Sunday, January 1, 2012

January Recipes

January 2012
 Winter Recipes

Today's Cooking Tip

Baked Apple French Toast
This is a simply wonderful brunch recipe that tastes good enough to be dessert
Baked Apple French Toast Recipe
10 serving recipe
  • 20 slices French bread (1 inch thick)
  • 1 can (21 ounces) apple pie filling
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  1 cup packed brown sugar
  •  1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  •  1 cup chopped pecans
  •  2 tablespoons corn syrup
 Arrange 10 slices of bread in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Spread with pie filling; top with remaining bread. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
 Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Meanwhile, place brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans and corn syrup. Sprinkle over French toast.
 Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
 Peach pie filling works very well also. And whipped topping with maple syrup is a good crowd pleaser.
Turkey-Lentil Chili
 Italian folklore holds that eating lentils brings good luck and prosperity. The round lentils symbolize coins.
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 pound turkey sausage
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) container plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish
 Bring lentils and vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes.
 Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic, onion, celery, and sausage; cook and stir until the sausage is crumbly and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, turmeric, cumin, thyme, and red pepper flakes; cook 5 minutes more.
 Stir the sausage mixture into the simmering lentils. Continue simmering until the lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Garnish each serving with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped parsley to serve.

Grilled Wisconsin Fontina Sandwich


 Cherry Chutney:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup water
  •  8 slices hearty bread
  •  1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  •  16 slices of Wisconsin Fontina cheese
  •  1 pound smoked turkey, shaved
  •  1 Granny Smith apple, sliced thin

 Cooking Directions:

To prepare chutney, heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until beginning to brown. Deglaze pan with vinegar. Add cherries, salt, tarragon, honey and water and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes; cool.

To prepare sandwiches, butter one side of each slice of bread. Place four slices of bread, buttered side down, in a large, non-stick pan or griddle on medium heat. Top each with Wisconsin Fontina cheese, turkey, sliced apple, and 1 tablespoon of chutney. Top with remaining four slices of bread, buttered side out. Grill each side until golden brown and cheese is melted.


Potato Gatto

a casserole of potatoes mashed with mozzarella, prosciutto, and salami and baked until the cheese is melted and the top is crusty and browned.


  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 ounces sliced Genoa or other Italian-style salami and/or prosciutto, chopped
 Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with cold water covering them completely. Cover the pan and bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain them and let them cool slightly.

Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the dish with the bread crumbs, turning it to spread the crumbs evenly.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Place the potatoes in a bowl and mash them until smooth. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the butter, the milk, 1 cup of the grated cheese, the egg, the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the mozzarella and meat.
Heat the oven to 400º. Spread the mixture evenly in the dish, dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of grated cheese. (This dish can be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
Bake the dish until the top is browned and the center is hot, 40 to 45 minutes (50 minutes if it was refrigerated). Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10.

Dancing Deer Baking Co

White Bean and Spinach Soup

delicious way to get the vegetables in without the fuss.

  •  2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  •  1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  •  1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  •  Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. lean ground lamb or beef, broken up
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  •  Two 13-3/4 oz. cans chicken broth
  • One 16 oz.can small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 cups (about 12 ounces) fresh spinach leaves, stemmed and slivered
  •  1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

In a soup pot, heat olive oil. Saute the carrot, red pepper, onion, lemon rind, spices, salt and pepper 5 minutes. Stir in the ground meat and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in the broth; heat to a simmer. Stir in the drained beans. Cook 10 minutes. Skim off fat. Stir in the spinach; simmer 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.

Shop Taste of Home (Readers Digest)

Football Sandwich Cookies

Tint the icing to match your favorite team's colors. Go team, Go!

What You Need

1/4 C. cocoa

1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp.

baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter
3/4 C. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can of vanilla frosting or the icing

recipe below

football cookie cutter

What You Do

Sift the cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; continue mixing until all is smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325

Lightly sprinkle the table with sugar before rolling out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out football-shaped cookies and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Remember to flip every other cookie over on the baking tray so that the cookies will match up evenly when they are paired together. Make sure to cut out an even number of cookies to match as pairs.

Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully move cookies from the baking sheet to cooling racks. Cool completely before icing.
Spread the icing in-between 2 cookies and draw on football laces on the top cookie.

Alternative ideas for cookie fillings:

Here is an easy creme filling if you don't like using canned frosting:
Creme filling
4 TBSP butter
1/2 C. butter-flavored shortening
1/8 tsp salt
2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 TBSP milk
1 tsp clear vanilla
1 tsp mint flavoring (optional - can use any flavoring desired) or can substitute 1 tsp cocoa powder for any added flavoring
In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, salt and powdered sugar. Add milk, vanilla and mint flavoring or cocoa powder and mix until creamy.
You could also fill these cookies with your favorite flavor of ice cream for delicious ice cream sandwiches.

Dylans Candy Bar

Nanaimo Bars
These delicious cookies are a staple of local cafes in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. These bars freeze well, so it's nice to make extras to keep in the freezer for anytime you want a quick treat. Before cutting the bars, if you dip your knife into hot water to heat it, it will help make the process neater and cut easily through the chocolate.
what you need
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, divided
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts
  • 1-1/2 C coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoona vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 C confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
Makes 2 Dozen Bars

How to make

Grease a 9 inch square baking pan.

In a heavy saucepan melt 1/2 cup butter 2 ounces of the chocolate. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, egg, oats, chopped nuts, coconut and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Press mixture into prepared pan and chill for 1 hour.

Mix the confectioner's sugar with the softened butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and the milk. Beat until the icing is smooth. Spread it over the oat mixture and chill for 1/2 hour.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate. Spread over the top of the bars and chill for at least 4 hours before cutting into bars.

Variation: Add a couple of drops of green food coloring and use mint flavoured chocolate chips.

Smiling Snowman Cake
Creating this chocolate snowman cake is fun for the whole family.
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla frosting
  • Shredded coconut (optional)
  • 2 black licorice drops
  • 1 large orange gumdrop
  • Red shoestring licorice
  • Red fruit leather
  • 3 starlight mints
  • 3 small gumdrops
  • 2 sticks chocolate licorice
 Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two ovenproof glass bowls, one slightly larger than the other. (Note: For our cake, we used one bowl with a 1-liter capacity and 6-inch diameter and the other with a 1 1/2-liter capacity and 7-inch diameter.)
 To make the cake, mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Sift the ingredients onto waxed paper and return to the bowl.
In a separate bowl, blend the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Alternately, add the flour mixture and the milk to the batter in thirds, combining well after each addition. Fill the bowls about two thirds full. Bake the smaller cake for about 50 minutes and the larger cake for about 65 minutes.
When done, the surface will spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Cool in the bowls for 10 minutes. Then invert onto a large, rectangular platter (about 17 by 12 inches) so the cakes resemble a snowman. Cool completely.
Ice the cakes with the vanilla frosting, then sprinkle with shredded coconut, if desired. Add licorice drop eyes, insert an orange gumdrop nose and fashion a broad smile with shoestring licorice.
For the scarf, cut two 2-inch-wide strips of fruit leather, notch the ends and wrap around the neck of the snowman. For the buttons, use starlight mints topped with gumdrops. Finish off the snowman with two chocolate licorice arms. Serves 10 to 12.
Kids' Steps: Measuring and adding the ingredients for the cake batter, and frosting and decorating the cute snowman.
Vanilla Raspberry Panna Cotta
Recipe features raspberries and a vanilla bean, making it both a delicious seasonal treat and a fun lesson in the source of a favorite flavoring.
  • 2/3 cup raspberries, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 teaspoons unflavored, granulated gelatin
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon fine sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
nullLightly oil eight 1/2 cup capacity pudding molds, ramekins or teacups. Put five raspberries in each. Transfer the molds to a baking dish.
nullPour the water into a small, heatproof bowl and sprinkle on the gelatin, distributing it evenly. Let the gelatin stand until the granules have swollen and absorbed all the liquid, about 1 minute.
nullBring a shallow pan of water to a simmer over low heat, then remove it from the stove top. Place the bowl of gelatin in the water and let the granules dissolve, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes.
Gently flatten the vanilla bean and slit it lengthwise with a small, sharp knife (an adult's job). If the bean is long, halve it again before scraping for easier handling. Scrape the knife along the inside of each bean half to remove the seeds, then place them in a medium pan with the cream. If you're using vanilla paste, whisk it into the cream. If you're using extract, add it at step 5.
Over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil, then remove it from the stove top. Whisk in the sugar and let it dissolve for 2 minutes. If you're using vanilla extract, add it now. Whisk in the gelatin mixture, then gradually whisk in the buttermilk.
nullnullStrain the mixture through a sieve into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Pour it evenly into the molds. Let the dishes cool for 30 minutes at room temperature.
nullUsing a single sheet of plastic wrap, cover the surface of each dessert to prevent a skin from forming. Chill the desserts until firm, for at least 6 hours or overnight.
To serve the panna cotta, remove the plastic wrap and turn out each dessert onto a plate (if needed, loosen the edges with a small metal spatula or butter knife). Garnish with fresh raspberries, if you like. Serves 8.
Imitation Vanilla Extract: Less expensive than pure extract, imitation vanilla is a synthetic flavoring that works best when vanilla is being combined with other flavorings or spices.
Vanilla Paste: This thick mix of vanilla seeds and syrup offers the full flavor of beans and the economy and convenience of extract.
Whole Vanilla Beans: These flexible, wrinkly seed pods of the vanilla orchid, a tropical vine, are the most expensive type of vanilla but have the most intense flavor. (At the grocery store, two beans cost about $12; you can find them for less online.) They're a good option when vanilla is the primary flavor in a recipe.
Pure Vanilla Extract: This dark liquid, made by soaking vanilla beans in alcohol, has a strong natural vanilla flavor.

The raspberries in this recipe can be swapped for another in-season fruit, such as chopped strawberries or peaches. But don't use raw pineapple or kiwi — those fruits won't allow the gelatin to set.
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