Tiny Bites

Kentucky Benedictine

July 17, 2013

Kentucky BenedictineKentucky Benedictine

I love this Southern spread made popular by Louisville’s Benedict’s restaurateur, Jennie Carter Benedict, who opened her restaurant in 1893.  It can be used as a dip or for a sandwich and is perfect for either an afternoon tea or a light meal.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Cucumber

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

4 Tablespoons Grated Onion or 2 Minced Green Onions

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise

Remove the cucumber skin and then grate it into a medium size bowl. Drain the cucumber and onion juice (unless using minced green onions).  Add the cream cheese, grated onion, kosher salt and mayonnaise.  Beat with a hand mixer on medium until all of the ingredients are combined.  Place plastic wrap over the bowl and put into the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.  If you are using for a vegetable dip then thin it out with a bit of sour cream.  Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

Park Avenue Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

June 11, 2013

Peanut butter & Jelly CupcakesPark Avenue Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

I came up with this recipe while walking on Park Avenue two weeks ago.  If you’re a fan of the humble PB&J then you’ll be a fan of these unique cupcakes. Most recipes have you piping in the peanut butter and jelly. You could even serve these cupcakes for breakfast.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 Cup Softened Butter

3 Room Temperature Eggs

2 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 3/4 Cups Sugar

1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 1/4 Cups Milk

1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter

2 Cups Strawberry Jam

1/2 Cup Peanut Halves For Garnish

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Line 1 large muffin tin with large muffin liners or the special parchment paper liners.  Set aside.  Allow the butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  In a medium size bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and kosher salt.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat on medium speed.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Beat well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture.  Beat on low speed after each addition just until combined.  Pour the batter into the muffin cup just so it reaches 1/2 of the way up the muffin cup.  Place 1 Teaspoon of the creamy peanut butter on top of the batter in the muffin cup.  Then add 2 teaspoons of the strawberry jam on top of the peanut butter.  Finish pouring the rest of the batter in the muffin cup (about 3/4 of the way to the top).  Continue until the entire muffin cups are filled the same way.  Place into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.   Remember that all ovens heat differently so make sure to check at 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and garnish the tops with the peanut halves.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on wire racks for 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan and place the cupcakes on the wire racks to cool completely.  Transfer to a serving platter.  Makes 12 large cupcakes.

Parchment

 

 

White Chocolate & Pistachio Cookies

June 7, 2013

White Chocolate & Pistachio CookiesWhite Chocolate & Pistachio Cookies

Unbelievably delicious!

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Softened Butter

1 1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Room Temperature Eggs

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 Cups White Chocolate Chips

1 1/2 Cups Whole Pistachios

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a large size bowl mix together the butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed until nice and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg.  Add the vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds.  In a separate large size bowl combine the flour, kosher salt and baking soda.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on a low speed until all of the flour is combined.  Stir in the white chocolate chips and the pistachio nuts.  Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour before baking.  Remove from the fridge and drop by 1 teaspoonful onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remember that each oven heats differently so make sure to check at 10 minutes.  I usually like to remove cookies a bit underdone because they will continue to cook for a bit after removing them from the oven.  Let rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing.  Remove from the baking sheet and place on wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 5 dozen (depending on how large you make the cookies).

 

Smoked Okra

June 6, 2013

Smoked Okra 3Smoked Okra

If you’re an okra lover then you’re going to love Smoked Okra.  The “smoke” comes from the smoked paprika which I am a huge fan of. I love to eat them right out of the jar.

INGREDIENTS

24 Okra

1 Cup White Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

1 1/2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Whole Mustard Seeds

1/2 Teaspoon Whole Peppercorns

1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2 Minced Garlic Cloves

3 Whole Dried Chile Peppers

Wash and dry a very large glass jar.  Wash the okra and remove any of the prickly parts that are on the okra tops.  Place the okra into the jar along with the dried chili peppers.  You will probably need to pack the okra into the jar.  Set aside.  In a medium size pan add the vinegar, kosher salt, smoked paprika, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cayenne pepper and garlic cloves.  Whisk the ingredients in the pan to combine well.  Bring to a boil and then let the mixture boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and carefully pour the vinegar mixture into the okra filled jar.  Add water to fill to the top of the jar.  Put the lid on the jar and let sit on the counter until it comes to room temperature.  Place into the refrigerator and let sit for 1 week before eating.  These tend to be rather spicy so if you want to tone the spice down then leave out the dried chile peppers.

Mother’s Day Macadamia Nut Brownies

May 11, 2013

Macadamia Nut BrowniesMother’s Day Macadamia Nut Brownies

Make your mother the ultimate brownie.  Trust me she deserves it!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup Butter

3 Ounces Coarsely Chopped Unsweetened Chocolate

1 Cup Sugar

2 Room Temperature Eggs

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

2/3 Cup Unbleached Flour

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

8 Ounces Chopped Macadamia Nuts

In a medium size saucepan heat and stir the butter and chocolateover a low heat until both are smooth.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.  Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Line an 8x8x2 inch baking pan with parchment paper.  Leave extra extending over the edges of the pan so you can remove the brownies easily.  Stir the sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla extract. Add the eggs and beat with a wooden spoon.  In a small size bowl combine the flour and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture.  Stir until combined.  Add the chopped macadamia nuts and give a good stir.  Pour the batter into the parchment paper lined baking pan.  Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan.  Cool completely.  Remove from the pan by lifting with the parchment paper.   Place onto a hard surface and cup into brownies squares. Transfer to a serving platter. Makes about 16 brownies depending on how large or small you cut them.

**If you don't have macadamia nuts then used chopped walnuts.

 

Za’atar Pita Chips

May 8, 2013

Za’atar Pita ChipsZa'atar 2

These Za’atar Pita Chips are really pretty addictive.  They are baked so they are much healthier than deep fried chips.  If you want to leave the za’atar off then just use kosher salt and pepper as your seasoning.

INGREDIENTS

12 Pita Bread Pockets

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Victoria’s Za’atar

Preheat your oven to 400º F.  Slice each pita bread into 10 triangles.  Place the triangles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  In a small size bowl combine the olive oil and the za’atar.  Brush each triangle with the oil & za’atar mixture.  Place in the oven and bake for 6 to 8 minutes.  You will want them to be light brown and crisp.  Be careful because if left unattended they will burn.  Serves 12

 

 

*If you need my za’atar recipe it’s on my website or send me an email and I’ll send you some.

 

Za'atar Pita

Oatmeal Chocolate Crunch Cookies

April 30, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Crunch Cookies 2Oatmeal Chocolate Crunch Cookies

These cookies are a snap to make and they always seem to disappear first on a cookie tray.  This version is crisp, crunchy and keeps very well.  Nutmeg isn’t always used in oatmeal cookies, but it adds an extra flavor.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/2 Pound Room Temperature Butter

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Light Brown Sugar

1 Large Room Temperature Egg

1 Tablespoon Milk

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats

2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

2 Cups Toffee Bits

In a large size bowl mix together the flour, kosher salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.  In a separate large size bowl beat the butter and sugars with a mixer until creamy and light.  Add the egg, milk and vanilla.  Beat until mixed thoroughly.  Slowly mix in the flour mixture.  Stir in the oats, chocolate chips and toffee bits.  Place into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Remove from the fridge when ready to bake.  Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Drop by the tablespoons onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.  Remove from the oven and let the cookies sit for a minute and then transfer to a rack to cool.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

***You can find toffee bits in the baking section of your local grocery store.

What’s The Story Morning Glory Muffins

April 28, 2013

What's The Story Morning Glory MuffinsWhat’s The Story Morning Glory Muffins

“What’s the Story Morning Glory?”  It’s true.  There are morning muffins that are good for you.  Try these muffins and you won’t be sorry that you did.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Uncooked Old-Fashioned Oats

2/3 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1/3 Cup Skim Milk

1/4 Cup Molasses

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Large Egg

3 Shredded Carrots

1/2 Cup Chopped Prunes

Preheat your oven to 400º F.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper muffin liners.  In a large size bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and kosher salt.  Stir in the oats.  In a separate large size bowl mix together the applesauce, milk, molasses, brown sugar, oil and egg until well blended.  Stir in the prunes and carrots.  Add the applesauce mixture to the flour mixture.  Stir just until the flour is moist.  You will see that the batter will be lumpy, but don’t worry about it.  Pour the batter into the muffin liners.  Place into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remember that every oven heats differently so check your muffins at 20 minutes.  To test to see if they are done insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin and if it comes out clean then your muffins are done.  Remove from the oven and immediately remove the muffins from the pan.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm with butter on the side.  Makes 12 muffins

 

Avocado & Grapefruit Salad

April 20, 2013

Avocado Grapefruit SaladAvocado & Grapefruit Salad

For a beautiful salad use both pink and yellow grapefruit in this refreshing salad.

INGREDIENTS

2 Grapefruit

2 Peeled, Pitted & Chopped Avocados

1/4 Thinly Sliced Red Onion

1 Head of Bibb or Butter Lettuce

Carefully peel the grapefruit.  Make sure to remove all of the white pith.  Working over a large size bowl to catch any juice, cut along the side of each membrane to release the segments.   Let the segments drop into the bowl.  Add the avocados and onion and toss well.  Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter.  Spoon the grapefruit, avocado & onion salad over the top of the lettuce leaves.  Dress the salad with any dressing that you prefer or eat without dressing as the grapefruit juice may be enough for you.  Serves 4

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Crispies

April 19, 2013

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut CrispiesDark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Crispies

The toasted macadamia nuts and dark chocolate are what makes these treats sing.  They’re sticky to make, but you’ll have fun licking your fingers!

INGREDIENTS

1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter

2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips

10 Ounces Marshmallows

8 Ounces Toasted Macadamia Nuts

6 Cups Rice Krispie Type Cereal

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the whole macadamia nuts onto the baking sheet.  Place into the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Cut the macadamia nuts in half and set aside.  In a large size saucepan melt the butter over a low heat.  Add the marshmallows and continue to stir until the marshmallows have completely melted.  Add the macadamia nuts and dark chocolate chips.  Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the rice cereal. Coat the cereal well with the melted marshmallow mixture.  Using a silicone spatula, press the mixture evenly into a 13x9x2 inch pan that has either been greased or lined with parchment paper.  You will need to work quickly.  Let cool and then cut into squares.  Makes approximately 24 squares.

 

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