Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Seattle Peach Lemonade

Seattle Peach Lemonade

Introducing... my new favorite summer time cooler!  I sipped my first peach lemonade while enjoying views of Puget Sound on our house hunting trip to Seattle last fall.  I dreamed about making some with fresh summer peaches all winter long!  So I am happy to finally get this recipe out to you in time to enjoy it while peach season is still in swing. I know you all will love this just as much as we do!

4 fresh peaches, peeled and pits removed
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
5-7 cups cold water

In large blender, blend peaches until smooth.  Blend in lemon juice immediately.  Adding the lemon juice immediately will keep the peaches from turning brown. Add sugar and blend again until smooth.  Pour peach mixture into large glass pitcher or beverage container and stir in cold water to taste.  Serve over ice.   

Monday, August 3, 2015

Cooking Group~ Kelley Miller's Quick Tilapia In Lemon Caper Sauce

Hi friends! Thanks to one of my son's, I could finally find some pictures from my iphone, upload them and get them on my blog!  Thanks Timothy!  While my fun Maryland cooking group has ended, I'll still be posting some great recipes from it, here and there.  This is one of Kelley Miller's favorite dishes.  We loved it too.  It's really easy and pretty fast.  Hope you enjoy it!  

Quick Tilapia in Lemon Caper Sauce

6 fresh tilapia or sole fillets, seasoned with salt and fresh ground pepper
flour for dredging
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
fresh cut lemons for garnish

Dredge fish in flour and shake off excess.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in large non-stick skillet. Heat butter until browned, stir in olive oil.  Add fish to butter and oil and cook fish for 3 minutes in each side.  Remove fish from pan and add broth and lemon juice and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup.  Whisk in 2 teaspoons butter and serve over fish.  Garnish with capers and a slice of lemon.  Serve with seasoned rice or couscous.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Chocolate Dream Peony Cake

   ~  Hello Dear Friends! We are finally getting settled in Seattle Washington!  It's really green and beautiful here in the Northwest.  We are enjoying Seattle, and looking forward to new adventures on the West Coast.  I've been working more on the cookbook, which I'm getting really excited about!  I will keep you updated as it moves along!  So stay tuned for details!  
   ~  I know we are all enjoying every minute of peony season...so I thought it the perfect time to share this favorite cake of mine!  Isn't it gorgeous?  It's perfect for birthdays and special occasions this time of year!  If you haven't already planted a peony bush...now is the time!  Peonys are perennial, so they come back every spring and early summer.  They are very hardy and love the sun!  You'll love the amazing blooms in your yard as well as in arrangements and as decoration for this delicious cake!  You can use other flowers as decoration on this cake if you don't have any peonys, a big gerber daisy would be really pretty on top too.  

Chocolate Dream Peony Cake

2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups butter milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan or spray with baking spray with flour.  In bowl of electric mixer add all of the dry ingredients and whisk together with a hand held whisk.  Add all of the wet ingredients and beat on medium with electric mixer until thoroughly combined, for about 3 minutes.  Pour batter into prepared pan until it reaches ¾ of the way to the top.   Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.   Let cake sit overnight or for a few hours before inverting onto cake platter.  Pipe stripes, as directed, with White Chocolate Butter cream Frosting.

White Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

The white chocolate frosting looks beautiful against the dark chocolate cake and the two flavors together are downright heavenly.

11.5 oz. package white chocolate chips, (melted in the top of a double boiler)
1/4 cup egg whites, (from 2 large eggs)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch cream of tartar
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract

Mix together egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt in small saucepan.  Place on lowest heat possible heat until just warm to the touch. In electric mixer whip egg white mixture for 5 minutes or until cool and holds a stiff peak.  Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time to egg white mixture, beat while scraping bowl as needed. Add melted white chocolate and vanilla and whip for 1 minute. Fit decorators bag with a ½ inch round tip or with no tip at all.  (You'll want a big opening to make a thick stripe of frosting.)  Fill with frosting.  Starting in center of bundt cake, pipe a stripe of frosting 6 inches long ending midway down the cake.   Repeat with additional stripes, each a few inches apart.  Each stripe will begin in the center of the bundt cake.  Fill center of cake with extra frosting and top with a pink peony, pansies or other fresh flowers. Allow cake to set in a cool location, but do not refrigerate.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Whipped Peppermint White Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Cream

Whipped Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Happy Holidays Friends!  Hope you are enjoying this wonderful season!  I came up with this recipe for this delicious Whipped Peppermint White Hot Chocolate a few weeks ago and it has been a huge it at my cooking classes and and my friend's cookie exchange last week.  Everyone is asking for the recipe!  Sorry I have been so late in getting it up on the blog!  But I hope you all enjoy it!  You can serve it with or without the Whipped Chocolate Cream on top.  In the picture above I made these adorable snowmen marshmallows to go on top.

Whipped Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

1 11 ounce bag Ghiradelli Chocolate white chips
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1-3 teaspoons peppermint extract, to taste
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
whole milk, to taste

1. Melt white chocolate chips with 1/2 cup cream in crock pot.  Add peppermint and vanilla.
2. Whip 2 cups whipped cream until fluffy.  Stir whipped cream into melted chocolate mixture.  Stir in whole milk to reach desired taste and heat until hot.  Fill mugs with Whipped Peppermint White hot Chocolate and top with a dollop of Whipped Chocolate Cream.  Sprinkle crushed peppermint over the top and serve with cute stirrer, straw or spoon and a marshmallow.

Whipped Chocolate Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup Hersheys Syrup
1 cup sugar

Whip cream in medium bowl.  As the cream begins to thicken, alternate adding Hersheys syrup and sugar until combined.

Whipped Peppermint White Hot Chocolate With Chocolate Cream

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jayne Layne's Pepperoncini Beef with Provolone Hot Sandwiches

Pepperoncini Beef and Provolone Hot Sandwiches

 Jayne treated us to these amazing beef sandwiches the other night for Cooking Group.   This is a great slow cooker recipe...just place the browned beef, pepperocini and garlic in your slow cooker on high...six hours later you will have a wonderful juicy beef roast ready to shred and place on toasted buns.  Kelley and I loved dipping these sandwiches in the rich pan juices for a French Dip like sandwich.  These are scrumptious!   For those of us who weren't home when Jayne brought Cooking Group dinner over...she started it in our slow cooker for us!   Everyday I am reminded about how much I love Cooking Group!  I hope you have started one of your own and love it too!

3 lb. beef roast, seasoned with salt and pepper
13 ounce jar chopped pepperoncini plus liquid
5 large cloves garlic, minced
12 hard rolls, sliced in half

In hot skillet place a little oil.  Brown roast on all sides over medium high heat.  Place roast in crock pot with pepperoncini and juices and minced garlic.  Cook in slow cooker on high for 6 hours.   The simplest way to test when the beef is done is by inserting a fork into the beef.  If it goes in and out easily, it is done!  Shred beef using two forks and stir beef into sauce. 
Toast buns under broiler for 30 seconds until lightly browned.  Spread mayonnaise over inside of buns.  Top buns with shredded beef.  Lay piece of provolone cheese over beef.  Place beef and cheese sandwich under broiler for 30 seconds or until cheese melts.  Add the top bun and serve.  You will love dipping these delicious sandwiches in the pan juices!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cooking Group ~ Kelley Miller's Easy Tortellini and Spinach Soup

Easy Tortellini and Spinach Soup

A hot bowl of soup on these cold fall and winter nights served with some fresh bread really hits the spot. I love soup!  Don't you?  You know I LOVE trying new recipes...so I was so excited to try Kelley's soup today!  And it's a hit!  It is super fast, easy and delicious so I know you'll love it too!  You can add some cooked chicken to this soup if desired.  If you are adding chicken, add a little extra chicken broth as well. This recipe will serve six.

1 tablespoon butter, or olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14 ounce cans) chicken broth
9 ounce package cheese tortellini
course salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
14 ounce can stewed tomatoes (favorite: Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes)
1/2 bunch fresh stemmed spinach
handful fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, garnish

Melt butter in large pot.  Saute garlic in butter over medium heat for a minute.  Stir in broth and tortellini.  Bring to a boil.  Season with salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, spinach and basil.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread.  Now how easy was that?

Here are all of the ingredients measured and bagged for cooking group.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cooking Group~ Kelley Miller's Shrimp Portifino

Shrimp Portofino

Here's another favorite meal from Cooking Group for you all to try.  Kelly Miller brought this amazing dinner the other night.  It was really pretty fast to prepare and tasted amazing! It's great for a fast weeknight meal but elegant enough for a dinner party too!  I love it!

 5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. large raw  shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup white wine
3/4 cup cream
scant 1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs
4 cups baby spinach
handful of pine nuts for garnish
1 lb. thin spaghetti

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta while you are making the shrimp sauce.   In large heavy skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter, Saute garlic in butter for 30 seconds.  Add shrimp saute for 30 seconds.  Add white wine and saute for 2 minutes, until shrimp are opaque. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside, leaving the sauce in the pan.  Cover shrimp with foil to keep warm. Bring sauce to a simmer and add cream. Simmer 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.  Remove from heat and whisk in 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at time until melted.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Stir in bread crumbs. Return to heat and add spinach and cook until spinach wilts, just a minute or two.  Stir in shrimp and serve over hot pasta. Garnish with pine nuts, serve with crusty bread and enjoy! 

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