Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Funfetti Blondies

My 5-year old has been wanting some Funfetti treats ever since seeing a Funfetti cake mix.  I didn't want to do that, (lol) so I made this recipe instead.  It's quick and easy and very funfetti-y!  I love any kind of blondie.  For the dry milk powder, I use full-fat.  I get it in an international store over here.  I know in the US, it's mostly fat-free powdered milk that's available.  I'm sure that's fine too.
Funfetti Blondies
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) butter, melted and cooled slightly so it isn't hot (but don't let it solidify)
1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) light brown sugar
2 large eggs (about 3.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) dry milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup (anywhere from 3 to 5 ounces) rainbow sprinkles (see note above)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch aluminum baking pan and set aside 

2.  In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until well-combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until lightly and creamy, 2-3 minutes.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, milk powder, baking soda, salt and sprinkles. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined and no dry streaks remain. Mixing with the electric mixer may break apart the sprinkles.

4.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and they are lightly golden (the edges may rise slightly higher than the center, especially as they cool - that's ok). Don't overbake! Let cool completely before cutting into squares. These keep very well for several days covered at room temperature.
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I've wanted to make these for a while.  I love lemon and simple sugar cookies.  Mine didn't turn out as crinkly as they were supposed to, but they were so good anyway.  I used a lemon from our little Ikea lemon tree.  

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
adapted from Lauren's Latest

½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets* with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate or a bowl. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

3.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte (not melty or shiny). Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
*If using a non stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Monday, May 1, 2017

Roast Beef Sliders

I made these a while ago.  I love easy sandwich recipes like this that I can make for dinner and eat with some fruit (or soup, if you're feeling fancy).  These beef sliders and kind of a twist on the classic ham and cheese version.  I left the banana peppers out of the kids' sliders; the kids think they are "spicy".  Lol.  When I made these, I let them get a little too brown on top; watch them more carefully than I did.
Roast Beef Sliders
adapted from Valerie's Kitchen

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 (12 count) package Hawaiian sweet rolls
4 ounces (6 slices) packaged sliced Provolone cheese
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef
1/2 cup diced jarred pepperoncini or banana peppers
1 teaspoon poppy seeds, or as needed

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a rectangular baking dish large enough to hold your slider rolls with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Whisk together the melted butter, Worcestershire, Dijon, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic or garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl and set aside.

3.  Without separating into individual rolls, slice the top half of the bread off the bottom and place the bottom portion of the rolls in the prepared baking dish. Layer the bread with the sliced Provolone, roast beef, and diced pepperoncini and then top with the other half of the rolls. Liberally brush the melted butter mixture over the tops of the rolls and sprinkle evenly with poppy seeds.

4.  Bake, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the tops of the rolls are lightly toasted. Use a knife to slice the sliders and serve.
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mississippi Mud Brownies

I made these delicious and messy brownies some time ago.  They were very popular, of course. They're kind of similar to these brownies.  I doubled the recipe to fit a 9x13 pan. Oh, I also made them nut-free.  Not sure if they're still Mississippi Mud, but oh well.

Mississippi Mud Brownies
adapted from Cooking Classy
makes an 8x8 baking dish; easily doubled for a 9x13

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly (I used salted)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans or almonds, divided, optional
2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Chocolate Frosting:
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment or aluminum foil, if using foil spray with cooking spray or brush with melted butter. (I skipped foil; just used cooking spray on my glass baking dish.) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt until well blended. Using a wooden spoon stir in melted butter and mix until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and stir until blended (mixture will be thick). Fold in 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and bake in preheated oven 30 - 35 minutes (underbake slightly as you'll be returning them to oven to cook marshmallows).

2.  Remove from oven and sprinkle top evenly with marshmallows then return to oven and bake about 4 minutes longer until marshmallows puff slightly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes then toast tops of marshmallows with a kitchen torch if desired (be very carefully around parchment paper). Pour and spread chocolate frosting evenly over top (just after preparing frosting as it will begin to set as it cools), sprinkle top with remaining nuts. Allow to cool completely if desired (and if you have the patience to wait, it will take about 2 hours), or allow to cool slightly (you'll have runny frosting and unevenly cut brownies - but they are amazing this way). Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

For the chocolate frosting:
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Add milk and cocoa powder and cook whisking constantly until mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and using an electric hand mixer, stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Use frosting immediately. (My hand-held mixer is broken, so I just poured into my stand mixer and went from there.)
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com**

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Last July, we took a trip to Slovenia.  Our van died on the way there, and we were stuck in Ljubljana (the capital) for a few days.  We eventually got our van towed back to Italy and bought a new one. But while we were waiting to figure out how to get home, we had a good time exploring Slovenia. We had an AirBnB in the University/Embassy section of town.  The main section of the city was easily walk-able from there.  Good thing, since we had no vehicle.  (Our AirBnB was featured in National Geographic for being so quirky!) Anyway, I never posted pics from our trip.  These are just phone pics, as I had forgotten my real camera. We walked around the old town, saw the castle on the hill, the dragon bridge, ate out a few times, got gelato, and took two river cruises.

There was a photo exhibit in a large park.  The photos were or Syrian refugees as they passed through Slovenia the December before.
The market had SO many fresh and delicious berries.  

Corn soup, above.  White chocolate and pistachio gelato, below.

Last night dinner with our tow truck driver and his cool friends.  They were all very educated and professional, spoke English, and we had wonderful conversation.  The food is pictured below.  They grilled Serbian sausages, and I made them myself a few months later.  Above are the beautiful roses in his yard.
**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Friday, April 21, 2017

Twice-Baked Potatoes

I made these for Valentine's Day, and we liked them so much I made them again a few weeks later.  I had never made them before that.  I don't remember ever eating them before, either.  On Valentine's Day, we grilled steaks, and had salads, etc, but it was too much food.  So the second time, I made these as our main dish.

Twice-Baked Potatoes
adapted from the Kitchn

4 medium russet potatoes* (3 1/2 to 4 pounds total)
Olive oil
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup full-fat sour cream, divided
1/3 cup whole or 2% milk
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon garlic powder (no-salt)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning

1.  Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F.

2.  (*I can't get Russets here, so I just used large yellow potatoes.) Scrub the potatoes well and pat dry. Rub the potatoes all over with a thin coating of oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and place directly on the oven rack. Bake until fork-tender, flipping halfway through, 50 to 60 minutes total.

3.  Place the potatoes on a wire rack. Open the foil packets and let the potatoes sit for about 5 minutes, until they're cool enough to handle but still very warm. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

4.  Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. To make them easier to handle if still hot, hold in a clean dish towel. Carefully scoop the flesh into a medium bowl, leaving about 1/4-inch of potato and skin as the shell. Place the potato skins skin-side down on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

5.  Add the butter and 1/4 cup of the sour cream to the bowl with the potato flesh. Use a fork or potato masher to mash together until soft and well-combined. Do not overwork the potatoes. Fold in the remaining sour cream, milk, 1 cup of the cheese, scallions, chives, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Divide the filling among the shells, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheese.

6.  Bake until the cheese is melted and the peaks of the mashed potatoes are crispy, 15 to 20 minutes (with an additional 5 to 10 minutes for potatoes that were made ahead). Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes: 
Make ahead: The potatoes can be baked and filled up to 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to bake the second time. Add an additional 5 to 10 minutes to bake time when made ahead.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
 **This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Pula, Croatia

Happy Easter! Today we grilled steaks, had Ranch Potato Casserole, a cucumber salad, roasted asparagus and strawberry pie.

Way back in October, we took a weekend trip to Pula, Croatia.  Pula is known for its Roman Arena. We stayed at an AirBnB super close to the arena.  We visited the arena, walked around Pula's oceanfront and marina, visited an outdoor market, and went out on a boat trip with the AirBnB owner's father.  Some of my family went swimming in the sea, but it was too cold for me.  They loved it though. Then we went to a very good and cozy restaurant that the owner recommended to us. (These are only phone pics; I forgot my big camera.)

Every morning, the owner's grandmother, Marija (Maria), brought us homemade pastries.  So good!

 Above: the Temple of Augustus. Below, Twin Gates- once the entrance to the city.  

 Above & below: Views from the boatride.

Above, trying the local olive oil at a very good restaurant, Alla Beccaccia.  Pula is on the Istrian Peninsula, which is well-known for producing very good olive oil.  Below, my wild game and gnocchi dish.  This region of Croatia has food influences from Italy, but they put their own spin on it. 

 We looked for an olive oil farm and finally found this random one.  It was SO good and they were harvesting the olives when we were there.  This guy filled up a few fresh bottles for us and we were on our way.  I mention the olive oil in the bottom of this post about Croatian soup.  
 **This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **