Thursday, July 28, 2011

German Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

I have heard all about these, but have never made them or even had them until now. Why did I wait? These are great, and sooo easy. You have to try this Buttermilk caramel-y sauce too, super yummy. I made these for the kids this morning, but I think I'll get some fresh berries and make it again this weekend for Mr. too. This pancake is fun to watch baking, it puffs all up (see my photo lol), then it'll sink as it sits to cut. The flavor reminded me of a baked custard dessert, but not too eggy. The kids sure loved it and had seconds, I think I'll have to make two pans of it next time.

German Pancakes
as seen at allrecipes
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Buttermilk Syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

confectioners' sugar

Place the eggs, milk, flour and salt in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Pour the butter into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish; add the batter. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F (375' Convec.) for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the first five syrup ingredients; bring to a boil. Boil for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Dust pancake with confectioners' sugar; serve immediately with the syrup.

(This is a gluten free version with less sugar and vanilla, gf flour blend is here )

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mini S'mores Hand Pies

How about these cute little pies for dessert? If you love S'mores you'll love these. This recipe is super simple, use homemade pie crust or store bought. I added a little extra chocolate chips and we thought it was too much chocolate, so I suggest not adding extras.  Even though these didn't turn out gooey like I thought they would, we still enjoyed them, I preferred them at room temp.

Mini S'mores Hand Pies
slightly adapted from Betty Crocker

2 pie crust doughs (my fave recipe)
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (8 graham cracker squares, finely crushed)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup marshmallow creme
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened (1 oz)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 425°F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper or silpat.
Roll out pie crust. With 3-inch round cutter, cut 10 rounds from each crust. In small shallow bowl, mix cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar. Brush both sides of pie crust rounds with butter; dip into crumb mixture to coat.

Place 10 coated pie crust rounds on cookie sheet. Stir together filling ingredients. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of each of the 10 rounds. Add a pinch of graham cracker crumbs. Place remaining pie crust rounds on top of the filling on each. Pinch edges to seal.

Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store covered in refrigerator.

Makes 10 pies

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Veggie Phở

I am on a roll lately, trying new dishes even shopping at an Asian Market for the first time and buying the store out with Ingredients I knew I'd use, someday. One reason I went was to get ingredients for this Phở chay. I have heard all about Pho (do you know how to say it? Kind of like "Foe?" when asking a question, yes I looked it up). It's a Vietnamese rice noodle soup filled with your choice of add ins from meats to veggies, herbs and seasonings. The broth is what makes this soup, slowly simmered and flavorful. I've always wanted to try it and rather than drag my kids to  Vietnamese place to eat (where I know they won't eat anything), I decided to find a recipe to make a home for my lunch. I came across several but upon reading the comments, this one sold me. Even though the smell of anise is not my fave (but I love black licorice candy), I told myself I'd try it. Boy, once everything is together and you add the soy sauce, this was wonderful. I wish my kids would try it, they liked the noodles plain though. (yes my tofu might look funny, it froze in my fridge, but I thawed it out and used it anyways)

Vegetable Pho
slightly adapted from gastronomyblog

1 package dried banh pho (flat rice noodles, I used a medium size by Flying Horse)
1 leek (leaves only), rinsed of dirt
1 yellow onion
1 ginger
4 star anise
14 oz. vegetable broth
¾ tablespoon Chinese five spice
Soy sauce
Canola oil
1 leek (stem only)
Tofu, seasoned with soy and pan fried
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
Black pepper
*basil, cilantro, green onions, carrots

making the broth and "meat" component

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Garden Fresh Sauteed Zucchini

This Spring I started my own container garden, from seed. My zucchini took off like a wild fire giving us 2 zucchinis to have just a couple months later. I now have a few more almost ready and new ones popping up. A favorite way I like to have these are cut, seasoned and sauteed in a pan. Sprinkled with a little parm makes them even more special.
To keep updated with my growing garden, feel free to visit my photo album on Facebook.

Sauteed Zucchini

Two 6-8" fresh zucchini
crushed garlic
olive oil
grated parmesan cheese

Wash and cut zucchini into half moon chunks. Toss with a little olive oil and seasonings (to taste), except Parm. Heat a large skillet and saute zucchini until just tender and a little brown. Sprinkle with parm.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Layered Mexican Dip

I have been making this recipe for a long time now, but forgot about it until a friend mentioned it as something to bring to our neighborhood potluck party. It's always a hit as it was for the party, I brought home not even a 1/4 of the pan as leftovers. It's great with the beef since it's like a meal too, but I also made a small portion for my Niece minus the beef.

Layered Mexican Dip
adapted from allrecipes

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Taco seasoning packet
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
3 cups shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend, divided
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup guacamole
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 cup salsa
1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onions (I forgot to add mine)

In a large skillet, brown ground beef. Drain. Add back to skillet and add taco seasoning according to packet. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Spread the beans into the bottom of a 9x13 inch serving tray that is about 1 1/2 inches deep. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese on top of beans. Sprinkle seasoned beef on top of cheese. Sprinkle red onions then salsa over beef. Spread sour cream very slowly on top of salsa. Spread guacamole on top of sour cream. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle on tomatoes, black olives, and green onions on top.
Keep refrigerated, remove 1 hour before serving.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Homemade Banana Pecan Praline Ice Cream

Summertime...time to break out the ice cream machine. I have quite the stock of frozen bananas so I asked on Facebook what I should make. Ice cream came up, so that's what I made. But for this recipe I used fresher bananas, not my frozen mushy ones (which means I still need to make something of them lol). Anyways I decided to make this like a pecan praline ice cream with homemade candied pecans and caramel sauce mix through, BUT the caramel seized  up and froze when I was churning it lol. So I also drizzled it on top. Whenever I make ice cream, I allow lots of extra time to let it freeze through (24 hrs) or it'll be too soft and melt too fast. This came out great though, it reminded me of a fried ice cream dessert with the cinnamon in it. Delish.

Homemade Banana Pecan Praline Ice Cream

Recipe for ice cream from Our Best Bites

4 bananas, sliced into 1/2-1" segments
1/4 C brown sugar
1 T real butter, melted
1 t cinnamon
2 C heavy cream
1 C whole milk (vit D milk)
1/2 C white sugar
1/4 t salt
2 t vanilla
*candied nuts and caramel additions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (I used a 375' convection setting)
Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with foil and place bananas in it. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter over bananas and toss well with hands. Spread bananas out in a single layer.
Bake bananas for 15 minutes. Stir, and bake for 15 more. Remove from oven and cool on counter top. By this point you will have a scrumptious, thick syrup in there too.

While bananas are cooking combine cream, whole milk, white sugar, salt, and vanilla. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Set in fridge to chill.

When bananas are completely cooled, puree them in a food processor* until completely smooth. Using a whisk, stir them into the milk mixture until combined. Chill entire mixture.
Churn in an ice cream maker (add nuts and caramel while churning) and transfer to an air tight container in the freezer to set up. Makes 1 1/2 quarts.
They note: *If you don't have a food processor, you can use your blender. If you choose to do so, leave the whole milk out of the original milk mixture and use the milk to puree with the bananas. Don't put the cream mixture in the blender after, make sure to whisk them both together by hand.

Note: The roasted bananas in this recipe make the ice cream incredibly soft and smooth, but it may be softer than usual when coming straight out of your ice cream maker so it's important to plan ahead with enough time to let the ice cream set in the freezer for several hours before eating.

Candied Nuts
(can be found on pg 469 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking from my home to yours)

1/3 C sugar
3 TBL cold water
1 1/2 C nuts
splash of vanilla

Caramel Topping
(can be found on pg 264 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking from my home to yours, makes lots!)

2 C sugar
1/2 C water
1 1/2 TBL light corn syrup
2/3 C heavy cream
2 TBL unslated butter

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Homemade Veggie Sushi

I love veggie sushi, I am not crazy about the seafood versions or even the imitation crab, but veggie gets a thumbs up. I have never made it myself but always bought it from the refrigerated counters (Trader Joe's has a good tempura veggie one) but you pay a good $4+ for it, and my family would never allow us to go out for it getting the fresh stuff. So since no one else in my family will eat it, I finally decided to make it for myself. My Niece did come over and have a roll, she loved it. I searched lots of sites and videos for How-Tos and recipes. They were so easy to make, don't be afraid to make them at home. I should've bought Spam also to make Spam Musubi with the extra rice and nori, Mmmm. Here's what I did for mine:

Veggie Sushi 

1 1/2 C sushi rice
1 1/2 C water
3 TBL rice vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 TBL granulated sugar
Sushi Nori sheets

Assorted veggies slices into matchstick size (I used carrots, red and green bell peppers, green onion, cucumber and avocado)

Soak rice in cold water for 30 minutes then rinse and rinse until water runs clear. Add rice and 1 1/2 C. water to a saucepan over medium heat and once it comes to a boil, cook, covered 15-20 minutes. Check to see that water has evaporated, if not cook a few more minutes.

As the rice is cooking, in a smaller sauce pan combine the rice vinegar, salt and sugar, stir over low heat until the salt and sugar dissolve. Set aside to cool until room temp.

When rice is done, allow to cool also to room temp. Then pour the rice vinegar mixture over the rice, and stir to combine all. You have seasoned the rice and now you can assemble your sushi rolls.

Lay a sheet of nori with rough side up, on a bamboo mat. Spread a small handful of rice over the nori leaving a clean edge at one end, the rice will be sticky so keep a bowl of water nearby to dampen your hands as you spread the rice. Lay on your fillings such a matchstick size veggie strips just off center of nori/rice. Take the end of the bamboo mat nearest you and roll it over the filling, tucking it tightly. Release the bamboo mat and roll and tuck again as you grab the next part of the sushi roll. Continue until it is completely rolled. You may need to wet the nori end to make it stick closed.

Now you can cut your sushi, using a sharp dampened knife, slice the sushi roll in half, then each half in half so you get 8 pieces. Enjoy with wasabi (the premade stuff in the tube that I used was gross, don't use that), pickled ginger and soy sauce.

I have made a video showing how I made a sushi roll, please have a look:

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Homemade Pizza Crust and Sauce

I realized some of my recipes can't be searched here because they are at the other URL so I'll have to add them here too. This recipe for homemade pizza crust and sauce is a tried and true favorite for us. This pizza dough recipe gives me two 14" round pizzas and I usually make the kids their fave of Hawaiian with olives and Mr's fave of Italian Sausage, olives, onions and bell peppers.

Pizza Crust
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (I had to use more, just depends)

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a stand mixer, add the yeast mixture, salt and oil. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Using a dough hook mix until the dough "cleans the bowl", you may need to add more flour until it looks right.
Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour if needed, until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a clean cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour (I set it in a warm oven).

Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before cutting it in half and rolling out and placing on pan/stone.
Add sauce and toppings.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (220 degrees C). Bake for 10-15 minutes.
(Convection oven to 475' bake for 10 minutes)

Pizza Sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
6 fluid ounces warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used a shake of this)
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (I used a tiny pinch)
salt to taste

In a small bowl, combine tomato paste, water, Parmesan cheese, garlic, honey, onion powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and salt; mix together, breaking up any clumps of cheese.
Sauce should sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors; spread over pizza dough and prepare pizza as desired.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fruit Filled Crepes

I had my first ever crepes last weekend at our Belmont Park here, and I thought how easy they were I should make my own, finally. I chose this recipe, I liked the addition of vanilla. I did have to add a little more milk (as shown) so the batter would be nice and thin to spread. We filled ours with fresh sliced strawberries and Nutella. Yum!

Vanilla Crepes
slightly adapted from allrecipes

1 3/4 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons melted butter

In a large bowl, mix together the milk, egg yolks and vanilla. Sift in the flour, sugar, salt and melted butter, whisk until well blended.
Heat a 10" shallow skillet pan over low heat until hot. Coat with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and working quickly, tip to spread the batter around to the edges. When bubbles form on the top and the edges are dry, flip over (I used a heat proof scrapping spatula) and cook until lightly browned on the other side and edges are golden, about 2 minutes total. Repeat with remaining batter. Stack cooked crepes between small sheets of parchment paper or wax paper as you cook the rest.
Fill crepes with your favorite fruit and nutella, serve.

*You can keep these in a large baggie in the fridge for a few days, or wrap well and freeze for a couple months (thaw before using).

I am sharing these with Everyday Sisters.

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