Monthly Archives: December 2016

Brazilian Grilled Pineapple

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16Here is another recipe from “Cooking with Christopher”. We sliced up some fresh pineapple into wedges and tossed them with brown sugar and cinnamon before placing them on the grill. Just a few minutes on each side and they are ready for the table. An easy but delicious addition to any meal.


BRAZILIAN GRILLED PINEAPPLE (Serves: 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 pineapple – peeled, cored, and cut into 6 wedges

Directions

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  2. Whisk brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Pour sugar mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Place pineapple wedges in bag and shake to coat each wedge.
  3. Grill pineapple wedges on the preheated grill until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

~ AllRecipes.com ~

Easy Caramel Popcorn

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We enjoyed this snack so much that we had to make two batches. This recipe is not as easy at it claims to be — working with hot caramel sauce is a bit tricky. You have to work quickly and carefully. That stuff sticks to you and can burn like the dickens if it gets on you. After you melt the caramel with butter and a tablespoon of water you toss is with 10 cups of popcorn and some peanuts. I recommend that you use a low wide bowl for this process. You must work quickly because once the caramel starts to cool it is impossible to toss or stir it. Move it onto a baking sheet and put it in a 350F oven for ten minutes. Now, this is your opportunity to toss it and coat the mix completely. They indicate that you put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes, but I think that might just be a minute or two too long. I tried this recipe in both of my ovens and each time it started to really darken and harden on the bottom. I recommend that you use parchment paper to line your baking pan. It allows you to move the finished product out of the pan to cool quickly and easily and saves a ton of clean up. Now, I had better get this stuff out of here and in the mail before we start munching on it again. Hard. To. Resist.


EASY CARAMEL POPCORN (Yield: 10 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (11 oz.) KRAFT Caramels
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 10 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 cup PLANTERS COCKTAIL Peanuts

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 300°F.
  2. Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray. Cook caramels, butter and water in large saucepan on low heat until caramels are melted, stirring frequently.
  3. Combine popcorn and nuts in large bowl. Add caramel mixture; toss to coat. Spread onto prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake 20 min., stirring after 10 min. Spoon onto sheet of waxed paper; cool completely. Break into clusters.

~ KraftRecipes.com ~

Apple Crostata

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11This type of dessert is so much easier to fix than a regular pie or tart since it only requires one crust to hold the filling. I loved preparing this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It tastes almost like a sugar cookie wrapped around a wonderful apple filling. Make the crust ahead and refrigerate it for an hour or so. It comes out of the fridge rock hard and seems like it would be impossible to work with.  Not so! Once you start to roll it out the butter takes over and it easily becomes an 11″ round. I chose to use an egg wash on the crust edge followed by a sprinkling of Turbinado sugar for a little extra sparkle. It only takes 25-30 minutes to bake and once out of the oven should be allowed to cool for a bit before transferring to a plate for serving. I recommend that you line your pan with parchment paper to help move the crostata with ease. A beautiful dessert for any occasion!


APPLE CROSTATA (Serves 6)

Ingredients: Pastry

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients: Filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large)
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions

  1. For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.
  4. For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into 8ths. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
  5. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.
  6. Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

~ FoodNetwork.com/Recipes/Ina-Garten ~

Sautéed Purple Asparagus

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12Sometimes nothing is quite as delicious as simply prepared fresh vegetables. I found these beautiful, succulent, tender beauties at my local green grocer. They were trimmed, cut in half lengthwise and sautéed in some light olive oil over medium high heat. Five minutes later they were tender-crisp and ready for the table. Just toss with a bit of fresh rosemary and you have a truly delightful dish that is perfect as a side or centerpiece for a vegetarian meal .


SAUTEED PURPLE ASPARAGUS (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. thick purple or green asparagus (about 15–20 fat stalks)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. rosemary

Directions

  1. Trim or break the woody ends off the asparagus stalks. Slice the trimmed asparagus in half lengthwise.
  2. Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and rosemary. Sauté until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Test a few stalks with a fork to check the consistency: the fork should easily pierce the asparagus, but the flesh should still be firm.  Serve warm.

~ SmellsLikeBrownies.com ~

Brussels Sprouts Lardons

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I can’t believe that I haven’t included this recipe in my blog yet. This is the time of year when you can find whole stalks of fresh Brussels sprouts at your grocer. We have been preparing sprouts this way for a number of years, and it is a personal favorite of my husband. It is a fairly classic way to serve Brussels sprouts. If you are using pancetta, ask your butcher to cut it into 1/4″ slices to aid in dicing for the recipe. Thick cut bacon also works well in this dish. Just watch your timing — the bacon will cook up faster than pancetta. This recipe will ensure that everyone falls in love with these beautiful “little cabbages”.


BRUSSELS SPROUTS LARDSONS (Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 oz. pancetta or bacon, diced 1/4″
  • 1-1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 3/4 t. kosher salt
  • 3/4 t. ground pepper
  • 3/4 c. golden raisins
  • 1-3/4 c. chicken broth

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan (12″) and add the pancetta. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the fat is golden brown and crisp – approximately 5-10 minutes.
  2. Remove the pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towle.
  3. Add the Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper to the fat in the pan and saute over medium heat until lightly browned.
  4. Add the raisins and the chicken broth. Lower heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionallyj until sprouts are tender.
  5. Return the pancetta to the pan, heat through, season to taste, and serve.

~ FoodNetwork.com/Recipes/Ina-Garten ~

Crock Pot Candy

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candyIf you have little ones, they will totally enjoy helping you to make this delicious treat. Just dump all of the ingredients into a crock pot, wait 2 hours, and spoon out onto waxed paper. No measuring, no hot pans, no watching the pot boil . . . this couldn’t be easier. I recommend that you give the mixture a stir about halfway through. I also had a great deal of difficulty finding almond bark. I imagine that this time of year it is all about the peppermint bark and the salted caramel bark. I ended up substituting Swiss Toblerone with great results. Guess what everyone is getting in their Christmas goodie baskets this year?!


CROCK POT CANDY (Serves 24)

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 (16 ounce) package unsalted dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate bits
  • 1 (4 ounce) German chocolate bars
  • 32 ounces white almond bark

Directions

  1. Put peanuts in bottom of crock pot; add other ingredients.
  2. Cook on low setting for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Place rounded spoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool.

~ Food.com ~

Broiled Steaks with Thyme Butter

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There is nothing quite like a nice lean steak cooked to perfection. That is unless you top it with some of this fantastic compound butter. Such a simple, but totally perfect method to bring steak to the table. Perfect for any weekday night or share with friends and family at a dinner party. I so enjoyed the Thyme butter that I stripped all available sprigs of thyme and made up a batch to keep on hand. Served here with Potato Leek Gratin and some of Erin’s Broccoli and Mushroom Divan (sans chicken).


BROILED STEAKS WITH THYME BUTTER (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 rib eye steaks or 4 New York strip steaks, 1-2-inch thick
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Blend together butter, thyme and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Place butter on waxed paper or parchment; roll into a log about 1-1½” thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm.
  2. Trim steaks of any exterior fat. (Leaving the fat on will result in a lot of smoke in your broiler.) Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Do not use your oven’s broiling pan; it’s too shallow. Pour 2 cups of salt into a 3″ deep disposable roasting pan, then place a cooling rack over the pan. The salt will catch any drips and prevent them from flaring or smoking. Place steaks on the rack.
  3. Place steaks in a preheated 375°F oven for 6-8 minutes to bring them up to temperature. Turn steaks over and pat dry again with paper towels. Let rest 10 minutes while preheating broiler.
  4. Place roasting pan in broiler, positioned so steaks are 1-1½” from the heating element. Broil 3 minutes, then turn steaks over and broil another 3 minutes. Continue flipping the steaks every 3 minutes until center registers 125-130°F (for medium-rare), 6-16 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and top each steak with one quarter of the compound butter. Tent with foil and let rest about 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Note: timing depends on how strong your broiler is. Place a slice of plain white sandwich bread under your broiler, about 3″ from the heat. If your bread is toasted in under 30 seconds, you have a very strong broiler and should use the shortest times. If longer than 2 minutes, your broiler is very weak, and use the longest cooking times.
  6. Note: for 1″ steaks, prebake 6 minutes and flip every 2 minutes. For 1½” steaks, prebake 8 minutes and flip every 3 minutes. For 2″ steaks, prebake 10 minutes and flip every 4 minutes.

~ Food.com ~