Month: February 2021

Hamantaschen!

Hamantaschen!

True confession, I have never made homemade Hamantaschen dough. I have made them using a store bought pie dough and even a frozen puff pastry dough. That is totally fine! If you use the pie dough trick, I like to fold the dough in half…

Some Mistakes are Made to Last

Some Mistakes are Made to Last

Back in the 1970’s, when my mom was a member of the Time-Life Recipe Club, she would get a packet of cards each month with a different theme. She would diligently take the recipes out of their package and place them in the avocado green…

Sharing a Fan Favorite- Strawberry Margarita Swizzle Cake

Sharing a Fan Favorite- Strawberry Margarita Swizzle Cake

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Strawberry Margarita Cupcake

Fromthe old days of Swizzle Cakes; here is the recipe for a great "drink"
Course: Endings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcakes, margarita, strawberry
Servings: 12 dozen large

Ingredients

CupCakes

  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups Granulated White Sugar
  • 4 large Eggs, separated
  • 3 cups Cake Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 4 Tbs. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 6 Tbs. Fresh Lime Zest
  • 1/2 cup Tequila, for after baking
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec, for after baking

Frosting

  • 4 cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. Tequila
  • 2 Tbs. Triple Sec
  • 2 pinches Salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Strawberry Extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Red Food Coloring
  • Red Sanding Sugar or sprinkles for decoration

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°
    Butter and flour large muffin tins. You can use muffin liners.
  • In the bowl of a stand up mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar, until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
    Add egg yolks, one at a time.
    Beat egg whites until stiff, refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
    Working in thirds, add dry ingredients to butter mixture; alternating with milk. Start and finish with with dry ingredients. Do not overwork.
    Add zest and juice and mix until just blended.
    Fold in egg whites.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin tin 3/4 full.
    Bake for 20 minutes until tootpick comes out clean.
  • Mix together tequila and triple sec.
    Immediately upon removing the cupcakes from oven, poke 4-5 holes in each cupcake, with a skewer. Drizzle 1 tbs.of liquor mix over each and let cool on rack.
    After cooling brush more liquor or simple syrup on sides of cupcake and rool in sanding sugar or sprinkles.
    Frost.

Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stnad-up mixer, fitted with whisk, whip butter until light and fluffy.
    On slow speed add tequila and triple sec, until combined. Then add extract.
  • Gradually add confectioners sugar. Then add food coloring and salt until full colored.
    Use a star tip and frost each cupcake.
I’m in a Pickle!

I’m in a Pickle!

I was watching an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives over the summer. In one of the restaurants they said something about Bread & Butter Jalapenos, and never said another thing. It was as if a light bulb went on for me. What a brilliant…

Citrus Season!

Citrus Season!

I love this time of year. Give me a Meyer Lemon or a Cara Cara Orange and I am a happy girl. Every year I look for different recipes to use these fabulous gems. This year I came across Odette Williams, Lemony Yogurt Loaf Cake,…

Lemon Garlic Chicken- Think Outside the Recipe

Lemon Garlic Chicken- Think Outside the Recipe

Here is another fantastic recipe from my #stepuptosensational concept. Let me know what you think.

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Lemon Garlic Chicken

I love this recipe because the whole thing cooks in one skillet and takes 45 minutes from start to finish.
Course: Middles
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, garlic, lemon
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Simple Preparation

  • 4 ea. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded thin
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice

Weeknight Entertaining

  • 3 Tbs. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 small Shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Half and Half, you can also use coconut milk.
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tbs. Chopped Flat Leaf parsley
  • 1 small Lemon, sliced thin

Cook to Impress

  • 5-1/2 cups additional Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced fine
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbs. additional Flat Leaf Parsley
  • Kosher salt and Frsh ground pepper to season

Instructions

Simple Preparation

  • Season Chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
    Heat Olive oil in a saute pan, until glistening.
    Place chicken breasts in pan. Drizzle lemon juice over chicken, evenly. Let cook 6 minutes on each side. Remember if the chicken is still sticking to the pan, it is not ready to be turned.
    Serve with rice and a green vegetable.

Weeknight Entertaining

  • Prepare as above, omitting the lemon, in this step. Transfer chicken to platter and cover with foil, to hold.
    Reduce the heat and add the butter to pan and melt. Add the shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in flour and coat the shallot and garlic. Cook for one additional minute.
    Stir in the half & half and broth, stirring until smooth. Make sure you get all the browned bits from the pan, too.
    Bring to a boil then reduce heat, return chicken to pan and simmer until sauce thickens. Make sure you get any juices that the chicken may have let off. This should take 3-4 minutes.
    Stir in Lemon juice. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices.

Cook to Impress

  • Prepare chicken as in simple preparation.
    Make your risotto:
    Bring the chicken stock to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. You want to to keep it medium hot.
    In a separate large saute pan, heat the olive oil and saute onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until onion is soft, about 8 minutes.
    Add in arborio rice and stir to warm the rice and coat with onions and oil. Add the wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes.
    Start adding the stock. You want to add 1 cup at a time and stir constantly until it is all absorbed between additions. This should take you about 20 minutes. You are looking for the rice to be al dente and creamy. If you reach that point before you have used all the stock. Thats okay. Refrigerate the stock for next time.
    Remove from heat and stir in cheese and lemon juice.
    Portion out in shallow bowls or dishes and place chicken over the top.
    Garnish each portion with parsley, a drizzle of good olive oil and fresh lemon zest.
Pound Cake Cookies from the Shoebox Full of Recipes

Pound Cake Cookies from the Shoebox Full of Recipes

I am so fortunate to have all these wonderful family recipes to turn to for inspiration. Some times I come across one like this. They are labeled Pound Cake Cookies and they are so delicious. I think they closely resemble a Pecan Sandie. I hope…

Chilean Sea Bass – Think Outside the Recipe

Chilean Sea Bass – Think Outside the Recipe

Trying out this new concept of one recipe three ways. This was the first one I ever did. I had the “fancy” version at a Country Club and thought this is really good and I can recite this. I also thought what if I want…

Restaurant Re-creations – Kokkari San Francisco

Restaurant Re-creations – Kokkari San Francisco

A few years back, I was on a couples trip to celebrate a friends birthday. We went to San Francisco. The gals went a day early to shop and we had a grand time. It started raining, as it does in San Francisco, and we tried to find a place to eat lunch. Obviously it was a tall order. We decided to cab it over to a restaurant I had heard of and see if we could get in. Kokkari. We got so lucky because it was late enough that the lunch rush had slowed down, so they took us right away.

They sat us at the comfiest of couch booths, in front of the fire place. We ordered drinks and then took to the menu. We let our waiter guide us and waited for the food to arrive.

Everything we ate was delicious! One dish really stood out and I have spent the last several years trying to recreate. I finally feel like I got it right. The lamb chops were out of this world! They were simply grilled and then the dressing was poured over then while they were still hot, rather than a marinade. Incredible!

I hope you will try these and then let me know what you think. I love getting the already drenched lamb chops at Trader Joes, but you can get them everywhere.

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Kokkari Lamb Chops and Dressing

One of my favorite dishes from one of my favorite restaurants.
Course: Middles
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Greek, Lamb
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbs. Extra VIrgin Olive Oil extra for chops
  • 2 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp. Capers, rinsed and minced
  • 2 tsp. Shallots, minced
  • 1 tsp. Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Greek Oregano
  • Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper extra for chops
  • 2 Pounds Frenched Lamb Chops

Instructions

  • Whisk all ingredients together and set aside. You are letting the flavors meld.
  • Meanwhile, Preheat Broiler to high.
    Season lamb chops with salt and pepper and a small drizzle of olive oil.
    Place chops on a foil lined baking sheet and place under broiler for 5 minutes. Remove and turn. Place back under broiler for an additional 5 minutes.
    Check internal temperature. It should read 145° to 150°. Remember it will still cook a little out of the oven.
  • IMMEDIATELY, when the chops come out ove oven, pour dressing over chops.
    Serve immediately with extra lemon and fresh oregano.