Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Daring Bakers: Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream

After last months success with the Danish Braid, I was excited to see the challenge for July.  Chris of Mele Cotte chose Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream. Many DBers mentioned that is was similar to the Opera Cake that we did two months ago. While it very similar, the host has every right to chose whatever recipe they want. It would be nice to have more variety but whatever the host choses is what I'm going to make. Simple as that. I had issues with the Opera Cake that I hoped I could work through on this one.

Sigh...it was not to be. My mini cakes baked up just fine. The buttercream was iffy at first but after a rest in the fridge, it came together. The praline paste didn't quite turn into a paste. It was more of a mix of finely ground sugar and almonds (we were allowed to use other nuts besides filberts or hazlenuts so I went with almonds since I had a huge bag in the freezer). It was quite tasty even though it wasn't paste like.

My ganache was too thin at first. I let it sit in the fridge to thicken up. It did slightly but it still seemed to thin. I poured it on the first mini cake and then realized I forgot to straighten the sides with a knife. It almost looked like a patchy, chocolate covered mushroom after that. Before I could pipe on the praline buttercream, I had to let the ganache set so back in the fridge it went. When I came back...the entire mini cake had slid apart on the plate. It was a chocolate mess. Completely beyond saving. Now you would think that I could use the other mini cake to make another one. Nope. I had to cut into it when I screwed up the layers on the other one (and I ate the other two before I started assembling...I know...bad baker!). Because it was the end of the month when I was finally able to bake for Daring Bakers, I was out of time and couldn't get another one made in time for the deadline. So I have no pictures of a finished cake. Though I did remember to get one before I put the final layer of cake on pre ganache.

Daring Bakers: July Challenge

I'm sure that the whipped cream layer caused it to slide and fall apart. After I put the top layer on I had to steady it some as it was already slipping.

Layered buttercream filled nut cakes are apparently not my thing. I have so far failed to make one I would deem a success. Hopefully the next cake we make will be better. Better yet...no cakes for awhile (though of course if the host picks it I'll do it anyway!). To actually see some fantastic cakes, head over to the Daring Bakers Blogroll! There are some fabulous bakers out there!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An award



Megan of My Baking Adventures gave me a wonderful award last week. Thank you so much Megan! You are so sweet!
Now its my turn to pass it on to other blogs that I love to visit. Its so hard to pick because there are so many!

Dianne of Dianne's Dishes

Horned Froggy of My Baking Heart

Mevrouw Cupcake of Mevrouw Cupcake

Madam Chow of Madam Chow's Kitchen

Lori of Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness

Jaime of Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats

Lynnylu of Cafe Lynnylu

*Put the logo on your blog.
*Add a link to the person who awarded you.
*Nominate at least seven other blogs.
*Add links to those blogs on your blog.
*Leave a message for your nominee on their blogs.

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TWD: Summer Fruit Galette

Summer Fruit Galette

Its another week and another Tuesdays with Dorie!  We seem to be on a fruit kick (which I LOVE!) as this weeks recipe was Summer Fruit Galette chosen by Michelle of Michelle in Colorado Springs.

Summer Fruit Galette

I had picked up some lovely fresh peaches at the grocery store the other day so I had the perfect fruit for the galette.  It called for a jam to be spread on the dough so I used some yummy strawberry jam that my aunt made.  So delicious!  It has Godiva Carmel Liqueur added...great flavor combination!

Summer Fruit Galette

This is a pretty rustic tart, Dorie seems to like rustic. I kind of like it too. What's to like about something that you don't have to fuss over or make sure it looks just perfect? All you have to do is spread some jam on the crust and top with the fruit, then fold the excess crust up to seal it all in. Easy and delicious!

Summer Fruit Galette

Summer Fruit Galette

The recipe calls for a custard to be poured onto the galette after it has baked for awhile but I decided to leave it off. The custard seemed a bit much for such a simple dessert. The combination of the jam and peaches was too good to overpower with a custard. I decided to top it all off with some whipped cream instead. There's just something delicious about peaches and whipped cream. So delicious!

Summer Fruit Galette

This galette was very tasty with the fresh peaches. I'm sure it would be delicious too with fresh berries of some sort as well.

To see this recipe, go to Michelle of Michelle in Colorado Springs. For more Summer Fruit Galettes, check out the other TWD Bakers here!

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bowtie Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic

Bowtie Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic

This past week has been very busy.  At work we had overseas clients visiting and we were in a rush to get their project ready by the time they left.  That meant later days including one 8:30 night.  Naturally, this has left me quite behind.  I have many posts to respond to comments, I have an award that I was given and that I need to give to others, a meme to do, posts I need to write for events, and stuff to bake for others!  I thought I would be able to get caught up this weekend but the only thing I got caught up on was the laundry (a definite plus though actually).

So when it came time for dinner on Sunday, I wanted simple, easy, quick...oh...and it needed to incorporate the 2 zucchini I had in the fridge.  I flipped through cookbooks and only seemed to find fried zucchini.  I wasn't in a fried kind of mood, I wanted something somewhat healthy.  Finally I went to my trusty Food Network website and typed in zucchini.  A spaghetti with zucchini and garlic by Rachael Ray caught my eye.  It was simple (only 5 ingredients), easy (boil pasta and saute zucchini), and quick (15 minutes).  Perfect!

I didn't have spaghetti so I substituted bowtie pasta.  This dish was light and filling but full of flavor.  The garlic was  not overwhelming as it can be in some dishes.  It is a perfect work day lunch.  While I served it warm for dinner, I think it will be delicious cold as lunch.  Overall a great dish that I will definitely make again!


Bowtie Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic
Doesn't Charlie look cute?  He finally got a hair cut yesterday!

Bowtie Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic

2 small to medium zucchini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound bowtie pasta, cooked al dente
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Shred zucchini using a box grater holding the zucchini at an angle.


Bowtie Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan Add chopped garlic to the oil.

Bowtie Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic

When garlic sizzles in the oil, add shredded zucchini. Season zucchini with salt and pepper. Saute shredded zucchini 7 to 10 minutes.

Bowtie Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic

Add hot, drained pasta to the pan. Toss spaghetti with zucchini and garlic oil. Add grated cheese to the pan. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.


Bowtie Pasta with Zucchini and Garlic

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Recipes to Rival: Thank George's Bank

Recipes to Rival: Thank George's Bank

For our second installment of Recipes to Rival, Belita of Culinary Adventures a very interesting dish called Thank George's Bank.  When I first saw the name, I thought perhaps it was going to be a fish dish.  And I was right!  This is a cod cake recipe topped with a poached egg and a hollandaise sauce.  Its also supposed to be a breakfast recipe which makes sense with the poached egg but I ended up eating it for dinner.  Breakfast for dinner!

Like I said in my post yesterday about the Smoked Salmon Spread, I'm not a big fish person.  I was probably more wary coming into this dish than the salmon spread because I haven't eaten cod before and I wasn't sure of the taste.  But I'm determined to stick as close to the recipe as possible so I forged ahead anyway.


Recipes to Rival: Thank George's Bank

The batter for the cakes came together pretty easily but it was really soupy.  

Recipes to Rival: Thank George's Bank

I attempted to  fry up a batch of the cakes right after I made it and when I attempted to flip them, they fell apart.  I tried several times to get a nice patty but none would work.  I managed to get one nice patty by taking the rejects and molding them together.  It held up better this time since most of the liquid was gone.  


Recipes to Rival: Thank George's Bank

This was my first hollandaise sauce made from scratch.  Before I started this challenge, the sauce was what I was most nervous about.  Hollandaise sauce has always seemed so fragile and difficult.  Very temperamental.  I needn't have worried because it blended together quickly and didn't separate even though it set longer than I intended (see above paragraph...;) ).  

The poached egg took two tries.  The first time, it stuck to the bottom of the saucepan.  Not cool.  The second time came out better.  I overcooked it (to my taste) just a bit.  I like my yolks runnier and this one was just a tidge to set for me.  Oh well.  I wasn't going to waste more eggs.


Recipes to Rival: Thank George's Bank

After the difficulties I had with the cake and the eggs, I wasn't very optimistic on the taste of this dish.  Boy was I surprised!  The entire combination was delicious.  On its own, the cake was okay but nothing special.  What made the dish for me was the hollandaise sauce and the poached egg.  Delicious!  After I finished eating, I wished I hadn't thrown out my rejects!  I could have reformed them and had this again!  gah!  silly me!  Oh well, I will definitely try this again.  Next time I will refrigerate the cake batter (my grandma suggested this afterwards).

Thanks Belita for the great pick!  Check out the other Recipe to Rival bloggers for more Thank George's Bank!

Click here for the recipe!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

BB: Smoked Salmon Spread

BB: Smoked Salmon Spread

Does anyone know what time it is!  Tool Time!  (listens to the crickets in blogland.) Ummm...yeah...I watch too much Nick at Nite.  Its really Barefoot Bloggers time again!  I am loving this group more and more as the recipes come.  Ina has such a diverse collection of recipes to choose from.   This time around, Ashley of The Spicy Skillet chose Smoked Salmon Spread.

I love salmon.  Normally I am not a big fish person.  Its always just too...fishy.  Salmon and tuna, to me, don't have the stinky fish taste that I tend to get with other types. The only draw back to salmon is the price. Not to pay the huge sum is the way to buy smoked salmon online. Being only out of college for about a year and a half, I'm paying back those wonderful student loans and all the lovely bills that come with finally being an independent adult in the real world. My grocery budget is stretched as it is so while I would love to get the nice fancy super tasty smoked salmon, I just couldn't do it nor did I want to use canned. I instead went with the smoked Alaskan salmon fillet in the pouches. The right amount that the recipe called for and still a pretty good quality for way less than the other.

BB: Smoked Salmon Spread

The recipe calls for cream cheese and sour cream so I decided to lose to fat and calories here by subbing in fat free versions of both.  Some would say you loose so flavor in the transfer but I didn't notice anything.  I've been using fat free sour cream for awhile and it tastes exactly the same as the regular version.  This way I didn't feel quite as bad when I ended up eating a 1/4 of the recipe for dinner last night.  ;)


BB: Smoked Salmon Spread

The fresh dill was not very strong when I tasted the spread.  This was probably a good thing because strong herbs are a turn off for me.  Now I did taste it right after I made it so the flavors likely didn't have a chance to mingle very long.  I'm sure it will be stronger when I eat it later.  I ended up leaving out the horseradish because I'm not a fan of it and my dad doesn't visit often enough to justify buying it.    


BB: Smoked Salmon Spread

This was a very tasty spread.  I put it on unsalted saltines (hmmm...that just doesn't sound right...) and it was delicious.  The salmon was too strong but complemented the creamyness of the cream cheese/sour cream mixture.  I didn't miss the horseradish in the spread.  It would have overwhelmed the spread in my opinion.  I could have easily eaten the whole batch by myself, I liked it so much.  I managed to restrain myself so I could take it to lunch the next day!  
This would be a great spread for a party.  A light, creamy taste with a touch of freshness from the dill and salmon.  Another one to add to the make again list!     

Check out the other Barefoot Bloggers for more salmon goodness!

BB: Smoked Salmon Spread
Forgive my thumb and the piles of junk in this pic.

Smoked Salmon Spread

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained (I left this out. Don't eat it enough to justify buying it.)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced

BB: Smoked Salmon Spread

Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt, and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well.

I didn't have crudites or any fancy crackers so I served mine with plain ol' unsalted crackers.

Source: Food Network.com and Barefoot Contessa Family Style, page 35.

BB: Smoked Salmon Spread

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TWD:Cherryless, Rhubarbless Strawberry Cobbler

TWD: Strawberry Cobbler

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was supposed to be Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler. I don't like cherries (unless its something cherry flavored) but I do like rhubarb so I was planning to make a Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler instead. That was until I went to the grocery store and couldn't find fresh or frozen rhubarb. What to do. I didn't want to skip this week so soon after having to miss earlier in the month. And I love cobbler so I decided to just make it strawberry cobbler. Our wonderful leader Laurie of Quirky Cupcake said it would be okay so I was set!

There were a few bakers that mentioned that we had just made a cobbler last month. I can see how some would think we may be making the same thing over again but when I looked at the recipe, I noticed a big difference. The crust contained ginger. Ginger? That seemed a little odd for a cobbler to me. But since I was already two ingredients down and subbing another, I was determined to stick with the recipe. If it tasted bad, oh well, I was making a small portion anyway.

I actually had nothing to worry about (that seems to be a theme. I worry about something and then like it.), the ginger was my favorite part. It gave the strawberries an extra umph that I loved. Kinda of spicy but not overwhelming. It toned down the tartness of my strawberries. The ginger in the crust was so tasty! It was the same as with the strawberries. It toned down the sweetness of the crust but at the same time it gave it a little something extra.

TWD: Strawberry Cobbler

And speaking of the crust...I liked this one so much better than the crust from the Mixed Berry Cobbler! This one was more like the cobbler crusts that I grew up with and love. It was a good mix between a crunchy cookie and a soft biscuit. It held up together nicely with the juices of the filling. Of course, it soaked up all that sweet juice goodness when I got to the bottom of the bowl!

TWD: Strawberry Cobbler

Last time I said that all cobbler needed ice cream...and it does. Only this time I was out! I was sure there was some left in the freezer from the last batch that I made. Nope...not a bit. But Dorie said this was also good with whipped cream. And what did I have in the fridge? A shiny new can of Cool Whip! Yes a can. I finally found one of the new canned Cool Whips that are just like the canned whipped cream. Now I know Cool Whip isn't good for you and its not real whipped cream but I grew up on it and I love it! There! I said it! I love Cool Whip! hmmm...I think I may have said that before actually. ;)

TWD: Strawberry Cobbler

This was a very tasty cobbler despite by lack of the main ingredients. I will definitely be making this cobbler more in the future. And I may try using ginger to kick up other types of cobblers. Amanda from Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake picked this recipe, so if you'd like to see the 'original' she'll have it up!

Next week will be Summer Fruit Galette picked by Michelle of Michelle in Colorado Springs.

Don't forget to check out the other TWD Bakers for more!

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Blog Award



My wonderful fellow blogger, Anne of Anne Strawberry, has given me an award! Thank you so much Anne! You are so very sweet to bestow it on me!

I'm supposed to pass this on and it was so hard to narrow it down to just a few!

Clara of I♥food4thought
Rainbowbrown of Brown Interior
Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction
Susie Homemaker of She's Becoming DoughMesstic

I hope you enjoy visiting these delightful blogs as much as I have!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Christine's Absolutely Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Christine's Absolutely Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

After I graduated from college, I went to work for a company in South Dallas. It was my first 'real' job outside of retail. After a few months at this job, a very sweet young woman name Christine joined our office and we quickly became great friends. I have since left the job (it sucked by the way....way long, boring story) but I have kept up my friendship with the loverly Christine... or Chiquita Banana as I call her. Hey... she calls me Hot Pants or HP Sauce.... another way long though slightly more interesting yet at the same time kinda creepy story (no... Christine isn't the creepy part ;) )... some day perhaps I'll share! Even though I have been gone from that job for almost 9 months, Christine and I frequently get together for movies and food at Studio Movie Grill (in fact..we're meeting up on Saturday to see The Dark Knight!).

It was during one of these movie and food days where we discovered that we had a shared passion for cooking. I told Christine about my blog and she became the first person I knew that I told about my blog and allowed them to see it. My family obviously knows but I haven't let them see it yet! I know...I know...I'm crazy but I don't know if they quite understand what I'm doing yet! Somehow we got to the topic of chocolate chip cookies and Christine told me about this recipe that she had created. Created? Wow! I was impressed to say the least. I love to cook but I haven't attempted to create a recipe from scratch! She had been looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for a long time and after many misses decided to come up with her own.

She graciously gave me the recipe and allowed me to feature them on my meager blog. She said I could claim them as my own but after all of the hard work she put into creating this delicious cookie... there was no way I was going to do that! Unlike many chocolate chip cookies, this one was not one of those thin cookies. This one was big and slightly puffy, packed with milk and white chocolate chips. She also added nuts to the mix for an even more tasty treat.

They made a big batch, I got 2 1/2 dozen before... ahem... quality testing. After one bite of the fresh from the oven cookie...I was in heaven. These are without a doubt in my mind, the absolute best chocolate chip cookies that I have ever had. The two kinds of chocolate compliment each other very well and the nuts (I used pecans naturally) added a nice crunch to the cookie. I'm not sure what exactly made these so good but I was barely able to restrain myself from eating just two.

I took one dozen of the cookies to my office and they were gone by 8 am. Almost every person told me that they were possibly the best cookie they had ever had. One person said they had a slightly salty taste then bam! sweet that together was amazing. I had no less than 5 people who had not even tasted the cookie, say that many people told them that I had made some amazing cookies and they needed to try them! lol! I brought the next dozen I had at home and they were also gone within minutes. Nearly a week later I still have people asking about them.

As tempting as it is to keep this amazing cookie to myself, I just had to share it with everyone. Christine took a lot of time and effort into creating this cookie and her 'suffering' paid off tenfold. So here is perhaps...no the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever had. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Please check out Christine's Blog, The Void and Nestra! She has started food blogging and is doing an awesome job! Go Christine! You rok!

Christine's Absolutely Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Choose-Your-Own-Nuts Cookies or as I named them...Christine's Absolutely Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
7oz. of a block of milk chocolate chopped into chunks (I used chips)
5oz. of a block of white chocolate chopped into chunks (I used chips)
3/4 cup of unsalted chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or cashews, depending on taste. (I used pecans)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

3. Beat butter in an electric stand mixer until there are no lumps (about a minute).

4. Add all of the sugar to the butter and mix for another couple of minutes or until the mixture lightens in color slightly.

5. While the mixer is still running, add the two eggs, slowly and the vanilla extract. Continue to beat the mixture until just incorporated.

6. Add the flour mixture in thirds, incorporating each third before adding the next. After adding the last third of flour, mix only until the ingredients have just come together. Do not over-beat.

Christine's Absolutely Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

7. Fold in the chocolate chunks and nuts.

Christine's Absolutely Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

8. Using a tablespoon, spoon generous, but equal balls of dough onto a baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each ball.

9. Bake, one cookie sheet at a time, on the middle rack until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and soft in the middle - between 10 and 12 minutes depending on taste (mine cooked for 15 minutes). Let the cookies stand on the sheet for at least 3 minutes to set before movng them to a rack. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until all of the dough has been used up.

Christine's Absolutely Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: Depends on how big you like your cookies to be. I got 2 1/2 dozen pretty big cookies.

Recipe courtesy of Christine of The Void and Nestra

Christine's Absolutely Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

TWD: Chocolate Pudding

TWD: Chocolate Pudding

As a child, I spent many summers visiting my mother's parents. For the most part I would stay with them as I was closer to my mom's side of my family than my dad's. However, there would be many an afternoon where I would visit my great grandmother or my dad's grandma. One of the things I looked forward to every visit was her homemade chocolate pudding. She would serve it up warm with a big dollop of Cool Whip on top which I would then swirl into the chocolate pudding. Not real whipped cream but the creamy tubbed kind. To this day, it is one of my favorite memories and favorite desserts. Like many kids of my generation, I grew up on boxed Jello Instant pudding and I do enjoy it from time to time. But it will never hold a candle to my great grandmother's chocolate pudding.

Unfortunately it has been many years since I have seen her due to a falling out with my father and his side of the family. A long story and not one meant for this post but I always wished I could visit her once more as she was getting on years and I enjoyed my time with her. Sadly, school and then work took over for a few years and I was not able to do so as she passed away just this past Fourth of July. As much as I missed the time we spent together and was sad over the loss of her, I was excited to make this weeks selection for Tuesdays with Dorie. Melissa of Its Melissa's Kitchen chose for us...chocolate pudding!

I was not able to make this recipe until Sunday because my mother and younger sisters were visiting over the weekend and we had a Six Flags packed weekend. Once they had headed back home, I got to work making this chocolatey delight. I do not know my grandmother's exact recipe so I can't saw for sure if it is similar or the same. But it was quick and easy as well as delicious! I was out of Cool Whip and heavy cream for whipping so I had to do without (there was no way I was leaving my apartment that late on a Sunday!). Dorie mentions a nut mixture that could be added in between layers of the pudding and I just so happened to have some chopped pecans leftover from some absolutely delicious chocolate chip cookies I made (and that recipe will be up later this week!). I spooned some of the pudding into little ramekins, then added the nuts followed by another few spoonfuls of the pudding.

TWD: Chocolate Pudding

It was so tasty! The nuts added some nice crunch to the otherwise smooth mixture. I did miss the Cool Whip on top but I enjoyed the pudding nonetheless. I'll definitely have to make the pudding again next time I have some! Oh...I used non fat milk instead of whole and I honestly couldn't tell a difference. It was still rich and creamy. It was probably slightly sweeter than Dorie intended because I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet (yuck...not a fan of it). Though Dorie recommends cooling it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, I couldn't help myself and ate one of them still warm. yuuuum! Thanks Melissa for the great pick!

TWD: Chocolate Pudding

Next week will be Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler chosen by Amanda of Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake. While I try to stay as close to the recipe as possible, I may have to sub strawberries for the cherries as I don't like cooked cherries (love cherry flavor but not the actual fruit..go figure).

For more chocolate pudding, go to the TWD blogroll for more!

For this weeks recipe, go to Its Melissa's Kitchen or get the book for yourself!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

BB: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

BB: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Its Barefoot Blogger time! This go around, Sabrina and Alexander of Cooking with the Kids chose Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. In Texas, we eat alot of cornbread. Lots. And we also like our jalapenos. To put the two together is a definitely good, tasty idea. And to add cheddar cheese on top of all of that...pure culinary goodness. I have had other versions of this but most of those were just thrown together for a meal. I'm not really a fly by the seat of my pants kind of cook (or girl too) so I like having a recipe right in front of me.

BB: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This recipe was very quick and easy to put together. Instead of making loaves of cornbread, I went for cornbread muffins. Much easier to eat for just one person! Naturally, I put a little extra cheese in the muffins as well as on top for extra cheesy crunchiness.

BB: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

The muffins puffed up very nicely due to a bit of a sit before going into the oven. I was told to let them sit to get a bigger puff and it worked! I never knew that was the secret to puffy muffins! The muffins were very tasty! The extra cheese I added made them so delicious and cheesy! Once again, another recipe to add to the make again list!

BB: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

And it wouldn't be a post from me without a picture of Charlie! I'm not sure if this will be a regular thing or not but as often as he waits oh so patiently for me to drop some food...there will be pictures of Charlie!

BB: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread


Be sure to check out the other Barefoot Bloggers for more delicious Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread!

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't over mix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: Food Network

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No TWD this week!

I had every intention of making the Double Crusted Blueberry Pie for the 4th of July during my vacation at my grandparents' but my cousin was recently diagnosed with gall stones so we were on fattening foods lock down. And of course she doesn't like blueberries so that was another reason I had to skip...I hope to catch up on it soon because I love blueberries! I am sad to miss this week because I haven't missed since I joined in March!

I came back with a lot of new and older cookbooks that I can't wait to share and make goodies from! I'll try and have a post about them up soon!

Check out the other TWD Bakers to see their yummy takes on the pie!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones

I have always been a fan of scones but I have never made them from scratch. I had been eyeing a cranberry orange scone recipe from Ina Garten (it looks similar to the one I enjoy at Starbucks). When it was announced that this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was going to be her Apple Cheddar scones, I was excited to try this tasty treat before moving on to the cranberry orange. This was one of the first recipes that I noticed in Dorie's Baking but I obviously have not had a chance to make them.

Apples and cheese has long been a favorite combination for me. There is just something so delicious about the taste of a juicy fuji apple and the bite of a nice super sharp cheddar. yuuum! Some at TWD mentioned they had never had the combo before and it seemed odd to them...man...in my opinion...they are missing out! I love it! Its great for a snack or even lunch! Dorie made me one happy baker when she put the two together!

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones

I don't have a scone pan and honestly didn't feel like investing in one at the moment. Dorie mentions you can roll the dough out and cut it or drop it spoonfuls on the pan. Rustic seems to be a running them for many of Dorie's recipes and this scone seemed to be no exception. I went with the dropping method and ended up with 12 big somewhat rounded scones. Nope...I've got no problem with rustic when they look so good coming out of the oven!

When I went to the grocery store to get my weekly supplies, I had not looked at the recipe in awhile so I was shopping somewhat blindly. I was sure that there wasn't anything that I didn't have beyond the apples and cheddar so I just purchased a few fresh apples and some pre-shredded cheddar. Well...it turns out that this recipe called for dried apples and not fresh. hmmm...what to do. I wasn't going to go back to the store so I was about to use the fresh anyway when I had one of those doh! moments. It turns out that I had a few individual size serving bags of dried Fuji apples left from a few months ago. They were in the back of my pantry so I didn't see them on first glance. I checked the dates and they look fine.

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones

These were a little big so I chopped them up slightly so they wouldn't be too big when you bit into them. Of course, I snagged a couple to snack on. I had forgotten how tasty these dried Fuji's were!

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones

The batter came together nicely and was very quickly dropped on the sheet pan then on there way to yummy goodness. Dorie recommends eating them 3 minutes after baking while the cheese is still melty.

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones

I went with a simple pat of butter for my first try instead of a jam. Let me tell ya...it was so good and simple. The apples were warm and flavorful as was the cheddar. I actually added about 1 cup of cheddar instead of the listed 3/4 of a cup because I am a cheeseoholic. I felt they could have used more cheesy goodness but it was still very tasty...so tasty that I had another one. I put away a few to take to work for breakfast. They will make a nice breakfast this week! The rest were wrapped up individually and frozen for later.

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones

This recipe was chosen by Karina of The Floured Apron. Next weeks recipe will be Double Crusted Blueberry Pie chosen by Amy of South in Your Mouth. Please check out the other TWD Bakers here for more tasty scones!

For this weeks recipe, don't forget to visit Karina at The Floured Apron. Or you could just but Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours at turn to page 32!

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones

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