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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Almond-Orange-Apricot Crescent Rolls

I usually take Rachel Ray's recipe with a grain of salt, so to speak, because her taste is not the same as mine. However, I've tried two of her recipes recently that have been really good and will go in my collection. I usually can't stand refrigerator rolled breads (i.e., biscuits, crescents, etc), but these were awesome. I probably let mine sit out on the counter too long before cooking, but they were really delicious. They're easy and don't require lots of ingredients, so give 'em a try. They're great for brunch; I served it with a Mushroom, Onion, and Cheese Fritatta.

Almond-Orange-Apricot Crescent Rolls

1 package store bought crescent roll dough (recommended: Pilsbury brand)
1/4 cup apricot preserves or all fruit spread (I used Apricot-Peach Jam)
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 egg
Splash of water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds, 2-ounce sack from baking aisle

Preheat oven to package directions and roll out dough on a nonstick cookie sheet. Cut and separate dough into perforated triangles. Combine the apricot jam or fruit spread and the orange marmalade in a small bowl. Place bowl in microwave and cook on HIGH 15 seconds to loosen the preserves. Beat egg with water to thin it out a little for an egg wash. Use the back of a teaspoon to spread a thin layer of apricot-orange jam across each piece of dough. Roll crescents up, brush with a little egg wash and coat with sesame seeds and almonds. Bake to package directions until deep golden in color. Serve warm.

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Banana Maple Tart Tatin

The first is actually a dessert, since that's generally what I'm drawn to in terms of recipe searches, but it's so simple, fast, and tasty I had to include it. And, it's almost sugarless (except the sugar in the puff pastry and the natural sugar in the maple syrup). If you don't have a vanilla bean, you could probably add 1/2 to 1 tsp real vanilla (no imitation stuff here) instead. Enjoy!

Banana Maple Tart Tatin

1 sheet (about 7 ounces) frozen puff pastry
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 vanilla bean, split
2 to 3 bananas, thickly sliced (1/2 to 3/4 inch)

On a floured surface, roll the pastry out a bit to even out the any folds and make it a touch thinner. Cut a 10-inch circle of dough from it, prick it, and keep it chilled.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Place a heavy 9 or 10-inch metal cake pan (I used a cast iron skillet) on the stove on a large burner and turn the heat onto medium. Add the butter and warm to melt it. Meanwhile, scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean. Add the maple syrup and vanilla bean & seeds and bring to a boil stirring a bit. Remove the vanilla bean. Take the pan off the heat and place the banana slices in the pan decoratively in concentric circles to cover the whole bottom of the pan. Place the pastry over the bananas to cover them, tucking the pastry down along the inside of the pan. Later, during baking, the pastry will shrink to fit the pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool in the pan 30 minutes then warm the bottom of the pan on the stove for a minute and turn the tart out onto a serving platter.

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand

Recipe Rut

I've been in a rut in terms of cooking recently, so I finally decided to go through my plethora of cookbooks for meal ideas. That, in combination with some recipes I've seen on FoodNetwork in the last few weeks, have inspired me to try some new things. I'm so glad I did (as is my husband!)! So, I actually have some recipes to post that I've added to my repertoire. Yay!

Also coming...recipe photos and an updated searchable menu for this blog! (I know...it's about time...) :)