NEW SITE! Some good news and some bad news…

Hello Foodie Friends!!

For the past few months the wonderful Mike and Melissa at Nerdy Connections have been busy creating a logo and building a new web site for My Imperfect Kitchen! Isn’t it awesome?  I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this new opportunity!!
pintrest_pic_MIK  
All my recipes and photos have been moved to the new site at www.myimperfectkitchen.com (no spaces or hyphens!) That’s the good news!!!!

The bad news: If you signed up here to get Emails every time I post a new recipe, we were not able to transfer the list over to the new page. If you want to continue to get Emails and updates from me, please, please, please visit the new site and register there so you won’t miss a single delicious moment!!

Thank you all for your patience and understanding! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in our new space and sharing many, many more recipes and foodie adventures with you!

All my love,

Sara~

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Fresh Strawberry Biscuits!

What do you do when the world gives you too many strawberries? First, you say “Thank You World!” because really, what a terrible problem to have… too many strawberries! Oh, the horror!

Strawberries

Second, you make these biscuits! They go together so quickly and easily you’ll find yourself making them often. They are especially good for those few extra berries you need to use before they spoil!  You can swap out the strawberries with blackberries, blueberries or raspberries!  Even peaches would be delightful!

Strawberry biscuits

These biscuits are bright and beautiful and with the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, I needed my world a little brighter today.

Strawberry Biscuits
(recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 cup chopped very ripe strawberries
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add butter and cut it in to the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the strawberries carefully, so they get coated in the flour mix. This keeps them evenly distributed in the dough later when you add the liquid. Speaking of liquid… add the heavy cream, then gently fold all the ingredients together. You don’t want to overwork the dough, so don’t worry if everything is completely worked in. It will be.

Generously flour your counter or cutting board, then transfer the dough to the board. Flour the top of the dough and with your hands gently press the dough into a 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter (or even the top edge of a drinking glass) cut circles out of the dough. Press straight down without twisting (this makes for nice layered edges) as you cut. Carefully transfer the biscuits to prepared baking sheet, leaving a few inches between each one.

You can re-roll the scraps of dough, and continue cutting circles, but don’t worry if the dough appears very wet. The strawberries will have already started to release some of their juice. That’s ok though! They’ll still turn out beautifully.

Bake the biscuits for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly brown at the edges. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Strawberry Biscuits

I made a quick strawberry butter to slather on top of these beautiful biscuits. Just mash up 1/8 cup of strawberries into 4 TBLS soft butter, then freeze for about 20 minutes. (You can do this while the biscuits bake.) It’s a tiny detail that will make a world of difference in flavor.

When I took them to work they disappeared rather quickly and I’m betting they’ll do the same thing at your house! Enjoy my Foodie Friends!!

Delightfully Delicious Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Everyone has their family favorite.  Deviled Eggs are one of those throw-back comfort foods that remind you of your childhood.  For me, Deviled Eggs were a 4th of July treat!  For my kids, they are a staple of Easter Brunch.  Quite possibly because we always had so many eggs, between making these and Egg Salad sandwiches, we were covered!  Our version is a bit spicy, using brown mustard and Sriracha, but they’ve always disappeared every time I’ve made them!

Delightfully Delicious Deviled Eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved, yolks set aside.
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 TBLS spicy brown mustard
1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp Sriracha Hot Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
Smoked Paprika – garnish

In the bowl of your food processor pulse hard egg yolks until they resemble yellow sand. Add mayonnaise, mustards and sriracha, blend until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you don’t have a food processor, add the yolks, mayo, mustards and sriracha to a medium bowl and use a hand mixer to get desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Fill the hollows of the egg whites with the yolk mix. Sprinkle with smoked paprika to garnish.

Enjoy my Foodie Friends!

P.S. If you want to know how to color the eggs like the picture above, that post will be coming soon!  You’ll love how easy it is to make them!

Vanilla Sugar Shortbread Wedges

Last year, I took part in the LA Food Bloggers Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry!  I met so many wonderful bloggers and had a great time.  Plus, I had BLD‘s life-changing Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes.  So really, it was a win-win day!

This year, my wonderful husband spotted a newspaper article asking for volunteer bakers for a No Kid Hungry Bake Sale closer to home!  The Redlands Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry sponsored by a Team called the IE Cookie Monsters.  It had to be fate!  You know how I feel about cookies!!

After sending an Email to Team IE Cookie Monsters, I started planning what I wanted to bake. Of course, I had to make brownies. That seems to be a tradition now.  I knew I wanted to do something different, but what?   After a bit of recipe searching, I settled on these easy and delicious Vanilla Sugar Shortbread Wedges.  They are thick, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth, have with a cup of tea on a rainy day, cookies.
Scored Shortbread Wedges

I’m planning on making these again for Mothers Day.  That is, if I can wait that long for another batch.

Vanilla Sugar Shortbread

Vanilla Sugar Shortbread

Ingredients:

2 Sticks Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/4 cup Vanilla Sugar (or regular sugar, with one tsp vanilla bean paste), plus extra for dusting

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

2 cups Flour

1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until it turns a pale yellow.  On a sheet of parchment paper, sift sugars together using a fine mesh sieve. Pick up the parchment paper and use it to gently add sugar mix to the butter. Continue to beat until thick and creamy (about 5 minutes).  If you are using regular sugar, add the vanilla paste after you’ve creamed the sugar and butter together.

Sift flour and salt together over the same sheet of parchment paper.  Add to butter/sugar mix, mix until just incorporated.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

After dough has chilled, press gently in an 8″ round cake pan.  No need to grease the pan, there is plenty of butter in the dough!  Score the dough into wedges, so it will be easier to cut when it’s done baking.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the top of the shortbread has barely browned.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Cut the shortbread along the score marks, forming eight large wedges.  Dust lightly with 1 tsp granulated sugar.

Share these with a friend and a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Vanilla Shortbread Wedges

NOTE:  These make very thick cookies.  You can split the dough in half and use two cake pans.  Shorten your cooking time to 35-40 minutes (watch carefully).  You can also roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use cookie cutters.  If you use cookie cutters, place the dough back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking.  Baking cold cookies will help them maintain their shape.

ENJOY!!

Follow That Chef – Cat Braithwaite

I’m so excited to share a fellow home-chef with you today! Meet Cat Braithwaite! Doesn’t she have the greatest smile?
Cat Braithwaite

Cat was our hostess for “Follow That Chef” at The Santa Monica Farmers Market with The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I LOVE doing these events! This is a great concept from Gourmandise! They offer the opportunity to follow Chefs, Cookbook Authors, and other Fun Foodie People around the Farmers Market and then return to the school for a demo and tasting!

Here we are wandering the Market on Wednesday:
At the Market
Market Veggies
Choosing seafood!

Cat’s menu for us consisted of a variety of different things, including mussels, salmon, avocados and a lot of fresh vegetables! She had fun showing us different ways to use spring roll wrappers, plus she deep-fried mushrooms for us. How can you not love that?
Food prep
Veggie Rolls
Demo Time!
Mussels
samples
Cat Cooking
Sliders w/fried mushrooms

Cat has a cookbook called “Farmers Market Frugal” that shows you how to eat fresh food on a budget. She gives you four weeks of recipes and some great tips and tricks on eating healthy.
Cat's Cookbook

We thoroughly enjoyed our morning with Cat. She works right there at The Market at Santa Monica Place, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing her often! Thanks Cat!! You did a great job!

To see all the pictures of our time with Cat, check out my Facebook Page Album titled “FTC-Cat Braithwaite”

Feeling Lucky? A Nikon Giveaway!

This Guy!

I wish the shirt said “This Girl” instead of “This Guy”, because THIS GIRL feels lucky, and blessed, to have such wonderful Foodie Friends! I’m not saying that because it’s St. Patricks Day and I’m hoping for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I really mean it. You all make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I get to cook for you, I’ve been blessed to attend a few foodie events, take awesome classes, go on walking tours and share my passion with you every single day! My life is full and I am deeply thankful for all you who are sharing this adventure with me!

In fact, I’m so thankful, I want to give YOU an opportunity to feel lucky too! I’ve teamed up with 9 other bloggers for a “Lucky Day Giveaway” and a chance for YOU to win a Nikon D3100 SLR Camera and a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens!!

I have this camera myself and I love it!

Lucky Day Giveaway

The Specs:
Nikon D3100 SLR Camera {Body Only}
14.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor
Active D-Lighting
3.0 inch Color LCD Monitor
Picture Control System expands creativity
Nikon Integrated Dust Reduction System
Full HD 1080p movies with sound and full-time autofocus
ISO range of 100 to 3200 (expandable to 12800-Hi2)
6 Automatic Exposure Scene Modes- Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up or Night Portrait

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Fast, f/1.8 prime lens is perfect for low-light conditions, travel, environmental portrait and general photography
Engineered for Nikon DX-format D-SLRS, the AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G lens renders a picture angle approximating the classic normal angle of view of a 50mm lens on a Nikon FXformat digital SLR or 35mm film camera
Aspherical lens element minimizes coma and other types of lens aberrations, further improving image integrity
Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) enhances light transmission efficiency and offers color consistency and reduced flare
Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus
Close focusing to 1 foot for creative perspectives and versatility
Rounded 7-blade diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural
Accepts 52mm filter attachments

Pretty awesome, right? I think so!! So, here is how you enter… my blog is a little weird, so you’ll need to click on the link below in order to get to the Rafflecopter widget. Once you’re there, follow the directions to leave a comment about what picture you’d take with your new camera! (I can’t wait to see your responses!) There are plenty of other options for extra chances too, so don’t be shy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck Foodie Friends! I hope my good fortune rubs off on one of you and we will be sharing camera tips and tricks together very soon!

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