Monday, May 22, 2017

The Perfect Eye Round Roast Beef Sandwich

Sometimes I love putting on a small roast in the morning so I can enjoy a fantastic roast beef sandwich at lunch.  Especially when it’s this easy! 

The Perfect Eye Round Roast Beef Sandwich  

3 pound eye round roast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
Mix together your seasonings and set them aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

Remove your roast from the refrigerator and pat it dry with paper towels.  Allow it to sit on the counter at room temperature for at least 40 minutes. Roll the roast around in the seasonings, patting them down so it is covered and let it sit out on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes. This allows the roast to reach room temperature, plus it lets the seasonings settle onto the roast. 

Place the roast in a roasting pan (I use my Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven) and put your roast in the hot oven.  Roast for 25 minutes.  Then turn the oven off and do not open the door for the next 2 hours. Don't open the door or the heat will escape.  After the two hours, take the internal temperature with a thermometer. 

For rare the temperature should register at 125 degrees. 
For medium rare- 140 degrees.
For medium- 150 degrees.

Once you reach the temperature you want, transfer the roast to a plate and cover with foil.  Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before carving.   Slice this as thin as you can and make your roast beef sandwich with whatever you like! 

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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.

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Strawberry Swirl Pound Cake

A beautiful super moist cake with a strawberry filling that is just perfect. The perfect bundt cake! 

Strawberry Swirl Bundt Cake 

1½ cups butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Strawberry Filling

1 cup finely diced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1  1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 

Combine the strawberries, sugar, water and cornstarch in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very thick. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature before using. If needed add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until combined and soft, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to beat on medium speed until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each one is completely incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, reduce the speed to low, and gradually add the flour until it has all been combined. Add the vanilla extract and salt and mix on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Spoon about  of the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Top evenly with all but 1/4 cup of the strawberry filling, leaving a one inch border around the edge of the pan. Use a thin skewer or knife to gently swirl the strawberry filling with the cake batter just a few times.  Spoon the remainder of the cake batter on top of the filling and gently spread to the edges of the pan, covering the filling.  Then drop a few  teaspoons of filling on top of cake batter.   

Bake for 1¼ to 1½ hours, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving. 

NOTE:  In a hurry?  I sometimes use Smucker's 100% Fruit preserves and it turns out delicious!  Just sweet enough!  The preserves are sugar free!
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Friday, May 19, 2017

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

I love this recipe. It's a wonderful twist on an old Italian classic but who would have thought that layering it with cheese and sauce would have changed the whole dish?   It's delicious and gets better each day.

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 box (16 ounces) spaghetti
2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 small box 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 a tablespoon of olive oil and butter to a large skillet and saut√© the onion and garlic over medium heat until transparent. Add in mushrooms and saute for another three minutes.  Stir in spaghetti sauce and salt, pepper, and oregano and turn the heat to low and simmer.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and remaining 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 meatballs onto prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Makes about 14 meatballs.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies

Okay, I’m about to make a prediction. I predict that if you make these cookies and eat just one, you will decide that this is your favorite cookie ever.  You will make them time and time again because you can’t get enough of them.  They are so good in fact that you will find yourself making them for other people and keeping them for yourself!   They are that good. 

Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh ripe strawberries, chopped
3/4 cup white chocolate chips 

Mix together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Gradually add in the flour a little at a time until just mixed together.  

Pat the chopped strawberries with a paper towel to remove any excess water.  Gently fold the strawberries and white chocolate chips into the batter.  Place in refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.  

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.  

Scoop cookie dough in ½ tablespoon sized balls and place 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes , until tops are set and outer edges are slightly golden.

Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.  While cookies are cooling, make your filling.

Cream Cheese Filling

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
6 oz. white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the sugar, softened cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and the white chocolate over medium speed and mix until light and fluffy. 

To assemble cookies

Spread frosting on the bottom side of a cookie and top with the top side of another cookie that matches the same shape and size. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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