Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Turkey breasts were on sale this week at Kroger, so I bought a 10 lb. turkey breast. Whoever comes to Hotel Wetherington first will be guaranteed a delicious Roast Turkey with all the fixings! Our weekends are open, first come, first serve!
End of PSA :)
Posted by Ashlee at 2/26/2008 09:46:00 AM
I joined a Blog Baking Club last week. It is called Tuesdays with Dorie, and all recipes are chosen from the cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours, By Dorrie Greenspan. Every week one member picks a recipe we all make, and it's posted on Tuesday.
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bow. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between-- and that's just right.
Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you've got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading-- 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together. Toss in the pecans and knead 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour, pat the dough out with your hands or toll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don't worry if the dough isn't completely even-- a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.
Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of the first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working with them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits ca be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting-- just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)
Bake the biscuits for 14-18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.
Monday, February 25, 2008
This website shows all of the different fruit, some common and some very unusual!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
One of my co-workers brought in her niece's girl scout cookie order form, and of course I had to order a box. I couldn't believe one box was $3! I'm not even a big fan of girl scout cookies because I like a soft, chewy cookie. I don't like hard, store bought cookies at all. I told another co-worker that you can make girl scout cookies at home that taste much better, and you can make many more for the same price. She told me her favorite are Do-si-dos. I figured there would be a recipe online somewhere, and I found one here.
I think they came out tasting the exact same, just a bit more moist, which I liked. They are a bit bigger than girl scout cookies, but who doesn't like a bigger cookie?!
Enjoy these all year round!
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant or regular)
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350F.Start with the cookies. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.In a large bowl, cream together butter and peanut butter. Beat in the sugars until fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in vanilla extract.Working at a low speed, mix in the flour, followed by the oats (if you don’t have quick-cooking, pulse whole rolled oats in the food processor to chop them up a bit).On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drop teaspoonfuls of batter (roughly 3/4-in. sized balls), leaving about 2 inches between each to allow for spread.Bake for about 10 minutes, until cookies are a light golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, making small holes in 1/2 of the cookies (for the tops of the sandwiches) before they set up. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cookies have cooled, make the filling.In a large bowl, cream together smooth peanut butter, butter and confectioners’ sugar until very smooth. Spread 2-3 tsp onto half of the finished cookies and sandwich with the remaining halves. If you chose to make yours with GS-lookalike holes in some of the cookies, use these as the tops of the sandwiches.Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 48 sandwich cookies.
Recipe taken from Baking Bites
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I hope you enjoy my selections and I very much appreciate everyone voting!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Usually my weeknight meals take no more than 30 minutes to make, but this one is closer to an hour, it just depends on how fast you can work through the ingredients. After eating this dinner tonight, JJ & I can honestly say these were the most moist, tender, and delicious meatballs we've ever had! I've made them a million times this way... but for some reason tonight they came out perfectly!
½ lb. Barilla plus spaghetti
¾ yellow onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 5 oz. can Italian style tomato paste (minus 2 tbsp. for meatballs)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
5 torn fresh basil leaves
Grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz. 96% lean ground beef
¼ yellow onion, grated
1 egg white
¼ cup breadcrumbs (or more)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Salt and pepper
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 egg whites, whipped to a foam
1 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs
½ tsp. salt¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 zucchini, julienned
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Preheat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, onions and garlic. Soften for about 5 minutes. Add seasonings, tomato paste, and crushed tomatoes. Fill crushed tomatoes can half way with water, swirl the can to collect all of the tomato bits, and pour into the pan. Turn to low, cover and simmer.
Add all the meatball ingredients to a bowl, gently toss to combine. Shape into 12 balls and place on a baking sheet. Put into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Combine zucchini breading ingredients in a shallow dish. Whip egg whites in a bowl until they foam. Toss zucchini in the egg whites, then toss in the bread crumbs. Transfer to a baking sheet.
Remove meatballs from the oven, put zucchini sticks in and turn the oven up to 450 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes, until crispy and brown.
Drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce to finish cooking.
Drop pasta in the boiling water and cook 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain, and add to the sauce. Toss to combine all ingredients. Tear basil leaves into the skillet, add parmesan and toss to combine.
Plate pasta in a shallow bowl, add zucchini sticks around the sides.
Pour extra sauce over zucchini sticks if desired.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
JJ's favorite dessert is Bananas Foster, so I had to make it for him for Valentine's Day. I didn't really measure when I was making this, but it's the kind of thing you can just approximate.
2 tbsp. light butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
2 under ripe bananas, sliced
1/2 cup Captain Morgan's spiced dark rum
1 cup non-fat vanilla frozen yogurt
Melt butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium. Add in brown sugar and cinnamon, melt together about 3 minutes. Add in bananas, gently toss to coat. Add in rum, and light on fire. Wiggle the pan while the flame cooks off. Put back on the heat and simmer until the sauce is caramel like. Spoon over frozen yogurt, serve immediately.
Posted by Ashlee at 2/16/2008 06:04:00 PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
German Potato Salad:
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Like anyone, JJ and I love eating out, however it’s quite pricey, and you cannot control the amount of fat/calories in your food. I like to recreate meals that we’ve had at our favorite restaurants for the challenge, and also so I can tweak it a bit so it’s exactly what I want to eat. The blue cheese chopped salad is something I’ve had at outback. From what I can remember, it is just lettuce, pecans, blue cheese, and scallions with some sort of little crunchy tortilla strips. I love pairing blue cheese and pear, so I thought that would be a good addition, as well as cucumber and peppers, salad staples. I had some leftover Chinese rice noodles from PF Changs night, and I decided to sub those for the tortilla strips. I think what I love the most about this salad is the blue cheese dressing is a vinegar based dressing, which I much prefer over a mayo base. I think it tastes pretty similar! I also added grilled chicken for protein and balance.
The sweet potatoes were a Texas Roadhouse inspiration. JJ loves their cinnamon-honey butter, and I think it’s pretty good too. Sweet potatoes are much healthier than russets, and match wonderfully with the butter. They’re not complex, but the combination of flavors is delicious. I don’t think TR adds vanilla to their butter, but I like a little vanilla with my whipped sweet potatoes.
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped finely
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 pear, peeled and finely diced
1/4 cup cinnamon pecans (recipe follows)
1/3 cup blue cheese vinaigrette (recipe follows)
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
½ cup crushed Chinese rice noodles
2 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 tbsp. grill seasoning
2 sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. cinnamon-honey butter (recipe follows)
Blue Cheese Dressing:
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. vinegar (white, champagne, apple cider)
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. sour cream (or fat free buttermilk)
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. sugar
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
Combine all ingredients until smooth and incorporated. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days.
1/4 cup pecans (or walnuts work well too)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Melt butter and brown sugar in a small nonstick skillet. When combined, turn heat off and toss nuts and cinnamon in mixture.
4 tbsp. light butter at room temp.
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Tiny splash of vanilla extract
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, leftovers can be stored in the fridge for weeks.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke the potatoes a few times with a fork all over. Bake directly on the oven rack for 50-60 minutes, until tender.
Season chicken breasts on each side and cook on a grill pan for 6-7 minutes on each side. Take of the grill and let it rest and cool.
Mix lettuce, pepper, cucumber, scallions, pear, noodles and half of the dressing in a big salad bowl. Top with pecans, then with grilled chicken. Add blue cheese crumbles and the remainder of the dressing on top. Serve immediately.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
1 lb. chicken cutlets
1 cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup basic marinara
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb. penne (recommended Barilla plus)
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 roasted red pepper
1 cup basic marinara
1/4 cup parmiggiano reggiano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
10 basil leaves, torn
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange 3 plates, one with flour, on with beaten egg, one with bread crumbs. Dredge chicken in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Place in a baking dish. Top with marinara and cheese. Bake 25 minutes until cheese is melted and golden and chicken is crisp and brown.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place eggplant on a cookie sheet, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt heavily, drop in penne and cook 10-12 minutes. Drain and save 1 cup of the pasta water, set aside.
Place eggplant in a food processor and puree with red pepper and some pasta water.
Add pasta back to pot, add marinara, red pepper flake, olive tapenade, and eggplant puree. Taste for seasoning, plate, top with parmiggiano reggiano and basil
Saturday, February 9, 2008
The packages consist of:
Coconut White Fudge Truffles
Peanut Butter Hearts
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Kahlua Dark Chocolate Truffles
Strawberry Jam Thumbprints
Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
Banana Spritz Hearts
Strawberry Jam Thumbprints
The recipe I used can be found here. These are a classic cookie that was very popular this past Christmas. They were on the cover of Gourmet, and there were recipes in Bon Apetit, Cooking Light, and other cooking magazines I subscribe to. They looked so good I just had to make them.
Not photographed: Outrageous Brownies, recipe found here
Kahluah Dark Chocolate Truffles, recipe found here
This was the winner of last week's poll for what I should make today. As I do with many things I cook, I research the dish and look at the many different ways it's prepared, then I come up with something of my own to suit my tastes. Hopefully you'll enjoy my take on this classic dish.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ pound 96% lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 carrots peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon dried Italian spice blend
1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
¼ pound green beans in 1 inch segments
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup ditalini or orrechetti pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Thursday, February 7, 2008
When I got home tonight, there was a package on the doorstep. I was so happy to find a valentine from my parents. It contained 4 chocolate bars of fair trade chocolate (2 mint chocolate, perfect for cookies this weekend...) If you're interested, and I hope you are, visit www.lwr.org/handcraft for fair trade products.
I am so lucky to have parents who are so invested in social justice! They have educated me, and I try to educate others about such an important issue! There are so many fair trade food products to use, as well as gift items that are fair trade as well. Please take the time to read up on these issues, and consider spending a bit more on products that are fair trade. I love baking with this chocolate, and I also have fair trade vanilla, coffee, soup mix, olive oil and nuts.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
1 sack of Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles (in freezer section)
1 can 99% fat free, low sodium cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cut green beans
½ lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes
½ cup reduced fat sour cream
Splash of skim milk
Salt and Pepper
½ cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add potatoes to a large pot of cold water. Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt heavily. Cook potatoes 20-30 minutes, until fork tender.
Add crumbles and mushroom soup to a casserole dish, stir to combine. Drain green beans; add to create a second layer.
Drain potatoes, add back to pot. Smash together with sour cream; add milk until they reach desired consistency. Season potatoes with salt and pepper, then spread over to create the top layer. Add cheddar cheese on top, put casserole in oven and bake until golden brown and melted, about half an hour.
*To speed up the process – While potatoes are cooking, put casserole in oven to warm the bottom 2 layers, when potatoes are ready, take it out and add them on top, then put casserole under the broiler to brown the top.