Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts


Fresh Peach and Coconut Cream Cake

Our Labor Day weekend started with a stop at one of my favorite breakfast spots, Left Fork Grill in SLC, a drive to our cabin for football watching, hiking, fishing, a little archery practice, swinging on the swings and of course a bit of cooking before returning home on Monday.

When at the cabin, I try to simplify and make things that we can enjoy with little time in the kitchen. I baked up this Fresh Peach and Coconut Cream Cake to celebrate the end of summer and highlight one of my favorite fruits.  This recipe is a one bowl, mix, pour and bake dessert. Really simple, fresh and delicious. If you've got  peaches sitting on your counter, this is one dessert you have to try.
Happy Baking!

Fresh Peach and Coconut Cream Cake
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla or 1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups peaches, peeled and chopped (about 2 small peaches)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut sweetened, flaked (optional)

additional peaches for topping cake (3-4 more)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add vanilla, peaches and lemon juice, beat until the peaches are broken up into small pieces, about 1-2 minutes on high. Add the buttermilk, flour, baking soda and salt. Continue beating for an additional two minutes, fold in coconut.
Generously grease a 9x13 pan or two 9 inch round cake pans or pie plates. Bake on middle rack of oven, about 30-35 minutes for 9 x 13, about 20-25 minutes for round cake pans or pie plates.
Remove and let cool.
Whip cream until stiff, add powdered sugar, whip until blended well.
Peel, pit and slice additional peaches. Slice cake and top with peach slices, top with whipped cream.
Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar or coconut.

-I baked this at a high altitude (about 6,700 ft) and used 1 cup buttermilk and 2 1/4 cups flour. Baked at 375 for 30 minutes in a 9x13 pan.


ABK's Dry Rub for Steak and Ribs

Want to give Dad something he'll love for Father's Day?  Follow this plan...

1. Buy some good quality steaks. I love the steaks at Snake River Farms, trust me, Dad will LOVE anything from SRF. The steaks I used for this post are Cowboy Steaks, aka Bone In Rib Eye Steak. They are about 2 1/2 inches thick and are bone-in, weighing in at about 2-2.5 lbs each.

These babies are THICK. About 2 1/2 to 3 inches each. 

2. Mix up the dry rub in about 2 minutes. Double the recipe if you want to package up some of the extra dry rub mix in a cute little container to give to Dad. Buy a BBQ spatula, tie a ribbon around it, along with the homemade dry rub mix.

3. Invite Dad over for a bbq, give him the dry rub mix and spatula. Cook up the steaks and prepare to be Dad's new favorite child.

ABK's Dry Steak Rub
A Bountiful Kitchen

Double if giving away as a gift!

2 tablespoons paprika (regular or smoked)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
3-4 tablespoons Sea Salt
2 tablespoons Lemon Pepper
1 tablespoon thyme (optional)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar, if using as a rub for ribs
For best results, apply rub 24 hours before serving meat.

Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
Apply seasonings to meat by sprinkling generously on to surface of meat, massage into meat, turn and repeat on opposite side. Cover meat or place in a Ziplock bag and let the dry rub sit on the meat overnight in the fridge. About 2 hours before cooking, remove meat from refrigerator. Place meat on a plate, and let sit on counter until ready to cook.

-It is best to apply the dry rub for at least 24 hours before cooking the meat, or at least 2 hours before.
-You may also use garlic salt and onion salt, in place of powders, if doing so, omit the sea salt.
-Target often sells cute glass containers perfect for bottling spices in their $1 section right in the front of the store.

Instructions for cooking Cowboy Steak:

You will need the rub ingredients above and 1-2 lb  steak to feed approx 2-3 people (depending on amounts of side dishes and how hungry you all are!)
Butter, about 1 tablespoon

Turn grill to medium high. Cook the steak for about 4 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook meat for about 15 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes. The temperature of the grill should be about 400 degrees.
After about 12-15 minutes, insert meat thermometer in center of steak it should register 115-125 for medium rare. Remove from grill. Quickly spread the butter (about 1 tablespoon) on top of the steak.  Let sit on a serving plate for a full 15 minutes, covered loosely in foil before cutting. The steak will continue cooking after being removed from heat.
The steak may also be cooked in an oven (use temperature guidelines in recipe). Sear the meat on both sides on stove with a little olive oil in a pan before placing in oven.


Breakfast Croissant Quiche Cups

These little Breakfast Quiche Cups are made with croissants and easy to whip up in just a few minutes. They are perfect for the Mother's Day brunch you're planning.
You've got that covered, right??
If not, here are a few suggestions to help you out...

One-Bowl Berry Coffee Cake, super simple and can be made a day ahead! 

If Mum loves pancakes, try this recipe for Sour Cream Pancakes. Absolutely melt in your mouth delicious. It's my copycat recipe for Penny Ann's Sour Cream Pancakes. Don't forget the home made syrup. 

 For a meal in a salad, try this recipe for Cobb Salad with Creamy French Dressing. Crunchy, salty, creamy all in one bite. 

Does your mom love Panera? You'll be her favorite when you make this copycat version of the Panera Strawberry Poppy seed Chicken Salad.  And who doesn't want to be mom's favorite??

You say you can't cook? Here's a no fail recipe for Fruit-Filled Virgin Sangria. Buy a glass pitcher and a few glasses and give all to mom for her special day, filled with this colorful delicious drink!

Every mom I know LOVES this dish.  If you can't take her to Italy, the least you can do is bring Italy to her.  Magherita Pasta. Takes just a few minutes to make.  Serve it with some bread and a green salad.
Best dinner.

Don't forget dessert! Nan's Coconut Cake  is mom's favorite. Made with a cake mix and add-ins, it's simple and can be made a day or two ahead. Store in fridge. Top with fruit just before serving.
If this doesn't make mom love you, nothing will.

If mom is a Swig Cookie fan, make these. The original (Almost) Swig Cookie.
Gift plan: Give her a bottle of coconut flavoring (don't forget the squirt spout) a big glass, some fresh limes and some Diet Coke.
The family inheritance will be all yours.

Past Mother's Day Menus and recipes: 

Breakfast Croissant Quiche Cups
A Bountiful Kitchen

3 large croissants, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
10 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 tablespoons prepared pesto
1-1 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
3 green onions, chopped
8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped
2 cups grated cheese any type (cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss)

Generously grease muffin cups. 
Place croissant slice into greased muffin cup. You may need to press down a bit, or tear it in half to fit the slice in the muffin cup. Beat eggs and half and half together (I like to use a blender), add salt and pepper, mix again. Set aside.
Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon pesto over each croissant piece in cup. 
Top with chopped spinach, green onions, bacon and grated cheese. 
Pour the eggs over the croissants in the cups*. Fill the cups about 3/4 full of the egg mixture, or until all of the egg is used up.  
Let sit overnight in refrigerator (see tips below), covered with plastic wrap or bake in 350 oven for about 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden. 
Let sit for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the muffin cup and remove to a platter. Serve immediately or at room temperature. 

-Make sure to generously grease the cups both sides and bottom or the egg will stick. 
-*The amount of quiche cups will depend on the size of the muffin cup, this recipe generally makes about 15-18 medium size cups. 
-It is best, but not necessary, to let the prepared quiche cups sit in the fridge for at least an hour before baking. This allows the egg mixture to completely soak into the croissant and creates a yummy bread pudding type texture. If preparing the quiche cups the day before serving, remove from fridge and let sit on counter for 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered. 
-The baked cups freeze well. After baking, place any leftovers in a Ziploc bag after completely cooled. Freeze. When ready to use, place on a paper towel and heat in microwave for about 1 minute. 
-We love this dish served with Chili Sauce or Sheri's Simple Salsa


Chocolate Ganache Cake with Raspberries and Almond Cream

What says I love you more than a home made chocolate treat?  This dessert is beautiful and simple and tastes like something you order in a high end restaurant. It takes about 10 minutes to mix up the cake, and less than 30 to bake. While it's baking, you can make the ganache and whip the cream. Haven't ever made ganache? It consists of warming the cream and adding chocolate to the warm cream. Yup.  That's it.
After the cake is cooked and cooled, it can be glazed and set aside for later.
Hope you enjoy a sweet holiday with the ones you love!

Chocolate Ganache Cake with Raspberries and Almond Cream
A Bountiful Kitchen, cake recipe originally from Deer Valley Bakery, UT
print recipe

for cake:
1/2 cup butter room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour*
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups buttermilk

for ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream (if you want the ganache to be thinner, use 3/4 cup)
1 cup dark chocolate (chips or broken up bar chocolate 8 oz)
1 teaspoon vanilla

whipped cream topping:
2 cups heavy whipped cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cocoa powder, for dusting top of cakes

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Set rack in middle of oven.
Grease and line two 8 inch cake pans. Grease the parchment paper.
Sift the flour into a bowl along with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until they are mixed well, about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the vanilla and eggs, beat for about 1 minute.
Add the dry mixture, alternately with the buttermilk mix on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl twice, until all of the buttermilk and the flour has been added and mixed well. After all of the ingredients have been added, mix for about 1 minute.
Divide the batter evenly into the two pans. Place the pans on the center rack and bake for about 25 minutes or until a few moist crumbs are attached to a toothpick. This cake may take less time if you are baking in a dark pan. Be careful to not let this cake overcook!
Remove from oven, let cool.

While the cake is baking, make the ganache:
Heat the cream in a medium size bowl in microwave for one minute. Remove and stir in chocolate chips or broken up bar chocolate.  Add vanilla and continue to mix with spoon or small whisk until smooth. The heat from the cream should melt the chocolate.  Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, then spread the mixture evenly onto cooled cakes.  You may layer the cakes, or serve them as single layers. If this mixture starts to thicken too much before the cakes are cooled, you may warm the ganache for about 10 seconds and then spread on the cakes. If you want the ganache to be thinner, use 3/4 cup cream instead of 1/2.

Whip the cream in a large mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and if desired, the almond or vanilla extract. Refrigerate until ready to serve with the cake and berries.

To assemble:
Slice the cake and place on a plate. Top with whipped cream. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with fresh raspberries or strawberries.

-*If you are not baking at a high altitude, Adjust the flour  to 2 cups. This recipe works well in our mountain (4,000 ft ) altitude.
-This recipe will yield about two dozen cupcakes. Bake for about 15-18 minutes.


Three Sweet Coconut Treats for Your Valentine

On my last appearance at KSL Studio5, I shared my favorite coconut treats.  We talked about why coconut is a great option for Valentines Day!

The Coconut Cream Swig Cookie is always a hit. Made with coconut flavoring, sour cream and topped with a sweet cream and coconut frosting. It's a coconut lover's dream cookie. 

Nan's Coconut Cake made with a cake mix, sour cream and coconut milk. So moist it stays fresh in your fridge for daaaaaays. Better the second day, when all the flavors have a chance to combine. There's not an easier treat to make for your sweetheart!

And last, but not least, the Joyous Almond Cookie. Made with coconut, chopped whole almonds, chopped Almond Joy Bars and chocolate chips. Moist, chewy, loaded with everything in an Almond Joy bar, stuffed into a cookie. Then dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with coconut.  Probably one of the best cookies I've ever eaten.
End of story.


Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

I fell in love with twice baked potatoes as a kid. I still remember my mom and dad  making twice baked potatoes for the first time. They had the old BH&G cookbook (with the red and white checked cover) opened up on the counter. Dad reading the recipe to Mom, while they both worked on adding ingredients together.  That creamy mashed filling, stuffed back into a baked potato jacket was such a treat.
I still love this recipe for two reasons:
One- Who doesn't love a baked potato combined with butter, cheese, and sour cream?
The answer is NO ONE.
The second reason to love this dish- it can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until you're ready to bake and serve. Because of the creamy filling, Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes taste just as good several days after they are made. The addition of the sour cream and half and half keeps the filling perfect for reheating.  This dish is perfect for busy cooks who want to make ahead and enjoy the holiday.

Want a little step by step? 

Bake the potatoes. Cut the top fourth of the potato off, 
discard, then scoop out the insides. 
I was probably a little aggressive with the scooping. 
It's best to leave a little more of the potato attached to the skin. 

Make the filling as directed in the recipe, then carefully fill the skins. 


Top with cheese just before the second bake.
On this potato, I  topped it with Smoked Gouda  and Cheddar.

What else are you serving for Christmas dinner? 

My friend Linda at The Organic Kitchen is dedicated to creating healthy and delicious recipes for home cooks.  Her recipe for Pear and Brie Salad with Honey Champagne Vinaigrette  is simple and fresh  and a perfect healthy addition to your holiday meal.  Check out The Organic Kitchen for instructions on how to arrange this festive salad. I love it paired with  Ham with Grilled Pineapple and Pomegranate Pineapple Glaze, and Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes. Steam some fresh green beans, and you've got a beautiful colorful, easy to serve meal.

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes
A Bountiful Kitchen

The measurements of butter, half & half and sour cream may vary depending on the size of potato used)

6-7  Russet potatoes about 3/4-1 lb each
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1  cup half and half, warmed for about 1 minute in microwave
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 cups grated cheese (I use  Medium Cheddar or Co Jack)

Wash and pat potatoes dry. Pierce the potatoes with a fork about three times to allow heat to prevent bursting of skins.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake potatoes on rack for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until knife is easily inserted in center of potato. Remove from oven and place on cookie sheet or cutting board.
Cut the top fourth of the potato off  lengthwise and discard. Using a dishtowel to cover your hand, hold the potato and  gently scoop the hot potato out of the skin and place in a large bowl. Place the potato skins back onto the cookie sheet. Continue until all of the potatoes are scooped into the bowl.
Add the butter, warmed  half and half, salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, smash the potatoes until the half and half and butter are incorporated. Add the sour cream and grated cheese, mash again. Taste to see if the mixture needs more salt and pepper.
The potatoes should be very creamy and soft. If they are not, add additional half and half or sour cream until soft (a few tablespoons at a time).
Using a large spoon, fill the potato skins. Heap the mixture up in the middle of the potato. Top with additional grated cheese (if eating right away, if saving for later, do not top with cheese at this time). If eating right away, bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes, uncovered.
Serve immediately, or keep warm in oven until serving.
Serving size is one potato per person.

-This recipe varies depending on the size of the potato. If the potatoes are large, you may use more half and half and sour cream to achieve the desired consistency. You're looking for the same consistency you will find in a creamy mashed potato.
-If making ahead, stuff the potatoes after making the mashed mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. When ready to cook, uncover and let sit on counter for about 30 minutes. Bake in center of oven for about 30  minutes at 350 degrees or until heated through. Remove from oven during last 10 minutes of cooking and top with grated cheese. place back in oven and let cheese melt.
-If you are making this for young children or others with smaller appetites, you may use two small potatoes in place of one large.
-I always use Russets. Their skins are tougher than any other potato and will hold up to being baked, scraped and then re baked. You may rub the skins with oil for a nicer appearance and better texture for eating after the second bake.
-If you have any extra filling, place it in a bowl and reheat later.