Category Archives: Everyday Food Challenge

glazed citrus doodles

The weather has turned a bit cold, wet and gray, as of late. But who am I to complain after such an amazingly mild winter? To counter the gray, I turned to these bright and cheerful cookies from the May issue of Everyday Food magazine.  It’s their riff on the cookie-favorite, snickerdoodle.  Here, they’ve swapped out the traditional cinnamon for the zest of lemons and oranges. And they’ve gilded-the-cookie with a tart and delicious citrus glaze.

While at the grocer on Sunday, picking up my citrus, I came across a pile of Meyer lemons. I’ve always wanted to incorporate these citrus jewels into a recipe, but have rarely seen them at the store. I decided this would finally be my opportunity.

The cookie batter comes together very quickly. Most of the prep time revolves around zesting the lemons and oranges. If you find ostrich egg-sized navel oranges, like I did, you’ll only need one. Seriously, they were huge. I ended up adding about another 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar to the glaze recipe to stiffen it up a bit. Start with amount listed in the recipe and add by a few tablespoons until you reach the consistency that you are looking for. Also, I baked my cookies for the full 15 minutes. Check yours at 12 minutes, you’ll just want them to brown a bit at the edges.

Glazed Citrus Doodlesadapted slightly from Everyday Food – May 2012

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice (from 2 oranges)
  • 4 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (from 2 Meyer lemons)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, 1 tablespoon of orange zest, and 2 teaspoons of Meyer lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Do not over mix the dough.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. A 1 1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop makes quick and perfect portioned work of this. Placed rolled balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are lightly golden, 12-15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to cookie racks to cool completely.

For the glaze, whisk together 1 tablespoon orange zest, 2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest, both citrus juices and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.  Add additional confectioner’s sugar by tablespoon until the glaze is a spreadable consistency. With a small spoon, spread glaze over each cooled cookie. Let set 1 hour.

*A special thank you to Greg for capturing the photo of me glazing the cookies. He was compensated in freshly baked cookies.

crustless broccoli-cheddar quiches

Sometimes you just a crave a quick and easy meatless meal. This is one of my favorites, Crustless Broccoli-Cheddar Quiches from Everyday Food Magazine. Paired with a salad and a piece of crusty bread, you’ve got a nice balanced meal.

They are snap to put together once you’ve briefly cooked the broccoli and preheated the oven. The ingredients are mostly basic staples that you might just have in the house at this very moment.

So let’s get cracking…some eggs, that is.

Crustless Broccoli-Cheddar QuichesEveryday Food Magazine, December 2004

  • butter, for ramekins
  • kosher salt
  • 10 ounces frozen broccoli
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 8-ounce ramekins; set aside.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli; cook 1 minute. Drain the broccoli well; transfer to a cutting board, and blot with paper towels. Chop coarsely.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in chopped broccoli and shredded cheddar cheese.

Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Ladle the egg-broccoli mixture into the ramekins, dividing evenly. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. You can serve these right from the oven or at room temperature.

Enjoying the blog? I hope that you’ll consider becoming a fan on facebook or that you’ll follow me on twitter.

cookie cupcakes with raspberry fluff frosting

I’ve made these cupcakes twice since getting the latest issue of Everyday Food magazine.  There’s a terrific section on “Cakes for Every Pan.” My most favorite pan? The muffin tin, of course. Individual servings and no cutting required.

I first made the Cookie Cupcakes with Raspberry Fluff Frosting for my lovely friend Megan’s birthday.  They were received quite well. I ran out of time to get photos during that baking spree, so I made another batch this week. My co-workers are very lucky.

The original recipe indicated that it would make a dozen cupcakes. Once I had measured out the batter, I had enough for 18. Extra cupcakes! The Oreos, baked in the center of the cupcakes, moisten just slightly and end up being quite the surprise to unsuspecting eaters.

The few other changes to the recipe that I made revolved around the Raspberry Fluff Frosting. The first time I made the frosting, I used Smucker’s Marshmallow Topping found in the ice cream topping section of the grocery store. It’s really runny and just didn’t set-up with the other ingredients well. I scrapped that frosting and began again with jet-puffed marshmallow creme found in the baking aisle and added a bit more confectioners’ sugar. I also added the red food coloring to get a pinker shade of frosting.

These are great cupcakes. Really great. I think the batter would be great on its own, even without the Oreo’s in the middle. But honestly, if you have Oreo’s around…

Cookie Cupcakes with Raspberry Fluff Frosting - adapted ever-so-slightly from Everyday Food, September 2011

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 18 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (oreos)
  • 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 – 7 oz. jars jet-puffed marshmallow creme
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 drops of red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Melt 2 tablespoons butter; let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl lightly beat egg and egg yolk and add melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla and 1/2 cup hot water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup and top with one cookie. Top the cookie with 1 tablespoon of batter. Bake until cupcakes are puffed and set, 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Let cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter and raspberry jam on medium-high speed until smooth. Add both jars of marshmallow creme, confectioners’ sugar and food coloring and beat until fluffy and smooth, 3 minutes. Transfer frosting to a quart-sized zip-top bag; with scissors, snip a small hole in one corner. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and serve immediately. There will be left over frosting. Enjoy!

Enjoying my blog? I hope that you’ll consider becoming a fan on facebook or that you’ll follow me on twitter.

strawberry freezer jam

If you follow my adventures on the made by mike facebook page, you’ll know that I was on a bit of a jam making kick over the past weekend. If you don’t follow my adventures on the made by mike facebook page, then you are completely in the dark, and you clearly don’t love me as much as I thought you did. And frankly, that just breaks my heart. Ok, perhaps that was a bit melodramatic. But you should join all the fun on the made by mike facebook page. See how I made it all easy for you to just click one of those three links to get there?

Back to the jam.

A few weeks back, a friend at work asked if I’d make her some freezer jam. I’d never heard of it, but was intrigued. Coincidentally, not long after that, I received the September issue of Everyday Food magazine with an article about making freezer jam from the bounty of summer fruits available this time of year. It’s a great “how-to” article, and if you download the digital issue on an iPad, there’s a terrific instructional video about the jam making process.

Over a long three-day weekend, I made three different flavors of freezer jam. There was peach (with fresh peaches from my hometown), cherry, and of course strawberry. Best of all there’s only four ingredients in the jam. My favorite part of the process was listening to the metal lids “pop” as the jam was cooling on the counter. Each little “pop” got me more excited about slathering a piece of toast or english muffin with the sweet and fruity spread.

Strawberry Freezer Jam - adapted from Everyday Food, September 2011

  • 3 pounds strawberries, rinsed, hulled and crushed with a potato masher (about 5 cups when crushed)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (1.75 ounces) powdered, no-sugar-needed pectin

Thoroughly wash, rinse and dry seven 8-ounce glass jars with tight-fitting lids.

In a medium pot, combine the crushed strawberries and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and pectin. Add to fruit, stirring until the sugar mixture completely dissolves and fruit returns to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Transfer fruit mixture to jars, leaving a 1/2-inch of head space on top. Seal and let sit at room temperature until the jam is set, 2 to 3 hours. The jam will last for up to three weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 6 months in the freezer. Allow frozen jam to thaw in the refrigerator.

Enjoying my blog? I hope that you’ll consider becoming a fan on facebook or that you’ll follow me on twitter.

crisp wontons with strawberries and yogurt – everyday food challenge

Saturday night we were invited by our friend Jim to enjoy an evening of classical music provided by the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra at the beautiful Blossom Music Center. Unlike every other concert at Blossom, for the Orchestra you are welcome to bring in a picnic dinner and even your own bottles of wine. Earlier in the week, Jim mentioned the direction he was taking for the picnic menu had a bit of Greek lean. Opa! And since I was providing the dessert, perhaps I could also go a little Greek.

The first thing that came to mind was Baklava. But seeing as how the temps have been in the 90′s and a bit on the humid side, I decided to look for a dessert that might be a tad less sticky and a bit more refreshing. Going through my back issues of Everyday Food magazine I came upon the recipe for Crisp Wontons with Strawberries and Yogurt. Now you may ask yourself, Greek cuisine and wontons? Yes, I know. A bit unorthodox. But the yogurt used in the recipe is Greek. There’s a drizzle of honey. And the crispy, sweet, almond covered wontons sort of have a Mediterranean pastry feel. Ok, I admit, it’s a stretch. But the final product was amazing.

The crisp and sweetened wontons can be made ahead, and then everything was quickly assembled at the picnic.

Crisp Wontons with Strawberries and YogurtEveryday Food, May 2010

  • 12 wonton wrappers
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole natural almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey (we prefer Kilker North Honey)
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place wonton wrappers on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer wontons to a wire rack and let cool.

Dividing evenly, top 6 wontons with yogurt, a drizzle of honey and strawberries, then sandwich with the remaining wontons. Serve immediately.

Enjoying my blog? I hope that you’ll consider becoming a fan on facebook or that you’ll follow me on twitter.

sweet cherry granita – everyday food challenge

Hot days. So hot. Several of which, we enjoyed with a broken air conditioner at home. PS&BTW, I’m a rather big wimp when it comes to summer and the blazing hot temps. Greg and I like to keep the abode at a nice chilly temperature. Guests normally wrap in blankets and sweaters while we sport shorts and t-shirts. I think you could hang sides of beef to cure in our living room.

While going back through recipes that I’ve made over the last couple of months, I came across this recipe for Sweet Cherry Granita from Everyday Food magazine. It doesn’t get any easier than four ingredients. One of which is optional. If you aren’t serving it to kids, I wouldn’t pass on the splash of Amaretto just before serving. There’s just something about the perfect combination of cherry and almond flavors. Also, to save time, I used frozen cherries. They’re already pitted and it gets the final product done just a tad faster.

If you’re suffering through the 90 degree heat, chill out with one of these tasty frozen treats.

Sweet Cherry GranitaEveryday Food, June 2011

  • 2 pounds cherries, stemmed and pitted, or 3 bags (12 ounces each) frozen cherries, thawed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup Amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur), optional

In a blender, puree cherries, sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish. Freeze 6 hours, scraping with a fork every hour (mixture should be icy and fluffy).

To serve, pour 1 tablespoon of Amaretto into a small bowl or glass. top with a 1/2 cup of granita. Serve immediately.

 

 

brown-sugar, maple and pecan pound cake – everyday food challenge

Hi there, my name is Mike. I used to write and frequently update a cooking blog. Haven’t done much of that lately. Not sure why. Perhaps I just need a little break. After a delightful vacation to our neighbors up north, I’m re-energized. So here we go.

In honor of our vacation to the “Land of Moose and Maple”, I present to you the Brown-Sugar, Maple & Pecan Pound Cake from the May 2011 issue of Everyday Food Magazine. This is a rich and dense cake with just a hint of maple flavor. The baking time suggests 65 minutes at 350 degrees. The center of my loaf was still pretty gooey at that point so I went about 5 minutes more. I got some crispy edges, but the inside was cooked to perfection.

A serving suggestion for the pound cake. Once it’s cooled completely, slice a piece and pop it in your toaster. After it’s toasty and warm, slather it with a bit (or a lot) of butter and enjoy.

Brown-Sugar, Maple & Pecan Pound Cake - from Everyday Food, May 2011

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), sifted, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a metal loaf pan. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high until very light and fluffy, 7 minutes. Scrape down bowl and beat for 1 minute more.  Add maple syrup, then gradually add beaten eggs, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add salt, then gradually add flour. Beating well to combine and scraping down bowl as needed. Fold in pecans.

Transfer batter to pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 65 – 70 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack, 1 hour. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on rack before slicing.

Enjoying my blog? I hope that you’ll consider becoming a fan on facebook or that you’ll follow me on twitter.

 

coffee, hazelnut and banana granola – everyday food challenge

And now, the final entry in Granola Week, Coffee, Hazelnut and Banana Granola. I know what you’re thinking. Coffee flavored granola? Don’t worry, there are just four teaspoons of instant espresso in the recipe. It’s very subtle and adds just a little bit of additional flavor to the granola. Give it a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Coffee, Hazelnut and Banana Granola – Everyday Food, April 2011

  • 3 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup dried banana chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, combine oats and hazelnuts. In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, espresso mixture and salt over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts.

Pour melted butter mixture over oat mixture and toss until oats and nuts are completely coated. Transfer mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake until oats are golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Let cool completely, about 20 minutes, them stir in dried banana chips.

*Don’t forget that you can win some of my tasty granola. Click here for more details.

Enjoying my blog? I hope that you’ll consider becoming a fan on facebook or that you’ll follow me on twitter.


 

pistachio-apricot granola – everyday food challenge

So after I finished making and baking four batches of granola on Sunday, I had a revelation. I told Greg that I was pretty sure that I could be very happy quitting my job to make granola full-time. Wishful thinking, I just don’t think that there’s gold in them there jars. However, the small chunks of dried apricots in the Pistachio-Apricot Granola are kind of goldish in hue… Are you with me?

While I may not be a granola mogul anytime soon, I do love making a homemade batch, and knowing every single ingredient that’s in it. Even better, I love the smell that wafts from the oven as the granola bakes. The following recipe is from the April 2011 issue of Everyday Food magazine.  It features four different variations on a standard granola recipe. I’ve made two of the versions, and they are fantastic.  Here’s the first:

Pistachio-Apricot Granolaadapted from Everyday Food, April 2011

  • 3 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup dried apricots, diced

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, combine oats and pistachios. In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey, cinnamon and salt over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts.

Pour melted butter mixture over oat mixture and toss until oats and nuts are completely coated. Transfer mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake until oats are golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Let cool completely, about 20 minutes, them stir in apricots.

*Don’t forget that you can win some of my tasty granola. Click here for more details.

Enjoying my blog? I hope that you’ll consider becoming a fan on facebook or that you’ll follow me on twitter.


linguine with asparagus and egg – everyday food challenge

Once again, it’s confession time at made by mike. I love a runny egg yolk. At breakfast I like to dip my toast into the yolk of an over-easy fried egg. I enjoy a piping hot bowl of pasta Carbonaro with its yolky sauce. I was very happy when I came across the recipe for Linguine with Asparagus and Egg in the new April edition of Everyday Food magazine.

It’s a quick recipe. Well the slicing of the thin asparagus wasn’t quick, and kind of felt dangerous. Sharp chef’s knife plus thin, prone to rolling, asparagus equals a recipe for a potential bloody disaster. Thankfully, I made it through the task a little shaken, but unscathed. Ok, perhaps that was a bit of a dramatization.

Once the pasta and asparagus have cooked and drained you stir in butter, Parmesan cheese and a bit of the reserved pasta water to create a sauce. All that’s left is to nestle a poached egg on top. One stab of your fork, and you release the runny yolk to add another level of richness to the sauce. It’s pretty fantastic.

Linguine with Asparagus and Egg - Everyday Food, April 2011

  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound of linguine
  • 1 large bunch of thin asparagus, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 4 large eggs
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions, adding asparagus in the last minute of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid; drain pasta and asparagus and return to pot along with the butter and Parmesan. Toss until butter is melted, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats the pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a large straight-sided skillet, heat 2 inches of water over medium heat until a few bubbles rise to the top. Crack each egg into a small bowl and gently pour into the skillet. Cook until whites are set and yolks are runny, 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer each egg to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. To serve, divide pasta and asparagus among four bowls, top each serving with an egg, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan if desired.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,719 other followers

%d bloggers like this: