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‚Äôt worry if the dough appears very wet. The strawberries will have already started to release some of their juice. That’s ok though! They‚Äôll 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!!

Quiche with a Hash Brown Crust

Quiché w/hash brown crust

Sometimes an idea hits you and you think “I am a genius!” Then you google it and discover a lot of people have done it before. So maybe I’m not a genius, but it doesn’t matter! This simple Quich√© with a crispy hash brown crust is delicious. It looks stunning, is super versatile and my family thinks I’m a genius for making it! So really, that’s all that matters, right? ūüėČ

Quiché

The only drawback to this recipe is the length of time it takes to prepare. You don’t want to do this for a quick weekday dinner (like I did! We ended up eating very late!) but it’s perfect for a weekend brunch with your favorite people.

Quiché With Hash Brown Crust

4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided in half
1 package (1 pound) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 oz diced Pancetta
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBLS minced, fresh oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush a 9-by-2 1/2-inch springform pan with 2 TBLS melted butter. Line the sides of the pan with strips of waxed paper, brush paper with butter too. Be generous on the bottom of the pan so the potatoes don’t stick. If you don’t have a springform pan, don’t worry, it works just as well in a 9″ pie pan and then you don’t need the wax paper.

Squeeze as much excess moisture from hash browns as you can. The hash browns should be as dry as possible so the crust will get crispy. In a large bowl, mix thawed, drained hash browns with remaining butter, 1 egg, salt and pepper. Press hash brown mixture onto bottom and up the sides of your prepared pan. Press firmly to mold the potatoes against the edges. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until set and the edges of the hash browns are lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.

While the crust is baking, in a small skillet, saut√© the pancetta until it’s crispy. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Do not discard the bacon fat! Put red onions and garlic in the same skillet and saut√© in the bacon fat until the onion is soft and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk the remaining eggs and milk, then add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into prepared crust. Bake until set, 45 to 50 minutes. When it’s done, let it sit for 5 minutes, unmold Quich√©, and peel off waxed paper before serving.

Quiché

I love dishes that are flexible and this one has endless possibilities. Anything you put into an omelette, can be used in this Quich√©. Next time, I want to try crumbled italian sausage, saut√©ed bell peppers with onions and sharp cheddar. You could use Spinach and Gruy√®re! Get creative! Fill it with your favorite vegetables for a meatless version. I think asparagus and leeks would be fabulous. Use different cheeses. Add your favorite spices to the crust. Whatever you’d like!

Quiche
I’d love to see what you come up with, so when you make it, please share! I’m looking forward to reading all about it!

Enjoy Foodie Friends! XOXO

Dutch Baby Pancakes

I’ve been sick for nearly three weeks and haven’t felt like cooking, eating or frankly doing anything other than napping. Over the weekend I finally turned the corner on this cold. This morning, I made breakfast. Not just breakfast, but a new recipe and a new dish – Dutch Baby Pancakes! I’m so excited! I’ve never made a Dutch Baby! Wait, let me rephrase that… I’ve helped make three Dutch babies. They are now 25, 24 and 18 respectively. Dutch Baby Pancakes in a cast iron skillet however, are new to me. ūüôā

IMG_9526

Simple to assemble, this delightful breakfast is whisked together in a blender, then poured into a hot skillet and baked in the oven. Talk about your no-brainer breakfast! Not only is it simple to put together, you don’t need many ingredients and the resulting pancake is spectacular to see coming out of the oven. It does deflate after you take it from the oven, but that doesn’t change the flavor!

Dutch Baby Pancake

This was supposed to be a “Sundays With Joy” recipe, but her recipe calls for Coconut, Pineapple and Banana. My darling Dutch husband doesn’t like coconut or pineapple so I improvised and found a recipe we could try. This is Alton Brown’s version from Good Eats!

DUTCH BABY PANCAKE

Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
2 3/8 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar, plus extra for serving
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
Lemon wedges

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven as it is preheating. Set the remaining tablespoon of melted butter aside to cool slightly. Wait 10 minutes before assembling the other ingredients.

Place the flour, vanilla sugar, salt, milk, eggs and remaining tablespoon of melted butter into the bowl of a food processor or blender and process for 30 seconds. Carefully pour the batter into the preheated skillet. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are puffed and brown. Sprinkle with additional vanilla sugar and serve with lemon wedges.

I wasn’t sure about the lemon wedges, but let me tell you, after trying it, I wouldn’t ever serve them without it! It brightens the flavor of the pancake and makes the sprinkle of powdered sugar actually taste sweeter.

Dutch Baby Pancake with Lemon Slices

This is a versatile recipe too! You can add fresh berries, apples or do a tropical version with toasted coconut in the pancake and top it with bananas and pineapple. My favorite Dutch Boy drizzled maple syrup on his.

Dutch Baby Pancake

Simple, delicious and yummy! This recipe will be part of our regular weekend breakfast lineup from now on!
Empty skillet
Yep, I think they liked it… ūüėČ Enjoy my Foodie Friends!

Crock Pot Chicken & Salsa

Crock Pot Chicken & Salsa

Dinner time can be crazy! Juggling school schedules, extra curricular activities, housework, homework and life in general makes things hectic. I remember the stress of wanting good food on the table every night for dinner, but feeling like I just didn’t have the time. Even though we aren’t at that stage in our lives any more, I still appreciate quick and easy dinners that are healthy and ready to go.

That’s when this crock pot meal (with only three ingredients!) comes in handy! Whether you are in the midst of kid centered activities, school/work schedules or empty-nest activities, this dinner is easy and delicious.

Start with a large jar of your favorite salsa. Pour half the jar in the bottom of your crock pot. Layer three boneless, skinless chicken breasts on top of the salsa.
Chicken & Salsa
Salsa and Taco Mix
Top with your favorite burrito or taco seasoning mix and then the rest of the salsa! EASY! Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Crock Pot Chicken

When you’re ready to eat, shred the chicken with two forks and stir to combine. Serve on warm tortillas with your favorite toppings! We used shredded lettuce, diced tomato and red onion, some chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
Chicken Burritos

This will quickly become one of your favorite “go-to” meals when you’re busy! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Till next time, Foodie Friends!

XOXOX

%d bloggers like this: