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  • Have a Spooky Halloween!

    Cheddar Witches Fingers - Cheese straws in the shape of fingers, complete with a black almond "finger nail." Delicious and totally spooky.

    Candy Apples - You don't need to go to the fair to get my favorite treat because you can make these at home. Black food coloring gives them a festive touch.

    Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Having a not-so-scary Halloween party? Serve ice cream with this pumpkin infused caramel sauce on top.

Monthly Archives: August 2008

Garlic Hasselback Potatoes with Herbed Sour Cream

These potatoes are so yummy! The first time we made them, we forgot to buy sour cream. We were both so glad we had it this time because the herbed sour cream was good enough to eat on its own. We both tried it with a tortilla chip, and it seriously is good enough to have as a dip. Delicious! The potatoes are so easy to make, too, and the spoon trick in the recipe really works wonders.

Garlic Hasselback Potatoes with Herbed Sour Cream
16 ounces red new potatoes
3 to 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herbed Sour Cream, recipe follows

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-Using a wooden spoon as a cradle, place each potato in the spoon and make several parallel slits into each potato top making sure not to slice completely through.
-Place 3 garlic slices between slits at the crown of each potato.
-Toss in a medium bowl with butter and olive oil.
-Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
-Bake until tops are crispy and potatoes are cooked through, about 1 hour.
-Transfer to a platter and top with Herbed Sour Cream.

Herbed Sour Cream

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Season, to taste, and refrigerate until use.

Source: Sunny Anderson

Dry Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

This is one of our favorite recipes (a once a weeker). The crust that forms on the pork tenderloin keeps it moist and delicious. Honestly, I never even liked pork tenderloin until we tried this recipe. The dry rub is so incredibly flavorful, and the flavor really goes throughout the tenderloin. We like to serve this with yellow rice and steamed broccoli.

Dry Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic

-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
-Mix dry ingredients (garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander and thyme).
-Stir mixture with a fork until all the ingredients are well combined and they form a seasoning. -Sprinkle the rub over the tenderloin with a dry hand, then rub the pork with the seasoning over both sides of the meat, pressing gently so the seasoning adheres well to the tenderloin.
-In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat.
-Add the minced garlic and saute, stirring, for 1 minute.
-Put tenderloin in the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, searing each side using tongs to turn the meat.
-Transfer meat to a roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes. (We use the same pan, as our cookware is oven safe.)
-Slice and serve.

Source: Ellie Krieger

Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies

When we lived in Dallas, we were in love with a grocery store. It’s called Central Market, and unfortunately for us, it’s only in Texas. Think Whole Foods or Fresh Market, but way bigger and way cooler. There’s no doubt that we were spoiled by it. There was a wonderful bakery there, and I loved their chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. I’ve never had cookies so delicious in my life. This was my attempt to bring a little of that Texas goodness here. These cookies, sadly, didn’t come close to the ones at Central Market. Then again, I don’t think any ever will. They were super tasty, though, and I think I will definitely make them again soon. 

Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/8 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

-Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease two large cookie sheets with vegetable shortening.
-Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl.
-Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well blended.
-Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually blend into the batter.
-Stir in the chopped macadamia nuts and chocolate chips.
-Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
-Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.
-Remove from the oven, and transfer the cookies to cooling racks.

Source: All Recipes

An extra picture (our kitty cat Rabb watching the cookies bake):

Chicken Amandine

This is one of our favorite chicken dishes.  The coating gets really crunchy, while the inside stays nice and juicy. You can use plain bread crumbs and add in your own seasonings, as well.  Herb roasted potatoes and sautéed green beans go perfectly with the chicken making a quick and simple weeknight meal.

Chicken Amandine
1-1/2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

-In a food processor or blender, process the almonds until finely chopped. Place in a shallow bowl.
-In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
-In a third bowl, beat the eggs and water.
-Coat chicken with crumb mixture, then dip in egg mixture and roll in almonds.
-Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear.

Serves 4

Source: Taste of Home 2007

Chocolate Mousse

Growing up, I never really liked chocolate. Eric makes fun of me for my tastes in chocolate — I like Reese’s Cups, but not chocolate ice cream. I like mocha (when mixed with other flavors), but not chocolate cakes or icing. Eric, on the other hand, is much less picky. This chocolate mousse is perfect for both our tastes, which is why it’s a favorite. When I have leftover chocolate, I like to make chocolate covered strawberries to serve alongside the mousse.

Chocolate Mousse
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or a mixture, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon warm water
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
Pinch fine salt
1/3 cup sugar

-Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
-Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth.
-Whip the cream in a medium bowl until it holds soft peaks. Take care not to over whip the cream or the mousse will be dense. Cover and refrigerate while you cook the eggs.
-Whisk the water and espresso powder together in a small bowl.
-Put the eggs in another bowl that also sets over the water in the saucepan.
-Beat the egg yolks, pinch of salt, and sugar until foamy and light, about 30 seconds.
-Set the bowl over the water and whip with an electric mixer or whisk, moving in a circular motion around the bowl, until the eggs get very fluffy and hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. -Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating on high speed until the thick ribbons fall from the beater when lifted out of the bowl, about 5 minutes more.
-Fold in the espresso.
-Fold about a quarter of the eggs into the chocolate to lighten it, then fold in the rest of the egg.
-Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate base to make a smooth light mousse.
-Pour the mousse into 4 serving dishes or wine glasses. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Note: For a dark, double-rich mousse, use all bittersweet chocolate instead of the semisweet, and decrease the cream to 3/4 cup.

Source: Food Network Kitchens