Happy Pi Day! 3-14

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Happy Pi Day Everyone!!! 3-14-16

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In honor of Pi Day here is a link to my Banana Cream Pie!!! ¬†I hope you check it out and what Pie will you be eating today!! LOL!! ūüôā

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2012/06/17/banana-cream-pie-for-fathers-day/

Apple Banana pie 012

Zucchini and Nectarine Crisp

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So this weekend was my Mom’s Birthday and I was trying to come up with a dessert that was different. I had a few Nectarines and I thought…cobbler…crisp???? but not enough to a full recipe and I’ve done that before….but not with zucchini ūüôā

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So this is what I came up with and I thought it was yummy!!! ūüėõ

Ingredients
a co-worker gave me some nice spices from Penzeys, so I used them, otherwise I would
have used whole nutmeg and grated it myself 

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peel, slice zucchini

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put into large skillet

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add lemon juice, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar, stir and cook

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meantime, peel and slice nectarines, and set aside

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once zucchini has cooked and softened, remove from heat

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fold in nectarines

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pour into a 9×9 (8×8 will work too)

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make the crisp topping

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add cold butter cubes, mix with fingers, or use pastry cutter

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you want it to be crumbly, about pea size pieces

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sprinkle on top of zucchini mixture

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bake

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Recipe – Zucchini & Nectarine Crisp

Filling 

3 medium zucchini, peeled, halved lengthwise, then sliced
3 good size nectarines, peeled, sliced, set aside
3 tbsp. butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup lemon juice

Add zucchini slices to large skillet, add butter, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, cook over medium high heat, once butter is melted and mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until zucchini is softened. ¬†Remove from heat and fold in nectarines, spray a 9×9 or 8×8 baking dish and pour mixture in baking dish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Topping

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cold butter, cut in cubes
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Add all dry ingredients to a medium bowl, then add butter, with your fingers squeeze butter cubes with dry ingredients, to make a crumbly mixture.   Sprinkle mixture all over zucchini mixture and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly around the edges.

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Serve with sweet whipped cream or vanilla ice cream….Enjoy!!!

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Strawberry Bruschetta

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A friend of mine was coming over because we were going to go see Theresa Caputo – The Long Island Medium. ¬†She was in town doing a show, and if you know who she is or watch her show then you know who I’m talking about, no we did not get read.
But the show was much more then that, it was great experience and I’m happy for the people who came and might have gotten a glimmer of hope and peace.

And since we were not going to be having dinner, I thought maybe a little appetizer and a glass a wine before hand would be nice.

I had been thinking of this recipe and how I wanted to make it a little different then other recipes…well it came to me…maple syrup ūüôā

(you can see from the pictures I cut the recipe in half, the recipe below is the full recipe)

Ingredients

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Dice the strawberries

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add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup

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add a pinch of salt and stir, let set for 1 hour

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add maple syrup to ricotta and a pinch of salt, stir

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Slice your baguette, brush with olive oil, bake to brown

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till light brown

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stack your basil leaves on top of one another, and roll like a cigar

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Chiffonade

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Ready to assemble 

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spread ricotta, then top with strawberries

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then basil….One done ūüôā

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The rest done ūüôā

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Recipe – makes 18 – 20 pieces

14 strawberries, diced (1 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
 couple pinches of salt (I used Kosher)
1 cup ricotta cheese 
18 – 20 slices of a baguette
olive oil
Fresh Basil, chopped

In a small bowl add diced strawberries, vinegar, 2 tbsp. maple syrup and a pinch of salt, stir to fully coat all the strawberries, set aside for for 1 hour, stirring about every 20 minutes. You can leave longer, the strawberries will start to release their juices, this is a good thing since we will be using all the left over juice.

In another small bowl add ricotta and remaining maple syrup, along with a pinch of salt, stir to fully combine, keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Take slices of baguette and brush with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until lightly brown.   Let cool.

Putting them together, divide ricotta among the slices of bread and spread over top, top ricotta with strawberries, but try not to get too much of the juice, you can drain, but reserve the juice for a tip later in this post.

Take you basil leaves and stack them on top of one another and roll like a cigar, take your knife and slice roll (like in photo above), this is called Chiffonade.

Top the strawberries with a few¬†pieces¬†of the basil and serve with the beverage of your choice…ours was some Sweet Strawberry Wine ūüėõ

These were so delicious, what great appetizer for a party or a great dessert after a summer meal. ¬†It’s light and it really it the spot ūüôā

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Okay now I told you to keep the juice from the strawberries…which is now Strawberry Maple Balsamic Vinegar
Which you can put on a salad like I did, or you can whisk in a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil as well and toss with your lettuce or mixed greens.
This would be great on a salad with sliced strawberries and candied pecans too!!

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Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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I really do love making cookies, they are probably the thing I like to make the most, just because you can add sooooo many different things and flavors. ¬†Most of the time I will take the base dough that I make divide it half, three’s or in four’s, it really depends on the different combinations I want to try and see if they are any good. ¬†Sometimes they work, sometimes your like yeah…NO ūüėõ

But that is what’s fun about getting in the kitchen and creating a recipe. ¬†When coming up with a recipe for you all here on my blog, I usually try to start with an ingredient that I like (ex. chicken, seafood, etc.), then a direction I want to go in, check my pantry, walk the aisle’s at the store, coming home and laying it all out on the counter and just start. ¬†

Taste as I go, sometimes it’s not right and then I go back to the pantry and see what I have to make it better. ¬†Everyone has different tastes, what I like, you may not like, so if you don’t like something in a recipe then change it, don’t be afraid to make your own.

So here we go with my newest cookie recipe; as I was thinking of what kind of cookie to make, I checked my pantry and left over from my Homemade Granola Recipe https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/03/25/homemade-granola/¬†was coconut and pecans. ¬†So okay there is a start, then I saw ¬†the oatmeal so okay an oatmeal cookie…but what else could I add… as I turned my head and started to think…there is was right on my table…Mandarin Oranges…yes!! ūüôā

Ingredients

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First I got my coconut on a baking sheet to toast

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Whisk together flour, salt & baking soda set aside
                                                                          In a small cup add eggs & vanilla

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In mixer bowl add sugars & butter           Beat together

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Then add eggs with vanilla                         Then on low at flour mixture

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At this point I want to try two different cookies, so I halved the dough

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First Cookie – Orange Coconut Oatmeal
dough, coconut, orange zest, oatmeal              mix to combine

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Second Cookie – Orange Pecan Oatmeal
chop pecans, add pecans, zest, oatmeal, mix to combine

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Scoop on to baking sheet and bake

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done

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So as I had my family test these cookies, they liked both for sure, the one’s that didn’t like coconut liked the pecan ones better, but most said they’d like them both together. ¬†So there I mixed the coconut and the pecans together, but if you don’t like coconut or can’t have nuts, you can leave one or the other out.

Recipe – Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
zest of 4 mandarin oranges
2 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven 350 degrees
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda, set aside
In a small cup add eggs and vanilla, set aside
To toast coconut, add to baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees until light brown, keep an eye on this, in a second it will burn, stir every minute or so until light brown.   Chop pecans, set aside.

In your mixing bowl add butter and both sugars, beat on medium high for about 3 Р4 minutes.  Turn to mixer to medium add eggs with vanilla, beat until combined, on low add your flour mixture, once flour is kind of mixed, you can turn the mixer back to medium and beat until just combined.

Fold in or use your hands to mix in coconut, pecans, oats and orange zest.

Use a medium scoop, scoop dough on to lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart, bake for 12 – 15 minutes, golden brown.

I hope you will try them and enjoy!!!

And if you haven’t seen my Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies, check them out here

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/02/

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Rustic Fruit Tart

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This is my simply, easy and delicious go to dessert, well maybe my family’s cobbler is my first one I’d go to, but this is¬†definitely¬†a close second for sure.
I will make this all year around, with any kind fruit that appeals to me as I walk through the produce dept. or at my local farmers market.  I like using Apples, Pears and Plums mostly since I have at least one or combination of those always in the house.

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You can mix and match any combo you like, add in some blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, even nuts if you like. ¬†I’ve added those huge Red Holiday Grapes (seedless), just cut them in half added them to some apples…delish!!

Now you can make your own pie crust that is great you go to town, but for me this pre-made crust works out perfectly.

This time I had few pears and one lonely apple…but it was delicious and this how I do it.

Ingredients

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I roll the pie crust out on my baking sheet and set aside

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Peeled my fruit (I do not peel plums)

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Cut the fruit

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toss in together in a large mixing bowl

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add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon

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and toss to coat all the fruit

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Pile up high in the center of your crust

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pull up one edge of the crust then continue to go around overlapping crust

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looks like this

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make an egg wash, and brush all over crust

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I sometime will sprinkle a little sugar over the crust, then bake

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Done!!!!

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Recipe

Rustic Fruit Tart

1 pie crust
Fruit (i used) 4 pears and 1 small apple
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
3/4 tsp. granulated sugar (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

Roll out pie crust on to baking sheet, I used a siltpat on my baking sheet.
Peel, core or seed fruit, then slice, put slice fruit in a large mixing bowl, add flour, brown sugar and cinnamon and toss to coat all the fruit.  Pour fruit in the middle of your pie crust and pile it high.  

**I like to use a lot of fruit and pile it high, you can use as much or as little as you want, you like more crust then fruit use less fruit to have more crust coverage, to each his own.

Take one edge flip it up on to fruit then continue to go around the fruit overlapping the crust all the way around.
Egg wash – 1 egg & 1 tsp. water, whisk together and brush to coat crust. (you will not use much, so you can keep for breakfast in the morning)

If you want to add a little more crunch and sweetness to your crust, sprinkle 3/4 tsp of sugar over the crust.

Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees, then turn oven down to 400 degrees for 15 minutes more. ¬†It should be nice and golden brown, but everyone’s ovens do vary, so do keep an eye on it. ¬†If you feel your crust is browning to quickly you can tent with some foil until fruit is tender.

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Serve this warm or at room¬†temperature, most the time when I make it, very little makes it to room¬†temperature, and it does make a tasty breakfast…and goes great with Coffee!!!! ¬†Enjoy

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This is picture of the Plum tart that I did this past summer.

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Family Cobbler Recipe

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cobbcover

I love cobbler, but I love my families recipe the best, not that others out there are not good its just that I’m used this one.

You pretty much can use any fruit, I have used peaches, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries with white chocolate chips, apples, pears, cranberries, use your imagination the possibilities are unless.

These pictures are from when I made Apples & Cranberries.

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Peel apples and cube add cranberries
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Mix with sugar and cinnamon, set aside and start on batter
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add sugar & melted butter, then mix in dry ingredients and milk
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Pour batter into baking dish, top with fruit
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take the ice cold water add vanilla to it and pour all over fruit and batter
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Recipe:

3 – 4 cups fruit – (you can use frozen if you don’t have fresh)
1/2 cup + 3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup ice cold water

Use a 8×8, 9×8, 9×9, if you go bigger (9×13) I double the recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl add fruit and 3/4 cup sugar and toss to coat all the fruit

In a medium bowl add butter and 1/2 cup sugar, whisk together, then add half the flour, salt and baking powder, whisk, then add half the milk, whisk again then add the rest of the flour and milk and whisk to make batter.

Pour batter into a sprayed baking dish

Sprinkle fruit all over batter

Mix 1 cup cold water and 1 tsp. vanilla together and pour over batter

Bake for about 40 minutes sometime is takes longer, you want it to look golden brown, I have gone as long as 1 hour for a double recipe.

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Serve warm with vanilla Ice Cream….its yummmy!!!! ¬†Enjoy!!!