Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lunch Anyone?

Strawberry-Turkey-Brie Panini
I have been eyeing a Krups panini maker from Williams Sonoma, but I have not had the reason to splurge yet. This delicious recipe may give me the reason! I love the presentation and I can use my favorite Brie and homemade pepper jelly. Yummy!

1 (8-oz.) Brie round
8 Italian bread slices
8 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey
8 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons red pepper jelly
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Garnish: strawberry halves

1. Trim and discard rind from Brie. Cut Brie into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Layer 4 bread slices evenly with turkey, basil leaves, strawberries, and Brie.
2. Spread 1 1/2 tsp. pepper jelly on 1 side of each of remaining 4 bread slices; place bread slices, jelly sides down, on top of Brie. Brush sandwiches with melted butter.
3. Cook sandwiches, in batches, in a preheated panini press 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
To prepare sandwiches without a panini press, cook in a preheated grill pan over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Garnish, if desired.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Southern Living

Strawberry, Candied Pecan, and Goat Cheese Salad

This is one of my easy crowd pleasing salad recipes! There are not exact measurements - I just eyeball it until it looks good. Salads are one type of recipe that you do not always have to be exact, so wing it. I am a HUGE fan of Earthbound organic lettuce mixes and I like the baby romaine or baby spinach for this recipe. I add goat cheese that is made at a local farm on John's Island, Burden Creek Dairy. It is yummy, really fresh, and supports buying local. I toss in a container of sliced strawberries and some candied pecans or walnuts. You can make a homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette or I LOVE Olde Cape Cod all natural White Balsamic and Honey Vinaigrette (available at almost any grocery store). Voila - wholesome goodness.

Strawberry Cupcakes

This recipe is one of favorite summer cupcake specialties. I adapted it from Martha Stewart.
Ingredients (makes 34):
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, plus one egg white
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped strawberries, plus several for garnishes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl (except sugar). Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at at time, beating after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Divide the batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Once tops are cool, frost tops with strawberry cream cheese frosting. Top with a strawberry garnish before serving.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing
This is a recipe from my mom's recipe box. I am not sure where it started from, but I love it. Martha Stewart calls for a buttercream recipe, but I am not as successful with buttercream.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup mashed drained fresh strawberries
Blend together the cream cheese and butter using an electric mixer on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add 3 cups powdered sugar, gradually, and the mashed strawberries; blend frosting again on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 1 minute. Increase mixer speed to medium and blend frosting until fluffy, 30-45 seconds more, adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar to make desired spreading consistency. Use as desired.

Strawberry cupcake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart. Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart.

This is my idea of a perfect lunch! Just add a glass of wine and you are set! Just stay away from the Boone's Farm, even thought it may be strawberry. He! He!....

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