Monday, October 26, 2020

Muffin Tin Potatoes Gratin Dauphinois

Wow, don't I sound fancy with that title? Gratin dauphinois is a French dish of sliced potatoes baked in milk or cream, using the gratin technique, from the Dauphiné region in south-eastern France. 

In this recipe, we bake them in muffin tin wells, all cutely stacked up, so they make little individual mountains (or hills, really, they are not that tall!) of cheesy, creamy, and crispy potato goodness.

Even though this looks fancy, it is not difficult at all. And I love how the tops and bottoms get nice and crispy but the insides stay soft and creamy. These look beautiful on a plate and also taste amazing - they are perfect for a fancy dinner party and just as appropriate for a Tuesday night family dinner. 

I served them with pork chops and asparagus but they would go well with any meat and veg.

So bring out your inner French chef and make these potatoes today!

Muffin Tin Potatoes Gratin Dauphinois

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 Tbsp. heavy cream
4 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine sliced potatoes, cream, cheese and garlic in a mixing bowl and stir well to coat all the potato pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spray a 12-cup muffin pan liberally with nonstick spray. Divide the potato slices up among the muffin cups, and pour any leftover liquid over the potatoes.

Bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes or until potatoes are tender and crispy and golden on top. Makes 4-5 servings.

Pumpkin Donut Holes

It's pumpkin season! I know some of you have been eating and drinking pumpkin flavored things for a while now, but I need it to be well into October before I succumb to the madness. Just kidding, it's not madness. I do love pumpkin, and there's plenty of evidence on this blog to prove it. Pumpkin Gingerbread, FIVE varieties of pumpkin  muffins (herehereherehere and here!), DanishCrepesPancakesDonuts and WafflesBars with Cream Cheese Frostingwith oatmealwith white chocolate,  CakeAngelfood Cakea cake rollcupcakeswhoopie piessnickerdoodlesIce CreamPie, and even Pasta!  Whew! There are lots of options here. And this is just the tip of the pumpkin iceberg, I'm sure.

But these little guys. They win the day. Or the week, the month, or all of 2020, possibly. For me, it's hard to resist anything that is dipped in butter then coated with cinnamon sugar. But it's especially impossible if they're pumpkin to start with. I knew my waistline was in trouble when I decided to make these, but friends, they are worth every calorie. 

These are baked in a mini muffin tin, so they're not technically donut holes, but they can easily pass. And since they are baked and not fried, you can eat a few more. They are absolutely delicious and make the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee on a Saturday morning. What are you doing this weekend? Making these, I hope.

Find more great ideas at Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Fabulous, Tasty Tuesday, Full Plate, Hearth and Soul.

Pumpkin Donut Holes

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

4 Tbsp. butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. 

In a separate bowl or large measuring cup (like a batter bowl), mix together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, milk, butter, and vanilla until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter into greased mini muffin tins, getting each cavity about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the donut hole comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the donut holes from the pan to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a microwavable bowl. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl and mix together well. Take each donut hole and coat it with the melted butter. Then dip it into the cinnamon and sugar mixture, making sure to coat well. Return to the rack to slightly dry. Serve immediately.

(Note: If you're making these ahead of time, do not coat with butter and sugar until you're close to serving time.)

 Recipe Source: Live Well Bake Often

Monday, October 19, 2020

Coconut Cheesecake Bars

It's about that time of year when you need a little bit of a warm up...the seasons are changing and here in Minnesota, we're expecting up to FIVE INCHES of snow tomorrow. Good gracious!  Last night I made Irish Stew and Beer Bread and there are several soups on the docket this week, including Cauliflower Cheddar and Sweet Potato and Sausage

But another thing that warms me up, both literally and figuratively, is a dessert that reminds me of the tropics. And this is just the one. This coconut cheesecake is rich tasting but not overwhelming, and has the perfect balance of crunchy, chewy coconut and creamy goodness. 

I love fillings. However, I think the my favorite part of these bars is the CRUST. A salty, shortbread-y, addictively delicious crust sits under that fantastic filling. I may have been caught cutting off "just a bite" of these bars time and time again...even for breakfast.

This dessert makes the perfect ending to a dinner party, or a weekday dessert. You can dress it up with fresh fruit, or maybe a fancy fruit puree on the plate under the bar. Or you can simply slice off a piece for breakfast. However you serve it, or eat it, you will be delighted.

Coconut Cheesecake Bars

1/4 cup butter, melted, cooled completely
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

8 oz cream cheese softened (low fat is ok)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar and stir until well mixed. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be thick. 

Press the crust dough onto the bottom of an 8" square pan that is lined with foil. Set aside. 

In a mixing bowl, whisk together cream cheese and sugar. Add flour, egg and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in coconut. Pour cheesecake mixture over the crust. Spread evenly. 

Bake at 375 for 33 to 36 minutes or until the center doesn't jiggle anymore and the top is golden. Cool completely before slicing. Serves 9-12.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Butternut and Brussels Hash with Chicken and Keilbasa

Oh, Autumn. Such a great time to cook and eat. Squash, pumpkin, apples....what are your favorite fall foods? I love cooking with those, and also starting to make soups again. And then there's all the comfort food dishes that feel too heavy for summer, like stroganoff, pot pie, lasagna, etc. It's fun to get those back in the rotation.

(And not to be dissin' on Summer. I LOVE SUMMER. I love when we can grill nearly every night, make lots of salads, eat tons of fruit in season, etc. So this is not a slam on Summer. It's a praise of Autumn. Just to be clear.)

So now that butternut squash and brussels sprouts are in season, you can whip up this easy hash for a quick week night meal. The original recipe did not call for keilbasa, but I added it because I think it compliments the brussels well, and adds a little pizazz. I think this hash would be really good with a variety of meats if you have leftovers - like carnitas, cubed ham, pork tenderloin. 

And I love eating these colors - orange and green look so beautiful in the pan, and are SO good for you -- they are chock full of vitamins A, B, C and K. 

As with all butternut squash recipes, the hardest part is cutting up the squash. I've seen the precut stuff in the stores now, so if you need to save time and strength, feel free to use that. The veggies take a quick steam bath in the microwave and then are sauteed til golden. Add back in the meats and you have a delicious autumn dinner. Even my picky eater really liked this, so that's a true endorsement...

Get more great ideas at Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Fabulous, Hearth and Soul, Tasty Tuesday

Butternut and Brussels Hash with Chicken and Keilbasa

3 cups chopped butternut squash (about 12 oz)
1 Tbsp. water
2 cups quartered Brussels sprouts
4 bacon slices, chopped
8 oz. keilbasa, sliced into half moons
1 cup cooked, chopped chicken
1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

Place squash and  water in a medium microwavable bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave 2 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts; cover with plastic wrap, and microwave until vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer squash and Brussels sprouts to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add bacon, and cook, stirring often, until just starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. If there is more than about 1 Tbsp. bacon grease, remove the excess grease.

To the remaining bacon grease (and bacon) in the pan, add keilbasa, chicken, onion, garlic and thyme; cook until onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; stir in vinegar. Transfer to a bowl. 

Increase heat to high. Add oil to skillet; swirl to coat. Add squash mixture; cook, stirring often, until mixture begins to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add chicken mixture to squash mixture; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.  Serves 4-6.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Cooking Light
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