Thursday, April 30, 2020

Aunty Pat's Summer Slush (Large Batch)

Our Aunty Pat used to make this for us every summer when we would visit. I can remember eating it with a spoon while we sat beside her pool in our bathing suits. We got the kiddie version while the adults got the adult version. I'm sharing the adult (read: alcoholic) version here but by just leaving out the booze it is totally kid friendly. 
Have extra bananas but don't feel like more banana bread? This is the perfect way to use up those overripe bananas. This makes a large amount, which is great for sharing with family and friends! 

Aunty Pat's Summer Slush (Large Batch)

2 cups sugar
6 cups water
5 bananas
1 can (48 oz) pineapple juice
1 can (12 1/2 oz) frozen orange juice
1 can (12 1/2 oz) frozen lemonade

coconut rum (I use Malibu Rum)
lemon lime soda (such as 7up or sprite)

Bring the 2 cups of sugar and 6 cups of water to a boil. Let boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. 
Mash bananas in a large bowl. I use beaters to make is easier. 

Add in pineapple juice, frozen orange juice, and frozen lemonade. (NOTE - I couldn't find the 12 1/2 oz containers of frozen orange or lemonade so I used 2 of the smaller sizes. This works just fine.) 

Add in the sugar water. Beat to combine. 

Pour  into ice cream bucket OR several smaller containers if you are going to share. (It makes about 10 - 12 cups) 

Cover and freeze until completely frozen. This takes at least several hours. When ready to serve:
Fill glass half full of slush. Add in a shot glass of rum (or to taste). 

Top up glass with the lemon lime soda. 

Give it a good stir. Top with a cute umbrella and cherry.

Serve immediately. 

Sue had hers in her margarita glass and it looks beautiful. 
You can add any liquor you prefer. I believe my aunt used to add gin. I've added vodka in the past too. Coconut rum is my favorite though - the coconut goes really well with the pineapple and banana flavors. How many serving it makes depends entirely on the size of the glasses you use. It makes a lot though, which makes it perfect for summer BBQs OR for giving as gifts. In a covered container it will last a long time in the freezer. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Hawaiian Pizza Dog on Homemade Garlic Pretzel Bun

The last post we did was about Sue's 1st prize winning entry in our weekly Chopped: Quarantine Edition (Pineapple and flour) competition. Check it out HERE. (Korean Inspired Spicy Tacos with Pineapple Salsa and Homemade Tortillas) 
This week I'm sharing my entry, which came in third. I was pretty excited to come in third, we had a lot of fabulous entries for our pineapple and flour competition. Did it deserve a first place finish? Well.... I'm a bit biased so I'm going to say yeeeessssss. But, make it yourself and let me know what you think! Pretzel garlic hot dog buns make hot dogs even better - if that's possible! 
It's like pizza and pretzels and hot dogs had a baby. A delicious, delicious baby.

Hawaiian Pizza Dog on Homemade Garlic Pretzel Bun

2 cups very warm milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp honey
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp salt
2 - 5 cups bread flour (or AP)

1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp coarse sea salt

8 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda

Pizza Dogs
12 large wieners
pizza sauce
onions, sliced
pineapple chunks
mozza cheese

Prepare buns - In a small bowl, stir together the milk brown sugar, honey, and yeast. Let sit to bloom about 5 - 8 minutes. 
While yeast is blooming, cook the butter, garlic and parsley over medium heat until garlic is softened, about 3 - 5 minutes. Set aside.
Combine the flour, and salt, egg, and cooked butter and garlic. Stir in the bloomed yeast and salt. Add in enough flour to form a stiff dough that is a little sticky but still able to be kneaded. Knead for about 5 minutes, you may have to add a bit more flour to keep it from sticking. 
Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise somewhere warm for 40 minutes. 

After 40 minutes your dough should be doubled in size. 

Punch dough down and cut into 10 to 12 equal pieces. You can weight them to get them exact but I never do. I just guesstimate. :) 

Roll each piece into a 7 inch log. Try to get it smooth, if there are wrinkles then they will show up more prominently when the dough rises. 

Set aside and cover with a tea towel for 30 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 425. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
Bring the 8 cups of water with the 1/3 cup baking soda to a low boil over medium heat in a large pot. 

Carefully place 2 - 3 rolls into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Carefully flip them over and cook another 30 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Brush each one with the beaten egg and then sprinkle generously with the coarse sea salt. Cut 3 shallow slices across the top of each bun (not totally necessary but it looks cool). 
Place in 425 oven and cook until deep golden brown, about 10 - 15 minutes. 

Let cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. 
FYI - recipe can be doubled easily. 

You can eat as is. May I recommend warm with butter?
Or cut them horizontally for hot dog buns! 

Prepare Hawaiian dogs - Place buns on a cookie tray. Spread the inside of the cut pretzel buns with pizza sauce and top with onions. 
Cook the wieners to your desired level of doneness! Place a wiener on each bun. Top with pineapple chunks. 

Lay the mozza cheese slices on top and pop them in the oven under the broiler to melt the cheese. 

Serve hot!

You can add more toppings if you prefer. I like to keep it simple. Lots of pineapple and mozza! 

Want to jazz up your next hot dog meal? This is how to do it! You can make the buns ahead of time and freeze them. The salt on top will look a little funky when you thaw them but it won't affect the taste! Use the buns for subs, sandwiches, hot dogs, even grilled cheese. You can leave the garlic out if you like but it definitely makes the buns more flavorable. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Korean Inspired Spicy Tacos With Pineapple Salsa and Homemade Tortillas

Sue and I have been running a little Chopped-like contest on Facebook for our family and friends to keep us busy while we are self isolating. Every week we announce 2 mystery ingredients that players have to use to create any kind of recipe they like. They then send me a photo of it, I post the photos in an album anonymously so no one knows who made what, and we open it up for voting. 
Sue has pretty consistently kicked my butt. This recipe, for example, was the grand prize winner from our Chopped: Quarantine Edition, Pineapple and Flour challenge. (I did come in third with my Hawaiian Pineapple Hot Dog on Homemade Pretzel Bun, which I will share soon!)
She totally deserved the win. (But don't tell her I said that)
I mean... pretty creative use of pineapples and flour, am I right? She even took a great photo for the contest. Want to see it?

Pretty sure the fancy tropical drink helped her get more votes.... Normally I take all the photos for the blog so I'm impressed with her arrangement. Good job Sue!
Anyway... on to her winning recipe!

Korean Inspired Spicy Tacos with Pineapple Salsa and Homemade Tortillas

Pineapple Salsa
3 cups pineapple, fine chunks
1 small red pepper, finely diced
1/2 small onion, finely diced
juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Spicy Mayo
1/2 cup mayo
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 Tbsp sriracha
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper

4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 2/3 very hot water
1/4 cup oil

Taco Meat
1 lb ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
pinchh red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

Taco Toppings
shredded cabbage
shredded or julienned carrots
julienned radishes
diced jalapeno
diced green onion

Prepare Pineapple Salsa - mix together pineapple, red pepper, onion, lime juice, oil, honey, cumin, and salt. Cover and chill until ready to use. 

Prepare Spicy Mayo - mix together mayo, sour cream, sriracha, lime juice, garlic powder, and salt & pepper. Cover and chill until ready to use. 
Prepare Tortillas - Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, stir together the hot water and oil and then add to the dry ingredients. Dough should be like playdough. Knead about 10 times. Divide into 12 pieces for "regular" size tortillas, or 24 for small tortillas. (FYI - I made them small for the tacos) Cover them with a tea towel while you work with each piece. Roll out each piece into a thin circle on a lightly floured surface. Repeat until all have been rolled out. Keep covered with towel so they don't dry out.
Fry each tortilla in a dry frying pan over medium heat. About 1 minute on the first side then flip and and cook an additional 30 seconds or so on the other side. Watch carefully as they brown very quickly. Remove from heat and place on serving plate. (These are best eaten fresh but will last, in an air tight container, for a couple of days.) 
Note - you may need to wipe any excess flour out of the frying pan between frying as it can start to burn. Use a damp cloth and quickly wipe around the pan, being careful not to burn yourself! 

Prepare Taco Meat - Over medium heat, cook the ground beef until only a little pink remains. Add in the garlic, brown sugar, hoisin, soy sauce, mustard, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper. Cook and stir until beef is no longer pink and is cooked through. 
Remove from heat and serve immediately. 
While beef is cooking, prep your toppings, if not already done!

Place the tortillas, toppings, spicy mayo, and pinepple salsa on the table. Place the hot taco beef into a bowl and place on table with the toppings. 

Top your taco however you like!

Make sure you drizzle with the spicy mayo. You can make it as spicy as you like. 

That pineapple salsa with the ground beef is such an amazing combination! 

I love dinners that can be personalized for each guest. Sue loves spicy so she piled on the jalapenos and spicy mayo... me, not so much, so I went with lots of cabbage and veggies and pineapple salsa. 
These tacos have a lot going on and all of it is good. 
Sue deserved the win with this creation but I'm coming for her with our next challenge. The mystery ingredients are bacon and brown sugar and I'm pretty sure I might actually win with my creation. Stay tuned! :) 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles and Dumplings

Nothing makes you feel more comforted than chicken noodle soup. Whether physically feeling unwell or mentally feeling low, I've always found that comfort foods are just that... comforting. 
You might think it's too troublesome to make your own noodles and dumplings but I'm here to let you know it's not. At all. It adds about 3 minutes to your soup making time. That's it! You don't need any special equipment or anything! 
It's also super inexpensive! Use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or (my favorite) chicken thighs cooked in a little garlic butter. 

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles and Dumplings

8 cups chicken broth
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped 
1 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic granules
1/4 tsp onion powder
sprinkle rosemary
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken

1/2 cup flour
1/2 egg
salt & pepper
1 - 2 Tbsp milk

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt & pepper
1/2 egg
1 Tbsp oil
2 -3 Tbsp milk

In a large pot over medium heat, add the chicken broth, celery, carrots, cabbage, and spices. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes, until veggies are tender.

When veggies have been boiling for about 10 minutes prepare the noodles and dumplings. 
Prepare noodles - In a small bowl, mix together the flour, 1/2 egg (about 2 Tbsp), salt & pepper, and milk. Knead dough for a minute or two until dough comes together. It should not be sticky. Let rest for 10  minutes.

Roll the noodle dough out very thin.

Gently roll up, jelly roll style. Cut into very thin strips. 

Shake the noodles out so they are not clumped together. 

Cover with a tea towel while you prepare the dumplings.
Prepare dumplings - In a small bowl, stir together flour baking powder, salt & pepper, egg, oil, and milk. Divide into 5 pieces and lightly flatten each piece in your hand. 
Drop the noodles in the simmering soup and give a good stir. 
Place the 5 dumplings on top of the soup and cover with a lid. 

Let cook for 5 - 10 minutes, until dumplings are no longer doughy inside and have puffed up.

Ladle into bowls and top each one with a dumpling. 

So tasty. FYI - the noodles can be a bit long so you may want to snip them in half before adding them to the soup. I love long noodles so I leave them as is!

This made 5 servings but can easily be doubled. It's best the day it is made but the next day is also perfectly good! 

I'm going to be making my own noodles for soup from now on. In 2 minutes you can have the best noodles ever. Just an FYI though - be sure to roll them as thin as you can. If they are too thick then they tend to be gummy. You can add a little shredded cheese to your dumplings to mix things up a little as well! 
You can use baby carrots instead of big carrots too. It won't affect the soup at all. Cabbage isn't a traditional ingredient in chicken noodle soup but makes a really nice addition as far as taste and texture goes! 
Very hearty and comforting!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Raspberry Coconut Jelly Roll

Jelly roll cakes always seem so much more complicated than they actually are. Granted they are a little trickier than a "regular" cake to make but they look so pretty and taste so amazing that the extra effort is totally worth it. 
Sue and I had a little Chopped style competition going on while we were self isolating and raspberry jam and coconut chips were our Chopped ingredients we had to use. She made a raspberry mini cheesecake with a coconut shortbread crust, stuffed with a raspberry, and topped with raspberry jam (she won by the way... kicked my butt in the voting we did on Facebook). I made this raspberry coconut jelly roll which I think was totally underappreciated. I mean... it's beautiful and delicious... not that I'm bitter about all.. I mean... it's fine. I'm fine. Everything's fine. 

Raspberry Coconut Jelly Roll

5 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

1 cup raspberry jam

2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup coconut chips, toasted

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12 X 17 (or 13 X 18) jelly roll pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. 
Beat the eggs. Beat in sugar about 1/3 add a time. Beat in the coconut extract. Continue to beat about 7 minutes, until thick and creamy. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in gently. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. 

Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, until top is light golden brown. 

Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake from the edges. Place a large piece of parchment paper on top and then another cookie tray. Invert the cake onto the other cookie tray and remove the pan from it. Gently peel off the parchment paper. 

Carefully roll up the cake, from the short end, with the parchment paper in it. (See photo below for clarification)

Let cool for 15 minutes. 
After 15 minutes, gently unroll the cake and spread the raspberry jam evenly over the cake. 

Roll the cake back up, this time peeling off the parchment paper as you go. 

Set aside to cool completely. Don't worry if there are a few little cracks or tears, you will be covering them with the meringue frosting. 

Prepare meringue: in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the sugar and extracts until the sugar is dissolved. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water below it. 
Remove the bowl from the heat and whip with beaters for about 5 - 7 minutes, until thick and fluffy. 

Spread over jelly roll. You can leave as is OR... get out your kitchen torch and add a little color to the meringue. Then sprinkle the toasted coconut chips on top.

Chill until ready to serve.

So pretty. 

Slice it up!

You could also top with whipped cream if you prefer it over meringue. I really like the marshmallowyness of the meringue with the delicate crumb of the cake. Although I'm not one to pass up sweetened whipped cream either.