Friday, June 29, 2012

Snickers Peanut Butter Muffins

by Nigella Lawson

1 2/3 plain flour (I'm assuming she means all-purpose flour - she's from England, whaddya 'spect??)
6 tbsps superfine sugar (what? I've heard of fine sugar but never Superfine)
2 tbsps baking powder
pinch of salt
6 tbsps crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup soft butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup whole milk
3 1/2 full size Snickers bars, chopped (2.07 oz each)
12 cup muffin pan with paper baking cups

Do this ahead of time:

Unless you have a grinder made only to grind sugar into a Superfine state, I just went ahead and used the back of my ice-cream scoop until I felt the sugar reached its Superfine state

We refrigerated the Snickers bars so they were more manageable to chop although this was the toughest task out of the whole recipe
Go figure, I would only have 11 muffin baking cups, oy!

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees

Mix the plain flour, superfine sugar, baking powder and salt

Add the crunchy peanut butter to the flour mix

 and mix until you have a bowl of coarse crumbs

I went ahead and used my pastry cutter to get the coarse crumbs.  If you don't have one, use to forks and pretend your Edward Scissorhands

Add the melted butter to the milk then add the egg as seen in this picture

Add milk mixture into the flour and stir gently

Stir completely

Finally add the chopped Snickers pieces and stir.  Dollop into the muffin cases

and bake for 20-25 minutes.  The tops should be risen, golden and firm to the (light) touch.

Sit the tin on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before taking out each muffin in its case and leaving them on the wire rack to cool....if you can.

This was the lone muffin that didn't have a baking cup and look how it turned out!?  Perfect!

About a month ago, I downloaded Nigella Lawson's new iPad app.  I love watching her cooking show as I am a fan of hers.  This app has a ton of her favorite recipes to match just about every mood.  It also has videos for some of the recipes as well as voice tips.  It's fun to use and as soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I would have to make it for my hubby for his birthday as he loves the combination of Choc. and Peanut Butter.

I plan to make a chocolate ganache to drizzle on the muffins tomorrow as tomorrow is hubby's birthday (Saturday) even though it's not on her original recipe.  I will take a picture of the muffin dressed in ganache and post first chance I get.

I also plan to make hubby his favorite German meal.  Spaetzle and Schnitzel with a German Cucumber Salad on the side.  The Spaetzle and Schnitzel are tough to make, lots of steps, and yes, I'll be slaving over a hot stove - but hubby is worth it!!
TGIF! So keep cool, I pray you're having a great start to your weekend and remember to savor every moment!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Breaded Tilapia with Braised Leeks

2-3 Leeks
4 tbsps. butter, divided in two
Olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
Goya seasoning (found in the Latino section) - my own ingredient I added
6-8 Tilapia fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups white rice, cooked

Cut off the ends of the Leeks, slice in half lengthwise.  Put under running water to wash away any excess dirt.  Drain on paper towels, open side down

Over medium heat, melt two tablespoons butter in a 10" skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil.  Heat until the butter starts to brown (but not smoke) then add the leeks, open side down.  Push down on the leeks to flatten occasionally.  Sprinkle with the Goya seasoning and cook for 10 minutes

Season fish with salt and pepper.  Bread with flour and cook in hot butter and oil, 3-4 minutes each side.

Slowly add the white wine to the leeks.  Turn heat down to med-low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Stir occasionally and then slowly add the chicken broth or water.  Simmer for another 7-10 minutes or until leeks are very tender and carmelized.

Serve the leeks and the fish over a bed of white rice and enjoy!

This is a copycat recipe by Chef Nathan from Growing a Greener World.   I didn't find the recipe until hours after I cooked this meal.  I cooked it all by memory and now that I found and read the recipe I forget a couple of ingredients (flat leaf parsley, fresh thyme and lemon juice), oh well.  I was pretty close.  Either way, I knew I had to make it as soon as I saw him make this recipe.  The star of this dish is definitely the leeks.  They were so tender, sweet and savory with just a touch of that onioney flavor that I love about them.    A perfect compliment to the fish.  Hubby said he was surprised how much he enjoyed them as well.  Thank you Chef Nathan.

Hope you're enjoying your Summer so far and don't forget to savor every moment.

Martha's New CraftStudio App for iPad

This says it all - it's true... HELP! I've been caught - hook, line and sinker!  Look what's taking up all my time now, Martha Stewart's new CraftStudio app for the iPad!!

If you have an iPad and haven't downloaded Martha Stewart's new CraftStudio app, do so now while it's FREE through July 8th (otherwise you'll have to pay $4.99 after that date)

All the icons and graphics are tap and drag - so much fun.  Easy to add, just as easy to delete.  Once you're done creating your project, you can email it or post it immediately to Facebook. (I had to smudge out some of the details on photoshop only because this is a real event)

I created this one and then printed it so that I could put it on my desk while I'm away on vacation

and finally, my favorite one.  You can add real photos to any project.  This is my grandson when he stopped by to visit a couple of days ago.  He loves "kee-kee" and by the looks of it, the feeling is mutual.

Hope you're having a great Summer and remember to savor every moment!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Betty Crocker's Southern Peach Skillet Pie

I enjoy making desserts on the weekends.  This is my opportunity to make something from scratch and to enjoy it by taking my time.  I bought some peaches from the grocery store today and wanted use them in whatever recipe I found in Betty Crocker's cookbook.  Here's a quote from the dessert section:

Consider Desserts
WE LOOK FORWARD to dessert.  It is like the last act of a play . . . . the happy ending we've anticipated from the first.  This may be a gorgeous fanfare of  triumph, or a homey, heart-satisfying scene.  In the same way the dessert, in keeping with the meal preceding it, can be dramatic and spectacular, or a cozy old-time favorite beloved by generations.  -Betty Crocker

This recipe is in two parts.  First the pastry (shortcake) recipe, I used the "small" version.

Sifting all the dry ingredients

Cutting in the shortening

 Until the flour resembles small grains.  Add the milk, mix well 

Knead lightly.
This is where I stopped the shortcake recipe and started the Southern Peach Skillet Pie as follows:

I started to roll this dough out but it tore apart too easy so I just went ahead and patted in into the pan.  This was the only skillet I had close to 8", so there was no extra to hang over the edge much to my dismay.

The main cast of characters for this recipe, six peaches

Slice the peaches

In a large bowl add the peaches, sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Combine well

add peaches to the pastry bread in the pan

Dot with butter and fold over the edges.  I found out at this moment that I should have made the full shortcake recipe because my pastry didn't obviously fold over the edges of my skillet.  I also found out that six peaches were too many so I only added half the peaches and saved the other half for a 2nd pie.

Bake for 25 minutes in a 425F degree oven

I'm saving the second pie for company that we'll be having in a few days, I am freezing it though.

I just saw Pioneer Woman make a fruit pie or cobbler like this just yesterday on her TV show.  It looked so good I wanted to do the same.  I had no idea I would find another recipe asking to do the same. 

Something tells me to add some cream to this

and here's a tip from the BC cookbook.  I had no idea you could do that with potatoes, did you??

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Growing Garlic

Hubby and I are very proud and thrilled, we grew our very own garlic.

Hubby planted the garlic in early November.  This picture was taken a few weeks after.

It's June 12, time to harvest our garlic. I had to look up Sweet Pea's instructions regarding Garlic Harvest.  It was because of Sweet Pea that we made our first attempt to grow garlic.

We dug them up after a good rain.

and this is our, ecstatic!

After a week of setting on a framed screen to cure, go ahead and trim, clean, set on the screen for another week to cure.   Hubby bought the screen at HD for about $5. 

and it's time use!!  YAY!

Last Fall I told hubby about Sweet Peas blog and how she lives in the same town we do and that she blogged about growing garlic.  If she could grow it, so could we.  Before I had a chance to tell him we could plant some store bought garlic cloves, he ordered some from an online floral garden center.  We received them soon after and they were labeled, California, German Porcelain and Pioneer Softneck.  We failed to label them when we planted them so now we don't know which one is which although there are a few that have purple veins so I'm assuming those are the German Porcelain.  So either way, it doesn't matter at this point which is which, I just know they're going to be good and I can't wait to taste them!!  I think I'm ready to have my own chicken coop.  This garlic planting stuff is fun and I'm ready to have my own little garden and farm in my suburb backyard :)  Haha!  Yea right ;)  Hope you're having a great weekend and remember to, savor every moment.

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