Friday, April 27, 2012

Strawberries 'n Cream Scones

When I saw this recipe, I instantly wanted to try it. I mean, come on, strawberries and cream?! I believe I've only made one other scone recipe before, so I'm not sure how I'm doing on making these, but they made for a delightful morning treat! The recipe came from a blog entitled, "Sweet Peas Kitchen," thank you for the recipe-hope you enjoy!

Strawberries 'n Cream Scones

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup diced strawberries
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process with six 1-second pulses.
Remove cover of food processor and sprinkle the butter evenly over the dry ingredients. Add the grated lemon zest. Cover and process with 12 1-second pulses.
Transfer dough to a large bowl. Mix in strawberries with your hands. Add heavy cream and mix with your hands until dough begins to form.
Gently knead dough by hand until it comes together into a rough ball, about 10 seconds. Divide dough into two equal pieces.
To shape the scones, with lightly floured hands press dough into two 8-inch rounds. Spread strawberry preserves over one of the rounds, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Place the other round atop of the preserve covered round and seal edges. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 wedges.
Place wedges on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 12 to 15 minutes or until tops of scones are a light brown. Transfer to a wire rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
While the scones are cooling, make lemon glaze. Combine lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar until you achieve a thick, opaque icing. Drizzle over scones and serve.
Yields: 8 scones
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes

Source: adapted from Raspberry Lemon Scones

Tresa's Notes-
The dough was a bit rough to come together, really rather wet. Once they came together though, they tasted quite scrumptious!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

Vennard used to have really awesome Mozzarella's probably where I gained my "freshmen 15"! When I saw Giada De Laurentiis making them on the Food Network, it brought back all those yummy memories! So I started looking around for recipes, and have kinda come up with one that is taken from a blog called skinny taste, but with some changes added. I also have Giada's recipe, I will try to post that one as well!

Mozzarella Sticks

10 Tablespoons Italian Style Bread Crumbs
12 sticks part-skim reduced sodium mozzarella sticks
2 Tablespoons flour
1 egg (mixed with some cream, milk or water to make an egg wash)
3 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons dried parsley

Place your breadcrumbs, parsley and parmesan cheese in one bowl(mixed together), your egg wash in another and your flour in another. First dip your mozzarella stick in the flour, dusting off excess, then into the egg wash and finally into the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat until all mozzarella sticks are covered. Place in freezer for one hour, this will help so the cheese doesn't seep out while frying. Take out of freezer and fry in olive oil that has been heated. Enjoy with Marinara sauce!

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

This is a recipe I found on Pintereset, and had for the first time when a friend made it for a Superbowl party. This recipe was taken from Six Sisters Stuff blog, thank you for this wonderful recipe!

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Recipe adapted from: Baby Center

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (could also use olive oil or canola oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - doesn't really add heat, just adds more flavor)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

*You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.

Pretzel Bites

Happy National Pretzel Day (April 26th)! I was watching Facebook today and realized today was National Pretzel Day; what better day than to try a new recipe for pretzels that I've been wanting to try, right? This was my first time making pretzels, and I thought it went well. Surprisingly I was really apprehensive about starting this process, as I've been looking a various blogs and recipes, but I must say, I had fun! It was a tedious process, but one I enjoyed. This recipe comes from a blog called "two peas and their pod." Please note my own personal changes/adages done in bold. Recipe taken from:

Pretzel Bites

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted (6 Tablespoons)
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (I omitted this as my butter had salt in it)
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil
3 quarts water (12 cups)
3/4 cup baking soda (I ended up having half a cup less than what it called for, but I think it worked fine!)
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt

For the cheese sauce:
½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
½ Tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated

For the Pretzels: Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.

Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce.

To make the cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

*If you want to make cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites-instead of adding salt, sprinkle the bites with cinnamon and sugar. For the frosting mix-soft cream cheese-about 3 T, powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a little bit of milk. Whisk together. Add more milk if it is too thick, if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. I don't measure. I just guess until the consistency is right.*

Recipe makes a lot of bites-perfect for sharing!

Adapted from Bobby Flay

Tresa's Personal Notes-These were really good, again, a tedious process, but really good. The last photo is of the Cinnamon and Sugar Pretzels. Happy Pretzel Day!