Monday, July 30, 2012

It is national cheesecake day, who knew?! So in honor of this auspicious occasion, I am posting a couple links to cheesecake recipes here. Since I didn't know ahead of time to bake and post a new one. Really, sometimes I wonder how important things like this slip by...

Simple and quick cookies:

In case you are feeling fruity:

Deep and rich:

Now go get that cream cheese out to soften!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Confetti Batter Bread

This loaf was so fun and easy, I will be making variations of it frequently. The batter was very soft and moist; a perfect canvas with which to play by adding whatever veggies or herbs strike your fancy.
Basic batter:
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour, or white spelt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water for brushing
1/3 cup minced green onion, leek,or scallion
1/2 cup chopped black or green olives
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
3 tablespoons sweet pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped, dried tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease 1 loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, cheeses, and additions of your choosing.
In a small bowl, stir together the eggs, oil, milk, and sour cream.
Add the wet to the dry. Do not over mix, just stir until incorporated.
Pour into the prepared pan.
I found this nifty bread pan at a yard sale, tag sale if you are from the north east, it holds the equivalent volume to a regular size loaf pan. I like it because it then makes smaller slices for tea sandwiches or just enough for a dunk in the soup.
Brush with the egg wash.
Sprinkle with extra herbs.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, obviously a bit less for this narrow pan. You could also make this in a muffin pan, only bake for 20 or so minutes.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack.

Slice after it cools for a few more minutes, that way it won't just fall apart.
Looking good! Tastes even better!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Easy, Lighter, Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese Dressing

This was so tender and packed with flavor that we will be having it again very soon!
I made this spicy but not excruciatingly hot, you can use more hot sauce if you prefer, so if you like the flavor without a lot of heat this would be the one for you!
4 tablespoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar (THM use dash stevia)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread crumbs (THM use almond flour or toasted Josheph's Pita crumbs)
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
additional hot sauce for serving
First whisk the first four ingredients in a large bowl and set the raw chicken tenders, turn to coat, refrigerate for 30 minutes to 8 hours, whichever fits your day.
 Not exactly appetizing photo...
Mix the crumbs, parsley, garlic, and salt in a flat, open container or plate. 
As you remove each piece of marinading chicken just drop it onto the crumb mixture, turn to coat well, and place on a cooling rack on a baking sheet.

Now bake in the oven, preheated to 400F. for 20 minutes or until the fattest one is no longer pink in the middle.
While baking, or the day before, whatever is convenient, make the dressing. This will keep in the fridge for several days.
Lighter Blue Cheese Dressing:
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup plain fat free yogurt or sour cream
3 tablespoons low fat buttermilk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
sprig parsley
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
 Everything except the blue cheese into a blender, or use a smart my hand blender :), and whirl away. Stir the crumbled blue cheese in last.
I served a salad with the chicken and used the dressing on both, YUM!
Chicken out of the oven, it appears a bit red but that's the hot sauce it soaked in, it is completely done, and has a wonderful fragrance, mmmmm.
 Crisp on the outside and moist inside, mildly spicy.

Drizzle dressing over chicken, a little more for dipping ;), a bit more hot sauce...Yowsa!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Savory Red Pepper and Chive Scone

I was looking through the labels on my sidebar as I was beginning to write this, I noticed that I have a label specifically for scones. Not surprised, they are simple, quick, and very versatile.
 This one is not a breakfast or tea scone, very nontraditional, with red pepper, chives, and sharp cheddar cheese. This is going to be used a lot this winter with soups, but for this hot weather it was a very good compliment to a big salad.
2 cups all purpose (or white spelt) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
3/4 cup half and half, plus 2 tablespoons to brush on the scone
Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. 
Cut in the butter, using a pastry cutter or fork, until it looks like coarse oatmeal.
Add the chives, cheese, and peppers.
Add the half and half. Don't over mix or they will be tough, just until combined.
 Dust counter with flour and roll or pat into a disc about 3/4 - 1 inch thick. 
Cut into 4, 6, or 8 pieces, or however many you wish, and transfer to a lightly greased sheet pan. 
Brush with the last 2 tablespoons of half and half. This gives it a glossy and slightly crisp exterior while the interior remains light and moist.
Bake in a preheated, 425F, oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are beginning to become golden.
This has a wonderful fragrance.
And one more time with the salad...
Dresses up and fills out a lighter meal for summer.