Thursday, December 9, 2010
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar (you could cut this to 2, but I like the "crunch" added to the crust of these when you use more sugar)
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk (or yogurt)
4 oz melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup jalepeno pepper (I just bought a good-sized jalepeno and chopped it up, but you could use jarred jalepenos if needed)
1 cup cheddar cheese (low fat ok)
Pre-heat oven to 400 and grease a muffin tin.
Mix dry ingredients together. Add buttermilk (or yogurt), melted butter, and egg. Mix to combine (do not overmix).
Gently stir in the cheese and jalepenos.
Spoon into muffin tin and bake 20-25 minutes until well risen and pale golden brown.
Enjoy! These are great with chili!
But I will, because you are delicious.
This risotto is a good main dish for a cold day. Excellent comfort food--not low-fat!
5 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
8 oz Italian sausage, casing removed (or use ground sausage)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (I used a red onion but I think yellow would be better)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 oz white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped. I do not like the texture of mushrooms, but the last time I made something and left them out the recipe was noticeably missing something. Since it's purely a texture thing I decided to chop some mushrooms up really really really really really really small and try it out. I think they were a good addition, but I'd not include the whole 4 oz next time. Maybe 2 was enough.
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley as a garnish, if desired
In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.
Now, that is how you are SUPPOSED to make risotto--warm the broth and add it warm to your rice. I, however, am lazy and don't want to dirty another pan, so I usually warm it in the measuring cup and add it that way. It's not as warm as it should be, but it's warmer than room temperature. I'm sure this causes great damage to the risotto, but it always tastes fine to me.
You do what works for you.
In a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sauseage and saute, crumbling, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and saute until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.
Add 1/2 cup broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 min. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and alowin geach addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25-30 minutes total. Remove from heat.
Stir in 3/4 of the Parmesan. Transfer to a servign bowl and sprinkle with parsley and remaining Parmesan.
I thought this was awesome. The little geeks refused to taste it, which really annoyed me ("it's cheese and rice! You LIKE cheese and rice!!). The Big Geek got stuck at work that night and ate some when he got home, but I don't know if he really liked it or just ate it because he was hungry. However, since I plan the meals, do the shopping, cook the meals, and clean up after the meals, I will probably make this again.
Swiss Three-Cheese Fondue
1/2 lb grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 lb grated Emmentaler cheese
3 oz (1/2 cup) grated Appenzeller cheese
1 clove garlic
1 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp kirsch (Kirschwasser)
white pepper to taste
nutmeg to taste
Rub the inside of a medium saucepan (or the fondue pot) with the peeled garlic clove. Throw away garlic clove. Add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
In a medium bowl, mix the cheeses with the cornstarch and toss. Stir the cheese mixture into the wine mixture one small handful at a time, making sure each handful is melted before adding another (try stirring in figure 8s). Do not let the mixture boil (a little bubbling is ok). Season with the nutmeg and pepper, and stir in the kirsch.
I like this one best with chunks of crusty bread, cooked broccoli, roasted potato wedges, or crisp cooked carrot.
German Cheddar and Beer Fondue:
10 oz (2 1/2 cups) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4-6 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded (1-1 1/2 cups)
1 rounded Tbsp flour
1 cup German lager
2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
a few drops of hot sauce
a few drops of Worcestershire sauce
In a bowl combine the cheeses and flour. Add the beer to a small pot (or the fondue pot) and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the cheese in small handfuls, stirring constantly. When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
I like this one best with green apple slices, small sausages or slices of sausage, and crusty bread.
I like to make the fondue in the fondue pot on the stove. Your ability to do this depends greatly on the type of fondue pot you have. I suggest a cast iron or enamel pot, not a thin metal one.
Obviously, this is not a great meal choice for little geeks since long sharp forks are involved. We like to do this with friends or on our own after the little geeks are in bed.
Also: this is NOT the time to decide to count fat grams. Use full-fat cheese. If you're worried about doing that, then you probably shouldn't have fondue. On the plus side, if you don't dip bread or potatoes it's low-carb. . .
I held onto it for a while because it doesn't seem all that kid-friendly and I wasn't even sure The Big Geek would eat it. Well, as it turns out the little geeks ate the chicken and the noodles, and TBG and I really enjoyed it. By the time everything cooks you don't even realize there is eggplant in it, and the flavors combine to make something pretty darned tasty. I had prepared myself for a struggle at dinner but it turned out just fine.
The other great thing about this recipe is you make it in the crock pot--perfect for long days, because you come home to a prepared meal and only need to boil some noodles or cook some rice to be ready to eat.
8 skinless chicken thighs (recipe calls for bone-in but I used boneless as it's what I had and it turned out fine)
1 large eggplant (1.5 lbs), peeled and cubed
3/4 lb plum tomatoes, in 1/2 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, in 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup red onions
8 marinated sun-dried tomato halves, drained and cut into strips (dried ones are ok if you can't find the marinated ones--mine came in strips so I guessed on the amount)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 large crushed garlic cloves (or the pre-minced kind if you're lazy like me)
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can rinsed & drained chick peas (aka garbanzo beans)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (I must confess I used more than this)
Trim fat from chicken (mine didn't have much). In crock pot, combine eggplant through red pepper flakes and mix well. It will look as if there isn't enough liquid, but there will be when it's finished cooking. Place chicken on top, bone side up (if bone-in). Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours (or on high 2 1/2-3 hours, but I didn't try this). Stir in chick peas and peanut butter. Let stand 5 min. Serve with chopped peanuts as a garnish if desired (I didn't have any so I skipped this, but it would be tasty).
The recipe suggests serving it over egg noodles, which was good, but I also think it would be good with rice or quinoa. This makes A LOT of food. TBG said he thought the chicken should be shredded and mixed in, which you certainly could do if you wanted. I liked being able to make the little geeks plates of chicken and noodles, NOT touching, that they would actually eat. Neither of them would eat the veggie mixture.
Give it a try. I know it sounds weird, but it really is tasty!
Seriously, folks, we've eaten between then and now, I just haven't had the time or energy to post recipes here. Plus I tend to stick to stuff I know how to make when I'm trying to feed the family and complete assignments.
This is one I probably could have used during the semester as it is SO INCREDIBLY EASY. It's a great filling meal that is both good for you and inexpensive, plus it seriously takes about 15 minutes to prepare.
Bean and Chicken Sausage Stew
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 130oz package chicken sausage links, thinly sliced. Be sure to get a flavor everyone really likes, because this will create a lot of the flavor in the stew. I used sun-dried tomato and artichoke because the store was very limited in options, but The Big Geek doesn't care for artichokes so this probably was not the greatest choice. He ate it anyhow.
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (or the pre-minced kind for those of us who might be lazy)
1 19-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed. (aka white kidney beans)
1 14.5 oz can low-sodium chicken broth (or 14.5 oz of broth you made)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bunch kale
Kosher salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, WITHOUT TURNING, until browned (about 3 min). Turn, add the garlic, and cook for 2 min. more.
Add the beans, broth, and tomatoes with their liquid. Bring to a simmer and cook over med-high heat.
Meanwhile, cut out the tough stems and center ribs from the kale leaves and discard. Tear into large pieces.
Add the kale to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Season with 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper.
Serve with crusty bread!
The little geeks did not have this as one has stomach flu and the other is too busy to sit down and eat. My guess is they would eat the sausage but not much else from this meal. I really liked the flavor, I love that you get the nutrition from the kale, and I LOVE how easy this is to throw together. I'll make this again with a variety of chicken sausage TBG will like.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
This is quick to toss together (although it needs 40 minutes to cook) and has a nice, lemony flavor. If your kids refuse to eat anything "combined," as mine currently do, then just make the chicken a bit larger and serve it as "chicken and rice." They'll never know. :)
The recipe calls for chicken tenderloins, but I had some boneless, skinless thighs I needed to use instead.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a saucepan, bring broth, 3/4 cup water, butter, salt, and pepper to a boil. Spray 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- While the liquid is coming to a boil, combine chicken, orzo, feta, dill, lemon zest and juice in the baking dish. Pour boiling broth mixture over orzo and stir once to incorporate.
- Bake until orzo is tender and cooking liquid is creamy, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan on top and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
My second thought was "hey, an 8 inch square? I'll double this and make a 9 x 13."
People. Learn from my foolishness. Unless you have GIANT pots or bowls in your kitchen, stick with one batch of these at a time. I ended up kind of "kneading" my marshmallow/butter mixture together with the cereal in the 9 x 13 pan while my daughter and dog happily ate whatever fell over the side/onto the floor.
This is such an easy tweak to the classic recipe and is really worth the effort for the depth of flavor.
4 ounces (1/4 pound or 1 stick) unsalted butter
10 ounces mini marshmallows (when I doubled the bag had 16 oz and so that's what I used)
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (plus extra for sprinkling)
6 cups Rice Krispy cereal (6 ounces)
Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan. Again, do NOT TRY TO DOUBLE THIS unless you have a SERIOUSLY GIANT POT for the butter/marshmallow, cereal mixing.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute. This took longer than I expected, but it really did go from golden to brown quickly. My butter foamed up (perhaps I was stirring too much) around the time it turned brown, so it took me a while to get a good look at it. It smells divine!
As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan, pressing firmly and evenly into the edges and corners (I use a sheet of wax paper to make this easier, or you can butter or spray your hands with nonstick spray). This will make fairly "tall" squares.
Let cool and then cut into squares. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
These are seriously delicious. The next time you are making rice krispy treats, try this variation and see if your "customers" notice the richer, delicious flavor.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I suggest you make a rule for yourself regarding this bread. My rule is that I can only make it when I'm not at home. It is strictly reserved for vacations, because it is so good, but so bad for you, and once you try it you will have to force yourself to stop eating it.
But if you do make it at home, don't say I didn't warn you.
1 14.5 oz can black olives, drained
1 6-oz jar pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained
2 green onions
1/4 lb (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise (real mayo, no substitutions)
1 lb Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 loaf crusty French bread.
Preheat the oven to 325.
Chop the olives roughly until most of the large pieces are broken up. Slice the green onions, then chop them roughly.
In a large bowl, combine the butter, mayo, cheese, and chopped olives and onions. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Slice the French bread loaf in half lengthwise and spread olive-cheese mixture in an even layer on each half.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese mixture is thoroughly melting and beginning to turn light brown.
Cut into diagonal slices and serve immediately.
Or take into closet and eat them yourself.
You can prepare the olive/cheese mixture up to 2 days ahead of time and store it tightly covered in the fridge, or spread it on the bread and freeze, tightly wrapped, up to 6 months (thaw before baking).
She also says the cheese mixture is good on crackers and that you can sub drained, chopped artichoke hearts and grated Parmesan cheese for the black olives and Monterey Jack cheese.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
2 tsp reduced calorie margarine (or you could just use butter)
2 large shallots, sliced and separated into rings
1 lb fresh green beans
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup freshly shaved parmesan cheese
1. Melt margarine/butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook 20 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
Wash beans and remove ends. Place beans, chicken broth, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12-14 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain beans and stir in shallots. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with cheese.
As recipe is written: 4 servings, 67 calories per serving (8.8 g carbs, 3.9 g protein, 2.6 g fat, 2.3 g fiber, 2 mg cholesterol, 171 mg sodium, exchange=2 veg, 2 WW pts).
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The recipe is originally from Everyday Food (the pbs show, not Rachel Rey).
1 large baking potato
2 Tbsp canola oil (or olive oil)
3/4 lb ground beef or turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
flour tortillas (whatever size/kind you like)
cheese (Monterey jack, cheddar, or Mexican blend, low-fat is fine)
1. Peel potato and cut into 1/2 inch dice.
2. In a large (LARGE) skillet or saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 6 min). While that cooks, chop the onion and jalapeno.
3. Add beef/turkey, onion, and jalapeno and cook, stirring, until beef/turkey is thoroughly browned, about 4 min. Add tomatoes and juice, cumin, paprika, and salt. Cook until liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes.
4. Warm tortillas in skillet (or microwave if you're lazy like me). Fill with beef mixture and desired toppings and fold into a burrito.
Enjoy! This makes quite a bit--we probably had enough for 10 small burritos. The original recipe says it makes 4 large (10 inch tortilla) burritos.
The little geeks are not huge fans of this (yet--I predict in about 10 years they both love it). The big geek and I enjoy it a LOT. Leftover filling is also good with Fritos or other corn chips.
Go figure. :)
Bacon, cut into 3 inch pieces (I just cut each piece in half)
Fresh dates (dried is ok if you can't get fresh)
Fontina cheese, cut to fit inside dates
1. Pre-cook bacon in microwave for 1 min. It will not be fully cooked. You're just trying to reduce how long it takes to cook in the over so the filling doesn't over-cook.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the broiler.
3. Slit the dates open, keeping the bottom and as much of the sides as possible in tact. Remove pits and place cheese insde each date. Wrap bacon around the stuffed date, overlapping the ends on the bottom. Place on parchment paper.
4. Broil for approx. 5 min. Watch them closely so they don't burn! When the bacon is done, they are done.
I do think these would be better with a saltier cheese, like Parmesan or Asiago. If you like dates, I'd encourage you to try this out and experiment with different cheeses. If you don't like dates, these probably won't be your favorite things.
I found some phyllo cups at Nob Hill, so was able to try this tasty little appetizer. They're light and cool and refreshing and surprisingly addictive. Now that I've used phyllo cups, I'm full of all kinds of ideas for how to use the handy little things (that are pre-baked and require practically no work). These were based on Brown Eyed Baker's "Cucumber-Tomato Bruschetta in Phyllo Cups" recipe.
30 phyllo cups
1 med cucumber, finely diced
1 tomato, seeded and finely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup sour cream (I used the real deal--you could use low fat)
3 Tbsp cream cheese, softened (again, real deal--you could use low fat)
2 tsp lemon juice (I used fresh thanks to a generous friend)
3 Tbsp finely chopped chives, divided (or, in a pinch, green onion stems)
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley (I had to skip this as my parsley "died" between when I planned to make these and actually was able to make them)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1. Remove phyllo cups from freezer.
2. In medium bowl, toss the cucumber, tomato, and onion to combine.
3. In small bowl, mix the sour cream and cream cheese with a spoon until thoroughly combined. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, pepper, 2 Tbsp chives, and parsley.
4. Add sour cream mixture to vegetable mixture and toss to combine.
5. Spoon into each phyllo cup. I had a bit left over. It was tasty.
6. Top with remaining 1 Tbsp chives and serve.
Perfect for a summer gathering!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I'm glad I did! Quick, easy, and delicious these cookies can probably be made by anyone with a well-stocked pantry without even requiring a trip to the grocery store. I should say that The Little Geek was NOT a fan of them. I have no idea why, unless it is the texture of the oatmeal in the cookies. Clearly, she is insane.
I think my sister puts raisins in hers. If not, I've absolutely had these with raisins in the past. If you enjoy Raisinettes, you'd probably enjoy that addition. I did not include them as the recipe didn't call for them and I knew I was probably the only person in my house who would enjoy them.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I used unsalted, but salted is fine)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth is probably best, but chunky would also work)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1. Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper.
2. Add butter through cocoa powder to a 4-quart suacepan and bring to a rolling boil.
3. Let boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
5. Stir in the oats.
6. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto wax-paper lined baking sheets.
7. Cool in refrigerator until set (around 30 minutes).
I plan to make more of Brown Eyed Bakers recipes this weekend, including the strawberry pretzel squares, Italian chicken salad, Fontina-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates, and cucumuber tomato phyllo cups (if I can find phyllo cups--I am NOT making my own), and spicy crock pot pecans. When our tomatoes ripen and I'm looking for ideas for them, I'm making the panzanella. I'll post as I cook.
Tonight: Flank Steak w/ Orange Sauce!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I was right, and then I discovered that even more than dessert, they loved having them for breakfast. Whether you have them as a snack or breakfast, it's an easy, semi-healthy indulgence.
ripe bananas (but not over-ripe)
yogurt--any kind, but smooth, not with chunks of fruit. I like strawberry.
cheerios or "O" cereal
Popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks
1. Peel bananas and insert Popsicle stick into each one. (You may want to cut the bananas in half so you have 2 shorter pops). Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet or plate and freeze until the stick is really frozen in place.
2. Dunk frozen banana in yogurt (or spoon yogurt over the banana--whatever works best for you).
3. Roll yogurt-covered banana in cereal.
4. Return yogurt and cereal-covered banana to wax paper and freeze.
When they are frozen, you can store them in a plastic baggie until you're ready to eat them.
5. Tell your kids they are having Popsicles for breakfast and listen to them cheer!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I'm so glad I did! The chicken is moist and flavorful, and the "sauce" (which is really more like a chutney) is delicious. I ate the leftovers for lunch AND dinner the next day (and I had other options for dinner--I just wanted this)!
4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I made 6)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I doubled this part b/c I wanted to press the mixture into both sides instead of just one as originally suggested)
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (see above)
2 tsp olive oil, divided (basically, EVOO for the pan for every 2 breasts you cook)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove (my addition, not in original recipe)
1/4 cup fat=free, less sodium chicken broth (I didn't have any homemade and didn't want to open a can for 1/4 cup, so I used white wine instead)
2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap and pound to 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Doing this makes the chicken cook faster (it is thinner) and more evenly (it is the same thickness for the entire piece). Don't skip this. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
2. Combine cheese and flour in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 side of each chicken breast in cheese mixture. I decided to dredge both sides because it is delicious.
3. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken breast halves, cheese side down. Cook 2-4 minutes each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining oil/chicken. Remove from pan and keep warm.
4. Coat pan with cooking spray (this is what the recipe said to do and so I did it. However, I don't know why I'd do this step now and not before the chicken. Seems to me you should do it both times). Add onion and saute 1 minute. Add garlic (if using) and saute another minute (be sure to cook the onion a total of 2 minutes). Stir in broth/wine and vinegar; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Add tomatoes, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/4 tsp pepper, and oregano. Cook 2 minutes.
Serve each chicken breast topped with tomato sauce and enjoy. This is also delicious the next day!
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar (didn't have any, so used balsamic
However, they are yummy and easy, so I'd encourage you to try them yourself. :)
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, frozen whole
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream (I used low fat b/c it's what I had)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (or get that large-granulated sugar for sprinkling--it would be pretty, and if you can find lemon-flavored it would be even better)
2 tsp baking POWDER
1/4 tsp baking SODA
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp finely grated lemon peel (I may double this next time)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (I think salted would also be fine here)
1. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat to 425. Grate the frozen butter with a cheese grater (I have a mandolin with a grater attachment I used, or you could do this in a food processor). Rinse/dry blueberries and place them in the freezer until needed.
2. Whisk together the milk and sour cream in a medium bowl--refrigerate until needed.
3. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated (this is the part where I went "Holy crap, it's practically pie crust, no wonder I love this stuff").
4. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until combined. Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface--it will be sticky. Knead with well-floured hands about 6-8 times, just until the dough holds together in a ragged ball (I'm pretty sure you could also do this part in a food processor). Add small amounts of flour as needed to prevent sticking. Did I mention that the dough will be sticky? It will be sticky.
5. Roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Fold into thirds (like a letter). The original recipe suggests that a dough scraper would make this easier. I agree. Must add "dough scraper" to my growing list of kitchen tools on my Amazon wishlist. Fold the short ends of the dough into the center in thirds (again, like a letter) and place on a lightly floured plate. Chill in freezer for about 5 minutes.
6. Return dough to floured work surface and roll into an approximately 12 inch square again. Place blueberries on the surface of the dough and gently press them down, so they are slightly embedded in the dough surface. Using a dough scraper (or just your hands if you have to, maybe assisted by a sharp knife), roll the dough into a tight log. Lay the log seam side down and press into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle. Using a sharp, floured knife (or the scraper), cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Then cut each smaller rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
7. Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 min. Transfer to wire rack and cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
3 Tbsp diced green chiles, divided
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11 oz) can corn with red and green peppers, drained
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
1 (8 1/2 oz) package corn muffin mix
2 Tbsp chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers
1 Tbsp diced green chiles (left from filling)
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
6 Tbsp low-fat sour cream
1 1/2 tsp thinly sliced fresh cilantro
Place 3 Tbsp green chiles and next 6 ingredients (through enchilada sauce) in a 3 1/2 quart electric slow cooker; stir well. (Note: I have no idea what size my crock pot is--it's oval. I think it's 6 quart. It works just fine.) Cover with lid; cook on low-heat setting 4 hours.
Combine remaining 1 Tbsp green chiles, egg substitute, muffin mix, adn roasted bell peppers in a bow. Spoon over bean mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook 1 hour or until corn bread is done.
Sprinkle cheese over corn bread. Cover and cook 5 min or until cheese melts. Top each serving with sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup water
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
6 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp butter
3 egg whites
6 Tbsp sugar
1 pastry shell, prepared
In large saucepan, combine sugar and flour. Gradually stir in buttermilk and water until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 4 minutes. REduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
Stir a small amount of filling into the egg yolks. Return all to the pan, stirring constantly and return to heat. Bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and butter until butter is melted. Keep warm.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, on high until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
Pour hot filling into pastry shell. Spread meringue evenly over hot filling, sealing edges to crust. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.
Cool on wire rack for 1 hour; refrigerate at least 5 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
2 tsp salt, plus more as needed
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 lbs flank steak
1/2 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 cups tomato sauce (I used crushed tomatoes)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 cup vino seco (dry white cooking wine)
1/2 cup peas, for garnish (I left these out)
1/4 cup chopped pimentos, for garnish
Cook the steak:
Combine 1 1/2 quarts water (6 cups), 1 tsp of the salt, and the peppercorns in a large pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the steak, and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for about 2 hours, until the meat is nice and tender.
Make the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan (LARGE) over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and bell peppers, and saute for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the tomato sauce, bay leaf, pepper, and remaining tsp of salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the vino seco, and continue boiling for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer fo r20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and set aside.
Drain the flank steak and let it cool to room temperature on a plate lined with apper towels. Shrid the beef into long strips (it should come apart easily). Season the steak with salt and pepper and add it to the tomato mixture. Stir to coat the meat with the sauce.
Cook over medium-low heat for at least 20-30 minutes, to allow the flavors to come together. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Garnish with peas and pimentos before serving.
Serve with rice and enjoy!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Don't get me wrong--it was DELICIOUS, but the flavor overpowered every other part of the meal. Just now, while typing this recipe, I figured out why.
2 cups cabbage (shredded) PLUS 1 carrot (shredded) OR 1 bag of pre-shredded cole slaw mix
1/4 cup mayonnaise (low fat is fine)
1/4 cup sour cream (low fat is fine)
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup blue cheese (crumbled) I think this is where I messed up. I could have sworn the recipe called for 4 oz of blue cheese, and so I figured 5 would just be extra good. I think I basically quadrupled the blue cheese. Start with less--you can add more if it needs more blue cheese flavor!
1 handful parsley (chopped) I left this out
Combine the mayo, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the carrots/cabbage and mix to coat. Taste and add more blue cheese/salt/pepper/lemon juice as needed.
Cover and let mellow in the fridge for a few hours.
So, yeah, mine was good, but it would be even better (and palatable for those who don't LOVE blue cheese) if you used the correct amount.
If you like blue cheese, though, this is for you, and it would be awesome on a buffalo-flavored pulled chicken sandwich/wrap.
They aren't quite as good as the ones at CA Cafe, but they were tasty. The Big Geek didn't like all the "stuff" in them and said he'd rather just have plain cornbread. I think he's crazy and these are delicious. They aren't hot, so even the little geeks enjoyed them.
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh corn, scraped from the cob, OR 1 cup creamed corn (I used creamed corn)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
4 oz diced Jalapeno (remove seeds/membrane unless you want it hot) OR 1/4 cup minced canned Jalapeno chiles (I used fresh)
Preheat oven to 425 and grease 12 large muffin cups
Stir together cornmeal through salt. Add corn, buttermilk, onion, and butter. Mix thoroughly until mixture is moist and creamy (it kind of puffs up).
Combine cheese and chiles and mix into batter.
Pour into 12 prepared muffin cups and bake 20-25 minutes.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
1 box butter yellow cake mix, plus ingredients called for on mix (stick of butter, water, eggs)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cans evaporated milk
1 pint light cream (although I didn't find light cream and ended up just getting whipping cream)
2/3 cup karo syrup
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
Step 1: Make the cake according to the package directions. Here's a tip about butter yellow mixes: mix the batter for as long as the box says (in my case, 4 minutes). It really does make a difference in the texture of the cake. Use a 9 x 13 baking pan, and allow to cool completely.
Step 2: When cake is cool, puncture all over with a fork. Combine the milks in a bowl, then slowly pour all over the cake. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours so that the milk really soaks in.
Step 3: Heat the karo syrup and sugar on medium-low heat until sugar is combined. While that's heating (stir occasionally), whip 3 egg whites until soft peaks form. When sugar is melted into Karo syrup, stir, add vanilla and stir to combine. SLOWLY pour the syrup mixture into your egg whites, beating them the entire time. When all of syrup has been combined with egg whites, you should have stiff peaks. Cover top of cake and refrigerate for another hour. OR, if you want, you could use whipped topping, but the meringue is really the way to go.
Serve with a spoon and enjoy! This is not low fat or low calorie, but it tastes REALLY good. :)
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
3 1/2 cups diced potatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced onion
3 1/4 cups ham (or however much you have, or just toss in the ham bone assuming there's still meat on it)
3 1/4 cups water or chicken broth
6 chicken bullion cubes (or 3 if you use broth--I used "better than bullion" vegetable base)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5 Tbsp flour
5 Tbsp butter
2 cups milk (I use fat free, but it doesn't matter)
Spray crock pot with cooking spray and stir potatoes through pepper into the crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you use a ham bone, about 30 minutes before serving remove the bone, cut away ham from it, dice it, and stir ham back into crock pot. About 20 minutes before serving, melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and gradually add milk, stirring constantly over medium heat until thick. Stir mixture into crockpot. Let cook 15-20 minutes more.
Especially good served with some sharp cheddar cheese, chives, and crumbled bacon, but very tasty just as it is.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The blog Nourishing Days has some really good tips for making stock here. What was new to me was the addition of vinegar (it works, and you can't taste it) plus using cold water and letting everything sit for about an hour before turning on the slow cooker. Also, the idea of hanging onto vegetable scraps in a ziploc in your freezer and to use in your stock is inspired. I literally take a chicken carcass and veggie scraps that would otherwise just be trash and turn it into a staple I'd buy regularly anyhow. I feel like I'm making money in my crock pot!
What do I do with the chicken stock? In addition to using it as a great base for soups, I use it to make risotto, the absurdly easy cheesy chicken and rice recipe I posted a while back. It's required for my favorite chicken pot pie recipe, and for quick coq au vin. Or this fabulous lemon chicken (the last time we got lemon chicken at a restaurant both The Big Geek and I thought of this and wished we were eating it instead.)
Or sometimes I just use it to cook rice, cous cous, or quinoa to give it more flavor.
At any rate, it's easy, delicious, and free--so you may as well try it.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I was under no delusions that I'd end up making something like this. But I did think I could manage a round-ish cake pop with some green-tinted candy coating for a St. Patrick's Day party tomorrow.
I should point out that I don't generally use those candy melt things. If I did, I might have consulted someone with more knowledge in this area before trying this.
I think I did two things wrong:
1. I made the cake the "vegan" way, with a can of soda instead of eggs, oil, water, etc. I did this because someone at the party is allergic to eggs, and it's easy. But I think perhaps that changes the texture of the cake enough to make the balls too soft, even after a few hours in the freezer.
2. I had no clue what I was doing with the candy melts, so I was having to add shortening, etc. to fix the consistency. I expected to be able to dip and be done, but that is not the way this worked for me at all. It was too thick, and more than one cake pop lost it's "pop" because of it. In the end, I found that spreading on the candy coating worked best.
I got a few good ones,
and a few not-so-good ones.
They'll all taste fine. But I don't know if I'll do cake pops again. Cake balls, sure. Pops? We'll see.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
So I decided to try this WW recipe. As a whole, it wasn't bad. I think it could be improved, but we'll discuss that later.
2 bags washed spinach, steamed, squeezed dry, and chopped
1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 small garlic clove, minced
Combine cottege cheese, milk, parmesan cheese, garlic, and 1/4 the cooked spinach in a food processor and process until creamy (or in a bowl and use an immersion blender, or you could do this in a regular blender). Place remaining spinach in a skillet over medium heat, add blended mixture, and stir. Cook until heated through.
That's it--pretty easy and not bad tasting.
I would change:
1. (not really a change, but) Make sure you press as much water out of the spinach as possible so that this is not watery.
2. Maybe up the cottage cheese a bit or just cut back on the amount of milk. I really think you could just leave the milk out altogether.
3. I probably used 1 1/2 tbsp of parmesan cheese (I just grabbed some I didn't get out a measuring spoon).
That's about it. Most of my changes focus on making this more creamy and less watery. The flavor was really good, though. Be aware that b/c you process some of the spinach with the cheese, this will be brighter green than normal creamed spinach.
A college friend shared a link to Word of Mouth's blog, which included this recipe for Crunken Chicken. Mine is currently in the oven, but I can tell you the sauce is out of this world. I can't wait for dinner tonight! I particularly like that it is so versitile--it can be an appetizer, you can bake it, or you can grill it. I made mine on a broiler pan in the oven (10 minutes each side, brushing with sauce on both sides when flipping the chicken). I also think this sauce would be pretty kick-ass on appetizer meatballs (the kind you make in a crock pot) or on pretty much anything. Pour it over a pork tenderloin, use it with flank steak--you really can't go wrong.
1/4 cup bourbon
1 12oz. bottle dark brown ale
1 tbl. cayenne powder (if making for little geeks, omit this or cut it down a bit)
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup minced onion
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (included in original recipe but I left it out accidentally and didn't miss it)
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup bourbon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (whole or cut into 1” nuggets)* (I made 6 breasts b/c that's what was in the package)
Marinade: Combine beer, bourbon, ¼ c. molasses, cayenne and salt in a large bowl. Add chicken, cover and marinate for ½ hour or up to 4 hours.
Sauce: Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ¼ c. molasses, dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and chili powder (unless you forget like me). Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in ¼ c. bourbon; cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
In oven--Preheat oven to 425. Drain marinade from chicken. Add chicken to a 9 x 13 baking dish coated with cooking spray or broiler pan. Brush generously on all sides with bbq sauce, reserving some sauce for the table. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, turning and basting after 10 minutes.
To Grill: Grill the boneless breasts or add the nuggets to a skewer. Grill over medium heat, turning to cook all sides, about 20 minutes. Brush with BBQ sauce and cook until glaze is formed – about 3 more minutes. Serve all with reserved sauce.
My kitchen smells amazing. I could eat this sauce with a spoon! Check out Word of Mouth and be prepared to spend some time looking at recipes. YUM!
I think that we may be eating Crunken Chicken Pizza tomorrow night here at Chez Silicon. I bet it's awesome!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
2 very ripe tomatoes, peeled
1 8-oz loaf day-old French or Italian bread--the crustier, the better
1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced (white AND green parts)
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp EVOO
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.
To peel the tomatoes, cut a small X in the bottom of each tomato skin. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and drop in the tomatoes for 10-15 seconds, just until the skin splits. With a slotted spoon, remove tomatoes to a bowl of cold water. Skins should peel off easily (this is just like blanching/peeling peaches).
Halve each peeled tomato horizontally (around the fattest part--if the part where the stem was is the north pole then you are cutting along the equator). With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp. Dice the tomato shells.
Pull out the soft insides of the bread and tear into pea-sized pieces.
In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, bread, cheese, parsley, scallions, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
Fill the bread loaf with the tomato mixture (you will have to mush it in). Close the bread and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, cut into 4 pieces.
Makes 4 servings, 4 WW pts per serving (222 calories, 6g fat, 3g fiber).
I can't wait for this to be finished! This summer, when tomatoes are ripe, this may become a staple lunch for me (I doubt The Big Geek would view this as a complete meal). As a child I used to get into trouble for using up all the tomatoes making tomato sandwiches--this is the grown-up version of that!
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
4 slices whole wheat bread, made into fine crumbs (a small food processor is great for this)
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 egg white (recipe says lightly beaten, but I just tossed it in and it was fine)
3 Tbsp ketchup (I like Heinz Organic b/c it doesn't contain HFCS)
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves, crumbled
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet. Add the onions and saute until tender, 4-5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 and spray an 8 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine all other ingredients. When onion is done, allow to cool slightly (so you don't burn yourself) and mix into turkey mixture.
Shape into a loaf and transfer to loaf pan.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Next time I may chop up some celery and add it in with the onions--but don't tell The Big Geek. :)
As written, the recipe is 4 pts per serving (makes 8 servings): 181 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g fiber.