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Monday, January 27, 2014

Broccoli Cheese Bites

Can you believe it!?!  I am actually blogging about something savory today!  Not sweet but savory! Honestly, I couldn't help myself.  I found the recipe for these little yummy treasure bites on Megan's blog called,  Cooking WhimsCooking Whims was my Secret Recipe Club assignment for this past month.  What fun I have had browsing through Megan's blog!  Megan lives in New England (the Boston area) and it always makes me happy when I find a fellow food blogger from New England.  Megan also has a soft spot for all things sweet.  Hello HAPPINESS!
I almost made her Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies but then realized that maybe I should make something with banana in it as I had a lot of VERY ripe bananas that needed to be used.  I looked closely at her recipe for Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread until I realized that I needed something with veggies for dinner that night.  Thus I ended up making these fabulous Broccoli Cheddar Bites.   Everyone loved them!  The kiddos loved dipping them in Honey Mustard sauce and the adults enjoyed just popping them right into their mouth. These bites can easily be served as an appetizer or a side dish.  No matter what they will disappear fast!
I thank Megan for all her dedicated work that she has put into her food blog.  I thoroughly enjoyed "visiting her" and discovering lots of new recipes that I can't wait to make in my near future!

Broccoli Cheddar Bites
         (recipe found on Cooking Whims)
1 (16 oz.) package of frozen broccoli florets, cooked according to package directions (I used 2 cups of fresh broccoli, steamed and cut up)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or parchment paper.
2. Prepare broccoli - cool and chop up into uniform small pieces.
3. In a medium bowl combine beaten eggs, broccoli, cheese and bread crumbs with a wooden spoon until well combined. 
4. Scoop batter into balls with a medium size scoop or spoon and place onto prepared cookie sheets.  Flatten slightly with the back of your hand to create a patty or leave as is for a rounder "bite".
5. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip bites.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Cool slightly and enjoy!
Happy Broccoli Cheese Bites Baking!
Enjoy the recipes below that my fellow Secret Recipe Club  members made this past month too!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Move over Sara Lee there is a new pound cake in town!  That's right folks I have for you today THE. BEST. POUND. CAKE. EVER!!!!  All the credit for this recipe goes to the brilliant Carole Walter's of Great Cakes.  I am baking my way through this cookbook along side a beautiful group of fellow bakers called, The Cake Slice Baker's.  
This pound cake not only has the perfect texture - dense with a soft crumb - but the flavor was just divine. The crust that  surround the cake was also perfect.  It was like a thin cookie surrounding the cake.  My oldest daughter called it a "pound of yumminess".  I think she's got the right idea. :-) 
As with every other recipe from Great Cakes that I've made so far I loved how this recipe came together.  It may take a little bit longer to put the batter together for this cake but the final result is just perfect.  The butter is beaten until light and fluffy and then sugar is added in slowly, one tablespoon at a time. Eggs are also beaten in one at time to ensure complete incorporation into the batter.  I chose to add in 1 tsp of almond extract along with the vanilla extract.  I loved this addition of almond extract as it added just a hint of almond flavor to the cake.
As I sliced into this cake I began to think of all the delicious treats I could make with it.  I envisioned a beautiful truffle or parfait layered with cubes of pound cake, fresh berries, custard and whipped cream.  Or for a simple version I could serve sliced pound cake with a lovely berry sauce drizzled over it.  Hot tea to dip my pound cake slice in would be just fine too. 
 I took a couple of slices and cut hearts out with a cookie cutter.  I then presented my girls with a plateful of pound cake hearts and little bowl of Nutella for them to spread on top of the yummy hearts.  What delicious fun for all of us! 
Old Fashioned Pound Cake
recipe from Great Cakes by Carole Walter
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (don't have cake flour on hand? you can make your own HERE)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup superfine or strained sugar (I used regular granulated sugar and it worked great)
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract (my addition)
1/4 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray loaf pan (9x5) with baking spray and set aside.
2. Sift together sifted cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside flour mixture.
3. Cut butter into 1" slices.  Toss butter slices into a large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low to soften.  Increase speed of mixture to medium high to cream butter until light in color and smooth - about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.
4. Add in sugar 1 Tbsp at a time. This will take about 6-8 minutes to complete. Scrape sides of the bowl occasionally.
5. Add the eggs, 1 at a time at 1-minute intervals.  Add in vanilla (and almond extract if you wish) and blend well. At this point the batter may appear curdled.  Not to worry as the addition of the dry ingredients will remedy this.
6. On low speed add in 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by 1/2 the milk.  Then again another 1/3 of the flour and the remaining milk ending with the last of the flour. Mix only until incorporated after each addition.  Scrap the sides of bowl to make sure all ingredients have been included.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake in middle of the oven centered on the rack for 60-70 minutes.  If cake appears to be getting dark too fast cover lightly with tin foil. Cake will be done with toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
8. Cool cake in pan for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a platter to serve. Enjoy!!
Happy Old Fashioned Pound Cake Baking!


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