Monday, June 21, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

Paula Deen's Blue Berry Muffin Recipe

Followed the recipe exactly. Decided to spring white sugar on the tops of the muffins :) I got 19 muffins out of the recipe

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Half and Half Cookies

Remember these cookies from our Spanish themed party a few weeks ago?

Several people asked me to get the recipe so here it is :)

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 12oz package semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add egg yolks, water, and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix well. Pat out onto a greased 11X16 jelly roll pan, and sprinkle with chocolate morsels.

Meringue Topping

1 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites

Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until foamy; gradually add brown sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue evenly over chocolate morsels. Bake at 350 about 25 minutes or until done.

Cut into squares

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

The party we went to today had BBQ pork, brisket, coleslaw, rice and beans, potato salad, fruit salad etc. To go with the BBQ type food my husband decided to make jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins. These were made in mini muffin tins.

Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread Mini-Muffins
makes ~84 mini-muffins (7 dozen)


* 2 (8 ounce) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 (8 or 8.5 ounce) can cream-style corn
* 8 ounces sour cream
* 6 large jalapenos, diced
* 8oz sharp cheddar, shredded coarsely


1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Beat eggs. Gently blend in milk, sour cream and corn, then the cornbread mix.
3. Gently fold in the cheese and jalapenos.
4. Bake in greased mini-muffin tins for 11 minutes, or until edges are browned. Allow to cool on pan for a couple minutes before turning them onto a cooling rack. Re-grease/spray pans between batches.

If you'd like to skip the mini-muffin pan and use a regular sheet cake pan, you'll need to more than double the bake time and check it with a toothpick before taking it out (though some moisture will pull on the toothpick due to the cheese and creamed corn, so don't be fooled).

Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

We went berry picking yesterday and black raspberries are in season.
I made a chocolate kahlua cheesecake with a black raspberry ribbon for a party we went to today. This cheesecake has a lot of steps.

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Raspberry Sauce Ingredients
2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Raspberry Sauce Directions
Puree berries in a blender of food processor. Press through a sieve into a measuring cup; discard berries into another cup. Add water to seed and press through sieve again. Add water to berries in measuring cup if necessary to measure 1 cup of berry juice. In a sauce pan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in raspberry juice; bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let sauce cool

Crust Ingredients
2 cups Oreo cookies, crushed
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

Crust Directions
Combine crust ingredients to make crust; press into bottom and up sides of a greased 9 inch spring form pan. Chill 1 hour or until firm.

Cheesecake Filling
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup Kahlua
2 tablespoons butter
3 packages (8 ounce) cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites
3/4 cup whipping cream

Cheesecake Filling Directions
In small saucepan, over medium heat, melt chocolate with Kahlua and butter; stir until smooth. Set aside.
In bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Add egg whites; beat on low.
Stir in cream.
Gradually blend in chocolate mixture.
Pour half of the cheesecake filling into the prepared crust.
Spoon all of the raspberry sauce on top spreading it out with a spoon to cover the chocolate cheesecake filling.
Then pour the rest of the cheesecake filling into the pan covering the raspberry sauce.
Bake 40-50 minutes or until filling is barely set in center.
Remove from oven and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
Then refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Bridal Shower Sugar Cookies

I went to a bridal shower a few weekends ago. It was hosted by my mom so she made sugar cookies and I decorated them just like we did for my friend's baby shower.

I decorated these in a hurry. I did them after work and before my brother's deck party. I almost died when I saw that she had made heart cookies with a heart cut out of the middle because then I needed to outline each cookie twice.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Onion Rings and Smothered Pork Chops

We have a hit and a miss here for dinner tonight.

I wanted a breaded smothered in gravy pork chop.
I tried this recipe
It was not successful. The cooking time was also WAY under for the chops I bought. I ended up sticking it in the oven to finish cooking
Adding buttermilk to the thickened gravy just made it watery again. I don't understand the reasoning behind that step. I wasn't impressed with the end result with the gravy.

For onion rings I followed this recipes ingredient list and technique.
I seasoned the flour with the same seasonings except I only have black pepper instead of white at home.
My husband did the dipping method, flour mix, then buttermilk, then back in the flour.
He heated vegetable oil in our electric wok and fried away.
I ground some sea salt on top while they were hot
They were great! Very flaky.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Annual Summer Party-Spanish theme

We had so much food yesterday for our annual summer house party that I do not have photos for all of it.

I will start with my personal contribution. I doubled the recipe and got about 60 empanadas. I also used store bought pie crusts. I loved the result and honestly it took me several hours just to make the filling, cut the circles in the dough, fill them and bake them.

Beef and Potato Empanadas

2 medium potatoes, boiled for 5 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chile powder
3/4 teaspoon round cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Grate the potatoes and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up as it cooks. Add potatoes, onion, spices and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until ingredients are soft. Cool.

Served with Chimichurri Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
2 minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced basil, thyme or oregano, or mixture
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend. Let set for at least 2 hours before serving.

The grated potato and onions and seasoning

Ground meat

The ingredients stirred together and heated until the onions and potatoes softened

After filling and baking

The sauce ingredients. I picked basil from my own yard! I have three types of basil growing this year

Onto the dishes my husband made with my assistance

Patatas Bravas (I diced all those potatoes and pureed the rasted red peppers with the onion)

Spanish Chicken with Potatoes (I washed the potatoes, dumped seasoning into a bowl, and cut lemons)

Mixed greens with pear, manchego cheese, and a homemade lemon vinaigrette
(I washed the greens and ripped them into pieces)

We had lots of Sangria but I only have a photo of the fruit. I took the brandy soaked fruit out of the bowl and put it into our pitchers. That is the end of my food contributions to this party!

Shrimp were grilled by my husband

Chorizo sausage were grilled. My dad actually manned the grill for these guys for us. Next to the sausage is the only Spanish cheese I found at Harris Teeter. It had a rosemary crust and was really good. Also in the tray but not photographed were a blue cheese, another soft cheese, and serrano ham.

I happen to be related to chefs of these next selections but I had no hand in the making of these yummy items :)

Yellow Rice made by my mom

Texas Sheet Cake made by my mom

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies made by my mom

My aunt made Half and Half Cookies. I am going to get the recipe! Yum

My sister-in-law made these brownies

Lastly, my oldest friend Jill made this potato tortilla and garlic mayo. It tasted AMAZING

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

It was my co-worker and friend's birthday over Memorial weekend. She told me she really wanted a chocolate chip cake. I told her I had never made one before and asked her to describe it. She said it could be made in a loaf pan or bunt pan and it didn't usually have frosting.

I looked up chocolate chip pound cakes.

Here is the recipe I used.
I did make the glaze but I would change the glaze recipe the next time around. If you want to top this cake I think I'd just melt chocolate chips with butter. I wouldn't fool around with the milk and powdered sugar.

Greek Pitas

I roasted a boneless leg of lamb weeks ago. Then I made some rice to go with it, bought some pitas (that didnt have a pocket) and my husband made tzatziki sauce.

The lamb was fantastic. I highly recommend the Harris Teeter pre seasoned boneless leg of lamb. It was so good I couldn't stop cutting pieces off and just eating them.

The rice was a Rice o Roni type packet.

The odd pitas that I cut in half with a serrated knife.