Monday, April 30, 2012

Balsamic Roasted Tomato, Brie, Basil Picnic Sandwich

This looked absolutely gorgeous when I cut it up for a teacher's appreciation day at our kids' school. The ingredients are not to the t, so feel free to add a little more of this or that.   Get a nice big loaf of French Bread slice length-wise and butter lightly.  Then make a pesto mayo mixing 1/4 cup of pesto and 1/4 cup of mayo and spread on bread slices.  Layer bottom layer of bread with basil leaves and top with slices of balsamic roasted tomatoes and slices of brie cheese.   Assemble sandwich, wrap in tin foil and put into the refrigerator over night so the flavours mingle and bread slices nicely.   When you're ready to serve gently cut sandwiches in 2 inch slices and arrange flat on a nice platter or plate and decorate with parsley.

To roast the tomatoes:  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice four fat tomatoes and put into a casserole.  Add a little garlic powder, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of balsamic and 2 tbsp. of olive oil.  Gently make sure all the tomatoes are covered in mixture and roast for about 1 hour.  Feel free to check on the tomatoes from time to time and marinate them.  Cool them first and then layer them in the sandwich.


Strawberry Angel-Food Cake Trifle

I got this recipe from a really nice cookbook called:

Simple Stunning Parties at Home written by Karen Bussen.

It is so gorgeous and really delicious.  You don't need to make from scratch Angel Food Cake for this one, a box/mix is perfect.   I'll post the homemade angel food cake recipe from scratch I made for another party later on.

1 pound of frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 store-bought angel-food cake or make one from the box, 16 ounce container of fat-free or full-fat Greek Yogurt.

Place strawberries and sugar in a saucepan.  Heat gently until the strawberries are soft and the sugar has dissolved.  Allow the juices to reduce by one quarter, or about 8 minutes.  Let the strawberry mixture cool.  Tear first-sized pieces from the angel-food cake and use them to line the bottom of a large clear bowl or trifle dish.  Cover with a layer of Greek yogurt and layer of strawberries in syrup, filling in any holes in the previous layer.  Add another layer of cake and continue building until all the ingredients have been used, ending with a few spoonfuls of yogurt and strawberries as a garnish.

You will love it and so will your guest!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mini Bacon Cheesecakes

I got this yummy recipe idea from the May 2012 Food Network Magazine. I just improvised a little, but they are fabulous, and what a cool take on a savory cheesecake. Here ya go: 1 package of frozen mini tart shells. I had 18, but there was enough batter for at least 24 tart shells. Bake the shells first and according to the package or you will be sol. :) Cook 4 pieces of bacon.  Batter: 1 package of Philly cream cheese, 2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon cooked and chopped  up, 1/8 cup of sugar 1 tbsp. of all-purpose flour.  Cream all of the above batter ingredients together, but add only 2 slices of chopped bacon to the batter reserving two for garnish.  Once the shells are nice and toasty brown, put about a tablespoon of batter into each shell and bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes until the batter is set. Then garnish with the other two pieces of chopped bacon. Cool and put into the fridge for a couple of hours.  Finally take pictures of everyone's faces when they eat these magnificent appies and send their photos to a weird magazine....


Monday, April 09, 2012

Turkey, Havarti, and Prosciutto Puff Pastry Pizza

I'm hardly a genious for putting this one together as everyone knows puff pastry with anything is supremely sublime. However, this little concoction was the perfect way to use up turkey leftovers. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out your puff pastry and put on a cookie sheet. Cook for about 10 minutes or until brown. Cool the puff pastry and top with about 2 cups of havarti cheese. Spread the cheese around so its nice and even on the puff pastry. Then you can top with prosciutto, little chunks of turkey, maybe even a fresh herb of your choosing, pop it into the oven for a few more minutes and cook just until the cheese is nicely melted. Take out and cut into pleasurable squares. Enjoy! XO

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Best Brownies

I'm not kidding when I say that these are delicious! In fact, I would be under playing their awesome and amazingness by just calling them delicious because they are that good. The only other time I've made brownies was when I was a little girl and with my Grandma (or Grammy as she liked to be called).

1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup of white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3 tbsp. butter, softened, 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour up an 8 inch square pan. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup of cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Do not overcook. Let cool and cut into squares.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

OK, I owe this one to my son who is 13 years old and has now become a regular in the kitchen making these cookies two weeks in a row. Let me say that they are THE BEST chocolate chip cookie I personally have ever had. Last week we added white chocolate chips to the batter (my preference) and this week we added regular chocolate (my son's preference). Either way, they are amazing!

1 cup of butter, softened, 1 cup of white sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tsp. of vanilla extract (we used vanilla bean because that's what we had), 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. of baking soda, 2 tsp. hot water, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips (or white).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter, white sugar, brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned. So yum!!!! They are the crispy on the outside, soft on the inside sort.