Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A reason to get up in the morning

Have you ever had eggs Benedict? I hadn't. Neither had my husband. That's why he wanted it for Father's Day breakfast. I have to say it is incredibly delicious! I never would have guessed it. In fact, I wasn't all that excited. But now I am. I wouldn't mind making this every week! It's so easy and versatile. For example, eggs Benedict are traditionally made with poached eggs and Canadian-style bacon. But you can just as easily -- and deliciously -- make them with fried eggs and ham. Try them, try them, Sam-I-Am!


Eggs, fried or poached (directions below)
English muffins, split, toasted and lightly buttered if desired
Slices of Canadian bacon or ham, heated
Hollandaise sauce, a must-have (directions below)

Place ham on muffin. Top with egg, then sauce. Serve warm.

Poached eggs:

Lightly grease medium skillet. Fill halfway with water. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat to simmering. Bubbles should begin to break water's surface. Break egg into measuring cup. Carefully slide egg into simmering water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. Remove with slotted spoon.

Hollandaise sauce:

Option 1 -- Buy a packet of powdered mix, which requires you to add milk and a little butter. That's what we did. You'll find it with the other gravy and dressing packets.

Option 2 -- Make your own. There are tons of recipes online.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer refresher

This is adapted from an online recipe for watermelon sorbet. It is very easy, and it makes a unique, delicious and refreshing dessert -- perfect for summertime! I added mini chocolate chips because, well, I'm obsessed with chocolate. Plus, they add a little texture and look kind of like watermelon seeds. The sorbet is great without them, too. You could mix the chips into the sorbet, but I sprinkled them on afterward. I scooped my sorbet with a melon baller for fancy presentation.


5 lbs. seedless watermelon, cut into small chunks (about 6 cups)
1/4 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. lime juice
Pinch salt
1/2 c. light corn syrup OR sweetened condensed milk

Puree watermelon in blender. You should end up with 4 cups of puree/juice. In saucepan, bring 1 cup puree, sugar and lime juice to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. It's hard to tell when it's dissolved, so just know it takes a few minutes. Season with salt. Pour in remaining puree, then whisk in corn syrup OR condensed milk, whichever you chose. Pour mixture into metal pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Let pan sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a butter knife, break up frozen puree into chunks and blend again. You could use a food processor or hand mixer, but a blender is horrible. Trust me. You could serve it soft like this, or if you want to be able to scoop it, put it in a freezer-safe container and refreeze until firm. Each time you get it out, you'll have to let it sit for a few minutes before scooping.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Any favorite crust recipes out there?

Isn't pizza wonderful? I can't think of anyone who doesn't like it. We decided to make our own pizzas the other night, but we didn't have time to wait for dough to rise. Therefore, I went to the Web for a quick and easy recipe for no-yeast crust. It was completely easy to make, and it tasted fine, but I didn't like it well enough to make it again. Our main enjoyment was in making the pizzas and adding all the toppings. Do any of you have a favorite pizza crust recipe you can share?


2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
1/4 c. cooking oil
2 Tbsp. cooking oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine ingredients (except 2 Tbsp. oil) in bowl and mix well. Knead dough in bowl ten times, then split into two balls. On lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 13-inch circle. Place on pan and turn up edges about a half-inch and pinch. Brush with remaining oil. Add desired toppings. Ours took 25 minutes to bake.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Homemade heaven

This recipe makes a fabulous brownie. It's a nice change from the gooey, rich brownies that come from a mix or from other recipes. These brownies have a stiffer, fudgier inside and a lighter, crispier outside. They are made with butter, not oil. They only have a few basic ingredients, so they are a snap to throw together. I got the recipe from my sister's in-laws. Be advised that the batter is almost as delicious as the brownies. It tastes like whipped frosting.


1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 to 1/2 c. cocoa powder

Start at the beginning and add ingredients one by one to bowl, mixing with electric beaters as you go. Spread into 9 x 13 pan greased with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Note: I often make half the recipe and put it in an 8 x 8 pan.