Friday, December 20, 2013

Gingerbread Biscotti

   Every year at Christmas I like to give a homemade gift of some kind to our neighbors. Since Christmas is only a few days away I decided it was probably time to get something made. =) I love biscotti but have never made it myself. (although I have had many good intentions to do so.)
    After tossing several options around I decided to give it a shot. I thought, if it flops I'll just start over with option #2 and enjoy the spoils myself. Thankfully, (but also rather regretfully) it turned out wonderful. I had a sample and the rest went out the door. Guess I'll be making more soon. =)

Gingerbread Biscotti
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
 2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz white baking chocolate
crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 350º. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, molasses and vanilla and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to the creamed mixture, about 1 cup at a time until it is all incorporated. 
Flour your work surface and transfer dough to the surface. Divide the dough in half and on a parchment lined baking sheet form each piece of dough into a log about 11"x5".
 Bake for 30-40 minutes until the surface springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and transfer from baking sheet to cutting board. Let cool 10-15 minutes then with a serrated knife slice 3/4-1 inch slices. Place the slices, cut side down back onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Return to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes more, flipping halfway through. The longer you bake it the harder and crunchier it will be. Once done place on wire racks to cool. 
When completely cool, melt the chocolate and drizzle it over top or dip the biscotti in it. Garnish with finely chopped crystallized ginger. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or your favorite tea. 


 Glory to God in the Highest, 
and on earth peace, goodwill
toward men.
~Luke 2:14

   As we celebrate our Savior's birth, may the love, joy and peace of the season surround and go with you into the new year! From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Old Fashioned Sand Tarts

   Husband's grandmother used to make these cookies for her family when his Mom was growing up. Ever since his grandmother passed away unexpectedly a number of years ago his Mom has continued the tradition with her family. Instead of Christmas cut outs they make turkey shaped cookies and we have them for Thanksgiving. I just love them and when our annual Christmas cookie exchange with my aunts was planned I decided to make these as my contribution. 
   The recipe says to decorate with cinnamon sugar, pecan and gumdrop halves. I had a lot of cookies to make though, so I thought that may a bit too time consuming, so I just used gourmet colored sugar on most of mine. For the gingerbread men I used cinnamon sugar. I was happy with how they turned out.

Old Fashioned Sand Tarts
yield: 4-5 dozen
 1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift flour. Add salt and baking powder, sift again. Add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture. Mix until a medium-soft dough is formed. Refrigerate for several hours.
Place onto a floured surface and roll into 1/4" thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on greased baking sheet. Brush tops with whole milk and decorate as desired with either cinnamon sugar, pecan and gumdrop halves or colored sanding sugar. Bake  @ 400º for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just beginning to brown. Cool on wire racks.
   All packaged and ready to be given to everyone today! I always look so forward to these exchanges each year. We normally have a brunch on the same day, but this year we are going to my great Aunt's house instead. She and another elderly lady live together and their health isn't the best so family take turns staying with them. We thought this would be a day brightener for them.

She will give birth to a Son, and
you are to give Him the name Jesus,
because He will save His people from their sins.
~ Matthew 1:21


Monday, November 04, 2013

Balsamic Roast Beef

  Hello again my friends! As you have probably noticed, it has been awhile since my last post. I wasn't really planning for the break, but it just sort of happened. Although I've felt rather uninspired the last few months, I have cooked numerous things with the intent to blog about it and then circumstances {usually not having or taking the time to photograph what I made} prevented that from happening. Well, now I'm back and hopefully I can be a lot more consistent with my posting. I have missed being here with you!
  This is a recipe I have been wanting to make for awhile now. Although we love just a plain ole roast beef, this sounded like a delicious version for a little something different. I wasn't disappointed. It is absolutely mouth-watering! You should definitely give it a try for your next roast beef dinner.

 Balsamic Roast Beef
(recipe from  Add a Pinch ) - Serves: 6-8
 1 3-4 pound roast
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced 
Place the roast into your slow cooker insert. In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients. Pour over roast and cook on High for 4 hours, or Low for 6-8 hours. 
When roast is done remove from slow cooker and shred or slice then place on a serving dish. Ladle 1/4-1/2 cup of broth over meat and serve.

One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek Him in His temple.
~Psalm 27:4


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Angel Food Cupcakes with Black Raspberry Curd and 7 Minute Frosting

     Anytime I eat a fresh-picked black raspberry I am immediately taken back to my childhood. My grandparents who, for the younger part of my life lived just down the lane; had a raspberry patch that we would love to go and pick from. One evening myself and a few of my brothers, (I don't remember who anymore) decided to camp-out in our backyard. The next morning for our 'breakfast in a tent' we ate Cheerios with black raspberries. So that is what I think of the second a raspberry is popped into my mouth. Sweet memories!
   Now my in-law's who live just down the road, have a large patch that we are lucky enough to get to pick from whenever we want/need. Last evening we had stopped by for awhile and I decided while I was there to pick a few to bring home with me. While they are delicious just by themselves I also wanted to make something fun with some of them. Hubby is on shift at the firehouse today, so I thought I'd bake something to take in for him and his co-firemen. I had an idea of what I wanted to do and after combining and adapting a few different recipes this was the end result. Just like I had imagined....which was great, because unfortunately, it doesn't always happen that way.

Angel Food Cupcakes with Black Raspberry Curd and 7 Minute Frosting
yield:18-20 cupcakes

6 egg whites, room temperature  
12 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cake flour, sifted
Sift together sifted cake flour and 6 tbsp of sugar.  Set aside. In the bowl of mixer with whisk attachment beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tatar, salt and almond extract and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add in remaining 6 tbsp of sugar and beat until stiff  peaks form. Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites (about half at a time) and with a spatula gently fold in. Divide batter into muffin tins lined with paper liners. Run a knife through the batter to remove any air pockets and smooth out the top. Bake at 350° for  15-17 minute or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not over-bake! Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing onto wire racks. 
Black Raspberry Curd:
1 1/4 cups of fresh black raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp water 
pinch of salt
7 tbsp butter, room temperature
Heat a medium saucepan over low heat. Add raspberries, sugar, eggs, water and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon. Dice butter into small pieces. When raspberries begin to break down and the mixture starts to bubble, add the butter and stir until it is melted. Increase heat and keep stirring until mixture is thickened. (It should coat the wooded spoon) Remove from heat and immediately rub through a sieve into a bowl. Cool thoroughly. This can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for several weeks.
7 Minute Frosting:
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1/3 cup cold water
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
Place all ingredients except vanilla in a double boiler, mix well. Cook, beating constantly with electric beater until mixture forms peaks, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla.
To assemble the cupcakes I used a wooden chopstick and poked a hole in each cupcake. Then pipe the black raspberry curd into the hole and partway over the top. Pipe the frosting over all and garnish with fresh berries and a mint leaf if you wish.

   Just a quick note; if you haven't already read or heard Google reader will be going away forever tomorrow (July 1). So if you use it you may want to consider switching to something else before it disappears. I switched to  Bloglovin and so far I 'love' it! It was extremely easy to switch over and you can also easily switch all the blogs you follow over at one time. I'd love if you'd follow my blog over there as well! =) You can do that by clicking  here or you can also just click on the 'follow with bloglovin' link in the side bar on my blog page. Thanks for your interest in my little teeny tiny part of the blogging world! I truly appreciate each and every one of you! =)

Because of the Lord's great love
we are not consumed,
for His compassion's never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "the Lord is my
portion; therefore I will wait for Him."
~Lamentations 3:22-24 



Monday, June 24, 2013

Baked Eggs with Grits and Sausage

    Happy Monday, friends! Do you have a brunch planned but you're having a hard time deciding what to make? Just want something new to try for breakfast? These are the perfect solution.
   Hubby had made spaghetti for dinner the other night and there was sausage in the fridge that was left and needed to be used. I haven't made grits in awhile and was hungry for them, so these little guys fit the bill perfectly. 

 Baked Eggs with Grits and Sausage
yield: 4 6(oz) ramekins

1/2 lb sausage, fried and drained
2 cups milk
1/2 cup quick cooking grits
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp butter
 1/2 tsp sriracha
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup Edam cheese, grated
4 cold eggs
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 4 (6oz) ramekins with nonstick spray. (or you could just use one regular sized baking dish)
In a saucepan bring milk, salt and pepper to a boil. Slowly whisk in grits and continue stirring until thick, about 5 min. Remove from heat and add butter, sriracha and 1/2 cup of cheese. Stir until butter and cheese is melted.
To assemble place 1/4 cup sausage in the bottom of the cup. Sprinkle about 3 tbsp of cheese on top. divide grits over the cheese. Crack an egg on top, season with pepper and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and fresh herbs. Bake until the whites are set,  15-17 min for a runny yolk or 18-20 minutes for a firm yolk. 
Serve hot.
Adapted from: this recipe 

This is the confidence we have
in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to His will,
He hears us.
~1 John 5:14 



Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Roasted Asparagus, Parmesan and Rosemary Tart

   Even though the weather doesn't feel so much like it right now, I know Spring is here. If for no other reason than this....Asparagus! I love having my own asparagus patch and always look forward to the first harvest of the season. It seems to be doing really well so far this year and I had a bunch in the fridge to use. 
   I almost always take Hubs lunch to the shop if he is working there and today I thought I'd make something for him using the asparagus. A tart was what I had in mind and after combining a few recipes this was the end result.

Roasted Asparagus, Parmesan and Rosemary Tart
yield: 1 -9.5 inch tart pan 

1 1/2 cups pie & pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
9 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp ice water
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine flour and salt. Cut butter into small cubes and add to flour. Beat until mixture resembles course crumbs. Mix together egg yolk and water. Add and mix until combined.
Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper. Turn dough out onto paper and roll until it fits the tart pan. Carefully pick up and place dough into the tart pan. Press it down and then slowly remove parchment paper. Prick with a fork, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or over night.
To prepare, remove from fridge, remove plastic wrap and bake @ 350° for 10 minutes.
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp chopped green onion
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
8 stalks of fresh asparagus
Arrange asparagus stalks on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Meanwhile in a bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper & paprika. Whisk well; add onion, rosemary and cheese. Stir to combine. Pour into the baked tart shell. Top with asparagus stalks and bake for 15-20 minutes or until set. 

    As it turned out hubs had to go on a service call over lunch, so I didn't take it to him until later on. G-bug and I shared a slice right away though and it was delicious. 
   I stuck it in the warming drawer then to keep it hot until we took it to the shop. The little monkey found it while I was in another room. Fortunately I caught him before he was able to help himself. =)

The grass withers and the
flowers fall, but the word of our
God stands forever.  
~Isaiah 40:8


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Amish Hat Cookies

   Hello my friends! I hope everyone had a blessed Easter celebrating our risen Lord and Savior! Ours was a lovely day, beginning with a Sunrise Illumination Service, followed by breakfast, then a regular but earlier Sunday morning service and lunch time and the afternoon spent with family. 
   My Mom would make these cookies when I was a child growing up. I had never made them before that I can remember and they are a favorite of one of my brothers {whose birthday is today} so I made a batch this morning to deliver to him later on today. 
   For some reason I was thinking that I didn't really like them that much, which is shocking because I'm a huge chocolate lover....but I was greatly mistaking! I could hardly keep from eating entirely too may of them. What I didn't package up for the birthday gift I took to the guys at the silo shop to eat with their coffee, just so they weren't here tempting me.
   Oh, and the name makes me smile....I guess they sort of do look like an Amish hat if you use your imagination. =)

Amish Hat Cookies
yield: 3 dozen cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
18 large marshmallows, cut in half
Preheat oven to 350*. In a mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla and milk. Mix until light and fluffy. 
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder. Add to the butter mixture and mix until well blended. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. 
Bake for 6-8 minutes.  Remove from oven and top each cookie with a marshmallow half. Bake for another 2 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Frost with the following...
2 cups powdered sugar 
 3 tbsp cocoa powder
 1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
5 tbsp heavy cream
pecan halves (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients except pecans in a mixing bowl. Mix until well blended.
Frost each marshmallow and top with a pecan half if desired. 

The angel said to the women,
"Do not be afraid, for I know you are
looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He is not here; He has risen, 
just as He said. Come and see the
place where He lay."
~Matthew 28:5+6



Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Baked Salmon with Lemon Risotto

   Hubs and I really enjoy watching cooking shows. Although we're nowhere close to being pro chefs and it's quite unlikely we ever will be, it is fun to spend time together in the kitchen trying new techniques, foods and making attempts at some of the things the pros do.  Sometimes we fail, but other times we end up with a delicious success. I'd say this was a success.
   Our latest attempt was Risotto for Sunday lunch. I had never eaten it, much less made it. We watch chefs make it a lot and it seemed like something pretty uncomplicated to make. Turns out it was, just takes a little extra time. 

Baked Salmon with Lemon Risotto
3 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 med onion, chopped
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 cup white wine
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 small lemon 
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a saucepan.
 Preheat a large skillet. Drizzle with olive oil. Add rice, garlic, onions and pepper. Stir until rice is all coated with oil. Saute 5 minutes or until edges of the rice begin to turn translucent.
Add the wine and stir. Let simmer until liquid is all absorbed. Add 1 ladle full of chicken broth stir and let simmer until liquid is absorbed. Continue this process until the broth is all added and absorbed.
When rice is al-dente, remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted. Add lemon zest and juice. Mix well and serve immediately.  
2- 3/4 lb fresh salmon fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill 
Preheat oven to 350*. Place salmon skin side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and dill. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until flaky.
Serve with risotto.  

May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in Your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 
~Psalm 19:14