Thursday, June 30, 2011

Strawberry Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbls lime juice

Mix the strawberries and sugar together.  Let them sit for about an hour to get all juicy.  Stir in the lime juice.  Puree the strawberries in the food processor or blender until nice and smooth.  Pour into your ice cream maker, and allow to churn for 20-25 minutes, according to the instructions.  Put in an air tight container to freeze.  Makes 1 1/2 quarts.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chicken Tostadas

Chicken Tostadas
Adapted from Cooking Light
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Guacamole (I always make my own, but this one works well with this, so I followed it)
1 avocado, peeled
2 Tbls tomato, chopped
1 Tbls Onion, chopped
1 Tbls lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced

Pico De Gallo
1 cup tomato, chopped
2 Tbls onion, chopped
1 Tbls lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbls cilantro, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped

2 chicken breasts
garlic powder
onion powder
chili powder
1 Tbls lime juice

8 (6 inch) corn tostada shells

Sprinkle both sides of chicken with all the seasonings except the lime and paprika.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

While chicken is cooking prepare the guacamole and pico de gallo. 

Guacamole - mash the avocado with a fork.  Add in all of the ingredients.  Stir until well combined.

Pico De Gallo - Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Toss well.

Shred the chicken using 2 forks.  Sprinkle paprika over all of the chicken, and add the lime juice.  Toss together. 

To serve spread guacamole across the tostada shell.  Top with chicken and then pico de gallo.  You can add anything else you like at this point.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Aqua Fresca

Strawberry Agua Fresca
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 lb strawberries,  hulled and sliced
2 1/2 cups cold water
4 Tbls sugar
1 lime, juiced

Puree the strawberries in a food processor. Strain them through a mesh strainer.   Pour the seedless puree into a pitcher and add the water, lime juice and sugar. Stir well.  Serve over ice, and garnish with lime slice.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Macarons

Chocolate Peanut Butter Macarons
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

For the Macarons:
110 gm almond flour
200 gm minus 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa powder (Dutch-process preferred)
100 gm egg whites (from about 3 eggs), aged at room temperature for 12-24 hours
50 gm granulated sugar

Peanut Butter Butter Cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbls milk

Combine almond flour, confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder until well blended (I used my food processor).  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy.  Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until a smooth, shiny meringue with stiff peaks forms.  Add the ground almond mixture to the bowl with the meringue and quickly but gently fold together using a wide rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  You want to achieve a thick batter that ribbons or flows from the spatula when lifted.

Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.  Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain wide round tip.  Pipe into small rounds on the prepared baking sheets (each round should be about 1-1½ inches in diameter), spaced about 1 inch apart.  Let sit at room temperature for about an hour to develop a hard shell.

Preheat the oven to 300˚F.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size.  Transfer the pans to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before moving the cookies. 

While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting.  Stir together all the ingredients until it is the right consistency.  I always just add the milk at the end to get the texture I want.  Put into a piping bag, fitted with a plain tip.

Once the cookies are cool, match them up so they are paired with one that is a like size.  Squeeze some frosting onto the base, and place the top on.  Gently press down.  They are best to eat the next day.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Strawberry Crumb Bars

Strawberry Crumb Bars
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

2 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Butter - cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    + 2 Tbls butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Quick Cooking Oats
3/4 cup strawberry jelly
3/4 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 tsp lemon juice

Line a 13x9 in pan with foil and then spray with non stick spray.

In electric mixer stir together flour, sugar and salt.  With the mixer on a low speed add the 1 cup of butter, 1 piece at a time.  Continue mixing until combined  - about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  Take 1 1/4 cups of this mixture and set aside. With the remaining, press this firmly into the bottom of the pan.  Bake at 375 for 14 minutes.  The edges will be slightly browned.

While that is baking.  Add brown sugar, and oats to the reserved flour mixture.  Work in the remaining 2 Tbls of butter, using your fingers.  Work until it is in small clumps. 

Combine the jelly, strawberries and the lemon juice in a small bowl.  Mash with a fork to combine.  Be sure to leave some chunks of berries in there. 

Spread filling evenly over the hot crust.  Sprinkle with the streusel topping over the strawberries.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes.  The crust will be brown, and the filling will be bubbly.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strawberry Popsicles
Recipe Adapted from Recipes by Suite 101
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 cup fresh strawberries
¼ cup sugar

Mash  strawberries with a fork.  Stir in sugar.  Let sit for 20 minutes to get all juicy.  Pour into molds (or paper cups if you don't have molds), and Freeze!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1/4 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup Milk
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Sugar
1 3/4 cup Flour
1 cup chopped Strawberries

In a small bowl combine oil, milk, and egg.  Beat lightly. 

In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.  Toss in chopped strawberries and stir to coat with flour.  Pour in milk mixture and stir together.

Fill 12 muffin cups with batter.  Bake at 375 for 16 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strawberry Milkshakes

Strawberry Milkshakes
Recipe by Emeril Lagasse
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1/2 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup milk

In a mixing bowl combine the sliced strawberries, sugar and vanilla extract and stir to combine well. Set aside for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.
In blender (or food processor if you don't have a blender)  place the strawberries, ice cream, and milk. Blend until smooth.
Pour into glass and top with whip cream to serve.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Cream Pie
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 Graham Cracker Crust (recipe below)
1/2 cup hot fudge
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cup cold milk
2 packages vanilla flavor instant pudding
1/2 tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 cup mini reese's peanut butter cups, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbls powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Mix sugar with crushed crackers.  Stir in melted butter.  Pour into pie plate.  Press firmly against sides and bottom.  Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.  Cool.

For the pie - Spoon the hot fudge into the bottom of the crust.  Freeze for 10 minutes. 

Beat peanut butter and milk with whisk until well blended.  Add the pudding mixes.  Beat for 2 minutes, the mixture will be thick. 

Gently stir in the cool whip, and the peanut butter cups. 

Spoon over the chocolate layer. Put in the fridge to set.

While that is in the fridge, make whipped cream.  Beat the heavy cream on high for a couple minutes.  Until it looks like it is starting to come together.  Add the sugar, and vanilla, and whip until you have soft peaks.  Spread this on top of the peanut butter layer.

Sprinkle with peanut butter cups.  Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Five Spice Pork Lo Mein

5-spice Pork Lo Mein
Adapted from Cooking Light
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 package uncooked Chinese-style noodles 
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger 
1 1/2 Tbls  five-spice powder 
1 (approx 1 lb)pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips 
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 
2 tablespoons canola oil 
1/2 cup water 
1/2 cup hoisin sauce 
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Place in a large bowl. Snip noodles several times with kitchen scissors.

Combine ginger, five-spice powder, and pork in a medium bowl; add 1/4 teaspoon salt, tossing to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture; sauté 2 minutes or until browned. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, water, and hoisin sauce; cook 2 minutes or until pork is done. Add pork mixture and green onions to noodles; toss well to combine.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pistachio Ice Cream

Pistachio Ice Cream
Adapted from BrownEyed Baker
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 ¼ cup shelled pistachio nuts
¾ cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
½ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

Grind the 1 ¼ cup pistachios in a food processor.  They should be finely ground, but not a paste. 

In a large saucepan heat the milk, sugar, and 1 cup of the cream.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Stir in the ground nuts.  Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for at least 30 minutes. 

Strain the warm nuts mixture, pressing the nuts to remove as much liquid as possible. Throw away the nuts.   Put the liquid back in the saucepan.   In a separate bowl pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream.  Cover this bowl with a strainer.  Set this aside for later.   In another bowl whisk together the egg yolds.  Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly.  Then pour back into the saucepan. 

Stir constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  You will want to make sure you scrape the bottom when you are stirring.  Pour the custard through the strainer and into the cream.  Add the vanilla and almond extract.  Stir to combine. 

Refrigerate until cold.  Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the directions.  One finished churning, fold in the ½ cup pistachios.  Store in air tight container in freezer. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Homemade Milky Way

Milky Way

1 bag milk chocolate chips
3 Tbls Evaporated Milk
1 container Marshmallow Fluff
1 (14 oz) bag of caramels, unwrapped
3 Tbls Evaporated Milk
Milk Chocolate for Dipping (about a pound)

Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for about 45 seconds.  Stir to completely melt all the chocolate.  If you need to microwave further, do for very short periods – you do not want the chocolate the burn.  Stir in the marshmallow fluff and the evaporated milk. 

Pour this into an 8x8 pan that is lined with foil, and sprayed with non-stick spray.   Place this in the fridge to harden while you work on the next step. 

Put the caramels and the rest of the milk in a bowl, and microwave until they are melted.  Start with 45 seconds, and then stir.  If needed heat for longer, checking every 15 seconds.  Once nice and smooth, pour over the chocolate mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 

Once firm, remove from the pan and cut into desired size.  Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, and get to dipping!  I set it on a baking sheet, and then placed it in the fridge to harden. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Cookie Layer:
½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips

Cheesecake Layer:
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together the butter, shortening and sugar.  Add in eggs, and vanilla.   Mix in flour, salt, and baking soda.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Transfer this to another bowl. 

In mixer beat cream cheese until smooth  - about 2-3 minutes on medium speed.  Add sugar, egg and vanilla.  Mix until just combined. 

Using a 13x9 pan, spread ½ the cookie dough over the bottom of the pan.   Pour the cream cheese mixture over the dough.  With the remaining dough, drop chunks of it over the cream cheese. 

Bake for 35-45 minutes.  The top will be lightly browned, and if you insert a toothpick it will come out clean. 

Allow to cool before slicing.  Store in the fridge. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Honey Oat Bread

Honey-Oat Bread
Recipe from Bon Appetit

1 ¾ cup warm water
1 Tbls Active Dry Yeast
¾ cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbls Canola Oil
2 ½ tsp salt
5 cups (about) all purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten
2 Tbls additional oats

Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let set for 10 minutes until frothy.  In a large bowl mix together the oats, honey, oil and salt, and the water.  Stir in enough of the flour to form a soft dough.  Coat a large bowl with non-stick spray.  Transfer dough the bowl and turn it over to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel.  Let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.

Punch the dough down, and shape into 2 loaves.  I just free formed 2 loaves on a baking sheet.  But you could use loaf pans if you wanted (this is actually what the recipe calls for).  Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. 

Brush the top of the loaves with egg, and sprinkle with the additional oats.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  When you knock on the bottom of the bread and it sounds hollow, it is done. 

Top with butter, or honey for a delicious side to any meal!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Grilled Potato Packs

Grilled Smoky Cheddar Potato Packs
Adapted from Betty Crocker

4 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
½ tsp salt
1 Tbls butter
1 Tbls Olive Oil
1 cup cheddar cheese
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
¼ cup sliced green onions

In a large microwave safe dish heat the diced potatoes for 10 minutes, stirring after 5.  Place the potatoes a large sheet of heavy duty foil.  Toss them with the olive oil.  Sprinkle over the salt and bacon.  Dot with butter. 

Wrap the foil securely around potatoes.  Place over a hot grill for about 20 minutes, flipping half way.  Open up the foil, and top with cheese and onions.  Stir around to melt the cheese.   Serve straight from the foil pack.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Cinnamon Roll Muffins
Adapted from The Baker Chick

1 cup Buttermilk (I used ½ buttermilk, ½ cup skim)
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
3 cups flour

2 Tbls Butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
2 -3 Tbls milk
½ tsp vanilla

In a bowl combine brown sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla and egg.  Add in the buttermilk.  Mix together with a fork.  Add the flour.  Stir until it is well combined.  Be careful not to over mix!

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and knead for about a minute.  Roll the dough into a 12x24 inch rectangle. 

Spread the butter over the dough, and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the dough into a log, and stretch it slightly.  Cut into 2 inch pieces.  Put them  into a greased muffin tin.  Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. 

While they are baking you can put together the icing.  Add the milk slowly to the sugar.  Drizzle over the muffins! 


Monday, June 6, 2011

Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

Chicken  Meatballs with a Sweet Peanut Sauce
Recipe from Everyday with Rachael Ray
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 pound ground chicken
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated onion
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 Tbls Canola Oil
¼ cup peanut butter
2 Tbls Soy Sauce
3 Tbls Sugar
2 Tbls Sesame Oil
Chopped Peanuts for garnish

Mix chicken, cilantro, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Roll into about 1 inch balls.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook the meatballs until they are cooked through, about 10 minutes.  

While they are cooking, you can make the sauce.  Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl.  Microwave for few seconds to get it warm.  Stir together. 

Toss the meatballs with half of the sauce, reserving the other ½ for dipping.  Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.  

Serve on toothpicks with the remaining sauce!     

Friday, June 3, 2011

Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cups
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

½ cup Peanut Butter
½ cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbls Butter
Pinch of salt
2 cups Milk Chocolate
1 Tbls shortening

Line a mini muffin tray with liners. 

Put peanut butter, butter, and salt into a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for about 20 seconds, just to get it soft.  You don’t want the butter melted.  Stir in the sugar until it is well combined. 

Melt the chocolate and the shortening together over a double broiler. 

Fill the bottom of each muffin liner with a teaspoon of melted chocolate.  Top with about a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture.  Finally, cover each one with more chocolate. 

Set in the fridge to harden.  This makes about 36 peanut butter cups.  I did mini, but you could easily use a regular muffin tin, and make larger ones! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Barbeque Ribs

Barbeque Ribs
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

2 Full racks of Baby Back Ribs

1 cup Ketchup
1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Molasses
1 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 rounded tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

Combine everything in a sauce pan over high heat.  Whisk until smooth.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until nice and thick.

Place Ribs in foil - baste with plenty of sauce.

Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.

Remove from foil and smother with more sauce.  Grill on hot grill for 2 to 4 minutes per side.  Just to caramelize the sauce. You can serve with more sauce on the side if you like the saucy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oreo Muffins

Oreo Muffins
Recipe from Knead for Speed
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup skim milk
12 Oreos, coarsely crushed

2 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, diced
6 Oreos, finely crushed

Preheat oven to 385 degrees F.  Grease or line muffin tin with liners.

To prepare streusel, stir together flour, sugar, and finely crushed Oreos in a small bowl.  Cut in butter until consistency becomes like coarse meal.  Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, stirring between additions.  Add vanilla.  Add flour all at once.  Mix on low speed for a few seconds, then add milk and continue mixing just until incorporated.  Fold in crushed oreos.

Divide batter between 10-12 muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full.  Evenly sprinkle Oreo streusel atop batter.

Bake 16-18 minutes, or until done.  Enjoy!