Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Berry Goat Cheese Grilled Sandwiches

Where has the time gone... Summer is really busy here. Horse shows and outside chores are keeping us really busy. Of course summer is the best time for fresh produce, and it's berry season! It's always fun to come up with new recipes to use fresh berries in. Muffins are great, but sometimes you want something a little different.

My fresh herb plants are doing great this summer, and I never miss an opportunity to use them in cooking. Dried herbs can be substituted for fresh, just use 1/8 tsp. Any hearty bread will work. I chose a multi grain. This recipe is for one sandwich, but it can be easily multiplied to make as many as you would like.

Summer Berry Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches

2 thick slices of crusty bread
1 tsp butter, plus extra to butter bread
1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

Butter bread slices on one side, set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt 1 tsp butter. Add chopped herbs, honey and berries. Simmer and stir over low heat for 3 minutes.

Spray a non stick skillet with cooking spray. Put one slice of bread, butter side down, into skillet. Place crumbled goat cheese on bread, then spoon berry mixture on top. Top with remaining slice of bread, butter side out. Push down slightly.

Brown each side over low heat until bread is golden and cheese is melted. Approx 4 minutes each side (will depend on exact heat of skillet and thickness of bread)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Red Hot Ranch Meatballs

Just in time for the Superbowl - Red Hot Ranch Meatballs. I suggest using pretzel sticks instead of toothpicks to serve these as appetizers, so that your guests don't have to worry about what to do with the toothpicks. These are hot! Serve a side of ranch for dipping.

Red Hot Ranch Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken or turkey
.4 oz packet of ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Form into equal sized meatballs. Bake for 25 minutes.

Serve with celery sticks and ranch dressing for dipping.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Strawberry Snowflake Cupcakes

Red and white for Valentines Day. Strawberries and snow! These light and fluffy cupcakes are very simple to make. I started with a cake mix to make them even simpler. Don't be intimidated by the meringue icing. If you have a stand mixer, it's a breeze. A hand mixer would also work.

Strawberry Snowflake Cupcakes

18.25 ox box of white cake mix
1 can lemon lime soda
2 cups chopped strawberries (divided)
1 1/2 cups seedless strawberry jelly

5 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350. line 2, 12 cup muffin pans with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and soda. Mix until just combined. Fold in one cup of chopped strawberries.

Bake cupcakes for 25-30 minutes until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

When cupcakes are cool, fill a pastry bag with a tip withe the strawberry jelly. Using a paring knife, cut a small hole in the cucake. Press the pastry tip into the cupcake and squeeze in a small amount of jelly. Note - If you don’t want to do this step, you can wait until after you frost the cupcakes. Make a small indentation in the frosting, and put a tsp or so of jelly under the chopped strawberry garnish.

To make the frosting -Put afew inches of water in a saucepan the right size to hold the bowl of your electric mixer slightly above the water. Bring the water to a boil. Combine the frosting ingredients in the mixer bowl and set it over the boiling water. Whisk it constantly until the sugar is totally dissolved, mixture is smooth and it feels hot to the touch. About 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to the standing mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, and beat on medium high speed until the meringue is shiny and will hold stiff peaks. About 5-7 minutes.

Spread the frosting on the cupcakes with a spoon or spatula. Use the back of the spoon to make it “spiky”. Garnish with remaining chopped strawberries.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mini Strawberry Cannoli Cream Puffs

Mini Strawberry Cannoli Creampuffs

1/2 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. flour
2 eggs

Combine water and butter in saucepan, bring to a boil. Add the salt and flour at the same time, stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat, beat in 1 egg at a time, beating well until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate for one hour. Place in teaspoon size balls on lightly greased cookie sheet.. Bake 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until brown (they will sound hollow when you tap them with a spoon). Cool, cut off tops, fill with filling, then replace tops. Dust with powdered sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus 1/4 cup for garnish)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup diced strawberries