Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dad's Baked Beans With Sausage

We've hosted a lot of family parties this summer and that usually means breaking out the old bbq. Who wants to cook for 25 people in 100 degree weather?

We usually have your pretty typical bbq food. Hamburgers, kebabs, ribs, etc.  and all the standard side dishes including potato salad, corn on the cob, and baked beans.  My Father in law brought some baked beans he'd been telling us about. Normally, I'll have a small serving of beans and be perfectly content. But these beans? Oh no. One bite and I was already eying the bowl to make sure there were more. I think I actually had thirds. Something about the sweet and smoky beans paired with sausage takes them up a notch. My father in law is now permanently assigned to bring the baked beans.

*The key with these beans is to let them simmer for awhile and let the flavors develop. *

Baked Beans with Sausage

*Plan ahead. These beans need to simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.*

1 package jimmy dean sausage (just the regular kind in a tube)

1 diced onion

½ cup brown sugar (or more to taste)

2 tsp. mustard

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. bbq sauce

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. molasses

5 or 6   15 oz. cans pork and beans, drained

 Dice onion and cook with sausage until crisp. Drain. Add all other ingredients. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally  (at least 1 1/2-2 hours) to allow flavors to develop.

Posted by: Sallie
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

After loving this delicious Indian dish, I wanted more.

Enter Chicken Tikka Masala. 

Bite sized nuggets of chicken are marinated in an delicious spicy yogurt sauce that includes two of our favs -- cinnamon and cumin. They are then skewered and grilled to perfection and last but not least, topped with a heavenly spicy tomato cream sauce.

There were so many things I loved about this dinner.

The marinade time is quick. Only an hour. Sometimes I don't want think about dinner when it's only breakfast.

The chicken. It  had so many layers of flavor! The flavorful marinade, that slight smoky flavor you get from the grill, and the sauce.

Did I mention the sauce? While I was making this I was a little shocked at the amount of spices (and sending up silent prayers that we weren't going to be calling the pizza delivery boy or eating cereal for dinner). Apparently Indians like their spices. Apparently I do too because the sauce was so delicious that I was literally mopping up every last drop!

Served over jasmine rice (not optional in my humble opinion) with a side of naan bread, this meal was  a keeper. I have a feeling we just might be eating more Indian food in the near future.
Chicken Tikka Masala
*Plan ahead. The chicken needs to marinate for 1 hour.*
1 cup yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp salt
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 tsp cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, pepper, ginger, and 1 tsp salt. Stir in chicken, cover, refrigerate 1 hour. Preheat a grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade. Grill 5 min. on each side.
For the sauce: Melt butter in a large skillet. Saute garlic for 1 minute. Season with 2 tsp cumin, paprika and 1 tsp salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve over rice.
Posted by: Sallie
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Lemon Berry Trifle


If you're looking for a beyond delicious, crowd pleasing, show stopping, perfect summer dessert, this is it! Layers of  tender, moist lemon pound cake are accentuated by the most delicious lemon infused whipped cream and topped off with a classic berry syrup.

This is another great recipe for feeding a crowd (although if it would have stayed in my fridge a few more days, I'm pretty sure it would have mysteriously disappeared.)

Although it can be a bit labor intensive, most everything can be made 2-3 days ahead.  You could also simplify things quite a bit by purchasing the pound cake and lemon curd.

Lemon Berry Trifle
Mel's Kitchen Cafe

*Note: the trifle should be assembled about 5-8 hours before serving so all the flavors can blend together. All of the components can be made from 1-3 days ahead. Look through the recipe for more specific details.

*Serves 8-10

Berries (can be cooked up to a day in advance and refrigerated):
4 cups berries (a combination of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries), you can use fresh or frozen – if using frozen, they need to be thawed and drained
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Lemon Cream (the lemon curd can be made up to 3 days in advance):
3 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 recipe lemon curd (see below) or an 11-ounce jar lemon curd

Pound Cake (can be made a day in advance or longer, if it is frozen):
1 9-inch round or loaf lemon (or plain) pound cake, homemade (Danielle used this recipe, I wanted to try a new version and typed it up below – both are fantastic) or store-bought, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down, about 3-4 minutes. Take the berries off the heat and let the mixture cool. This can be done a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate the berry syrup until ready to use.
In a clean bowl, whip the cream with the powdered sugar and the vanilla until soft peaks form. Put the lemon curd into a second bowl and whisk in about 1/4 cup of the whipped cream to loosen it up a bit. Then gently fold in the rest of the cream. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.
To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the cream into a large glass or trifle bowl. Add a layer of pound cake. You may need to break the pound cake slices into smaller pieces and jigsaw them together to fit. Then drizzle on about 1/3 of the berry syrup. Don’t worry if it doesn’t completely coat the pound cake – just drizzle it across and let the berries fall where they may. Spoon a layer of lemon cream over the top, smoothing to the sides. Repeat all the layers, 2 or 3 more times, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of lemon cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. It is best to make this several hours before serving and refrigerate it.

Lemon Pound Cake:
adapted from Martha Stewart Living 2002 Annual Recipes

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
Preheat the oven to 324 degrees. Butter and dust with flour a 9-inch round cake pan (or I suppose a loaf pan would work, also). Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Place the butter in a large bowl and using an handheld or stand mixer, beat until soft. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until incorporated after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes (perhaps longer for a deep loaf pan). Invert onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Lemon Curd:
adapted from Martha Stewart Living 2002 Annual Recipes

4 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons), strained
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
Strain the yolks and whole egg through a fine mesh strainer into a heavy medium saucepan (this took a bit of work – I pressed on the egg mixture with the back of a spoon, moving it around, until they moved through the strainer). Add the sugar and juice; whisk to combine.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the butter, one piece at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the lemon zest. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming and chill in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Posted by: Sallie
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ground Turkey Enchiladas with Corn and Cilantro Topping

If you can't tell, I am semi-obsessed with this blog.  She has so many delicious recipes. Everything I've tried has been absolutely fabulous.

These ground turkey enchiladas were no exception. The filling was moist and flavorful with spices like cumin, chili powder and a little kick from the salsa (if you don't like things spicy, use a very mild salsa.) I loved the topping too. It was something totally out of the ordinary and was delicious as well.

Usually when I make dishes with ground turkey there's a less than excited reaction from my better half but he loved these too. We both ate the leftovers for the next days lunch. These enchiladas will definitely be going on my menu again soon.

Ground Turkey Enchiladas with Corn and Cilantro Topping
A Bountiful Kitchen
for topping:
1 1/4 cups frozen corn, thawed
1- 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

for enchiladas:
3/4 pound ground turkey
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup mild red salsa (we used "El Pinto" brand)
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
salt and pepper
8 corn tortillas, warmed or grilled
1 1/2 cups cheese, pepper jack or Mexican cheese blend, divided
1/4 cup sliced olives, optional

Place the first six ingredients in a food processor, cover and pulse until blended. Do not over pulse. You still want chunks of corn.
In a large skillet, cook the turkey, onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Remove from heat, stir in salsa, cornmeal and seasonings.
Spoon 1/3 cup turkey mixture down the center of each tortilla, top with two tablespoons cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 9x13 pan. Lay the tortillas so you have two rows of four tortillas, side by side. Spoon corn mixture over the top.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for additional 5-10 minutes longer until heated and cheese is bubbly on top.
Serves 4

-You can grill the tortillas on a griddle on both sides till soft or microwave them for a few seconds on a paper towel.
-If you want to cut the fat, use half and half instead of cream for the corn topping.

Posted by: Sallie
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Cream Biscuits

Picture from Smitten Kitchen

The next time you want some out of this world, buttery, melt in your mouth, make everyone fall in love with you, biscuits....look no further. These are the biscuits that dreams are made of. 

We have had these babies  numerous times and every time they turn out fantastic. Slathered in honey butter or topped with this delicious freezer jam, it's bound to turn your ordinary dinner into something to remember.   Because these use cream instead of butter, they are much easier to work with and have a lighter than air texture.

My husband always says they remind him of the biscuits his Grandma used to make. That's a big complement. If you have any leftovers they are perfect for homemade egg and sausage breakfast sandwiches.

Cream Biscuits
Smitten Kitchen

*Makes 10-14 biscuits depending on size*

3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional, I used it)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in a small pot or microwave dish, and set aside. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little. (I ended up using all  additional tablespoons cream.)

Turn dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Dip the top of each round in melted butter and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. (I had butter leftover so I brushed them again when they came out of the oven.) Serve immediately, or flash freeze for future use. [Biscuits can be baked straight from the freezer, and additional few minutes baking time will be needed, usually around 3 to 5.]

***P.S.  We're  working hard to make a recipe index and lots of other changes to make our blog better and recipe searching easier than ever. ***
Posted by: Sallie
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie

After tasting this pie for the first time, it ranked among my most favorite of all time desserts! The deep,
dark, rich, chocolate filling and creamy, slightly tangy creme freiche whipped topping complement each other so well. Just looking at the picture  has me drooling and wishing I had this in my fridge right now!

While I'll admit this is a special occasion dessert that requires a little extra time and effort, the results are well worth it. I do like dark chocolate but I also need my sugar so I always opt for the semisweet chocolate. I have made this several times and it never disappoints!

P.S. We are trying to update our blog and make it easier to find recipes. Please be patient with us!!

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie
Mel's Kitchen Cafe

*Read through the recipe to see the notes about what parts of the pie can be made ahead of time.The pudding portion needs to be made at least one day ahead of time to chill overnight in the refrigerator. If  you want to skip the crème fraîche part , you can sub the same amount of heavy whipping cream (making it 1 1/2 cups total) for the topping – but you will be missing out!!!

1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (I use about 3/4 package of chocolate Teddy Grahams (a 9 oz. box)
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups whole milk, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chilled crème fraîche**
3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bittersweet chocolate shavings or curls (optional – I used Pioneer Woman’s chocolate curl instructions found here)

Crust: (can be made one day ahead of time, lightly covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated)
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. In a food processor (or by hand in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin), blend cookie crumbs and sugar. If using a food processor, add melted butter (if using a bag, pour the crumbs into a bowl and mix in the butter); process until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides (not rim) of 9-inch glass pie dish. Bake until crust begins to set and no longer looks moist, pressing gently with back of fork if crust puffs, about 10 minutes. Remove crust from oven, then sprinkle chopped chocolate over bottom of crust. Let stand until chocolate softens, 1 to 2 minutes. Using offset spatula or small rubber spatula, spread chocolate over bottom and up sides of crust to cover. Chill crust until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.
Filling: (can be made 2 days ahead of time – keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use)
Whisk sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt to blend in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually add 1/3 cup milk, whisking until smooth paste forms. Whisk in remaining milk, then 1/4 cup cream. Using flat-bottom wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, stir mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping bottom and sides of pan until pudding thickens and begins to bubble at edges, about 5 minutes. Add chocolate; stir until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour hot pudding into crust and spread evenly. Cool 1 hour at room temperature. Cover with a cake dome or other covering that doesn’t lay directly on the pudding; chill overnight.

Topping: (Assembled pie can be made 6-8 hours ahead of time – cover with a cake dome or tall pot and refrigerate)
Using electric mixer, beat crème fraîche, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl just until stiff peaks form and mixture is thick enough to spread (do not overbeat or mixture may curdle). Spread topping decoratively over top of pie, swirling to create peaks, if desired. Sprinkle chocolate shavings decoratively on the top of the pie, if desired. Cut pie into wedges and serve.

**Crème fraîche is a tangy, thinner form of sour cream and is used a lot in French cooking/baking. The unique property of crème fraîche compared to sour cream is that it can be whipped to soft or stiff peaks, just like whipping cream. Crème fraîche is quite expensive to buy but the good news is you can easily make it yourself at home (which is what I did for this recipe). Here is the method I used:
In a small saucepan, pour in 1 cup of heavy cream and over low heat, heat the cream until it is tepid and slightly warm to the touch (no need to overheat it – you just want to take the chill off). Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk. The cultures in the buttermilk are going to turn the cream into crème fraîche. Pour the mixture into a glass jar, cover it loosely and leave it at room temperature for 24 hours, stirring every 6-8 hours (don’t worry about it – the cultures in the buttermilk will protect it from going bad). You’ll notice it will start to thicken a bit. After 24-36 hours, put it in the fridge where it can be kept for 7-10 days. Once completely chilled, it can be used accordingly.

Posted by: Sallie
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Buttery Brioche Hamburger Buns

As promised here are the most delicious, buttery, sweet, AMAZING, hamburger buns I have ever had! We had these the first time with these delicious turkey burgers, but my kids have been loving them as mini sandwiches and even for a little snack with cream cheese or some strawberry jam. 

We loved them in miniature form but I am confident they would work equally well made as traditional sized hamburger buns as well. (Just watch the baking time, you might need to cook them for longer.)  With Father's Day just around the corner, this would be something that would make his day and yours!

Buttery Brioche Hamburger Buns
Cuisine at Home

1 1/2 sticks (12 TBSP) butter, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
2/3 cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 TBSP. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
4 1/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup sugar
11/2 tsp. salt
1 egg combined with 1 TBSP. water

Whisk together butter and 3 eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer on low speed until combined, then whisk in milk. (The mixture will still be lumpy and looked curdled after mixing, this is ok.)

Combine 2/3 cup water, 1 TBSP. sugar, and yeast in a small bowl; set aside until foamy, 5 minutes.

Whisk together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a bowl until combined.

Add yeast and flour mixtures to butter mixture and knead on low speed with a dough hook attachment until dough is smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. Transfer dough to a large, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 1 1/2-2 hours or refrigerate overnight.

Punch down dough to release the air from it, then divide into 1 oz. portions. shape dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. cover buns with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1 1/2 hours. (This will take longer if you refrigerated the dough.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brush tops and sides of dough balls with egg-water mixture;bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool buns before slicing.

Posted by: Sallie
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Southwestern Turkey Sliders

From the first time I tried turkey burgers, I've been a fan. My husband, not so much. He's such an easy going guy, but when it comes to messing with a good thing (like a big, juicy cheeseburger) he can be a little resistant. Figuring I couldn't go wrong with Emeril, I decided to see if I could change my husband's mind.

Moist and flavorful, packed with some of our favorite spices like cumin and coriander, these turkey burgers were a major hit. The avocado, cheese and crisp lettuce sealed the deal.  Thanks Emeril for finally adding my husband to the turkey burger fan list. He loved them.

** I decided to go ahead and make the slider version even though we were having these for dinner (you could easily make regular sized patties, just add extra grilling time). My kids aren't huge eaters and they love anything in miniature. I froze the leftovers and they have been great for summer lunches now that the kids are home. **

Stay tuned.... next time I'll share the most divine, buttery, mini brioche hamburger rolls.


  • 2 pounds ground turkey, 85/15 blend
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced green onion, (about 1)
  • 1 or 2 serrano peppers, minced, to taste
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Emeril's Southwestern Essence (see recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 12 mini burger buns or small soft dinner rolls, warmed in oven
  • 12 small lettuce leaves
  • 12 slices tomatoes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • Mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup, if desired


    Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

    In a large bowl, combine ground turkey with minced red onion, green onion, peppers, egg whites, Essence, cumin and Worcestershire sauce. Divide the turkey into 12 equal portions and, using your hands, shape into 12 small burgers about 3 1/2-inches wide.

    Place the burgers on the grill and cook until turkey is done and a thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees F, about 3 minutes per side.

    Serve the burgers with cheese on the mini buns with lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced red onions and avocado, garnished with mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup to your liking. 
Emeril's Southwest Essence

 2 tablespoons chili powder
 2 teaspoons ground cumin
 2 tablespoons paprika
 1 teaspoon black pepper
 1 tablespoon ground coriander
 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 1 tablespoon garlic powder
 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
 1 tablespoon salt
 1 tablespoon dried oregano
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 1/2 cup

Posted by: Sallie
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Paula Deen's Lemon Bars

Picture from A Farm Girl's Dabbles

If I'm not eating chocolate for dessert, another favorite is lemon. Paula never lets me down and these bars were no exception. I loved the addition of powdered sugar to the crust which made it buttery and sweet. The filling was super lemony,tangy and delicious. Topped off with a healthy dose of powdered sugar,these bars are the perfect take along to your next summer outing.

Paula Deen's Lemon Bars

for the crust:
1 c. unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

for the lemon filling:
6 large eggs
3 c. sugar
4 T. grated lemon zest
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 c. all-purpose flour
additional powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray and set aside.

To make the crust, combine the butter, flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix with a large spoon or your fingers until well combined. Shape dough into a ball and then pat evenly into your prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until set and just beginning to turn color.

Prepare the lemon filling while the crust is baking. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour mixture over the baked crust and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Although you don't want to overbake, you don't want to underbake either, as the lemon filling will not set up properly.My oven usually requires a little extra cooking time and they took 40 minutes. You want the filling set,but not too hard.

Let cool completely, then sift additional powdered sugar over the top. These keep very well on the kitchen counter for a few days, although they're really good stored in the fridge. Just take them out about 10 minutes before serving. They also freeze well.

Yield:  24 large or 48 small bars

posted by: Sallie
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Sweet Corn Salad

With grilling season in full swing, I like to have a few creative side dishes to take that ordinary grilled chicken (or whatever else we're grilling) and make it seem better than just your average, everyday, run of the mill dinner.

This corn and black bean salad is a big staple in our house. The flavors are fresh, light and fantastic and can be paired with anything from grilled chicken to tacos or eaten as a quick meal with tortilla chips. I was looking for a side dish to go with some fantastic tacos (I'll be posting the recipe soon) and came across this sweet corn salad.

Crunchy and sweet, fresh and light, this salad just screams summer. I loved the mango paired with the corn and the slight heat from the jalapeno. The dressing was light but tasty with hints of  smoky cumin, fresh cilantro, and just good old salt and pepper.

One word of advice. Do not skimp on the corn!!! Don't even think about using canned corn. This salad is all about the corn! The better quality of corn you buy the better the salad! I bought some great corn on the cob from Costco that was a mix of sweet white and yellow corn. Amazing!

Sweet Corn Salad
Adapted from A Farm Girls Dabbles

8 c. fresh corn kernels (cut from 8 to 12 ears of already boiled corn)
1 large mango, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
10 scallions, white and green parts, sliced

2 jalapenos seeded, and finely diced (if you like a little more heat, leave a some of the seeds and the membrane in.The original recipe called for 1/4 c. fresh red chilie but I couldn't find one)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro (the original recipe called for italian parsley)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. cider vinegar
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

optional ingredients:
1 avocado, medium dice + 1 T. fresh lime juice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

In a large bowl, stir together the corn, mango, tomatoes, scallions, red chile or jalapeno, and parsley.

Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, sugar, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Drizzle over all the vegetables and cilantro. Stir until combined.

If adding avocado, stir lime juice gently with avocado, to minimize browning. Don't add the avocado until you are ready to serve the salad.

Servings: 8 to 10

Posted by: Sallie
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies


I love Ina Garten, better known as the Barefoot Contessa, on Food Network. She is always making the most fabulous food. I've wanted to make her "Outrageous Brownies" for quite awhile but was always hesitant because of the huge amount they make. Or maybe it was because I had heard so much hype, I didn't want to be let down.  I was planning a big family party and just happened to spot them on A Bountiful Kitchen. Once I saw the pictures, I knew there was no going back.

Big, bold and packed with 3 pounds of chocolate and a whole pound of butter, these aren't for the faint of heart! No surprise, I was in chocolate heaven. The brownies are dense, fudgy and  intensely chocolaty. The chocolate ganache took them to a whole new dimension.
The big surprise? My husband proclaimed these the ultimate, best ever, his favorite brownies of all time and ate at least five of them (thankfully not all in one sitting). I, on the other hand, will continue to be a die hard brownie lover of all kinds, shapes and sizes and  probably never proclaim one to be the best.

Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies

from A Bountiful Kitchen *see bottom of recipe for tips and notes*

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (optional. It brings out the flavor of the chocolate)
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 1/4 cup flour and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl, then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake!

Ganache Frosting
9 oz. Semisweet chocolate
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
Place all ingredients in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until melted and combined. Pour over brownies after brownies are cooled slightly. Let sit for about 1 hour, or in refrigerator until set, then cut and serve. 


-The original recipe calls for 3 cups chopped walnuts or pecans and 1 1/4 cups flour.
-These freeze well. Cut and wrap in Ziploc bags on paper plates. They will keep for up to two months in the freezer.

Posted by: Sallie
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