Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kara's Spinach Artichoke Dip

Kara's Spinach Artichoke Dip

8 oz Artichoke hearts - drained (honestly I would've added another can)
6 oz of Asiago/Parm cheese
6 oz of washed and dried fresh spinach (I just did one of those baby spinach dole salad bags)
1/2 pint of half-half
20 oz of sour cream
24 oz of cream cheese
8 oz of whipping cream

Dump into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

I then dumped it into a crockpot and it was all yummy and bubbly w/in a few hours

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lemon Risotto

This is from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite sites.

Lemon Risotto Adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2002

Makes 6 first-course or 4 main-course servings.

6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Bring broth to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Season risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Southern Corn Cakes

To go with the soup... from the same cookbook.

Southern Corn Cakes (makes 12)

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cups coarse yellow cornmeal, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt (or table salt)
16 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1.5 large eggs (okay, so I split this recipe in half, you can make this happen!)

Position a rack in the lower third of teh oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix for 1 to 2 minutes, until throughly blended.

In a large measuring cup or a small bowl, mix together the butter, cream, buttermilk, and eggs. Pour into the flour mixture and mix on medium speed just until the ingredients are combined and no longer lumpy.

Using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the batter onto the prepared backing sheet, placing teh corn cakes about 2 inches apart (they will spread when baking). Sprinkle about 1 tsp cornmeal over the top of each corn cake.

Bake the corn cakes for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden and crisp on the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. (To refresh the corn cakes, wrap in foil and reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

White Bean Soup with Bacon

Claudia brought in a cookbook today from the library, "Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook". There were SO many things that looked amazing that I think I have to buy this book. One recipe really caught my eye though and it wasn't for a sweet. Of course, it has bacon in it, so go figure...

White Bean Soup with Bacon

1 1/2 cups dried white beans, such as cannellini or navy, soaked overnight in cold water
3 Tbs olive oil
4 celery ribs, diced
2 large sweet onions, finely diced
1 parsnip, peeled and finely diced
4 cups chicken stock
8 strips bacon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
smoked paprika

Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Fill a large saucepan with water, add the beans, bring to a boil over high heat, and boil for 10 minutes. REduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the beans are soft, about 1 hour. Set a sieve over a bowl and drain the beans; reserve the liquid. Remove any loose bean skins.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in teh same pan over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, and parsnip and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add half the beans and the chicken stock and cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 mintues. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment and lay the bacon strips on teh paper, without overlapping. Bake the bacon for 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly crispy. Remove the baconfrom teh oven and drain on paper towels. W@hen it is cool, dice 4 strips and cut the remaining 4 strips to half.

Using a food processor or a blender (I'm thinking immersion blender), blend the soup to a smooth consistency. Return it to the saucepan and reheat (if necessary)over low heat, adding a little of the bean liquid if the soup is too thick. Add the remaining beans and the diced bacon to the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into four bowls and garnish each with 2 bacon strip halves. Finish with a sprinkle of teh parsley and a dusting of smoked paprika.

Monday, March 19, 2012

PW's Texas Sheet Cake

I made this once for a party and it was to die for.

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 24

Print Recipe

3"x5" Cards

4"x6" Cards

Full Page
2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
2 sticks salted Butter
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1-3/4 stick salted Butter
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar
Preparation Instructions

Note: I use an 18x13 sheet cake pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mini Lemon Bundt Cakes

I got this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod. Instead of a loaf pan, I used my mini bundt pans. It made 6 with some batter left over, but I probably shouldn't have filled them so full and made a few cupcakes with some of the batter. I cooked them for 30 minutes and they seemed perfect. Like the Peas, I used sour cream instead of yogurt (reduced fat at that) and they were very tasty.

FYI, these are very tart. It's lemon with a side of lemon topped with lemon.

Lemon Loaf Cake

Adapted From Barefoot Contessa
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. plain whole-milk yogurt (I used sour cream)
1 1/3 C. sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 C. vegetable oil ( I used canola oil)
1/3 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 C. confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 C. lemon juice and remaining 1/3 C. sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake. Slice and serve!

Chicken and Dumplings

And another...

Easy Chicken & Dumplings
Soup Ingredients

6 cups Organic Chicken Stock
3 stalks Celery, diced finely
2 large Carrots, diced finely
1/2 large Onion (I used Vidalia), diced fine
3 Organic Free Range Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon Bouquet Garni
Salt & Pepper to taste


Put stock in a large pot. Add diced vegetables. Rinse chicken breasts with water and add them directly to the pot to poach. Add Bouquet Garni and salt & pepper to taste.

Simmer on medium heat for 30-45 minutes, until chicken breasts are cooked through. Remove chicken from pot to a large plate. Shred chicken apart using two forks to pull. When all chicken has been shredded, add it directly back to the pot.

Cook the dumplings as directed below.

Basic Dumplings
From the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

Dumpling Ingredients

1 cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Milk or Half & Half


Mix flour, salt and baking powder together in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, cut in the cold butter until you form pebbles that resemble course meal or cracker crumbs. Add the milk, stirring until just combined. There will be lumps.

Drop the dough into the simmering soup by teaspoon or tablespoonfuls (your choice on size of dumplings) and cook for 10 minutes uncovered. Cover the soup and simmer for 10-12 minutes more, until the dumplings are cooked through.