Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Praline French Toast

My family recently had a family reunion in Texas. One morning for breakfast, the girls went to The Magnolia Haus in San Antonio. My sister ordered the Praline French Toast, which I made her half with me because it sounded so amazing. I came home and found a recipe that I think is pretty close to that dish I tried. Not all of my family shares my love of pecans, so I did not combine the pecans and syrup but served them separately.

  • 2 cups corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 loaf French Bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk, buttermilk, cream, half and half or a combination
  1. Toast the pecans for 8 minutes (or until fragrant) in a 350 degree oven. 
  2. Heat the corn syrup, sugar, water and butter in a pot over medium high heat and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans.
  3. Heat griddle or non-stick pan to 350 degrees (over medium heat).
  4. In a pie plate, whisk together eggs, and milk until well combined. 
  5. Slice French Bread into 1 1/2" slices. Soak bread slices in egg mixture and place on lightly greased griddle. Cook until browned on both sides.
  6. Serve with Praline Syrup.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spiced Pork Rib Roast with Seasonal Vegetables

When you cook pork, make sure you have a meat thermometer that actually works. My thermometer said the meat was done early, so I scrambled to get the vegetables ready and cooked. When the vegetables were done and I started to slice the meat, I discovered that my roast was raw in the middle. We had to wait another hour to eat during which time I tested than had to put the roast back in the oven several times. It was not my finest meal (hence - no picture), but the kids raved about the meat and the corn on the cob. They loved it. 

  • 4 pound pork center rib roast, or 3 pound boneless pork top loin roast
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Coriander-Bay Spice Rub
  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked and halved
  • 1-1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  1. Cover roast thoroughly with oil. Rub Coriander-Bay spice rub all over roast. Let sit, covered in fridge overnight or up to 2 days.
  2. Get roast out of fridge and let sit for up to 1 hour to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cook roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until it reaches 160 degrees in 13 x 9 pan, or a large dutch oven.
  3. While the roast is cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 Tbsp salt. Add corn and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove the corn from boiling water with a slotted spoon. Return the water to a boil and add the green beans. Let the beans boil for 3 minutes than remove from water. 
  4. When the roast has reached 160 degrees, remove the roast from the oven. Remove the roast from the roasting pan and place on a serving platter. Cover the roast with foil (the temperature will increase to 170 while it rests). Increase the oven to 450 degrees. In the pan the roast was cooked in, add the corn and toss with the pan drippings, adding olive oil if needed. Put the roasting pan back into the oven and cook for 13-15 minutes until the corn starts to brown. Then add the green beans to the corn and toss to cover with the drippings. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove all the vegetables from the pan and place on the platter with the meat.
  5. Put the roasting pan over medium heat on the stove top. Add the chicken stock and white wine to deglaze the pan. Pour the pan juices over the roast and serve. 

Coriander-Bay Spice Rub
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 small bay leaf, finely crumbled
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Recipe taken from Better Homes and Gardens September Issue

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Coconut Cake

·         5    eggs
·         1  cup  unsalted butter
·         1  cup  whole milk
·         3  cups  sifted cake flour (sift flour, than spoon into measuring cup, and carefully level off)
·         1  Tbsp.  baking powder
·         1/2  tsp.  kosher salt
·         2  cups  sugar
·         1  Tbsp.  pure vanilla extract
·         Frosting
·         3-4 cups grated coconut


·         3    egg whites
·         2  cups  sugar
·         1/4  tsp.  cream of tartar
·         3/4  cup  water
·         1/4  tsp.  kosher salt
·         2  tsp.  pure vanilla extract

1.   Prepare Batter Let eggs, butter, and milk stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine cake flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Butter three 9x9x1 1/2 -inch round cake pans; line bottoms with waxed paper. Butter waxed paper and lightly flour; set aside.

2.   Combine Wet and Dry In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 2 cups sugar and 1 Tbsp. vanilla; beat 3 to 4 minutes on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low after each addition until just combined. It should be satin smooth. Divide batter among the three pans.

3.   Bake and Cool Bake (convection) 15 to 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove the cake layers from pans; peel off waxed paper and discard. Cool on wire racks.

4.   Frosting  Combine egg whites, sugar, cream of tarter, water, and salt in a large metal bowl. Bring a pot of water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Put metal bowl over simmering water and beat on medium-high speed for 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and pot, add vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes or until right consistency.

5.   Assemble Cake On a serving plate or stand arrange first cake layer on 2-inch-wide strips of waxed paper. Once you're done frosting, remove the waxed paper and your plate is clean. Spread top of each layer with frosting, optionally, you can sprinkle each layer generously with shredded coconut or just use frosting. If frosting starts to thicken, set over bowl of hot water. When cake is completely frosted heap with additional coconut, pressing gently with your fingers to bed the coconut. Remove Waxed Paper With a broad knife or spatula gently lift base of cake and slide waxed paper free. Repeat on all sides of cake.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Big Daddy Biscuits

· 3 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 ½ Tbsp baking powder
· 1 ½ tsp salt
· 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
· ½ cup shortening
· 1 ½ cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Using a fork, gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.

3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 1 or 2 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits and scraps onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Chicken Breast with Chive Sauce

from A Pinch of Salt Lake

  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (3/4 cup water, 1 bouillon cube)
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives
  1. Slightly flatten chicken breasts to a uniform thickness.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper, then coat chicken with flour mixture. Set chicken aside.
  3. In a large pan, sauté mushrooms and green onions in butter over medium high heat.  Remove to a bowl and add lemon juice.
  4. To same pan, add 3 Tablespoons butter and lightly brown chicken breasts (do not cook through). 
  5. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat, covered, for 15 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, combine 1 Tablespoon flour and softened butter.
  7. Remove chicken from pan and set aside on serving platter. Stir 1/4 cup of the chicken broth to the butter/flour mixture and stir to incorporate. Add this flour mixture into the pan, over low heat, and stir continuously until smooth and thickened (2-3 minutes).
  8. Add cream, mushrooms and chopped chives. Combine until all is heated through. 
  9. Pour some or all of the sauce over the chicken. Pass remaining sauce.
Serve over rice, with a side vegetable and bread. 
Serves 6

Spinach Smoothie...YUM

I heard about this recipe from my niece. Here is the blog her mom got the recipe from: This smoothie makes around 4 cups, has 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, is around 400-450 calories, and is very filling. We have experimented with different types of yogurt and our favorite so far is peach. 
Here are the ingredients
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • loosely packed spinach to top of blender

Blend well. Then add
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 banana frozen (I usually use fresh, but a frozen banana makes it more of a smoothie consistency)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt

You cannot even tell there is spinach in there and my kids love it - they say yum, spinach.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Honey Lime Chicken Enchildas

adapted from Peacocks On My Porch

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • oil to soften tortillas (optional)
  • 1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded (1 large chicken breast)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • juice of 2 small limes
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 lb shredded Monterey or Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 16 oz green enchilada sauce (we used the brand Las Palmas)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Combine the chicken, honey, lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder and all but 1 cup of the cheese. Let stand while you prepare the tortillas.
  2. Add 1/4" of oil to a small sauté pan (an omelet pan is a good size). Heat the pan over medium high heat until the oil sizzles when a drop of water is added. Add the tortillas 1 at a time to hot oil for 3 seconds, then flip over for 3 more seconds. Quickly remove the tortilla to a paper towel lined plate and repeat until all the tortillas are cooked (you will need to add more paper towels as you fry the tortillas to absorb the excess oil). If you want to skip this step, just warm the tortillas by wrapping them in a damp kitchen towel and heating them in the microwave for 1 - 2 minutes.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13" pan. 
  4. Add a Tablespoon of the chicken mixture to each tortilla, roll and place in the prepared pan.
  5. Combine the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and spread evenly over the rolled enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.   
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