Tuesday, May 27

Churro Bites with Cream Cheese Drizzle

I first had these at a friends house, I asked how she made them and she told me the same. She had them at a friends house, so I will be honest I have no idea where these come from. But they are fun, easy, and crowd pleasing. They smack of carnival nostalgia, fried foods, and friends! Each bite is a little piece of tasty heaven.

Full time: 40 minutes (includes cool to serve time)
Serves 6-8

You will need:

1 loaf angle food cake (or cake if you can't find loaf)
1 container cream cheese frosting
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon

Vegetable oil for frying

Let us begin:

The most important part behind this recipe is to have everything setup and ready to go before you begin cooking.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a cooling rack on top of it.

In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon, set aside.

Start by slicing the angle food cake into 1/2" square pieces.

Fill a heavy bottom saute pan with oil 1" deep and heat oil over medium high heat. You will know the oil is ready when a piece sizzles around the edges when placed into oil.

Once oil is ready to fry, add in roughly 8-10 pieces. You will only need to fry each side for 15-20 seconds and then rotate each piece over.

The pieces will become golden and crisp on the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the cooling rack.

Continue with remaining pieces. Once all the cake pieces are fried you need to let them cool for a few moments.

Add cooled pieces into the large bowl with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Toss the pieces in the mixture to fully coat.

Move coated pieces to a serving platter.

Place frosting into a heat proof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to make it soft and pour-able.

Liberally drizzle frosting over the fried coated bites and serve immediately.


Sunday, May 25

HOW TO: Make Buffalo Pizza

(shown with sausage)
Buffalo pizza is slowly becoming a widely spread and very popular pizza. Made with a slightly thicker buffalo sauce, to prevent running, this pizza has kick in every bite! Found often with chicken chunks or sausage chunks, this pizza is also becoming a household favorite in my house!

Making pizza is a very easy thing to do, the trick to a perfect pizza is to part cook the crust before topping it. Unless you a have a fancy pizza stone or a pizza oven, precooking will allow the crust to get the right texture and not be doughy in the middle when serving. this pizza takes 20 minutes to make and will serve three to four people.

To begin making this pizza preheat your oven to 425' and gently spraying a baking sheet with cooking spray. Now you a going to gently stretch your pizza dough out to form a 11" x 15" rectangle, if your lucky you have a baking tray the same size and you can just go right to the edges. You can use homemade dough, store bought dough, or even canned pizza dough to do this. It will all be the same.

Now your going to part cook the dough to get it nice a ready for your toppings. place dough in the oven and set a timer for 5-8 minutes, you want the crust to have a golden color just beginning to develop on the bottom edges. While this cooks lets get the toppings ready.

You are going to need:

1 1/2 cup diced chicken or sausage
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
3 tbsp Frank's hot sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Let's start by making the sauce. In a small bowl melt butter in the microwave. once melted mix in hot sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Once the sauce is made and crust is ready, lets build a pizza!

Evenly pour and coat sauce over the crust.

Spread diced chicken or sausage over sauce.

Spread shredded mozzarella cheese across the top of the pizza.

Return to pizza for another 5-8 minutes or until cheese has turn golden and crust is a nice even dark golden color.

Slice, serve, and cheers!

Friday, May 23

MAKE IT: Marshmallow Cream (fluff)

Fluff is as tape baking ingredient in several recipes I use often. And although I always have a jar of fluff in my house for sandwiches, I actually always make homemade for baking. I found this recipe on another baking site and I am now sharing it with you. You can easily use this for sandwiches as well just store in your refrigerator and give a stir before using, it stays good for a week or can be frozen for longer.

Full time 20 minutes
Makes 7oz or 2 cups

You will need:

1 egg white at room temperature
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Let us begin:

In a large bowl combine egg white, corn syrup, and salt. 

Using a mixer, mix on high for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture becomes thickened and doubles in size.

Add in powdered sugar and mix at low speed until combined.

Add in vanilla extract and mix at low speed until blended.

Mixture should be stiff enough to hold on to a spatula, but still loose and spreadable.

Move mixture into a seal-able container and store. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 21

BAKE IT: Chocolate Filled Croissants

Filled croissants are an easy and simple pastry. Perfect for brunches, gatherings, or fun family breakfasts. This recipe can easily be adapted for any filled croissant.

Makes 12 croissants
Full time 45 minutes (includes mold cooling time) 

You will need:

1 package or 2 sheets puff pastry
96 milk chocolate baking melts
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp sugar

Let us begin:

Preheat your oven to 400'.

On a cutting board lay out one sheet of puff pastry. You will notice some fold marks when you lay it out.

Use these marks as a guide line to easily cut dough into three strips.

Cut across center of sheet to create six even pieces.

Approximately 1 1/2" from top lay a line of 4 baking melts, slightly overlapping them.

Pull edge of pastry up and over the melts, you may need to stretch a bit, that is okay. Gently press down to ensure the pastry stays sealed.

Lay a second line of baking melts right in the seam.

Fold remaining edge over and gently press to seal.

Place pastries seam side down on baking tray.

Liberally brush with melted butter and sprinkle over sugar.

Repeat with remain ingredients. 

Bake in oven 18-24 minutes or until a nice golden color forms.

Allow to cool on tray for 15 minutes before serving, cheers!

Sunday, May 18

Perfectly Simple Garlic Butter Sauce

(shown over shrimp)

Looking for a simple, but tasty, easy to make but can be served over an assortment of dishes sauce? Look no further than this super simple garlic butter sauce. It can be made in under 8 minutes-it can be served over variety of pastas or seafood, and even roasted chicken! 

Full time 8 minutes
Serves 4

You will need: 

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter
1/2 tbsp mince garlic or 1 clove crushed
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Let us begin:

In a small sauce pot melt butter over medium high heat until it has melted and begun to turn opaque, approximately 4 minutes.

Add in all remaining ingredients and stir gently to incorporate.

Reduce heat to simmer and cook 1-2 minutes.

Pour over dish of your choice, serve* and cheers!

*If needed, you can keep this on the range with heat off until ready to serve, if butter begins to solidify just turn heat to lowest setting possible.

Friday, May 16

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

I love twice baked potatoes, they are often the perfect accompaniment to any meal. This easy to make sweet potato version allows for a great savory but satisfyingly sweet spin!

Full time 45 minutes (does not include first baking of potatoes)
Serves 4-6

You will need:

4 medium sweet potatoes, baked until forkable and slightly cooled(save time by getting Potat-OHs)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup miniature marshmallows, cut in half
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice 
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Let us begin:

Preheat you oven to 400' and lightly grease 4-6 small ramekins, set them in a baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl place your baked potatoes.

Mash well and pull out any large pieces of skin which refuse to mash down.

Add in butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Stir well to full incorporate flavors.

Move mixture into a large plastic bag and snip off one corner.

Use bag to pipe potato mixture into your prepared ramekins.

Top with remaining brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until top brown sugar is almost completely melted.

Add on marshmallow pieces and switch oven over to broil. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until marshmallows puff and golden.

Carefully remove from oven and serve immediately, warning use tongs to retrieve and move ramekins they will be extremely hot, cheers!

Tuesday, May 13

Herb and Mustard Roasted Pork Roast

I cannot take 100% credit for this one, it was actually inspired by a diner near me. They do a roasted pork chop with a Djion butter sauce. I loved the taste so much, I figured out how to make it at home for my family. It was an instant hit for Sunday dinner or family gatherings. If you wanted to use this on a weeknight, go ahead just use pork chops instead!

Full time 45-60 minutes
Serves 4-6

You will need:

1 1/2 to 2 lb. pork roast
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp chopped sage
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 dried thyme

Let us begin:

Preheat your oven to 350' and place the roast into a baking dish. Pat surface dry with a paper towel and drizzle across the olive oil. Season surface with salt and pepper.

Bake roast in oven for 35-40 minutes or until it reaches 160' on a meat thermometer.

While the pork begins to roast you will want to get the butter sauce ready. In a small bowl mix all ingredients until well combined.

Stick this in your freezer until your ready to use it, it will begin to congeal, this is what you want it to do.

Once pork reaches and internal temperature of 165', remove it carefully from oven and pour butter sauce lovingly across the top of it.

Return to the oven cook for an additional 8-10 minutes or until it reaches 170' on a meat thermometer.

Remove from oven, slice, serve, and cheers!

Sunday, May 11

HOW TO: Make Caesar Dressing (no raw egg)

I love to serve ceasar salads when guests come over. They are simple, present well, and have a resturant quality to them: in fact I always think they make the meal feel more formal. Ceasar dressing is one of the easiest things to make and althought the classic recipe calls for raw eggs, I choose to substitute as small amount of mayonnaise instead. 

Full time 5-10 minutes
Serves 4

You will need:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp mayonnaise 
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Let us begin:

Add all ingredients except olive oil to a personal food processor (or sealable jar).

Pulse (or seal and shake) until all ingredients are well blended, roughly 10-15 seconds.

Slowly drizzle in olive oil and pulse just to add in or emulsify mixture, roughly 10 seconds.

Drizzle over a bed of fresh romaine lettuce, top with croutons, and fresh shaved Parmesan. Cheers!