Friday, May 27, 2016

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

These little gems are flat-out addicting! I made a batch yesterday and they are disappearing as we speak! Go ahead and treat yourself after a long week. You’ll be so glad you did.

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. butter, room temperature
½ c. granulated sugar
¾ c. light brown sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
12 oz. white chocolate chips
1 1/3 c. Macadamia nut pieces
1 c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375°.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.

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

Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ½ c. at a time. Mix on medium until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Pour in white chocolate chips, Macadamia nuts and dried cranberries. Mix on medium low until well combined.

Use a cookie dough scoop (or a spoon and roll into balls) and place dough 2 inches apart on baking sheet (I like to use a silicone liner).
Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown (don’t overbake).



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Roasted Red Potatoes & Broccoli

Roasted Red Potatoes & Broccoli

This recipe serves two, but you can definitely change it up for a larger crowd. There is so much great flavor not only in the vegetables, but Gainey Vineyard’s Garden Vegetable Seasoning provides the perfect blend of spices to bring out the natural flavors of any dish. Visit: gaineyvineyard.com to check out their amazing pantry products.

2 med. Red potatoes, diced (about 1-inch cubes)
1 ½ c. chopped broccoli florets
3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Gainey Vineyard Garden Vegetable Seasoning
2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine potatoes and broccoli in a medium bowl. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and toss to coat. Sprinkle with vegetable seasoning making sure to distribute evenly.

Spread vegetable mixture evenly on a baking sheet (drizzle with a little olive oil if necessary) and bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Delicious!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Granola Cups with Yogurt

Granola Cups with Yogurt

2 c. Old Fashioned Oats
1 c. raw almonds, finely ground
1 ripe banana, smashed
½ c. + 1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract (optional)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine oats, ground almonds and smashed banana in the bowl of a mixer. Mix well using the paddle attachment. Add honey, cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix well making sure all ingredients are well incorporated. (Cool tip: before adding the honey, spray the measuring cup with cooking spray first. It pours out so much easier).

I used a cookie dough scooper to fill the muffin cups (each one took 2 heaping scoops full). Use your fingers to firmly press granola mixture up sides of muffin cups.

Bake about 25 to 30 minutes. Seriously, your nose will tell you when these are done. When they’re golden brown and the wonderful aroma fills your house, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool before removing them from the pan.

Fill with your favorite yogurt and/or fruit. Enjoy!


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Bacalhau A Bras (my attempt)

My husband has been encouraging me to connect more with my Portuguese roots by making some of the traditional dishes of my heritage. My great-grandfather on my dad’s side came from the Azores. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the culture or about the food.

So, I’ve decided to research what I can online to get a feel for the types of dishes we could expect to find when we do have an opportunity to visit one day.

This dish is called Bacalhau `A Bras. I did change it up just a bit from the traditional version. This is sort of a loose version of a fish omelet with the addition of potatoes. Instead of using just potatoes, I also added a zucchini just to give it some green. Also, since I wasn’t feeding an army, but only a simple lunch for me and my husband, I changed up the measurements. It’s a filling dish, very simple combination of flavors, but it definitely keeps you craving more. Great flavor!

I’m excited to try other Portuguese recipes. If you have a favorite recipe handed down from one generation to the next, you’re welcome to leave a comment and tell me about it. I'd love to try it!

Bacalhau `A Bras

8 oz. white fish (original recipe called for salt cod. I used a combination of cod
 fillet and whiting)
2 russet potatoes, peeled
1 med. Zucchini (optional, not part of the original recipe)
1 ½ Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. butter
½ yellow onion, sliced thinly
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, beaten
Black olives
Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

If possible, use a mandolin slicer to slice potatoes in ¼ inch thick slices. Cut each slice into “match sticks.” Do the same with the zucchini slicing into match stick size.

Heat oil in large, deep skillet. Add potatoes and zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir and cook over medium heat until golden, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in separate medium skillet, saute onions and garlic (do not let garlic brown). Add salt and pepper.

Shred fish with your fingers (make sure to remove any remaining bones and skin) and add it to the onions and garlic. Stir and cook until fish is cooked through.

Add fish mixture to potatoes and zucchini. Stir to incorporate all ingredients and finish cooking until slightly golden. Pour beaten eggs over the top and cook a couple more minutes until eggs are done.

Sprinkle with parsley and add a few black olives. Serve hot.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Chocolate Orange Truffles

So, I think I have a new favorite flavor combination. I've truly been missing out! Chocolate and orange....TOGETHER??? Who knew? Oh my goodness, these little gems are nothing short of delicious. They are positively decadent, rich, creamy, chocolatey, did I say "decadent?" They are just a little bite of WOW and you really should treat yourself to one or two of these as soon as possible.

I did not come up with this recipe on my own. I adapted it from one I found Here. However, I changed out the vanilla extract for orange extract to add a different level of flavor. I also used a combination of semi-sweet baking chocolate (bars) and chocolate chips. It's a great basic truffle recipe and I'm looking forward to changing it up even more because....oh yes.....I WILL be making these again :)

You'll need:
3 c. powdered sugar, sifted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 c. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tsp. flavored extract (orange, raspberry, strawberry, maple, etc - I used orange this time)
your choice of colorful sprinkles or nuts

In large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Add melted chocolate and flavored extract. Mix until ingredients are well incorporated. Place mixture in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Shape into 1-inch balls (I used a small cookie dough scoop) and roll in your choice of sprinkles, nuts, cocoa, etc. Keep refrigerated.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hot Artichoke & Kale Dip

I put a new spin on an old favorite recipe. I've been making hot artichoke and Parmesan dip with frozen spinach for years. This time...there was no frozen spinach to be found, so frozen kale it was! No problem - it turned out just as delicious and I may even switch to kale in this recipe from now on.

Hot Artichoke & Kale Dip

7.5 oz. jar of Gainey Vineyard Artichoke & Olive Tapenade
8 oz. frozen kale, thawed
1/4c. mayonnaise
1/4c. sour cream
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour contents of artichoke & olive tapenade in a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.

Spread mixture evenly in an 8x8 baking dish (or round pie pan). Bake 25 minutes or until bubbling and edges turn slightly golden brown.

This is a wonderful dip served with either sliced vegetables, pita chips or tortilla chips.

Note: This recipe uses Gainey Vineyard Artichoke & Olive Tapenade. You can find this and other wonderful ingredients Here


Monday, May 2, 2016

Best-Ever Baked Beans

So, this is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite baked bean recipe ever! I've made something similar in the past doctoring up Pork and Beans, but there is just so much flavor and yum packed into this recipe. You're gonna want this one as the perfect side dish for summer grilling, pot lucks, picnics or just because.

Best-Ever Baked Beans

7oz. Smoked Sausage, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
¼ c. ketchup
¼ c. packed brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. Gainey Vineyard Chardonnay Chipotle Mustard
¼ tsp. ground ginger
Dash ground cloves
28oz. can Pork and Beans

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown smoked sausage. Remove from pan. In drippings, sauté bell pepper and celery. Stir and cook for until tender.

Reduce heat to simmer and add ketchup, brown sugar, ginger and mustard. Stir or whisk to combine. Stir in dash of cloves and return sausage to pan.

Pour in Pork and Beans and stir until all ingredients are fully combined.

Transfer bean mixture to an 8x8 baking dish and spread evenly. Bake about an hour and 10 minutes.

Note: This recipes uses Gainey Vineyard Chardonnay Chipotle Mustard and adds so much wonderful flavor. Find this and other amazing products Here