Friday, October 19, 2012

Mini Muffin Corn Dog Poppers


2 ounces cream cheese
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 hot dogs, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
Nonstick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Put the cream cheese into the freezer for about 5 minutes to chill. Cut into cubes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cornbread mix, milk and eggs. Fold in hot dogs, jalapeño and cream cheese.

Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray then divide the cornbread mixture equally into the muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mini Muffin Jelly Doughnut Bites


 2 tubes store-bought biscuits from refrigerator section
1 egg
1 1/2 cups strawberry jelly
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Nonstick spray


Preheat oven 350ºF.

On a lightly floured work surface, pop the 2 canisters of biscuit dough and separate each biscuit from one another, there should 16 total biscuits. Gently separate each biscuit in two so there are a total of 32 each thin biscuits.

In a small bowl, whisk up the egg with a splash of water to make an egg wash and reserve.

Place about a teaspoon of jelly into the center of each biscuit, then lightly brush the outer edge with egg wash. Pinch the edges of the biscuits together so that the dough completely incapsules the jelly. Give the seams a good pinch to make sure they’re really nice and secure.

Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with nonstick spray then pop each mini biscuit/ jelly doughnut into the tin with the seam side facing up. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Bake off the remaining 8 doughnuts after you have baked and cooled the mini muffin tin from the first batch.

While doughnuts are baking, put powdered sugar in large mixing bowl. Once doughnuts are done and still a bit warm, toss them gently in the powdered sugar.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mini Muffin Philly Cheesesteak Bites


2 lbs ground sirloin (1 lb per muffin tin)
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups all-purpose biscuit mix
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded provolone cheese, divided
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 400ºF. Put 2 mini muffin pans into the hot oven for a few minutes until hot. While mini muffin pan is preheating, prepare the Philly cheesesteak mixture.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat. Once brown, add the onion, peppers and Worcestershire, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the biscuit mix, milk, cooled meat mixture and 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Pull the hot pan out of the oven and spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Use a small scoop to evenly scoop heaping scoopfuls of the biscuit mixture into all of the mini muffin cups. Top each scoop of mixture with a little sprinkle of cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden on top.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mini Muffin Cinnamon Rolls


2 tubes store-bought crescent rolls from refrigerator section
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Nonstick spray
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

On a lightly floured work surface, pop the 2 tubes of crescent rolls and gently unroll them being careful not to break any of the perforated lines. Gently roll out both rectangles separately with a rolling pin to 12x6” rectangle. Cut both rectangles into 2 equal halves, so there is a total of 4 squares measuring about 6x6” each.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans and maple syrup. Divide the mixture equally onto each crescent dough square, leaving a 1/4-inch border.

In a small bowl, whisk up the egg and a splash of water to make an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the border of all 4 crescent squares. Roll each square up into a log, and then cut each log into 6 mini rolls.

Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with nonstick spray then pop each mini cinnamon roll into the cup making sure the cut spiral side is facing up. Bake for 10 minutes.

While muffins are baking, mix up the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over the hot mini cinnamon buns and serve.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mini Muffin Spinach & Artichoke Bites


1 10-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed
4 ounces cream cheese
2 14-ounce cans artichokes, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cups biscuit mix
1 cup milk
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Nonstick spray


Preheat oven 350ºF.

Put cream cheese into the freezer for about 5 minutes to chill before chopping into a small dice.

Wring out the thawed spinach in a dishtowel to remove excess liquid. Place spinach into a large mixing bowl along with the artichokes, Parmigiano, biscuit mix and milk. Combine all the ingredients then fold in the chopped chilled cream cheese.

Spray the mini muffin tin with nonstick spray then divide the spinach-artichoke mixture equally in the muffin cups. Bake for 12-15 minutes till puffed and golden in color.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Strawberry Jam


3 pints fresh strawberries
3 cups superfine sugar
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and small-diced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries


Place the strawberries in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain and hull the strawberries. Cut the larger berries in half or quarters and leave the small berries whole. Place the strawberries in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot such as heavy Dutch oven and toss them with the sugar and orange-flavored liqueur.

Bring the berry mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add the apple and blueberries and continue to keep the mixture at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. This should take 25 to 35 minutes. Skim and discard any foam that rises to the top. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then store covered in the refrigerator. It will keep refrigerated for at least 2 weeks. To keep the jam longer, pack and seal in canning jars according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra-large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
Maldon sea salt, optional


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the Cheddar with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.

Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie


2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 quart, plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon chocolate creme liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1 premade pie shell
Chocolate chips, for topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prick holes to bottom of pie shell. Bake in oven for 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons heavy cream and chocolate liqueur. Cook until smooth, about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract. Mix and let cool.

In a mixing bowl combine sugar and 1 quart heavy cream. Whip as if you were making whipped cream. Slowly fold the chocolate sauce into the cream.

Next pour the mousse mixture into the pie shells. Add chocolate chips to the top of the pies. Wrap the pie and freeze for a few hours or overnight.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Strawberry and Rosemary Scones



2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup strawberry jam


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons water
Special equipment: a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter


For the scones: Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, rosemary, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the cream until the mixture forms a dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 1/2-inch thick, 10-inch circle. Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart-shaped pieces of dough and put on the prepared baking sheet. Gently knead together any leftover pieces of dough and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Cut the dough into more heart shapes and add to the baking sheet. Using an index finger or a small, round measuring spoon, gently make an indentation in the center of each pastry heart. Spoon a heaped 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Transfer the cooked scones onto a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.

For the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually add the water until the mixture is thin enough to spread. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the scones. Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes. Serve or store in an airtight plastic container for 2 days.

Cook's Note: The dough can also be made by hand by stirring together the flour, sugar, baking powder, rosemary, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Gradually stir in the cream until the mixture forms a dough.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lentil Soup with Beef


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
6 (14-ounce) cans beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups (about 11 ounces) lentils, rinsed
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves


Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Add half of the beef and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, and oregano to the pot. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juices from the bowl to the pot. Add the broth and tomatoes with their juice. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the meat is just tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Add the lentils. Cover and continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Monday, October 1, 2012

German Potato and Beer Soup


4 cups chicken stock 
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
8 ounces sliced smoked bacon
2 carrots, 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 stalks celery, 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
2 bay leaves
1 small bundle fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
1 leek, green top trimmed, 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1 cup light German beer, such as Pilsner
1/4 cup sliced fresh chives


Combine 2 cups of the chicken stock and one-third of the potatoes in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until fork-tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Stir in the mustard to combine, and then blend to a smooth puree using an immersion or regular blender.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat until crispy and most of the fat has been rendered, 12 to 15 minutes, and then transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Pour out the bacon fat, reserving 3 tablespoons in the pot.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, and then add the remaining potatoes, celery, bay leaves, leeks and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the leeks are soft, 4 minutes, and then pour in the beer and bring to a boil until the beer has cooked down to about 2 tablespoons, 2 to 4 minutes. Pour in the remaining chicken stock and the reserved potato puree. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until the vegetables are just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Crumble the reserved bacon on top and garnish with the chives.

Source: Susan Vu, Cooking Channel