Monday, January 28, 2013

Coconut Roulade with Rum Buttercream

I used to hate coconut. Really, when I was younger I would steer as far away from it as I possibly could. My mom always told me, “I used to hate it too, and then it grew on me. One day, I just loved it, and now I can’t go back!” Well, my mom was right, as always. ALWAYS. One day I woke up, and loved coconut! Go figure. I pretty much try every coconut thing I can get my hands on. A few weeks ago my mom made me some macaroons, and O MY GOSH. Heaven. Those coming soon! This cake is beyond moist and I was praised, literally, from those that I *shared with. *I didn’t share much!

Coconut Roulade with Rum Buttercream
Printable Version

Unsalted butter, for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites, all at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup coconut milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
Pinch of cream of tartar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1 tablespoon white rum (I used ½ Tbs. rum extract)

6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons white rum (I used 1 ½ Tbs. rum extract)
4 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet and line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Whisk 1 cup each flour and granulated sugar, the baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the 4 egg yolks, vegetable oil, coconut milk and coconut extract. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches.
Beat the 6 egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat until stiff, shiny peaks form. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture with a rubber spatula, then gently fold in the rest.
Spread the batter on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the cake is golden and springs back when pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife; transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the cake cool slightly. Dust a large piece of parchment paper with confectioners' sugar. Invert the cake onto the parchment and peel off the parchment on top. Brush the cake with the rum.
Make the frosting: Whisk the egg whites and granulated sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) until the mixture is warm and the sugar dissolves. Remove the bowl from the pan; cool slightly.
Beat the egg white mixture with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 12 to 15 minutes. Beat in the butter a few pieces at a time, then continue beating until glossy and smooth, 5 to 7 more minutes. (Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled at first; continue beating.) Beat in the rum.
Spread about 2 cups of the frosting on the cake, then sprinkle with 2 cups coconut. Starting at a short end, roll up the cake, using the parchment to help you. Transfer to a platter, seam-side down. Cover the cake roll with the remaining frosting and sprinkle with the remaining 2 cups coconut.

Serves 10
Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chipotle (Chocolate) Chili

It’s chili cookoff season folks! The last 2 year we have won the cookoff at our church with various recipes, including this one, Chili with a Kick. We are going for a win again win this recipe, and it MIGHT be our best one yet!  A tiny hint of fire from the chilies leaves the perfect lingering flavor on your tounge. Not to mention the sweet, savory addition that the chocolate is. MMM MMM Good.

Chipotle Chocolate Chili

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 14.5-oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can beef broth
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1 ½  Tbs. chili powder
½ Tbs. HOT chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. adobo sauce, from the can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1 Chipotle chilie in adobo sauce
1/4 oz. unsweetened chocolate (1/4 unsweetened baking cube), chopped, plus more for shaving on top
Light sour cream
Chopped green onions
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Shredded cheese

Heat some olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and ground beef  until meat is cooked through. Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, hot chili powder, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, tomatoes, beans, and beef broth. Add all of the adobo sauce from a small can of chipotle chilies, which is about 1-2 tsp. To do this I placed a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and poured the entire can of chilies into the strainer. Then, using a spoon, I mashed the sauce out of the peppers and through the strainer into the bowl below.
Heat to boiling and then reduce to a simmer (uncovered). Add one whole chipotle chili, which you will remove before serving. Stir occasionally, until thickened as desired (It took about 30-40 minutes). Remove the chipotle chili and add 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar and the chopped chocolate.
When thickened and seasoned as desired, serve with green onions, sour cream, shaved chocolate (if desired) and shredded cheese.

Serves 4.
Highly adapted from Our Best Bites Cookbook

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

World Famous Pretzels

There is a reason these are called “World Famous”. They are famous in my house, they are now famous in my neighborhood. I’m sure they will be famous on pinterest soon:)! I wish I could explain to you the amazing moist, flavorful, salty and sweet these are. I’m not going to lie. I ate the largest one I made...and then another one. Then, yes, after those two, I snuck a few bites of my husbands...before he got home! Oops:) I’ll be making these again soon. Maybe tomorrow. Or tonight. PLEASE make thee. You will not regret it. Actually you will love me for it!

World Famous Pretzels
Printable Version

1 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons coarse salt

Warm the milk in a saucepan or heat in the microwave for about 1 minutes, until it's about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften. I nuked it in the microwave for about 10 seconds, then stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I like to grease my bowl with shortening, but cooking spray also works well. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1.5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and spray large baking sheet with baking spray. (I have a silpat, and it is my best friend. I couldn’t live without it! No grease, no cleaning sticky pans!) Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 20-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.
Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Brush the hot pretzels in the butter. Serve the pretzels warm, but they are also delicious cold and every other way!

Makes 6 pretzels
Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Monday, January 21, 2013

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

Powdered hot chocolate and me...we don’t get along. It is always too watery, doesn’t have enough sugar, tastes powdery-you name it. You all know what I’m talking about. You have all went to a big party and had a big styrofoam glass of nasty hot chocolate. Don’t be that person that serves the ickey stuff that only the kids will drink! Make this creamy, rich, decadent wonderfulness instead!!

Creamy Crock Pot Hot Chocolate
Printable Version

1.5 cups heavy cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
2 cups milk chocolate chips
6 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Stir all the ingredients together in your crockpot.  Cover and cook on low for 2 hours--coming back to whisk it every so often.  Garnish with whipped cream or marshmallows

Recipe from
Serves 8 1 cup glasses

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Sticky Fingers

I am NOT, repeat NOT, a frozen food kind of girl. However, as life gets a little crazier with twin 9 month old boys running around, dinner turns into a big, fat mess in my kitchen, screaming, messy boys, and a yummy homecooked meal on the table. Now, the yummy homecooked part is great. But the sometimes I just don’t want to deal with a huge mess. I haven’t had a meal this easy to go-to in a while, and it hit the spot. Perfect tang, perfect spice, and, of course, CHICKEN! We devoured these, quick, and have had them 2 times since. Must be worth a shot!

Sweet and Spicy Sticky Fingers
Printable Version

1 pkg. frozen breaded chicken strips (We use Tyson brand)
6 Tbl. Frank's Hot Sauce (It has to be Franks Hot Sauce, no other sauce will taste as good)
4 Tbl. water
1 1/2 c. brown sugar

Prepare the chicken strips as directed on the back of the package. Heat hot sauce, water and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, until sugar is dissolved. Pour sauce over chicken, and enjoy!  Serve with ranch dressing for dipping.

Serves 2-3 people
Recipe from Six Sister’s Stuff

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stuffed French Toast

I don’t know about you, but when I go to a restaraunt and see “Stuffed French Toast” on the menu, I order it every time. Did you know how easy it is to make at home?! Seriously I was so shocked when  looked up the recipe and saw that it was virtually just as simple as regular french toast. Just add two more ingredients and one more step and you are good to go with that crispy outside, and ooey-gooey filling oozing out all over your plate. I barely needed syrup on this delicious rich breakfast treat!

Stuffed French Toast
Printable Version

4 thick slices French Bread
¼ cup Jelly, Jam, Or Fresh Fruit
4 ounces Cream Cheese, At Room Temperature
2 whole Eggs
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ cups Skim Milk
2 Tablespoons Butter

Heat skillet or electric griddle to 325 to 350 degrees.
Cut french bread into 2-3 inch wide slices. Then, with a paring knife, go back and cut halfway into each slice, in the center, creating a ‘pocket’ that your fruit mixture can be stuffed into.
In a bowl, place the room temperature cream cheese and fruit spread of your choice.  Combine well.
In a large, shallow, separate bowl, break 2 eggs; add cinnamon and milk and combine well.
Now, take fruit mixture and stuff into the ‘pockets’ of your french bread slices.
When done stuffing each piece of bread, dip in egg mixture and completely coat each piece. Make sure all sides are covered.
Put 2 tbsp (you can use less!) of butter into a hot skillet and melt completely. Add all of the bread to the skillet and cook roughly about 3-6 minutes on each side, until it reaches a nice golden brown. You want to make sure the cream cheese mixture heats through.
When done cooking, serve immediately with butter and syrup.

Serves 4
Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lemon Pepper Fetuccini

Pasta and me, well, we love eachother. I especially love my husband’s homemade pasta, but that is a post for another day! This is a nice, light pasta dish that you could serve as a main dish, or a perfect side to some chicken or a nice, juicy steak!

Lemon pepper fettuccini
Printable Version

Kosher salt
12 ounces fettuccine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ of a meduim white onion, minced
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 to 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground pepper
Crusty bread, for serving (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook as the label directs. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup cooking water.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Whisk the cream, egg yolk and lemon zest in a bowl. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream mixture and cheese to the skillet. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and 2 to 3 teaspoons pepper.
Add the pasta to the skillet and toss, adding enough of the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce. Divide among bowls and garnish with more pecorino. Serve with crusty bread, if desired.

Serves 3-4
Food network