Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Since my friend Alison was housebound last Friday with a bum foot, I went over to her house to make paninis with her roommates Amanda and Andrew. I brought my dog Rusty along for the fun too. He didn’t get to enjoy paninis, but I think he is now thoroughly traumatized by our visit to Chat Roulette. Although he did meet a cute pup from West Hollywood during our adventure.
I’m getting off topic…back to paninis. We chose to make mushroom fontina paninis. I purchased baby bella and cremini mushrooms from Trader Joe’s along with some shallots, french rolls, baby spinach, sweet potato fries, garlic fries, and chocolate bonbons for dessert. I also got some red zinfandel from Cline Cellars (also at Trader Joe’s).
To make the delectable melted sandwiches, we first sauteed the shallots in butter over medium heat and then added the mushrooms and about a tablespoon of tarragon. We cooked the mushroom/shallot mixture until softened. We brushed melted butter on the top and bottom half of the french rolls and then put a layer of fontina cheese slices on the bottom half of the roll. The cheese was covered in the mushroom mixture, followed by a layer of baby spinach and then some more fontina cheese. The sandwiches then went in the panini press at medium heat for about 7 or 8 minutes. The rolls were thick, so the cooking time was a little longer for these guys.
When I first took my fancy Breville panini press out of the box I thought, this isn’t much different from the George Foreman grill I purchased a couple years ago and I suddenly felt buyer’s remorse (even though it was a Birthday gift from my family - thank you FAMILY!). After our inaugural panini Friday, I know the panini press was well worth the purchase and I hope this becomes a weekly tradition. Melted, buttery goodness.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I had fifteen people over for brunch on Easter and made a feast. I love cooking big meals for my friends, but I think I’m going to be resting for a while after this one. It sent me on an unhealthy food jelly-bean bender from which I’m recovering.
Not much to say other than I will be making the french toast casserole again. Definitely a winner. I’ll let the menu to the rest of the talking.
French Toast Casserole — via Foodnetwork.com from Paula Dean. Butter, butter, butter.
Vegetable Frittata with Asparagus Salad — The frittata was loosely based on a couple recipes, but basically, zucchini, asparagus, shallots and grated asiago cheese. Got the recipe for the asparagus salad on foodnetwork.com.
Bacon and Cheddar Frittata with Rosemary — The boyfriend manned this one and from what I hear, it was delicious.
Sweet and Spicy Potatoes — Had this dish for the first time at a friend’s brunch a couple years ago and had to make it myself. Tons of seasoning with sweet potatoes, roasted at over 400 for at least 45 minutes. YUM!
Breakfast Herb Potatoes — Regular potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh parsley and rosemary. Classic perfection.
Amish Friendship Bread — Got my starter from Katie and the bread turned out delicious! More like a pound cake than a fluffy, airy loaf, and went perfectly with the next item.
Strawberry Butter — I made this to go with the croissants that Andrew brought along with the Amish Bread and Banana Crunch muffins. It was a big hit, but thankfully I made enough for leftovers. Got the recipe from my Heidi Swanson book, but basically just use room temperature butter (or maybe a little bit warmer) and combine with strawberry preserves. After the two were combined, I put the butter in red ramekins and refrigerated overnight.
Carrot Cake & Lemon Cake Cupcakes — Refer to my last post to see recipes and close-up photos of these.
In addition to my creations, my roommates made tasty looking bacon and sausage, others brought, cheesy grits, colored eggs, croissants, fruit salad, key lime pie, cinnamon rolls, ham/pineapple/cherry skewers, Bloody Mary mix and of course champagne and fresh squeezed orange juice for mimosas.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups finely grated peeled carrots (about 1 pound)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and vegetable oil in bowl until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture. Stir in carrots.
Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 25 minutes.
1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) of REAL butter3 c. cake flour (no substitutions here—you really need the lightness of cake flour)
4 cups powdered sugar
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract