What’s Next on my Plate:

Hawaiian Mahi Mahi rolls stuffed with mango and macadamia nut stuffing

Æbelskiver (Danish Filled Pancakes)

Chicken Canzanese with Polenta Cakes

Lillet Poached Pears with Thyme & Pepper

Triple Lemon Baked Doughnuts

(German Braised Rabbit Stew)

Pesto Goat Cheese Chicken Cordon Bleu

Raspberry Hot Chocolate Mix

Nov 19th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 cup milk powder
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch processed)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup raspberry powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
marshmallows to taste

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Place in an airtight container or ziplock bag and use as needed (see below). Makes 8-10 8 ounce servings and lasts 3-4 months.

To make a mug of hot chocolate, combine 8 tablespoons of the cocoa mixture with 8 ounces of steaming hot milk. Let sit for 2 minutes before stirring and drinking. Enjoy!

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Apple and Honey Pinwheel Cookies

Nov 14th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

for the Filling
1 1/2 cups dried apples
1 cup apple butter
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut to a small dice
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

for the Dough
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, or allspice
1/3 cup canola oil
3 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons low-fat milk, plus more as needed
2 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

To prepare filling: Combine dried and fresh apple, apple butter, honey, orange zest, cinnamon and cardamom (or allspice) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and cook, stirring, until the dried apples have softened and the fresh apple pieces have nearly fallen apart, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor and puree. If the mixture seems dry, stir in up to 2 teaspoons water. Transfer the mixture to a container and refrigerate while preparing the dough.

To prepare dough: Whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cardamom (or allspice) in a large bowl. In another large bowl, combine oil, butter, sugar, honey, eggs, milk, orange zest, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat the wet ingredients with an electric mixer first on low speed, then on medium speed, until well combined. Add half the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the remaining dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until evenly incorporated. If the mixture is too dry to hold together, stir in up to 1 tablespoon more milk. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at minimum 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a 6-inch-long log. Working with one log at a time, center it on a 16-inch-long sheet of baking parchment or wax paper. Cover with a second sheet. Press and then roll into a 12-by-15-inch rectangle of even thickness, inverting the dough occasionally to roll out any wrinkles and patching it to make the sides as even as possible. Transfer the dough, in the paper, to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining log of dough and transfer to the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the dough is slightly firm, about 15 minutes.

To prepare pinwheel rolls: Place one sheet of dough on a work surface. Peel off the top sheet of paper. Spread half the filling evenly over the dough (it will be a thin layer). Working from a 15-inch-long side, tightly roll up the dough jelly-roll style, leaving the bottom sheet of paper behind. While rolling, slightly stretch out the center to yield an evenly thick roll. Wrap the roll in a clean sheet of wax paper, twisting the ends to prevent unrolling. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough and place on the baking sheet. Freeze until firm, at least 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

Working with one pinwheel roll at a time, trim the uneven ends. Cut the roll crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices using a large serrated knife. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Bake the cookies until puffed and barely golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Immediately transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Cut and bake the remaining pinwheel roll.

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Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Nov 10th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

for the stew
2 pounds skirt steak (steak tips), 1 – 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup crimini mushrooms, 1 – 1 1/2 inch dice (optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, peeled and small dice
1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
3 cups low sodium beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon corn starch, mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons heavy cream

for the mashed sweet potatoes
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups half and half
8 tablespoons butter, divided
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over medium heat and add the carrots. Boil for 10-12 minutes, until carrots are tender. Rinse and set carrots aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat to a shimmer. Once hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the crimini mushrooms, if using and sauté until they are tender. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove to a prep bowl and replace pan on the burner. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat again until shimmering. Add the meat and brown (you may have to do this in batches as not to crowd the pan — you want the meat to sear, not steam). Season with salt, pepper, herbs de Provence and paprika. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan to a mixing bowl as well. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan for all the fond.

Return meat and onion-mushroom mixture to the pan and add beef stock and tomato paste. Bring mixture to a low simmer and cover, to let cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test the meat for tenderness. If ready, add the corn starch slurry and bring to a rolling boil for just 30 seconds to thicken. Remove from the heat and add in the cream. Finally, stir in the cooked carrots and frozen peas. Ladle into your pie dishes and let cool to room temperature.

While the stew is cooling, make your mashed sweet potatoes. Cook potatoes over medium heat until tender, about 15-18 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half, and melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Drain potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. using your hand mixer, whip potatoes, adding the cream/butter mixer. Be careful not to let the mashed potatoes get gluely.

Preheat your oven to 400F.

To assemble, spread a healthy portion of the mashed potatoes over the stew. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until potatoes are browned. Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.

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Tart Cherry and Cranberry Reduction

Nov 7th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (1 pound)
1 can (14 ounces) pitted tart cherries (use juices)
pinch of cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, cook sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and cherries. Bring to a boil. Cook uncovered, until cranberries begin to pop, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat; cook 20 minutes longer or until thickened. Take off the head and add cinnamon and vanilla. Pour into a serving dish. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a month or so.

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Chocolate-Dipped Harvest Spice Caramels

Nov 5th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch of ground cayenne
Ghirardelli Chocolate Melting Wafers

You will also need a candy thermometer.

Create a foil or parchment paper sling for your 8×8 inch baking pan. Spray lightly with baking spray. Set aside.

Combine butter, corn syrup, sugar and cream in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Use a bigger than you think you need as it boils up quite a bit. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. It’s very important to scrape off all the sugar from the sides of the pot. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking WITHOUT stirring until it reaches 248F. This can take anywhere for 20 minutes to an hour, just be patient. Remove from heat and stir in salt and spices. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Let rest in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours before cutting into pieces. They will be soft and quite sticky.

Line a table, countertop or baking sheets with wax paper. Using a double-boiler (or a metal bowl set over a lightly simmering pot of water), melt the chocolate wafers. Using two forks, individually dip the caramels in the chocolate, quickly coat and then remove to the wax paper lined surface. Let harden for 1-2 hours. Wrap caramels in waxed paper to store. Can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature.

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