Monday, May 4, 2009

April Dinner

Hosts, Megan Taylor and Kristen Christensen, put on a gourmet breakfast for dinner this month! It was lots of fun!

Breakfast Lemonade
1 12 oz can frozen lemonade
2 cups cold water
1 ½ cups mango juice
½ cup green or red grapes (or both), halved
½ cup fresh pineapple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ cup fresh mango, chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ cup fresh raspberries

Combine the lemonade, water and juice in a large pitcher. Stir in the fruit, taste and add more water if desired. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 1 hour ahead of serving.

Carrot Muffins
2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tb cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
3/4 C canola oil
2 C sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 pound freshly grated carrots
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. In your mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high until light and fluffy. Decrease the speed to medium, add the oil, sugar and salt. Decrease speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Remove bowl from the mixer and fold in the carrots with a rubber spatula. Divide batter evenly among the cupcakes. Bake for 25 minutes and cool completely before frosting.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 C butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tb brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
4 ½ tsp (or 1 ½ Tb) milk
2 ½ C powdered sugar

Cream the butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer. Be sure they are room temp or your frosting will be lumpy. Add the brown sugar and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and add 2 C of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on low speed and allow to incorporate. Add milk and remaining powdered sugar. If you want a thinner frosting, add more milk or thicker, add more powdered sugar. Garnish with chopped walnuts.
Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins (base for Cinnamon Streusel Muffins too) -Ina Garten

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 half-pints fresh blueberries, picked through for stems (or cinnamon and brown sugar, just sprinkle on top)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 16 paper liners in muffin pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup just over the top, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a cake tester comes out clean
Rhodes Roll dough (loaf)
Let dough raise for 8+ hours. Tear off pieces and drop in hot oil. Flip over when underside turns golden brown. WHen boths sides are golden brown place on a paper towel to cool. Serve warm with syrup, jam or butter of choice.

Raspberry Sauce - Better Homes & Gardens
1 12-ounce package frozen lightly sweetened red raspberries, thawed
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice In a food processor bowl or blender container combine raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, and orange juice. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Using a rubber spatula press sauce through a sieve; discard seeds.
Cinnamon Syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup half and half
Add sugar, corn syrup, water and cinnamon to a saucepan, bring to a boil and stir constantly for 2 minutes, or more if you want it thicker. Cool for 5 minutes, then stir in half and half. Makes 1 2/3 cup.
Orange Honey Butter
2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
1/4 c honey
zest of 1/4 orange

Summer Fruit Soup - Emeril Lagasse
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cups chopped strawberries
2 cups chopped pineapple
1 1/2 cups chopped mango
2 pieces lemon peel
2 pieces lime peel
2 pieces orange peel
4 cups water
1/2 c to 1 1/2 cups sugar (depends on the ripeness of your fruit)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup blueberries
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Saute the ginger in a medium pot over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes (no oil is necessary.) Add 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup pineapple, 3/4 cup mango and the lemon, lime and orange peels; cook for another 2 minutes. Add water, sugar and fruit juices and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then transfer in batches to a blender or food processor. Puree and strain into a large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup pineapple, 3/4 cup mango and blueberries. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Serve with mint sprigs for garnish.

Sun-dried Tomato, Spinach and Feta Quiche
3 large eggs
1 1/2 c half and half or whole milk
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
5 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed drained and squeezed dry
1 c grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 c sun-dried tomatos (not oil packed), soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes, drained, dried and chopped (with kitchen scissors)
1/4 c sliced green onion
crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, half n half, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir in spinach, grated mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and green onions. Mix well. Pour into into prepared crepe bowls (make crepes and then push gently into muffin tin holes to form a crust). I spooned the cheese, tomatos and onion into each one first and then poured the rest of the eggmixture over it. Then sprinkle feta onto each one. Bake until firm, and tips of crepes are golden brown, about 21-23 minutes. Pop each one out with the help of a spoon and place on plate to let stand for 5 mintues.
Crepes (Alton Brown)

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.
Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.
*Savory Variation Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the egg mixture.
*Sweet Variation Add 21/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sweet Potato Hash - Better Homes & Garden

8 slices thick-sliced bacon
3 medium sweet potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped

Salt and ground black pepper In 12-inch skillet cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels. Crumble half of bacon. Drain all but 3 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Meanwhile cook sweet potatoes in boiling salted water for 3 minutes or until just tender; drain.In skillet, cook onion in hot drippings until tender. Add sweet potatoes and cook until potatoes begin to crisp and brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper; transfer to bowl. Stir in crumbled bacon.

White Hot Chocolate w/ Raspberry Drizzle (Paula Dean)

1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine white chocolate chips and heavy cream. Stir continuously until white chocolate chips have completely melted. Stir in the half-and-half, and vanilla extract. Stir occasionally until heated through. Pour into mugs and top with Raspberry sauce (recipe listed above) and garnish with a fresh raspberry.