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When Mohawk Valley Trading Co. offered to send a sample of their maple syrup in return for a review I quickly accepted. We go through a lot of maple syrup in our house. Most goes to drizzling over waffles and pancakes, but a lot goes to baked goods and making vegetables taste even better. What I wasn’t expecting was that their maple syrup tastes so much better than anything I’ve tasted before. I’ve participated in Sugar House tours and we go to our Maine Maple Syrup Sunday events here, but this maple syrup was different. It was sweet and robust and I found myself sticking my finger in the measuring cup to get those last few drips that didn’t make it into the mixing bowl. I think we’ll be making extra pancakes the next few weeks just so we can eat more maple syrup!

I asked my husband what he would like to see me make with the maple syrup, pulling out a bunch of different vegetable ideas, and he suggested doughnuts. Mmmm doughnuts. The vegetable recipes were quickly shoved back into the drawer! I wanted to find something that was similar to what he remembers growing up and this recipe was the closet thing to it. The original recipe calls for filling the doughnuts and while we did that as well, my husband preferred the frosted doughnuts since that was what his memories were. You can’t fool those taste bud memories!

These doughnuts were the perfect thing to highlight Mohawk Valley Trading Co.’s maple syrup. The doughnut is light and fluffy and once bitten into it, you’ll notice a hollow inside that is just right for filling. The frosting is rich, while not heavy with flavor. It has a light, sweetness to it that really showcases the maple syrup. While making doughnuts is a bit of a labor of love, homemade are so worth it! To make sure you get them prepared in time for the morning, go through the first two proofs and then let sit overnight.

Now, on to the great part! What is better than maple frost doughnuts? Well, Mohawk Valley Trading Co. is generously giving away one 32oz glass jar of their Grade A Robust, Dark, Pure Maple Syrup! That’s a total value of $45 including shipping and handling. Use the Rafflecopter below to have several chances to win. Now, on to those doughnuts…

 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


Mohawk Valley Trading Co. provided me with their Grade A Maple Syrup to sample and are sponsoring this giveaway, but as always the opinions expressed here are solely my own. This giveaway is for residents of the contingent United States and will end on March 13th, 12:00 am EST. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes. The Mohawk Valley Trading Company will ship the prize to the winner within 30 days of contest end. You must be 18 years or older to enter.

Maple Meringue Frosted Doughnuts

Ingredients

For the Doughnuts:

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, heated to 110F
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cup bread flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • canola oil

For the Maple Meringue Frosting:

  • 1 cup maple syrup, Grade A or B
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch of kosher salt

For the Doughnuts: In a medium bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of the yeast into 1/4 cup of the milk. Add 1/4 cup of the flour and stir to create a smooth paste. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

Then, combine the remaining milk and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the rested flour mixture, vanilla extract, and egg and stir until smooth. Add the whole wheat flour plus 1/4 cup of the bread flour, sugar, and salt and stir on medium-high until the dough starts to come together. Add the butter and continue to stir, adding flour about 1/8 cup at a time, until the dough starts to form into a ball. Attach your dough hook and knead in the remaining flour a little at a time until the dough is somewhat smooth and only slightly sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. Push down the dough and let recover and then refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

Line a baking sheet with a towel and dust with flour. Roll out the dough on a flour dusted surface until you have a thickness of 1/2-inch. Use a 2-inch biscuit cutter and cut out the dough and place on the dusted towel, about 1-inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size. If you let them chill for longer, they may need longer to rise. Keep an eye on them to avoid over-proofing and check every 5 minutes. To test, use your fingertip and gently press down on the center of the doughnut. If it rises quickly, it needs more time. If it doesn’t rise, it has over-proofed and you can re-roll the dough and try again. If it rises slowly, it’s just right and ready for frying!

Just before the doughnuts have finished proofing, fill a heavy pot with oil about 2-inches high. Heat until the oil reaches 365F. Carefully, place the doughnuts into the put and fry for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot as this will drop the temperature down. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack with paper towels underneath. Allow the doughnuts to cool before frosting.

For the Maple Meringue Frosting: In a small pot, add maple syrup and heat to 235F, using a candy thermometer. Be careful not to overheat! When the syrup reaches 220F, add the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt to your stand mixer bowl. Stir until frothy and then turn increase the speed to medium until stiff peaks are achieved.When the syrup has come to temperature, slowly pour into the egg whites, with the mixer still at medium speed.  Allow to mix until the meringue is thick and shiny, about 2 minutes. Frost donuts as desired.

Source: Food52, Lara Ferroni

Pickle Dip

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If you know me or you’ve been reading for a while, you know I love dip. Since I was little I’ve been attacking dip bowls at family gatherings. I’ve also always been a fan of pickles, but I’ve never encountered pickle dip. I have seen it pop here and there on Pinterest and have pinned a few recipes, but have always been leery. Pickles and cream cheese? I couldn’t get myself to try it.

A couple of weeks ago a few friends were talking about a pickle dip that one of them made at a get together. My ears perked up. I checked the recipes I had pinned and compared them to the one she provided. I loved hers since it was so simple. Two ingredients. That’s it! I figured I would give it a go and if I needed to add something to it, I could. Well, nothing needs to be added to this simple, yet tasty dip. The pickle juice lightens the cream cheese and makes it resemble a sour cream based dip. Since I always have these ingredients in my house it’s the perfect thing to whip up for a last minute get together. It can also be extremely dangerous since I could whip up a batch for myself at any given time!

Pickle Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups grated dill pickles, about 6 or 7 whole dill pickles

Place cream cheese in a medium bowl and stir with a spoon to soften a bit. Gradually add pickle juice until desired consistency is reached. You may not need the entire amount. Add grated pickles and stir. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavor to develop.

Source: Angie Snow

Pretzel Muffins with Chocolate Chips

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Some people will say that they are more of a “sweet” or “salty” person. I’ve always said I’m both. I crave salty foods, but immediately after I need a little something sweet. Lately, I’ve been combining the two and loving the results! Remember, I barely have enough time to eat one thing so this double dose is more efficient. I know, I should simply avoid both and eat a carrot, but that’s no fun!

I was afriad these muffins would come out too salty, but they were just right. If you are worried or not a fan salted sweets, like salted caramels, simply leave off the garnish salt. That is truly where you get the salt taste, not from the pretzels themselves. These work well for breakfast, but make a great snack!

Pretzel Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Ingredients

For the Streusel

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground pretzels, into small pieces, not too fine
  • 1/4 cup broken pretzels
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the Muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground pretzels
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pretzel or other coarse salt for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.

For the streusel, combine flour, sugar, ground and broken pretzels, and cinnamon. Stir butter into the dry mixture, cover, and chill.

For the muffins, whisk flour, pretzels, chocolate chips, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add eggs, oil, butter, and vanilla; stir into the flour mixture. Let the batter sit for 2 minutes, then divide among muffins cups.

Squeeze streusel into clumps; top muffins with it and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake muffins until a toothpick inserted in centers come out clean, 17 to 19 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 342 calories, 19g total fat, 58mg cholesterol, 447mg sodium, 41g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 5g protein.

Source: Cuisine at home, October 2013

Chicken Tetrazzini

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The tides are changing at my dinner table. I’m taking things back. Not just from my pre-schooler who has become increasingly picky, but now that my husband is more willing to try things I am pushing the envelope a bit more. I’m also trying some new recipes that will carry us over for a couple of nights since my time in the kitchen is limited with my newborn son. What is the big “new” factor in this dish. Mushrooms! I’ve always cooked mushrooms off to the side because they always led to moans and groans. Not anymore, learn to eat around them if you must! I’ve been wanting to make dishes like Chicken Tetrazzini for so long and I’m so glad I finally went for it!

This dish is quite labor intensive, take some shortcuts if you need to! Buy pre-chopped veggies and use cooked chicken from a previous meal. I tend to cook chicken, shred it up, and then bag them up in servings for a later date. That way it’s always a freezer away! While I was making this I was honestly worried that all of this work would be a waste and I’d hear lots of complaints. The only complaining was from my daughter, who will have it deconstructed from now on since she loves the ingredients just not them “touching each other.” My husband and I loved this meal. He loved it so much he had no problem pushing those mushrooms aside. We told my daughter to get used to it becuase it’s going to become part of our rotation. I’ll just make sure to make it on the weekends!  In all my chaos, I forgot to add the white wine to my dish, which was probably better for younger palates since the sauce had a lighter flavor. Plus, the reserved wine was still consumed ;) It’s always important to use good wine in your cooking folks!

What I love about this dish is since it has been lightened up I can put it in the rotation. It’s not the decadent dish that is saved for special occasions. You can now enjoy the fabulous flavor of the garlic, onions, and thyme without all of that guilt.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Ingredient

  • 10 oz. uncooked linguine
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated low-fat ilk
  • 2 1/2 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divded
  • 1 oz 1/3-less-fat-cream cheese
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 (8 oz) packages sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 oz. French bread baquette, torn into peices
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add stock and milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms; saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, garlic, and thyme; saute 3 minutes. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Combine milk mixture, mushroom mixture, pasta, chicken, and peas; toss to combine. Spoon the pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coasted with cooking spray.

Place bread in a food processor; drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Process until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano; sprinkle evenly over pasta. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Top with parsley.

Serves 8, serving size about 1 1/4 cups

Nutritional Information

Calories 435, Fat 12.2g, Protein 33.2g, Carbohydrates 45g, Fiber 3.6g, Cholesterol 69mg, Iron 3mg, Sodium 573mg, Calcium 249mg

Source: Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2014