Posts tagged recipes
Weeknight Dinner :: Crab Cakes

Yesterday morning our internet went out.  It was out for ages.  AGES.  It literally felt like all day - even though it was only out for a few hours.  So I spent the rest of the day being crabby.  Appropriately enough, we had crab for dinner.  Now you can too.  Fabby little crab cakes take the crabbiness out of the crabbiest of days.  Even if your internet is out.

Step 1 :: Make large crab cakes using my crab cake recipe from the website
Step 2 :: Mix up a little dressing {see above}
Step 3 :: Serve over spinach

Done.  Weeknight dinner accomplished.

Charm Hour :: Pink Grapefruit Margaritas

Are you ready for Cinco de Mayo?  You can start celebrating early this weekend with a little something grapefruit flavored.  Next week I'll show you another fabulous margarita recipe + a total party you can pull of in just minutes.  Have a great weekend!  See you soon

2 ounces tequila
3 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 splash Cointreau
two lime wedges

Run the center of one lime wedge around the rim of a highball glass.  Dip in a dish filled with salt and fill the glass with ice.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in tequila, juice, and Cointreau.  Shake well.  Strain into prepared highball glass and squeeze remaining lime on top.

February Funfetti :: Funfetti Doughnuts

One of my children's favorite things are the sprinkles on top of doughnuts.  Which got me wondering, "Why aren't there sprinkles IN doughnuts?"  Now there are.

Recipe adapted from Top Pot Doughnuts.

1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Four 1/4-ounce packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup funfetti sprinkles
3 ½ cups flour
Boiling water
Vegetable oil, for frying

In a small saucepan, warm the milk, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the sugar over moderate heat until the temperature registers 110° on a candy thermometer. Transfer to the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add the shortening, egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and beat at medium speed just until the shortening is incorporated. Beat in the salt and baking powder. At low speed, add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is firm but still tacky (you may need to add a little more or a little less than the called for amount of flour).

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times; pat it into a disk and transfer to a floured baking sheet. Cover with a towel and place the baking sheet in the center of a turned-off oven. Set a large roasting pan on the bottom rack and fill it halfway with boiling water. Close the oven door and let the dough stand until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and dust with flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out to a 12-inch round, 1/2 inch thick. Cut out shapes with a doughnut cutter or a biscuit cutter for “doughnut holes.” Transfer the doughnuts to the baking sheets and return to the oven. Refill the roasting pan with boiling water and close the oven door. Let stand until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Layer several pieces of paper towel on a baking rack and set aside.  In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 365°. Add 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time; adjust the heat to keep the oil between 350° and 360°. Fry the doughnuts until golden brown, 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the paper towels and let cool.

February Funfetti :: Funfetti Caramel Corn

Because plain popcorn is so 'Golden Retriever.'  Try something a little bit different - this is a perfect Valentine treat and a fun thing to make with the children.  Let them drizzle the chocolate on top and dust the funfetti sprinkles all over.  There is no perfect way to do this - so let their way be perfect.

12 cups air popped pop corn (1/2 cup kernels)
1 ½ cups tightly packed brown sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup butter
½ teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces melted chocolate
¼ cup funfetti sprinkles

Spread popcorn out on a lined baking sheet.  Line with either a sil-pat or buttered parchment paper.  Place sugar, corn syrup, butter, table salt, vanilla, and soda in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.  Once sugar has completely dissolved boil for four minutes without stirring.  Remove from heat and pour over popcorn.  Stir quickly to caramelize every kernel. Place in a safe place at room temperature for 3 hours, until dry. 

Pour melted chocolate over caramel corn and evenly sprinkle funfetti over top.  Let chocolate set then break into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to one week.  If you’re in a hurry to set the chocolate, place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.  

January Yellow :: Kicky Lemon Bars

Did you know this is lemon season?  January is when lemons are ripe on the trees and when they are the cheapest at the store.  So it's the perfect time for lemon bars.  Mine are spiked with a bit of lime zest for an extra kick.

Lemon bars are the perfect thing to make this January.  Are you friends expecting them?  No, they are not.  Make a batch right now - immediately.  They take less than an hour total time and invite a friend over for coffee.  Or deliver a batch to an unsuspecting friend.

Click here for a printable version.

Cook it :: Cider Braised Pork Shoulder
This is possibly one of my favorite things to come out of my experiments cooking with cider.  It is the perfect fall dish: it's warm, comforting, and evocative of knit sweaters and fireplaces.

Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

2 pounds pork shoulder spare ribs
¼ cup flour
2 large onions, sliced
1 fennel bulb
2 cups apple cider, divided
1 cup beef broth
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 spring rosemary
salt and pepper
canola oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Pour ¼ inch of oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven (leaving the lid off) and set over a medium heat stove.  Place flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.  Dredge meat pieces through flour and place in hot oil.  Be careful of splatters.   Brown meat on all sides, remove from pan and set aside.

Pour off excess oil so only two tablespoons remain in the bottom of the pan.  Put onions and fennel into the pan and sprinkle remaining dredging flour over the top.  Stir gently.  When flour has been absorbed by the liquid, and you can’t see anymore ‘white’ flour, deglaze the pan with one cup apple cider.  Stir once to ensure all liquid is evenly distributed.  Let cider reduce to a thick ‘gravy.’  Add remaining cider and broth and bring to a boil.  Drop rosemary into the pan.

Very carefully, place reserved meat on top of the cooked apples being sure to keep the browned edges intact.  Place the lid on the pan and put the pan in the preheated oven.  Bake for two hours. 

Shred meat gently with two forks.  Serve hot over cooked egg noodles. 

If you read the magazine you'll note that while the recipe is called "Cider Braised Pork" we accidentally told you to buy beef in the recipe.  Yikes!  You can buy beef, but if you do, change the amount of salt you use.
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Cook it :: Granola Bars

Lars is allergic to nuts.  Which means we can't buy any granola bars that are sold on grocery shelves - not only because most of them contain nuts but the ones that don't have nuts in them are 'made in a factory with nuts.'  Granola bars are a healthy, simple way to bulk up any lunch, car snack, or handbag.  I packed these granola bars with me to New York.

It sounds challenging to say you "made your own granola bars."  But it isn't hard.  If you've made cookies of any kind {ever} then you are over-qualified to make these.

Granola Bars
Makes 8 bars

2 cups quick oats
1 cup rice krispie cereal
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup raisins
½ cup toasted coconut
3 tablespoons flax seed
¼ cup wheat germ
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8x8 baking pan.  Cut parchment paper to fit inside with two ends hanging over. Set aside.

Mix all dry ingredients together with your hands until all brown sugar is broken up and mixture is well combined.  Add oil, honey, and vanilla and continue to combine gently with your hands until the entire mixture is moist. 

Press into prepared pan.  Use the bottom of a glass to ensure mixture is well packed in the baking dish. 

Bake 20-22 minutes until golden brown.  When done baking, remove immediately from the oven and let sit at room temperature 24 hours.  Remove from pan and cut with a sharp knife into 2” x 4” bars.  Wrap individual bars with wax paper and keep in an airtight container up to one week.

P.S. :: I'm working on a variation that is "tropical" with dried coconut, mango, and a lot more coconut!  Stay tuned!
Cook it :: Raspberry Upside-down Cake

After picking barrels and barrels of raspberries and blueberries last week I thought that an upside down cake featuring raspberries would be awesome.  Something like the skillet cake I made with loganberries, but fresher and lighter.  

It took a lot of rounds before we got there.  

{round 2 :: too cake-y + too many berries}
{round 3 :: way too gooey}

And finally, round 4 :: lovely

Raspberry Upside-down Cake
8 ounces raspberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter + additional for greasing the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously grease the bottom of a nine inch round pan. Measure out raspberries in the pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together 1/2 cup butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour.  

Pour batter over berries and bake 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool then invert pan on a serving plate.  Slice and serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Summer Ice Cream Favorites

Welcome Q13 viewers!  This weekend will be hot and sunny - perfect weather for making your own ice cream.  Does that sound intimidating?  It's not.  Promise!

1. My favorite red raspberry ice cream is super simple.  With raspberries in season right now - and I mean right this second - this is perfect with local cream, local milk, and a little bit of sugar (five ingredients + salt).  Easy and delicious.  Click here for the recipe

2. Have you ever just frozen watermelon?  Super easy.  You can freeze half of a watermelon and use it as your 'ice' in the cooler if you are going out somewhere.  It will freeze solid.  Let defrost at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and it's the perfect "sorbet" without doing anything.

3. Martha just came out with a "no ice cream maker needed" ice cream that's pretty good.  You don't have as much control over the ingredients (it calls for a can of sweetened condensed milk) and you must be super good at folding in whipped cream.  But if you are - this can be done in about three minutes and stuck in the freezer.  It must freeze at least four hours before eating.  Martha's recipe is here.

Not interested in making your own?  No problem - my friend Molly Moon has amazing flavors made with fresh local ingredients.

Want to do something really fun with ice cream?  Make a cocktail.  This is especially perfect for these lovely summer nights.  Scoop your favorite sorbet and top with champagne.  Or if you're really feeling fancy, try this ::


Happy Hour Friday :: Singapore Slings
When I was planning a shower for Shirley, I immediately knew I was going to make Singapore Slings. Shirley loves to travel, loves the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, and was dreaming of a honeymoon somewhere in the Orient.

Singapore Slings are also pink.

Singapore Slings
1 cup gin
1/2 cup cherry liqueur
4 cups pineapple
1/2 cup lime juice
4 tablespoons cointreau
4 tablespoons benedictine
1 tablespoon bitters
3/4 cup grenadine

Mix all together in a pitcher and serve over ice.  This makes enough for a crowd - not an individual serving.