Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting*

images (5) Cream cheese frostings are simple to make and go with so many things. Just change the one ingredient and it can be slathered pretty much on anything you want a frosting for.

This one features peanut butter.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 c sugar of your choice (I used Stevia)
  • 1/2 c peanut butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Use a whisk and vigorously mix the ingredients until smooth and of one consistency.
  2. Refrigerate if you want to stiffen it up.

SERVINGS: Makes enough for a 8 x 10 cake

NOTES: You can change the peanut butter to lemon curd, or preserves of any type. Bananas would work. If using fruit, I’d chop it first and then drain really well first, maybe using just a couple of tbsps of juices to flavor the frosting a bit more.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Peanut Butter Snack Cake*

images (4) This is just wonderfully good. Moist, dense, flavorful.

Peanut butter.

What’s not to like here?

This is a good reduction in carbs, but not a total one. I’d say somewhere around 9 carbs per slice or less, which is certainly good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups spelt,  or 1 c spelt, and 1 c almond meal
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c stevia or other sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a 9×13-in baking pan, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and sweetener, and stir very well. Set aside.
  3.  In a new bowl, whisk together the nut butter, yogurt, water, and vanilla.
  4. Pour wet into dry and stir until just combined (don’t over-mix), then pour into the greased pan.
  5. Bake 25 minutes or until batter has risen and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. If you can wait, I highly recommend not taking a taste until the next day… this cake is much sweeter after sitting for a day.
  6. Frost if you like.

SERVINGS: 8

NOTES: I used a peanut butter/cream cheese frosting (posting tomorrow)

SOURCE: Adapted from Chocolate Covered Kate

 

Smothered Chicken Fried Steak

820211714_KFVtw-M Nothing says comfort food like chicken fried steak. I mean seriously, the gravy alone is worth it. Add all your favorite fixin’s on the side and you got a dinner that will please everyone.

This is how I make mine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb of steak of your choice, but I would recommend flatiron, or a thinly cut sirloin. If you move to round steak, then really keep it thin.
  • flour for dusting and dipping.
  • egg wash made from 1-2 eggs whisked with a tbsp of water.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c or so of Panko crumbs
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/4-1/2 c beef stock

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the steak into serving pieces. Pound out until it is no more than 1/8 of an inch, and, depending on the cut, is tenderized.
  2. Sprinkle each slice with salt and pepper.
  3. Dip in the flour and shake off excess. Let these rest until all are done.
  4. Then dip each piece in the egg wash and then into panko crumbs. Place on a rack until all are done.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet and place as many in the pan as will comfortably fit and not touch.
  6. Fry until golden brown and then flip, and do the other side.
  7. Remove to the rack again, and place in a low oven to keep warm.
  8. Pour off most of the oil in the pan until you have the equivalent of about 3 tablespoons or alternatively, remove all oil and add in 3 tbsp of butter. Melt and add the flour and whisk until smooth and cooked (2 minutes)
  9. Add the milk and stir in and bring to a boil. Continue whisking until it has thickened. If it seems a bit too thick, then add the beef broth to thin it down. This adds some depth to the taste.
  10. Put the gravy in a gravy boat and serve at the table with the breaded steak.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: It is essential that if you use round steak, that you really pound this out. Otherwise it will be miserably tough. This is traditionally made with a poor cut meat so tenderizing is required to make it work. Best served with mashed potatoes and your favorite comfort veggie. Corn or peas for most.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Spicy Snack Wings

Super Smokers Wings What can I say, I love wings. I was a wing kid before Buffalo wings were “in”.

And since I have to subdue my sweet tooth these days, wings are a perfect snack for me.

And so I make up a batch quite often for munching during the week.

And they are just good.

And the technique is the point here, the actual marinade you prefer is secondary.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 dozen or so wings (cut off tips if you wish, and divide into pieces if you wish)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or used a tbsp of grated fresh onion
  • 1/3 c soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c honey (more or less depending on the barbecue sauce you are using)
  • 2 tsp chile pepper
  • 1/2 c your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wipe dry the wings. Place into a plastic bag and tap the baking powder over them and then close and shake to distribute over all the wings. Lay out on a cookie sheet with a cooling rack. Place UNCOVERED in the fridge for 8 hours and better like 12 hours. (Do in the evening and you will be fine for a noon the next day.
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients together the next day in a bowl. Whisk together. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Place in saucepan and bring to a low boil and simmer until it thickens a bit. Set aside.
  3. When ready to continue with wings, set up a deep fryer and heat the oil to 350°. Add two wings at a time to a small deep fryer, or more if you are using a large one. Fry until just barely turning golden. You are not trying to cook them completely.
  4. Remove and drain on towelling.
  5. Coat the wings by pouring the marinade over them and toss in a large bowl.
  6. Crows the wings together in a baking dish and bake at 425° for another 30 minutes, making sure to brush the wings at least once with the remaining marinade from the bowl.
  7. Cool and eat ’em up.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can use any marinade you wish.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Red Chile Gravy Cheese Enchiladas

l200425467 This is categorized as a Tex-Mex dish, though I think the only reason for this is that the chile sauce is “adulterated”, by having ground beef and onions added to it. But it is truly truly a great dish and I think you might like it, if you like real enchiladas.

The making of the dish only gets complicated (read messy) when you get to assembly. The parts are all easy to do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 12 dried chile pods (in the mix you prefer) such as New Mexican, Guajillo, Anchos, and Arbol, depending on how hot you like it.
  • 1 lb ground round, leaner rather than fatty
  • 1 c of diced onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • lard, oil, butter (3 tbsp) of any of them
  • corn tortillas
  • 8 oz of cheese, shredded (again use what you like, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cotija, queso fresco, etc

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Break off the tops of the chiles, and dump out the seeds and discard.
  2. Place in a saucepan with about 2 cups of water and bring to a soft boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Take off the heat, and cool down until warm.
  3. In a saute pan, cook the beef, breaking it into small pieces.
  4. Remove from the pan and add the onions and garlic and saute until softened and just beginning to brown.
  5. Remove the chiles from the liquid and put in a blender along with the onions and garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Add as much of the liquid from the chiles as needed to blend the chiles into a puree.
  6. Strain if necessary (depends on the power of your blender to really get the skins pulverized)
  7. In the saute pan, depending on how much oil remains, add some and add flour until you have a roux going, cooking it for a minute or two.
  8. Add the chile sauce, along with the beef back to the pan, stirring and bring to a soft boil until the chile gravy thickens. Add more liquid from the saucepan or chicken stock if it seems too thick.
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
  10. To assemble the enchiladas: dip each tortilla in the sauce, turning to get both sides. Lay on a plate, add the cheese, and roll. Place in a baking dish 8 x 10 works well that has been oiled and has a thin covering of chile sauce in the bottom.  Continue until you have filled the baking dish.
  11. Spoon a bit of sauce lightly over the tops of the enchiladas, then sprinkle additional cheese over the top. Bake in a 375° oven until bubbly. Thirty minutes are probably enough if you have constructed your enchiladas with hot ingredients.
  12. Serve with beans and rice and sour cream, avocados, chopped scallions, and pico de gallo or any combination you like.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Control the heat by controlling the type of dried chiles you use. Some add a bit of sugar to the sauce if they find it too harsh.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

Caramel Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream*

2014_04_29_swirl-ice-cream_9999_100swirled-ice-cream Oh ice cream, the food of gods. Move over ambrosia, you got nothin’.

This passes muster with stevia sugar substitute just perfectly, and it was delicious.

If you love custard type ice cream, then do try this one.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar of your choice
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp vodka (optional, helps reduce iciness)
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 ounces sugar-free dark chocolate or high % cacao chocolate, chopped well

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Set a medium bowl over an ice bath and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine butter, sweetener and coconut sugar or molasses. When butter has melted, whisk to combine well. Bring to a boil and cook 3 to 5 minutes, being careful not to burn it.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
  4. Slowly add cream, whisking constantly. Mixture may bubble vigorously. Stir in almond or cashew milk. Return to medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture reaches 170F on an instant read thermometer.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Slowly add about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Then slowly return egg yolks to hot cream in saucepan, whisking constantly. Continue to cook until mixture reaches 180F on an instant read thermometer.
  6. Pour custard into bowl set over ice bath and cool 10 minutes. Then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours, preferably longer.
  7. Whisk in vodka, if using, and then sprinkle surface with xanthan gum and whisk vigorously to combine. Pour mixture into the canister of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions.
  8. Once churned, transfer half to an airtight container and sprinkle with half the chopped chocolate. Top with remaining ice cream and chocolate and stir to mix in well. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm but not rock hard, about 2 hours. Or dump the chocolate on top and just mix in lightly.

SERVINGS: 4

NOTES: You could also add some pecans or walnuts. But don’t over do since you will miss the subtle flavor of the caramel.

SOURCE: All Day I Dream About Food

Creamy Tomato Sauced Linguine with Prosciutto and Peas

Pasta-with-Tomato-Cream-Sauce-9 This is purely comfort food. Great for a winter meal, or any time you just want to get into your jammies and chow down on food that makes you warm and happy.

There are a lot of these recipes and I borrowed freely from about three coming up with my own twists.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box of pasta of your choice. I like linguine for this but you could use shells or rotini, or bowties for instance.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, microplaned
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 1/2 c finely minced onion
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 c good red wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese (best quality if you can)
  • 1 c cream
  • 6 oz prosciutto  diced, or bacon
  • 1 c peas (frozen is fine)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the pasta al dente. (You can do this early and place in a bowl and refrigerate until dinner time. Add a tablespoon of EVOO which will keep it from sticking. Take it from the fridge an hour before dinner or bring it to room temperature before you complete the dish before serving.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the garlic, keeping it cornered with the pan tipped so the garlic stays in the oil and doesn’t burn. Remove from burner entirely when the garlic smells fragrant.
  3. Add the onions and turn much lower and saute until softened and translucent.
  4. Pour in the wine and raise the temp a bit until it bubbles. Continue for a couple of minutes.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes, oregano  and pepper flakes, stirring it all together, and reducing to a simmer. Let this go for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. When you are about ready to serve, add the prosciutto and cheese along with the peas and stir in. Then add the cream.
  7. When the mixture is well stirred, add the pasta and turn with tongs until the pasta is well coated.
  8. Place all in a serving bowl with tongs to serve.
  9. Serve with additional cheese.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can use regular tomatoes in which case you should blanch them and remove the seeds and the skins. I’d say about 8 Romas would do. You need not use the prosciutto at all if you want to be meatless. Other vegetables than peas can also be used. Asparagus would work as would broccoli or green beans.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton