Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fabulous Oven Fries with Herbs and Pecorino Cheese

Made with baking potatoes, tossed in olive oil and flavored with garlic, rosemary and freshly grated  cheese these oven fries emerge from the oven crisp, flavorful and delicious.

Fabulous Oven Fries
Serves 4
Recipe from Food and Wine

2 large baking potatoes, cut into 4-by-1/2-inch sticks
(*note-I used a Madeline)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon each of minced sage and rosemary
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (*note-I grated fresh parmesan)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 Degrees F.  In a large bowl, toss the potato sticks with the olive oil until evenly coated.  Spread the potato sticks on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake in the upper third of the oven, turning once or twice with a spatula until they are golden and crispy, about 30 minutes.

2.  Sprinkle the minced garlic and herbs over the fries.  Roast about 5 minutes longer, until the herbs are fragrant and the garlic is lightly browned.  Transfer the fries to a bowl and toss with the grated Pecorino Romano.  Season with salt and pepper.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Old-Fashioned Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My intentions are always good when it comes to using overripe bananas. Rarely do I manage to actually follow through on my romantic baking notions and I end-up discarding my bananas. This time I was on my game, and produced an absolutely delicious banana cake with a cream cheese frosting.

Old-Fashioned Banana Cake
Serves 8
Recipe from Ina Garten

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Walnut halves, optional

Preheat the oven to 35 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9x2-inch round cake pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix with bananas, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on low speed until combined.  With the mixer still on low, add the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, orange zest.  Mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Stir in the chopped walnuts.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely.

Spread the frosting thickly on the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves.

Cream Cheese Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (1/2 pound)

Mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until just combined.  Don't whip!  Add the sugar and mix until smooth.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Photo by Tomatoes on the Vine

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Autumn in the North Georgia Mountains

Almost every year we join our friends and rent a cabin together in the North Georgia Mountains.  This is our opportunity to take a break from the daily grind. There are no schedules, no deadlines to meet.  Routine is out the window. Nature is all that surrounds us and it forces us to slow down.

For a few days, I will be less connected to my internet devices and more connected to the people around me.

I don't have to mention it but there will be plenty of good food to enjoy, and plenty of cocktails to go around.

I will be back next week. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Krista Bjorn

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kentucky 95 cocktail

Did you know that the state of Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world's supply of Bourbon?  To be sold as bourbon it must be produced here in the United States.

In honor of the American spirit of bourbon, I raise my glass and share with you the Kentucky 95 cocktail a twist on the classic French 75.

Kentucky 95
Serves 1
Recipe from Bobby Flay

3/4-ounce good-quality bourbon
3/4-ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2-ounce fresh orange juice
3/4-ounce Simple Syrup 
Ice cubes
Champagne or other dry sparkling wine, chilled
Lemon twist, for serving

Combine the bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with 6 ice cubes. Shake for 10 seconds before straining into a wineglass and topping with champagne and a lemon twist.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Susan from Savoring Time in the Kitchen

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Broccoli-Cheddar Pockets

During the week, we sling food.  It is a sad state of food affairs at my house Monday through Thursday.  I can hear the beep of the microwave as I type (sigh). 

I was pleased with myself, that these hot pockets could be made during the weekend, and then eaten for lunches, and as snacks after school in a grab n' go style just before we jump in the car for soccer practice.

Broccoli-Cheddar Pockets
Serves 4
Recipe from Food Network

Kosher salt
1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1-3/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 5-ounces)
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Vegetable oil, for brushing
All-purpose flour for dusting
1-11 ounce tube refrigerated French bread dough
1 large egg

1.  bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the broccoli and cook 1 minute.  Drain and rinse under cold water until cool; pat dry.  Mix the broccoli, cheddar, sour cream and chives in a bowl until combined, then squeeze the mixture together with your hands to make it compact.

2.  Preheat the oven to 425 Degrees F. and brush a baking sheet lightly with vegetable oil.  

3.  On a floured surface, roll out the dough and cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll out each piece into a 6x8-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Put one-quarter of the filling in the center of each dough rectangle, pressing it together.  Fold the 2 shorter sides of the dough over the filling, stretching the dough to cover,  Fold in 2 long sides of the dough to form a packet.  Pinch the edges to seal.

4.  Place the pocket seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet.  Beat the egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; brush the pockets with the egg wash.  Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Sam Hoffer