Wednesday, July 21, 2010

S'more of what?

It is my favorite time of year! It is finally the two weeks in the summer when my little sister comes and visits me! It surpasses Christmas and Thanksgiving as my favorite by a long shot. Since I live 2,000 miles away from all of my family, I consider this time to be my happy holidays. This particular visit has already been so busy and so fun. We went to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee over the weekend and did some shopping, sightseeing and most importantly lots and lots of eating. I made sure to take her to places she had never eaten at before because otherwise what is the point? All I know is we had a blast. It definitely was not a long enough thats for sure. And sadly coming back meant having to go back to work...blah.
Work or not...I cooked on! One of my creations this week was a blackberry bbq sauce. Jenina  helped me tweak this recipe. At first it was so much like a vinaigrette that I thought for sure it was going to be a disaster. But she lent me her time and taste buds and helped me perfect one of my favorite experiments ever. I have made bbq sauce before but this was smoky and sweet and spicy all at once. My mouth totally danced a jig.

Blackberry BBQ Sauce

I am going to go ahead and admit to everyone I am a cookieoholic. I love cookies. No I am obsessed with cookies. All kinds. Rarely do I meet one that doesn't instantly become my best friend. Obviously I have to be obsessed to turn something that is perfectly delicious the way it is into a cookie. The truth is I have been eyeing this recipe for sometime. It is a s'more cookie recipe. I mean who doesn't love a s'more? The crunchy graham, melty chocolate, and gooey marshmallow? Yuuummyyy!! Every time I think of a s'more I think of one of my all time favorite movies The Sandlot. I think I watched this movie at least once a week when it was released on VHS. I also had a major crush on Benny... *sigh*... But anywho back to the cookie!! It was pretty good. I do feel like the whole point of a s'more is the campfire, hanging with friends and getting marshmallow stuck to your face, shirt, and well everything else. I think that this is one cookie that is much tastier left in its natural state. It just isn't the same when you have to zap a cookie for 15 seconds in the microwave to get the effects of the real thing. It is also waaayyy more time consuming than a s'more. Next time I will make the cookie part more cuplike and fill it with some chocolate ganache and marshmallow fluff. Sort of like a mini s'more tart. (I plan to blog about this idea too!) In conclusion if you have time...make the cookies. My opinion? Make a traditional s'more!

S'more Cookies
by Martha Stewart

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light-brown sugar
1 large egg
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into 30 squares
15 large marshmallows, halved horizontally
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse oats until finely ground. Add flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; pulse to combine. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, scraping down side of bowl. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture just until combined.

Drop dough by tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two baking sheets. Top each with a chocolate square. Bake just until lightly golden, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Remove sheets from oven; heat broiler. Top each cookie with a marshmallow. One sheet at a time, broil until marshmallows are lightly browned, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Listening To:

Hootie and the Blowfish-Let Her Cry (LP Version)
Band of Horses-No One's Gonna Love You
Broken Bells-The High Road
Stone Temple Pilots-Vasoline

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Got My Thrill on Blueberry Hill

It is a sad week when nothing inspires me food wise. Living in rural Kentucky and the access to fresh fruits and vegetables should be more than enough to spark something in me right? Ok Ok I guess I have just been lazy but my schedule hardly allows me to grow my own garden let alone stop at one of the little roadside shacks to pick through produce. I am just banking on my in laws giving me some fresh corn...oh the plans I have for those guys.
Well since I was slacking in the kitchen for a few days I decided that on Friday I was going to make some chicken fajitas. Easy, yummy, and one of Joel's favorites. To my excitement, the area grocery store finally got its act together and I picked out some perfect avocados, crisp red and orange bell peppers and some rosy tomatoes. Yum! All of these ingredients combined with some organic chicken, whole wheat tortillas, sour cream, and peach salsa made for one tasty trip south of the border.

So with this successful shopping trip came the discovery of some pretty blueberries that happened to be only $1.99 a carton! What a steal! I wanted to definitely make something that I could share...and since my co-workers tend to benefit from my obsession with all things yummy, I wanted something a little different that they could eat in the morning rather than just a snack. And thanks to Martha I found the perfect recipe. Now I will say in advance you must Must MUST toss your blueberries with flour before folding them in the batter. Otherwise they just sink and get stuck to the pan. Also make sure to coat your pan in either cooking spray or butter to ensure the cake doesn't stick. If you are looking a not too sweet cake to enjoy with that morning cup of coffee this is the winner...and it is so pretty too! Nom Nom Nom!!!

Blueberry and Lemon Bundt Cake
courtesy of Martha Stewart

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Nonstick cooking spray, for pan
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of sour cream.

In a bowl, toss blueberries and zest with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake cake on bottom rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving, if desired.
After Cooling Ready for Dusting

Somethings are too pretty to eat....yeah right!

Get in my Belly!

Listening To:

The Black Keys-Busted
Dave Matthews Band-Crash Into Me
Smashing Pumpkins-Whir [Explicit]
Pearl Jam-Wishlist
The Gypsy Kings-Volare
Counting Crows-Mr. Jones