Friday, January 6, 2012

Artichoke Bruschetta

I like this recipe because it's something different, which fulfills my resolution for the year to focus on recipes that are off the beaten path. Plus, it gives me an excuse to use artichoke, which is a vegetable that I like but rarely utilize because my husband recoils in horror at its existence. But even he couldn't deny that this Artichoke Bruschetta is very tasty, and not all together "artichoke like." The canned artichokes have a very mild flavor, providing the base on which all the other fabulous flavors co-mingle. If you've ever had an artichoke dip at a chain restaurant, this is something very similar.

From Allrecipes

1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 shallot, minced
2-4 garlic cloves, crushed (it depends on your like/tolerance for garlic)
1/2 c grated Romano cheese
5 tbsp mayonnaise
salt and pepper
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced (other crusty breads work, too)
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet. Lightly brush the slices with some olive oil. Toast in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the artichoke, tomatoes, shallot, garlic, Romano cheese, and mayonnaise. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Spoon a layer of the artichoke mixture ontop of each toasted crustini. Place under the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes, or until the artichokes mixture heats through and start to lightly brown. Take care to watch that the crustini does not burn. Serve immediately.

This recipe is shared with Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Craft-O-Maniac, Made by You Monday, Tuesday Talent Show, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, This Chick Cooks, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Orange Scones

When I came across this recipe, I was a tad skeptical. Make that more like very skeptical. A scone recipe without heavy cream and eggs? What's up with that? Sure, there's both an egg and heavy cream in the ingredients, but that's for brushing the tops. There's no cream inside the scone itself. Granted, my knowledge of scones is a bit limited, seeing as I've only been making them for a couple of months, but what I do know tells me that a scone recipe without cream is wrong. Very, very wrong.

Except when it's right. And this recipe is very, very right.

I was worried these scones would be dry. After all, it must be the cream keeping scones moist, right? Well, these are not dry. In fact, these scones have the lightest, fluffiest texture I've ever experienced in a scone. The orange flavor in these is just spectacular. It's citrusy and bright without overwhelming the delicacy of the scone. These would be excellent to serve for a brunch or tea.

So has making these scones ruined me forever to the more traditional version? I wouldn't say that. I definitely think there's room at the breakfast table for both. I'm so glad I gave these a chance, though. And I will mention these were eaten in record time. It's probably a good thing my resolution this year was to branch out into trying more creative recipes instead of trying to lose ten pounds by next week, huh?

from The Pastry Affair

for the scones:
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 c sugar
zest of 1 large orange
pinch of salt
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 c freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 c sour cream
1 egg
1 tbsp heavy cream or whole milk

for the glaze:
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest, and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter, until the flour mixture looks crumbly with pea-sized chunks scattered throughout.

3. Stir in the orange juice and sour cream. Mix with a spatula until dough comes together. Knead it a few turns on a lightly floured surface. The dough might be sticky, but add as little flour as manageable to your board. Shape dough into 12 small rounds, each about 2 inches in diameter. Place rounds on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and heavy cream. Brush tops of scones with this mixture.

4. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the tops just start to brown. Allow to cool before drizzling with icing.

This recipe is shared with Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Craft-O-Maniac, Made by You Monday, Tuesday Talent Show, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, This Chick Cooks, Full Plate Thursday, It's a Keeper, Foodie Friday, Cast Party Wednesday, Foodie Friday

Sunday, January 1, 2012

12 in '12

This year, I'm joining a host of fellow food bloggers in coming up with my 12 in '12 list-- the 12 dishes I most want to make in the next 12 months. Some of these are just a general idea, and some are specific to one particular recipe I've been dying to try.

1. Sourdough Bread
2. Nutella Swirl Bread
3. Hot Cross Buns
4. Tamales
5. Buffalo Chicken Dip
6. Ribs
7. Cherry Pie
8. Gelato
9. Jalapeno Mac & Cheese
10. Rum Cake
11. New York Cheesecake
12. Cornbread

Do you have a 12 in '12 list?


Happy New Year!

I don't normally make resolutions. I'm not the best at sticking with things for the long term, so there's no doubt I'd give up on some fluffy resolution like "eat healthier" or "read more books" by mid-month. This year, I'm taking a different approach, with more focused goals. I think I might stand a chance. Here's what I'm shooting for in 2012:

I want to challenge myself with my baking. 

This will be the year I tackle puff pastry.

I want to blog better. More creative/interesting recipes. More original recipes (which I've neglected lately). Better writing.

Keep the house cleaner. (ha!)

Finish making my Grandmother's quilt.

Get back into drawing.

Get back into knitting and crocheting. I've been meaning to make Sundae some cat toys forever.

What are you planning to bake/do in 2012?