Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Spider Eggs + Mummy Dogs

We had some fun Halloween-themed food last night for dinner.  I saw these deviled eggs online recently and they were easy enough to make quickly from things I already had in the house.  Just make your fave deviled egg recipe and chop up a can of olives to resemble spider bodies and legs. 

To make deviled eggs, you take hard-boiled eggs and slice them in half.  Mash the yolk together with mayo, mustard, salt and pepper, and whatever herbs/spices you want.  I used a bit of smoked paprika this time.  Use all the ingredients to taste. 
We also had the Mummy Dogs I've seen all over the internet for the last few years.  Sadly, these were not a hit with the kids.  None of my kids like hot dogs.  One of my boys used to love them, but won't eat them anymore.  So, not all of these got eaten, but it wasn't the poor mummy dogs' fault.  I really wanted to make them and now it's out of my system.  :) 
Spider Deviled Eggs
idea from Apron Strings

deviled eggs- your fave recipe
1 can black olives

1.  Prepare deviled eggs and set on a platter.  For spider bodies, cut olives in half and stick in the middle of deviled eggs (use large or bigger olives).  For legs, cut in half and then cut thin strips, tapering at the end.  Place 4 legs on each side of spider's body. 

Mummy Dogs
adapted from My Recipes

1 1-oz. tube refrigerated bread stick dough
8-12  hot dogs
mustard for garnish
1.  Separate dough into strips and flatter strips slightly. Wrap one strip of dough around each hot dog, leaving 1/2 inch uncovered for face. Arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet.
2.  Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Dot mustard on hot dogs with a toothpick to form eyes, if desired. 
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ghost Pizza & Halloween Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

On Saturday, we had a little family Halloween party that our kids have been planning for at least a month.  We had purchased decorations, and they spent part of the day getting everything ready all by themselves.  I picked out some fun foods I wanted to make and they all met their approval.  We played games, did some crafts, ate a fun dinner, and visited their "Haunted House". 

First we had this Ghost Pizza.  I had actually put the ghosts on the pizza before baking, but they all melted and bubbled away into oblivion, and then I was almost out of cheese, so I added one little ghost after it came out of the oven, and all my little green olive spiders. 
We also had Slimy Eyeballs (grapes) and Blood (Frozen Raspberry lemonade).  The Chex Mix we made was for that day too, but we were all too full, so we just ate it the next day (yesterday).  The kids all helped me make it.  It is regular Muddy Buddy Chex mix combined with a variation of that- white chocolate and pb. 

Ghost Pizza
idea from Chefmom

1 unbaked pizza crust (we used this one)
pizza sauce
sliced Provolone or Mozzarella cheese
green olives
dried rosemary

1.  Preheat oven to 400 F.  Spread pizza sauce all over your pizza crust.  Using a ghost cookie cutter, cut ghost shapes out of your sliced cheese.  You may want to wait until after baking to add ghosts- or add some before and the rest later.

2.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until pizza crust is done.  Top with additional ghosts if desired.  Stick 8 sticks of dried rosemary into each green olive for spider legs; top the pizza with the green olive spiders.  Serve.

Halloween Muddy Buddy Chex Mix
adapted from Your Cup of Cake

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Puppy Chow:
4 1/2 cups rice Chex cereal
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
1/4 cup peanut butter, creamy
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar
 
Peanut Butter Chocolate Puppy Chow:
4 1/2 cups rice Chex cereal
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter, creamy
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, optional
Peanut Butter Candies (Reese's Pieces)- 1 cup or more
 
1.  Peanut Butter White Chocolate: In a bowl with lid, measure out rice cereal and place in a large bowl.  In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat until smooth.  Stir in vanilla extract and then pour chocolate mixture over cereal. Stir to coat cereal.  Pour powdered sugar over cereal mixture; place lid on bowl, and shake until everything is coated. 
 
2.  Peanut Butter Chocolate: Follow steps above (using a different lidded bowl) but use semi sweet chocolate chips instead, and add cocoa powder to powdered sugar.
 
3. After all cereal is cooled, mix together and add Reese's Peanut Butter Candies.
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats (Slow Cooker) (With Sweet Potato Variation)

This was a delicious way to eat oatmeal!  And so easy too- you just cook it in the slow cooker for 4 hours and it turns into the thick, creamy, perfectly cooked oatmeal you see above.  And it's perfect for fall!  A friend from my online cooking group made this and told us about it.  I made this one afternoon and then stuck the whole batch in a tupperware and put it in the fridge.  Every morning for a few days, I warmed up portions in the microwave for my husband and I for breakfast.  It was so good and such a quick way to have steel-cut oats in the morning!  You don't even have to add milk while warming it up, although I liked to add some almond milk after it was warmed up.  My husband loves chia seeds in his oatmeal, and I just added some to the bowl before adding the cold oatmeal and microwaving.  After warming up, just stir the seeds in.

A few notes:  this does not work well for an overnight recipe; anything more than 4 hours would overcook or burn this.  So make it when you have at least 4 hours at home during the day, and then either eat it as "breakfast for dinner", or stick it in the fridge for later like I did.  Another thing; use steel-cut oats for this.  They are really sturdy and hold up to the longer cooking time.  If you absolutely have to use rolled (old fashioned) oats (don't even come near this with quick oats, lol!) I've heard that 3 hours works, but I'd just buy steel-cut oats for this recipe.  They're so good!  And lastly, you may want to stir in another 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon when this is finished cooking, since the slow cooker usually diminishes the flavor of spices. 

sp2W

Note: After Thanksgiving, I made this with Sweet Potato Puree, leftover from making a Sweet Potato Pie.  I had 1 1/4 cups leftover, and I just used all of it in place of the pumpkin puree and kept everything else the same, except for adding some cardamom.  It was delish as well, and tasted very similar to the pumpkin.  Photo above.
Pumpkin Spice (or Sweet Potato) Steel Cut Oats (Slow Cooker)
adapted from Eat at Home
makes at least 5-6 servings

1 cup steel cut oats*
1 12oz can evaporated milk
3 cups water
1 cup pumpkin puree OR 1 cup sweet potato puree (I used 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cardamom, optional

1.  Spray the inside of slow cooker crock with cooking spray.

2.  In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together.  Pour into slow cooker.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Mine was absolutely perfect at 4 hours; any longer it would have been overcooked.  (Not a great recipe for overnight.)  Serve with extra milk, if desired.

3.  For breakfast in the morning, just microwave individual servings; this keeps well in the fridge for a few days. 
*Look for gluten-free oats if eating gluten-free.

**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I needed something to take to a school bake sale, so I made these that I had recently seen on Cooking Classy.  Sadly, there were no pumpkin candies on our island this year (that I could find, anyway).  So, I topped each cupcake with a candy corn.  They would have been so cute with pumpkins, though! (Check out Cooking Classy to see what they look like with pumpkin candies.)

This made a ton, at least 40, I think, maybe more.  I didn't really count.  My husband and I enjoyed these.  My kids are not crazy about pumpkin-flavored baked goods, so while everyone (except one) tried one, they didn't want any more.  That's why I need to have excuses (bake sales, etc) to make stuff like this!  I like making stuff like this in the fall. 
Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Cooking Classy

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted and whisked to cool slightly
1/3 cup applesauce, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
2 1/2 Tbsp buttermilk (I used 1/2 tbsp lemon juice; the rest milk)
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
44 pumpkin candies or candy corns, optional


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, set aside.

2.  In a separate large mixing bowl, using and electric hand mixer on low speed, blend together brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and applesauce until well combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Mix in egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Add pumpkin puree and buttermilk and mix until well blended.

3.  Slowly add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fill paper lined mini muffin cups 2/3 full (about 1 slightly heaping Tbsp in each) and bake in preheated oven 10 - 12 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center of cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.   I used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe a decorative swirl.  Top each cupcake with a pumpkin candy or candy corn, if desired. Store in an airtight container.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese or Neufchatel, softenend
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Combine cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl and using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, blend together until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and blend on low speed until combined, then increase to medium and whip until smooth and fluffy.
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Orange Halloween Macarons


I was pretty excited how these Macarons turned out.  They are not pumpkin-flavored; just a plain shell colored orange with powdered food coloring.  If you wanted pumpkin flavor you could add some pumpkin pie spice; I'm not sure how much though.  I did a dark chocolate ganache filling so it would be close to a black color for Halloween.  One needs to used powdered food coloring in the shell, rather than liquid or gel, or the macarons might have too much liquid and not turn out.  I wasn't sure how much to add, so I used a scant teaspoon, and probably could have gotten away with less, but they turned out well. 
My daughter helped me make these and even helped pipe them out.  We want to make pistachio ones next!  Happy Halloween!

Orange Halloween Macarons
Shells adapted from here and here

110 g almonds meal/flour
200 g powdered sugar
1 scant teaspoon powdered orange food coloring
50 g granulated sugar
100 g egg whites (about 3 egg whites), aged (left out) a day at room temperature

1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

2. Pulse almond flour, powdered sugar, and powdered food coloring in a food processor until evenly mixed.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the granulated sugar and continue to whip until a shiny, stiff, glossy meringue forms (but not dry).

4. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and add the almond mixture. Using a rubber spatula, briskly and quickly fold the almond meal into the egg whites. After a few brisk strokes, slow down and then gently incorporate the rest into the batter.You want a batter that flows and "ribbons" for at least 5 seconds.

5. Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (I use Wilton 12). Pipe the batter into 1 1/2-inch rounds, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Whack the baking sheets on the counter a few times, then allow to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until a hard shell forms.  (While you wait, prepare ganache, below.)

6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 280 degrees. Bake the macarons 10-12 minutes, depending on size.  (Should be dry and lift away easily from parchment when done.)  Allow to cool completely on the pan before using a small spatula to remove them. Match the cookies according to size and pipe filling on half, using the other half to form a sandwich.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

6 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

1.  Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  In a small saucepan, over medium heat, heat and stir the cream until it barely comes to a simmer.  Immediately pour over chocolate in bowl and cover bowl.  Let stand for 5 minutes. 

2.  Then, whisk until combined and smooth.  It might take a little bit, but it should turn dark, smooth, and shiny.  Set aside to cool until needed.  I set it in the fridge, since it needs to be on the thick side for the filling. 

**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Monday, October 22, 2012

Coconut & Lime Ice Cream

Not long ago, we had a friend over for some Indian food, and I wanted something cool, creamy and refreshing for dessert, so I looked for a coconut-lime ice cream flavor.  I found a recipe that looked good, and instead of using whole milk, I used coconut milk for even more coconut flavor, and it was very good!  This was really sweet though, so I'd suggest only used 2 Tablespoons of sugar instead of the 1/4 cup.  It already has sweetened condensed milk and sweetened coconut.  Or, use unsweetened coconut.
Coconut & Lime Ice Cream
adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

1 can (about 13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon finely chopped lime zest, optional
1 teaspoon coconut extract
toasted coconut, optional, for serving

1. In small sauce pot, combine the coconut milk, coconut, sugar, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat. Continue simmering until it has reduced to by about a fourth. Cover and allow to steep for one hour. After one hour, strain the coconut milk into a measuring cup. Reheat milk mixture over medium-low heat.  (I kept the coconut to spoon over my yogurt & granola in the mornings; save in the fridge.)

2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks. Once milk mixture is hot, temper the yolks by adding half of the mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, and heat until thickened.

3. Pour sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and zest into a large mixing bowl, over an ice bath. Strain custard into the cream, stirring until cooled. Add coconut extract, stir, and place in refrigerator until thoroughly chilled, about 5 hours or overnight.

4. Once chilled, add to ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.  For hard ice cream, store in a freezer-safe container, in the freezer for a few hours.  Serve with toasted coconut, if desired.

**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com **

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Butternut-Tomato Bisque

Here's a new (to me, anyway) take on classic tomato soup- add some roasted butternut squash!!  I really enjoyed this Butternut Squash soup I made before, and I already know I love plain ol' tomato soup, so what a good idea to combine the two!!  The original recipe called for non-fat half and half, which to me, is a food paradox, so I never use it, lol!  I used 2/3 cup cream, 1/3 cup almond milk and loved it.  I bet even just plain almond milk and no cream would be good- storebought almond milk is pretty creamy.  I love using it in soups. 

Butternut-Tomato Bisque
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1/2 medium butternut squash
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 can (14.5 ounces) Italian-style stewed tomatoes (or 1 can tomatoes with 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning)
1 cup chicken stock
salt, to taste
pinch sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup half-and-half, cream and almond milk, or just almond milk

1.  Prepare the butternut squash by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  Place squash, cut-side down, in a 9X13-inch pan. Add enough water to come about 1/4-inch up the sides of the squash. Cover with foil and bake for about an hour. Test with a fork to make sure the squash is very tender when pierced with the fork in several places. If the flesh doesn’t easily give to the pressure of the fork, continue cooking in ten minute increments, and testing again, until the squash is tender. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the squash to a large cutting board or plate. Let it cool about 15 minutes before scooping out the flesh. If preparing the day before, scoop out the flesh and place in a tupperware. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until using it in the soup.

2.  While the squash is cooking, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scoop the squash into the pan with other ingredients.  Add the canned tomatoes and chicken stock, salt, sugar, and basil to the pan.  Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.  Heat over medium-low heat or until soup is warm.  Add the half and half or cream or almond milk and heat until just heated through (do not boil).  Serve. 
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com **

Friday, October 19, 2012

Overnight Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Two weekends ago, I wanted to make some overnight cinnamon rolls.  I didn't want cream cheese frosting; instead, I wanted a smooth maple glaze to top them while they were still warm.  This recipe was perfect!!  I LOVED the maple glaze.  So did everyone else, as they were all fighting over the residue left in the pan. 

These turned out so big that only 8 rolls fit in my 9x13 pan.  I put the other 4 into a smaller baking dish.  Also, luckily I had brought back some Trader Joe's Maple Sugar when I visited the States- I loved it in here and I know there's no way I'm finding that locally!  I also added a touch of maple extract.
Overnight Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from Pink of Perfection

Dough:
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup ww pastry)
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
Filling:
1 1/3 cups (packed) light brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup maple sugar (if you can’t get maple sugar, use more powdered sugar)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons (or more) whole milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1.  Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add eggs and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour as needed, about 5 minutes. (Or continue to knead in your KitchenAid, if using).
3.  Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together filling ingredients.  Roll out dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle. Spread dough evenly with filling mixture. Roll up dough from the long end and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in a 9×13″ baking pan (may need another smaller pan too). Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4.  The next morning, remove cinnamon rolls from refrigerator and let sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to take the chill off. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
5.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until browned. Meanwhile, in a small bowl (or saucepan used to melt the butter), whisk together glaze ingredients, adding more milk to thin glaze, if necessary. Remove rolls from oven, and pour glaze over hot cinnamon rolls. Serve warm.
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com **

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Slow Cooker Little Smokies Appetizers

I wanted to try a new, but easy appetizer the other day when we had a little family appetizer party.  I had little smokies at a party a while ago and liked them, so I gave this recipe a try.  It was good and nice to have a slow cooker appy recipe. 

Slow Cooker Little Smokies Appetizers
adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking

1 package Little Smokies sausage (14 oz, I think)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
 
1.  Use a 2 or 3-quart slow cooker. Dump everything in. Stir well and cook on low for 4 hours, or high for about 2. Make sure the smokies are hot throughout and serve out of the slow cooker with toothpicks.
 
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com **

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate

Ever since making my own Chai spice mix, I've been wanting to use it in hot chocolate.  Well, it only took me a few years!  (My spice mix still smelled good and strong, in case you were wondering, lol.)  I simply warmed up some almond milk mixed with 1% cow's, turned the heat to low and threw in some good milk chocolate.  Then I whisked some chai spice mix in.  This was so good, and the chai flavor reminds you of Fall.  (Chai is an Indian-inspired mix of spices you can add to any tea; either regular or herbal.  It typically includes black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon & ginger.) 


Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate
by What a Dish!
Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings

1 1/2 cups milk (I used a mix of 1% and almond milk)
40-50 grams (half or more of a regular-sized bar) good milk chocolate
1 teaspoon Chai spice mix
honey, to taste, if needed

1.  In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium.  Add the chocolate and turn the heat to low, whisking until chocolate is melted.  Add the Chai spice mix and whisk thoroughly until everything is incorporated.  Pour into mugs and taste.  Add honey if desired. 

**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com **

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Meringue Ghosts

I spotted these little guys via Peabody and was so excited- I had exactly 4 egg whites in my fridge from making ice cream, and I love making fun little seasonal treats like this.  Plus, my kids and I LOVE meringues!!  These ones are so delicious they just melt in your mouth.  They were kind of messy to make, because all I could find was a too-short piping bag, so the meringue mixture kept squeezing out the top, but if you use a bag that's long enough, it should be fine.  These are so cute!!  Happy Halloween!
Meringue Ghosts
from Skinnytaste

4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar (or put sugar in food processor/blender for 30 seconds until fine)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
miniature chocolate chips for the eyes

1.  Preheat oven to 200°. Place  rack in th center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Have a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain round tip.

2.  In your mixing bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until you get very stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla extract.  Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract. (Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.)

3.  Before placing the meringue ghosts on the cookie sheet, place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper to prevent the paper from sliding.  Transfer the meringue to the pastry bag. Holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe with even pressure, 2-3 inch high mounds of meringue.  Carefully press two miniature chocolate chips into each meringue ghost for the eyes, and a third chip for a mouth.  (Note- I did not put "eyes" on all the ghosts, leaving some naked.  It was just too much for me.  I also skipped the mouth on some, leaving them with only eyes). 

4.  Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours or until they are dry and crisp to the touch and easily separate from the parchment paper.  Turn off the oven, slightly open the door, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours, or even overnight.  Keeps for several days at room temperature.  Note:  Makes anywhere from 36-50; maybe more.  Mine made more than 50.  They just kept coming!! 
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Friday, October 12, 2012

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Sage Pesto

I had a ton of fresh sage leftover after making this butternut soup and a few other things.  I decided to use the bulk of it up in a sage pesto.  I made that, and then rubbed a pork tenderloin with it and my husband grilled it.  We served it with more pesto to spoon over the top.  It was very good!!  I would have tried it with a turkey tenderloin, but those are harder for me to get here.  I found the pesto recipe on another blog, but the pork tenderloin was my idea.

Fresh Sage Pesto
adapted from Not Without Salt

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup tablespoons mint (optional- or use more parsley)
1 cup (about 2 ½ oz.) sage, packed
2 garlic cloves
½ cup (2 oz.) walnuts, toasted
½ cup (1/2 oz.) grated Parmesan
¼-½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt

1.  Combine first six ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend to a rough puree. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the machine running stream in the olive oil. Add the zest, lemon juice, then taste and add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings to your preference.

Sage Pesto-Grilled Pork Tenderloin
by What a Dish!

1 pork tenderloin, 2-3 pounds, trimmed
fresh sage pesto (recipe above)

1.  Pre-heat outdoor grill to medium, and oil the grill grates.  Rub sage pesto generously over pork tenderloin.  Save some in a separate container, to use later.

2.  Grill pork tenderloin until done, turning to cook all sides.  Use a meat thermometer to test for done-ness, about 10-20 minutes. 

3.  Let rest on a platter before slicing and serving.  Serve with more sage pesto. 

**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Maine-Style Clam Chowder

After visiting Maine this summer and tasting clam chowder made there, I had to make some at home.  :)  I'm no expert on clam chowders and regions, etc, but the little cookbook I got in Maine listed a chowder recipe like this (more thin than thick) and I found a similar recipe on Allrecipes labeled Maine-style clam chowder.  I made it and we enjoyed it, but I want to try a thick recipe next time.  There's room in my life for all sorts of chowdas.  :) 

Maine-Style Clam Chowder
adapted from Allrecipes

1 (8 ounce) jar clam juice

8 slices bacon, cut into small pieces

Monday, October 8, 2012

Canadian Thanksgiving + Butter Tarts!

Even though we are not Canadian, we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving today.  I've always wanted to do it, and everyone was home for a school holiday today, so we went for it.  I've been looking for an excuse to make these butter tarts for almost two years now and I'm so glad I finally had a great excuse today!  Butter Tarts are a classic Canadian dessert.  I've wanted to make them ever since the good ol' 90's song, Steal My Sunshine by Len.  I used to listen to this song in high school.  There's some silly dialogue in the beginning that goes like this: Tim: hey Matt.  Matt: Yeah Tim? Tim: Hey have you talked to Mark lately? Matt: Uh..haven't really talked to him but..he looks pretty uh..down. Tim: He looks pretty uh..down? (while laughing) Matt: Yeah well maybe we should cheer him up. Tim: What do you uh.. suppose we should do? Matt: Well does he like butter tarts??!!  (Vid at the bottom of this post!!)

Cheesiest thing ever, but I loved it.  You should go listen to the song (link above) if you haven't already!  Anyway, when looking for a recipe to make these, I came across a Joy of Cooking one, and I bookmarked it to make, but then I came across one with a maple flavor by the Canadian cooking blog, Closet Cooking, and knew that was the one I had to make.  I only changed one thing- I omitted the raisins and just added more walnuts in their place. 

These are like tiny pecan pies, but with walnuts.  I love pastries like this- so delicious.  I found one pastry for a single-crust pie (using my mom's recipe) was the perfect amount for this.  I cut circles that were a little less than 4 inches.  Then press them into a standard muffin tin.

Maple Butter Tarts
adapted from Closet Cooking

1 pie crust pastry for a single-crust pie (chilled)
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
1/2 cup raisins (optional- or just sub with more walnuts)

1. Roll the pastry out to 1/8 inch thick and cut out 12, 4-5 inch circles.  Press the circles of dough into a standard sized muffin pan.  Chill the muffin pan in the fridge for 45-60 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix the egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, butter,vanilla extract, salt, walnuts and raisins (or extra walnuts) in a bowl.  Pour the mixture into the tart shells.  Bake until set, about 15-25 minutes.
Our meal to Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving!  :)


**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Another Street Bullfight

We were invited to another street bullfight about two weeks ago.  You can read more info about these bullfights here.  Basically they are an excuse to go see people, socialize, and eat good food.  The bull provides sporadic entertainment.  I feel really bad for the poor thing though; it's poked, prodded, and jeered at while it has to run up and down a street for 30 minutes.  (And they do this with 3 different bulls on the same night, one right after the other.)  This particular bull was like Ferdinand; he obviously did not want to fight and spent most of his time standing around.  Here are some photos.


I think this is the same guy from two years ago on my blog pics, lol!!!
I brought this almond tart and our hosts had a smoker going, with some delicious smoked meats to enjoy.  There was a ton of other food, too.  The eating and talking part was fun.  We did that for a few hours and only really watched one 30-minute session of the actual bull.  Our hosts are lucky enough to live near one of my fave ocean-front boardwalks, so I went down there with the hostess afterwards and took some photos.
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Friday, October 5, 2012

Baked Sweet Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

Last year a cooking friend pointed out this method for making "baked" potatoes in the crock pot.  I tried it and loved it, but didn't blog about it because I didn't get a good photo.  (Maybe one day soon, though!)  It's awesome to be able to do this while at church or just being gone all day, and having a baked potato bar at home when you get back! 

Well, my husband loves sweet potatoes.  LOVES THEM!  So does my baby boy.  I hardly ever make them, though, but want to more often.  I had an "aha!" moment a few weeks ago, thinking of doing the crock pot method for sweet potatoes.  (I can be a little slow... like a year slow).  You can even do half regular, half sweet potatoes in the same crockpot, if there are not a lot of sweet potato fans in your house.  I'm very happy to report that this method works wonderfully for sweet potatoes.  Now I'll (hopefully) be making them a little more often. 

Depending on the size of your sweet taters, you may have to cook them quite a while (some are huge!)  To test for doneness, just unwrap the foil and stick a fork in one.  :)  If the fork goes in easily, it's done.

Baked Sweet Potatoes in the Slow Cooker
adapted from Skip to my Lou

sweet potatoes
foil

1.  Wash your sweet potatoes.  Dry off, but they don't have to be totally dry.  Prick them a few times with a fork (not sure if this is needed, but I did it anyway).  Wrap each potato in foil.  Place in the crock pot.  Cook on low about 8 hours, or until potatoes are tender when (unwrapped) and pierced with a fork.  Start checking at around 5-6 hours the first time you make these.

**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Brown Butter Fresh Sage Pasta

This is a nice way to use up any fresh sage you may have laying around.  I had some from this Butternut Squash Soup.  I love fresh sage sauteed in butter!  By the way, a nice way to keep sage leaves fresh is to dampen a paper towel, squeeze it out, and lay the sage leaves on top, kind of spreading them out.  Then roll the paper towel up loosely, and place the whole thing in a ziplock bag.  Don't close the ziplock bag all the way, and store in your crisper drawer.  My sage lasted about 2 weeks this way.  Actually, it could still be good; I haven't checked on the rest of it lately.  :) 

Brown Butter Fresh Sage Pasta
adapted from NY Times

8 oz. favorite pasta
2 tablespoons butter
15-20 fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan or Parm-Reg

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; salt it. Cook pasta until it is tender, but not quite done.

2. Meanwhile, place butter in a skillet or saucepan large enough to hold the cooked pasta; turn heat to medium, and add sage. Cook until butter turns nut-brown and sage shrivels, then turn heat to a minimum.

3. When the pasta is just about done, scoop out 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta. Immediately add it to the butter-sage mixture, and raise heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup of the water, and stir; the mixture will be loose and a little soupy. Cook for about 30 seconds, or until some of the water is absorbed and the pasta is perfectly done.

4. Stir in cheese; the sauce will become creamy. Thin it with a little more water if necessary. Season liberally with pepper and salt to taste, and serve immediately, passing more cheese at the table if you like.

**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Monday, October 1, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

I think I came across this recipe on Pinterest.  It appealed to me because I love Indian food, especially Tikka Masala, and I love the ease of using my slow cooker!  This is apparent in some other recipes I've tried.  I made a few changes to the original recipe- using far less chicken, a little less yogurt, and coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.  Since I did use the coconut milk, I omitted the corn starch, as the coconut milk was full-fat and plenty thick on its own.  This made so much that we had it for dinner twice in a row, and I still had it for lunch one day after that.  One of the days, I also made Naan Bread.  I've always grilled it (or my husband does) but our grill was out of propane that day, so I cooked the Naan on my counter-top skillet, with some ghee.  I looooved them that way!  (I love them grilled too, btw).  They were a tad softer cooked on the skillet.  Both ways are good, though. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted from Cooking Classy


2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut* into 1 inch pieces
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp freshly, finely grated ginger
1 jalapeno, stemmed, sliced in half and seeds removed
1 (29 oz) can tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
genrous 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Garam Masala
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp paprika
salt, to taste
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper, to taste (anywhere from a sprinkle to a few tsp.)
2 bay leaves
1 cup coconut milk OR heavy cream
1/2 tbsp cornstarch, optional
Prepared Basmati Rice (I used brown Basmati)
Chopped cilantro, for serving

1. In the crock of a large slow cooker, combine chopped onions, minced garlic, grated ginger, sliced jalapeno, tomato puree, plain yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined. Stir in chicken. Add in 2 bay leaves. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours).

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch, pour mixture into slow cooker and gently stir. Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk. If it is thick enough, you won't need the cornstarch. Allow mixture to cook 20 minutes while you prepare the rice. Remove bay leaves and sliced jalapeno and serve warm over rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

*I did not bother chopping chicken first; I just pulled it apart with two forks after it was done cooking.

**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **