Speedy Cheese Souffle





Speedy Cheese Souffle


Freelance writer Casey Ellis likes to serve this dish with a large green salad that includes some bitter greens to play against the souffle's slightly sweet undertone. She uses a 13- by 9-inch ceramic oval dish, but any shallow dish will work as long as the souffle batter fills it no more than 1-inch deep.

INGREDIENTS:

Butter for greasing baking dish
Fine-grated Parmesan cheese for coating baking dish
6 ounces cream cheese, preferably at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons honey
Salt to taste
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375°. Generously butter a 10-cup baking dish and coat it with a thin layer of the grated Parmesan. Put the dish in the refrigerator while you prepare the souffle mixture. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, honey and a pinch of salt. Add the egg yolks and beat until mixture is smooth. In a separate bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add another pinch of salt and continue beating until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Do not over-beat. Stir about a third of the beaten egg whites into the cream cheese mixture and then gently, but thoroughly, fold in the rest. Ease this mixture into the prepared baking dish, set the dish in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350°. Bake 17-20 minutes, until the souffle is puffed, set and golden brown on top. Serve immediately.

Cowboy Cookies


 
Cowboy Cookies


Crispy and chewy!  I always make a double batch to have some logs on hand in the freezer.

Cream together:
1 16 oz. box brown sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
1 lb. (4 sticks) butter

Add in order:
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. oats
3 C. cornflakes
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 C. flour

Refrigerate for a few hours until firm enough to roll into 3 or 4 logs, then wrap in wax paper.  Refrigerate again until firm, slice into 1/4" slices.  Bake at 350 on greased cookie sheets for 10-14 minutes.  Let cool for one minute then transfer to wire rack to cool.  Uncooked logs will store easily in freezer.  Makes about 4 dozen.

Click here for printable recipe.

stuffed nasturtium blossoms

If you've ever planted nasturtium seeds once, you know you'll never be without them again.  They are the most prolific reseeders of the garden and happily grow up and around every flower and veggie in your garden.  The best part is, the entire plant is edible!  The petals are light and peppery and perfect for the summer salad, the leaves make a great pesto, plus they just are darn pretty in a vase.  My new favorite summer appetizer is so simple and beautiful, I'm certain your guests will happily devour them.



 Stuffed Nasturtium Blossoms

15-20 unsprayed fresh picked nasturtium blossoms (I know you can purchase these at farmer's markets)

1/2 cup ricotta cheese (or softened cream cheese)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt, pepper and a tablespoon or two of fresh snipped herbs.  I used chives.

Mix the last 3 ingredients and stuff each blossom with a scant teaspoon.  These are best made right before you plan on serving.  



I read you can even pickle the seed pod.  Trying that this summer!





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Berry Tart

If you want a super showy and super delicious dessert and don't have a lot of time to spend, this is the dessert for you.  Any berry will work, or for that matter, any soft summer fruit.  Make this when the fruit is at it's peak!






This starts off with an easy shortbread crust, the same one that you would use for shortbread cookies:

10 tablespoons softened butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a mixer bowl beat butter and sugar, salt and vanilla until fluffy.  Mix in flour.  Press into a buttered and floured 8" round cake tin or 8" sq. pan (I use a tart pan with removable bottom) and sprinkle with additional 2 tablespoons sugar.  Cut into wedges or squares and pierce with fork tines. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until lightly browned.  While it is still warm,  re-cut the wedges or squares along the scoured lines.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. - See more at: http://knitionaryrecipes.blogspot.ca/search/label/cookies#sthash.vKum1jiO.dpuf
10 tablespoons softened butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a mixer bowl beat butter and sugar, salt and vanilla until fluffy.  Mix in flour.  Divide dough in half and press into two buttered and floured 8" round tart pans with removable bottom, but a cake pan will work just as well.  Press the pastry up the sides and sprinkle with additional 2 tablespoons sugar.  Cut into wedges and pierce with fork tines. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  While it is still warm,  re-cut the wedges along the scoured lines.  Cool for 15 minutes.

Pastry Cream:  

8 oz. mascarpone cheese (ok to sub. with fresh cream cheese, but try not to use the "block" kind if you can help it)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat the above ingredients together until well mixed and fluffy, one minute at the most.  Spread in cooled crusts.  Top with berries, it will take about 2 cups fruit per tart.

Glaze:  

1/3 cup berry jam
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange juice

Heat the two ingredients in saucepan until just melted.  Sieve out any seeds and cool slightly.  Gently spoon glaze over the tarts and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Serve with sweetened whipped cream.


 



10 tablespoons softened butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a mixer bowl beat butter and sugar, salt and vanilla until fluffy.  Mix in flour.  Press into a buttered and floured 8" round cake tin or 8" sq. pan (I use a tart pan with removable bottom) and sprinkle with additional 2 tablespoons sugar.  Cut into wedges or squares and pierce with fork tines. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until lightly browned.  While it is still warm,  re-cut the wedges or squares along the scoured lines.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. - See more at: http://knitionaryrecipes.blogspot.ca/search/label/cookies#sthash.vKum1jiO.dpuf

10 tablespoons softened butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a mixer bowl beat butter and sugar, salt and vanilla until fluffy.  Mix in flour.  Press into a buttered and floured 8" round cake tin or 8" sq. pan (I use a tart pan with removable bottom) and sprinkle with additional 2 tablespoons sugar.  Cut into wedges or squares and pierce with fork tines. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until lightly browned.  While it is still warm,  re-cut the wedges or squares along the scoured lines.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. - See more at: http://knitionaryrecipes.blogspot.ca/search/label/cookies#sthash.vKum1jiO.dpuf


Flash freezing berries

Flash freezing berries is easy.  DON'T wash them!  Simply lay them out on a baking tray and place in the freezer uncovered for an hour or two until frozen solid.  When you take the tray out, give it a sharp tap and the berries will loosen.  Put them in a freezer bag and squeeze out the air and put them in another bag so they are double bagged.  Wash them just before you want to use them.  These will last up to a year if you double bag.



Maple Baked Bacon (AKA Stupid Good Bacon)



You won't believe HOW GOOD THIS IS!  
It's so easy to make and makes the most decadent and delicious appetizer
and of course it's good for breakfast too! 

Ingredients:

thick, meaty, bacon
pure maple syrup

Line a lipped baking sheet with foil and pre-heat oven to 375 deg. F.  Fill a shallow bowl with an inch of syrup and dip both sides of the bacon into the syrup and place on the foil wrapped pan.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes, turn bacon and bake another 10-15 minutes or until good and brown.  Drain briefly and serve immediately. The house will smell great and your guests will kiss you.

When I first served this to my son-in-law, he said, "This is stupid good", thus the name.  Lately we've been cutting the bacon in half before preparing and prefer it that way.

 
Make sure you line the pan with foil to ease clean up!


Country Brunch




Country Brunch


12 eggs, beaten
9 slices bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch squares
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
2 1/2 cups milk
6 scallions, chopped, including green tops
1/2 bell pepper, chopped fine
2 pounds pork sausage, browned, drained and crumbled
2 C grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Combine above ingredients and pour into a buttered 9x13" casserole dish.   Refrigerate covered overnight.  In the morning, bake uncovered at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Leftovers are great reheated!

This is our traditional family breakfast every Thanksgiving morning and Christmas morning.  With all the hustle and bustle going on for the holiday meal, it's nice to have at least breakfast done in advance!

Pavlova


Pavlova
Individual meringues with whipped cream and berry sauce
for meringues:
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat egg whites with electric beater until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and vanilla and continue beating until doubled in volume.  Add sugar a spoon at a time until stiff and glossy.  On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet form 6-8 meringue"nests".  With a wet spoon make a depression in the center of each.  Bake at 250 F for 1 1/2 hours.  We like our meringues crispy, but the original recipe is to serve these soft and you would bake them less if you like them that way.  Cool. These store well in an airtight container.
for berry sauce:
2 tbsp. cornstarch mixed in 1 tbsp. water
2/3 c. sugar
2 cups fresh or frozen berries ( I used some of my frozen ollalieberries)
2 tbsp. citrus juice, freshly squeezed
Wash berries and place in saucepan with sugar and juice.  Cook over medium flame for 1 or 2 minutes.  Add cornstarch mixture and cook on medium/high flame to boiling.  Boil for 30 seconds.  Refrigerate.
To assemble:
Place on plate, spoon berry sauce over and top with slightly sweetened softly whipped cream. 

Serves 6-8

While this originated in either New Zealand or Australia, it's named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, and fitted perfectly into my Sochi Inspired Dinner.  Pavlova is more typically served as a magnificent meringue cake and cut or spooned into wedge servings.  I like making individual servings.

Borscht


 
Borscht
 Without a doubt, the queen of beautiful soups!

1 onion, finely chopped
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil

2 carrots, shredded
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced

6-8 cups good quality beef stock

4 large or 6 medium red beets, roasted, cooled, skins removed and shredded
1 small head cabbage, core removed and cut into fine julienne 
1 can seasoned white beans, undrained

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
fresh snipped dill
sour cream

Put first 3 ingredients in large saucepan and saute onion until translucent.  Add next three ingredients and cook another 5 minutes.  Add beef stock.  Heat to boiling and simmer until potatoes are barely tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Add next 3 ingredients and cook another 20 minutes or until cabbage is cooked.  Add vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve hot garnished with a good dollop of sour cream and lots of fresh chopped dill.  Freezes well.

6-8 servings