Monday, July 27, 2015

Sweet Onion Jam

Don't let the name of this distract you - a jam made from onions?

This is a wonderful "condiment" - although putting it in that class makes it seem less glamorous than it deserves. We first tasted this at a restaurant as a base for fried brussels sprouts and it was AMAZING. My husband talked about it EVERY DAY until we tried to recreate it at home. This version is a bit different than our restaurant experience, but no less delicious.

We loved it on steak, pork tenderloin, chicken

and several vegetables. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor. Because the onions need to cook a while, this dish needs 40 minutes to come together, but it is worth it. It adds a wonderful color to your plate and table and a fantastic taste to your palate!

Sweet Onion Jam

1 Tbsp. butter
2 1/2 cups diced Vidalia onions, (2 medium or 1 large)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until soft and just translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the sugar, wine, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the liquid thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 35 minutes. Carefully puree the onion mixture to your desired texture. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Food and Wine

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

If there's one thing my family cannot get enough of, it's fun breakfast treats. Toast, no thank you. Muffins, yes please. Cereal, if I have to. Coffee cake, get it on my plate. Seriously. So when I was perusing Kirstin's blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I knew I had to pick her recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Cake. Besides that fun breakfasts are always applauded at my house, I also knew I had several tubs of sour cream languishing in the fridge. (We've been eating lots of taco salad this summer!) This recipe was super easy to put together, and it smelled SO good while it was baking.

But the proof is in the pudding, right? I left this coffee cake at home and went to work. When I got home that evening, there was not a crumb left. Technically, this cake serves 12. But if you leave it on the counter and go to work, it might only feed 5. They gobbled it up!! I couldn't even get a picture of a slice. I guess you know it's just that good. Thanks, Kirstin, for making my family's breakfast more exciting on a Thursday.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter; mix well.

Spread half of batter in a greased and floured 10" tube or bundt pan; sprinkle with half of brown sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and brown sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool upright in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto large plate. Serves 12.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

I love finding new ways to use up ripe bananas. We eat a lot of bananas at our house, but we never seem to eat all of them before they become over ripe. That is never a crisis for me - there are lots of great options including scones, coffeecake, muffins, donuts, bread, pancakes, waffles, bars, cake -- for every link I included, there are probably three more recipes on this blog alone! All hail the overripe banana!

This cake is another great reason to buy 'too many' bananas... a moist banana-bread like cake, topped with creamy peanut butter frosting. It's not too heavy, and it's perfectly sweet for an after dinner, or afternoon, treat.

Find more great stuff at Tasty Tuesday, Full Plate, What's Cooking, Showcase Your Talent, Flashback Friday, Foodie Friday, Friday Flash.

Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Mix in the mashed bananas. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until flour disappears. Spread cake batter evenly into a greased 9x13 baking pan.

Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely.

To make the peanut butter frosting, beat the butter and peanut butter on high until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. Beat on high until powdered sugar is incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Beat until frosting is smooth and desired consistency.

Frost the banana cake with peanut butter frosting. Store any leftover cake covered on the counter. Serves 20.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Two Peas

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Shrimp, Avocado and Roasted Corn Salad

When I saw the two ingredients for this month's Improv Cooking Challenge, I KNEW I had to participate! Fish and avocado? How can that go anywhere but delicious? There were lots of options here - tacos, appetizers, sandwiches, but now that's it's summer, I knew the perfect way to combine them - in a salad. This salad is not your ordinary dinner salad - it's special - and not just because of shrimp and avocado. But those two ingredients shine when paired with bacon, ROASTED corn (sounds harder than it is, I promise!) and a super yummy dressing with pesto as the star. No oven required, just a skillet over the stove, and dinner will be on the table and in your belly super fast.

Shrimp, Avocado and Roasted Corn Salad

2 ears of sweet corn, shaved off the cob
3 strips of bacon, diced
1/2 lb. large cooked shrimp, tails removed
4-5 cups chopped Romaine lettuce or Spring Mix
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

Buttermilk Pesto Dressing:

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup pesto
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a large measuring cup and whisking well. (Note: you will only use about 1/3 to 1/2 of the dressing for these two servings, so save, covered in the fridge, for another use.) Set aside.

For the salads, heat a skillet over high heat. Add the corn kernels and let them dry-roast for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until their edges begin to brown and caramelize. Transfer the corn to a plate to set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-high. In the same skillet, add the bacon. Fry for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, then wipe out most of the grease, leaving about 1-2 tsp. in the skillet. Add the shrimp and saute until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside.

Divide the lettuce between two plates, then drizzle on the dressing. Top evenly with the shrimp, corn, bacon and avocado. Serves 2.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Monday, June 15, 2015

White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

The BEST scones I have ever had were at a coffee shop in my parents' town. I have resolved to make my own ever since I tasted one of those beauties several years ago. Obviously my resolve wasn't very strong...probably because I knew that when I made these, I would want to eat every single one of them as quickly as possible. So when I saw that Nicole had a recipe for these same scones - white chocolate raspberry! - I knew it was the recipe I would choose for this month's Secret Recipe Club.

Nicole lives somewhere I would love to visit - New Zealand! - and her blog is full of amazing recipes. I know you'll find something there you would love to make.

I made these scones as drop scones - like drop biscuits - instead of fashioning the dough into a circle and cut into wedges. It was simply a personal preference - I've made scones the other way too, so do whatever you like best. And I loved that Nicole uses her food processor to combine the flour and butter; that's how I do it, too! Here's to a wonderful breakfast, tea time or treat - thanks for a great recipe.

White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 Cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 Cup white chocolate chips

Combine the buttermilk, sugar and egg in a bowl. Whisk well to combine then set aside.

In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and butter; process into a coarse crumb.

Transfer the flour/butter mixture into a large mixing bowl, and gently fold in the buttermilk mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and raspberries.

Drop the dough by large spoonfuls onto a silpat or parchment-lined baking tray. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Makes 12.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

CanvasPop winner!

Jessica is the lucky winner of the CanvasPop giveaway. She was comment #1, which was the random number generated from all the comments. Jessica says she will order a picture of her mom celebrating her birthday with them. Sounds like a great canvas! Congratulations, Jessica, and thanks everyone for entering!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Caramel Banana Tiramisu

I've had this recipe pinned for a little while, and finally had all the ingredients to make it. Ooh la la. This is SO delicious. Weeks later, I am still being asked, "Is there any of that caramel banana dessert left?" It was a big hit. It's similar to the chocolate eclair dessert made with graham crackers - that was a ubiquitous pan of goodness at nearly every church potluck growing up - but this time, bananas mix in with pudding and caramel to create a different, but totally delicious take on that famous dessert.

Bananas and caramel are one of my favorite combinations. And they work really well together here. I served this two ways - once just out of the fridge (I made it the night before so it had plenty of time to set up), and once after being completely frozen.

I think I like the frozen version just slightly better, but if I had the opportunity, I would allow it to thaw awhile so it's not completely frozen - somewhere between refrigerated and frozen. But don't stress about that - just eat it whenever you can. As often as you can. It does have fruit in it, after all.

Find more great recipes at Inspire Me, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Clever Chicks, Tasty Tuesday, Create Link Inspire, Totally Talented, What's Cooking, Full Plate, Showcase Your Talent, Friday Flash, Friday Frenzy, Foodie Friday, Flashback Friday.

Caramel Banana Tiramisu

1 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 - 3.4 oz. package instant banana pudding (vanilla works well too)
1 cup cold milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 - 8 oz. container whipped topping
1 1/2 sleeves of graham crackers
3-4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling on top

Combine pudding mix and cold milk in a medium bowl and whisk to thicken. Place the caramel topping in a glass measuring cup and microwave at 50% power for 45 seconds. (This will make it easier to pour.) Add 1/3 cup caramel topping and sour cream to the pudding and whisk to combine. Fold in the container of whipped topping.

Arrange a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of an 7x11 baking dish. Top with 1/3 cup of caramel topping.

Layer bananas over the top of the caramel. Spread 1/2 of the cream mixture on top of the bananas. Then repeat the layers- graham crackers, caramel, bananas and cream.

Sprinkle cinnamon on top and put dessert in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight before serving. Freeze if you want to, and thaw slightly before serving with additional bananas on top, as well as a drizzle of caramel.

Recipe Source: Butter with a Side of Bread
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