July 27, 2016

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Red Potatoes

We are completely obsessed with roasting any and every vegetable, but I think red potatoes are our favorite. While these ranch ones have always been a go-to, I think we have found a new love with this recipe.
Garlic, parmesan, several spices and a little butter at the end make these irresistible. I swear a panful is never enough and that's just for my husband and I!
If you're looking for an easy summer side these are perfect! You can cut them as small as you want, but I'm really liking the bigger chunks of potato. Sooo good.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Red Potatoes
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
1 1/2 lbs. red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2 or 3-inch chunks
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 tsp. garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, basil and Parmesan cheese until evenly coated. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning with a spatula two or three times, until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the butter over the potatoes and stir to melt the butter. Serve immediately.

July 25, 2016

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Strawberry Cream Glaze

Since I had about a cup of leftover crushed strawberries from my jam making, I really wanted to use them in some kind of dessert. Pastries first came to mind and I knew that some sweet rolls would be amazing with fresh strawberries.
So I began searching for a good recipe and while I found a few, there were none that used fresh strawberries in the filling. I could easily have used some of my freshly made jam, which you can easily do in this recipe, but I didn't want to "waste" that quite yet. 
I had seen enough recipes lately with fresh strawberries that I decided to combine one for the dough, one for the filling and one for the glaze and let's just say the rolls turned out incredible! The filling is thicker than jam due to some added cornstarch and it is simply perfect.
The total rise time is about two hours in 2 different steps and look how pretty the rolls become! ^^
Freshly baked...
and freshly glazed. :)
Now I'm just going to leave this picture right here...you cannot tell me that doesn't look amazing. Because it is.

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Strawberry Glaze
Makes 10-11 Rolls
Rise Time: 2 hours
Adapted from Averie Cooks
For the Dough:
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus up to 1/4 cup additional, to be added only if necessary)
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
2 1/4 tsp. instant dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

For the Strawberry Filling:
Adapted from Chef in Training
3/4 cup fresh, crushed strawberries (I used a potato masher)
2 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar

1. In a medium sauce pan, combine crushed strawberries, water, cornstarch and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside and let cool in the fridge.

*You could also use 3/4 cup strawberry jam or preserves if you already have them on hand instead of making your own strawberry filling.

For the Strawberry Glaze:
Slightly Adapted from Garnish and Glaze
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp. cream
1 Tbsp. strawberry jam or crushed strawberries
1/4 tsp. vanilla

1. For the Dough: To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all ingredients other than milk; set aside.
2. Add milk to a microwavable bowl and warm to 115 to 130 degrees F, depending on the brand of your yeast, about 45 seconds on high power in the microwave. Use a digital thermometer to test and be sure to err on the cooler side. Pour the milk over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and knead on low speed for about 7 minutes or 10 minutes by hand.
3. If dough is very sticky, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl. Be care not to over-flour it. (I didn’t need to add any flour so the dough can vary.)
4. After kneading, turn the dough out into a large, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free space for 1 hour or until doubled in size. You can create a warm environment by preheating your oven to 200 degrees F, then shutting it off.

(*Make strawberry filling while dough is rising. See recipe above.)

5. After the dough has doubled, punch it down, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it by hand for about 3 minutes.
6. Spray a 9-inch (deep dish) pie or round pan with cooking spray; set aside.
7. With a rolling pin, roll dough into a 14x8-inch rectangle. Spread 2 Tbsp. butter evenly over the surface. Spread the strawberry filling evenly, leaving a small margin near edges.
8. Starting with a long side, roll up the dough tightly with the seam side down. Cut into 11 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan. (Dental floss works great for cutting cinnamon rolls. Simply place a piece of floss under the rolled dough where you need to make your cut and bring the floss up around the dough, crossing it over the top and cutting through the dough and filling.
9. Cover the rolls with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.
10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and cooked through. *If you notice your rolls are becoming darker before centers are cooking through, cover with foil for the last 10 minutes.
11. While rolls bake, make the Strawberry Glaze by whisking the powdered sugar, cream, strawberry jam and vanilla together until smooth.
12. Remove rolls from oven and generously drizzle glaze over the warm rolls. Serve immediately.
*Rolls are best eaten fresh, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

July 22, 2016

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

I've been wanting to make a batch of strawberry freezer jam all summer and when strawberries were finally cheap enough (97 cents/lb.) I decided to go for it.

Since I've only made freezer jam once in my life, I'm no pro, but I knew it wouldn't be too hard. I am always surprised at how many strawberries and sugar it takes to make so little jam, but I'd say it's definitely worth it.
There is something so satisfying and delicious about homemade jam. And strawberry jam has to be my favorite. It's perfect on toast, waffles, pancakes, ice cream, cake, you name it.
So be sure to take advantage of any strawberry sales so you can have a taste of summer all year round!

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam
Makes 3 Pints
2 cups crushed fresh strawberries (about 2 pints) *Crush using food masher, blender or food processor-Make sure not to puree too much so there are still little chunks of strawberries 
4 cups sugar
1 (1.75 oz.) package Sure Jell 100% Natural Premium Fruit Pectin
3/4 cup cold water
3 pint Mason jars

1. Mix crushed strawberries with sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, stir the pectin into the cold water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3. Stir the pectin/water mixture into the strawberries. Mix well until sugar is completely dissolved about 3 minutes.
4. Ladle or funnel the jam into clean jars or other plastic containers leaving about 1/2-inch space at the top. Wipe edges of jars with a damp cloth to remove any spilled jam.
6. Screw the jar lids on tightly and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
7. Place into freezer and store frozen up to a year or in the fridge for three weeks.

*Don’t be tempted to double the batch because the results will not be the same. You’ll need to make an entire different batch to yield more jam.

July 19, 2016

Golden Grahams S'mores Bars

You know those treats that are not only satisfying, but completely addicting? The ones you grow up eating at various family gatherings and can't get enough of? Well I'm pretty sure one of my favorites are Golden Graham S'mores Bars.

S'mores in general are obviously delicious so throw some Golden Grahams cereal, marshmallows, and Hershey's chocolate together and you have yourself a s'mores bar.
This particular recipe calls for a few extra ingredients that make these bars extra chewy and delicious.
They are so easy to throw together because you microwave all of the gooey ingredients. And let me tell you right now, there's a definite reason these taste so good so be ready to share with friends or family.
These really do make a perfect party treat and they won't last long either!

Golden Grahams S’mores Bars
Slightly Adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker
8 cups Golden Grahams cereal
5 cups miniature marshmallows
1-1/2 cups chopped Hershey chocolate bars (about 1-1/2 (4.4-oz./XL) size bars)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
5 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup miniature marshmallows (optional)

1. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large microwavable bowl, combine the 5 cups of marshmallows, chopped chocolate, light corn syrup and butter. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
3. Stir cereal into the marshmallow mixture one cup at a time using a buttered spatula. Gently stir until all of the cereal is coated. Stir in the additional cup of marshmallows.
4. Turn the mixture out into the prepared baking pan. Using the buttered spatula, press the mixture evenly into the pan, pushing it down into a flat, even layer. Let set at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or pop them into the refrigerator to firm up faster.

*Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

July 13, 2016

Baked Batter "Fried" Shrimp with Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

Well I did it. I've found my favorite shrimp recipe to date. These baked "fried' shrimp are so good you'll never want to order them at a restaurant again. It could be the panko crumb coating that makes them so great or it could definitely be the garlic butter dipping sauce, but one thing I know for sure is you will love these!
They take a second to dip into flour, egg whites and a panko mixture, but they are so worth it. And might I suggest serving them alongside some chopped zucchini and mushrooms that have been sautéed in a little butter? This is seriously my new favorite meal and it's perfect for summer!
Baked Batter “Fried” Shrimp with Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Diethood
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. salt, divided
3 egg whites
3/4 cup panko crumbs
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
olive oil cooking spray

Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of salt

For the Shrimp:
1. Preheat oven to 475F.
2. Pour olive oil in a rimmed baking sheet/pan and spread around to cover the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine flour and 1 tsp. salt; mix to combine.
4. Pour the egg whites in a separate bowl and beat lightly.
5. In a third bowl, combine panko crumbs, 1 tsp. salt and cayenne pepper; mix until well incorporated.
6. Roll shrimp in flour, one by one, shaking off excess. Dip in egg whites and then roll in bread crumbs. (Using your hands works best for this.)
7. Transfer shrimp to previously prepared pan and evenly spray each shrimp with cooking spray.
8. Bake for 7 minutes; turn over and continue to bake for 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve.

For the Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce
1. Melt butter in a saucepan or microwave. When completely melted, remove from heat or microwave and let stand about 20 seconds. Whisk in garlic powder and salt. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with the prepared shrimp.