MAKING LIFE TASTE BETTER

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Savory Monkey Bread

makes one loaf pan full.
2 Tbsp warm water
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp plus 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (keep them separate)
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp spring onion, chopped
2 cups grated gruyere cheese

1. mix yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small mixing bowl. set aside for ten minutes to allow yeast to proof (bubbles will form at the surface).
2. mix flour and salt in large mixing bowl. set bowl on mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (or use a spoon and some elbow grease). with the mixer set on medium speed, slowly add the proofed yeast mixture to the dry ingredients, followed by the milk, egg, and 1 Tbsp melted butter. add 1 Tbsp of the parsley, 1 Tbsp of the onion and 1 cup of the cheese.
3. mix on medium speed just until the dough releases from the side of the bowl, about 6-to-8 minutes. knead dough together lightly with your hands. transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place. allow dough to rise for 25-30 minutes.
4. after 30 minutes, punch dough down and roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter. mix 4 Tbsp of the melted butter with the remaining parsley, spring onion and gruyere, roll balls in the mixture, and arrange in a lightly greased loaf pans. allow loaves to rise once more in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
5. Brush loaves again with melted butter. Bake in a 375F oven for 35 minutes, brushing twice throughout the baking with any remaining melted butter. serve monkey bread hot out of the oven.
cheesy savory monkey bread
all of the best foods have “bizzaro” versions: regular pizza has dessert pizza, apple pie has chicken pot pie, and monkey bread has…savory monkey bread
cheesy savory monkey bread
just like sweet monkey bread, the dough is a cinch to bring together. i used green onion and parley with a bit of Gruyere cheese, but any combination of herbs works. i could see adding some crumbled bacon as well…
cheesy savory monkey bread
when we were kids, the best part of making monkey bread was tearing it into tiny pieces and rolling it in cinnamon and sugar. with savory monkey bread, you roll the pieces in herb butter.
cheesy savory monkey bread
then you arrange all the dough pieces in a pan, and brush them with more butter. right before baking, you give it yet another brush of butter. i guess it goes without saying, but the finished monkey bread is incredibly buttery and rich. this would be great dish to just put out and snack on with some friends.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Choco chip


Soft chewy chocolate chip and these are Sugar Free!!

Petit Fours


Handmade and Homemade petit fours......filled with raspberry and a Chocolate garnish

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chocolate Fest


I worked Chocolate Fest (@ Hershey PA) yesterday @ YTI stand (for school)...it was my first time ever there. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate and was not that impressed. Thought it was fun and glad I had the opportunity to work/be there...good I didn't have to shell out the $20.00 to attend. The treat I got when I got home was far better and well worth working on a Sunday....Thanks to my BEST Buddy Rick!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cookie Monster Cupcakes






Totally edible fun.....and a cookie too! who could ask for more??

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kumquat Infused Vodka


I like to take a container of fresh Kumquats, some fresh cut and squeezed lemons and put them in a clean GLASS container. Add a bottle of good Vodka and a hand-ful of pink and black peppercorns. Let it sit for about 4 days and then strain.
Makes a nice drink.
Lemon club soda and a shot or 2 of infused vodka on the ROCKS!

Fuzzy Lemons....


Pesto Crab Pizza


Very easy....


 took some pesto Rick had made. Spread it on the Boboli added some fresh crab meat, some grated Romano and smoked goat cheese. A hand-ful chopped peppers and baked it on stone @ 450* for 15 minutes.....YUMMY

we ate all of it...........

Crabby


Thai Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp Red Curry Paste
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Bulgar Wheat
  • 2 cups Sweet Potato
  • 1 medium red-bell Pepper
  • 3 cups Dark Red Kidney Beans ( I used 1 can black/ 1 can red kidney=3cups)
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 cups Crushed Tomatoes ( I had fresh tomatoes that a friend made us: roasted/preserved)
  • 1 bunch scallion

Directions

Mix together the curry paste, cumin and some of the broth in a large pot over heat until the paste has dissolved. Add the remaining broth, red bell pepper, Bulgar wheat, and sweet potato. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the kidney beans, tomato puree, tomatoes, and cook for 7 more minutes (until Bulgar is tender and chili is thick). Add the scallions and season to taste with salt and pepper.




Mexican Manicotti

Ingredients:

Servings: 8

  • box Fantastic World Taco Filling (make as directed)
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 (8 ounce) package manicotti (cooked as directed)
  • 2 cups homemade salsa
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar with jalapeno cheese (2% milk)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives 

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 1  hr
  1. In bowl, mix cooked taco filling, sour cream, chili powder, and oregano.
  2. Spoon into cooked manicotti shells.
  3. Spray coat dish, coat bottom with salsa, place manicotti in greased 13x9 baking pan.
  4. pour remaining salsa over manicotti.
  5. Cover and bake at 350* for 30 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese, onions, and olives.
  7. I added fresh cilantro
  8. Bake for 8 minutes more.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mahi Mahi with mango salsa


This is a wonderfully easy recipe to prepare and will please just abut everyone – the backyard hunter can break out the BBQ tools and do battle with the open flame; and the freezing cold.... Finally, if you give a little thought to your presentation, the culinary fashion police will go nuts over the color!
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup red onion, charred and chopped
  • diced jalapeno to taste
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 quart diced mango
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Dash of coarse ground pepper
  • Enough fresh mahi mahi steaks for six people

SALSA PREPARATION:
Peel and slice the red onion into two or three large pieces. Char pieces on a grill. Then remove, and rough chop into 1/4" pieces.
Dice the mango and red pepper.
Stir mango,and  red pepper together add a dash of coarse ground pepper.
Before serving, heat in microwave or on stovetop for three minutes, then add scallion and cilantro.

MAHI MAHI PREPARATION
Not much to this, really. Lightly salt and pepper the mahi mahi on both sides. Depending on size of your filets, grill six to eight minutes per side over med-high heat. Make sure not to overcook; fish should still be moist when you poke it with a fork, and flake easily.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Justin


 Had a friend who wanted a Justin Beiber cake for her 8 year old daughter (New Years Day!)
And Rick designed the fabulous packaging.....Double chocolate heart cake with peanut butter butter cream icing.......

Chicken Veronique



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. Orange Marmalade
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup light half and half
  • Tbsp. cornstarch (dissolve in 2 Tbsp. of the wine)
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless grapes
  • Dried Tarragon to taste
  • Dash sea salt and fresh black pepper

Directions:

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan (preferably non-stick) over a medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chicken breast halves and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  3. Turn the chicken breast halves over, add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown.
  4. Remove the chicken breast halves, from the pan, keep warm
  5.  Add the wine to the pan, and simmer until the wine is reduced by half.
  6. Mix the cornstarch in a small bowl, whisk into the wine mixture and simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Return the chicken to the sauce.
  8. Add the grapes and simmer for a further 2 minutes, or until the juices run clear

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Frosty's Fling

1 layer Chocolate fudge cake and some raspberry filling and top that with a dark chocolate butter cake
and a fresh coat of frosty blue butter cream....
 make a few decorations with chocolate (this is the part I LOVE!!.....
 and then turn your cake into a beautiful winter wonderland.....

Sprinkle it with some fresh edible snow and there you have it....


Frosty's Fling is all ready to slice and eat!!

YUMMY




Snickerdoodle Cocktails







Cinnamon Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks

  Snicker-doodle Cookie Cocktail
1 oz Cinnamon Simple Syrup (2 tablespoons)
1 oz vanilla vodka (2 tablespoons)
1 oz half-and-half (2 tablespoons)
1/2 oz white creme DE cacao (1 tablespoon)
Cinnamon-sugar

Directions
1. To make Cinnamon Simple Syrup, mix sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in 1-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; set aside 1 hour to cool. Discard cinnamon sticks. Pour syrup into glass jar. Cover jar, and refrigerate until needed. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

2. To prepare cocktail, fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 ounce cinnamon simple syrup, vodka, half-and-half and creme DE cacao; cover and shake. Strain into cocktail glass. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

Tip: You can purchase cinnamon-sugar or to make your own combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

ManCakes

 
 
 
 
Man Up, Eat Up!
Ingredients
1/2 lb Turkey bacon (8 slices)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup of your favorite regular beer
2 eggs

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with foil. Place wire rack on top of cookie sheet. Arrange bacon in single layer on top of rack. Bake 10 minutes.

2. Sprinkle bacon with half the brown sugar. Bake 10 minutes longer. Turn bacon over; sprinkle with remaining brown sugar. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove from rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Crumble bacon into small pieces; set aside.

3. Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375°F; grease with vegetable oil or shortening.

4. In medium bowl, beat Bisquick mix, beer and eggs with whisk until blended. If batter is too thick, add additional beer until desired consistency. Stir in bacon. Pour by 1/2 cupfuls onto hot griddle. Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until golden brown.