Blog Archives

Recipe of the Week ~ “Lemonies”

IMG_7022

I happened across this recipe through pinterest, and had to give it a try!  We’re a big fan of brownies at my house, and I ADORE chocolate, but sometimes I just want to switch it up a little.  So, why not lemon “brownies”?  This was even quicker/easier than making brownies from scratch (because you don’t have to melt any chocolate!), and they would be a fantastic dessert option for a bridal shower or luncheon because of the light, fruity taste!

“Lemonies” (or Lemon “Brownies”)

Brownies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish and set aside.  Zest and juice two small lemons; set aside.  (I used one large lemon and had more than enough juice and zest!)  Beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.  (Don’t worry if it looks lumpy at first!  It will come together if you just beat long enough!)
Pour into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
When brownies are cooled completely, make the glaze by whisking together all three ingredients. Spread over the brownies with a rubber spatula.  Cut, serve, ENJOY!  (I should probably mention that I actually added a little more–okay I doubled it–lemon juice in both the “brownie” mixture and the glaze.  But I like things pretty darn lemon-y, so you may want to try the recipe as written here first, if you’re not sure. ;D  )

Recipe of the Week

From Ashley’s Kitchen, of McDonuts

 

I am a big fan of simple recipes for easy entertaining.  Here is one of my all-time favorite recipes that is as easy as can be:

Roasted Grapes, Thyme and Fresh Ricotta on Grilled Bread

 

This recipe is so simple but looks so beautiful in its presentation.  Your holiday guests will think you are a gourmet chef after tasting this simple (but very delicious) recipe!

 

 

 

Ingredients:
olive oil
kosher salt
fresh thyme sprigs

good rustic/french bread, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
fresh ricotta cheese

grapes

 

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Spread the grapes onto a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the kosher salt. Lay thyme leaves over top of the grapes. Mix and toss gently with your hands or a spoon. Place cookie sheet in the oven for 6 to 10 minutes (depending on your oven, times will vary) or until grapes just begin to burst — they will smell and look beautiful!

2. In the meantime, heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.  I typically use our George Foreman Grill for this and it is so easy!  Brush the bread with olive oil and grill until toasted.

3. Assemble the ingredients: spread fresh ricotta over each slice of grilled bread. Top with the roasted grapes but be very sure to discard the thyme sprigs.  The sprigs are overpowering in taste if you serve them with the grapes on the bread.  The thyme is just meant to season the grapes, not to serve with them. And voila – an easy recipe for entertaining during the holidays!

 

Recipe adapted from: Real Simple Magazine and http://www.wellsphere.com/healthy-eating-article/lunch-roasted-grapes-with-thyme-fresh-ricotta-grilled-bread/1501505

Recipe of the Week

Apple-Avocado Salsa

I happened across this recipe in an old library book (which I can’t remember the name of now–dang it!).  And, I know what you’re thinking:  APPLE salsa!?!?  But, trust me, it is delicious!  The tart apples and lime juice are perfectly balanced by the creamy avocado and zippy cilantro.  I get compliments on this stuff whenever I take it to a potluck of any kind; it’s also especially great when served with fajitas.  Plus, it looks gorgeously festive for the upcoming Holiday season!  Enjoy!

 

 

1 Cup Granny Smith (or other tart) apple, diced

1/2 Cup ripe avocado, peeled and diced

1/4 Cup sweet red pepper, diced (as you can see from the picture, I also used some yellow peppers)

1/4 Cup purple onion, diced

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeño, seeded and minced (I never actually use this, because we like it a little less spicy!)

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice

1  small clove garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and toss well.  Make an hour or two ahead for best flavor results.  Yield:  2 Cups.

Recipe of the Week

From Amanda’s kitchen, of ArtisanMaskers

Mock Apple Crisp

Doesn’t this Autumny apple crisp look delicious?  Well, if you thought those were apples you’d be  WRONG!  Believe it or not, this is a picture of my sister’s “mock apple” crisp, which uses not apples, but ZUCCHINI!  (Great way to use up all the excess zucchini from your garden, right?)  Here we go!

First, to turn all that zucchini into “apples”!

8 Cups Zucchini, peeled, seeded, and chopped into “apple-like” chunks or slices

3/4 Cup Lemon Juice

1 Cup Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1 Tbsp Cornstarch

Boil zucchini pieces in lemon juice until tender (about 15 minutes).  Add sugar, spices, and cornstarch and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let cool slightly.

To make “crisp” topping, cut together with a pastry blender:

1 Stick Cold Butter (1/2 Cup)

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup Oats

1 tsp Cinnamon

Pour your mock apple mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle crisp topping crumbs evenly over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until top looks slightly browned.  Enjoy hot with ice cream!

Recipe of the Week

I’m actually expecting my fourth baby right now.  That being the case crazy cravings hit me at weird times.  Just before midnight the other night, I NEEDED nachos!  With good, gooey, spicy nacho cheese, of course!  Well, I never buy Velveeta, so I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find a good recipe online that I’d actually have the ingredients for.  I was surprised that a lot of recipes were basically just a white sauce with sharp cheddar added.  Easy!  So, here’s the slightly spiced up version I whipped up to satisfy the craving.

Image

Easy Nacho Cheese at Home

2 Tbsp margarine

¼- ½ a small onion, diced (roughly 2 Tbsp)

2 Tbsp flour

Dash cayenne pepper

Dash black pepper

1 ½ – 2 Cups milk

Cheddar cheese to taste, sliced or grated

½ can diced green chiles (4 oz can; you could probably scoop in a couple tablespoons of your favorite salsa, if you don’t have chiles on hand!)

Melt margarine over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.  Stir in flour and peppers.  Gradually whisk in milk.  (Adjust amount of milk according to your own preferences on thickness.)  Whisk often until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.  (Don’t let the sauce boil or the milk will curdle.  Still tastes good, but the creaminess is ruined.  If you’re nervous, just watch it carefully, whisk pretty constantly, and lower the heat as needed. You shouldn’t have a problem.)  Lower heat and gradually add cheese.  When cheese is melted, stir in chiles (or salsa).  Cook just a couple minutes more to let the spicy flavors blend, then remove from heat.  Serve with or pour over tortilla chips!  This should make enough for you, your honey, and a couple of friends.  Or just you, if you’re expecting, too.  ;D

Recipe of the Week

From Jennifer’s kitchen (of ClayBouquetShop)

My Mom made these for my sister and I when we were kids (my aunt sent her the recipe from a magazine), and I now make these for my husband and me for a quick dinner. It’s an easy recipe, hearty, and mighty scrumptious…and only uses a saute pan (large) and a few muffin pans for easy clean-up. Perfect for a party appetizer (the recipe is easily multiplied) or a quick and easy recipe for an eat-with-your-hands (or a fork and knife) item while watching a DVD together on Friday night. They reheat wonderfully in the microwave or oven for leftovers, but it could be a bit messy if you are working on DIY crafts.  : )

(Photos and a variation of the recipe was found on http://allrecipes.com/recipe/barbecue-beef-cups/

I’m glad I didn’t have to make them to get photos to share…way too busy with bouquet orders…and getting ready for vacation with my husband! : )

BBQ Cups

2 large refrigerated biscuit tubes (8-12 biscuits each), usually found in the refrigerated section near the whipped cream and such (get some for dessert! : )
1 pound ground beef (or turkey, chicken, meat substitute, per your preference)
1 small onion, chopped (or a small handful of frozen, chopped onions…one of my favorite things to have ready to use)
1/2 – 3/4 cup of barbecue sauce (use your favorite…I prefer a slightly sweet sauce over spicy ones.)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.

Saute the onion until they are cooked (translucent). Add the meat,  cook fully and drain.

Mix the BBQ sauce into the meat mixture in the cooking pan. Fully coat the meat, but don’t make it too wet, as the biscuits would end up soggy.

Grease your muffin pans (if using non-stick), and open your biscuits. Spread each biscuit…it’s easiest if you pull it like a mini pizza. (If you get the extra large muffins, decrease the amount of dough you put in each cup.) Stretch it out enough that you can lay it on the bottom of the muffin pan, and have extra to pull up the sides to just below the top of the cup. They’ll shrink back a bit…so do a few, then fill the muffin cup with a spoon or two of the meat mixture, leaving the sides of the dough visible. The dough is going to rise up and make a little cup around the mixture, so it should look like the photo when cooked. : )
Sprinkle a little (or a lot of) cheese on the top of each on before they go in the oven.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes…until the biscuits are golden and the cheesy tops are bubbling. Leaving them in too long will burn both the cheesy tops and the muffins (not very tasty), so keep a close eye on them. I use a butter knife to pop any of those whose cheese spread out and trapped them in the pan.
If there are any biscuits leftover, I usually stick them in the oven at the same time for a quick bite, or top it with a bit of cheese, spice, or cinnamon before baking for a different flavor. : )
Enjoy! : )

Recipe of the Week

By Janice of NeverAPlainJane

Smashed Potatoes

I love this recipe. The ingredients are available any time of year, it can serve a group of any size, and it works for any meal.

Ingredients:

3 lbs small potatoes (Yukon Gold or Red Bliss)

3 Tbs. olive oil or butter

¼ cup chopped chives or flat-leaf parsley

Fresh ground pepper

Sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Throw your potatoes into a pot of cold, salted water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until you can easily slip a knife into one of the potatoes.  I usually check mine after ten minutes, then every few minutes after that.
  2. Drain your potatoes and transfer back into the pot. Smash (not mash, we’re going for hearty chunks not smooth mush) with the back of a wooden spoon while drizzling with your olive oil or adding chunks of butter.
  3. Transfer to a roasting pan and broil until potatoes start to crisp.
  4. Shower with chives or parsley, sea salt, and pepper.

If you are making smashed potatoes for some lucky guests attending brunch, throw in some bacon bits. For any meal-centric gathering, consider adding a generous handful of grated cheddar. Stick the cheese-topped potatoes back under the broiler for an additional minute or two so the cheese gets nice and melty. Should my husband be in attendance, it wouldn’t hurt to have a dish of sour cream available as well.

www.neveraplainjane.blogspot.com