Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes and Pasta

THIS is a Real Simple recipe. It looks beautiful and tastes pretty good. It is just a nice change up from always having red sauce.


* 12 ounces spaghetti
* 3 large beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), each cut into 4 thick slices
* 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet
* kosher salt and black pepper
* 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce), plus more, shaved, for serving
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 3/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving


1. Heat broiler. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Dividing evenly, sprinkle the slices with the mozzarella and Parmesan. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. In a small saucepan, warm the oil with the garlic and red pepper over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add the garlic oil, basil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve topped with the tomatoes, additional basil, and shaved Parmesan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jiffy Pancake and Fruit Shortcakes

From Rachael Ray's Cooking Rocks!

For all three recipes
Butter or vegetable oil, for skillet or griddle
Whipped cream

Blueberry Shortcakes

1 box blueberry muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 pint fresh blueberries

Raspberry-Strawberry Shortcakes

1 box raspberry muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
12 strawberries, hulled and sliced

Banana Nut and Fruit Shortcakes

1 box banana nut muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 small banana, sliced
6 strawberries, hulled and sliced

Make the pancakes: Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle pan over medium heat (we used our electric griddle). Mix each muffin mix in a seperate bowl with egg and milk. Lightly grease skillet or griddle and pour four 3-inch blueberry pancakes onto the griddle. When bubbles appear around the edges, lift up the pancake to peek at the underside. If it looks golden brown, flip it and cook the other side. Repeat with raspberry-strawberry pancakes and then the banana nut and fruit pancakes, so you havve 4 of each kind, for a total of twelve 3-inch pancakes.

Make the shortcakes: Layer a pancake with a swirl of whipped cream, a pile of fruit, then another pancake, more whipped cream and fruit, and then top with another cake. Each shortcake stack should be made with 3 small pancakes.

Use the cheapest mixes you can find. The more expensive ones puff and are harder to get done in the middle. Also, the bigger you make them the easier they seem to be to flip.

Crazy Chocolate Cake

This is what a delicious cake looks like when decorated by a one-year-old and a four-year-old!!!

From Penzeys Spices catalog Spring 2011.

3 cups Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Vinegar
2 cups Water
2 cups Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil (Canola works.)
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together until smooth and bake in a greased 9x13 pan or two grease and floured round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes for 9x13, 22-25 minutes for layers. Cool on a wire rack. If using round pans, remove from the pans after about 30 minutes. Frost when completely cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Butter, softened (1 stick)
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
4 1/2 cups Sifted Powdered Sugar, divided
2-4 tsp Milk (if needed)

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat well. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar. Beat in 1 tsp. of milk at a time if it is too thick to spread. Refrigerate after the cake is frosted.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rosemary Peasant Bread

From Food Network Magazine
Found HERE.


The Restaurant: Romano's Macaroni Grill
The Dish: Rosemary peasant bread

Almost Famous Rosemary Bread
Active: 30 minutes
Total: 5 hr (plus cooling)
Makes: 4 small loaves

1 1/4oz packet active dry yeast
2 t sugar
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and serving
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 T dried rosemary
1 t fine salt
1/2 t kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Stir the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer). Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Add 1 T olive oil, the flour, 1 1/2 T rosemary, the fine salt and 3/4 cup warm water; stir with a wooden spoon (or with the dough hook if using a mixer)until a dough forms.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (or knead with the dough hook on medium-high speed, adding a little flour if the dough sticks to the bowl, about 8 minutes.)
4. Brush a large bowl with olive oil. Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.
5. Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Generously flour a work surface; turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into four pieces. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, then fold the top and bottom portions into the middle. Fold in the sides to make a free-form square. Use a spatula to turn the dough over, then tuck the corners under to form a ball. Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, putting two balls on each baking sheet. Let stand, uncovered, unto more than doubled, about 2 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 400. Bake the loaves 10 minutes; brush with the remaining 1 T olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and the remaining 1/2 T rosemary. Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve with olive oil seasoned with pepper.

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake with Hot Chocolate Whipped Cream

Penzeys Spices Catalog

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Raspberry Filling:
12 oz. frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 cup raspberry enlightenment (I used raspberry jam.)

Hot Chocolate Whipped Cream
3 cups heavy whipping cream (I only had 2 cups but it was enough.)
3 T. water
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup Hot Chocolate Mix (I found this was about six packages.)
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cake: Preheat the oven to 350. Place parchment liners in the bottom of two 8 in round ungreased cake pans. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat for two minutes on medium speed. Stir in the boiling water (batter will be very thin). Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 22-30 minutes of until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Don't worry if the centers fall a bit when they come out of the oven, the cake will still look and taste great!

Filling: In a medium saucepan add the raspberries, sugar, cornstarch and raspberry enlightenment. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Cook over medium heat until boiling; boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; pour into a blender, and puree. Strain into a bowl and let cool.

Frosting: Place your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer to chill while the cake is baking. In a metal measuring cup or very small saucepan, combine the water and the gelatin. Let this sit for five minutes, and then heat over low heat for two minutes (or so) to melt the gelatin. Don't let it get too hot! Pour the cream and hot chocolate mix into your chilled bowl. With the mixer on low, drizzle the melted gelatin into the cream/chocolate mix. Add the vanilla and turn mixer to high. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. This may take up to 5 minutes.

Assembley: Carefully cut each 8 inch cake in half (you will have four slices of cake). Place a slice of cake on your cake carrier or plate. Spread on 1/3 of the raspberry filling. Spread on some hot chocolate whipped cream.. Top with another slice of cake, spread another 1/3 of raspberry filing and cover with hot chocolate whipped cream. Top with another slice of cake. Using the last 1/3 of raspberry filling, spread evenly over the cake. Top with hot chocolate whipped cream. .Place the last slice of cake on top and frost the entire cake with the remaining hot chocolate whipped cream.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving for easiest slicing.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 22-30 minutes
Serves: 16

Nutritional Information: Servings 16; Serving Size: 1 slice (137 g); Calories 360; Calories from fat 180; Total fat 21 g; Cholesterol 70mg; Sodium 260 mg; Carbohydrate 43g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Protein 4 g.