Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cookie Carnival: Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

I am a cookie lover and have baked quite a wide variety over the years, however I had not attempted to make biscotti before so I was excited to see that it was chosen as the Cookie Carnival cookie for August. The recipe just sounds so good it was hard to resist - chocolate and hazelnuts? Yum! I really enjoyed making these - it was exciting to see the logs rise up in the oven and then slicing into them for the second baking. Plus they smelled amazing in the oven - I made these hours ago and my house still smells like warm chocolate. I took these to a family dinner tonight and they were a huge hit. In fact, at the end of the evening Joe's grandmother started wrapping a few extra pieces in a napkin to sneak home to have with her coffee tomorrow. I caught her - and gave her all the leftovers. How can I deny anyone something so yummy? As you can see, they were irresistible to everyone...

I followed the recipe exactly since it was my first attempt at biscotti and I will definitely make these (and other types of biscotti) again soon!

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, husked (I used chopped)
3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Grind 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts in processor. Set aside. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Beat butter and sugar in another large bowl to blend. Add eggs and vanilla and almond extracts and beat until well blended. Beat in flour mixture. Mix in 1 cup whole toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts.
Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece on baking sheet into 2 1/2-inch-wide by 14-inch-long log. Place logs on prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart (logs will spread during baking). Bake until logs feel firm when tops are gently pressed, about 35 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
Using long wide spatula, transfer baked logs to cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut warm logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Arrange slices, cut side down, on 2 baking sheets. Bake biscotti until firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool completely. (Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti can be prepared ahead. Store in airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.)

Happy Blogiversary to me!

One year ago today ...and a cookie for dessert was born! I've had so much fun with this blog and I look forward to growing in the kitchen this upcoming year and having lots of exciting things to post. For now though, in honor of my blogiversary, I thought I would look back over the past year and show off some of the best recipes.

First things first - dessert! By far, my best received dessert of the year were the peanut butter cupcakes pictured above. The frosting is out of this world. Seriously. If you need an amazing dessert, try these!

My pick for my other favorite dessert of the year is a shocker even to me, since it contains no chocolate. I am usually a firm believer that a dessert must contain chocolate to be worth the time, but this banana split "cake" proved me wrong in a big way. It is so, so good - light, fresh and incredibly delicious.

Next up, my second favorite topic - baked goods! I've had a lot of winners this year, but these two knocked my socks off!

My top pick, and contender for favorite all around recipe of the year, is these Hawaiian rolls. Words can not describe how delicious these are. Soft, sweet...mmmmm... I dare you to make these and not love them. Double dare you.

This year, I also discovered that I love pumpkin. Like really, really love pumpkin. Last fall pretty much everything and anything that came out of my kitchen was pumpkin related. The best of the brightest? This pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Incredibly moist, dense and sweet, this bread just rocks. I know, because I ate an entire loaf myself in one sitting the first time I made it.

Okay, okay, I do cook some dinners around here too - so here are two of the year's winners.

These teriyaki turkey burgers became my all-time favorite dinner after having them just once. There's just something about them - the moist, tangy burgers, the sweet grilled pineapple. I'm forever making Joe light up the grill for these babies.

I also spent the past year making many a chili in a quest to find the very best. The one that stole our hearts - this corn chip chili from Rachael Ray. It's easy, full of flavor and it gave me the idea to serve my chili over Fritos - so simple, yet so brilliant.

This year also gave me the confidence to experiment and try things that I never would have tried before and get creative in the kitchen. The best random treats? Homemade granola bars!

Wow, are these good. In just the past month or so I've made granola bars and homemade peanut butter Fiber One bars, and let me tell you, store bought has nothing on these babies. I just keeping making batches of these over and over because I inhale them so quickly. But that's okay, because they're healthy!

Oh, and speaking of healthy - I had to remind you about his rockin' fat free fruit dip! Mostly guilt-free but addictingly yummy.

And finally, I need to give a little shout out to my sous chefs and taste-testers, without whom many of these recipes would not have been possible - my kitties Roy and Roger and my dog Tucker. Roy and Roger (especially Roger) are always anxious to "help" me slice, dice, saute and assemble and Tucker is the best beater-licker there is. So I leave you with a pet friendly treat for your favorite kitchen assistants - cat crackers.

So with that, I call it a year! Thanks for reading and I can't wait to see what this next year brings!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Food photographers beware

What happens when you're too focused on taking pictures of your food and let down your guard...

Mmmm - cheese and spinach

Yum! This meatloaf is delicious! Just look at all that cheesy, spinachy goodness! I'm not a huge fan of beef, so I love recipes that let me use ground turkey. And what could be wrong with a meatloaf stuffed with cheese. I also happen to love spinach, so this meatloaf was the perfect meal. The recipe comes from from Nikki at Pennies on a Platter. I will definitely be making this again, but I may have to wait until a night when Joe is out - he deemed it as "too healthy tasting" thanks to the spinach.

Florentine Turkey Meatloaf

11/4 pounds ground turkey
1 cup spaghetti sauce, divided
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs (or 1 egg and 2 egg whites), slightly beaten
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (whoops - just realized I left this out!)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed (optional)
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
3/4 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8- or 9- inch loaf pan with foil with dull side toward food. Combine ground turkey, 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce, bread crumbs, onion, eggs, Parmesan cheese and fennel seed in medium bowl.Press half of turkey mixture into foil-lined pan. Press a 1-inch indentation down center of mixture, leaving 1-inch thickness on all sides. Toss spinach and mozzarella cheese together; spoon into indentation, mounding in center. Press remaining turkey mixture evenly over top, sealing edges. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Spoon remaining spaghetti sauce over meat loaf. Bake 15 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes.

Crash into me

Touch your lips just so I know, In your eyes love it glows so....

Sorry, sorry. Focus. Potatoes. Okay. These potatoes, known as Crash Hot Potatoes, come from The Pioneer Woman and have been circulating the blogosphere recently. In fact, so many people have made them that I felt I had no choice but to give them a try myself. They are super easy to make and taste good. (And despite what Joe may tell you, they look and taste nothing like a Chick-Fil-A waffle fries, but humor him and smile and nod, okay?) Maybe all the hype surrounding these ruined them for me though, because while they were good, they were really just baked potatoes. But who doesn't like potatoes?

Crash Hot Potatoes

New Potatoes
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Fresh chopped Rosemary (I used Italian seasoning)

Begin by bringing a salted pot of water to boil. Add washed potatoes and cook until they are fork tender. Meanwhile, generously drizzle olive oil over a cookie sheet or baking dish (suited to the number of potatoes you’re cooking). When potatoes are finished cooking, place them on the cooking sheet or in the baking dish a few inches apart. Take a potato masher and gently press down on the potato until is slightly mashes. Turn the masher 90 degrees and mash again, ever so slightly. Don’t completely flatten the potato, though. When all of the potatoes are mashed, drizzle or brush olive oil over each one. Then salt and pepper them, adding the chopped rosemary at the end. Broil them at 450 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until browned and crispy!

New Blake Bakes Post!

Check it out - Banana-Honey Cake!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Scream, You Scream

Hooray for ice cream! One of my favorite birthday gifts this year was this shiny red Cuisinart ice cream maker and Ben & Jerry's ice cream book. I couldn't wait to start whipping up frozen desserts. Having never made ice cream before, I was amazed at how easy it is. Mix together a few ingredients, pour into the ice cream maker, leave it to churn for 30 minutes and, voila, ice cream! My brother-in-law and I had a lot of fun making it :)

So far we've made two batches of ice cream (Oreo mint and heath bar crunch, both from the Ben & Jerry's book) and have learned a few things along the way.

1) Homemade ice cream is SO much better than store-bought. It tastes so fresh!

2) Be patient and let the ice cream freeze. My first batch, the Oreo mint, came together perfectly but I only froze it after churning for a few hours and it was soft - think the consistency of a Dairy Queen Blizzard - so I couldn't really scoop it like I wanted. But by the next morning it was the perfect ice cream consistency.

3) Freeze the bowl long enough! With batch number two, the heath bar, I put the ice cream maker bowl in the freezer in the morning before work, and about 12 hours later went to make my ice cream. The ice cream never really thickened in the machine and while it did firm up in the freezer it wound up kind of icy.

Regardless, both batches of ice cream were incredibly delicious! I can't wait to make more flavors!

Oreo Mint

2/3 cup coarsely chopped Oreo cookies
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
2 tsp peppermint extract

Place the cookies in a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the peppermint extract and blend again. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. After the ice cream stiffens (and about 2 minutes before it is done) add the chopped cookies and continue freezing until ice cream is ready.

*I also added a few drops of food coloring, since I like my mint ice cream green!

Heath Bar Crunch

4 original Heath bars
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Using a sharp knife, cut the candy bars into 1/2-1 inch chunks. You should have about 1 cup. Place the chunks in a bowl, cover and freeze. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the peppermint extract and blend again. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. After the ice cream stiffens (and about 2 minutes before it is done) add the candy and continue freezing until ice cream is ready.

*I also added a few tablespoons of peanut butter with the Heath bars - yum!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Barbecue Beef Chili

Both Joe and I really like chili, so I'm always eager to try out new recipes. This one came from the Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook that Joe got me for my birthday. You know I love to use my crockpot so this cookbook is perfect! This chili was the first recipe I tried from the book. The addition of barbecue sauce to the traditional chili ingredients made it interesting, although Joe felt it also made the chili too sweet. He did enjoy the mix of ground beef and stew beef, however, and I think I will begin incorporating stew beef into my other chili recipes since it was a nice addition. This recipe won't replace my current favorite chili recipe, but it was a nice twist on the traditional. I served my chili with a a handful of Fritos (because I now know that Fritos make many things taste better) in each bowl and corn muffins.

Barbecue Beef Chili

1 lb lean ground beef
1 pound stew beef, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 bottle (18 ounce) mesquite-flavored barbecue sauce
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen chopped onion
1 cup frozen chopped bell pepper
1 can (4 ounce) chopped mild green chile peppers
1 packet hot chili seasoning mix
Chopped onions (optional)
Shredded cheese (optional)

In a large skillet over high heat cook and stir ground beef until browned, breaking up clumps. Drain. In a slow cooker, stir together beef, stew meat, kidney beans, barbecue sauce, undrained tomatoes, onion, pepper, chile peppers and chili seasoning; mix until thoroughly combined. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with chopped onion and shredded cheese, if desired.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Taco Lasagna

Before I get to the taco lasagna, I first must show what might happen if you try to take pictures this meal at the dinner table and ask your husband to move his hand out of the shot. Said husband moves his hand right into a plant that has been moved aside on the table and a shower of messy dirt interrupts your dinner.

Once the dirt is cleaned up and you can go back to eating, you will surely enjoy this lasagna! I have made Mexican lasagna in the past but always used tortillas instead of noodles. This recipe, from Sandra Lee is more of a traditional lasagna with taco flavors. The ricotta is seasoned with Mexican spices, the meat is cooked with chiles and taco seasoning and the sauce is a blend of tomatoes and salsa. The only issue I had with this was the fact that it called for Mexican seasoning. What the heck is Mexican seasoning? I didn't know, so I just mixed my ricotta with some cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder. We enjoyed this and I'll definitely make it again. But next time I'll move all non-meal related objects off the table first.

Taco Lasagna

1 lb lean ground beef
1 packet low-sodium taco seasoning
1 can diced green chiles
1 cup frozen chopped onion
1 container (16 ounce) ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (I omitted)
1 tablespoon Mexican seasoning
1 can (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 jar (16 ounce) chunky salsa
1 box lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (I used less)

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef. Drain fat. Add 3/4 cup water, taco seasoning, green chiles and onion. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, cilantro and Mexican seasoning. In a medium bowl, stir together tomatoes and salsa. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a deep 9x13 baking dish, spread 1/4 of the sauce on bottom of dish. Add a layer of noodles. Top with 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 ground beef, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1/4 sauce and another layer of noodles. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients. End with a layer of just noodles, sauce and cheese.
Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Peanut Butter Fiber One Bars

I am a big fan of all the Fiber One products, but far and away the most delicious are Fiber One bars. So sweet and good. So when I saw this recipe for homemade Fiber One bars on Must Love Chutney I knew I had to make them. Having recently discovered the wonderfulness that are homemade granola bars I was eager to try a new twist, plus I had about three full boxes of Fiber One cereal sitting in my pantry that needed to be put to good use. I followed the recipe almost exactly, except I used cashews for the nuts and threw in some wheat germ for extra nutrition. These are super quick to make, however mine did not hold together well at all. Even after I refrigerated them in an attempt to meld them a bit they still ended up crumbling apart.

I managed to get a few bars to stay intact but for the most part I ended up with Fiber One trail mix. No worries as far as I'm concerned though - this stuff tastes damn good no matter how you eat it. And I can't stop eating it. I plan to use the trail mix portion in my yogurt, but the treats that stayed in bar form have been gradually devoured by me all day long. I will definitely make these again soon...maybe tomorrow. :) I am trying to figure out how to make them stay together a little better though - any suggestions?

Peanut Butter Fiber One Bars
2 1/2 cups Fiber One cereal
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds or peanuts
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)

In a large bowl, stir together the cereal, oats and nuts. Set aside. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine the brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until boiling, then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, salt, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. Pour over the cereal and oat mixture, stirring quickly (as sugar mixture cools it hardens quickly). Immediately press mixture into the prepared pan using the back of a large spatula. Lightly press chocolate chips into top of bars (if using). Allow to cool slightly, then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 18 bars.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Easiest Ever Paella

Joe is a huge fan of any combination of meats and rice (paella, jambalaya, etc.), so I wasn't surprised when he selected the Easiest Ever Paella from my new Sandra Lee cookbook for dinner tonight. Joe had given me several new cookbooks for my birthday last week, two of which were from Sandra Lee. I somehow failed to realize that this paella recipe came from her slow cooker cookbook, so when I started to make dinner at 5:00 tonight and realized that the recipe called for me to cook everything in my crockpot for 6 hours I had to improvise unless we planned to eat dinner 11:00. No worries, I easily adjusted it for the stove top and it was very delicious. I served it with some roasted asparagus and homemade challah bread and it was a great meal. Maybe next time I'll try it in the crockpot!

Easiest Ever Paella

3 cups chicken broth
2 boxes Spanish rice
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
3 turkey sausages, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup petite frozen peas

Prepare the rice according to package directions substituting chicken broth for water. While rice cooks, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and begin cooking chicken. When chicken is halfway cooked add diced onions, peas and sausage. Add shrimp during the last few minutes of cooking and cook until just pink. Stir in the cooked rice.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

I love my birthday. And I especially love when my birthday brings lots of kichen-centered gifts! This year I was lucky enough to get an ice cream maker and a Ben & Jerry's recipe book to go with it, so get ready for some yummy homemade ice cream recipes coming soon. And Joe gave me five new cookbooks, including two that focus entirely on cookies. I can't even tell you how many recipes I want to make. Thanks everyone for the awesome gifts. I plan to start cooking and baking right away...well as soon as I go polish off my Cold Stone Creamery birthday cake!

Pretzel Chicken

I am always up for trying new things with chicken, so when I saw this recipe on Annie's blog I knew I'd be making it. I like both honey mustard and pretzels so I figured this recipe had to be a winner - and it was. This chicken can be put together in no time and is nice and crunchy and full of flavor. Even Joe, who usually isn't a fan of "weird" recipes like this, really enjoyed it. I served the chicken with twice baked potatoes - I just microwaved potatoes for 15 minutes then scooped out the insides and mixed them with ranch dressing, cheddar cheese and bacon bits, then stuffed the filling back into the potato skins and baked along with the chicken. This was a great meal!

Pretzel Chicken

¼ cup spicy brown mustard
¼ cup honey
Chicken tenders

Combine mustard and honey in a bowl. Coat chicken with the mustard mixture. Put the pretzels in a Ziploc bag and crush. Roll chicken in the pretzels to coat. Place in a baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sweet and Creamy Fruit Dip

Our friends Jamie and Dave came over last night for dinner and a rousing game of Jumanji (ha!). Jamie has been doing awesome on Weight Watchers so rather than the usual dessert feast of fatty goodness we usually enjoy I wanted to lighten things up a bit. It's the perfect time of year to enjoy fruit, so I hopped on to All Recipes and found this recipe for fruit dip to serve along the strawberries, bananas, grapes, pineapple and apples I picked up at the grocery store. I lightened the dip even more by using fat free Cool Whip and fat free cream cheese. This dip is so, so good. I couldn't stop sneaking spoonfuls of it from the fridge as it chilled. And the four of demolished almost the entire huge tray of fruit with the dip. But luckily there was still enough dip at the end of the night for me to keep some leftovers and to share some with Jamie. But once those are gone, I know I will be whipping up another batch of this ASAP!

Sweet and Creamy Fruit Dip

1 (8 ounce) container fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 (3 ounce) package fat free cream cheese

In a mixing bowl, combine the frozen whipped topping, marshmallow creme, and cream cheese. Mix until smooth. Serve chilled.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Baking with Adam: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

My 9-year-old cousin Adam is very interested in cooking and baking and recently took a baking class at his summer camp. He called me a few weeks ago to share a handy cake decorating tip (soften Tootsie Rolls in the microwave and mold them into flowers for the top of your cake) and told me about the delicious banana chocolate chip muffins he had made. He was very excited about the muffins, so I invited him over to show me how to make them. This recipe was super easy and definitely kid friendly. Adam loved smooshing the bananas, measuring the oil and cracking the eggs.

The lure of the Wii was almost too much though - I had to keep calling him back to finish the baking with me as he repeatedly wandered off with Cooking Mama in his hand.

But together we managed to get the muffins in the oven and we Wii-d while they baked. (Side note: I am NOT good at Wii. At all) We made 12 muffins and put the rest of the batter in a small loaf pan. These muffins are very good. Just the right amount of banana flavor with delicious chocolate sprinkled throughout. We tried them warm out of the oven when the chocoalte was all melty -mmmmm. We followed the recipe exactly, but Adam said he's made these at home with Reese's peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips and they also great. So grab your favorite young sous chef and give these (or your own variation) a try!

Adam's Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix sugar, banana, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased loaf pan or prepared muffin tin. Bake at 325 until toothpick instered into center comes out clean.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Livin' in the Big Time - I'm a Blake Baker!

Woo hoo - my first post is on Blake Bakes! Check it out here. Thanks, Blake!

Here's a preview - mmmmm...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cajun Grilled Shrimp

I have a confession to make. The whole reason I was so keen on making these shrimp was because I thought the ideal accompaniment for them would be Hawaiian rolls, which I have been dying for an excuse to make again. Seriously, those rolls are heaven. Heaven I tell you. But the shrimp weren't half bad either! I found this recipe on Annie's blog around the same time that frozen shrimp went on sale at the grocery store, so it seemed like I was destined to make them. We even bought skewers especially for this meal. This was the first time we've grilled shrimp and I had Joe a little paranoid about burning them, but they came out cooked just fine. The seasoning was good, although Joe discovered that he doesn't like thyme so I may need to make some modifications next time. But everything just tastes better when it's cooked on the grill and these were perfectly enjoyable! Along with the Hawaiian rolls (drool) I served roasted green beans, which I tossed with cooking spray, salt, pepper and garlic powder and baked in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. This was a nice, light summer meal.

Cajun Grilled Shrimp

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Thread onto metal skewers. Brush with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix remaining spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture onto shrimp and pat lightly to help it stick.

Grill the skewers, covered, until the shrimp are barely charred and bright pink, about 6 minutes.