Monday, June 17, 2013

Mandy's Almond Kringle

I've been wanting to post this recipe since last Thanksgiving.  My daughter-in-law, Mandy made this delicious pastry while we were in Utah.  It is a traditional Scandinavian treat enjoyed in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark at Christmastime. It is called Kringle. There are various types, but Mandy likes to make Almond Kringle.  Here is her recipe.  It seems like a lot of work but it is worth it!

Almond Kringle

1/2 c butter, frozen and cut into slivers
1 c. all-purpose flour
1-3 tbsp. ice water (as needed for consistency, I usually use 2, but at Tricia's I used 3 because of the altitude in Utah)
1/2 c. butter
1 c. water
1 tsp. almond extract
1 c. all-purpose flour
3 eggs
Sliced almonds, if desired

2c. confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp. butter, softened
2 tsp. almond extract
2-3 tbsp. milk or cream

In a large bowl with a pastry blender cut 1/2 c. frozen butter slivers into 1 c. flour; sprinkle 2-3 tbsp. water and mix until crumbly. Divide in half and place both portions on ungreased baking sheet. The dough will have pea sized lumps, but don't fret! Shape the two halves into 12x3 in. strips, approx. 3 inches apart on baking sheet; set aside.

In a medium saucepan bring 1/2 c. butter and 1 c. water to boil; remove from heat, and add 1 c. flour; mix until smooth ( I do this step in a kitchen aid). Beat in eggs one at a time mixing well after each egg. Spread dough evenly over 12x3 in. strips covering them completely and filling the space in the middle. Bake pastry dough @ 350 degrees for 55-60 min. I often have to loosely tent the pastry with foil when it has browned to my liking, to allow it to finish baking properly. If you remove the pastry too early, you will have a custard like crust on bottom. The pastry puffs quite a bit while baking, and will fall slightly as it cools.

Meanwhile combine the confectioner's sugar, softened butter, and cream. I tinker with the consistency until it is just pourable. You don't want it too runny, or it will completely fall off when you pour over pastry, but I do prefer to pour rather than ice the pastry with a knife. It looks prettier this way :-)  After glazing the pastry, I sprinkle sliced almonds on the pastry while the icing is still wet. Cut pastry in bars and serve.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Penne Pasta with Shrimp and Baby Spinach

Hey, today's my anniversary!  Larry and I have been married 43 years.  And it's my good friend's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Lynn!  Let's celebrate with a declicous shrimp and pasta dish.

Penne Pasta with Shrimp and Baby Spinach

1 (12 oz.) package of penne pasta (regular or whole wheat)
3 Tablespoons olive oil (I used a little less)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 - 2 pounds pre-cooked shrimp, THAWED
1 cup frozen peas
6 oz. fresh baby spinach (or baby arugula)
8 oz. crumbled feta
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta.  

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute' until fragrant (about a minute).  Add shrimp and cook until heated through (about 2 minutes).  Add peas and cook about 1 minute longer.  Remove from heat.

Drain pasta and put back in pot and add shrimp mixture.  Add baby spinach and toss until the spinach wilts.  Add feta and toss until evenly mixed.  Salt and pepper to taste.

**You can also add some sun dried tomatoes straight from the jar!