Bree's Monthly Recipe
August 2013 - Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 Tbs. pumpkin puree
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
dash of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1. Combine the sugar and water in a sauce pot over medium heat; once sugar has dissolved add in spices.
2. Continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes without boiling, stirring occasionally.
3. Let cool for 15 minutes before straining into your container of choice. Syrup should be stored in a glass container in the refrigerator for no more than 4 weeks.
Syrup is best enjoyed in a cup of coffee from our French Press but can also be used with some imagination over several other treats including ice cream.
Makes 2 cups
September 2013 - Citrus Marinated Flank Steak
The juice of 1 lime, 1 lemon, and 1 orange
2 Tbs. Honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbs. minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tbs Olive oil
2 Tbs Dry Sherry
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 lb. Flank Steak
1. In a large ziplock bag combine ingredients, seal and shake to mix.
2. Add beef and marinate for 4 to 24 hours.
3. Pre-heat grill on high.
4. Sear both sides of steak for 4 to 5 mins to achieve a nice pink center running through the meat, longer if no pink is desired.
5. Let rest 10 mins before slicing against the grain.
Serves: 2 – 4
October 2013 - Loaded Baked Potato Soup
1 package of thick sliced bacon
12 tbs of butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
7 cups of milk or cream
(note: I prefer a mixture of 4 cups milk, 2 cups half and half, and 1 cup cream but feel free to use what you have on hand. The higher the fat content in the milk, the richer the soup will be.)
4 – 6 potatoes (baked, peeled, and cubed into bite sized pieces.)
4 green onions
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
vegetable or chicken broth on hand.
1. Bake the potatoes. To do this, coat your potatoes in butter or shortening, roll them in kosher salt, and then wrap them in foil like a burrito. Place them in your oven and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until tender. This step can always be done in advance and the baked potatoes left in the fridge until you are ready.
2. Slice your bacon into bits and then cook until crispy. Set aside.
3. While the potatoes are cooling and the bacon is cooking, begin melting your 12 tbs of butter in a large stockpot. Once melted, add the flour and let the mixture cook for a few minutes. It is normal for the mixture to begin to brown a bit. A tan colored roux (flour and butter mixture) is ok, but a deeper brown means your butter has started to burn and you will need to start over.
4. Begin adding your milk one cup at a time along with salt and pepper to taste. Start with the highest fat content and whisk continuously (i.e. Start with cream, add half and half, and finish with milk.) The higher the fat content the more resistant the milk will be to scalding.
5. When all of the milk has been added, continue whisking over medium heat until the mixture has thickened. Remember the mixture will continue to thicken with the addition of potatoes but you can always add the chicken/ vegetable broth to thin it back out.
6. While stirring constantly, add in the potatoes and green onions.
7. Bring the liquid to a boil and let it cook for a minute or two, still stirring frequently.
8. Bring the heat down to low and add in your cheese, 3/4’s of the bacon, and the sour cream.
9. Adjust your salt and pepper to taste and serve with a topping of bacon crumbles and extra shredded cheese or create a baked potato soup bar and let guests dress their own.
Serves 6 – 8
November 2013 - Orange Poppy Seed Layer Cake with Orange Mascarpone Icing
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter
4 tsp vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
5 tbs poppy seeds
Zest of 4 oranges
18 oz mascarpone cheese
1 – 1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Pour batter into two 9″ Zenker Non-stick Springform Pans
3. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
4. Combine flour and baking powder in a separate bowl before adding into the creamed mixture. Mix well.
5. Gently stir in the milk, zest of 2 oranges, and poppy seeds until batter is smooth and pour evenly into the two pans.
6. Bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown on top or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Directions for Icing:
1. Beat the mascarpone with 1 cup powdered sugar and the zest from two oranges until smooth.
2. Taste test your icing and feel free to add in the extra sugar if desired, you can also add a small amount of orange juice to thin out the icing if it becomes too thick.
3. To decorate, slice the cakes into layers and combine to create one cake. The amount of layers will depend on your prefered layer size. This recipie includes a little extra cake to account for accidents and hungry family members/taste testers. Slice oranges into supremes and place them on your perfectly sliced and iced cake.
Serves 6 – 8
December 2013 - Chocolate Turtle Fondue
10 oz roughly chopped chocolate*
2 Tbs caramel sauce
2 Tbs heavy cream
1 Tsp corn syrup
3 Tbs salted pecans
1 oz 151 rum for show
Assorted dippers – halved strawberries, banana, etc.
1. In a double broiler melt your chocolate being careful not to exceed 100° F and add the heavy cream in a slow and steady stream while stirring.
2. Add caramel. If you feel as though your chocolate is too thick, feel free to add additional cream.
3. To serve with flare, pour into fondue pot, gently pour 151 on top, at an angle so it stays on top and light at the side of the pot. When the flames have been enjoyed for a moment, sprinkle the pecans over the top, stir the chocolate, and enjoy with dippers of your choice.
Serves 6 – 8
*A quick note on Chocolate- The better the chocolate you use, the more attention you will need to pay because chocolate burns easily. At the same time, the better the chocolate, the better your fondue will end up. While candy store chocolate and chocolate chips may taste wonderful, this is not the ideal chocolate for fondue. The ideal chocolate is called couverture. Please note this is not a brand name but instead refers to the process by which the chocolate has been refined. The brands I prefer include Callebaut, Guittard, and El Ray though there are plenty of others that are exquisite.
January 2014 - Rustic Bread with Parmesan, Garlic, and Thyme
Proof Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
1 1/2 Tbs instant yeast
1 Tbs salt
8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 cups warm water (110° F)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs powdered garlic
2 Tbs dried Thyme
1. In a large bowl, mix yeast into water. Stir in flour and salt, mixing until there are no dry patches. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. If dough begins to stick to your fingers or the surface, dust with more flour.
2. Once kneaded, half the dough and place into two floured, oval Brotforms. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, roughly 2 hours depending on room temperature.
3. Turn the proofed dough back out onto the floured surface and gently knead in the Parmesan, garlic and thyme.
4. Place a broiler pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Place a baking stone on the middle rack and preheat oven to 450° F.
5. Allow the dough to rest in the Brotforms for another 30 minutes to 1 hour while your oven preheats.
6. After the rest period is up, turn your bread out and place onto a piece of parchment paper set on a pizza peel or a rimmed baking sheet turned upside down.
7. Slash the top with a serrated or very sharp knife two times. Slide the dough (with the parchment paper) onto the baking stone. Pour one cup of hot water into the broiler pan and shut the oven quickly to trap the steam. Bake the bread until well browned, about 24-28 minutes. Cool completely.
Makes 2 loaves
February 2014 - Buffet Worthy Candied Bacon
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
1 lb of thick sliced bacon
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 Tbs coarse ground black pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 400° F.
2. Line a walled baking sheet like the Zenker Expandable Jelly Roll Pan with heavy duty foil.
3. Once your pan is prepared, lay your thick cut bacon out on the pan. It is ok if your bacon slices touch but try to keep them from overlapping if possible.
4. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar on top of the bacon. Sprinkle the sugar slice by slice with your fingers as this will ensure the majority of the sugar makes it onto the top of the bacon and not the pan. Feel free to rub the sugar into each piece as well if you have the time.
5. Now take ½ of the black pepper and sprinkle over the top. When sprinkling the black pepper be sure to do this by hand with your hand held at least 10″ above the pan, this way you will get a more even coating. In this case you will end up peppering the pan as well as your bacon but that is ok.
6. Flip the bacon and repeat steps 4 and 5.
7. Now that your oven is pre-heated, place the bacon in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to stand and watch the bacon carefully starting after 15 minutes as the bacon can go from almost done to burnt in the blink of an eye due to the sugar content.
Makes 10-12 slices
March 2014 - Hazelnut Chocolate Mug Cake
Bake Time: 1 minute
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. milk
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. hazelnut chocolate spread
1. In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
2. Whisk in the milk and vegetable oil until all ingredients are combined and batter has no clumps.
3. Pour batter into 2 microwave-safe Seltmann 8 oz mugs.
4. Add 1 tbsp. of spread into the middle of the batter, no need to push it down. It will sink on its own.
5. Place a paper towel in the microwave and set your mugs on top just in case your cake should overflow.
6. Microwave the mug cake for 60-70 seconds or until done. Be careful not to overcook the cake as microwave mug cakes can become spongy if overcooked.
7. Remove from microwave, allow to cool and enjoy with an optional scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
April 2014 - Strawberry and Basil Lemonade
1 pint strawberries
1 cup sweet basil chiffonade
1 L fresh squeezed lemonade
1. Quarter your strawberries, leaving 4 whole and intact.
2. Fill the Samba Quick Press with a mix of the basil and quartered strawberries.
3. Pour your lemonade into the Samba and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.
4. While this sits, take the other four strawberries and place one slit in the bottom so that they fit easily over the rim of your chosen glassware.
5. Fill the glassware with ice and sprinkle in some of the remaining basil before filling each glass with your Strawberry Basil Lemonade.
May 2014 - Whiskey Marinated Filet w/ Herb Butter in a Cherry Grill Wrap
For the Steak:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup whiskey
1 Tbs honey
freshly ground peper
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
2 8oz filets
2 grill wraps
2 long scallions (or butcher’s twine)
For the Herb Butter:
2 sticks or 1/2 lb of salted, European style butter, softened
1/2 cup of fresh chives, chopped
2 Tbs fresh, flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 Tbs fresh garlic, minced and made into a thick paste
3 fresh basil leaves, minced
2 Tbs fresh oregano, minced
1 Tbs fresh thyme, minced
freshly cracked white pepper to taste
1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a plastic bag and marinate two 8-12 oz. filet’s for 30 minutes to an hour.
2. While this is marinating make the herb butter:
a. Combine all fresh herbs and mix into the softened butter.
b. Using a sheet of parchment paper, roll the butter into a log roughly the diameter of a quarter.
c. Wrap plastic wrap around the parchment encased butter and place the butter in the freezer. The butter will keep like this for up to 8 months.
d. When ready to use your butter just cut off the amount you need from the log in slices and return the remainder to the freezer. The butter you have cut off can be defrosted and enjoyed.
3. Pre-heat your grill.
4. While the grill is pre-heating, soak your Cherry flavored grill wraps and scallions/twine in water for a minimum of 10 minutes.
5. Take your steaks out of the marinade and roll them in the grill wraps. Secure the Grill Wraps, opening on the top, with one of the scallions/twine.
6. Once your grill has reached temperature, and your wraps are ready, place them on the grill with the lid down until they have reached your desired internal temperature. There is no need to flip the grill packet during cooking but stay close and check on them from time to time so that you can spritz them with water should there be any flare-ups.
a. You should always use a thermometer to ensure your food reaches the proper internal temperature, as a general guide, Rare is 125° F, Medium is 140° F, and Well is 170° F.
7. To plate, serve the wrap as a whole so that your guest can un-tie the package and top with herb butter.
June 2014 - Creamy Pesto Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes
For the Pesto:
2 cups packed, fresh basil
2 tsp. garlic paste
3 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Creamy Pesto Pasta:
2 servings of pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. sun-dried tomatoes
3-4 Tbs. fresh pesto
salt and pepper to taste
1. To make the pesto you will use in the creamy pesto pasta sauce, combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor.
2. Blend until nearly smooth. It will depend on the food processor, however typically this takes roughly 60 seconds. If you like the pesto a bit smoother, add another tablespoon of oil and blend for an additional 30 seconds.
3. Pour into a glass jar, cover with 1/8″ layer of olive oil, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Simply use what you need and add more oil as needed to keep the remaining pesto covered.
4. Once the pesto is ready, start on your pasta.
5. Re-heat or cook 2 servings of a pasta of your choice in the Speedy Pasta Cooker.
6. While the pasta cooks, prepare the creamy pesto sauce in a non-stick skillet like the Black Cube.
a. Combine the cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese in the skillet, warm until the cheese is incorporated and the sauce is the desired consistency.
b. Take the sauce off of the heat and stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and fresh pesto.
7. To plate, toss two servings of the cooked pasta with the sauce in the skillet until the pasta is coated and serve.
July 2014 - Spinach and Feta Egg White Omelet
1 tsp garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
4 egg whites
1 Tbs fresh or dried chives
2 Tbs water
1/2 Tbs butter
3 Tbs Feta cheese
salt and white pepper to taste
1. Prepare your spinach.
a. In a Black Cube stainless nonstick fry pan, saute the garlic with the olive oil over medium heat.
b. Once this is hot and has begun to sizzle add the baby spinach leaves.
c. As these cook down, add salt and pepper to taste.
d. Cook leaves until wilted and then transfer them to a dish so that your pan is free to begin the omelet.
2. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel or give it a quick rinse and pat dry.
3. Begin pre-heating the Black Cube pan on medium heat.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites, chives, water, pinch of salt, and a dash of white pepper.
5. When you can feel the warmth of the pan by hovering your hand over it, you are ready to begin.
6. Add the butter to the pan and let it melt.
7. Next pour in the egg mixture. (Whether you stir or not is a matter of preference. If you stir rather than lift up the edge of the omelet and roll your pan, you will want to make sure you stop stirring before the 1 minute mark.
8. A few seconds before the eggs are completely done, add the spinach and Feta cheese to the center of the omelet.
9. Using a spatula, metal or rubber, loosen the edge of the omelet and fold it over, making a half-moon shape.
10. Plate and serve.
August 2014 - Iced, Cold Brew Vietnamese Coffee
1 high ball glass
1 Frieling French Press
2 Tbs sweetened condensed milk
Room temperature water
1/2 cup medium ground, strong coffee
1. Prepare your cold brew coffee:
a. Begin with a medium ground, strong coffee of your choice. Place 1/2 cup in the 8 oz. Frieling French Press and fill with room temperature water.
b. Stir, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit for 12 – 24 hours.
2. Once the brewing process has finished, place the French Press in the fridge for 1 hour to chill completely.
3. When ready to serve, fill a highball glass with 2 Tbs. sweetened condensed milk and ice.
4. Serve the highball glass and French Press with the lid on it, ready to be pressed by your guest.
*Please note that the cold brew coffee method described above produces a coffee concentrate that is roughly 3x stronger than your average cup of coffee. Feel free to dilute the concentrate using water when making this recipe or drink as is.