cream "sampler"


Dahlia Bakery in Seattle. One of Tom Douglas' restaurants. This little
cake made with apricot filling and marscapone frosting was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
If you are a coconut lover, the coconut cream pie is heaven.
We also tried his Asian restaurant Tanakasan. If you go, order the Osaka Pancake.

Pecos Pit BBQ 1st Ave in Seattle. One of our favorite places waaaay back in the early 90's .
Still there. Still amazing.
What's a visit to Seattle without a stop at Ivars on the pier?
Jake, feeding baby Anabelle, who is  following in her Grandmother's footsteps.
My boys in Naples, Florida-  Cracklin' Jack's. Awesome  BBQ.
Loved everything we ate. Frog legs and hushpuppies,  anyone?


And last, but not least. The two dishes that inspired me to come up with a recipe
for my new all time favorite dinner... slow-cooked beef and chili enchiladas with red sauce. 

The Slow Cooked Chili Beef dish from Sabroso! Mexican Grill above,  and the dish below, from Cha-Cha-Cha in Portland were my inspiration for today's recipe.  Both of the dishes were made from slow cooked beef in chili powder and spices.
The dish below from Cha Cha Cha was made with beef and little red potatoes cut up and then rolled into tortillas. I ordered my enchiladas with green sauce, but it would have been much better with red. I knew when I arrived back home, I had to come up with my own version of the red chili and slow cooked beef filling.







Have you ever tried small red potatoes in a Mexican dish? you're going to love this. 
Kind of a "South of the Border" pot roast. In a tortilla.  





After slow cooking the beef with chilies, 
I removed it from the pan and browned the onions and garlic. 


Threw in a little fresh cilantro.



Made the sauce. 


Here's the meat mixture, ready to go in the tortillas.




Throw some sauce on the meat. 
Words cannot express how much I love this dish. 










This recipe looks long and complicated, but it may be broken into three simple steps:
1. Prepare the meat and let sit in refrigerator overnight. (optional, but highly recommended)
2. Slow cook the meat. Add the chopped vegetables and prepare meat for enchilada filling. 
3. Make the sauce, assemble the enchiladas, bake.


Slow-Cooked Beef  Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

6 large fresh Pasilla chilies* or
1 package dried Pasilla chilies (1 1/2 oz package*) or a mixture of dried and fresh
1- 3 lb beef cross rib roast or chuck roast*
2 cups water
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper

3/4 lbs tiny red potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups white onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 bunch cilantro chopped coarse, divided in half (reserve some for garnish)

2 tablespoon chili powder
Monterey Jack or Colby cheese for filling and topping enchiladas
tortillas for enchiladas (about 16 regular size) corn or flour
Sauce for enchiladas (recipe below)

Using tongs over flame on bbq grill or indoor gas burner on stove, roast the fresh chilies until blackened and blistered. Set aside. After cooled, peel off the blackened skin and discard. Split chilies down the middle and remove any seeds inside. Set aside the peeled, seeded, roasted chilies. 
Spray the bottom and sides of a large roasting pan or dutch oven with a bit of cooking oil. 
Rub the meat with 1/4 cup chili powder salt and pepper. Turn the meat so both sides are coated. Place the prepared meat in the pan. Lay the roasted chili pieces on top of the meat. Place the packaged dried chilies around the edges of the meat and pour in 2 cups of cold water around the sides of meat in pan. Set aside in refrigerator over night (or up to two nights ahead), not necessary, but recommended.
When ready to cook, remove pan from oven, let sit on counter for one hour and then follow baking directions. 
Bake, covered tightly for about 3 hours at 275 degrees.  After 3 hours, remove lid and toss in the 3/4 lbs small red potatoes. Replace the lid and roast for another hour, until the potatoes are tender.
After the meat is cooked, remove to a cutting board and shred or chop meat. Discard fat from meat.  Dice the cooked potatoes, leaving skins on.  Place meat and potatoes in a pan. Pour any extra juice left in pan on top of meat. Set aside.  Remove the dried chilies (if using) and discard. Chop the fresh chilies and toss in with the beef mixture. 
Using the same pan, sauté the onions over medium heat until softened and browned a bit.  Add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes, or until fragrant. Toss in the chopped cilantro and chopped meat and potato mixture. 
Sprinkle with an additional 2 tablespoons chili powder, if desired.  Set aside until ready to fill enchiladas. This mixture can be refrigerated for 3-4 days before using. 

Red Enchilada Sauce:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chili powder
10 oz tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons salt or to taste

Saute the oil in saucepan with flour over medium high heat, mix with whisk until smooth and a bit bubbly. Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken broth, 1/4 cup chili powder, tomato paste, dried oregano and salt to taste. Continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes until thickened a bit. Remove from heat and spoon about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the meat mixture. Gently fold into meat mixture. 

When ready to assemble enchiladas:
Lightly grease two 9x13 pans with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/3 cup of sauce to cover bottom of each pan.  Fill the enchiladas with the meat and chopped potato mixture. Sprinkle with a bit of grated cheese. Roll and place in pan seam side down. 
Continue rolling until all of the tortillas are filled.  You should have a little left over meat. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle with more grated cheese and top with any leftover meat. 
Bake covered at 350 for about 45 minutes or until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is melted and golden. 
Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Yield about 16 enchiladas, depending on size of tortillas used.

Tips:
-Cross Rib Roast  is my favorite for this dish because it shreds well and down not have a large amount of fat that needs to be discarded.
-I like a mixture of dried and fresh chilies for this dish.
-In the U.S. the chili powder we are accustomed to purchasing is a mixture of spices and chili power. Read your labels. If the ingredients are cumin, oregano, garlic powder and salt, then use the amounts I specify in this recipe. If the ingredients read ground chilies, then use about 1/3 of the amount I suggest. or you will end up with very spicy enchiladas and sauce!
-This dish will keep well in the fridge for about 3 days before baking. It also freezes well.
-If you make a little extra sauce, and want and easy side dish, cook some white rice and mix with a few tablespoons of red enchilada sauce after cooking. Also add a can of black or red beans and some chopped green onion. Serve with some shredded lettuce and guacamole for a complete meal!
-If you happen to have extra sauce, freeze it and use on days when you have some leftover meat and tortillas. Heat up the tortilla, fill with chicken, pork or beef, top with cheese and pour sauce over the top for a 5 minute meal. 

8/30/14

Strawberry-Avocado Spinach Salad with Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing


 


Spinach salad can take on so many different twists.  You can change it up and add your stamp with your favorite cheese, fruit, cooked chicken, onions, and varieties of nuts. I made this last week for the teachers at Woods Cross High. It's simple and always a crowd pleaser.




I love this salad made with end of summer strawberries, fresh avocado, spinach, Gorgonzola cheese and sugared almonds. The homemade poppyseed dressing tastes like Brianna's, costs a fraction of the store bought bottle, and only takes about two minutes to mix up in a blender.  Such a great salad for anything from a girl's lunch to a family reunion.
Happy end of summer!





Strawberry-Avocado Spinach Salad with Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

16 oz baby spinach
1-pint strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1-2 avocados,  ripe but still slightly firm cut into chunks or sliced
6-8 oz Gorgonzola or Bleu Cheese, crumbled
1 cups almonds, sliced
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
dash salt
Homemade Poppyseed Dressing (below)

Place a sheet of foil (about 12 inches long)  or parchment paper on the counter.  Give the foil a light spray of cooking oil.
Place the almonds and sugar in a large teflon pan over medium-medium high heat. Stir when sugar begins to heat up. It will give off a fragrance similar to cotton candy :) Be careful not to turn the heat up too high, or you will burn the sugar and have to toss the almonds.
Stir the almonds and sugar constantly after sugar starts to melt. This takes about 5-8 minutes to get to this point. Once sugar begins to melt or caramelize, remove pan from heat and pour onto foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle with an additional tablespoon of sugar. Let cool. Break apart when cooled if necessary.
Place the spinach in a large bowl. Toss with strawberries, avocado and Gorgonzola cheese. Or place the spinach in a bowl and top with avocado, strawberries and cheese. Top with cooled sugared almonds.
When ready to serve, toss with about 1/2 cup of the poppyseed dressing, or serve on the side.
Serves about 6-8 as a side salad.

Tips:
-If you are making this ahead, wait to cut the avocado until no more than an hour before serving.
Add the almonds just before serving.
-I usually double or triple the amount of sugared almonds for future use. I like the salad to be heavy on the almonds, so I probably use two cups total of sugared almonds.
-I also love this with a little thinly sliced red onion or bunch of green onions, chopped.

ABK Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing

1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayo, light or regular (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1 teaspoon grated onion (white, yellow or sweet onion, optional)
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and onion and process for 30 seconds.
With blender or food processor on high, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream.
Stir in poppy seeds.

Tips:
-If you don't have a blender or food processor, you can make this in a large bowl using a whisk or a hand mixer.
-You may make the dressing without the mayo and add it after all of the other ingredients if you prefer. If the dressing is not as creamy as you would like, or too tart, add the mayo.
-Keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.
-This recipe is enough dressing for 3 times the salad above. 



8/29/14

Winner for Harmons Gift Card!

The Random Generator selected entry #230, Alicia Cravens for the Harmons $100 Gift Card. Congratulations Alicia! I will email you and send the card out today.
Thanks to everyone who entered, and a special thanks to Harmons, who provided the card for this giveaway!

8/25/14

Harmons Grocery $100 Giftcard Giveaway!





Hey there. Want to win a $100 gift card to everyone's favorite grocery store?
You can spend it however your heart desires...



Take a cooking class at one of their classroom locations. The card will cover a class for you AND a friend.
Or use it to book a special party! Woot!




Use the card to buy gear to rep your favorite team. Harmons has sweatshirt, t-shirts, decals, lanyards, cups, hats, insulated bags, chairs, tables and lots, lots more.
GO UTES!
Oh, they have BYU stuff too.

I LOVE this little fold up table.
And that little people UTE chair. So cute.


Harmons has gifts for your family and friends.
And stuff for you, too.


Quality appliances. 



Fun dishes, items for baking, picnics, specialty cooking, and locally made gifts. 
Everything from aprons to hand made soaps.



Have you spent your gift card yet? 



Maybe you just want to spend it on GROCERIES. You're in luck. You've come to the right place.




Here's the deal. One winner, announced on Friday. Enter below.
Thanks to Harmons who sponsored this giveaway.
Good Luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway