Archive for August, 2011

August 31st, 2011

Teriyaki Pork Chops With Sesame Noodles

Seriously, as I sit here thinking of how to introduce these fabulous pork chops all I can come up with is I hope I have all the ingredients because I really want to make this for dinner tonight.  The great thing about this recipe is that you can make all of it for a complete dinner or just what you want.  I know I don’t have fresh pineapple in my refrigerator today so I can just omit that from my dinner.  The pork chops and the sesame noodles go really great together and the pineapple is such a sweet and delicious addition to my plate.  I hope you enjoy teriyaki pork chops and sesame noodles as much as my family.

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Sesame Noodles

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped fine (or 3 tsp. dried ginger)
4-6 pork chops
fresh pineapple rings
16 oz box of linguine noodles (or other noodle)
green onions
sugar snap peas
sesame seeds

Directions:

Either the night before or earlier the day of make the marinade to allow time for your pork chops to really absorb the flavor.  For the marinade, combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger  in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Reserve just under half of the marinade in a separate bowl for the sesame noodles, store in the fridge.  Cool the remaining marinade completely in the original saucepan.  Put the pork chops in a large resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them.  Seal the bag, pressing out excess air.  Allow chops to marinate in the refridgerator, turning bag once or twice, at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

Grill pork chops on the grill, approximately 7-9 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your pork chops.

While pork chops are cooking, cook the linguine according to the directions on the package.  Also, you will want to reduce the reserved marinade.  Using a small saucepan, bring the marinade up to a boil and allow to simmer 5-7 minutes.  You should notice the marinade thickening.    Wash and trim the sugar snap peas.  Cut up the green onions (you can use the tops and bottoms here).

Add pineapple to the grill for a minute or two per side.  Just before the pork chops are done use the reduced marinade to baste them once on each side before removing from the grill.

Toss together the linguine and marinade with the sugar snap peas, green onions, and sesame seeds.

Serve and enjoy!

Note:

Your pork chops do not need to be 2 inches thick like the ones pictured above, but the thin cut are too thin.  Just try to find some that have a little thickness to them.

If you are not going to make the sesame noodles, cut the marinade ingredients in half.  Pour the marinade into a small sauce pan and reduce the marinade to baste on pork chops as directed above.

Posted under On the Grill, Pork | No Comments
August 30th, 2011

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie

 
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Love those bakery style chocolate chip cookies??? You know the ones I mean- big (really big) cookies, crispy on the outside, chewy good and slightly doughy on the inside…….mmmm  bet you can almost taste it now! 

This recipe was posted in the New York Times a few years back and comes pretty close to perfection!  The only real problem with this recipe is you really do have to let the dough chill for at least 24 hours – not conducive to late-night cookie attacks when you just want to make a batch and eat them right then; but when you want a really good cookie …..these are worth the wait!

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

           **Allow 24 hours chilling time before baking **

Ingredients:

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1 /2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (I use less – see note below*)

Sea salt

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 17 to 18 minutes (until golden brown, but not too done).  Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

NOTES:

1st:  I know some of you will be tempted to skip the coarse salt in the cookie and the sea salt on the outside:  try it-  It works perfectly.

2nd:  * Some of you will be tempted to use semi-sweet chips – if you do, your cookies will actually be too sweet.  The bittersweet is this recipe is just right.  I use Ghirardelli.   I also use almost half as much chocolate as the recipe calls for – just stir in the chocolate slowly until it gets to the amount you usually put in your cookies.

3rd:  Again, you might be tempted to make smaller cookies – don’t!  You have to have the extra-large size to get the crisp outside and gooey center.  If you don’t have a scale to weigh them,  use a rounded third-cup and it works great.  (You can only get 5 cookies on a tray)

Lastly:  in extreme emergencies (or cookie attacks)  you can put the dough in the freezer for about an hour and they work okay – not quite as well.  It really is best to refrigerate the dough at least 24 hours!

You’ll love these!

 

 

Posted under Chocolate, Cookies | 2 Comments
August 28th, 2011

Brazilian Lemonade

 

I can’t believe that summer is coming to an end.  It has gone by so fast.  And nothing says summer like sitting by the pool with an ice-cold drink.  My family absolutely loves brazilian lemonade.  My kids love the name because there are actually limes instead of lemons.   

I have had this recipe for years and we make it all the time.  My husband served a church mission in Brazil for two years before we were married.  He has given his stamp of approval; it does taste like something he would drink in Brazil. 

To give a fair warning before reading on…you may want to double the recipe if making it for more than a couple of people.  You will want a second glass of this one!

Brazilian Lemonade

Ingredients:

 4 juicy limes
1 c. sugar
6 c. cold water
6 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

Start by washing the limes with soap and water.  Cut your limes into 8ths.

 

Using a large blender, add the water, sugar and limes. Pulse about 5 or 6 times.  You do not want to completely blend the limes.  You just want to get all the juice and flavor out of them.

 

Pour the lime mixture through a fine mesh strainer over your pitcher or a large bowl.  (I have to use a bowl first to avoid spills, because my pitcher has a narrow mouth.)  Use either the back of a spoon or a spatula to press all the liquid from your limes.

In your pitcher, mix in the sweetened condensed milk with the lime juice.  At this point you can taste test to make sure it is sweet enough.  If not just add a little more sugar.  Add ice and serve.  This does not store well, so make it just before serving.

 

Posted under Beverages | No Comments
August 26th, 2011

Flour Frosting

 

Yes, you read the title correct.  This is really a frosting with flour.  Not only is there flour in the frosting, but there is NO powdered sugar.  I usually do not care much for frosting on my cake.  I really would rather scrape it off and just eat the cake.  Not so with this frosting.  It is so light and delicious.    This is by far my favorite frosting.  Seriously, you just have to try it.  You can even eat it with out the cake-it is that good! 

Flour Frosting

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons Flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup real butter
1/2 cup sugar (not powdered sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Directions:

In a small saucepan, whisk the flour and milk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You should be able to move it around in the pan so that you can see the bottom of the pan; it needs to get thick.  Do not worry about lumps.

Now pour the flour mixture into a small mesh strainer over a bowl.  Using a rubber spatula, press the mixture through the strainer…removing all the lumps.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator until completely cool.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a couple of minutes until well combined and fluffy.  Add in the thickened milk/flour mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. 

Beat on high for a good 8 minutes.  It will look lumpy and separated unless you allow it to go for the full time.  It will become fluffy and smooth with time.  It should almost resemble whipped cream. 

Grab a spoon (or just use your fingers) and taste this wonderful goodness. If there is any left after you have tasted it, use it on your favorite cake or cupcakes.

August 25th, 2011

All-Star Cupcakes

All star cupcakes truly earn their title and it’s not just because there is a star on top.  These cupcakes are delish!  They are moist and full of flavor.  These particular cupcakes are red, white and blue for the 4th of July, but they are easy to make any color.  They are great for sports teams or school events.  You of course can make them with no coloring or with all the colors of the rainbow.  It is all up to you.  So the next time you are asked to bring cupcakes-impress a crowd with these.

All-Star Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix
2 small boxes white chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and place cupcake wrappers in your pan.

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix on med-high speed until no lumps remain in batter.

 

Depending how many colors you are wanting to use divide your batter into separate bowls.  I used three colors for the 4th of July cupcakes, so I had three different bowls.  Add food coloring to each of your bowls. Obviously, for the white layer I didn’t add any food coloring.Now you are going to want to have all your colored batters ready, your cupcake pan ready, and a small bowl of water.  Decide what color you want to be your bottom layer and place a spoonful of batter into each tin.  Depending on how many colors you are using depends how much batter to use.  I was using only three colors for this one so I did a pretty big spoonful.  If you are using more colors you will need less batter of each color.

 

After spooning in your first layer you are going to need to spread it evenly across the entire bottom of the cupcake liner.  The easiest way to do this is to dip your finger into your bowl of water and use your finger to spread the cake batter until even.  You will probably need to get your finger wet for each cupcake.

 

 

And continue on until all of your colors are completed.  Each layer you will spoon in the cake batter and smooth with your finger that was dipped into the water.

 

Once all your layers have been add place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  To know for sure if they are done; insert a toothpick into the center of one cupcake and if it comes out clean you know they are done.

 

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