Monday, March 31, 2008

Cooking Hiatus

Why? Because I'm moving and I'm trying to eat our pantry... which STINKS!!!
But I'm getting the itch. Contessa's Brisket is calling my name.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Heidi's Best Ever Tomato Soup

Best EVER tomato soup EVER! I wanted to make Ultimate Grilled Cheese sandwhiches with this but didn't have the time. Instead I just slapped some mayo and a slice of velveeta on some wheat bread and grilled it. It was FAB-U-LOUS dipped in this BEST EVER tomato soup.

3 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Large Onions, diced small
5 cups diced and seeded tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup basil pesto
salt & pepper to taste
Fresh Parmesan cheese

Cook onions in oil over med-low heat until translucent.
Add tomatoes and allow to warm to a simmer.
Add chicken stock.
Bring to a simmer and allow to cook 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and add whipping cream and pesto.
Blend to desired consistency in blender.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top with fresh parmesan cheese and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Abbi Penn.

Keri's Texas Sheet Cake

This is the best Texas Sheet Cake EVER!!! Primo Deliciouso!

1 c. water
1 c. butter
1/4 c. cocoa
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan. Add water and cocoa and bring to a boil.
In a bowl mix the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt.
Add in the chocolate mixture.
Add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
Beat well and pour into a greased and floured sheet pan.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. (I baked mine for 20 minutes)

1 cube butter
6 T. milk
1/2 c. cocoa
4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

melt butter in a saucepan. Add milk and cocoa and bring to a boil.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla.
Mix and frost cake while hot.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Raspberry Sandwhich Cookies

DELICIOUS! Do not undercook. Vanilla beans cost $7 (they're cheaper in the ethnic food section). I did not think it was hard at all to sieve the raspberries. Enjoy! (courtesy of Martha)

Makes 3 dozen
• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 large egg
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
• 6 ounces (1 cup) fresh raspberries
• 7 1/2 ounces best-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. Mix butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg, extract, and vanilla seeds; mix until smooth. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture.
3. Scoop batter using a 1-inch ice cream scoop; space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake cookies 4 minutes. Remove from oven; gently tap baking sheets on counter to flatten cookies. Return to oven, switching positions of sheets; bake until cookies are just set, 4 to 6 minutes more. Let cool on parchment on wire racks.
5. Puree raspberries and remaining 2 teaspoons sugar in a food processor. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a small bowl, pressing to extract juice; discard seeds. Set mixture aside.
6. Melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat; whisk in cream in a slow stream. Whisk in reserved raspberry mixture. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
7. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon raspberry cream on the undersides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. Cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Dinner Spanakopitas by Barefoot Contessa

These are fabulous! The recipe is originally for spanakpita appetizers but Ina changed it to a dinner recipe. The filling is rich so I suggest making these as appetizers (meaning 1/2 as big so there's not so much filling to bite into). I made these and baked a few that day and then baked the rest the next day. They seemed to be twice as good the 2nd day. Maybe because all the flavors infused together overnight or something. Anyway, since then I can't stop thinking about them and think they are a spectacular appetizer. Layers and layers of crispy, buttery phyllo dough... yum! Tip: you must keep the phyllo dough damp or it will dry out FAST (cover it with a damp paper towel)!


¼ cup good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Plain dry breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons kosher salt1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups small-diced feta cheese (12 ounces)
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
16 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted (about 8 ounces)
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Shaved sea salt and ground pepper for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan, add the onions, and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the scallions, and cook them for another 2 minutes until the scallions are wilted but still green. Meanwhile, gently squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place it in a large bowl.
3. When the onions and scallions are done, add them to the spinach. Mix in the beaten eggs, Parmesan, 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Gently fold in the feta and pine nuts.
4. Place one sheet of phyllo dough flat on a work surface, placing the long end in front of you. Brush the dough lightly with butter and sprinkle it with a teaspoon of breadcrumbs. Working quickly, slide another sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first, brush it with butter and sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs. (Use just enough breadcrumbs so the layers of phyllo don't stick together.) Pile 4 layers total on top of each other this way, brushing each with butter and sprinkling with breadcrumbs. Cut the sheets of phyllo in half lengthwise. Place ⅓ cup spinach filling on the end and roll the phyllo up diagonally (see left). Then fold the phyllo over straight and then diagonally again, enclosing the filling. Continue rolling diagonally and straight until you reach the end of the phyllo. The filling should be totally enclosed. Continue assembling phyllo layers and rolling the filling until the filling is gone.
5. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with flaked sea salt and ground pepper, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the phyllo is browned and crisp. Serve hot.