Archive for August, 2013


Walnut Coffee Cake

August 28, 2013

This is a very delicious coffee cake. It goes perfectly with a lazy morning, a good book and a nice cup of coffee. I used walnuts, but you could substitute pecans if you’d like.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/3 c walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 c raisins or currants
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 10 T unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c buttermilk or soy milk

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar with the walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar.
  4. Beat in the eggs and extracts.
  5. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
  6. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours and oats.
  7. Stir the flour mixture and milk into the sugar mixture, alternating parts.
  8. Pour a third of the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Spread half of the brown sugar mixture onto the batter.
  10. Pour another third of the batter into the pan and top with the remaining brown sugar mixture.
  11. Pour the remaining batter into the pan.
  12. Bake 40-50 minutes or until the cake is golden and a tester comes out clean in the middle.
  13. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

20130728 Walnut Coffee Cake 01


Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole

August 21, 2013

I have been playing around with different ways to use Ranch seasoning in cooking.  I also have been exploring different baked chicken dishes, because D likes them. This is not the lightest of baked casseroles, but there is a bunch of Greek yogurt to even things out (that counts, right?). The leftovers heated up quite nicely too.

20130721 Bacon Ranch Chicken

You will need:

  • 3/4 lb chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 2 lb red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 c broccoli florets
  • 1 small bunch of scallions, washed and trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 c cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 12 oz Greek yogurt
  • 1 packet Ranch seasoning
  • 1 T dried dill
  • 1/2 c shredded cheese, divided (I used a Mexican blend)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, salt, pepper, potatoes, broccoli, scallions and bacon.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, Ranch seasoning and dried dill.
  4. Stir the yogurt sauce into the chicken and potato mixture.
  5. Stir in 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese.
  6. Spread out in the prepared baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.
  7. Bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and stir the dish.
  8. Bake another 30 minutes. Stir again.
  9. Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake another 15 minutes.
  10. Stir once more. Top with the remaining cheese and return to oven, until the top is browned and bubbly.

Plum Raspberry Galette

August 13, 2013

This is recipe that can be changed up with whatever fruit looks extra yummy in the market. A galette is a type of rustic fruit tart that is made without a tart pan. The free form make it extra fun. I used fresh plums and raspberries. What will you try?

You will need:

  • 1/2 c walnuts, toasted
  • 1 T + 1 t sugar, divided
  • 1 t + 1/4 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 4 T cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 3 T ice water
  • 3 T honey
  • 3 fresh plums, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries

Then you will…

  1. Remove 2 tablespoons of walnuts from the half cup. Chop them into small pieces and combine with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Set aside. These will be used on top of the fruit and to garnish the pastry crust.
  2. Place the flour, 1 teaspoon of sugar, remaining walnuts, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground into the flour.
  3. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse meal.
  4. Whisk together the egg yolk and ice water.
  5. Add to the dough mixture and pulse until it comes together in clumps.
  6. Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap. Squish it together and mold it into a disk, about 1-2 inches think.
  7. Wrap tightly and chill for about 30 minutes or until chilled enough to roll.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I recommend using one with sides in case your galette bubbles).
  9. Lightly flour the surface where you want to roll out your dough. Roll it into a 14-inch circle. Slide the dough onto your prepared baking sheet.
  10. Place the plum slices on the dough, leaving about a 1.5-inch border around the edges.
  11. Top with raspberries and drizzle with the honey.
  12. Fold the edge of the dough over the filling.
  13. Sprinkle with the nut mixture. Lightly press it into the dough edge.
  14. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
  15. Cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before serving.

20130628 Raspberry Plum Galette


Cider-Dijon Pork Chops with Apple Roasted Veggies

August 8, 2013

I adapted this recipe from a recent Epicurious post when D was recently in town. I used a fresh pressed apple juice, but I think this would also be fabulous with fall cider.

20130630 Cider Pork 01

You will need:

  • 4 boneless pork chops, about 7 oz each and one-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 c apple juice
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 lb red-skinned potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 medium-sized parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 T fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces

20130630 Apple Roasted Potatoes 01

Then you will…

  1. Remove the pork from the fridge and let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the parsnips, rosemary and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread on the lined baking sheets. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.
  5. Add the apples, stir, and roast another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; vegetables should be golden and tender.
  6. Meanwhile, season the pork with salt and pepper.
  7. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive in the pan until shimmering.
  8. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and barely pink when pierced in the center with the tip of a small sharp knife.
  9. Transfer to a platter (reserving the oil in the skillet). Let stand for 5 minutes.
  10. Add the apple juice to the skillet and bring to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits.
  11. Whisk in the mustard and simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly.
  12. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter to lightly thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  13. Serve the pork chops and apple-roasted veggies with a drizzle of the pan sauce.

Cinnamon Blueberry Coffee Cake

August 3, 2013

20130713 Cinnamon Blueberry Coffee Cake

It is a great way to wake up when you can smell the coffee brewing and then, suddenly, a waft of cinnamon hits you too! This is perfect for a lazy morning with the people who fill your life with laughter and love.

You will need:

  • 1/4 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 c applesauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 c milk, scant
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 c + 4 T all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 3 t ground cinnamon
  • 4 T butter, melted

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter with the sugar.
  3. Whisk in the eggs and milk.
  4. Whisk in the salt, nutmeg and baking powder.
  5. Gently stir in the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of the all-purpose flour just until moistened.
  6. Gently mix in the blueberries.
  7. Spread batter in the pan.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar with the cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
  9. Crumble the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter.
  10. Use a fork to gently mix/swirl the cinnamon into the batter.
  11. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a tester in the center comes out clean and the top is golden.
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