Sunday, July 27, 2014

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

A moist and fluffy cake is studded with tart rhubarb and topped with a sweet and crunchy crumble topping.

Hun... What's for Dinner? | Rhubarb Coffee Cake

A few weeks back was our first trip, of the year, to the farmers market. I was excited to see rhubarb, since my rhubarb has not been growing very well since I've planted it. I am thinking that the soil in our back yard may be too hard and may contain too many rocks. You can't dig very far, before encountering several rocks, which may be a reason my rhubarb isn't thriving. Another reason may be the plants that grow every year. When we first moved here, the landscaping of the back yard really excited me. There are gorgeous Chinese cherry blossom trees which bloom every spring, tiger lilies galore, queen Anne's lace and irises. It's quite a site to behold in the middle of summer. But along with the pretty comes the wild growing plants, that I say look a lot like poison ivy. It isn't though, because I've touched it several times with no issue. It over grows my rhubarb, no matter how often I cut it back. I will need to find an alternative, if I ever want to be able to cook with the rhubarb I am trying to grow.

So, when I saw rhubarb, I quickly grabbed a bunch to bring home. I love baking with rhubarb. I grew up eating rhubarb with a cuppa sugar and many of the neighbouring kids would come over for rhubarb with sugar. Mom also loved making rhubarb cake, and strawberry rhubarb pie. Since I love cinnamon with rhubarb, I thought a coffee cake would be a great way to bake with my rhubarb. Boy was I right!! The cake is moist and fluffy, and is studded with tart pieces of rhubarb. The contrast of sweet and tart is spectacular and the crunch from the topping adds wonderful texture. We gobbled this coffee cake up in the matter of days. The kids absolutely LOVED it, which surprised me, because they always say rhubarb is too tart. This is a lovely way to use that bountiful summer rhubarb.

Hun... What's for Dinner? | Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

1/4 C shortbread cookie crumbs (I crushed two store bought shortbread cookies)
1/4 C flour
3 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbs melted butter

1/4 C butter, room temperature
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 C milk
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c rhubarb, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and/or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the shortbread crumbs, flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar and light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Mix the apple cider vinegar with the milk and let sit a few seconds. Add the curdled milk and vanilla to the egg mixture; mix well to combine.

Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mixing just to combine. Fold in the rhubarb and pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with oat topping. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Legs

Jazz up chicken legs, by stuffing them and wrapping them with bacon.

Hun... What's for Dinner? | Grilled Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Legs- Chicken legs are stuffed with Garlic Scape-Dill Pesto and wrapped in bacon.

Summer is in full swing and the weather has been gorgeous. We've been cooking on the grill every night we can and enjoying many of our BBQ favourites. But sometimes I get bored with the same ole burgers, dogs and steaks, so I decided to try something different. I wanted to stuff my chicken legs, but knew that once the skin was loosened, it would shrink away from the chicken. I needed to find a way to stop that from happening, that didn't require tons of toothpicks. I had a few slices of bacon in the fridge, so I decided to see if the bacon would keep the skin in place. Pretty great idea right?

I had some Garlic Scapes- Dill Pesto in the fridge, so I decided to stuff the chicken with that. The result was amazing!!! The chicken was so juicy, and the garlic and dill flavour permeated the meat. The bacon and the skin was wonderfully crisp. The kids were totally crazy for these. They both had 2 legs each and when I reheated some for my lunch the next day, they pretty much ate what was on my plate. I'll be grilling chicken legs wrapped in bacon often. It's a fun and easy way to bring those plain ole chicken legs, to a whole new level.

Hun... What's for Dinner? | Grilled Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Legs- Chicken legs are stuffed with Garlic Scape-Dill Pesto and wrapped in bacon.

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Legs

8 chicken legs
4 slices bacon, cut in half
8 tsp garlic scape-dill pesto (or pesto of choice)
salt and pepper

Take the chicken legs and gently separate the skin from the meat, by inserting a finger under the skin and gently pulling on the skin.

Place one tsp of pesto under the skin of each chicken leg. Pull the skin back up over the pesto and meat and wrap with half a slice of bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill over medium heat, turning frequently, until chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165 degrees F, near the bone. Let rest loosely covered with foil for 5 minutes before digging in.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guest Post- Tampa Cake Girl Root Beer Cupcakes

Hi!  I am Cydnee, owner and proprietor of Tampa Cake Girl.  I bake cakes, pies, cupcakes and appetizers and deliver all over Tampa and surrounding cities. I started my food blog December 2013.  You will find not just desserts, but all kinds of recipes on my page. I am honored to help my sweet friend Cindy out while she enjoys some family time.

Root beer infused cupcakes and frosting will surely make you long for a frosty Root Beer Float.

Root Beer Cupcakes
Tampa Cake Girl

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup root beer (not diet)
1 Tablespoon root beer concentrate*
Root beer barrels, optional for toppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, mix together all dry ingredients except sugar and set aside. Mix together sugar, oil, eggs, and root beer concentrate. Add flour mixture alternating with root beer. Mix well until incorporated.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until done. Let set in cupcake tin for 10 minutes, remove from pans and let cool completely.

Creamy Root Beer Foamy Frosting
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
3 Tablespoons of root beer concentrate
2 pounds of powdered sugar

Blend shortening and cream cheese together. Add root beer concentrate, blend. Slowly add powdered sugar. Whip until combined. Pipe on cupcakes. Add root beer barrel if desired for cupcake toppers.

*Root Beer concentrate can be found at Walmart in the spices/extract isle.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Guest Blogger~ Moore or Less Cooking Blog Blueberry Raspberry Bars

Hi everyone,

I'm Nettie, the cook, baker, photographer and designer behind Moore or Less Cooking Food Blog. When I'm not busy creating, adapting and testing recipes, I enjoy reading, traveling, and outdoor activities. My true passion is food and design. Today I'd like to share a wonderful recipe with you for Blueberry Raspberry Bars.

These bars are like a Blueberry- Raspberry – better – than- Pie- Dream!  These are better than pie because it is half the work of making a pie and all the flavor of summer.

Blueberry Raspberry Bars
Moore of Less Cooking Blog

1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
zest from one lemon

2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 cups blueberries/raspberries (whatever proportions your prefer)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp cornstarch

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9×13 inch pan. 
 For the crust, in a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups of flour, and 1 tsp baking powder.

 Mix in salt and lemon zest.  Using a  fork, blend in egg and butter.   Press half of the dough into the pan to form the crust.  

In another bowl, stir together 2/3 cups sugar, lemon juice, and corn starch.  Fold in strawberries and blackberries.  Spread the berries over the crust.  add remaining dough over the top of the berries.

 Bake for 45 minutes until top is lightly brown.  Cool completely.  Makes up to 24 bars.  

Recipe adapted from Annie’s City Kitchen