Monday, August 13, 2012

Sweet Cherry Buttermilk Cake

I know its been a while, but I trust that you all have been eating well in my absents. I would like to start my return by sharing a tasty little treat  that we really enjoy.  
    This cake is slightly sweet, almost cornbread flavored that pairs perfectly with the sweet cherries. Topped with a sugar crunch. This is an easy recipe that yields a lovely dessert that is perfect to present   
                             at a special occasion or just because...I'm all about the just because. 


                                                                                            1 cup all purpose flour                                                                            
  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 large egg room temp.
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup pitted cherries
Whipped cream and cherries for garnish, optional of course

Preheat oven to 400°F, rack in middle. Butter, flour and parchment a 9-inch round cake pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside. Beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes or so, then add vanilla. Add egg and beat well. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until combined. Spoon batter into cake pan. Scatter cherries evenly over top and push down into cake batter then sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar. Bake until cake is golden or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool until room temperature. Serve with whipped cream and cherries for garnish.

*For the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, I used  sugar in the raw {turbinado sugar}.


Recipe adapted from : The Baker Chick

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Butternut Squash - Chipotle Bisque

I often say that this is my favorite or I love what ever it may be that I'm posting. But, I love food in general and have many favorites. However, I can take soups to a whole new level. At any given time, I am either cooking soup, eating soup or looking for my next soup to try. My home is rarely a soup free zone. Now that you know I love soup, I must share this recipe for Butternut Squash-Chipotle Bisque.

This bisque is delicious served hot or cold, as a meal or as a savvy appetizer served in your “finest” shot glass. You can even serve it as a dip with your favorite tortilla chip. The flavor of this recipe will leave your taste buds longing for more of the sweetness of the butternut squash. And let’s not forget the smoky, spicy flavor of the chipotle chilies alongside the chipotle crema and the pipianas.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeds discarded, washed, and reserved

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 cups chicken broth, divided

3 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo

Chipotle Cream:

1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo

1/2 cup sour cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds, discarding the stringy pulp. Put seeds in a sieve and rinse. Set aside.

Grease a glass baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil, and then place the squash in the dish, cut side down. Pierce all over with a fork and roast 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

Heat remaining oil in a large, heavy pot over medium high. Sauté onion, celery and carrot for 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more.

Scoop the flesh of the squash into the pot and stir. Add 4 cups of broth and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.

Meanwhile, toast the reserved squash seeds in a small pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until crunchy, about 30 minutes. Season heavily with salt and set aside. *I did not do this! I placed my seeds on the cookie sheet off to one side with the butternut squash and let them roast for about 10 minutes or so. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t brown too much. Remove them place aside to cool.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender, adding more broth to get the desired consistency.

In a separate bowl, stir 1 teaspoon of the minced chipotle into the crema. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the remaining 3 teaspoons chipotle into the bisque and ladle into soup bowls. Top each with a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of seeds. Makes 6-8 servings.


Recipe adapted from: Marcela Valladolid ~ Fresh Mexico

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cowboy Calzone

Since it has been a while since my last posting, I feel obligated to explain, at least a little. It all started early January, when we got sick, all of us. Started with my son, then me, then my husband. It just lingered on forever, or so it seemed. Then the ice and snow decided to come to Texas, yes its true, we had ice and snow and temperatures in the single digits. Now I know that’s no big deal for some of you, but for us in the South, it’s a big deal, especially with the rolling black outs and all. Now if that wasn’t enough, next my computer decided to take a dive and now, after purchasing two new computers and having hours of technical help at my house, I am up and running and ready to start sharing my love for cooking and eating with all of you again. Oh and did I mention the family emergency intermingled into all of this, where my husband had to fly across country to deal with family issues. Enough explaining and I know this is boring you all, so lets get down to some serious business, cooking and Cowboy Calzones.

This recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman Cookbook and I have to say it is definitely a keeper in my book. With the combination of meats, cheeses and the crust, oh the crust, this recipe is just wonderful. It is hearty, tasty and you can add as many extras as your heart desires. For me that means jalapeños of course. The extra spice is a bonus in my book, however, you can add just about anything that you and yours like. Make it simple or make it as elaborate as you desire, the final product is still, Simply Delicious.


1 tsp. or 1/2 packet of active dry yeast

4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Pour 1 and 1/2 cups warm water in a bowl and sprinkle in yeast.

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in olive oil until just incorporated.

In a separate bowl, gently stir the yeast/water mixture. Drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture; mix until the dough forms a ball. (You can also mix by hand until the dough comes together.)

Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.


1/2 pound hot breakfast sausage

1 pound ground turkey or beef

1/2 of a onion, diced

1/2 to 1 whole jalapeño, seeded and chopped

8 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 egg, beaten

Salt and Pepper

Milk for brushing the tops of calzones

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large skillet combine the ground turkey or beef, sausage and onion. Brown over medium heat. Drain excess grease. Add the Rotel. Stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a bowl, combine the 3 cheeses, jalapeño and egg. Add a dash of salt and pepper.

Add the cooled meat mixture to the cheese mixture and stir gently to combine.

Divide the pizza dough into 10 equal-size balls. With a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll each ball into a 6-inch circle. Please know that I was able to make 10 out of this recipe. Others have only made 6.

Use a ¼ measuring cup of the meat/cheese mixture, place in the middle of each circle. Fold half of the circle over the other half, gently pressing to slightly spread and flatten the filling inside. Press and fold over the edge or use a fork along the edge to seal closed, and then transfer the calzone to a baking sheet with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Brush the calzones with milk. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.


Recipe adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

Friday, December 31, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip and Happy New Year

Another year has come and gone and I just got adjusted to writing 2010. I look forward to seeing what the new year has in store for me, my family and all my foodie friends. Happy New Year to you all and as they say in New Orleans, 'Laissez les bon temps rouler' or let the good times roll.

This is one of my favorite appetizers. I am sure that you have all seen it before, but, as you all know, I like it hot. So this is my hot and spicy version. I enjoy it so much. Emphasis on I, because this is one of the few dishes that my husband and son do not care for. Well as I like to say, more for me.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces cream cheese
1 heaping cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves crushed
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3/4 of a box of frozen spinach, drained well

Preheat oven to 325. Mix all ingredients together, mix well. Place in oven proof dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until top begins to brown. Serve warm, drizzle the top with olive oil and serve with tortilla chips, slices of french bread or any cracker of your choice.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Old Fashioned Gingerbread to Celebtrate My One Year Anniversary

The calendar on the wall tells me it has been a year since I started this blog. My, how the time flies, when your having fun. I started Diana’s Cocina this time last year with hopes of expanding and sharing my culinary vision with others who have similar interest and to have a little fun in the process. Surprising, I have received so much more than I had ever imagined. It has been such a joy to have a place to share my culinary experiences and to interact with others who love food and cooking the way I do. In addition to the basic satisfaction of sharing with others, I have also been delighted with the friends that I have made from all corners of the world and from all walks of life. It is you, my foodie friends that have made my first year, with Diana’s Cocina, a fun and rewarding adventure. Please join me as I venture into my second year with more exciting culinary fun and adventure. Thank you all for making my first year a huge success.

Ok, back to Back to Basics, or should I say from the book Back to Basics, I would like to share something that I really love. Old Fashion Gingerbread. The smell of this dense and ever so moist cake, that is full of flavor, is mesmerizing for me. Its dark pungent taste from the molasses and the warm spice from the crystallized ginger, just really gets me into the holiday spirit. This Old Fashion Gingerbread with its orange icing has rapidly become a family favorite. For a simple treat that is not too sweet, but has the robust flavors that are truly essential for this time of year, I think this is a real keeper. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.

Old Fashion Gingerbread

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup minced dried crystallized ginger (not in syrup)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
orange zest to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 by 8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Place the butter and molasses in another small pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cool for 5 minutes, then mix in the sour cream and orange zest.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in a small bowl. Mix with your hands until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and mix only until smooth. Add them and crystallized ginger to the mixture with a spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

When the cake has cooled, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice and pour it onto the gingerbread, allowing it to drip down the sides, add orange zest on top of gingerbread to taste. Allow the glaze to set. Cut the gingerbread into 9 squares and enjoy.

recipe adapted from: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crispy Orange Beef

As the temperature begins to cool in Texas, I find myself looking for a dish with a little flare. The soups have started coming out and the fireplace is ready for the first fire of the year. With all of the Holiday cheer in the air, I try to keep things a little on the light and healthy side as much as I can. This dish fits all of my criteria for a late fall dish that my family will just love. Laid upon a bed of white rice, Crispy Orange Beef is just what the doctor ordered. You can spice this dish up or down to suit your fancy. Personally, I like it hot and spicy. With the flavor combination of the orange zest, ginger and celery, on the crispy beef strips, this dish will satisfy all of your pallets desires. Since my picture does not do justice for this dish, you’ll just have to trust me that this dish is delicious.

Crispy Orange Beef

3 pounds flank steak, cut into this strips
1∕3 cup cornstarch
5 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1∕2 cup water
1/2 - 3/4 cup cooking oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1∕4 cup minced orange peel, pith removed
8 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
steamed rice, for serving
1 orange, thinly sliced, for garnish

Toss beef with cornstarch to evenly coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. In the meantime, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, tamari, hoisin sauce, honey, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and water. Set aside.

In a wok or heavy skillet, heat the canola oil. Fry the beef, in batches, until browned, about 3 minutes each batch. Remove and let drain on paper towels.

Drain all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic, ginger, orange peel, and scallions and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the beef and stir in the sauce. Raise the heat to medium-high and stir until sauce thickens. Serve over steamed rice with the orange slices on top.

Recipe adapted from: The Comfort Table, Katie Lee

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

Those of you that know me well, know my love for pumpkin. So, here is one more pumpkin recipe to kick off every one's Thanksgiving week. These soft delicious cookies have pumpkin, cinnamon and butterscotch chips that add a warmth of flavor that will have you coming back for more. I must say these cookies are no beauties, but they make up for it in flavor. Simple to make, and with the yummy fall flavors, who can say no? Not me!

I would also like to take this moment to wish my family & foodie friends a Happy Thanksgiving day. Several of my friends have recently asked what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving? My first response is, I am thankful for my family, my friends, including all of my foodie friends and for our health and happiness... Because all of this makes my life complete!

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips

Position the rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Fold in the chips.

Using a medium size ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 14-16 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust the cooled cookies lightly with powdered sugar. The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Makes two dozen.

Recipe from:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

I know my blog participation has been slim, okay, almost non-existent. So please forgive my absence both here and commenting on everyone's delectable creations. Let me make it up to you all with these incredible sugary treats called Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins. Yes, another pumpkin recipe, but they are worth your time.

As some of you know I posted this picture on Facebook as my status update. Many of you email me for the recipe, so here I am. I've always been partial to anything pumpkin and if you add cinnamon, well it’s just over the top for me. So you can imagine it was love at first bite. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food November issue. They are definitely worth baking for any special occasion, or just because as I did. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family did.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bakng soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
sugar coating:
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter,melted

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups. Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture and beat to combine.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with melted butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack. Store in airtight container up to 1 day. Makes 12 muffins.

Everyday Food, November 2010