Wednesday, March 30, 2011

6 Sour Cream Maple Bread

Happy Wednesday! We are halfway through the week and headed towards the weekend! The springtime makes being inside during the day all the harder! Sometimes, I teach my classes in the courtyard just to be outside and to enjoy the day (and because who doesn't like having class outside?) What do you do to enjoy the spring weather?
I made this Sour Cream Maple Bread earlier this week as a thank you for a friend (and an extra loaf for Nate)! It is an easy quick bread and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already! My kind of recipe!
Isn't it beautiful!???
(and yummy!)
I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day! :-) 
Sour Cream Maple Bread
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 1-lb. loaf pan.
In a small bowl, stir and toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl, using a whisk, beat the butter until smooth, then slowly add the maple syrup, whisking constantly. Whisk in the sour cream and egg. Stir in the pecans. Add the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack and let cool completely. Makes 1 loaf.
Williams Sonoma 
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

4 Scallops with Spinach and Paprika Syrup

Last night I made this AMAZING dinner from a Cooking Light recipe! Even if you don't like scallops, this spinach and paprika syrup would be the most incredible side for another meat besides scallops! Nate couldn't stop saying how good the spinach was (and he normally isn't spinach's biggest fan)! Enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday!
Scallops with Spinach and Paprika Syrup
4 servings
1/4  cup  sugar
1/4  teaspoon  paprika
1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1/4  cup  fresh lemon juice
2  teaspoons  olive oil, divided
1 1/2  pounds  jumbo sea scallops
1/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1  teaspoon  minced fresh garlic
10  ounce  fresh baby spinach
1/4  cup  pine nuts, toasted
1. Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan; cook 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cool slightly.
2. While paprika mixture cooks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Pat scallops dry with paper towels; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add scallops to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.
3. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil and garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add half of spinach; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining spinach; cook 2 minutes or until wilted. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt.
4. Divide the spinach mixture evenly among each of 4 plates, and divide scallops evenly among servings. Drizzle paprika mixture evenly over scallops; sprinkle 1 tablespoon pine nuts over each serving.
Calories:313 Fat:9.5g
Cooking Light 

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Monday, March 28, 2011

4 One Thousand Gifts Week 5

 This is how my dad and Gus fish. . .
Gus loves my dad so much. . . he has absolute unwavering and unconditional loyalty . . . which while watching them 'fish' together, made me compare their relationship to our walk with Christ. . .
Sometimes when we ask God to move in a certain way, his answer is "wait." . . . this picture makes me think of that more than anything. . . Gus wanted to get in the water, but Dad told him to wait until he was done fishing. . .
I needed that this week. . . the answer "wait" is so hard sometimes. . . I have a friend going through an unimaginable valley right now. . . and this picture brings me such peace. . . "wait". . . and He will carry you through this dark time. .
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
5. The way a sip of Earl Grey takes me back to memories of high tea in London.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

2 Apple Pecan Muffins

Yesterday, we had a grade level meeting and I volunteered to make some "goodies" for our it (because lets be honest, meetings are always more fun if food is there!) So, I tried these muffins from Peace Meals and they were delicious!
Peace Meals

Everyone raved about them. . . but, I don't think they are very pretty. . . they don't have the perfectly rounded muffin top! Amazingly yummy, yes. . . pretty, not so much! :-)
One of my friends at school told me multiple times, "I love your muffins" which just makes me die laughing due to a story about a friend's grandson. They were at the Christmas pageant at their church and all the animals were coming down the aisle with the shepherds and wise men. . . and my friend's grandson yelled at the top of his lungs (to baby Jesus on the stage), "JESUS, I LOVE YOUR GOATS." oh. my. gosh. can you GET anymore precious?? So every time my friend told me yesterday, "Elizabeth, I love your muffins." I thought of Jesus and "his" goats!
Have a wonderful Friday! I'm off to school with two furry sidekicks, a horse skull, and back seat full of "cowboy" equipment. . . stories to come tomorrow! :-)
Apple Pecan Muffins
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, soften
2 cups sugar, plus additional
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith or Jonagoldapples
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour muffin pans (or just use Pam). Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a spatula, gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; do not over mix (the batter will be thick). Fold in the apples and pecans. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Peace Meals
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

3 Maple Walnut Chicken

Last night, we tried the Maple Walnut Chicken from my DBA cookbook and it was incredible!
Hope you have a lovely Thursday! 
Maple Walnut Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 7 oz each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon packed fresh thyme leaves (I used ground thyme)
1/2 cup walnuts
5 tablespoon cider vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
3 tablespoon maple syrup
1 package (8.5 oz) precooked whole-grain pilaf
1 bag (9 oz) microwave-in-bag spinach
1/3 tsp each, salt and pepper
1/2 c water
1. Rub chicken breasts with oil, then rub with thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let stand
2. In nonstick skillet, toast walnuts on medium 4-6 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Transfer walnuts to dish; do not remove skillet from heat.
3. Add chicken to same skillet; cook 12 minutes or until golden brown and juices run clear when pierced with tip of knife, turning frequently. Transfer chicken to clean plate; do not remove skillet from heat.
 4. To same skillet, add vinegar and cook 1 minutes, stirring. add syrup and water; simmer 6-7 minutes or until mixture has thickened, stirring occasionally.
5. Meanwhile, cook pilaf, then spinach according to package directions.
6. Stir walnuts and any chicken juices into sauce. Divide pilaf and spinach among plates. Top with chicken and spoon maple-walnut sauce all around.
Note: Serves 4. Each serving is about 435 calories, 40 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat (2 g saturated), 10 g fiber, 82 mg cholesterol, 310 mg sodium
*spinach, walnuts and whole grain pilaf deliver heart-boosting antioxidants and fiber
DBA Cookbook
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

4 Kelli's Salsa

As I have mentioned before here, I go to a monthly bible study in which two amazing women lead us in growing our walk with Christ and in adventures in the kitchen! Last night, they wanted to make Kelli's salsa as part of our dinner. I have shared this recipe before but haven't really explained how much Nate loves it! Nate would really like to have a constant supply of Kelli's salsa in the fridge and never buy store bought salsa again. . . yes, it is that good! And with the lovely contribution of the food processor, it takes minutes to make! (Before marriage, and the onslaught of wedding gifts, I did make this "by hand" without a food processor, it was still wonderful but was definitely a LABOR of love!)
The salsa station. . .
"Food for Thought" recipe card!

Beautiful greens and reds. . .
All you have to do is chop. . .
How special a friendship is when you see a sweet girl's hands and just smile, knowing who they belong to! 
The finished product
and 30 minutes later. . .
So thankful that our friend, Kelli, shared this recipe with us that is made almost weekly in our house! :-)
6-8 large, ripe tomatoes
2 bunches green onions
1 bunch cilantro
2-5 Jalapenos
salt (lots)
garlic salt
lemon juice
seasoning salt
garlic powder
Cut up in food processor! Season as you like!
A lot of making this is tasting and deciding what you need more of. . . you can always add but never take out. . . so add jalapenos and seasoning slowly . . . for example, yesterday our jalapenos were fresh so we used two with seeds and two without seeds. . . whereas other days I might just use one older jalapeno with seeds and it will be hot enough. . . 

Kelli Hutka
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Monday, March 21, 2011

8 One Thousand Gifts Week 4

This Saturday, Nate and I ran in the Warrior Dash in East Texas! 
 Here are some pictures of things that we did during our 5K. . .
Jump over fire. . .
Crawl through the mud under barbed wire. . . 
Swim over railroad ties. . . 
Slide down a muddy embankment. . . 
Climb over a rope tower. . .
And after the race, everyone donates their shoes! 
Here is a picture that Nate snapped of me in the parking lot after the race. . . I was a lot muddier than it looks!
It was such a great day and, more than anything, it was fun to do this race with Nate!

On another note, Easter is approaching and I am so excited about celebrating my Savior's resurrection. Yesterday, our preacher discussed how 64 percent of Americans 18 years of age and older do not believe in absolute truth. . .
but . . . 
I know that, I know that, I know that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived as a perfect man on earth, was crucified for my sins, died and was buried in a tomb, and 3 days later raised from the dead to be with His father in heaven.
Thank you Jesus for your ultimate sacrifice and I pray each day that "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
4. How I have to look for Gus when I step off the bed or off the couch because he is normally sleeping right under me. I adore his unconditional love and loyalty!
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

2 Banana Nut Bread

This is another staple in our family! (and something I can't believe I haven't shared yet!) This quick and easy bread would be the perfect hostess gift for an Easter weekend stay with family!
Dalton Banana Nut Bread
2 eggs
3/4 c margarine or unsalted butter
1 c bananas mashed (2-3 bananas)
2 c flour
1 tsp soda
1 c pecans, chopped
1 1/2 c sugar
4 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and beat well; add flour and salt. Stir soda in milk before adding buttermilk; mash bananas well with fork and add; add nuts and vanilla. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. Makes 2 loaves. Freezes easily, just wrap it up tight in foil and then put a baggie around it and get all air out so it won't dry out! 
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Friday, March 18, 2011

6 Berry Trifle

 The presentation of an individual dessert can be breathtaking!
So when I saw this Berry Trifle on William Sonoma's website, I decided to make it in a petite form!
Berries macerated in orange juice and sugar. . .
a loaf of pound cake . . .
alternated with homemade whipped cream and topped with fresh mint . . .  and . . . Viola! 
Petite Berry Trifle!
I decided that I like the multiple layers the best. So, cut the pound cake into smaller cubes to be able to make 2 layers {below} instead of just one layer {above}
Now imagine this little beauty in a mason jar with cute ribbon tied around it to be enjoyed after a Fourth of July parade.  .  . oh the ideas. . . .
Enjoy and have a lovely Friday! 
Berry Trifle
2 lb. mixed berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, in any combination, plus more whole berries for garnish
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I omitted this)
One 9-inch lemon pound cake (or you could make your own pound cake, just don't glaze the loaf that you are using in the trifle)
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 lb. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
If using strawberries, hull and slice them. Place them in a bowl and add the other berries. Add the superfine sugar, orange juice and liqueur and stir gently to mix. Set aside to macerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours. Cut the pound cake into 1-inch cubes and set aside until ready to assemble the trifle. You should have about 6 cups. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, using clean beaters and with the mixer on medium-high speed, beat the mascarpone until soft. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped mascarpone and the lemon zest into the whipped cream until evenly blended.Select a footed glass trifle bowl 9 to 10 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep. Alternatively, use a large flat-bottomed glass bowl. Arrange a single layer of the cake cubes in the bottom of the bowl. Spoon one-third of the macerated berries over the cake and then spread one-third of the mascarpone mixture over the berries. Repeat the layers twice, finishing with a layer of the mascarpone mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours to allow the flavors to marry. Just before serving, garnish the trifle with whole berries and mint. Serves 6.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

1 Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!!!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!! :-)
Wrigley was so tired from our walk, she could not even bring herself to sit up for the camera. . . :-)
Today is one of my MOST favorite holidays of the year!
So I decided to make an "Irish" dessert. .  .
Do you recognize this color combination?
That is right! It is the Irish flag! :-)
I especially love the peace that the Irish flag represents with the color combination of the green and the orange! Trivia question. . . .do you know what the colors of the flag stand for?? No "peaking" on google!
Sugar cookie bottom, cream cheese, and FRUIT!
I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating the Irish! 
Lá maith agaibh!!!!!
Irish Flag Fruit Pizza
2 pkg. (16.5 to 18 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large jar Mandarin Oranges, drained
5 Kiwi Fruits, peeled, sliced
2 bananas, sliced 
Press cookie dough on bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan, greased. Bake at 350ºF., 14-20 minutes or until light brown. Cool to room temperature.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl until smooth and blended. Stir in 1/2 cup mandarin oranges. Spread over crust. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.
Arrange remaining mandarin oranges, kiwi and bananas, over cream cheese in the design of the Irish flag! 
Adapted from Dole 
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

6 Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Nate had never been to a Starbucks before meeting me. . . but quickly he learned about the delicious goodness Starbucks has to offer (he had to. . . my dad, Clark and I are all obsessed) . . . and now, he loves his 1/2 coffee 1/2 hot chocolate in a MEDIUM cup (he refuses to say 'grande' or heaven forbid call his drink a Cafe Misto!) One of his favorite treats from Starbucks is their lemon pound cake! 
So, I decided to make him one!
 This is good even without the glaze! :-)
But who doesn't want some glaze? 
The finished product. . .
 Nate is obsessed. . .
He has had a piece for breakfast, snack, dinner, snack . . .
Lemon Pound Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
Lemon Glaze (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Butter and flour two 4 1/2-by-8-inch (6-cup) loaf pans.(I just used Pam)
In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine buttermilk with lemon zest and juice. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until smooth (do not overmix).
Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly). Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing.
Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Pour glaze over cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes.
Lemon Glaze  
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Place confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice (glaze should be thick, yet pourable). Add more sugar or lemon juice, as necessary, to achieve desired consistency.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

4 Chocolate Mousse

My Gigi has played bridge my whole life! I can always tell it is bridge day when I visit Gigi because the cards, cocktail napkins and china are out, ready for her guests! On Sunday, Gigi asked me to make a dessert for the ladies coming over for bridge. I wanted to make something sweet, dainty, and chocolate! (Gigi loves chocolate) . . . so I decided on Chocolate Mousse served in pretty glasses.
Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. . .  
And a raspberry for an extra beautiful effect!
 It is important to continue to whisk, and next time, this will be a job for Nate. . . I have a double broiler that cannot be separated from the water underneath the pan so looking back I would have transferred the chocolate into another bowl. I recommend a double broiler like this one. . . 
Farberware Classic Series 2-Quart Saucepan with Double Boiler Insert and Lid
 On another note, I am working on a new page that includes what necessities you need in a functional kitchen. I feel like numerous stores have lists of necessities for brides to register for but this list would be unbiased and things that I use in my kitchen all the time. For girls graduating from college, who didn't grow up learning to cook, walking into Williams' Sonoma to register is very overwhelming (even though they have the sweetest people there to help) This list would just be something you could print out and take with you! 
And now back to the good stuff. . . 

Chocolate Mousse
1/4 lb. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into very small pieces (I just roughly chopped the chocolate chips)
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 eggs
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan. Heat, stirring, until the chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and continue to stir until the butter melts and is incorporated, 30 to 60 seconds.
Separate 1 egg, placing the white in a large bowl and adding the yolk to the chocolate. Quickly whisk in the yolk, fully incorporating it. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs. Remove the bowl from over the saucepan and let cool to lukewarm.

Add the salt to the egg whites. Using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the whites until stiff peaks form, then beat in the confectioners' sugar. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate, being careful not to deflate the whites.
Spoon the mixture into a large bowl or individual glasses. Cover and refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve well chilled.
Serves 4.
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