Favorite Sugar Cookie

blog sunflowers

Inspired by one of my favorite flowers, sunflowers, I grabbed my favorite sugar cookie recipe, thank you Alton Brown, and created a sunflower cookie to serve here by the bay while entertaining! Of course this recipe could be made in any shape that inspires you. Find the right cookie cutter and colored sanding sugar and start creating!

From by the bay, wishing you yummy sunflower food memories!

Maryann

 

 

blog sunflower cookies

Sugar Cookies

From the Food Network, Alton Brown

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugar-cookies-recipe.html?oc=linkback

blog sunflower cookies 2

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Here is a classic to enjoy with your next barbecue – Deli style macaroni!  Sometimes, you want to keep it simple. I mixed up the recipe with some Mexican cream because I had some in the refrigerator. If you can’t find Mexican cream you could replace the cream with an additional 1/2 cup mayonnaise with a 1/4 cup sour cream. It all works well.

From by the bay wishing you happy deli food memories!

Maryann

blog deli mac

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Serves 6

1 pound cooked elbow macaroni

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup Mexican sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons whole milk

3 celery ribs, chopped finely

1/2 onion ,chopped finely

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium saucepan add the vinegar and sugar and bring to a bowl, dissolving the sugar. In a large bowl add macaroni and pour the sugar/vinegar mixture over and stir. Place in the refrigerator to cool for an hour. Remove bowl from refrigerator and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.

Spicy Zucchini Pineapple Salsa

I wish I could take credit for this recipe but sadly can not.  This delicious recipe was recently featured on ” The Food Network Kitchen” by the renown Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. The salsa was featured along with grilled brine pork chops. I immediately wanted to try this salsa and have found myself making it over and over again, especially now that we are into the zucchini season. This salsa needs it own moment it’s that good, the balance of texture and taste is perfection. It works as a side to  almost any kind of pork . I recently served it along with a country baked ham, but it would be great with chicken or just with some tortilla chips. Thank you Chef Zakarian!!

From by the bay, wishing you spicy salsa food memories!

Maryann

 

blog zuchini pineapple salsa

Spicy Zucchini Pineapple Salsa

As seen on “The Food Network Kitchen” by Geoffrey Zakarian

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

2/3 cup small- diced zucchini

2/3 cup small -diced fresh pineapple

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves torn

1 teaspoon finely chopped shallots

1 teaspoon finely minced jalapeno pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chardonnay or white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger ( optional)

fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Let marinate for at least one hour or refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Homemade Beer Mustard

Another inspiration from my weekend of country music at Farmborough was the Hill Country food –  http://www.hillcountrywdc.com/

How can you resist food where the catchphrase is “Music to your mouth”. They served up their house made hot link with shiner ( beer from Texas) mustard, indeed, music to my mouth!! I had to make some shiner beer mustard, below is my version so you can serve it up at your next barbecue!

From by the bay, wishing you shiner food memories!

Maryann

blog shiner beer

Homemade Beer Mustard

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces yellow mustard seeds

1 1/2 ounces black mustard seeds

4 ounces beer or lager ( such as Shiner Bock)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon dried yellow mustard

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup chopped white onion

Directions

Mix the mustard seeds and beer together in bowl, cover and set aside overnight. (The mustard seeds will soften and soak up most of the beer. Stir in the remaining ingredients, then blend in a food processor until nearly smooth (you may need to do this is batches). Spoon the mustard into clean jars; tap gently to remove all the air bubbles. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.

blog mustard

Corn in a Cup

Last weekend was the first country music festival in New York City!  I’m a big fan of country music and there were many great musicians who made it to the big apple to partake in the festivities held on Randall’s Island – from up and coming artists such as the fantastic Striking Matches and Dallas Smith to big name artists such as Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley and Luke Bryan. Three days of great music and some really good food. One of the things that I tried at the festival was corn in a cup. What a yummy treat. Corn in a cup is a traditional Mexican street food, which is made with Queso Fresco crumbled cheese. The version I tasted at the festival used parmesan cheese which was delicious and cheese I always have on hand in my home. I made these little cups in advance and heated in the microwave for 1 minute before serving. I’m planning on serving corn in the cup this holiday weekend!

From by the bay wishing you creamy corn food memories!

Maryann

 

blog corn cups

Corn in a Cup

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 ears sweet corn, husked and silks removed
8 teaspoons Mexican sour cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
Fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
optional: chopped chives to garnish

Directions

Using a knife remove all the kernels from the husk and place in a bowl.  Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the corn kernels and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain corn. In a bowl add the butter and top with the strained hot corn. Mix until butter is melted, salt and pepper to taste. Take for glass cups fill each half way with corn, add 1 teaspoon of sour cream and 1 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese. Top with corn and add another teaspoon each of sour cream and parmesan cheese. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve immediately or don’t add chives cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Microwave for 1 minute , garnish with chives and serve.

farm

Grilled Lamb Kefta Kebobs with Tzakiki

If you are tired of making hamburgers on the grill, but looking for something as easy and delicious, try these grilled lamb kefta kebobs. It’s a hamburger on a skewer, flavored with cumin, fresh mint and crunchy pistashios. I like to serve it on a warm pita topped with some homemade tzakiki, mint and red onion. Simply delicious.

From by the bay, wishing you kefta kebob food memories!

Maryann

 

blog kefta

Grilled Lamb Kefta Kebobs

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds ground lamb

2 tablespoons ground pistachios

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground chili powder

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. To make kebabs, take small amounts of kefta and shape them into cylinder or sausage shapes. Skewer the meat, squeezing it to mold it the skewer.Cook over hot coals, approximately five minutes each side. (It may take less or more time, depending on how hot the coals are, and how thick you shaped the kefta.) Watch the kebabs carefully, so you don’t dry out the kefta. Serve with Tzakiki ( recipe follows) and pita bread.

blog tzaiki

Tzakiki

Ingredients
1 English cucumber
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 cups greek style yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
fine sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Peel and thinly slice the english cucumber. Coarse chop and place into a bowl. Add the sea salt and mix. Let sit for about 1 hour. Strain the cucumbers and rinse. Shake off remaining water and place into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to use. When serving drizzle with a little more olive oil. Serve on the side of roasted lamb or serve as an appetizer with pita bread.


Favorite Homemade Granola Recipe!

I love waking up on a beautiful sunny weekend morning and making breakfast. One of my favorite breakfasts is homemade granola. It’s easy, delicious and fills the house with the most wonderful aroma of brown sugar and cinnamon. I add just a touch of chili powder for  subtle heat. Homemade granola is perfect for a morning parfait of yogurt, fresh fruit or berries topped with some granola. I like to use a good quality of greek low fat plain yogurt. If you prefer a flavored yogurt try mixing it with plain yogurt – 50/50. It makes for a less sweet base for the sweet fruit and granola.

From by the bay, wishing you sunny granola mornings!

Maryann

 

granola 2

Maple, Pecan and Cranberry Granola


2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup dark brown sugar

½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries

optional: pinch chili powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine all ingredients except the dried cranberries into a mixing bowl, combine well. On a parchment lined sheet spread ingredients in 1 layer. Bake for 40 minutes until brown stirring every ten minutes until mixture is browned. Remove from oven and cool granola. Once cooled add dried cranberries and mix. Keep in airtight container. It should keep about one week.

 

Blueberry Boy Bait

I love looking around antique fairs for cookbooks and recipes. I stumbled upon the 1954 Pillsbury Grand National Baking Contest recipe book and was drawn to the recipe with the amusing title Blueberry Boy Bait. A young teenager won the 2nd prize in the Grand National Junior Contest  with this recipe she made her friends. There are many adaptions of this receipt from Nigella Lawson to Smitten Kitchen , sharing my favorite from Smitten Kitchen. With a name like Blueberry Boy Bait the cake is had to resist and so good you can understand why it is boy bait. too bad I didn’t find this recipe a long time ago!!

From by the bay, wishing you fond boy bait food memories!

Maryann

blog blueberry boybait 2

 

Blueberry Boy Bait
From Smitten Kitchen , which adapted it from  the Cook’s Illustrated version, which was adapted from the original

 

Serves 12, generously

2 cups (250 grams) plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces or 225 grams), softened
3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup (235 ml) whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

Topping
1/2 cup (about 85 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Jalapeno Hummus

Bring and party or barbecue to life with this easy hummus recipe, with just enough heat from the fresh jalapeno pepper. The fresh bright taste of these ingredients definitely say summer! Hummus is so easy to make just a few ingredients in a food processor . The taste is so much better than store brought! Serve with home pita bread and it’s a light summer meal!

From by the bay, wishing you Middle Eastern food memories!

Maryann

blog jalap hummus

Jalapeno Hummus
15.5 ounces Chick Peas / Garbanzos , drained and rinsed
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Serve cold or room temperature with pita chips or homemade pita ( recipe below)
 blog pita

Home made Pita Bread

Adapted from mygreekdish.com as posted by

 

Ingredients

  • 17 1/2 ounces  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 glass of lukewarm water (40C)

 

Instructions

  1. To prepare this pitta bread recipe start by sieving the flour into your mixer’s bowl. Add the yeast, sugar and salt and blend with a spoon.
  2. Add a little bit of water and start mixing, using the dough hook. Pour in the water a little bit at a time, at a steady stream, whilst mixing. Wait each time for the water to be absorbed and continue adding some more.
  3. Depending on the flour, the dough may or may need a little bit less water than this pita bread recipe calls for. After mixing for a while, the dough for your pita bread should become an elastic ball. If the dough is still crumbled, you should add some more water. If it becomes too sticky, this means that you added more water than needed. In that case, add 1 tsp of flour and continue mixing.
  4. When done, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place, for at least 1 hour, until it doubles its size. This is an important step for this pita bread recipe, so that the pita bread becomes fluffy and soft.
  5. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead a little bit with your hands. Split in 6 evenly sized portions.
  6. To form the pita bread, you can either use a rolling pin, or stretch it with your hands for a more rustic look (and my preference actually ), about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Heat an outdoor grill.  Put the stretched dough on the grill and close the cover. Let bake a minute or two and flip the bread. Grill another minute and remove. If you don’t want to use the grill – heat a non-sticking frying pan to medium-high heat (with no grease) and fry each pita bread for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until slightly colored and still soft. To give more color, push the pita bread with a wooden spoon on the pan. Remove the serve.

Homemade Pita Bread

It’s summer and one of the perfect canvases for a summer meal is the reliable pita bread! Let’s all remember my mother is Greek!! Last weekend, I decided to tackle homemade pita bread, thinking it was a big chore and difficult to do, much to my surprise it was super easy. I know you’re thinking really how is this easy? It’s 5 steps –  measure, mix, rise, pull and grill. If you are like me , how many times have you watched Bobby Flay make flatbread or pizza or pita on the grill and wonder how is this not a mess. I’m here to tell you , Bobby speaks the truth when he says it’s easy. The key is to put  the dough on the grill and let it bake a a minute or two.  The dough pulls away naturally once it’s baked.  The taste of home made pita is so superior to store brought you will want to give this a try!  I’ll have a few recipes coming up that is the perfect complement to homemade pita! Yum!!

From by the bay, wishing you perfect pita food memories!

Maryann

blog pita

 

Home made Pita Bread

Adapted from mygreekdish.com as posted by

 

Ingredients

  • 17 1/2 ounces  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 glass of lukewarm water (40C)

 

Instructions

  1. To prepare this pitta bread recipe start by sieving the flour into your mixer’s bowl. Add the yeast, sugar and salt and blend with a spoon.
  2. Add a little bit of water and start mixing, using the dough hook. Pour in the water a little bit at a time, at a steady stream, whilst mixing. Wait each time for the water to be absorbed and continue adding some more.
  3. Depending on the flour, the dough may or may need a little bit less water than this pita bread recipe calls for. After mixing for a while, the dough for your pita bread should become an elastic ball. If the dough is still crumbled, you should add some more water. If it becomes too sticky, this means that you added more water than needed. In that case, add 1 tsp of flour and continue mixing.
  4. When done, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place, for at least 1 hour, until it doubles its size. This is an important step for this pita bread recipe, so that the pita bread becomes fluffy and soft.
  5. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead a little bit with your hands. Split in 6 evenly sized portions.
  6. To form the pita bread, you can either use a rolling pin, or stretch it with your hands for a more rustic look (and my preference actually ), about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Heat an outdoor grill.  Put the stretched dough on the grill and close the cover. Let bake a minute or two and flip the bread. Grill another minute and remove. If you don’t want to use the grill – heat a non-sticking frying pan to medium-high heat (with no grease) and fry each pita bread for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until slightly colored and still soft. To give more color, push the pita bread with a wooden spoon on the pan. Remove the serve.