lundi 31 mars 2014

Black Lentil Soup – Always Bet on Black

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with green lentil soup, but once you start making it with black “beluga” lentils, you’ll have a hard time going back. These black beauties cook up melt-in-your-mouth tender, but still retain their structural integrity, which gives the soup both a thick, satisfying body, and a light, non-starchy mouthfeel.

The flavor is wonderfully meaty, especially when you toss in a handful of bacon, and they require absolutely no finesse to prepare perfectly. Just simmer until you have achieved lentil tenderness, adding broth as needed. That’s pretty much it.

I’m told black lentils are really good for you, which is weird, since I’ve never asked anybody. Nevertheless, this is a soup you can feel good about putting into your body, unlike that “Bacon Jalapeño Popper Chowder” recipe you got off Pinterest. We’re still right in the middle of soup season, so the next time you feel like a hot bowl, I hope you give this black lentil soup a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 large portions:
2 tsp vegetable oil
4 oz bacon
1 cup yellow onion, large dice
1 cup carrots, large dice
1 cup celery, large dice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
1 1/4 cup black lentils
5 to 6 cups chicken broth, or as needed
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 tsp extra good extra virgin olive oil

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Skewers recipe


This amazing Cilantro-Lime Chicken Skewers I found at http://picturetherecipe.com/ and I love it. A super quick 5 minutes to make this marinade and you’ll have the the most flavorful, juicy chicken breast skewers ready to grill, or pop in the oven for a weeknight meal. I hope you like it.

Ingredients:
  • 2 large Chicken Breasts
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 Bell Peppers (any color)


For the marinade-
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 Green onions
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Zest &  juice of one Lime
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp seasame oil
  • 2 tsp chili oil


For the garnish-
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Lime wedges


Directions:
  • Start by dicing the onion in big pieces (roughly 1 1/2 inches or so) and separate the layers. Discard the small pieces (or save them for another dish later).
  • Dice the bell peppers about the same size. I used one red and one green pepper, but feel free to use any color peppers you want.
  • Toss the onion and peppers together in a big bowl
  • Next, dice the chicken breast in roughly the same size cubes and add it to the same bowl.
  • For the marinade, tear off the ends of the cilantro stalks and roughly chop it and put it in the food processor bowl.
  • Roughly chop the green onions & garlic cloves and add them also.
  • Zest about have a lime for some freshness and add the juice of the whole lime to the processor bowl.
  • Add the fish sauce, seasame & chili oil then pulse the processor until you get a chunky paste.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken, onion & peppers. Mix everything well, so every piece is coated in the marinade.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and set it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes or for a couple hours.
  • Then skewer the peppers, chicken and onion anyway you like. I went with a pepper, chicken, onion, chicken, pepper, chicken, pepper, chicken and onion. So every skewer had four pieces of chicken.
  • You can grill the chicken skewers if you have a grill. In my case, I don’t have an indoor grill and didn’t feel like firing up the charcoal barbeque just for the skewers, so I gave the skewers some color on all sides, in a very hot cast iron pan and then popped them in a 400F oven for 15 minutes until the chicken was cooked through. I then gave the skewers a blast under the broiler for a couple more minutes to give it a grilled flavor.
  • Serve the chicken skewers with some fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges.


Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Pesto recipe



Ingredients

  • Bread 
  • Mozzarella cheese 
  • Tomatoes
  • Pesto sauce 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Turkey 


Instructions

  • Drizzle a frying pan or panini press with olive oil.
  • While that is warming up, spread one side of each sandwich with pesto.
  • Slice cheese and tomatoes to desired thickness, and add to the sandwich.
  • Top with salt and pepper, and a second slice of bread, and you are ready to “grill.”
  • I just used my all purpose skillet and pressed the sandwiches down with a lid. 
  • Lightly toast on both sides over medium heat until the cheese gets all nice and melted.
  • I also tried one with turkey in it, and it was awesome!




Italian Pistachio muffins with chocolate heart recipe



Ingredients:
  • 125 g of flour
  • 50 sugar
  • 50 ml of oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 squares of chocolate
  • 50 ml of milk
  • 3 teaspoons of coffee powder
  • 3 teaspoons of pistachio flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of baking soda


Preparation
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °. Prepare the muffin tins ( imburrandoli and infarinandoli ) or cups . Put in a bowl the dry ingredients : flour, sugar, baking powder, salt , baking soda . In a bowl , beat with a hand whisk the yogurt , egg , oil and milk. Add the dry mixture into the liquid , and stir with a wooden spoon. Divide the mixture into 2 bowls : a , add the coffee, the other pistachio. Pour into cups a spoonful of pistachio cmposto , positioned in the center of a square of chocolate and cover with a spoonful of the mixture to coffee, filling them about two-thirds . Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden and the usual toothpick comes out dry . 

Yummmmy isn't it delicious. This Italian Pistachio muffins with chocolate heart recipe is super tasty and very interesting. This is an original Italian recipe, I hope you like it.

Chicken Soup with Ginger recipe



Ingredients:
  • half an onion, skin-on (it helps with color), 
  • some carrots, 
  • some celery, 
  • a bay leaf, 
  • and a few thick slices of ginger. 
  • two peeled garlic cloves.

Directions:
  • Start like this: in a Dutch Oven (or similarly-sized pot; remember, the bigger the pot, the more diluted your soup…but you don’t want it too small either) throw in half an onion, skin-on (it helps with color), some carrots, some celery, a bay leaf, and a few thick slices of ginger. You don’t have to peel that either. Oh and two peeled garlic cloves.
  • Now, take a chicken and cut it up. You should learn how to do this because it’ll be a skill you use over and over again. It’s not very hard but I’m at an airport now and really don’t have time to walk you through it. Place the cut-up chicken in the pot with the vegetables and cover everything with cold water. Throw in a few peppercorns and a pinch of salt.
  • Take out the chicken–it should be falling off the bone at this point; if not, keep simmering–and let it cool until you can shred it with your hands. Also, lift out the vegetables until all that’s left is broth.
  • Meanwhile, chop up some fresh vegetables to finish your soup: carrots, and celery and–just for the heck of it–red pepper. Don’t yell at me, grandma. It just seemed right at the time. Oh and some more sliced ginger.
  • To finish, strain the broth into a pot (or into a bowl and return to the pot, like I did here), bring it back to a boil, taste for salt, add some egg noodles (as much as you want to eat right now; any more and it’ll soak up all the soup if you leave it overnight), and the vegetables and ginger and chicken.







Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers reciep




Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup basil, packed
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (~1/4 lemon)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deviened


Instructions:
  • Pulse the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  • Marinate the shrimp in the pesto for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight, in the fridge.
  • Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.


This delicious Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers recipe I found at http://www.piarecipes.com/ and I love it. Serve these at your next backyard BBQ or serve them with pasta or a salad for a quick weeknight meal! I hope you like it.

dimanche 30 mars 2014

Next Up: Black Lentil Soup


Paleo Pumpkin Bread recipe



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ cup roasted pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon stevia
  • 3 large eggs


Directions:
  • In a food processor combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and spices
  • Add pumpkin, honey, stevia and eggs and pulse for 2 minutes
  • Scoop batter into a mini loaf pan
  • Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes
  • Cool for 1 hour

Mmmmmm  it's just mouth melting. This lusciously moist, gluten free, dairy free pumpkin quick bread is made with high protein almond flour, and came about by popular demand. I hope you like it.

Paleo Tuna Cakes/Crab Cakes recipe


Ingredients:
  • 1 can Canned Tuna                                        
  • 1 large Egg                                                           
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Flour                                     
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Meal                                        
  • 1 Tbsp Green Onion (Diced)                         
  • 1 spring Paleo Mayo                                            
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard                                       
  • 2 tsp Dried Bell Peppers (soften in water)                
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice                                          
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder                                      
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder                                      
  • Crushed Black Pepper                       
  • Sea Salt                                                      
  • Cayenne Pepper                                    
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce (Optional)                 


Instructions:

  • Soak Dried bell peppers in warm water for 10 minutes to soften.
  • Mix all ingredients together and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow coconut flour to absorb some moisture.
  • Form the mixture into 3-4 patties/cakes
  • Pre heat an iron skillet and pan fry tuna cakes both sides in your choice of oil until golden brown. About 3-4 minutes per side on medium heat. (Every stove's heat setting varies, check every few minutes to be sure.)
  • Serve with extra paleo mayo if desire. 

Low Carb Tortillas recipe




Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons of almond flour
  • ½ tablespoon of ground flax seed
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder


Instructions

  • In a bowl whisk together water, eggs, and olive oil.
  • In a separate bowl mix together coconut flour, almond flour, flax seed and baking powder.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Whisking as you pour so clumps don’t form.
  • In a medium to large frying pan heat several tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot pour 1/4 cup of batter in the pan, tilting the pan so the batter spreads thinly.
  • Cook the batter for about 2 minutes or until it is slightly “toasted” looking. Flip the tortilla and fry for 2 more minutes.
This amazing delicious Low Carb Tortillas recipe I found at http://ditchthewheat.com/ and I love it. Super healthy tortillas and tasty in the same time. I hope you like it.



samedi 29 mars 2014

Paleo Chocolate Macadamia Nut Fudge recipe



Ingredients
  • ½ cup macadamia nut butter (blend macadamia nuts in vitamix or food processor until it becomes butter)
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
  • hand full of macadamia nuts chopped
  • 1 tbs raw honey (optional)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
  • blend all ingredients together (I used the vitamix on medium speed)
  • line baking pan with parchment paper and pour mixture
  • put in the freezer for about 20 mins or until it hardens
  • cut into squares and serve

Isn't it delicious? I hope you like it. The fudge came out so creamy and delicious and best of all, it is paleo and low carb friendly with no added sugars.Keep refrigerated or in the freezer. Enjoy!


Mini Cheesecake Bites paleo recipe


Ingredients
  • Cheesecake Filling
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut, UNTOASTED
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut, TOASTED
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 oz. roasted almonds, ground coarsely
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbs. coconut flour
  • 1-2 tbs raw honey
  • Tiny pinch of salt


Homemade chocolate
Note: double the chocolate recipe to make 24 cheesecake bites or quadruple if you want to have the chocolate all the way around the cheesecake filling.

Ingredients
  • 2 tbs almond butter
  • 3 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbs raw honey
  • about 12 whole pecans


Instructions
  • combine all ingredients in a double broiler
  • stir until all melted and combined
  • place 1 pecan in each mold
  • pour the chocolate over the pecans
  • freeze for about 30 min


Keep in fridge or freezer

Instructions
  • Toasted coconut
  • Toast ¼ cup coconut on a pan at 400ºF for 5-6 minutes or until just golden.
  • Remove and cool.

Cheesecake Filling
  • In a mixing bowl, whip the soft cream cheese with a rubber spatula.
  • Add both the toasted and untoasted coconut and the chopped almonds. Stir well.
  • Add the salt, coconut flour, raw honey and vanilla extract.
  • Add the coconut oil last.
  • Beat the mixture well to make your best attempt to incorporate the oil into the mixture.

Silicone mold
  • Fill the bottom of the silicone mold with the melted chocolate
  • Place in freezer for about 20 minutes
  • remove from freezer and add the cheesecake filling on top of the chocolate
  • place it back in the freezer and once hardened remove cheesecake bites from the silicone mold



Asian Paleo Burgers recipe


Ingredients:
  •        2 pounds of ground turkey
  •        2 eggs (include the yolks)
  •        2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  •        6 shiitake mushrooms (chopped)
  •        ¾ cup green onions (chopped)
  •        2 tablespoons sesame oil
  •        2 tablespoons almond flour
  •        1 teaspoon ground ginger
  •        3 tablespoon coconut aminos
  •        ½ teaspoon sea salt
  •        ½ lime (juice of)


Directions:
  • Place skillet under medium heat and add sesame oil. Once oil is hot, sauté minced garlic for about 1-2 minutes.
  • When your minced garlic has taken a brownish color, add in shitake mushrooms to the pan and sauté for another minute or two.
  • Once both have sautéed well, remove from heat and let them cool for a bit.
  • Add eggs, coconut aminos, lime juice, almond flour, ground ginger and sea salt to your mixing bowl; whisk ingredients together. Add in ground turkey and combine all ingredients well.
  • Add in minced garlic and mushrooms to your ground turkey mixture and mix together.
  • Using your hands, create palm size patties and set them on your large plate 
  • Turn your grill on. Once hot, place patties on the grill and let them cook for about 4 minutes 
  • Using your grilling tools (spatula) turn patties around and let the other side cook for about 4 minutes.
  • Let patties cool down a bit and enjoy them with a nice garden salad!


Southwestern Chicken Salad paleo recipe


Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cubed
  • 1-1/2 T lime juice
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 3 c romaine hearts sliced thin
  • 1 medium Hass avocado, chopped
  • ¼ t kosher salt
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • ½ can Delmonte Chipolte Chiles diced tomatoes



Instructions
  • Combine juice, garlic, tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Add avocados and stir gently.
  • Toss romaine in gently until completely covered with sauce mix.
  • Plate the salad and top with the grilled chicken.

This amazing Southwestern Chicken Salad paleo recipe I found at http://makobiscribe.com/ and I love it. It's so easy to prepare it and delicious in the same time.I hope you like it.

Baked Sea Bass Paleo Recipe


Ingredients:
  • 4 (3oz) Sea Bass Fillets
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice


Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Arrange the fillets on a baking pan. Pour the wine over the fillets. Rub each fillet with the minced garlic and season with a touch of salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle each fillet with the fresh, minced parsley, return to oven for 5 minutes.
  • Drizzle fresh squeezed lemon juice on each fillet before serving.

So easy and so amazingly delicious! This fantstic recipe I found at http://blog.paleohacks.com/ and I love it. I hope you like it too.

jeudi 27 mars 2014

Chicken and Olives – Shaken and Stirred

As I mention in the video, I’ve done almost 1,000 videos, and yet can’t remember ever featuring chicken and olives in one before. Considering how brilliant a combination they are, this is nothing short of astounding. I think there are a few in our famous arroz con pollo recipe, but as far as full co-star billing, this is the first time.

Hopefully, it was worth the wait. For that to be the case, you should probably really like, if not love, olives. Their sharp, briny bite is the dominant flavor here, which is why it pairs so well with chicken breast. This one of those dishes where if you tasted the chicken and sauce separately, you probably wouldn’t be very impressed, but together – magic.

Any pitted olives will work, but the Kalamata and Castelvetrano varieties are highly recommended. Luckily, most every large grocery now has an olive bar somewhere, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding them. Speaking of finding products, you may actually have a harder time locating the Herbs De Provence.

We haven’t used this Mediterranean dried-herb blend in a while, and if you can find it, it’s worth picking up a bottle. Trust me, you’ll use the rest this grilling season. If you can’t find any, you can always make your own, and I’ve listed the ingredients below. Anyway, if you’ve been looking for a new chicken recipe, especially one with olives in it, then I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
2 tsp Herbs De Provence (the brand I used contained dried chervil, basil, rosemary, tarragon, garlic, lavender, marjoram, savory, thyme, and parsley)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sliced shallots
1 cup sliced olives
1 cup chicken broth
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp reserved Kalamata olive brine
1/2 tsp cumin
zest from one lemon
2 tbsp Italian parsley
2 tbsp cold butter, cut in 4 pieces

mercredi 26 mars 2014

Rich & Velvety Rum-Spiked Eggnog Creme Brulee recipe


To be really honest, I wish I could make every day. But setting apart one day as extra special, and then filling that day as much as possible with magical coziness and conscious love, caring and sharing, creates that special feeling within, and that’s all that I really crave, anyway. I hope you like this amazing recipe.

Ingredients:

• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2 cups eggnog (not low fat)
• 1 vanilla bean
• 8 egg yolks
• ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for caramelizing
• 1 ½ tablespoons dark rum
• Pinch nutmeg
• Berries for garnish, if desired

Preparation:
  • Preheat the oven to 325°, and place 6, 6 ounce ramekins into a roasting pan or a large, deeper baking dish.
  • Add the cream and eggnog into a large saucepan or pot; split the vanilla bean down the middle, and scrape out the inner paste, and add both the paste and the scraped bean into the cream/eggnog mixture; place the mixture over medium heat, and bring just to the boil, then turn off and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain the cream/eggnog mixture, and reserve the vanilla pod for another use, if desired; set the cream/eggnog mixture aside for a moment.
  • In a large bowl, add the yolks and the sugar, and whisk until pale and thickened; next, slowly add a ladle-full of the hot cream/eggnog mixture into the eggs, whisking all the while, to temper and warm the eggs so they don’t scramble; then, slowly pour the remaining cream/eggnog mixture into the yolks/sugar and whisk, and then add the rum and the nutmeg, and gently whisk to incorporate.
  • Pour the custard base into the ramekins set in the roasting pan, and skim off any foam you may see on top; place the roasting pan into the oven, and then pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come about half-way up the ramekins (this will help keep the custard moist, and cook it evenly), and bake the custards for about 35-40 minutes, or unit they’re firm but still jiggle slightly in the center when moved.
  • Allow the custards to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or even up to 3 days; then, when ready to serve, sprinkle about 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on top of each, and using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar until browned, candied and shell-like; garnish with fresh berries if desired, and enjoy immediately.











Mini Dark Chocolate Cupcakes recipe


I thought I'd whip up some chocolate cupcakes- decorated with candy corn colors - orange, white, and yellow sprinkles and sixlets adorn these dark cupcakes. I guess these could add to my "happy levels" as well. I hope you like it.


Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup Hershey's Extra Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:
  • Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners
  • Cream your butter for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, mixing well between each addition.
  • Stir together the boiling water, milk, and cocoa powders until all the cocoa is dissolved. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Add the baking soda, salt, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup flour. Gradually add the rest of the flour, mixing just until combined. Pour into lined muffin pan, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.


Salted Caramel Soft Pretzels recipe



Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2.5 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, whisked with 2 tablespoons warm water
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Salted Caramel
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt



Instructions

  • Combine the water and yeast in a large bowl and Let stand a few minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, salt, and, sugar.
  • Knead the dough for 3 minutes until it is not longer sticky.
  • Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes in a warm place until the dough has doubled.
  • Working with one piece of dough a time, roll the dough into a long, skinny rope against the counter using the palms of your hands. Aim for a rope about 18 inches long.This recipe makes 5 big pretzels. If you want to make smaller pretzels cut them dough up into more portions.
  • After you have rolled out the dough take both ends and make a U shape. Now take the ends and cross them twist to make a twist. Then fold the twist back down over the bottom loop to form a pretzel shape.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Cover and let rise for another 15 minutes. Brush pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Place in oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with caramel. Serve Warm.
Salted Caramel
  • Salted Caramel
  • Melt the sugar in a deep sauce pan until the sugar begins to turn brown than add the butter and whisk
  • Mix for another 30 secs and remove from heat. Whisk in the heavy cream and the sea salt.
This amazing Salted Caramel Soft Pretzels recipe I found at http://brunchtimebaker.com/ and I love it. You Don’t need a mixer for this dough. It’s fairly easy to make and doesn’t require much time or a lot of  ingredients. This recipe makes 5 big pretzels.  If you want to make smaller pretzels cut them dough up into more portions. I hope you like it.





Southern Comfort Cupcakes recipe


INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CUPCAKES
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package Devil’s Food Cake mix
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs; lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla


FOR THE SOUTHERN COMFORT BUTTERCREAM
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Southern Comfort

FOR THE GARNISH
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips melted and cooled
  • Southern Comfort Caramel Corn



DIRECTIONS:
FOR THE CUPCAKES
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line (2) 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, water and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
  • Evenly divide the batter amongst the prepared pans. {I use a large cookie scoop from OXO to scoop my batter; it holds 3 tablespoons}.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch. A small divot may appear in the center of the cupcake, no worries though because you’ll cover that with frosting.
  • Cool cupcakes thoroughly on a wire rack.


FOR THE FROSTING
  • Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract and salt.
  • Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, add in the Southern Comfort and mix until light and fluffy. If frosting is too thick, slowly add in a little more Southern Comfort (1 teaspoon at a time) until you reach the desired consistency. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes.


FOR THE GARNISH
  • Place melted chocolate into piping bag or plastic storage bag and snip off the tip. Drizzle buttercream with the melted chocolate and top with Southern Comfort Caramel Corn.



mardi 25 mars 2014

Simple Asparagus Tart – Sorry, Mom!

I don’t often buy puff pastry to make asparagus tarts, but when I find a piece in the back of the freezer, it’s one of my all-time favorite things to do. My only real regret with this video, was not finishing it with a poached egg, and calling it a Mother’s Day brunch special. As great as this was, it would have been even more so accessorized with a runny egg.

As long as you’re pretty good at making rectangles, and trimming things to the right length, this recipe is a breeze. By the way, I’ll give the specific ingredient amounts I used here, but this really depends on how much asparagus you have, and how long you want your tart to be.

The width of your tart is always going to be a little wider than the asparagus are long, as you see above; but the length is up to you, and you can use as many spears as will fit across your pan. If you’re not quite clear on what I’m saying, simply Google “asparagus tart” and you’ll see what I mean. They’re like snowflakes.

While we got a surprisingly positive response on our raw asparagus salad recipe (I really should have more faith in you), I did want to do a more classic, hot preparation as well. Asparagus is bountiful and beautiful right now, and I really hope you pick some up, possibly along with some eggs, and give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
6 x 9 inch rectangle of puff pasty, thawed
6 asparagus spears, blanched in well-salted wated
2 tsp melted butter
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano as needed
For the mustard sauce:
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp crème fraiche
freshly ground black pepper and cayenne to taste
- Bake puff pastry shell at 400 F. for 10-12 minutes, or until puffed and golden-brown.
- Fill and bake another 10-12 minutes or until the pastry is browned and asparagus are tender (but not mushy!).

Moist Lemon Tea Cakes Recipe


Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

GLAZE:
  • 5-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons lemon extract


Directions
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon juice, extracts and lemon peel. Add flour; beat just until moistened.
  • Fill greased miniature muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 325° for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Dip tops of cakes into glaze; place on waxed paper to dry. Yield: 8-1/2 dozen.

Lemon and cream cheese make for a winning combination. My family and friends are crazy about this delicious dessert. I hope you like it, too.

Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken recipe


This amazing Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken recipe I found at http://spoonful.com/ and I love it. It's so easy to prepare. Super delicious, this slightly sweet chicken is pleasing to everyone's taste buds and takes me 5 minutes to prep and 20 to bake! I hope you like it.


Ingredients:
2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
6 chicken breasts

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • In a bowl stir to combine sugar, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder. 
  • Coat each chicken breast thoroughly with this sugar/spice rub and place on a rimmed baking sheet. (For a better flavor, place the spiced rubbed chicken breasts in a sealable plastic food storage bag and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight). Place in the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes until cooked through. Serve.

Butternut Squash & Spinach Risotto recipe


Ingredients:
  • 300g (10oz) butternut squash
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red sweet/bell pepper
  • 100g (3½oz) spinach
  • a generous handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 200g (7oz) arborio risotto rice
  • 600ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
  • black pepper, to taste



Directions:
  • Peel the squash, scrape out the seeds, and cut into cubes around 1cm (½in) across. (Note: the weight given relates to the squash after peeling.)
  • Finely chop the onion, garlic, and red pepper.
  • Wash and roughly chop the spinach (though baby spinach leaves will be fine whole).
  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan.
  • Fry the squash, onion, garlic, and red pepper together over a low/medium heat until the squash starts to soften.
  • Add the rice and stock, and simmer for 15-20 minutes (check the instructions on your rice), stirring frequently and adding additional hot water as required to keep the rice from boiling dry.
  • Season liberally with black pepper.
  • Once the rice is cooked, add the spinach and fresh parsley, and stir it through until the leaves wilt.
  • Serve immediately

This amazing Butternut Squash & Spinach Risotto recipe I found at http://blog.rachelcotterill.com/ and I love it. The more colorful, the more appetizing, too, which is always a bonus! This looks absolutely delicious -- and nutritious!! I love risotto! I hope you love it, too.