Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where in the World Sara Been?

Hello dear friends. Sorry I have been away. Unfortunately my computer woes are far from over...thus my long absence. It's not looking good for my trusty laptop, it might be laid to rest soon...even though it did decide to cooperate tonight. But to make it up to you are three new recipes below. Hopefully these recipes will get your creative juices flowing this Holiday season. Enjoy!

Maple Roasted Crown Ring Of Pork Roast

Maple Roasted Crown Ring of Roast

10 pound crown ring with ends Frenched
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 Tablespoons of butter
1 ½ cup apple cider
½ cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Completely rub the roast down with the butter. Stir together the spices and rub into the buttered roast. Mound the stuffing into the roast and then add apple cider to the bottom of the pan. Bake the extra stuffing in a baking dish. After about 30 minutes drizzle the ¼ cup of the syrup over the roast. Repeat this process 30 minutes later. Cover the stuffing after it reaches golden brown with foil but not the roast. Bake for 2 ½ hours or until the roast reaches 155 degrees internal temperature. Remove from the oven and let sit 15-20 minutes covered with foil


I forgot to take a picture when it was still a Crown Ring...The stuffing you see is the one from Thanksgiving.

Mix Up Your Vegetables


Roasted Cauliflower with Candied Carrots and Pecans

1 head of Cauliflower-separated into florets
4 carrots, sliced
½ cup pecans
5 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons honey
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper

On two separate sheet pans, toss the cauliflower and carrots in olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Set cauliflower to the side and keep warm. To the carrots add the pecans and sprinkle with brown sugar. Drizzle with honey and bake again for 5 more minutes. Sugars should be bubbling when you remove from the oven. Make sure to mix the sugar onto all of the carrots and pecans. Toss with the cauliflower.

Easy Holiday Appetizer


Sugared Sea Scallops Wrapped In Prosciutto

14 Large scallops
14 slices prosciutto
½ cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Wrap the prosciutto around each scallop and pin with a toothpick. Lightly brush with olive oil and then roll in brown sugar- press the sugar into the scallop. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake on a sheet pan for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve hot and crispy.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pear and Cream Cheese Crostada with Cinnamon Caramel

Ladies and gentleman...may I introduce....the yummy! Oh yes, this is a good one....totally simple...but ever impressive. If making a pie makes you nervous, this will ease your fears...you may never go back to a traditional pie. Make it...you will be so happy if you do!

Cinnamon Caramel

¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

In heavy 2-quart saucepan over moderately high heat, combine sugar with 1/4 cup water and bring to boil. Continue cooking, swirling pan occasionally (do not stir), until light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream, cinnamon, and salt. Return to heat and bring to boil. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Look at all those yummy juices all bubbly and delicious!


Butter Crust
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter very cold and cut into pieces
¼ cup ice water

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter pieces and, using a pastry blender or 2 dinner knives held between your fingers, cut the butter into the flour and continue until the mixture is crumbly and looks like the size of peas. You can also pulse in a food processor.
Add the water one tablespoon at a time, mixing in between additions (or pulse). You'll notice that a solid piece of dough is forming. If the mixture is still dry and crumbly add another tablespoon of water. The dough is ready when it holds together without crumbling. Best if refrigerated for about an hour.
Shape into a ball and flatten slightly. Try not to overwork this dough with your hands. A quick knead is fine, but your hands give off heat and if you handle it too much it will lose the tenderness and flakiness that makes pie dough so good!


Pear and Cream Cheese Crostada

6 Large pears sliced
1 orange zested and squeezed
1 cup cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons flour

Combine all the ingredients excluding the brown sugar and cream cheese in a bowl and toss. To make a large crostada, use all of the butter crust recipe or split it in half and make two smaller crostadas. You want to roll the dough out just like a pie crust and place it on a pizza stone. If you don't have a pizza stone, a large sheet pan will do (I suggest foiling it first). Spread the cream cheese onto the center of a rolled out pastry crust and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Next add the pear mixture and loosely fold the edges of the crust toward the center. Brush the crust with cream or a beaten egg. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until center is bubbly and crust is golden.



Check back soon for an appetizer.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ready...set......go!

I am soooo excited. This is my favorite time of the year. I love all of the beautiful and delicious food that comes at this time of the year. I love the crazy...I am the crazy...at this time of year. I am a cooking maniac....I just can't stop mixing and scooping...and baking. If I sound a bit crazed...I am sorry-there isn't anything I can do about it...I'll be back to my normal (whatever that may be) self by January first. So buckle up gals (and gentlemen if there are any of you reading this) and get to the store. You will need plenty of sugar, flour and butter...and oh yes don't forget the sprinkles. So with no further adieu...your first Holiday recipe.



CHRISTMAS PUDDING

1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
6 eggs
½ cup butter
¼ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ cup flour
pinch of salt
1 lb. Danish, croissant, sweet bread (broken into pieces)
1 cup raisins
¼ cup currants
¼ cup almonds
1 Tbsp. orange peel

In a saucepan bring the milk, cream, sugar, and bean to a simmer. Beat the eggs until light and temper the hot mixture into the cold mixture.
In a bowl, mix the spices, flour, almonds, orange peel, salt, and baking soda. Add the pieces of bread and toss with the melted butter.
In another bowl reconstitute the raisins and currants in a small amount of water, juice, or brandy.
Combine the custard, raisins and currants, and bread mixture together. Soak for ten minutes, and then place into a buttered 8 cup pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place into a water bath. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and a half. Cool to room temperature and then invert onto a plate. Pour brandy over it and light with a match.
Serve immediately with sour cream sauce.



Sour Cream Sauce

2 cups sour cream
½ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. orange peel
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
3 Tbsp. orange juice

Whisk together sour cream, sugar, orange peel, vanilla, and orange juice. Refrigerate



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Count Your Blessings

For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, For love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)



Boycott the Can




Cranberries 101

3 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup juice (apple, cranraspberry, grape)

1 cup sugar



Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally






I love to add a can of mandarin oranges (drained) or a cup of fresh raspberries to mine.



Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stuff It!

This is a super yummy recipe for stuffing. I prefer a white bread stuffing to a corn bread stuffing personally. Although this is yummy either way, I don't think you can top stuffing that has been cooked in the bird. I again must apologize for my crummy camera (hint hint to anyone in my family who just might want to gift me one for Christmas) I just can't seem to get the pictures to look as delicious as the food.


APPLE HERB STUFFING

1 ¼ lbs. pork sausage
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
13 to 14 cups 1/4-inch day-old French bread pieces(crusts trimmed)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
4 cup turkey stock
2 cups finely chopped peeled tart green apple (about1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/2 cups minced onion1 cup minced celery
3/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon ground sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper



Combine the sausage with the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Toss the bread in 1 cup of the butter and bake in a 350 degree oven until toasted. Meanwhile in a heavy pan, cook sausage slowly, so that it is not dried out Melt remaining butter in same skillet over low heat. Add apple, onion, and celery and cook until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Add mixture to bread and toss gently. Blend in remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the stock at your will adjusting for texture. You will want it to be drier if you are stuffing a bird. If serving stuffing separately (without turkey), cover and bake 1 hour in 325°F oven.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November is National Pomegranate Month



Pomegranates are a great fruit to add to a holiday meal. I especially like to add them to salads because not only do they lend a sweetness but also a nice nutty flavor. But these poor fruits are very neglected because they are so messy. Here is a great solution to the pomegranate dilemma.


Fill a large bowl 3/4 of the way with warm water. Cut the pomegranate into fourths. Submerge the pomegranate in the water and break the seeds(arils) from the surrounding pulp.

The arils will sink tot he bottom and the pulp will float to the top.



Then all you have to do is remove the pulp that is floating at the top and collect the arils at the bottom. The best part is your hands will not be stained red and you will have plenty of pomegranate seeds to enjoy!

Don't Make This Dressing if You Have a Drug Test Coming Up

The third installment to the Thanksgiving menu is Pear Salad with Poppy seed dressing.



PEAR SALAD

4 cups various greens (Boston, Bibb, spinach, freesia, endive)
4 large pears –ripened
4 slices good bacon – cooked (I like to use prosciutto)
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup feta or Gorgonzola cheese
¼ cup candied pecans

Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing.

POPPY SEED DRESSING

½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons red onion, minced
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon Poppy seed

In a blender combine all ingredients except poppy seeds and blend well. Add the poppy seeds and stir with a spoon.

Instead of frying bacon (or in my case prosciutto) I prefer to cook it on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Oven temperature should be 350 degrees. The prosciutto cooks in about 8 minutes. Bacon will take about 15-20 minutes.



Once again, the tasty food is a victim of my crummy camera.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fall Vegetables With Horseradish Sauce

The next instalment to the Thanksgiving menu is an interesting twist on a vegetable dish. I know that the horseradish sounds strange but I promise that you will be pleasantly surprised. No one will be able to pinpoint that the flavor is horseradish. This recipe is very simplistic but offers a rich flavor and makes for an elegant side dish. Feel free to change up the vegetables. In the pictures you will see that I added a parsnip as well as some brussel sprouts.

FALL VEGETABLES WITH HORSERADISH SAUCE

1 ½ lbs. green beans, cleaned
1 lb. carrots sliced
½ cup butter
3 Tbsp. drained bottled horseradish
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste







On a baking sheet arrange the carrots drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. On a separate sheet, arrange the beans and drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes. Vegetables should be al dente. In a saucepan melt the butter over moderate heat, stir in the horseradish, the vinegar, the honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the vegetables with the butter sauce and serve.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Whatever Child...

Eldest Child "Those do not look like proper pumpkin pies."
Me-death look
Eldest Child "They look all yellow or something."
Me "I know, I know, the pictures didn't turn out very well."
Eldest Child- panicked look "Oh is that your website"
Me "Yes"
Eldest Child "Oh gosh I'm sorry...i didn't know...it's just that they looked like......" Eldest Child-quickly evacuates the room.
Me " I know, I know...they look all yellow or something...thanks a lot."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Easy as Pie




We have recovered! I finally got my computer back into my hands today. And so as I promised-the first of a series of great 101 Thanksgiving recipes. Have no fear...these recipes are tried and true. The first is a recipe for a great pie crust. This recipe will make 2 crusts. And then following that there is a simple recipe for Pumpkin pie. Make sure you have some fresh whipped cream to serve with it. For a special flare add a bit of cinnamon to the cream. Make sure you check in often...there is a lot of good stuff on the way!

CRUST 101

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter very cold and cut into pieces
¼ cup ice water

Directions In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter pieces and, using a pastry blender or 2 dinner knives held between your fingers, cut the butter into the flour and continue until the mixture is crumbly and looks like the size of peas.






You can also pulse in a food processor. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, mixing in between additions (or pulse). You'll notice that a solid piece of dough is forming. If the mixture is still dry and crumbly add another tablespoon of water. The dough is ready when it holds together without crumbling. Best if refrigerated for about an hour.Shape into a ball and flatten slightly. Try not to overwork this dough with your hands. A quick knead is fine, but your hands give off heat and if you handle it too much it will lose the tenderness and flakiness that makes pie dough so good!




PUMPKIN PIE 101

Recipe for CRUST 101
1 16 oz. Can packed pumpkin
pinch of salt
1 ¾ c whipping cream
3 egg yolks
1 egg
zest of one orange
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out pie dough on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Gently lift the dough to cover the pie plate and press in the dough so that it's completely flat against the pie plate. Trim the extra crust and leave at least one inch of crust on the edges. Tuck the extra crust under and press the edges with the tine of a fork to make a decorative border. Place pie dough in the freezer while you make the filling.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes. You can tell it's done when a knife, inserted into the center of the pie, comes out clean. Cool and serve with Cinnamon whipped cream.

I wish the picture of these pies had turned out a bit better. I can tell you they were sure yummy!



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Viruses

My computer received a special little virus via an e-mail last week and unfortunately has been quite ill. I hope to pick it up at the shop later today. And I have been dealing with a virus of my own. So needless to say: due to the excessive amount of viruses inhabiting my home, I have been unable to post anything for a week. But I have some great stuff for you...so check in Thursday for the first selection of a great Thanksgiving menu.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Do You Eat When You Are Starving To Death?

Ok, ok, please no comments or e-mails about the children starving in Africa...I know- and I really do care. However, I am in the middle of my mid-Tuesday crisis. You see, every year (about this time) I get a little panicky. Why you ask? Well, unlike most women who go through this little panic state in the spring due to the fact they have a swimsuit to slip on in a few weeks......I worry about my ski boots! Yes, I said ski boots, and especially pants. I hate to wear those bulky bibs, and they make such cute pants...but the cute pants are not made for a fatty little rump. So, really, I live for the snow...I know something could really be wrong with me...but I do. But as I age (of course I do not age at the same rate as the rest of you (ha, ha), I notice that skiing becomes a little more difficult if I am not in prime condition. And man ski boots feels so much better when you are in shape. Thus, the reason I am hungry (took me a little long to get to the point) back to the sensible diet and daily exercise routine......but I am soooo hungry.
Just the mere talk of chocolate cake with a decadent frosting sends me into a tailspin. And I swear, when I am watching what I eat...it seems that all I can do is watch what others eat! One of the worst things about being adept at cooking for me is that I always crave a multi ingredient snack (that means I get bored with apples, celery, and carrots). That is were I get into trouble. So I am reaching out to you, my silent friends of the cyber world...what do you sensibly snack on?

Cupcake Street Credential Part II

Old Mac Donald had a farmm E-I-E-I-O and on this farm he had some




HORSES! E-I-E-I-OOOOOO


These were a pain in the hind end. But were a big hit with my five year old cowgirl.




Don't you just love cupcakes!


Cupcake Street Credential Part II

Old Mac Donald had a farmm E-I-E-I-O and on this farm he had some

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In A Nut Shell

This is an actual conversation conducted this morning at 6:45 a.m.

Son: "I have a question" (yawn)
Me: "What?"
Son: "If I had a shell right here in my hand (holding his palm out) and I put a nut in the shell....what would happen if lightning struck the shell in my hand?"
Me: (blank stare) "What?"
Son: "If I had a shell right here in my hand (holding his palm out) and I put a nut in the shell....what would happen if lightning struck the shell in my hand?"
Me: (blank stare) "Why?" (I know, you should never answer a question with a question)
Son: "I just need to know."
Me: "I think you would die"
Son: (blank stare)
Me: ".......because you got hit by lightening......"
Son: "oh yea right....but would the shell crack?"
Me: "I think you watch too much Sponge Bob Square Pants."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dancing With The Stars Try Outs

I soooo wanted to be on Dancing With The Stars...so I worked out this great routine and sent it in. I don't understand why they didn't cast me...so I kept calling the producers and they just didn't return my calls?!! I don't know I guess they jsut aren't interested in MY kind of talent...I guess I'll just stick to cooking.....


Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Italian Shortbreads with Peaches and Raspberry Coulis

Well, this may be my last "summer" recipe....yes, I know that I am holding on way too hard to summer , but I am just not ready for winter yet. This recipe is great. It is super easy and very impressive. Right now peaches are ideal to fill the shortbreads with, but if you can find any great berries, they would be good too.



ITALIAN SHORTBREAD

¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups pastry flour
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups corn meal
2 ½ Tablespoons baking powder
3 cups cream
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients by hand. Add in cream and mix in well. Shape into balls just smaller than a baseball. Roll in melted butter and then in sugar. Chill for at least 30minutes on parchment paper.
Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets for 20-25 minutes at 350.
4 balls to a tray- staggered. Shortbread are finished when they are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.



RASPBERRY COULIS

1 (10-oz) package frozen raspberries in syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Purée raspberries with syrup, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids.




Now, to serve this, you will need some good vanilla bean ice cream, fresh fruit (preferably), and some fresh whipped cream (don't even think that you can top this with Cool Whip!). Cut the fresh fruit up and toss with half of the coulis. Slice the shortbread and fill with icecream, whipped cream, and fuit. Drizzle with coulis. Enjoy...while you pull your winter sweaters out of storage.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Summer Sendoff

Goodbye dear summer, goodbye warm breezes and bumblebees. Farewell fragrant blooms and sweet vine ripe tomatoes. Hello jack frost, frozen garden and endless leaves. Greetings snow boots and wool hats, flu shots and crock pots....Alas summer is gone. Now you know why I cook, I am not much of a poet!
I grew up on this tasty dish. My mom would make it whenever she has a zucchini about to take over the garden. It bears the taste of spaghetti but has so much more to offer nutritionally. I prefer to make it in my electric skillet, but it can be made in a skillet on the stove top. It is fantastic with just ground beef, or can be made vegetarian or with half sausage. You can also layer both eggplant and zucchini if you wish. I love a bow tie pasta with it, but any pasta will do.

FARM STAND PASTA

2 lbs. ground beef or 1 lb. ground beef and 1 lb. pork sausage
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
4 large tomatoes, chopped
3 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced (or small zucchini and small eggplant}
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
fresh basil, and oregano
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons stone ground mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/3 cup Parmesan, shredded
In a skillet, fry the onion, garlic, bell pepper, ground beef, and sausage until browned.

Toss in the tomatoes, sauce, mushrooms, and corn. Add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about ten minutes.


Top off with slices of zucchini (and eggplant).

Cover and let cook on low-medium for 30 minutes.


Sprinkle with fresh herbs and cheeses.

Cover again until cheese melts.



Serve over your choice of pasta.


ENJOY! Serve with a great green salad and fresh bread. Let me know how it turned out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cupcake Street Credentials



People always ask me what my favorite thing to do is. The answer: frost cakes,cupcakes, and cookies. I don't know why, but it's totally my thing. I have always admired my mother's and older brother's extensive artistic skills and wished I could draw something other than fabulous stick figures. I was pleasantly pleased to find that although I am not especially artistic or crafty (NO,I DO NOT SCRAPBOOK)that I am surprisingly good at decorating sugary items. So, occasionally I will post some of my creations. Occasionally, because I am slightly obsessive when it comes to my confectionery creations and it takes me long after the creation to admit they turned out well (I know, I am ridiculous. Anyway here is the first instalment:
The dogs featured in this pic are actually charactictures of my family's dogs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Recent Graduate From Man School

Remember when I posted (Hurry And Sign Your Men Up Now! *labled Funny stuff)the weekend classes that men could take to improve themselves? (I consider spreading the word my civic duty) Well, this fellow is a recent graduate...recently matriculated back into the population to carry on a relationship with a woman. He was so moved by his experience in these classes that he himself became a teacher...and has chosen his mode for teaching would be through music....
Another example of the fact MEN DO KNOW WHAT THEY SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT SAY! Sometimes I think they just play stupid. (except for you honey...if you're reading this :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

I love comfort food. And Peter Brady would love this one! It has been raining here for two days...I love the rain, I love the way the smoke smells wafting from the chimneys on a crisp morning, and I love the look of the shiny colorful leaves soaked and pressed to the sidewalk. This time of the year screams comfort food. So, needless to say, this will be the first of many installments of my favorite comfort foods. I love a good pulled pork sandwich, however, I get bored with barbecue sauce on everything. So I took the old idea of "Pork Chops and Applesauce" and slow roasted it and served it on soft potato rolls. See what you think. This works great in a crock pot-but I do like to brown that meat a bit, it makes the flavor so much better.
What is comfort food to you? I'd love to know.

APPLE ROASTED PULLED PORK

4 lb. pork shoulder
3 large apples
2 cups apple cider
1 cup apple sauce
1 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and Dijon in a bowl. Add just enough apple cider that it makes a paste. Rub onto the pork and place in a un- greased baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until a crust forms. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees and pour the apple cider in the dish with the meat. ( be careful adding liquid to a hot dish-you don't want it to shatter.) Also slice the apples thinly and place in the dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 3 hours. Add the apple sauce and serve.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake


OK, so we got hungry and ate her.

PEAR ZUCCHINI CAKE


2 tablespoons butter
2 large pears, ripe, coarsely chopped
1 cup grated zucchini
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a bunt cake pan.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the pears, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the cinnamon. Set aside until needed.
Whisk together the yogurt and the remaining sugar in a large bowl, until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Combine the flour and baking soda, then add the oil and eggs, whisking well after each addition. Stir the pear pieces and zucchini into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Set on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

"Pear"rental Supervision Required

Too much time on our hands?...maybe. My mom and I found this pear and couldn't resist giving it a makeover. It looked like it was wearing a thong. So we gave it a breast enhancement as well as a head. I know I will regret posting this in the morning!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good Burger

What do you do with leftover salmon? Well, I like to make salmon burgers. This is definitely one of my family's favorite dishes. In this recipe I serve it over fresh Foccacia with a BBQ aioli, but often times I will bypass the bread and serve it solo with a yummy sauce instead. Because you are using already cooked salmon, this makes this an absolutely time saving dish. The recipe for the yummy corn wheels is posted under Center Stage Side Dish and is definitely something you should try before corn goes out of season int he next few weeks. I would love to hear from those of you who try it out.


SALMON BURGERS
12 oz salmon, cooked
½ cup chili sauce
¼ cup onion, diced
¼ cup red pepper, diced
2 eggs
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
1 lemon, zest and juice
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves

Combine all of the ingredients together, meatloaf style. Make sure to blend everything together well. Form into patties. Spray the patties with cooking spray and then place on a hot grill. Cook until hot throughout.

HERB FOCCACIA

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
5 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F). Let stand 5 minutes until foamy. Add remaining water, flour and salt. Add garlic, oregano, rosemary and parsley, and beat until dough forms.
Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise in warm place 1 hour or until doubled. Punch dough down and knead a few times. Return to oiled bowl, cover and rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
After dough has risen the second time, press air out and divide in half. On a floured surface, roll each half into a 9 x12-inch rectangle. Place on prepared baking sheets and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Thanks to Joni Marshall and Yvette Jones for the great pictures.