Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers

I planted 6 jalapeno plants this summer and they have all thrived. I have a ton of jalapenos and didn't know what to do with them all. In my quest to find a recipe for jalapeno jam or pickled jalapenos, I came across jalapeno poppers. Perfect! Maybe a lot of work but I'm going to make them!

This recipe from All Recipes got 263 reviews with 4.5 out of 5 stars for the "Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers". They were right. Delicious!

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon bacon bits
3-1/2 ounces jalapeno peppers (about 14 jalapenos), seeded and halved
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
2-1/2 cups oil for frying

(I didn't measure the milk, flour, bread crumbs or oil. Just use what you need.)

1. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.
2. Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.
3. Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated.
4. In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C). Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Apple Honey Challah

A new Martha Stewart magazine came out this week and she had a recipe for Apple Honey Challah. Let me say, it was a LOT of waiting. There are 3 times to wait for the dough to rise... I'm not sure if the rising was worth it all because I think some of the bread fermented during all the "waiting". Still tastes great but it took awhile.

1 stick butter
3.5 c bread flour, un-bleached
3/4 c warm water
2/3 c honey
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
2 tsp Coarse Salt
2 green apples, peeled and cut into ¼" thick slices

1) Butter a large bowl and melt 4 tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; let cool.

2) Combine 2 tbsp melted butter, the flour, water, 1/3 cup honey, the eggs and yolks, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.

3) Transfer dough to a buttered bowl and brush with 1 tbsp melted butter. Cover. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in size. About 1½ hours.

4) Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into an 8½x14" rectangle. Top with apples; knead to incorporate. Return to bowl and brush with the remaining melted butter. Cover. Let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.

5) Pre-heat oven to 375°F

6) Butter a 9" round cake pan. Roll dough into about a 24" rope and coil in concentric circles and transfer to the pan. Cover and let rise again, about 45 minutes. (My bread, at this step, overflowed out of the pan. Next time I might use this recipe in 2 pans or 1 large pan.)

7) Heat remaining 4 tbsp butter and 1/3 cup honey a saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts. (This produced quite a bit of “sauce” so I would trim down on the butter and honey.) Brush the dough with the honey-butter mixture. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 30-35 minutes. (190°F internal temperature)

8) Brush the baked and warm challah with the remaining butter-honey mixture. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from the pan and let cool.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Apple Bread

This recipe has been a big hit with everyone! I think I've made somewhere around 5-6 loaves in the past month. I can't get enough of how good it is. The picture doesn't do justice!

Apple Bread
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Granny Smith apples - peeled and chopped into big chunks

1. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat eggs, lemon juice and vanilla.
3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until moistened.
4. Stir in apples.

2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar

6. Combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly.

7. Spoon half of the batter into a buttered 9x5 loaf pans. Sprinkle with half of the topping. Spoon remaining batter into the pan and sprinkle with the remaining topping.
8. Bake for 55 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hazelnut Mushroom Rice Pilaf

I made this Hazelnut Mushroom Rice Pilaf for Kameran's birthday last year and I figured I'd make it again to go along with the Steak and Ale Pie. I really like this recipe. It gives a good balance of texture and taste. Me liking mushrooms so much though, I add more mushrooms and about a cup more rice to the recipe.

Steak and Ale Pie

Ever since I had Steak and Ale Pie in England over a year ago I've been wanting to try and making it. I looked at some recipes, and they all more or less looked the same. So I based mine off one at YumSugar.com. I used a Samuel Smith Imperial Stout for my beer after getting advice from other beef chefs. My recipe went like this:

2 short sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tbsp marjoram
A little less than 1/2 Imperial Stout
fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 regular size steak, cut into cubes

flour (approx 4 tbsp)
1 medium sized onion - diced
2 cup beef broth
1-2 cup sliced mushrooms

garlic powder
onion powder

Phyllo dough

1) Mix ingredients together for marinade and let the beef sit for 3-4 hours. I think next time I'll try to marinate it overnight.

2) Take out steak and roll into flour, keeping marinade for later.

3) Cook onions and mushrooms for 3-5 min.

4) Add beef and marinade.

5) Add garlic and onion powder to taste.

6) Once the meat is ready to your liking, make yourself a meat pie with the phyllo dough!

Orange Julius!

I've been wanting to make this recipe from Top Secret Recipes for ages and I finally did this past weekend. Unfortunately the site doesn't let me copy and paste, but it's one of their free recipes if you search for Orange Julius. Anyway, it is fabulous! It looks kinda cool, and makes me think of butter beers from Harry Potter. Why pay $4 for an Orange Julius when you can make one at home?!

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's a jungle out there

They're like trees really...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cereal in a cookie?

I read about these cookies in a reader's request column in an online newspaper. They were intriguing because they contained cereal... and not just any cereal, but Frosted Flakes! I had to try them.

Also interesting was the lack of eggs or any kind of leavener. Maybe this keeps them crunchy? The cookies looked slightly puffy when they came out of the oven but set up better after cooling. They have a crunchy and slightly crumbly texture, but are not hard enough to scrape your mouth. The slight addition of chocolate chips (only 1/2 cup for the entire recipe) gives just a hint of chocolate without making the cookie overly sweet. Thumbs up!

Frosted Flake Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 cups Frosted Flakes
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

Crush frosted flakes lightly (until they compress to about 3 cups; don't make them too fine).

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla.

Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture and stir to combine. Fold in crushed frosted flakes and chocolate chips. Mixture will be crumbly. It's best to use your hands to make sure ingredients combine evenly. Roll 2-tablespoon portions of dough into balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly.

Bake about 20 minutes, until lightly brown. Cookies will be soft but will firm up as they cool. Don't overbake or cookies will become very hard. Makes about 2 dozen.
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