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.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Another from Bluebonnets and Brownies...

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
serves four

Chicken Filling
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp double concentrate tomato paste
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ancho chili powder or hill country chili powder
1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken and tomato OR plain chicken stock

Add tomato paste, spices, and stock to a large sauce pan, and whisk to evenly distribute. Add chicken thighs directly to stock, and allow to cook on medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour, until chicken is fork tender and easily pulled apart by two forks. Stock should reduce down until there is almost none left. Pull all of the chicken so you are left with shredded chicken sitting in a little broth.

Chili Gravy
adapted from Robb Walsh’s Tex-Mex Cookbook
1/4 c. canola or grapeseed oil, or lard (yes, I cook with lard. Are you aware it has no trans fats, and LESS fat than butter and most oils?)
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp powdered garlic
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
2 tbsp ancho or hill country chili powder
2 cups chicken and tomato or plain chicken broth

Heat oil or lard in a large frying pan. When hot, whisk in flour until you’ve got a paste-like consistency, otherwise known as a roux. Add the rest of the spices and whisk again until fully incorporated. Add chicken stock to the pan and whisk continually until gravy begins to thicken. Turn heat to low, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. If gravy thickens too much (should be the consistency of beef or chicken gravy that you would put on a roast dinner), add more chicken stock 1/4 c. at a time to thin to your desired consistency.

For enchiladas

8-10 corn tortillas
1 chopped onion
Shredded chicken thighs as prepared above
2-3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese
chili gravy

In a medium frying pan, saute approximately 1 chopped onion if so desired, until translucent and slightly brown. Remove to a bowl and save for enchilada assembly.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a plate with paper towel. When frying pan is cleared of onions, add approximately 3 tbsp. of oil to it. Allow to heat completely. Place the tip of a wooden spoon into the oil. When bubbles form and race away from the spoon, the oil is hot enough. One at a time, shallow fry corn tortillas, flipping after 30 seconds, until both sides are slightly browned, but not dark. Remove tortilla to paper towel lined plate, and continue on until all tortillas are fried.

Now you are ready to begin assembly. Place 2-3 tortillas on an oven safe plate, with enough room to fill each. Add 2 tbsp. of the shredded chicken mixture, a spoonful of cooked onions, and as much shredded cheddar cheese as you desire. Roll the tortilla and place back on the plate with the seam-side down. Continue with the other tortillas on the plate, until you have 2 or 3 enchiladas lined up in a row.

Cover the enchiladas with a ladle-full of chili gravy, and more cheddar cheese and onions as desired. Add refried beans and Mexican rice to the plate if desired. Place the plate in the oven to melt the cheese.

Continue assembly of all other plates required, adding them to the oven as each is finished. Remove the first plate as the cheese is fully melted and begins to bubble. Make sure to remove from the oven with an oven safe mitt, and serve on a place mat. The plate will be hot, as it would be in a Mexican restaurant.

Devour with copious amounts of Tecate beer, guacamole salad, and tortilla chips, as any good Texan would do.

Panera Bread Ham and Swiss Baked Egg Souffles - Copycat


Boo. Fail. Crescent rolls make this the suck. I'm not a fan.

Copied this from Bluebonnets and Brownies' site. I had one of these on the way back from NY and LOVED it. It's all I think about now. Can't wait to try them at home.

Panera Bread Ham and Swiss Baked Egg Soufflés
Serves 2, easily doubles or triples
Adapted from Todd Wilbur’s copycat recipe for Spinach Artichoke Baked Soufflé

4 eggs, 1 reserved
1 tablespoon milk or half and half
1 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup shredded KerryGold Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping if desired
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste (optional)
2 thick slices deli ham, diced (I used Honey Roasted. You could also use quartered Canadian Bacon slices)
2 tablespoons fresh minced red pepper, if desired

1 8-ounce tube Pillsbury Crescent butter flake dough
melted butter

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix 3 eggs, milk, and heavy cream in a large plastic or glass mixing jug until well combined. Egg yolks should be completely broken and mixed in. Add shredded Swiss cheese, parmesan, and salt and mix again until thoroughly distributed throughout the egg mixture.

Microwave the egg mixture in 30 second increments on high, stirring after each increment until you have a sort of solid, slightly runny scrambled egg mixture. In my 1000 watt microwave oven, this took 4 increments of 30 seconds.

This tightens the eggs enough so that the dough at the bottom will cook, and the dough at the sides and top will not fall into them. Add diced ham, black pepper and red pepper (if desired), stirring through the egg mixture so evenly mixed throughout. Set aside.

Sprinkle a clean surface with flour, and unroll the crescent dough. Do not separate the pairs of triangles. Instead, pinch with your fingers along the seam so that 2 triangles become 1 square of dough. You will only use 4 out of the 8 triangles included in the tube of dough. Set aside leftover dough, do not discard or pinch together.

Flour the square of dough on both sides, and a rolling pin. Roll out the dough, turning dough once clockwise after each roll. Always roll in the same direction, directly out from yourself, until you have a square that is approximately 6″ x 6″.

Melt about a tablespoon of butter in the microwave. Brush melted butter inside two 4″ ramekins, and then carefully line each with the 6×6 square of dough, leaving excess hanging over the edge of the ramekin.

Fill each ramekin and dough with equal amounts of egg mixture. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese, if desired. Fold dough over the egg mixture so it is no longer hanging over the sides of the ramekin.

Break and whisk the remaining egg, then brush over dough in each ramekin. This will give the dough a golden color and shine as it bakes.

Place ramekins on the center of a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 15 minutes. While the soufflés are baking, roll the remaining crescent dough to package specifications. After 15 minutes, remove tray from oven and place the spare rolled crescents onto the baking tray around the ramekins.

Return to oven and bake for 10-12 minutes more, until the souffles are golden brown and bubbly, and egg appears to be solidly cooked.

The remaining crescents may need a few extra minutes, so remove the ramekins from the tray and return the tray to the oven, if necessary.

Allow the soufflés to cool for approximately 5 minutes. You may eat the soufflés directly in the ramekins, or remove them and serve on a plate. They should remove easily since the ramekin was brushed with butter.

Serve with extra crescents, jam, and fresh fruit for an excellent Saturday morning breakfast or weeknight Brinner!

Panera Spinach and Artichoke Souffle - Copycat

Panera Bread's Spinach Artichoke Baked Egg Souffle

Panera Bread's Baked Egg Souffles are delicious little gourmet Hot Pockets. Encased in buttery crescent dough is this top secret version of the egg, cheese, spinach and artichoke filling for a nice morning munchie that will impress everyone. And they're easier to make than they look, since we use pre-made Pillsbury Crescent dough.

Just make sure when you unroll the dough that you don't separate it into triangles. Instead you'll pinch the dough together along the diagonal perforations to make four rectangles. When the dough is rolled out, you can line four buttered ramekins with it, and then fill each one with the secret egg mixture.


iStock 3 tablespoons frozen spinach, thawed
3 tablespoons minced artichoke hearts
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon minced red bell pepper
5 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce tube Pillsbury Crescent butter flake dough
melted butter
¼ cup shredded Asiago cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine spinach, artichoke hearts, onion, and red bell pepper in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the plastic. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Beat 4 eggs. Mix in milk, cream, cheddar cheese, Jack cheese, Parmesan, and salt. Stir in spinach, artichoke, onion, and bell pepper.

Microwave egg mixture for 30 seconds on high, and then stir it. Do this 4 to 5 more times or until you have a very runny scrambled egg mixture. This process will tighten up the eggs enough so that the dough won't sink into the eggs when it's folded over.

Unroll and separate the crescent dough into four rectangles. In other words, don't tear the dough along the perforations that make triangles. Instead, pinch the dough together along those diagonal perforations so that you have four rectangles. Use some flour on the dough and roll across the width of the rectangle with a rolling pin so that each piece of dough stretches out into a square that is approximately 6 inches by 6 inches.

Brush melted butter inside four 4-inch baking dishes or ramekins. Line each ramekin with the dough, then spoon equal amounts of egg mixture into each ramekin. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of asiago cheese on top of the egg mixture in each ramekin, and then gently fold the dough over the mixture.

Beat the last egg in a small bowl, then brush beaten egg over the top of the dough in each ramekin.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the soufflés from each ramekin and serve hot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken and Cheese Flautas

From the good people at Pillsbury...

Chicken and Cheese Flautas

6 six-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup salsa
Vegetable oil
Guacamole (hahahahaha, no.)
Sour cream

1. In small bowl, combine cheese, chicken and cumin; mix well.
2. Place about 1/4 cup chicken mixture on each warm tortilla. Top each with 1 tablespoon salsa. Roll up tightly; secure each with toothpick. Brush filled tortillas with oil.
3. In large skillet, cook filled tortillas over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until filling is hot and tortillas are toasted, turning occasionally. Serve with guacamole and sour cream.