Friday, April 27, 2012

Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake

In my humble opinion, breakfast doesn't get much better than this. Fluffy coffee cake with pops of blueberries covered in a cinnamon sugar crumble. With a big glass of milk or steaming cup of coffee this is breakfast perfection. I made this Blueberry Buckle for a Sip and See - a celebration of our neighbors' beautiful newborn baby girl. I wish I had more occasions to make coffee cakes because I LOVE THEM.
Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake
From DeAnna House Cookbook
Printable Version
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 cups blueberries, fresh or unthawed frozen
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a large mixing bowl sift together 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a 2 cup clear measuring cup combine the vegetable oil, milk, and egg. Beat with a fork until egg is blended with milk. Pour liquid ingredients into flour mixture. Stir just until four disappears. Fold in blueberries. 
Pour into a greased baking pan - I used a 7 X 10 pan but you can also use a 9 inch square pan. Set aside while mixing together the 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, cinnamon and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over blueberry batter for topping. 
Bake for 25-30 minutes if using fresh berries or 50-60 minutes if using frozen berries. Check for doneness by inserting a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool about 20 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Honey Balsamic Glazed Roasted Carrots and Green Beans (Gluten Free)

I made this side dish for neighbors who recently had a baby and eat a Gluten Free Diet. I love roasted vegetables, especially roasted carrots. The ingredients are interchangeable because the original recipe calls for beets instead of green beans. I think all three together would be great too. This is one super healthy, very simple way to get your daily dose of veggies.
Honey Balsamic Glazed Roasted Carrots and Green Beans
From Betty Crocker
Printable Version
Two cups of carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
Two cups of fresh green beans, ends snipped off
Olive oil
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss the carrots and green beans with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a roasting pan and roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, turning once, until soft and the carrots start to turn golden. 
Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a large skillet. Add the vegetables to the skillet along with any oil that has accumulated in the pan. Heat the vegetables over medium-high heat and cook until the glaze bubbles and thickens. Coat the carrots and beans with the glaze. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or allow to cool and serve over a salad. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Marbled Nutella Banana Bread

A friend who knows how much I love Nutella sent me a link to Nutella Banana bread. Not this recipe but a similar one, and since she did I didn't stop thinking about baking a loaf myself until I actually set about doing it. 
I like this marbled version because it just looks so pretty. It came out moist with a great balance between banana and Nutella. And bananas and Nutella are just made to go together!
Marbled Nutella Banana Bread
From Sugar Plum
Printable Version
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups ripe bananas (3 bananas)
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Nutella
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, using a a mixer on medium speed (I used my KitchenAid mixer on medium) beat together banana, butter, both sugars, and vanilla until creamy and combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs until well combined. Reduce mixer to low speed and beat in flour mixture until just combined. Divide 1/2 of the batter in to a medium bowl; stir in Nutella until combined.
Alternate spoonfuls of batter into the loaf pan until all of the batter is used up. Swirl batter gently with a knife - not too much!
Bake 1 hour or until well risen and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin (Gluten Free)

One of my neighbors recently had a baby so I helped coordinate some meals to take to the family. They are eating Gluten Free for health reasons so I scoured the internet looking for a gluten free main dish and decided on this herb marinated pork from Ina Garten. Not only is it simple, the ingredients are easy to find. I ate a teeny slice of this just so I could try it and it was very juicy. The marinade, made up of lemon zest, garlic, rosemary, and mustard shines through. It also showed me that Gluten Free really isn't that difficult and doesn't mean you have to sacrifice on flavor!
Gluten Free Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Modified From Ina Garten
Printable Version
Zest of half a lemon
Juice of one lemon
Olive oil
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb pork tenderloin
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, rosemary, mustard, and a sprinkle of salt in a one gallon resealable bag. Add the pork and turn to coat with the marinade. 
Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the pork from the marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a couple of tablespoon of olive oil in a large oven proof saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork on all sides until golden brown. 
Place the pan in the oven and roast for 10 - 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees at the thickest part. Transfer the pork to a platter and cover tightly with foil. Allow to rest for ten minutes. Carve in 1/2 inch diagonal slices. Season with salt and pepper (if desired) and serve warm at room temperature. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I made these yummy White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies to have as a sweet treat the night my Mom and brother arrived in Okinawa. They are a delicious variation on the basic chocolate chip cookie. I love Macadamia Nuts and they are so perfect in this cookie. This recipe makes 60 cookies so be prepared to share or freeze some! 
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 12 ounce package white chocolate chips
3 1/2 ounces macadamia nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much as the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Stir in chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. 
Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. 
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Green Beans with Cilantro Pesto

My good friend and neighbor Jess let me borrow her new favorite cookbook, The Homesick Texan. Jess is from Texas and loves to cook Texas style food. Hubby and I have greatly benefited from this being her neighbor! Jess brought over a bite of these green beans one night after she made them and they were so good I asked to borrow the cookbook soon after to make them for myself. With the crunch of pecans and the flavor of cilantro, this recipe is a deliciously easy way to spruce up your green beans. 
Green Beans with Cilantro Pesto
From The Homesick Texan Cookbook
Printable Version

1 pound fresh or frozen green beans, preferably long and thin
1 ½ cups cilantro leaves
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 serrano chile, seeds and stems removed and roughly chopped (I omitted this)
¼ cup roasted pecans
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt, to taste

In a blender or food processor mix together the cilantro, olive oil, garlic, chile, pecans, and lemon juice until a paste is formed. Add salt to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the green beans. Cook until bright green, about five minutes. Drain and run cold water over the green beans to stop them from cooking any longer. Return to beans to the pot and toss with the cilantro pesto. Add salt to taste.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Wreath

While my family was visiting us in March I made this incredibly yummy and easy breakfast wreath. Everyone loved it! It takes about 40 minutes because you fully cook the bacon first, so plan ahead when you're making it. This breakfast is just begging for variations - you could add in veggies, switch it up with sausage instead of bacon, or even top it with salsa and sour cream for a southwest flare. 
Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Wreath 
From Bacon Time
Printable Version
1 can crescents, 8 count
5 large eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 slices fully cooked bacon
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook your bacon. (I bake my bacon using a method I found from Men's Health. The bacon comes out crispy but not too greasy!) 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Scramble eggs on the stovetop and season to taste with salt and pepper. Lay out crescents on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet as shown below. 
Add your cooked bacon. Layer on about 1/3 of the cheese. Add the scrambled eggs, then the remainder of the cheese. 
Fold crescents over (you may have to fold the bacon again to make sure it fits).
Bake for 17 minutes, or until crescents are golden brown. 


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