Blueberry Muffin Hack

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I had a container of blueberries that needed some loving, so I tried this blueberry hack for copycat Otis Spunckmier muffins. SO AMAZING!!!!!!

Ingredients

1 package whole blueberries
1 Package White Cake Mix
1 Package of Instant Vanilla Pudding 4 serving size
4 Eggs (beaten)
1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
3/4 C. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla

Directions

Rinse blueberries lightly and drain well. In mixing bowl beat eggs until light. To the eggs add cake mix, pudding, vegetable oil, vanilla, and milk. Beat until smooth but do not over beat. About two to two and half minutes. Batter will be thick.

Carefully fold blueberries in batter with a spoon or spatula. try not to break the berries, they can be very tender.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes depending on the size of you muffin cups. Test with a tooth pick and taking care not to over bake. Will make about 9 large muffins or 12 – 15 small muffins.

Recipe Review- Chicken Fricasse

So I made another recipe from the beautiful book, The Chef Next Door, by Amanda Freitag. She has a whole section on low and slow recipes, which I love. This recipe was shown 2 ways- on the stove top and slow cooker! You know I love a good crock pot meal on a  busy night! I assembled everything in the morning before I took the girls to school. I served it on top of rice, but pasta would work, too. So good! The girls even ate the green olives and capers! Working on a stuffed mushroom dish up later tonight or tomorrow!

Chicken Fricassee

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes
1 yellow, orange, and red pepper- julienned
1 Spanish onion
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces of beer or white wine (I used wine)
1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
20 green olives, pitted
5 small Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
4 bone-in, skin on chicken legs (I used thighs, but breasts would work)
1/4 cup drained capers
2 limes, cut in to wedges (I did not use lime)

Slow Cooker-

Combine everything in the crock pot. In the directions, she cooks it on high until it boils, then turns it down. Since I was working all day, I just put it on low until I got home. The meat was falling off the bone. If you are adding capers and lime, add them right at the end002

Recipe Review- Corn Souffle

Evening guys! So today I have pretty much spent the entire day in the kitchen (and grocery store). I meal planned, I shopped, and I cooked my heart out. It is my Daddy’s birthday tomorrow, so I cooked him one of his favorite meals; Pork Ragu. I also made this corn souffle recipe I got from this cookbook…
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It has so many amazing recipes that I want to try, but this one caught my eye right away. I have always wanted to take on the souffle, but I have always been afraid to try. This was in the section called “The Scary Stuff,” but the directions were super clear and easy to follow. I followed this recipe to a tee. I encourage you to BUY this book up. It is perfect for the home cook who wants to gain skill and tips from a master chef!

Corn Souffle- from The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag

Ingredients- makes four 8-Ounce Ramekins
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, plus more for the ramekins
1 cup corn kernels ( fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

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Here is how it progressed…

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I think it was a hit! Becca loved it, but she said next time I should add some cheese. Done!

Cravings…

Cravings…

Steak…Porterhouse…Medium Rare…Perfection

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The cooking time all depends on the size and thickness of your steak and how well done you like it. Mine was on the smaller size and not too thick. Season your steak with salt and pepper on both sides. I like mine medium rare, so I cooked it on the first side about 6 minutes in a super hot cast iron skillet in with a tablespoon of butter. Then I flipped it and cooked the other side about 4 minutes. Then I let it rest for 10 minutes to keep in all the juices.

I have also made it half on the stove and half in the oven with a broiler using Bobby Flay’s recipe I read in Bon Appetit. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/perfect-porterhouse-steak

Ingredients

  • 1 2”-thick Porterhouse steak, trimmed (about 2 lb.)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Preparation
    • Let steak sit at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking, which will help it cook quickly and more evenly.
    • Heat broiler. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat, then heat oil in pan until smoking. Season steak very generously with salt and pepper and cook until a deep brown crust forms on underside (do not turn), about 4 minutes. Transfer steak to a cutting board, turning it browned side up.
    • Cut meat from bone in 2 pieces (strip steak and filet mignon). Slice both pieces straight down perpendicular to the bone 1” thick. Replace sliced steak around the bone (it should look like a whole sliced steak) and return to skillet, browned side up. Top with butter and broil until butter is melted and steak is medium-rare, 4–6 minutes. Serve steak with buttery pan juices spooned over.

Recipe Review- Sophisticated Long Island Iced Tea

So remember that one time in college you ordered a Long Island Iced Tea? It was gross, but you drank it anyway because you didn’t want to be THAT girl. Well, this is nothing like that. It actually tastes good!

The Long Island Iced Tea dates back to the 50’s when Long Island house wives wanted to drink, but didn’t want their husbands to know they were sneaking their stash. They would just put a small amount of everything in cola, tea, or soda water. Problem solved! Brilliant! Well, it is 2015, so hopefully you don’t need your husbands permission to drink.  If you do, come over to my house. I will provide the liquor and hook you up with a divorce lawyer!

Courtesy of Geoffery Zakarian on The Kitchen…

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/geoffrey-zakarian/gz-long-island-iced-tea.html

Ingredients
1 ounce Sour Mix, recipe follows
3/4 ounce vodka
3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce tequila
3/4 ounce rum
3/4 ounce triple sec
Splash of rose champagne
Lime or lemon slices, for garnish
Sour Mix:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup lime juice

Directions
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the Sour Mix, vodka, gin, tequila, rum and triple sec. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds and then strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with rose champagne, garnish with a lime or lemon slice and serve.

Sour Mix:
Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Stir in the lemon and lime juice. Store, covered, in a glass or plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Yield: About 3 cups

Recipe courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian

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Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings

Phew! What a long week! Happy Friday! Wings were on the menu tonight. Chicken wings were on sale at the grocery store, so I decided to try a recipe for honey sriracha wings from Food Network. My family LOVED them!!!

Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings (from Food Network)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
2 pounds chicken wings, split at the joints, tips removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
I added 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Sauce:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup Sriracha (Asian chile sauce)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil. Dry the chicken wings with paper towels and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, the melted butter, granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour the mixture over the wings and toss well to coat. Spread the wings in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the wings until browned and crisp, 45 to 55 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add the honey, Sriracha, soy sauce and lime juice and stir until the mixture bubbles gently. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Carefully remove the wings from the baking sheet and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the warm sauce over the wings and gently toss to coat. Transfer the wings to a serving platter and drizzle with more honey; serve with lime wedges.

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Recipe Review- Carbonara-Style Pasta, Hold the Yolks

So if you haven’t noticed, my family loves pasta. I am always trying to find new ways to make it. Recently, I started asking the girls to look through a couple of magazines and cookbooks to pick some recipes they want me to make. They usually always pick pasta or chicken dishes. This last week, they both agreed on this Rachael Ray recipe from her newest magazine, May 2015. It was a 30 minute meal, so I was in! I made it tonight, and everyone loved it!
6 out of 8 thumbs up – Next time I will add a veggie (peas or broccoli) and another protein (chicken or shrimp).

FYI- new category…any recipe you want me to try? Send it my way =) Amy

Carbonara-Style Pasta, Hold the Yolks- From the Magazine Everyday with Rachael Ray May 2015

Ingredients

1 cup dry white wine
2 cloves crushed garlic (I also minced)
1 teaspoon saffron threads (I didn’t have any, but I will use next time. The saffron makes the yolk color)
1 cup cream
Salt and white pepper (I used black pepper)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4- 1/3 pound pancetta or meaty (not fatty) guanciale, diced into 1/4-inch pieces (could substitute bacon)
1 pound spaghetti or linguine (or any pasta, really)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for passing
Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (did not use…my kids would just pick it out)

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
In a small saucepan, heat the wine, garlic and saffron over medium until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and season with salt and white pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced by about half, about 10 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, three turns of the pan, over medium. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Add a ladleful of the starchy pasta water to the pancetta in the skillet. Drain the pasta and transfer to the skillet.

Discard the garlic from the saffron sauce (I did not do this since I minced and my family loves garlic); add the cheeses and stir until smooth. Pour the saffron sauce over the pasta and toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning and top with more cheese and the parsley.

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