A big thank you from me to YOU!

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY + meme at the end

Here we are on week #3 of Weight Watcher Wednesday..and today I didn’t have a sweet tooth(bizarre right?) so I decided to cook something savory. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.I am a big fan of the FULL FAT, ALL BUTTER and ALL CREAM version, but if you can lighten it up, why not??!!The sauce was not as […]

Blueberry Pancakes…Simply Yummy + some Tips

Will ya look at the action shot! Drippy butter! Nothing better than that! BLUEBERRY PANCAKES INGREDIENTS1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour2 teaspoons granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon table salt1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon baking soda3/4 cup buttermilk1/4 cup milk (plus an extra tablespoon or so if batter is too thick)1 large egg , separated2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted1 […]

RED VELVET LOVE

This might come to a shock to some of you..but..No Red Velvet of any kind has ever touched my lips! Shocking I know! I am not sure how it has missed the reach of my hands. But nope, never had it. Back in June I saw a beautiful photo of some Red Velvet Cupcakes over […]

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

Week #2 of Weight Watcher Wednesday! Ok you got about 8 minutes? You can whip this one up!! I was leaving for the 4th of July Weekend and I didn’t want to leave the Strawberries in the fridge as a science experiment! My sister was having her book club at her house that night..so I […]

Cornbread Ya’ll

I must have been super out of it the other night..while cleaning up from dinner I realized I left my ear of corn on the stove. I clearly saw my whole family eating their corn..but I never thought..mmmmm..where is my corny goodness. Maybe it was my ass telling me to slowly step away from the […]

Tag I’m it!

I got tagged by Bridgett at La Bella Cook for a fun little survey to take.Below are my answers.. 1. LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATER: Hancock…actually pretty good!2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING: None..I cant read! I mean I can read but I just cant find many books that I can concentrate on. […]

My first award!

Fun Fun Fun! I got my first “Award”! Rita at The Clumbsy Cookie has awarded me my first award. I have been ooggling over her blog sometime. And as a fellow Daring Baker, you know she ROCKS!!!Check out her site! So with these awards you are supposed to pass them on to 5 others that […]

The Evil and Drunk Cupcake

My best friend Bobbi had a little mid summer pool party at her house for all the kiddos. One of her friends Diane brought some cupcakes. She said they were orange and chocolate. I am NOT a big fan of chocolate and orange together. I think my dislike of the combo comes from those nasty […]

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

I was reading The Repressed Pastry Chefs Blog , drooling at all of her photos. I came across her brilliant idea of doing a Weight Watchers Wednesday.I thought it was a great thing and I wanted to participate to help a fellow foodie out with their new site! So this is my first submission! CHOCOLATE-BANANA […]

Crazy good Pork Tenderloin!!!!

This is seriously some super tasty Pig! The meat itself is nice and tender. The sauce is to die for! I poured it over my whole dinner plate, including my couscous and broccoli! It could definitely pass for a restaurant dish! If your in a time crunch this is a great meal. It takes no […]

Danish Braid My Daring Bakers First Challenge

First on why I decided to join the Daring Bakers…One evening I was gazing at the photos on Tastespotting (R.I.P), and I saw all of these beautiful layered cakes popping up all over the place. I clicked on one of the photos and it linked to the Daring Bakers, who are a group of crazy […]

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WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY + meme at the end

Here we are on week #3 of Weight Watcher Wednesday..and today I didn’t have a sweet tooth(bizarre right?) so I decided to cook something savory. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.I am a big fan of the FULL FAT, ALL BUTTER and ALL CREAM version, but if you can lighten it up, why not??!!The sauce was not as thick as the original. But it was equally as tasty! I didn’t feel guilty after scarfing down a nice big bowl!

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients

6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with a knife
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, washed and patted dry(four 4 oz pieces)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Spray
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt, Greek-Style
salt..for cooking pasta
8 oz uncooked whole wheat fettuccine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, flat leaf, finely chopped

Instructions

Heat large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Rub garlic over chicken, reserve garlic. Season chicken with salt and pepper and rub it in the chicken. Coat skillet w/ cooking spray and then set over medium heat. Saute garlic until fragrant. about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until golden, flipping once, about 5 minutes per side. In a small bowl, combine broth, heavy cream and yogurt: pour over chicken and scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate seasonings. Simmer chicken gently, turning once, about 30 minutes.Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Remove chicken from cream sauce and set aside. Add Parmesan cheese to cream mixture and mix until well combined. Add cooked pasta and 3 Tbsp of parsley; toss well. Serve pasta topped w/ chicken and the rest of the parsley.

Points value: 9
Prep time: 12 minutes
Serves: 4
The Stressed Baker for another set of memes! You can see the rules here at her site. On this set of memes I have to tell you all 6 random things about me..my goodness I could tell you a million..but here are 6 not so interesting thins about me..

1…I am terrified of heights.

2…I graduated from nursing school, but never work a day as a nurse after realizing that I am a germ-a-phob

3…I have never been in a fight with any of my friends..I am a lover

4…I hate scary movies..my imagination goes wild..I swear Jason Myers and Freddy Kruger are real and they must life on my street and only come out at night!

5…I am a hotel snob

6…My right eye is blue with 1/4 perfect pie shape in it that is brown

Well thats it..gripping huh?

I am going to keep this in the Daring Bakers Ring..I am randomly going to pick 6 of my DB’s to get to know better.

http://pamelaskitchen.blogspot.com/

http://novice-baker.blogspot.com/

http://www.cupcake-corner.blogspot.com/

http://www.butterandsugar.org/blog/

http://vanillabasil.blogspot.com/

http://lifeaftergluten.blogspot.com/

Blueberry Pancakes…Simply Yummy + some Tips

Will ya look at the action shot! Drippy butter! Nothing better than that!

BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk (plus an extra tablespoon or so if batter is too thick)
1 large egg , separated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup blueberries

vegetable oil (for brushing griddle)

1. Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl. Pour buttermilk and milk into 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Mix yolk with melted butter, then stir into milk mixture. Whisk egg white in large bowl to stiff peaks. Dump wet ingredients into dry ingredients all at once; whisk until just mixed. Quickly fold egg white into batter. Fold blueberries into batter.

2. Meanwhile, heat griddle or large skillet over strong medium-high heat. Brush griddle generously with oil. When water splashed on surface confidently sizzles, spoon batter, about 1/4 cup at a time, onto griddle, making sure not to overcrowd. When pancake bottoms are brown and top surface starts to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes, flip cakes and cook until remaining side has browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Re-oil the skillet and repeat for the next batch of pancakes.

Recipe and pancake tips found on Cooks Illustrated.

Are there any tricks to making and serving great pancakes?
Hare some tricks we’ve found make for successful pancakes:Mix the Batter Lightly. There are two factors that promote fluffiness in pancake batter, underdeveloped gluten and dissolved baking soda. Gluten is a mix of very long proteins that are disorganized in structure. Once gluten is dissolved in water, these proteins can more easily rearrange their structure. Kneading or mixing gluten elongates the proteins and somewhat organizes them, an action similar to combing the strands of your hair. As the proteins start to lie more or less parallel to each other, the dough becomes elastic and less tender. By reducing the mixing time of your batter, you give the gluten less opportunity to organize.

Baking soda (either on its own or as part of the baking powder formula) creates the bubbles that make pancakes rise. When baking soda encounters an acid, carbon dioxide is formed to produce the bubbles in the batter. The stirring of the pancake batter speeds bubble formation by moving the baking soda and acid together. Unfortunately, stirring also causes the release of carbon dioxide gas by bringing formed bubbles to the surface of the mixture. Just a little too much stirring and the bubble-forming capacity of the baking soda will be quickly exhausted. To make the fluffiest pancakes possible, then, you should stir the batter until the ingredients are just incorporated—and not one stir more!

Use the Batter Within an Hour. To determine how far in advance we could make pancake batter, we mixed up a few batches of basic pancake batter and held them for different lengths of time before cooking: one hour, two hours, and three hours. Holding the batter for one hour had no detrimental effect on the pancakes. After two and three hours, however, the batter spread out too easily, producing thin, floppy cakes that were much less appealing than the ones made from fresh batter. Here’s why: In fresh pancake batter, baking powder reacts quickly, releasing most of its gas in a short period of time. The longer the batter sits, the fewer bubbles there are left when it’s time to cook, increasing the likelihood of flat flapjacks.

At first we thought we could add a bit more baking powder to the batter to provide some extra lift, but this merely lent an unpleasant chemical taste to the pancakes. Next, we tried adding a stiffly beaten egg white to the batter. The resulting pancakes were not quite as fluffy as those from fresh batter, but the egg white added a good amount of height. So the next time you find yourself with pancake batter past its prime, simply add a stiffly beaten egg white.

Heat the Pan Properly. The best way to determine when the skillet is ready is to make a test pancake the size of a half-dollar (use 1 tablespoon of batter). If after one minute the pancake is golden brown, the pan is ready. If the bottom of the pancake remains blond—or is close to burning—adjust the heat accordingly.

Serve as Soon as Possible. We tried several methods to determine how to hold pancakes before serving, from stacking up the pancakes on a heated plate, to covering them with foil, or to placing the plate of stacked pancakes in a warm oven. All of these methods did the job as far as keeping the pancakes warm. Even by the last batch of pancakes, the temperature reading would hit somewhere between 145 and 150 degrees. But these pancakes were compressed from being stacked, and they steamed from the heat and became very rubbery.

What we found that the best method was to spread the pancakes on a large cooling rack placed on a sheet pan (be sure to spray the cooling rack well with vegetable cooking spray and save yourself from sticking pancakes). Place the pan and the rack in a 200-degree oven and place your pancakes on the rack in a single layer, uncovered, for up to 20 minutes (or be warned-they will start to dry out.) The warm oven keeps the pancakes hot enough to melt a pat of butter, and leaving the pancakes uncovered keeps them from becoming soggy.

P.S..or you could sooooo cheat and use Bisquick and just add Blueberries! You can never go wrong with that!!!

RED VELVET LOVE

This might come to a shock to some of you..but..No Red Velvet of any kind has ever touched my lips! Shocking I know! I am not sure how it has missed the reach of my hands. But nope, never had it. Back in June I saw a beautiful photo of some Red Velvet Cupcakes over on Em’s site..

The Repressed Pastry Chef I printed it and put it in my ever growing pile of “To Make” list.
So today I was aching to bake something..seems like I have that ache everyday!
Well, they were really easy to whip up. It only took a few minutes from the time I started to get them in the oven. I seem to have a sinking in the middle cupcake issue, so I was pleasantly surprised to see when I pulled them out of the oven they didn’t sink in the middle. YEAH!
The cream Cheese frosting is OUT OF THIS WORLD! While I was decorating the cupcakes it went like this…one squirt for the cupcakes…one big squirt in the mouth for me! Oh its that good!
I am not the Red Velvet expert, but this one is a keeper!

P.S…Happy Birthday to EM..stop by her site and wish her Happy Birthday!

RED VELVET CUPCAKES with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1c cake flour
1/3c cocoa
1/2tsp salt
2/3c vegetable oil
3/4c sugar
1 egg
1oz (2T) red food coloring
1/2tsp vanilla
1/2c buttermilk
1/2tsp baking soda
3/4tsp white vinegar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Line12-cupcake pans with cupcake liners and spray with cooking spray.Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time.With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring . Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.Divide batter among 12-cupcake pans, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
(Mine cooked for 23 minutes.)
Em’s Magnificent Cream Cheese Icing

8oz pkg of cream cheese – room temperature, divided in three parts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter – COLD
1 tablespoon shortening1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and combine very well. Add the first third of the cream cheese and combine very well. Add the shortening and combine very well. Add the remaining cream cheese one piece at a time, combining very well after each.

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

Ok you got about 8 minutes? You can whip this one up!! I was leaving for the 4th of July Weekend and I didn’t want to leave the Strawberries in the fridge as a science experiment! My sister was having her book club at her house that night..so I thought that was the perfect way to get rid of the ruby red jewels.
Cream Cheese Filled Strawberries
1 pound Strawberries, jumbo-size (about 18 strawberries)
4 oz Light cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup Powdered sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
Preparation
Wash and dry strawberries (leave green caps on).
Using a paring knife, cut a wide v-shape out of the pointed end of each strawberry (like an open mouth); reserve cut out pieces of strawberries.
Place cut strawberries on a serving plate, green cap side down so they will be easy to fill.
Using an electric mixer, thoroughly combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Chop reserved leftover bits of strawberries into tiny pieces and gently stir into cream cheese mixture with a spoon.
Fill each cut strawberry with a small amount of cream cheese mixture using a spatula or knife. Arrange filled strawberries on a serving plate, green cap side down.
Yields about 3 strawberries per serving.
Points Value: 2 for 3 strawberries

Cornbread Ya’ll

I must have been super out of it the other night..while cleaning up from dinner I realized I left my ear of corn on the stove. I clearly saw my whole family eating their corn..but I never thought..mmmmm..where is my corny goodness. Maybe it was my ass telling me to slowly step away from the carbs. Regardless of my lack of brain, in good conscious I couldn’t throw it away. So like the foodie I am, I instantly started thinking what I could bake with it. The easiest solution was cornbread! Not the jalapeno kind..but sweet cornbread! I know sweet cornbread is not authentic, but I like mine sweet so I’m gonna make it sweet damn it!
This ain’t no Jiffy cornbread mix y’all!!!! This southern dish is for you Peter

SWEET CORNY CORNBREAD with HONEY GLAZE

1/4 pound butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ear of corn (kernels cut of cob)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Stir in corn kernels. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

HONEY GLAZE
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons milk

combine all ingredients and stir until smooth

Pour glaze over cornbread…mmmmm …if you let it sit overnight the glaze will just soak into the cornbread and make it super moist!!!
Inspired from All Recipes

Tag I’m it!

I got tagged by Bridgett at La Bella Cook for a fun little survey to take.
Below are my answers..

1. LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATER: Hancock…actually pretty good!
2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING: None..I cant read! I mean I can read but I just cant find many books that I can concentrate on. Probably my A.D.D kicking in!!
3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME: Trivial Pursuit..don’t let the blond hair fool you folks!!
4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE: Cooking with Paula Deen and Cooks Illustrated
5. FAVORITE SMELLS: Baked good in the oven. My kids(when clean..lol)
6. FAVORITE SOUNDS: My children laughing!
7. TELL ME ABOUT FOOD: Pleasing on the tongue..but not pleasing on my ASS
8. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE: Coffee and sleep!
9. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE: Pei Wei
10. FUTURE CHILD’S NAME: Good lord..if I had any more than 2..I don’t think I would know my name!!
11. IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY, I’D…: Travel the world
12. DO YOU DRIVE FAST: Oh hell no..I am a dorky rule follower
13. STORMS – COOL OR SCARY: Love em
14. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR: A tan 1972 VW Superbettle
15. FAVORITE DRINK: Water..boring I know!
16. IF I HAD TIME, I WOULD: Take a nap
17. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI: YUCK
18. NAME ALL THE CITIES YOU HAVE LIVED IN: Pittsburgh, Vero Beach and Tampa
19. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH: NFL Football
20. ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU: Bridgett..delicious blog..and always has nice things to say!
21. MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL: I am not a morning, noon or night person! LOL
22. OVER EASY OR SUNNY SIDE UP: Sunny side up
23. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX: In my bed
24. FAVORITE PIE: Cherry
25. FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR: Butter Pecan

Now I suppose I have to pass this one on as well…hmmm lets see who will be my victims????
Play along if you wish..but not required!!
Tag your it…
Peter @ Kalofagas
Em @ The Repressed Pastry Chef

My first award!

Fun Fun Fun! I got my first “Award”! Rita at The Clumbsy Cookie has awarded me my first award. I have been ooggling over her blog sometime. And as a fellow Daring Baker, you know she ROCKS!!!Check out her site! So with these awards you are supposed to pass them on to 5 others that you think are deserving..so here are my picks…
  • Stephaine’s Kitchen….I just adore her blog. Her photos are great and we share the same style of cooking with a house full of picky eaters! EVERYTHING on her blog is delicious!
  • Dhanggit’s Kitchen….Hilda has the most beautiful website. All of her photos look like they are directly out of a gourmet cookbook. She always has funny stories to tell that go along with her divine recipes!
  • Kalofagas… If you want Greek…Peter will give you Greek!!! Peter makes all the things I want to make but my family would laugh at me if I tried to serve it to them! His food is just delicious! And he always leaves the funniest comments on my blog! He is a HOOT!!!
  • A Southern Grace….She might live in the fast pace life of New York..but she still serves up some good ol’ Southern Food! Her posts crack me up and they aren’t too bad on the eyes!!!
  • La Bella Cook…Bridgett has a wonderful blog with scrumptious posts! She shared her families spaghetti recipe for me after my posting of my posting of my Not So Italian Spaghetti and I have been hooked on her blog ever since!!

The Evil and Drunk Cupcake

My best friend Bobbi had a little mid summer pool party at her house for all the kiddos. One of her friends Diane brought some cupcakes. She said they were orange and chocolate. I am NOT a big fan of chocolate and orange together. I think my dislike of the combo comes from those nasty chocolate orange chocolates that you peel like an orange..I have no clue what its name is. But me pass up on a cupcake, that will never happen in this lifetime!! I took the first bite and thought, hmmmmm….interesting. I wasn’t sure if I like them or not. I took the second bite(because you can never let food go to waste)..and I was hooked! They are so very divine! You could taste the Triple Sec in the frosting. And the miniature of the orange cake and the chocolate cake was Evil!!
Diane got the recipe from the Cake Doctor book.
When I was making them, my husband tasted the frosting and said with his brow ruffled..ewww what is that??? I frosted a cupcake for him and told him he couldn’t eat the frosting alone. He reluctantly tasted the entire goodie..and after his bite, he loved them! They are strange little things…I think that they are 2 bite cupcakes..they take 2 bites for you to get the full effect of the flavors! But my my my they are soooo good!!
I call them evil because when I was piping the frosting on them..they just looked kinda evil! Who knows..I’m just weird!

ORANGE SWIRL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH ORANGE COCOA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Cupcakes

24 paper liners
1 pkg. Fudge marble Cake mix
1 1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup veggie oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp. grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350, line 24 muffin tins w/ paper liners
Place cake mix, orange juice,oil and eggs in a large bowl. Blend w/ electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape sides if needed. Increase speed to medium and beat 1 1/2 minutes more. The batter should be combined. Measure out 1 cup of the batter into a medium bowl and set aside. Add the orange zest to the remaining batter in the large bowl. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the chocolate package from the cake mix to the 1 cup of batter you reserved and mix on low until combined.
Spoon the plain orange batter into the muffin cups, filling 2/3 of the way full. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the chocolate batter on top of each cupcake. Swirl the chocolate batter into the orange batter w/ a knife or toothpick, creating a marbled effect. Place pans in the oven.
Back the cupcakes until they spring back; 18-22 minutes.(mine only took 16 minutes only after the 2nd batch..my first batch burned at 18 minutes). Let them cool completely before frosting.

ORANGE COCOA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

8 ounces cream cheese — at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter — at room temperature[1/2 stick]
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar — sifted
1 tablespoon orange liqueur — (1 to 2 tablespoons) such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec
Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the cocoa powder, orange extract, confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon orange liqueur. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is well combined, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more. If the frosting seems too stiff, blend in another 1 tablespoon liqueur. Use to frost the top and sides of the cake or cupcakes of your choice. Makes 3 1/2 cups; enough to frost a 2- or 3-layer cake or 36 cupcakes

WEIGHT WATCHER WEDNESDAY

I was reading The Repressed Pastry Chefs Blog , drooling at all of her photos. I came across her brilliant idea of doing a Weight Watchers Wednesday.
I thought it was a great thing and I wanted to participate to help a fellow foodie out with their new site! So this is my first submission!

CHOCOLATE-BANANA WONTONS

INGREDIENTS
2 serving butter-flavor cooking spray
1 large banana(s), diced
6 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
24 items wonton wrapper(s), half of a 12 oz package
1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine banana and chocolate chips; mix gently.
Place wonton wrappers on a flat surface. Drop banana mixture by teaspoonfuls onto center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with wet fingers, fold over one corner to make a triangle and press sides together to seal. Transfer filled wrappers to prepared baking sheet and coat surface with cooking spray.
Bake until wontons are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over wontons before serving. Yields 4 wontons per serving.

POINTS® Value: 4

Servings: 6

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 12 min

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Crazy good Pork Tenderloin!!!!


This is seriously some super tasty Pig! The meat itself is nice and tender. The sauce is to die for! I poured it over my whole dinner plate, including my couscous and broccoli! It could definitely pass for a restaurant dish! If your in a time crunch this is a great meal. It takes no time at all to prepare. Just make sure you get a good quality pork tenderloin. Not the popular supermarket brand on the top shelf(a.k.a Hormel)!! Yuck! Sorry, not a very photogenic dish! But enjoy this one..its a keeper!
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH DIJON MARSALA SAUCE
For the pork
2 pork tenderloins
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard ( I used Grey Poupon Original Dijon)
1 tablespoon oil
Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, minced
1 cup Marsala wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground)
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat pork tenderloins generously with mustard. Oil a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange tenderloins in pan, and brown the meat. Turn to brown evenly. Transfer meat to prepared baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn, and continue cooking for 20 minutes, or until desired doneness.
Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in the same pan used to cook the pork. Cook shallots in butter until soft. Stir in Marsala, mustard, and cream, and cook until volume of liquid is reduced by half.
Slice pork, and place on a serving dish. Spoon sauce over meat, and serve.
Adapted from All recipes

Danish Braid My Daring Bakers First Challenge


First on why I decided to join the Daring Bakers…One evening I was gazing at the photos on Tastespotting (R.I.P), and I saw all of these beautiful layered cakes popping up all over the place. I clicked on one of the photos and it linked to the Daring Bakers, who are a group of crazy cooks who enter a challenge every month to make something out of the ordinary. The May challenge was a Opera Cake..I read through the other blogs and saw that it had something like 14 pages of directions! You have got to be kidding me..14 pages to bake a cake???I was intrigued from the photos..here is one at Addicted Sweet Tooth.

So I just knew I had to join this club so I would be challenged every month to make something I would in no way ever make on my own!

June 2008…my first challenge with the Daring Bakers. Thanks to Kelly of Sass and Veracity and to Ben of What’s Cookin‘? for this wonderful challenge. What did they choose…..

A DANISH BRAID. What the hell is a Danish Braid? A Pastry..oh no a pastry. That meant I was going to have to use those packets of yeast that have been sitting in my pantry for who knows how long! Well the challenge was posted on June 1st, and even though we had one month to complete the it, my obsessive personality took over my whole being. And I had the challenge completed in less than 24 hours! I swear, once I get something in my head, I just cant stop until its done! I actually lost sleep that night trying to figure out what my fillings were going to be in the Braids! Sad, isnt it? Oh well, I guess that makes me who I am!

Here are the lengthy directions as they were provided

DANISH DOUGHMakes 2-1/2 pounds dough
IngredientsFor the dough (Detrempe)

1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1/2 cup whole milk

1/3 cup sugar

Zest of 1 orange, finely grated

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

2 large eggs, chilled

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt
For the butter block (Beurrage)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
DOUGH

Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.Without a standing mixer: Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.
BUTTER BLOCK

1. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
2. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
APPLE FILLING
Makes enough for two braidsIngredients
4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 – 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.
DANISH BRAID Makes enough for 2 large braids
Ingredients
1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)

2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)
For the egg wash:

1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.
Egg Wash

Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.
Proofing and Baking

1. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.

2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month
My Fillings:

Guava and cream cheese

Maple Cinnamon cream cheese frosting
I have no idea on how many photos I took of these bad boys..but it was a TON
So here are a few of them!!

Rolling out the dough

Before the oven


FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN

Maple Cream cheese all dressed Up

As you can see I needed more filling..I will know for next time!

With the extra scraps of dough, I made this little plate for my hubby for when he got home!


Check out all of the other wonderful braids on the Daring Bakers Blogroll!