Monday, September 30, 2019

Pecan Pie Bars #FallFlavors

This post is written in conjunction with #FallFlavors.
Sponsor companies contributed prize packages for the raffle giveaway.
All opinions are mine alone.

Here we are at Day Two of #FallFlavors where we celebrate all things associated with Fall such as squash, apples, pecans, sweaters, football; you get the idea!  Ellen from Family Around the Table and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures have gathered two dozen bloggers who have over one hundred recipes they’re sharing this week in celebration of cool weather and sweatshirts.  We hope you find many must make recipes so get your pinning, tweeting, and sharing fingers ready!

Tuesday's Recipes

Breakfast
Maple Coffee Glazed Baked Donuts by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures

Savory
Baby Greens Salad with Pomegranate, Blue Cheese, And Pecans by Karen's Kitchen Stories
Instant Pot Pork Riblets with Sauerkraut by Palatable Pastime
Pecan Chicken and Grape Salad by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Turkey & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash by Sweet Beginnings

Dessert
Apple Cider Cheesecake Tarts by Red Cottage Chronicles
Autumn Spice Coffee Pecan Fudge by Family Around the Table
Caramel Apple Pecan Cobbler by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Pecan Butter Pie by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Pecan Pie Bars by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Vegan Ginger Pear Bundt Cake by The Baking Fairy


Make sure you like Fall Flavors on Facebook and follow the Fall Flavors on Pinterest, too!

Pecan Pie Bars
Pecan pie is a family favorite; in fact, my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf makes a version all by himself. His Espresso Browned-Butter Pecan Pie is amazing. So, when we were planning a grueling, albeit short, hike last weekend, Jake asked what treats I was going to pack. I decided to make some pecan pie bars.

Though I missed out on getting pecans from one of the event sponsors Millican Pecan, you should enter to win their prize package down below. I only wish I could win that one!


The bars were a hit up there...on top of the ridge! And it's a good thing I packed more than one per person! Somehow, though, I still didn't get to eat one. I'm not sure who ate three bars, but I can guess.

Ingredients

Crust
  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 3/4 C butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 T cold water
Topping
  • 3/4 C (1-1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 3/4 C organic dark brown sugar
  • 5 T organic whipping cream
  • 2 C pecan pieces
  • 2 C chocolate chunks or chips

Procedure
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place flour, powdered sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in butter till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in water until the mixture forms a ball.

Press the dough into a 9"x13" baking pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. In the meantime, make the topping. Melt the butter, honey, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and, without stirring, cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the cream and pecans.

Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Spread chocolate over the crust, pour the topping over the melted chocolate, and bake for another 25 minutes.

Let cool completely. Cut into squares with a sharp knife dipped into very hot water.

The Prizes
Flavors of Fall Door County Prize Package

Prize 1 - Door County Coffee and Tea Company

Founded in 1993 in Door County, WI, Door County Coffee and Tea Company is a small family owned business. Roasting a variety of flavors for 26 years, one winner will receive three full pot bags of all of their fall flavors. 21 bags in all! Their mission through the years has been to produce high quality, best-tasting coffee using only Specialty Class 1 Arabica coffee beans. Combine that with superior roasting technology and you get a wonderfully even and perfect roast every time and that means the perfect pot of coffee. A $40 value.

Flavors of Fall Millican Prize Package

Prize 2 - Millican Pecan Tower of Treats Gift Tins

Originally founded as the West Texas Pecan Nursery in the late 1800's, Millican Pecan is now in 5th generation ownership. Located in San Saba, TX, the family continues the tradition of pecan farming while also branching the business into the online world. The family also enjoys educating people about pecans. One winner will receive The Tower of Treats Gift Tins. The tower includes 3 decorative gift tins stacked on top of each other. The bottom tin includes our 2 lb. Chocolate Pecan Sampler, the middle tin is our Flavored Pecan Sampler and the top tin is a 8 oz. tin of Milk Chocolate Caramillicans (similar to Turtles). An $80 value.

The Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLAIMER: Two (2) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners have 24 hours to respond once notified by email, or they forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. The #FallFlavors bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members living in the household cannot enter or win the giveaway. Entries will be verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Open to US Residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter the giveaway. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #FallFlavors posts or entry. Thank you to our sponsors Millican Pecan and Door County Coffee and Tea for providing prizes.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Door County Maple Coffee-Crusted Steak #FallFlavors #Sponsored

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #FallFlavors.
I received complimentary product from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #FallFlavors recipes.
All opinions are mine alone.

Welcome to Flavors of Fall - #FallFlavors - where we celebrate all things associated with Fall such as squash, apples, pecans, sweaters, football; you get the idea! Ellen from Family Around the Table and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures have gathered two dozen bloggers who have over one hundred recipes they will be sharing this week in celebration of cool weather and sweatshirts.  We hope you find many must-make recipes so get your pinning, tweeting, and sharing fingers ready!

Monday's Line-Up

Breakfast
Cinnamon Glazed Donut French Toast by Daily Dish Recipes
Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake by Family Around the Table
Ginger Pear Muffins by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Healthy Chocolate Pumpkin Waffles by Tip Garden
Spiced Coffee Toffee Bread by Cheese Curd In Paradise

Savory
Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage and Apples by Simple and Savory
Door County Maple Coffee-Crusted Steak by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Fig and Brie Grilled Cheese by The Redhead Baker
Java Beef Flatbread Pizza by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Pears by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Tuna Pot Pie by Palatable Pastime
Vegan Chili by Red Cottage Chronicles

Dessert
Apple Cheesecake Streusel Bars by Love and Confections
Caramel Apple Cookie Cups by Sweet Beginnings
Caramel Pecan Cookie Sticks by The Freshman Cook
Chocolate Cappuccino Biscotti with Pecans by Blogghetti
Cinnamon Maple Pecan Cookies by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Coffee Granita by Karen's Kitchen Stories
Irish Apple Cake by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Pecan Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie by Crumb Top Baking
Pecan Pie Bars by Books n' Cooks
Pumpkin Bundts with Brown Butter Glaze and Candied Pecans by Our Good Life
Vegan Coffee Layer Cake by The Baking Fairy

Please make sure that you like Fall Flavors on Facebook and follow the Fall Flavors on Pinterest, too!

Door County Maple Coffee-Crusted Steak

Inspired by the gourmet ground coffee I received from event sponsor Door County Coffee*, I decided to use their Door County Maple in a coffee rub for steak. Oh, my goodness! This was delicious...and so, so simple. I also did a little bit of reading about the company and was tickled to discover that they are a small, family-owned business in the heart of Door County (that's in Wisconsin, if you were going to head to an atlas like I had to!). They roast coffee in small batches which lends to consistency and quality. Gotta love that!

Ingredients serves 4

Coffee Rub
  • 3 T ground coffee (I used Door County's Door County Maple)
  • 2 T salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t white pepper
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground coriander
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom

Steak
  • two steaks (I used New York Strip Steak), approximately 2 pounds total
  • oil
Procedure

Coffee Rub
Blend everything together in a bowl. 


Steak
Pat steaks dry and sprinkle both sides liberally with coffee rub. Rub as much as you need to coat all surfaces of your grillable meat. Let stand for at least 30 minutes before grilling.


Prepare plancha grill for cooking over direct heat. Grill steaks on lightly oiled grill. Cook approximately 7 or 8 minutes total for medium-rare, so 4 minutes on each side.


Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let stand, tented loosely with foil, for 5 to 10 minutes. Thinly slice steaks diagonally and serve.


While the steaks were resting, I tossed some quartered onions on the plancha and ended up with an unexpected treat.


I served this with some sweet potato fries that I'll be sharing later in the week and a tossed green salad.


Dinner is served!

Sometimes when I make this rub, the coffee is actually bitter. Because this has the added sweetness of maple, it was absolutely perfect. I can't wait to have this on our table again soon.


The Prizes
Flavors of Fall Door County Prize Package

Prize 1 - Door County Coffee and Tea Company

Founded in 1993 in Door County, WI, Door County Coffee and Tea Company is a small family owned business. Roasting a variety of flavors for 26 years, one winner will receive three full pot bags of all of their fall flavors. 21 bags in all! Their mission through the years has been to produce high quality, best-tasting coffee using only Specialty Class 1 Arabica coffee beans. Combine that with superior roasting technology and you get a wonderfully even and perfect roast every time and that means the perfect pot of coffee. A $40 value.

Flavors of Fall Millican Prize Package

Prize 2 - Millican Pecan Tower of Treats Gift Tins

Originally founded as the West Texas Pecan Nursery in the late 1800's, Millican Pecan is now in 5th generation ownership. Located in San Saba, TX, the family continues the tradition of pecan farming while also branching the business into the online world. The family also enjoys educating people about pecans. One winner will receive The Tower of Treats Gift Tins. The tower includes 3 decorative gift tins stacked on top of each other. The bottom tin includes our 2 lb. Chocolate Pecan Sampler, the middle tin is our Flavored Pecan Sampler and the top tin is a 8 oz. tin of Milk Chocolate Caramillicans (similar to Turtles). An $80 value.

The Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find the Sponsor Whose Ingredients
Are Used in this Recipe
on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram

DISCLAIMER: Two (2) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners have 24 hours to respond once notified by email, or they forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. The #FallFlavors bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members living in the household cannot enter or win the giveaway. Entries will be verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Open to US Residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter the giveaway. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #FallFlavors posts or entry. Thank you to our sponsors Millican Pecan and Door County Coffee and Tea for providing prizes.

Banana Cream Pie


When we found out that one of the boys' friends was going to be staying with us for a weekend, I talked about what things we should cook with him. He has always enjoyed cooking and somehow we landed on banana cream pie. Probably because it's been so long since we've had it. Great!

And because they have done it before, I knew they would do most of the work. I did swap in some banana flour because I was intrigued by the package. It's gluten-free and has a strange hue. Also, it didn't really impart any banana flavor to the crust, but I think the kids liked that it was a banana cream pie in a banana crust.

Ingredients makes one 9" pie
 Crust
  • 1 C flour
  • 1/4 C banana flour
  • 1-1/2 t organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 C butter (1 stick), cubed
  • cold water or vodka

Banana Cream Filling
  • 4 C whole milk
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t pure vanilla bean paste
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C flour (typically we would use corn starch, but I didn't have any)
  • 3 T butter, cold and cubed
  • 4 ripe bananas, sliced into coins 
  • whipped cream, for serving

Procedure

Crust
In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter cubes and pulse until chunks the size of small peas form. Pour in 1/4 cup of cold water or vodka and pulse, again, till the dough comes together in a ball. Turn out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and knead 2 to 3 times. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, approximately 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, then transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.


Banana Cream Filling
Combine the milk, salt, and vanilla in pot and heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, turn off the heat and stir the mixture for one minute. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale yellow, then whisk in the flour until moistened and smooth. Gradually whisk in half of the hot milk mixture.

Pour the yolk-milk mixture back into the pot and cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture boils and begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, approximately another 5 minutes. The mixture should become very thick, like a set custard. When cooked, turn off the heat.

Stir in the butter until it melts completely and fold in the bananas.


Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell. Gently push the banana slices below the surface to prevent them from browning. Cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing the plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 7 hours or overnight.


Top with whipped cream and serve.


They did a great job on this pie. Even I ate a few bites...and, if you know how often I indulge in the sweets that come out of my kitchen, you know how rare that is.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Laminated Bacon Biscuits


We are of the mindset that everything is better than bacon. LOL. So, when I was brainstorming with the boys about our own little BaconFest, they decided that we should have a bacon biscuit bar. You know: bacon biscuits + bacon gravy, bacon biscuits + bacon jam, and bacon biscuits sliders. I could feel my cholesterol climbing while menu planning! But I also knew that the bar would be a hit with our guests.

Ingredients makes about fifteen 2" square biscuits
  • 1/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 3 T warm water
  • 2 t (1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • 5 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 C butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 C whole plain buttermilk (you can use yogurt, instead)
  • 1/2 C butter, cold
  • light oil for greasing the bowl (I used canola)
  • candied bacon strips, coarsely chopped 

Procedure

In a small mixing bowl, stir together sugar, 3 T warm water, and yeast. Let stand until mixture is bloomed and foamy, approximately 5 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Using your hands or a pastry blender, cut in cold, cubed butter until mixture is crumbly. Add yeast mixture and buttermilk, stirring until dry ingredients are just moistened.

Knead by hand a few times until dough comes together. Oil a large mixing bowl and place dough in bowl, turning so that it's completely covered in oil. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm spot until raised and puffy, approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours.

While the dough rises, pound the 1/2 C butter into a rectangle and wrap in parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.


Turn out dough onto a lightly floured piece of parchment. Gently roll dough into an 18x12-inch rectangle. Unwrap butter and place in center of dough.  Add crumbled bacon. Fold dough into thirds, like a letter.


Roll dough to 1-1/2" thick. Rotate dough 90 degrees, and fold dough again into thirds, like a letter. 


Roll dough to a rectangle at 1-1/2" thickness, again. 


Cut dough into squares and gently separate the biscuits. Transfer to prepared sheet.


 Bake until golden brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes.


Serve warm with an array of toppings. As the boys wanted, we served these with bacon gravy, bacon jam, and even a beef slider topped with more crisped bacon. Here's the bacon trifecta - everything on one laminated bacon biscuit!

Sheetpan Pesto Cod #Winophiles #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the upcoming October #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

This is a pairing that I made on the second night of pouring the Château du Cèdre Extra Libre 2018 Malbec which I received for the upcoming October French Winophiles event. So you'll have to wait to hear about the wine, but I will share this amazingly simple, yet delicious dinner. Everything is done in one bowl and on one sheetpan. I love it for a busy weeknight evening.


Ingredients serves 6 to 8

Baby Kale Pesto (makes more than you need, but depends on your preference)
  • 4 C baby kale greens, rinsed and dried
  • 1 C fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley)
  • 1 T crushed garlic
  • 1/2 C ground almonds
  • 1/2 C shredded parmesan
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • freshly ground salt
  • Also needed: a blender or food processor

Sheetpan Cod
  • 6 to 8 boneless pieces of cod
  • 3 to 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and wedged
  • 2 to 3 zucchini, thickly sliced
  • 2 onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 to 3 T olive oil, if needed
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • basil flowers for garnish, optional
  • garlic scape flowers for garnish, optional
  • Also needed: sheetpan, parchment paper or silicone mat


Procedure
Baby Kale Pesto
Place all of the ingredients into the blender. Pulse a few times, drizzle in olive oil, and resume pulsing.  Pulse. Oil. Pulse. Oil.

If you want a smoother, sauce-like pesto, add more olive oil and blend longer; if you want a chunkier pesto, use less oil and blend for less time.  So simple. So fresh. So fragrant. Set aside until you're ready to make the cod.

Sheetpan Cod
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheetpan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.

Place the wedged sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Spoon 1 C pesto over the top and use your hands to coat the sweet potatoes completely with pesto. Add more pesto, if you wish.

Place the sweet potatoes onto the prepared sheetpan and arrange so that they are in a single layer, that is nothing on top or underneath any thing else. Place in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the sheetpan from the oven and arrange the zucchini, onions, and cod on the pan alongside the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 T pesto on top of each piece of cod and spread to the edges of the fillet. Drizzle everything with olive oil and return to the oven. Roast for another 12 to 15 minutes.

You want the cod cooked through, but not overcooked. So, it should flake easily, but still look moist.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. You can serve straight on the sheetpan, if you wish. I moved the sweet potatoes to a bowl and placed the zucchini, onions, and cod on a separate platter. Garnish with basil flowers and garlic scape flowers, if desired.


Even though I would typically pair cod with a white wine, I very much enjoyed the match of the pesto with this Malbec from Cahors.

Find the Sponsor
on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram

*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Marinated Delicata Salad

Yesterday, California's central coast had a record-shattering heatwave. We tipped over 90 degrees F on the Monterey Peninsula and it was over 100 degrees F at my office! Crazy temps. Needless to say: turning on my stove and oven were not high on my list of to-dos.


So, I prepped lots of veggies and put them in the fridge for later. This is a riff on one of our favorites: Griddled Delicata Squash. So, I cooked them on the griddle when it was cooler at night, let them come to room temperature, doused them with a marinade, and put them in the fridge for a tasty salad the next day. It's on my lunch today. Yum.

Ingredients

Squash
  • delicata squash
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper

Marinade
  • 2 T white wine vinegar
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2 t fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • Also needed: lidded mason jar

Procedure

Squash
Preheat griddle over medium heat. Halve the delicata and scoop out the seeds. Destem, then slice into 1/4" to 1/2" wide pieces. Arrange the slices on the griddle. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.

Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until the squash is softened and beginning to caramelize. Move to a container with a lid.

Marinade
Into the mason jar, pour the vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add in the garlic and thyme. Cover and shake well to combine the marinade. Pour the marinade over the griddled squash. Cover and marinate for, at least, six hours in the fridge. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Markham Vineyards Estate Merlot 2015 + Poached Salmon Salad with Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette and Some Chocolate #MerlotMe #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Markham Vineyards, one of the #MerlotMe event sponsors.
Complimentary wine was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

We are inching towards October. It means the air has a little bit of a chill in the morning. It means apples are at the market in full force. It means I have braises and stews on the brain. And it means the start of #MerlotMe month. Yep. An entire month filled with Merlot-food pairings made all the more fun with the samples of Merlot from all around that keep appearing on my doorstep!

Besides getting to play with food and wine, I love that every year I receive wines from winemakers that I have never tried before. This is the perfect case in point. I received a bottle of the 2015 Estate Merlot from Markham Vineyards* this time around.

In My Glass

From their Yountville Estate Vineyard, the vines here were taken from the famed Three Palms Vineyard where Merlot was first cultivated within the Napa Valley. Retailing at $55, this bottle is composed of 75% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Cabernet Franc.


Heady aromas swirled in this glass - from ripe cherries to bitter chocolate - and it was the color of a rich, sanguine ruby. So pretty!

On My Plate

The winemaker suggested roasted duck, morels, and potato gratin. And though I love all of those - think Braised Duck Legs with a Vanilla Bean SauceVinegar-Braised Chicken Thighs with Crisped Morels, and Tartiflette - on the day that I planned to pour this, the mercury topped 100 degrees here on California's central coast. We don't have air-conditioning here and I begin to wilt at about 70 degrees anyway. So, I decided to keep my oven and stove time to a minimum and opted to poach some salmon and make a vanilla bean vinaigrette to drizzle over the entrée salad.

  • organic salad greens
  • blanched green beans
  • sliced organic tomatoes
  • crumbled queso freso
  • olives (I used pitted kalamata)
  • toasted, salted pecans
  • organic blood oranges
  • poached salmon (I poached in olive oil like this one)
  • vanilla bean vinaigrette (my recipe here)

Arrange the salad elements on individual serving plates and let diners drizzle the vinaigrette as they wish! 

+ A Sweet Treat

Despite the rigid structure and prevalent tannins, the espresso and chocolate notes gave this wine an almost silky impression. So, after dinner, Jake and I decided to pour a second glass to try with some chocolate. I had a coffee-caramel bar from Trader Joe's. We both thought the chocolate softened the wine considerably and were impressed at its versatility. I was getting almost a marzipan sweetness while he said it learned more towards buttery brioche. Pretty intriguing, I will say!

Find the Sponsor
on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram

*Disclosure: I received compensation in the form of wine samples for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

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