12/10/15

0 Peanut Brittle Microwave Style!


May contain affiliate links.  Please refer to my disclosure policy.

I grew up with my mom making peanut brittle every year for a church bazaar and for Christmas. She told me that from beginning to end, it would take her about two hours. I think that also included bagging the peanut brittle for the bazaar.

Now, many years later, I am attempting a similar recipe, only using a microwave.  This recipe comes from King Arthur Flour, a site I trust with many of my bread recipes. I am not a proficient candy maker, and was pleasantly surprised by how easy this recipe was!

First, my microwave is 850 watts. You will need to check your wattage and adjust the final cook time as necessary.

Second, you will need a large microwave safe bowl.  My Pyrex Prepware 2-1/2-Quart Glass Mixing Bowl is the equivalent of 10.5 cups, or 2.6 quarts.

A tip: Spray your measuring cup with cooking oil to help the corn syrup come out easier. This works great for any sticky substance: molasses, honey, etc. I love using my Misto Sprayer!



Mix your granulated sugar and light corn syrup with a sturdy Silicone Spatula or a wooden spoon sprayed with cooking spray. It will be stiff and hard to stir.



Put this mixture into the microwave on POWER HIGH for 5 minutes. It will bubble vigorously.

Add your salted peanuts and 1 Tablespoon butter. I used raw Spanish peanuts and it worked out great.

Stir this very QUICKLY. As the mixture cools, it will become harder to stir. 


Put mixture into the microwave on HIGH for 2-4 minutes.

Watch the mixture at the 2 minute mark and keep watching.

Look for a medium brown caramel color.

When you see the color you want, remove the bowl from the microwave.


Add vanilla and baking soda.  It will FOAM quickly ...  this is why you need a large glass bowl.

Stir QUICKLY to combine.  QUICKLY pour onto a lightly greased baking sheet, Silpat Baking Mat  or parchment paper. Let cool for 30 - 60 minutes.


Break apart into bite sized pieces. Makes approximately 1 pound of brittle or 3 dozen pieces. 

Try this recipe with cashews or almonds.... Enjoy!

Print Friendly and PDF
Microwave Peanut Brittle

From King Arthur Flour

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts (I used raw Spanish peanuts with no problem)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Prepare a baking sheet with lined parchment, Silpat baking liner or lightly grease with cooking oil.
Spray your 1/2 cup measure and wooden spoon with cooking oil. 

Using a 2.5 L (10.5 cup) glass microwave safe bowl, mix the sugar and the corn syrup.
The mixture will be stiff.

Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. The mixture will bubble vigorously.

Add peanuts and butter. Stir QUICKLY till combined. As the mixture cools, it becomes
harder to stir.

Microwave on HIGH for 2-4 minutes.
Watch carefully at the 2 minute mark for a medium-brown caramel color. 
Take out when color is achieved.

Add vanilla and baking soda and stir QUICKLY. 
Quickly pour onto prepared baking sheet in an even layer.

Let cool for 30-60 minutes.
Try other nuts such as cashews or almonds.
Break into bite sized pieces and enjoy!

10/15/15

0 Rustic Chicken! A Farm to Family Restaurant


I was invited to a sneak peek of Rustic Chicken, a brand new restaurant nestled near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Holladay, Utah.

This is a one-of-a kind restaurant. It was refreshing to try something new. I love chicken. More than I enjoy beef!

What's special about this place?

Rustic Chicken specializes in organic, healthy and affordable food. Their rotisserie chicken is cage free and hormone free. Soups, salads, cold & hot sides and sandwiches are on their menu. Included are gluten free, vegetarian and vegan items. Sound pricey? Not necessarily.

Prices range from $5.99 for a salad to $13.99 for a half chicken with 2 sides.  A children's menu is available for $4.99 which includes an entree, drink, and a small side or chips. I saw several kids enjoying their meals!


The restaurant has a clean, open, cafe style feel. Ordering was simple and straight forward. 


*Gasp!* A freestyle Coke machine?? Yes, please!  You can mix any of your favorite coke products with a variety of flavored syrups.


We were able to sit where we wanted. Rustic Chicken offers booth, table, and barista style seating.


We selected a cozy booth near the Coke machine. Note the rustic drinking glasses.... sweet!


The pager displays number and buzzes to notify the waiter to bring your order. Unfortunately, it was not working that night, but our food still came with no problems. 

Hubby ordered the half chicken with a side of Grilled Pineapple Red Quinoa Pilaf. 

The half rotisserie chicken was perfectly seasoned, moist, and large enough to take some home. The pineapple quinoa was sweet, nutty and hubby gobbled it up.


I ordered the Rustic Club Sandwich with grilled chicken breast, bacon, cheddar, tomato, romaine and a yummy roasted red pepper ranch dressing on herbed focaccia.

The portions were generous and the red pepper dressing was very good. I was not expecting this to be a hot, grilled sandwich. Heating the romaine in the sandwich made it soggy. Next time, I would withhold the romaine from the sandwich or have it as a cold sandwich. *update* no lettuce served in their panninis!


For a side, I ordered Lemon Majoram Roasted potatoes. They were cooked perfectly, although I had a difficult time tasting any lemon or majoram. *update* Seasonings were perfect this time around!


While desserts are not on the menu, the portions served at Rustic Chicken were generous and filling. If customers are wanting a sweet option to add to the menu, perhaps some seasonal fresh fruit or yogurt parfaits could be a future addition.

I would definitely go back and try some of their soups and salads. This would be a great place to stop after a day of skiing or shopping. Enter below for a chance to win a $25 Gift Card, compliments of Rustic Chicken!

Rustic Chicken 
3158 E. 6200 S. Holladay, UT
Follow Rustic Chicken:
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I was offered a meal as compensation for writing this post. Opinions expressed are mine. If you wish to form your own opinion, give this restaurant a try! Giftcard for the giveaway generously supplied by Rustic Chicken. a Rafflecopter giveaway

9/22/15

0 SIMPLE & Perfect Pressure Cooked Salmon



May contain affiliate links.  Please refer to my disclosure policy.

I get nervous when cooking fish. I'm terrified that I'll undercook or overcook the fish, resulting in an inedible mass on my plate.  To add to the pressure, some cuts of fish are pretty expensive, and no one wants to ruin an $8 piece of fish.

Wild Coho salmon went on sale at my nearby Harmon's Grocery for $4 for 8 oz. Now what to do with it? How do I cook it? Bake it? Pan fry?

I recently purchased Lorna Sass's Pressure Perfect cookbook, vowing to learn how to pressure cook a variety of foods this summer. I opened it and found this easy, simple, fail-proof recipe for firm-fleshed fish steaks or fillets, such as salmon, cod (scrod) or halibut.


Although fish cooks quickly when baking or pan frying, pressure cooking guarantees a MOIST result. You can cook fish directly on the pressure cooking rack or in a aluminum foil packet.

Wanna know how easy it is?  Here you go...

Spread 1 teaspoon of your favorite mustard on each salmon filet. Dijon or spicy brown mustard is good. Whole grain mustard is even better.


Pour 1 cup water into the pressure cooker. Put trivet or steaming basket into the pressure cooker and place fish on top.


Set pressure cooker on HIGH, set timer or cook fish according to the timer/fish thickness chart:

3/4"    4 min.
1"       5 min.
1 1/4" 6 min.
1 1/2" 7 min.

The thickness of this fish was 1/2", so I set the timer for 3 minutes.


"Quick release" means to quickly cool down the pressure cooker or turn the weight located on the lid to quickly release the steam.


The result? Perfectly cooked, all the way through, piece of salmon. You can season your fish however you want with great results.  Enjoy!



Pressure Cooked Salmon
(4x6 recipe card download)   (full page printable recipe)

9/3/15

0 Roll Up Cafe Desserts!


I got another opportunity to visit the Roll Up Cafe located at 1605 South State in Orem.  They serve a variety of main dishes and desserts. This time, a group of bloggers were treated to a variety of desserts that they offer.

We tried three of their "shooter sized" milkshakes, Nutella, Peanut Butter and I can't remember the third one. These are not your typical thick style milk shakes, but they are full of flavor. My favorite is still the Nutella.


Here are three of their most popular crepes:

The Single:  Cinnamon, sweet cream, and caramel sauce
The Molten Lava: Chocolate crepe with spiced chocolate pudding
The Bachelorette: White chocolate mousse with raspberries

My faves were the Single and the Molten Lava.

These crepes are large....you can see by comparing them to the lunch plates we used that these crepes need to be shared. Perfect for sharing with a date!

On the left is the Tinder: Gooey caramel and thick chocolate sauce is drizzled over a warm brownie filled crepe. Yes, you heard right. There is a brownie hiding in that crepe! Paired with vanilla bean ice cream, you get the perfect combo of warm and cold sweetness in every bite.

On the right is the Hopeless Romantic, a blueberry filled crepe covered in raspberry sauce and honey and topped with vanilla bean ice cream. Watch it being made on this video:

Taste Life
Hey guys! This crepe is called "The Hopeless Romantic". It is worth a trip down to the Rollup. It is so good! If you like the vid, share it with your friends, and come in this weekend to give this a try! #crepeslarelife #flippingcrepes #tastelife #chef #provo #crepesarelove #slcfood #orem #slc #dontmissout #icecream
Posted by The Roll Up Cafe on Saturday, May 16, 2015

Again, my favorite was the Tinder. These huge, dessert sharing worthy crepes are only $5!

So take a date and a chance on the new & improved menu at the Roll Up Cafe. You won't be disappointed.

The Roll Up Cafe
M,W,Th 11am-11pm
T,F, 11am-midnight
Sat 9am-midnight
Facebook page



8/20/15

0 No Bake Creamy Lemonade Pie


 Wow. Summer just flew!

Sorry to keep y'all waiting for this recipe. I hope you will make it before Fall hits the scene. This recipe comes from a neighbor who is a pie master. She bakes all her pies from scratch and has entered our town's pie contest several times. Her daughter is learning from the master and won Honorable Mention with this Lemonade Pie creation.

Made with frozen lemonade and cream cheese, you will get the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and creamy, all in one bite.  Pair it with a homemade graham cracker crust and you have a winner that will please the taste buds of every member of your family.


Mix evaporated milk (canned milk) and a couple of packages of lemon instant pudding.


Mix softened cream cheese and the partially frozen lemonade.


Add the pudding mixture, which looks like a clumpy mess, but will smooth itself out in the mix.

Taste the mixture before pouring it into the shell. I found it to be a little on the tart side, probably due to the fact that I used a store brand frozen lemonade. An additional 3 T. of granulated sugar added to the mix was perfect for me. 


Spread it into a prepared 9" Graham Cracker Pie Crust. I filled it as full as I dared and had 1/3 cup filling left over.....yum!

Put the pie into the freezer till firm, about four hours or overnight. Set the pie at room temp for about one hour prior to serving. 

What you will get is a semi-frozen, creamy, sweet, tart pie that will be a winner in your family!



No Bake Creamy Lemonade Pie

7/7/15

0 Simple Graham Cracker Pie Crust


May contain affiliate links.  Please refer to my disclosure policy.

Of all the pie crusts you can make, this is by far the easiest. It only requires three simple ingredients:

crushed graham crackers
granulated sugar
melted butter

 
You can process the graham crackers in a blender, food processor, or put them in a closed Ziploc bag and smash 'em with a rolling pin. Very therapeutic, I tell you. 


Instead of getting another bowl dirty, put all the ingredients into a pie plate.  This 9" glass pie plate is by far my favorite. You can also use this recipe for your favorite cheesecake recipe.
Pyrex Glass Bakeware Pie Plate 9" x 1.2"


Once mixed, press down the cracker mixture with a rubber spatula, drinking glass, or measuring cup.  Anything with a flat bottom and straight sides.  Yep, I pretty much described my figure.


Another great thing about this recipe is you can either bake it or freeze it.  Baking is great during the winter, and freezing is perfect for the summer. 

Stay tuned for a cool summer treat using this recipe!

Graham Cracker Crust


6/26/15

0 Pressure Cooked Lipton Onion Soup Potatoes

May contain affiliate links.  Please refer to my disclosure policy.

Summer is the time to bust out the pressure cooker!  A pressure cooker is great for fast and easy meals, especially when you don't want to heat up your house with an oven.

One of our favorite side dishes is the Lipton Onion Soup roasted potatoes.  We love the roasted onion flavor, but didn't want to heat up the oven.  The recipe is on the box, but in my opinion, it uses way too much oil.  


What to do? I love roasting the potatoes using the recipe that came with my Cuisinart electric pressure cooker and thought, "Why not make a Lipton Onion version?"


Roasting potatoes is very easy using the electric Cuisinart on the "browning" setting. I used 3 T. oil and once browning started, I stirred the potatoes every so often to give the other pieces a chance to brown. This took about 5-10 minutes.


I opened an envelope of Lipton Onion Soup mix and added 1/3 c. of water. Most recipes using this pressure cooker call for at least 1/2 c. of water, to prevent scorching.  Mixed the seasoning, water, and poured it directly on top of the potatoes.

Closed the cooker and set it on HIGH for 5 minutes. This pressure cooker has a GREAT safety feature: If there is very little liquid or TOO much liquid, it will automatically SHUT OFF.  You gotta love that!

The result? Awesome "roasted" potatoes full of the Lipton Onion flavor with none of the extra oil, fuss, and muss. If you don't have a pressure cooker, isn't it about time? 


Print Friendly and PDF Pressure Cooked Lipton Onion Potatoes


Ingredients
3 T. vegetable oil
2 lbs. medium red potatoes, halved
1 envelop Lipton Onion Soup mix
1/3 cup water
Instructions
Put 3 T. butter into cooking pot of pressure cooker.  Select BROWNING. Stir in potatoes.  
Stir occasionally so the oil coats all potatoes and begins to brown, about 5-10 minutes.
Add water to soup mix and stir.  Pour mixture over potatoes.
Lock lid.  Select HIGH pressure, set timer for 5 minutes.  
When you hear the beep, use QUICK release method to release pressure. 
Remove lid carefully, and serve. 

6/15/15

0 Roll Up Cafe

 
Disclosure: I was invited to review the new menu and provide my opinion. No other compensation was provided. 

As a bread/carb lover, the name "Roll Up Cafe" conjured images in my mind of cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, danishes and buttery dinner rolls. I was invited to #Taste Life at the Roll Up Cafe as a blogger and invited my husband to come along.

To my surprise, this cafe is all about crepes. Morning, Noon and night. 
Breakfast is served on Saturday mornings with stuffed French Toast and crepes filled with eggs, mushrooms, spinach, tomato, goat cheese or the more tradition filling of egg, bacon and cheese. 
In addition to sweet and savory crepes, the menu includes soups, salads, paninis, and Nutella milkshakes.

Yep. Nutella. A must have condiment in my house.


The Roll Up Cafe is located at 1605 South State Street in Orem, Utah and is not hard to find if you look for the Owl right on the corner.


Located near Utah Valley University, this place is sure to be a crowded place during the school year.

We came on a Tuesday night and saw people of all ages and even a few kids. What caught my eye was this cool tree "planted" right in the middle of the cafe. The atmosphere is small, casual and intimate.


It was a little warm inside, but the windows and door were open and we were assured that the AC would be fixed soon. To our delight, we were immediately served an ice cold Nutella Milkshake...


Not your super-thick over the top milkshake, but plenty rich with fresh whipped cream and streaks of Nutella painted on the side of the cup, I was busy scraping Nutella with every spoonful.

For our first course hubby choose the Summer Garden Gazpacho soup... a cool, refreshing combination of watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, mint, basil and spices. He picked up the lime wedge, gave it a squeeze and ate every bite. He enjoyed the savory/sweet combination. This menu item is seasonal and offered for a limited time. Good to know that the menu changes with the season, offering only the best fruits and veggies available locally!


I picked the Tomato Bisque, a warm, creamy soup with shaved Parmesan. I loved the fresh creamy texture, but felt it was a little too salty. Gave hubby a taste and he didn't think it was too salty at all. It wasn't too overwhelming and could taste the fresh tomatoes in every spoonful. I enjoyed the entire bowl...


For our entree, I choose the Heartthrob: a savory crepe filled with roasted turkey breast, apple wood smoked bacon, mozzarella cheese, and drizzled with their house Cilantro Lime Dressing. 


This is a great flavor combination on a classic turkey sandwich. No skimping here on portion size and the ratio of REAL turkey to REAL bacon was perfect. I ate half to save room for dessert, which was a good thing...

Hubby chose the Hot Mess: a savory crepe stuffed with Jasmine rice, curried chicken and smothered in their Thai Pineaple Coconut Curry, garnished with julienned snow peas and roasted peanuts. 


This dish was rated "medium" on the heat scale, but once I tasted hubby's entree, I made him trade plates....it was SO good! It was an incredible tropical blend of sweet and savory and was not spicy at all....when we go again, this is what I am going to order and keep every bite to myself...

I was beginning to feel like I was eating gourmet food, but not in a fancy schmancy restaurant.  The chef, a recent graduate of culinary school, has revamped the menu to include these dishes alongside family favorites.  The Hot Mess, she described as a seven year project to bring all the flavors to a perfect balance. So, so worth it!

Drum roll, please....here comes dessert. 


Both of us chose to try the Single with Vanilla Ice Cream. Oh. My. 

This is a treat to share and savor.  A savory crepe is served warm, cinnamon-roll style, filled with sweet cream cheese, drizzled with salted caramel sauce and sprinkled generously with crunchy granola and cinnamon sugar.

I really, really, wanted to lick the plate clean. Seriously. Right then and there. Instead, I scraped off as much of the delicious salted caramel sauce I could with a plastic spoon. 

O.K., now you're wondering.  With such gourmet food, it's got to come with a high price tag, right? What if I told you that the soups are $4.95, the savory crepes are $6.95 and this gorgeous cinnamon-roll crepe with ice cream is $4.95?  The portions are generous, making these prices so affordable. You'll want to come back for the taste AND for the price. 

Follow the Roll Up Cafe on their:

 
**HINT** Follow Roll Up Cafe on IG or FB, share their promotional post with 2 friends on IG in the comment. Show the cashier and get 15% off the Single! Yep, that mound of deliciousness you see above...Do it. Now.

Enjoy!


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