Lemon-Blueberry Cupcakes

August 10, 2015 by

This one is another one from cousin Debbie P.  “Here’s a cupcake recipe I made the other day :). Yummmmmy!!!!  I made 12 large cupcakes versus 24 smaller ones.  Everyone loved them”

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yield: APPROXIMATELY 24 CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

For the Cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used Swan’s Down brand)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two lemons (finely grated)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

For Lemon Curd

1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
zest of 3 lemons
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Lemon Blueberry Buttercream

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
pinch of fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of one lemon (finely grated)
½ cup fresh blueberries, pureed with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-3 tablespoons very cold milk (add until you reach desired consistency)

Directions:

For the Cake

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
  3. Place the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of your mixer or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.
  5. Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake; I use an apple corer because I am anal and obsessed with symmetry.

For Lemon Curd

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth and thoroughly combined. Whisk in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter.
  2. Cook in the microwave on full power for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute. This process will take about 3-5 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave. You will know the lemon curd is done cooking when it coats the back of a metal spoon.
  3. Remove from the microwave, and allow to cool completely before filling cupcakes.
  4. Pipe or spoon the lemon curd into each hollowed cupcake and top with buttercream.

For the Lemon Blueberry Buttercream

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
  2. Add salt, vanilla, lemon zest and blueberry puree and mix until well combined. If buttercream is too thick, slowly drizzle in milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Notes:

– If you want more of a lemon kick in the frosting, simply add a bit more zest.
– Frosting was piped using the large French tip from Bake It Pretty.
– Be sure to use a zester to prepare the lemon zest, you want it to be extremely fine for the cake, lemon curd and the buttercream.
– Cupcakes are best served the day they are made, but you can store them covered in the refrigerator for up to two days. Bring cupcakes to room temperature for about an hour before serving.

Skirt Steak Quesadillas with Guacamole

August 10, 2015 by

Mark found this recipe on Weber’s website and it is excellent!  It’s simple to make and not very expensive.  We will be making this one again.

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Ingredients

Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ pounds skirt steak, trimmed of excess surface fat, cut crosswise into 4-inch pieces

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, cut into ½-inch dice
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped white onion, rinsed under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer
  • 1 medium jalapeño chile pepper, seeded (optional) and minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 flour tortillas (8 to 10 inches)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2¼ cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. In a large, resealable plastic bag combine the marinade ingredients. Place the steak in the bag, press the air out of the bag, and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the guacamole ingredients and mash with a fork until combined but still slightly chunky. Cover with plastic wrap, with the wrap directly touching the guacamole, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).
  4. Remove the steaks from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to your desired doneness, 4 to 6 minutes for medium rare, turning once. Remove from the grill and let the steaks rest for a few minutes. Cut the steaks across the grain into thin slices.
  5. Lower the temperature of the grill for direct cooking over low heat (250° to 350°F).
  6. Lightly brush one side of each tortilla with oil. Place the tortillas, oiled side down, on a work surface. Assemble the quesadillas by distributing 3 tablespoons of the cheese on one half of each tortilla. Top the cheese with equal amounts of steak and another 3 tablespoons of cheese. Fold the empty side of the tortillas over the filling and press down.
  7. Grill the quesadillas, in two batches if necessary, over direct low heat, with the lid closed, until golden on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill and let rest for about 1 minute. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve warm with guacamole and sour cream.

Blueberry Lemon Pie Bars

July 11, 2015 by

This recipe comes from my cousin Debbie. She says it’s super easy.  She made it for her nephew and family and they loved it!!!!!  They kept nice for 5 days!!!!

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Ingredients

FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • the zest of one lemon, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

FOR THE FILLING

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-5.3 ounce container lemon flavored Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, unthawed)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ baking pan with foil. Leave an overhang on the sides. Set aside.
  2. To make the shortbread crust: stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and half of the lemon zest together in a medium bowl. Add the flourand stir until combined. Reserve ¾ cup of the shortbread crust and place in the refrigerator or freezer until needed. Press remaining crust evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes while you prepare the filling.
  3. To make the filling: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium sized bowl with a hand mixer, beat cream cheese on high until smooth. Beat in eggs, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add sugar, lemon flavored Greek yogurt, remaining lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and mix thoroughly. Add flour and mix again until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries with a spoon or spatula.
  4. Pour filling into crust and add a few blueberries on top of filling. Remove reserved crust from refrigerator and crumble over top of the filling (you may need to separate into crumbs with a knife or fork). Sprinkle with sugar (or Sugar In The Raw). Bake bars for 55-60 minutes minutes, or until toothpick placed in center of pan comes out mostly clean. Allow pan to cool at room temperature on a wire rack. When completely cool, chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. When bars are completely chilled, lift out of the pan using foil overhang and cut into squares. Top with lemon zest before serving. Bars can be stored covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Hillshire Farm® Sausage Alfredo

May 23, 2015 by

I found this recipe in one of my Food Network magazines. We really enjoyed this one.

sausage-alfredo

 Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) package Hillshire Farm® Smoked Sausage, diagonally cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 8 ounces pasta, cooked, drained
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 Directions

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  2. Saute sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Add cream and Cajun seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently for 3-4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese. Add pasta to sauce and toss.

Reuben Sandwich

May 23, 2015 by

This recipe for Rueben Sandwiches is one of the better ones that I have found.  This one is really close to my favorite at McMenamins in Corvallis, ooh, and the wheat beer that Mark got me started on, YUMMY! It’s time for a McMenamins trip!

reuben-sandwich

Ingredients

Sandwich ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 3/4 lb corned beef brisket, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb sauerkraut
  • 1/4 cup Russian Dressing

Russian Dressing:

Combine the following ingredients. Makes one-half cup.

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1 Butter one side of four slices of bread, and place the slices buttered-side down on a large piece of wax paper on a flat surface. Top each with a slice of Swiss cheese, and then divide half of the corned beef among them.

2 Using paper towels, squeeze out excess moisture from the sauerkraut. Divide the sauerkraut among the sandwiches, and top each with one tablespoon of Russian dressing. Add another layer of corned beef and a second slice of Swiss cheese to each sandwich. Top with the remaining bread slices; butter the side facing out.

3 Preheat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat. Cook the sandwiches on one side until the bread is golden brown. Use a spatula to carefully flip the sandwiches over and finish cooking on the second side. Cut the sandwiches in half before serving.

Garlic Compound Butter

May 23, 2015 by

I have always put butter on my steak, which grosses Mark out.  And I also put it on my pork chops.  Well, he came across this recipe for me to try.  It’s really easy to make and pretty tasty too.

Disclaimer: This image is not ours, Mark’s steaks look much better.

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Ingredients:
1 tbsp real butter, room temperature
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
1/2 tsp flat leaf parsley, chopped (dried works too!)
1/4 tsp thyme, dried or fresh
5-6 grinds black pepper

Combine with a spoon til evenly mixed. Add a dollop of the compound butter to cooked protein just prior to serving.

Egg Tricks!

March 29, 2015 by

My Mom sent me the link. I thought the tricks were pretty cool and something you folks might be interested in:

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

March 13, 2015 by

I’m posting this recipe for my cousin Debbie.  She says she makes it all the time for her family and they love it.  I have not tried it myself so I had to steal an image from the internet, my bad.  As soon as I get a chance to make them, hopefully soon, I will replace it with my own.  It sounds like a great recipe and I’m excited to try it.

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  • Ingredients
    2 – 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 tbsp. cinnamon
    4 tbsp. sugar
    2 – 8 oz packages Pillsbury crescent rolls
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    Optional Topping: honey for drizzling
  • Instructions
    1.Preheat oven to 350
    2.Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray
    3. Mix together cream cheese, sugars and vanilla until very smooth, about 5 minutes
    4.In a small bowl combine cinnamon and remaining sugar
    5.Unroll 1 package of crescent rolls and lay into bottom of prepared dish, pressing the seams together
    6.Spread cream cheese mixture over crescent rolls
    7.Unroll remaining crescent rolls and place on top of cream cheese mixture, pressing together seams and overlapping as necessary
    8.Spread butter over the crescent rolls and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture
    9.Bake for 20-30 minutes or until edges are browned
    10.Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving or refrigerate for up to 36 hours before serving
    11.Top with a honey drizzle if so desired

Stromboli Sandwich Recipe

March 1, 2015 by

This recipe has been rolling around Facebook for weeks and I have been wanting to try it, so I showed it to Mark and he agreed with me…we must make this!  They call it a sandwich but it really isn’t.  It’s more of a calzone.  This is seriously better than any calzone that I have ever purchased in a restaurant.  It’s awesome! I have to apologize for the unclear picture, we were in too big of a hurry to eat it to check to see if the picture was a good one.  I will replace it next time.  Enjoy the recipe, it’s awesome!

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Ingredients

  • 2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1/4 pound sliced ham
  • 1/4 pound sliced pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 jar (14 ounces) pizza sauce, divided
  • 1/4 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 pound sliced bologna
  • 1/4 pound sliced hard salami
  • 1/4 pound slice Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  • 1. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch down. Roll loaves together into one 15-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Layer ham and pepperoni on half of the dough (lengthwise). Sprinkle with onion and green pepper. Top with 1/4 cup of pizza sauce. Layer mozzarella, bologna, salami and Swiss cheese over sauce. Sprinkle with basil, oregano, garlic powder and pepper. Spread another 1/4 cup of pizza sauce on top. Fold plain half of dough over filling and seal edges well. Place on a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Heat the remaining pizza sauce and serve with sliced Stromboli. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Notes:
You could modify the ingredients to whatever you choose, but personally, I thought it was perfect the way it was with the exception of no mushrooms.  I will put those in next time.
It states to cook it for 30-35 minutes, but I cooked it for 25 and the onions and peppers were still a little crisp.

 

Sparkling Bourbon Lemonade

March 1, 2015 by

This recipe is courtesy of Bobby Flay from The Food Network. I get their recipes e-mailed to me. It’s a very light and refreshing drink. It will be great for a summer time BBQ. Bad thing about it is, you can’t really taste the bourbon which could really be a problem the next morning.

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Note:
I put this note at the top so you will read it before you make up a big pitcher. It doesn’t do too well left over the next day, so if you are going to make it for just one or two people, you might want to cut the recipe in half.

 Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (1 large orange)
4 cups club soda, chilled
Lemon slices (about 4 large lemons)
Orange slices (1 large orange)
1 bunch fresh mint sprigs, plus more for garnish
Crushed ice
6 shots bourbon (I used Jim Beam)

Directions
Combine 1 1/2 cups water and sugar in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Cool the simply syrup completely. This simple syrup can be made 1 week in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Combine the simple syrup, lemon juice and orange juice in a pitcher. Mix in the club soda. Add the lemon slices, orange slices and mint.

Fill glasses with crushed ice. Add 1 shot bourbon to each glass and fill to the top with the sparkling lemonade. Garnish each glass with mint.


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