1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, brown sugar, and cornmeal; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, lightly beat the eggs, and then stir in the pumpkin, oil, and molasses.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined, and then pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Recipe adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Cream and Ale Short Ribs over Polenta
6 meaty short ribs (I served 2 short ribs per person)
1 package au jus gravy mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 cups beef broth, divided
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 cup white wine
1 - 12 oz. can beer (I used Miller Light)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
A few tablespoons oil for browning
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Mix the au jus, brown sugar, flour and thyme in a small bowl. Place into your slow cooker. I used a mesh strainer to sift the mixture to make sure that there were no lumps. Add the beer and mix well.
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Sprinkle the short ribs with salt and pepper then brown well on all sides. You will probably have to do this in 2 or 3 batches. Place short ribs on a plate. Deglaze the pan with the 1/4 cup white wine scraping up any browned bits. Add 1/2 cup of beef broth. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Add 1/4 cup of water to deglaze again.
Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Place short ribs into slow cooker. Add the remaining 2 cups of beef broth. Cover and set on Hi (4 to 6 hours) or Low (8 to 10 hours).
Remove short ribs from slow cooker onto a serving plate. Carefully pour the liquid into a fat separator. Once settled, pour the liquid in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, being careful to get to get as little fat as possible. stir in the heavy cream. Allow to cook for a few minutes to thicken up. Pour gravy over the short ribs and enjoy!!
Creamy Parmesan Polenta
2 cups instant polenta
8 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup good-quality grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
Salt and pepper
In a large pot, boil the chicken stock over medium-high heat. Pour in the polenta, stirring constantly. The polenta should be fully cooked in about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Then mix in the Parmesan and mascarpone. Seaaon with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
If you are not familiar with burrata mozzarella, be prepared to enter Mozzarella Heaven. Burrata is basically a mozzarella truffle...mozzarella on the outside and little mozzarella shreds mixed with cream inside. It is so delicious and so amazing in this pasta dish.
Mezzi Rigatoni with Balsamic Roasted Cherry Tomatotes and Burrata
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, lightly crushed
2 pints cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup balsamic glaze
1 lb. mezzi rigatoni
1 - 8 oz. ball burrata mozzarella, cut into quarters
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the garlic is very light golden in color. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add the white wine and stir. Cover the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tomatoes burst, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add the balsamic glaze. Reduce the heat to low and reduce for about 2 minutes more.
Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni in a large pot of salted, boiling water to al dente. Reserve about a cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining.
Break the tomatoes up a bit with a potato masher. Add 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water and parsley to the pan, then toss with the drained rigatoni for 1 to 2 minutes, using a little more of the starchy cooking water to combine the sauce with pasta if necessary. Place the rigatoni into 4 shallow bowls. Place a piece of the burrata on top of each and add a small drizzle of the balsamic glaze and top with the Pecorino Romano cheese and serve.
Chicken Francese with Ziti
4 to 6 thin-sliced chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon slices
2 large eggs
1/4 cup grated good-quality Parmesan cheese
3 lemons, juice from 1/2 of a lemon, 2 sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb. ziti pasta, cooked according to package instructions, drain and set aside
Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides.
Place flour in a shallow bowl. Add the garlic powder and paprika to the flour. Dredge the butter slices in the flour and set aside.
In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs and add the Parmesan cheese and lemon juice.
Heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. You will have to cook the chicken cutlets in batches. Dredge 2 pieces of chicken in flour then coat in egg batter and saute to deep golden, 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat with each batch, removing browned chicken to plate.
Add sliced lemon to the pan, allowing to brown on both sides. Add the garlic to pan and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan the white wine. Add the stock and bring to a slight boil. Add the reserved flour-coated butter and swirl in pan to form sauce. Add the chicken back into pan for about 5 to 7 minutes to combine the flavors. Serve over ziti.
Footnotes - You can make this using veal or pork cutlets, tilapia or shrimp...all delicious.
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray.......and my mom.
Oreo Truffle Brownies
1 box Duncan Hines Fudge Brownie Mix, plus ingredients to make the brownies
For the truffle layer -
1 package Double Stuf Oreos, finely crushed
8 to 10 oz. softened cream cheese
Chocolate layer -
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
Make brownies according to package instructions. Allow to cool completely.
In a large bowl, mash together the Oreo crumbs and softened cream cheese until well combined. Spread truffle layer on top of cooled brownies.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine both chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until smooth. Pour evenly on top of truffle layer.
Refrigerate for about an hour or so....then cut into these bad boys and enjoy!!
Recipe adapted from Chef in Training
Raspberry Lily Cookies
4 1/2 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 lb. butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup Confectioners sugar
1 jar raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, butter and flour. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it our with a rolling pin to about 1/8-inch thick.
Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut dough into circles. Bring the 2 sides together letting them overlap and pressing the center gently. Fill open ends with raspberry jam. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Cool and sprinkle with Confectioners sugar.
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Wing Sauce
Ranch dressing for dipping (I use Marie's...yummy!!)
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, tossing to combine.
spread cauliflower onto a baking sheet and roast until they begin to brown and soften, about 25 to 30 minutes.
meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the melted butter and wing sauce.
Using about 1/4 of the wing sauce mixture, drizzle over the cauliflower, tossing again to coat and roast an additional 8 to 10 minutes.
remove from oven and toss with the remaining wing sauce mixture. Serve with the ranch dressing.
Mini Key Lime Pies
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
6 oz Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 cup lime juice
In a small bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
Prepare the cupcake tin by lining with foil cupcake liners. Add about 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture to each liner pressing the crumbs down with your fingers. You will have extra crumbs left over.
In a large bowl, mix together the sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip until smooth. Add the lime juice and mix until slightly thickened.
Add the filling on top of the graham cracker crust. I like to pipe my filling using a zip-top bag but you can also use a spoon.
Refrigerate for about 3 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with some extra graham cracker crumbs or whipped cream and enjoy!
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
2½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons red food coloring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
For the cream cheese frosting -
4 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with liners. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and best until well incorporated.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color. Reduce theixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining buttermilk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.
Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes then remove from pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting - Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.