Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Chai Spiced Sugar


A friend of mine, Keri Bassett, and a fellow blogger has a wonderful site at http://www.shakentogetherlife.com.  I wanted to share this Amazing Chai Spiced Sugar  I have to be honest, since Keri shared her recipe, it’s now a staple in my house. You can add this spice blend to just about anything. Cookies to your favorite drink, it really doesn’t matter, Keri’s, Chai spiced sugar will give you warm FUZZIES inside!

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chai-spiced-sugar-diy-chai-spice-mix

Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of Chai Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or all spice)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Directions:
Stir together sugar and chai spice mix until well combined. Place in a airtight container and store in a dark cool place.

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Perfect Scrambled Eggs


 

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scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives

 

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scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives

There’s a technique believe it or not when making scrambled eggs. I’ve never been a fan of fried eggs, and even eating scrambled eggs was a chore. Any time my mom or grandmother made me eggs, they were always scrambled. I remember it always being a real chore managing to finish eating those that were on my plate. As I got older, and went out for breakfast, I’d order them along with bacon and potatoes. Again,  they were the one thing on my plate that I could never finish. I realized, that it wasn’t so much the taste but the texture of the eggs that seem to be the problem for me.

Years ago, Melissa and I visited  Disney’s Animal Kingdom and ate breakfast at their famous, Boma Flavors of Africa, breakfast buffet. There I had scrambled eggs. The were the most amazing scrambled eggs I’d ever had. The eggs were fluffy, but cooked through, and filled with goat cheese and chives. That’s when I made the decision to practice making scrambled eggs at home.

Beating the eggs for a longer amount of time and then cooking them low and slow is key to making the perfect scrambled eggs. The longer they’re over the heat will determine how you want your eggs to be cooked. Runny and soft of course will take less time than compared to dryer scrambled eggs.

Ingredients:
1 dozen large eggs
1/4 cup of half and half (substitute heavy cream or whole milk is fine)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives
1/4 cup of whipped cream cheese ( or goat cheese)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
First, place a non stick pan on med heat on the stove. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper together. Whisk, for at least 5 minutes, these ingredients together, allowing as much air as possible to be incorporated into the eggs. You want to see foam bubbles forming at the top of the egg mixture.

At this point, turn the dial on the stove down to medium-low. Continue whisking, letting the temperature of the burner adjust. Add the egg mixture to the pan. Using a rubber spatula, continue moving the eggs around in the pan until the eggs come together. Key is not to rush this process. Times may vary slightly, cooking on a med-low heat will take about 10 minutes with the constant movement of the eggs in the pan.

Once the eggs are to your liking, immediately turn the heat off but leave the eggs on the burner. This will ensure any and all liquid from the eggs will be evaporated. Next, fold in the cream cheese (or goat cheese) and chopped chives. Season with Kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the eggs to a serving bowl. Best served hot!

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes


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My grandmother always added ricotta cheese to pancake batter. She didn’t necessarily always make them from scratch. She’d take help from the store when she could. I took this cue from her. Don’t get me wrong, if you have the time to make the batter yourself that’s awesome. I use help from the store whenever I can. Truth be told, there are some really great box mixes available now, they just need a little extra love added to them. I’ll show you my tricks in making the fluffiest and tastiest pancakes ever.

Directions:
Basically, the box mix calls for 1 cup of dry mix to 3/4’s cup of water. Starting with the wet ingredients, I’m adding in the zest of a lemon, 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup of ricotta. I mix those ingredients together really well until there are no lumps, and the water has a milky appearance. Next, slowly whisk in the dry mix just until the batter comes together. Set the bowl aside while preparing the non-stick pan.

Have the stove set on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of  unsalted butter. I like to make a tester pancake first. You know how the first one never turns out right?… That’s why I do this. It also gets the pan evenly preheated. After the small tester pancake is complete, start with the actual pancakes you are going to be serving.

Lower the stove dial to medium low. Then add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan, swishing the butter all around the bottom. Immediately add in a small ladle of the batter, about 4″ in diameter. Once you see air bubbles all over the top of the pancake, it’s ready to flip. The times may vary slightly. You want the pancakes to cook completely on the inside, and on med-low heat it may take a minute or two longer. Don’t rush the process, it will be worth it.

Cook for about 3 minutes on the first side and another 2-3 minutes on the second side, making both sides golden brown. Adding an additional 1 tablespoon of butter, to the pan, for each pancake you make. Repeat the process for the remainder of the batter.

Note: While making the remainder of the pancakes, place the pancakes on a baking sheet   in a warm preheated oven, 200 degrees F. Also use a real maple syrup, it makes a big difference.

Yields: 4 sliver dollar pancakes ( about 6″ in diameter)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5-6 minutes per cake
Ingredients:
1 cup of pancake mix (box mix that only requires water)
3/4’s cup of water
zest of a lemon
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter

 

 

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Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits


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These sweet potato biscuits are so Yummy!  It puts a nice twist to your breakfast. Now I will tell you that I didn’t make mine super sweet, but you can. I used Greek yogurt to balance out the sweetness and it worked perfectly.

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So, I’m starting with the flour and I’m adding in the baking soda, baking powder, Kosher salt, freshly ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon. I whisk all this together. In a bowl in the frig, I have cold cubed butter that I’ve diced up and ready for when I need it. I also have a food processor fitted with the metal blade ready to go. What I like to do is to add about a 1/3 of the flour mixture into the processor then I add in a third of the cubed cold butter. I pulse the butter and flour together until  the butter is the size of peas mixed all through the flour. You can see in the pictures above. If you try to put it all in the processor at once, it won’t incorporate correctly and you’ll end up with not evenly distributed butter throughout the flour. It takes a little time but it’s worth it. While I make the wet ingredients, I place the four butter mixture into the frig until I’m  ready to combine the two, about 10 minutes. Next for the wet ingredients.

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You could go this route, but why. It takes over an hour to bake the sweet potato. Then you have to let it cool so you can peel and process the sweet potatoes through a food mill to get the right consistency.I have a better idea!

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Organic sweet pureed baby food. Yep! It has no additives and all the work is done for you.

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In a bowl I’ve added some the baby sweet potato puree, Greek yogurt, and brown sugar. I’ve whisked them all together really well and then transferred the wet ingredients into a measuring cup to make it easier to add to the dry ingredients.

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Once the wet has been introduced to the dry, do not over mix. I should look like this picture above. It also should be a sticky batter.. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. I doubled the recipe because, I know from experience that one batch will not be enough. Also because the batter is quite sticky, I’m choosing to use a scoop instead of two spoons to drop the biscuits onto the baking sheets. It’s just easier for me. I’m using the large scoop, 1/4 cup capacity, for my biscuits today. This will make 22 biscuits. Using this size scoop, they come out a looking like a standard size biscuit after they’ve baked. The oven is preheated to 425 degrees. The biscuits will bake until they are set and just brown, about 18-20 minutes. Keep your eye on them after the 15 minute mark. I leave the light on in the oven so I can watch them closely. Having the sweet potato puree and brown sugar in them, they could burn easily.

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Once the biscuits come out of the oven and are still nice and hot, I brush some unsalted melted butter over each one. Let them cool for a couple of minutes and serve.

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Yields: 22 large biscuits
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 18-20 minutes ( watch carefully after the 15 minute mark)
Equipment: Food processor, 3 baking sheet pans, ice cream scoop, 1/4 cup capacity, and parchment paper
Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
2-1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 sticks of unsalted diced and cubed cold butter
8 ounces of organic baby sweet potato puree
8 ounces of Greek yogurt
1 cup of packed brown sugar

Directions:
Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients into a food processor with 1/3 of the cold diced cubed butter and pulse.until butter is the size of peas. The flour and butter mixture needs to look like coarse crumbs. (Remember to do this in stages because you don’t want to over fill the food processor). Repeat this process until all the flour and butter have been processed through the food processor and return to the bowl. Place the flour mixture into the refrigerator to keep cold. Start on the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, combine sweet potato puree, brown sugar, and Greek yogurt together. Pour the wet mixture into a large measuring cup to make it easier to combine when adding to the dry. Mix the wet into the dry ingredients just until the the flour is incorporated. Do not over work the dough. Mixture will have a sticky consistency. Scoop the dough on lined parchment paper baking sheets about 1- 1-1/2 inches apart, and bake at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until dough is set and just brown..To test if done, take a toothpick and if it comes out clean they’re done. Again, keep a close eye on the biscuits after the 15 mark. The biscuits are best served hot. If needed, they can be reheated for 5 minutes at 400 degrees and be just perfect.

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