Saturday, September 25, 2021

Apple Cider Doughnut Tower

1-1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. kosher salt
28 apple cider doughnuts
1 c. jarred caramel topping
Chopped toasted pecans, for serving

Beat whipping cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. 

In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, syrup, vanilla, and salt until smooth, 2-3 minutes (no need to clean beaters). Gently fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.

Spread 1 tablespoon whipped cream mixture over center of a cake stand or platter. Place 1 doughnut in center and arrange 6 doughnuts in a circle around center. Spread 1 c. whipped cream mixture over top.

Repeat with 7 doughnuts and 1 c. whipped cream mixture. 

Repeat with 5 doughnuts in a circle, with edges touching, on top. Spread on 3/4 c. whipped cream mixture. 

Repeat with 5 doughnuts and 3/4 c. whipped cream mixture, stacking directly on top of previous layer. 

Arrange 3 doughnuts in a circle, with edges touching, on top. Spread on 1/3 c. whipped cream mixture. 

Place remaining doughnut on top.

Spoon caramel topping over doughnut tower. Top with remaining whipped cream mixture and pecans.

Serves 16.

Adapted from Real Simple magazine, Oct. 2021, p. 24.

Easy Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

1 T. canola oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
1 c. chopped white onion  
3 c. unsalted chicken broth
1 15-oz. can no-salt-added pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 c. jarred salsa verde
1 T. fresh lime juice 
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro, divided 
1 avocado, chopped
Crushed tortilla chips, for serving (optional)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add chicken and onion; cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through, beginning to brown slightly, and juices have mostly evaporated, 8-10 minutes.

Stir in broth, beans, hominy, and salsa verde. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice and half of the cilantro.

Serve in bowls topped with avocado, remaining cilantro, and tortilla chips, if desired.

Serves 4.

Adapted from Real Simple magazine, Oct. 2021, p. 125. 

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta Butter & Cabbage-Kale Salad

4 6-oz. sweet potatoes
5 T. salted butter, softened
2 oz. (about 1/2 c.) feta cheese, crumbled, divided
2 T. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 T. olive oil
2 t. honey
1/4 t. kosher salt
1-1/4 t. smoked paprika, divided
3 c. thinly shredded red cabbage (from 1 head)
1 8-oz. bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 4 c.)
1/2 c. roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until tender throughout, 45-50 minutes. (Alternatively, prick with a fork and microwave for 6-8 minutes.)

Meanwhile, stir softened butter and 6 T. feta in a small bowl until blended.

Whisk lemon juice, oil, honey, salt, and 1 t. smoked paprika in a large bowl. Add cabbage and kale; toss until coated.

Cut open each baked sweet potato and fluff flesh with a fork. Top each with feta butter. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 t. smoked paprika and with pepitas. Serve sweet potatoes alongside salad topped with remaining 2 T. feta.

Serves 4.

Adapted from Real Simple magazine, Oct. 2021, p. 124.

Buffalo Cauliflower with Yogurt Ranch Sauce

1 head cauliflower (about 2½ lb.), cut into large florets 
2 T. olive oil
1 t. kosher salt, divided
1/2 c. buffalo-style hot sauce
1 T. unsalted butter
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
2/3 c. whole-milk Greek yogurt
3-5 T. water
1 t. onion powder
1 t. white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped, divided

Preheat oven to 450°F. 

Toss cauliflower with olive oil and 1/4 t. salt on a large, rimmed baking sheet; spread in an even layer, cut sides down. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat buffalo sauce and butter in a small saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted, 3-4 minutes. Season with pepper. Keep warm over low.

Place yogurt in a bowl; gradually stir in 3-5 T. water until yogurt is smooth and reaches drizzling consistency. Stir in onion powder, vinegar, half of scallions, and remaining 3/4 t. salt.

Toss roasted cauliflower with 3 T. buffalo-butter sauce on baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Toss with remaining buffalo-butter sauce. Drizzle with some yogurt ranch; serve remaining yogurt ranch alongside. Top with remaining scallions.

Serves 4.

Adapted from Real Simple magazine, Oct. 2021, p. 131.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Nonstick cooking spray
1 c. pitted dates, chopped
1 c. boiling water
3 T. butter, cold and diced
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/3 c. demerara sugar*
1/3 c. dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. plus 2 T. flour

8 T. butter
2-1/4 c. heavy cream
9 T. dark brown sugar
1/4 t. kosher salt

For serving: candied nuts, ice cream, and/or whipped cream 

*Can use turbinado sugar, light brown sugar, or granulated sugar. If using granulated sugar, add 1 t. molasses.

Place chopped dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow dates to soften (about 10 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins with nonstick spray. 

Combine butter, baking soda, salt, demerara sugar, brown sugar, eggs, flour, and vanilla in a food processor. Pulse until just combined.

Add softened dates and 1/2 c. of the soaking water to the flour mixture. Using the food processor, pulse until well combined but not completely liquified.

Pour batter into greased muffin tins and bake for about 6 minutes; rotate and bake for another 6 minutes.

(Remove from muffin tins ONLY after cooked fully; see below.)

To make sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and gently simmer for 3 minutes. Add salt and remove from heat. Slowly add cream while whisking.

Once cream is emulsified, return to stove and heat gently to serving temperature.

To serve, pour 3/4 of sauce over cakes and bake for roughly 2 minutes (the sauce will absorb into the pudding. Once puddings and sauce are hot, place into serving bowl and spoon remaining sauce over the tops of the puddings.

Serve with candied nuts and/or ice cream and/or whipped cream.

Adapted from New Hampshire magazine, Sept. 2021, p. 84.