Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mint Cheesecake with Chocolate Chip


I made this awhile back, so I'm afraid I lost the picture for it. It was such a good photo too! Anyway, as St. Patrick's Day is coming up, I thought I'd get my green on with mint cheesecake. Mint and chocolate are just the perfect combination for desserts.

Also, whose pumped for the Flash coming back this Tuesday?! I'm not really a big TV person, but the Flash has gotten me hooked, and I am so excited to find out what happens next with the time travel.

"Drink the Night Away" by Gaelic Storm

Ingredients

Crust
30 fudge mint cookies, crushed (1 3/4 cups)
2 tbsp butter, melted

Filling
4 oz semisweet baking chocolate
3 8 oz packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup creme de menth (substitute 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract)

Directions

Heat oven to 300°F. Wrap foil around bottom and side of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. In large bowl, mix crust ingredients with fork until crumbly. Press in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake 12 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once halfway through microwaving, until melted. If necessary, continue to microwave on High in 15-second increments, stirring until smooth. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in liqueur. Pour filling evenly over crust.

Drop 8 to 10 tablespoonfuls melted chocolate randomly onto filling, allowing chocolate to sink into filling. With table knife or small spatula, cut through chocolate and filling to swirl for marbled design.

Bake 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until set 2 inches from edge of pan. Remove from oven; run knife around side of cheesecake to loosen. Return to oven; turn oven off and open door slightly. Cool cheesecake in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 1 hour. Refrigerate 3 hours. To serve, remove side of pan.

OPTIONAL: Spoon whipped cream into decorating bag with large star tip; squeeze bag to pipe cream around top edge of cheesecake. Garnish with Andes mints.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pulled Chicken and Cheddar Stuffed Rolls


My mouth is watering just looking at the photos. There is just something about meat and cheese that is so satisfying. 

I have a mock trial competition this Friday, and I am so nervous and excited! It's the regional competition. I never thought my freshman year in mock trial that we could ever make it this far, and here I am as a senior going to regionals. So cool!


"All At Once" The Fray


Also, you can saute peppers and onions and add it to the pulled chicken. So good!!

Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Ingredients

  • For the pretzel roll dough:
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp (1 package) yeast
  • 1 cup warmed milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 Tbsp softened butter (I used Smart Balance)
  • 4 1/2-4 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • For the filling:
  • ~1lb shredded chicken (about 3 generous cups)
  • 4 oz cheddar, sliced and cut into 18 chunks
  • 1/2 cup HEB Texas-style Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • For boiling and finishing:
  • 2 quarts water
  • 4 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp honey whisked with 1 Tbsp water

Directions

  1. In your mixer bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and let proof for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, softened butter, 4.5 cups of flour, and salt; knead for ~5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky and might not completely come off the bottom of the bowl. If overly sticky, add 1-2 Tbsp of extra flour at a time.
  3. Cover and let rise for an hour, or until doubled.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly oil.
  5. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and divide into 18 balls (a scale makes this easy to do in 2-oz portions). Cover with a light towel and prep the filling and boil.
  6. Place the pulled pork and red onion in a large bowl.
  7. Whisk together the honey and bbq sauce and pour over top of the pulled chicken, tossing to mix thoroughly.
  8. Keeping your surface lightly floured to prevent sticking, flatten your dough ball, top with a chunk of cheddar and a heaping small spoonful of pulled chicken (it might take you 1-2 rolls to figure out the perfect sized scoop of filling).
  9. Pull the edges of the dough to the top, pinching and crimping the roll to prevent any leaks. Transfer the roll to the prepared baking sheets (9 each).
  10. In a large pan, bring the water, baking soda, and salt to a boil.
  11. Working with 4-5 rolls at a time, boil the rolls 30 seconds on each side, transfer to the baking sheet with a slotted spoon, and slash the top of the rolls 2-3 times with a very sharp knife (but don't cut too thick or your cheese will ooze out the top).
  12. Bake the rolls for 18 minutes, glaze with the honey-water mixture, and then bake for an additional 5 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Sprinkle with coarse salt and serve. Leftovers should be refrigerated.

Whole Wheat Buns

     To be honest, these buns were better than the burgers that were on them.  Normally, I'm all for burgers with less bread, but these were fantastic. I was eating this buns straight-up and eating stray sesame seeds off of the plate! Nothing spells summer like sesame seeds, even in February.

"Every Morning" Sugar Ray

Adapted from Holy Cow! (check it out! It has great tips for going vegan"

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp vital wheat gluten flour (optional)
  • 1½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil


Directions

  1. Mix the sugar, ½ cup warm water and the yeast in a mixing bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to froth, indicating the yeast is alive and well.
  2. Sift all the flours, salt, and baking soda into the bowl. Knead on low speed in a stand mixer or by hand for about 3 minutes, trickling in 1 cup of water until you have a dough that's smooth but slightly sticky. If you are leaving out the gluten, knead at least 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the oil and continue to knead until the oil has been absorbed by the dough, about 1 more minute.
  4. Now place in an oiled bowl, turning over once to coat all over with oil, cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside for 2 hours until the dough has risen.
  5. Punch down the dough and divide into 6 balls
  6. Shape them into smooth balls. Place the buns on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet, at least a couple of inches apart. Flatten the tops slightly with your fingers, and let the buns rise for an hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees. Place the buns in the oven and bake 25 minutes.
  8. Brush the tops with a little oil for a pretty, glossy look. Sprinkle some sesame seeds or poppy seeds on the top, if desired.
  9. Remove to a rack and allow the buns to cool before breaking them off.

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry


As you can probably tell from the complete scarcity of posts, this winter has been completely crazy! Between school, work, college applications, and scholarship applications, cooking and blogging have fallen to the wayside. 


Snow days have come to my rescue! We've gotten about 6 inches of snow the past couple days, and that combined with plunging temperatures, well-timed wind, and President's Day has caused this to be most likely a one day school week. Hooray!

"Opus 28: Opus 28" Dustin Ohalloran

Ingredients

  • beef, chopped into one-inch pieces
  • broccoli, cut into florets
  • peppers, julienned
  • zucchini, julienned 
  • onion, diced
  • soy sauce
  • vegetable oil
  • red pepper flakes, optional
  • garlic
  • ginger

Directions

Heat oil and soy sauce in saute pan and add garlic, ginger, red pepper and onion. Cook until onion is translucent. Add zucchini and broccoli. Cook until broccoli florets have turned bright green. Add peppers. Cook until soft. Remove pan from heat and put vegetables in a bowl.

Add beef to saute pan and cook until desired doneness. Combine vegetables and beef. Serve with rice. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tomato Pesto Swirl Bread

I know this is a sad excuse for a picture, but let that show you how quickly this bread was devoured.
I was enjoying the last slice when I realized I had yet to take a single picture of the fabulous bread. 
Just be aware it's pretty likely some oil from the pesto will leak out of the bread while it's baking.

This is from Alli-n-son, which has so many fabulous dessert recipes and has a really cute design. Check it out!


John Barrowman "Anything Goes"

Ingredients

  • Bread
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • Pesto Swirl
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomato pesto (your favorite basil pesto blended with sun dried tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Place the bread ingredients into your bread machine in the order your bread machine requires. Select the dough cycle.
  2. Once the cycle has completed turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and roll into an 8" x 12" rectangle. Spread pesto over the dough, leaving 1/4" on all sides. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  3. Starting at the short side roll the dough. Seal the seam and ends. Place the dough seam-side down on the parchment paper.
  4. Let rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. While the bread rises, preheat the oven and a baking stone to 425 degrees.
  6. When the bread has doubled in size slide the parchment paper and bread onto the hot baking stone. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking stone and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Slice when completely cooled.

Wilted Chard with Walnut Pesto and a Balsamic Reduction

This recipe is a miracle worker. 
I know. What's miraculous about some greens?

Well, I'll end the suspense. It had my balsamic-hating dad and sister eating balsamic straight up!!

Parsley-walnut pesto is my favorite kind!

This is another one from the fabulous Farm to Fork by Emeril Lagasse.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 bunches rainbow chard, ribs removed, leaves rinsed and julienned

Directions

Place the parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor or blender, and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream through the feed tube and process until it forms a paste. Remove the top and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Transfer the walnut pesto to a bowl and set it aside.

Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat until it is reduced by half, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer the balsamic reduction to a small bowl  and set it aside.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the chard, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tbsp of the walnut pesto. Toss the chard with the pesto to coat and warm through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer teh chard to a serving platter, drizzle with the balsamic reduction, and serve immediately.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stuffed Figs with Lavender Honey

These looked so beautiful in Farm to Fork. When figs were in season, I dove at the chance to try this amazing recipe.

Did I mention I'd never had a fig before?
So yeah, when I was delicately and carefully piping the stuffing, I had no idea what they would taste like.

I took one bite and loved the filling, hated the fig.
Turns out I'm not a fig-person. 
My family on the other hand... loved every single one.


"Heros" David Bowie

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp dried lavender flowers
  • 2 oz creamy blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 12 fresh firm-ripe Black Mission figs, stem ends trimmed

Directions 

Combine the honey and the 2 tbsp lavender flowers in a small saucepan, and warm over low heat. Remove from the heat and steep the lavender in the honey for at least 10 minutes. Strain the honey into a small bowl and discard the solids.

In a small bowl, combine the blue cheese with the mascarpone and half of the lavender honey. Stir until almost smooth (it is okay if it is slightly chunky.) Place the blue cheese mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, and set it aside until ready to serve (Refrigerate the bag briefly if the mixture becomes too soft.)

Using a paring knife, cut downward lengthwise into each fig as if you were preparing to cut he fig in half, but cut only about halfway through the fig. Turn the fig 90 degrees and make a second cut perpendicular to the first in the same manner using your fingers, gently pry open the top portions of the fig to create space for the cheese mixture. Pipe the blue cheese mixture into the figs. Arrange the figs on a serving plate, and garnish them with lavender flowers. Drizzle the figs with the remaining lavender honey, and serve at room temperature.