Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Beemster Smoked Gouda BBQ Chicken Pizza

If you're craving the barbecue flavors of summertime, but can't wait for Mother Nature to give us some sunshine, whip up this Smoked Gouda and BBQ Chicken Pizza.   Smoky Gouda and sweet barbecue give this pizza summer flavor straight from the oven. When the weather finally warms up, it's even better on the grill - because, of course, everything is better on the grill!  Quick and easy for a weeknight dinner or for a delicious bite with an ice cold beer after a hot summer beach day.
Recipe developed for Beemster

Prep time: 
Cook time: 

Serving size: 6

1 12-inch prebaked pizza crust 
3/4 cup barbecue sauce, divided 
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken 
1-1/2 cups shredded Beemster Smoked Gouda
2 green onions, chopped and divided 
chopped fresh cilantro (optional) 

Spread ¼ cup barbecue sauce over pizza crust. Toss chicken with remaining barbecue sauce and arrange evenly over pizza crust.

Sprinkle with half of the green onions and top with shredded Beemster.

Grill Method: Place pizza on preheated grill and cook on low 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining green onions and chopped fresh cilantro.

Oven Method:
Preheat oven to 425°F and bake 12 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with remaining green onions and chopped fresh cilantro.

This Pizza tastes great whether you grill it or bake it in the oven.  I usually let the weather decide how I'll be preparing it!

I used a Boboli Pizza Crust for this recipe, but there are a variety of brands out there now and they come in all shapes and sizes.  Any crust, flatbread or even pita or naan will work.  You will just need to adapt the amount of sauce and toppings to fit your crust.  It's fun to use a pita or naan and make individual pizzas.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Beemster Baked Eggs

Nothing says love like a little breakfast in bed, especially if accompanied by a Bloody Mary, or two! Show your mom some love tomorrow with these deliciously easy baked eggs.    With only five ingredients and a fifteen minute prep time, these baked eggs are so foolproof, even a young child can help put this one together.  Trust me, you'll make mom's day if you start her off with this fabulous breadfast!

Recipe developed for Beemster

Prep time: 
Cook time: 

Serving size: 6

6 brioche buns 
2 tablespoons butter, melted 
3/4 cup shredded Beemster Mild Gouda
6 slices ham (about 1-ounce each) 
  6 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut a 3 to 4-inch wide hole in the tops of the rolls and hollow out. Brush the insides of rolls with melted butter and add 1 tablespoon Beemster Gouda to each roll. Cut each ham slice in half and use both halves to line each roll. Carefully crack an egg into each roll.

Arrange rolls on baking sheet and cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes or until the eggs are set. Sprinkle each roll with 1 tablespoon Beemster Gouda. Bake for 3 minutes or until Beemster is melted and the eggs are desired doneness.


Brioche is a pastry of French origin.  I chose a Brioche bun for this recipe since it's high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb.  These buns are widely available in supermarkets.  Check the bakery section for them.  If you can't find them, any small bun will work just as well.

Baked, fried or poached eggs are all the rage these days.  And while this is a great breakfast in bed recipe, no need to limit yourself.  This is great for breakfast, brunch or even a light dinner.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Double Chocolate Chipotle Cookies

When we think of Cinco de Mayo recipes we typically think, margaritas, fish tacos, salsa, guacamole...I think you see where I'm going with this.   Dessert isn't typically even on the radar for this holiday. But I think a little sugar and spice will make everything nice...
Smoky chipotle chili powder gives these decadent double chocolate cookies a little sweet heat, but not too much, just the right amount.   A super sweet ending for Cinco de Mayo.  And I think they are a perfect accompaniment to that margarita!
Recipe developed for Baker's Joy
Photography by Paul Gelsobello Studio
Food stylist: Catherine Paulkner
Prop stylist: Heather Bean

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Makes: 52 cookies

1 can Baker's Joy non-stick spray with flour
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups chocolate chips (use a combination: semi-sweet, chunks, milk, and dark)

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with Baker's Joy spray.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, chipotle chili powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder; set aside.  Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Gradually add flour mixture and beat just until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes until edges are set.  Leave cookies on cookie sheet 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove cookies and cool on wire rack.


The secret to perfect cookies (and most baked goods) is in not overworking the dough.  So once the wet and dry ingredients are combined, that's it - stop mixing.  You're ready to make the cookies!

When cookies are done, let them rest for a minute or 2 on the baking sheet.  If you try to remove them too quickly, they'll be soft and may break when you're transferring them to the cooling rack.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Beemster Steak Tacos

Whether you're looking for a Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, quick weeknight dinner, or something for company, this recipes fits the bill.  Fast and easy but doesn't sacrifice on flavor.  This quick simple marinade doesn't need much time when you use it with skirt steak.  When skirt steak is cooked right, it's tender so the marinade here is purely for flavor, not to tenderize.  If you're in a hurry, skip the marinate time and just brush frequently with the marinade while grilling.
Recipe developed for Beemster
Prep time: 
Cook time: 

Serving size: 6

3 tablespoons lime juice 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 tablespoon cumin 
2 cloves garlic 
1-1/2 pounds skirt steak 
8 taco size flour or corn tortillas 
1 cup shredded Beemster Aged Gouda

Combine lime juice, oil, cumin and garlic and brush all over steak. Marinate 30 minutes.

Grill or broil steak to desired doneness.

Slice steak and serve in tortillas. Top with Beemster and pickled onion, avocado, shredded cabbage or your favorite taco toppings.


I used skirt steak in this recipe, well - because it's delicious and it's my son's absolute favorite.  (If it were up to him, he'd skip all things that make this a taco and just eat the meat, but at $14 a pound we need to set some limits!)

If you're not familiar with skirt steak, it's a thin, long cut of beef from the diaphragm muscles of the cow. It doesn't look like your typical steak.
The flavor is intensely  beefy, it's very rich and juicy.   It doesn't need much to make it delicious but it does take marinades well.

Cook quickly over high heat.  It's the perfect grilling steak.  For the most tender and flavorful result cook to only to rare (or medium rare if you must) And always remember to cut against the grain when serving.

Skirt steak is a bit pricey, if you like you can use flank or sirloin instead, but it won't be quite as good.

Popcorn Chicken Tacos

This recipe couldn't be any easier.  Literally 5 ingredients and 20 minutes of prep and dinner is on the table. That leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy a margarita (or 2 or 3) this Cinco de Mayo.

Once Cinco de Mayo is over, I'm sure you're family is going to want these over and over again.  And it really is the perfect super-quick weeknight dinner.  Easy enough for practically anyone in the family to make.  The Fajita Skillet Sauce soaks into the coating of the popcorn chicken giving it the most delicious flavor.   Not feeling the chicken? It works just as well with popcorn shrimp!

Recipe developed for Ortega
Prep time: 
Serving size: 4

1 (26-ounce) package popcorn chicken, heated according to package directions 
1 pouch ORTEGA Fajita Skillet Sauce, divided 
8 ORTEGA Fiesta Flats, heated according to package directions 
4 cups shredded cabbage or cole slaw 
4 green onions, chopped 

Toss the chicken with ORTEGA Fajita Skillet Sauce until evenly coated.

Arrange cabbage in warmed ORTEGA Fiesta Flats. Top with chicken and green onions.

If desired, serve with your favorite taco toppings, like chopped tomato, crumbled queso fresco, sliced avocado and sour cream or Mexican crema.


Ortega® Fiesta Flats™ Taco Shells are a fun alternative to traditional taco shells.
Their flat bottom and raised edges make them more stable so they're perfect for piling on tons of toppings.  And face it, tacos are all about the toppings!


If  you'd prefer to not make this with a frozen chicken product, it works with fresh chicken to.  You can use leftover chicken and shredded or cut-up, or in a pinch, pick up a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket.  Toss about 3 cups of shredded or cut-up chicken with the Fajita Skillet sauce and heat in skillet or microwave just until hot.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cinco De Mayo Taco Bar

Margaritas and guacamole are must-haves at your Cinco de Mayo party.  But what else to serve?  A taco bar is a great choice, but skip the ordinary ground beef variety.   With this selection of taco recipes you'll have it covered - from vegetarian to carnivore, slow-cooked to super-quick.    Most everything can be made ahead for a stress-free fest.  You'll want to make your guac the same day, because fresh is always best when it comes to guac!
Classic Guacamole and Margaritas
Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Beef Tacos
Fish Tacos with Spicy Jalapeno Slaw
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos
Blackened Shrimp Tacos
Popcorn Chicken Tacos
Beemster Steak Tacos

Setting up a Taco Bar theme party is an easy way to let you be a guest at your own party.  Once everything is set up, there's not a whole lot  that will need your attention other than replenishing items if needed.

Here's how to get started:
Set out plates and warm flour and corn tortillas and taco shells at the beginning of the taco bar.

Next place your fillings.  These need to be kept warm, so using covered dishes or slow cookers is helpful. It's good to have a variety of meat, chicken, seafood and vegetarian options.

Follow the fillings with salsas and toppings. The more, the better, because we know tacos are all about the toppings.   This doesn't have to be overly complicated, there are plenty of great convenience products out there to use.  Jarred salsas, shredded cheese, shredded cabbage, sliced olives, diced chilies, the list is pretty endless.   But you absolutely must make your own guacamole!  There's nothing like fresh guac and frankly, it's just not that hard to make yourself.  And it's worth the effort!

At the end of the table, place the rice and beans. Don't forget appropriate serving utensils for each item and you will probably need plenty of napkins.

You also may want to make a pitcher or two of margaritas so you won't have to play bartender all night.  Have some lime wedges and a plate of Kosher salt on hand for rimming the glasses.

Tres Leche Cake

End your Cinco de Mayo bash on a sweet note with this easy and delicious Tres Leche Cake.  This classic Mexican cake is named for the three milks in the soaking liquid. The "three milks" used are evaporated and sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream.  Not your typical cake, it's deliciously rich and moist, almost like a custard.  The cake is like one big giant sponge soaking up the delicious milk syrup.
recipe developed for Baker's Joy
photography by Paul Gelsobello Studio
Food Stylist: Cathy Paukner
Prop Stylist: Heather Bean
Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time: 26 minutes
Servings: 16


1 can Baker's Joy¨ non-stick spray with flour
1 package (16.5 oz.) butter cake mix
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup water
3 large eggs
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with Baker's Joy spray and set aside.
Beat cake mix, eggs, butter and water in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed to combine ingredients. Increase speed to medium and beat 4 minutes until batter is light and fluffy.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 26 to 30 minutes, until cake springs bake when touched lightly.

Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Invert cake onto platter with raised edges.  Cool 30 minutes.  Pierce cake all over with a fork 20-30 times.  

Combine sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and ½ cup heavy cream.  Slowly pour glaze over cake allowing it to soak in. Refrigerate cake at least 4 hours.

Beat remaining  heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Spread over top of cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.