Monday, July 26, 2010

Peanut Butter Sauce

When I first made the Peanut Butter Cake, I topped it with a chocolate ganache. Kristin decided that, as much as she loved the cake, it needed to have a peanut butter glaze instead of the chocolate. I wondered if that might be too much peanut butter, but then realized that I had obviously taken leave of my senses because there's no such thing as too much peanut butter. Am I right, Kristin?
So I decided to see if I could find a really good peanut butter sauce recipe. It needed to be sweet enough to pour over a dessert, such as vanilla ice cream, but it also needed to be rich enough to act as a ganache over the Peanut Butter Cake.
Well, ladies and gents, this is the one. I tried it out when the WDHS gang came over for dinner. I had made a Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake and decided that this sauce would be the perfect topping, along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Needless to say, it was a huge hit! As usual, Katie was an immediate fan, because basically she can never get enough peanut butter, and Brooke loved it so much, she made it for her whole family. She even took the picture! Thanx Brooke!
Give it a try. I know you'll love it!

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (you can use half and half)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
pinch kosher salt

Combine all ingredients except peanut butter in a saucepan stirring constantly until all ingredients are dissolved. Let the mixture cool completely then add the peanut butter and stir well. It will look like a hot mess, but keep stirring and it will turn out smooth.
That's all there is to it! Easy, right? Serious Yum.

One of the key ingredients is the pinch of salt. It might not seem like a big deal, but it's that little bit of saltiness that makes it. Make sure you include it!
Serve this on anything chocolate or banana, or as a sundae topping with Reese's Pieces.
I know the recipe only calls for a cup of peanut butter, but I always just add the rest of the 12 oz jar. More is more!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Roz and Joe's Fruit Salad

 Roz and Joe are more than just dear close friends, they're part of my family. Of course this means they're included at every Quaile Family function. Roz and my Jeanie are total besties, and Joe actually gave me my first real job about a million years ago when I was just out of high school. They're always the first ones to help whenever anyone needs a hand, and they even host our huge Christmas Pollyanna party at their home. (And if you know the size of my family, you know how big of a deal that is!) They're just some of the nicest people you'll ever meet, that's all.
 Roz is a fabulous cook, so I'm always talking recipes with her. This fruit salad recipe is one of the signature dishes she brings to our Easter Brunch as well as other summer parties. Recently, though, I discovered that JOE is the one who has been making the fruit salad all this time, not Roz. Joe, have you been holding out on us???
 Well, regardless of who makes it, I love it, and I'm glad they allowed me to share it with you. It's very simple to make and it's SO refreshing. I know you'll love it too!
 Thanx guys!!

10 seedless navel oranges
5 pink grapefruit
2- 20 oz. cans of crushed pineapples
1 - 10 oz. jar of whole cherries
6 bananas ( on the firm side)

It is important to remove as much membrane as possible from both the orange & grapefruit. Break both orange & grapefruit by hand , over large bowl to collect all juices.
Mix crushed pineapple, and cherries and their natural syrup in bowl with orange & grapefruit.
Depending on sweetness of fruit, 10X sugar may be added to increase sweetness.
Add sliced bananas just before serving, to prevent bananas from becoming over ripe.
Serves 8-10.

Tip from Joey:
My favorite way to enjoy any fruit salad is when it's well chilled. Be sure to keep it nice and cold right up until you serve it!  PERFECT on a hot summer day!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

As much as I love a yummy home made salsa, I also appreciate the value of a few precious extra minutes when your guests are about to arrive. I'm not sure where my sister, Cathy, got this idea, but she's the one who gave it to me, so she's the one who gets the credit for it. Thanx Sister!
This recipe takes a page out Sandra Lee's Semi Homemade way of cooking, and it's something that Paula Deen would describe as being "stupid simple".
I won't even post it as a "recipe" because there's really nothing to it. Just take your favorite brand of salsa and add a can of corn and a can of black beans. That's all there is to it! Simple, right? Just drain each can and dump it in! Talk about your easy upgrades! You could even skip the canned corn and use leftover fresh corn. Just cut it off the cob and you're all set!
And for a simple variation, Cathy suggests adding diced peaches instead of the corn. She told me "any kind of fruit goes great with black beans in a salsa." Sounds good to me! I think I might try adding some diced mangoes next time. So the next time you'd like something more than just your ordinary salsa from a jar, give it an upgrade! Can you think of any other variations? Be creative! And if you discover any new a fabulous ideas, be sure to let me know!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

How to Prepare Corn on the Cob

Here's a quick little video that offers a few hints about corn on the cob. Whether you decide to roast it or saute it, I hope these tips come in handy. There's really nothing like fresh corn for your summer barbecue! Here's how I make Simply Sauteed Corn. Love it!
Oh, and btw, if you'd rather not roast or saute, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the tried and true method of boiling it. Here's the recipe that my family always uses: Corn on the Cob
SO good!!

Simply Sauteed Corn OFF the Cob

If you know anything about New Jersey, you know it's The Garden State. And one of the BEST things about living in The Garden State is being able to enjoy the fresh sweet corn on the cob that grows locally every summer. It just wouldn't be the 4th of July without it!
 Ok, so, as much as I love to eat Corn on the Cob, I'm thinking maybe there are some people who find it difficult to eat it this way. So why not just saute it? Simple, right? There's really no comparison between fresh corn and canned or frozen, so lets seize the opportunity to have fresh corn while it's still in season!
Oh, and here's a little twist for you....for a little variation, try adding the garlic. I know many people don't usually add garlic to fresh corn, but seriously, give it a try!

fresh corn on the cob
freshly cracked black pepper
kosher salt
pinch sugar
sliced fresh garlic, (optional)

 Using a large sharp knife, slice the corn off the cob. In a large skillet, melt butter. Add the corn and seasonings. Saute until the corn is tender. That's all there is to it!

  Garlic variation:
After you melt the butter over low heat, add the sliced garlic. Let it cook SLOWLY until it softens and becomes nice and mild, being careful not to burn it. Then go ahead and add the corn and saute until it's tender. The sweetness of the corn still comes through, but the garlic just adds another delicious layer!

There are purposely no amounts listed. It's all really just a matter of preference, and it clearly depends on how many ears of corn you're cooking. Some people like a lot of butter, others like a lot of black pepper. Season it to your own taste! If you like a lot, add a lot!
For more tips about cooking with corn on the cob, be sure to watch my video How to Prepare Corn on the Cob. Great then!