Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Chocolate Lovers' (Soft Serve) Ice Cream with Cherries

This has to be the richest, most decadent chocolate ice cream I've ever eaten, let alone, ever made! The addition of espresso powder takes the chocolate flavor to a whole new level and the maraschino cherries are just a little added surprise in every bite. Seriously, you'll want to tuck this one away in the back of the freezer and tell everyone it's already gone. 

Chocolate-Lover’s Ice Cream

2 c. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. espresso powder
2/3 c. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. maraschino cherries, chopped (stems removed)
1 c. Half and Half
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pour heavy cream in medium pot. Add cocoa powder, espresso powder, sugar and salt. Whisk all ingredients together over medium-low heat. Whisk or stir frequently. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Pour chocolate chips into large mixing bowl. Pour cream mixture over chocolate chips and let it sit about 5 minutes.

Add Half and Half and vanilla extract. Whisk all ingredients together to make sure chocolate is completely melted and everything is mixed together well. Stir in cherries.

Pour into frozen bowl of electric ice cream maker and churn about 45-50 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken.

Pour into plastic container and cover with a lid. Place in freezer for about 2 hours before serving.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (a little different version)

This recipe was all about using what I had on hand. I wanted to clean out a few leftovers and for some reason, I had a bunch of chicken thighs purchased from the grocery store deli several days ago that would have otherwise gone to waste. Normally, I would have used ground turkey in my unstuffed cabbage rolls, but I decided shredding up the chicken would work just fine. 

I also had some leftover grilled corn on the cob just sitting in the fridge and happened to find a newly-opened jar of marinara sauce, too. I love putting leftovers to good use and finding a purpose for what I have on hand. I already spend PLENTY on groceries, so saving a few dollars here and there always makes me (and my husband) smile! J

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (a little different version)

1 ½ c. shredded chicken
½ onion, diced (I used a brown onion)
1 celery stalk, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
Cut kernels off 1 ear of grilled corn on the cob
¾ c. cooked brown rice
1 can petite diced tomatoes
½ c. prepared marinara sauce
½ head of small cabbage, chopped
1 ½ tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. onion powder
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
About 1 cup of water or more if needed to just cover mixture in pan)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat olive oil in large skillet on stovetop over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and celery. Sprinkle with a little salt. Stir and cook until onions are nearly opaque. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so stirring frequently.

Add shredded chicken, corn and rice. Pour in diced tomatoes and marinara sauce. Sprinkle with thyme and onion powder and stir well. Add chopped cabbage. Pour in chicken broth and water and stir. Add a little more water if necessary (cabbage will absorb water and cook down, so add water if you’d like more of a soupy consistency).

Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about an hour or until cabbage is fully cooked. Serve hot.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

White Wine Skillet Bread

So, this may look like other breads I've made in my cast iron skillet, but believe me, this has a much lighter, fluffier consistency and it's absolutely delicious. With a touch of wine and the addition of Parmesan, oh my gosh....you really need to try this one for yourself :) 

White Wine Skillet Bread
(I used my 12-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe)

½ c. white wine
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
3 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. rosemary, chopped
1 c. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. olive oil, separated
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 tsp. corn meal

Pour wine in small saucepan. Add butter, sugar, garlic powder and salt and stir over low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat.

In large bowl of mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes until it blooms and becomes frothy.

Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder into medium bowl. Add rosemary. Stir in Parmesan.

Add wine mixture to the bloomed yeast in mixing bowl. Attach dough hook to mixer. Add flour mixture to the mixing bowl one cup at a time. Let the machine run until all ingredients are combined and dough pulls away from the sides. Dough should still be sticky.

Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead about 15 times. Form dough into a ball.

Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in large bowl. Place dough in the bowl making sure to coat all sides with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise (double in size) for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

After dough has risen, turn it out onto floured surface. Punch dough down and knead 8 to 10 times. Drizzle 1 tbsp. olive oil to skillet and wipe away excess with paper towel. Sprinkle bottom of skillet with corn meal. Transfer dough to skillet stretching it to fit inside.

Cover skillet with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 20 minutes.

Brush or drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and remaining rosemary.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown and bread pulls away from sides of skillet. 


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Check out the Summer Issue of Joyful Kitchen Magazine

I am so excited about this issue of Joyful Kitchen Magazine! You're going to love the simple and delicious recipes that will WOW your taste buds and won't keep you standing at the stove all summer.

With 25 different recipes to choose from, this issue has everything from cool and refreshing salads and side dishes to hot and hearty dishes and of course, the sweet treats that will delight your guests.

To order your print copy of the magazine, click on the MagCloud link below. To view the slideshow/video, click HERE  https://www.dropbox.com/s/0pcuiwiv4adfy4w/joyful%20kitchen%20summer%202016.mp4?dl=0

Joyful Kitchen Summer 2016
36 pages, published 6/18/2016
Sharing 25 simple and delicious summertime recipes for the home cook.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Triple Chocolate Skillet Cookie

For no particular reason, I have craved chocolate ALL day! Not just a simple, "gosh, a little piece of chocolate sounds good," NO. I have "required" chocolate kinda like I require oxygen. Can't explain it. Anyway, my afternoon plans shifted a bit and I found myself staring at a package of chocolate chips and thinking hhmmmm.....

I literally came up with this recipe as I went along. I thought it up and it went in the bowl. Gotta admit, smells pretty awesome and I can't wait to dig in. I'm thinkin' maybe after dinner with a dollop of ice cream and some kind of ooey-gooey topping? Hhmmmmmm......

Triple Chocolate Skillet Cookie

1 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. granulated sugar
¾ c. light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ c. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. I like to use a whisk just to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

In large bowl of stand mixer, combine butter and sugars. Mix until combined. Add eggs and vanilla. Start on low then increase speed. Mix until creamy.

Add dry ingredients one cup at a time mixing in between. Mix until fully incorporated. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips and mix thoroughly.

Pour contents out into skillet. Use a plastic scraper to spread dough evenly to reach all sides.

Sprinkle mini chocolate chops across the top.

Bake for 33-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and cookie has pulled away slightly from the sides. (Don't overbake).


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Baked Yams and Asparagus

This might sound like an odd combination, but please just trust me on this one. This is an easy-breezy, light and healthy summer side dish that you really should try. AND, if you've got the grill going, try grilling a couple ears of corn, slicing off the kernels and adding it to the mix just before serving to add even MORE yum!!

Baked Yams and Asparagus

2 med. yams, peeled and diced to about an inch or inch and a half cubes
12 to 15 asparagus spears, remove & discard lower inch of spears and cut spears into thirds
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp oregano
½ c. sliced almonds
Zest of one lemon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil over large baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine garlic salt, pepper, paprika and oregano.

Place diced yams in medium bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with half of seasoning mixture. Stir well to coat all pieces.

Spread diced yams evenly over baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes..

Meanwhile, place asparagus pieces into same bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle about a Tbsp. of seasoning mixture over top. Stir well to coat and set aside.

When the diced yams have baked for about 35 minutes, remove from the oven and use a spatula to turn the pieces over. Add asparagus pieces and spread evenly over pan.

Return pan to the oven and finish baking another 10 minutes or until all veggies are fork tender.

Pour sliced almonds in small saucepan and cook 4-5 minutes over medium heat stirring often. Set aside.

Remove yam and asparagus from oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Stir in almonds and top with lemon zest. Serve hot.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

So, yeah.....this happened a few days ago in my kitchen. Super delicious! Made me realize that anytime of year is perfect for apples and cinnamon. Why wait for the fall when you can enjoy this awesome flavor combination now?

I used Gainey Vineyard's Toasted Hazelnut Grapeseed Oil in this because as those closest to me know, I pretty much can't drink a cup of coffee without my hazelnut creamer, LOL. Hazelnut...coffee...they just go together. And what better way to celebrate the two than in a wonderful coffee cake :) Really, this is a must try!

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

½ c. butter, softened
1 ½ c. light brown sugar
¼ c. Gainey Vineyard Toasted Hazelnut Grapeseed Oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ c. light brown sugar
¼ c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour an 8”x 8” (or 9”x 9”) baking dish and set aside.

In large bowl of mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix butter, grapeseed oil and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla extract. Beat in eggs one at a time.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. Stir well.

Add dry ingredients ½ cup at a time to wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in diced apples by hand.

Pour cake batter into prepared baking dish.

Combine topping ingredients in small bowl. Use either pastry blender or 2 knives in scissor fashion to cut in butter until texture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over cake.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

This is the perfect go-to snack for that special movie night, family game night, or just to have on hand when guests drop by. Sweet, spicy, delicious and a little addicting!

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

1 c. cashews (whole, unsalted)
1 c. almonds (whole, unsalted)
1 c. walnuts (halves)
1 c. pecans (halves)
¼ c. Gainey Vineyard Roasted Chestnut Grapeseed Oil
1 Tbsp. butter
½ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground cumin

Preheat oven to 350°.

Pour all the nuts into large bowl.

Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir in roasted chestnut grapeseed oil. Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved.

Add sea salt, cayenne and cumin and stir well (I like to use a whisk for this).

Remove from heat and pour mixture over nuts. Toss to coat all the nuts well.

Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet. Bake approximately 15-18 minutes (your nose will tell you when they’re done). Enjoy!


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Peaches and Cream Cheese Cake

Simple and delicious is the name of the game when the summertime heat hits, as it has here in most parts of California. But this wonderful, no-bake dessert will help you keep your cool. It’s so refreshing and easy to throw together. No doubt, this will become a summertime favorite for your family and friends!

Peaches and Cream Cheese Cake

20 Gingersnap cookies
½ c. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. Gainey Vineyard Ginger Grapeseed oil
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz. tub of whipped dessert topping
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

21 oz. can of prepared peach pie filling

In food processor, combine gingersnap cookies, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until crumbly. Drizzle in butter and ginger grapeseed oil. Pulse until fully combined. Remove from food processor and spread evenly in a springform pan. Use your fingers to press firmly on bottom and slightly up sides of pan.

In large bowl of electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until creamy and smooth.

Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over crust and place in refrigerator for at least an hour to set up.

After an hour or so, remove from fridge. Run a knife around the edge between cheesecake and pan. Release springform. Pour can of peach pie filling over the top and spread evenly before serving.


***Gainey Vineyard’s Ginger Grapeseed Oil is found on their web site, gaineyvineyard.com


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Grilled Ginger Chicken and Vegetables

We have been without a grill since before last summer. Tragic, I know. We basically used the life right out of it until the burners were deemed unsafe by dear husband. The smoker still works and that's awesome an' all, but I have this deep desire to marinate meat and throw it out on the grill and cook it over an open flame.

So, we picked up a new one last weekend :) Woo-Hoo! I can smile again! Grilling meat and vegies truly makes me happy. It's like summer never really starts until you haul in a big platter of delicious grilled goodness.

One of (many) things we made using our new toy was this flavorful creation using Gainey Vineyard's Ginger Grapeseed Oil. You can find this and SO many other wonderful ingredients on their web site: gaineyvineyard.com

I actually let the chicken hang out in the marinade for about 24 hours, but it really just needs about an hour or so to let all those wonderful flavors get happy :)

So, come on! Get out there and fire up that grill!

Grilled Ginger Chicken and Vegetables

For the chicken
6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skinless)
1 Tbsp. Gainey Vineyard Ginger Grapeseed Oil
2 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. honey
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. lime zest
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper

2 c. diced vegetables (zucchinis, red bell pepper, broccoli florets, pearl onions, mushrooms)
1 ½ Tbsp. Gainey Vineyard Ginger Grapeseed Oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
Dash of black pepper

In small bowl, combine all marinade ingredients: grapeseed oil, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, honey, lime juice and lime zest, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir well.

Place chicken thighs in 1 gallon plastic bag. Pour marinade over chicken making sure to completely coat each piece.

Refrigerate for at least an hour (I refrigerated mine for 24 hours).

Place diced vegetables in medium bowl. Pour ginger grapeseed oil over the top. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper.

Toss to coat.

Let chicken rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

Spread vegetables evenly on grill pan and cook until tender.