Oct 28, 2015

Potato Pizza | Pizza di Patate | with Rosemary

Potato Pizza | Pizza di Patate with Rosemary

I am absolutely crazy about this Potato Pizza. The crust is super crunchy and the potatoes are incredible.

Amazingly, the pizza is topped simply with thinly sliced potatoes, diced onions, and rosemary. The trick is to slice the potatoes as thinly as possible so that they will cook more quickly, and crisp up on top.

Oct 26, 2015

Raspberry Jam Crumb Muffins | #MuffinMonday


These Raspberry Jam Crumb Muffins are very tender and moist, filled with raspberries and a swirl of raspberry jam, and then topped with streusel. I made my own raspberry jam to fill these muffins, but jarred jam would work just as well. What's so cool is that you can use either frozen or fresh raspberries, so you can have these muffins any season.

Oct 25, 2015

Hot (or Cold) Crab Dip

Hot crab dip from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This Hot Crab Dip is the perfect game day snack. It will make your friends and family very happy, and keep them fueled for a long day of game watching. It kind of reminds me of the hot crab dip my mother used to serve in clam shells in the 1960s for cocktail parties.

This dip can also be made ahead of time, and is just as good cold the next day. Make it for a potluck. Your friends will swoon.

Oct 21, 2015

Slow Cooker White Bean and Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker White Bean and Chicken Chili

This slow cooker white bean and chicken chili was a huge hit in our house. What I love about its that the broth is thickened with hominy, which is pureed with broth. No cream, flour, or corn starch were (or is it "was") sacrificed to make this chili.

While this is not your typical dump and go slow cooker recipe, the advance preparation is well worth it.

Hong Kong Style Silky Stir Fried Minced Beef | Wok Wednesdays

This week, the Wok Wednesdays group is making Hong Kong-Style Silky Stir-Fried Minced Beef. 

Hong Kong Style Silky Stir Fried Minced Beef

Grace Young, the author of the cookbook, Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge, says that she first tried it in Hong Kong and loved its richness. She got this recipe from Chef Danny Chan

The secret to the richness of this dish is hand mincing the beef, and then adding an egg and two egg yolks to the partially cooked meat. It's a really interesting technique. The beef is spread out in a layer in your wok, and the whisked eggs are dropped on top to cook for about 45 seconds, and then stir fried. The eggs pretty much disappear into the meat mixture, but, as Grace says, make this dish "sumptuous."

Oct 20, 2015

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | #CreativeCookieExchange


I am so excited about these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are so amazingly soft and cake-like, and get better over time. They're pretty much pumpkin pie in a cookie.... with chocolate chips.

They are easy to mix up, and come together in no time. They are fairly low in sugar, which makes them the perfect breakfast cookie. I offered some of these to my grandkids and they loved them. I also took a bunch of them to work, where they were a big hit. The pumpkin puree seriously adds to the softness and moistness of these cookies.

Oct 16, 2015

Tangzhong Whole Wheat Bread | Bread Baking Babes get Fluffy

Tangzhong Whole Wheat Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This Tangzhong Whole Wheat Bread is absolutely the best sandwich bread ever! And guess what? I am the host kitchen for the Bread Baking Babes, and had the privilege of choosing this month's bread.

Bread Baking Babes you ask? We are a small group of bold, boisterous, and hilarious women who share the love of baking bread (and wine). We live across the globe, and come together every month on the 16th to share our experiences with a recipe chosen by one of the members. Everyone gets to play around with the recipe, so be sure to click on the thumbnails at the bottom of this post after the recipe to see the rest of the Babes' versions of this bread.

Oct 13, 2015

Homemade Salted Caramels

Homemade Salted Caramels

I am very excited about these salted caramels. They are so unbelievably tasty!

I sat on this recipe for about a month because I was totally intimidated about making candy. For example, what the heck is "hard ball stage?" How is it different than "soft crack stage?"

I guess it's all about what the candy looks like when you drop a bit of it into cold water. Here's a little bit of candy making science. Thank goodness someone invented the candy thermometer.

Bottom line: This candy is delicious, and reminiscent of what you might find in a gourmet candy shop. When I'm ready to take my candy making "skills" to the next level, I might actually coat these in chocolate and sprinkle them with salt. In the meantime, I'm so happy with how these turned out.

Sesame Seeded Semolina Bread | #BreadBakers

Sesame Seeded Semolina Bread

This Sesame Seeded Semolina Bread has a wonderful nutty, sweet flavor and a beautiful yellow crumb. It is wonderful with butter, and makes delicious toast. It is the perfect accompaniment for fall's soups, stews, and chilis. It also makes delicious garlic bread.

The best part? You make the dough in advance, shape it, and bake it the next morning.

Oct 10, 2015

Hakka-Style Stir-Fried Shrimp and Vegetables | Wok Wednesdays

Hakka-Style Stir-Fried Shrimp and Vegetables

This Hakka-style stir-fried shrimp and vegetables is such a simple dish, yet it is so delicious. It is symbolic of the Hakka, as Grace Young (2010) describes, "the gypsies of China." They were originally from northern China, were driven out by a multitude of reasons, and forced to settle in an area where they were second class to the Cantonese. In the 1800's they were again forced to leave their homes due to famine, disease, and natural disasters. Many ended up in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, as well as "contract laborers in Hawaii, the Caribbean, South America, North America," and many other places across the globe (Young, 2010).

Oct 7, 2015

Garlic and Vegetable Cheese Spread

This garlic and vegetable cheese spread is so flavorful on crackers, bagels, rye toast, and crudités. It's really easy to throw together at the last minute, yet it's elegant enough for a dinner party. 

Garlic and Vegetable Cheese Spread

I made this Garlic and Vegetable Cheese Spread to go with these Cheddar Cheese Crackers. The crackers were very savory and tangy, and this spread was the perfect balance. 

Oct 6, 2015

Cheddar Cheese Crackers

Cheddar Cheese Crackers

I'm pretty excited about these cheddar cheese crackers! They have such a wonderful savory flavor... and they came out crispy!

I've always had good luck making savory shortbread crackers, but have been challenged at times with creating a crispy yeasted cracker. Sometimes they can come out tough or chewy instead of crunchy.

Oct 4, 2015

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread

I have made this English Muffin Bread many times, and can't believe I never posted it! This bread, sliced, is kind of the equivalent to English muffins, without the griddle. The bread pan is dusted with corn meal to mimic traditional English muffins. This bread is delicious toasted and spread with butter and jam. The combination of yeast and baking powder produces the "nooks and crannies" that one would expect from English muffins.