Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nectarine-Plum Crostata

It's fall...officially as the temp outside is in the 50's today!  So, it's the perfect time to introduce my newest find:  The Crostata.  It's like a pie but more rustic and easy.  It comes from a Betty Crocker Fall Baking Magazine and was a good way to use up some free plums I scored at school.

Nectarine-Plum Crostata
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into pieces (margarine works fine too)
1 egg yolk
4-5 T. cold water
Mix flour, sugar, & salt.  Cut in butter (2 knives or pastry blender) until crumbly.  Stir in egg and sprinkle with water, 1 T. at a time until a ball forms.  Flatten to 1/2 inch thick, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 and grease/spray pan (either cookie sheet or large pie pan).  On floured surface, roll out dough to 13 inch round, about 1/4 inch thick.  Place in pan.
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
3 c. sliced nectarines
3 c. sliced plums
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. butter (or margarine)
1 T. sugar
Mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Add fruit and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Spoon into center of dough, spreading 3 inches from edge.  Dot with butter.  Fold edge up around fruit, folding as needed.  Brush edge of pastry with water and sprinkle top with 1 T. sugar.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until crust in golden and fruit is tender (nice and BUBBLY :).  Cool about 1 hour.
This is really good with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and I like it HOT!  This is what happens when you grow up with a mom who bakes...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I tend to have an obsession with quick breads & fall and winter are always the time to try new recipes. So, after a few experiments & modifications, here's a fabulous Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread recipe:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
3 c. pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
2/3 c. water (1/3 c. if using fresh pumpkin)
3 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. nutmeg
3/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. ground ginger
1 1/2-2 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour 2 loaf pans (or prepare and line 7 mini loaf pans). Combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, and sugar in a large bowl until well blended. In separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients and slowly mix them into wet ingredients until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter evenly into loaf pans and bake (1 hour for larger loaves, about 30 minutes or until top is firm for mini loaves). Let cool in pans for at least 10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Only the Best Sugar Cookies Ever!

Somehow I never posted these, even though Misty and I have been making them forever and pretty much wanna roll in them. Seriously, that's how good they are, and strangely they just get better the longer you have them. Anyway, here's the best, most buttery-soft sugar cookies ever! (And before you ask, NO, it's not a typo that there is twice as much butter as sugar :)
Sugar Cookies
2 c. soft margarine
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder

Oven 350 degrees. Cream margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder and stir into creamed mixture. Chill thoroughly. Roll out and cut as usual (keeping portion of dough you are not using in refrigerator or freezer). Bake on ungreased cookie pan about 10 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Almond Buttercream (Wilton Recipe)
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1/2 t. almond extract (or 1 t. vanilla for regular recipe)
4 c. sifted powdered sugar
2 T. milk

Cream butter and shortening. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on medium until blended. Add milk as needed to reach spreading consistency, whipping until light and fluffy.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mimi's Cafe Buttermilk Spice Muffins

One of my favorite things is the Buttermilk Spice Muffins at Mimi's Cafe. You can find the recipe here along with some other great recipes. I am also anxious to try the Spinach and Artichoke dip and the Corn Chowder! I attempted the Buttermilk Spice Muffins and they turned out great!

Serves: 12
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 to 25 minutes


Muffin Batter:
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Butter or margarine
3 Eggs
2-½ cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Nutmeg
½ tsp. Cinnamon
¾ cup + 1 tbsp. Buttermilk

Nut Topping:
½ cup Sugar
1 cup Walnuts (finely chopped)
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and the butter together with an electric mixer. When they are thoroughly mixed, add eggs and beat one more minute.

  2. Sift the flour into a separate bowl, together with the baking soda, nutmeg and the cinnamon.

  3. Add the flour and the buttermilk to the first mixture, mix at low speed until smooth. To avoid lumps in the batter, add the wet and dry ingredients alternately, in small amounts.

  4. Make the nut topping: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

  5. Grease muffin tins with butter or margarine. You can also use paper baking cups. Fill each cup 3/4 full of batter. Add a full, rounded tablespoon of nut topping on top of each muffin cup of batter. Bake immediately or the topping will sink to the bottom of the muffin.

  6. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin should come out dry. Home ovens heat differently from commercial ovens so you may need to adjust the temperature or the baking time accordingly.

  7. Recipe yields 12 standard-size muffins, or six Mimi's-size muffins. If using the jumbo muffin pans, reduce the oven temperature by 25° and increase the baking time 5-10 minutes.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fruit Filled Bars

I have loved jam-filled bar cookies since I was a little girl and made the recipe out of "Make a Treat with Wheat." Doesn't that title make you wanna crack it open and get all that fiber flowing in your veins? Anyway, this is the Weight Watchers version, not as rich and buttery, but certainly tasty. (3 points each)
Easy Fruit Filled Bars
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour (I used 1/2 c. regular whole wheat, and 1/2 c. all purpose flour)
3/4 c. quick oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. pecans, chopped (I left these out, and it was fine)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 egg white
2 T. canola oil
1 T. fat-free milk
1 (10 oz.) jar fruit spread (I used apricot pineapple, but you can use your favorite jam)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease/spray 9x9" pan.
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In small bowl, whip together egg white, oil and milk. Add egg mixture to flour, stirring until well blended. With fingers, blend until it forms moist crumbs. Reserve 1 c. of crumbs, firmly press remaining crumbs into prepared pan.
Bake until set and lightly browned on edges, about 10 minutes.
If needed, place fruit spread in small microwave-safe bowl, and warm slightly until easily spreadable. Spread jam evenly over warm crust and top with reserved crumbs. Bake until jam is bubbly at the edges and top is lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Let bars cool completely before cutting. Makes 16 bars.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Avocado & Chicken Salad

This is one of my favorite summer lunches. I don't have an exact recipe.

Avocado & Chicken Salad

1 Avocado
1 can of Chicken Breast
chopped Celery
Curry Powder

Chicken Salad:
Put 1 can of Chicken Breast in a bowl. Mix in a (2-3) of spoons full of Mayo. Mix in Curry Powder to taste. Add chopped Celery to mixture.

Place cut up Avocado on a plate. Top with Chicken Salad mixture. Add pepper to taste.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cheese Tortellini Salad

Cheese Tortellini Salad

Cheese Tortellini (I used the double pack from Costco)
Bernsteins Italian dressing
Olive Oil
Julienne sliced Sun Dried Tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Crushed Red Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Cook the Tortellini per instructions on the package. Strain it. Once the Tortellini is room temperature add Bernsteins Italian dressing (I used the whole bottle for my double pack of Tortellini), a little Olive Oil (helps keep the pasta from sticking to each other), Salt & Pepper, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, a little crushed Red Pepper, and some Parmesan Cheese. Refrigerate until ready to be served.

* I do not have exact measurements. Just put in how much you want and what looks good. It is really simple and great for summer BBQs!