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Category Archives: Recipes

Bruschetta Cups

July 25, 2013 by braytonbb

I am finally getting some tomatoes in my garden, but they are all still green. However, the the farmers market where I have been getting my share have been wonderful!

I have to do a little bragging. I think I make the best bruschetta topping. If you don’t believe me, try this recipe of mine and tell me what you think. I took this recipe and put it in some Tostidos scoops. The only problem with this though is sometimes the tortilla cups get a little soggy if you go overboard on the balsamic (which I do sometimes, since It is soooo good). You can leave the bruschetta topping though on the side for your guests to add to their cups or on toasted baguettes.

bruschetta cups2Bruschetta Topping

1 C grape tomatoes, 2 TB virgin olive oil, 2 TB shredded parm cheese, 1 TB Balsamic vinegar, 1 TB fresh basil, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1 garlic clove.

Place all ingredients except garlic in a food processor. Chop coarsely. Transfer to a small bowl and add garlic. Stir. Seve  on toasted french bread or a pepper cheese bread, scoops.

You will also see tomato skewers around the outside of the platter here. I skewered halved cherry tomatoes, and fresh  mozzarella pearls and then drizzled a reduced balsamic vinegar over the top and sprinkled fresh, roasted basil.

 

Individual Key Lime Pies

July 18, 2013 by braytonbb

I am a big fan of key lime pie but sometimes they are too sweet or too tart. These are just right and just the right size too. Being as hot as it has been, these little treats are so refreshing and so easy to make as well.

Individual Key Lime Pies

1 1/2C graham cracker crumbs, 3 TB sugar, 1/3 C melted butter, 3 eggs whites, beaten, 2 (14oz) sweetened condensed milk, 3/4 C lime juice, 1T lime zest, and 1/3 C nonfat greek yogurt.

mini key lime pies

 

Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and sugar. Press 1 TB graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a cupcake liner or mini pie pan. Bake for about 8 minutes.

In another bowl, mix together egg whites, condensed milk, lime juice, zest and greek yogurt.

Fill cupcakes or pine tins about 3/4 full with mixture. Bake for 13-15 minutes and cool completely.

Top with a whip cream topping and then garnish with a lime wedge to decorate.

Ham and Pineapple kabobs

July 11, 2013 by braytonbb

I have been on an appetizer kick lately on trying to come up with some new items, so you may see several weeks worth of party pleasers, but don’t worry, I will try to sneak some breakfast items in as well. I have done this recipe two different ways depending how much time I have. Try both. They are equally good, but with a different taste because of the grill.

Ham and Pineapple KabobsPineapple ham kabobs

Option 1. Use the grill

Mix equal parts of melted butter, pineapple juice and apple butter ( I have a great and easy recipe for this that I will share will you this Autumn). Season with apple cider vinegar and all spice.

Skewer fresh pineapple that has been cubed with either sliced deli ham or sliced bone in ham(leftovers from dinner) and grill for 5 minutes total flipping half way through.

Option 2. Use your oven.

Do the same as above, but roast for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve warm.

 

I served these with a spicy Marmalade sauce that I got as a gift, but bar B Q sauce, honey mustard, plane marmalade or sweet and sour sauce would all work great too.

Asparagus and Prosciutto Baguette

July 3, 2013 by braytonbb

I am posting this recipe a day early this year in case you want to try making this for your 4th of July party. This asparagus this year is really good. The spears are uniform and not too chunky which gives them that woody taste that is not appealing. They are almost sweet with a hint of spice which makes them especially good in quiches and appetizers like the one I am sharing with you today. I also served these at the Miss Wisconsin board party a few weeks back. They were a big hit!

asparagus baguettesAsparagus and Prosciutto  Baguette

Asparagus spears, prosciutto, olive oil, salt and pepper, butter, garlic, baguette loaf.

Slice your baguette about 1″ thickness. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.

Cut off about 3 inches from your asparagus, using only the top 3″ of the spear. Toss with with olive oil and salt pepper until coated. Let sit.

Mix soft butter with chopped fresh garlic. Spread on baguette slices. Don’t be shy. Thick is good! It will give the rest of the ingredients more flavor. Wrap a 1/2 slice of prosciutto around a couple of asparagus spears and lay on top of buttered baguette. Serve and watch them be devoured!

Balsamic Berry Baguette

June 27, 2013 by braytonbb

StrawberriesI just went strawberry picking on Monday to Prellwitz Produce in Ripon. The strawberries are bright red, huge and juicy this year because of all the rain we have been receiving. I wanted to share with you a  picture of one of the four flats that I picked this year. Because we are prime picking season, I thought I would share with you a strawberry recipe that I served this last week to the Miss Wisconsin board along with a a few other goodies that you will see in the upcoming weeks.

 

Balsamic Berry Baguettes

I baguette loaf sliced about 1″ thickness. drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 5 min. Set aside.

Toss sliced strawberries with 1/4 C sugar and drizzled balsamic. Go based your taste.  Set aside.

Mix 4 oz. cream cheese, 1/4 C powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla together. Spread cream cheese mixture on baguette. Top with strawberry topping.

Strawberry Balsamic Baguettes (2)

Apple Pie Egg Rolls

June 20, 2013 by braytonbb

These little cuties are so fun to serve for breakfast or dessert and are a breeze to throw together. This morning I served them with the Salmon and Dill Frittata which by the way was a recipe posted before.

apple pie egg rolls

Apple Pie Eggs Rolls – Make 8

 

2 apples, peeled and diced, 1 TB lemon juice, 1/3 C sugar, 4 TB flour, 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. all spice, 1/8 tsp. salt, 4 egg roll wrappers (small size), and  1 egg lightly beaten

Whipped Cream dip
3/4 C heavy cream, 1/4 sugar, and 2 tsp vanilla

Directions

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and chop up apples. Add to a medium bowl. Add remaining filling ingredients to bowl and stir together until well combined. Allow mixture to sit for about 10 minutes.

Lay 1 egg roll wrapper onto a clean surface and brush edge with a 1 inch perimeter of egg wash.
Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the filling across one side of the prepared egg roll wrapper. You do not want to over stuff these.
Fold the sides over and brush with egg wash. Carefully roll filling tightly in the wrapper and press gently to seal.
Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and coat with a thin layer of cooking spray. Repeat until all the filling and wrappers have been used.
Bake egg rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. During the last 5 minutes of cook time, pull out and brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top. Put back in oven for remaining 5 minutes. Serve immediately with sweetened whipped cream.
 WHIPPED CREAM Dip: Place cream in a mixing bowl and whip with a hand mixer, on medium-high speed. As the mixture thickens, slowly add sugar until fully incorporated. Add vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks form. I sprinkled a little cinnamon on top as well.

 

Raspberry Shortcake

June 13, 2013 by braytonbb

Can you tell that I am getting in the summer mood with all these fresh fruits. This was an amazing fruit cup the other morning, but made a great dessert for myself after dinner as well. Feels like summer!

Raspberry Shortcake – Serves 4Raspberry Shortcake

12 oz. fresh raspberries, 1/2 c sugar, 1/4 C amaretto, 12 slices (1/4″ thick) challah bread cut in chunks, and whipped cream.

In a saucepan, stir berries, (save some for garnish if you want it to look prettier), sugar and 2 TB amaretto over med. heat. Bring to a simmer. Stir in remaining 2 TB amaretto. Remove from heat. Spoon a TB of warm berry mixture into each cup. Top with a layer of bread cubes. Repeat layering 2 more times. Top with remaining sauce. Gently press down and refrigerate for about a half hour for the bread to soak up all the goodness. Dollop with whipped cream and garnish with more berries. Yum!

 

Strawberry Bread

June 6, 2013 by braytonbb

Well, its getting to be that time when I am thinking about strawberries. The conditions are just a little to wet and cool at night for the start of berry picking.  I was hoping I could pick some up at the farmers market this last Saturday, but no such luck. Festival Foods will just have to be my go to spot for the time being, which brings me to this latest recipe.   I played around with it to give you two variations. I glazed the top of one which gives it a pretty presentation and something extra to savor for a couple of bites. I served it with a strawberry butter that I got from the allrecipes.com site.

Strawberry Bread- Makes 2 lovesstrawberry bread

1 Stick butter, 3/4 C sugar, 3 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 C flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 3/4 C sour cream (divided), 2 C fresh strawberries, hulled.

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix the flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix 1/2 of the sour cream into the wet. Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet again. Mix the remaining sour cream in and then mix the remaining dry ingredients in. This makes sure everything is incorporated equally. Mix in the strawberries. Pour into two loaf pans. Bake 350 for about 50 minutes until center is done. Don’t overbake this. It will be dry and crumbly.

Strawberry Butter- Make 1/2 C

1 stick of butter, softened, 2 TB powdered sugar, and 2 TB of either fresh strawberries or strawberry jam. I used jam since I didn’t have any more strawberries. Blend and spread on bread!

Blueberry Muffins

May 30, 2013 by braytonbb

My sister called me from California this past week and asked me for my recipe for blueberry muffins. I told her that she could go to my blog. She said that she did and these were not on there.  I couldn’t believe it, so I had to check myself. She was right. I make two different types of blueberry muffins, a dense version and a light version depending on the ingredients I have on hand. Don’t mistake this for my blueberry bread that was posted in the past. That is made with sour cream, which is amazing, but two different types of products. So, here is one version. My preference is the denser of two.

blueberry muffin2Blueberry Muffins- Makes 12 jumbo muffins.

3 C flour, 2 C sugar, 1 TB baking powder, 1 stick butter, 2 eggs, 1 C milk, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 C fresh blueberries and 2 TB melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Put flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in a large bowl. Mix well. With your fingers squeeze mixture until it is crumbs. Set aside 1 cup flour mixture in a small bowl for use later as streusel. To the large bowl, add eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Gently stir in berries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Dribble melted butter over the mixture crumb mixture in your small bowl and toss with a fork. Sprinkle crumbs over batter. Bake 20-25 min.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

May 23, 2013 by braytonbb

Okay, I told you a couple of weeks back that I was a true lover of Tiramisu. There is a place here in town called Tamaras that I am a big fan of. She makes the most amazing cupcakes. Tiramisu is one of my favorites. I have bought several from her, but Scott has a hard time paying $3.00 for a cupcake, so it is usually my job to recreate something that we both enjoy. This recipe is a favorite of my husbands. He says he would pay way more than $3.00 for this little piece of heaven. I am quite overjoyed that I have come up with something that not only he loves, I love and our guests have gone crazy over as well. The key is the homemade mascarpone I think, which you have to make the night before. It  makes it a little more time consuming, but well worth it in my opinion.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tiramisu CupcakesTiramisu Cupakes -Serves 12

Cupcake batter- 1 box White Cake Mix, 2 egg whites, 1 egg, 1/3 cup oil, 3/4 cup buttermilk, 3/4 cup sour cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/8 cup coffee and 1 TB instant coffee crystals.

 Filling- Must be made the night before. Mascarpone(1 pint of heavy cream and 1 TB. lemon juice), 1 TB instant coffee crystals, and 1/2 C powdered sugar
Whipped Topping- 8 oz cream cheese, softened, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 pint heavy whipping cream
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees and a 12 Cup cupcake tray with liners.
 In a large bowl, whisk egg whites, egg, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla. Stir in white cake mix into wet ingredients. Fill cupcake liners about 1/3 full using only half of the batter.  With the remaining cake batter, add the coffee and the instant coffee crystals.  Scoop the coffee cake batter over the regular batter so that each cupcake liner is filled about 3/4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until done. Cool completely!
For the filling, mix the heavy cream and the lemon juice together in a measuring cup. With a mesh strainer, lay over an empty bowl. Line your mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth. Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth both and put in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, you should see only a little bit of whey in the cheesecloth. Toss and cheesecloth and add coffee crystals and powdered sugar to the homemade mascarpone. Whip slightly. Set aside.
 For the topping,  beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and then add in heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form.
Now the fun part- assembly. Cut a hole deep out of the center of each cupcake. Spoon your filling into the hole of each cupcake. Pipe your whipped topping over the hole with the filling and top with chocolate shavings and cocoa powder.

Fried Nectarines with Vanilla Mascarpone

May 16, 2013 by braytonbb

First off, let me say that this is not my original recipe or picture. Her picture turned out much better than mine and I wanted you to get the full effect of how wonderful this really is.  However, I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share it with you. I served this as my fruit cup before breakfast, but I think it would make a wonderful after dinner dessert as well. This recipe and picture came from shewearsmanyhats.com.

Fried Nectarines with Vanilla Mascarpone – Serves 3-4

Fruit- 3 TB. butter, 4 C nectarines, sliced (6-7), 1/4 C brown sugar, 1/4 C amaretto

Mascarpone Topping- 8 oz. mascarpone, 4 oz. vanilla yogurt, 1 tsp. vanilla. (you will have some left over, but it is so tasty, you can use it on something else.

For the fruit, melt butter in a saute pan. In a small bowl combine sliced nectarines and brown sugar. Add the brown sugar coated nectarines and cook over med. heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add amaretto and simmer over med. heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the mascarpone topping, mix together the mascarpone and the yogurt until smooth. Add vanilla and mix well. Serve warm.

Tiramisu Bread Pudding

May 8, 2013 by braytonbb

I know this is one day early but  my  new website goes live sometime on Thursday and I wanted to make sure you received your weekly recipe.  I may have never said this, but I am in love with Tiramisu.  I am constantly trying new recipes and adapting them to make them my own. I have been working on tiramisu in a jar all winter, but I am just not ready yet to present yet, but be ready, I am almost there.   I am ready though to share this one with you. I did find this recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but have changed it up a bit. I hope you like it. By the way, you will probably be seeing  A LOT more tiramisu recipes from me. This one is really easy and really good for breakfast or dessert.

Tiramisu Bread Pudding – Serves 8

1 1/3 cups milk, 1 1/4 cups whipping cream, 2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals, 6 eggs, lightly beaten, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup  brown sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 7 C Challah bread and 1/3 cup powdered sugar,

Creme Cheese Topper – 3/4 cup whipping cream, 1 ounce cream cheese, softened and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl stir together milk, whipping cream, and coffee crystals until coffee is dissolved. Reserve 1 tablespoon milk mixture; set aside.

Stir eggs, the sugars, and vanilla into milk mixture. Stir in bread pieces until moistened. Evenly divide among eight greased 6-ounce ramekins, filling each almost full. Place on a  baking pan. Bake 30 minutes or until puffed and set.
In small bowl combine powdered sugar and reserved 1 tablespoon milk mixture; stir until smooth. Drizzle over bread pudding. Dollop with Cream Cheese Topper.

 

Fruit n’ Pudding

May 2, 2013 by braytonbb

The last two days have been heaven for me. I love this warm weather and am already dreading the cooler temps this weekend. Okay, back to the positive. Tuesday evening my family decided it was a good night to grill out with some brats, burgers and all trimmings to go with it. My job, to make pasta salad. I realized that I did not have a blog recipe for this week, so I wanted to be able to come up with something to serve my family for dinner that would do double duty for breakfast. I ran to the store and picked up a package of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, a pineapple and an apple. I washed everything, cut it up and through it in a bowl. I pulled out some cheesecake flavored instant pudding from the cupboard and sprinkled about 3 Tb over the fruit. I stirred it up and let it blend in the refrigerator for about an hour. It came out with a slightly creamy texture and wonderful flavor. I am sure vanilla pudding, banana or coconut would work just a great depending on your taste buds.

FRUIT N PUDDINGFruit n’ Pudding – Serves 6

Container of strawberries(sliced) , raspberries, blueberries, half a pineapple( diced) and one apple (diced) and one package of instant flavored pudding. I used cheesecake, but your favorite white flavor would work great too, I am sure.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

April 25, 2013 by braytonbb

I got the urge the other day for some chocolate chip cookies, but then I saw and opened a package of caramels and decided why  not put the two together in a bar. The only I might do differently the next time around is put them in a larger pan. They came out pretty thick, which isn’t a bad thing, but to make them go a little further, this might be an option.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Barssalted caramel and chocolate cookie bars

2 1/3 C flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted and cooled to room temp., 1 C light brown sugar, 1/2 C sugar, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 2 tsp. vanilla, 3/4 bag of chocolate chips, 10 oz. of caramel chips, 3 TB heavy cream and sea salt.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9″ square pan and set aside. In a med. bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Mix together the melted butter and sugar(s) on med speed until combined. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and  mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

In a med. microwavable bowl, combine the caramel chips and heavy cream. Microwave until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds or so for about 2 minutes until creamy.

Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan and smoothing the top. Pour the hot caramel over the cookie dough and spread evenly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Drop the remaining cookie dough on top of the caramel and spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle with  more sea salt.

Bake the bars for 30 min until the top is light brown. Cool completely before cutting.

Antipasti Platter

April 18, 2013 by braytonbb

Scott and I had some friends over the other night to watch the premier of the 2013 season of Mad Men. This couple we had over got us into watching the series, so the last couple of years we enjoyed some wine and a few appetizers together while dissecting the first few segments. Whenever we get together with this couple they always do such a great job of entertaining that I feel like I do not do our place justice. After creating this enjoyable platter, I thought it would be great to share it with our inn guests over wine and cheese. The bread I made is the recipe I shared with you a few months back (Crusty Bread). This time I just used pepperjack cheese and thyme to give it a more mild flavor with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I purchased some black and green olives with feta from the Festival Foods deli, along with a fresh mozzarella, sundried tomato and salami panini roll, hand rolled salami, Satori Monte Amori cheese and grapes.  The recipe below is for the tomato ricotta frittata which you could use for breakfast, but I prefer to serve it cold as an appetizer.

ANITIPASTI PLATETomato Ricotta Fritatta

3 TB olive oil, 1 large onion, sliced 1/4″ thick, 1 large tomato, sliced 1/2 inch thick, 8 eggs, 1/2 C shredded parmesan, 1/3 C fresh, coarsely shopped basil, salt, pepper and 6 TB ricotta.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over med. heat. Add onion slices and cook until softened. Transfer to a plate. Add tomatoes to the skillet and cook, turning once until edges are softened. Transfer to the plate with the onions.

In a bowl, stir the eggs, 1/4 C parmesan, basil and salt and pepper.

Spread the onion slices in the bottom of the skillet. Pour the beaten eggs on top and cook over med. heat until the eggs are set around the edges.

Place the tomato slices on the top of the frittata. Dollop the ricotta between the tomatoes. Sprinkle remaining parmesan on top. Bake the frittata until the top is golden and set, about 18 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes and then slide out of pan and let cool. Cut into wedges.

Upside Down Apple Coffee Cake

April 11, 2013 by braytonbb

Last week I posted a recipe for Spinach and Feta Baked Eggs. I served it with this upside down Apple Coffee Cake that I found on Pinterest. It has a great flavor and looks really pretty and impressive when served. You do have to be careful though, because it does have a tendency of falling apart when trying to get it out of the pan, if you are not careful.

UPSIDE DOWN APPLE COFFEE CAKEUpside-Down Apple Coffee Cake Recipe

1-1/2 cups apples, chopped and peeled, 1 can (12.4 ounce) Pillsbury cinnamon rolls with icing, 1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces, 2 tablespoons butter, melted, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons corn syrup

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.  Spread 1 cup of the apples in pie plate.

Separate dough into 8 rolls.  Cut each roll into quarters; place in large bowl.  Add remaining 1/2 cup apples and pecans.

In small bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until well blended.  Add brown sugar mixture to dough mixture; toss gently to combine.  Spoon mixture over apples in pan.

Bake 28 to 38 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes.  Invert onto serving platter.

Remove lid from icing.  Microwave icing on high 10 to 15 seconds or until drizzling consistency.  Drizzle over warm coffee cake.  Serve warm.

Spinach and Feta Baked Eggs

April 4, 2013 by braytonbb

I had to do some quick thinking the other day and luckily it worked out well. I thought I was having 8 gentleman for breakfast on Sunday morning, but late Friday night I was told that only 4 would be dining. I had made a breakfast lasagna earlier in the day just waiting to throw it in the oven in the morning. Since this lasagna recipe serves 8,  I didn’t want to waste half of the lasagna so I wrapped it up and put it in the freezer for a later day. Sunday morning I was scrambling a bit to come up with something fast for 4 guys with the ingredients I had in the kitchen. tomato and spinach baked eggs were born. As I served this new little dish, I warned the guys that they were my experiment for the day and my feelings would not be hurt if they did not care of this dish. To my husbands surprise, the bowls were literally licked clean.

Spinach and Feta Bake EggsTomato and Spinach Baked Eggs  Serves 4

2 TB olive oil, 1 med. yellow onion, 5 oz. fresh baby spinach, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp. cumin, salt, pepper, and horseradish, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 2 tsp. chipotle or hot sauce, 4 large eggs and 1/4 C crumbled feta.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 4- 8oz. ramekins with non stick spray and set aside.

In a med. saucepan, heat oil over med heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Remove from heat.

In a med. bowl, stir together the tomatoes, cumin, salt, pepper, horseradish, chipotle, and paprika. Add the onion-spinach mixture and stir to combine. Divide among the four ramekins.

Crack an egg into the center of each ramekin and sprinkle with feta. Bake until the whites are set but yolks are still soft, about 12-15 minutes.

I served this with an upside down Apple coffee cake. See next weeks blog for this recipe.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

March 28, 2013 by braytonbb

Do you know the health benefits of chocolate and peanut butter? Imagine putting them together. Double whammy. Feel good about this next recipe first by reading all the benefits of these two items and then fall in love with this recipe I found on Pinterest. All I can say, Oh my Gosh! Not only could I not keep the Reeses Peanut Butter cups out of my mouth, but once these little devils came out of the oven, I couldn’t stop eating the finished product either.

Health Benefits of Chocolate

1. A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20% lower risk of a stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff.

2. Regular chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure,lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease.

3. Because it’s rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you’ll eat less, Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center.  Regular chocolate eaters might do themselves a favor by treating themselves to a bite instead of snacking on “11 other things first” he said.

4. Chocolate May Fight Diabetes

5. A small Italian study from 2005 found that regularly eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing risk for diabetes.
Also, chocolate is good for the skin offering some UV protection, quieting coughs, boosts your mood, improves blood flow and vision, which causes to be more alert, awake and even smarter! Who knew?
Health benefits of Peanut Butter
Energy Boost – Each bite packs a bunch of nutrition. It contains both protein and healthy monosaturated fats, which will give you the energy pick-me-up that you are looking for. Additionally, peanut butter has other nutrients including vitamin B3, tryptophan, and manganese.

Cardiovascular Health -The monounsaturated fat in peanut butter has been linked with a decrease in the risk of heart disease. Also, peanuts contain fiber, and a diet high in fiber will reduce bad (LDL)cholesterol levels. Peanut butter also contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with lower levels of heart disease.

Better Circulation - Peanut butter is a great source of iron, which helps to maintain good circulation.

Blood Sugar Control - The protein and fiber in peanut butter are both beneficial for blood sugar control. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, or you are at risk of diabetes, including peanut butter in your diet may be beneficial because it will stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Anti-Aging - Peanut butter contains resveratrol , an antioxidant that has been linked with lower levels of heart disease and cancer. Some studies suggest that resveratrol may reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Cancer Prevention - The antioxidants and fiber in peanut butter help to reduce the risk of cancer. Antioxidants are effective because they clean up free radical activity within the body and fiber will reduce the risk of colon cancer because it keeps waste moving efficiently through the intestines.

Peanut butter cup cookiesChocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 1/2 C, plus 2 TBSP. flour, 6 TBSP, cocoa, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1tsp salt, 6 TBSP butter at room temp., 1/4 C creamy peanut butter, 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1 LG egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 TBSP. milk, 2 C coarsely chopped peanut butter cups, divided. Hint- much easier if you have these in the freezer first. Easier to chop up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a med. bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a larger bowl, combine the butter, peanut butter and both sugars. Beat until light and fluffy. Add in egg, vanilla and milk. Blend until smooth. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients. Add 1 1/2 C chopped peanut butter cups and fold in gently with a spatula.

Drop large rounds of dough onto the baking sheets. Gently press a few pieces of the reserved peanut butter cups (if you have any left from eating them), on top of each of the dough balls. Bake 12  minutes-14 minutes, rotating the pans half way through. They will look under baked when you take them out, but don’t worry, they will firm up. You DO NOT want to over bake these. Let col on the baking sheet about 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frito Frittata

March 21, 2013 by braytonbb

I spotted this recipe as I was tuning into Rachel Ray cleaning one of the guest rooms the other day. Sometimes this is why it takes  me so long to clean. Ha. I get side tracked easily sometimes. I liked the thought because it was one of her 30 minutes meals. Not really breakfast,  not really dinner, so I am classifying it as brunch. It reminded me of when I vacation down in Mexico and what I might eat for breakfast while I am there. You be the judge.

Frito Frittata – Serves 4 healthy portions.

1 TB olive oil, 1/3lb. ham, 3 TB butter, 1 small onion, 1/2 sm. red pepper, seeded and finely chopped, 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced and chopped, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, salt and pepper to taste, 1 sm, tomato chopped, 2 TB. cilantro, 1 1/2 C Fritos lightly crushed, 10 eggs, lightly beaten, 2 oz. pepperjack cheese, cubed and 2 oz. shredded sharp cheddar.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large , ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil over med. heat. Add the ham and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add butter to the skillet and cook until foamy. Add onion, peppers, garlic and salt and pepper. Cook about 3-4 minutes. Stir in tomato and cilantro. Scatter ham and corn on top.

In a bowl, beat eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over ham. Scatter the cheese on top. Cook until the eggs are just set-3-5 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and bake until puffed. About 12 minutes or so.

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

March 14, 2013 by braytonbb

I really try to stick with recipes that we make at the inn. That usually limits us to breakfast, fruit cups, desserts and few light nibbles that we serve with wine and cheese.  Last summer, you may remember, that I posted a strawberry soda ice cream recipe. I claimed that it was the “Best” strawberry ice cream I have EVER had. I still believe this by the way. It was strawberry season and though we serve a fruit cut with our breakfast entrees, I thought that this strawberry ice cream could take the place of that, or just as a great dessert afterwards. Being that St. Patricks day is this weekend, I wanted to come up with something other than mint brownies, cookies, and other every day items that one might come to expect from us. So, I went back to my trusted strawberry ice cream recipe and threw together my favorite flavor. Mint Chocolate Chip. The key to a really good, easy, ice cream I believe is sweetened condensed milk. It is really what makes the strawberry recipe so creamy and as it does with the mint. Also, leaving out the eggs is also a sure bet that you don’t have to worry about anyone getting sick. So, all that being said, I am going to claim that this is now the BEST mint chocolate chip ice cream I have ever had as well. I know it’s a lot to live up to, so if you think you have got something better, that is just as easy to throw to together, I am up for the challenge. Until then, I hope you enjoy!

 

MINT ICE CREAM2Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk, 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk (I use skim since that is what I had on hand), large pinch salt, 1 C sugar, 1 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract, 4 drops green food coloring (more or less depending what color you like) and 4 ounces chocolate. (whatever you have on hand. I used milk chocolate this time, but I prefer dark but bittersweet and semi are also wonderful)! Combine all ingredients except for the chocolate in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour into your ice cream maker and process about 30 minutes. It will still be soft. 5 minutes before churning is complete, shave chocolate into the ice cream and continue churning a few more minutes. Pour the ice cream into a freezer container and freeze until hard, usually a few hours.

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Parfait

March 7, 2013 by braytonbb

This time of year, I really miss the fresh berries and the cool tastes of summer. So, I go the freezer and grab a bag of strawberries that I have frozen from the summer. This cool treat is great for breakfast by itself, with a meal, a treat mid day or even dessert after dinner. The candied walnuts give it a nice crunch as well.

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Parfaitstrawberry banana yogurt parfait

Strawberries, banana, yogurt, (candied walnuts) – walnuts, brown sugar and butter – Serves 1

Slice a strawberry and slice a banana and add to the bottom of a parfait glass or anything you want to use. Add a dollop of your favorite plain yogurt. Add another couple of slices of strawberry and bananas. Add your candied walnuts. Add another dollop of yogurt and top with a couple of strawberry slices, banana slice and more candied walnuts. Enjoy!

Candied Walnut nut recipe – I take a handful of walnuts, melt 1 TB of melted butter and then add 1/8 C of brown sugar. Stir. You can store in the refrigerator any left overs and use at another time.

Caramel Rolls

February 28, 2013 by braytonbb

I have seen and tried many different recipes for this version, but I always come back to my Aunt Marilyn’s caramel roll recipe that I can’t wait to share with you. I request that she makes them each time I see her which is usually around Christmas and Easter, but whenever I get the urge I  make them for our guests, especially when we have a full table.

Caramel Rolls – 1 loaf Rhodes Sweet Roll Dough, 4 TB butter (melted), 1/2 C brown sugar(divided), 2 TB light corn syrup, and cinnamon.

Let the dough rise in a 8×8 pan that has been brushed with butter.  Once dough has doubled in size, combine 2 TB butter with 1/4 C brown sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan. Once melted and smooth pour into a 9×9 or 8×11 pan.

Roll out dough on a floured surface to the size of 8×11 approximately. Brush with remaining butter and sprinkle 1/4 C brown sugar and  cinnamon(as  much as you like). Roll up into a log. Cut into 12-16. Lay the cut size down in the pan. Cover and let rise for approx 30-60 min. Bake 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

When done, flip pan over on wax paper and enjoy immediately!

 

Apple Fritters

February 21, 2013 by braytonbb

As I was making these, my husband said, “wouldn’t it just be easier and less messy if you bought some at the store”? I replied, yes, but they wouldn’t be nearly as good and I couldn’t say that I made them. Lets just say that he liked them so much that he had one after another and commented how much he liked the size. They fit so nicely into his hand and after just a few bites they were gone.

I hope you like them as much as we did. The picture I show here are some that I glazed and some that I powdered sugar. Now, we prefer the glaze and I think they look prettier too, but you can be the judge.

APPLE FRITTERSApple Fritters- These made about 15. They were the size of a ping pong ball when they went in and end up being the size of my palm when they were done frying.

1 C flour, 1/2 C sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, dash of salt, 1 1/2 tsp or more if you like of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1TB butter-melted, 1 egg, 1/3 C milk or possibly more, and  1 1/2 C chopped apple.

Oil for frying

1 C powdered sugar and 1 TB milk ( for glaze)

Mix all dry ingredients together. Slowly add the wet ingredients minus the apple. Mix until well combined. Fold in the apple pieces. The batter should be similar to a cake batter consistency.

Heat oil. I have an electric stove, so I turn mine to about 4-any hotter and the middle will not get done. Once the oil is ready take 1 TB of batter and add to the oil. You can add 4-5 TB, but  make sure they do not touch each other. Flip once one side gets a med. brown color and then fry the other side until it’s the same wonderful golden color. (Approximately 40 seconds each side.

Once done, wait a few minutes to cool and then either dip in the glaze, dust with powdered sugar or eat plane.

Red Mimosa

February 14, 2013 by braytonbb

 

Happy Valentines Day!

Whether you love the holiday or can’t stand it, this pretty little concoction should make you feel a little better about the day.  I thought this pretty little drink would be a great Valentines Day recipe. Though simple, it looks stunning and takes the bite out of orange juice just a bit.  Beautiful at the breakfast table, or anytime of day.

Red MimosaValentines Day Red Mimosa’s 

Your favorite champagne ( it doesn’t have to be expensive), orange juice, strawberry, and grenadine. Alternate stir in cranberry juice, or raspberry sherbet (mmm)!

I  poured champagne into a quarter of the champagne glass. I then sliced a strawberry and plopped it in the champagne and watched the bubbles flow. Pretty already! Then I filled almost to the top with orange juice. I left about a half of inch. I then added a little grenadine and  you now have your perfect Valentines Day Red Mimosa! As I  mentioned cranberry juice is good too if you don’t like the sweetness and the raspberry sherbet makes it a little more creamy. All delicious!

Teenager approved, No bake Granola Bars

February 7, 2013 by braytonbb

Yes, you heard right. Teenager approved! My daughter is like many teenagers I am sure. She been taught to eat what is put in front of her, but that doesn’t make her not picky. I was just like her growing up, so I don’t give her a lot of grief about it. If she should  live on everything white, she would. (pasta, bread, cereal,). You can get my drift. Carbohydrates. She enjoys granola bars. They are expensive though and filled with a lot of, well fillers. Gross!  This recipe below, I think you will like. I have tried adding everything from chocolate chips, craisens, nuts, coconut, butterscotch chips and the list goes on and on. Add your favorites. I cut them into bars and put wax paper in between and stored them in a tupperware container.  They lasted a week (before they were gone) in the pantry.

Teenager approved, No bake Granola Bars

1/2 C honey, 2/3 C brown sugar, 1/4 c peanut butter, 1/4 C butter, 4 C quick oats, 2 C rice cereal and 3 tsp. of vanilla.

In a large bowl, stir rice cereal and oatmeal together.

In a medium saucepan, combine honey, butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Bring to a slow boil over med heat. Turn temp down to low and simmer until all sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and pour in the vanilla and stir.

Pour the hot sugary mixture over the cereal and oatmeal mixture just until everything is moistened. Stir in your toppings. Press into a wax paper lined jelly roll pan.

Press the granola bar mixture as closely and tightly as you can towards one end. If its too thin, the bars will not hold together. Cool until ready to cut.

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