Friday, March 28, 2014

Salted Browned Butter Blondies

Lately, I have been in the mood for blondies.  So I whipped up a batch of these Salted Browned Butter Blondies that I found over at The Spiced Life.  Yum.  Let's think of the components here:  browned butter - yum.  Light and dark brown sugar - yum.  Chocolate chips - yum.  Sprinkle some coarse salt on top of that and you are guaranteed a good dose of yummy goodness!   These blondies take the best aspects of blondies - the butterscotch-y rich flavor and throw in chocolate and salt for good measure.  Delish!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Grown-up Grilled Cheese with Roasted Tomato Bisque

Friends, the photo here does not do this meal justice.  This is some seriously amazing Grown-Up Grilled Cheese, with Roasted Tomato Soup.  In my ongoing quest to find good, "relatively" healthy, quick weeknight dinners, I found these recipes on Food Network, by Jeff Mauro, the "Sandwich King".  I happened to watch the "Next Food Network Star" show when he competed, and thought that he had good personality and some good ideas, so I thought this recipe could be a hit. And Mmm, mmm, it is. 

It starts out with some caramelized onions.  Now, personally, I think that anything that involves caramelized onions is likely going to be delicious.  They are magical.  Raw onions?  Not so much.  But cook the heck out of those onions with some oil/butter and KA-POWIE, they are delectable!  Add some gruyere cheese to that and you have bliss in a sandwich.  So, this recipe isn't totally "quick" if you don't plan ahead with the caramelized onions, but here is a tip for that.  Some time, when you are home for a bit, make up a GIGANTIC batch of caramelized onions.  Use a zillion onions.  They cook down a lot, so you certainly (unfortunately) won't end up with a ton of caramelized onions.  HOWEVER, if you find that you have more than you could possibly need for whatever your initial intended purpose, you can FREEZE them in smaller amounts that you can then USE LATER.  Pull out a portion, let it thaw in the refrigerator, and you are ready.  No sweat.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mocha Brownie Cake

Do you know the Shel Silverstein poem called "Jumping Rope"?  In case you've forgotten, or possibly don't know the poem, here you go:

Jumping Rope
This started out as a
jumping rope
You prob'ly think that
I'm a dope
But this started out as a
jumping rope
And now I fear there is
no hope
But this started out as a
jumping rope.

Throughout much of the creation of this week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe, Mocha Brownie Cake, this poem was running through my head.  You may wonder why.  Well, I'll tell you.  I had this great idea to make half of this week's recipe, in a cute little 6-inch size.  We just don't need a big, rich chocolate cake in our house right now, and we were about to leave for vacation (hip-hip-hooray...that is where I am right now!) so I THOUGHT I'd be SMART and halve the recipe.  What you see above is my cute little 6-inch Mocha Brownie Cake.  Ahhh.  BUT. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Butternut Squash Risotto

The other day, I mentioned a delicious dinner I made with my favorite pork tenderloin recipe and some butternut squash risotto.  Seriously, this risotto is amazing.  I set out to find a butternut squash risotto recipe essentially for the clever baby.  One of the first things he enjoyed eating was risotto!  He absolutely refused all pureed foods, so once he was able to eat food with texture, I tried risotto and he devoured it!  I went from rarely making risotto to making it a lot more often!  In addition, one day I roasted some butternut squash for him and he loved it as well.  What is not to love about butternut squash?  It is so delicious!  Thus, I decided to find a butternut squash risotto recipe for us, but also because I thought my little guy would love it.  He did, as did the rest of us.  Honestly, I could have eaten that entire bowl you see.  I didn't, but I did have to move the bowl further from my reach so I couldn't keep getting more!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Favorite Pork Tenderloin

My friends, what you see here is a truly scrumptious dinner.  Well, ignore the green beans.  They are nothing special, other than the fact that they get the privilege of sharing a plate with my favorite pork tenderloin and some butternut squash risotto.  Wowie.  I could eat this meal every night.  Well, no, I take that back.  If I did, I would probably gain a zillion pounds.  More importantly, that would make this particular dinner nothing special anymore.  And that would be a travesty, because it is yummy.

We will start with the pork tenderloin.  I found this recipe approximately forever ago and have made it ever since.  The recipe is made with a glaze on top, but the first time I made it, I messed up in the glaze amounts and ended up with more of a crust on top, which I found to be spectacular.  So I have changed the recipe to make the top more of a crunchy top than a glaze.  I'll provide you with both methods - which do you prefer?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Giant Italian Bread

I recently offered to bring fresh bread to a dinner party.  I am trying to get better at baking bread, so the more I make, surely the more I'll learn, right?  I hope so, anyway.  They asked for Italian bread, so I found a recipe that got rave reviews and went for it.  And boy, am I glad I did!  I wish I had photographed the bread with a ruler or something nearby, because this loaf of bread was ginormous!  Next time, I will make two loaves and maybe freeze one but for the dinner party, having this one giant loaf was perfect.  I found the recipe at Food Network, and it is from Emeril Lagasse.  I wouldn't necessarily have searched out an Emeril recipe for bread, but obviously his skills extend way beyond my imaginings.  This bread was a great success!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tart Apple, Ginger and Basil Granita

Just before Valentine's Day, we held a dinner party at our house.  Hence, the rose petals on the buffet above.  Between dinner and dessert, we served a Tart Apple, Ginger and Basil Granita.  And man, was it good!  The perfect palate cleanser!  Now, I made mine with my fabulous new juicer, however I think I know of a way to make it without a juicer too, if you are interested!  I'll provide both methods for you!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

TWD: Baking with Julia - Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones!  What a fantastic way to start a day, by eating a delicious scone.  And delicious is definitely the word to describe these scones.  This recipe is a real winner, which I will foresee making many return visits to my kitchen.  Yum.  This was our recipe for Tuesday's with Dorie this week and it is a total success!

This recipe has you make scones two ways.  The first is the triangular one you see above.  The second is a rolled scone, filled with some sort of jam, fruit or nuts.  The recipe makes enough dough for two batches of scones, so I made a batch of each style, triangular and rolled.  Why not?

Here is the rolled one:
I rolled mine with homemade apple butter on the inside.  Mmm.