Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bacon Cheddar Quickbread

Lovely for a fall afternoon - I made it this morning and the whole loaf was gone by 2:00 p.m. I substituted dried apples for the pears and baked it five minutes less than specified in the recipe.

5 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese plus 1/2 cup 1/4-inch cubes extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces total)
1/2 cup finely chopped moist dried pears (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted , chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously butter 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Combine bacon, all cheese, dried pears, walnuts, and sage in medium bowl. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper in large bowl to blend. Whisk eggs, milk, and olive oil in another medium bowl to blend. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Add bacon-cheese mixture and stir until incorporated (dough will be very sticky). Transfer dough to prepared loaf pan; spread evenly.
Bake bread until golden on top and slender knife inserted into center of bread comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool bread in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely. Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic, then foil, and store at room temperature.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sarah's Mexi-Bake

There has been a little interest in this mexican-style casserole dish so thought I'd throw it up here for your enjoyment...super easy and cozy in the fall/winter:

one tube of buttermilk bisquits (regular, not butter flavored)
one pound ground beef
one jar mild chunky salsa
one can drained black beans
1 chopped green onion
1 bag mexican cheese
sour cream and sliced avocado on the side

Pam spray a square casserole dish. Place one layer of the bisquits on the bottom of the dish. Brown ground beef (add taco seasoning if you'd like, but not necessary) and lay over biscuits. Cover that with drained black beans, salsa, chopped onions and cheese. Cover with pam sprayed aluminum foil (so cheese doesn't stick).
Back at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover the foil to let cheese brown and cook 10more minutes. Serve with sour cream and avocado on the side.

This is a great one to make for people at anytime, it stores great in the freezer!
O.k I promise to provide a recipe in the future that isn't mexican-themed. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


This recipe is based on the San Chez Bistro Paella.  I love Paella because you can do it just about any way you want (as evident by the Paella Party of 2008).

This is based on a 11" Paella pan.  If you have a bigger pan you may need to adjust the ingredients.

    1 T  Olive Oil
1/3 C  Roma Tomato (Grated using the large holes of a box grater)
1/3 C  Yellow Onion - Diced
1/3 C  Pimento (one small jar)
1/3 C  Green Onion -Diced
1/3 C  Peas
    1  t Garlic
    2 t  Parsley - Chopped
1/2 t  Kosher Salt
1/2 t  Spicy Smoked Paprika
1/8 t  White Pepper
    1 t  Saffron Threads (I usually use one whole packet from World Market)
3/4 C Bomba Rice (Aborio is a good substitute)
    1  C Meat (Spanish Chorizo, Shrimp, Mussels, Chicken etc.)
    2  C Stock
    1 Lemon - Quartered

  1. Heat oil in pan over med high heat.
  2. Add the Tomato, Onion, Peas and Pimentos until they are tender.
  3. Add the Garlic, Parsley, Saffron, White Pepper, Kosher Salt and Paprika to the vegetables.
  4. Add the Meat and cook lightly.
  5. Add the Rice and cook until light brown.
  6. Slowly add Stock to just submerge rice.
  7. Cook until the rice is no longer soupy (20 min). 
  8. DO NOT STIR the rice.  This forms the crusty bottom layer.
  9. Squeeze lemon over the top, let stand off heat for 5 minutes and serve.


Put on some island music, pour yourself a glass, break out the chips, and start cooking!

1 orange, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 cup sugar
1 bottle white wine
1 bottle red wine

Sliced peaches, grapes, strawberries, apples, or other seasonal fruit (optional)
Gin, Grand Marnier, or brandy to taste (optional)

Combine wine with sugar, stirring frequently to dissolve. Add orange, other fruit or liquor options, stir. Place in frig for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Don't forget to eat the fruit when you get to the bottom of your glass-it has a little kick...