Monday, September 1, 2014

Amaretto Almond Pound Cake




AMARETTO ALMOND POUND CAKE
(recipe and directions for the glaze after the cake)



Ingredients
    • 1 1/4 cups butter, softened 
    • 1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened 
    • 2 1/2 cups sugar 
    • 3 tablespoons almond liqueur
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 6 large eggs 
    • 1/3 cup sliced almonds



Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. 

  2. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. 

  3. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. 

  4. Add liqueur and vanilla, beating just until blended. 

  5. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition.

  6. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. 

  7. Sprinkle almonds over bottom of a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan; pour batter into pan.

  8. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

  9. During last 10 minutes of baking, prepare Amaretto Glaze. 

  10. Remove cake from oven, and gradually spoon hot Amaretto Glaze over cake in pan. (Continue to spoon glaze over cake until all of glaze is used, allowing it to soak into cake after each addition.) 

  11. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 1 hour and 30 minutes).


AMARETTO GLAZE

Ingredients


    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • 1/4 cup almond liqueur
    • 2 tablespoons water

Directions

Bring sugar, butter, almond liqueur, and water to a boil in a small 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often; reduce heat to medium-low, and boil, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and use immediately.




Sunday, August 31, 2014

BAKED MONTE CRISTO SANDWICHES



Puff Pastry Sheets should be a staple item in the freezer.  I always forget how many delicious things you make with it.  These sandwiches prove my point! The Captain makes an awesome chicken pot pie that is topped with puffed pastry . . . one of the best I have ever had.

Although this recipe sounds awesome, I'm not sold on the addition of sweetness, so I will make mine without it and have some maple syrup on the side to dip the sandwich in to try it out.

The sandwich recipe and photo comes from Pepperidge Farms . . . the link is at the end of the recipe.






INGREDIENTS


    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp. water
    • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
    • 8 slices deli ham (Black Forest)
    • 4 slices deli Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces)
    • 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
    • 1 cup pure maple syrup


DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.

Sprinkle the flour on the work suface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut into 4 (6-inch) squares. Brush the edges of the pastries with the egg mixture.

With a corner of 1 pastry facing you, place 2 slices ham and 1 slice cheese on the bottom half of the pastry. Fold the pastry over the filling to form a triangle and press the edges to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining pastries. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture. Place the pastries onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Sprinkle the pastries with the confectioners' sugar. Serve with the maple syrup.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spicy Pasta Salad


This recipe was one featured on Rhee's show on the Food Network, The Pioneer Woman this morning.  Her description of this recipe as she was making it was making my mouth water! 

I love anything with pasta, and pasta salad with mayonnaise is so delicious to me!

Rhee is becoming one of my favorite cooks . . . or is she considered a chef?






Ingredients


    • 12 ounces, weight Mostaccioli
    • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup Whole Milk
    • 4 Tablespoons White Vinegar
    • 1-1/2 teaspoon Adobo Sauce From Chipotle Peppers (or One Minced Chipotle Pepper)
    • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
    • Ground Black Pepper To Taste
    • 10 ounces, weight Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
    • 1/2 pound Smoked Gouda Cheese, Cut Into Small Cubes
    • 24 whole Basil Leaves (chiffonade)


Directions

Cook pasta until done. Drain and rinse in cold water until no longer hot. Set aside.

Mix mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, salt, pepper, and adobo in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, stir together pasta, dressing, halved tomatoes, and cubed Gouda. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed, and even an extra teaspoons or two of vinegar if necessary. Stir in basil at the end. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

Divine.




Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Salad



Macaroni salad can be a main meal as far as I'm concerned!

I've always had mayonnaise based macaroni salad and this one has an oil and vinegar dressing that sounds interesting to me.  I also love the addition of olives, mozzarella and tomatoes.

I'm thinking if I don't like the oil and vinegar dressing, it would most likely taste awesome with the addition of mayonnaise.







Ingredients:

    • 1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
    • Kosher salt
    • Olive oil
    • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
    • 3/4 cup kalamata, pitted sliced in quarters length wise
    • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
    • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:
    • 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, diced
    • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned


Directions:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic,
capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, toss. Toss with Parmesan and basil just before serving.










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