Tag Archives: butter

Butter Pecan Biscotti with Chocolate Drizzle

Butter Pecan BiscottiButter Pecan Biscotti are perfect for holiday cookie exchanges and for sharing! One of my favorite ice cream flavors is butter pecan, so I wanted to turn it into a biscotti for giving away as homemade gifts for friends this holiday season.   

Normally, I am too busy to do much baking during the holiday season.  This year is different. We just moved to a new city and I am still healing from surgery so my time in the kitchen is limited. Baking loads of Christmas cookies is something that I really enjoy and these biscotti are going to be in the regular rotation. They received rave reviews around here and this house is well versed in cookie consumption.  Biscotti are an excellent option if you ship cookies to friends and family, like I do.  They hold up well and remain fresh much longer than normal cookies. 

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Roasted Idaho® Fingerling Potatoes with Shishito Peppers and Asian Spices

togarashi-spiced-fingerlings-ppThis post is sponsored by Idaho® Potatoes, all opinions are mine!
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Last month, I was invited to join Idaho® Potatoes on their Harvest Tour 2016.   What a privilege! I had never been to Idaho before and to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  I had arrived a few days before the rest of the bloggers to stay the weekend in Boise with L and her husband D.  The 48 hours spent in Boise felt like twice as long because L had planned so many incredible things for us.  We had the most incredible time in Boise and I seriously can’t wait to go back.  If you’ve never been, GO.  I know most people would think “Really?!”  “Boise?!”  Yes.  Boise.  The food was on par, we rode bikes everywhere we went and had some fantastic wines.  I may have to do a follow up post on Boise, because I loved it so much.  I’m sure that it had much to do with L, her outstanding itinerary and her wonderful husband who is such a love.
Onto the HARVEST TOUR!!!!

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Blueberry Crumb Cake

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Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month?  Let’s make a cake and celebrate!
Last week, I was flipping through an old book and 2 things fell out onto my lap: this recipe and an old black & white photo from a birthday party.

That’s the story of my life.  I’m usually a fairly organized person,  but little scraps of paper plague my existence.  I find them everywhere.  I mean, literally everywhere.  I scribble down notes or ideas and shove them into a bag or toss them onto the dining room table or kitchen counter.   I’m staring at a handful of them as I type this…crumb cake
I’ve given this recipe a permanent home now, which makes me quite pleased because this cake happens to be one of my very favorite things in all the world.   In my humble opinion, crumb cakes are absolutely one of the recipes that should be in everyone’s back pocket.  A good crumb cake is a crowd pleaser. Have you ever met someone that didn’t like crumb cake?  Me either.  
It almost guarantees you’ll get another invite if you bring it to someone’s house.  Ask my friends, I’ve taken it a few times  😉Blueberry Cake
This cake has a Very Generous crumb topping, which is mandatory in my book.  The cake itself is surprisingly light, but sturdy enough to support a hefty amount of fresh blueberries.   Get them while they are in season, because those plump little blueberries are best in the summer months!

Blueberry Crumb Cake
Serves 9
A fruit-packed cake topped with a buttery, crunchy crumb
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
For the Cake
  1. 1 1/2 cups AP flour + 1 tsp for blueberries
  2. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp vanilla (preferably vanilla bean paste)
  6. 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4TB), softened
  7. 2/3 cup sugar
  8. 1 large egg
  9. 1/3 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
  10. 2 cups blueberries, washed and patted dry
For the Crumb Topping
  1. 1 cup AP flour
  2. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Make the Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl- mix flour, sugar and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the mixture until you have large crumbs. Do not make them too small! Otherwise, the topping will not be crunchy, yummy chunks of buttery goodness on top of your cake... It will melt into the cake.
  2. Chill until you are ready to sprinkle on the cake.
Make the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9x9 baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beat until just combined. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, beat until combined. Repeat once more, ending with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, toss blueberries with the teaspoon of flour and gently fold into the batter.
  6. Batter is thick, so being gentle is important! Spoon batter into the baking dish and use an offset spatula if necessary to level the top.
  7. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the entire cake and bake for 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely before slicing!
Notes
  1. This is a versatile cake, the blueberries can be swapped out for other berries (like blackberries!) or even stone fruits like cherries or peaches.
  2. It also freezes beautifully for those days when you need just a little something.
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
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Langostino Mac & Cheese with Crispy Bacon and Chives #SundaySupper #JuneDairyMonth

Langostino Mac & Cheese

This post is sponsored by Florida Dairy Farmers in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.

This week, I am partnering with Florida Milk to talk a bit about what they do as a part of my post.  I happen to be a fan of farmers.  I grew up surrounded by family farms, so I have an appreciation for them.  I am also acutely aware that without them, food would be scarce to say the least. 

When I moved to Florida a few years ago, I, like most people, really only thought of beaches or theme parks and not much else. But, did you know there are more than 130 dairy farms here and most of those farms are primarily owned and operated by second and third-generation farming families.  They are hardworking men and women who care for their cows and the land, and they are leaders in their communities. Meet some of Florida’s Dairy Farmers here!

A few fun facts about Florida Cows

The majority of the dairy cows living in Florida are Holsteins (the black & white cows) and most dairy herds range in size from 150 to 5,000 cows.  That’s about 123,000 dairy cows in Florida (with Lafayette and Okeechobee being the leading dairy counties) that collectively produce about 2.34 BILLION pounds of milk a year.  That equates to 277 million gallons of Florida-produced milk at the grocery store.

Cheesy Goodness

I’m celebrating “Dairy Month” with one of my all-time favorite foods: Macaroni and Cheese.  It has long been one of my comfort foods.  Mac & cheese has been around for hundreds of years, so I’m sure it has been a comfort food for many.  When I was a teenager, it was my favorite after school snack.  You know the one –  the box with the shockingly orange powdered cheese.  I hadn’t yet learned how to make mac & cheese from scratch, so to my untrained palate it was gastronomic bliss!  I have since learned the delights of real macaroni and cheese.  Thankyouverymuch. 

While I still enjoy plain macaroni and cheese (probably more than I should), I wanted to “fancy it up” a bit and add in sweet langostinos with a handful of crispy bacon.  (Langostinos look like tiny lobsters, but are actually more closely related to certain species of crab.)  Normally, I use extra-sharp cheddar in my mac & cheese because I like the pronounced cheesiness.  However, when paired with the delicate flavor of langostinos, the cheese should complement and not overpower them so I went with a mellow cheddar.   Feel free to add in other cheeses.  Play around with the recipe, swap out one for another, try different combinations… just make sure you keep the same quantity.  Cooking should be fun and creative, recipes like this are a perfect place to start experimenting.

Baked

Mac & Cheese is perfection.  Pasta mixed with a creamy cheese sauce, topped with a layer of (even more) cheese & breadcrumbs and baked.  It’s so simple and satisfying.  
Enough talk, let’s get cooking…

Langostino Mac & Cheese with Crispy Bacon and Chives
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
  2. 5 TB. unsalted butter
  3. 4 TB. AP flour
  4. 2 C. whole milk
  5. 1 C. Half & Half
  6. 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  8. 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  9. 2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top
  10. 1 1/2 C. langostinos, cooked
  11. 1 C. cooked bacon, chopped
  12. 2 TB. chives, chopped
  13. 1/4 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
  14. 1 TB butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. In a small pot, combine milk and half & half. Heat until warm, cover and set aside.
  3. In a medium pot, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Turn heat up to medium and whisk roux for 2 -3 minutes. Add milk mixture and whisk to combine. Using a rubber spatula, go around the edges of your pan to make sure all of the flour gets incorporated.
  4. Continue whisking frequently until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add dry mustard, salt, pepper and 2 cups cheddar. Stir continuously until smooth and uniform.
  6. Spray or butter 9x13 baking dish, set aside. In a large bowl, combine: cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, bacon, langostinos and chives. Stir to combine.
  7. Pour into glass baking dish. Stir together 1 TB melted butter, breadcumbs and remaining cheddar. Sprinkle over macaroni and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Langostinos are most often sold frozen, already cooked.
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
 

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Want to meet the cows, get recipes from the Florida Milk Kitchen (including a lavender milk bath!) and see what’s new on the farms?  Check out Florida Dairy Farmers and keep up with Florida milk in the news and in the schools.

You can also keep up with Florida Dairy Farmers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Here are more recipes from the folks at Sunday Supper featuring Florida milk:

Milk in the Morning:

Milk during the Day:

Milk in Desserts:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

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Lavender Scones…

So here we are smack in the middle of the holiday season and there are pumpkin, gingerbread & peppermint recipes coming out of people’s ears and what am I making?  Lavender scones.

I don’t mean to swim upstream, it just seems to happen…  I’ve been on a bit of a scone kick lately.  I will admit I’ve been making cranberry scones too and THOSE are holiday’ish, but I needed a break from the sea of cinnamon and nutmeg.

They are ridiculously easy  (especially the drop kind like these) and they take very little time, which is a blessing during this frenzied time of year when time and energy are in short supply.   

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Coffee Cookies

Do you love coffee?  Yeah, me too.  I don’t mean that in a casual  “yeah, I love coffee” kind of way;  I. Love. Coffee.  We’re hot & heavy.  It’s a torrid love affair that has no end in sight.  I once (foolishly) thought I should give up coffee…  Why, you ask?   Well, I thought I should get off caffeine, or rather it should get out of me.   Then, after 3 absolutely miserable weeks,  I had a revelation of sorts.   I don’t really drink (I’m usually a 2 drink max kind of girl), I’ve never had a cigarette in my entire life and I don’t do drugs.  Pretty boring, I know…   So, here’s where I decided that coffee and I are lifelong partners; I don’t do anything else!  Everyone has a vice and dammit, coffee was going to be mine! 

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(Pear) Butter Me Up…

Pear Butter

Recently I found myself with about 7 pounds of pears that were ripening faster than I could consume them.  Normally, this would never happen as pears are one of my favorites and generally don’t last long enough to even get mushy,  yet here we are.

There were ideas swirling around in my head as to what I could do with them, but none of them really thrilled me so I put out a call on the Facebook page for ideas.   Sometimes you just need to get out of your own head, you know?   Get some fresh ideas and perhaps learn a thing or two…  As usual, my friends came through.  I had a dozen great ideas in under 5 minutes.  It pays off to have “foodies” for friends!  Then, my “wish-she-were-really-my-sister” came through with “you could use this as a filling for sweet rolls”.  Well, that girl knows just how to get to me.  From that point on, it was all I could think about. 

I rushed to make it, take photos and write the recipe;  then life got in the way and it took me two weeks to write it up.    So much for planning…   I am still swooning over the idea of this being used as a filling for sweet rolls.  (That Jenni is a bit of an evil genius)

Now that I had decided on the fate of the pears,  it was time to get everything set up for canning.  Let me preface this by saying it is not imperative to can the pear butter.  Feel free to store it in the refrigerator if you are certain it will be consumed within a week or two.   I happen to get giddy over that “ping” of the lids sealing and thus am drawn to canning like a moth to a flame.   It adds 15 minutes to the process and I can leave them in the cupboard or give them to friends as gifts, well worth an extra fifteen minutes if you ask me and your friends will be impressed with your kitchen prowess…  they needn’t know it wasn’t all that difficult.

pear butter 001

pear butter 009

 pear butter 008

Pear Butter
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Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 pounds very ripe pears (Bartlett or Anjou), roughly chopped (do not peel or seed)
  2. 1/2 cup Elderflower liqueur (or Bourbon)
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  6. 1 star anise
  7. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large, deep pot, combine pears, elderflower liqueur or bourbon and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat for approximately 30 - 40 minutes until fruit is falling apart.
  2. Run mixture through the fine mesh of a food mill to remove seeds and skin. Return puree to pot and stir in brown sugar, lemon juice ginger and salt.
  3. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until thick and amber colored. (about 2 - 2 1/2 hrs)
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Makes 6 half pint jars
  6. If you want to can the butter, sterilize jars & lids, spoon butter into jars and process in a water bath for 10 - 15 minutes.
Notes
  1. The original plan was to use bourbon with this... Only to discover I had none and did not feel like going out to buy some. I happened upon elderflower liqueur and it was quite the happy accident. It worked beautifully here.
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie.   These three little words make me sit on the edge of my seat in anticipation.  In my book, it is one of the most perfect desserts.  The fact that it is ridiculously easy gives it major bonus points. 
Growing up, I don’t think I’d even heard of key lime pie.  We had apple, peach, strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, pecan, pumpkin, lemon meringue, chocolate cream, but never key lime. 

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Buttermilk Biscuits

Sometimes it’s as if people are dropped into your life out of the blue.  This is the story of  one such person.  I was lucky enough to have made a connection with another food blogger and Pastry Chef.  We “met” through Facebook & Twitter.  Like many other food bloggers, we are on each others pages.  We offer support, ask questions and weigh in on life-altering discussions about butter and how best to photograph one’s creations. 

During the course of a few months, we discovered how very much alike we are… although she is definitely the nicer one.  She has become my “Sissy” and this happened the day I met her in person. Continue reading

Blushing Valentine

I know it may seem a bit early to start thinking of Valentine’s Day, but it’s only a few short weeks away.   If you like to make a special treat on Valentine’s Day, this is the cake.  
It is a towering 4 layers high and lovingly encased in the most delicate rose-scented buttercream.  It is outrageously good and worth every. single. calorie.  

This is also the type of cake that could easily become adorned with say a few candles for a little celebratory birthday party?   The colors could be swapped out for any, the flavor of the buttercream could be adapted to whatever you’d like it to be.  Using a vanilla base for both cake and buttercream allows you the flexibility to change colors and flavors to suit the occasion or intended recipient. Continue reading