Showing posts with label seriously simple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seriously simple. Show all posts

4/11/14

Blueberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast



Easter is just around the corner. In our home, we love to celebrate with a family gathering. No matter the time of day when the meal is served, we make brunch dishes, along with the traditional ham, rolls, salads and of course, desserts. 
I love this recipe for Blueberry Stuffed French Toast.  It can be made for two, or twenty. Most stuffed french toast recipes are made the night before, layered in a dish,  set in the fridge, and baked the following morning.  I wanted to create a dish that mimics an overnight french toast, but takes only a few minutes to create before serving. Most of the overnight stuffed french toast dishes serve 8-10, this one is perfect if it's just you and your sweetie, or great for a crowd as well. Everyone can join in and help assemble, and the bread can be cooked to order. I used blueberries, but strawberries, blackberries and/or raspberries would be delicious as well. 
Come back soon, I'll be posting dishes for Easter for the next several days! 





Blueberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

6 Thick Slices bread, preferably Texas Toast or French Bread about ¾ inch thick
4 large eggs
⅓ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

for filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened (room temperature)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons butter, for cooking

Mix the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with whisk until smooth.

Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla in a bowl until mixed well. Pour into a shallow dish that will allow for dipping of bread completely ( a square pan works well).

Spread about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture on one side of each piece of bread. Make sure to spread evenly and all the way to the edge of the bread. Sprinkle a few blueberries on top of the cream cheese mixture on three of the slices of bread. Make a sandwich with the bread slices. The “sandwich” should have the following:

one slice of bread with cream cheese mixture
one slice of bread with cream cheese mixture and a few blueberries sprinkled on top
Melt some butter in a pan, preferably a non-stick pan over medium high heat.
Dip the sandwich into the egg mixture.

Place the sandwich into the pan with the melted butter and fry for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden browned. Flip and repeat on the other side. Remove and serve immediately or keep on plate in oven until all pieces are cooked and ready to serve.

Place on plates and sprinkle with additional remaining berries. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and serve with jam or syrup. Serves 2-3

4/5/14






Have you ever eaten a pancake made with sour cream? There's a little breakfast/lunch spot in Salt Lake called Penny Ann's Cafe, and they serve the most delicious sour cream cakes! Sometimes, I daydream about those pancakes. They're that good.






This morning, I was thinking about those light, slightly tangy, melt in your mouth cakes. I was getting ready to watch General Conference on TV, and didn't have time to run in to SLC and wait in line for pancakes, so instead, I dug up a recipe in a cookbook I've had for years. A few minutes later, we were flipping cakes and smothering them with butter, syrup and fresh strawberries.
I know you're going to love these too.
Happy cooking!



Sour Cream Pancakes
adapted from the Jr League Centennial Cookbook
print recipe

1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Combine all wet ingredients in a medium size bowl. Mix with whisk until blended.
Add all of the dry ingredients to the bowl. Mix once with a large spoon or whisk, do not over mix, mix just until the ingredients are incorporated, there should be a few lumps in the batter.
Heat the griddle to about 350 degrees. Melt butter onto griddle.
Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop out batter and spread a bit with the edge of the cup. The pancake should be approximately 4-5 inches across.
Let the pancake cook until several bubbles appear and then pop. Turn the pancake gently, and let cook for an additional 3 minutes on opposite side. Do not pat down. Do not flip more than once.
The pancake is done when poked gently in the middle and the cake springs back.
Serve immediately with fresh fruit, syrup, butter and (or) powdered sugar.




3/19/14

Grilled Flank Steak Sandwich




It's baseball season again. Time for planning ahead, or eating hot dogs from the snack shack a few times a week, which is probably not such a great idea (especially after my friend Shelly informed me about the 31 grams of FAT in each dog).
I'm always looking for ways to serve a quick meal this time of year. Flank steak sandwiches are the perfect quick-fix dinner. I usually pair it with some fresh fruit and a green salad.  I love the recipe for marinade in Asian Grilled Flank Steak Salad. I posted today's sandwich recipe with a simple pantry-friendly marinade to help make this meal quick and easy. I also like flank steak seasoned, without marinade.





If you're using a marinade, make your own, then you'll know exactly what's on your pate. It takes about a minute to make your own marinade and you'll have the peace of mind knowing you can pronounce all of the ingredients in your dinner :)
If you have any leftover meat (or you make extra, like I suggest below), throw it into a tortilla or on a pita the next day, topped with a little cheese, lettuce and salsa and you'll have another meal, ready to eat.
Happy Spring, sports fans.




Grilled Flank Steak Sandwich
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

sandwich:
1- 11/2-2 lb flank steak
1 lb mushrooms, washed and sliced, stems on
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil and butter for sauteing
salt and pepper
4-6 large hoagie buns or other bread for making sandwich

marinade:
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Early in the day, if possible, or at least two hours before cooking, place all of the marinade ingredients into a Gallon size Ziplock bag. Add the steak to the bag, seal and place in refrigerator. 
About 20-30 minutes before serving:
Prepare grill. If using gas, the temperature should be at medium high. 
On the stove, over medium high heat, and add olive oil and butter to a fry pan ( I use about 1 tablespoon of each). When the pan is hot, add mushrooms and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper as cooking also tossing as cooking takes place. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, or until fragrant, be careful to not burn garlic. Reduce heat if necessary.  Turn off heat, cover to keep warm. 
Place meat on grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. 
Slice the buns in half and place on grill to toast if desired. 
Assemble sandwiches:
Cut the meat across the grain into thin slices. Place some of the meat on each bun along with the mushroom and onion mixture. If you like cheese,  top the meat and onion mixture with cheese and place under broiler for a few seconds before serving. 
4-6 servings

Tips:
-I like to cook two steaks at once, so I can use the leftovers for another meal. 
-The cook time for the meat will depend on how you well or rare you like your meat. I believe this meat is best served medium rare. Don't overcook the Flank steak or it will be tough. 



3/5/14

Cracker Barrel Biscuits (copycat recipe)






You know how I love a good biscuit.
This recipe is a Southern classic. It's rumored to be the Cracker Barrel recipe.  It calls for ingredients all self-respecting Southern cooks have in their kitchen: self rising flour, shortening, and buttermilk. If you're a Yankee, (like me) you probably don't have self rising flour on hand at all times. No worries. You can make your own in a minute with three simple ingredients.


Oh, one more tip, My dear friend Miss Mary (what the kids love to call her) was visiting from Mississippi a few weeks ago. I made a big batch of biscuits for breakfast one morning, and we ended up having quite a few left over. I'm kind of a biscuit snob, so I'm not one to eat a leftover biscuit. I was about to throw them away when she told me the secret to re-heating leftover biscuits.  Listen up. Split them in half. Butter both of the insides. Lay them on a cookie sheet and broil just until lightly browned and heated through. Careful not to burn. They taste fresh and almost better than the first baking. We ate up every last crumb.
The rumor about these being the Cracker Barrel recipe? I've eaten a Cracker Barrel biscuit and I can tell you this.  This recipe makes a biscuit that's tender and flaky, like CB's. A bit of crunch from being baked at 450, a bit salty, which is perfect with the jam you're going to put inside. If we're comparing, I have to say no restaurant I've ever dined in serves a biscuit this good. It's hard to beat a home made biscuit.
Get baking.


Cracker Barrel Biscuits
adapted from cdkitchen.com found on Pinterest
print recipe

2 cups self rising flour (or  you may make your own, recipe below)
1/3 cup solid shortening, I prefer Crisco
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, shaken
melted butter

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees, and set rack in middle of oven.
Place the self rising flour into a medium size bowl. Cut the shortening in , using a pastry cutter, or two knives. Add the buttermilk all at once. Gently fold the buttermilk into the flour and shortening, until the
dough gathers together, and the flour is mixed in. I use a large wood spoon for this.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat gently into a disc about one inch thick. Do not over handle the biscuits, this will make them tough, and not tender.
Gently cut the biscuits, using a biscuit cutter or glass. Place onto a cookie sheet.
Make sure the oven is completely pre heated  and up to 450 when the biscuits are placed in to bake.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bottom.
Makes 9- 2 1/2 inch biscuits. Biscuit yield will depend on size of cutter.

Self Rising Flour :
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together in a bowl with a fork. Store in a container or Ziploc bag until ready to use.
I double this for the Cracker Barrel recipe, and have a little leftover for the next time I make biscuits.
Measure out 2 cups for the recipe above.



1/30/14

Seahawk Salmon Sliders with Sriracha Mayo








In 1976 our little JC Penney Store in Bremerton, WA was visited by a celebrity. His name was Jim Zorn, and he was the quarterback for the newly formed Seattle Seahawks. I stood in line to get a photo of  Jim; he gave me a hug and a signed a 5x7 glossy black and white with his name and a scripture. I was star struck over the most beautiful person I had ever met.  Since I was 13 at the time, it never really worked out for us…my earliest memory associated with the Seahawks= my crush on Jim Zorn.
Oh to be 13, in braces, and in love.


Bremerton, WA

In the 38 years the Seahawks have been in existence, this weekend will be their second Super Bowl appearance. Kind of a big deal.
We watched the Seahawks play an away game, on a Thursday night in Phoenix last fall.
The 12th man? Alive and well in Phoenix.  It seemed like a home game with all of the Seahawk fans in attendance.

Me and my baby.

In honor of my mother, little brother and his family who LOVE the Seahawks, I created a dish that reflects the flavors of the Northwest in one fresh little slider.  It is perfection in a bite- a little sweet, spicy, creamy and crunchy. So simple. Takes less than 1/2 hour start to finish. If you are going to a Super Bowl party and want to take a dish that's not your ho-hum Little-Smokie-in-bbq-sauce fare, you've hit the gold mine.
Best new appetizer.
Ever.
Say it with me.
SEEEEEEEEAHAAAAAAAAAAAAWKS!






Seahawk Sliders with Sriracha Mayo
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 1/2 lbs salmon fillet
1 cup prepared teriyaki sauce ( I like Soy Vay's Veri-Veri Teriyaki)
1 large or 4 baby cukes, sliced thin*
1 small can water chestnuts, drained and cut into matchstick pieces
12 small dollar size rolls, sliced, or one french baguette, sliced into 12- 1" pieces
decorative toothpicks, if desired

for sauce:
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce**
1 tablespoon rice or cider vinegar

Cut salmon into 4-6 pieces and place in bowl with teriyaki sauce. Make sure all pieces are coated in sauce.
Make sauce by whisking mayo, Sriracha and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside. If not using immediately, set in refrigerator.
Heat a cast iron grill pan (the type with ridges that create grill marks) over medium high heat for about 5 minutes or until the pan sizzles when a drop of water is placed on pan. Spray with cooking oil, or quickly wipe with a paper towel and canola oil.
Place salmon onto the grill pan, cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Make sure to grill the sides of the salmon as well for about 1 minute each. The total grill time for the fish should be about 8-10 minutes.
Remove from grill pan and let sit on plate. If not using immediately, set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.
To assemble sliders:
Place a small amount of salmon on a roll, top with sliced cucumbers and water chestnuts, drizzle a teaspoon of sauce over salmon and veggies. Place top half of roll on top and skewer with long toothpick if desired to keep top of roll in place.  Serve immediately.
Yield about 12 - 2 inch sliders.


Tips:
-*I purchased baby cukes at Costco. The seeds are very small so there was not a need to seed the cucumbers. If you are using full size vegetables, you will probably need to seed before slicing.
-**Sriracha Sauce is found in most grocery stores in the Asian section. It is a sauce made of ground chili peppers, garlic, salt and vinegar. It can be used in many recipes where you need a bit of a kick!
-This dish is best served warm, but is fine at room temperature as well.
-If you cannot find dollar size rolls, you may use any type of small roll. This recipe also works well served on a sliced french baguette, open faced ( similar to bruscetta).




12/30/13

Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Bruschetta


Do you love baked artichoke dip?  This is similar, but also incorporates sun dried tomatoes. It's rich, creamy and a little tangy. It's a one bowl- mix, spread and bake process.  If you've got five minutes,  you have time to whip up this recipe.  You'll have an appetizer guaranteed to please everyone from cowboys to food snobs.
Perfect for ringing in
2
0
1
4
See you next year :)


























Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Bruschetta
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3-4 oz  marinated artichokes, drained, chopped in half (approx. 1/2 cup before chopping)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish (optional, but really adds color to dish)
1/3 cup mayonaise
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
fresh ground pepper
1 french baguette, cut into 3/4 inch slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place oven rack on top third of oven.
Gently mix together sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and mayo. Season with garlic salt and pepper.
Spoon mixture onto baguette slices and place on baking sheet.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  The topping should puff up slightly and turn bit golden on top.
Remove from oven. Place on plate and serve immediately, sprinkle with additional chopped parsley if desired.
Makes about 12-15 slices.

Tips:
-You may substitute regular canned artichokes (in water)  for  marinated artichokes. If using regular canned artichokes, add one teaspoon of lemon juice to the recipe.
-To "drain" the sun dried tomatoes, I  use a fork to remove the tomatoes from the jar. No need to use a strainer.
-Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and toast them under the broiler if you like the bread more crunchy. Top with the spread and bake as directed.
-To serve as a dip, simply mix up the artichoke and tomato mixture and spoon into a small oven proof dish. Bake for 15 minutes as directed. Serve with veggie slices, chips, crackers, pita slices or bread.

12/13/13

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus



It's Friday. You have a holiday party tonight. You're suppose to bring something to share.
You've come to the right place.
Oh, and you're looking for something semi-healthy? Serious? Now I'm really going to be your new best friend.
Do you have ten minutes?  Okay, let's make this.







If you are making your own Tahini, throw some sesame seeds into a food processor. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Blend until smooth, or semi smooth. I like to use a little Cuisinart mini for this. Or buy Tahini at the store, like most normal people. You can also skip the Tahini, and substitute a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil. 



Throw all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor.





Here's a pic after I mixed up one batch, then decided to double the recipe so I could have some for at home, as well as taking to the party :)




Pulse, pulse, pulse, then bleeeeend. Until smooth. Add a little liquid from the red pepper jar, or a few tablespoons of olive oil (I used olive oil) if your hummus is too thick. 




Scoop the mixture into a bowl or crock. Garnish with a little parsley or sesame seeds.
Get on your party clothes. 
You still have time to practice your dance moves. 
Happy Holiday. 



Roasted Red Pepper Hummus 
adapted from Allrecipes
print recipe

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans(chickpeas), drained
1 (4 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, reserve juice for thinning if needed*
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Tahini (see recipe below)*
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4  teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt to taste, I like coarse sea salt
olive oil, if desired to smooth hummus*

In an electric blender or food processor, puree the chickpeas, red peppers, feta cheese, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, fresh parsley, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Process, using long pulses, until the mixture is fairly smooth, and slightly fluffy. Add liquid as suggested or olive oil to make a smooth consistency. Make sure to scrape the mixture off the sides of the food processor or blender in between pulses. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour if possible. 
Remove from refrigerator before serving, bring to room temperature before serving.
Serve with flat bread, crackers, or vegetables. 

Tips:
-*If the hummus seems too thick, you may use some of the juice from the roasted red peppers to thin the mixture, or blend in a little olive oil. I use about 2 tablespoons per single recipe. 
-*Tahini is found in most grocery stores. Sometimes by the peanut butter, sometimes by the beans or ethnic foods. I don't like to buy it because it's so simple to make, and a jar us usually about $7-8. Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds made into a paste. Here's my recipe:
Blend some seeds in a food processor or grinder or blender (about 1/3 cup) pulse several times until finely ground, add a little olive oil to make a paste. I like to toast the seeds first in the oven or stove top for a few minutes. I buy sesame seeds in bulk at the grocery or in the Asian section of the grocery, where they are less expensive compared to seeds purchased in the spice section. 
-The hummus can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Best served at room temperature.
-This recipe is easily doubled.

11/19/13

Fresh Cranberry-Raspberry Sauce



What's your Thanksgiving dinner assignment?  For less experienced cooks, assignments usually include: drinks, fruit platter, veggie tray, corn or some other no-fail type item. If you're looking for a way to upset surprise your Mother-in-Law and bring something out of the ordinary, bring what she requested, then take along a nice little dish of cranberry-raspberry sauce. It's unbelievably simple and delicious.
Who knows, maybe next year, you'll be hosting!
Or single.


Fresh Cranberry-Raspberry Sauce
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup fresh raspberries or frozen, whole, without syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Place all ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for about 5 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have burst and the mixture thickens a bit. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and scrape into a heat proof bowl. Let cool and serve immediately or store in fridge for up to one month.
Serves 8 as a side.
Easily doubled.

11/8/13

Grandma's Corn Pudding



Corn. So ordinary.
How to dress it up for the holiday? Make it yours.
For years I've wanted to help the corn, make it feel a little less naked at Thanksgiving. But it's always an afterthought. Throw the corn into a pot and cook while we ask a blessing on the feast.
It always seems a little out of place to me. The plain yellow kernels sitting in the bowl, while every other dish was given so much care and preparation. This year I'm dispensing with the bowl and serving corn pudding. It's a little sweet. A little salty. A smooth bit of cream-corn goodness in a beautiful little circle on your plate. Yes, you can bake and serve it straight from the dish. I opted for cutting into circle shapes, which dressed it up a bit more.
And, you know, we all want the corn to feel dressed at the table.


Grandma's Corn Pudding
Adapted slightly from Allrecipes.com
print recipe

1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
5 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups frozen corn or 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
2 (14.75 ounce) cans cream-style corn
1 teaspoon salt
garnish with chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
In a large bowl, whisk cornstarch into cold milk until smooth and no lumps appear.
Add eggs and beat until eggs are incorporated. Add melted butter and sugar, stir in corn, creamed corn and salt. Blend well. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.
Bake for 1 hour or until golden on top and set. Garnish as desired.
Serves 8-10

Tips:
-I baked in a 9x13 glass pan, then waited for the dish to cool a bit (about 10 minutes). After cooling a few minutes, I cut the pudding into circles using a biscuit cutter. I cut the circles as close together as possible to eliminate any waste. If you want, you can just serve it in the dish. Or bake it in ramekins or custard cups, greased and filled about 1-1 1/2 inch full. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and check after about 40-45 minutes. 
-If using frozen corn, do not thaw before adding to dish.
-This dish may be made ahead and re-heated. 

11/6/13

Bread Cubes for Stuffing



Hey there. You and I have been friends for a long time now. You know what to expect this time of year. Thanksgiving talk.
I'm going to start out the month with a post about making your own stuffing. Because I believe stuffing, not turkey, is the crown jewel of an amazing Thanksgiving feast. I purposely make huge batches so I can eat it for days after the celebration. If you are scratching your head and asking "what's wrong with instant stuffing out of a box?" We need to have the talk.
Yes, that talk.
Never, ever, use pre-made "just add water and serve" boxed stuffing.
Homemade. Your new mantra. Homemade. Homemade. Homemade.
Homemade= a new life.
Your new life starts with a simple task. Drying bread.
Every time you have extra bread sitting around the house and you know you aren't going to eat it all up before it gets stale, cube it and bake. Every time you have spare bread (Baguettes, French bread, Sandwich bread, rolls, Artisan bread) cut it up.
It's that simple.
Here are a couple of recipes I've posted in past years. The first is my mom's tried and true (for over 50 years) Apple and Sausage Stuffing. It's simple, delicious, and it's on our holiday table every year. If you are looking for a starter dressing, this is it.





The second recipe is a less traditional, but delicious Artisan Stuffing with big chunks of mushrooms, onions, Italian Sausage, cornbread, Artisan, French Bread and fresh herbs. It's fresh and fun and a nice addition to your traditional feast.




Today- instructions on how to prepare the bread for your home made stuffing. In a few days, I'll post a new stuffing recipe. If you have a favorite stuffing/dressing you'd like to share, post a link in the comments, we would all love to see what you're planning for the big day...




Bread Cubes for Stuffing
print recipe

Loaf of Artisan or French Bread or any other type of leftover bread or rolls
Olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Cube the bread, spread out onto a large cookie or baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Bake in 250 degree oven until bread is lightly toasted and completely dried out.
About 1-1 1/2 hours, depending on density of bread and oven.
Cool completely, bag until ready to use.

Tips:
-Also delicious as croutons.
-Save the crumbs as well to use in dressing.
-You may also up the temp on the oven to 300 and bake for about 30-40 minutes.

10/29/13

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup





Every year on Halloween, it was a trick to get the kids to eat real food before going out in the neighborhood to collect treats. My rules on Halloween (besides stay in the neighborhood, don't run, say "thank you" after screaming trick or treat and don't eat the candy till we inspect it) were:
1. Eat dinner before you go out. 
2. Eat a few pieces of candy that night, then put the stash away until the next day. There was a limit on how much candy you could eat each day, something like 3-5 pieces.

Then I grew a new brain, and came up with the new Foster Family Halloween standard:
1. Eat a bowl of home made chicken noodle soup and buttermilk scones before going out. Invite your friends over to eat with you. Amazing how your kids will actually eat dinner if their friends are with them, and they're eating something they love. 
2. Eat the candy you gathered that night ASAP, therefore alleviating your mother the hassle of policing how much candy you eat every day for the following month. The bulk of treats were usually gone in a day or two. 
If you're looking for an easy fix for dinner on Halloween, try this recipe. I Pinned it a while back, made it and loved it. After you take the blender to the ingredients, the kids will never know they are eating something healthy.
Happy Halloween!




Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup
adapted from Big Girls Small Kitchen
print recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large carrots, scrubbed or 2 cups baby carrots
2 medium sweet onions, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
3 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 quart chicken (or vegetable) broth
10 basil leaves, fresh, plus a few more for garnish
Fresh grated Parmesan for garnish
Slow cooker:
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly.  using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Or puree in batches in a blender. Serve immediately, or keep on low until ready to eat.
Stove-top version:
Combine all ingredients in a heavy lidded pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low, and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Then puree as instructed above. Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

Tips:
If you like a creamier version, omit about 1 cup of the chicken broth and add milk or half and half.

10/23/13

Favorite Apple Crisp





I was digging through a folder of dessert recipes the other day and found an article on the closing of the Red Apple, an old SLC institution. It was housed in the basement of a building in the middle of the block on 100 South between State and Main, across from what is now the City Creek Center. They made great sandwiches and one of my favorites, Apple Crisp. The Red Apple was one of the only places I knew of where you could order house made apple crisp any time of the year, whether it was October or  April . After years of being in business, they closed the doors and moved on to other adventures.
I realized after looking at the article, I've never posted our favorite version of apple crisp. You probably have your own family favorite take on this classic dessert. Ours comes from years of testing out different recipes and then coming up with a recipe that is sweet, salty, caramely and heavy on the crisp.  I like a good amount of topping on my crisp, not a thin layer that leaves you wanting more to eat with the apple filling. I also like the bit of crunch the oats add, instead of using all flour. If you don't already have a version you love give this one a try. It may become your new favorite!
Hope you're enjoying the beautiful Fall weather .




























Favorite Apple Crisp
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

4 lbs of apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup dark brown sugar*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of salt

Topping:
1 1/4  cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, dark or regular
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (not margarine) , cubed


Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9x13 pan or two-9 inch pie plates.
Place apples into a large bowl. Sprinkle the apples with one tablespoon of vanilla. Top with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and dash of salt. Pour apple mixture into prepared pan(s).
In same bowl, Place all dry topping ingredients.  Using fingers or a pastry cutter, cut butter into dry ingredients. Spread/sprinkle topping onto top of apple mixture.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown.
Remove and let sit for 15 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Tips:
-*you may use regular brown sugar, dark will produce a more caramelized filling.
-Apple Crisp is best served immediately after baking. If you need to make this ahead, you may put the dish together and bake the dessert for about 30 minutes. Remove, but do not cover or topping will get soggy. Let sit on counter to cool.
Before serving, preheat oven to 425 and finish baking dessert on top third of oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.


10/15/13

Brisket Tacos with Mango Barbecue Relish


People often ask where I get ideas to make all of the recipes I post on ABK?  Besides my enormously huge and creative mind (eheheh) some of my ideas come from:
1. My cookbook collection (over 300 at last count)
2. I'm a cooking magazine addict. Have I ever told you how difficult it is for me to part with magazines??  When we moved down the street last winter, so did stacks of magazines. I did manage to toss boxes of Bon Appetite and Gourmet mags that were from the 80's and 90's into the recycle bin. Ridiculous, I know.  If they ever make a show called "Hoarders, Magazine Addition" I'll be on the pilot.
3. If you've read ABK for any length of time, you know my new favorite place to find recipes is  on Pinterest. Love the visuals. Love the convenience of literally hundreds of thousands of recipes available with a simple right click. Last week, I pinned a recipe on my board  "Cooking, Next on my List". There were so many re-pins the next day,  I decided to test out this recipe ASAP.
We loved it. The caption another Pinner left under the photo read "Now THIS is Texas!!" Crockpot tacos.  I'm not sure about the Texas part (if y'all are Texans, you'll have to try this out and let me know what you think).  
This recipe has a sweet twist. You'll have to give up a can (or two) of Dr. Pepper for the sauce. You know it's going to be good if the recipe calls for meat swimming in DP.  And the Mango Relish? Stash the leftovers for topping your eggs in the morning. Yummy.


Leftover meat? See recipe idea in "Tips" below.


Brisket Tacos with Mango Barbecue Relish
adapted from Confessions of a Foodie Bride
print recipe

Brisket
3-4 lb brisket, shoulder or cross rib roast
Salt
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz  Dr. Pepper, not diet (I'm sure Coke or Pepsi will work as well)

Mango Barbecue Relish
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 – 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup or bbq sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Spicy Brown mustard
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup mango chutney
Quesadillas
8 flour or corn tortillas
olive oil or cooking spray, to brush tortillas
chopped red pepper and onions (sautéed or fresh), sliced avocado, fresh mango, lime for garnish

Note- Don't let the length of this recipe scare you off. It's basically 3 simple steps:
cook meat in slowcooker, make a (less than 5 minute) relish/bbq sauce and assemble the tacos or quesadillas. 

Meat:
Rub the meat with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic.
Place brisket in slow cooker and pour the Dr. Pepper around the sides and a little over the top, taking care to not wash away all of the spice.
Cook on low for 8 hours, or in the oven covered tightly at 250 for 6-8  hours.
Remove meat from the crockpot. Slice or pull apart meat. Drain off some of the juice. Keep meat warm until ready to assemble.
Mango bbq Relish: 
While meat is cooking, heat olive oil in a 2-qt sauce pan. Saute onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and run until smooth, or use a immersion blender and blend in pan. Set aside until ready to assemble tacos. 
Assemble:
Heat a griddle or large pan over medium-high. Cook the tortillas just until warmed. Place tortillas on plate.
Top with warm meat and mango relish. Garnish as desired.
Yield: 8-10 servings

Tips:
-Make sure to use regular, not Diet Dr. Pepper.
-This dish may be served as quesadillas or tacos. To make quesadillas, shred Monterey Jack cheese, spread over tortillas, top with meat and a bit of mango relish. Grill, slice and serve.
-I used the leftover meat (about 2 cups) and sautéed an onion and a red pepper as a base for chili. 
Add a can of small red beans and a can of chili beans, a chopped tomato and a bit of water. Simmer and serve.  

9/18/13

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad










I originally posted this salad a couple of years ago. It is a perfect side with our Family Favorite Enchiladas or any type of barbecue dish.  Soon, fresh corn and tomatoes will disappear.
Forever.
Thought you needed a little drama in your life.






Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad
A Bountiful Kitchen

6 ears corn or one small bag of frozen corn
3 large fresh tomatoes,  or 1-2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion or about 1 cup chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
two to three sprigs fresh oregano (optional)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
coarse sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Boil corn in large pot of water for about 7 minutes. Drain and plunge corn into cool water. Cut corn off cob and set aside to cool completely. If using frozen corn, do not thaw. 
Chunk tomatoes and onion. Coarsely chop basil and strip the oregano off stems. Place cooled corn, chopped vegetable and herbs into large bowl. Toss with vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste. Serve chilled or room temperature