Archive for April, 2019

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Irish Soda Bread

April 16, 2019

This bread is extra tasty due to the addition of currants and a little bit of caraway seed. Serve it savory with sharp Irish cheddar and some sour cornichons. Serve it sweet with a bit of butter and jam.

You will need:

  • 4 c flour plus 1 T extra
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 4 T (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 3/4 c cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 c currants
  • 1/2 t caraway seeds

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour with the sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add the butter and mix until well combined (you may want to use your fingers for this step).
  4. In a measuring cup, lightly beat together the buttermilk, egg and orange zest.
  5. Slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour.
  6. Toss the raisins with a tablespoon of flour and the caraway seeds. Mix them into the wet dough.
  7. Flour your counter well. Dump the dough onto the floured counter and knead it a few times until you can shape it into a round loaf.
  8. Set the loaf on the prepped baking sheet and lightly cut a cross into the top with a serrated knife.
  9. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow.
  10. Cool on a baking rack.

20190317 Irish Soda Bread 02

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Strawberry Bunny Cake

April 11, 2019

Growing up, my grandparents made a Bunny Cake every Easter. I recall being dazzled by the cake year after year. It was always so special looking…plus it was served on an extra big tray (and what little kid doesn’t get excited about that?!). This past Easter my mom and I made one at my house. We baked, frosted, and covered it with coconut the evening before. Then my mom added some fresh fruit to make the bunny face before serving. It was a huge hit with the whole family (and inspired some pretty wide toddler eyes too!).

20180331 Bunny Cake 02

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 c milk, room temperature
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 3 c hulled and chopped strawberries
  • Favorite white frosting (we used two containers of whipped vanilla frosting from the store)
  • 14 oz sweetened coconut flakes
  • Berries for decorating (we used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)

20180331 Bunny Cake 04

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and eggs until smooth and well blended.
  4. Mix in the milk, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  5. Mix in the flour and beat until smooth.
  6. Fold the chopped strawberries into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean. The sides should be have begun to come away from the pan.
  9. Cook the cakes on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  10. Turn the cakes out from the pans and remove the parchment paper lining.
  11. Allow to cool completely on the wire racks.
  12. Cut one of the cakes into two ears and a bowtie(the cake between the “ears” will become the bowtie; see the first photo above).
  13. Set the cakes on a large serving platter (in a pinch, you can use a large foam board covered in plastic wrap).
  14. Frost with your favorite frosting.
  15. Sprinkle coconut on top and gently press it into the frosting.
  16. Just before serving, decorate with fresh fruit to make the bunny’s face.

 

20180401 Bunny Cake

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Chicken Bacon Ranch Party Rolls

April 2, 2019

These are so easy and perfect for a gathering. You can prep everything in advance and then pop these in the oven until they are toasty, while you are having fun with your guests. I challenge you to only eat one.

20190302 Bacon Rolls 01

You will need:

  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 packet Ranch seasoning powder
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 package 15-oz slider rolls
  • 7-8 oz sliced cheese, like a colby jack or provolone or cheddar
  • 1 precooked rotisserie chicken, picked from the bones and lightly shredded
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch scallions, chopped
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • 1/4 t salt

Then you will…

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt with the Ranch seasoning powder and milk. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Place the bottom halves of the rolls in the baking dish.
  4. Spread half of the cheese on the rolls.
  5. Top with the chicken.
  6. Top with the bacon.
  7. Top with the scallions.
  8. Place dollops of the Greek yogurt on top.
  9. Cover with the remaining half of the cheese.
  10. In a small bowl, melt the butter.
  11. Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, paprika, and salt into the butter.
  12. Spread a little of the butter on top of the final layer of cheese.
  13. Cover the sandwiches with the top halves of the rolls.
  14. Brush more butter on top of the rolls.
  15. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  16. Bake 15-20 minutes or until warm and melty.

 

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