Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette.

It’s a good thing I like to cook. I’m at the point where I can no longer not contribute to gatherings, even family gatherings. I must contribute now. I’ve always been one to want to contribute, or at least help cook. This Easter I was in charge of a side. I decided to make something light and summery. Grilled corn is definitely a summer staple in my book. So, a grilled corn salad it was. Now, I would love to say I came up with this recipe on my own. Not to say this isn’t the type of recipe I would make anyways, but (as much as I hate to admit it) I found this particular recipe on Pinterest (Authentic Suburban Gourmet).

Everyone loved this salad. It was crisp, light and refreshing. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to add fewer red onions. I found myself tasting onion all day, which isn’t always bad, but not always desirable. I ate on this the rest of the week and it remained just as delicious as the day I made it.

Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

5 Ears Corn, husk removed, brush with olive oil and grilled, remove corn with sharp knife
2 Avocado’s, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
2 C. Tomatoes, red and yellow cherry variety or equivalent
1 Small red onion, finely diced
¾ C. Feta, crumbled
1 ½ C. English cucumber, skin on and chopped small dice

Add to a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cilantro Vinaigrette

6 T. Olive oil

2 T. Sherry vinegar
1 t. Garlic powder
2 T. Fresh cilantro, minced
½ t. Salt
10 Grinds of fresh ground pepper

When you are ready to serve, toss the vinaigrette with the salad.

I would like to thank my brother for the amazing pictures. I am very jealous of his new camera. A camera will definitely be my next big purchase!

(Christmas) German Apple Pancakes

Merry Christmas!

A breakfast treat for you all! German Apple Pancakes are baked instead of flipped. They’re sweet, savory and filling. There is nothing like baked apples.

German Apple Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Maple syrup (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs, milk, flour, and vanilla, and whisk until just blended, being careful to not overmix. Set the batter aside to rest at least 20 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 450ºF.

In a heavy ovenproof 12-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat. Add the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft and lightly golden around the edges, about 6 minutes.

Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the apples are caramelized and very soft, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and stir to melt.

Working very quickly, pour the batter evenly over the top of the apples. Using oven mitts or pot holders, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the pancake is golden brown and puffed, about 15 minutes. Don’t be alarmed when you see the edges of the pancake puff up over the top of the pan–this is supposed to happen!

Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the skillet from the oven and serve the pancake immediately, sprinkled with sifted confectioners’ sugar or drizzled with maple syrup, as desired.

Drunken Pears with Goat Cheese

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone!

Tonight I made an appetizer for our Christmas Eve party. I got the idea from Pinterest and made it my own. It’s quick, simple and easy. I hope you enjoy!

Drunken Pears w/Goat Cheese

Pears
1 Package of Goat Cheese
1/4 cup Pecans
2 cups (or more) White Wine

Roll the goat cheese into several balls about 1 inch in diameter.
Roll the goat cheese balls in the chopped pecans.
Using garnish toothpicks, skewer one pear slice (after they’ve been soaking in wine) and then one goat cheese ball at a time, then place on a serving platter.

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2: “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Linzer Cookies with Spiced Jam

Last week I received the greatest gift of all time: a Kitchen Aid Mixer!

I work with a woman who went to culinary school. She was a pastry chef and makes the most wonderful baked goods! She always tells me what a “champ” her mixer is because of all the baking she puts it through. Since her mixer seemed to be getting”tired”, she decided it was time to get a new mixer… This is good news for me. The “champ” was given to her by her parents when she graduated culinary school, so naturally she has a special attachment to it. She wanted to give it to someone who loved to cook and would use it will…. Ahem, ME!

I am now the proud owner of “The Champ”. And so far, it has been the most amazing kitchen appliance I own; However, I recently purchased a set of Le Creuset cookware! All I can say is I am making beef short ribs in my French oven tomorrow night… Stay tuned.

Thanks to the Kitchen Aid Mixer (drumroll please) I give you Linzer Cookies with Spiced Jam! I promise, you will love them… and they’re pretty, too.

Linzer Cookies with Spiced Jam

INGREDIENTS

  1. 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 3 large egg yolks
  4. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  5. 1 1/4 cups hazelnuts with skin
  6. 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  7. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  9. Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  10. 3/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  11. 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds, ground in a spice grinder
  12. 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  1. In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add the egg yolks and lemon zest and beat until smooth. In a food processor, combine the hazelnuts with the bread flour and process until the nuts are finely ground. Add the cinnamon and cloves and pulse to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat on low speed until smooth. Pat the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working in batches if necessary, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Using a 2-inch round cutter, stamp out cookies as close together as possible. Using a small decorative cookie cutter, stamp out the centers of half of the cookies. Transfer the whole cookies to 1 prepared baking sheet and the cut-out cookies to another.
  3. Bake the cookies in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheets. Meanwhile, refrigerate the scraps until chilled, then reroll, stamp out more cookies and bake.
  4. Dust the tops of the cut-out cookies with confectioners’ sugar. In a small bowl, whisk the raspberry preserves with the ground anise and coriander. Spoon the preserves onto the whole cookies, cover with the sugar-dusted cookies and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for 5 days or frozen for 1 month. Redust with confectioners’ sugar.
 
 

More Than A Cocktail.

Tonight I have a friends birthday party to attend. I was having a hard time thinking of something to get her. So I started looking at her Facebook pictures to get an idea. Kind of ridiculous, but you can get some pretty good ideas of what a person likes from Facebook pictures. She really likes cocktails and making different vintage and new drinks. I already knew this about her, but her pictures reminded me. So, I would like to give Facebook photos a shout out right now for the idea.

This is what I came up with…. A cocktail in a bottle. This is simple, easy and a great idea for a gift, party or to keep around the house. Grab an empty wine bottle from the house, clean the bottle and take the labels off. After, mix your favorite cocktail (I decided to make Pimm’s Cup) together and fill the wine bottle. Viola! An instant cocktail in a bottle! Get mixing!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Pimm’s No. 1
  • 2 cups ginger ale, chilled
  • 1 1/3 cups sparkling water, chilled
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into 4 spears

Preparation

  1. Fill 4 tall (12-ounce) glasses with ice cubes.
  2. Pour 3 tablespoons Pimm’s into each glass. Pour 1/2 cup ginger ale and 1/3 cup sparkling water into each glass; stir to combine. Garnish each serving with 1 lemon slice and 1 cucumber spear. Serve immediately.