Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Baking Has Begun!

The past two days have been filled with the aroma of Thanksgiving.  Cinnamon......pumpkin.....apple.... oh yeah.

Pies, cookies and cakes.  Oh man.  I love the holidays!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Snickerdoodle Blondies

I have been cooking and baking for years.  I have read all sorts of blogs are all about baking and cooking.  I got to thinking, why not put the stuff I make on my blog.

I am not as organized, sophisticated or good at photographing food as many others, I usually don't even think about taking pictures until I am done,  but oh well.

Here is the finished product:

Although they don't taste exactly like a Snickerdoodle cookie, they are delicious!!!

Snickerdoodle Blondies

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 9×13-inch pan with nonstick spray, line pan with parchment and let it hang over the sides, then  spray the parchment with nonstick spray too. (The parchment is optional but creates nice handles to lift the bars out for easier cutting.) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cream of tartar and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer (3 to 5 minutes). Mix in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla, beating until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. The batter will be thick. Spread it evenly into the prepared pan. Spray your hands with cooking spray and use them to pat the mixture down evenly. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly on top of batter. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Let pan cool completely. When ready to cut, use ends of parchment paper to lift out baked bars. Place on a cutting board. Use a large, sharp knife to cut into bars.

Makes 20 to 24 bars

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Braised Chicken with Tomatillos and Jalapenos

I was watching the Food Channel and Ann Burrell was on making this dish.  I normally don't make things I see off the food network, but this looked too good not to try!

This is the chicken simmering in the tomatillo and jalapeno mixture
This is the sour cream with the lime zest and lime juice.
The finished product!

I had to make a few slight adjustments to the recipe, just because of what I had in the house.  I only had 3 tomatillos, so I used 2 tomatoes.  I also used boneless, skinless breasts.   I left the seeds of both jalapenos in there.  It gave it some heat, but not too much.

Now, I have not perfected my food photography.  It looks so much better in person.

Whenever I make a new recipe, I always have my husband take the first bite and wait for his reaction.  If it was really good, he'll shake his head and say "oh man".  I got my "oh man".  It was delicious!!

So, without further ado, here is the recipe:

Braised Chicken with Tomatillos and Jalapenos
From Ann Burrell


6 tomatillos, husked
2 jalapenos
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and skin
4 chicken legs
Kosher salt
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 limes, zested and juiced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few more leaves for garnish

Lime Sour Cream:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 limes, zested and juiced
      Preheat the grill.
·         Place the tomatillos and jalapenos on the grill and cook until the skins char and blister, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the tomatillos and jalapenos from the grill and let cool.
·         Coat a large, wide straight-sided saute pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat.
·         Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt. Add the chicken legs and thighs, skin-side down, to the hot pan. Brown the chicken well on all sides. Remove from the pan and reserve.
·         Ditch the excess fat from the pan and add a few drops of new oil. Add the onions, season with salt and cook until the onions are very soft and aromatic, 7 to 8 minutes.
·         While the onions are cooking, coarsely chop the tomatillos and reserve. Chop the jalapenos into 1/4-inch dice and reserve with the tomatillos. If you want to tone down the heat, remove the seeds from the jalapenos before chopping.
·         Add the garlic to the pan with the onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
·         Add the reserved tomatillos and jalapenos. Stir to combine and add the chicken stock, lime juice and zest. Taste and season with salt if needed (it probably will).
·         Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
·         Remove the lid and let cook for 15 more minutes. This will allow the stock to reduce. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

For the sour cream:
·         Combine the sour cream with the lime zest and juice and reserve.
·         Remove the chicken from the pan and stir in the cilantro.
·         Spoon the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with the lime sour cream.

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