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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Okay, maybe it’s not very original but I recently had a bag of coconut and couldn’t decide what to do with it. So, I made coconut macaroons. It was hard to resist making a cookie so simple with only six ingredients. In one bowl. In less than thirty minutes. Why wouldn’t I make coconut macaroons? Crispy on the outside and chewy sweetness on the inside.

I wanted to put my stamp on this recipe so I did try something new. After picking up some blood oranges at the market, I thought they would make a great addition to my “unoriginal” coconut macaroons. They tasted great. They tasted just like my first batch of macaroons without the blood orange. Honestly, the blood orange juice made no difference. So guess what? I decided there was no need to mess with perfection.

Coconut Macaroons Recipe Continue reading

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2011 Recipe Round Up – The Favorites

While I develop, cook and taste every recipe on my website, I have my favorites. I thought I would end the year by sharing my favorites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

2011 Recipe Round Up – The Favorites:

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo and Crispy Shallots

Buttermilk Garlic Ranch Dressing

Tomato and Feta Bruschetta

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Orange Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Klinker Spaghetti ~ my Grandfather’s family recipe

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with a Cherry Tomato Pan Sauce ~ while not the best picture….still delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

Honey Roasted Carrots with Mint

Guava and Cheese Tarts

White Chocolate Raspberry Croissant Bread Pudding

And the three recipes that YOU commented on the most in 2011…

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

Baked Feta Appetizer

Bacon Cheeseburger with Garlic Mayo

Searching for Your Ancestors through Food

I kick off this new topic of my website by sharing one of my favorite interests (call it a hobby or maybe even an obsession)…Genealogy. Years ago, I became simply entranced by the idea of getting to know my ancestors. Growing up, my immediate family was, and still is, very close. Outside of my nuclear family there seem to be differing degrees of closeness. As a child, I spent time with my mother’s family but distance kept us apart. Unfortunately, I spent only a few years with my father’s parents before my grandmother and grandfather passed away. My sisters spent almost no time with their paternal grandparents. As an adult, I became more interested in getting to know my grandparents and their ancestors, and gradually I became my small family’s “historian”.

Notice I mentioned above that my family is small? With my perception that I could count my known family on my fingers and toes, I was convinced that my family search would be quick and painless. Boy was I wrong! So far I have researched (quite thoroughly I might add) and found almost 1,000 ancestors and living family members. I have talked with family I never knew existed! I have pieced together my ancestor’s lives through pictures, census records, family stories, newspaper archives, and historical publications. I have discovered that I am really good at research (a big plus for researching your family history) and that my family wanted to be remembered.

My Fourth Great Grandfather, Joseph J. Klinker's Resting Place; b. 1799, d. 1851, Buried in the beautifully quaint Mayfield Cemetery, Ohio

 
 

One way to learn more about my family is to educate myself on the lives they led. I can do this by learning about the events of their time…historical happenings and major events. However, I also want to learn about them through food, an obvious connection to my love for cooking. My family has recipes that have been passed down through the generations. I want to share those. There are also recipes that were specific to certain geographic locations, cultures, and historical timeframes. I want to share those too. What about your family’s recipes and memories? I would love to share them as well! Email me here to give voice to your family’s favorite meals and in remembrance of your family history.

Watch out for my first family recipe this week. I can’t wait to kick off this new and exciting way of cooking for the family!

Peppered Steak Salad with Buttermilk Garlic Ranch Dressing

Most of the time I know I should eat a salad for dinner, either because I had a larger lunch than I expected to eat or because I just know I should. I don’t know about you though, but my intentions to eat the salad almost never works out…it just never feels like a dinner. Dinner should feel like a full, hearty meal with a protein, a veg, and a carb. That’s just how I see dinner. This salad gives me that feeling of heartiness that I am searching for after a long day at work. Plus, I get to use up my leftover Ranch dressing!

Peppered Steak Salad with Buttermilk Garlic Ranch Dressing is not only hearty with boldly flavored steak, but it has multiple types of lettuce, colorful veggies, and my favorite ranch dressing. I like to mix up the lettuce to add more flavor. Sometimes I substitute the spinach with arugula, which adds more peppery flavor. Or I will just be a little lazy and grab a bag of lettuce mix at the store. Either way, this feels like a steak dinner without all the fuss…plus I get more veggies than I would have with any other meal.  Have a hearty dinner tonight with this Peppered Steak Salad with Buttermilk Garlic Ranch Dressing.

Peppered Steak Salad with Buttermilk Garlic Ranch Dressing Recipe Continue reading

Honey Wheat Bread

Other than chocolate chip cookies, nothing smells more welcoming in your home than freshly baked bread. I decided some time ago that making my own bread was well worth the effort. Not only do I get the best smelling house on the block but I feel better about what I am eating. Here’s the thing though…I usually have only a few minutes to put my bread together, then I need to move on. I am sure you feel the same way.  I invested in a bread maker and after some serious bread recipe testing, I found my favorites. This honey wheat bread is one of those favorites.

This Honey Wheat Bread is crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, and has just a touch of sweetness that works well with any sandwich while being the perfect Sunday morning French toast base. If you want to add a bit more “health” to this bread, simply add a couple tablespoons of flax seed or ¼ cup of wheat germ with ¼ cup additional water. You can also adjust the amount of whole wheat flour by increasing the amount of whole wheat flour and decreasing your bread flour by the same amount. If you are like me, you don’t fully appreciate the look and size of the loaf out of the bread machine. I fixed that by using the bread machine for the dough cycle (i.e. all the hard labor) and then bake the loaf in my oven using a standard loaf pan. Now it’s perfect!

You know you want your home to have the aroma of fresh baked bread. Go for it!

Honey Wheat Bread

Ingredients

1 1/4 Cups Water, Lukewarm

1 tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Vegetable oil

1/4 Cup Honey

1 1/4 Cups Whole wheat flour

1 1/4 Cups Bread flour

1 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast

Directions

  1. Using dough cycle (white bread setting, 1.5 pound loaf), add ingredients per bread machine manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Upon completion of dough cycle, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat loaf pan with spray or butter.
  3. Add dough to loaf pan, shaping as needed. Cover with a damp paper towel. Allow to rise for 15 minutes.
  4. Bake loaf for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned.
  5. Immediately remove from the loaf pan onto a cooling rack. Cool for 15 minutes. This step is very important if you want a loaf that is crusty on the outside and soft inside.