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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Beer Bread

A friend of mine recently became a Tastefully Simple consultant, so don’t be surprise if you start seeing a lot of references to their products!  One of my favorite is their beer bread.  I made this a few weekends ago to serve with the Cheddar Cheese, Bacon and Chive dip that can be found here https://hangontoyourfork.com/2011/05/24/dip/.

The beer bread seriously could not be simpler.  You just need the mix, which you can order from my friend Tara through her site at www.tastefullysimple.com/web/tantonucci

I combined the bread mix with 1 – 12 ounce bottle of Yuengling (but you can use any type of beer or actually any type of carbonated drink) and transfer to a greased loaf pan and cook according to the package directions (350 for about 1 hour).  It is so delicious and a very versatile mix!  Tara told me that she had it with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni baked in, and I am definitely looking forward to doing that next time I make it!  I’m sorry to say that I forgot to take a picture of the finished bread, but imagine the last picture looking golden brown!!

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Raspberry Cheesecake- Marbled Brownies

What could be better than brownies and cheesecake baked together to form a  mouthful of absolute pure bliss.  Oh yeah, adding raspberry to the party!

I found this recipe while recently exploring one of my favorite cooking blogs, Smitten Kitchen.  I upped the yumm factor a bit by adding in seedless raspberry fruit spread into the cheesecake batter.  These were a big hit with all who ate them.

Despite the recipe being a few different steps and using a few bowls (which is probably only a big deal to a dishwasherless person like me) it was very simple to make.

Brownie batter
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake batter
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Plus
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips)

For the brownie batter:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan — though I did mine double-boiler style, placing the mixing bowl I was using over simmering water, thereby creating one less dirty dish and melting the chocolate more gently — over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.

Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.  Mix in about 3 heaping spoon fulls of the raspberry fruit spread.  Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.

Use the tip of a knife to swirl the cheesecake batter into the brownies.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

Bake the pan full of heaven for about 35 minutes, until they are set and the cheesecake seems a bit puffy.

Cheddar Cheese, Bacon and Chive Dip

We had a little reunion of sorts a couple of weeks ago with some friends from college, so I made a dip to take over to munch on before we went out for the night.  It was really simple, and though I used light where I could, this can not be classified in any way shape or form as figure friendly.  But hey, isn’t that what Friday nights are for?!

1 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1/2 cup light sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 TBS Onion Onion! seasoning from Tastefully Simple

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 slices cooked bacon

1/2 TBS fresh chives

Cook the bacon, then chop.  Mix the ingredients all together and chill.  The longer the dip has to chill the better it will be, because all of the flavors will really meld.  Would be great served with Tastefully Simple’s beer bread (which I also made), tortilla chips, chips, crackers…  really limitless!

Salmon Cakes with Herb Mayonnaise

This recipe also came from my new “Finger Foods” cookbook!  It was really delicious, and could be made in the mini size like we did or easily into a larger patty for a salmon cake burger.

1 lb salmon fillet, skin and bones removed, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (I used a can of salmon, but sadly did not look closely enough at the can and it was not boneless and skinless, so there was still a good bit of dirty work to get it ready to use)

3 TBS dry breadcrumbs (I used panko)

1 TBS lightly beaten egg

1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest

3 1/2 tsp lime juice

3 tsp fresh dill, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Place the salmon, breadcrumbs, egg, lime zest, 3 tsp lime juice and 2 tsp dill in a bowl.  Stir until the mixture comes together and the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

With wet hands, form small balls of the mixture (about 2 heaping tsp each).  It should form about 36 balls.  Please on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the herb mayonnaise, mix the remaining lime juice and dill with the mayonnaise and garlic in a bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick frying pan.  Cook the salmon cakes in batches over medium heat for 2 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through.  Be careful not to over cook.  Drain on paper towels.  Top each with some herb mayonnaise and season well.  Serve immediately.

I placed each salmon cake ball in a little tasting spoon.  They looked so cute!  I wasn’t very good at taking pics while we were making that, but it’s very simple to put together!

Warm Crab and Lemon Dip

I got this recipe from a new “Finger Food” cookbook.  It took slightly more time to prep than anticipated, but luckily I had extra hands in the kitchen to be able get everything done (thanks Mandy, Sarah and Heather!).

1/3 cup butter

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 shallots, thinly sliced

1 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I didn’t have cayenne, so I used chili powder)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2/3 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

11 oz crabmeat, drained

2 TBS lemon juice

2 TSP Worcestershire sauce

3 tsp chopped tarragon (I omitted this)

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs (I used panko)

1 TBS chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 350.

Melt half the butter in a sauce pan, then cook the garlic and shallots for 2-3 minutes or just until softened.  Add the mustard powder, cayenne or chili powder, and whipping cream.  Bring to a simmer and slowly whisk in the cream cheese, a little at a time.  When the cream cheese is completely incorporated, whisk in the cheddar and allow to cook , stirring constantly, over very low heat for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.  We had to add a bit more whipping cream, because the mixture was too thick.  Remove from the heat and add the crabmeat, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and 2 tsp of the tarragon.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Mix then transfer to a small baking dish.

Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan, add the breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and remaining tarragon, and stir until just combined.  Sprinkle over the crab mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.  It wasn’t getting golden enough for me, so I put the dish under the broiler for a few minutes.

Serve warm.

Corn Bread Mini Muffins

I wanted to plan the menu with a bit of a southern flair, so corn bread muffins were an obvious decision!  I kept it pretty simple by using a package of just about ready to go corn bread from Trader Joe’s

1 package Trader Joe’s corn bread (prepared according to instructions on the box)

3 slices cooked bacon

1/2 – 3/4 cup cheddar cheese

1/2 TBS fresh chives

2 TBS canned corn

I prepared the corn bread according to the package directions then added about 2 TBS of canned corn (which I crushed a bit with the back of a ladle), a handful of shredded cheddar cheese, 3 slices of bacon, crumbled, and about 1/2 TBS of fresh sliced chives.

I used mini muffin pans, and scooped each opening about half full.  If you are going to use the mini muffin pans, reduce the cooking time down to about 15 minutes.

Very yummy!

Kentucky Derby Party!

Yesterday a few of my girlfriends and I enjoyed the most exciting few minutes of horse racing together.  I can find any excuse to throw a party,and the derby not only provides a great party theme but also the chance to wear big hats!

I tried to keep the menu for the derby party  a bit southern.  The menu included a hot lemon and crab dip, salmon balls with herbed mayonnaise,  cream cheese wrapped in crescent, cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto, and mini corn bread muffins with bacon, cheddar cheese and chives.  And of course, mint juleps were the drink of choice (ok, so we had to add some Sprite and let the ice melt down haha!).