Saturday, July 25, 2009

griddle cakes

So I dont have any pics for some reason. But those of you who enjoyed these at the restaurant can work up a visual from memory. Emily asked me for this the other day so I thought I would share it. Who doesnt need a pancake recepie. These are just my style, crisp outside...soft center...thin. Im not personally a fan of big fluffy chewy pancakes; but everyone has their preference. Make these if they are for you!

Oh, and the way we served them was with warm lingonberries (can be found at ikea instead of wasting money at a specialty market like aj's) and citrus butter which we made by mixing up soft butter, orange zest and bit of orange juice, and powdered sugar.....all of which was eyeballed so i dont have a specific recepie on that one.

Serves 6

1 c. whole milk
Pinch of salt
3 T cream of wheat

1 ½ c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
Pinch salt
1 c. buttermilk
½ c. whole milk
2 eggs
3 Tbl. butter melted

Cook cream of wheat. Bring milk and salt just to a boil. Whisk in cream of wheat and simmer, stirring 1-2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl combine liquid ingredients (except butter)
Stir cream of wheat into liquids and whisk all into dry ingredients.
Stream in melted butter, stir to combine.
Cook ¼ c. of batter on warm griddle brushed with clarified butter
Top with warm lingonberries and citrus butter, or just go old fashioned and use maple syrup and butter. Whatever makes you smile.

Friday, July 24, 2009

frozen key lime pie

christine made this for dessert one night in california and it was so tasty that i had to make it again back home so pete could try it (he missed most of the good food at the beach). i just made the pie and then topped it with whipped cream instead of "decorating" it like the directions suggest. less time and i like creamy whipped cream better than frozen whipped cream anyway. it is another recipe from my good friend ina garten. i was also very lucky to have three excellent helpers...

a juicer and a mixer...

and even my own dishwasher...

and lots of hungry little mouths to eat it... even though finn announced he only likes "the white stuff and the brown stuff" (whipped cream and crust). what to do with a kid that doesn't like any form of fruitiness...


For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

For the decoration:

  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Thin lime wedges


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze.

For the decoration, beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

quick, easy and delicious

our little fiona was baptized this past sunday, and after a week full of house-guests, we were trying to come up with delicious, yet budget- friendly meal to enjoy with our visitors and friends who celebrated the occasion with us. i must say, these were quite a success...even substituting bottom round for the strip steaks. it's all about the sauce and poblanos. unless you ask jon, who says he'd definitely like to try again with a meat upgrade...


  • 1/2 cup(s) packed fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon(s) red-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 clove(s) (small) garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt, divided
  • 8 new or baby red potatoes
  • 1 1/4 pound(s) strip steak, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 poblano peppers or 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1-inch chunks


Combine cilantro, vinegar, sour cream, garlic, chile powder, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Preheat grill to high. Place potatoes in a microwave-safe container. Cover and microwave on High until just tender when pierced with a fork, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Toss the potatoes, steak, and pepper pieces with oil and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Thread the potatoes, steak, peppers, and onion chunks onto 8 skewers. Grill, turning once or twice, until the steak reaches desired doneness, about 6 minutes for medium. Serve the kebabs with the reserved sauce.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

mmmm, buttermilk scones

these are hands down the best scones i have ever had. once again, i think it is the buttermilk. i have made them with blueberries or strawberries in them, with white chocolate chips (pete's favorite) and plain served with fresh berries and whipped cream (jack's favorite) and you just can't go wrong. christine made them with orange zest and blueberries while we were at the beach and they were gone before you could sneak back for seconds. the recipe is from the cookbook 'once upon a tart' which i highly recommend on a whole, but this recipe is my favorite. they are easiest if you have a large cuisinart, but i don't and they work just fine in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. if you don't have either they say you can cut in the butter with kitchen shears or two knives. your eyes may bug out a bit over the amount of butter, but, come on, its not like you're making them everyday... so, here is the recipe... now go buy some buttermilk and make them tomorrow. your family will be forever grateful.

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 large eggs
1 cup cold buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried currants (or any other item you decide to add, i've actually never used currants personally...)

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. dump dry ingredients into bowl of food processor with metal blade and pulse a few times to mix.
3. add the butter to the bowl all at once and run the food processor for 15 seconds. switch to pulse and continue pulsing until there are no chunks of butter left and the mixture looks like moist crumbs. careful not to overmix the ingredients (they go on and on at great length to explain the importance of the butter not melting so that it melts in the oven while baking and that this is key to perfect scones... they also have a couple paragraphs about never opening your oven door... lots of rules to live by in this particular cookbook...).
4. in another small bowl whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. whisk in the buttermilk and the vanilla. use the whisk to stir in the currants (or fruit or chocolate chips or nothing...).
5. in a large bowl mix together the dry and wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. it will be dry at first and you will think there is too much flour, but keep mixing and it will come together. stop as soon as no flour is visible. "you don't want to work the dough a moment longer than necessary." (these are the kinds of warnings this book is full of... they are very serious about scone-making).
6. use a measuring cup or your hand (i always opt for hand) to scoop the batter out in the desired size and plop it onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
7. place baking sheet on center rack in oven and bake until golden brown or a toothpick pulls out clean. (they make theirs using a 1/2 cup and bake them for 25-30 minutes, i find this is a little big and make mine smaller and bake for about 10-12 minutes, the first time you will just have to keep an eye on them... even though they don't want you opening your oven in the middle of baking...).
8. let cool, then serve and enjoy.

good summer dinner

bratwurst and potato salad. there is just something summery (and easy) about this dinner. my personal opinion is that the key to potato salad is to make it as much like a baked potato as possible, thus i added bacon, cheese, sour cream and chives. mmm, mmm, good. and outdoor dining is always a plus...

beach dinners

every year for the fourth of july the entire burch family goes to the beach for a week (minus a few dads that have to work and only get to come for part of the time). we create a schedule so that each family is responsible for dinner one of the nights. it works out great and we eat amazingly well the entire time we are there. i happen to be blessed to have a mother-in-law and three sisters-in-law who are all fabulous chefs. this year, for the first time, we also did a potluck beach brunch (i should have pete write a burch beach brunch poem in the style of dr. seuss...). it was delicious and i hope a tradition that continues.
for our night pete and i made bbq pulled pork sandwiches using this fabulous recipe, watermelon and brussel sprouts salad. as a couple of my sisters-in-law asked how we made the brussel sprouts salad, i thought i would share it. unfortunately i took absolutely no food related pictures this entire trip, so the recipe alone will have to do. also, allie was the person who turned me on to this salad, so i shall give her the full credit for its tastiness...

brussel sprouts salad
brussel sprouts
red onion
havarti cheese
olive oil
rice vinegar
salt & pepper
cook the brussel sprouts, tossed in some olive oil (i have even made them after the bacon and poured off most of the grease, but cooked them in a little of the leftover bacon grease...) on the stove until soft enough to pierce with a fork. let cool. add crumbled/chopped bacon, red onion, cubed havarti cheese and craisins. toss with rice vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. we usually refrigerate it and serve cold, but either way would do.

so, i am now calling on all the burch ladies to share the fabulous recipes they shared with our family with all of you.