Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Sangria

 Sangria is a great summer drink because it's cool, and full of fruity goodness. It tricks you into drinking some fruit with wine . I didn't always like wine, I starting drinking it in Culinary School with my roommates L and S who loved wine, it took awhile but I sure do love it now.  Of course we bought "value" wine, you know the giant jugs of wine that cost about $7. The way I buy wine is very interesting, I don't buy bottom shelf, but I don't buy top shelf either. And YES labels do sway my decision a bit- I do know what type of wine I like Cab, Merlot and sometimes a Carmenere.
For sangria I used some Merlot and yes the label drew me in- it's a giraffe it's so silly everyone knows giraffes don't drink wine!
I went a little crazy cutting fruit!

Summer Sangria:
1 bottle of red wine
1 Orange sliced
1 lemon sliced
10-12 strawberries-stemmed and sliced
8oz diced pineapple pieces  w/juice
12oz Ginger ale

Here is the tricky part- in a large pitcher throw in orange,lemon, strawberries, pineapple. wait for it.... add wine and ginger ale! Put in the refrigerator. This makes about a full pitcher, make sure to let sit overnight or longer. The longer it sits the better it is! If you are making this for a party I recommend making a few pitchers- it goes fast!

If you have any leftover fruit and no more wine it makes yummy fruit water. It's a refreshing drink, just add the remaining fruit to another pitcher and add water- Chill over night!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Coconut Shrimp

Craving Coconut Shrimp? But not wanting to go out or deep fry them? That was exactly what I was thinking for dinner. Since I had shrimp in the icebox it was a no brainer.  I BAKED them! Yes baked it's not as fatty and amazing as the real deal of deep frying, but it comes in a close second. They were crispy and tasty. I lost some of my momentum while making them so the sauce was some store bought stir-fry sauce.  So give it a try baked coconut shrimp!

  • 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup plus 2TBS plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 TBS flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 pound large  shrimp, peeled and deveined, patted dry
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Smoked hot paprika
Preheat the oven to 450* grease a sheet pan- set aside
 Combine the coconut, panko, flour, pepper, paprika in a bowl. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl until slightly frothy. Add shrimp to the egg whites and toss to coat. Lift each shrimp out from the egg whites, letting the excess drip off, and then coat in the coconut mixture, pressing so it sticks. Place the shrimp on the sheet pan in a single layer. Lightly spray with nonstick spray. Bake until the shrimp are golden on the outside. About 10 minutes. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Strawberry- Lemon Cake

I made this cake last weekend for Lukas' birthday party. Besides making a 4 layer chocolate cake I thought this much lighter cake would compliment it well. The desserts were a hit! This strawberry cake is light and fruity, perfect for a summer gathering. It goes together fairly quickly but bakes for about and hour. It would go well with vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream.  A few people said that they would attempt this if I put it up, so without delay I have Strawberry-Lemon Cake adapted from Martha Stewart. 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened- plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups  flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 TBS sugar
1 l egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 lemon zested and juiced
1 pound strawberries,  halved

Preheat oven to 350*
 Butter a 10-inch pan- I used a square pan, but round is fine too.
 Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together set aside. 
Put butter, lemon zest and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of a mixer. With the paddle attachment mix on medium speed  until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low mix in egg, milk, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix on medium until all incorporated. 
Slowly mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pan and smooth out. Press the strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour.  Let cool and serve at room temp.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Illuminating Blogger Award!

 I am back  after a wonderful vacation with my Little Lukas in my hometown of Utah. We had a fun little birthday party for him- he will be 2 on Monday!! Oh my goodness how time flies!
I came back to a blogger award, how cool is that?! someone besides my family reads my blog- That's a huge High Five to me!! Thanks to  Food Stories who nominated me for the Illuminating Blogger Award. 
I have some rules to follow in order to accept the award:
  1. The Nominee should visit the award site Food Stories and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom.
  2. The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOOD STORIES !!!
  3. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post. My guilty pleasure treat is M&Ms.
  4. Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award.
  5. Notify your  nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site Food Stories.
My nominees are:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Orange Poppyseed cake

In my house we have a ton of oranges. It's only fitting to make this whole orange poppyseed cake. Yes whole orange. Pretty cool huh? I got the recipe from the Sweet Mellisa baking book. She has so many great recipes. I have added it to my amazon store,  I get a small profit from sales from the store so check it out, along with any adds on my blog.  Ok enough promoting- Let them eat cake!

Whole Orange Poppyseed Cake:
adapted from Sweet Melissa's Baking book
1 whole orange, washed
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds

for the glaze:
2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350* Lightly butter and flour a large bunt pan- I used 4 mini bunt pans. Cut the orange into medium chunks. In a food processor  or blender, pulse the orange pieces (skin and all!) and 1/2 cup of the sugar until pureed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, so that no large orange skin pieces in sight. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in the orange pulp. whisk in the melted butter to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds to combine. Sprinkle over the orange mixture  gently fold until just combined. Pour the batter into the pans(s). Bake for 30 minutes, rotate and bake another 30 min. It all depends on the size of the pan. The cake is done when a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 20 min or so then invert the pans. TO make the glaze combine the orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl and whisk till smooth it it's too thick add a little more juice, if too thin add more sugar.  Using a spoon drench the warm cake with glaze. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Spanish Rice

To accompany my Delicious Chili Colorado Burritos I made Spanish rice. Oh boy the burritos were amazing. So here yea go! And leftovers were even better.

Spanish Rice:
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup corn kernels
14 oz can pinto beans
14 oz can black beans
8 oz tomato paste
1/4 cup pickled Jalapenos (optional)

wash and rinse the rice.

Combine the  rice, water, red pepper flakes, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper  in a large saucepan, boil on high for a few minutes. Turn the heat down and cover for 8-10 min. Until all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked through.  Add tomato paste, corn, pinto and black beans and jalapenos if using.  Voila this rice is so nice!
Wrapped up inside with Colorado Burrito

Colorado Burritos

I picked up the strangest magazine. It is printed by Darigold and I have only seen it once before it's called Fresh: From our farms to your table. I was flipping through it and found this chili Colorado recipe and it looked yummy. The funny part is that it suggested using darigold sour cream on top but I didn't have any, so went without.  Just to warn you this takes a long time to cook, so plan this one out or cook the meat one night and prepare the rest the next night- that's what I did. And yes I did have all the spices, sub if you need to.  I suggest reading the recipe through- as any cook should know what they are getting themselves into.
without delay Chili Colorado:

1 pound boneless beef chuck steak or roast cut into 2 inch cubes
1 TBS dried chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 TBS red pepper flakes- ancho or chipoltie
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 TBS vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 325*- prepare a large covered casserole dish by spraying with nonstick spray
- Combine the cubed beef with all the spices above.  In a large skillet heat the oil on medium heat, add half the beef and brown on all sides, remove then repeat with the other half of beef.  Set all beef aside.

1 yellow onion diced
2 carrots diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 bay leaf crumbled
1 dried pasilla chili crumbled
1 pinch ground cloves
1 TBS vegetable oil

After browning the beef, add 1 TBS vegetable oil back into the skillet and saute the onion, carrots and garlic, once translucent add the spices. Mix to combine.  Spread onion mixture on the bottom of prepared baking dish. Pour beef cubes over the onion mixture.
Before cooking

2 TBS flour
1 cup beef stock
1 cup dark beer
1/2 tsp sugar

Combine the flour, beef stock and sugar mix well. Pour over the beef cubes along with the beer.
Cover casserole dish and bake for 2- 2 1/2 hours- See told ya it's gonna take awhile!
bake till the meat is nice and tender.
After cooking

What you many be asking yourself- are we done yet? Oh no just getting started!
Now to another post: Spanish Rice. It was too much to put in one post, so sorry my friends this burrito is a two parter. But well worth it! The Spanish rice is amazing wrapped up with the chili Colorado, I suggest adding some cheese and smothering with sauce. The original recipe calls for garnishing with sour cream and cilantro.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pineapple Orange Papaya Pops

 Yes! More Pops and this one even spells out P.O.P.. Sometimes I crack myself up! Since the Papaya Pops were such a hit at my house. I picked up another papaya. Experimenting with different flavors is fun so this pop has Pineapple, Orange and Papaya. Oh man I think I out did myself this time. Wow, wow, wow!!  Without delay here is my P.O.P. recipe.

1 ripe papaya  (peeled and seeded)
8oz can pineapple tidbits in  juice
1 orange zested and juiced
3/4 cup sugar
Cut the papaya up in cubes combine with pineapple, orange juice, zest and sugar in  a blender or food processor.  Puree till smooth and the sugar is dissolved.  
Now divide into Popsicle molds, freeze for about and hour and add the sticks. Don't add the sticks right away because they will sink to the bottom. Don't forget to label the end of the sticks.I always freeze my pops overnight before removing from the molds. To release from molds, just dip in warm water and pull out. Wrap the pops in wax paper or plastic wrap,then stack in a freezer bag. It's so much better then store bought pops! Stay tuned for more pops this summer!