Utah Taste Off – Salsas

We jumped on board the Utah Taste Off train again this week and this time it was salsa tasting! The whole family got in on the act and we had fun taste testing and comparing all the salsas.

Mango Salsa from Meieres Meats and Fine Foods

Medium Roasted Tomato Salsa from Salsitas Mendoza

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa from Salsa Madre

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa from Loco Lizard Cantina

Corn and Red Pepper Salsa from Tagge’s Famous Fruit

Red Salsa from Los Cucos Mexican Cafe

and a bag of Don Julio Mexican Style Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips

The corn and red pepper salsa from Tagge’s was the landslide winner here, it was a little sweet at first taste and then ended with a really nice kick!

Next week Utah Taste Off is doing eclairs and I cannot wait!

Reese’s Pieces Blondies

I decided to do some porch treats yesterday and these yummy guys fit the bill, with both Reese’s Pieces and Reese’s Minis, what’s not to like?

12 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups Reese’s Pieces, divided

1 cup chopped Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups

1 Preheat oven to 325. Spray 9 x 13″ pan with cooking spray.

2 Mix together butter and sugars until well combined. Add in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Gently stir in 1 cup of the Reese’s Pieces and all the Reese’s Minis.

3 Spread dough in pan and top with remaining Reese’s Pieces, gently pushing them into the dough. Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and middle looks dry and does not sink when gently pressed. Let cool before cutting into bars.

recipe from I Heart Naptime

Chocolate Chip Mini Bundt Cakes

The hubs had an online church activity planned with the young men in our neighborhood last night and asked if I would make them treats. I think we all know the answer to that question so I made these little beauties and only 2 boys showed up. What a shame! My family was so happy. They are delicious!

They even look good without any ganache!

cakes

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup sour cream

1 cup chocolate chips

ganache

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

mini chocolate chips for sprinkling

1 For the cakes, preheat oven to 350. Spray mini bundt cake pan with cooking spray for baking.

2 Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3 Beat butter for 30 seconds on medium then add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla.

4 Beat in half the flour mixture then the sour cream and then the remaining flour mixture beating just until combined after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.

5 Spoon or scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

6 Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

7 For the ganache, melt chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30 second increments until melted and smooth, stirring between each heating.

8 Spoon over cakes and top with mini chocolate chips.

recipe from The Baking Chocolatess

Everything But the Bagel Sourdough Focaccia

This is the best thing I’ve made so far with my sourdough discard. It was so yummy, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

SPONGE

1 1/2 cups sourdough starter

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon honey or sugar

1 cup flour

FOCACCIA

1/2 cup olive oil

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

FOR THE PAN

1/2 cup oil

TOPPINGS (AS DESIRED)

sea salt

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

1 Combine sponge ingredients in large bowl. Allow sponge to ferment and bubble for about an hour or until the top is covered in bubbles and the bubbles are of differing sizes.

2 Add focaccia ingredients to sponge and mix together. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 – 7 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size.

3 Gently punch dough down. Using either one large baking sheet (11 x 17″) or two smaller (9 x 13″), pour 1/2 cup olive oil into the large pan or 1/4 cup olive oil into each of the smaller pans, then tip pan around to coat entire pan with olive oil. Press dough into bottom of each pan until it fills pan. If dough is resistant, let sit for 5 minutes and then try again.

4 Cover with kitchen towel and allow to rise until almost doubled in size, about an hour.

5 Preheat oven to 450. Lightly dock dough with your fingers, leaving small indentations all over the dough. I used a kitchen brush to spread oil that had pooled in the corners of the pan over the top of the dough. Top as desired.

6 Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

recipe from Flour On My Face

Utah Taste Off Review – Citrus Desserts

Have you heard of the Utah Taste Off? I found them on Instagram and so the hubs and I gave it a try this past week. Here’s how it works:

Go to their website (link above) and sign up for their email list so you will be one of the first to know when the kits are ready to purchase on Sunday mornings. Order and pay for your kit ($45) and select a pickup sight in either Utah, Salt Lake or Davis counties. Pick up your kit on your given day and at your given time and the fun begins!

You will be give 12 food items, 6 different kinds, 2 of each. You will also be given instructions

and 2 placemats

and 2 score sheets.

And now get to tasting and scoring and then entering your scores on their website. It’s yummy and fun and all in your own home!

We just got our first kit this past week. The theme was Citrus Desserts. Here is what was in the kit (see picture at top) –

Fresh Lime Pies from Cafe Rio

Lillys (Lemon Sugar Cookie with Lemon Heads) from Ruby Snap

Orange Rolls from Shirley’s Bakery

Lemon Crullers from Jack’s Donuts

Lemon Bars from The Baking Hive

Grapefruit Cupcakes from Alicia’s Cupcakes

My favorite was the Grapefruit Cupcake from Alicia’s followed very closely by the Lemon Cruller from Jack’s Donuts but the truth is that they were all delicious!

Next week’s theme is Salsa and the hubs woke up early to order one. (The email comes at 7am and if you are on their email list you get first dibs before they open it up to everyone at 9am.)

Give it a try! (You can thank me later!)

Sugar Cookie Bites with Buttercream Icing

Aren’t they cute? My little neighbor Redynn turned 6 yesterday so I made these for her. So simple but so cute.

1 bag Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix plus ingredients called for on bag

1/2 bag white confetti chips

1 recipe Buttercream Icing, found here

sprinkles, your choice, these are Sweet Tooth Fairy Sprinkles from Michaels

1 Preheat oven to temperature called for on cookie bag. Prepare sugar cookie dough as directed on package. Stir in confetti chips by hand. Spray wells of mini muffin pan with cooking spray for baking. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of batter into each well.

2 Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes or until edges start to brown slightly. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

3 Fit a piping bag with a star tip and fill with frosting. Pipe frosting on top of each cookie bite and top with sprinkles.

“You’re a Peach” Cobbler

I spent the first 7 years of my life in a little town in Massachusetts called Hardwick. Hardwick has the oldest fair in the United States, it’s been going since 1762! I have fond memories of the fair from my childhood. And I won a blue ribbon for zucchini bread when I was a teenager, you can read about that here.

The fair is being held virtually this year so I entered the Home Baking competition which was to make this peach cobbler and enter a photo online. You can see my entry here. I don’t think I’ve ever made a peach cobbler before but the fam loved it with some homemade whipping cream. It was gone in a flash!

HOW TO EASILY PEEL PEACHES (it really works!)

Gently lower 2 – 3 peaches at a time into a pot of boiling water. Leave them in the water for about 30 seconds and then remove them to an ice water bath. The bath will shock them and keep the peach flesh from cooking but the peach skin will be so easy to peel that you won’t even need a knife.

Peach Mixture

5 peaches, peeled, cored and sliced (about 4 cups)

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cobbler Batter

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

cinnamon (and sugar)

1 For the peach mixture, put peaches, sugar and salt into a saucepan and stir to combine. Cook on medium for a few minutes until sugar dissolves and juice starts to come out of the peaches. Set aside.

2 For the cobbler batter, preheat oven to 350. Slice butter into pieces and add to 9 x 13″ pan or large 12″ skillet. Place pan in oven while it preheats to melt butter. Once melted, remove from oven.

3 Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt then stir in milk just until combined. Pour mixture into pan, over the butter, and smooth into an even layer. Spoon peaches and juice over batter. Sprinkle top generously with cinnamon. (I added a little sugar to the top too.)

4 Bake for 38 – 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

recipe from The Hardwick Fair

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sourdough Muffins

It’s amazing the things that you can make with your sourdough starter. I’ve got a whole list of recipes that I want to try using the sourdough discard. These were great, just a hint of sourdough flavor. And you know me, I love a good muffin!

1 cup rolled or quick oats

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup plain yogurt or you can sub milk if you don’t have any yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sourdough starter discard

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or all purpose

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup oil, any cooking oil or melted butter

1 egg, beaten

1 cup chocolate chips

1 Preheat oven to 400. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

2 Stir together oats, milk, yogurt and vanilla in large bowl and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You want the oats to soften a bit.

3 Stir sourdough discard and sugar into oats.

4 In a small bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

5 Stir oil and egg into oat mixture then stir in dry ingredients just until mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop into prepared pan.

6 Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

recipe from Cooking with Carlee

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

Still fighting the good fight against all the zucchini around here but I think it is starting to slow down so that means I won! Speaking of winning, this bread was a definite contender for favorite zucchini bread at our house.

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded or ground zucchini

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 Preheat oven to 325. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray for baking.

2 Beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

3 Stir together flour, salt and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until combined after each addition. Stir in zucchini, lemon zest, and poppy seeds by hand.

4 Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 – 15 minutes in pan before removing to cool completely on wire rack.

recipe from My Recipes

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

I gotta be honest . . . I didn’t love this but the hubs was all over it. I like this sauce better which is made with Roma tomatoes.

4 cups cherry tomatoes, stems removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/3 cup fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper

1 Preheat oven to 425.

2 Spread tomatoes in single layer in 9 x 13″ pan. Drizzle with olive oil then stir so tomatoes are covered in oil. Sprinkle with onion powder.

3 Bake for 35 minutes or until tomatoes are wrinkly and just starting to blacken. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

4 Put tomatoes in food processor along with fresh basil, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.

recipe from Brooklyn Farm Girl