Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Award Winning Quiche!

I am so excited to learn that I have won the Iron Chef Challenge! May's challenge ingredient was ham, and I entered one of my favorite recipes, Wild Rice Quiche.

Judge and President of Dakin Farms Sam Cutting IV had this to say about my winning recipe: "While each recipe looked great and there are several favorites, I chose Wild Rice Quiche w/ham as my favorite submission. There are several reasons why this is my top pick. First off, I love all of these ingredients and how these flavors work together. Whole grain wild rice is such a special food with its crunchy, firm texture and nutty flavor. It goes so well with our smoky sweet Dakin Farm ham, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and Swiss cheese in a quiche. Also, I feel this a relatively healthy choice with the combination of nutritious whole grain, vegetables and lean protein. It is a filling and hearty recipe which is also extremely delicious!"

I can't wait to receive my prize, a $50 dinner ham from Dakin Farms. You can bet I'll be posting a lot more ham recipes in the future! Thanks "a latte" Ott, A for the terrific contest!

Head on over to Let's Do Brunch for some other great brunch ideas.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Raspberry Chocolate Oat Bars

These little gems of goodness would be a perfect addition to your Memorial Day weekend picnic. Chock full of oats and chocolate chips with a yummy raspberry jam layer, they are the perfect ending to any meal, or just a wonderful snack.

I assembled the crust in my food processor - you can just use a mixer if you like. Combine the flour, sugar, egg and vanilla

and mix until well blended. Then add in the cold butter

and process until you have fine crumbs. (Alternatively, you can cream the butter, sugar and flour together, then add in the egg and vanilla.)

Reserve 1 cup of this mixture for the topping,

and press the rest into a 9x13 pan lined with foil (be sure to leave an overhang for your "handles.")

Lightly warm the jam on the stove

so it will be easier to spread. Spread the jam evenly over the crust. For the topping, add the oatmeal

and the mini chocolate chips (more chocolate in every bite!)

to the reserved crumb mixture and sprinkle it over the raspberry layer.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden.

Cool completely, then use the foil handles to lift the bars out to a cutting board to cut.

One year ago: Coconut Macadamia Triangles
Two years ago: Fruited Pork and Veggie Kebabs, Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Find more great ideas at What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on the Menu, Recipes I can't wait to try, What's on your plate?, Made it on Monday, Full Plate Thursday, It's a Keeper, Recipe Swap, Sweet Treats, Bake with Bizzy, Sweet Treats Thursday.

Raspberry Chocolate Oat Bars

2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups raspberry jam
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup oatmeal

Cream the butter, sugar, and flour together. Add in the vanilla and egg and mix well. Reserve one cup of this dough for the topping and press the rest into a 9x13 pan lined with aluminum foil.

In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the jam to a spreading consistency. Spready over the crust layer. Add the oatmeal and chocolate chips to the reserved crumb mixture and stir to combine. Gently crumble the topping over the jam layer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, then use the foil handles to remove the bars from the pan and cut into serving pieces.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins

Remember when I said that these were my favorite spring muffins? They still are. But I do need summer to come quickly cause these lemon ricotta blackberry muffins are my for sure favorite summer muffins. Citrusy with a blackberry surprise, and a nice crunchy top, these are everything a muffin should be. I saw these on the Two Peas blog, and when I had leftover ricotta from the spinach and ricotta crepes, I knew I had to make these. I will be making these regularly and you should, too. They are SO good.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. You'll be zesting 2 lemons - I used my pampered chef citrus zester for one,

and my planing grater for the other one,

because I wanted both long-ish strips but also lots of flecks. Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy.

Then add the ricotta

and beat until smooth. Then beat in the egg, vanilla and lemon juice.

(I just squeezed a lemon right into the batter! Remember that you can clean your disposal with any leftover lemon pieces!)

Gradually add the flour mixture, and blend just until the dry ingredients are incorporated with the wet. (The batter will be VERY thick.) Line a muffin tin with paper cups and scoop some batter into each cup.

Add 2 or 3 blackberries to each muffin

then top with the remaining batter.

Now here comes the best part! Sprinkle each muffin with turbinado sugar. This will give them a crunchy top and make it seem like they came from a bakery!

Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes or until they're golden brown.

Serve warm, if you can wait that long....

One year ago: Almond Pear Coffeecake
Two years ago: Cashew Chicken

Find more great muffins at Muffin Monday! Also check out the recipes at Mangia Monday, Make a Food "e" Friend Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Delectable Tuesday, Let's Do Brunch, A Themed Baker's Sunday, Seasonal Sunday.

Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta cheese (whole or low-fat is fine)
1 egg
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
Turbinado sugar-for sprinkling on muffin tops

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar and lemon zest mixture together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the ricotta cheese and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Fill each muffin cup half way with batter. Add two to three blackberries to each muffin cup. Top the muffins with remaining batter so blackberries are covered. Generously sprinkle turbinado sugar over each muffin top.

Bake muffins at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown. Let muffins cool for five minutes and serve. Makes 12 muffins.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Banana Split Crepes

I got the inspiration for these from the delicious strawberries in season, and the success I had with crepes (both sweet and savory)!

And I always need a reason to make more hot fudge sauce.

I used the crepe recipe from caramel banana crepes, then I filled them with bananas, pineapple,

and strawberries.

Fold the edges over and turn so the crepe is seam side down. Then top with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

Use plenty of hot fudge sauce!

Garnish with whipped cream, and additional slices of fruit. Summer is coming...

One year ago: Easy Crab Cakes
Two years ago: Sesame Asparagus

Find more great stuff at Sweets for a Saturday, Foodie Friday, Friday Food, Food on Fridays, Friday Potluck, Foodie Friday (#2), Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets this Week, Fun with Food Friday, Sweet Treats Thursday, So Sweet Sunday.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Berry-Mandarin Tossed Salad

I grew up eating a salad similar to this - except it didn't have strawberries. I love the addition for both color and flavor and I really love the dressing that goes over it all - it has a bit of a kick which is a nice contrast to the sweet fruit. This is a delightful luncheon salad when served with sandwiches, would be a lovely first course for dinner, and could even be the main course if you wanted to add chicken, blue cheese or goat cheese.

To make the dressing, in a small glass measuring cup, combine the sugar, vinegar, honey,

onion salt, lemon juice, paprika,

and dried mustard.

Heat this in the microwave for a minute or so until the sugar is dissolved. Then whisk in the oil.

Transfer this to a jar with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. (If you're not putting the dressing together ahead of time, you can just leave it in the measuring cup.)

When it's time to make the salad, combine the greens and red onion in a large salad bowl, then pour the dressing over

and toss the salad well to coat all the greens. Sprinkle on the mandarin oranges

then the strawberries

and top with the toasted almonds.

Serve immediately and dream of summer days to come. (I'm hoping that by posting this summery salad, summer - or at least spring! - will come my way soon...)

For more inspiration, visit My Meatless Mondays, Meatless Mondays, Meatless/Vegan Monday, This Week's Cravings, What's Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, What's on the Menu Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, Made it on Monday, Let's Do Brunch, Recipes I can't Wait to Try, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday , Pennywise Platter, Friday Food, Recipes to Run On.

Berry-Mandarin Tossed Salad

1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/3 cup oil (I use olive)

8 cups salad greens
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 small can mandarin oranges
1 small red onion, sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a small measuring cup, combine sugar, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, paprika, onion salt and ground mustard. Microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in oil. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

When ready to serve, combine salad greens and onion in a large salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over and toss to coat. Sprinkle on mandarin oranges, strawberries and almonds. Serves 8-10 as a first course or side salad.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gingered Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Lynn at Happier than a Pig in Mud is having a chef's challenge - and this month the chef is Paula Deen. So I perused her website, but it didn't take me long to find this recipe . I knew immediately that it would be the one for me. Around here, we are big fans of rhubarb, in pie, cheesecake, muffins and ice cream. And we are big fans of fruit crisp. So I knew this would be a winner, even before I made it!

Now I've never made a Paula Deen recipe before, but I know of her reputation. So I was quite shocked to read the recipe and see it called for a measley TWO tablespoons of butter. I thought it surely must be a misprint! But it's enough!

What really makes this a standout dessert is the crystallized ginger mixed in with the fruit. It's a perfect companion to the tart rhubarb, sweet strawberries and crunchy topping. And it adds a surprising flavor that really accentuates the fruity flavors. I'm so glad I made this, and I hope you will make it, too!

Start by combining the chopped strawberries


cornstarch, sugar,

and crystallized ginger

in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Pour the fruit mixture in a 8 inch baking dish.

For the topping, combine the brown sugar, flour, ginger and cubes of butter in a small food processor

and pulse until the butter is incorporated. Then stir in the oatmeal.

(If you don't have one, don't worry - combine the brown sugar, flour, oatmeal and ginger in a mixing bowl and just use a pastry blender or your fingers to incorporate the butter!)

Sprinkle the topping over the fruit in the baking dish,

then bake for 35-40 minutes or until topping is golden and fruit is bubbly.

Let cool slightly, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

(Luckily, I have a whole rhubarb stash in my freezer, so this delightful crisp will be making frequent appearances after dinner this summer!)

One year ago: Sweet Potato Fries
Two years ago: Apple Slaw

Get more recipe inspiration at Seasonal Sunday, Made from Scratch Tuesday, Mouthwatering Mondays, Mangia Mondays, Make a Food "e" Friend Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Delectable Tuesday, Sweets for a Saturday, Food on Friday: Ginger.

Gingered Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

2 cups large diced rhubarb
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. minced crystallized ginger
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup Bbrown sugar
2 Tbsp. cold butter, diced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

In a large mixing bowl, toss together rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, corntarch and crystallized ginger. Pour mixture into an 8 inch square baking dish.

Using the same mixing bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar butter and ginger until crumbly. (Alternately, use a food processor to combine.) Spread crumb mixture over rhubarb mixture and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Strawberry Banana Muffins

Remember when I said that pumpkin bran muffins were my new favorite? Well I think I am going to have favorites based on seasons, because these strawberry banana muffins are my new favorites. I'll just call them my favorite SPRING muffins!

You don't even need to pull out the mixer for this one - a whisk and wooden spoon will work just fine.

Start by lightly beating the eggs, then adding the vanilla and mashed bananas.

Stir in the brown sugar

and the melted butter.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Add the remaining flour to the strawberries, and stir until they're all coated.

This will prevent them from sinking while the muffins bake. Now add the banana mixture to the flour mixture, and stir just until combined.

Gently fold in the strawberries.

Spoon the batter into paper-lined or greased muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

(This made 14 muffins - so instead of dirtying another pan, I put muffin liners in two ramekins - then there was room on the same oven shelf for all of it!)

One year ago: Molten Chocolate Cakes
Two years ago: Raisin Bran Muffins

Find more great ideas at Muffin Monday, Friday Food, Food on Fridays, Foodie Friday, Friday Potluck, Foodie Friday (#2).

Strawberry Banana Muffins
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large)
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 1/4 cups flour, divided
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and mashed banana. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.

In another large bowl combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a third bowl, combine the strawberries and the remaining 1/4 cup flour, stirring until all the berries are coated with flour. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir only until just combined. Fold in the berries.

Divide the batter evenly among 12 paper lined or greased muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 12-14 muffins.
Powered by Blogger.