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blueberry cheese danish

Blueberry Cheese Danish

 

Ingredients

1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry (thawed)

2  (8 ounce) packages cream cheese – room temperature

1 cup blueberries

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut pastry into 8 squares. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet.

In large bowl, or with mixer, combine cream cheese, vanilla and sugar. Mix until combined, and smooth.

Spoon 1 (generous) tablespoon of cream cheese mixture onto center of each pastry square, and top with blueberries, (you can vary the amount of blueberries to your taste)

Fold pastry over to make a triangle, pressing on edges with a fork to seal.

 

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until pastry has risen and is lightly browned.

 

While danish are baking, add 2 cups additional powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons of milk to remaining cream cheese mixture. Mix until smooth. You can use this to drizzle over danish.- You will have leftovers, which can be frozen (and thawed) and used to top cinnamon rolls, danish etc.

Note: Let danish cool at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before topping with cream cheese icing.

 

 

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 22 Jun 2011 12:23:15 +000023Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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linguini with white wine clam sauce

Every time I make this dish it reminds me of my grandparents.  I don’t remember my grandfather cooking very often, but this is one dish he always helped my grandmother make. Eating it always brings me back to our kitchen, where as a little girl, I would sit and watch them work as a team to create this simple yet flavorful meal. It was always made with lots of garlic and a ton of love.

White Wine Clam Sauce – serves 4

Ingredients

1 bulb of garlic, minced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white wine

13 ounces clams – minced (you can use fresh or canned – if using fresh you will need about 1/3 cup clam juice as well – if using canned do not drain)

4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped  – or 2 tablespoons dry

Juice from half a lemon

Directions

Bring large pot of water to a boil.

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine oil, white wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add garlic,clams (and clam juice) and parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes.

While sauce is cooking, cook linguini. (about 8-9 minutes for firm pasta). Drain pasta, and top with clam sauce and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on pmpMon, 13 Jun 2011 22:09:26 +000009Monday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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the cookie project – take three

I am fairly certain that I have found (at least the base of) the secret cookie recipe. Now I just need to tweek it.

This recipe calls for graham cracker crumbs as well as flour. The texture is almost the same as the SC, but this one is not as thick. I really like this recipe. The result is a crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, cookie.

Graham Cracker Cookies

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, salt and baking soda.

Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add combined flour mixture, mix until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls (or cookie scoop) onto greased cookie sheets about 3 inches apart .

Bake for 10-12  minutes or until lightly browned.(rotating cookie sheet halfway through) Cool on sheet for about 2 minutes and place on wire racks.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 08 Jun 2011 17:12:00 +000012Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Recipes, The Cookie Project

 

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Strip Steak with Mushroom Ragout

When I first met the other half of WE, he had a serious dislike for mushrooms. I have since, successfully converted him. I actually caught him, tonight, eating the mushroom ragout with a spoon. (ahh…the small victories)

The ragout works well with a number of meats and cuts. Lamb chops, steaks, tenderloin, as well as chicken.

Mushroom Ragout

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 shallots, diced

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

8 ounces white mushrooms, quartered

8 ounces oyster mushrooms, torn into pieces (note: if you can’t find oyster mushrooms, you can use  12 ounces each of the shiitake and white, the flavor is still amazing)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bottle of dry red wine

8 cups of beef broth

1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

Directions

Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add oil, and the shallots. Saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and saute about 4 minutes. Add the wine, broth and thyme. Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced and is sauce-like. About 60 – 90 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.

You can use this immediately or store in fridge until ready to serve – bring to a boil to re-heat. Will keep in fridge for 3 days.

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on pmpMon, 06 Jun 2011 20:41:50 +000041Monday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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Grilled Hawaiian Flatbread Pizza

 

Flat bread is such a great platform for pizza. It offers a crispy yet chewy crust, and the toppings are endless. Tonight we decided on Hawaiian pizza.  I used store bought flat bread since I was crunched for time. However, if you have time, this recipe is simple enough, and you can switch out the thyme for an herb (or several) of your choice.

For the sauce, combine 3/4 cup of tomato sauce, and 1 Tablespoon honey barbeque sauce. Stir to combine. (This makes enough for about 6 flat breads – depending on how much sauce you like)

I grilled the pineapple slices, and ham before topping the pizzas. The grill caramelizes the sugar in the pineapple, making it amazingly sweet and juicy. I used maple ham and grilled it for about 2 minutes on each side. The pineapple took about 3 minutes per side at 400 degrees.

Slice the ham and pineapple into bite sized pieces.

Spread desired amount of sauce on each pizza, top with freshly grated mozzarella cheese. Finish with ham and pineapple.

Grill at 400 degrees for about 6 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is crispy.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on pmpSun, 05 Jun 2011 21:14:18 +000014Sunday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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Grilled Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli

We have been trying to have stay at home “date night” a few times a week. This enables us to have uninterrupted conversation, and some much needed us time,(after certain little people go to bed) without spending ridiculous amounts of money on meals that are just mediocre.

I have been craving grilled corn on the cob since Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide posted this wonderful how – to.

If you have not yet been to this wonderful blog, full of fantastic recipes for both food and drink, I highly recommend that you do. This husband and wife blogging powerhouse offer an array of tantalizing recipes that they capture with amazing photographs.

Tonight’s date night seemed like the perfect time to satisfy the corn craving.

Before grilling, rubbed with butter and re-wrapped

And what better to go with grilled corn than crab cakes, baseball on the radio, cold beer and eating under the stars.

Crab Cakes

( You can use fresh or canned crab – I used canned tonight because the store did not have any fresh crab – sigh)

Ingredients – yield 6

4 (6oz) cans crab meat

1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced

1 eggs slightly beaten

1 Tablespoon parsley

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

juice from half lemon

1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard

2 Tablespoons mayo (I use olive oil mayonnaise)

1 cup bread crumbs

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well to combine all ingredients. Form into patties, about 3/4 inch thick.  Let rest in refrigerator at least 20 minutes before grilling.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees, and cook cakes 4 minutes per side.

Corn takes about 10-15 minutes to cook, click here for instructions.

Lemon Aioli

Ingredients

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped chives

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

 salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together.

Grilled Garlic Bread

Baguette bread

Olive oil

Clove of garlic, peeled

Directions

Cut bread into 3 inch long sections, slice in half. Brush with olive oil, and place on grill – about 3- 4 minutes. Remove from grill and rub toasted side with garlic clove.

Yes, the quality of this photo is awful, but I did not want to wait to eat, and would have had to go inside to take a better picture. But you get the idea!

 
19 Comments

Posted by on pmpSat, 04 Jun 2011 22:35:30 +000035Saturday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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burgers, cookies, and a sunny day snapshot…

I was talking about hamburgers with a friend recently, and when she said how can anybody mess up making a burger, it got me thinking. There are many ways to ruin a perfectly good burger. When I had my restaurant, our burgers were one of our best sellers. People would ask how I got them so juicy, and big. We used locally grown, organic black Angus beef that was delivered every other day, and I think that while this added to the flavor, one can achieve a fantastic burger with regular store bought ground beef. Here are several “rules”  I follow, and my results are the same every time. Thick and juicy. I thought I would share them, since we are now officially in the grilling season.

Rule #1  – Always use a good lean- to – fat ratio. 80 / 20 is perfect. The fat provides optimal flavor.

Rule #2  – Do not over handle your meat. People tend to try to get the perfectly round patty, and do not realize that all they are creating is a tough, juice-less burger instead. All you need to do is grab a good sized handful, (about the size of a baseball) and press lightly into the palm of your hand, gently shaping into a disc about 3/4 inch thick. That’s it. It does not need to be a perfect circle.

Rule #3 – Salt. And a good amount of it. Salt both sides of the burger, about 1/2 tsp per side, and then more before serving. The salt allows the meat to get a good crust while cooking, either in a pan or on the grill.

Rule #4 – Never, ever press down on the burgers while they are cooking. You may think this will help it cook faster, but it does not and all your really doing is pressing all those beautiful juices and flavors right out of the burger. The only time they need to be touched is when you are flipping them. And this only needs to be done once. I cook my burgers 5 minutes per side. Do not overcook. 4-5 minutes per side at 375 – 400 degrees is plenty of time to insure your burger is cooked to perfection. (medium)

and last but not least….

Rule #5 – Let the burgers rest a few minutes before taking that first bite. This allows all of the juices to remain in the meat, and not all over your bun.

Follow these tips, and you will be the burger king or queen! (pun intended)

Now on to the cookie recipe for today.( I found the recipe here )

I missed last week of the cookie project so this week I am going to try and double up. Here is the second attempt at figuring out the secret cookie. Still not it, but darn good! We made some this afternoon in between our Slip and Slide adventures outside.

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips (I used half semisweet and half milk chocolate)

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Beat the butter and brown sugar until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix just to blend. Gently fold in chips.
Place dough onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet using a scooper.
Bake 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies and your oven) or until cookies are pale brown.
Cool cookies on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack until cooled completely.

My partner in cookie crime

 
8 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 01 Jun 2011 16:07:00 +000007Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Recipes, The Cookie Project

 

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