Posted at 9:23 am , on December 4, 2017
I love fig newtons, don’t you? They taste so different from other cookies. The dough is more like cake than cookie dough and is amazingly soft surrounding a fig paste that is flavored with a hint of orange. My opinion is that homemade newtons are more flavorful and aromatic than store bought. You can make the dough and fig paste ahead of time and refrigerate up to a week. This was a huge help to me as I didn’t have all day to make cookies. When I was ready, I just set the dough and paste out for about half an hour to soften at room temperature. The dough was cool but pliable and easy to work with and roll out. The fig paste was thick and sticky and I wasn’t sure how I was going to spread the paste onto the dough without making a mess. I dropped the paste onto a long sheet of plastic wrap and shaped it so that it was somewhat round and long like a rope. The paste didn’t stick to the plastic wrap and I was able to set the long strand of paste onto the dough and peel back the plastic. It made wrapping the dough around the fig paste quite easy. They baked perfectly in 18 minutes, golden and soft to the touch. And they look and taste just as good if not better than any you could buy at the store.
Posted at 9:44 am , on November 28, 2017
These scallops are seasoned with the copycat seasoning that Outback Steakhouse uses for their famous Aussie shrimp. This seasoning is my go to for grilled shrimp and also tastes great on scallops. Seared in butter with lemon and spices, this is simply one of the most succulent and mouthwatering dishes to make. Australia has been on my mind for some time. Over the summer our oldest son Josh announced that he was going to take a year and travel around Australia. He left just over a week ago and is now on his first leg in Melbourne. I am so proud and happy for him, I know his experiences will be life changing. And I hope he will share some new foods that he tastes along the way. He has always shared my love of cooking and good food so this one is for you Josh!
Posted at 11:08 am , on November 3, 2017
One of my favorite things is cinnamon apples. The aroma of apples cooking in cinnamon sauce is so fragrant throughout the kitchen. It definitely sets the mood of Fall. I made these as a side dish for the smoked ribs that we had last week. They also make a good dessert with a scoop of ice cream on the side. These were made with Honeycrisp apples and brown sugar but I’ve also tried McIntosh apples and granulated sugar. Joe loves the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture but I like the lighter flavor of granulated sugar. Either way you can’t go wrong!
Posted at 9:54 am , on October 27, 2017
I’ve always felt a bit intimidated when it comes to smoking meats. I think it comes from living in Kansas City, known as the barbecue capital of the world. Kansas City is famous for it’s bbq and you will find many restaurants serving up some of the finest barbecue around. And for the serious smokers there is the “American Royal” where hundreds of competitors come from all over the country to show off their best barbecue skills. I live just a few blocks from one of the most famous bbq joints in the country, “Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que” aka “Oklahoma Joe’s”. Yes, they changed their name a few years ago but they will always be “OK Joe’s” to me. Their burnt ends (my personal favorite) are to die for, the most tender and flavorful morsels I have ever tasted. Once I tasted “Joe’s” I’ve never found anything that compares. It’s just that good! We go at least twice a month and it never fails that there is a long line either to the door or out the door and around the building. The original “Joe’s” is located in KCK in a gas station where you can still buy gas and get your bbq to go. Our local “Joe’s” here in Olathe has the Kansas City BBQ store located a few doors down and you can find any and all bbq essentials from wood and smokers to sauce and rubs. Anything you need, they have it. Yes, I’ve always felt a little out of my element when it comes to barbecue but I did my research and felt ready to jump in and see if I could do it myself. I’m really happy with how it came out, maybe it’s not as good as “Joe’s” but pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. And just to make sure it wasn’t beginners luck, I smoked a second batch of ribs. . . Awesome!!
Posted at 9:55 am , on October 16, 2017
If you enjoyed the Cinnamon Streusel Brioch Bread then you will love this bread pudding. It practically melts in your mouth and is topped with a sweet crunchy streusel that adds texture and sweetness to every bite. The recipe is almost the same as the Cinnamon Streusel Brioch Bread except the loaf is baked without the streusel and saved for topping the bread pudding. It is so delicious it could be served as breakfast, brunch or dessert.
Posted at 2:51 pm , on October 3, 2017
The one bread that never fails me is brioche. It’s the perfect bread to make bread pudding or french toast because the dough is made with butter and eggs with a hint of honey for sweetness. I always make a double batch, it must be OCD that I can’t make just one loaf. So on this baking day half of the dough was made into a cinnamon streusel loaf and the other half was saved for the best brioche rolls ever. The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator at least overnight so you can make it up ahead and store in the fridge for up to a week or 10 days. For me it’s a much easier process and works with my timetable. So if you want two loaves of Cinnamon Streusel Brioch then double the sugar/cinnamon mix and streusel. Or if you want some brioche rolls, I’ll leave that up to you.
Posted at 10:44 am , on September 22, 2017
Tortillas are a staple in our home, we eat them with practically everything. They are used as an edible bowl disguised as tacos, a spoon for sopping up chile, an edible wrap when we are craving a sandwich and my personal favorite, toasted on a comal and then slathered with butter and drizzled with honey. Homemade tortillas taste so good when made fresh but honestly they will last awhile and warm up nicely in the microwave or toasted on a comal or cast iron griddle. My only problem in making them was keeping up as I prepared the individual rolls into balls and then rolling them out before toasting. Good thing I had a helper handy. Joe came in and saved the day, running the individual balls of dough through the tortilla press and then passing them off to me to roll out a bit thinner so that they would toast up soft and fluffy. In no time we had a stack of tortillas ready to be devoured!
Posted at 10:09 am , on September 8, 2017
It’s chile season in New Mexico and beyond. One of the things I miss most about living in New Mexico is the smell of roasting green chile in the air. There is nothing like it! But in the last few years Hatch chile has come to me. Several years ago I found a grocery store across town that was roasting NM Hatch green chile and I filled my freezer full. In the last 2 – 3 years it has expanded and now we find chile across the Kansas City metro with roasters going at many grocery stores on any given Saturday in August and early September. I love this time of year and always save out the biggest and meatiest of chiles for rellenos. Making rellenos is a labor of love but it’s a messy tradition. These chile relleno chimichangas have a crunchy outer texture like a traditional relleno but it makes less mess without the batter. This is my second batch of chimi’s since we got our green chile. I’ve had green chile every day for a week now, for instance we’ve had green chile cheese burgers, green chile stew, quesadillas, breakfast burritos. I could go on and on!!
Posted at 9:29 am , on September 1, 2017
Every year I look forward to the fruits of summer. It’s my favorite time of year and makes me feel like celebrating with a pie. I found this recipe on Pinterest, created by “Simple as That” and it looked amazing. I was intrigued with the almond crust, I had not tried to make a crust with almonds before. It was really really good. I was also fortunate to find some sweet and flavorful fruit to work with, adding sliced peaches and plums along with dark cherries, blackberries and raspberries. The crust tasted slightly like a pecan sandy cookie and complemented the sweet fruit filling. You can’t go wrong with this pie, try any fruit combination you wish. And don’t worry about the imperfections, it is rustic after all!
Posted at 1:14 pm , on August 25, 2017
Over the years I have experimented with many ways to make pizzas from scratch. Whether it’s the ingredients in the dough or the way it is cooked there are always subtle differences in the taste and texture. These days I cook pizza at a high temp which really makes my kitchen hot so the next best option is the outdoor grill. This pizza I call rustic simply because of the way it looks. It’s not the prettiest pizza by far but it was so good there wasn’t a slice left on the table. I picked up some heirloom tomatoes and roasted them in the oven with some salt, pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. And I tried a new cheese, Burrata cheese, which is similar to fresh mozzarella but it has a creamy center. You can’t slice it, you have to spread it and I wondered if I might have made a mistake using it. But it turned out better than I had expected especially in how it tasted. I thought it would be too thin and run over the edges of the dough but those fears were unfounded. The texture remains creamy but resembles the flavors of fresh mozzarella. One more note, I added fresh basil to one pizza after it came off the grill and the other I layered on the pizza to wilt on the grill. My own preference was that the fresh basil tasted better, just something about the fresh basil taste made it for me. So whenever your pizza cravings come calling in the summer, be sure to try one on the grill. You will absolutely love it!!