Friday, December 25, 2009

Herbed Monkey Bread

I just made this for Christmas dinner and the pickiest kid on the planet told me it was the best bread ever.


  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley flakes, thyme, and rosemary, crushed


  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, oil and 2 tablespoons butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cheese, sesame seeds, garlic salt, paprika and herbs. Punch dough down. Divide into 32 pieces; roll each into a ball.
  • Drizzle 2 teaspoons butter into a 10-in. tube pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with a third of the cheese mixture. Top with 16 balls. Repeat layers. Drizzle with remaining butter and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf (32 pieces).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Breaded Shrimp with Honey-Mustard Sauce

Not too long ago, my parents brought me back some enormous shrimp from their trip to New Orleans. I made some of them in my favorite shrimp recipe, but because they were so huge the cooking method did not go over well, they ended up being too meaty. Yesterday I made this for dinner and it is a much better way to cook super-huge shrimp. They came out fully cooked, but still tender. Marc thought the dipping sauce should have had less mustard, but I liked it. You can also dip these in cocktail sauce.


  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 12 peeled and deveined large shrimp (about 3/4 pound)

  • SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • Dash of ground red pepper


Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare shrimp, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place prepared pan in 400° oven for 10 minutes.
Combine panko, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Dip shrimp in egg white, and dredge in panko mixture. Place on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until done.
To prepare sauce, combine mustard and the remaining ingredients. Serve sauce with shrimp.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rye Cookies (Ruiskakut)

I attended a cookie exchange today where we had a quick demo of making rye cookies. These are traditional Christmas cookies in Finland. People will decorate their Christmas trees with them and when guests come over they can break a cookie off the tree. These aren't super sweet, but Claire couldn't get enough of them.


1 cup rye flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour, unsifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut in pieces
4-5 tablespoons milk

Stir the flours together with salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add butter and rub with your fingers until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork until a stiff dough is formed. Gather together and press into a ball. Chill.

Roll a portion at a time on a floured board or pastry cloth to about 1/8" thickness. Cut out rounds with a 2" cookie cutter. Using a tiny round cutter (1/2" diameter-you can use the cap from a food coloring or flavoring bottle), cut a hole slightly off center. Prick each cookie several times with a fork and place on lightly greased baking sheet, slightly apart. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are firm when touched. Cool on wire racks. Store airtight at room temperature for 2 or 3 days; freeze for longer storage. Makes about 2 dozen.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My new favorite thing

For anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I am totally obsessed with yogurt. I cook with it constantly and we eat a lot of it in my house. It is my kids favorite food. In my quest to find delicious yogurts for my kids, Marc picked up a tub of Greek God's Honey Flavored Yogurt. It is just about the most delicious thing ever! It is rich, creamy and sweet (but not too sweet). It is similar to Russian cream and oh, so delicious. Both Marc and I love it so much there is no way my kids are getting any of it. If you see it in your dairy section, GET IT!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mount Vernon Colonial Peanut & Chestnut Soup

We had this at the restaurant at Mount Vernon, and they gave us the recipe. I made it here at home, and it has now become known as "Peanut Butter Soup" at our house. Ryan even likes it! I made a couple of changes to make it a little bit healthier.

Mount Vernon Colonial Peanut and Chestnut Soup

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 T. all-purpose flour (I actually used whole wheat flour)
1 qt. chicken broth (I used the low sodium version)
1 qt. water
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (chopped, if desired)
1/2 cup water chestnuts, chopped1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Melt butter/margarine in large saucepan. Stir in flour to make a roux. Cook on medium heat while frequently stirring until the roux is light tan in color. Once the roux is ready, add chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Then add peanut butter and Worcestershire sauce and stir. The longer it heats, the thicker it gets. Add peanuts and water chestnuts.

Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Hummus
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained with liquid reserved
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice

Drain cans of garbanzo beans and reserve liquid. Place into blender or food processor. Add enough of the liquid until beans are covered, then blend until a paste forms.

Add other ingredients, blend again. Add extra reserved liquid for desired consistency.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Red Pepper and Parmesan Tilapia

I love a good fish recipe. This is a tiny bit spicy, but very delicious. It's also super quick and easy, so a great last minute meal. Serve with a side of rice and broccoli.


  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each)


  • Place egg substitute in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes and pepper. Dip fillets in egg substitute, then cheese mixture.
  • Place in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Yield: 4 servings.