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Archive for June, 2011

Salad with portobello mushrooms and cherry tomatoes

I marinated the mushrooms according to a mushroom burger recipe, but roasted them as the salad recipe indicated. I also made a balsalmic vinaigrette instead of red wine to complement the marinade. This salad was so good and I loved the shaved parmesan on top. I would make this over and over. The salad is from Annie’s Eats and the marinade was from How Sweet Eats. I would love to make the burger with the smoked gouda!

Mixed Greens with Dijon Vinaigrette and Roasted Portabellos

For the dressing:
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Pinch ground black pepper
¼-½ cup red wine vinegar*
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

For the roasted mushrooms:
2 full-size portabello mushroom caps, wiped clean
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

For the salad:
Mixed greens, rinsed and dried
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Cherry or grape tomatoes

*Start with ¼ cup of vinegar and add more as desired to taste.  The more tart you like your vinaigrette, the more vinegar you will want to use.

To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a jar or bottle with a secure lid.  Shake well so the ingredients are well combined and emulsified.

To make the mushrooms, preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  Slice the portobello caps about ½-inch thick.  Add to a bowl and toss with a bit of olive oil, just enough to coat lightly (about 2 tablespoons).  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast, flipping halfway through baking, about 15 minutes total.

While the mushrooms are roasting, portion the mixed greens between serving plates.  Top with shaved Parmesan and tomatoes.  Top with the warm mushrooms and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Piled Portobello Gouda Burgers with Roasted Garlic

makes 4 burgers

4 English muffins (light multigrain are our favorites)

4 portobello mushroom caps

2 heads of garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 thick slices of gouda cheese

1 small red onion

1 medium tomato, sliced

1 avocado, sliced

butter lettuce for garnish

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

for mushroom marinade:

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons cooking sherry

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

Two hours before serving, combine the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish and add mushrooms. I let them lay on their top side in the marinade, and spoon some marinade into the bottom-up side to let it soak. Marinate for two hours.

One hour before serving, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice off the top of the heads of garlic and drizzle a bit of olive oil (1/2 tablespoon) on top. Wrap in foil and roast for 45 minutes. Let cool completely. Heat the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, then turn off heat and set aside to thicken.

Slice red onion into rings and add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil into a large skillet on medium heat. Add onions and let soften and caramelize for 10-12 minutes. Set aside once finished, leaving the skillet on. Add the marinated mushrooms to the skillet top side up. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 4 more. Turn back over, add a slice of gouda on top, and turn off heat.

Toast the English muffins. Using your fingers, squeeze roasted garlic out of the head into a bowl. Mash with a spoon. Spread on both sides of each English muffin.

Top English muffin with a portobello cap, onion rings, tomato, avocado, and butter lettuce. I recommend a light sprinkle of salt and pepper on the tomato and avocado for flavor. Finish with a drizzle of syrupy balsamic and serve.


Cookie dough rice krispies

Another rice krispie experiment! I had leftover sweetened condensed milk, so I decided to make cookie dough truffles. I made half of the recipe but I was a little short on the 7 oz of milk. Even so, the truffles were a little soft and they could have used a little more flour I think. I tried to freeze the truffles before mixing them into the rice krispies, but they still melted some. They need at least an hour to freeze. I didn’t use the recipe’s proportions for the treats, I just followed my 4-5-10 ratio. I did add some malted milk though.

Recipe Description (Peabody)

These are a great way to use up any cookie dough truffles (they tend to make a lot when you make them). Adults and kids a like love them.

Preparation Instructions

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows.

Stir until the marshmallows begin to melt, adding in malted milk powder one spoonful at a time so it’s combined.

Stir in the cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture.

Fold 32 mini cookie dough truffles into the mixture (see instructions below).

Press into a baking dish (9 by 13-inch – use a dish with tall sides).

Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting.

For the Truffles:

Using a stand mixer (or a bowl and beaters), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

In another bowl, combine flour and salt. With speed on low, slowly add the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, alternating with the condensed milk, beating well after each addition.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place into an airtight container. Store in freezer for at least 3 hours.

These make way more than what you need for the treats. You can just dip the extras in melted chocolate and eat them. Or my next recipe incorporates them as well and you can just wait around for that.

Fat witch congo bars

I loved the whole salty-sweet combo of the crust and coconut chocolate topping. What I didn’t love was that the crust was really really buttery, and it didn’t rise at all. It set enough so it didn’t fall apart, but I was hoping for a more blondie-like texture. I had the same issue with the smores cookies, they were too flat and didn’t have that thick cookie texture like I wanted. This recipe is from savory sweet life. I loved the ingredients used, and I would like to experiment with this recipe again.

Fat Witch Congo Bars



1/4 cup unbleached flour

1/3 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 11 whole crackers, crushed)

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature


1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup semi-semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup chopped pecans or other nut (optional)


Grease a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan with butter.  Dust with flour and tap out the excess.  Preheat the oven to 350 F. degrees.

To make the crust, measure the flour, baking powder, and salt and then sift together into a medium bowl.  Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and light brown sugar.  Mix well.  Cut the butter into a few pieces and mix into the dough with a fork until the dough is crumbly.  Continue mixing with your hands until smooth.  Spread the dough evenly in a thin layer in the prepared baking pan, pressing down with your hands.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is slightly golden.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  While the crust is cooling, prepare the topping.

Mix together the coconut, both chocolate chips, and the condensed milk with a spoon.  Add the pecans, if desired.  Spread the mixture evenly over the baked crust.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is well-set and light brown.  Watch carefully at the end of baking time and do not let the top become too bubbly or dark.  Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 2 hours or until chocolate chips are no longer soft.  Cut just before serving.  Makes 12-16 bars

Garlic butter roasted mushrooms

Perfect! Get small-ish mushrooms or cut in half so the flavor makes it all of the way to the middle. The best bites were of a cut up portabello mushroom that I added. One pound is good for 2-3 people.

Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms (Smitten Kitchen)
Perfect as can be from Gourmet.com

1 pound mushrooms such as cremini or white, halved lengthwise if large
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle. Toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper in a 1 1/2- to 2-qt shallow baking dish. Top with butter and roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and golden and bubbly garlic sauce forms below, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve immediately, with crusty bread on the side for swiping up the juices.

Crab stuffed jalapenos

I wanted to stuff jalapenos and wrap them in bacon, but a sale on crab meat changed my mind. I made a crab filling to put inside the jalapenos. Last time I made jalapenos, the peppers were cooked so much they weren’t spicy at all. I guess I used a different pan, because after cooking at 425 for 25 minutes, the peppers were not quite as softened. So as a result, they were still a little spicy for me. Soooo I just ate the filling. And dang, it was a good filling. We actually got claw meat, which worked just fine for this recipe. We had 7 jalapenos, so 14 poppers. And we had double the amount of filling we needed. The rest has been frozen and will be combined with crushed crackers and stuffed in between shrimp!

Crab dip/filling

  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 green onions, sliced, greens included
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, or 1 Tbsp dried parsley (left out)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (left out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay (or more, I didn’t measure)
  • S&P
  • 1 lb of fresh lump crab meat

Chocolate malt cake

Dad loves whoppers, so for Father’s day I made him a chocolate malt cake. It was absolutely perfect. I made the entire recipe but only assembled a two layer cake. So I made 2/3rds of the frosting and it was just enough! I wouldn’t change a thing. I lined the edge with whoppers and the top was covered in crushed whoppers. Everyone reeeally liked it.

Chocolate Malt Cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup malted milk powder
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Malt Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup malted milk powder
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
Garnish: malted milk balls

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixture, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, combine milk and malted milk powder, stirring to dissolve. Add milk mixture, oil, and eggs to flour mixture, beating at medium speed until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla, beating just until combined. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter and cocoa powder at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

In a small bowl, combine cream and malted milk powder, stirring to dissolve. Add cream mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed to combine. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with malted milk balls, if desired.

Source: Paula Deen’s Holiday Baking, 2007.

Tex mex squash casserole

This was really great because it was creamy and spicy, and it made the veggies taste yummy. Almost too spicy, because at the last minute I sprinkled cayenne on top. But we all really liked it. I was just chugging my water afterward! If I made it again, I would use a little less liquid. I cut down on the chicken broth to 1/2 cup ish, but maybe I’ll cut the creamy stuff to 3/4 cup too. I will remember to drain the Rotel also. I used pre-shredded mexican cheese and stirred half into the casserole. Next time I would use fresh grated. I used pickled jalapenos for convenience. I put the crushed tortilla chips on top, but they lost their crunch. So I added more crushed chips on top.

Tex-Mex squash casserole

2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini, cut into coins (4 cups)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons of butter
1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained or two cups of diced fresh tomatoes with 1/4 cup of diced green chiles, such as a jalapeno
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup of half and half
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
2 cups total of grated pepper jack and cheddar
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the butter in a large skillet on medium heat. When melted, add the squash, onion and jalapeno, and sauté until onions are translucent and the squash is soft, about ten minutes.

Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and cook for a minute. Then stir in the flour and cook until a light-brown past forms, about a minute.

Now add the broth and tomatoes and stir until the mixture thickens, which should happen in a couple of minutes. Add the half and half, sour cream and cilantro and turn off the heat.

In a greased casserole dish, layer the bottom with the crushed tortilla chips. Pour on top of the chips the creamy squash mixture and then cover the whole dish with the grated cheese.

Cook uncovered for thirty minutes, or until top is brown and bubbling.

Serves 6-8.