Saturday, March 27, 2010

Swedish Pancakes

Enjoying a meal, outside, with friends and family has got to be one of life's greatest blessings. It is one of the many reasons I love Spring and Fall so much... we seek out beautiful patios at local restaurants to spend our time eating and drinking on and we relax in our own backyard doing the same. The weather is just starting to turn warmer and patios all over will be opening, inviting us to sit, relax and enjoy some time doing one of our favorite things... eating. I made these lovely Swedish Pancakes and took them outside to enjoy. They are such a weekend breakfast or brunch treat served alongside bacon and topped with fresh fruit and my fruit syrup.


4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Beat eggs and milk together. In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet and stir in melted butter. Heat a griddle or non-stick skillet and lightly oil. Pour batter in small circles on the griddle or cover the small skillet and lightly brown (about 1 minute) and flip for another minute. Keep war
m by placing a warm kitchen towel over the stack as you complete the rest of your pancakes or by placing on foil in a 125 degree oven.

Some of my favorite Salt Lake City patios:
~Porcupine Pub and Grille
~Cafe Madrid
~Mikado (Cottonwood)
~Cafe Molise
~Desert Edge Brewery
Other than my own backyard, these are some excellent spots to spend a summer evening in our lovely little city. If I missed anything, please let me know. What are some of your favorite outdoor dining spots?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mini Lemon Cakes


These little cakes are so light and lemony. They just taste like spring. The recipe is simple and they turn out looking so pretty and delicate. I topped them with a dollop of cream cheese frosting and a blueberry but they are also delicious with whipped cream and candied lemon or other fresh berries.
1 1/2 C cake flour
1 1/2C all purpose flour
2t baking soda
1/2t salt1C unsalted butter
2c sugar
1 vanilla bean split and scraped
5 eggs (separated)
1C sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 and line or spray muffin tin.

In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time, until completely combined. Add sour cream. Combine all dry ingredients in another bowl and add to the butter mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. Fill mini cups half way and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack and top as desired.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Best Red Velvet I Have Ever Had

I went to visit my family in Idaho a few weeks ago and my aunt had some of these delicious Red Velvet cupcakes sitting out on her counter waiting for us. They were arranged on a pretty cake stand and just begging to be eaten. She baked hers in JUMBO muffin cups and that made them seem more evil than they already are. They are killer! I gushed and gushed over them saying that they truly were "the best red velvet I have ever had" and asked for her recipe... 4 times. Finally, she gave in stating "It's my recipe BUT I do start with a box." I was shocked. I am not a boxed cake mix kind of girl. I asked her if I could post the recipe once I had a chance to make them myself and she said yes!
Please make these. The cupcake recipe is courtesy my Aunt Linda and the filling and frosting are my own "go-to" recipes. They take some time but are worth it! People will just melt over these. They are so delicious!
Aunt Linda's Red Velvet Cuppies

1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 box Jello brand Devil's Food Chocolate Pudding
1 16 ounce container sour cream

Follow the directions on the back of the cake box as directed and add the pudding mix, dry, then add the sour cream and fill muffin tin, lined with paper muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake as directed on box. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Filling

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip cream cheese and butter for 5 minutes and add sugar one cup at a time. Add vanilla last and whip 3-5 additional minutes. Fill a pastry bag with the cream cheese filling and pipe into the cupcakes by putting the tip 1/2 way into the center of the cupcake and squeezing. You will notice the cupcake "plump" up.

Vanilla Buttercream (perfection!)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla

Whip butter for 5 minutes (until light and fluffy) and add 2 cups of powdered sugar, then vanilla and incorporate. Add remaining sugar and whip an additional 5 minutes. Frost or pipe as desired.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Spring Fling" Mac Attack #5


Mac Attack #5 theme:
Spring Fling

My favorite flower? The lily. Which type? Doesn't matter. I absolutely adore every type lily and felt it appropriate to create this months #mactweets based on my love for the lily. I love Spring and I love adorning my kitchen counter top with a simple vase of a stem of lillies. There is a flower shop, here in Salt Lake City, Utah, that I feel is constantly overlooked. Flowers On Vine is a precious little shop where you can find the most gorgeous and rare flowers!
My husband stopped, on his way home from work today, and picked me up some beautiful lillies to accompany my post from said little shop.
Once again I had the pleasure of baking macarons with Barbara of Barbarabakes. She joined me, today, in my home to conquer these dainty little macarons. We lunched and baked and chatted... she is a true friend and I am blessed to bake alongside her. She also happens to be a math wiz (thankful me). We adjusted 'I Love Macarons' recipe as follows:

1/2C almond meal
1C confectioners sugar2 eggs
3T +1t granulated sugar
flavorings... as desired

If you are not catching on as to why Barbara is a smarty, that recipe is based on 3 egg whites. She made it a 2 egg white recipe. Fabulous!

For this months "challenge" I chose to do (a macaron that complimented the lily) the following flavor: "burgundy vanilla bean shells with blood orange buttercream." Delicious? Yes. Proportioned accordingly? I think not (see photos... ha!)

Blood Orange Buttercream:

3/4C unsalted butter
4C confectioners sugar
2t vanilla
2T blood orange juice (fresh squeezed)
zest of 1 blood orange

Whip the butter until very fluffy (about 4 minutes) and add the sugar 1 cup at a time. Whip an additional 3 minutes and add the vanilla, juice and zest. Whip 3 minutes more.

Flowers on Vine
6029 South 900 East
SLC Utah 84121

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coconut Panna Cotta

2C whipping cream
2C half and half
1/2C sugar
3t vanilla
4T unsweetened, organic creamed coconut
2 packets powder gelatin
6T ice cold water

Heat both creams and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and add coconut (the coconut tends to clump but don't stress... keep whisking and it will cream into the mixture). Remove from heat and add vanilla. Set aside. In a medium bowl, place ice cold water and sprinkle gelatin packets over. Allow to set for 5 minutes then pour the warm cream mixture over the gelatin mixture and whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved. Oil 8 ramekins or small cups and divide the mixture evenly among them. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

To unmold the panna cotta simply run a thin knife around the inside edge of the dish and turn out onto a serving plate. Garnish with berries of your choice (I used blackberries).

For the berries:
2C fresh blackberries (rinsed and drained)
3T sugar
2T Kirsch

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and chill 2 hours (stirring several times while chilling). Serve by spooning 4-5 berries and a spoon of syrup on each individual panna cotta.

*For information on the creamed coconut, please visit Edward and Sons here
*You can easily substitute the coconut for other flavors with high quality extracts or simply use the vanilla alone for a stunning dessert. I use Sonoma Syrups Vanilla Bean Extract "Crush"
It is an exceptional vanilla with split vanilla beans in the bottle.
*Panna Cotta is versatile. Many recipes call for 4 full cups of heavy cream (which... although delicious... is beyond fattening!). I used half whipping cream and half 1/2&1/2. You can use a mixture of any cream you desire but avoid using "milk"... you do need that rich cream base.
*The dish I used to serve my panna cotta is courtesy my dear Grandmother who passed away last year. I thought it complimented the dessert well and wanted to share it with you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Normandie Cafe and Bakery

Normandie Cafe and Bakery is a Salt Lake City gem. It's been nestled at the corner of 4600 South and Holladay Boulevard for years but has recently moved down the street to a larger location, which it needed... you couldn't find a seat during the lunch rush or Saturday morning brunch rush. I have always enjoyed the food at Normandie and really enjoy their desserts. I spent this past Friday afternoon lunching with "the girls" and am happy to share our afternoon with you.
Our lunch:

Turkey Club Panini (split)

Turkey Avocado Sandwich (split)
Sweet Potato Fries (shared)
Kids Mac-n-Cheese

I split the turkey club panini and let me tell you this sandwich is delightful. I always have it when I eat here. It's amazing with turkey, bacon, tomato and garlic aioli warmed between a sourdough bun. The turkey avocado sandwich also got three thumbs up's and the sweet potato fries?!? Well, first off, they are actually yam fries but the two are commonly confused. Either way... Yum! They are perfectly crisp and served with a dipping sauce that is beyond compare. My daughter was the lucky recipient of the kids meal and enjoyed it served with the mac, fruit, veggies and a brownie.

Our dessert:

We ordered some assorted sugar cookies, German chocolate brownies and (drum roll please...) the key lime tart(s). The cookies were gorgeous and tasty, the brownies were moist and chewy and melted in our mouths but those tarts! They deserve a post all their own, they deserve
a bakery case dedicated (no built) just for them, they are heaven. They have a perfect crust and that crust is filled with the most delectable,creamy, tart, sweet key lime center you can dream of. It is to die for. I have been drooling over this tart for years. My mother and I go just for the tart, my husband and I go intending on splitting a tart and end up leaving with three, we take friends here just to introduce them to this tart... it's incredible. It is topped with fluffy whipped cream and toasted coconut and I suggest you call ahead, they run out early! We called the night before and had them set seven tarts aside. We also took several Alomondines to go. They are amazing themselves!
key lime tart photos by Monica Lehman

The staff:

Normandie always has a knowledgeable, friendly staff. They have assisted me with catered events in the past and always move the hungry crowds with ease. Friday was no exception and I'd like to mention two of the kind and friendly Normandie employees by name: Shawnee and Zach, thank you for your service and for setting aside the tarts for our large group. After working in the restaurant industry for years, I know that a positive, attentive staff is part of the dining experience. Hat's off to you both for so nicely representing your company! My only suggestion would be that the ordering process be revamped. It's very confusing to have two entrances (one leading to the cash register/bakery case and the other leading to an unmanned hostess station). You order at the register, pay there (pre-meal) and are given a table number. No new guest would know this. I hear complaints and have read reviews all mentioning the confusing process... which leads to customers thinking the staff is awful.

Employee photos by Monica Lehman


cookie photos by Monica Lehman

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

2T olive oil
2T butter
1/4C chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
4C mushrooms
4C chicken stock/broth
1C milk
1C cream
salt and pepper
1/4C chopped parsley

In a large stockpot heat oil and butter. Add finely chopped onion and saute for about 5 minutes. I used button, shitake and porcini mushrooms for this batch and I thinly sliced the buttons, pureed the shitake and finely chopped the porcini. Add garlic and saute an additional 30 seconds then add all of the mushrooms and reduce 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in all of the chicken stock and bring to a boil then add milk and boil again. Simmer, on low, for 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Add cream and bring to another boil. Simmer an additional 5 minutes and add freshly chopped parsley. Remove from heat and serve in warmed bowls.

I had the pleasure of serving this soup to two of my dear friends and the sides you see in the photo are their beautiful creations. Cristie from thetablerunner brought the salad made with pears, greens, rice and a delicious dressing and Barbara from barbarabakes made the wheat bread which was pretty and divine with a pat of warm butter on it.