Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cheddar Bacon Scones

You are not reading wrong. These are cheddar - bacons scones. They are delicious!! Seriously. The best savory scones I've ever made. They are dangerous!!! but these are not my own creation. I saw this recipe at Annie's Eats and I just had to make them. So, she deserves all the credit for such and amazing treat!


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. ground black pepper (depending on your preference)
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly slices
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk (plus up to ½ cup extra, if needed)
1 large egg
2 tbsp. water


Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper; mix briefly to combine. Add the cubes of butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are about the size of small peas. (Alternatively, this can be done in a regular mixing bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.) Add in the grated cheese and mix just until incorporated.

Mix in the green onions, bacon, and 1 cup of the buttermilk into the flour-butter mixture. Stir by hand just until all the ingredients are incorporated. If the dough is too dry to come together, mix in the remaining buttermilk a tablespoon or two at a time until the dough can be formed into a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into an 8-inch disk. Slice the dough into 8 to 10 wedges.

In a small bowl combine the egg and water and whisk together. Brush each wedge lightly with the egg wash. Transfer the scones to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Annie's Eats"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's been three months...

Dear friends,

Today I am not going to post a recipe, I'll just upload a video that a friend shared with me a few days ago... It's been three months since Chile was hit by a terrible earthquake. Still there is a lot of need, a lot of pain, a lot to be healed of. Please keep my country in your prayers, especially today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

These are the perfect snack! Full of flavor and rich consistency. Give them a try, you won't regret it!


2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Source: Ina Garten - "Back to Basics"

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spring Green Risotto

I've never made Risotto before, and I was looking forward to it. This past weekend my husband wanted to try something different but sort of healthier, so I decided to try this recipe. It was a complete success! It has a velvety texture and full of fresh earthy flavors. This recipe is very comforting, so with one portion you'll have more than enough.


1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1 cup chopped fennel
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 pound thin asparagus
10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving


Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)

When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.

Source: Ina Garten - "Back to Basics".

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flaky biscuits

Nothing like a flaky warm biscuit for a hearty breakfast or simply to have a cup of coffee with some biscuits and jelly... delicious! I saw this recipe online, and decided to try it. I wasn't disappointed!


2 c. all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3/4 c. milk


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, powder and salt. Cut the butter, very cold, into dry ingredients until butter pieces are about the size of a pea. Add the milk and mix until just combined (texture should be sticky, moist and lumpy).

Roll the dough out on surface prepared with powdered sugar (rather than flour) into an aproximate 1 inch thickness (the more generous you are with the thickness, the bigger your biscuits will be).

Cut with lightly floured biscuit cutter and place on prepared baking sheet.

Brush each biscuit with the melted butter.

Place in oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or longer until tops are nicely browned.

Serve immediately.

Source: "Joy of Cooking"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Almost a Cobb Salad... only lighter

We are Cobb Salad lovers in our family. The other day we had some friends over for dinner and wanted to make a green salad that would look as delicious as the Cobb one, only lighter... sort of! :D

So, I found this recipe at one of my favorite food blogs: "Smitten Kitchen". She made this Classic Cobb Salad, adapted from Saveur. You can check her recipe here. I love the way it looked, so in order to make my salad a side dish instead, I switch the blue cheese for feta and didn't add the chicken.

Serves 4 to 6

- For the Dressing:
3/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 clove garlic, minced

Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

- For the Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 head red leaf lettuce, chopped

2 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

6 strips cooked bacon, roughly chopped

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 medium tomatoes, peeled*, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish


- To make the dressing: Combine the canola oil, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, sugar, and garlic in a blender/food processor. Purée the ingredients to make a smooth dressing and season with salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Note: If you're planning on making the dressing only for the salad, you'll only need half of what the recipe calls for.

To make the salad: On a (very) large platter, combine the lettuces. (It's important to remove all the extra water from washing them). Arrange the feta cheese, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, and avocado on top of the greens in neat rows.

To serve, drizzle salad with dressing, season with salt and pepper, and top with the cilantro leaves. Alternatively, toss everything together in a bowl.

If you want to make this salad ahead, this is her advice for it:

Salad dressing keeps, covered and refrigerated, for up to one week. Individual ingredients (except the avocado, which is too prone to browning) can be prepped and chopped, and kept in separate containers in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad. However, no doubt due to sturdiness of 2/3 of the lettuces, I found that the entire assembled salad kept surprisingly well wrapped in plastic in the fridge for a few hours.



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shortbread Cookies

Some times you just crave something simple but comforting... If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, I highly recommend you this recipe!


3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Source: Food Network - Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten