Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Caramel Apple Muffins

Total time: 1 hr 30 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.

Cinnamon Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Muffin & Caramel Ingredients:
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples (2 cups = 2 apples)
1 (14-oz.) package caramels
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup chopped lightly salted, roasted pecans
Wax paper
Food-safe twigs or craft sticks (if you grow mint in your backyard, twigs are perfect for this recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare Cinnamon Topping as directed.
2. Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or until blended.
3. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour cream mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. (Do not overmix.) Stir in diced apples. Spoon into a lightly greased 12-cup muffin pan, filling three-fourths full; sprinkle with Cinnamon Topping.
4. Bake at 375° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely (about 30 minutes).
5. Microwave caramels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat muffins.
6. Quickly dip bottom three-fourths of each muffin into caramel mixture; roll bottom half of caramel-coated portion of muffin in chopped pecans, and place muffins, caramel sides up, on lightly greased wax paper. (If caramel mixture begins to harden before you've dipped all the muffins, microwave mixture a few seconds to soften.) Insert food-safe twigs or craft sticks into caramel-covered portions of muffins.

Recipe from Southern Living, SEPTEMBER 2012. Find original post here.
Be careful not to burn your fingers on the hot caramel.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Buttermilk Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 10; Marinate Time: 8 hours; 
Cook Time: 20 minutes; READY IN: 8.5 hours

Fried Chicken Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts, each cut in half
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, divided
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper
2 cups vegetable oil

Salad Ingredients:
2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 navel orange, peeled and sliced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
ranch dressing, optional

In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, onion, parsley, thyme, tarragon, paprika, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper.  Mix together and submerge chicken breasts.  Cover and let sit in fridge for about 8 hours.

Remove chicken from buttermilk and set aside on a plate.

In a shallow dish, combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, remaining 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.

Dredge chicken in flour mixture and coat well.  Set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil under medium high heat.  You'll know it's hot enough when a bit of flour sizzles quickly when added.

Add 2 chicken breast halves at a time and fry for about 7-9 minutes per side, or until cooked through.  Place cooked chicken on paper towel-lined plate and cover with foil.  Repeat with remaining 2 chicken breast halves.

To assemble the salad, combine the romaine lettuce, tomato, and navel orange.  Toss well.  Slice up chicken and place atop lettuce.  Drizzle salad dressing.

Recipe from my bf likes it so it must be good.
I like spicy salad dressing with this dish.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup

1 large head cauliflower (the one I used was at least 7″ in diameter
olive oil for drizzling
Few dashes garam masala (optional)
3 medium to large sized peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
7 cups filtered water

First, preheat your oven to 400 °F and cut up your cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle cauliflower lightly with garam masala. Place cauliflower on un-greased cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven and let roast until golden brown on the tops and tender, but not mushy, about 20-30 minutes. There’s no need to flip ‘em. Just remove from oven and let cool while you cook the rest of the soup.

In large stockpot, bring peeled & cut sweet potatoes, onion, garlic and water to a boil. Salt (abt 3/4 tsp) and stir. Reduce heat and allow to remain at a constant simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. Add in cooked cauliflower and divide soup into 2 parts.

Let soup cool and then blend one part soup in blender until very smooth. Combine with second part soup and stir. Salt to taste and warm up over stovetop if needed.

Recipe from Manifest Vegan
Cook/Bake Time: 30, Prep Time 10, Ready in: 40