Monday, June 29, 2009

Homemade Lemon Ice Cream with Angel Food and Strawberries

How many women host dinner parties when 4 weeks away from bringing their first child into the world? I hope I am as much of a super woman as our friend Heather (someday - not today. Mom, don't get any ideas!) Along with her husband Matt - they hosted a great Sunday dinner with a few friends. All of the food was fantastic - but the dessert was the perfect end note and effectively stole the show (or my memory at least!)

The lemon ice cream was refreshing - but still creamier than a sorbet. I have been promised the recipe (M&H - feel free to post in comments or email me to post!) This recipe has the feeling of a family secret - so I feel lucky to be granted access. Another bonus with the dessert - the angel food cake was drizzled with a powder sugar glaze (milk, butter and pwd sugar) with lemon juice and lemon zest added. Perfect!

A lovely summer dinner. Thanks!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farmers Market Find: Nutella Brioch (and why i need to go running today)

Thank you to Cocoa & Fig for bringing great food to the Nicollet Mall on Thursdays. I look forward to the new additions each week.

This is brioch folks - buttery and yummy on it's own. Add a center core of nutella - and i'm signing up for a 3-4 miler later! So worth it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Going Green: Pesto - Pasta - and fresh vegetables

The condo patio is the haven for an herb garden. The basil, oregano, and rosemary is growing faster than we can use it. So - I needed dinner and I needed dinner fast. The frozen meal was screaming to be used. Somehow - it didn't seem appetizing after a happy hour's worth of drinks.

So - basil from the "garden", pasta from the cabinet, broccoli and peas from the farmers market (was that 2 weeks ago?!). Throw in some pine nuts, parm, oil and garlic - and it's a TASTY meal. It all took about 14 minutes including 10 minutes of cooking.

Dinner Plan: boil water for pasta. Meanwhile, toast pinenuts and garlic; chop broccoli and peel ends off of peas. Cook pasta according to package. When there are 3 minutes left of pasta cooking - add vegetables. Make pesto in a food processor. Drain pasta - and toss with pesto. Voila!

2 cups Basil
1/4 cup pine nuts - toasted
2 garlic cloves - toasted with the pine nuts
1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
olive oil (4-6 TBSP to taste)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wanted: Recipe for Ebleskiver (round pancakes)

I was the lucky recipient of this old pan - complete with the original recipe booklet. I have to admit, anytime I see a recipe that calls for a "yellow cake mix" - I think, can't I make it better than some Pillsbury factory months/years ago?

So - i'm in search of the perfect Ebleskiver recipe. I spotted a show on FoodTv last night that showed these little round pancakes filled with bananas. Tasty. However - what is the best batter recipe? The filling seems like the easy part!

Do you have a recipe to share? Feel free to email - twittter - comment - whatever it takes. I want some good recipes to try!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Farmers Market Find: Rhubarb (+Cherry Cobbler)

Rhubarb is one of the few colorful items at the Minnesota Farmers' Market in June. Everyone has had Strawberry Rhubarb - but have you tried the sour/tart combination of Sour Cherry and Rhubarb? This is a must for any summer BBQ.

Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

2 lbs Rhubarb cut into 1/2" pieces
3 24oz jars Morello cherries (trader joe's -best!)
1.5-2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 1/2 cups reserved cherry juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp almond extract

Biscuit Topping (from The New Best Recipe)
10 oz (2 cups) flour
2.5 oz (6 TBSP) sugar
1/2 tsp bkg pwd
1/2 tsp bkg soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 TBSP cold butter cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup buttermilk
2 TBSP raw sugar for sprinkling

*Preheat oven to 425 F
* Prep Filling. Cut rhubarb, drain cherries (reserve juice). Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt together in dutch oven (or other large pot). Stir in wine and reserved cherry juice to dissolve. Add cherries and rhubarb. Let sit - to macerate - for at least 15 minutes.
While fruit is macerating - bake biscuits.
* Biscuits: in a food processer, blend dry ingredients. Add cold butter and pulse about 10 times until dough is in pea size balls. Transfer dough to a medium bowl and stir in buttermilk. Using a 1 3/4" scoop - create 12 dough balls on parchmet lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake until lightly browned on top and bottom (about 15 minutes.) Do not over bake - they are going back in the oven shortly. Leave oven on.
* Cook fruit. Stir fruit and liquid mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Let simmer and thicken (1-5 minutes depending on how much liquid was released from rhubarb.) Cook this until it is the thickness of pie filling (or desired thickness). You can cook down the liquid - or dissolve more cornstarch in a bit of water over heat until thick to add to the mixture.
* 15 Minutes before serving: Pour hot fruit mixture into serving/baking dish. Place biscuits on top of fruit. Cook cobbler at 425 until fruit is bubbling and biscuits are deep golden brown (about 10 minutes if filling started hot, longer if you let filling rest). Serve warm.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Farmers Market Find: Baby Beets (roasted and glazed)

Determined to frequent the local Farmers Market this summer - H. and I are trying to buy more vegetables and other local goods to see if a CSA might be in our future. I was really excited to see more offered this weekend at the market - including these very pretty (and pretty small) beets. The rosemary (from my urban patio herb garden) made the condo smell pretty after roasting for about 30 minutes. This was tasty - and easy. Perfect on top of the micro-greens that I scored at the market this weekend too!

Baby Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Recipe Source: Washington Post (june 2007) from In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

4 servings


  • 12 to 16 baby (1- to 2-inch) beets
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch salt
  • Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Trim the greens off the top of each beet; save the greens for another use or discard.

    Rinse the beets and use heavy-duty aluminum foil to form a packet around them, placing the rosemary in the packet before sealing. Place the packet on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until the beets can be easily pierced with a knife. Transfer the packet to a work surface; open it and let the beets cool until they can be handled. Discard the rosemary.

    Use disposable gloves or a paper towel to pick up each beet and rub or peel off the skin, trimming off the root and stem ends. Set the beets aside.

    In a large, shallow saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, butter and salt over medium-high heat. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced by about half. (It should have a syrupy, glaze-like consistency.) Reduce the heat to low, add the beets, and stir to coat and warm them through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with the remaining glaze spooned over.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Festival de Corn Dog

The 7th Annual Sutton Corndog Festival
Below is the email information from the event that took place last weekend. It was a small affair - we all tried to convince Mr. Sutton of getting into the Great Minnesota State Fair with these babies... Maybe next year! There is no way to accurately represent the information in a better way - so here it is in the original form (The Cheesy Obamba was the winner by far!)

It’s 2009, a year of discovery and “change”. The country has a new President, the Viking’s have a new quarterback, and the Corndog Festival has a cause. So listen up!

This year we turn our eye to our attention to a worthy, and local, cause. We are proud to donate proceeds to the Miracles of Mitch Foundation A Minnesota based 501c3 organization, whose sole purpose is to improve the quality of life for children, and their families, who struggle daily with cancer.

Obviously the economy has scared the bejesus out of most of us. If you are like me, you flinch before reaching for your wallet. I know you are excited to and look forward to debauchery that takes place every year at the Corndog Festival. If you are a cheapskate, you can still look forward to the free ride by my blood, sweat, and tears. However, if you have even smallest of hearts, we ask that you donate what you feel comfortable with knowing that your money will go to a good cause, the foundation and corndogs.
Your heart will cry for mercy, and your soul will cry for joy.

Notable Menu items this year:
The Corndog:
Really, this is why we are here folks. Need I say more? If you need an explanation please do not come.
The Cheesy Wonder: Believe it or not, it is making a comeback. A deep fried hotdog cloaked in american cheese, battered with my famous corn dog mix, and lovingly served on a stick.

The Obamba: The jury is still out… I think we really pushed the envelope on this one last year. Wrapping a hotdog in pastrami not only challenges culinary wisdom, but also defies the laws of physics. We are asking a lot out of that stick.
The Cheesy Obamba: Now we’ve gone too far by promising too much too fast…
The Red Dog: Let’s just say this one might burn a little. It is a delicately deep fried hot link that is sure to spice up your night, and likely the following day.
The Whitey: A unique experience indeed. Taking New York’s famous white hotdog and embracing it in a warm hug of fat, flour, and other secret herbs and spices
Tots and Fries: Served with genuine ketchup. "Is that real tomato ketchup Eddie?"
Pam's Queso: Velveeta makes everything taste better. Just don't ask what's in it
Beer: And lot's of it
Soda: Because not everyone drinks beer
Water: Because it’s free from the hose

Dog wrapped in bacon and american cheese, breaded, and fried. This is called the Obamba because it has "too much going on." It was my favorite.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Farmer's Market Find: Pnut Butter Pops

I just got an email - the 'Daily Bite' from Bakespace and guess what - it's "national peanut butter cookie day!" Who knew.

I didn't. However - I do know that it is Thursday today - which is Farmer's Market on the Mall day in downtown Minneapolis. My new favorite stop is Cocoa and Fig - mainly because they have a cool blog and site - and GREAT chocolate items.

Today - they had Peanut Butter Pops for $1.50. The PERFECT after dinner sweet.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pepper and Cherry Sausage

We were looking for a quick weeknight meal. No boxes, nothing frozen, and ready in 20-30 minutes without any cooking or babysitting. One of my favorite neighborhood places is Kramarczuk's. A Polish Deli and Sausage Company - they have fantastic sausage of ALL SORTS. Last night - we found a hot pepper and cherry sausage that seemed to fit into my current cherry obsession.

Topping this with mustard (housemade with a bit of horseradish) and good ol' Franks Kraut is all that is needed. The cherries were nice - chopped preserved would be my guess. The pepper presence was lacking - i like hot food.

So - we threw these on the smoker for about 30 minutes - and in the meantime, started happy hour. It was a great night and another easy, tasty dinner.

Life is just a bowl of cherries... cherry choc chip cookies

Let's make this simple. I made chocolate chip cookies last night. We each ate one and I brought the rest to work. So - when we wanted chocolate chip cookies again tonight - and I didn't have extra dough hanging out in the fridge (PARTY FOUL!) - I thought i'd change it up a bit. I cracked open a jar of Trader Joe Morello cherries - chopped them and drained out some liquid, added a dash of almond extract and an extra 2 TBSP of flour to my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe - and voila! A new cookie is born. Pretty fun - and very tasty.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Many thanks to Cathy of Accountant's Can Cook? for the Blog Award!
When given these great awards - you are supposed to pass them along to some deserving folks. So - check out the fun food blogs below: 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Goat Cheese and Spicy Sausage Ravioli

Homemade pasta is divine. It is not difficult - although it can take some time. However - the result is worth every minute. This is my dear H's Ravioli.

This was the perfect way to use up some leftovers in the fridge! He stuffed it with things we had on hand already: 1 spicy italian sausage, 1 uncooked hamburger patty, basil, and an egg. H only had to buy some goat cheese for this - and it was ready to go.

While the pasta dough (click here for recipe) was resting - H browned the two meats. Then, he rolled out one section of dough at a time - and filled it before moving on to the next section.

He cooked this up for me as a 'Pre-Race' dinner the night before my half marathon. It was so tasty - I didn't want it to end. After cooking - the pasta was tossed with butter and parmesan. Just thinking about it now is making me hungry again.

Tips for success:
* get all of the air out between the filling and the dough with your fingers
* When cooking - do not let the water boil. A hard boil will knock your delicate Ravioli's around too much
* Make extras! This freezes really well - and you can have a weeknight meal ready to go!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fav things: OMG - the Obama's have my china!

Michelle with teacup. You have to see this!

Wow. So - my husband reads the Daily Beast. A cool blog about news and politics. Michelle Obama, photo by Annie Leibovitz - with MY CHINA!!! I can't believe it. I feel famous or something.

Now - off to watch the TV special all about life in the white house.

I'm so hopeful - and not just for the china.

Amish Friendship Chain Bread and Knitting Party: fun times!

Remember chain letters? You got it from one person - but suddenly had to pass it along to 5 of your friends to avoid imminent danger and gloom.

Well - this bread was made from a sort of chain dough. I've heard of bread starters as it relates to sourdough bread - but have never had this cinnamon coffee cake until someone at work brought it in about 12 days ago. Along with the finished product, he brought in a few gallon ziplock bags with about 1/2 cup of milk/flour mixture. this was the start of a BREAD CHAIN.

Amish Friendship Bread - it's moist with more than a hint of cinnamon. Topped with a sugar cinnamon crunch and very moist. Overall, tasty and welcome for a morning treat at work. I brought home a bag of starter and the instructions - and watched it grow on my counter.

It took 10 days to fully proof. About 7 days in - I had to add milk, flour, and sugar. Then - just let it grow and develop for a few more days. On the 10th day, I was able to mix up the final dough - and portion off a few new ziplock bags to hand on to someone new. I made a bundt cake and a batch in my ridged long pan (no idea what it's call - something Scandinavian).

The bundt pan is heavier and darker - and put out a better looking product. This was pretty - and perfect for the knitting party that I hosted 2 days later. The recipe included a box of vanilla pudding - which seemed odd to me. Why wait so long for a starter to develop flavor to just overwhelm it with a box of instant pudding? For that - and the fact that you need a starter to make this exact recipe - I'm not including the recipe. I would suggest finding a different coffee cake to make if you are looking for something similar.

As far as my luck is concerned - I should be worried. I threw away the starters that I set aside. No one at my knitting party wanted to take one home. Not wanting to impose - I thought it was best to just throw it away. I'm sure bad luck will befall me in someway after angering the Amish Friendship Bread gods - it's a risk that I took willingly.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy 84th Birthday Grandpa! (Lemon Curd Cake)

Oh, how I love Rose. Author of the great Cake Bible and sharing a name with my grandmother. These two women have had more influence on me through their baking passion and expertise than either will ever know.

I was given the opportunity to bake a cake for my husband's grandfather whom we call "Captain" (retired Navy Captain.) This cake had to be special - and a lemon cake was requested.

So - I dug into the Cake Bible for inspiration. From the index - I found reference to lemon curd. There was a note to mix it into a certain buttercream for added flavor. I settled on the Golden Luxury cake (made with white chocolate for extra melt-in-your-mouth taste), lemon curd (double batch made with Meyer Lemons), and the Mousseline Buttercream.

For the buttercream - I stirred in the recommended lemon curd and had about half of the double-batch left over. I really wanted a 4 layer cake - and true "lemon" filling somewhere without being too tart. I split the 2 8" cake layers in half and filled with the lemon curd. I then used the lemon buttercream to frost the outside and middle of the cake. This was a great way to keep the overall taste balanced between rich butter and tart lemon. Very tasty!

The Captain enjoyed the cake. We sent leftovers home with him - and the report came back that it was better the next day.
Thoughts for next time: I think the Golden Luxury Cake would have been more impressive if I had remained "whole" - meaning not cutting the layers in half. It was delicate - but absolutely melting and tasty. Next time - I would let everyone enjoy a real bite of cake before hitting a filling like the lemon curd to overwhelm the taste. Maybe a layer of lemon curd directly underneath the buttercream would do the trick...