Thursday, October 28, 2010

Apple Cherry Punch

A slight chill in the air calls for a warm cider! This is a slightly different version with cherry kool-aid. Call it "Blood Punch" for Halloween!

-Taste of Home

4 cups water
4 cups unsweetened apple juice
1 cup sugar
1 envelope unsweetened cherry soft drink mix
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Grilled Basil-Marinated Chicken

Brandon tested several grilled chicken recipes this summer, and this was one of the favorites. It is also another great way to use the basil from our garden!

-George Stella, Food Network

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
1 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
2 tsp. kosher salt (1 tsp. sea salt)
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs)

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, basil, onion, salt, peppercorns, and garlic in a bowl. Transfer the marinade to a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag with the chicken and shake to combine. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.

When ready to cook, build a charcoal fire or preheat gas grill.

Remove chicken from the marinade. Grill the chicken, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a platter and garnish with the basil sprigs.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lemon Drop Cookies

I found this recipe on a food blog I came across last week. Yeah for food blogs! This one is another keeper! I thought I'd be smart and just use my Silpat instead of the parchment paper, but for some reason, it really affected how the cookies looked. Halfway through, I switched pans and the cookies turned out much better. I recommend using parchment paper on an Airbake pan.

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter-flavored shortening
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Finely chopped zest of one lemon
1 (6-oz) package lemon drops (I only found LemonHeads and they worked well)

2 cups powdered sugar
Juice of 1-2 lemons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl, cream sugar, shortening, and eggs; add flavorings. Stir in dry ingredients, lemon zest, and crushed lemon drops. Roll into balls, flatten slightly, and bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly on pan for a couple of minutes. Make a glaze by mixing powdered sugar with lemon juice. Brush glaze over cookie tops. Let cookies cool completely.

Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

This recipe has been in the 'to-try' file for some time now. I thought that anything stuffed with cream cheese and bacon must be good. This one is definitely a winner - the pork stayed moist and the flavors were nice and balanced. Not the healthiest of dishes, but really yummy!

The picture for this one is not too great - please ignore the stray pea on the pork. :)

1 pork tenderloin (1/2 loin - Tyson brand was great)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 pkg. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 pkg. Knorr dried pesto seasoning
Spinach leaves - about 1 large handful
olive oil
salt & pepper

Prepare the pork (I found this very helpful), by cutting to unroll, and then pound to flatten.

Spread with cream cheese, sprinkle with red peppers and bacon, then the pesto seasoning. Lay spinach leaves over the top, and then roll as you would cinnamon rolls, securing with kitchen twine. Next, rub with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 60-90 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165.
*I found the rolls looked much better after the pork had rested about 10 minutes - use a electric knife for easy slicing.

Caramel Apples

We had great success with this recipe, although our apples were not that great. Next time I'll make sure the apples are nice and crisp before I dip them! I poured the extra caramel into a buttered dish and sprinkled it with pecans - yum!

-Your Homebased Mom

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Prepare apples by roughing with fine grit sandpaper - rinse and dry competely, then insert popcicle sticks.

Combine the first 3 ingredients. After the butter is melted, stir in the milk.
Cook to soft ball stage (230-240 degrees). Stir constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla.

Let the caramel cool slightly, then dip apples and roll in nuts if desired. Place on Silpat to cool completely.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sour Cream Cinnamon Rolls

I've made my fair share of cinnamon rolls. In high school, I made and sold pans of cinnamon rolls to raise money for my trip to Spain. I usually just use my standby roll recipe and proceed as one normally would for cinnamon rolls, but the roll part always turns out a little 'bready' after they cool. I've had this recipe in my 'to-try' file for some time now, and thought General Conference was a great time to give them a try. SUCCESS! The roll was nice and soft and although a lot of the filling ran to the bottom of the pan, it was soft and not burned. This is our new favorite!

-Prairie Home Cooking

2 pkg. active dry yeast (5 tsp)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 cups sour cream
4 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup. butter, melted

3 cups confectioner's sugar
4 Tbsp. milk or light cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Prepare the dough: Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water in a small bowl; do not stir. Set aside to proof to a foamy consistency. heat the sour cream in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sour cream is lukewarm, about 4 minutes. Add the butter, sugar, baking soda, and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl (or Bosch), and using an electric mixer, blend in the egg and the yeast mixture. Mix in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time; you will have a sticky and somewhat thick dough. turn out the dough onto a floured board and knead it for 3 to 4 minutes (or mix in Bosch), or until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let the dough rise for 10 minutes.

2. Prepare the filling: Combine the sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Divide the dough in half, and transfer one of the halves to a floured board (I just spray my counter with Pam). Roll out the dough into a 13x10-inch rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick. Brush half of the melted butter over the surface of the dough and sprinkle it with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up the dough in jelly-roll fashion, starting with the long side that is least even; you will end up with a roll about 13 inches long. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Cut the roll into 1-inch lengths and place each piece, with a spiral side facing up, on the baking sheet. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough. Cover the cinnamon rolls with a tea towel, and let them rise for 1 hour, or until they have about doubled in bulk. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until they are puffed and browned. While the rolls bake, make the glaze: Whisk together the confectioners' sugar and the milk in a bowl. When the mixture is smooth, the vanilla.

4. Remove the rolls from the oven, and while they are still hot, drizzle them with the glaze. Let them cool slightly before serving.

Variation for Orange Rolls:

½ cup.butter, melted

1 cup granulated sugar
zest of 2 oranges

3 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. orange extract
zest of 1 orange
orange juice - enough to make a thin glaze