Friday, December 12, 2014

Balsamic Pot Roast

  • 1 3-4 pound boneless roast beef (chuck or round roast)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  1. Place roast beef into the insert of your slow cooker. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over roast beef and set the timer for your slow cooker. (4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low)
  2. Once roast beef has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and then ladle about ¼ - ½ cup of gravy over roast beef.
  3. Store remaining gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.
If you prefer a more pronounced flavor, once the roast beef has been removed, use a fat separator on the gravy and then pour the gravy into a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the gravy has reduced by half.   

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Almond Joy Brownie Bites

  • Brownie batter (homemade, from a boxed mix, whatever is your favorite.)
  • 4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • About 4 dozen almonds
  • Chocolate candy melts or almond bark
  1. Preheat your oven according to brownie recipe directions and generously spray two mini muffin pans with nonstick spray. Fill cups about 1/2 full with brownie batter and bake according to directions. When brownies are done, place pans on a cooling rack and remove brownies once cooled completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine coconut and sweetened condensed milk. With clean hands, roll coconut mixture into balls and press onto tops of brownie bites. Press an almond into the top of each. Place brownies in the freezer to harden for about 15 minutes.
  3. Melt almond bark or candy melts according to directions. Remove brownies from freezer and dip the tops in the chocolate. Place dipped brownies on a wax paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate until chocolate is set.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Overnight Coconut French Toast

  • 1 loaf french bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz.) can coco lopez
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 cup coconut
Coconut Buttermilk Syrup
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons coconut extract
  1. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place bread cubes inside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, coco lopez and milk together until well mixed.
  4. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes and press bread cubes down with hand to coat all of them.
  5. Cover with baking dish with saran wrap and place in fridge over night.
  6. In the morning when ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Sprinkle coconut over the top of casserole.
  8. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes until done.
  9. Serve with Coconut Buttermilk Syrup.
To make Coconut Buttermilk Syrup
  1. Combine butter, sugar and buttermilk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar completely dissolves. Then remove from heat and add baking soda and coconut extract. Stir to combine. Syrup will foam up, but that is part of what makes it SO incredible. Don't be alarmed by that.
  2. Drizzle (or if you are like my family then saturate) your french toast with syrup and enjoy!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Tuscan Bean Soup with Shrimp


  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 cans (14.5 Ounce) Cans Great Norther Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 cup Tomato Paste
  • 3/4 cups Dry White Wine
  • 1 can (28 Ounces) Whole Or Diced Tomatoes
  • 6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 bunch Kale (more If Desired)
  •  Plenty Of Torn Fresh Basil
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1-1/2 pound Raw Shrimp, Peeled And Deveined
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  •  Fresh Parmesan Shavings

Preparation Instructions

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and stir to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to cook about 2 minutes, getting lots of flavor in the bottom of the pan. Stir in red pepper flakes and dried oregano; stir and cook for another 30 seconds.
Pour in wine and whisk, scraping the bottom of the pan a bit as you go. Allow this to bubble up and reduce, cooking until the wine is reduced by half.
Add canned tomatoes. Drain and rinse beans, then add to pot. Pour in chicken broth. Stir to combine and allow it to simmer for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.
While the soup is simmering, cook the shrimp: melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high (or high) heat. Throw in the shrimp and chopped parsley and toss to cook until no longer opaque, about 4 minutes. Season with salt. Set aside.
Rinse the kale and tear it into chunks. Stir into soup. (It'll shrink quite a bit, so don't be afraid when you first add it!) Add a bunch of torn basil and stir. Allow the soup to simmer for another 5 minutes, tasting and adding salt and pepper (or even more red pepper flakes) as needed.
Transfer soup to a large serving bowl and top with the shrimp, or ladle into individual bowls and top with 3 or 4 shrimp.
Add big, fat Parmesan or Romano shavings and more torn basil at the end. Utterly divine!

Sandy made this for us--it is utterly divine!  Another tasty recipe from Ree.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Angel Biscuits


1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
(1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast 
1 teaspoon sugar 
5 cups all-purpose flour 
3 tablespoons sugar 
5 teaspoons baking powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

1/2 cup shortening, cubed 
2 cups buttermilk 
Parchment paper
1/4 cup butter, melted and divided 


1. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.

2. Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; cut butter and shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 forks until crumbly. Add yeast mixture and buttermilk to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill 2 hours to 5 days.

3. Preheat oven to 400°. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. Gently roll dough into a 3/4-inch-thick circle, and fold dough in half; repeat. Gently roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter. Reroll remaining scraps, and cut with cutter. Place rounds, with sides touching, in a 10- or 12-inch cast-iron skillet or on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush biscuits with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

4. Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with remaining melted butter, and serve.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Creamy horseradish sauce for beef

·         ½ cup Mayonnaise
·         ¼ cup Sour Cream
·         3 Tbsp. Prepared Horseradish
·         1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
·         1 Tbsp. Green Onions, finely minced
·         ½ tsp. Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

Dijon Apple Cider Vinaigrette

·         2 garlic cloves, minced
·         1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
·         ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
·         2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or juice from 2 lemons
·         2-3 tablespoons honey
·         ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
·         ½ tsp. kosher salt
·         1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1.       Combine all of the ingredients in glass mason jar, then seal the lid and shake until the honey dissolves and the ingredients are well combined. Adjust flavor to taste, if necessary. For best flavor, allow the dressing to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving over your favorite greens.
2.       Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week, and shake well before serving each time.

Easy Candied Walnuts

·         1 cup walnut halves/pieces
·         ¼ cup white granulated sugar
·         1 tablespoon butter

1.       Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat with 1 cup walnuts, ¼ cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter.
2.       Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so your mixture doesn't burn (especially towards the end). When the sugar mixture starts melting, stir constantly until all sugar is melted and nuts are coated.  Watch for the sugar to become a dark amber color.
3.       Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts right away.

4.       Once the coating hardens (5-7 minutes), you can transfer them to the salad or just eat them!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

1¼ cups sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (15 oz). can pumpkin
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt

Caramel Drizzle
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and sour cream. Add flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and stir in to combine. Pour into a prepared bundt pan. (Use the spray that has flour in it, if you don't have any, grease and flour it yourself.)
Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. Test it with a wooden pick to see if it comes out clean. Invert cake onto a cooling rack.
Caramel Drizzle
Heat milk and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla. Cool for five minutes and drizzle over cooled cake.

from Chef-in-Training

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pumpkin Snack Mix


  •  4 cups Corn or Rice Chex
  •  1 cup packed brown sugar
  •  3/4 cup light corn syrup
  •  1/4 cup butter, cubed
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
           1 package (16 oz.) candy pumpkins (or candy corn)


    1. In a large greased roasting pan, combine the popcorn, cereal and peanuts. In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter; bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; quickly stir in vanilla and baking soda until mixture is light and foamy.
    2. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Bake, uncovered, at 250° for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Stir in candy pumpkins. Cool completely. Yield: about 5-1/2 quarts.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Snack Cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 tablespoons water
1 1/8 cups cake flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses

Cinnamon Maple Icing Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (not powdered sugar)
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
Toasted Pecans*
*To toast pecans, bake at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes, tossing regularly, until fragrant. Allow to cool completely.

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare an 8-inch square baking pan (I brush the pan with Wilton’s Cake Release and place a square of greased parchment in the bottom to ensure the cake will come out clean.) In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter and water to a boil. In the meantime, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves before mixing in the egg, sour cream, pumpkin, and molasses. While mixing, slowly pour in the boiling butter and water mixture. Mix to combine completely. Your batter will be very runny. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool for about 10 minutes before gently poking holes in the cake with a fork. Sprinkle the rum over the top of the cake evenly and allow the cake to cool completely.

Make the frosting: Immediately after leaving your cake to cool, start your frosting, since it will need cooling time as well. Heat the milk, flour, cinnamon, and granulated sugar together over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once it starts to boil, continue whisking and heating it for around 4-5 minutes or until it’s very thick, like cake batter consistency. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup. Remove the mixture to a shallow pan and let it cool completely (it’s very important that it’s completely cool, or your frosting will be runny. I let the frosting mixture and the cake both cool for at least 2 hours.)

Once the mixture is cool, beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the cooled flour mixture and beat on high until you have fluffy frosting the consistency of stiff whipped cream (this takes several minutes, so be patient). Frost your completely cooled cake and top with toasted pecans. Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge, but be sure to let it sit out for 30 minutes before serving so the frosting can soften.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Caramel Apple-Upside Down Cake

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Whipped Cream topping:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 9 inch round or square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat until melted. Add the brown sugar. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour into the bottom of the greased pan. Arrange the apples over the brown sugar mixture.
  3. In a medium size bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Set bowl aside.
  4. In a large bowl or mixer, beat together 1 cup sugar, and ½ cup butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Beat in flour mixture alternating with the milk until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples and spread evenly.
  6. Bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, to make the whipped topping, beat whipping cream on high until soft peaks start to form. Add in 2 tablespoons sugar.
  8. Run knife along the edges of the cake and flip upside down on a pan. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream on top.

~~ picture and recipe from the Recipe Critic