Easter Treats? We got it in the basket!

posted in: Desserts | 0

Easter Treats?

We got it in the basket!

You are just in time to add a few sugary treats to your Easter celebration. Whether you are having an extravagant Easter Event or an intimate dinner with your immediate family, these little morsels are sure to make your celebration one to be remembered. Our favorites at Rise & Shine are: Giant Easter Egg Sugar Cookies, Tuxedo Peeps, Pink Bunny Cupcakes, Cracked Egg Cookies and Sorbet, and Robins Egg Meringue Nests. Children and Adults alike will sing your praises after trying one of these yummy treats!

Tomato Feta Scones With Savory Sweet Life

posted in: Breakfast Catering, Recipes | 0

Shortly after the birth of my third child, I was up very late one night after everyone had gone to bed. With my newborn in one arm on my lap and my other hand on the keyboard, I started Savory Sweet Life — a photo-centric food blog.

As a visual learner, I showcased step by step photos of recipes I was preparing for my family, believing it would also benefit other people who were wired the same way. The photos speak for themselves. Either you’ll want to make what I’ve posted or you won’t.

The process in which I shoot photos and decide how each dish will be styled with props is fairly simple. I keep everything minimalistic and apply basic design principles to each shot. If I’m taking a process shot, I focus on the action with little thought to props. I prefer to keep final shots as simple as possible, letting the food speak for itself with little distraction. Dishware, napkins and tablecloths should complement the food but not take away from it.

I love discovering props to help me convey each shot as I hope to portray it. Sometimes it’s melancholy or whimsical, still life or busy. Below the recipe you’ll find some of my favorite inspirational items I’ve recently discovered on Etsy.

Roasted Tomato Feta Scones

Makes 8 scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon garlic salt
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg slightly beaten
1 – 4 oz package feta cheese
½ cup roasted red tomatoes, chopped (can be found in bulk in the olive bar at your grocery store) 2 green onions, finely sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the flour, baking powder, garlic salt and butter in a food processor. Pulsate everything in 3-second intervals until the mixture resembles coarse meal. If doing this by hand, use 2 knives, a pastry blender or your fingers.

Transfer everything to a large bowl. Stir in heavy cream and egg, mixing the dough by hand until it comes together. Add feta cheese, roasted tomatoes, and green onions. Gently mix the ingredients by hand until the savory ingredients are evenly distributed. On a floured surface, form a big dough ball. Flatten the dough into a 1 inch disk and cut it in 8 equal pieces. Bake for 15 minutes on a baking stone or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Remove scones from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

Vegetarian Gourmet Crepes

posted in: Recipes | 0

APRIL 2009
Seeking a sophisticated vegetarian main course that can mostly be made ahead? Look no further. Here, tender, whisper-thin crêpes, made with matzo meal (left over from Catalan-Style Fresh Sardine Escabeche) instead of flour, are folded around a creamy filling of mushrooms, onion, and chives. Baked until golden and bubbling, this dish is rich and satisfying, and a big green salad is all you need to complete the meal. If you prefer to make these crêpes with regular flour, note that you can’t make a one-to-one substitution for the matzo meal. Instead, use your own favorite crêpe recipe or check out Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Torta) for a more traditional recipe (which would have to be doubled).
3/4 cup matzo meal or matzo cake meal
1 3/4 cups water
3 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb mixed fresh mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
EQUIPMENT: an electric coffee/spice grinder
If using matzo meal (not cake meal), finely grind in grinder. Whisk together ground matzo meal or matzo cake meal, water, eggs, egg whites, salt, and 1/4 cup melted butter until smooth. Let batter rest at room temperature 30 minutes.
Cook onion in butter with 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in cream and milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chives and 1/4 cup cheese. Cool while making crêpes.
Lightly brush a 9- to 10-inch nonstick skillet with some of remaining melted butter and heat over medium heat just until butter sizzles. Pour 1/4 cup batter into pan, tilting to evenly coat bottom, and cook until underside is lightly browned, 45 to 60 seconds. Flip with a rubber spatula and cook 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter, stacking crêpes as cooked.
Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
Spread each crêpe with about 1/4 cup mushroom filling and fold in quarters to form a triangle. Arrange crêpes, overlapping slightly, in a 3-qt shallow baking dish. Scatter any leftover mushroom filling over top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until crêpes are golden and edges are crisp, about 25 minutes.
COOKS’ NOTE: Crêpes and filling can be made 2 days ahead and chilled separately.

Recipe Of The Week

posted in: Recipes | 0

Summer Chinese Chicken Salad:

Chinese Chicken Salad

Part I
2-3 Chicken Breasts, grilled or baked and sliced thinly into bite sized pieces
1 cup bean sprouts
3 TBS toasted sesame seeds
Cook breasts in gently boiling water until cooked (10-15 minutes)
Pour hot boiling water over Bean Sprouts
Toast sesame seeds by putting in toaster briefly

Part II
Dressing (I usually double the recipe)
2 TBL creamy Peanut Butter
1 tsp ginger (powdered or fresh, chopped)
2 tsp dry mustard powder
2 TBL sugar
4 tsp Soy (I used reduced sodium tamari)
2 tsp Sesame Oil
2 TBL peanut oil
2 tsp white vinegar
Combine all the ingredients

1/4 cup of Scallions for garnish

Mix up sauce, pour over chicken and bean sprouts, top with scallion and sesame seeds.

For more fabulous recipes, visit Alma Schneider at Take Back the Kitchen.


Bacon Jam!

posted in: Recipes | 0

“I currently have a fridge full of bacon because I am in the middle of conducting experiments for a cook-off I’m doing this summer in which the delectable porcine product is a requirement. (More on that at a later date.) Although the cook time far exceeds my allotted time, I thought I’d whip up a batch of bacon jam. I found a couple of recipes on the Interwebs but decided to try Kevin Gillespie’s version from Top Chef season 6.

As I ate a spoonful of jam spread on a cracker, I thought it would be a marvelous antidote to Rocco’s brownies.

Candied Bacon Jam (adapted from this recipe at BravoTV.com)

1 cup bacon, cut into 2” X 1” X 1/2” pieces
¼ cup yellow onions, julienned
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted

1. Render bacon in a heavy sauté pan over medium heat until bacon is crispy.

2. Remove bacon and about half of the rendered fat. Cook julienned onions in the remaining bacon fat, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan until onions are dark golden.

3. Return bacon to pan, add brown sugar and stir to coat.

4. Turn the heat up a bit. Add a third of the chicken stock and reduce mixture until thick, 5-15 minutes. Watch carefully that it doesn’t burn. At this point, it’s kinda like making risotto.

5. Add half of the remaining stock and reduce again until thick.

6. Add all of the remaining stock and remove pan from the heat. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

7. Pour contents into a blender and puree until fairly smooth. I waited until it cooled down a bit. Didn’t look too pretty after it came out of the blender.

8. Pour contents back into sauté pan and stir in honey to combine.

9. Put pan onto medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until deep brick red color is reached.

10. Pour into a jar, allow to come to room temperature, and refrigerate. There will be a layer of fat at the top – keep this! It will act as a preservative for the jam, like the fat on top of rillettes.

Gorgeous stuff, isn’t it? Sweet, bacon-y, fantastic. Mr Minx thinks it tastes more like short ribs than bacon, probably because I’ve used David Chang’s rather sweet short rib recipe several times. I think it took about an hour, overall, and very worth it. Can’t wait to use this on a sandwich, be it burger, grilled cheese, or a BLT!”