Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mushroom Sausage Breakfast Wrap and a Summer Giveaway

My breakfasts usually consist of some kind of fruit and a mixture of nuts but I was hungry for something heartier this morning... and I wanted an excuse to show you my favorite tomato knife and give you a chance to win one. :) But first the wrap, or burrito, whichever pleases you.
No rocket science here, just favorite ingredients all wrapped up in a favorite Sundried Tomato tortilla.
1 sausage patty, cut up
chopped onions
diced baby bella mushrooms
Garlic Oil, for sauteing
2 eggs, scrambled
shredded cheese
diced fresh tomatoes
1 tortilla
Saute veggies in oil, add sausage patty and set aside. Scramble a cook the egg. Assemble and enjoy with fresh, sliced garden tomatoes and a glass of fresh Mango Mint Lemonade for a satisfying breakfast. 
Now for the fun part:
Years ago a friend gave me one of these knives and it soon became one of my favorites. (It's great for cutting tomatoes but is also wonderful for lots of other veggies.) I was silly enough to lose the gift knife a few years after it was given to me and recently discovered that it can be purchased at a local kitchen gadget store. (It is super sharp and serrated. It's made in Germany by Messermeister. And the color makes me happy☺) I was indeed happy to discover this! So I thought I would share my delightful discovery with one of my lucky readers.
Giveaway entry requirement is simple:
If you're interested in winning simply leave me a comment to let me know you were here.
Make sure you also leave an email contact so I know where to reach you if you're the lucky one.

If you have trouble commenting on the blog here, just go to The Kitchen Cookie Facebook page (can be accessed from the side bar on the right) and comment there that you visited.
Giveaway closes August 3rd. Winner will be chosen August 5th.
Good luck and thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mango Mint Lemonade

I had 3 mangoes and a pile of lemons in my fridge drawer waiting for a purpose. I often drink lemon water but wasn't getting all of the lemons used lately. Today I happened to see them all in there again and decided it was time. Earlier last week I had thought about the fact that this combination with mint might be refreshing. And the tea bed out beside the house is in need of cutting.

Not being in the tea brewing mood today though, I decided to use the quicker version and use the blender for everything instead. The end result was indeed refreshing and my resident taste testers enjoyed it. :)

2 cups (packed) Apple Mint tea leaves, washed
6 lemons, washed and quartered
3 mangoes, peeled and sliced
4 cups ice
½ cup sugar
Stevia, to taste

Place mint leaves into blender, cover with water and blend well. Pour through a very fine sieve. I used a paper towel in the finest sieve I had.

Place lemon quarters into blender (in two batches) and cover with water. Blend well. Pour through fine sieve. No paper towel needed for this.

Puree mangoes.

Pour all 3 ingredients into a gallon container and add the ice, sugar, and water to fill the container. Add Stevia to taste.

Serve and enjoy!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baked Almond Custard

If you are looking for a simple, light, easy Summer dessert that is easily dressed up and perfect with the abundance of ripe berries that are available, this is what you're looking for. The recipe comes from my sister Karen. :)
Custard is generally baked with egg yolks included but this one eliminates them for a lighter dessert. YUM!
As you can see above, it can be baked in small ramekins or a larger pan if you choose.

I think they're pretty too. :)
The almonds around the edge add a nice touch.
4 cups milk
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon almond extract
7 Tablespoons white sugar
sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 325°.
In a small saucepan heat milk over medium heat until scalded. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, combine the egg whites, vanilla & almond extracts, and sea salt. Beat with an electric mixer until mixture is frothy. Gradually beat in sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. After beating the egg whites, mixture should be stiff like meringue. Not necessarily stiff peaks but it should be firm.
With a wire whisk gently fold milk into egg mixture; pour into desired baking dish(es). I didn't fill mine quite full but wished I would have. Sprinkle sliced almonds around the edge of custard mixture. Place the filled baking dish(es) into a larger, shallow baking pan (like a bar pan). Place into the oven then pour hot water into bar pan around filled baking dish measuring approximately ½ deep.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a table knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove custard from hot water bath. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled through before serving.
Garnish with fresh berries and enjoy!

It's good to be back :) I missed you guys! Hope you have a great evening! I'm off to watch my guys play some softball. One of my favorite things to do right now. :) Love to hear the recaps after the games too and just watch their faces light up when they did well. :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Black Raspberry Vanilla Cream Bars

With black raspberries in season and my plan to not freeze any this year we have been enjoying a lot of fresh eating, sharing them with family, and of course a few experiments :).
My Mom makes a fabulous Black Raspberry Pie with a creamy layer between the filling and crumbs that is amazing. I decided to convert the pie into a bar recipe and discovered that it was indeed an improvement! IMHO.
I really, really like the shortbread crust versus a plain pie crust. I enjoy the addition of vanilla bean contents and an egg in the creamy layer, and I like that the raspberry and creamy layers are more evenly divided than they are in pie form. And I like the color, good food should always be pretty :).
For the crust:
1½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup almond meal
9 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup vanilla sugar, (or plain sugar)
½ teaspoon salt
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and grate cold butter into the bowl on top of flour mixture and mix by hand until fine crumbs are achieved. Press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a non stick sprayed 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Set aside. If you have crumbs remaining, which I did, add them to the crumb topping recipe below.
For the creamy layer:
10 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 vanilla bean, contents only
1½ Tablespoons all purpose flour
Mix with a mixer until smooth. Spread evenly onto crust.
4 cups prepared Black
Raspberry Pie Filling
Carefully spread over the creamy layer without pushing the white layer around too much.
Crumb topping:
1 cup flaky pie crust flour
½ cup vanilla sugar, (or plain sugar)
4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, grated
Remaining crumbs from the crust
Mix all ingredients together and sprinkle evenly over the pie filling.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
I have not felt lots of inspiration in the kitchen lately. When your heart aches for a family member who is very ill and for the loved one caring for them, food prep is the last thing on your mind. But people, especially kids, still get hungry and need to be fed. So I keep feeding them :) just not anything worth sharing here because I keep it very simple. Thank you to a friend (you know who you are) who recently shared a meal with us. You were/are a blessing!
♥Blessings to all who visit here!♥