Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grilled Rainbow Trout

I need your help.  I have some really great websites and blogs that I go to for baking recipes but I need some more places to search for dinner ideas and recipes.  I have a few reliable sources that I love like Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country, but I'm looking for some new ones.

What are your go-to websites for great dinner ideas?  Where do you search for meatloaf recipes?  
Send me your ideas and I'll publish a list of everyone's favorite sites. 

I love to look through recipes on Pinterest and I "like" a lot of recipes but I rarely follow through and make any of them.  Anyone have any luck with recipes that they've found on Pinterest?  (By the way, you can follow me on Pinterest by clicking on the link on the right side of the blog.)

I bought some rainbow trout at Sprouts the other day because it was A.) looking great and B.) on sale.  When I got home with my fish, I had to figure out how I was going to prepare it.  After 30 minutes of searching the internet for inspiration, I landed on where I found this little treat.  (This is where a list of great sites would come in handy.)

I like really simple fish so a little seasoning and a little time on the big green egg made this a really delicious dinner. 

Grilled Rainbow Trout
½ tsp. granulated garlic
¼ tsp. celery seed
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 whole fresh rainbow trout (about 10 oz. each), butterflied

Combine seasoning in a small bowl.

Salt and pepper fish.

Sprinkle with seasoning.

Place on grill, skin side down.

Serve with lemon wedge, fresh green beans and whole grain bread.

Ok.  Now it's your turn.  Send me your comments with your favorite recipe web sites and food blogs.  I can't wait to hear your suggestions.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter "Cookie" Frosting

I love summer rain showers.  Maybe it's because we don't get a lot of rainy days in the summer in Atlanta or maybe it's because I don't have to worry about keeping my garden watered on rainy days - either way - I'm a fan.  I headed out recently with my camera and took some pictures of the rain - under the covering of the front porch of course.

We should have at least one rainy day a week because it forces me to stay inside and that usually translates to cleaning.  Rainy days = clean house!  Some days, the rains has a reverse effect though, it simply makes we want to curl up with a good book, a cup of coffee and some chocolate.  (Not a bad way to spend a rainy day either.)

The next time that you're having a rainy day - and you don't feel like cleaning your house - whip up a batch of chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter cookie frosting from   Brew yourself a pot of coffee and find a good reading spot.  (You may even find yourself wishing for more rainy days.) 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cookie Frosting 
26 cupcakes



To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the hot brewed coffee and cocoa powder until dissolved.

Set aside.  In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.


In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the coffee-cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated, being careful not to overmix.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds of the way full.

Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cool, make the ganache by placing the chopped chocolate in a small bowl.

Bring the cream to a simmer, pour over the chocolate, and let stand about 2 minutes.

Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms.  If needed, let cool briefly at room temperature to thicken slightly before using.

To make the peanut butter cookie frosting, combine the peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high for 1 minute.

Turn off the mixer, add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture and use clean, dry hands to form it into a patty. Use the tines of a fork to make the classic crisscross pattern on top of the “cookie”.  Repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture.

Spread 2 teaspoons of ganache on top of each cooled cupcake.

 Top each with a "cookie" patty.

 Bring on the rain - I've got my chocolate cupcakes ready!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grilled Pork Chops

Even though Ryan's been away at school for a couple of weeks now, it still seems strange to set the table for three instead of 4.  I don't know how long it will take for me to get used to this new family dynamic.  I'm constantly grabbing 4 glasses, setting out silverware for 4 - and I'm also still grocery shopping for four!  It's not that I forget that he's not going to be eating with us, I just haven't figured out how to downsize our meals.  (Or perhaps I'm in denial.)  I like to prepare more than one meal at a time but I still need to make some adjustments - or I need to invite some more people over for dinner.

I pulled this recipe from my Cook's Country magazine.  I love their recipes and this one certainly did not dissapoint.  It was a big meal but fortunately, Ryan was still at home when I made this so he could help us eat all of these yummy pork chops. 

Grilled Pork Chops
3 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
4 pork rib chops
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup grated onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

Dissolve 3 T. sugar and 3 T. salt in 1 1/2 quarts water.  Add chops, cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Heat oil in saucepan.  Add onion and cook until softened.

Stir in garlic, chili powder and cayenne.

Whisk in ketchup, molasses, Worcestershire and mustard.  Bring to simmer.  Reduce heat to low and cook 5-10 minutes.

Combine 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Remove chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper seasoning.

Place on grill for 4-5 minutes.

Turn and brush with sauce.

Cook until chops reach 165 degrees.

Serve chops with fresh green beans and a slice of whole grain bread.