Archive for December, 2015

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Baked Oatmeal with Cranberries and Almonds

December 30, 2015

20151225 Oatmeal 03

You can prep this oatmeal the evening before and pop it into the oven when you wake up. Then by the time you have coffee ready, your breakfast will be ready too! We served this for family during the holidays.

You will need:

  • 4 c old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 c almonds, toasted and chopped (divided)
  • 1 c dried cranberries
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 1/2 c milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 c pure maple syrup
  • 4 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c brown sugar

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats with 1.5 cups of the almonds, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Stir in the butter, milk, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla.
  4. Mix well and spread into the prepared dish. Top with the brown sugar and remaining half cup of almonds.
  5. If preparing the night before, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  6. Bake until golden brown with a firm center, 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. Serve warm with extra milk or syrup.

20151225 Oatmeal 01

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Pesto Palmiers

December 22, 2015

A palmier is a type of pastry that looks a bit like an elephant ear or palm tree. These ones are made with puff pastry and pesto and other tasty ingredients. Palmiers are relatively quick to pull together and make a festive party appetizer.

You will need:

  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed and ready to use
  • 8 oz pesto
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 8 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and patted dry
  • 1/2 c pine nuts
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, shredded

Then you will…

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the puff pastry sheets. Roll them out until roughly 10×12 inches.
  3. Spread half of the pesto on each sheet of puff pastry.
  4. In a food processor, add the goat cheese with the sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Pulse until combined (mixture will not be a smooth puree).
  5. Spread half of the goat cheese mixture on each sheet of puff pastry.
  6. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese on each sheet of puff pastry.
  7. Roll the long ends into the middle. The two sides should meet halfway along the short end.
  8. Brush a little water along the new middle seam and press to gently seal.
  9. Transfer the two long tubes to the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap.
  11. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  12. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  13. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  14. Place, cut side up, on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Leave about 2 inches between palmiers.
  15. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden and flaky.

20151115 Italian Palmiers

 

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Spritz Cookies

December 20, 2015

The dough for this family cookie recipe is a simple one. The trick is having a cookie press on hand to form the actual cookies. Spritz cookies are particularly yummy with tea, cocoa or hot cider.

20151219 Spritz Cookies

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 4 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly.
  3. Mix in the egg and extracts.
  4. Mix in the flour and baking powder until smooth.
  5. Do not chill; dough should be at room temperature.
  6. Fill a cookie press with the dough. Press out cookies through the press onto a baking sheet.
  7. Top with sprinkles, if desired.
  8. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the bottom is starting to turn golden.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

 

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Italian Crescent Ring

December 18, 2015

20151115 Italian Crescent Ring

D loves Italian sandwiches. I love hot appetizers. This combines the best of both. Ever better: it can be prepared ahead of time. Once it is assembled, simply cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you want to bake it.

You will need:

  • 2 cans (8 oz each) crescent roll dough
  • 3 oz prosciutto
  • 5 oz hard salami
  • 12 oz roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry and roughly chopped
  • 12 oz banana peppers, drained and patted dry and roughly chopped (choose mild or hot depending on your taste preference)
  • 6 oz provolone slices
  • Salt and pepper, to top

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Form a ring with the dough, overlapping the wide ends and allowing the points to stick out.
  3. Layer the prosciutto and salami along the wide ends around the ring.
  4. Top with the roasted red and banana pepper pieces.
  5. Top with the provolone.
  6. Pull the pointed ends over the top of the filling and tuck under the wide end.
  7. Sprinkle top of the dough with a little salt and pepper.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the dough is golden and the cheese melted.
  9. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.
  10. Serve as a ring or cut into slices.

 

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Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries

December 13, 2015

This sweet and spicy roasted butternut squash is the perfect fall side dish. It is quick to prepare and would be lovely next to roasted pork, chicken or turkey.

You will need:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T good quality maple syrup
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 c cranberries
  • 1 c pecans, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the butternut squash into a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Add the olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne and nutmeg. Stir to coat the pieces.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring at fifteen minutes.
  5. Stir in the cranberries.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in the pecans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Bake for another 10 minutes.

20151115 Squash Cranberry Roast

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Rosemary-Garlic Rolls

December 7, 2015

These rolls are a fun complement to most dinners. They are also a decent size, which makes them good for sandwiches. We made them for Thanksgiving and enjoyed them after with leftover turkey and gravy. How will you use them?

You will need:

  • 1 packet (2 1/3 t) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 3 T sugar, divided
  • 3/4 c warm milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted (or olive oil)
  • 1/4 c fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 c flour
  • Egg wash of 1 egg and splash of water, beaten together
  • Extra salt and pepper, to top

20151115 Rosemary Rolls 03

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, water and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
  2. Allow to rest for 5 minutes in a warm place.
  3. Mix in the remaining sugar, milk, egg, butter, rosemary, garlic powder and a teaspoon of salt.
  4. Add flour in half cup increments until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining dough until smooth and elastic. If the dough is still sticky, add additional flour in 2 tablespoon increments.
  6. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl.
  7. Form dough into a ball and place into the greased mixing bowl.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Allow to rise 30 minutes.
  9. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  10. Punch the dough down and divide into 12 equal portions.
  11. Shape each portion into a ball.
  12. Place dough balls into the prepared baking dish. You should have three rows of 4 balls.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for an hour. Dough should double in size.
  14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  15. Brush the top of each roll with the egg wash
  16. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  17. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the tops of golden brown and the rolls sound hollow when you tap the tops.
  18. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from baking dish and pull apart into individual rolls.
  19. Serve with your favorite butter or spread.

 

 

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Caramel Apple Crisp

December 1, 2015

This dessert takes a little bit of time to prepare, but the end result reminds me of a delicious caramel apple rolled in pecans. We served it up with some vanilla ice cream for our Friendsgiving feast. If you want to save some time, you could use your favorite caramel sauce rather than making it from scratch.

20151115 Salted Caramel Apple Crisp 01

You will need the following for the caramel sauce:

  • 2 c sugar
  • 12 T unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small cubes
  • 1 c whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1 T sea salt

Then you will…

  1. In a large sauce pan, heat the sugar over medium heat. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon.
  2. Once all the sugar is melted, stop stirring and allow the sugar to cook until a deep amber color.
  3. Add the butter to the pan. Stir until melted and smooth.
  4. Remove the pan from heat.
  5. Slowly stir in the cream until thoroughly mixed in and smooth.
  6. Stir in the salt. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Then you will need the following for the crisp:

  • 7 Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples, peeled + cored + sliced
  • 3/4 c light brown sugar, divided
  • 3 T flour
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 9 T unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/3 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c pecans, chopped

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the apple slices with 1/4 cup of brown sugar, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, cloves, ginger and a pinch of salt.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat.
  4. Add the apple mixture and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The apples should just be starting to soften.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the flour, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse to mix together.
  6. Cut the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter into cubes.
  7. Add the butter to the food processor and pulse until butter is integrated into the mixture.
  8. Add the oats and pulse just until mixed in.
  9. Stir 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce and the pecans into the apple mixture.
  10. Spread the apples into the prepared pie dish.
  11. Top with the oat crumbs.
  12. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  13. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
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