Archive for ‘Family Circle’

May 16, 2012

Key lime mini cupcakes

Family Circle

Makes: 24 mini cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup Key lime or traditional lime juice


  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon Key lime juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line indents of two 12-cup mini cupcake pans with paper or foil liners.

Cupcakes. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a second medium-size bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high for 1 minute. Add egg and beat until combined. On low, beat in half the flour mixture, then the Key lime juice, followed by remaining flour mixture. Spoon evenly into prepared liners. Bake at 350 degrees F for 17 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks.

Frosting. In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, butter and Key lime juice. Beat until smooth. Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

*Chef’s note: Blimey limey! These are so cute and so delicious. I added crushed graham cracker crumbs to the top to complete a nice refreshing treat :) I added 1 tsp. vanilla to the batter, used Key lime juice and used 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. cake flour in place of the all-purpose flour. I also left the lime juice out of the frosting and added 1 tsp. vanilla to it after tasting the super-limey batter. The Key limes are a real pain to juice, but using any type of juicing tool helps tremendously.

April 2, 2012

Salmon cakes with Old Bay aioli

Family Circle

Serves: 4


  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced small
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 2 cans (7.5 ounces each) canned pink salmon
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1  1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice


  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. grated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook 5 minutes until slightly softened. Remove to a large bowl.

Drain salmon; remove bones, if desired. Add to bowl with cooked vegetables along with bread crumbs, Old Bay, mustard, cayenne, mayonnaise, parsley and lemon juice. Combine well and form into 12 cakes, about 1/3 cup each.

In same skillet, add another 1 Tbsp. of the oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add half the cakes to the pan and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until browned. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and remaining cakes.

OLD BAY AIOLI: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, garlic and Old Bay. Mix and serve alongside cakes.

*Chef’s note: OK, I know what you’re thinking. “These looks kinda gross.” And, to me, they kinda were. I don’t think it’s the recipe. I think I just don’t like salmon in cake form. I think I have learned that I don’t like eating things that start with me picking a plethora of fish vertebrae out of smelly cans. They say you can leave the bones in, but these things were huge! Gross. Don’t leave them in. And if you do make them, I would add lemon juice to the aioli, and don’t skimp on the mayo or the cakes will crumble a bit. My family really enjoyed these, but I didn’t even want to go through the effort of typing this out (the recipe wasn’t online, darn.), ugh. Brat moment. But, hey, I promised I would share all my culinary attempts. I think if you already like or don’t mind salmon cakes that these will take it up a notch for you. But if you’re like me and dislike salmon cakes but hoped these would turn you into a salmon-cake lover (or “tolerator”) , I’d say just stop right here. Ha ha.

March 24, 2012

Meatballs Bayonnaise with spicy tomato and pepper sauce

Family Circle

Serves: 6


  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 3/4 cup crumbled French or Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sauce: Stir together tomato puree, peppers, onion, salt, red pepper and bay leaf. Pour half the sauce into a large slow cooker.

Meatballs: In a small bowl, soak bread in milk for a few minutes. Lightly squeeze bread and discard milk. Spread flour on a piece of wax paper.

In a large bowl, mix together soaked bread, ground beef, parsley, garlic, egg, cumin, marjoram, salt and pepper to taste. Moisten your hands and shape mixture into 2-inch balls. Lightly roll meatballs in flour.

Transfer meatballs to slow cooker and top with remaining sauce. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or until meatballs are cooked through. Discard bay leaf and serve hot.

*Chef’s note: This was good at the time, but not memorable. Didn’t knock my socks off or taste unique; if something is going to take a lot of prep work, I want it to be well worth it!

March 24, 2012

Ham and egg cups

Family Circle

Makes: 8 servings

  • 8  slices sugar-cured deli ham
  • 4 tablespoons (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 8 muffin cups with cooking spray. Set aside.
Position 1 slice of ham in each of the muffin cups, doubling each slice over to insure that there are no holes in the bottom of the ham “cups.” Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of the cheese and about 1/2 tablespoon scallions in the bottom of each cup.
Place one raw egg in each ham cup. Sprinkle each egg lightly with pepper. Bake about 15 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. Carefully remove the egg cups using the ham to lift onto serving plates.
*Chef’s note: Aren’t these just adorable?! They’re adorable. And so simple. Few ingredients, not much time, win. I cooked mine a bit longer to ensure the yolks were completely set.
March 24, 2012

Corn and blueberry pancakes

Family Circle 

Makes: 12 pancakes

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1  1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Butter and maple syrup, for serving (optional)

Heat a griddle or two large nonstick skillets over medium-low heat. Heat oven to 200 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and salt until blended. Make a well in the center. Whisk buttermilk, egg and oil in a bowl; add to flour mixture. Gently whisk just until moistened. Fold in blueberries.

Using a ladle, drop batter in scant 1/3-cup rounds onto hot griddle. Let cook 2 to 3 minutes until edge is firm and bubbles form. Carefully flip over and cook an additional 2 minutes. Keep pancakes warm on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven.

Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with butter and maple syrup, if desired.

*Chef’s note: I love these pancakes!! I do have a soft spot for things that use cornmeal (and thus taste like cornbread….), but I think you will like them, too ;) Nice and sweet, but not too sweet, and a hearty-yet-soft texture. Noms! I used fresh blueberries (bloobs, as a friend says, or bluey-berries as my family calls them), and sprayed the pan lightly with Pam before each batch.

January 1, 2012

Creamy pork and mushroom sauce

Family Circle

Serves: 8

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless pork shoulder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 sweet onions (such as Vidalia), thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • Rigatoni pasta

Season pork with 1/2 tsp. of the salt and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Brown all sides of pork, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

In the bowl of a slow cooker, stir remaining salt and pepper, and corn starch into chicken broth (mix corn starch with a bit of broth to a cream-like consistency before adding). Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and rosemary. Place browned pork on top. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours.

After cooking, discard rosemary stems, shred pork and add parsley. Slowly stir in heavy cream. Serve with rigatoni and Parmesan.

*Chef’s note: Pretty yummy! I halved the recipe for four people and had a bit left over. I also used half and half, but you probably should splurge for the heavy cream on this one. I also would add a bit more salt, and I definitely recommend the Parmesan. Otherwise great, and the rigatoni is really nice to catch the sauce.

January 1, 2012

Pork tenderloin with creamy apple cider sauce

Family Circle

Serves: 6

  • 2 small pork tenderloins, about 3/4 lb. each
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1  1/2 cups couscous

Heat oven to 425. Season pork with 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper. Heat oil in a large oven-proof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Place skillet in oven and bake for 12 minutes or until internal temperature registers 145 degrees. Carefully remove from oven (handle will be hot), place meat on a serving platter and cover.

Stir flour into 1 cup of the broth until flour is dissolved; add to skillet. Add apple cider and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and 1/4 tsp each of the salt and pepper; add mustard and simmer 1 minute. Add parsley.

Meanwhile, place the remaining 1 cup broth, 1/2 cup water and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat and stir in couscous. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Thinly slice pork and serve with sauce and couscous.

*Chef’s note: This was pretty good; I was a little disappointed, but I also had to make some adjustments to the recipe that may have sacrificed some flavor. I substituted apple juice and tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in place of the apple cider; as you can see by my photo, the vinegar may not have agreed with the half and half I used in place of the cream and made it curdle a tad. Also served rice instead of couscous, which was fine.

July 4, 2011

Double-chocolate cookies

Family Circle

Makes: 3 dozen

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 375.  Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-size bowl.

Coarsely chop 6 ounces of the chocolate, and finely chop the remaining 6 ounces.  Microwave coarsely chopped chocolate with butter for 1 minute, stirring halfway through.  Microwave an additional 15 seconds if necessary; stir until smooth.

Transfer chocolate mixture to a bowl of an electric mixture and add sugars, eggs and vanilla; beat until well combined.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in remaining finely chopped chocolate pieces.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes or until set.  Let the cookies cool on the bakign sheet on a wire rack for 2 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to rack; let cool completely.

*Chef’s note: Yeah, you probably should make this cookie. It tastes like a brownie. And it actually makes as many as the recipe says it will. REALLY good. Great with ice cream, too.