Spiced Cookie Butter Butterscotch Chip Cookies

Spiced Cookie Butter Butterscotch Chip Cookies

December 16, 2015 | Posted in Cooking | By

Spiced Cookie Butter Butterscotch Chip Cookies

Spiced Cookie Butter Butterscotch Chip Cookies

It’s that cookie swapping time of year and I knew that I wanted to have some fun with cookie butter (or Biscoff spread, if there is not a Trader Joe’s in your area) this year. Mostly, I eat cookie butter out of the jar, with a spoon. I may have done that while perfecting this recipe, OK, I did do that while perfecting this recipe!

With the onset of the cooler weather comes the flavor of pumpkin spice, but nutmeg and mace has me feeling the holiday season. The addition of either magical baking spice takes these cookies into my holiday happy place. When getting ready to bake, I recommend using a cookie scoop to portion out. If you want a perfectly round cookie you can roll these into a ball, but scooping and flattening works just well.

Spiced Cookie Butter Butterscotch Chip Cookies
Yield 30 cookies

Ingredients
• 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 cup Pumpkin Spice Cookie Butter Spread (Or Biscoff spread with 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice added)
• 1/8 tsp mace (or nutmeg)
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups quick cook oats
• 1 cup Butterscotch chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

In 4 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Remove the pan from heat and stir in brown sugar until there are no visible lumps. Mix in the Cookie Butter spread until fully incorporated. Then add egg, vanilla and mace to pan and stir until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or silicone spatula. Fold in the quick cook oats and the butterscotch flavored chips.

 

Using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop out 1 ½ tablespoons of dough and place onto cookie sheet or roll the dough into balls and space 12 balls onto each cookie sheet. Flatten dough with wet fingers to form thick, flat disks.

Bake the cookies for 8 minutes until golden brown. If needed, allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 1-2 additional minutes to set up. Cool completely on a wire rack.

 

I’d like to thank fellow Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap participants, for baking and raising money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. I received some amazingly delicious cookies this year from Carrie, Melissa and Jen. Be sure to check out their recipes!

If you are seeking more cookie inspiration, may I suggest my previous years Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars and Not your Grandma’s Thumbprint cookies made with my quick Raspberry Rosewater Jam. Have a wonderful Holiday season!

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Guacamole, Feta and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

May 26, 2015 | Posted in Cooking | By

May is National Egg Month and we are winding up our breakfast fun with a quick and zesty Guacamole, Feta and Egg Breakfast Sandwich. It can be assembled in minutes, can be made with eggs cooked to your preference and you can enjoy open-face or not. This was our first time cooking with and tasting NestFresh Cage Free Eggs, which we could find at our local Whole Foods Market. We love eggs for breakfast, lunch or dinner, so when I was invited to try NestFresh Eggs, I was intrigued. My family mistook the intense golden yolk for our local farm fresh eggs, a high compliment.

Nest Fresh Egg Sunny Side Taste Cook Sip

The Jumbo eggs had a wonderfully buttery yolk- perfect if you like a sunny side up, soft poached or over medium egg. As you can see by my picture, I didn’t need to butter my multi grain English muffin, I squished the top down and let the magic happen. If a runny yolk isn’t your thing, this breakfast sandwich is equally delicious with a scrambled egg.

Guacamole, Feta and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients
1/4 cup chunky guacamole, store bought or home made.
2 tablespoons feta crumbles with Mediterranean herbs.
1 NestFresh Cage Free Jumbo Egg, cooked to your preference.
1 toasted English Muffin, multi grain is nice with the guacamole and egg.

Directions
Split and toast English muffin. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add a pat of butter. When melted, crack one NestFresh Egg into skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until preferred doneness. Remove from heat, salt and Pepper to taste.

Spread guacamole over one side of English Muffin, sprinkle feta and top with cooked Nest Fresh Egg. Enjoy open-face or top egg with remaining English muffin half. Enjoy!

Nest Fresh Eggs Carton Guacamole Taste Cook Sip

I have one dozen NestFresh Cage Free Eggs to giveaway, so you have the star ingredient to make this healthy & delicious meal yourself. Comment below with your favorite egg dish or pop over to Taste Cook Sip’s picture of NestFresh Cage Free Eggs on Instagram and comment there, one winner will be picked at random. Comment below or on instagram (or both!) by midnight on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015. Check back Thursday, May 28th, 2015 as the winner will be posted here and you could be cooking up your own NestFresh Eggs this weekend for breakfast. Congrats to Carolyn C who commented on Instagram, her Dad’s Smoked Salmon Egg Scramble with Mozzarella, Scallions and Cracked Black Pepper sounds delicious. We’ve added that dish to our list to try, what will you be making for breakfast?

Disclaimer: Thank you to NestFresh Eggs for providing this giveaway item free of charge. NestFresh Eggs also provided Lisa Wilk/ Taste Cook Sip with product to use, however, all opinions are my own. (We really do love a nice, runny yolk!)  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up only. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

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Vanilla Yogurt Custard Tartlettes with Roasted Grapes #BrunchWeek

Vanilla Yogurt Custard Tartlette with Roasted Grapes TasteCookSip

May 9, 2015 | Posted in Cooking | By

We are winding down BrunchWeek and hope that you have inspiration for many delicious meals. My last dish tastes decadent, but is completely guilt free. Really, is there anything better? The yogurt custard comes together quickly and can be customized with your favorite fruits. The tartlettes can be served warm, chilled and enjoyed at room temperature on a brunch buffet.

If you haven’t registered for the BrunchWeek giveaway, you have just one more day! Entry is after the recipe. Special thanks to all of the #BrunchWeek sponsors!
Vanilla Yogurt Custard Tartlette with Roasted Grapes TasteCookSip

Vanilla Yogurt Custard Tartlettes with Roasted Grapes

Ingredients

Crust
1 Cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
2 Tablespoons Dixie Crystals Dark Brown Sugar
2⁄3 cup California Walnuts
1⁄3 cup butter, melted
Pinch of salt

Filling
1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Pure Cane Sugar
3/4 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup Stonyfield Organic Nonfat Plain Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
Pinch of salt

Woot Froot Roasted Grapes

Add Ins
2 packs Woot Froot Red Grapes, roasted in oven at 375 for 20-30 minutes, until juices release. Or, 4 packs of diced Woot Froot Pears, sauteed with butter and brown sugar until tender.

California Walnuts and Bobs Red Mill Oats toasted

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread oats & walnuts on foil lined sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes to toast. Cool 5 minutes, then place walnuts & oats in bowl of food processor, pulse until a finecrumble. Add brown sugar, melted butter and salt to work bowl. Pulse until combined.

Press mixture evenly over bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie pan or wells of individual mini cupcake pan. Bake for 10 minutes to set. (If oats puff up in mini muffin mans, use teaspoon measuring spoon to press down bottom and sides, prior to filling) Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, eggs, milk, yogurt, vanilla bean paste, flour, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl; whisk until smooth and ingredients are thoroughly combined. Place 1-2 roasted grapes in the bottom of each mini muffin cup, or spread grapes evenly over bottom 9-inch pie crust.

Place pie pan or muffin pan on baking sheet. Spoon or pour filling into crust, until filling reaches the top of the crust.

Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-30 minutes for minis, 40 minutes to 1 hour for 9 inch. Let cool for about 45 minutes, serve warm or refrigerate until cold.

Vanilla Yogurt Custard Tartlette with Roasted Grapes

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Bob’s Red Mill, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, California Walnuts, Dixie Crystals, Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic/True Juice, KitchenAid, Le Creuset, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Pacari Chocolate, Stonyfield Organic, Vidalia Onions, and Woot Froot for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up only. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Twelve winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Thank you for joining us this week! The third annual #BrunchWeek has been hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca. We hope you were inspired by all the #BrunchWeek recipes. Don’t forget to see what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers made today!

#Brunchweek2015 Hosted by Love and Confections & Take A Bite Out of Boca

BrunchWeek Beverages:
Mocha Frappe from The Redhead Baker.
Almond Champagne Mimosa from I Love My Disorganized Life.

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
Flourless Oatmeal Coconut Breakfast Cookies from Take A Bite Out Of Boca.
Pyrizhky z Orikhova Masa from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
Pancake Muffins with Brown Butter Glazed Walnuts from It’s Yummi.
Buttermilk Waffles with Blueberry Compote from Big Bear’s Wife.
Lemon Blackberry Baked Oatmeal from Cooking in Stilettos.
Bacon Pancake Dippers from Making Miracles.
Espresso Banana Oat Bread from Sew You Think You Can Cook.
Oatmeal and Apple Crown Bread from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Labneh with Pears and Honey from My Catholic Kitchen.
Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad from Bread Booze Bacon.

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Individual Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding with Pear Compote from Love and Confections.
Spring Celebration Birthday Cake from A Day in the Life on the Farm.
Vanilla Yogurt Custard Tartlettes with Roasted Grapes from Taste Cook Sip.

 

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Orange Blossom Olive Oil Cake with Mango Citrus Glaze #BrunchWeek

May 7, 2015 | Posted in Cooking | By

Orange Blossom Olive Oil Cake w Mango Citrus Glaze Taste Cook Sip

This lovely Orange Blossom Olive Oil cake is a perfect centerpiece to any brunch table. The olive oil prevents the cake from tasting overly sweet, I used a popular brand from California to lend a fruity, yet peppery note to my cake. The glaze helps to enhance the citrus flavors provided by the Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Water. Take care to measure your orange blossom water away from the mixing bowl, as any extra will easily take this lovely cake from delicately scented, to overly perfumed. While you could use orange juice in the recipe, I found the True Organic Juice Tropical Mango created a more pleasing depth of flavor in my cake and a pretty color for the glaze.

Orange Blossom Olive Oil Cake with Mango Citrus Glaze

Orange Blossom Olive Oil Cake with Mango Citrus Glaze

Ingredients
3 large eggs
1 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Pure Cane Sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the pan
1/4 cup True Organic Juice in Tropical Mango
1/4 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Water
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Cake Flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1/2 cup coarse-ground cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
Glaze
1 cup Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
2 Tblsp True Organic Juice in Tropical Mango
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Water
1 tsp orange zest

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with olive oil and flour; tap out any excess flour.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until well blended and light in color. Add the milk, olive oil, fruit juice, orange blossom water and orange zest. Mix well.

In another bowl, stir together the measured flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until just blended. Add the remaining egg mixture, stirring just to incorporate  (the batter will be slightly lumpy; do not overmix). Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Place on the center rack in the oven and bake 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Remove cake from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake has cooled, run a knife around the perimeter of the pan and gently invert the cake onto a serving plate. Combine the powdered sugar, Tropical Mango juice, orange blossom water, orange zest and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix until the powdered sugar is dissolved and the mixture is free of lumps, about a  minute. If the glaze is too thick and not easily pourable, add a teaspoon or less of water. Pour over cake and spread with an offset spatula, to achieve desired look.

Orange Blossom Olive Oil Cake with Mango Citrus Glaze

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Bob’s Red Mill, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, California Walnuts, Dixie Crystals, Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic/True Juice, KitchenAid, Le Creuset, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Pacari Chocolate, Stonyfield Organic, Vidalia Onions, and Woot Froot for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up only. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Twelve winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Welcome to the third annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca. We are so excited to have you join us this year!  Celebrate Brunch with us this week as we prepare for Mother’s Day. 30 Bloggers from around the country will showcase their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to casseroles, breakfast breads, sandwiches and salads – there is something for everyone!

Join us for Brunch today with these recipes from the #BrunchWeek Bloggers!

BrunchWeek Beverages:

Grape Mojito from The Spiffy Cookie.

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

Caramelized Onion, Kale, Bacon and Cheddar Strata from Love and Confections.

Kale and Toasted Quinoa Egg White Scramble from Take A Bite Out Of Boca.

Breakfast Enchiladas from Cooking in Stilettos

Croque Madame Breakfast Casserole from Bread Booze Bacon.

Rainbow Chard and Cheddar Cheese Frittata from My Catholic Kitchen.

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:

Perfect French Toast from Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine.

Oat Breakfast Cookies from Pink Cake Plate.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes with Spiced Pear Syrup from The Redhead Baker.

Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake Muffins from Making Miracles.

Classic Buttermilk Pancakes from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

Bacci Bread and Pear Pudding from A Day in the Life on the Farm.

Pear Coffee Cake and Fruit & Cheese Salad from Sew You Think You Can Cook.

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

Waldorf Quinoa Chicken Salad from Cupcake & Kale Chips.

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

Chilled Strawberry Soup from The Suburban Soapbox

BrunchWeek Desserts:

Orange Blossom Olive Oil Cake with Mango Citrus Glaze from Taste Cook Sip.

Walnut Meringue Banana Mess from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.

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Mixed Berry Yogurt Smoothie #BrunchWeek

Mixed Berry Yogurt Smoothie

May 6, 2015 | Posted in Cooking | By

I’m a fan of quick and healthy, and this Mixed Berry Yogurt Smoothie could not be simpler to prepare. With no kitchen equipment needed, you can stockpile your fridge for a week of breakfasts or have the perfect brunch starter, packed with protein and organic goodness. Best yet, if you are looking for a way to pack more fruits and veggies into your meals, you can do so in a burst of intense berry deliciousness. Who would guess these bottles of juice had 7 strawberries, 1/2 a kiwi, 1 1/2 bananas, the juice of 2 beets, 3/5 carrot and 1 1/6 of an apple? Or 25 blueberries, 23 blackberries,  1 1/16 bananas, the juice of 4 2/3 beets, 3/5 carrot and 2 3/4 apples? I enjoyed the rich vanilla flavor of the Stonyfield Smooth and Creamy French Vanilla yogurt, which provided a wonderfully creamy base for the the True Organic Juice.

Leave the juicer and the blender in the cabinet, grab a mason jar and let’s shake up your breakfast and brunch routine!

Mixed Berry Yogurt Smoothie

Mixed Berry Yogurt Smoothie

 

Ingredients
1/2 cup Stonyfield Organic Smooth & Creamy Fat Free French Vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup True Organic Juice by Grimmway Farms, Blended Blue or BananaBerry Crush

Directions
Place ingredients into a pint size mason jar, secure lid.  Shake until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Remove lid and enjoy! Transfer to a 6oz size mason jar and secure lid for easy storage. Makes 1 breakfast portion, or 2 starter portions.

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Bob’s Red Mill, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, California Walnuts, Dixie Crystals, Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic/True Juice, KitchenAid, Le Creuset, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Pacari Chocolate, Stonyfield Organic, Vidalia Onions, and Woot Froot for providing the #BrunchWeek prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Welcome to the third annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca.Celebrate Brunch with us this week as we prepare for Mother’s Day. 30 Bloggers from around the country will showcase their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to casseroles, breakfast breads, sandwiches and salads – there is something for everyone.

Come see what today’s #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
Mixed Berry Yogurt Smoothie from Taste Cook Sip.
Tequila Sunrise from A Day in the Life on the Farm.
Sparkling Pineapple Mojitos from girlichef.

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Baked Eggs over Maple Roasted Vegetables from Big Bear’s Wife.
Bacon and Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Making Miracles.

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
60 Minute Cinnamon Rolls from Love and Confections.
Chocolate and Walnut Challah from The Little Ferraro Kitchen.
Braided Ham and Cheddar Bread from Sarcastic Cooking.
Pear Oatmeal Crème Brûlée from The Spiffy Cookie.
Tattie Scones with Cheddar and Chives from The Redhead Baker.
Chocolate Chip Flaxseed Waffles from Hip Foodie Mom.
Chile Relleno Quiche from Cooking in Stilettos.
Double Chocolate Sweet Rolls from It Bakes Me Happy.
Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Granola from Baking a Moment.

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Harissa Chorizo Hash from greens & chocolate.
Smoked Salmon Canapes with Whipped Chive Cream Cheese from The Suburban Soapbox.

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Kinpura Gobo from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
Tropical Fruit Salad with Vanilla and Lime from Healthy Delicious.
Beet and Heirloom Carrot Rosti with Creme Fraiche and Caviar from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.
Carrot Salad from My Catholic Kitchen.

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Nutty Banana Bread from Take A Bite Out Of Boca.
Gluten-Free Pear and Walnut Crumble from It’s Yummi.

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Caramelized Onion, Swiss Chard, Mushroom and Alpine Cheddar Croissant Strata for #BrunchWeek

Cal-Organic Chard TasteCookSip BrunchWeek

May 4, 2015 | Posted in Cooking | By

There are few things I love more than a leisurely brunch, so when I heard about BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca, I was excited to create some special recipes. I had been working on a strata recipe, as I always seem to have leftover mini croissants after large family meals. Using Cal-Organics Rainbow Chard, Vidalia onions and Cabot Alpine Cheddar elevated my strata to a hearty, yet elegant dish.

Cal-Organic Chard TasteCookSip BrunchWeek

This was my first time sampling and cooking with Alpine Cheddar, from Cabot’s Legacy Collection. I had intended to use a blend of Gruyere and Parmigiano Reggiano and found the Alpine Cheddar hit similar nutty and creamy notes. I use lowfat milk and fat free half & half in my recipe, which you cannot detect in the delicious end result. Thanks, Cabot Creamery!

Caramelized Onion, Swiss Chard, Mushroom and Alpine Cheddar Croissant Strata

Caramelized Onion, Swiss Chard, Mushroom and Alpine Cheddar Croissant Strata

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
7 Eggs
1 Cup milk (Whole or lowfat. I used lowfat)
1/2 Cup Fat Free half & half
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha or favorite hot sauce
9-10 mini croissants sliced into pieces (4 cups)
4 oz Cabot Alpine Cheddar, shredded
1 8oz package mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch Cal-Organic Rainbow Chard
1/2 large Vidalia onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice mini croissants into slices/chunks, 3-4 pieces from each mini croissant. Toast croissant slices until crisp, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, prep vegetables for cooking. Clean and slice mushrooms. Clean and slice Vidalia Onion, wash rainbow chard and slice across each leaf into 1/2 inch ribbons. In batches, cook the vegetables on the stovetop.

Saute onions over medium heat until caramelized, season with salt and pepper and place in a small bowl. In the same pan over medium heat, saute mushrooms until browned, season with salt and pepper and place in a small bowl. Lastly, in the same pan saute kale ribbons, season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Spray baking dish with cooking spray, arrange a layer of croissant pieces in pie dish or casserole dish. Top toasted croissant pieces with half of sauteed Vidalia onions, mushrooms, rainbow chard and grated Alpine Cheddar in an even layer. Top filling with remaining croissant pieces, followed by sauteed Vidalia onions, mushrooms and rainbow chard.

Whisk eggs, milk, half & half, hot sauce, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture evenly into pie dish, taking care to thoroughly cover croissants. Let mixture set for 10 minutes, sprinkle on remaining grated Alpine Cheddar and loosely cover baking dish with tin foil. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove foil from baking dish, rotate & bake strata additional 20-25 minutes, or until center is set and top is browned. Remove from oven and let strata rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Breakfast for dinner? Serve my strata with quick spicy pickled radishes and lightly dressed mixed greens. Enjoy with a glass of Prosecco, white sangria or crisp white wine.  This dish can be made ahead: after adding egg mixture to croissant and filling layers, cover and refrigerate overnight until ready to bake.

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Bob’s Red Mill, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, California Walnuts, Dixie Crystals, Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic/True Juice, KitchenAid, Le Creuset, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Pacari Chocolate, Stonyfield Organic, Vidalia Onions, and Woot Froot for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

 

BW All Prizes Collage

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up only. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Twelve winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Celebrate Brunch with us this week as we prepare for Mother’s Day. 30 Bloggers from around the country will showcase their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to casseroles, breakfast breads, sandwiches and salads – there is something for everyone.

Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!



BrunchWeek Beverages:

Blueberry Sangria from Love and Confections.

Spring-Infused Lemon Drop from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

Bloody Margarita from The Suburban Soapbox

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

Caramelized Onion, Swiss Chard, Mushroom and Alpine Cheddar Croissant Strata from Taste Cook Sip.

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict from The Redhead Baker.

Fried Eggs with Kale and Mushrooms from Hip Foodie Mom.

Chimichurri Breakfast Sandwich from Healthy Delicious.

Asparagus, Brie and Smoked Salmon Omelet from girlichef.

Braised Leeks with Poached Eggs from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:

Savory Pancetta and Cheddar Waffles from The Little Ferraro Kitchen.

Avocado Toast Bar from Sarcastic Cooking.

Mocha Nut Granola from greens & chocolate.

Chocolate Hazelnut Croissants with Bourbon Sauce from {i love} my disorganized life.

Berry Cacao Nib Scone Cakes from The Spiffy Cookie

Spiced Pear Oatmeal from Making Miracles.

Overnight Cinnamon Bread French Toast from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

Nutty Chocolatey Oatmeal Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm.

Vanilla Orange Scones from Sew You Think You Can Cook.

Sour Cream and Dark Chocolate Oat Bread from Bread Booze Bacon.

Cherry Vanilla Almond Granola from Cupcakes & Kale Chips.

Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins from My Catholic Kitchen.

Macadamia Nut Crusted French Toast with Spiced Pineapple Syrup from Cooking in Stilettos.

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

Breakfast Wraps from Big Bear’s Wife.

Brunch Charcuterie Cheese Board from Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine.

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

Whipped Yogurt and Ricotta with Figs and Honey from Take A Bite Out of Boca.

Gluten Free Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette from It Bakes Me Happy.

BrunchWeek Desserts:

Mini Creamsicle Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze from It’s Yummi.

Lemon Bars from Chelsea’s Messy Apron.

Chocolate Walnut Macarons with Salted Caramel from Baking a Moment.

Welcome to the third annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca. We are so excited to have you join us this year!  Celebrate Brunch with us this week as we prepare for Mother’s Day. 30 Bloggers from around the country will showcase their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to casseroles, breakfast breads, sandwiches and salads – there is something for everyone! Our amazing Sponsors have donated some great prizes for the #BrunchWeek giveaway. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about them all and what you can possibly win!

BrunchWeek 2015 Logo

Prize #1: Bob’s Red Mill is giving one winner a Pie Plate, Gluten-Free Oats, Gluten-Free Pie Crust Mix, Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and a Bob’s Red Mill Flour Sack Towel.

Collage Bobs Red Mill

About Bob’s Red Mill: Trust, honesty and integrity. The three principles their business is built on. Their packaging is a great example of this commitment: clear bags that let you see the high quality of every one of their products. By producing the very best in whole grain foods, they are able to fulfill their commitment to help look after more and more people through better nutrition.

Prize #2: Cabot Cheese is giving one winner a Gift Box with a selection of Cabot Cheeses as well as a Cheese Board and Knife.

Collage Cabot

About Cabot Cheese: Cabot blends state-of-the-art facilities and a savvy entrepreneurial spirit, with the timeless values a personal commitment to quality that comes from being 100% owned by their farm families. Cabot is a cooperative owned and operated by their members, dairy farmers and their families throughout New England and Upstate New York. Cabot products include Cheese, Yogurt, Dips, Butter and Whipped Cream.

Prize #3: Dixie Crystals is giving one winner a Wilton Master Tip Decorating Kit along with a 4lb bag of Granulated Sugar, 2lb bag of Powdered Sugar and 2lb bag of Light Brown Sugar.

Collage Dixie Crystals

About Dixie Crystals: Since 1917, Dixie Crystals® has been the South’s choice for high-quality sugar and sweeteners. Our pure cane sugar products are all natural, non-GMO and provide consistently delicious results.

Prize #4: California Walnuts is giving one winner a Classic Series 4.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer in white.

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About California Walnuts: The California Walnut Board was established in 1948 to represent the walnut growers and handlers of California. The board is funded by mandatory assessment of the handers and the California Walnut Commission, established in 1987 is funded by mandatory assessments of the growers. More than 99% of the walnuts in U.S. are grown in the fertile soils of California’s Central Valley. Internationally, California walnuts supply three-quarters of the world’s walnut trade. Sustainability is important to the California walnut industry. The California Walnut Board has supported sustainable growing practices through its production research program for over 20 years.

Prize #5: Le Creuset is giving one winner a set of their new Revolution® Bi-Material Utensils. The pliable combination of flexible silicone and rigid glass-filled nylon allows Revolution cooking utensils to conform to the edges of pots and pans, making it easy to stir, scoop and serve your favorite chili recipe to family and friends.

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About Le Creuset: Respect for tradition and authenticity has been Le Creuset’s guiding principle since 1925, yet our innovative designs and exceptional quality ensure that we remain relevant today. The Le Creuset signature color, Flame, was born in this first piece. With their new ability to pigment the enamel glaze, Desaegher and Aubecq modeled their first color after the intense orange hue of molten cast iron inside a cauldron (“creuset” in French). We still manufacture our cast iron in the original foundry, with each piece passing through the hands of 15 skilled artisans to ensure flawless perfection. With the consistent qualities of authenticity, originality and innovation, Le Creuset maintains a connection to both heritage and modernity.

Prize #6: KitchenAid is giving one winner a Maximum Extraction Juicer. The KitchenAid® Maximum Extraction Juicer (slow juicer) gives you more juice with less prep work, featuring a patented two-stage blade and auger system and wide chute. This juicer also comes with 3 pulp screens for low pulp, high pulp and sauces. Perfect for hard, soft or leafy fruits and vegetables.

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About KitchenAid: In 1919 our iconic Stand Mixer was born. And from that stemmed an entire kitchen of high-performance appliances-all created with the same attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, versatile technology and timeless design. As the only appliance brand that only makes things for the kitchen, we continue to keep pushing the limits with our products so you can keep doing the same with everything you create. So, here’s to you, your kitchen and the delicious world that surrounds us all.

Prize #7: Nielsen-Massey is giving one winner 2-oz bottles of their entire line of flavor extracts: Pure Almond Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Rose Water and Orange Blossom Water

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About Nielsen-Massey: Nielsen-Massey has been crafting world-class vanillas and flavors since 1907. It is still a family owned business today and focuses on quality and its customers. Nielsen-Massey uses a cold extraction process for making its vanillas, which preserves more than 300 distinctive flavor compounds present in vanilla beans. Nielsen-Massey product can be purchased at Williams-Sonoma and all of their products are gluten-free, allergen-free, GMO-free and Kosher. Nielsen-Massey also has a line of organic vanillas available as well.

Prize #8: Pacari Premium Organic Chocolate is giving one winner a gift box which includes: 8 bars (3 Single Region Bars, 1 Raw 70% (multi-award winner), 4 Andean Flavors Collection Bars (Salt and Nibs, Lemongrass (award winner), Merken and Andean Blueberry, 2 chocolate covered boxes: 1 Banana and 1 Goldenberries (award winner), and Dry Cacao Beans.

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About Pacari Chocolate: Pacari Chocolate is a line of premium organic chocolate and is the first single-origin organic chocolate entirely made in Ecuador. We carefully select the finest ingredients and work in small batches in order to bring you an unforgettable chocolate experience. All of the ingredients are 100% organic and produced according to fair and equitable standards. Each of our single-region, raw and specialty chocolate products is crafted to maintain the complex flavor profile of the Arriba Nacional cacao bean. We partner directly with over 3000 small-scale cacao growers to preserve their traditional way of farming, thereby safeguarding the biodiversity of cacao in Ecuador. We undertake a number or sustainability programs for the benefit of the cacao-growing communities with which we work. The founders and owners are a young couple that around 10 years ago started with a vision of making the best organic chocolate at the source of the best cacao in the world and paying the farmers that grow it twice market prices.

Prize #9: Stonyfield Organic is giving one winner a Shirt, $40 in coupons, Cookbook, Mason Jar and Measuring Cups.

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About Stonyfield Organic: Back in 1983, our co-founders Samuel Kaymen and Gary Hirshberg were running a nonprofit organic farming school on a small New Hampshire farm. They were on a mission to help family farms survive, keep food and food production healthy, and help protect the environment. They began selling yogurt made without the use of toxic persistent pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The yogurt was a hit and Samuel and Gary realized that a successful organic company could make a bigger difference for family farms, people and the planet than their school could. Today, our organic yogurts, smoothies, soy yogurts, frozen yogurts, milk and cream are sold in supermarkets, natural food stores and colleges across the country. And we make all of it without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics or GMOs. We’re still located right here in New Hampshire—about 30 miles east of the old farm—but now our organic ingredient purchases support a huge network of food producers made up of hundreds of organic family farms, thousands of organic cows, and over 200,000 organic acres. We’ve also pioneered planet-friendly business practices—from offsetting our yogurt works’ emissions, to making yogurt cups from plants instead of petroleum, to making our own renewable energy, and much more. Our old organic farming school is just a memory. But the thought and passion that started it in the first place have only grown stronger, and we’ve never stopped working for healthy food, healthy people and a healthy planet.

Prize #10: Woot Froot is giving one winner a Cuisinart Griddle Panini and Sandwich Maker, a Hamilton Beach Smoothie Blender and fresh Woot Froot. Peaches, pears, nectarines and grapes are the perfect addition to almost any meal to help jazz up your routine dishes and flavors—whether it’s in a pear, ham and grilled cheese Panini, nectarine margarita or grilled peaches or just a plain old snack. But to get you cooking these kitchen appliances will help you get a head start on your dinner menus! We’ll even throw in some Woot Froot packages too! #WootWoot

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About Woot Froot: The story of Woot Froot began 25 years ago, when owner Kim Gaarde (Mama Woot) was growing and selling nearly every variety of peach and nectarine to places near and far. But that all changed when 10 years ago, she wondered why no one had started selling fresh cut peaches and nectarines. After many years of research, trial and error – not to mention naysayers, Woot Froot freshly sliced peaches and nectarines was finally created! Over 500 varieties of peaches were tested for flavor and texture to ensure that you received that “bite right flavor”! In fact, many people believe the softness equates ripeness.  Not true at all. We have a special formula that is just the right firmness and brix (sugar) to get great consistent flavor without getting puree in a bag. Woot Froot is a woman-owned, family business. Along with peaches and nectarines, Woot Froot also offers freshly sliced pears and de-stemmed red grapes year round!  Peaches and nectarines are available June – October while in season. Woot Froot sliced peaches and nectarines will stay ready to eat for a whopping 21 days in your fridge! And even better, they use all natural ingredients and preservatives to ensure that your fruit stays flavorful and fresh from day 1 to day 18.

Prize #11: Grimmway Farms, Cal-Organic and True Juice is giving one winner a Ninja Professional Blender with food processor and single serve blender, assortment of True Organic Juice Blends, and a package of Grimmway Carrots and Cal-Organic veggies. Grimmway carrots and Cal-Organic veggies are enjoyed fresh and whole, or as part of a delicious smoothie – which is why we thought you’d love the Ninja blender to help you make some! Don’t trust your own culinary skills to make your own juices and smoothies?! We decided to throw in some of our own True Juices for you to try as well!

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About Grimmway Farms, Cal-Organic & True Juice: The story of Grimmway began in 1968, when brothers Rod and Bob Grimm set up a roadside produce stand and planted the seed that would blossom into today’s Grimmway Farms. Grimmway Farms began growing carrots back in 1971! Today, Grimmway Farms has become the largest grower, producer and shipper of carrots in the world! Not only does Grimmway Farms play a part in every meal—breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks—but they also play an essential part in the health of growing children and active adults. Bringing Grimmway home to your family means bringing home the best in produce and the best for their health! Join Grimmway’s Twitter parties and conversations by following the hashtag #JustCrunchEm! Sustainability is in our DNA. From using all parts of the carrot, having a full organic line and using our own veggies to make juice, we believe taking care of the environment is part of taking care of you. Cal-Organic Farms is a large part of our farm where we grow over 40 fruits and veggies from kale and potatoes to blueberries and watermelons. True Juice is just that – juice that’s truly organic, sustainably grown, and delicious with products from our own farms. Although the flavor names might be hard to pronounce, they’re full of simple ingredients – like Bananaberry Crush with strawberries, kiwi, banana, beets, carrots and apples! Try all of our great flavors – BananaBerry Crush, Pure Carrot, Wild Berry Blend, Bunched Greens, Blended Blue and Tropical Mango.

Prize #12: Vidalia Onions is giving one winner an OXO SoftWorks Handheld Mandoline Slicer, Vidalia Sweet Onion Cookers, Vollrath 8″ Stainless Steel Non-stick Fry Pan, Weber Style Grill Vegetable Basket and fresh Vidalia Onions. Since Vidalia onions are such a versatile item to cook with, we thought setting you up with a few appliances to help explore different cooking styles would be a perfect way to introduce you to Vidalia onions! Slice them, dice them, cook them, sauté them or grill them – any way is delicious! We’ll even throw in a bag of Vidalia’s for you to get cooking with!

Collage Vidalia Onions

About Vidalia Onions: Vidalia onions are unique to a very small region. In fact, they only grow in 13 counties in Georgia! Vidalia onions were discovered back in 1930’s, and just like back then, they are still planted, transplanted and harvested all by hand! Vidalia onions are grown during the winter months, and are only available in stores between April and September, making them a true seasonal specialty! In 1990, Vidalia onions became the official state vegetable of Georgia! Vidalia onions are a great source of Vitamin C, and are also fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free! In order to grow great tasting Vidalias, and to give them their characteristic sweetness, they must be grown in a sandy soil mixture that is low in sulfur (sulfur in soil is what gives onions their hotness). Each year, approximately 5-million, 40-pound boxes are shipped out around the country. Now that’s a lot of onions!

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Mom’s (New York) Cheesecake

Moms New York Cheesecake slice

March 25, 2015 | Posted in Recipes | By

Moms New York Cheesecake in Angel food cake pan

Every family has that special dish that is the centerpiece to a family dinner or holiday celebration. For my husband’s family, it has always been Mom’s (New York) Cheesecake. I love cheesecake and had baked plenty in my time…but not the way my mother-in-law, from New York, made cheesecake. This crust is not overly sweet, there is no water bath used while baking, the pan isn’t typical and Mary would top it with sour cream. I wasn’t from New York, so what did I know of sour cream on a cheesecake? My first bite had me converted, the silky texture of the cream cheese filling a pleasing contrast to the crisp, buttery crust.

Moms New York Cheesecake Slice

I was given Mom’s recipe to bake and spread the joy of this delectable dessert. And then, Nabisco stopped making Zwieback Toasts, which completely messed up our lives. These crisp, not sweet, baby teething toasts were the key ingredient to Mom’s signature crust. You can try to substitute other teething rusks, make Zwieback from scratch or use graham cracker crumbs for a sweeter crust. After years of experimenting, I have finally hit on a suitable Zwieback substitution for our family that is not too sweet, not too plain, it’s just right.

My husband grew up topping a slice with canned cherry pie filling, which is perfection. I was recently on a strawberry bender, so I topped this latest cheesecake with homemade strawberry compote. Upon his first bite, my husband closed his eyes and sighed, declaring “You may have bested Mom this time.” I’m honored to declare a tie.

Strawberry Compote on Moms New York Cheesecake

Mom’s (New York) Cheesecake

Crust
1 box Stella D’oro Almond Toasts, coarsely crushed with a rolling pin
1/4 Tsp salt
¾  stick unsalted butter, melted

Directions
In a bowl, mix ingredients until just blended and gently press in springform or angel food cake pan on bottom and 2 inches up the sides.

Filling
3 8-oz bars cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)

Directions
Beat softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs individually, beating mixture for 1-2 minutes, before adding the next egg. (This will result in an extra creamy cheesecake.)  Spread mixture evenly on top of crust, tap pan on counter to level.

Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes, or until cake just starts to brown. Cool completely in pan, then chill in the refrigerator 2-3 hours.

When you are ready to serve: Spread a 1/4″ layer of plain or vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt (or sour cream) over top of cheesecake, then top with topping of your choice.

Serve very cold.

The perfect celebration for two, Moms New York Cheesecake

Food is often the center of memorable family celebrations. Today, please join us in helping Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary with waaaayy more than #fifteencheesecakes.

 
Cheesecake lover’s rejoice, here’s what everyone brought to the cheesecake table, listed in alphabetical order. I cannot wait to try some of these recipes. Enjoy!

Berry Cheesecake Bars by Baking and Creating with Avril
Cherry Cheesecake Bites by Cookaholic Wife
Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake by Dancing Veggies
Chocolate Cheesecake by My Hobbie Lobbie
Chocolate Topped Peppermint Cheesecake by Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars by Tara’s Multicultural Table
Easter Basket Mini Cheesecakes by Little Bit of Everything
Everyday Cheesecake by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Irish Cream Cheesecake by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Layered Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake Cake by Famished Fish, Finicky Shark
Lowfat Blackberry Cheesecake by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Matcha-Yuzu Cheesecake with a Meyer Lemon Gelée by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Mini Churro Caramel Cheesecake by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Mini Maple Pecan Cheesecakes by Join Us, Pull up a Chair
Mom’s New York Cheesecake by Taste Cook Sip
Mudslide Cheesecake by Sew You Think You Can Cook
{No Bake} Marshmallow Cheesecake by An Affair from the Heart
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake by Angels Homestead
Samoa’s cheesecake by Goodie Godmother
Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars by The Savvy Kitchen
Sopapilla Puff Pastry Cheesecake by Pink Cake Plate
Skinny Vanilla Bean Cheesecake by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Twix Cheesecake Brownie Torte by Making Memories With Your Kids

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Fresh Strawberry Pie, for Pi(e) Day!

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March 14, 2015 | Posted in Recipes | By

Welcome to Pi(e) Day hosted by Terri from Love and Confections! Pi Day is celebrated every March 14 by math fans around the world – including bakers and pastry chefs. Pi is an non-repeating, infinite number represented by the Greek letter π, and used to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Today, March 14, 2015, is an extra special Pi Day, because at 9:26:53 AM it creates the “Pi Moment of the Century”. The first ten digits of Pi are 3.141592653 (3/14/15, 9:26 AM and 53 seconds). This exact date and time happens once every hundred years – a once in a lifetime moment for most of us. How cool is that? Today, 20 Food Bloggers have gathered and want to celebrate the fun of Pi by creating their own sweet and savory pies to share with you.

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I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, where I was able to pick ripe strawberries off the plants and enjoy their sun-sweetened perfection. For Pi Day, I wanted to capture and accentuate the delicious perfection of fresh strawberries. Spring or summer, fresh strawberries are abundant and you will want this delicious pie at your next family gathering or BBQ.

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

Ingredients
Chilled pie dough for one, single crust 8-inch or 9-inch pie*
4 cups ripe, fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (About 2 quarts of whole strawberries)
2 Tablespoons Easy Vanilla Syrup
1/2 cup favorite jam (I used Sunchowder’s Emporia [Florida] Strawberry Jam, purchase online here or in person here.)
1/4 sugar, if needed, based on the ripeness of strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
Additional whipped cream for topping
* Or 1 box shortbread cookies, such as Girl Scout Shortbread cookies (Trefoils)

Directions
Use favorite pie crust recipe or store bought crust. Press dough into pie dish and if needed, trim dough to fit the pie dish. Crimp pie crust edges and pierce the bottom and sides of the crust multiple times with a fork to ensure even baking.

Line the pie crust with aluminum foil, pressing the aluminum foil against the crust. Fill the foil lined crust with pie weights or dried beans. Refrigerate 30 minutes (or freeze for 10-15 minutes) to fully chill dough prior to baking. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

When dough is properly chilled, reduce oven temperature to 390 degrees, place the pie crust in the middle rack of the oven. Bake pie crust 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden. Carefully remove foil with pie weights or dried beans from baked pie crust.

Whisk egg yolk and cream in a small bowl and brush bottom and sides of crust with egg wash. Bake until egg wash is dry and shiny, about 5 minutes. Cool crust completely on pie rack prior to filling.


*If using optional cookie crust

Place shortbread cookies into zip top bag and crush, or pulse in food processor until cookies are fine crumbs. Spoon cookie crumbs into individual ramekins or jars. Tamp down crumbs to create even crust thickness.

Wash, hull and quarter 2 quarts of ripe strawberries, or until you have about 4 cups cut strawberries. Place in medium mixing bowl, Add 2 tablespoons Easy Vanilla Syrup to bowl, mix until incorporated and set aside to let strawberries macerate.

Add 1/2 cup jam to a small saucepan and warm thoroughly over medium low heat. Add vanilla bean paste. Add sugar, if needed, and stir until sugar is completely dissolved into mixture. Remove from heat and cool.

Add cooled jam glaze to bowl with 4 cups of cut strawberries. Gently mix until strawberries are well coated with glaze. Pour strawberry filling into cooled pie crust. (Or individual ramekins/jars)

Cover finished pie with tin foil and refrigerate for 3 hours (or more) to chill completely and set filling. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!

Enjoy a slice from the Pi(e) Day Bloggers:

Psssssst! Disclaimer: I did not receive any samples or compensation from Sunchowder’s Emporia, I just like this tasty jam made with fresh, quality ingredients. Use whatever jam and flavor you prefer! This recipe was developed and tested by Lisa at TasteCookSip.com.

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Girl Scout Cookie & Dulce de Leche Pudding Parfaits

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February 27, 2015 | Posted in Recipes | By

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It’s Girl Scout cookie time!

If your family is like ours, Girl Scout cookie time conjures up memories of order forms, cases of cookies and troop gatherings to sell cookies. My own mom was a troop leader and I have great memories of troop meetings and the camaraderie of achieving goals, resulting in the pride of sewing on my next patch to my sash. Think it’s just about delicious cookies? Learn about what the Girl Scouts cookie program is teaches, visit here and for more information on the Girl Scouts, please visit their website.

Those wonderful memories came flooding back when I was asked to come up with a recipe using these coveted cookies. Let me be honest, Thin Mints don’t last long in our house. We pop the box in the freezer and maybe it’s there for a few days. Or…maybe not! I wanted to come up with a recipe to highlight my second favorite cookie, the indulgent Caramel deLites (I grew up with them as Samoas). This magical Girl Scout cookie starts with a crisp vanilla cookie, which is covered with caramel, then rolled in toasted coconut and drizzled in chocolate. I thought a homemade Dulce de Leche pudding would make a great base to showcase the cookies.

If coconut isn’t your thing, you can also make this delicious and easy parfait recipe substituting the Thanks-a-lot, Shortbread or Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies. We stringently taste-tested them all, you are welcome.

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Dulce de Leche Pudding

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Cup Dulce de Leche (Purchase in store or make yourself one of several ways!)

Easy Dulce De Leche

1 can sweetened condensed milk (regular or fat free)

Place a can of sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan. Fill with warm water until the waterlevel is 1/2 way up the can. Simmer on medium low heat for 3 hours, flipping the can to the other end, every 30 minutes. (This will keep the Dulce de Leche from over browning and becoming too thick on one end) Maintain the water level about 1/2 way up the can, by adding water as needed through the cooking process.

Pudding Directions:

Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan whisk together the milk, heavy cream, cornstarch, egg yolks and salt.

Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Do not stop stirring, or you could scorch the mixture.) After 5-6 minutes, mixture will become quite thick.

Strain the hot pudding through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing pudding through sieve with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.

Add the Dulce de Leche, if cooled, let sit for 1-2 minutes until softened. Stir or whisk until fully incorporated and pudding is smooth. Cool pudding for 5 minutes and pour into 4-6 individual ramekins. If making parfait recipe below, leave in bowl. Cover the pudding surface with plastic wrap, pressing wrap down so a skin doesn’t form. Chill in refrigerator, about 2 hours or overnight.

Caramel deLites & Dulce de Leche Pudding Parfaits

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Ingredients

Dulche de Leche pudding recipe
6 Caramel deLites, chopped
3-6 Caramel deLites, for garnish

Directions

Roughly chop 6 Caramel deLights (or Thanks-a-lot, Shortbread or Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies)
Spoon Dulce De Leche pudding into a dessert glass, about halfway up. Sprinkle in a layer of chopped cookies, top with pudding to desired level. Garnish with cookie crumbles, or 1/2 a cookie. Note: We prepared as a regular portion and as a mini dessert shooter, both sizes were equally delicious and satisfying!

To find out where Girl Scout cookies are on sale in your area, nationwide, check here. To find out where Girl Scout Cookies are on sale in Central Florida, visit the Girl Scouts of Citrus website and please be sure to read up on the new Digital Cookie Program!

Thank you to the Girl Scouts of Citrus for the delicious cookies, you can bet we’ll be out this weekend to pick up more! No other form of compensation was received, the Dulce de Leche recipe and opinions in this post are my own. Cheers!

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The 2015 Downtown Food & Wine Fest

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February 13, 2015 | Posted in Special Events | By

food-and-wine-fi

Downtown Orlando is rolling out the red carpet for the Downtown Food & Wine Fest on February 21 and 22nd, 2015. Headlining this years two day Downtown Food & Wine Fest concerts are fan favorites Lifehouse and Loverboy, so whether you are a child of the 80’s or modern rocker of the 90’s, expect a great time. The concerts are included with festival admission, tickets may be purchased online here and there is a full listing of all of the music acts here.

For a complete Downtown Food & Wine Fest “How To”, check out our recap from last year, with some of our favorite bites from the 2014 Downtown Food & Wine Fest. Tip: We purchased the popular Wine Taster’s Club pass, which allowed a sampling of 5 wines for $15.00. This year, this great value is only online available online with purchase of your ticket!

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A full list of the 2015 food vendors and their menus are posted here; we were happy to see that Christner’s Prime Steak and Lobster will once again fire up the grill to tempt us with their delicious fare. We are still remembering the steak and ahi tuna split plate they offered last year, which is on their menu for this year along with Beef Kabob w/ Mushrooms and Ahi Tuna w/ Mushrooms.

Ms. Alice Christner welcomed guests and described the 3 ticket $6 combo- Aged steak, seared Ahi tuna and Osaga Spinach. This was a festival goers favorite!

Ms. Alice Christner welcomed guests and described the 3 ticket $6 combo- Aged steak, seared Ahi tuna and Osaga Spinach. This was a festival goers favorite!

Likewise, Sushi House of Orlando is sure to please with their fresh and creative cuisine. We hope they also bring their flavored snow this year! The fruit flavored ice was shaved to order, so refreshing and provided entertainment to passersby. This year they are scheduled to bring an impressive aray of food including Volcano Roll, Chicken Sticks, Fusion California Roll, Tuna Wrap, Lava Sushi Roll and a Gyoza Dumpling.

Be sure to put local favorite and last years Best Dessert winner, The Smiling Bison, on your list to taste. The popular brick and mortar started as a food cart specializing in house-made sausages. They’ve been busy serving up great craft beers, tasty food (including brunch) and love to pull out their trusty food cart. You can bet we’ll be by to try their Peanut Butter Pretzel Bread Pudding!

The Smiling Bison, now a free standing restaurant, revisits its food truck roots and wins Festival Foodie favorite with Pretzel Bread Pudding.

The Smiling Bison, now a free standing restaurant, revisits its food truck roots and wins Festival Foodie favorite with Pretzel Bread Pudding.

The busy festival runs Saturday from noon to 9.00pm and noon to 7:00pm on Sunday. Two day passes, VIP tickets and regular 1 day admissions may be purchased in advanced online. Keep the Downtown Food & Wine Festival parking information and map handy, to know what the best parking is for you. Cheers!

The 2015 Downtown Food & Wine Fest
Entrances on the corner of N. Rosalind Ave./E. Robinson St. and
E. Robinson St/N. Summerlin Ave.
Saturday, February 21, 2015 noon – 9:00PM
Sunday, February 22, 2015 noon – 7:00PM

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