Monday, December 29

Fluffy Almond Doughnut

As you have noticed, we are a baked good household. From muffins in the morning, to cupcakes at night, almost all of our sweets or treats are made from scratch right here in my own kitchen. I try to rotate recipes often, especially with breakfast foods to create a variety and deviation from the norm. This is a recipe I create completely by accident when I grabbed the almond extract instead of the lemon extract and poured it into the batter. Not wanting to dump the batter my lemon poppy seed doughnuts became almond doughnuts, and to this day are a family favorite.

Full time 1 hour (includes cooling time)
Makes 6 doughnuts

The needs-

1 egg
1 cup flour, slightly heaping
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

For glaze-
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/2-1 tsp hot water

For topping-
Festive sprinkles or sugar

The know-

Preheat oven to 325' and lightly spray you doughnut pan with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl combine egg, milk, butter, and almond extract.

Add in sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

Add in flour.

Move batter into a pastry bag to help ease pan filling.

Evenly fill each doughnut well, roughly half way.

Bake in oven 7-11 minutes or until even in color and doughnut puffs back up when lightly pressed with a finger.

Allow to cool in pan 2 minutes.

Flip onto wire rack and allow to cool completely before glazing.

To glaze-combine chocolate chips, butter, corn syrup in a microwave proof bowl.

Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir vigorously.

Microwave in 15 second increments until mixture becomes fully melted stirring vigorously each time.

Add in 1/2 tsp water, stirring to create a thick and smooth texture. Adding more water only if needed.

Dip doughnuts.

Sprinkle across your topping and allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.


Saturday, December 27

Mexican Savory Turkey Skillet

Simple easy and highly flavorful dinners is the way my family likes to eat. Take this perfect example loaded with flavor, cooks in under 20 minutes and is made with just ten ingredients! Top with a little sour cream, serve alongside yellow rice or rice and beans and you have the perfect quick weeknight meal.

Full time 20 minutes
Serves 4

The needs-

1 lb. turkey cutlets, thin sliced (scallopini)
2 limes
1 large red onion, diced large
1 yellow or orange bell pepper (diced large)
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, roughly 6 sprigs, chopped large
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp Adobo seasoning
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin powder

The know-

In a deep saute pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat.

Add in onions and peppers, cooking 3-5 minutes to soften the vegetables.

Add in butter and increase the heat to high.

While this sautes, slice turkey cutlets into 1" strips and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add in remaining olive oil, Adobo, cumin, and sugar.

Toss or stir to coat turkey fully.

Push vegetables to outside edge of pan.

Add in turkey.

Allow pan to come back to temperature 1-2 minutes. And then stir pan regularly for 10 minutes or until meat has evenly cooked.

Slice and juice one lime into the pan along with cilantro.

Cook 1-2 minutes just to wilt the cilantro. Move to serving platter and serve immediately.


Thursday, December 25

Easy Morning Cinnamon Buttered Biscuits

This recipe is a quick fix, turning everyday biscuit mix into a sweet and tasty breakfast treat. You can either start with homemade biscuit dough or store bought. Putting breakfast on the table in under 20 minutes!

Full time 15 minutes
Makes 8 biscuits

The needs-

One batch homemade or store bought biscuit dough for 8 biscuits
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar lightly packed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

The know-

Preheat oven to 350' and lightly coat a large round baker in cooking spray or vegetable shortening.

Mix biscuit dough as package or recipe calls for and divide into eight equal pieces.

Roll each piece lightly into a ball and place into baker. Placing one in the center and seven around the outside.

In a small bowl place softened butter and heat in microwave 15 seconds, just to get it hot you do not want it to full melt.

Let it sit in the bowl for 2-3 minutes a just stir gently to help it continue to melt.

Add in brown sugar and cinnamon, stirring until butter has melted fully and brown sugar has dissolved.

Brush mixture liberally over biscuits, reserving a small amount for later.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

Once baked, brush remaining butter mixture over biscuits and allow to rest 5-8 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, December 23

Lemon Cake Baked Doughnuts

Looking for a little morning pick me up? How about a break away from the normal morning meal? Here is a great bakery style doughnut sure to fit all your tasty morning needs!

Full time 1 1/2 hour (includes cooling time)
Makes 6 crullers or 12 doughnuts

The needs-

2 eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
*for extra fun add in 1/4 cup poppy seeds

For topping:
1 cup confectionery sugar

The know-

Preheat oven to 325 and lightly spray your doughnut/cruller pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, milk, butter, and lemon extract.

Add in sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Add in flour.

Spoon batter evenly into pan, roughly half way full.

Bake in oven 18-20 minutes or until an even golden color is formed.

Remove from oven and let cool in 2 minutes.

Flip out of pan and let cool 30 minutes before coating.

To coat with confectionery sugar, pour sugar onto a rimmed plate.

Roll cruller in sugar, you may need to use your hand to slightly rub it on, this will create a base coat for remaining sugar to stick to.

Set aside on a serving platter, continue with remaining doughnuts.


Monday, December 22

Turkey Chili

Chili is a winter staple in my diet. There are various types, flavors, textures that can be found in a bowl of chili. Even better, you can make it in one and walk away.

You can easily modify a chili based on your own favorite flavors. I use turkey in mine, but you can use beef, chicken, pork...your choice. Also, this recipe isn't particularly spicy but feel free to kick it up a notch or two!

This will serve 4
Full time: 45-50 minutes
You will need:

1/2 lb. ground turkey
14 oz canned diced tomatoes with juice
8 oz red kidney beans, rinsed
1 bell pepper diced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup turkey or chicken stock
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Let us begin:

In a large pot mix all ingredients, push the tomatoes around hard so the smash up

Heat over medium heat to a boil, approx 10 minutes

Lower heat to low, cover and let cook 30 minutes or until turkey is cooked through

Serve hot with sour cream for a great meal!

Friday, December 19

Oven Baked Hotdog Picnic Packets

Yes, hotdogs in the Winter. As a New England cook, winter months lack the fun grilled flavors of the summer. Every once in a while we like to do family picnic night. I lay a large blanket in front of the fireplace, we roast marshmallows and make s'mores right in the fireplace. And it always starts with my oven roasted picnic packets, all the flavors of the summer in one easy to clean bundle!

Full time 1 hour 
Serves 4

The needs-

8 hot dogs, not frozen
4 medium potatoes, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup BBQ sauce*can be left off if desired 
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

Preheat oven to 350' and measure out 4 pieces of aluminum foil 16" each.

Fold 4" of foil up on either side and place foil onto baking sheets, 2 per sheet.

In a large mixing bowl toss potatoe wedges in olive oil and tsp salt.

Place 8 wedges into the center of each foil piece.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes, rotating sheets top to bottom half way through.

Check potatoes for softness, potatoes should be pierced with a fork easily when gently poked.

Carefully remove sheets and place on top of heat resistant surface.

Place one hot dog on either side of potato wedges.

Sprinkle over remaining salt and pepper.

Top potato wedges with BBQ sauce.

Sprinkle over shredded cheese.

Carefully fold foil together to create a tent around potatoes and hot dogs, do not flatten or cheese will stick.

Return to oven and cook 10 minutes. Rotate sheets half way through top to bottom.

Remove from oven and carefly transfer one packet to a dish. 

Carefully open top to avoid steam burns, serve right on foil.


Tuesday, December 16

Indian Inspired Roasted Pumpkin or Squash

This versatile squash recipe is a great way to showcase any member of the squash family and spice up these amazing vegetables. I first tried this dish in Kusadasi-did you know that pumpkins/squash are grown on every continent successfully (except Antarctica)!

Full time 1 hour
Serves 4-8

The needs-

2 lb sugar pumpkin, cut into 8 wedges
2 acorn squashes, cut into 4 wedges each
2 butternut squashes, cut into 4 segments each
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp red chili powder

The know-

Preheat oven to 400' and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Lay squash wedges on baking sheet.

Using a brush liberally coat surface of squash with olive oil, ensure all meat has been coated.

In a small bowl combine spices.

Dust tops of oiled squash with spice blend.

Bake in oven for 45-55 minutes or until squash is easily pierced with a fork.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.


Friday, December 12

Caramelized Sweet Potato Casserole

Every year around the holidays people start asking for my sweet potato casserole recipe. Which is a bit of a question as I actually have two:

First-There is the standard sweet potato casserole almost every American grew up on, which uses canned yams and marshmallows you can find that recipe here:

Second: Is the one I actually make at the holiday, mine uses fresh whipped sweet potatoes which I caramelize in brown butter before baking them. This recipe takes a tad more time, but trust me when I say. If you want a great tasting spin on the original, this is the way to go.

Full time 1 hour (includes boiling potatoes)
Serves 6-8 (easily multiples)

The needs-

2 lbs sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter-cold
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-2 tsp all spice (depends on your families spice preference)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white ground pepper

For baking:
3 cups miniature marshmallows OR
16 large marshmallows cut in half
1 tsp cinnamon

The know-

Side note-If you want to you can peel you potatoes, I do not.

Cut potatoes into 1" pieces and place them into a large pot. Fill pot with enough water to cover 1" above potatoes and add a salt to water (not included in ingredients).

Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat and allow to cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350'.

Drain potatoes into a colander and return pot to stove top. Lower heat to medium-low.

Melt butter in pot along with brown sugar, do not touch pot or stir, just let it melt. Watch carefully to avoid scorching.

Once the butter has fully melted, swirl the pot gently to combine the brown sugar and butter, this will create a bubbling foam, place pot back on heat from a minutes.

Remove pot from heat and place on a heat resistant surface which is non-slip.

Add in all-spice, 1 tsp salt, and pepper.

Add potatoes into the pot and mash until they are a soft/even texture.

Taste potatoes, if they are too sweet add in remaining salt to adjust your seasoning, a little at a time.

Carefully pour potatoes into a 8" baking dish and smooth with a spatula.

Sprinkle over cinnamon and top with marshmallows.

Bake in oven 5-8 minutes or until marshmallows begin to golden and have puffed up.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.