Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Thank you to everyone who participated in my contest this week to win a copy of Michael Chiarello's cookbook Bottega and some lemon-pepper panko breadcrumbs to try courtesy of General Mills and MyBlogSpark. Thank you to all of you for reading and following my blog!
There were 48 comments telling me about what they would make with panko breadcrumbs -- I got a few new ideas to use from them. I chose the winner via a random number generator and the winning number was entry number seven.
Amber from Texas Tales said...
How exciting! I love exploring new recipes and reading cookbooks. Would love to win. In the meantime, I'll have to try out these panko bread crumbs. I enjoy cooking our tilapia or catfish in seasoned bread crumbs, and it might be time to mix it up a little!
Amber - I think you'll like the panko -- it will make an extra crispy crust on your fish! Enjoy the cookbook and thank you for reading my blog! I've sent you an email with the details.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
So for at least the past week I have been wanting carrot cake -- I'm not sure why but I'm chalking it up to pregnancy cravings. I finally had a halfway decent excuse to make one since we were having friends over for dinner. While I love the carrot cake cupcakes I've made in the past, I wanted to try a new recipe that used pineapple since I had some crushed pineapple in the fridge that I needed to use up. (The cupcakes are a great recipe to try if you prefer your carrot cake sans additions.) It was an excellent decision, I found an Ina Garten recipe that used pineapple (although it called for fresh but I subbed in the canned that I already had) and it also added in raisins and walnuts (although I made another substitution and used pecans since I had those in the pantry). Just make sure if you do use canned pineapple that you get the kind packed in its own juice not heavy syrup, you don't need to add extra sugar to the recipe. It turned out to be really moist and topped with a cream cheese frosting, a perfect choice to satisfy my craving.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten via Food Network
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour, plus 1 T
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
1 pound carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8-inch round cake pans (or you can use baking spray) and line with parchment paper if desired (I didn't and it came out just fine but with a more delicate cake or if I'm not just making it for myself, I usually do).
Combine sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed for about two minutes until light yellow in color. In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt and whisk together. Add to mixing bowl and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Batter will be pretty thick at this point. Toss raisins and pecans with remaining one tablespoon of flour. Fold raisins, pecans, carrots and pineapple into batter until well distributed. Divide batter evenly among pans and bake about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans about ten minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
1 package cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat), at room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 T milk
1 pound powdered sugar
Combine cream cheese and butter in mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed about three minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and first three tablespoons of milk and mix on low to incorporate. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing on low until incorporated. Increase speed and whip about two minutes, adding additional milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. When cakes are completely cool, spread about 1/4 of the frosting on top of the first layer, spread evenly, top with 2nd layer, add another 1/4 of the frosting and top with remaining layer. Add a generous amount of frosting to the top of the cake and smooth working out with a spatula to the edges and down the sides of the cake.
Friday, January 21, 2011
***This contest is now closed - Thank you for participating!***
Well it's a good thing I didn't make a New Year's resolution to blog more often -- oh wait I did that?? FAIL! These last couple of weeks have really just gotten away from me. In a bit of good news, I have gotten a lot done, work has been busy, the nursery is finished and all the baby's laundry is cleaned and put away, and my freezer is full of meals frozen for easy dinners once she arrives. So there's my excuse. To make it up to you -- here's a GIVEAWAY for a beautiful cookbook, Bottega by Michael Chiarello Chef Chiarello is the host of Easy Entertaining on the Food Network and chef at Bottega Napa Valley Restaurant. Along with this great cookbook, you'll also receive a box of the Progresso Lemon-Pepper Panko Breadcrumbs that I used in the recipe below to try out.
1 cup packed basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil (if desired, you can cook directly on the baking sheet but foil makes for extra easy cleanup). For the chicken, set up two wide shallow dishes for the breading process. In one dish, beat egg and add milk, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. In the second dish, add breadcrumbs. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness approximately 1/2" thick. Dip each piece in the egg mixture, coating both sides and letting any excess drip off before transferring to the breadcrumbs. Coat both sides, lightly pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken to ensure they are well-coated. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add chicken breasts and cook about 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Transfer to baking sheet and continue cooking in the oven until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken.
For the pasta, heat a large pot of water to boiling over high heat. Generously add salt and add pasta to boiling water. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and toss with pesto sauce.
For the pesto, combine basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, slowly stream in olive oil with processor running until uniform. Stir in cheese and pour over pasta.
Please note: Giveaway provided by General Mills via MyBlogSpark. Although these products were provided to me free of charge, the opinions above are my own and are not influenced by General Mills or MyBlogSpark.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen cookbook
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup fresh/frozen cranberries, roughly chopped
Demerara sugar (about a tsp per muffin)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins with baking spray or line with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and butter and whisk until well combined. In another mixing bowl, add sugar and orange zest. Use your fingers to rub orange zest into the sugar until distributed and fragrant. Add in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Fold in the cranberries.
Spoon batter into prepared pans (I use an ice cream scoop to make it easier) and fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle about one teaspoon of demerara sugar over the top of each muffin. Bake about 20 - 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and spring back lightly to the touch. Cool in pans about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.