Friday, September 18, 2009

Grape Salad

8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white sugar

First mix cream cheese and white sugar. Then add vanilla and sour cream.

2 lbs green grapes
2 lbs red grapes
wash and dry completly then place in salad bowl.

Add cream cheese mixture to grapes. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar on top with chopped pecans (toasted ones if you want). Chill at least one hour before serving.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blackened Chicken or Salmon

4 Tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup butter
4 salmon fillets, room temperature or
4 tilapia fillets, room temperature or
4 chicken breasts, pounded evenly, room temperature

Mix dry spices on a plate. In a skillet, melt butter and oil over medium-high heat. Pour off 1 Tablespoon of butter into a shallow pan. Turn on your oven vent and crank the heat to high. (work with your range, some gas ranges would be way too hot on high, work on med-high.) Pat fillets or breasts dry with paper towels. Dip each fillet or breast lightly into melted butter and dip into the dry ingredients, patting the spices on by hand. Cook fish/chicken in skillet, 3-4 minutes per side, careful when turning. Fish/Chicken will look charred black and you may get smoke- hence the name!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reese’s Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Reese’s Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)

For decorating:
1 ½ – 2 batches peanut butter frosting
miniature Reese’s cups, halved and/or chopped

For the cake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9×2” round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Place the pans on a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients). Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, if using, folding it in with a spatula.

Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cardboard circle covered in foil. Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer. (If desired, sprinkle with chopped Reese’s cups.) Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting. Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting. Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.

Source: inspiration from Smells Like Home, cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, frosting from Ina Garten

Chocolate Truffle Filling
4 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
6 tbsp of margarine or butter
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over low heat, heat the chocolate squares, stirring frequently, until melted; cool slightly. With spoon, stir in confectioners sugar, butter and heavy whipping cream until mixture is smooth and blended.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sausage Tomato Tortellini Soup

1 lb Italian sausage
1/4 cup grated
parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon onion salt
2 tablespoons minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon
olive oil or you can just leave the grease from the sausage for more flavor :)
2 (14 ounce) cans of
tomatoes crushed or diced
1 (6 ounce) can
tomato paste
6 cups
beef broth
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon
dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon
dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon
dried oregano leaves
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
12 ounces dry tortellini or ravioli

Brown the sausage, add remaining ingredients except pasta. Bring soup to a boil, then turn to a simmer and cover for 40 minutes. Cook pasta seperately (do not overcook) and then add to soup right before serving. Garnish with more grated parmesan.