Coming from a long background of working in the barbecue industry, over 25 years, gave me a chance to learn a thing or two about the art of smoking meat. I was so excited about sharing my technique on smoking ribs using your oven, when, the one thing that could go wrong, did go wrong. Let me explain. I’d been using my computer for quite a few years, and to be honest it pretty much was outdated. You know when you get comfortable with something, you just don’t want to change, or at least I don’t. Well, early on this year my daughter called me and told me, adamantly, that I needed to start backing all my stuff up onto Dropbox, and she explained the importance in doing this. So now I had this system, where, after I posted a recipe, I would go back and take those photos and upload the to my Dropbox. This past July, for my birthday, a new computer was sitting there by my front door. You can’t even imagine the amount of joy I felt. Melissa had bought me a new computer. This is why she was having me back everything up. Anyway, I told Melissa, before I start using the new computer, that I was taking the old one to have it cleaned out and transfer a few things over to the new one. I planned on giving mine to a family in need of a computer. I’m in the middle of blogging about the proper way to prep the St. Louis ribs, trimming them, removing the skin on the back, my computer just dies. Can you believe it! I tried everything, nothing worked. So my latest pictures on this subject are stuck in my old computer, and util I get a chance to take it to those smart people whose job it is to help with these type of situations, this recipe has to wait just a little longer. Not to worry, Melissa will be here tomorrow and I’m so excited. EPCOT food and wine festival is this weekend so I’ll have lots to share in the mean time. So for now I’ll say good night.
Everybody can get so busy during the week, that dinner sometimes can be the last thing from our minds. I have to say, that making burritos has to be one of my favorite ways to make something delicious but fast. I think it’s really all in the planning. If you know me, you know that I have a few staples that I always have on hand. Frozen asparagus, jarred roasted red peppers, and the low moisture style Mozzarella cheese. So now on my way home I just had to pick up the steak, the whole grain tortillas, and some of that fresh made basil pesto, that you can find in the deli dept. of the grocery store.
Now what I have here are the veggies. You can do these burritos with whatever veggies you have on hand. I just cut the thawed frozen asparagus into 3 inch pieces and blanched them for a minuted in salted boiling water. Then I shocked them in ice water to stop them from cooking and set the green color. There are a few basil leaves I decided to add to compliment the pesto that I’m going to spread on the tortillas. Next, I brushed each side with a little olive oil. Then I seasoned the steaks liberally with Kosher salt, garlic powder, and some black pepper, to get them ready to sear off in a very hot skillet, and then go into a 350 degree oven to finish cooking.
I cook them off until the internal temperature was 125 degrees for med rare, and then let them rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Moving forward it’s time to assemble the tortillas.
Layer you ingredients on the bottom third of the tortilla. I started with a light spread of the basil pesto, then the steak, the cheese, roasted red peppers, asparagus, arugula, and finally 2 basil leaves. I like to make sure that the ingredients are spread out so they reach all the way across. Then I just rolled them up. I sprayed the outside of the tortillas with non-stick cooking spray. I then heated up a cast iron skillet to med high heat. I used one of those grill presses, but if you don’t have one, you could just use another but smaller skillet to place on top. It only takes a couple of minutes to get this toasty golden brown outside to the tortillas. After they are done I slice them on a diagonal. Just using the best ingredients you can find, but keeping it simple makes all the difference. Once you take a bite of that juicy steak surrounded by the pesto, with the melted cheese, and the crispy veggies all wrapped in that tortilla. Well, I am a happy camper.
This one pot wonder goes from stove to table. What better way than to serve seasonal vegetables with a Italian twist. All types of squash are in season right now, so why not take advantage. Roasting them brings out their sweetness, and you just can’t get that by cooking them any other way. I’ll be posting this recipe soon with my Sweet and Smokey Rib recipe.
This cake combines the taste of a pumpkin cheesecake with a moist and delicious cake. My new bundt pan gives an elegant touch that will have your friends saying WOW!.
First is to butter and flour your pan really well. If you’ve been reading my blog you know that when it comes to making cakes, doing it from scratch is great, but this box cake mix, French vanilla is my “go to” base for all my cakes. I can make this brand into any flavor I need. It has that special vanilla flavor, plus all the ingredients are all pre-measured out for you. This box cake mix never disappoints. So let’s get started. I follow the back of the box’s instructions, because I’m using 2 boxes for this recipe. You may not need all the batter when you’re done, but 1 box is not enough for this pan and this recipe. First the wet ingredients. I do one box at a time, it just never works out right if you combine them. Follow the wet ingredients according to the back of the box.
Now to the wet ingredients I add 1/2 a cup each of pure pumpkin puree, room temperature ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of cream cheese emulsion ( you can find this at any baking store). I whisk the room temperature eggs, water, and vegetable oil together first, then whisk in the ricotta, pumpkin puree, and the extracts. Below is what the wet ingredients will look like after they are all mixed together.
Second for the dry ingredients, since everything is already measured, all I do to the dry is add in my pumpkin spice blend (1 tablespoon) and whisk that together. My pumpkin spice blend recipe can be found under my pumpkin pancake recipe. I add in a 1/3 of the dry ingredients at a time to the wet, giving the dry time to incorporate into the wet. Once I’ve completed the first box I repeat this process again with the second, only with the second I reserve back 1/3/ of the wet and dry and leave out the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice blend. I want the center of the cake to just have a cheesecake type of center. So in the bottom 1/3 of the bundt pan I pour in the pumpkin batter. In the center I add to that the batter I reserved without the pumpkin ingredients.
You want to make sure that you don’t fill the pan all the way to the top, giving the batter a chance to rise. At this point you want to have your oven set to 350 degrees and follow the baking instructions of the box. It may take a few minutes longer than the box says, due to the fact there is more batter in this pan than 1 box of batter. Keep checking it regularly after the box says it should be done with a cake tester, or a long wooden skewer. When the cake tester comes out clean it’s done. I believe it was an extra 10-12 minutes for this pan.
After I take the cake out of the oven, I place a plate over the top and invert it, so the cake will cool in this position and make for easy removal. Next, I move on to the cream cheese maple drizzle. Start with a large bowl.
In this bowl I have 1-8 ounce bar of softened cream cheese, and I cup of powdered sugar. If you like your glaze really sweet, you can add more sugar. Stir that all together, and then to loosen it up into a glaze, just start drizzling real maple syrup into the mixture until it has the consistency of a glaze (a little more than a 1/4 cup or so). You want it to fall of the spoon easily when you tilt the spoon. After the cake has completely cooled, remove it from the pan. It should lift right off. Place on a serving plate and just drizzle as much or as little of the glaze that you like.
There you have it, my Pumpkin Cheesecake Bundt Cake With A Cream Cheese Maple Drizzle.