Attending cocktail parties is the best part of my job (more…)
If someone brought a panettone to your Christmas party, here’s the BEST thing you can do with it.
French Toast Recipe serves 8 people
1 Panettone cake about 26 ounces or 16 slices of bread
2 cups half and half
6 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one orange about 1 Tablespoon
4 ounces of butter
Equipment: Griddle or wide shallow pan, 2 sheet pans, 2 wire racks, 1 pie plate
Slice the pannetone serving sizes about a 1/2 inch thick
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat half and half, eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange zest in a bowl. Pour batter into a pie plate.
Dip panettone slices (or bread) into the batter for about 15 seconds per side. Cook the French toast in about one tablespoon of butter on griddle set to medium heat (325 degrees on an electric griddle). Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove cooked French toast to a wire rack placed over a pan. When all of the French toast is finished on the griddle, place the French toast (still on the pan on the wire rack) into the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Serve with butter and syrup.
Three cookies recipes: One no bake, one bar cookie and one traditional rolled out and fully decorated cookie.
DULCE DE LECHE COCONUT PECAN KRISPIE BALLS (I’m gonna have to come up with a shorter name)
Dulce de Leche coconut balls recipe (makes 45 balls)
1 ½ cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 ½ cups pecans
½ cup dark chocolate chips
14 oz dulce de leche (in your grocery store near the condensed milk)
1 cup rice krispies
Finely chop coconut and pecans in a food processor
Mix with chocolate chips, dulce de leche and rice krispies. Scoop into small balls, I used a 025 ounce scoop.
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
½ cup pecans
Roll the balls the topping mixture
BROWNED BUTTER BLONDIES
Browned Butter Blondies (makes 16 blondies)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Cane Syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
spray and 8*8 inch pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Brown the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan for about 4 minutes. When it’s ready the butter should smell nutty and be golden brown. Let the butter cool.
Beat butter sugar, cane syrup eggs, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add flour and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
Pour into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.
let cool completely and cut into 16 squares
Sugar cookie recipe for rolling (makes about 30-40 cookies depending on the size of your cookie cutters)
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 stick soft butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups All-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon your favorite spice like cinnamon, or garam masala (optional)
2 tablespoons colored sugar (optional)
I use a stand mixer, but this sugar cookie dough is easy to make by hand with a wooden spoon.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
In a bowl mix butter, powdered sugar , egg , salt and vanilla thoroughly in a bowl until combined (about 2 minutes on medium in a stand mixer)
Stir in the flour and optional spices and mix until well combined but not over mixed.
Divide dough in half, form each half into a disk and wrap each disk in plastic. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about a half hour.
Spread a thin layer of flour on your counter and put one disk of cookie dough on it ( leave the other disk in the fridge until you are ready to use it) Roll out your dough with a floured rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thick. I use rolling pin bands to help me roll the dough evenly; no more guessing about what 1/8 of an inch is or struggling to keep the dough at an even thickness.
Pre heat your oven to 350 drgrees
Dip your cookie cutter in flour and cut out your shapes. Use a thin metal spatula ( dusted with flour) to lift the cookies off the counter and place them onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. If you are not decorating your cookies with frosting you can sprinkle them with white or colored sugar before you bake them
Bake the cookies for 10-12 (depending on the size of your cookies) until they are just very slightly brown around the edges. Let them cool to room temperature before you frost them.
You can re-roll the scraps of the cookie dough that are left over after cutting out your cookies. Just gather the scraps, form them into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a half hour before rolling)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 ½ tablespoons pasteurized egg whites
You can find pasteurized egg whites in the dairy section of your grocery store
Mix Powdered sugar and egg whites together. Add more egg white to make a runnier consistency, add powdered sugar to make a thicker consistency. Add food coloring one drop at a time until you reach the desired color.
Using a disposable pastry bag (cut a tiny bit off of the tip to make a small hole) pipe an outline with royal icing. Thin the icing slightly with a drop or two of egg white. Use this to fill in the outlined area.
Christmas Cookies Easy and Delicious Recipes
I’m usually on the other side of the chef’s jacket, but not this night. This time instead of teaching a cooking class I got to take one from fantastic chef and food stylist Nancy Waldeck (TasteandSavor.com ) at COOKS WAREHOUSE Merchants Walk Nancy had great ideas about using unusual items to present your food. She told us a story about how once she and her assistant bought tons on mushrooms from the grocery store just for the cute boxes they were in ( I’m sure she did something wonderful with all those mushrooms). Her recipes were lovely, light and healthy appetizers great for any party.
Mini Potato Cakes with Kale, Broccoli and Bacon ( makes about 15 potato cakes)
1 and 1/4 cups diced Yukon gold potatoes boiled and mashed
1/4 cup finely chopped kale
1/4 cup finely chopped broccoli
1/4 cup diced cooked bacon ( save a few pieces of bacon for garnish if you like)
2 garlic cloves grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (or light mayonnaise)
2 tablespoons butter or canola oil
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Mix mashed potato, kale, broccoli, bacon, garlic mayonnaise and salt together in a bowl. Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and form into a small scallop shaped disk.
Heat a skillet on medium with butter or canola oil. Brown the potato cakes on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Serve on spoons (Chinese soup spoons or regular tablespoons)
Garnish with a dollop or sour cream or Greek yogurt and top with a piece of bacon
It’s time to restock my prop closet, so I headed to Goodwill on Monday to pick up some inexpensive items. Everything on the table (except for the tablecloth and the food) is from Goodwill. These items will be great for styling my blog and great for parties.
It’s that most wonderful time of the year again. It’s the time of year when we prepare our homes to receive friends and family in the spirit of the season. It’s the time of year when we heat up our ovens and start making those favorite dishes that will become favorites of those that taste them. It’s also the time when we need to stock out pantries to be prepared for unexpected visitors.
I was invited to BJ’s Wholesale Club a few days ago to get some a peek at some of their holiday products and get some tips on entertaining.
Bj’s does require you to purchase a membership to receive the benefits of their club, but their low prices and coupon policy more than makes up for that fee.
One important difference between BJs and other membership clubs is that BJs sells many of it’s products in sizes more appropriate for families while other membership clubs have items packaged in large quantities for small businesses. This is especially important when purchasing perishable items (like produce) that can spoil before you have a chance to use them.
My oven is HOT! I’ve been baking up a storm lately developing cake and pie recipes for my clients’ holiday tables.
Here’s a link to the Brown Sugar Pound Cake recipe just in case you’re in the mood for a little baking. If you’re in the Atlanta area you can order one of these delicious cakes from me. Here’s the rest of the menu:
Mmmm, Wouldn’t this BROWN SUGAR POUND CAKE be GORGEOUS on your holiday table! The perfect Thanksgiving dessert or Christmas Dessert but really it’s great any time of year. This cake is incredibly moist, lightly sweet, has a hint of lemon and a whole lot of DELICIOUS! (more…)
Berry cupcakes (makes 24)
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Berry Cupcake and Easy Vanilla Frosting #Recipe
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 3 ounce package raspberry gelatin
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup whole milk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- SIMPLE VANILLA FROSTING
- 2 1/2 Cups confectioners sugar sifted
- 1 cup soft unsalted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream depending on the consistency you want
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees .
- Line cupcake tins with cupcake papers.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, jam and sugar for 3 minutes.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Add vanilla to milk, combine the flour, dry strawberry gelatin and baking powder in a separate bowl; stir flour mixture into the batter alternately with the milk and vanilla.
- Scoop into lined cupcake tins
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Place sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low speed until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 4 minutes or until smooth.
- Add vanilla and cream. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. I needed, beat in more cream 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve the consistency that you like.
I was browsing one of my favorite blogs, British Blokes Cooking, when I came across a great looking recipe for Milton’s sausage and potato soup. I guess I shouldn’t read food blogs on an empty stomach because I got REALLY HUNGRY! Now, here’s the thing, I can never follow a recipe…NEVER (almost never). I get inspired by them but then I take off in a completely different direction. In a nod to my Southern roots I used collard greens instead of the kale that was in the recipe. I went to the market and saw some beautiful Kabocha squash that I absolutely could not resist. I had some smoked sausage and some of my homemade bacon in the fridge and I omitted the cream altogether. This soup was FANTASTIC!! The broth was smokey and slightly spicy from the bacon and sausage and a little sweet from the squash.
So here it is, my kabocha squash and collard green soup recipe, I hope you try it or are inspired by it. Either way I’d like to hear about what you cooked and how you change things up.
Kabocha squash and Collard Greens Soup
|4 ounces of diced bacon1 small onion diced (about ½ cup)1 bunch of collard greens washed and julienned ( about 15 ounces)1- 12 ounce package of smoked sausage sliced
1 small kabocha squash (about 1 pound) cut into 3/4 inch cubes (substitute butternut or acorn squash or pie pumpkin)
3 cups of chicken broth
|Cook diced bacon over medium heat to render the fat from the bacon. Remove the bacon and save, keep the bacon fat in the pot.Add onion into the bacon fat and sauté until translucent for about 4 minutes. Add collard greens into the pot and stir around to wilt greens a bit.Add sausage, kabocha squash and chicken broth. Simmer on medium-low for about 20 minutes or until squash is tender.You could also bring the soup to a simmer then put it in the oven and let it cook, covered, gently at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until squash is tenderTop soup with reserved bacon, serve and enjoy|
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