And the latest winner is…..

Congratulations to our latest winner today!  Randon.org drew #2 this morning – Congrats to Christi!!! I am sure I will get you your goodies later today or this weekend!   Watch for new recipes, new giveaways! Thanks for following, and thanks for all your comments!

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Put Your Apron On & Get Cooking

As a follow-up to the Snickerdoodle recipe, I have a quick give-a-way!  Plain Chicken has a great food blog; if you are not following her, check her out at plainchicken.com!  She writes food articles for several newspapers, and has recently created a wonderful short cookbook of a few of her favorite recipes.

So, in honor of her snickerdoodle recipe that I made and tried this past weekend (and shared with a few of you yesterday),  here’s a chance to win one of her cookbooks, along with this darling apron which came from StoryPeople, (they have wonderfully creative sayings, like the that is on this apron) and this wonderful “California Limited Edition First Press Olive Oil.“

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I can’t say enough about this olive oil.  You can only order it late fall from California Olive Ranch.  They only harvest during a short time for this specific, fruity flavored, wonderful oil.  You can sign up to be notified when it is ready.  And you better be ready to order as it goes fast!   I’m on their list, I get notified every year and I order every year!   Sometimes I get impatient and email to find out if it is ready to make sure I didn’t miss out on ordering!   Har-de-har-har!!!!  I bet they wish I would leave them alone!

If you want to be entered to win, just leave a reply below, and shout out your favorite all-time comfort food!  If you don’t have a favorite, or have too many to mention, just shout out you want to win!

Oh, none of the above sponsored this – they don’t know me (but Sur-La-Table in Birmingham knows me by name! hahaha)

What do you get when you cross a blueberry and a snickerdoodle?

Snickerdoodle Topped Blueberry Doughnut Muffins

I love to follow other cooking blogs to see all the recipes that are being shared with all of us!  One in particular posted this recipe and I knew I wanted to give it a try!

This recipe of Snickerdoodle Topped Blueberry Doughnut Muffins first came to me from PlainChicken  and when I read the ingredients along with the process, I knew I had to make them.  They did not disappoint!   While there are several steps to this lusciousness, they are very easy steps, so don’t let that stop you from making these.

Monday, a few of these wonderful delights will be dropped off at various places for a taste test!  So if you see one coming your way, give it a try!  And then come back here and post your comments as to how you liked (or didn’t like) them!

Snickerdoodle Topped Blueberry Doughnut Muffins

For the Cinnamon-Sugar:

¼ cup sugar

2 TB cinnamon

For the Snickerdoodles:

¼ cup butter, softened

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp sugar

½ tsp cream of tartar

¼ tsp baking soda

½ of an egg (see notes)

¾ cup all purpose flour (plus 2 TBSP flour for later use)

For the muffins:

1/3 cup butter, melted

½ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 ½ eggs (see notes

¼ cup + 2 TBSP milk

1 cup frozen blueberries

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Grease a muffin pan (12-cup)
  2. Combine the cinnamon-sugar ingredients in a shallow bowl, set to the side.
  3. Make Snickerdoodles:  Cream together the butter and sugar; In a separate bowl, stir the flour cream of tartar, and baking soda together;  stir in the ½ egg (to divide one egg, beat egg and pour one half of beaten egg in small bowl and reserve other half of egg for muffins) and the flour mixture.  Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, flatten into disks which are roughly the width of the muffin tin.  Coat in cinnamon-sugar.  Stack up and set aside.
  4. Add  the other 2 Tbsp of flour to the remaining cinnamon-sugar, and use it to dust each cavity of the greased muffin pan.
  5. Make the muffins:  In a bowl, add the melted butter, sugar, salt, nutmeg, baking powder and flour.  Stir until the consistence of a sandy mixture.  Stir in the 1 ½ egg and  milk, mixing just until combined. Stir in the blueberries.
  6. Divide the batter between the greased, cinnamon-sugar coated muffin cavities.  Top with a disk of cookie dough.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until puffy and cracked.

Hope you enjoy!

One Potato, Two Potato, Sweet Potato, Four

These sweet potato biscuits pair nicely with your Blackened Pork Tenderloin… or anything else you want to serve them with, really.  They are easy, they are fun, and they will knock your socks off, even if you aren’t wearing any!  It’s also a fantastic way to serve ham: slice them open, spread a little mustard sauce on (that recipe must be shared with you – it’s a  must-have with ham at our holiday gatherings), insert a slice of ham and go to town!

The biscuits freeze well and can be zapped in the microwave or thawed and heated in oven.  They have just a slight “bite” or “kick” to them which makes you want more of them!  At our cooking class, my group’s (and I use that term loosely, as two of us were actually doing the cooking while the other two finished off the three bottles of wine…you know who you are!!!!)  were the biscuits eaten at the end of the evening by the whole class.  They were tender, they were golden,  and they were perfect – the instructor was impressed!  Boys, howdy, some of those so-called biscuits could have passed as hockey pucks!  But we were there to learn, right??!!!

I  can’t stress one point too much: this dough does not need to be kneaded or worked much!  This dough is a very soft, pliable, sticky dough – to keep it soft and moist you will flour your hands and the dough while patting it out to cut the rounds.

Don’t forget to register for the giveaway!  This wonderful   5-qt enameled cast iron multipurpose pan came from my first visit to the newly opened Sur La Table  in Birmingham.  I will have to write a separate article on that episode as it is a story in itself!  Happy cooking!

Sweet Potato Biscuits – makes about 2 dozen,  2-inch biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

2 to 3 medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (1 ¾ lbs)

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp double-acting baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp granulated sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (I like just a smidgen more!)

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold, cut into ¼ inch cubes

1 ½ cups buttermilk, very cold

2 Tbsp lightly salted butter, melted (you can take unsalted butter and add a sprinkle of salt)
Place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet, and pierce with a fork.  Place in oven and bake until tender, about 1 to 1 ½ hours, depending on individual’s oven.  Cut the potatoes open and let cool to room temp.  Scoop the potato pulp out; discard skins and either pass pulp through food mill or mash with potato masher.  Measure enough potato puree to equal 1 ½ cups.

Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Pulse several times to combine thoroughly.  Add the butter cubes over the top of flour mixture.  Take a spoon and toss the cubes to coat them slightly with the flour. Replace top of processor and pulse 12-15 times, holding each pulse for one second.  The mixture should resemble coarse meal.  Pour the contents of the processor into a large mixing bowl.

In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sweet potato mash and buttermilk; add to the flour mixture all at once.  Mix gently by hand, just until incorporated, to form a soft dough. Important note:  do not overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough!

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface; pat the dough into a ¾ inch thick circle.  Cut biscuits, using a 2-inch cutter* dipped in flour, then cut straight down without twisting.  Continue dipping the cutter in the flour between each biscuit. 

Space the biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet, then brush with the melted salted butter.  Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes, again depending on your oven.  Transfer to a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes.

*I love to use my square cutter when making these biscuits. Use your fluted cutter, also.

Rajun Cajun-Blackened Pork Tenderloin with Creole Mustard Sauce

sur la table 5 qt multipan
Taking Viking Cooking School cooking classes does pay off!  Not only do you learn technique, cooking times, proper preparation of what you are cooking, you have loads of fun!  The recipe I am sharing is so easy! And if you eat Pork Tenderloin, it is so tasty! And it is the way to get tender, (not dry) flavorful pork tenderloin!  We learned that pork is done when it reaches 140 degrees.  Anything over that and you will get chewy, dry pork!  (We will be tasting this with Sweet Potato biscuits, to die for, at work in the next week).

So, plan on making this – it doesn’t take long, can be made on a week-night, and there’s a give-a-way involved!   Woohoo!  A Sur-La-Table Lime Green 5-Qt Multipurpose Cast-Iron Enameled Pan! Pictured above! It will make you happy!  The lid serves as a second pan!  Two pans in one!  AND I am throwing in a Williams Sonoma Digital Meat thermometer in with it!  This baby is wonderful!  I have a different version and love, love, love mine!  You can insert it into the meat and close the oven door for perfectly prepared meals!

To be entered, just let me know if you (1) either tried the recipe below or (2) plan on trying the recipe below! I hope you will! You won’t be disappointed! Leave a comment to be entered in the give-a-way by next Friday, January 11, when a winner will be selected and announced! !

Blackened Pork Tenderloin with Creole Mustard-serves 6-8

2-(1-lb)  pork tenderloins                          3-4 Tbsp clarified butter

Blackened Seasoning (make or purchase your favorite brand)

Creole mustard
(trim the tenderloins, removing all fat and silverskin.(keeps the tenderloins from curling up and from becoming tender).

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. * Coat each tenderloin with clarified butter then season generously and evenly on all sides with Blackened Seasoning. (I have used softened regular butter in the absence of clarified butter and it worked fine)  *Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed skillet (that can go in the oven) (if you win the contest that pan would work great!) over high heat until smoking hot.  Sear the pork on all sides until a dark brown crust forms, about 3 minutes on all sides.  The pork should be lightly charred. * If necessary,(I would test with a meat thermometer to get the 140 degree meat reading) place whole pan in oven and finish cooking until meat thermometer reads 140 degrees in thickest portion.  *Remove and place tenderloins on carving board.  Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.  Slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch medallions.  Serve with Creole Mustard Sauce.

Creole Mustard Sauce

1/4 cup Creole or grainy Dijon mustard                  1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp honey                                                                1 Tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp hot pepper sauce                                                1/2 tsp creole seasoning

3 green onions green tops only, sliced very thin

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, mayo, honey, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, creole seasoning, and green onions.   Place in refrigerator for at least one hour to allow the flavors to develop.

I hope you will make this and enjoy!  Sweet Potato Biscuit recipe to come!