Fab Farmers!

July 17th, 2011

It doesn’t get better than this! I am sure more blood, sweat and tears goes into these beauties than I can even imagine. Thank you to our farmers for keeping our mouths and our bellies so happy this summer!

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Thanks sis for growing this great lettuce for my salad!

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What is growing in your garden this week?

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Springtime Berries & Cream Muffins

May 27th, 2011

This is my favorite time of year!

Strawberry season – and picking them fresh!  Just a perfect excuse to whip up some yummy berries and cream muffins!

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My boys were so excited to go strawberry  picking eating.

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They are the best when fresh picked and warmed by the sun!

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The problem wasn’t where to stop – but when – we just kept picking and picking!

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Here is a yummy recipe to enjoy with your spring berries!

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Berries & Cream Muffins

{printer friendly version}

½ cup strawberries, slightly under-ripe, diced

½ cup blueberries

1 tsp sugar

½cup sugar

¼  cup butter

1/3  cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 tbs powdered sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or line a 24 cup mini-muffin pan, or 9 cups in a 12 cup regular muffin pan.

2. Put both berries in a bowl, sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar on and stir gently to combine.

3. In a stand mixer place in sugar and butter and cream together with the paddle attachment.  Then add in the sour cream, vanilla and egg and mix well.  Then add in the dry ingredients (except the powdered sugar) and mix on low until just combined.

4. Gently fold in strawberries.

5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Place pan on a wire rack and leave for 5 minutes. Take out muffins and continue cooling on the wire rack. When muffins are completely cool, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top.

Enjoy!

Wendy at Domestic Success

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Flaky Cheese Danish

May 22nd, 2011

You know that craving you get when you want that perfect bakery danish?  Flaky and filled with sweet cream?  I am sad to say we don’t have many bakeries here filled to the brim with scrumptious pastries.  Luckily I do have the patience to make them myself.  They aren’t hard – just a little prep work involved – but so worth it. You could fill these with a variety of fillings – fruit or chocolate.  My favorite is the cheese version.    Check out these easy steps to making these yummy danish!

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First you start with a box of frozen puff pastry.  Let it defrost and then roll it out to a 10″ x 10″ square.   Then cut it into 4 squares.

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Then put a dollop of cheese mixture in the middle of each square.

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After you put the egg wash around the edges – fold one edge to the middle.  Then the other edge to the middle.

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Then I carefully scoop them off the board with a metal spatula and place on silpat or parchment paper on my cookie sheet.

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See?!  You can so do that too!!

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Cheese Danish Recipe

{printer friendly version}

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2  egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 egg beaten with few drops of water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silpat.

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream them together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined.

Roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured board to a 10 by 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a pairing knife. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold 2 corners to the center, one at a time. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.

Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm or room temp.  Based on recipe from Ina Garten.

Enjoy!

Wendy at Domestic Success

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Bite into this Biscotti!

April 30th, 2011

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I love a good Biscotti – but only if it is “break your teeth” cruchy.  Not that I eat it that way – no, no I love to dunk it in my coffee – and the only good way to dunk the Biscotti in the  coffee is if it is super crunchy.  This is a twist on the traditional Almond Biscotti.  I call this a Southern Lovers Biscotti – with Pecans and grapefruit!

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I always thought Biscotti was only something a fancy pastry chef could do.  No!  It is so easy.  Whip up the batter – roll it into a log – brush an egg wash on it.

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Bake it….

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Cut it into slices on the diagnal.

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Lay on thier sides to bake again – getting them super crunchy and you’re done!

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Delish – yummy – and so easy.  They will stay fresh in a tin or zip lock bag for a week or two.  This recipe makes enough for you and to share with your friends.

Southern Lovers Biscotti

3 cups whole pecans
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 large grapefruit

plus one egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large sheets with parchment paper.

Mix together pecans, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, and flour.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Add the vanilla and grapefruite zest and whisk until well blended. Add to the flour mixture. Work the batter together with lightly floured hands.  Once the dough is firm, form a ball. Divide the ball into four equal pieces.

On a lightly floured surface place one piece of dough, and using your hands, roll into a log shape that is approximately 8 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 3/4 of an inch high. Repeat with remaining three pieces of dough. Place two logs per baking sheet.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the tops of the loaves are shiny and deep golden. Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes before slicing. Place a loaf on a cutting board, and using a large serrated knife, slice cookies 3/4 of an inch thick on the diagonal.  Place slices on their sides back on to the baking sheets; place in the still warm oven with the temperature off and the door closed for 30-60 minutes. The longer they stay in the oven, the harder they will become. Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!!

Wendy at Domestic Success

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Cranberry Creations!

December 23rd, 2010

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When I think of baking for Christmas I think of my grandmother’s cranberry bread.  The berries are tart, the muffin is sweet – they just melt in your mouth.  My grandmother passed when I was young, but it would have been such a pleasure to bake these with her!

I stock up on cranberries in November and stash them in my freezer.  I will then be able to make homemade cranberry sauce though out the year when I make my Sunday dinner of roast chicken!

And of course I save enough cranberries to make some of this yummy cranberry bread!  I do sometimes double the batch and make some of them into muffins – the kids go crazy for them!

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cranberry bread

Cranberry Nut Bread

Makes 1 loaf

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold butter, plus some for greasing the pan

2 cups (about 9 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon minced or grated orange zest

1 egg

1 cup cranberries, whole – frozen or fresh

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 X 5 bread pan.

2.  Stir together the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into bits, and then use a fork or two knives to cut it into the dry ingredients, until there are no pieces bigger than a small pea. (You can use a food processor this step, which makes it quite easy, but don’t use a food processor for the remaining steps bread will be tough.)

3.  Beat together the orange juice, zest, and egg.  Pour into the dry ingredients, mixing just enough to moisten; do not beat, and do not mix until the batter is smooth.

4. Fold in the cranberries and the nuts, then pour and spoon the batter into the loaf pan.  Bake about an hour or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick comes clean.   Cool on rack for 15 min. before removing.

5. If making into muffins cook for 18 – 20 min.

Enjoy!

Wendy at Domestic Success

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12 Minute Pizza Dough!

November 8th, 2010

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When we moved to North Carolina I couldn’t believe they didn’t have fresh pizza dough in the grocery store – nor did they have Italian bakeries selling dough.  I was able to get it from a few pizzerias that would sell it to me – but that wasn’t convenient.  Now we just make our own.   Fast though – 12 minutes – in my mixer.  No needing required.  My kids love to help make it too – and can’t wait to see how big it will get after it rises!

So if you want to make your own just to try it – or can’t get it fresh at your store – give it a try.  It certainly beats getting a $20 take out pizza – and way more fun!!

NY Pizza Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105F)
  • 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  1. In your mixer bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in water.
  2. Add oil and flour and stir with heavy spoon for 1 minute.
  3. Turn out to a lightly floured surface and press into a circle.
  4. Sprinkle yeast evenly over dough and knead for 12 minutes.   Forget that – Turn mixer on low for a few minutes.

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Then put mixer on medium high speed for 12 minutes.   It will start to look like this:

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Just let it run the full twelve minutes.

5. Divide dough into portions: 6 oz. for Calzones, 18 oz. for 12 inch, 25 oz. for 15 inch

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6. Roll each portion into a ball. You want a dough ball without visible seams except the bottom.

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7. Place dough balls in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to proof for 1−2 hours at room temperature to use the same day, or store in refrigerator to use the next day.

8. Place dough ball on lightly floured surface, and lightly flour the top. Use fingertips to evenly flatten out the dough ball. Work from the edges to the center press dough into a 12″ circle. Place both hands within the shell edge and stretch with fingertips and palms maintaining an even pressure. Or, use a lightly floured rolling pin to stretch to desired shape.

9. Sprinkle cornmeal or semolina on pizza peel (a wooden paddle with a handle to slide the pizza in the oven) or a cutting board. The cornmeal allows the pizza to slide onto the stone easily.

10. After topping the pizza, when you are ready to cook it. Shake the peel or cutting board to make sure none of the dough is sticking.

11. Carefully slide the pizza into the oven and bake in a 500 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden.

Additional Information

  • Cooking pizzas with this dough should be done on a baking stone. Using a pan will produce a very soft “doughy” crust. The stone in the oven should be preheated to 500F for an hour prior to baking, and should be placed in the middle of the oven.
  • (This recipe makes about 34 oz. Adjust ingredient amounts for your purposes)

Wendy at Domestic Success

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