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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

I wandered by the break room and the chef from the Food Network was pulling these watermelon slices out of a grill pan. It got my attention because I typically think of watermelon as cold and sweet. 

Ingredients

/2 (5-pound) seedless watermelon

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt (specialty salt is great here, if on hand)

2 cups fresh baby arugula, washed and dried

1 cup goat cheese, crumbled, preferably a French Chevre

Fresh finely cracked black pepper

Directions:

Stand the watermelon half-cut side down on a cutting board and slice away the rind, leaving a solid block of melon. Turn the block on its side and cut it into 8 squares, roughly 3 by 3 inches and 1-inch thick.

Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle just enough olive oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat and place on hot grill pan. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt.

To assemble the salads, put about 1/4 cup of baby arugula on a serving plate, followed by a grilled slice of watermelon in the center, and top with a tablespoon of crumbled cheese and another 1/4 cup arugula. Add another watermelon slice and another tablespoon of cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Finish each salad with a very light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic syrup. Dust with black pepper and serve immediately.

From: Food Network 

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I’ve been hitting the Iowa City Farmer’s Markets on the weekends. Half of my money goes to food to cook later while the other half goes to food I eat on the spot. Thankfully this recipe requires a little time. But once the berries hit the market this moves to the top of my list. 

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup hot water

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 cups sliced hulled strawberries (1 pound whole berries) plus additional berries for garnish

Directions:

Stir first 3 ingredients in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Blend 3 cups strawberries in processor until smooth. Add sugar syrup and blend until combined.

Pour mixture into 13x9x2-inch nonstick metal baking pan. Freeze until icy around edges, about 25 minutes. Using fork, stir icy portions into middle of pan. Freeze until mixture is frozen, stirring edges into center every 20 to 30 minutes, about 1 1/2 hours. Using fork, scrape granita into flaky crystals. Cover tightly and freeze. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep frozen.) Scrape granita into bowls. Garnish with berries and serve.

From: Bon Appetit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I guess if sweet potatoes are the main ingredient that makes these healthy doughnuts? Even if they are deep-fried?

Yield : 6 medium doughnuts

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of steamed, completely cooled and mashed sweet potatoes ( I used slightly more than 1 1/2)

About 3/4 cup of plain flour or less

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Mix all above ingredients together. Press together until you get a soft but firm ball of dough. There is no need for any liquid. (I used the red/purple skinned Japanese sweet potato for this. It is less fibrous than the local yellow variety so you don’t need to press it through a sieve). You could add less flour if you prefer a less chewy doughnut. If the mixture is sticky flour your hands while shaping if you don’t want too chewy a doughnut.

Shape into rings or roll out on a board to about 1/2 inch thick and cut using a doughnut cutter. (This is what I did).

Heat a pan. Add about 1 inch of any vegetable oil and heat the oil till hot. Drop the doughnut dough rings in gently and fry until golden on one side. Turn over and fry till other side is golden as well. Lift out and drain on kitchen paper.

Sugar Scabs

You might want to halve this recipe.

1 cup sugar

2 T water

Pour one cup of sugar into a heavy based pan. Add the water. Heat over medium heat and stir until the sugar melts. Keep stirring until the sugar thickens, gets gloppy and shows signs of becoming crystallized. Drop in the doughnuts and mix into the thick sugar paste. Cook a little while more until the sugar crystallizes completely and solidifies and turns completely white. Lift off the doughnuts and knock off excess sugar scabs. Serve.

Note : If the sugar crystallizes before it adheres to the doughnuts simply add a few drops of water and stir again.

From: Cherry On A Cake 

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I kick off my first post in a while with an entry from Paula Deen. Instead of butter we’re worshiping at the altar of Paula’s other favorite ingredient…bacon. What I like the most about this recipe is the chili powder. A touch of salt with a wallop. I can’t wait to pop this into the oven and smell it all come together. Plus how can you argue with anything that is both breakfast and dessert?

On a side note I’ve been baking my bacon lately instead of pan frying it. It is crunchy and chewy, salty and not burnt. In the past I’d have pieces that were charred on one end and nearly raw on the other. Now I have crispy and crunchy bacon and that seems to be relatively greaseless. Now if only I could find a way to clean the inside of the oven.

Ingredients

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons chili powder

8 slices thick-cut bacon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a cooling rack inside the prepared pan and set aside.

In a shallow dish, combine the brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge the bacon slices in the brown sugar mixture and arrange the bacon on the rack. Bake in the preheated oven until crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

From: Food Network 

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O.k….one more cupcake recipe tonight. And once again from the folks at The Food Network. They included this recipe as part of their Easter dessert idea email. I like this recipe for just about any season, event or dinner. Plus if you don’t want to make a big birthday cake this will do.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

Chocolate Glaze:

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons corn syrup

Fresh raspberries, colorful candies, or royal icing

Equipment: 6 cup jumbo muffin tin.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.

While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.

To assemble the cakes: Slice a small layer off the top of the domed side of each cupcake to make a flat surface. Peel cupcake liners off and place cakes upside down on a rack.

To make the glaze: Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream, water and corn syrup to a simmer. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and shake bowl gently so cream settles around the chocolate. Set mixture aside soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too many air bubbles.

To Decorate: While still warm and loose, pour a thin layer of glaze (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per cake) over each cake. If desired, set aside for about one hour before serving; if pressed for time, slip the cakes into the freezer to set.

Decorate mini cakes with fresh berries or candies. If using candies to decorate, press into still slightly wet glaze before it sets.

From: The Food Network

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I have to admit I’m not a fan of making cupcakes. I can never seem to get them right. If it wasn’t for baking cups I would burn every attempt at cupcakes to the bottom of my pan.  

However, the picture the Food Network provided with this recipe has me tempted to try one more time.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1 drop green food coloring

6 large ripe strawberries, hulled

Green sanding sugar

Fresh mint leaves or candied leaves

Equipment: 6-cup jumbo muffin tin

Icing:

1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.

While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.

For icing: Mix the confectioners’ sugar and lime zest in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and mix with an electric mixer to make a firm but pourable icing. (If needed, add up to 1 teaspoon more juice, but take care if the icing is too loose it doesn’t set properly.) Add food color to make a pale pastel green icing.

To assemble: Remove cupcake from its liner. Cut and remove a strawberry (coned) shaped portion of cupcake from the top of each cupcake, leaving about 1/2 to 1-inch of cake in the bottom. Stuff each cake with a strawberry and cover with a little bit of cake. Spoon and spread icing over the top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle with green sanding sugar. Top with small mint leaves or candied leaves.

From: The Food Network 

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The recipe below is for those days where you might want the flavor of a latte or mocha without all of the heavy milk or cream. It also works well if you have some plain robust beans that are unflavored and you are in the mood for some flavored coffee.  Be careful as the chocolate syrup tends to settle out. So make sure you give it a stir before you pour or ladle. The recipe says to make it in a crock pot. But I imagine it would work just fine in a saucepan or camping coffee pot on the stove on low heat.

Ingredients:

8 cups of brewed coffee

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup chocolate syrup

1/2 teaspoon anise extract

4 cinnamon sticks, halved.

1-1/2 teaspoons whole cloves

Additional cinnamon sticks, optional.

Directions:

Brew coffee and add to crock pot with the sugar, syrup and anise. Using a double piece of cheesecloth add the cloves and the cinnamon sticks. Gather the ends and tie them off into a bag and steep in crock pot for 2-3 hours. Discard the bag, ladle spiced coffee into mug and garnish with an additional cinnamon stick if you desire.

*Anise extract may be hard to find. McCormick makes some, but I couldn’t find it in my spice aisle. I tried grinding anise seeds with a mortal and pestle. I think that released too much anise and made the flavor overwhelming. To make your own fill a 1/2 pint canning jar with whole star anise. Fill with vodka, leave indefinitely. Star anise also stores well in sugar to make anise flavored sugar. From: Askville 

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