Showing posts with label secret recipe club. Show all posts
Showing posts with label secret recipe club. Show all posts

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sausage and Potato Soup with Spinach


This is the last official post for Secret Recipe Club. So I couldn't be more thrilled to be assigned to Elena Bltheh's blog, Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Elena Bltheh has been the tour de force behind the SRC for a while, and I want to thank her for all her hard work; it's so fun to be involved in this exchange.

Elena Bltheh has a ton of recipes on her blog. She really IS fantastical at sharing recipes. When I saw the recipe for this soup, I knew it would be the perfect choice. I made this soup on the day of the first snowfall in Minnesota (November 18 - not too shabby, folks!) and it was a great dinner.


We loved the soup - it was perfect for a (sort of) snowy day. I love the combination of spicy sausage, tender red potatoes and the colorful spinach. A little cream and parmesan at the end really makes this soup special. The hot Italian sausage was a bit much for my family, so next time I'll use mild.


Thanks, Elena Bltheh, for a great recipe, and for a wonderful run with SRC!


Sausage and Potato Soup with Spinach

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
5 cups chicken broth
1 pound red potatoes, diced
4 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage. Crumble and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, onion, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Stir often while cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add chicken broth, then bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Add spinach and stir until it wilts. Then stir in heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and cook for another minute. Serves 6.



Monday, October 31, 2016

Pear Dulce De Leche Cake


This is a month of five Mondays which means it's a Secret Recipe Club themed month. This month we're cooking and baking fall dishes. I was assigned to Cathleen's blog, A Taste of Madness. Cathleen cooks and bakes in Toronto, and has a ton of great recipes to choose from. I was pleased to find the perfect fall dessert on her blog, and it features something other than apples or pumpkin! Now don't get me wrong, I love apples and pumpkins, but sometimes it's fun to have variety.

This is a lovely spice cake baked over a layer of pears and dulce de leche. The fruit and caramel lend just the right amount of moistness to the cake. Your family and friends will eat it up! (Pictured here with pumpkin ice cream!)


In my post last week, I documented how to make homemade dulce de leche in the Instant Pot. Check it out! If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can make dulce de leche in a crock pot or on the stove - a simple google search will point you in the right direction.

Thanks, Cathleen, for a winning autumn cake!

Pear Dulce de Leche Cake

1-2 medium pears, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup dulce de leche
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 large

Place the sliced pear on the bottom of a greased 9" pie plate or cake pan. Spread the dulce de leche on top pf the pears.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger until fully combined.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until fully combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk until just combined.

Spread the batter over the pears, and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pumpkin Ice Cream


Here in the north, the leaf colors have really popped in the last week, and I have started making soups and baking with pumpkins and apples. But it's never too far past summer for homemade ice cream.

So when I was assigned to Amy's blog, Savory Moments for October's Secret Recipe Club, I pinned several of her recipes, but finally settled on this one which seems to just scream all things fall.

This ice cream is SO easy to put together. And the best part? It's extremely delicious. When I served it at a dinner party, one of the guests said, "this is the best ice cream I've ever eaten!" WOW. That's high praise. Thanks, Amy, for a great recipe.



Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a large measuring cup or batter bowl until well-combined and the sugar dissolves. Refrigerate for about two hours or until well chilled.

Churn and freeze in an ice cream maker according to instructions. When at soft serve stage, transfer to a freezer container for four hours or overnight to harden. Remove from the freezer about 5-10 minutes before scooping. Makes about 12 servings.



Monday, September 19, 2016

Sunshine Soup


This month for Secret Recipe Club, I had a recipe all picked out. Then I got a cold. I don't know about you, but whenever I get sick, all I want to eat is soup. So I was really excited to find this Sunshine Soup on My Wholefood Family. This blog is by Susan, an Australian, who cooks food with no waste, no fuss and on a budget - "just like our grandmothers."

Now, let's talk about this soup. Doesn't the name just make you feel better? Sunshine Soup! If it doesn't, eating the soup itself is sure to get you on the road to health. Packed with nutrient rich carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin, it is the perfect soup for fall, even if you're not sick! Pumpkins are, as far as I know, much more readily available in Australia, so I subbed a can of pureed pumpkin. I also added onion for a little more depth of flavor.


We enjoyed this soup so much. Thanks for a great recipe, Susan!


Sunshine Soup (Carrot, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup)

2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 large carrots, diced small
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced small
1 15-oz. can pureed pumpkin
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. turmeric
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

In a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and stir until onion for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and sweet potato and saute until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add the ginger and turmeric and stir well. Pour in the broth and the pumpkin. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Using an immersion blender, process the soup until smooth. Serves 4.



Monday, August 15, 2016

Barbacoa Beef {Crock pot!}


Taco night is a frequent occurrence at our house. We enjoy ground beef, chicken, shredded pork tacos and now, I am thrilled to have found a great recipe for Barbacoa Beef from Stephanie's blog, Dessert Before Dinner. I was first introduced to barbacoa beef at Chipotle, like I'm sure many of you were. But if you're like me, and want to minimize the risk of E coli, you can make this at home! And I promise, it will be even better than the restaurant's, and much more economical, too.


This recipe has a long list of ingredients, but I'm sure you already have most of them in your pantry. The beef gets a nice kick from chipotle peppers (adjust to your family's tastes!) and all the ingredients (even orange juice!) work together nicely to produce super moist, delicious meat.


The best part? It cooks up in the crock pot all day, and then it only takes a few minutes to heat up tortillas, make guacamole, cut up tomatoes, and assemble all the other fixings your family loves on tacos (especially homemade salsa!). This beef is obviously very flexible too - instead of tacos, you could make burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, salads, even a great sandwich!

Thanks to Secret Recipe Club for a great blog to visit, and a great recipe to add to my rotation!


There are more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy, Hearth and Soul, What's Cookin, Wow Me, Wow Us.

Barbacoa Beef

2 lbs beef chuck roast
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped small
1 tsp. adobo sauce

Place roast in crock pot. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium measuring cup, and then pour over roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred with two forks and then use in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, tamales, etc. Serves 6-8.



Monday, July 18, 2016

Peach and Almond Loaf Cake


As usual with summertime, I have been loving all the fresh fruit! We're eating tons of raspberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries and peaches...and loving every minute of it! Last week I made fruit crisp for a weeknight dessert and the whole pan was devoured! The whole pan. But I didn't have to feel too badly about it since it was FRUIT after all. I think you could make that case for any dessert with fruit in it. It's fruit! So let's bake a cake with fruit.

This delicious cake is courtesy of Helen's blog, Casa Costello. The subtitle of her blog is "cakes, cooking, kids" and I noticed she takes part of a lot of challenges or clubs that are cake related, not to mention having her own cake business. So, I thought one of her cakes would be a terrific pick for this month's Secret Recipe Club.

I was right - it was a terrific pick! This is a wonderful pound-cake like cake, without the pound measurements! Studded with peaches and almonds, it is a wonderful summer dessert. We only had vanilla ice cream on hand, but I think it would amazing with a blueberry or raspberry ice cream - the more fruit the better!


Peach and Almond Loaf Cake

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 Tbsp. milk
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 small peaches, peeled, pitted and diced

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating continually and scraping down the sides of the bowl so that the batter is thoroughly mixed. Beat in the almond extract.

Reduce the speed to low and alternately add the milk and flour mixture. Stir in the peaches and almonds.

Scrape batter into a greased 9" loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out completely clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then carefully remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack completely.

Serves 8-10.


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Monday, June 20, 2016

Blueberry Baked French Toast


True confessions: until now, I have never made baked french toast, french toast casserole, overnight french toast, whatever you want to call it. I've pinned several recipes, but just never did anything about it. So when I was assigned to Tara's Multicultural Table for Secret Recipe Club and I found this recipe, it was just the push I needed to actually make this dish.

And I'm so glad I did. We had it for brunch this past weekend, and my family ate the whole thing, and then asked if there was more. It was a huge hit. It's extremely easy to put together and can bake while some of the family is sleeping in. (Someone will have to get up to turn on the oven and put in the dish, but only one person. Maybe you won't draw the shortest straw on that one.)


Tara's recipe used strawberries, but I had a lot of blueberries on hand and so used those instead. I think this would be amazing with any berries, or with any combination. I'm already thinking of other great adjustments, like apples and cranberries, or apples with a caramel syrup, or pumpkin! There's lots of baked french toast in my future.

Be sure to check out all the other great recipes on Tara's blog, too...I am kind of ashamed that I was assigned Tara's Multicultural Table and I chose a decidedly American breakfast... although in my defense, French is in the name. She has a ton of really fascinating recipes from all over the globe. There's lots of inspiration there.


Get yourself some French bread and have a wonderful breakfast!

Find more good ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up.

Blueberry Baked French Toast

4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon, divided
pinch cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
6 cups cubed day old French bread (less than a 1 pound loaf)
1 cup blueberries, divided

In a large bowl or batter bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Fold in the bread and 3/4 cup of blueberries. Pour into a lightly greased 9" round baking dish, cover, and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.

Remove casserole from refrigerator =lace remaining blueberries evenly over top of casserole.

Bake at 350 until set and top begins to turn golden, 35-45 minutes. During the last 10 minutes in oven, sprinkle the top with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Let sit 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 6-8.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Brussels and Mushrooms


Here are a few of my favorite things: brussels sprouts, mushrooms, easy dinners, yummy food, Italian sausage, parmesan cheese sauces, eating supper on the deck, leftovers that are better than the original dish for lunch the next day. Wow! This recipe has all of the above!

Lauren has a great blog,
Sew You Think You Can Cook
, with lots of recipes to choose from. I was happy to be assigned to it for Secret Recipe Club as I had made the Candy Cane Bundt Cake for our Christmas reveal last November. I loved perusing her blog then, and it was even more fun this time cause I could choose from ANY recipe, not just the Christmas-themed ones!


So, as I said above, I love all the ingredients in this recipe! And I love that it comes together quickly for a weeknight dinner. And I love that it tastes great. And that the leftovers the next day are excellent as well. I also think that you could "trick" your kids (if you need to!) by using all shaved brussels in this recipe - I put mine through the food processor to slice them... of course, the mushrooms might prove to be trickier to disguise (what is it with kids and mushrooms by the way???).


In any case, make this pasta dish!

Find more great recipes at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up.

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Brussels and Mushrooms

18 oz cheese tortellini or ravioli
2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 cups sliced Brussels sprouts
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. rosemary leaves, crushed
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 C milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Strain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up. When fully cooked remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add olive oil and butter to the skillet. Saute mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and rosemary until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook another 60 seconds, until fragrant. Add the chicken broth, and scrape up any stuck bits in the pan, and cook and stir until the liquid has evaporated.

In a measuring cup whisk together the milk and flour. Slowly add the milk to the pot, stirring to prevent lumps. Bring to a gentle boil and melt in the cheese. Add in the cooked ravioli and sausage. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water. Serves 6.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Mango Coconut Muffins


I love muffins. They are a staple at my house, appearing weekly to help aid in the "gotta get out the door but need to eat breakfast" situation. I especially like it when I can make muffins that have some nutritional value and aren't just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast. So I was excited that this month for Secret Recipe Club I was assigned to Elena Bltheh's blog, The Pajama Chef where I found an amazing recipe: Mango Coconut Muffins.

These muffins use coconut oil and are studded with delicious and vitamin A- and C-packed mangoes. To amp up the "tropical" quotient, they also have coconut and almond extract. You can just imagine that you're on a sandy beach soaking up the sun when you eat one of these muffins!


I used frozen mango for this, and just let them thaw slightly before chopping. If you have fresh, that's great, but frozen works well, too. You can also use a combo of regular and whole wheat flour, and experiment with different extracts. I used almond, cause it's my favorite, but vanilla or coconut would be delicious, too.

Thanks, Elena Bltheh, for a great recipe and for making my mornings brighter!

Get more great recipes at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up.

Mango Coconut Muffins

2 cups flour (or use 1 c. all purpose and 1 c. white whole wheat)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 egg
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup diced mango, fresh or frozen
1 cup shredded coconut, divided

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl stir together buttermilk, milk, coconut oil, egg, and almond extract. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then gently fold in mango and 1/2 cup of the coconut.

Divide batter evenly between 12 paper-lined muffin cups and then top with remaining coconut.

Bake at 400 for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days and then freeze leftovers.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Honey Peanut Wafers


For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Margaret's blog, Tea and Scones. I was really tempted to make some sort of scone recipe from her blog, because, well, it's called Tea and Scones! But I changed my mind when I saw this recipe for these simple cookies. As she says in her post, it's a little dangerous that you can whip up these beauties so quickly. I think it took me less than 5 minutes to put the dough together, and then I had to wait since the oven wasn't even hot enough yet! I loved these peanut cookies cause they are so different from any other cookie I have made. They are crispy, which is wonderful, and peanutty and loaded with honey, and just downright delicious. Thanks for a great recipe!


Honey Peanut Wafers

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup honey-roasted peanuts, finely chopped

Combine the flour and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside.

Gently stir together the sugar, honey and egg in a medium mixing bowl. Then whisk in the butter.

Add the flour mixture; folding it in with a large rubber scraper. Then add the chopped peanuts and mix well to distribute the nuts evenly throughout the dough.

Drop tablespoon-size pieces of the dough onto silpat- or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Let the cookies cool for 2-3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Creamy Dilled Shrimp Fettucine


There's just something about the dark days of winter and the cold temperatures that makes me want more and more comfort food. Creamy pasta dishes fit the bill perfectly. This is just one of several you will see posted here in the next few weeks, and this recipe got such rave reviews when I made it, that I'm sure it will be part of our regular rotation. I was excited to be assigned to Jane's beautiful blog, The Heritage Cook, for this month's Secret Recipe Club.


Jane has a lot of recipes to choose from! It was hard to narrow it down, but eventually I settled on this, due to my whole comfort food trend. I made just a few adjustments to this recipe to suit our tastes. The biggest change I made was to the preparation - I simplified it a bit to save time and dirty dishes... and the results were wonderful. I hope you'll try this soon - it will brighten and warm up any dreary winter day!

Creamy Dilled Shrimp Fettucine

1 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream)
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. lemon juice
A few drops of Sriracha, Tabasco or other hot sauce, optional
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, drained well and cut into strips
1 lb medium cooked shrimp
8 ounces fettucine

Cook the fettucine until al dente in a large pot of boiling water; drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, in a glass measuring cup, heat the milk/cream in the microwave for 1 minute.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add onions to the pan and cook til softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the wine and whisk until slightly thickened. Gradually pour the hot milk into the mixture and whisk vigorously until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon juice and the dill, and hot sauce, if you're using.

Add the pepper strips, shrimp, and pasta to the sauce and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to a greased 2 or 3 quart baking dish. Bake at 375 until it is bubbling around the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 4.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Candy Cane Bundt Cake


It's the 5th Monday of November, so that means it's time for the Secret Recipe Club Holiday Treats Edition!

I've been thinking about seasonal treats for quite some time now, and have made my list of what I'm going to make and bake in December. This lovely Candy Cane Bundt Cake was a perfect way to start off my holiday baking!


Lauren, from Sew You Think You Can Cook, was involved in a bundt cake challenge a while back and this cake was one of the ones she made. I knew it was the right choice - a pound cake laced with peppermint extract, and beautifully colored white and pink (you should make yours more red, I certainly regret that mine is not redder!) with a white chocolate icing and crushed candy canes for decoration - rings in the Christmas season wonderfully. I shared this with family and with church friends and it was a big hit with every audience.


I adore Christmas cookies, but sometimes, you just need a CAKE, am I right? This is the cake you need. Happy baking!


Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Inspire Me.

Candy Cane Bundt Cake

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
6-8 drops red food coloring

Icing:
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. heavy cream (milk is ok)
3/4 cups powdered sugar (may need more or less)
2 candy canes, crushed

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil and sugar and beat until well mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Mix in vanilla and peppermint extracts.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Mix in 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat with another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, the last of the buttermilk, and ending with the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.

Put 2 C of the batter into a separate bowl and add the red food coloring, then stir well.

Pour half of the white batter into a greased bundt pan, top with the red batter, and finish with the rest of the white batter.

Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool in bundt pan before removing to a cooling rack.

For the icing, melt white chocolate with heavy cream in the microwave at 50% power. Stir until smooth. Whisk in powdered sugar until it has the consistency you desire. Glaze cake. Top cake with crushed candy canes.





Monday, November 16, 2015

Pumpkin Coffeecake Muffins


We're on a bit of a pumpkin roll here at Elena Cooking - and that's nothing to apologize for, in my opinion. Crepes, danish and muffins, oh my! When I received my assignment for Secret Recipe Club this month, I was glad to see that Chelsey is equally pumpkin crazy as I am. There were lots of great things to choose from on her blog, Mangia, but ultimately I landed on this recipe for Pumpkin Coffeecake Muffins. And I'm glad I did.


Chelsey's recipes feature ingredients for gluten free, nut free, dairy free, paleo, etc. I don't need to cook and bake that way, so I adapted this recipe a bit. If you have dietary restrictions, you should definitely check out all of Chelsey's great recipes. And if you don't have restrictions, you should still check them out! And in any case, make these great muffins.


Get more ideas at Mix it Up, Inspiration Monday, Inspire Me.

Pumpkin Coffeecake Muffins

1/4 c. canola oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt

For the streusel:
3 Tbsp. butter, cold and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

For glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, pumpkin, egg, milk, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.

Divide batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups.

For the streusel, in a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using your fingers, a pastry blender or two forks until the butter is incorporated. Sprinkle the streusel over the muffin batter.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean.

For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until a good consistency is achieved. Drizzle over the cooled muffins. Serves 12.



Monday, October 19, 2015

Sausage and Apple Flatbreads


I love experimenting with new things to put on flatbreads. They make a fun, easy dinner and can also double as appetizers or snacks, depending on how they're cut and served! Some of my favorite combos have been bbq shrimp, Mediterranean shrimp, (are you sensing a shrimp theme?) and prosciutto and roasted asparagus (fancy!). I tend to improvise with what I have on hand, and so far I haven't come up with a loser.

After trying this recipe for Secret Recipe Club from Jamie's blog, Our Eating Habits, I have a new favorite, especially for fall. Apples and Italian sausage over a layer of cheese. Hello. This is great football watching food, party food, lunch food, you name it. It's just great.


If you don't have a source for naan (Indian flatbreads), both Costco and Aldi have wonderful options. I'm sure wherever you shop has them too - and you could use pitas in a pinch. Thanks, Jamie, for an awesome flatbread idea!

Find more great stuff at What's Cooking, Clever Chicks, Create Link Inspire, Try a New Recipe, Showcase your Talent, Full Plate.

Sausage and Apple Flatbreads

4 links Italian Sausage, removed from casings
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 apples, cored and sliced
6 garlic or plain naan
2 cups shredded Colby Jack or Mexican-style cheese

In a large skillet, crumble sausage and cook with onion over medium high heat, about 3 minutes. Add apples and cook an additional 5 minutes or until sausage is fully cooked.

Sprinkle cheese evenly between naan breads and then top with sausage apple mixture.

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.


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Monday, September 21, 2015

Tuscan Chicken


Easy weeknight dinners are a must with busy schedules. And as you saw last week, I have several criteria for weekday dinners - and this one meets all of them. Plus, it's another way to cook chicken. I'm sure you'll agree that we all need some variety when it comes to making chicken! I was excited to be assigned to Debbi's blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club. She has lots of great, healthy meal options (she even named her blog Debbi does dinner healthy!), and she's also the lovely hostess for our SRC group.

This was a big hit with my family and I even used the leftovers in soup. I served it with a rice medley and roasted brussels sprouts - the veggies can roast at the same time the chicken is cooking - super handy!


Expand your chicken repertoire with this great recipe and make weeknight dinner delicious and healthy.

Tuscan Chicken

1/3 cup mayonnaise (light is ok)
3 Tbsp. diced red pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast halves

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, red pepper, garlic powder, oregano, basil, parsley, red pepper flakes and vinegar. Arrange chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet and spread mayonnaise mixture over each chicken breast. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serves 6.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sweet-Tart Rhubarb and Ginger Sorbet


I haven't made any ice cream yet this summer, shame on me! I have a pinterest board committed to ice cream, and have not made a one. So when I saw this recipe for Rhubarb and Ginger Sorbet on Mary Anne and Mariel's blog, I knew it would be a perfect choice for Secret Recipe Club.

This recipe doesn't even require the use of an ice cream maker, so if you don't have one, don't worry! Just start with a simple syrup, spiked with ginger, add rhubarb, puree and freeze. It is EASY. And, I discovered, it's also multi-purpose -- I sneaked a taste of the "sauce" after pureeing, and it was so delicious warm! It would be a wonderful topping for cake. But if you put the mixture in the freezer, it turns into sorbet! What a great recipe.

Be sure to check out Feast on the Cheap for tons of great recipes...and make the most of summer with this fantastic dessert.

Sweet-Tart Rhubarb and Ginger Sorbet

1 lb rhubarb (about 8 big stalks), washed, trimmed of any rough ends and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tsp. of grated fresh ginger

In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, water and ginger to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring ocassionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the rhubarb, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the rhubarb becomes very tender.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

Transfer the pureed rhubarb to an airtight, freezer-safe container and chill for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can process it in your ice cream maker.

Let the sorbet sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes to soften up a bit before serving. Makes 1 quart.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sour Cream Coffee Cake


If there's one thing my family cannot get enough of, it's fun breakfast treats. Toast, no thank you. Muffins, yes please. Cereal, if I have to. Coffee cake, get it on my plate. Seriously. So when I was perusing Kirstin's blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I knew I had to pick her recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Cake. Besides that fun breakfasts are always applauded at my house, I also knew I had several tubs of sour cream languishing in the fridge. (We've been eating lots of taco salad this summer!) This recipe was super easy to put together, and it smelled SO good while it was baking.


But the proof is in the pudding, right? I left this coffee cake at home and went to work. When I got home that evening, there was not a crumb left. Technically, this cake serves 12. But if you leave it on the counter and go to work, it might only feed 5. They gobbled it up!! I couldn't even get a picture of a slice. I guess you know it's just that good. Thanks, Kirstin, for making my family's breakfast more exciting on a Thursday.


Sour Cream Coffee Cake

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter; mix well.

Spread half of batter in a greased and floured 10" tube or bundt pan; sprinkle with half of brown sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and brown sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool upright in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto large plate. Serves 12.




Monday, June 15, 2015

White Chocolate Raspberry Scones


The BEST scones I have ever had were at a coffee shop in my parents' town. I have resolved to make my own ever since I tasted one of those beauties several years ago. Obviously my resolve wasn't very strong...probably because I knew that when I made these, I would want to eat every single one of them as quickly as possible. So when I saw that Nicole had a recipe for these same scones - white chocolate raspberry! - I knew it was the recipe I would choose for this month's Secret Recipe Club.


Nicole lives somewhere I would love to visit - New Zealand! - and her blog is full of amazing recipes. I know you'll find something there you would love to make.

I made these scones as drop scones - like drop biscuits - instead of fashioning the dough into a circle and cut into wedges. It was simply a personal preference - I've made scones the other way too, so do whatever you like best. And I loved that Nicole uses her food processor to combine the flour and butter; that's how I do it, too! Here's to a wonderful breakfast, tea time or treat - thanks for a great recipe.



White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 Cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 Cup white chocolate chips

Combine the buttermilk, sugar and egg in a bowl. Whisk well to combine then set aside.

In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and butter; process into a coarse crumb.

Transfer the flour/butter mixture into a large mixing bowl, and gently fold in the buttermilk mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and raspberries.

Drop the dough by large spoonfuls onto a silpat or parchment-lined baking tray. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Makes 12.




Monday, May 18, 2015

Sausage, Red Pepper and Mushroom Quiche


Quiche is such a fun, versatile meal option. I love that you can change it up easily and also use whatever you have. And so I was thrilled to find this version on Happy Go Lucky, when I was assigned to Kara's blog for Secret Recipe Club.

I can't believe I hadn't thought of this combo myself - I love sausage and peppers and mushroom on pizza or in risotto. And now I love it in quiche too. I made this crustless


but I've included Kara's recipe below which includes a crust. Either way, it's a winner!


Sausage, Red Pepper and Mushroom Quiche

1 – 9 inch frozen pie shell
3/4 pounds mild Italian sausage
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 mushrooms, diced
1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
5 eggs
1/2 cup half and half

Bake shell at 425 for 7 minutes or until it is just golden.

While shell is baking, saute sausage, pepper and mushrooms in a large skillet over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink. Drain mixture, discarding excess fat. Place meat and veggie mixture pie shell. Cover with grated cheese.

Whisk together eggs and half and half. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until center of quiche is no longer runny. Serves 6-8.








Monday, April 20, 2015

Chicken Tortilla Soup


I can't tell you how many recipes I've pinned for chicken tortilla soup. Many. But I've never made any. Then I saw this recipe on Ashley's blog, Rainstorms and Love Notes. It was so easy! And contained all the stuff I like! I knew it was the perfect choice for Secret Recipe Club this month. Ashley's version is for the crock pot, but I adapted it for the stove top. My crock pot is so hot that I can't leave it alone for more than 4 hours, which makes the point of the crock pot almost irrelevant, but anyway...

I loved making this AND eating it - it was SO quick and easy and SO delicious. And to say it was a hit with my family is a gigantic understatement. There was nearly a fist fight when determining who would take the one serving left for lunch the next day.

You should check out all of Ashley's great recipes, and the adorable story of how she met her husband. Swoon. And then you should make this soup. Even if it is 75 degrees today.


Get more inspiration at Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Tasty Tuesday.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 cup medium salsa (I used my homemade salsa)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 soup cans water
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
2 whole wheat or flour tortillas
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Sour cream, chopped tomatoes, diced avocados, for topping (or your favorite fixins!)

In a dutch oven, whisk together the salsa, cream of chicken soup and water. Add the black beans, corn, chicken and cumin. Cook over medium heat until soup comes to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut tortillas into strips. When soup is hot, add tortilla strips, cheese and cilantro and stir well until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, tomatoes, avocados and crushed tortilla chips, if you like. Serves 6.





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