Sunday, May 1, 2016

Butter Cream Cookies With Chocolate Fudge Icing

























I love these cookies!  Not only because they are so wonderfully decadent, but because they are a show stopper.  They turn heads whenever I walk across the room with a tray filled with these beautiful little morsels!  They are simple to make and yet they look like you took hours to make them.

Butter Cream Cookies With Chocolate Fudge Icing

2 cups all-purpose flour 
½ teaspoon baking powder 
¼ teaspoon salt 
1½ sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened 
1 cup sugar 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside. 

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg until well-combined. Slowly spoon in flour mixture mixing on medium speed until well-combined, then add vanilla and mix just until combined. 



























Scoop cookie dough by the tablespoon and roll with your hands before dropping them on to a large baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between each cookie. Press down on cookie dough ball lightly with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass until about ½-inch thick. Bake 10-13 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely before icing. 

Butter Cream Frosting

1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened 
1 cup unsweetened cocoa 
5 cups confectioner’s sugar 
½ cup milk 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
½ teaspoon espresso powder 
 
Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer.  Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.



























Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If you need to add more powdered sugar you can add a little at a time to get the right consistency.  Using a piping bag and tip, ice the cookies and allow to set. Makes two dozen.



Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pecan Pancakes



I love the Pecan Pancakes at Crackle Barrel. I love that fluffy texture with those crispy edges and that wonderful flavor of toasted pecans. I used to crave these things a lot until I decided to try and make them myself. After doing a few practice runs, one day I got it right and I can now announce that this my friends is right on the mark for the identical recipe for Cracker Barrel Pecan Pancakes. Now when I crave them, I just go to the kitchen and whip up a batch!  You'll love them!

Pecan Pancakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
cup chopped pecans

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, Add in the buttermilk and combine, Add in the egg and mix until just combined. 


























Pour baking mix onto a hot griddle, add chopped pecans to the batter prior to flipping the pancakes. Flip the pancakes when the bottoms are golden brown. Enjoy with warm syrup.


























Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Homemade Cannoli's

























Calling all Cannoli lovers out there! I don't profess to be a great Italian cook but I sure can make these disappear when I put them out for friends and family. You can't save these. You can't store them or freeze them. You have to eat these right away. Any objections?

Homemade Cannoli's

Shells

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup white wine
Oil or shortening, for frying

To make shells, mix flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter.
Add egg yolks; stir with a fork. Stir in wine, 1 tablespoon at a time, with a fork until dough clings together. Form a ball with the dough and let stand for 30 minutes. Roll dough almost paper thin, on a well-floured surface.

Using the rim of a wide glass such as a margarita glass (about 3-4 inches across), make circle imprints into rolled dough. Using a paring knife, make sure circles are cut all the way through. Roll each circle of dough around a metal cannoli tube, overlapping the ends and press to seal, flaring out the edges slightly.




























Fry one or two at a time in hot melted shortening for about one minute, turning to brown all sides. Remove from hot grease and drain on paper towels, seam side down. 

Let cool a minute or two before trying to remove metal tube. To remove the tube hold cannoli shell down on the paper towel and carefully slide the tube out one end. Leave cannoil shells on paper towel, seam side down to cool completely.

Filling

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (excess liquid drained or squeeze dry with cheese cloth)
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt


























Mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (at least a couple of hours). When ready to serve, use a Ziploc bag with the bottom corner snipped off or a pastry bag and pipe filling into one end of a shell to the center, then into other end. Repeat with remaining shells and filling. Serve immediately.

You can dip these in whatever topping you like. I sometimes dip them in mini chocolate chips and dust with confectioners' sugar.





I use the Norpro 3660 Stainless Steel Cannoli Forms, Set of 4
to make my shells.  Only $5.65 on Amazon.  Click on the link below to buy yours.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LBU1VQ/ref=as_li_ss_sm_fb_us_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=399837&creativeASIN=B000LBU1VQ&linkCode=shr&tag=welchome08-20&linkId=OFBKEHSFDTSVJFFM&refRID=1RK4RKGBFKF22G55DN99

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Egg In A Hole


























My Mom not only made the most delicious meals, she was all about making them fun too. This breakfast brings back so many childhood memories for me. She could have just fried an egg and popped up a piece of toast....but she loved saying I love you first thing in the morning! Some of you call this breakfast Toad in a Hole. Some call it Egg in a Basket. I've even heard it called Egg In A Hat and in the south they call it One-Eyed Jack. All I know is after all these years I still make it and every time I do, it brings back wonderful memories of home.

Egg In A Hole

1 egg
1 slice bread
butter

Separate egg and white into two small bowls. 

Butter one slice of bread and place buttered side down in skillet over medium heat. Fry the one side until golden brown and then remove from heat


Cut out a heart shape using a cookie cutter. Butter the heart shaped bread on both sides.  Lay heart in skillet and lightly brown on both sides. Remove and set aside. Butter the other side of the bread that has not been browned yet. Return slice of bread to the skillet buttered side down.

























Fill the cut out part of the bread with egg white just until you can no longer see the pan. Gently place the egg yolk in the center. Cover the egg and cook for 2-4 minutes checking frequently. 


Once egg is cooked, remove from heat. Serve with heart shaped cut out.

























Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Lo Mein Salad























I truly enjoy this recipe.  It’s so easy to make and such a nice salad for lunch and dinner. I use Star Fine Foods Seasoned Rice Vinegar to give it that zesty balance of sweet and salty flavors that are so perfect for Asian recipes. Don’t go light on the lime, it gives it the touch and brings all the flavors together. The vinaigrette tastes just like the dressing PF Chang's used to have on their oriental chicken salad.


Ginger Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
12  teaspoon oil, sesame
salt and freshly ground pepper

 In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar with the sugar and grated ginger until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil and sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside. 

























 Lo Mein Salad

1 package Lo Mein Noodles, Cooked And Drained 
1 bunch of asparagus trimmed and chopped
½ red onion, sliced thin
1 carrot, cut julienne or buy a package of matchstick carrots
Zest of one lime
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce or Sriracha Sauce

Blanch asparagus for 2 min in large pot of boiling, salted water. Transfer to bowl of ice water and let sit for a minute and then drain. Diagonally slice into 1-inch pieces. Add noodles to the same blanching water; blanch 1-2 min, drain and rinse with cold water.  




















In a large bowl, toss noodles, onion, carrots, lime zest and asparagus. Combine chili sauce and lime juice in a separate small bowl and mix well.  Pour over noodle mixture and toss.  Finally, add the vinaigrette and toss to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.




















Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.




STAR Seasoned Rice Vinegar online at:  

http://shop.starfinefoods.com/Seasoned-Rice-Vinegar/p/STAR-00420&c=Star@Vinegars


Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!

Shrimp Salad on a Buttery Croissant
























I love shrimp salad!  I love the smooth and creamy texture with just enough celery to make it slightly crunchy.  The shrimp is plump and spicy and just perfect on a bed of lettuce or your favorite sandwich.

Shrimp Salad on a Buttery Croissant

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup celery chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pound medium shrimp cooked peeled and de-veined
your favorite lettuce
croissant or sandwich roll 

Cook shrimp: In a medium saucepan bring 1 cup water to boil. Add unpeeled shrimp. Cover. Cook about 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Drain. Cool shrimp. Remove shells and de-vein. 




















In a large bowl mix mayonnaise, celery, Old Bay and lemon juice. Add shrimp and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Stir before serving on a bed of lettuce or in a buttery croissant or favorite roll.  Enjoy! 























Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs




























I love this recipe.  It's so easy to make and so delicious!  And I make it with  Star Fine Foods Roasted Garlic Oil for that rich buttery garlic flavorl!  This is a keeper my friends!

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs


1 box (16 ounces) spaghetti
3 tablespoons of Star Fine Foods Roasted Olive Oil, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 package of baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1 jar (32 ounces) Ragu Chunky Tomato Garlic Onion Sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon oregano
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups Colby Jack Cheese, divided
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
12 meatballs, see recipe below

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain well in a colander and set aside.

Add Star Fine Foods Butter Flavored Olive Oil to a skillet and saut√© the onion and garlic over medium heat until transparent. Add mushrooms and saute for an additional 2 minutes until tender.  Stir in spaghetti sauce, salt, pepper, and oregano and turn the heat to low and simmer.



























In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter flavored olive oil. Add spaghetti noodles to the egg mixture and toss to coat.

Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with a cup of the mozzarella cheese and a cup of the Colby Jack cheese. Pour sauce all over the top.

























Next add another layer of noodles, then another cup of Colby Jack and another cup of mozzarella cheese and the sauce.   Nestle the meatballs in the layer of noodles and sprinkle the remaining cheeses all over the top.

Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.



























Italian Meatballs

1 pound ground beef...
1 pound ground pork
1 cup bread crumbs, fresh or dried
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, lightly mix all ingredients by hand, but do not pack down meat mixture. Take a portion of meat in hand, and roll between palms to form a ball that is firmly packed but not compressed. 























Repeat, making each meatball about 2 inches in diameter. Arrange meatball onto prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Makes about 14 meatballs.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to Welcome Home.


Star Roasted Garlic with EV Olive Oil - STAR Roasted Garlic Olive Oil is available at Savemart, Raley’s and online at http://bit.ly/StarGarlicEVOO.

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!

Chicken Parmesan Bake over Farfalle

























I took a few shortcuts on this one because I needed something fast for dinner when some friends were riding through town and wanted to stop by and visit. This is one of those Semi-homemade recipes using store bought ingredients but it's so delicious no one will ever know you didn't slave over a hot stove all day! This is a keeper my friends.


Chicken Parmesan Bake over Farfalle 

4 Tyson Chicken Breaded, chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella cheese
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 26 ounce jar of Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion Sauce
1 pound farfalle or bow tie pasta

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Open sauce and heat in a saucepan over low heat until heated through.

Lay chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 according to package instructions. Once chicken is golden brown, remove from oven.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese on each breast and then cover with a slice of mozzarella cheese.


























Prepare pasta as directed on package and drain well.  Pour hot pasta onto plate or serving bowl and ladle warm sauce over it.  Place chicken breast on top of pasta and serve.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.