Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

These cookies are maaaahvelous!  But then I just love anything with lemon and poppy seeds!  I used real lemons for the juice.  I don’t know how they would be with lemon juice from a bottle, but these cookies are worth using the real thing!

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Makes about 30

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (2 to 3 lemons)

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon poppy seeds, plus more for sprinkling

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1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until reduced by half. Add 1 stick butter; stir until melted.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cream remaining stick butter and 1 cup sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix in egg and lemon butter. Mix until pale, about 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla and 2 teaspoons zest. Mix in flour mixture and poppy seeds.

3. Stir together remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons zest in a shallow bowl. Roll spoonfuls of dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll them in sugar/zest mixture. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Press each with the flat end of a measuring cup or glass dipped in sugar mixture until 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with seeds.

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4. Bake until just browned around bottom edges, 10 to 11 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Lemon Poppyseed Cookies collage

Bon Appétit



Adapted From Martha Stewart

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cinnabon Cinnamon Buns

After searching and searching for the perfect cinnamon bun recipe, I think this is as close as I've gotten. I've tweaked it a bit and think its a pretty good clone for Cinnabon.

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup water
1/2 of a (3.4 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour
2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1. Place the ingredients in breach machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer, (usually all wet ingredients first)
2. Select dough setting and start machine.
3. Once cycle is complete, remove dough and set on a lightly floured surface.

4. Roll out dough to approximately 17 x 10 inch rectangle.

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened (read below)**

1. Combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon, mixing well.
2. Spread softened butter over rolled-out dough
**(I've done this two ways, a)mixing butter in with brown sugar mixture and b) this way by putting butter on dough first. Not sure if there's much of a difference, but I would suggest if you're going to do it this way, to lightly press the brown sugar mixture into the butter with your hands to keep it from falling off while rolling the dough).
3. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over top. (press slightly).
4. Roll like jelly roll, pinching edges closed when completely rolled.
**You can roll in either direction depending on how many rolls you want.
5. Slice rolled dough into 1 inch pieces. Place on greased baking pans or use parchment paper. Cover and let rise in a warm place about an hour.
6. Bake at 350*F (175*C) for 15 -20 minutes, until golden brown. Do not over bake.

2 ounces cream cheese softened
2 tbsp butter softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp milk

Combine all ingredients until smooth.
Spread onto warm rolls.
Makes 16-24 rolls.

Bon Appetit
*Linked up Here

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rice Balls

Rice balls are fabulous as a side dish or as an entree.  They certainly go over big in my household!  For this recipe I use sticky rice.  Not minute rice, arborio rice, or sushi rice… sticky rice.  You shouldn’t have a problem finding it.  You’ll prepare it the way the package indicates.  Make sure you rinse the rice before cooking it.  I’m going to give you a basic recipe here.  Keep in mind you may add anything you like to the center of the rice balls; corn, peas, meat, sausage meat, there are no limits.  I have to make mine plain, because I have a ‘plain’ child, that likes ‘plain’ food, (she’s getting better though).

14 Rice Balls
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2 cups sticky rice
3-1/2 cups water (prepare as directed on package)
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
1 egg
3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1/2 Mozzarella cheese ball
oil or spray oil
Oil for frying. (Oil should be about 2” to 3” deep)

Cook rice as per directions on package.  Don’t forget to rinse it first. 
Prepare the breadcrumb mixture.  Put the following ingredients into a shallow dish or pan; breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, 1/4 cup of grated cheese. Set aside.
Once rice is cooked, remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of grated cheese and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce (doesn’t have to be hot).  Mix well.   Cool rice just enough to be able to handle it.
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While rice is cooling a few minutes, crack egg in a small bowl and beat with fork, set aside.  Cut mozzarella into small cubes..about 1 inch x 1 inch.  If you want to put anything else in the middle of the rice ball, now is the time to get that together. Make sure whatever you put in the centre of the rice ball is already cooked. 
When rice is ready to handle, spray both your hands with spray oil (or oil).  Take a heaping tablespoon full of the rice and pat it flat in your hand, add a cube or two of cheese (and any other ingredient at this point) then another heaping spoonful of rice formed into a patty and put that on top.  Form this little rice sandwich into a ball, about 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter, but you could make then larger if you like.   Keep oiling hands as needed.  Dip rolled ball into beaten egg and wash it all over with your hands. Roll in breadcrumb mixture.  Shake off excess bread crumbs and fry in heated oil. Keep rolling the balls and turning them constantly while frying.  Fry to a nice golden brown color, frying time should be about 3 minutes. Don’t let oil get TOO hot.  Drain on paper towel.

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Serve alone or topped with sauce.  Bon Appétit
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Moist Oven Roasted Pulled Pork

There are a multitude of recipes out there for Pulled Pork.  I wanted something simple and done in the oven, (no firing up the BBQ for 10 hours for me.)  Simple, easy and shovin’ in the oven'.
This recipe turns out unbelievably moist and tender. It just falls apart.
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1 Pork Butt/Pork Shoulder/Picnic Shoulder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1 tsp cayenne pepper
6 dashes liquid smoke (optional, I didn’t use it)
pulled pork mix


Mix all ingredients in a bowl, stir, rub all over pork
Refrigerate 24 hours (or overnight, that worked for me). Place in crockpot 10-12 hours on LOW....or...
Cover and roast on bottom rack  in oven at 250-275 degrees until tender from 7-8 hours (slow and low) Use meat thermometer to ensure pork is cooked thoroughly.  Let sit 15 minutes before handling.
Discard bone and fat from Pork, place in serving pot and shred meat with two forks.  Add your favorite BBQ sauce (Diana’s Smokehouse Sauce is amazing with this.)
Or you can make a spicy BBQ sauce by adding Cayenne pepper and Tabasco to your favorite BBQ sauce, put in a squeeze bottle.
Serve on a bun, with a salad, or as a meal.
I happen to like a crusty Italian bun with mine.

Bon Appétit

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Brownies

Pumpkin and Chocolate make these gooey brownies moist and creamy .  Makes 16

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8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.

Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. ( I just did mine in the microwave.)
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Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour.  Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don't set. With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.  Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

  • Adapted From Martha Stewart

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