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Entries in Secret Recipe Club (28)

Monday
Jun232014

Pickled Beet Salad

Pickled beet salad

It’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day again. This month, I was assigned to Susan’s blog, The Wimpy Vegetarian. Susan has so many delicious and healthy recipes on her blog, which made it so hard to narrow it down to just one. While I was searching through her archives, I had to make a folder on my desktop for all of the recipes that I wanted to make! When it came down to it, I decided to make this beet salad because I am completely obsessed with beets and anything pickled! There is a local company that makes pickled beets and on a rare occasion, I will buy a jar, but at over $7 per jar, it is a rare treat. For way less than that, I was able to make this delicious pickled beet salad, which yielded so much more than I would have gotten in that jar. I’m so glad to have this recipe in my repertoire now. If the beets I planted in my garden do well, I know what I want to use them for! Thanks for the excellent recipe, Susan. I look forward to trying the other recipes I’ve saved from your blog!!

For the Salad
4 medium-sized Beets
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 medium-sized Shallot, minced
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 cup Feta Cheese
2 tablespoons Chive Oil, see below
2 tablespoons Spicy Pepitas, see below

Scrub the beets and cut off the root and tail ends. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast, wrapped in foil, at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Once cool enough to handle, peel the beets with a paring knife, then dice the beets and place them in a large jar/bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the beets, cover the jar/bowl, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours as the beets marinate. When ready to assemble the salad, drain the pickling liquid. Toss in the feta cheese and the chive oil, and top with the pepitas. 

For the Chive Oil
Large handful of Chives, chopped fine (~1/4 cup)
2/3 cup Olive Oil

Combine the ingredients and allow the flavors to mix for about 24 hours. Use within one week.

For the Spicy Pepitas
1 cup Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Pinch of Ground Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of Ground Paprika

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mixture to the skillet, tossing frequently, until golden brown. Cool and store in an air-tight container.

SOURCE: The Wimpy Vegetarian

Monday
May262014

Garlic Potatoes with Garlic Sauce

Garlic potatoes and sauce

Happy Memorial Day, and Happy Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This month, I was assigned to K&K Test Kitchen, a collaboration between mother and daughter team Kim and Kelsey! What a great way to stay connected with each other, especially since Kim is in VA and Kelsey is in Ottawa! I truly enjoyed reading through their blog. There were so many delicious recipes. As per usual, it was difficult to pare down my choices to just one, but in the end these potatoes won. They were perfect as a side dish for our grilled burgers. Now that summer is here and grill season is in full swing, the next time you fire up the grill and need a side dish, look no further than these potatoes! 

For the Potatoes:
Small Red Potatoes
2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Cut the potatoes into quarters and toss with the oil, garlic, and spices. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer on a baking dish and roast at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 tablespoon Tahini
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend on high until mixed. Pour sauce over the top of potatoes  and serve.  

SOURCE: K&K Test Kitchen

Monday
Apr282014

Surprise Carrot Cake

Surprise Carrot Cake

Spring has sprung (finally) and with it has come another Secret Recipe Club reveal day. This month, I was assigned to Lynn’s blog, Turnips 2 Tangerines. Lynn is semi-retired from the retail/restaurant industry and is a certified Gourmet Chef and Caterer! Lynn married her junior high school sweetheart and now lives on a picturesque lake in an old home that she and her husband renovated on their own. She has quite the arsenal of recipes on her blog and I encourage you to take a look!

We hosted Easter dinner for my family this year and I needed a dessert to “wow” the crowd. For some reason, carrot cake seems like the most appropriate dessert for a spring holiday, although I’ve never made it before. I liked that this particular carrot cake recipe had something that set it apart from most. The surprise filling made it special. This cake was amazing! We all had a slice on Easter, and even after giving some to my mom and my sister-in-law to take home, I ended up with half a cake left. I ate some for breakfast and treated myself to dessert each night. I finally finished it up on Friday. It held up well in the fridge for almost a week! Thank you, Lynn, for sharing such a special dessert recipe!

For the Filling
1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Refrigerate the filling while making the cake batter. 

For the Cake
3 Eggs
1 3/4 cup Sugar
3 cups Shredded Carrots
1 cup Vegetable Oil
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar. Add the carrots and oil and beat until blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the carrot mixture and mix well. Stir in the walnuts. Pour half of the batter into a greased bundt pan. Spoon the cream cheese filling into the bundt pan and top with the remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely. 

For the Frosting
1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Butter, softened
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
4 cups Powdered Sugar (I only used 2)

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting has reached the desired consistency. Frost the cake and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.  

SOURCE: Turnips 2 Tangerines

Monday
Mar312014

Greek Yogurt Everything Bagels

Everything bagels

For Secret Recipe Club this month, I was assigned to The Spiffy Cookie, written by Erin. Erin has a PhD in Microbiology, so she is not only a spiffy cookie, but a smart cookie too! When reading her “about” page, I felt an instant connection when I saw that she thinks peanut butter and chocolate is the best combination! Also, for a good chunk of time, she lived right down the 90 from where I’m from, so we’re practically neighbors! Although I only made one recipe from her blog, head over to see all of the other delicious things she makes! 

We’re carb people. A toasted bagel in the morning is great, especially when it is used for a breakfast sandwich. Everything bagels are our favorite, but I prefer to only eat them on the weekends since onion and garlic breath is no bueno! Joel and I have tried making bagels once before, but they ended up as flat as a pancake, so store bought has been the way to go for us. Until now.  Although I found many delicious sounding recipes, as soon as I saw Erin’s recipe for Greek Yogurt Everything Bagels, I knew it was high-time for us to try our hand at homemade bagels again. Everything about these bagels was great. They were easy to make and delicious to eat, especially with an egg and some bacon between them! I’m so glad I finally gave homemade bagels another try. Thanks for the great recipe, Erin!

2 cups Bread Flour
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour, divided
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Warm Water
2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
12 cups Water
1 tablespoon Baking Soda
3 tablespoons Everything Bagel Mix

In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, 1 cup of the whole wheat flour, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Whisk together and let sit for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly foamy. Add the yogurt to the bowl and mix, then slowly add the flour mixture, alternating between slow and medium speeds as you add the flour. Mix for 5 minutes, or until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky after 5 minutes, add the remaining whole wheat flour 1-2 tablespoons at a time (I ended up using about 2-3 additional tablespoons). Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl that has been lightly greased. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Remove the risen dough and punch it down. Divide it into 8 equal pieces. Press your finger through the center of the ball to form it into a bagel shape; repeat with remaining dough balls. Place them on a lightly greased pan and allow them to rest until risen but not doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Bring 12 cups of water to a boil in a large pot, then add the baking soda. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal. In batches, boil the bagels for 1 minute per side. Remove them from the water and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with the Everything Bagel Mix topping. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pan, lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the bagels are a light golden brown. 

*I was out of parchment, so I baked my bagels on a stoneware baking sheet. After the 10 minutes in the oven, the bottoms were soggy from the residual boiling water. I transferred them to a metal baking sheet and baked them again for another 5 minutes. When I try this recipe again, I plan to either use the metal baking sheet right away, or put the bagels on a baking sheet to dry off a bit after boiling, then transfer them to another that has been lined with parchment to bake. 

SOURCE: The Spiffy Cookie

 

Monday
Feb242014

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut butter pie

I can’t believe that it is already the end of February. Somehow, I have the feeling that 2014 is going to fly. With the end of the month comes Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This past month, I was assigned to Nicole’s blog, I Am A Honey Bee. I absolutely enjoyed every second of searching through Nicole’s blog, reading about the food she cooks, her scrapbooking, her travels, and her family, including her super cute Boston Terrier and her sweet little baby daughter. Boston is one of my favorite cities, so I enjoyed her posts that explored the New England area. I also enjoyed her scrapbook posts, as I have scrapbooked for quite some time (though I’ve fallen away recently). Every recipe that Nicole posted sounded like something I’d make in my own kitchen. I couldn’t help but think as I read through her posts that if I lived in the Boston area, we’d be fast friends! After narrowing my choices down to about 2 dozen recipes, I finally settled on this peanut butter pie, thanks to a little help from my brother. His birthday was mid-month and my mom had us all over for dinner. As I do every year, I volunteered to bring dessert. I don’t know why I bother asking Michael what he wants me to make, because every year he responds by saying “anything with Oreo or peanut butter flavor”. Perfect! This recipe made more filling than needed for the pie, which would have been perfect to make individual pies, but I chose to eat it by spooning it onto the leftover Oreos from the crust. Thanks Nicole, for helping me to join my brother’s two favorite flavors into one delicious birthday pie. I had a great time getting to know you this month! 

8 ounces Oreos (about half a package)
4 tablespoons Butter, melted
4 ounces Chocolate Chips or Finely Chopped Chocolate (I used dark)
1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped
1 cup Heavy Cream
8 ounces Cream Cheese
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 can (14 ounces) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice 

Process the cookies in a food processor until crumbs are formed. Dump the cookie crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter; mix well. Firmly press the cookie crumb mixture into a 9” pie plate. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the cookie crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the chocolate and place the pie plate in the fridge to firm while preparing the filling. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Place the whipped cream into the fridge to chill. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until well combined. Add the condensed milk and beat until incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and beat until smooth. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling with a rubber spatula until blended. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Pour the filling into the pie plate and most the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with additional peanuts or chocolate, if desired. Refrigerate for until 3 hours before serving.

SOURCE: I Am A Honey Bee