Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Upside-down Plum Cake

3/4 cup butter, softened (divided)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
4 large plums, cut into segments
1 1/2  cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-in pan with 2-in sides.

In a skillet melt HALF the butter with honey and sugar over medium heat, stirring until smooth sauce forms. Pour sauce into prepared cake pan, arrange plum segments on top.

Mix flour, baking powder, spices and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. With a mixer, whip remaining butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and both extracts and whip until white and fluffy. Add 1/3 flour mixture, mix until just blended. Add 1/2 milk, then 1/3 flour, the rest of milk and flour, mixing until just combined.

Pour batter over plums, bake until golden, about 1 hr. Let cool in pan for about 15 min, run a knife around the edges and carefully invert onto serving platter.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Coffee-Crusted Pork Chops with Bourbon Cream Sauce

Good friends bought us Weber's "Real Cooking" book several years ago. We have never been disappointed with a recipe we tried from it. This particular recipe is one of the best yet! As usual, I changed the recipe quite a bit while I was cooking it so this is my version.

1T butter
1t minced garlic
1t onion powder
1/4c bourbon (we used Jack Daniels)
1c low-sodium beef stock
6T heavy cream
1/2t dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

1t dark-roasted coffee
1/2t dried thyme
1t kosher salt
1/2t fresh ground pepper

4 boneless pork loin chops about 1 inch thick
Olive oil

For the sauce:
In a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter and cook garlic for just a minute. Add onion powder then remove from heat. Carefully add bourbon then return to the heat (it may flame up). Reduce heat to medium and add stock and cream. Simmer until reduced to about 1/3c stirring occasionally. Add remaining seasoning to desired taste and serve over the cooked pork chops. We found this was delicious with our steamed broccoli as well!

For the chops:
Make the rub in a small bowl, mixing together all the ingredients. Spray or brush both sides of pork chops with olive oil then rub seasoning into the pork chops and let them come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
 Grill over direct medium heat until barely pink in the center of the meat, about 8-10 minutes, turning once. Rest for a few minutes then serve.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spent Grain Beer Bread

Since recently my hubbie has gotten into making his own beer I've tried to find a few recipes of things I could make with the things leftover from it. One of the big ones is the "spent grain" or the grains that are leftover after they've been boiled. I have read that they are still quite nutritious and they give a unique flavor to this bread that I've made twice now. The bread tastes different depending on the type of grain you use so it's always new!

3/4c warm water
2T active dry yeast
3/4c milk
1/4c unsalted butter
4 1/2T sugar
1T salt
1c apple juice
1/4c honey
1 1/2c spent grain
1c wheat flour
4-5c unbleached all purpose flour
oil to coat bowl
1 egg, lightly beaten

Pour the warm water into the bowl of your electric mixer. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let set for a few minutes. Heat milk and butter until the butter melts, either in the microwave or on the stove. Add in sugar, salt, apple juice and honey. Add into the mixing bowl.
Add the spent grain reserving 2T if you'd like to put some on top to decorate at the end. Add whole wheat flour and mix thoroughly. Add all-purpose flour a little at a time until no longer sticky. Knead for several minutes with the dough hook attachment. Oil the bowl and let rise for 30-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
Form into 2 loaves and brush on the egg wash and rise again until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake loaves for 45 minutes or until a toothpick test comes out clean.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fresh Strawberry Pecan Cookies

I took this batch of cookies to a mom's night out ages ago. Even recently I've had people ask for the recipe!

1 1/2c white sugar
1c butter
1/2T baking soda
2 eggs
1 pint strawberries, pureed
3c flour
1t salt
3/4c pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or line cookie sheets.
Cream together butter and sugar then mix in eggs and strawberry puree until just blended. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets and back for 8-10 minutes.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

1c butter softened
1 1/2c white sugar
2 eggs
2t vanilla
2 3/4c flour
2t cream of tartar
1t baking soda
1/4t salt
2T white sugar
2t ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. In a separate ball mix together 2T sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes on ungreased cookie sheets. Remove from sheets immediately.

Roasted Duck

We made this for a holiday dinner several years ago and it turned out really well.

2t salt
2t paprika
1t black pepper
1 5lb whole duck
1/2c melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub spices into skin and place in roasting pan.
Roast duck for 1 hour. Spoon 1/4c melted butter over bird then cook for another 45 minutes. Spoon remaining 1/4c butter over the duck and cook for another 15 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stuffed Shells

1 box pasta shells
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1 container ricotta cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 medium grated zucchini
1t minced garlic
1c or so grated mozzarella

Boil shells according to package directions.Fry up ground beef. At the end add zucchini and garlic. Allow to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add remaining ingredients (except for sauce and cheese.) Fill shells with a spoon and place in a greased pan. Pour sauce over shells and cover with mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.