Deanna will be on KING 5 – New Day Northwest on Monday, February 9th (11am in Seattle area). You won’t want to miss her segment with inspiring, adorable, delicious Valentine’s Day treats.
This sexy little vixen was featured on New Day Northwest recently. You must try. Like, today.
3 ripe but firm white nectarines
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 fresh mint sprigs (optional)
Place a grill pan or prepare the outdoor grill over medium – high heat. Cut the nectarines in half and remove pits. Lightly brush inside of nectarines with olive oil so they don’t stick to the grill.
Place nectarines with the cut side facing downward onto grill. To get great grill marks, do not move the nectarines while they cook.
Grill until marks are well formed and they are slightly softened and heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
Combine filling ingredients and mix until smooth. Divide the filling equally, topping the cut side of each grilled nectarine. To take things over the top, use a large decorating bag and large decorating tip to create an amazing swirl on the top. Garnish with fresh mint.
Sweet baby Jesus, it’s take-my-breath-away gorgeous every time.
What is extremely popular and a perfect breakfast for Mother’s Day or any day? This.
This Coconut French Toast with Orange Cream Cheese Syrup is the talk of the town this month. There is nothing quite like her. She is nutty. She is comforting. She is refreshing. She is creamy.
COCONUT FRENCH TOAST INGREDIENTS:
- 1 long loaf French bread cut into about 1 inch slices
- 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups coconut
- 2 tablespoons butter (to coat baking pan)
Prepare French toast the night before. If desired, use a knife to cut a small slit into the sides of each slice of bread and place about 10-20 chocolate chips inside the middle for a chocolate-y surprise. Whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla until very well combined & golden in color. Dip sliced bread into egg mixture and coat each slice well. Pour any remaining egg mixture over bread. Cover with saran wrap and allow to rest in fridge overnight (or at least for a couple of hours) to soak in eggy goodness.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9X13 baking pan with butter. When ready, remove French toast from fridge. Place coconut onto a plate and press each slice of bread into the coconut until both sides & edges are coated. Place each one into baking pan. Place a little extra coconut on the top side of each slice of bread. Bake for about 1/2 hour or until egg coating is fully cooked and coconut is light golden brown. (Turn French toast try around, if needed, half way through baking time for even browning.
ORANGE CREAM CHEESE SYRUP INGREDIENTS:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- Juice & zest of 4 fresh oranges
- 4 cups powdered sugar
Cut cream cheese and butter into small pieces. Warm syrup ingredients, except powdered sugar, over low heat in a large saucepan until fully melted. Whisk in powdered sugar until becomes a lovely syrup. If needed, pour syrup into blender and blend for smoother texture.
Drizzle syrup over each piece of French toast or serve on the side in a lovely pitcher.
Make this for mom and she will love you forever. She will also ask you for the recipe. And then you will be her favorite. You’re welcome.
I’ve never been one to get into food “holidays”. I mean, who celebrates Bread Machine Month? Please rise. National Pretzel Day? That’s just twisted. National Melba Toast Day? Anyone? Anyone? National Caffeine Awareness Month? Zzzzz. National Kahlua Day? Well, okay. Maybe that one is worth celebrating.
But what kind of innkeeper would I be if I didn’t celebrate national Blueberry Pancake Day? It’s a peer-pressure thing. Really, I just couldn’t wait to take this photo.
Let the celebration commence.
BLUEBERRY SAUCE RECIPE:
- 18 ounces blueberries
- 1 cup sugar
- Juice from 1/2 a fresh lemon
- 1 cup cold water
- 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch
Place all ingredients in a medium-large saucepan. Stir together until cornstarch has dissolved. Heat on medium-high until sauce boils. Cook until it becomes thick then remove from heat. If needed, warm up again when pancakes are ready.
- 1 cup milk or buttermilk (+2 tablespoons regular milk for thinner pancakes)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, flour-coated
Whisk pancake ingredients minus the blueberries together until well combined and smooth. Sprinkle blueberries with flour until coated & discard excess flour. Gently stir blueberries into pancake batter.
Place your very best non-stick pan on a burner and preheat to low. It will be tempting to pour the batter upon the pan before it is hot, but do not give in to the temptation. When the time is right, pour 1/3 cup of better into the pan to make about a four-inch pancake.
Wait until the bubbles that form all around the edges of the pancake begin to burst, then flip.
When pancakes are all cooked, smother in lovely blueberry sauce… or with butter and maple syrup… or, you know, just send a friend a card and eat some Melba Toast.
Looking for some helpful pancaking hints? Check out the wildly popular post How to make a Perfect Pancake. You got this.
Because I’m really into Valentine’s Day. Because the Seahawks lost and I’ve moved on. Because I’m a fair-weather fan. And because I hadn’t posted a plain vanilla cupcake recipe yet, here they are. Da da da da! Cupcakes more gorgeous than cotton candy and frosting more delightful than almost anything else on the planet earth.
Preheat oven to 350F.
VANILLA CUPCAKES RECIPE:
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup (or one stick) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place dry ingredients into mixer. Add butter and then milk, eggs and vanilla. Scoop batter using an ice cream scoop into cupcake liners placed in a muffin baking pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a fork poked in comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely. Makes about 18 cupcakes.
PINK CREAM CHEESE FROSTING RECIPE:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 tablespoons butter, (1 stick), room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 dash of salt
- Smidge of pink food coloring
Whip cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla together until forms into a creamy, dreamy frosting. Starting small, add enough pink food coloring to reach desired shade of pink frosting. Using decorating bag and desired decorating tip, frost cupcakes.
The only thing better than these cupcakes might be winning prizes. So, I say we give away a prize as well. Congratulations to Winston who made me laugh right out loud to his comment from the last post. Winston won a fancy linzer cookie cutter and my respect for the best comment this year. Congrats, my friend and thank you to everyone who played along! I’ll be giving another Trophy Cupcakes gift card away soon so be on the watch for the next opportunity to win.
Winston’s response about one thing he has lost or just saying “hi”:
Go forth, my friends. Make cupcakes and be happy.
Perhaps this should be called Indulgent Chicken Marsala Recipe. But I can’t help it. I love a breaded piece of chicken. And I love a gravy sauce. One would probably never guess I was born as far away as one can get from the south while still in America. Well, there was that one thing – the fact that I spelled y’all as ya’ll for forty years might have been a clue.
- 6-8 whole chicken breasts
- 1 1/4 cup flour (divided)
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup mushrooms, diced or sliced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dry Marsala wine (can use sweet Marsala wine if preferred)
- 3 tablespoons Better than Bouillon Chicken Base
- Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Leaves from 6 fresh oregano stalks, chopped
First, pound chicken breasts until about even all the way across.
For breaded chicken, just use 1 cup or so to coat each piece in flour. This is entirely optional, you know, for those who do not have a southern girl on the inside.
Heat pan with oil to medium-high heat. When hot, fry chicken until 165 degrees inside the middle.
Set chicken aside.
Fry mushrooms in same pan. Set aside as well on a separate plate after cooked.
Make sure pan has about 4 tablespoons of oil in it. If not, just add some and wait until hot again. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour into pan and whisk immediately. Cook a few minutes or until somewhat brown. Pour in chicken broth and continue to whisk. Sauce will thicken.
Again, thickening the gravy is optional. You can also just let it cook down for a while until it reduces to a lovely sauce.
Pour in Marsala wine.
Continue to whisk. The whisking exercise makes the breading and the gravy okay.
Gravy will turn a beautiful brown color. Add chicken base, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until chicken base melts into gravy. Stir in lemon juice, butter and then mushrooms.
And fresh oregano.
Pour gravy over chicken and serve.
Though she is stunning served on her own, she also pairs will with pasta or a fresh green salad. She is chicken Marsala. She is indulgent. I’d imagine she originated in the southern part of Italy.
Because I will be making milkshakes soon. Because it is spring and because I am a Northwest girl through and through, I introduce you to a Pike Place inspired salad.
This week I had a first. This might be a good place to admit it only took me four plus decades to visit Alki Point in Seattle. < hangs head in shame >. Yes, I really did grow up here. And I’ve been to Seattle close a million times but I purposefully wandered my way to Alki while doing an errand in Seattle this week. Nothing was going to stop me. It’s so beautiful that it will not take me four decades to visit again.
See the Space Needle in all her glory? She is 50 this year so the city painted her orange just like when she was first built for the World’s Fair in 1962. I love Seattle and could talk about Washington and it’s beauty for hours but I will now introduce you to our beautiful food.
The Northwest Autumn Salad… with Salmon Pear & Blackberry. She is fresh. She is lovely and she is perfectly delicious for a dinner party or brunch.
While walking through Pike Place recently, I was handed some smoked salmon. I took two steps further and was handed a piece of perfectly ripened pear by another merchant. I knew right away that there was something amazing happening. As I enjoyed them both, my taste buds were dancing.
- A couple of big handfuls of spring lettuce mix
- 3/4 cup fresh blackberries
- 2 ounces smoked salmon (Think: Wild, Northwest and Copper River whenever possible) Never settle for “farm fed” salmon.
- 1/2 ripe pear, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
You could toss the salad together, but I prefer to create beautiful layers. Starting with the lettuce, sprinkle the other ingredients on top and enjoy the Northwest on a plate.
SALAD DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
- Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Salt & pepper to taste
Simply shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid & drizzle on your gorgeous salad. This recipe makes about a cup of dressing so you will have leftovers for another day. Just save in the fridge.
Since my birthday is close to Valentine’s Day, I always start celebrating the month of February quite early. Come to think of it, I don’t think there is any holiday I don’t start celebrating early. I suppose there is more chocolate involved with the February partying. And by partying, I mean blogging.
This might be a good time to let you now that this blog is not about being gluten-free. Or vegan. Or dairy-free. Or nut allergy friendly.
With that said, we shall gather our gluteny, non-vegan, dairy-filled, nutty supplies.
For the crepes:
- 1 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Place crepe ingredients into blender (wet ingredients first). Give a blend until there are no lumps. Batter will look like a thick chocolate milk.
Turn burner for crepe pan (a non-stick pan will work as well) to just above low heat. Get 1/3 measuring cup ready. Place about 1/4 teaspoon of butter in pan. Melt & spread butter around.
My pan takes 1/3 cup of batter but test to see what works for yours. Crepes should be very thin. Allow to cook until top is done, then flip upside-down on to parchment paper.
Continue buttering pan in between each crepe and layering crepes on to parchment paper so they don’t stick together. If you like, you can keep them warm in a 170 degree oven while keeping a layer of foil over the top layer to prevent the crepes from drying. This recipe will make about 7 eight inch round crepes.
For the chocolate covered raspberries and red wine chocolate sauce:
- 1 small container of fresh raspberries
- 1 pound bag of the best semi-sweet chocolate you can find
- 4 ounce bar of the best semi-sweet chocolate you can find
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cup red wine
Place chocolate chips into a double boiler a medium low heat to melt chocolate. If you have a candy thermometer, you can make sure the temperature of the chocolate doesn’t go above 110 degrees. Stir occasionally and remove from heat when melted.
Break chocolate bar into small pieces.
Try not to snitch any.
Stir it into the warm chocolate until it too is melted.
Dip raspberries into chocolate and place on parchment paper in a cool place to harden.
To make red wine chocolate sauce, bring 1 1/2 cups red wine to a boil then allow to simmer. Reduce until about 1 cup of wine is left in pan.
Stir corn syrup and reduced red wine into chocolate. Stir until smooth and shiny.
For the almond whipped cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
To make whipped cream, whip heavy cream in a very clean mixing bowl until it has soft peaks. Add powdered sugar and almond and mix again until it has stiff peaks.
Place whipped cream in middle of crepe as pictured above. Roll crepe gently until completely rolled. Place on plate.
Add another and another if you like. Using a decorating bag with a round decorating tip, drizzle red wine chocolate sauce over crepes. Sprinkle with chocolate covered raspberries and sliced almonds.
Let’s celebrate all things gluteny, non-vegan, dairy-filled, and nutty. Happy February. Early.
Leftovers (not that there will be any): Crepes can be saved by just keeping on parchment papers and covering in plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator. Chocolate sauce can be stored & reheated on double boiler. Warm for next serving. Whipped cream will save in refrigerator for up to a day or two and can be re-whipped to make light & fluffy again.