Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins


























If someone were to ask me to list my top 20 favorite foods, poppy seed muffins would surely be on the list....even somewhere near the top. They are sweet, slightly tangy and oh so lemony. While many think they are a spring and summer muffin, I make them all year round. Especially in winter, because once you bite into these muffins, you'll be transported to warm weather and sunny days!  

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2/3 c sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp poppy seeds

Preheat to 400 degrees. Butter or spray a regular-sized muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the pan with paper liners, if you would like. I prefer to put the batter straight into the pan. Place pan onto a baking sheet.























In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of lemon is strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with a whisk or rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough, a few lumps are better than over mixing the batter. Stir in the poppy seeds. 






















Divide batter among the muffin cups so that each is about 3/4 full. Cups should be almost, if not totally, full.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  























After muffins are done baking, transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. If not using paper liners, run a knife around the outside of the muffins to separate from the pan and tilt the pan slightly to allow muffins to slide out. Cool muffins completely before drizzling with a small amount of glaze. 



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Friday, March 18, 2016

Mushroom Artichoke Puffs






















I love making these little bites of goodness for any party.  These are so tasty and they don't last very long.  I simply make a dip using my favorite Cara Mia Artichoke Hearts and baby bella mushrooms but instead of serving it in a bowl with chips, I fill buttery puffed pastry! These little bites are savory and delicious! 

Mushroom Artichoke Puffs

2 Puff Pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 jar Cara Mia Grilled Artichokes, finely chopped
1 lb. fresh baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add butter to skillet and sauté mushrooms over medium heat for about 5 minutes until moisture is gone. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, artichoke hearts, and cheeses until well blended.  Mix in mushrooms and set aside.
Roll out puffed pastry dough until smooth, making sure seams are closed. Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 3 equal strips. Cut each strip into 3 squares for a total of 6. Arrange pastry squares on baking pan 1-inch apart. Brush egg yolk all around the outside edge of each square.


















Divide filling in the center of each square. Next fold pastry over filling by pulling up each side and pressing corners together to meet in center. Cover puffs and chill in freezer for about an hour.






















When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush each pastry with remaining egg yolk. Bake until pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let puffs cool in pan for 10 minutes. 


















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Cara Mia Grilled Artichokes are available at select Walmart, Schnucks, Stater Bros., Bashas, Shop 'n Save, and Randalls stores in the canned vegetable aisle or produce section and online at:  http://shop.starfinefoods.com/Grilled-Artichoke/p/STAR-00010&c=Star@Artichokes

Star Fine Foods now has a promo code for all Welcome Home fans that will give you a 10% discount on anything you order online. Just enter WELCOMEHOME10 at checkout!

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!  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Classic Corned Beef on Rye


























So you plan to celebrate St. Paddy's day with that beautiful corned beef brisket you bought along with some cabbage, carrots and potatoes.  But what are your plans for leftovers?  Just like Ham after Easter and Turkey after Thanksgiving....You make sandwiches! Here's my delicious classic corned beef sandwich on Rye just like you get at your favorite Deli.

Classic Corned Beef on Rye
4 ounces thinly sliced corned beef
2 slices rye or pumpernickel bread (I used marbled rye)
2 slices Swiss cheese
sauerkraut, well drained
1 tablespoon Thousand Island dressing

 Top each bread slice with half the corned beef, a slice of cheese, a little dressing, and some sauerkraut. Microwave on low until meat is warm and cheese has melted.  Add top slice of bread.

























Classic Reuben:

Lightly spread butter on one side of each bread slice. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place 2 bread slices, butter side down, in skillet. Top each bread slice with 2 slices cheese, 1 tablespoon dressing, 3 ounces corned beef and 1/4 of the sauerkraut. Top with 2 bread slices butter side up.

Cook sandwiches 4 to 6 minutes or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, turning once. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve with additional Thousand Island dressing, if desired.

























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Monday, March 14, 2016

White Chocolate Raspberry Pie




















You know today was Pie Day around the country. I put up a few pies myself today. But look what's coming in the April issue of the Welcome Home Online Blog Magazine!  (www.facebook.com/welcomehomefriends/ 

Its my no bake White Chocolate Raspberry Pie. So pretty and so easy to make. Under that filling and just before the crust there is a layer of white chocolate with bits of sweet raspberries all through it. Just heavenly. Look for it in the next issue coming out April 1st!

















When you click on the link below and subscribe to the Welcome Home Online Magazine, you will have almost instant access to over 500 of my private recipes that are exclusive to subscribers only. And there are 200 more recipes coming to the magazine this year! All for only $2 a month (paid annually).


















Plus you will become an instant member of the Welcome Home Recipe Fan club where you will find even more recipes that you haven't seen before.  Here's your link: 


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Friday, March 11, 2016

Cream Cheese Mints
























So easy to make and so good! Use different food coloring to change them up for the holidays or leave them white!

Cream Cheese Mints

4 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 pound (16 ounces) powdered sugar
⅛ – ¼ teaspoon of mint, spearmint or peppermint extract
Food coloring of your choice (optional)

Using a hand mixer, soften the cream cheese until smooth.  Next add in the extract and food coloring if using, and continue to mix until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar a little at a time and mix until smooth.






















Scoop about a teaspoon and roll into balls.  Place balls on parchment paper and use a fork to flatten them.  Dip fork in powdered sugar to make sure it doesn't stick. 
Continue making balls until all the dough is used up. Let mints air dry and serve. 
Note:  You can make these any color or leave the food coloring out completely for a nice white winter mint.  I used 1 drop of food coloring to get this swirl effect.

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Irish Potato Candy!























When I was little we had a neighbor that used to make these little candies and take them door to door wishing everyone a happy St. Paddy’s day.  He would put them in a little white box tied with a bright green bow with a little card that had an Irish poem.  He would sign the card, “Your friendly neighborhood Leprechaun.”  Inside the box were these cute little candies made from cream cheese and coconut that looked just like little potatoes.  We just loved his gift and looked forward to his visit every year.  For years I thought Mr. Obrien was a real live Lepreprechaun! 

Irish potato candy

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
cinnamon, or sifted cocoa, for coating

With a mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the salt and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time.  Stir until mixture turns into a thick and sticky dough.











Stir in the coconut and place the dough in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter. I make mine round but you can make them a little more oblong to look like a baking potato if you wish.  Place them on a baking sheet and put them in the refrigerator to chill. About 15 minutes or so.










In a shallow bowl, place cinnamon or cocoa. I used cinnamon for mine. Roll the potatoes in the mixture to coat all over. Tap off any excess.

Place the candies back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow them to “set” completely. After this, they can be kept in the refrigerator or at cool room temperature. Seal in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.



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