Google+ Badge

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wanted to Express to You All My Heartfelt Thank You for All Your Help with the Vidalia Onion Contest

Have been waiting and wanting to Announce this Wonderful Blessed News for some time now..but due to some unforeseen roadblocks beyond my hands I was asked to wait..So Thankful, and So Very Grateful I can finally announce that I won the grand prize in the Vidalia Onion Contest some months back....Want To Express My Heartfelt Thank Yous first to the God Lord Above, All My Sweet Hubby and Sweet Family and All My Sweet Friends ...I could never express enough how Very Grateful I am and my family is to All Of You For Your Help!! I couldn't of Hope to have a Prayer to do good in this if it hadn't been for All Of You and Your Hard Work to Help this Blessing Come True!! You All Our an Answer to a Special Prayer!! Love You All With All My Heart and More  
http://vidaliaonion.org/…/caramelized_vidalia_pepper_with_f…

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam

Hi Everyone!! Been MIA for some time now, due to some busy life journeys with my family. The past absent years have been very busy for my family. We have had some sad times, but thankfully mostly filled with more good times and welcome additions. My middle son and youngest daughter left the happy nest some years back. They are now happily married. Plus I can now announce I am finally a grandmother to 2 beautiful grand babies. Feeling so blessed and thankful.

Finally got back, to another of my lifes joys besides my family and that is cooking and baking. Wanted to share with you all one of my families favorite recipe.




**Would greatly appreciate your help with a "One-Time-Vote" for my recipe below..Voting is on Facebook: "Vidalia Onions " page...Please Click "Like" to like the page and Please Click "V Culinary Challenge" box on top of page to go vote

then Please Click the VOTE Button...Scroll Down to My Recipe Below to Vote for my Recipe..Thank You All So Very Much for your Help!! and I know you'll all enjoy seeing and reading all the flavors and taste from delicious Vidalia Onion Page on Facebook and Vidalia Onion Website too :-)

Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam


Recipe Picture:
Recipe:
Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette
     and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Bake Time:  30 Minutes
Yields:  8 to 10 Servings

Ingredients:

(For Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam)-

2 tablespoons unsalted butter,
1 cup Sweet Vidalia Onions, finely chopped,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
2 tablespoons cornstarch,
1 pound ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped,
1 can (14.5-oz.) diced tomatoes, drained,
1/4 cup packed brown sugar,
2 tablespoons granulated sugar,

(For Feta Cheese Pastry –one crust)-

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled,
1/4 cup vegetable shortening,
1/4 cup firm unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes,
1/3 cup ice water,

(For Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper Filling)-

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided,
1 tablespoon olive oil,
3 cups Sweet Vidalia Onions, chopped,
1 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced,
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper,
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled,
1 large egg, beaten,
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour,
1/2 cup half-and-half,

(For egg wash baste)-

1 large egg, beaten,
2 tablespoon cold water,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar,

Preparation directions:

Prepare sweet onion & tomato jam. Melt 2 tablespoons butter into a large skillet, over medium heat. Add 1 cup sweet onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt into melted butter, cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions is translucent and cooked, stirring frequently. Sprinkle in cornstarch into cooked onions and stir until blended. Stir in plum tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar into cooked onions and cook an additional 5 minutes longer, or until sweet onion and tomato jam mixture has thicken and is heated thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Spoon sweet onion & tomato jam mixture into a small serving bowl and place in refrigerator to set and chill.

Prepare feta cheese pastry for one crust. Add 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a food processor. Pulse 4 times to combine. Add shortening and firm butter cubes and pulse an additional 10 times to combine until mixture resembles coarse meal crumbs. Add crumbled feta cheese and 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse an additional 10 times. Add remaining ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to pulse together until pastry dough forms.  Place pastry dough over a lightly floured work surface and form into an 8-inch disc. Wrap pastry dough disc with plastic wrap to cover and place in refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile, prepare caramelized sweet onions & pepper filling. Melt 1 tablespoon butter along with heating 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large skillet, over medium heat. Add 3 cups sweet onions, cook for 6 minutes, or until sweet onions have become translucent and caramelized, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, green bell pepper, garlic, thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and white pepper into caramelized onions and continue cooking an additional 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until vegetable mixture is cooked through. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over top of vegetable mixture and remove skillet from heat temporality. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons flour and half-and-half until well blended. Return skillet to medium heat. Stir egg and half-and-half mixture into caramelized sweet onion & pepper filling mixture until combined and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until filling mixture has thickened. Remove skillet with filling mixture from heat; set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet pan with sides or jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  Remove plastic wrap for pastry dough disc and place dough in the center of lined pan. Using a rolling pin or finger tips, roll or shape dough into a 14-inch circle. Spoon and spread warm filling mixture into the center of dough circle and spread filling evenly to 2-inches from edge of dough. Carefully, fold edges of dough over filling. In a small bowl, prepare egg wash baste; whisk 1 beaten egg and 2 tablespoons water together until blended. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg wash baste over the folded edges of dough. Discard any unused leftover egg wash. Sprinkle moistened egg wash basted dough edges evenly with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is baked through. Remove from oven and place pan over cooling rack to allow galette to set. Cut galette into 8 wedge slices and serve with chilled sweet onion & tomato jam.

RECIPE CONTEST ...... Enjoy, Love and Thankful to be Apart of Them

Most of you know I love recipe contests. Looking back on my life, which is going back many, many years, when I was a little girl, my sweet grandma was my inspiration as a lady, cook and person I admired and wanted to be like. She was very wise and talented in many areas of her life.  She loved to cook and was very creative in putting together numerous recipes using a shoestring budget. She was known far and wide for her many talented culinary creation recipes. It was her lifelong dream to become a finalists in the Grand Pillsbury Bake Off. Every year growing up, I remember her coming to visit, reaching over to hug me, and saying with huge excitement in her voice as she would show me the latest copy of Grand Pillsbury Bake Off Cookbook in her hand, "Someday Sweetie your Grandma is going to be a finalist and your going to see my recipe in this cookbook". Sadly my sweet grandma passed away in 1982 only a few months after the birth of my second son. She never got to fulfill her lifelong dream. Years later, I got to thinking about that and with the encouragement of my youngest child, my daughter, I wanted to fulfill her dream and be a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake Off contest.

In 1999 I entered my first recipe contest. The contest was in my little town yearly peach festival. I didn't have a clue how to write a recipe, but I have always loved creating and putting together recipes. I got very nervous about taking the first steps and started to have doubts about my abilities. But I remember some very wise words my grandma would always say to me, she said ' sweetie, when you cook always cook putting all the love you have in your heart and that love you create and cook will always see in the smiles of your loved ones when they enjoy every bite they have". I got out my handed down cookbooks and taught myself the formats of how recipes were written. Then got some ideas to create a peach recipe. My daughter joined in and she created a peach recipe too. We had so much fun cooking together, and to our surprise we both won the town peach festival contest and had our recipes and pictures in the local town paper. That was the stepping stone to the beginning for me and recipe contest.

Even still after that wonderful moment had passed, I had let a couple years pass before I tried to enter recipe contest and the very special recipe contest, the one my grandma called the "Golden Oscars of Recipe Contest" the Grand Pillsbury Bake Off. A lot of that was due to raising a family, working and we had one computer in our family. That was my husbands work computer, and I didn't have a clue how to use or type on a computer. My husband patiently taught me the basic steps and little by little I got better, but still to this day I am a learning and work at progress with computers.

In 2007 I entered my first widely known contest. I was so surprised I won the on line voting contest with the BettyCrocker.com "Mix It Up With Betty Cookie Mix Contest" for my Apple Steusel Cheesecake Cookie Bars:(Pictured Above.)
Also in 2007  my recipe of Streusel Sweet Potato Pie was chosen in Piggly Wiggly Country Contest



In 2008 I entered the "Mix It Up With Betty Cookie Mix Contest' again and was fortunate to chosen as one of the prize winning cookies with my recipe of Almond Streusel Cherry Cheesecake Bars
During these years I keep trying to enter the Grand Pillsbury Bake-Off Contests, but unfortunately my entered recipes didn't seem to have enough sparkle or sunshine to them. There were times, I thought maybe that dream wasn't meant to be, but then I could swear I felt my grandma up above, saying to me, come on sweetie you can do this, keep trying. So I would reach within myself, and say to myself, come on Brenda you have just got to fulfill your grandma's dream.

In 2009 I entered the very first "Martha White Muffin Mix Challenge" and Won the Grand Prize with my
recipe Strawberry Streusel Cheesecake
http://www.marthawhite.com/recipes

Strawberry Streusel Cheesecake from Martha White®

In 2010 I entered the "Mix It Up With Betty Cookie Mix Contest" and thankfully was chosen as one of the prize winning cookies for my recipe of Pecan Praline Caramel Cheesecake Bars pictured above
also in 2010 I entered the Gold Medal Flour and was chosen as a runner up for my recipe
Berry English Muffin Bread

Berry English Muffin Bread
In 2011 I was fortunate to be picked in the Lodge/Martha White Cornbread Bake Off for my recipe

Cajun Chicken Gumbo with Creole Cornmeal Dumplings
Also that year I was 2nd runner up for Crisco Mediterranean Contest for my recipe called
Creamy Tuscan Torta with Sun-Dried Tomato.
Creamy Tuscan Torta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
The year 2012 was a Very Big Year for me..After many years of trying I got the call..I thought I was going to go in shock, collapse and at the same time hoot, scream for joy. 45th.Pillsbury Bake Off called...Yuup...
The Dream of Dreams come true...Breakfast Category my recipe Caramelized Peach Upside Down Coffeecake
Before and during going to this wonderful golden globes of recipe contest I had a locket with my sweet grandma picture on one side and on the other side a picture of my sweet dad both had passed away many years ago...I wore that locket around my neck at the Bake Off looked up in the heavens and said to the good Lord above...Lord if its okay ..could you please let my grandma know her dream has finally come true and please let my dad know too ...and Lord Please know I Thank You for this Lord and I Love You and Please let my grandma and dad know how much I love them.




Also in the later part of 2011 and early 2012 I won second place prize in the Nestle Holiday Cookie Challenge with my recipe Fudge Cherry Cordial Cookie Bites..I won cash prize 2,500;;;


2012 I also won grand prize $1,500 in the Recipe Riot Miracle Whip Challenge for my recipe Creamy Cheese Tomato Sweet Pies:
 and runner up in the Chiquita Banana contest and also a Apple festival runner up contest too. Plus on a cooking website I enjoy and love to be apart of called JustAPinch.com I have been very blessed and honored to of won 3 blue ribbons from them.
In 2013 I was over joyed to be pick a second time for the dessert category of the 46th Pillsbury Bake Off
for my recipe Chocolate Cherry Souffle Cupcakes and a Huge Honor when Pillsbury picked my recipe to


grace the 46th Pillsbury Bake Off Cookbook..I was so surprised and so very grateful .
I was also thankful to win third place prize in 2013 in the Sun Maid Chocolate Covered Raisin Contest for my Individual Rum-Raisin pecan pies with sweet chai tea caramel sauce.

During these years I was so very thankful and felt very blessed to of did so well in recipe contests. Thankful for all my grandma had taught me, cause she was a much better cook and baker than I was or will every hope to be. Thankful, also cause I had come to see and was fortunate to meet so many wonderful very creative talented cooks/bakers throughout our wonderful country and or nation. One of the best parts of being apart of recipe has been meeting so many sweet talented creative special cooks/bakers friends. Those friendships I cherish.
***Hi Everyone!!
Wanted to add an Update ...2014 year was a Very Blessed Year...So very Thankful to the Good Lord above for Blessings to my Family, Friends and me...My hubby had successful knee replacement surgery was a very long recovery but my sweet hubby is feeling so much better now.
I also was so Thankful to receive notice that I was selected and was a Finalist in the
47th Pillsbury Bake-Off in Nashville, TN at the Omni Hotel in Nov. 2,3,4 of 2014 with my recipe
in the dessert category called Macaroon Peanut Butter Chocolate Tartlets.
I had so much fun baking with very sweet dear friends and being apart of my Sweet Grandma's dream come true for my 3rd and Final Time. I still feel many the need to pinch myself and realize this really happen. Its truly a Dream Come True. At the Awards show Hosted by Carla Hall of the ABC's The Chew...she was so very Sweet Caring Fun Lady and Talented Chef...So Shocked when at the second announcement they called my name and I heard I received and won the honorable
Jif Award and a cash prize of 5,000.00....I was so shocked I could hardly move and shaking so badly from head to toe I couldn't walk up the stage. I was and am so Grateful to of received this honor and to of been apart of the Pillsbury Bake-Off 3 times in a row ...knowing so many wonderful awesome creative talented cooks/bakers that are so culinary gifted ...I still even today thinking about these treasured moments and memories has truly got to be cause of the Good Lord above..he deserves all the praises...so very Thankful for his blessings...here below I have posted some information and pictures of this very special time....
http://www.pillsbury.com/our-makers/bake-off-contest/bake-off-47/special-prize-winners
http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/macaroon-peanut-butter-chocolate-tartlets/0d8a5d91-c3d8-4293-8eb1-fab96a4fe0ed

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam

**Would greatly appreciate your help with a "One-Time-Vote" for my recipe below..Voting is on Facebook: "Vidalia Onions " page...Please Click "Like" to like the page and Please Click "V Culinary Challenge" box on top of page to go vote

then Please Click the VOTE Button...Scroll Down to My Recipe Below to Vote for my Recipe..Thank You All So Very Much for your Help!! and I know you'll all enjoy seeing and reading all the flavors and taste from delicious Vidalia Onion Page on Facebook and Vidalia Onion Website too :-)

Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam

Hi Everyone!! Been MIA for some time now, due to some busy life journeys with my family. The past absent years have been very busy for my family. We have had some sad times, but thankfully mostly filled with more good times and welcome additions. My middle son and youngest daughter left the happy nest some years back. They are now happily married. Plus I can now announce I am finally a grandmother to 2 beautiful grand babies. Feeling so blessed and thankful.
Finally got back, to another of my lifes joys besides my family and that is cooking and baking. Wanted to share with you all one of my families favorite recipe.
Recipe Picture:
Recipe:
Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette
     and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Bake Time:  30 Minutes
Yields:  8 to 10 Servings

Ingredients:

(For Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam)-

2 tablespoons unsalted butter,
1 cup Sweet Vidalia Onions, finely chopped,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
2 tablespoons cornstarch,
1 pound ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped,
1 can (14.5-oz.) diced tomatoes, drained,
1/4 cup packed brown sugar,
2 tablespoons granulated sugar,

(For Feta Cheese Pastry –one crust)-

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled,
1/4 cup vegetable shortening,
1/4 cup firm unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes,
1/3 cup ice water,

(For Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper Filling)-

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided,
1 tablespoon olive oil,
3 cups Sweet Vidalia Onions, chopped,
1 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced,
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper,
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled,
1 large egg, beaten,
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour,
1/2 cup half-and-half,

(For egg wash baste)-

1 large egg, beaten,
2 tablespoon cold water,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar,

Preparation directions:

Prepare sweet onion & tomato jam. Melt 2 tablespoons butter into a large skillet, over medium heat. Add 1 cup sweet onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt into melted butter, cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions is translucent and cooked, stirring frequently. Sprinkle in cornstarch into cooked onions and stir until blended. Stir in plum tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar into cooked onions and cook an additional 5 minutes longer, or until sweet onion and tomato jam mixture has thicken and is heated thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Spoon sweet onion & tomato jam mixture into a small serving bowl and place in refrigerator to set and chill.

Prepare feta cheese pastry for one crust. Add 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a food processor. Pulse 4 times to combine. Add shortening and firm butter cubes and pulse an additional 10 times to combine until mixture resembles coarse meal crumbs. Add crumbled feta cheese and 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse an additional 10 times. Add remaining ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to pulse together until pastry dough forms.  Place pastry dough over a lightly floured work surface and form into an 8-inch disc. Wrap pastry dough disc with plastic wrap to cover and place in refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile, prepare caramelized sweet onions & pepper filling. Melt 1 tablespoon butter along with heating 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large skillet, over medium heat. Add 3 cups sweet onions, cook for 6 minutes, or until sweet onions have become translucent and caramelized, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, green bell pepper, garlic, thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and white pepper into caramelized onions and continue cooking an additional 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until vegetable mixture is cooked through. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over top of vegetable mixture and remove skillet from heat temporality. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons flour and half-and-half until well blended. Return skillet to medium heat. Stir egg and half-and-half mixture into caramelized sweet onion & pepper filling mixture until combined and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until filling mixture has thickened. Remove skillet with filling mixture from heat; set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet pan with sides or jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  Remove plastic wrap for pastry dough disc and place dough in the center of lined pan. Using a rolling pin or finger tips, roll or shape dough into a 14-inch circle. Spoon and spread warm filling mixture into the center of dough circle and spread filling evenly to 2-inches from edge of dough. Carefully, fold edges of dough over filling. In a small bowl, prepare egg wash baste; whisk 1 beaten egg and 2 tablespoons water together until blended. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg wash baste over the folded edges of dough. Discard any unused leftover egg wash. Sprinkle moistened egg wash basted dough edges evenly with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is baked through. Remove from oven and place pan over cooling rack to allow galette to set. Cut galette into 8 wedge slices and serve with chilled sweet onion & tomato jam.
CAJUN CREAMY FRENCH SWEET ONION SOUP Au GRATIN
Prep Time:  30 Minutes
Cook Time:  45 Minutes
Servings:       6 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
5 medium Vidalia Onions, peeled, halved and sliced thin
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper
2 tablespoons extra dry white wine
5 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 French Bread, cut into 3/4-inch diagonal slices
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a Dutch oven with lid, over medium heat, uncovered. Add sliced onions, 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, salt, black pepper , chili pepper and wine into melted butter, cover with lid, cook for 5  minutes, or until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.

Add the beef broth into cooked onions, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to lower heat setting, cover with lid, let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in heavy cream and bread crumbs into beef broth and onions, increase heat setting to medium and bring to a boil. Once onion soup mixture has come to a boil, reduce heat setting to low and let simmer for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees F.

 Spread each bread slice with remaining 2 tablespoons butter evenly onto both sides.  Sprinkle one of the buttered sides of each slice of bread with the remaining 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Place bread slices flat onto a large baking sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper, with the seasoned side down. Place into heated oven for 5 minutes to lightly toast bread slices. Turn each bread slices onto seasoned side and heat for an additional 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven. Keep oven heated.

To prepare and assemble, with a ladle or large spoon, fill 6 individual oven-proof soup crocks or bowls with the hot Cajun Cream French Sweet Onion soup. Place on top over the center of each filled soup crock or bowls with a slice of toasted bread, seasoned side up. Sprinkle over top of each toasted bread and soup with the shredded cheese evenly.

Place prepared individual filled soup crocks or bowls flat onto a heavy baking sheet pan. Place into heated oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven, and serve immediately.

PICTURE:
 
CHEESY TOMATO & BUTTERNUT BARLEY RISOTTO
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Servings:      6 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 (2-lbs) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
 salt and freshly ground black pepper,(season to taste)
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sweet onion, diced
1 cup sweet red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups quick pearled barley
1 1/3 cups fresh peeled and seeded Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup  Asiago Cheese, finely grated
1/3 cup roasted and unsalted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup  Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, finely shredded


DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Add squash onto a baking sheet and toss in the olive oil until squash is well coated. Season squash lightly, with a little salt and ground black pepper each. Roast in oven 20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and place baking sheet onto a cooling rack, keeping warm; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 5 cups of broth, over medium-high heat, in a medium saucepan, until broth begins to come to a boil.  Reduce heat setting to lowest setting, and keep broth warm over low heat to a simmer.


Into a 5-quart Dutch oven, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, red bell peppers, garlic, basil, oregano and parsley into melted butter and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the barley into the cooking vegetables, season mixture with a little amount of salt and ground black pepper each, seasoning to taste, and stir every 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of the warm simmering broth into the barley and vegetable mixture. Stir, let simmer until broth is absorbed into the barley and vegetable mixture. Continue adding the simmering warm broth, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Continue cooking process, adding broth until barley is cooked through; about 15 minutes total cooking process time. Remove risotto mixture from heat, add in squash, tomatoes, 1/4 cup Asiago cheese and nuts into risotto, and stir until mixed well together and creamy.  Spoon creamy risotto into a large serving dish with shallow 2-inch sides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese over top. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
PICTURE:
GRECIAN FILLED BRAIDED BREAD
Prep Time:      25 Minutes
Baking Time:  30 Minutes
Total Time:     1 Hour 25 Minutes
Yields:             2 loaves braided bread

INGREDIENTS:

(For Sponge)-

3/4 cup warm water,
2 teaspoons sugar,
1 envelope (1/4-oz.)  Rapid-Rise Yeast,
1/2 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour,

(For Dough)-

All ingredients of the sponge,
3/4 cup sour cream,
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened,
2 large eggs, beaten,
1/3 cup sugar,
1 teaspoon salt,
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil,
2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour,
2 cups Whole Grain Wheat Flour,
Egg wash for brushing top of braided bread loaves
1/3 cup pine nuts, roughly chopped

(Vegetable & Cheese Fillings)-

2 tablespoons light olive oil,
2/3 cup onions, chopped,
2/3 cup green bell peppers, chopped,
2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped,
1/3 cup Kalamata or black olives, sliced,
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped,
1 container (15-oz.) low fat ricotta cheese, drained,
1 large egg,
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese,

DIRECTIONS:

1.)  In a small bowl, combine the sponge ingredients,(warm water, 2 teaspoons sugar, yeast and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour). Stir well to combine, loosely cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 10 minutes.

2.) In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the sponge, sour cream, butter, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 2 cups of all-purpose flour and whole grain wheat flour and mix with the paddle attachment on medium speed until the dough is a rough, shaggy mass. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead on low speed until a soft, smooth dough form, about 5 minutes, adding more of remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour if needed to achieve the correct consistency. Remove dough from bowl and place dough into a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and allow dough to rise for 1 hour, or until dough has nearly doubled and quite puffy.

2.) If working by hand or stand mixer, place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow dough to rise for 1 hour, or until dough has nearly doubled and quite puffy.

3.) While dough is rising, prepare fillings. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil into a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives and basil to heated olive oil and cook for 2 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Spoon cooked vegetables onto a paper toweled well lined plate and let drain of excess oil and cool vegetable filling for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, prepare the remaining cheese half of the fillings. Add the ricotta cheese, remaining egg and parmesan cheese and stir until cheese filling mixture is blended; set aside.

4.) Gentle deflate the dough and divide it in half. Cover half with plastic wrap and set it aside. Place a large sheet of parchment paper, (18- to 20-inches long in size) as you roll out the first half dough piece into a 10 x 15 –inch rectangle. Rolling on parchment paper helps when moving the prepared bread dough loaves much easier to transfer onto the two baking sheet pans. Lightly press two lines down the dough lengthwise, to divide the center section, and top with half the cheese filling mixture, spread the cheese filling evenly in the center lengthwise, leaving 3 –inches on all sides free of the filling. Sprinkle half of the vegetable filling evenly over top of the spread cheese filling.

5.) To form the mock braid, cut 1 1/2 -inch crosswise strips down the length of the outside dough sections, making sure you have the same number of strips down each side. Beginning on the left, lift the top dough strip and gently bring it across the filling diagonally. Repeat on the other side with the top dough strip, so that the two strips crisscross each other. Continue down the entire braid, alternating strips to form the loaf.

6.) Repeat the rolling, filling, and braiding steps of preparation for the second piece of dough, using the remaining cheese and vegetable filling mixtures. Set both the prepared loaves aside, lightly covered, to rise for 30 minutes, or until quite puffy.


7.) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the loaves with egg wash, (one lightly beaten egg and 2 teaspoons water), and sprinkle over top of each of the loaves evenly with pine nuts. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown. Remove baked loaves from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before serving the two loaves. Serves 12.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

**Would greatly appreciate your help with a "One-Time-Vote" for my recipe below..Voting is on Facebook: "Vidalia Onions " page...Please Click "Like" to like the page and Please Click "V Culinary Challenge" box on top of page to go vote

then Please Click the VOTE Button...Scroll Down to My Recipe Below to Vote for my Recipe..Thank You All So Very Much for your Help!! and I know you'll all enjoy seeing and reading all the flavors and taste from delicious Vidalia Onion Page on Facebook and Vidalia Onion Website too :-)

Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam

Hi Everyone!! Been MIA for some time now, due to some busy life journeys with my family. The past absent years have been very busy for my family. We have had some sad times, but thankfully mostly filled with more good times and welcome additions. My middle son and youngest daughter left the happy nest some years back. They are now happily married. Plus I can now announce I am finally a grandmother to 2 beautiful grand babies. Feeling so blessed and thankful.
Finally got back, to another of my lifes joys besides my family and that is cooking and baking. Wanted to share with you all one of my families favorite recipe.
Recipe Picture:
Recipe:
Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette
     and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Bake Time:  30 Minutes
Yields:  8 to 10 Servings

Ingredients:

(For Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam)-

2 tablespoons unsalted butter,
1 cup Sweet Vidalia Onions, finely chopped,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
2 tablespoons cornstarch,
1 pound ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped,
1 can (14.5-oz.) diced tomatoes, drained,
1/4 cup packed brown sugar,
2 tablespoons granulated sugar,

(For Feta Cheese Pastry –one crust)-

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled,
1/4 cup vegetable shortening,
1/4 cup firm unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes,
1/3 cup ice water,

(For Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper Filling)-

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided,
1 tablespoon olive oil,
3 cups Sweet Vidalia Onions, chopped,
1 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced,
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper,
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled,
1 large egg, beaten,
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour,
1/2 cup half-and-half,

(For egg wash baste)-

1 large egg, beaten,
2 tablespoon cold water,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar,

Preparation directions:

Prepare sweet onion & tomato jam. Melt 2 tablespoons butter into a large skillet, over medium heat. Add 1 cup sweet onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt into melted butter, cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions is translucent and cooked, stirring frequently. Sprinkle in cornstarch into cooked onions and stir until blended. Stir in plum tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar into cooked onions and cook an additional 5 minutes longer, or until sweet onion and tomato jam mixture has thicken and is heated thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Spoon sweet onion & tomato jam mixture into a small serving bowl and place in refrigerator to set and chill.

Prepare feta cheese pastry for one crust. Add 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a food processor. Pulse 4 times to combine. Add shortening and firm butter cubes and pulse an additional 10 times to combine until mixture resembles coarse meal crumbs. Add crumbled feta cheese and 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse an additional 10 times. Add remaining ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to pulse together until pastry dough forms.  Place pastry dough over a lightly floured work surface and form into an 8-inch disc. Wrap pastry dough disc with plastic wrap to cover and place in refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile, prepare caramelized sweet onions & pepper filling. Melt 1 tablespoon butter along with heating 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large skillet, over medium heat. Add 3 cups sweet onions, cook for 6 minutes, or until sweet onions have become translucent and caramelized, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, green bell pepper, garlic, thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and white pepper into caramelized onions and continue cooking an additional 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until vegetable mixture is cooked through. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over top of vegetable mixture and remove skillet from heat temporality. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons flour and half-and-half until well blended. Return skillet to medium heat. Stir egg and half-and-half mixture into caramelized sweet onion & pepper filling mixture until combined and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until filling mixture has thickened. Remove skillet with filling mixture from heat; set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet pan with sides or jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  Remove plastic wrap for pastry dough disc and place dough in the center of lined pan. Using a rolling pin or finger tips, roll or shape dough into a 14-inch circle. Spoon and spread warm filling mixture into the center of dough circle and spread filling evenly to 2-inches from edge of dough. Carefully, fold edges of dough over filling. In a small bowl, prepare egg wash baste; whisk 1 beaten egg and 2 tablespoons water together until blended. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg wash baste over the folded edges of dough. Discard any unused leftover egg wash. Sprinkle moistened egg wash basted dough edges evenly with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is baked through. Remove from oven and place pan over cooling rack to allow galette to set. Cut galette into 8 wedge slices and serve with chilled sweet onion & tomato jam.
SNICKERDOODLE PECAN PIE
Prep Time:  20 Minutes
Bake Time:  50 Minutes
Servings:        8 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 refrigerated pastry pie crust shell for 9-inch pie, softened,
3 large eggs,
1 cup light corn syrup,
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar,
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon,
1 teaspoon vanilla extract,
3 tablespoons unsalted butter,
3/4 cup white vanilla morsel chips, (or 5 ounces white chocolate coarsely chopped into small pieces),
1 cup  pecan halves, coarsely chopped,

DIRECTIONS:

1.) Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare recipe for single crust pie. Roll out softened pie crust shell and place in a 9-inch glass pie plate. Press to fit without stretching dough. Trim even with the pie plate. Flute edges.

2.) In large bowl, beat together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, until well beaten.

3.) Place butter and white chips,(or white chocolate pieces) into a small microwavable bowl . Microwave for 30 seconds and additional 15 seconds each at a time, on 50 % power setting, and stirring after each heating until mixture has melted and blended completely. Gradually, stir melted mixture into egg sweetened cinnamon mixture until totally combined together.  Stir chopped pecans into combined pie mixture and pour evenly into prepared unbaked pie crust. Cover edge of pie with foil to prevent over browning.


4.) Bake 50 minutes, or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Place baked pie onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Cut pie into 8 single serving wedges and serve.


Hummingbird Mini-Cookie Bites with Cheesy White Chocolate Ganache
Prep Time:  25 Minutes
Bake Time:  15 Minutes
Servings:      36 Cookie Bites

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour,
1 cup sugar,
1 teaspoon baking powder,
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon,
1/2 teaspoon baking soda,
1/4 teaspoon salt,
1/2 cup vegetable oil,
2 large eggs,
3 tablespoons pineapple juice,
1 teaspoon vanilla extract,
1/3 cup crushed pineapple, (reserving 3 tablespoons juice from can and draining remaining),
1/2 cup mashed banana, (1 medium size),
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans,
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 ounces cream cheese, softened,
1 cup white chocolate, chopped,

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 36 mini-muffin cups with mini-muffin paper or foil baking liners; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir in vegetable oil, eggs, pineapple juice and vanilla extract together with dry ingredients until just blended and creamy.
Fold in the crushed pineapple, mashed banana and pecans into cookie mixture until just combined. Carefully, spoon the cookie mixture into prepared lined mini-muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 each full.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until mini-cookie bites spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Remove each mini-cookie bites from pans and place over onto a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, or until completely cooled.


Meanwhile, prepare cheesy white chocolate ganache. Pour heavy cream, break cream cheese into tiny pieces and add the chopped white chocolate in the top of a double boiler, over hot (not boiling) water, stirring constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon. When white chocolate is almost melted (some pieces of the white chocolate should still be visible) and cream cheese is blended with cream, remove from stove and stir until mixture is smooth.  Cool cheesy white chocolate ganache mixture slightly for 10 minutes. Drizzle spoonful’s over each mini-cookie bites . 


Grilled Tropics of Capri Crab Risotto
Prep Time:  10 Minutes
Grill Time:   20 Minutes
Servings:       6 Servings

Ingredients:

7 cups chicken broth,
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil,
2/3 cup sweet onion, finely chopped,
1/2 cup sweet red peppers, seeded and finely chopped,
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided,
1 teaspoon ground white pepper, divided,
2 cups Arborio rice,
1 cup dry white wine,
1/2 pound fresh Dungeness crabmeat, chopped,
1/2 cup fresh peas,
1 can (15.25-oz.) Tropical Fruit, reserve 3 tablespoons juice
           and drain remaining juice from fruit,
1 to 2 pinches of saffron,
2/3 cup freshly finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided,

Directions:

Preheat grill with lid down to medium-high heat and side burner of grill to high heat.

Heat broth in a 3-quart heavy duty saucepan or a 5-quart heavy duty Dutch oven over the side burner, as chicken broth begins to heat to a medium-high heat level, reduce side-burner heat to low heat and let broth simmer.


Lift lid on grill and heat olive oil in a large non-stick heavy duty 12-inch skillet to medium heat. Add the onions, peppers,  1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper to heated olive oil and cook until partially tender, stirring frequently. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Carefully, add the white wine into onions, peppers, and rice and cook until wine has reduced completely, stirring occasionally. Begin adding the broth, in 1 cup ladles, into rice vegetable risotto and cook until broth is almost absorbed, stirring frequently. Repeat with the remaining broth, into 1 cup ladles at a time, until 1cup broth remains. Stir in crabmeat, peas, tropical fruit and reserved 3 tablespoons tropical fruit juice and 1 or 2 pinches of saffron into risotto.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper to season. At the same time also, add in remaining 1 cup ladle of broth into risotto and cook until rice is al dente, vegetables and crab is cooked and risotto is creamy, stirring frequently, (cooking grill time should total 20 minutes). Remove risotto in skillet from heat. Serve with shredded cheese sprinkled over top or on the side of each serving.  Recipe yields 6 servings.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam

Hi Everyone!! Been MIA for some time now, due to some busy life journeys with my family. The past absent years have been very busy for my family. We have had some sad times, but thankfully mostly filled with more good times and welcome additions. My middle son and youngest daughter left the happy nest some years back. They are now happily married. Plus I can now announce I am finally a grandmother to 2 beautiful grand babies. Feeling so blessed and thankful.
Finally got back, to another of my lifes joys besides my family and that is cooking and baking. Wanted to share with you all one of my families favorite recipe.
Recipe Picture:
Recipe:
Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper with Feta Cheese Pastry Galette
     and Speedy Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Bake Time:  30 Minutes
Yields:  8 to 10 Servings

Ingredients:

(For Sweet Onion & Tomato Jam)-

2 tablespoons unsalted butter,
1 cup Sweet Vidalia Onions, finely chopped,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
2 tablespoons cornstarch,
1 pound ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped,
1 can (14.5-oz.) diced tomatoes, drained,
1/4 cup packed brown sugar,
2 tablespoons granulated sugar,

(For Feta Cheese Pastry –one crust)-

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled,
1/4 cup vegetable shortening,
1/4 cup firm unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes,
1/3 cup ice water,

(For Caramelized Sweet Onion & Pepper Filling)-

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided,
1 tablespoon olive oil,
3 cups Sweet Vidalia Onions, chopped,
1 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced,
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper,
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled,
1 large egg, beaten,
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour,
1/2 cup half-and-half,

(For egg wash baste)-

1 large egg, beaten,
2 tablespoon cold water,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar,

Preparation directions:

Prepare sweet onion & tomato jam. Melt 2 tablespoons butter into a large skillet, over medium heat. Add 1 cup sweet onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt into melted butter, cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions is translucent and cooked, stirring frequently. Sprinkle in cornstarch into cooked onions and stir until blended. Stir in plum tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar into cooked onions and cook an additional 5 minutes longer, or until sweet onion and tomato jam mixture has thicken and is heated thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Spoon sweet onion & tomato jam mixture into a small serving bowl and place in refrigerator to set and chill.

Prepare feta cheese pastry for one crust. Add 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a food processor. Pulse 4 times to combine. Add shortening and firm butter cubes and pulse an additional 10 times to combine until mixture resembles coarse meal crumbs. Add crumbled feta cheese and 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse an additional 10 times. Add remaining ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to pulse together until pastry dough forms.  Place pastry dough over a lightly floured work surface and form into an 8-inch disc. Wrap pastry dough disc with plastic wrap to cover and place in refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile, prepare caramelized sweet onions & pepper filling. Melt 1 tablespoon butter along with heating 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large skillet, over medium heat. Add 3 cups sweet onions, cook for 6 minutes, or until sweet onions have become translucent and caramelized, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, green bell pepper, garlic, thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and white pepper into caramelized onions and continue cooking an additional 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until vegetable mixture is cooked through. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over top of vegetable mixture and remove skillet from heat temporality. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons flour and half-and-half until well blended. Return skillet to medium heat. Stir egg and half-and-half mixture into caramelized sweet onion & pepper filling mixture until combined and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until filling mixture has thickened. Remove skillet with filling mixture from heat; set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet pan with sides or jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  Remove plastic wrap for pastry dough disc and place dough in the center of lined pan. Using a rolling pin or finger tips, roll or shape dough into a 14-inch circle. Spoon and spread warm filling mixture into the center of dough circle and spread filling evenly to 2-inches from edge of dough. Carefully, fold edges of dough over filling. In a small bowl, prepare egg wash baste; whisk 1 beaten egg and 2 tablespoons water together until blended. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg wash baste over the folded edges of dough. Discard any unused leftover egg wash. Sprinkle moistened egg wash basted dough edges evenly with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is baked through. Remove from oven and place pan over cooling rack to allow galette to set. Cut galette into 8 wedge slices and serve with chilled sweet onion & tomato jam.