Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Brushetta with Balsamic Drizzle

This is one of those recipes I've tinkered with for a few years now. I think I finally have it the way I want it. It's a great appetizer or snack. You can make the bruschetta the day before so it's great for a party where you have a lot to make. Just toast the bread at the end and top with tomato mixture and you're set to go. Plus it's red and green...perfect for Christmas! Give it a try!

Bruschetta with Balsamic Drizzle:

6-8 roma tomatoes- chopped (firmer tomatoes are better for this recipe)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 long skinny baguette sliced thinly (I used sourdough...but any kind of baguette would work. They often have them pre-cut in the bakery)

Mix all ingredients (except for bread) in a medium sized bowl. Allow to chill in fridge for at least 2 hours for best flavor. (I like to make mine a day ahead if I have time). When ready to serve slice bread and toast bread slightly in oven. Top each piece of toast with bruschetta and drizzle recipe below.

Balsamic Drizzle:
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 T. corn starch

Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Boil until slightly thickened (add extra corn starch if needed). Let cool 5 min. or until thickened to consistency you would like (don't let it get too thick). Drizzle over bruschetta and toast. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Here's a great roll recipe I found in one of my Taste of Home cookbooks. So thanks to Kelley Kirby of Westville, Nova Scotia for these yummy rolls! I even decided to make them for Thanksgiving this year! I usually just do Rhodes rolls because up until this recipe I hadn't found a recipe that I thought tasted better than Rhodes. That may have changed now though because these were super light and fluffy, PLUS now I get to brag about making homemade rolls and maybe someone will bring me a gold star or something! :)

The actual making of the rolls didn't take much time at all but since it's yeast it takes all day. Do a step and let it rise. Do another step and let it know the drill! I just always forget to plan it into my day and then I start to make dinner and realize I should have started the rolls 3 hours ago! Luckily I did remember to plan it into Thanksgiving so we had fresh from the oven crescents! Give it a try and earn your gold star too!

1 T. active dry yeast
1 tsp. plus 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup butter, softened (I'm pretty sure I completely melted mine and it turned out fine)
1/2 cup warm 2 % milk (110 to 115 degrees)
1 egg
3/4 tsp. salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water. Add the butter, milk, egg, salt, remaining sugar and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12 in. circle; cut each circle into 12 wedges. Roll up wedges from the wide end and place point side down 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Curve ends to form crescents.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Thanks to the snow day we had this week, I got a chance to make a fun breakfast! I got this pancake recipe from a church cookbook my Mom gave me from her ward. It says that it's IHOP's recipe. I don't know if that's true or not but they were super yummy! A lot better than anything I've had at the IHOP in Santa Fe :)

I also got the apple cider syrup recipe from the same cookbook. It was very easy to make and my kids loved it. They pretty much wanted to drink it! I didn't have any apple cider so I ended up making some with a spiced cider packet I had in my pantry. That seemed to work fine but I'm sure it would taste way better with fresh apple cider!

The syrup tasted really good with the pumpkin pancakes. I have another recipe for an apple cinnamon topping that I think would taste better with the pumpkin pancakes that I will probably try next time.

Pumpkin Pancakes
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
4 tbl. melted butter (half a stick)
3 T. canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. allspice (I didn't have this so I used a little nutmeg and ginger instead)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (I used more)

Preheat skillet to medium heat. Blend first 6 ingredients together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and add them to the other ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Drop onto griddle in 1/4 cup portions. Cook until edges are a little hardened (1-2 minutes) Flip and cook on the other side. Serve with apple cider syrup or your favorite syrup!

Apple Cider Syrup
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (again I used more than that)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups apple cider
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 cup butter (melted)
(note from the cookbook: If you like sweeter syrup you can add sugar to the cornstarch mixture. The apple cider sweetens it already though.)

In a small saucepan, mix sugar, conrstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in apple cider and lemon juice and turn heat to medium high. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter. (Makes about 2 1/2 cups syrup)