Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Glazed Lemon Cookies

2-¼ cups Flour
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
¾ cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest (it took me about 4 lemons)
1 cup Butter, Room Temperature
1 whole Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Powdered Sugar
6 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; whisk and set aside.
In a small bowl, add sugar and lemon zest. Rub them together with your fingers until mixed well and fragrant.
Beat butter into the sugar/lemon mixture until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and the vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in the flour mixture, until blended.
Roll dough into 1/2-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Gently flatten with the palm of your hand.
Bake for around 12 minutes, until cookies are just set. Cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
For the glaze, in a medium bowl combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Once cookies are cooled completely, dip the top of the cookie in the glaze, or spread on with a knife.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bread in a Bag

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 tbs white sugar
1 (.25 oz) package rapid rise yeast
1 cup warm water
3 tbs non-fat dry milk
3 tbs oil
1 ½ tsp salt
1-2 tbs flour for floured surface

In a large resealable freezer bag, combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast and warm water. Squeeze most of the air out of the bag, and seal. Squish with your hands until well blended. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes at room temperature, or until bubbles appear (wrap in towel).

In quart sized freezer Ziploc squeeze together until crumbly ½ cup of flour, dry milk, salt, and oil. Add into the large Ziploc bag and squeeze out most of the air. Seal and squish until well blended. Add the last cup of flour to the bag, and continue mixing in the same manner until well blended. Dough will be sticky.

Remove dough onto a floured surface by turning bag completely inside out. Add remaining flour a little at a time to get right consistency as you knead for 5 minutes. Form into a small loaf and place in a greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray and a towel. Allow to rise for 30 minutes or until your finger leaves an impression when you poke the top of the loaf gently.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 30-35 or until golden brown.

Easy Tootsie Rolls in a Bag

These are softer than the variety in the store, and they taste even better! Only 10 minutes to make. Recipe makes two dozen (12 servings).

2 tbs butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup white corn syrup
2 tbs oil
3 tbs cocoa
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup dry milk powder
Wax Paper
Freezer Ziploc

Kneed all ingredients together in a Ziploc bag. If mixture is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Roll into logs and cut into desired lengths, wrap in wax paper and store (or eat). Do not wrap in plastic wrap, it will stick! Play with like play dough.

Half Recipe

1 tbs butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup white corn syrup
1 tbs + 1 tsp oil
2 tbs coca
1½ cup confectioners’ sugar
⅜ cup dry milk powder
Wax Paper
Freezer Ziploc

Ice Cream in a Bag

This no-cook recipe for vanilla ice cream makes about eight half-cup servings.

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half cream
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 bag crushed ice
4 cups coarse salt

For each kid you'll need:
2 pint-size resealable plastic freezer bags
1 gallon-size resealable plastic freezer bag
Gloves or towel to protect fingers

1. In a pitcher or large measuring cup, stir together the whipping cream, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla extract until sugar has dissolved.
2. Pour about 1/2 cup of mixture into a pint-size plastic bag and seal carefully, squeezing out extra air. Place each sealed bag into a second pint-size bag, again squeezing out extra air. Seal carefully.
3. Fill each gallon-size plastic bag about halfway with ice and add 1/2 cup coarse salt. Place one sealed small bag into the large bag, squeeze out most of the air, and seal the large bag.
4. Wear mittens or thick gloves, or wrap the bag in a towel to protect hands against the extreme cold. Shake and massage the bag for about 5 minutes or until mixture thickens into ice cream. Add more salt and ice to the outer bag if ice cream hasn't formed after 10 minutes of continuous motion.
5. Remove the outer pint-size bag before you open the inner bag so you don't get any of the salty ice on your ice cream!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

Yummy, delicious, fabulous, but time consuming. It's worth it though, oh, so worth it.

Shot in the pan

and on the plate.

Eggplant Parmesan
2 pounds globe eggplant (2 medium eggplants), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 slices high-quality white bread (about 8 ounces), torn into quarters
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Tomato Sauce
3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 generous tablespoon)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
8 ounces whole milk mozzarella or part-skim mozzarella, shredded (2 cups)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
10 fresh basil leaves torn, for garnish

1. Eggplant: Toss half of eggplant slices and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt in large bowl until combined; transfer salted eggplant to large colander set over bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant and kosher salt, placing second batch in colander on top of first. Let stand until eggplant releases about 2 tablespoons liquid, 30 to 45 minutes. Arrange eggplant slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe off excess salt.
2. While eggplant is draining, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions, place rimmed baking sheet on each rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse bread in food processor to fine, even crumbs, about fifteen 1-second pulses (you should have about 4 cups). Transfer crumbs to pie plate and stir in 1 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside. Wipe out bowl (do not wash) and set aside.
3. Combine flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in large zipper-lock bag; shake to combine. Beat eggs in second pie plate. Place 8 to 10 eggplant slices in bag with flour; seal bag and shake to coat eggplant. Remove eggplant slices, shaking off excess flour, dip in eggs, let excess egg run off, then coat evenly with bread crumb mixture; set breaded slices on wire rack set over baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
4. Remove preheated baking sheets from oven; add 3 tablespoons oil to each sheet, tilting to coat evenly with oil. Place half of breaded eggplant on each sheet in single layer; bake until eggplant is well browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets after 10 minutes, and flipping eggplant slices with wide spatula after 20 minutes. Do not turn off oven.
5. Sauce: While eggplant bakes, process 2 cans diced tomatoes in food processor until almost smooth, about 5 seconds. Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and garlic is light golden, about 3 minutes; stir in processed and remaining can of diced tomatoes. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes (you should have about 4 cups). Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Assembly: Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Layer in half of eggplant slices, overlapping slices to fit; distribute 1 cup sauce over eggplant; sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Layer in remaining eggplant and dot with 1 cup sauce, leaving majority of eggplant exposed so it will remain crisp; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; scatter basil over top, and serve, passing remaining tomato sauce separately.

Notes: Sometimes I serve this on it's own, sometimes with pasta, sometimes, just standing by the pan with a fork. I love this as is, but if you don't want to assemble it, this would be great as an appetizer, using the tomato sauce for a dip. Of course, then you would miss out on the cheesy goodness of the mozzarella.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Grilled Fish Tacos

Sorry, no picture for this one. Besides, all you would really see is the tortillas. This is a great summer recipe.

2 lbs fresh grouper, snapper, mahi-mahi or haddock fillets
8-12 flour tortillas
1 head lettuce, shredded

4 tbs olive oil
4 tbs garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
4 tbs lime juice

Mango Avocado Salsa
2 mangos, diced medium
1 avocado, diced medium
¼ cup red onion, diced
1 tbs jalapeno pepper, minced
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
1 tbs lime juice
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine fish fillets with marinade mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour. Grill fillets on a hot grill. Chop cooked fillets into bite-sized pieces. While fish is grilling, combine ingredients for salsa. Refrigerate until ready to use. Fill tortillas with fish pieces, shredded lettuce, and salsa. Serves 6.

Notes: The first time I made this, I didn’t think there was enough of the marinade, so I doubled it. It seemed to be the right amount, so that’s the way it’s written now. I’m not a seafood person, but I love these tacos. This salsa would probably make anything taste good. If you aren’t familiar with grilling fish, watch it carefully, it doesn’t take long. I use the frozen mahi-mahi fillets from Costco, and those take 5-8 minutes to cook, depending on their size.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pineapple Pork Roast

Yummy, tender, and even Michael, the hater of pork roasts, liked this.

3 lbs pork roast, I used a boneless loin, but any will work
1 15 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
¼ c packed brown sugar
¼ c soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbs cornstarch dissolved in ¼ c cold water (to thicken the sauce after cooking)

To prepare the sauce, mix all the ingredients (except roast and cornstarch slurry) in a bowl.
Place roast in a crock pot and pour the sauce on top. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
Remove roast from crock pot when done, set on a heated platter. Prepare the cornstarch slurry, being sure that all of the cornstarch is dissolved (no one likes lumpy sauce). Whisk the slurry into the sauce in the crock pot to thicken.
Add the roast back to the crock pot and let cook on high for about 15 min more.
Remove roast from crock pot and slice to serve, spooning sauce over sliced pieces.