Cranachan with Fresh Raspberries

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. What I mean is the golfing year. I love to play and watch golf, but especially like to watch the Majors. Well this week is The Open or otherwise known to us Americans as The British Open, but the true name is “The Open” and this year is special because The Open is being played at the birth place of golf, The Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.www.dadwhats4dinner.com

The Old Course at St Andrews is one of the oldest golf courses in the world,  a public course over common land in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. It is held in trust by The St Andrews Links Trust under an act of Parliament. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews club house sits adjacent to the first tee, although it is but one of many clubs that have playing privileges on the course, along with the general public.

The Old Course at St Andrews is considered by many to be the “home of golf” because the sport was first played on the Links at St Andrews in the early 1400s.

The Open Championship on the Old Course at St Andrews for a record 29th time.

 I always the love The Open for lots of reasons. First, it starts very early in the morning here in the eastern time zone. So when I get up at six, and start working, live tv coverage is already on. Second, the links style of the course is completely different from in the US. Third, I love watching the play in heavy wind, 50 degrees and rainy in mid July. Fourth, I love the BBC broadcasters and how they talk about the game.

My neighbor brought me a gift of 2 gallons of fresh raspberries. So when I was looking for a new recipe to make with this gift, I decided to search for Scottish desserts with raspberries. Not an easy task, but what I found was very interesting and could not wait to make it. The dessert is called a Cranachan.

Cranachan (Scottish Gaelic: Crannachan pronounced [ˈkʰɾan̪ˠəxan]) is a traditional Scottish dessert. In modern times it is usually made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey and fresh raspberries, with toasted oatmeal soaked overnight in a little bit of whisky.

A traditional way to serve cranachan is to bring dishes of each ingredient to the table so that each person can assemble their dessert to taste. Tall dessert glasses are also of typical presentation.

It was originally a summer dish and often consumed around harvest time but is now more likely to be served all year round and on special occasions.  Courtesy Wikipedia

What a great looking dish inspired by The Open and thanks to my wonderful neighbor Lindsey dropping off the gift of fresh picked raspberries. When someone gives me fresh fruits and vegetables I always give back by making them a dish using what they gave me. This dish did not use many of her raspberries so I will be making another dish to share with her family.www.dadwhats4dinner.com

This dish reminds me of a parfait. It is very filling, wonderful taste and easy to make. So if your are up early this weekend make sure you catch a little of The Open and have this great dessert for breakfast. No need to worry its afternoon in Scotland.


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Servings: 4


Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream (the original recipe calls for double cream, hard to find in the US)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp whisky, to taste, divided
  • 2 tbsp Rodelle vanilla extract, dividedCranachan with Fresh Rasberries

Directions:

  1. Toast oatmeal in pan over medium heat stirring often until it smells rich and nutty. It will not darken quickly, so use your sense of smell to tell you when it is nutty enough. Cool the oatmeal. When cool stir in 1 tablespoon whisky and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Cover and chill for at least 4-5 hours or overnight.
  2. Using 1/2 cup raspberries make a purée by crushing half the fruit and sieving. Sweeten this to taste with a little sugar.
  3. Whisk the heavy cream until just set. Stir in the honey, whisky and vanilla, trying not to over-whip the cream. Taste the mix and add more of either if you feel the need.
  4. Stir in the oatmeal and whisk lightly until the mixture is just firm. Alternate layers of the cream with the remaining whole raspberries and purée in 4 serving dishes.
  5. Allow to chill slightly before eating.

Enjoy!


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Notes:

  1. Original recipe calls for medium or steel-cut oats. I used regular oats.
  2. Original recipe does not tell you to soak the oats but I my research says they need to be soaked
  3. Original recipe call for Double Cream. I used heavy cream (easier to find in the US) Double cream has a slighlty higher milk fat content.
  4. I added vanilla to the whiskey to tone down the strong flavor. Turned out great.

Original recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2010

Red, White & Blue Oreo Truffles

So here is your last-minute treat to bring to the cookout. I know you are sitting there trying to think of something festive and creative; well this is the recipe you have been looking for. A quick, no bake, easy dessert, that looks great.www.dadwhats4dinner.com

I came up with this recipe last night while looking at all of the very creative July 4th recipes on pinterest. I actually typed my idea into my phone around 12:30 this morning.

These truffles can be made the night before, just keep refrigerated.

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Charlotte Royale

Last month I introduced you to The Daring Kitchen and the Daring Baker challenge which I participated in. Last month the challenge was to make Lamingtons which is a kind of snack cake from Australia. So if you are still wondering what the heck is The Daring Kitchen/Bakers here is a little synopsis?

The Daring Kitchen is the home of The Daring Bakers and The Daring Cooks. The premise of both groups is to create one recipe each month, given to us by a monthly host. We all create the same exact recipe and then post about it on our personal blogs on a designated date.

This months challenge was to make a Charlotte. The challenge comes from Rebecca at BakeNQuilt.com.  She has been a member of the Daring Bakers since 2011. She introduced all of Daring Bakers how to make a classic Charlotte Royale and Charlotte Russe! Here is how Rebecca describes the Charlotte.Charlotte Royale

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Lamingtons

So last month I joined The Daring Kitchen as a Daring Baker. Now you are wondering, what the heck is The Daring Kitchen/Bakers?

The Daring Kitchen is the home of The Daring Bakers and The Daring Cooks. The premise of both groups is to create one recipe each month, given to us by a monthly host. We all create the same exact recipe and then post about it on our personal blogs on a designated date.

So as you can see it is a group of foodies exploring new recipes each month and challenging themselves to learn new techniques and methods.Lamingtons

The challenge for the Month of May was to make Lamingtons. I thought I had heard of most dishes but this was new to me. The challenge was hosted by Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina. Here is a little bit of her story. Check out her great blog for more and her beautiful Lamingtons.

The classic Australian Lamington is a cube of vanilla sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing then coated with desiccated coconut. Sounds simple but it is delicious! It is said that the cakes were named after Lord Lamington who was the Governor of Queensland, Australia from 1896 to 1901. Stories abound as to why the cakes came about. I like the one that tells of Lord Lamington’s maid-servant accidentally dropping a freshly baked sponge cake into some melted chocolate. Apparently Lord Lamington disliked wastage so he suggested coating the chocolate coated cake in desiccated coconut to avoid messy fingers. A good idea, I think. Some New Zealanders actually like to claim the Lamington as their creation! However the Lamington came to be, it is now firmly embedded in the Australian culture. Sold in bakeries, cafés, supermarket, at bake sales and everywhere you expect and don’t expect. The Lamington is also a star at fund-raisers with “Lamington Drives” very popular with schools, sporting clubs and many other fund-raising ventures.

I definitely see why this is a challenge. My first sponge cake fell like a rock. The second turned out much better.

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Peanut Butter M & M Blondies

If you are in need of a quick last minute treat to take to a cookout or potluck, this is for you. I love Peanut Butter M & M’s. Peanut M&M’s used to be my favorite until they started making these. They add a nice crunch and little more peanut butter flavor and that can’t be all bad.

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I picked up a new pan at GFS this week. It is a 1/4 sheet pan. Perfect size for brownie or bar recipes.

The recipe is simple and can be made in under an hour.


Prep TIme: 10 min         Cook Time: 20-25 min

Servings: 24

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Mini Strawberry Pies

Yesterday my 16-year-old son passed his drivers test. He is now a licensed driver in the State of Ohio, with all the freedoms and responsibilities such license brings. I hope we have instilled in him the importance of being able to control a machine that can kill him or others. My mantra has always been to him (Think what the consequences of your actions will be. Does my decision have a chance of changing my life or someone else’s forever).Strawberrminipic4

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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Here is my version of Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Use for my Derby Day Truffles or enjoy anytime as a great pie by itself.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (9 inch) Pillsbury pie shell crust
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Jim Beam Bourbon (or bourbon of your choice) or water
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoon cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoon Rodelle vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Continue reading Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Derby Day Truffles

A sure sign of spring is the running of The Kentucky Derby in early May. The 1.25 mile horse race is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY., on the first Saturday in May. It is the first race of the Triple Crown and is considered the crown jewel of the horse racing world.www.dadwhats4dinner.com In Louisville it is a two-week long festival including parties and parades. The festivities kick off with Thunder over Louisville, fireworks and airshow, two Saturday’s before the Derby. The show is considered one of the largest in the country.www.dadwhats4dinner.com Derby Day is a glamorous affair, where the rich and famous wear their spring finest, with most women wearing very elaborate hats. It is the place to be and be seen.

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Kentucky Derby History Alternatively referred to as “The Run for the Roses” or “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” the Kentucky Derby is a 1.25 mile race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses. The Kentucky Derby draws an average of 150,000 visitors each year, including residents, out-of-towners, celebrities, presidents, and even members of royal families.Kentucky Derby History:The first Kentucky Derby race occurred in 1875. Close to 10,000 people watched as 15 thoroughbred horses ran what was then a 1.5 mile course. In 1876, the length of the race was changed to 1.25 miles. By the early 1900s, owners of winning Kentucky Derby horses started sending their winners to run in the Preakness Stakes in Maryland and the Belmont Stakes in New York. In 1930, sportswriter Charles Hatton coined the term “Triple Crown” in reference to the same horses running the three races consecutively. Courtesy of Kentucky Derby Facts and History from about.com

Many foods are synonymous with The Kentucky Derby. The most famous is probably the Mint Julep (click here for the recipe from KentuckyDerby.com).  I guess this is technically not a food, but a drink, but after you have 2 or 3, you won’t care anyway.

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Churro Cheesecake Bars

So Cinco de Mayo is coming up in a few weeks. This is not an official holiday in the USA, but I’m an international blogger and many in the USA seem to like this day.

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In our house this is a big holiday. Not because we love Cinco de Mayo (even though we do) but May 5th is my oldest and only son Ethan’s birthday. This year is more special since he will be 16 and getting his drivers license. He is a good driver, but it is making me feel old and a little nervous. Probably because my insurance will be going up, up and up!!!

Ethan has an experienced palate and is a great help taste testing and critiquing my creations. Sometimes we don’t agree but I do listen to what he thinks. Hopefully I have instilled in him the joy of cooking, if so he will make his wife very happy someday.

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I am always using holidays or events to create new recipes. Cinco de Mayo is always fun because of the many ways you can combine Mexican and American foods.

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

Here is a great example. I love churros but I am not a big fan of frying. To messy and fattening.

A churro is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux—based snack. Churros are popular in Spain, France, the Philippines, Portugal, Ibero-America and the Southwestern United States. In Spain, churros can either be thin or long and thick . Wikipedia

Now I’m not saying that this dish is any healthier, but it is definitely easier and cleaner to make. Very tasty and a great combination of ingredients. Not as crunchy as the original churro but still with all the flavors and a bonus, cream cheese filling.

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Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Easter Bars

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When you think of Easter what comes to your mind. Of course we should think about what the day is truly about. Church, the Resurrection of Christ, family, dressing up, and Easter dinner. But really, since we were kids, it was also about a bunny bringing a basket full of candy or going to an Easter egg hunt, getting plastic eggs filled with candy or the big winner, money.

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Since I was little, I have always loved Reese’s peanut butter eggs. My mom used to make homemade peanut butter eggs for us every year.

I decided this year to make a bar that adds another one of my favorite’s “Whoppers Mini Robins Eggs”. The mini malted milk eggs add a crunchy, not so sweet, touch to these bars. My family loved them.

An easy, make ahead, treat for Easter Sunday.

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