February 16, 2010

Rosemary Apple Bread

I've made this bread so many times! It is a great sweet/savory bread that is awesome with a dinner or for toast. And it's even better the second day!

3 c. flour
1 1/4 t. salt
1 t. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 package quick-rise yeast (about 2 1/4 t.)
1 c. warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
1 c. finely diced Granny Smith apple
Cooking spray
2 t. butter, melted

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Combine 2 3/4 c. flour, salt, rosemary, and yeast in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add water, stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes), add enough of remaining flour, 1 T. at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Knead in apple. Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.

Shape dough into a loaf, place dough in an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Gently press dough into pan, cover. Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Brush top with butter. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Servings: 16.

February 10, 2010

Pensione Window

"Pensione Window"
June 2001
Pisa, Italy

This was my view all summer when I lived in Pisa working with Campus Crusade for Christ on campus there. Not too shabby.

February 8, 2010

Super "Bowl"

So, I found this idea in my Food Network Magazine and HAD to try it for our Superbowl party yesterday! It was SO fun and totally worked! We filled it with M&Ms and when those were gone, we ate the bowl itself. Pretty cool.

8 cups Chex Mix
2 large egg whites
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add 2 T. water to egg whites and beat until not quite stiff peaks form. Add Chex Mix and mix until everything is coated. Generously coat a three quart, oven-safe bowl with non-stick spray. Pour mix into bowl. Take a large sheet of foil, spray one side with non-stick spray and place that side down against the Chex Mix and mold to form the inside of the "bowl." Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing foil. Let cool for an additional 20 minutes. Invert the bowl over a plate and then gently re-invert it. It is very sturdy, tastes great, and will definitely impress!

Roasted Tomatoes with Basil

This recipe is from Ina Garten... one of my favorite cooks! It is like HEAVEN in your mouth!! And they are so easy.

Servings: 4-5

12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/4 c. olive oil
1 1/2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. black pepper
10 large fresh basil leaves, julienned

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes start to caramelize and the flavors are concentrated. Sprinkle with basil on top and serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

These are a great way to make plain old mashed potatoes a little "up-scaled."

Servings: 4

5 medium russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 head roasted garlic [See HOW TO ROAST GARLIC]
6 T. butter, melted
1/4 c. milk (or cream)
Salt & pepper, to taste
(Optional) 1-2 T. fresh herbs (thyme or parsley are great)

In large pot, cover potatoes with an inch or two of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes. Put back into pot adding garlic, butter, milk, salt & pepper. Using a mixer or potato masher, mash to the consistency you like! Enjoy!

PS. You may need a breath mint after these... but so worth it.

February 5, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ Cranberry Chutney

We made this a few nights ago with some students and they loved beating the "you know what" out of the chicken. We served this with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Tomatoes with Basil. YUM!

Servings: 4

4 chicken breasts skinless and boneless
4 thin slices ham
4 slices Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup bread crumbs

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay the chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet of plastic and lay 2 slices of ham neatly over the top to cover the breast and then add one slice of mozzarella per chicken breast. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll inside the plastic wrap. Squeeze the log gently to seal and twist both ends tight to form a nice log. Repeat with remaining chicken.

USING THREE SEPARATE DISHES... Season the flour with salt and pepper. Mix the bread crumbs with thyme, garlic and kosher salt, pepper, and melted butter. (The butter will help the crust brown) Beat together the eggs and season with salt & pepper.

Remove the plastic wrap from chicken rolls. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, dip in the egg mixture and gently coat in the bread crumbs. Lightly coat a baking pan with olive oil and carefully transfer the roulades onto it. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until browned and cooked through (should have an internal temp of 180).

Let them rest for a few minutes before slicing. Cover with cranberry chutney (recipe below).


2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup sugar
Freshly ground black pepper

Add ingredients to saucepan and set over low-medium heat for 10-12 minutes until cranberries are just cooked through and tender.

It went too fast for me to get a picture BEFORE we ate it all!

February 3, 2010

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is honor of my good friend Paige... this is her recipe & it is AWESOME! I have made them lots of times for girls who can't have gluten and they love them! And Brian and I would say they taste just as good as regular cookies. I use a combination of milk & butterscotch chips, but use whatever you like! So, here's to you Paige...

Makes about 2 dozen.

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar (optional, depending on how sweet you like your cookies)
1 egg
1 c. rice flour
1/4 c. tapioca flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. butterscotch chips

Mix butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugars and egg and blend well. In a separate bowl, combine rice flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, and baking powder. And dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips & butterscotch chips.

Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 6-8 min.

*You can get both rice and tapioca flour at most grocery stores in the baking aisle. If you can't find it there, Whole Foods or any other health food store will have them.

Morning Glorious Muffins

These are so delicious & moist! They are also super healthy and good for you... Avery gobbles these up. Enjoy!

Makes 24 muffins.

2 c. flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. shredded carrots
1 1/2 c. shredded apple
3/4 c. coconut
1/2 c. chopped dates (can also substitute dried cranberries... yum)
1/2 c. chopped pecans
3 eggs - slightly beaten
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 t. vanilla
*I also add 2 T. of ground flax seeds for extra nutrients, but you don't have to.

In a large bowl, combine, flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cinnamon. In medium bowl, combine carrots, apple, coconut, dates, & pecans. Stir in beaten eggs, oil, applesauce, & vanilla. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Pour into muffin cups.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 min.