Tuesday, July 29

Lemon Pan Seared Scallops and Pasta

Perfect for a mid summer's night when you want a filling meal to enjoy on the patio! This dish incorporates pan seared scallops, a simple lemon sauce, and pasta to create one easy but eye catching meal.

Full time 20 minutes
Serves 3-4

The needs-

1 1/2 lb. Sea scallops, cleaned
1/2 lb. Small shaped pasta (I am using Orecchiette)
2 lemon or 1/2 cup lemon juice
1 shallot, diced fine
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp Parmesan grated cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil, sliced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

Prepare pasta according to package, once cooked set aside for a moment.

In a medium bowl place scallops, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to fully coat scallops with oil and seasoning.

Heat a heavy bottom saute pan over medium high heat.

Once pan is hot, carefully place scallops in a single layer into pan.

Sear for 4-5 minutes.

Flip over and sear additional 3-4 minutes or until scallops have developed a nice even white color.

Remove from pan to dish and allow to rest 2-3 minutes.

While these rest place 1 tbsp olive oil into pan and heat.

Once oil is hot add shallot and garlic to pan and sauté 3-5 minutes until shallot has become tender.

Add remaining olive oil, butter, and lemon juice into the pan. Allowing butter to fully melt and mixture to begin to bubble.

Once mixture bubble, turn off heat, and add pasta into the pan. Tossing to fully coat.

Add in 1 tbsp Parmesan and 1 tbsp basil, re toss to fully incorporate.

Move to serving plate, garnish dishes with remaining Parmesan and basil.

Serve alongside some bread and white wine, cheers!

Sunday, July 27

MAKE IT: Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Although, not my recipe (thank you YouTube Life Hacks) I am sharing this with everyone as I get asked often if it really works. These waffles are made with store bought cinnamon rolls, drizzled with frosting, are tons of fun and lots of yum!

Full time 30 minutes
Makes 4 waffles

The needs-

2 cans cinnamon rolls, 8 count with frosting

The know-

Preheat your waffle iron/maker and spray lightly with cooking spray.

While this heats, open the cans of cinnamon rolls. Set aside the frosting container and group your rolls into increments of four.

Once iron is heated. Place four rolls nestled into the center of your iron.

Close lid and press lightly down with handle 15 seconds.

Allow waffle to cook for 4 1/2-5 minutes.

Move to serving dish and continue with remaining rolls.

Once all rolls have become waffles move frosting into a microwave safe container.

Heat for 15-20 seconds on high and serve immediately drizzled over waffles.


Friday, July 25

TABLE FOR TWO: Italian Sausage Skillet

After a long day it is great to be able to enjoy a nice home cooked meal. But after a long day it is hard to want to cook a big meal, here is a great comfort dish that will do the trick. Hearty, filling, and extremely tasty an Italian skillet cooks in under 30 minutes, it is bound to leave you full and smiling!

Full time 25-30 minutes
Serves 2 (possibly 3)

The needs-

2 large white potatoes, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 lb. Italian sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 medium onion, diced into 1/2" pieces
1/4 cup chicken stock or water
1/4 cup Parmesan grated cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1-2 tsp garlic powder

The know-

In a large deep skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat.

Add in potatoes and spread out to form an even single layer the best you can.

Season with basil, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.Stirring well to fully incorporate.

Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes or until edges have begun to golden. 

Lower heat to medium and add stock into pan.

Allow to cook 10 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed before stirring.

Give a good stir and add onions into the pan, stir again to incorporate.

Add butter into pan and allow it to fully melt and absorb into potatoes and onions.

Push potatoes and onions to edges of pan and create a empty space in the middle. 

Add sausage to center of pan and cook 5-8 minutes or until sausage has begun to brown and cook through.

Stir sausage to incorporate into medley and continue cooking 5-8 minutes until sausage is completely cooked.
Sprinkle across Parmesan cheese and let it sit on top for a minute or two.

Give pan a good stir once you are ready to serve.

Remove from heat and move to serving plate, cheers!

Wednesday, July 23

MAKE IT: Confectionary Sugar

Yes, confectionery (or powdered sugar) can be made easily at home. It is actually a great pantry space saving solution, a great option for those who rarely use it, or perfect for the time you suddenly run out mid recipe. Here is the easy way to making confectionery sugar at home!

Full time 5-8 minutes
Makes 1 cup confectionery sugar

The needs-

1 cup granulated white sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch

The know-

In a blender, food processor, or personal mixer combine ingredients.

Pulse on low for 1-2 seconds to incorporate the cornstarch into the sugar.

Give it a quick shake.

Pulse on high in 20 second intervals until a light powder is formed.

Your done, store in air tight container or use. Cheers!

Monday, July 21

Polynesian Honey Mustard Dressing

One of my favorite summer time salad dressing comes from Polynesian cuisine. Taking the sweet tang of honey and blending it with a dash of dry mustard, this dressing is sure to make your salad sing. 

Full time 5-8 minutes
Makes 2 cups

The needs-

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard seed
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/3 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

In a blender (or processor) combine all ingredients except olive oil.

Blend 20-30 seconds until mixture is smooth and even in texture.

Add in 1/3 cup olive oil and blend 20-30 seconds to fully incorporate.

Add in 1/3 cup olive oil and blend 15-20 seconds to fully incorporate.

Add in remaining olive oil and blend 15-20 seconds to fully incorporate.

Adjust salt level if needed. Place in sealable container or pour into serving container, cheers!

Sunday, July 20

MAKE IT: Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies

Cosmic Brownies are by far one of the best "snack cakes" on the market. Thier signature look, texture, and heavily frosted body make for a wonderful treat! Easy to make these classics are really an interesting spin on a traditional brownie recipe. 

Full time 3-4 hours (multiple cooling times included)
Makes 15 brownies

The needs-

For Brownie Base: 
2 large eggs
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed lightly
2 tbsp coffee
2 tsp vanilla extract

For Ganache Style Frosting:
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

For Topping: 
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

The know-

Preheat oven to 350'. Line a 7" x 11" baking pan with aluminum foil and spray nicely with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, melted butter, coffee, and vanilla.

Whisk in coco powder, sugar, brown sugar, and whisk until fully blended.

Add in flour and fold/stir just to blend in.

Pour into prepared baking pan and bake 25-35 minutes or until firm to touch when you carefully press in center of pan.

Once cooked remove from oven and let cool 30-40 minutes before continuing on.

Once brownie is cooled, it will time to make the frosting/ganache top.

In a small saucepan heat heavy cream over medium heat or until edges just begin to bubble.

Once it bubbles, remove from heat and add in chips.

Stir very aggressively until chips are fully melted and smooth.

Pour evenly over brownie base and smooth out with a spatula.

Spread sprinkles out evenly over the top. Press lightly down on them if you are unsure of sticking.

Let cool for 1 hour in refrigerator to fully set.

Pull up on foil to easily remove it from pan.

Remove foil and place brownie onto cutting board.

Cut into 3 strips lengthwise.

Turn and cut into 5 strips width wise.

You officially have created Cosmic Brownies! Cheers!!!!

Thursday, July 17

MAKE IT: Marshmallows

Back in March of 2011, I featured a recipe for making marshmallows. Over the years I have fine tuned and modified the recipe.

I still say that this is my favorite melt away tasty treat to make is home-made marshmallows! And it is still so much fun to home, roast a marshmallow for a smores, dropping one in hot coco, or just eat one! But these days I found an easier way to do this and slightly modify the end product a tad! I am now going to share with you my updated marshmallow recipe!

Time: Either 6 hours in one day or 2 days with 1 hour hands on each day.
Makes 16oz marshmallows

You will need:

For gelatin base:
3 packages of KNOX, unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water

For Cream base:
2 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp clear extract (any flavor)
1/8 tsp salt

For pan:
1/2 cup confectionary sugar
2-3 tbsp butter

For Coating/cutting:
1 cup confectioners sugar or
Crystallized fine sugar or
Granulated sugar or
Powdered chocolate milk mix

Let us begin:
Day One/Part One-

Line a 9 x 13 with a silicone mat (or aluminum foil). 

Coat mat with a layer of butter.

Add confectionary sugar to pan and tap around to fully coat pan. This is just like greasing and flouring a cake pan when baking. Set aside.

In a metal bowl (very important) or large metal pot, pour cold water and sprinkle top with KNOX, you will begin to see a gelatin form. Set aside.

In a sauce pan combine all cream base ingredients.

Carefully bring to a boil over med/high heat and stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Once mixture comes to a boil insert a candy thermometer and continue to cook until it hits 240'. Do not stir during this time, just let it do it's thing, it will take approximetly 5-10 minutes. 

Remove from heat.

Starting with just the gelatin base, use a mixer on high to start beating it.

Slowly drizzle in the cream base, pouring a thin fluid stream, let it take approx 5-8 minutes to do this.

Once it is all in, continue to beat on high for 15 minutes. Mixture should double in size.
Pour the mixture into the pan.

Tap pan on smooth surface to create an even top. Let is sit for a few minutes to work air bubbles to surface.

This is a great time to get the bowl and utensils into extremely hot water. It will help the cleaning.

Wrap mellow trays with clear plastic wrap, tightly and let sit 4 hours or overnight.

Day Two/Part Two-

Remove clear plastic wrap from pan. Gently press with finger, if not fully set you need more time.

Carefully slide marshmallows out of pan by lifting up the silicone.

Place coating/cutting ingredient into a rimmed plate.

To easily cut marshmallows, dip sharp knife in hot water to prevent sticking. Slice marshmallows in squares of any size!

Drop marshmallows into coating/cutting ingredient and lightly cover all edges. This will prevent sticking back together.

Store in airtight container! Cheers!

Tuesday, July 15

FAST!!! Indoor S'mores in 10 minutes!

Fast, fun, and easy! Perfect to help turn those rainy summer nights into an indoor camp time! These treats can be made faster than any tasty treat out there!

Full time 10 minutes
Makes 8 s'mores

The needs-

8 large marshmallows, cut in half
2 Hersey bars
1 pack honey graham crackers

The know-

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

Break graham crackers in half. Place 8 of these on your baking sheet.

Next break Hersey bars into 4 segments of 3 blocks each. Place 1 on top of each graham cracker.

Place one full marshmallow, 2 pieces cut side down on top of each chocolate piece.

Bake in oven for 5 minutes, marshmallow will begin to lightly golden and should have puffed up.

Top with remain graham cracker halves, move to serving plate and remember the marshmallow will be very hot and sticky.

If serving to children a few minutes of cool time is advised, cheers!