Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Sauce and Grilled Veggies

The only thing I could have wished about this meal is that I could have taken a better picture.  It was DE-licious!  Everything was perfect from the fantastic grilled and seasoned veggies to the juicy and savory meat all topped off with the SAUCE!  Oh my!  The sauce.  Boy, oh boy, was it delectable.  If you like blue cheese, you will love this sauce.  I was tempted to dip in there with my fingers it was so good.  Oh, I'm still dreaming about that sauce.  It was the perfect match with the meat and veggies.  Oh the was so good.  Still thinking about it.  Mmmmm.....

Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Sauce and Grilled Veggies
1  3 1/2-4 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed (I couldn't find tenderloin, so I used tri-tip.)
2  Tb. extra virgin olive oil
1-2  tsp. seasoned salt
1-2  tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4- 1  tsp. granulated garlic powder

Blue Cheese Sauce:
4  oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1/2  cup mayonnaise
1/2  cup sour cream
1  Tb. freshly grated lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
1/8-1/4  tsp. salt (to taste)
1/8-1/4  tsp. freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Preheat your grill for high heat grilling.  Wash the tenderloin and pat dry.  Ligerally coat with olive oil.  Season with the seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic.  Grill for 20 minutes on high heat and then check witha meat thermometer.  When the temperature reaches 125 degrees in a couple places, it is medium-rare.  If you want it more well done, cook it for a bit longer.  Remove from the grill and let rest for 10-20 minutes.  While the meat rests, combine the blue cheese, mayo, sour cream, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl and mash to combine.  Slice the beef and serve witht  the sauce on the side. 

Grilled Veggies

1  pt. cherry tomatoes
1  large sweet onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rings
1  medium-large zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1  medium-large yellow squash, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
2-3  TB. extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2  tsp. salt, to taste
1/4-1/2  tsp. pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl.  Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Place the vegetables in a grilling basket or directly on the grill.  (We actually didn't have a grilling basket so we put ours directly on the grill.  Put them on skewers if you need to so they don't fall through the grates of the grill.)  Grill for 20-30 minutes (turn after 10 minutes) or until the vegetables are cooked to the desired tenderness.  Place on a serving platter, sprinkle with cheese and serve. 

Recipe Source:  Penzey's Spices

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spicy Honey Chicken

Wow!  This chicken is a fantastic summertime grillin' recipe.  It's not exactly spicy, it's just spiced well.  It's a delicious combination topped with a drippin' honey glaze.  I'm all about delicious spices topped with a little sweet.  Yummm!  This is definitely a keeper.  In this recipe, you coat the chicken with a spice rub and then, while grilling, you glaze the chicken.  You can also just marinate the chicken in the glaze and spice rub for at least one hour for equally delicious results.  Then you wouldn't have to glaze while grilling.  Either way the chicken ends up delicious. 

Spicy Honey Chicken

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 2lbs
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1. Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.
2. Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces. Pat dry. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces.
3. Toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well.  Let the chicken marinate in the fridge with the spice rub for at least an hour.
4. Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

5. While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it’s not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2 Tablespoons honey glaze for later. Take the rest of glaze and brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling.
6.  Take the chicken off the grill and drizzle with the extra 2 Tablespoons of glaze.  Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  adapted slightly from Our Best Bites

Monday, August 22, 2011

Guest Post: Chris' Lemonade Cupcakes

Meet Christina!  She is the mother of four, wife of one, orchestra teacher of many, toe reader, herbal guru, creative artist, animal lover, gardener and culinary genius.  To top it all off, she is one hot mama!  And I'm lucky enough to have her as my sister-in-law.  Chris is one of those ladies who is at home in her own skin.  She's got depth and understanding beyond her years.  She is a true and loyal friend and person and she is a blast to be with.  She is a breath of fresh air.  I love her to pieces.  So back to the part about her being a culinary genius.  Seriously, this woman creates recipes that are so mouth-watering!  She once made me a pizza, that I kid you not, was 3 1/2 inches high, piled with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, basil leaves, heirloom tomatoes, and other deliciousness, and it was so delectable.  I always look forward to her delicious meals!  So I finally was able to get her to guest post for me.  Hooray!  Presenting Chris' Lemonade Cupcakes.  They are heavenly! 

Chris always makes the food look lovely as well!

Lemonade Cupcakes

1 cup sifted flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup scalded milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar

Mix dry flour and baking powder together. Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar and lemon extract. Quickly add flour mixture and stir just until mixed. Slowly stir in hot milk. Pour into cupcake liners and bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Lemon Curd

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1.3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 stick salted butter cut into 1 tablespoon slices

Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon juice and peel into the top of a double broiler. Blend well. set top of double broiler on to bottom with boiling water but make sure that the bottom of the pan does not touch the boiling water. Whisk constantly until thick and 170 degrees for 5 minutes (do not allow to boil). The key to good lemon curd is gentle, constant heat and constant whisking. Remove bowl from over the water and whisk in butter one cube at a time, allowing each curd to melt before adding the next. Cool curd covered in fridge.
Cut a small hole into the top of each cupcake and fill with cooled lemon curd.

Lemon Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (or to taste)

Mix all together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. In a pastry bag with a large star or decorating tip swirl frosting onto lemon curd filled cupcakes. Sprinkle with red colored sugar and top with a sliced strawberry.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

We really enjoy a good chicken enchilada in our household.  These definitely fit in the category of DELICIOUS enchiladas.  It is a fabulous twist on the chicken enchilada.  The honey and lime balances out perfectly and the green enchilada sauce mixed with cream (oh my!) is fabulous.  I dare say this is my new favorite enchilada.  These enchiladas will thrill your guests and are easy to make, which leaves the cook very happy! 

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (I used 3 small chicken breasts)
8-10 flour tortillas
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1 cup heavy cream (to lighten them up, I have substituted sour cream with good results)

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour or longer. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Recipe Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Individual Cheesecakes

Look at these sweet little cakes!  Aren't they perdy?  They taste perdy and are perdy darn easy to make too!  This recipe is one that my mom always made while we were growing up.  In my opinion, it's a perfect amount of cheesecake.  (Okay, so I'll fess up.  Sometimes I eat more than one.)  I topped these little cheesecakes with raspberry because it's in season here, but you could top them with any berry or topping. 

Individual Cheesecakes

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
18-24 vanilla wafers
18-24 cupcake liners
Topping (See below for my homemade raspberry topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cream cheese and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Line muffin tins with paper liner and drop a vanilla wafer flat side down into muffin paper.  Cover wafer with cream cheese mixture, 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until firm.  (Watch carefully while baking or the wafer could burn.)  Cool.  Top with whatever topping you'd like.

Homemade Raspberry Topping
1 1/2  cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 (1.6 oz.) package raspberry flavored gelatin
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch

In medium saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Mix jello with cornstarch and gradually add to boiling mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until mixture is clear and thickened slightly. Remove from heat and cool completely.  Spoon a small amount of topping onto the individual cheesecakes.  Then top with 2-3 raspberries. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Birthday Cake Pancakes

If y'all don't know, I love pancakes!  When I saw these pancakes start floating around the blog world, I knew we had to have some.  So we created a recipe, and we love it!  I made these for our family reunion along with 3 other types of pancakes, and these were the first pancakes devoured!  Our favorite way to eat these is with Buttermilk Syrup and topped with sprinkles.  So delicious!  It really is like having a dessert for breakfast.

Birthday Cake Pancakes

1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 1/2 cups white cake mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Rainbow Sprinkles

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until moistened.  Fold in the rainbow sprinkles.  Add as many or as little as you'd like.  Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake on the griddle. Cook until you can see the pancake bubbling and the other side is browned. Flip with a spatula and cook until the other side is browned. Serve with syrup or glaze and sprinkles. 

Recipe Source:  Kimmy's Creation

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lemon Pick-Me-Up

I have been on a major smoothie kick lately.  It's my favorite thing for breakfast this week.  This smoothie was just delightful.  It's very refreshing and invigorating.  Plus, it's low in calories and fat while still having a good flavor.  (I don't know about you, but I'll take a little more fat and cal-babies to have a better flavor.  Why waste the calories, if it doesn't at least taste good?)  This is a perfect light snack, mini-meal or great for after a workout. 

Lemon Pick-Me-Up

3 milk ice-cubes (Fill an ice-cube tray with milk. Freeze 3 hours or until solid.)
1 container (6-ounce) plain fat free yogurt
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Additional lemon zest for garnish

1.  Combine all ingredients in electric blender.  (If your blender is not powerful enough to blend in the milk ice cubes, crack the cubes before hand by placing the ice cubes in a sealed ziploc bag and smashing with a mallet or rolling pin.)  Whirl until smooth.  Spoon into serving glass and garnish with lemon zest. 

Makes: 1 serving; Calories: 210, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 0 g, Fiber: 0 g

Recipe Source:  Naturally Delicious by the Washington State Dairy Council

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Great Harvest Cinnaburst Copycat Bread

WARNING: This bread is hazardous to your health.  Due to the extreme moistness, the soft texture, and the heavenly burst of cinnamon flavor, one is in danger of suffering from eating a whole loaf in one sitting.  Not only will this overload you with pure delight, but will create a need for you to rebuy cinnamon chips and cancel work for the next day so you can make another loaf and eat it straight out of the oven.  In case of this emergency, be sure to keep a stick of butter next to the oven in preparation for the consumption.   

Great Harvest Cinnaburst Copycat Bread

1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast (1 pack)
1/3 cup oil (I used veggie oil)
1/2 T salt
1 egg
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cinnamon chips

  • In mixer combine yeast, sugar, and warm water and milk; let bubble for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in oil and egg.
  • Slowly add 2 cups flour, mix and then add salt.
  • Add 1/2 cup flour at a time until it comes away from side of bowl.
  • Add the cinnamon chips when it gets close to the right consistency. The dough will be very sticky but the softer the dough the lighter the bread. So use the least amount of flour you can handle.  (Note:  Don't overmix the cinnamon chips.)
  • Grease a mixing bowl.  Let dough rise in bowl until doubled in size.
  • Form into loaf (or whatever shape you want).
  • Let rise until double.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  I baked my bread for 30 minutes exactly, and it came out perfect, but my oven cooks hot. 
Makes 2 loaves

Recipe Source:  Slightly adapted from Rae Gun Ramblings

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday, It's a Keeper

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sparkling Mango Lemonade

We've finally been getting some sun rays here in the Pacific Northwest!  Hallelujah!  I've been seeing all these lemonade recipes popping up all over blogs and decided it was time to partake of this delicious summertime beverage.  I decided to pair the lemonade with one of my favorite fruits of summer.  The Mango!  Oh how I love them and could eat them everyday of my life.  This lemonade was perfect.  Not too sweet.  Not too tart.  The mango flavor is very subtle.  Even if you don't care for mango, I'd bet you'd like this because the mango adds just enough to be there, but it doesn't overwhelm.  We loved this!   

Sparkling Mango Lemonade

For the mango syrup:
1 heaping cup sliced mango
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. cold water
Pinch of salt

For the lemonade:
1 cup very hot water
2/3 cup sugar
1¼ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
4½ cups cold sparkling water or seltzer

To make the mango syrup, combine the mango, sugar, lemon juice, water and salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
To make the lemonade, combine the hot water and sugar in a pitcher or glass bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Mix in the lemon juice and water. Stir in the mango puree.

To serve, rub a wedge of lemon or one of the spent lemon halves around the rim of a glass and then dip in sugar. Fill with ice if desired and then lemonade. Garnish with sliced lemon or mango. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6-7 cups

Recipe Source:  Adapted from Annie's Eats

Linked to:  Blue Cricket Design, This Chick Cooks, Sweets for a Saturday


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