Thursday, May 31, 2012

Peanut Butter~Fluff Bars

Yes, I have made Fluff bars before.

And they are delicious in that form... but if you read my blog (thank you, thank you!) you know I use what I have on hand, etc. And a lot of times, minus a real recipe. This is the newest incarnation. Try BOTH, you will love them! Divine.

<3 Lishie

Fluffernutter Bars

  • 1&1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C dark brown sugar (you can also use light brown)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter, cold, in cubes
  • 1/2 C peanut butter (I use Jif smooth!!! You can use crunchy too)
  • 1/4 C mini marshmallows
  • 1 C Fluff
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep/grease/flour a round cake pan 8 or 9" (the larger the pan, the thinner the slices!)

Mix together the flour, brown sugar & salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the cold butter. Add in the peanut butter until it is a sticky dough. Scoop out 1/2 C of the dough & set aside. Pat/form the remaining dough into the bottom of the cake pan. Spread the fluff over the dough in the cake pan.

Mix the mini marshmallows & reserved 1/2 C dough then sprinkle it on top of the Fluff layer.

Bake for 30 minutes until the marshmallows on top are browned nicely.

Enjoy!



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flan

When I think flan, I remember back to Madrid, Spain & the first time I had this caramel custard creation. Delicioso! Delicious. Smooth, creamy, refreshing...

So when my hubby asked me to make it, ahhhhhhh, it brought me right back. Don't be afraid to make it- it is worth every careful whisk! Delectable.
<3 Lishie

Classic Flan
from Epicurious.com /Bon AppĂ©tit  | January 2008

  • 1 c sugar, divided
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir 1/2 c sugar and 1/4 c water in heavy small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush & swirling pan occasionally, about 10 minutes. Divide caramel among six 3/4-c custard cups. (I used two, larger ones). Working quickly, tilt cups, coating bottoms & part of sides.

Stir milk & 1/2 c sugar in medium saucepan over low heat just until sugar dissolves (milk will be lukewarm). Whisk eggs in medium bowl until blended. Slowly whisk in milk mixture. Whisk in vanilla & salt. Strain custard into prepared cups.

Arrange cups in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake flans until just set in center, about 50 minutes. Remove cups from water & let stand 30 minutes. Chill until cold, at least 4 hours & up to 1 day. Cut around sides of each cup to loosen flan; turn out onto plate.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks



Yummmmmmm breadsticks...
Yummmmmmm cheese...
Yummmmmmm Cheesy Breadsticks!!!!
Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks

  • Pizza Dough (I used the Pillsbury can -so easy, so good) 
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSp parmesan cheese, grated
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. 

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta & mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
In another small bowl, combine the olive oil, oregano, garlic powder & parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Roll out the pizza dough:
For 4 long, large cheesy sticks, spread out the cheese mixture (ricotta & mozzarella) like this:
For 8 smaller sticks, cut the dough in half width-wise.
 Slice each, then close using fingertip pressure... "roll" the breadsticks & place them on a baking sheet or pizza stone.
Brush the olive oil mixture onto the sticks...
 Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown...
to get cheese, bread goodness:
Yummmmmmm
You are very welcome!!! ;)
<3 Lishie

Friday, May 18, 2012

Recipe Swap~ "BBQ" essentials

This week was to be a BBQ extravaganza! Too bad Mother Nature didn't get my meal plan... It rained. But that didn't stop me from making some yummy dishes with BBQ flavors & sides. And the newest recipe swap subject on my What's Cooking/Nest National Board was "BBQ" essentials. So perfect. I was absolutely delighted when I received Sarah's (from A Taste of Home Cooking) pick, All- American Potato Salad. First of all, I love her blog. Second of all, Sarah is gracious enough to host these swaps & third, the recipe is originally from Cook's Country Magazine. Win-win all around!!! Oh, can I add a fourth?! I LOVE mayonnaise-based potato salad. LOVE.

(That is Honey-Lime Chicken on the side.)


Now usually my pop-in-law makes his famous potato salad for all of our family get-togethers. It is delicious. And when he does, it is hysterical because half of us love the addition of the boiled egg & the other half hate it.  I actually do love it but my hubby, yeah, he is in the other contingent. Since I was making this just for our little family, I left out the optional egg... Can I say, this was a tiny treat for me to make my own potato salad for once? I loved this side & when I make my own again, will use this recipe. But I defer to my pop-in-law's potato salad for bigger family affairs (wish I knew his secret!)

(That is Honey-Lime Chicken on the side.)

All- American Potato Salad
Slightly adapted from 

Cook's Country Magazine
Through A Taste of Home Cooking
  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes (*I used baby Yukon golds, skins on, halved)
  • 1½ tsp salt, divided
  • 3 Tbs dill pickle juice, plus ¼ cup finely chopped dill pickles, divided
  • 1 Tbs yellow mustard
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp celery seed
  • ½ c mayonnaise
  • ¼ c sour cream
  • ½ small red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 rib celery, chopped finely
  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice (optional)
  •  fresh parsley, chopped (optional topping)
Place potatoes in large saucepan with cold water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to boil over high heat, add 1 tsp. salt, reduce heat to medium-low, & simmer until potatoes are tender, 10- to 15 minutes.

Drain potatoes thoroughly, then spread out on rimmed baking sheet. Mix 2 Tbs. pickle juice & mustard together in small bowl, drizzle pickle juice mixture over potatoes,
& toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate until cooled, about 30 minutes.

Mix remaining tablespoon pickle juice, chopped pickles, remaining ½ tsp. salt, pepper, celery seed, mayo, sour cream, red onion
& celery in a large bowl. Toss in cooled potatoes, cover,&  refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes. Gently stir in eggs, if using, just before serving. Top with chopped parsley.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Balsamic Steak With Radicchio

I've made this before & it is worth repeating. It is very tasty & a quick work night meal! Plus, how often do you get to have radicchio as a side? The cashier at the grocery store did not even know what it is! Please try to teach your children to try new produce & veg & to be able to identify them. It's a great learning experience & nutritious. 

<3 Lishie

Balsamic Steak With Radicchio 

slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine

  • 4, 6-ounce beef eye round steaks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 TBSp unsalted butter
  • 1 to 2 tsp sugar, plus a pinch
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 heads radicchio, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar (preferably aged)
  • 1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c fresh basil leaves, sliced, plus leaves for topping
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steaks with salt & pepper. When the pan is hot, add 1 TBSp butter, swirling the pan to coat. Add the steaks, sprinkle them with a pinch of sugar, & sear until golden brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip & cook until golden on the other side, 2 more minutes. Transfer to a cutting board & tent with foil.

Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 TBSp butter to the skillet. Add the garlic & cook 20 seconds. Add the radicchio in batches, tossing until wilted. Sprinkle with 1 to 2 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Add the sun-dried tomatoes & vinegar & cook until the vinegar evaporates slightly, about 1 minute. Add the broth & cook until the radicchio is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the basil. Transfer the radicchio to plates using tongs. Continue cooking the sauce until it thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 TBSp butter.

Thinly slice the steak & add to the plates. Drizzle with the sauce & top with basil.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cake Batter Biscotti


So I've spoken of my commuter friend before... They are the best. They have me in stitches, in fits of laughter all of the time. It's what we need after a stressful day on a long commute- laughter. So the running gag is that I cannot just make biscotti- I have to put a "complicated twist" on it. Nahhhh... some things always sound harder than they are! Shhhhhhh... we'll keep that a secret from them ;) 

Well, they've been nudging me for some recently so I obliged. I had some cake mix left over from my cake batter rice krispy asteroids I needed to use... And I ALWAYS have sprinkles on hand! So, these came about...

Cake Batter Biscotti
  • 1/2 stick Butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 TBSp + 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  •  1 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 C Yellow Butter Cake Mix
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • about 2-3 TBSp Sprinkles
Drizzle: 
  • Candy Melts
  • Sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease a cookie sheet- I used my silicone mat.

Mix together the butter & sugar. Add in the egg & vanilla- mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cake mix, baking powder, & salt.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture with the mixer on low. Scrape down the sides in between additions. The dough should be fairly thick.

Fold in the sprinkles.

With your hands, form the dough into a log shape along the length of the cookie sheet, & about 3 inches wide.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet. Once cool to the touch, use a serrated knife to slice the log of dough into slightly diagonal, 1/2" pieces.

Turn each slice on its side and lay back on the cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip the slices & bake 5 minutes more.

To make the drizzle, melt the candy melts until smooth. Using a spoon or pastry bag, drizzle it onto the biscotti & sprinkle away!

Enjoy!
<3 Lishie

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Round Pasta

Here's a secret... I haven't been watching much of the Food Network prime-time line-up lately. Why? It doesn't seem to be about food anymore but rather, about competitions. I want the original reality television- a cooking show. I am pret-tee sure Julia Child would not like it either.  So somehow I came across a preview for Giada's episode "Jade Turns 3". Giada gave birth a few months before me... And since Gabriel just turned 3, I felt compelled to dvr the episode. The "Round & Round Pasta" dish Giada cooked for the little girls gave me the idea to make my own. To my dismay, I could not find rotelle pasta in any brand at our supermarket... then I spied Barilla Piccolini Mini Rotelle, Wheels, With Zucchini & Spinach. And my heart sighed...
<3 Lishie


Round Pasta
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis/Food Network
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 vadalia or sweet onion, diced small
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 medium zucchini, trimmed & cut into 1/2" rounds
  • 1 lb spinach & zucchini rotelle pasta
Dressing:
  • 1/2 c ricotta cheese, at room temperature (4 oz)
  • 1 TBSp lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning
Cook the pasta to box instructions.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots & a sprinkle of salt. Cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini & another pinch of salt. Cook until carrots & zucchini are tender. I like the zucchini to be nearly translucent. Add the zucchini mixture to the pasta.

For the dressing: mix together the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest & salt in a small bowl until smooth. Mix the dressing into the pasta.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunday Dinner


Is there something that you always make & always look forward to eating as a family? Something that you will never tire of having? We have a few “somethings” like this but I have to say, nothing else exists that comes close to a huge pot of sauce & homemade meatballs.  This is other-wise known as “Sunday Dinner”. And yes, I am Irish. Ha! But my hubby is Italian. His mom makes the most delicious sauce…  & when we have hers, well she adds in sausage & braciole (A thin slice of meat, usually wrapped around a stuffing & cooked in its own juices). Well, for this Irish-woman, I have to say, I make a prĂȘt-tee GOOD sauce!!! And my meatballs… Heavenly spheres on a plate…

I changed my meatballs up a bit this Sunday. Oh they were the same, huge size… But I made them caprese-style… Just add pasta & good, crusty bread. Oh we love a dab of cold ricotta on the side too!

What is your Sunday tradition?
<3 Lishie

Caprese Meatballs

  • 1lb. ground beef (80%)
  • 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1 clove minced garlic (I microplane it)
  • 2 TBSp fresh Basil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c AP Flour, for dipping/dredging
  • 2-3 TBSp olive oil *add more between batches if needed


Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Add the next 6 ingredients onto the top of the beef, ending with the egg. Using your hands, gently fold all of the ingredients into the beef, combining them but not overly mixing them. Shape into 8 good sized round mounds.

In a saute pan, heat the oil on medium-high.

One batch of raw meatballs.
On a separate plate, place the flour for dipping. Using tongs, dip each meatball into the flour, gently tapping off the excess (flour). Place into the heated pan, 4 meatballs only in the pan at a time. Now watch the meatballs carefully- do not let them brown too much or burn... roll each around to make sure they equally brown on all sides. This technique "seals" the meatballs together, keeps them intact once they hit the sauce & allows for a delicious, juicy interior!

After the first 4 meatballs are "sealed", add them into the simmering sauce, covering them in it. Then repeat with the last 4 meatballs. Once all 8 meatballs are in the sauce simmering away, stir. Then allow your sauce to simmer for a minimum of 3 hours!!! Stirring every 15 minutes if the stock pan is on the stove. If in the crock-pot, leave be & stir at the very end. I allowed this evening's to simmer for 8 hours.


Go here for the Sauce recipe.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Recipe Swap~ Blogger's Choice!


For this swap, called the “Blogger's Choice” Swap, we were given a fellow blogger’s URL & told we can choose any recipe off the blog!!! Well, I received my friend Feisty (aka Christina)’s Tales from the Mad Men Kitchen! Woohoo!!! I read her blog often & had just printed out: Quick Chicken Vesuvio. It sounded right up our alley. We love Giada’s Chicken Vesuvio & this also has quick in the title. Win/win... When I bookmarked it to make (i.e. stashed the idea in my head), I had already added artichokes. Then, when hubby & I went shopping, I forgot potatoes. This makes me extremely sad. I love the taters. Hubby didn’t mind since we also love artichokes & (if you can believe it), potatoes are a second thought to him.

I went ahead & made this even faster & easier. How? I used ONE skillet. Yes, only one… Without the added time of the potatoes, it worked well. And subtracted the peas. Served it with fresh baked crescent rolls.

Great for a working, cooking, homework assisting mom & her family! Thank you so much Feisty & thank you, Sarah @ A Taste of Home Cooking for hosting the swap as usual!

PS- look at the Everyday with Rachael Ray April 2012 INGREDIENTS list… Do you see a typo? 2   pounds  Salt and pepper Ummmm TWO POUNDS of S&P?!? LOL


Quick Chicken Vesuvio 
adapted from:  Everyday with Rachael Ray April 2012 
  • 1/3 - 1/2 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, lightly crushed 
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 can of artichokes in water, drained 
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into large chunks 
  • 1/2 c Flour, for coating
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 1/4 c finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees . In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 c of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic &  oregano & S & P & artichokes. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. “Spatula” it over to the outskirts/sides of the pan. Add a little more olive oil into the cleared center. Season the chicken liberally with s & p & coat in flour. Brown the chicken on each side until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine & stock. Transfer the skillet into the oven. Roast to cook the chicken through, 10 to 12 minutes. Top with the parsley.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

& the OXO winner is...


Last night we enjoyed some yummy homemade calzones with marinara sauce. The OXO pop containers were perfect for the leftover sauce!

But enough of us/me, lol....
Without further adieu...
Congratulations to...


LeatherJacket!!!


Who said,
LeatherJacket May 2, 2012 01:17 PM
"I already like DeLish, of course! And I liked OXO and linked to you. The question is, what WOULDN'T you use these for? Leftover soups, taking homemade pudding to work, dragging ranch dressing to a picnic, storing leftovers of my nearly-famous, very excellent homemade potato soup... the list is pretty much endless. Plus, the little ones will fit in your purse! Medicine, candies, sweetener pouches..."


You win the Good Grip LockTop Containers !!! Please email me at lishiedemaria@googlemail.com with your shipping information!!!
<3 Lishie



Winner was chosen at random through random.org:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More Nostalgia

Like I said, I am on a nostalgia kick. Do you know what a Fluffernutter is? No!?! Let me tell you- a peanut butter & Fluff sandwich. It is so good. And the epitome of a childhood treat... It's peanut butter & jelly one notch up. Fluff is "marshmallow creme". It's childish yet decadent. And I had me one for dinner last night. Yep, that's right. And I had it on Wonder White bread with Jif peanut Butter to boot!
Have a Fluffernutter if you have never tried one! 

<3 Lishie
And do not forget to enter my OXO Giveaway... It ENDS today, at midnight!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Instant Bread Bowl

May Day! This concept is a little too easy & a little too awesome... Need a yummy bread bowl for a hot oven meal? Or a thick chicken stew? Or even an oven roasted salad? Look no further, my love of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls shines here...

<3 Lishie

Instant Bread Bowl

  • 1 package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Take a 9" round cake pan or a medium, oven-safe bowl & form a crust by patting the crescent dough softly into the un-greased pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until it is golden brown.

The dough rises a little in the middle & tastes so good!!!