Monday, November 27, 2017

Eggnog Donuts


It's time to start baking! And planning holiday menus! And adding elastic to all your clothes! Seriously, though, this is such a fun time of the year to try new things and show love for family and friends by baking delicious treats. And these eggnog donuts are just the thing.


And really, donuts aren't so bad if they're BAKED, am I right? These have eggnog in both the batter and the glaze, and they are a delicious thing to wake up to, or to have mid-morning or mid-afternoon coffee with, or for a bedtime snack with a big glass of milk. The possibilities are nearly endless!


These are wonderful as an addition to brunch. I served them with an egg bake and they were both a big hit. But nothing beats homemade donuts. If you don't have a donut tin, I'm sure you could find one easily and have it delivered to your house within the week. I'm just sayin'. No excuses. Make these donuts.


Find more holiday inspiration at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, Wow Me, Wow Us, Whisk It, Wonderful Wednesday, Full Plate.

Eggnog Donuts

Donuts:
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup Eggnog

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup Eggnog
Nutmeg for sprinkling

For the donuts, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream sugar and butter until smooth. Add egg and eggnog and mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Pour batter into greased donut tins, filling each mold about 2/3 full. Bake at 325 for 12-13 minutes. Transfer donuts to a cooling rack and cool completely.

For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and eggnog until no lumps remain. Dip donuts into glaze and return, right side up, to rack. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top, or sprinkle dried nutmeg on top. Makes 12 donuts.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Scandinavian Almond Bars


I am not exaggerating when I say these are one of my favorite cookies of all time. They are SO good. And SO addictive. And also, so attractive. Thin, crispy but also chewy, topped with an almond-extract laced icing, you will not be able to eat just one.


I also love that they are a different shape from other cookies. They look great on a cookie tray, and even though they're not "technically" a Christmas cookie, I tend to make them around Christmas because of that reason. They're also not fussy at all; so in a season when you want a great cookie that's not a lot of work, you can turn to these beauties!


If you're planning your Christmas cookie baking fiesta, be sure to add these lovely and delicious Scandinavian Almond Bars to the list!


For more great ideas, visit Inspire Me, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Busy Monday, Inspire Me 2, Create Link Inspire, Fabulous, Show and Share.

Scandinavian Almond Bars

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. milk

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup milk

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and almond extract; mix until fluffy. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt; mix well.

Divide dough into 4 pieces, and roll each one into a log about 12 inches long. Place 2 logs per cookie sheet 4 to 5 inches apart. Flatten each roll by hand until it is about 3 inches wide. Brush flattened roll with milk and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake at 325 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

Meanwhile, prepare icing: in a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk until smooth.

While the cookies are still warm, cut them crosswise at a diagonal, into slices about 1 inch wide. Cool slices on a wire rack. When cool, drizzle with almond icing.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Sweet Chili Chicken {Instant Pot}


When I served this last week, a teenager at my house said "this is my favorite experience eating chicken." That's a pretty ringing endorsement. And it was deserved - this is a great way to cook chicken - swimming in sauce in the instant pot, then finished off under the broiler to brown and crisp it up. I can imagine all kinds of other sauce options that would work well with this same method. Chicken thighs cook beautifully in the Instant Pot, and the few minutes under the broiler really makes all the difference, texture-wise.


If you want to make this more mild, leave out the crushed red pepper flakes. But even with them in, this was about the right amount of spice for my family - some of whom think ketchup is spicy. Ha!

There are many more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me2, Create Link Inspire, Fabulous, Hearth and Soul, Wow Me, Wow Us, Whisk It, Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck, Awesome Friday.

Sweet Chili Chicken

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup of chicken broth
3/4 cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. crushed garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Lightly rub each piece of chicken with the Cajun seasoning. In a measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic and red pepper flakes.

Add the oil to the Instant Pot and set it for Saute. When it's hot, add the chicken a few pieces at a time and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side to lightly sear. Remove chicken to a plate.

Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pot so the excess brown Cajun seasoning blends in with the broth. Stir in the sweet chili mixture. Stir and bring to a boil. Cancel the saute setting.

Add the chicken back to the pot. Secure the lid and set the pressure cooker for 10 minutes. Preheat the broiler on your oven, and then quick release the pressure when it is completed.

Transfer the chicken onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce and the honey. Generously glaze each piece with the sauce. Sprinkle sesame seeds over each piece of chicken.

Broil the chicken for about 3-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and baste with any additional sauce. Serves 4-6.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Pressure Luck Cooking

Monday, November 6, 2017

Miso Meatball and Noodle Soup


It's definitely soup weather. More often than not in this transitional season, I want to eat soup. It's just so comforting, not to mention, it's warm. So I love finding new ways to prepare soup. This summer, I introduced my family to pho on a family vacation and it was a big hit. So I knew I had some room to add soup that was a little more ethnically diverse into the dinner rotation.

This is not truly pho, but it's pretty similar. You start with a great garlic and ginger base, add miso, and wonderful meatballs that are both spicy and sweet. Throw in some soba noodles and you've got a super delicious meal that's just a little different, but not "too" different, if you know what I mean.

You can make this more spicy by throwing in the jalapeno pepper earlier in the process. My family prefers things a little more tame, so those that wanted to used the pepper as a garnish.

You should be able to easily find both miso and sambal oelek in the Asian section of your grocery. I find that sometimes Target doesn't carry miso, but two other large grocery chains in my region do. It comes in a rather large package, but it lasts a while and can be frozen, too. (Need another recipe that calls for miso paste? Try these awesome Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps!)

With soups like this in my arsenal, I'm not scared of the cold weather. Bring it on! (Ok, well, don't bring it on too strong.)


Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Create Link Inspire, Fabulous, Hearth and Soul, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate, Wonderful Wednesday, Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck, Awesome Friday.

Miso Meatball and Noodle Soup

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 cup diagonally sliced green onions, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 (1-in.) pieces ginger, thinly sliced
9 cups chicken stock
6 ounces uncooked soba noodles
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 pound lean ground pork
2 Tbsp. white miso paste
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 red jalapeno chile, sliced

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 3/4 cup green onions, garlic, and ginger; sauté 6 minutes. Add stock; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook noodles separately according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain.

Combine honey, sambal oelek, soy sauce and ground pork in a small bowl. Shape pork mixture into small meatballs.

Remove ginger slices from stock mixture; discard. Stir miso into stock mixture and whisk well. Add meatballs to stock; cook 6 minutes or until done. Add noodles. Ladle soup into bowls (I needed to use a fork to get the noodles!) and sprinkle with remaining green onions, mung bean sprouts, and jalapeno chile.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Cooking Light
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