Archive for the ‘Countdown to Christmas’ Category
I’ve comprised some of my personal favorite recipes 2012 that I HIGHLY suggest you try.
- The Quintessential Perfect Reuben
- Better than any Chinese Restaurant Crab Rangoon
- Homemade Luscious Caramel Sauce
- Kickin’ Chicken Enchiladas
- TKW English Muffins
- Cheesecake Samoa Tart
- Oat Crusted Chicken Tenders
- Caramelized Onion Chive Cheddar Croquettes
- Artisan Jewish Rye
- Quinoa Summer Salad
- Sky-High Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Muffins
- Baked Egg Florentine Birdsnests
- Beer ‘n BBQ Chicken
- Luscious Watermelon & Pineapple Salsa
- Double Bean Spinach Feta Burgers
- Roasted Cornish Hens
- Ice Cream Sandwich Torte
- Homemade Vanilla Bean Extract
- Ginger Asian Turkey Burgers with Sweetened Chili Lime Sauce
- Asiago Quinoa Chicken Veggie Bites
- Grilled Flatbread
- Best Flaky Pie Crust… EVER!
2012 has been such a blessing for me. The Kitchen Whisperer brand has certainly taken off and is starting to become a household name and an often sought after recipe source. Thank you! I can’t do this without your support!
Being a recipe developer it affords me the ability to be creative and go beyond my mind’s imagination. It allows me to live out my passion and pursue my dream. It allows me to grow, to learn and become not only more educated but more experienced. Now in creating new recipes you never really know what will be a hit and what will be a miss. You never really know what the masses will go go-ga over or if you’ll get that “is she serious???” response. It’s that old adage of ‘you can’t please everyone’ which is true. Sure you try but your goal, at least for me, is to please at least everyone not with just one universal recipes (though that is awesome in itself) but rather to please each of you at least once one recipe at a time.
I’m not one to follow the trends so much but rather prefer to go with honest and pure. Trends fade but tried and true… that’s what stays. That’s what people remember; what people want and crave. So here’s a list of what you, the TKW Family, loved most in 2012.
- Hot Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers
- Italian Stuffed Shells
- Maple Bacon Wrapped Mini Meatloaves
- Hard Boiled Eggs Baked in the Oven
- Buttery Rich Brioche Loaves
- Pepperoni Pizza Pull Apart Bread
- Simple Italian Marinara
- Toasted Marshmallow Martini
- Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Seasoning
- Biscuit Crusted Chicken Fiesta Tart
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- French Toast Breakfast Casserole
- Zucchini Lasagna
- Ganache – 4 ways of Awesomeness
- Making your own Sourdough Starter
- Hummina, hummina, hummina Hummus
- S’mores Cookies
- Mexican Shredded Beef
- Protein Packed Power Balls
- Savory Summery Tart
- Better than a restaurant’s NY Strip
- Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
- Blueberry Buckle
- Dark Chocolate Oatmeal
- Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Thyme Tart
What was your avorite of 2012?
This concludes our Countdown to Christmas 2012. Hopefully I’ve given you tons of ideas for cookies, goodies, meals, tips, tricks and just overall scrumptious stuff.
|Day 1 – Countdown to Christmas Pesto Stuffed Loin of Pork 2012|
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 quarts very cold water
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 3 1/2-4 pound boneless pork loin, untied – if you have a good butcher, ask them to butterfly it so you can stuff it.
- 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cups chopped pine nuts (or you can use walnuts)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
- 2/3 grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- hours before roasting the pork, mix up the brine
- In a large bowl, add the salt to the hot water and stir until completely dissolved.
- Add the cold water and the ice cubes.
- Place the pork in a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
- Add the brine and seal the bag closed.
- Place it in a 2nd plastic bag OR int a large container with an air tight lid.
- Place the bag on a rimmed sheet pan and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, move the pork loin to a plate allowing it to drain.
- Discard the brining liquid/plastic bags.
- Wipe the pork loin completely dry with paper towels.
- Let the pork come to room temperature before roasting. You want to do this as if you roast it while it’s cold the meat can be super tough.
Make the Pesto
- In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, 1/2 cup of oil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Process until finely chopped.
- With the motor running, slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and process until the paste is well blended. Do not overprocess the pesto. You should be able to see small pieces of basil throughout.
- Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and stir in the cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Make sure you have a large roasting pan with a rack. The rack is key here. *See note if you don’t have a rack on how to make your own.
- Cut 8 pieces of cooking string each about 18″ long.
- Place the pork loin on a cutting board and make a slit along the side from the top to the bottom, cutting just deep enough so the loin opens up and lies flat like a book (butterflied).
- Cover the cut surface with 1/2 cup of the pesto.
- Fold it over and tie firmly, but not too tightly, at 1″ intervals with the lengths of string. Trim the excess pieces of string.
- Place the tied loin on the rack in the roasting pan.
- Roast for 45 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and slather about 1/4 cup of the remaining pesto on top of the roast.
- Continue roasting for 30 minutes longer, or a thermometer registers 135°F.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
- As the pork rests, the internal temperature will rise to 145°F, which is medium-rare.
- Lift the roast from the rack to a cutting board.
- Snip off the strings.
- Cut the pork into 1/2″ thick slices.
- Drizzle any juices from the cutting board over the meat.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Use the remaining pesto as a garnish
If you find that you have a roasting pan but no rack, don’t fret. All you need is some heavy duty aluminum foil and some cooking spray. Take a few long sheets of tin foil and scrunch them into a long 1″ thick rope. Then coil the rope into a spiral placing down onto your pan. You want to make sure have a 1″ gap between your meat and the pan surface. Lightly spray the foil with spray to prevent sticking.
Now before I go any further into this recipe you need to know something…
This is honestly one of the most versatile recipes I think I’ve ever written from a bread/roll perspective. Why? Well the stuff you stuff in it is totally your call. We’re talking the skies the limit. How so?
Well look at a few suggestions
- Buffalo Chicken – Use shredded cooked chicken, buffalo sauce, cream cheese, ranch, cheddar cheese and minced celery. For these make the filling more on the thicker side. You can always dip it into buffalo sauce.
- BLT – 3-4 cups cooked crispy bacon, roasted tomatoes that have been chopped up and drained, rough cut strips of arugula or romaine hearts, and a mixture of mayo, garlic powder, onion powder and some mayo as the ‘sauce’.
- Pepperoni – tons of pepperoni, oregano, shredded mozzarella.
- Roasted vegetables – roast off some asparagus, thick onion slices, thick pepper slices and mushrooms. Drain them an allow to come to room temp. Put down some grated gruyere, veggies. seasonings (salt/pepper/garlic) and then a good slather of pesto.
- Roasted Garlic & Cheese – just as the name says. Roast a ton of garlic and mash that up, add in some thyme, oregano, onion powder, black pepper and 2 tbl soft butter. Layer some grated fontina and provolone cheese, add the garlic mixture and more cheese.
- Sinfully Sweet – slather the dough with a thick cinnamon sugar butter paste, add thinly sliced apples, top with a cup of raisins, a sprinkle or two of bourbon and a few pats of cold butter cubed. Sprinkle with brown sugar. On the outside brush with egg white wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. When it’s done drizzle with cinnamon cream cheese glaze.
See – versatile! I opted to go with stuff I had on hand – spinach and tons of fresh thyme.
God – LOOK at that cheese just oozing out! It was all I could do to contain myself from picking it off and stuffing it in my mouth. But I did that once before and learned my lesson – *note: when you burn your mouth/tongue and roof of your mouth they do not make bandaids that stick there. Just sayin…
This has to be probably my most favorite shot. The peek-a-boo effect of the spinach and cheese is just so tempting!
You could easily whip out a boatload of these in one fail swoop, all different flavors too! These would be PERFECT for holiday gatherings, buffets, Super Bowl parties, road trips, etc!
|Day 2 – Countdown to Christmas Spinach Garlic Thyme Stuffed Bread 2012|
- 2 tsp rapid-rising dry yeast
- 1 to 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 Tbl sugar
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 Tbl salt (table salt)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Cornmeal, for dusting
- 8-10 cups fresh spinach, fresh
- 1-2 Tbl fresh garlic, minced *this depends on your liking of garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 Tbl fresh thyme, minced
- 3 cups grated mozzarella
- 1 cup grated Asiago
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve.
- Let stand for 5-7 minutes or until foam appears and it bubbles.
- Add the flour to the dough and mix for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the olive oil and mix for 2 minutes.
- Add in the salt and turn the mixer to medium. Mix for 7-8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. If it’s sticky, add flour as necessary.
- Remove the dough from mixer and put in a greased bowl/bucket.
- If using a bucket, close the lid (make sure it’s a large bucket). If not, cover with plastic wrap and let double in size (about 45 minutes).
- While the dough is rising, place a large skillet over high heat.
- Add the spinach in the pan (you want to mound this – it will shrink down considerably), cover and stir every 30 seconds until the spinach is wilted. You may have to work in batches.
- Place the spinach in a colander and allow to drain fully. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
- When the dough is doubled, turn it out onto a very lightly floured board.
- Roll it out so it’s 2” smaller than the length of your pan (about 12”) by 14”-16” wide.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In the center of the dough, working length-wise put down 2 cups of grated mozzarella and1/2 cup of Asiago cheese in a 4” strip going up to 1” from each end.
- Add 1 Tbl fresh thyme on top of the cheese.
- Top with well drained spinach, garlic, onion powder, salt, black pepper and thyme.
- Add remaining cheeses on top.
- Starting at the end closest to you, pull the dough up and over your filling. Your edge should just touch (it’s okay if it barely touches) the other side of the dough (end of the filling).
- Repeat with the opposite side, pulling that edge of the dough up and over the filling towards you.
- Tuck that underneath the roll. You can gently pinch the seam to seal.
- Pinch the ends to seal and tuck under the roll
- Cover the roll with plastic wrap and let sit for 20-30 minutes in a warm area. The dough will puff up slightly.
- Right before place this in the oven, remove the plastic wrap and with a very sharp knife make 2-3 slashes on the top ensuring you are going through the first 2 layers of dough. You want to see filling. This will allow the steam to escape and the insides to thoroughly cook through.
- With sprinkle the salt, thyme and garlic powder over top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before inhaling.
Buffalo Chicken - Use shredded cooked chicken, buffalo sauce, cream cheese, ranch, cheddar cheese and minced celery. For these make the filling more on the thicker side. You can always dip it into buffalo sauce.
BLT – 3-4 cups cooked crispy bacon, roasted tomatoes that have been chopped up and drained, rough cut strips of arugula or romaine hearts, and a mixture of mayo, garlic powder, onion powder and some mayo as the ‘sauce’.
Pepperoni - tons of pepperoni, oregano, shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle the dough with garlic salt or powder. Serve with hot pizza sauce.
Roasted vegetables – roast off some asparagus, thick onion slices, thick pepper slices and mushrooms. Drain them an allow to come to room temp. Put down some grated gruyere, veggies. seasonings (salt/pepper/garlic) and then a good slather of pesto.
and Cheese – just as the name says. Roast a ton of garlic and mash that up, add in some thyme, oregano, onion powder, black pepper and 2 tbl soft butter. Layer some grated fontina and provolone cheese, add the garlic mixture and more cheese.
Sinfully Sweet – slather the dough with a thick cinnamon sugar butter paste, add thinly sliced apples, top with a cup of raisins, a sprinkle or two of bourbon and a few pats of cold butter cubed. Sprinkle with brown sugar. On the outside brush with egg white wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. When it’s done drizzle with cinnamon cream cheese glaze.
Now with this one I wanted some yummy garlicy cheesy bread to go with our pasta.
As I got older – you know the drill pretty much. Girl falls in love with the kitchen, girl experiments with oatmeal, girl realizes oatmeal doesn’t suck. And voila! A miracle… I ♥ oatmeal now. Obviously, huh? lol
Well this morning I made the mistake of just ‘running out to my car’ in just a tank top, sandals and thin pj bottoms. Um yeah.. it’s 18 degrees outside, snowing and FRIGGEN COLD! And why did I do this you may ask? Well I didn’t think it was that cold in the first place and I wanted my water bottle – yeah, not like I don’t have 42 of them in my cupboard right now. Genius I tell ya! I ran back in the house (by the way, wearing a tank shirt while it’s snowing outside = VERY COLD wet flakes down your back… not good!) shivering like a (as my Daddy used to say) “dog crappin’ razor blades!” Yeah I know… lovely image. But it’s funny.. admit it, you chuckled *wink*. Anyway I was damn cold. And what’s the best way to warm you up when you do something idiotic like I did this morning? No, not change clothes and put on warm ones (Geesh… that’s too easy), I’m talking scrumptious oatmeal.
I could have gone with one of these already posted
but I wanted something different; something semi-sinful (okay, no, I wanted full on decadence). As I was thinking of some concoction I saw the jars upon jars upon jars of Homemade Luscious Caramel Sauce I had sitting on my counter. Once look of that sauce and I knew I HAD to incorporate that some way into my oatmeal. I opted then to go into pure debauchery mode and transform that drab bowl of plain oatmeal like my Momma used to make (sorry Mom) and into one of those ‘I could slap a nun for a bite of that’ tastes. *no, don’t ever slap a nun.. like ever! God’ll slap you and then I will. *
No really, take a moment and let it sink in. Stare at it…
your mouth is watering now, isn’t it? *grin*
Now if you didn’t want to, I *suppose* you could leave off the chocolate (which actually I did in one bowl – I mean you have to taste test all options, right?). Without the chocolate the caramel flavor was so much more intense.
And lemme tell you something folks…
Those sugar pecans… HOLY CRAP BATMAN! SOOOOOOOOOOOO fanfriggentastic! I mean seriously, you’re going to want to make a batch of them just by themselves. You WILL snack on these puppies sans the oatmeal.
|Day 3 – Countdown to Christmas Sugared Pecan Turtle Oatmeal 2012||
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tbl heavy cream *only use if you’re using lowfat/nonfat milk
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 2 Tbl brown sugar
- 4 Tbl Caramel Sauce, warmed
- 3 Tbl mini chocolate chips
- In a small sauce pan over low heat add the milk and cream.
- Bring to so a simmer. You do not want to boil this.
- While the milk is simmering, in a medium pan over medium heat, add in the pecans and brown sugar.
- Gently stir them around to toast the nuts and melt the brown sugar. ~5-6 minutes. You will ‘smell’ the nuts when they have that warm nutty smell.
- When the brown sugar has crystalized to the pecans, turn the heat off and allow the nuts to cool.
- When steam starts to come off of the milk, add 2 Tbl caramel sauce and stir to combine.
- When the milk caramel mixture is combined, add in the oats and stir.
- While stirring gently, cook for 3-4 minutes or until desired thickness is reached. If it’s too thick add a Tbl of milk.
- Pour the cooked caramel oatmeal into a bowl, garnish with sugared pecans, chocolate chips and remaining 2 Tbl of caramel sauce.