GLUTEN FREE VANILLA CUPCAKES ~ BLOG 366.39

I have a friend with Celiac’s disease so I make quite a few things gluten free when she is involved. She always let’s not get crazy, just gluten free. 😀

GLUTEN FREE VANILLA CUPCAKES
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 LARGE eggs
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup QUALITY honey or 1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line muffin tins with liners or grease well and then flour.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, honey or nectar and vanilla extract.
  • Blend the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a mixer until well blended and thoroughly combined.
  • Add 1/4 cup of batter to each muffin cup.
  • Bake 18-22 minutes until cooked through until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pan 1 hour before frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup agave nectar

  • In a mixing bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form.
  • In a separate bowl, whip together the cream cheese and agave nectar until smooth.
  • Gently fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture with a spatula.

NOTE: Add 1/4 cup cocoa for a chocolate version.

“MOCK” KENTUCKY HOT BROWN SLIDERS ~ BLOG 366.37

This sandwich was created in 1926 in Louisville Kentucky by Fred Schmidt of the Brown hotel as an alternative to ham and egg sandwiches for late night diners. It became their second signature sandwich. I’ve only ever heard it called as a Kentucky Hot Brown, but I have read that it is also known as a Louisville Hot Brown.

Traditionally this is served hot and open faced on a thick white bread toast and has turkey breast, bacon and creamy mornay sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Originally it was not served with the bacon, but added soon after. Variations can include ham, pimientos and tomatoes. It is then broiled a few minutes until the toast is crisp and sauce is bubbly and browning.

The Kentucky Hot Brown became a favorite choice of 95% of the Brown Hotel’s restaurant customers. It became a Louisville area specialty favorite sandwich and is popular throughout Kentucky as a whole long after the hotel shut its doors in 1971. The hotel reopened in 1985.

This sandwich was featured on a 2013 episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay where he actually lost, but barely. 😀 Bobby competed against Joe and John Castro, brother chefs at the Brown Hotel.

There are also a few “oddball” variations out there. For a while there was a “cold brown” that was either sliced chicken or turkey with hard boiled egg, lettuce and tomato served open face on rye bread covered in thousand island dressing.

There are 2 other versions one being the Prosperity sandwich with origins in St. Louis at the Mayfair hotel also in the 1920’s and still served in the area today as well as the Turkey Devonshire served in the Pittsburg Pennsylvania area in the 1930’s.

I started making Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches about 20 years ago, but had no idea of the extensive history at that time. Now fast forward to a magazine I found recently trying to update this to a slider version using King’s Hawaiian rolls. I have to admit I wasn’t sure about this recipe, but decided to try it anyway.

The recipe I found was okay, but I have to agree to disagree on these being a version of the original Hot Brown because the recipe used the sweet brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and butter topping that just didn’t taste anywhere close to what this sandwich is about.

I have renamed this recipe AND adjusted the ingredients to try and keep them more traditional, ut yet an actual sandwich. The author used a “slice of cheese” to replace the Mornay sauce and there just isn’t any comparison to me.

“MOCK” KENTUCKY HOT BROWN SLIDERS
1 tray King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls
2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
6-8 slices thick sliced deli turkey
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
6-8 slices Gruyere or Baby Swiss cheese, optional
1/4 cup FINELY grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to broil.
  • Slice entire package of rolls in half horizontally. Do not individually slice rolls.
  • Arrange bottom half in a baking dish LIGHTY sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Spread mayonnaise on roll bottoms.
  • Arrange turkey on top evenly.
  • Arrange bacon slices on top of the turkey evenly.
  • Arrange a single layer of thick cut tomatoes on top of the bacon.
  • Arrange cheese slices next OR a layer of Mornay sauce.
  • Broil 2-3 minutes until toasted and cheese is bubbly.
  • Top if desired with sweet roll tops and eat as a messy sandwich or eat as intended with a knife and fork.

MORNAY SAUCE
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 ½ cups WHOLE milk
pinch FRESH ground nutmeg
FRESH ground salt and black pepper, to taste
2 ounces of a hard cheese, grated (Gruyère, Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan)

  • Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Melt butter.
  • Whisk in flour until golden.
  • Slowly add the milk while constantly whisking.
  • Bring the sauce to a SLOW boil and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the sauce burn by whisking frequently.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, stirring well. At this point you have a Bechamel sauce. Once you add the cheese it becomes your Mornay sauce.
  • Still off heat, add the grated cheese, whisking until all the cheese melts into the sauce making it thick and smooth.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.

After all of this my favorite version is the casserole version I adapted from Damaris Phillips a few years ago.

FARM APPLE aka DANISH SLAB PIE ~ BLOG 366.32

FARM APPLE aka DANISH SLAB PIE
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup COLD butter, cut into cubes
1 LARGE egg, separated
2/3 cup COLD water
1 cup cornflakes
8 LARGE apples, peeled cored and sliced (10 cups) (see note)
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Stir together flour and salt in a large bowl.
  • With a pastry blender cut butter into flour until coarse crumbs.
  • Beat egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Set aside.
  • Beat egg yolk in another small bowl. Add water whisking to blend.
  • Gradually add egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until dough can be packed into a ball.
  • Divide ball into halves.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll half the dough into a 10-14 rectangle.
  • Transfer dough to a shallow 9×13 baking sheet, pressing into shape.
  • Sprinkle cornflakes evenly over crust.
  • Toss apples with lemon juice and then drain well.
  • Toss apples with sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Scatter apples evenly over cornflakes.
  • Roll remaining dough into a similar rectangle and lay over top of apples, tucking in the edges to seal.
  • Brush top with beaten egg white.
  • Bake 1 hour until golden brown and apples are tender.

GLAZE
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla or almond extract

  • Whisk ingredients together until smooth.
  • Brush over warm crust.
  • Cool COMPLETELY in pan on wire rack before cutting into pieces.

NOTE:

  • If using frozen apples, thaw and drain well. Toss with 4 tablespoons of flour before adding the cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • You can easily substitute quick cooking oats for the cornflakes.
  • You can heat each slice for a few seconds in the microwave and add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for a treat.

WALNUT SNICKERDOODLES ~ BLOG 366.30

WALNUT SNICKERDOODLES
1 1/2 cups roasted walnuts, divided in half
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 1/2 cups AP flour

  • Process 3/4 cup of walnuts in food processor until JUST FINELY ground. Set aside.
  • Beat butter until creamy in a large bowl.
  • Add powdered sugar, beating until incorporated.
  • Add milk, vanilla and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, mixing to combine.
  • Add flour and combine well.
  • Fold in ALL the nuts until well combined.
  • Roll and wrap dough in waxed paper.
  • Chill 1 hour.

1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  • Shape dough into 2 inch balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mix.
  • Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Flatten balls slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass.
  • Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the cookies.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes until bottoms are slightly brown.
  • Cool 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

NOTE:

  • BE SURE AND ROAST THE WALNUTS! Toasting the nuts deepens their flavor. The same is true of all nuts and coconut too.
  • For the espresso version I added espresso chocolate chips.

COOKING THURSDAY ~ CHICKEN CHILES RELLENOS STRATA BREAD PUDDING STYLE ~ BLOG 366.25

We LOVE a versatile bake/casserole that uses up leftovers and can be served as an entree for an easy weeknight family meal or a brunch item or even a potluck dish, but looks and tastes like you spent a lot of time on it.

CHICKEN CHILES RELLENOS STRATA ~ BREAD PUDDING STYLE

3-4 cups cubed French bread
1 can Rotel ORIGINAL tomatoes & chiles, drained WELL
1 small can chopped green chiles, drained WELL
1 1/2 cup shredded chicken rotisserie pieces
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 LARGE eggs
1 small shallot, minced
3/4 cup WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
FRESH ground black pepper
Salsa for garnish
Sour cream for garnish
1 green onion, minced for garnish

  • Grease 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.
  • In a large bowl combine bread cubes, chicken pieces, tomatoes, half the chiles, shallot pieces and half of both cheeses tossing well.
  • Whisk together the milk, eggs, baking powder, garlic salt and pepper.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture and gently toss together.
  • Pour into the baking dish and top with remaining cheese and chiles.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight or 6-8 hours before preparing.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Remove casserole from refrigerator and bring to room temperature while oven is heating.
  • Uncover and bake 35-40 minutes until edges are golden and cooked through in the center.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with sour cream, salsa and green onions as desired.

FONDANT POTATOES aka MELTING POTATOES ~ BLOG 366.23

FONDANT POTATOES aka MELTING POTATOES

Think scallops of the potato world – perfectly seared tops and golden bottoms on the outside and melting tender flesh on the inside, infused with intense flavor from roasting in a buttery stock.

4- 8 russet potatoes
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons avocado or (neutral) oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
6 thyme sprigs
1 cup homemade chicken bone broth

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Carve cut each potato into cylindrical rounds of even size so you have short scallop sized pieces.
  • Pat potatoes dry.
  • Place in a large bowl and toss with half the oil plus all the salt and pepper.
In an ovenproof heavy
  • based skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium high heat.
  • Add the potatoes and sear each side for 5-7 minutes until golden.
Add butter and thyme.
  • Once butter is melted, spoon the butter over the potato to baste.
  • Add stock, bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender, basting half way or as needed. Your stock will be absorbed by the potato making your potatoes tender and fluffy.

  • Baste one last time then serve immediately!

COOKING THURSDAY ~ SNICKERDOODLE CHEESECAKE BARS ~ BLOG 366.18

For years many trusted name brands featured recipes on the labels – Bisquick, Campbell’s Soup, Quaker Oats, Nestles, Philadelphia Cream Cheese… These days the recipes are fewer and farther between. I did decide to try a recent Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipe and found it exceptionally flavorless. A few tweaks later and we love the recipe.

SNICKERDOODLE CHEESECAKE BARS
CRUST

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon
3/4 cup COLD butter

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Line 8 inch baking pan with foil so that it overlaps to create handles.
  • Sift together the flour, sugar and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
  • Use a cheese grate and grate cold butter into bowl. Use a pastry blender or your gloved hands to cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse sand. Reserve 1/3 of the mixture to use as topping.
  • Press remaining dough into baking pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes until lightly browned.

FILLING
1/2 cup sugar
16 ounces QUALITY cream cheese
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla
Seeds from one vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon PURE almond paste
1/4 cup sour cream
2 LARGE eggs

  • While crust is baking prepare the filling.
  • Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, vanilla seeds and almond paste together until well blended.
  • Add sour cream and eggs one at a time, mixing on low JUST until blended.
  • Set aside until crust is done baking.

TOPPING
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon.

  • Mix sugar and cinnamon together.

ASSEMBLY

  • When crust is out of the oven pour the filling into crust.
  • Top with reserved crumb topping.
  • Top with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes until center of cheesecake is almost set.
  • Cool COMPLETELY.
  • Refrigerate for 4-5 hours before cutting and serving.

GARLIC BUTTER ROAST CHICKEN ~ BLOG 366.16

GARLIC BUTTER ROAST CHICKEN

8-10 chicken thighs
1 head garlic, cleaned and minced to a paste
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper
1/3 cup butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Add a piece of foil to a roasting pan.
  • Pat dry chicken thighs.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and pepper.
  • Arrange chicken thighs skin side up on roasting pan.
  • In a small bowl combine melted butter and mixed garlic until you have a paste.
  • Spread paste over the skins.
  • Roast 45 minutes and then loosely cover with foil (to prevent burning) for another 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  • Let stand, covered for 5 minutes before serving.

COCONUT MILK CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES ~ BLOG 366.12

While on a holiday shopping trip last October, a bestie took me to a favorite coffeehouse of hers. Funny thing, I ordered iced tea, but she made me try her favorite cookie, a soft and chewy cookie that was LOADED with milk chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and a sweet shredded coconut.

I instantly fell in love – I mean heart thudding, swooning kind of love and had to immediately experiment to recreate these incredible cookies.

Well, I did actually wait until the next day, but boy did I nail it, if I do say so myself 😀

You will want to make these cookies a little on the larger side so that you get lots of chewy goodness in each and every bite.

COCONUT MILK CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES 16-18 cookies
1 cup cold butter, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon almond paste

1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 1/2 cups of cake flour
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups QUALITY milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups Sweetened Flaked Coconut
1 1/2 cups Macadamia Nuts

  • Preheat oven to 375-400°.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together cold cubed butter, almond paste, brown sugar, and sugar for 4 minutes or until creamy.

  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.
  • Add vanilla.
  • 
Sift in flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt mixing until JUST combined.
  • Gradually add flour mixture into creamed mixture until well blended.
  • Fold in chocolate chips, coconut, and macadamia nuts. 

  • Roll dough into medium-sized balls and place on a silpat or parchment covered cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown on the top.
  • Let them rest for AT LEAST 10 minutes to set.


COOKING THURSDAY ~ GERMAN POTATO DUMPLINGS ~ BLOG 366.11

In Germany potato dumplings are known as Kartoffel Kloesse. They are traditionally served with a brown butter sauce, but I usually serve them with my Chicken Paprikash and top them with that sauce.

GERMAN POTATO DUMPLINGS
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup AP flour
3 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1/4 cup minced shallots
6 cups homemade chicken bone broth
6 cups water

  • Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender.
  • Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Mash potatoes.
  • Stir in flour, eggs, bread crumbs, salt and nutmeg.
  • Shape into 16 2 inch balls.
  • Bring bone broth and water to a boil in a Dutch oven.
  • Carefully add the dumplings. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 7-8 minutes until dumplings float and a toothpick comes out clean.

BROWNED BUTTER SAUCE
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

  • In a small saucepan melt butter and onions over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5-7 minutes or until butter is golden brown.
  • Remove from heat and stir in bread crumbs.

CHICKEN PAPRIKASH ~ BLOG 366.9

This easy recipe is my version and isn’t the traditional Hungarian dish where bone-in pieces of chicken are used (that recipe is below), but we prefer the skinless, boneless cuts to not have to deal with the bones. It is still cooked in a delicious sauce loaded with paprika and sour cream. Using Greek yogurt is certainly not traditional either, but is definitely a workable substitute for lower fat and calories.

HUNGARIAN CHICKEN PAPRIKASH

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
½ cup all-purpose flour
2-3 tablespoons QUALITY Hungarian paprika (see notes)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoon butter
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups homemade chicken bone broth
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

  • Combine flour, 2 tablespoon paprika, salt and pepper in a dredge pan.
  • Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. NOTE: DO NOT THROW OUT FLOUR you will use it later.
Heat butter in large Dutch or skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken pieces and brown 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Remove chicken and set aside, keeping warm.
  • Add onion, cayenne pepper and 1 tablespoon paprika, saute 2-3 minutes until the onion is tender.

  • Add chicken stock.
  • Bring to SLOW boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer 5-10 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through. 

  • To the leftover flour, add ½ cup sour cream and ½ cup of liquid from skillet. Mix until smooth.
  • Add mixture back into pot and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasional.
  • Return chicken pieces to the sauce.
  • Turn heat off and add remaining sour cream, stirring constantly.
  • The sauce should be a very pale orange color.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTES:

  • Chicken thighs contribute another layer of richness to the dish.
  • Regular paprika has almost no heat level whereas Hungarian paprika has a serious kick to it. Adjust the type and amount of paprika based on your tolerance for the heat level.

CHICKEN PAPRIKASH Yield: 6 servings slightly adapted from MOLLY YEH

Level: Easy Total: 35 min Active: 35 min

4 tablespooel.ns unsalted butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
FRESH ground Kosher salt and black pepper
4 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
2 tablespoons Hungarian SWEET paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken bone broth
Pinch of sugar
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Crusty bread, for serving, optional

  • Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan.
  • Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring 2-3 minutes, until dark red in color.
  • Add the flour and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the broth and sugar and cook2-3 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  • Add the chicken to the sauce and bring to a SLOW simmer.
  • Cook over medium-low heat 10-15 minutes until the chicken is tender. Stir in the heavy cream and vinegar.
  • Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with crusty bread if desired!

COOKING THURSDAY ~ VANILLA BEAN CHEESECAKE ~ BLOG 366.4

Hubby loves a “plain” cheesecake so I FINALLY created a recipe that satisfies us both! Vanilla bean for the cheesecake and flavored glazes for me. This one was for Christmas so it had a cranberry pomegranate glaze.

VANILLA BEAN CHEESECAKE
CRUST
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs**(see notes)
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cups sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Stir all together until well blended.
  • Spread evenly into a 9 inch spring form pan, pressing into the bottom and up the sides.

FILLING
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sour cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 vanilla beans, split and scraped for seeds
2 cups whipping cream
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped small

  • Add 2 packages of the cream cheese, sour cream, cornstarch and sugar to a large bowl and beat on low until well combined and sugar is dissolved.
  • Add butter and vanilla bean paste, mixing until smooth.
  • Pour over graham cracker crust.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes until top is light golden brown.
  • Turn off oven and let cheesecake sit for 30 minutes in the oven.
  • Remove from oven and cool COMPLETELY on a wire rack for 2 hours.

MOUSSE LAYER
2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 vanilla beans, split and scraped for seeds

  • Beat whipping cream in a chilled bowl until you have soft peaks.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until you have stiff peaks. Chill until needed.
  • Microwave white chocolate for 30 second increments until smooth.
  • In another bowl beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
  • Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla bean paste until blended.
  • Fold in chilled cream.
  • Spread over cooled cheesecake.
  • Chill, covered until firm.

NOTES:

  • Crisp ginger snaps make a flavorful alternative to the graham cracker crumbs.
  • This is best made 1-2 days in advance.