Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cheesy....

Today's Pinterest pick is probably the easiest thing I have ever made.  This pin didn't lead to a website or blog, it was just the picture and a short caption.  Trust me though, the picture was all I needed.

You only need two ingredients for this recipe: Mini Sweet Peppers and Mozzarella string cheese sticks.  I added a little salt and pepper but I have a problem with leaving well enough alone.  When I saw these peppers on sale at Smith's this week I knew I was going to make these.



Slice the peppers down one side and use a spoon to scoop out the membranes and seeds. Be careful with this step, you don't want to tear the peppers open too much.  You want them to still "close" around the cheese. Lay peppers on a lined sheet pan and season them with salt and pepper.  Don't overdo it with the salt, the cheese is pretty salty on it's own.


Cut the string cheese in half (bigger or smaller depending on the size of the pepper). Carefully stuff the piece of cheese into the pepper.



Now, the original pin said to place these under the broiler for 10 minutes.  This did not work!  A few minutes in I checked on the peppers and they were getting pretty charred so I turned the broiler off and baked them for about 10 more minutes at 450 degrees and they came out perfect.





Since I am not a fan of peppers I brought these to Mr. Lucky at work so he could share them with his team.  From all accounts they were a hit.

I will definitely make these again for a party or BBQ because they were so easy and I can't resist a recipe that only uses two ingredients.

Talk with you soon!

JEM

Monday, August 4, 2014

Old Fashioned....

The Arborio Rice Pudding I made today is another recipe from my Pinterest Treats board.  This recipe was originally posted by ButterYum.  I am starting to think that I will be choosing more treats than other recipes for now.  I have been battling a sweet tooth the past few days and I have been losing, big time.

You can call me old fashioned or whatever you want but I LOVE rice pudding. Before I made this recipe I had only ever had it, very rarely, at a restaurant or the Kozy Shack stuff.  This was much better, really easy and used ingredients that I always have in the house.

Here is the recipe:

Arborio Rice Pudding
 
 
1/2 cup Arborio rice
4 cups milk (skim works just fine)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup raisins (optional) (I did not use, I didn't have any)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (to taste)
1 egg yolk (optional, will add a bit of luxury to the finished texture) (I left this out too, it was just easier)
Sprinkling of cinnamon (optional)

In a medium heavy-bottomed sauce pan, place rice, milk, sugar, and butter; stir.  
 
 
Bring to a boil; stirring occasionally.  Add raisins if using; reduce heat to a gentle bubble and stir frequently for 20-30 minutes until the rice is plump and creamy (see note below) - don't walk away during this step. 
 
 
 
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and optional egg yolk if using.  Serve immediately or transfer to a storage container and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming; chill completely.  To speed the chilling process along, pour onto a large rimmed cookie sheet before covering with plastic and placing it in the fridge.  Sprinkle with a little cinnamon before serving.
 
 
Note:  If you plan to serve the rice pudding hot, cook to desired serving consistency.  If you plan to serve it cold, it will firm up when chilled so stop cooking when the consistency is a bit looser than you want.  If you find your chilled rice pudding is too firm, stir in a little cream or half and half.

This pudding came out creamy and delicious.  I was a little skeptical because I was only using 1% milk but the recipe proved me wrong.  I ate some as soon as it was cool enough to eat so I cannot wait to try some tomorrow, after it's been chilled.  

Try this recipe, you probably have all the ingredients and it's really easy.  I like the easy ones!

Talk with you soon.


Friday, August 1, 2014

A few crumbs....

Tonight I made the first recipe as part of the challenge I set for myself.  You can read about it here.  Basically, I am going to make (at least) one recipe from my Pinterest boards every week. 

I am a total night owl so deciding to bake something at 9pm is not out of the ordinary for me.  Mr. Lucky is not the biggest fan of this because he likes to go to bed early but he also likes to stay up to taste test. He definitely wanted to stay awake tonight because I made one of his favorites, crumb cake.

This recipe comes from Living Eventfully.  It was quite easy, had a substantial crumb layer and was very tasty.

Here is the recipe:

Old Fashioned Crumb Coffee Cake

Crumb Topping

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 1/2 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon almond extract (I omitted this and used extra vanilla.  I don't really care for Almond extract)

Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan, set aside.

Make the Crumb Topping:
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and set aside. 


Melt the butter in the microwave on 50% power until just melted. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour the melted butter mixture into the well in the center of the flour mixture. 


With a fork, gradually pull the flour mixture in to the butter. Continue to toss/combine until all the butter is absorbed and you have a uniformly moistened crumb mixture. If texture of crumb is too small, gently squeeze small clumps together to make large crumbs ranging in size from that of a pea to that of a grape, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size. If the crumb mixture forms a solid dough, simply use your fingers tor a fork to break-up the solid crumb mixture into big crumbs, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size. Crumbs don't have to be uniform, just try to get most about this size. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

Make the Batter:
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add flour mixture to the sour cream mixture and beat on low until just combined, do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.


Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the batter with your fingers, covering the batter evenly and completely.


Bake or 30-35 minutes. Cake is done when a wooden pick or cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean, and the sides of the cake are light golden brown and slightly pulling away from the edge of the pan. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in its pan set on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.  (I skipped the confectioner's sugar, this was definitely sweet enough without it.)


This cake turned out so delicious.  I loved the flavor and the amount of crumb topping was perfect.  Mr. Lucky and Mehgan were both glad that they stayed up to try it, they had 2 pieces each.  I am definitely looking forward to having another piece for breakfast in the morning. 

This recipe is a keeper, I'll probably make it again when we have company and definitely for Christmas morning.  Give it a try, you'll like it too.

Talk with you soon!