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Katie Davis

@PopCultureCuisine

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Archive for the ‘Recipe of the Month’ Category

Sunday, April 1, 2012 @ 09:04 PM

It’s been a little while since I shared a recipe with y’all…I missed the month of February and I apologize.  While I have been cooking, it has taken me awhile to really want to follow some complex recipes again…you know with the whole taking care of a baby, working, and keeping the house together.  But that being said, this recipe I want to share with you all today is far from complex…which got me thinking I really have no excuse for why I haven’t tried to share more “easy” recipes with you, other than my pure laziness in the kitchen.  So I hereby vow to be better over the next few months with staying on track and trying to share a new recipe with you each month.

Ok that being said, let’s dive into this month’s discovery.  I will be the first to admit, I LOVE ME some guacamole, but while I love it I am pretty picky about it as well.  I don’t love it too chunky, I really don’t enjoy it if it has cilantro (I know I’m weird), and if it’s spicy, forget about it.  So yeah that often doesn’t leave me too many recipes…side bar…why or why do chefs always insist on adding the cilantro and jalapeños, why?  Ok I’m done complaining, but I needed a easy appetizer to bring with me to a girl’s night, so when I came across this recipe I was intrigued, first and foremost because it called for lemon instead of lime, which boded well for me, since I had a random lemon in the crisper I was looking to use.   And while I have featured plenty of recipes from this woman before, with a Barefoot Contessa creation, I knew I was in good hands.

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Guacamole

Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Level:
Easy
Serves:
3 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe Hass avocados
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 8 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Directions

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

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TASTE: I took a few test bites when I first assembled the dish, I thought it was good, but I knew the real test would be if other people liked it.  I will admit this was totally up my alley as far as guac goes…nice and creamy, not overly chunky, just a hint of spice (for flavor), and no cilantro in sight!  I also really like that addition of the lemon, while I thought it a bit odd at first, it really helped keep the guacamole looking fresh and green for hours,.  I also liked having a little of that hot sauce, while I don’t like spicy, this added just enough for flavor without it being hot to heats sake.  So while I LOVED it, I was also really excited that it got rave reviews from all the girls and I even left with hardly any left, a great success dish if you ask me!

EASE OF PREPARATION: This dish was so easy to make that I will be repeating it many a time over the summer I’m sure.  It really was as simple as chopping a few ingredient and stirring together and to have a great guacamole recipe at my fingertips that I can whip up right before friends come over or just on a night where I am craving something fresh is really a great asset.

COST: Now in this instance I happened to have all of the main ingredients on hand and only had to pick up a couple of more avocados and a red onion.  But in the summer all of these things are items I am known to purchase quite frequently, so I can see myself having a great go to app, without costing us a lot extra for weird or unusual ingredients we never buy.

COMPLEXITY: Like I said above, if you can chop and you can mix, well this recipe is for you.  It is really no harder than that and it tastes like you truly made a complex work of art!

PORTION SIZE: It is hard to tell how many it serves, it did indeed make about 3 cups and easily fed us 6 girls some hefty servings and then some.

Overall I was quite happy with how this recipe turned out and happy to report that I have a go to guacamole recipe that will be used many times in the future I’m sure.  So I am happy to report that the Barefoot Contessa’s Guacamole 5 Little Piggies!

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 @ 06:02 AM

067While I would hardly consider Red Lobster fine dining, Adam and I have been known to pay a visit from time to time.  While it isn’t the finest sea food, it certainly hits the spot when you are looking for a meal you can trust will be good.  One of the best parts about dining at a Red Lobster are the “cheddar bay biscuits” that accompany every meal.  Like the breadsticks at Olive Garden, these biscuits are hardly complex, yet there is something in their flavor that will keep you going back for more, it is truly hard just to stop at one.  I mean we have been known to grab one and then start picking at the others and before you know it the whole basket has disappeared.  It is for that reason that I when I spotted a knockoff of the recipe on my new obsession Pinterest, I knew I had to give them a try.  Ribs were on the menu this week, so I figured that was as good of dish as any to have these alongside.  I was quite pleased at just how easy these were to make, I mean in 5 minutes the batter was made and they were in the oven.  And while they cook you just mix together a buttery mixture to brush over top of the hot biscuits out of the oven, I dare you not to drool!

Recipe: Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups Bisquick biscuit mix
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

Method:

Preheat oven to 450 degree. Mix biscuit mix, milk, and cheddar cheese until soft dough forms; beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Mix melted butter, garlic powder, and dried parsley; brush generously over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm. Make 10-12 biscuits.

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TASTE: While these don’t taste exactly like Red Lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits, we both agreed that they were pretty darn tasty and a nice complement to our meal. 

EASE OF PREPARATION: As I mentioned above, these were super easy to put together, so simple in fact now that I know how easy they are, I can foresee these making their way onto our plates again.  I mean I am not lying when I say it was as simple as stirring together 3 things and baking, I mean going to the store and buying biscuits is more complicated.

COST: I already had the Bisquick on hand, so I really didn’t have to buy any other ingredients.  In addition to the Bisquick all the other ingredients were things we always have all the time, so the most I could see spending is a few dollars on a box of Bisquick, and considering one box would make quite a few batches that is quite cost effective.

COMPLEXITY: I mentioned it already, but these biscuits were so simple to make, I am not sure why I have never made any type of biscuit like this sooner.  And believe me, I am no baker, so if I can handle these, so can you!

PORTION SIZE:  I chose to only make half of the recipe since there are only two of us and we needed them for one meal, however the full recipe would have been accurate and I can easily see how your could double or triple what was called for easily in order to feed a crowd.

So while I am not sure these are “better” than my beloved cheddar bays, they certainly were tasty and a great alternative for when we are craving a nice buttery bread alternative with our meal!  I happily give these biscuits 4 little piggies.

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Monday, January 2, 2012 @ 02:01 PM

003Hard to believe it is 2012, one of my goals for this year is to really devote more time to this little ol’ blog and hopefully  introduce you few loyal fans out there to some fun new restaurants and recipes.  But to go out with a bang, I thought I would find a simple yet fun cookie recipe, since the Holidays aren’t be complete without cookies in my opinion.

In my research for something simple, I came across these “chocolate gooey butter cookies” from Paula Deen that sounded both delicious and easy enough for me to tackle.  I have to admit I am not what you would call a baker, I LOVE to cook, but baking is often something that is daunting to me.  But I did resolve to do it more after being gifted with a beautiful Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas.  This was my first run with it and I have to say, I’M IN LOVE, the thing makes things so easy!  And these happened to be a cookie I had seen before, but never really knew what they were, so I was excited to give them a try and see what they were all about.

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
2 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
12 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner’s sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and “gooey.” Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

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TASTE: While I enjoy cookies, I have to say I don’t typically give them a lot of credit because there are other desserts I like better, but I have to say these pleasantly surprised me.  They had the texture between a really good gooey brownie and a moist cake.  They had a really great chocolaty flavor from the cake mix and the perfect amount of sweetness from the powdered sugar.  And my two taste testers, dad and Adam both seemed to thoroughly enjoy them, so I knew we had a winner.

EASE OF PREPARATION: Not being a baker I was so happy when I realized just how easy these cookies were to make.  Using a boxed cake mix made things all the more simple, as in there were really no precise measurements to take into account, which is usually where I seem to mess up baking recipes.
COST: Another reason I chose this recipe was besides the cake mix and powdered sugar, I had every other ingredient already on hand.  The two ingredients we didn’t have my mom bought for me (thanks mom), but I am pretty sure the cake mix and sugar didn’t break the bank.

COMPLEXITY: Like I said above, these were not hard to make at all and by using my stand mixer to whip up the dough I really did not have to do much work.  I even was able to recruit my mom to roll out the balls of dough for me, so I was pretty spoiled by how little work I had to do to make these.  However, even if it had just been me, I am quite confident I could have easily made these cookies alone and had them come out just as well.

PORTION SIZE: The recipe says that it will yield 2 dozen and we actually got a few more than that since some of the cookies were a bit smaller, but I found it to be very accurate.  And when we got the right size dough ball down, it created a very average size cookie.  I am sure you could make larger cookies if you desired, but these seemed to be the perfect size to me.

In the end I really enjoyed how these turned out and with how easy they were to whip up I am quite confident that I will make a batch or two in the future to add to the other cookies and desserts we enjoy around the holiday.  I would also be interested to try them with a different type of cake mix to see if the flavor was as good.  I am happy to give these chocolate gooey butter cookies 3 little piggies.

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