Monday, April 30, 2012

Athenian Orzo

 Athenian Orzo
I like the blog linked from above.  I really like her blog:)  As soon as I saw this recipe I put it on my list of things to make.

This would be good with a bit of lemon zest.  And tuna would be a good substitution for the shrimp.  My addition was diced red pepper thrown in with the onions.


I guess feta with pasta...how can you go wrong?  I have been relying on recipes from other bloggers for a bit.  A great way to get through some dreary April days of cooking.  I am so looking forward to some good produce grown a bit closer to home!

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fig Jam

Leftovers in the refrigerator included bleu cheese, bacon, and arugula, so I thought I would throw together a pizza.  Also, I had some of the refrigerated dough (Jim Lahey's recipe) in my freezer, so this would be a great way to use a lot of this.  A quick online search gave me the idea of making a fig jam to go on the pizza.  This is not much different than a previous blog post from 12/4.  At that time I thought it would be good with bacon and arugula...that's what I did on this round.  The home-made fig jam was a nice touch. It is a bit better than using the dried figs since dried figs tend to dry out a bit more when placed in a hot oven!  Mmmm...and the carmelized onions with a dash of balsamic vinegar.

The pizza is a bit like one I had a few weeks ago at Ushers in Moorhead, MN. My niece and I both ordered this off the appetizer menu and were pleased with our dinner choice.  I topped mine with arugula this time instead of the asparagus.  Ushers is in an old building along the Red River, so it's beautiful to sit and look at the river and watch the sun set.  There's even an old stone pit on the grounds where a bear was once kept. Yea, I think that's a bit strange also.

Fig jam...just waiting to made.  We're huge fans of the sweet version; however, it needed to be a tiny bit more on the savory side for dinner.  Combining a number of recipes, this is what I made:
1 c dried figs
2 c water
1 t lemon juice
1 T maple syrup
Cook all ingredients down for 30 minutes or so and blend with an immersion blender.  Now it's ready to put in yogurt or on pizza. 
pizza with arugula

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Crockpot Sesame Chicken


I'm developing a relationship with preventionrd blogger, but she doesn't know it.  I suppose I should post on her site and let her know how much I enjoy her recipes and pictures; however, I have been in the background for quite some time.  Her photography is beautiful and her recipes are good.  Those are the recipes that are getting me out of my seasonal struggle to make dinner.  This time of year is hard since we don't have much in the way of fresh produce for inspiration in the upper midwest.  It's coming, I know. I turned to that blog for some inspiration this week and found this.

The honey used in this recipe is from Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, an organization that has people working with at-risk youth.

 Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Reluctant is the word I would use to describe my desire to put ketchup and cornstarch in a recipe.  But, I decided (in part due to the beautiful photography), that I would go for it.  The amount of honey in the recipe made me hesitant as well, but I decided to trust prevention rd food blogger on this round.
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey ( I ran out...probably about 1 T or 2 shy of the 1/2 c so I subbed in agave nectar)
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1/2 onion, diced
2 Tbsp ketchup (decreased a slight bit from the original)
1  T extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced, pressed or grated (omitted since I didn't have it)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 T cornstarch
Garnish:
2 T sesame seeds
chopped peanuts
cilantro
rooster sauce (this one really balanced the sweetness)
Put chicken into crock pot.
In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through.
sauce. Remove chicken and shredWhisk cornstarch into liquid in the crock pot. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.  Add the chicken back to the sauce until it's warm.

The timeline on this one is a bit tricky for me.  On Tuesday afternoons we do stop home for 30 minutes or so after school, so that's when I pulled it together and put it in the crockpot to eat after practice.

The roasted broccoli tasted great (as always) and went well with the chicken.  
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Arugula


Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Arugula
This woman does it again.  Found this while browsing her blog when I didn't even need a recipe for the week.  Yikes, I found this and rearranged my menu just to eat this sooner rather than later.  I have to admit, at this house we are the hugest arugula fans.  In fact, a perfect garden for me needs to have basil, tomatoes, and arugula.  That's it.  I can get along without anything else in our tiny garden, but I must have these 3 items!  Arugula is just that good.  It's expensive right now, so that is helping prod me to pick up some seeds and get it growing in our tiny plot. 

My parents requested some items from Glorioso's Italian Market, so I was able to include the prosciutto for this recipe in one errand.  Hooray...I sure am a fan of multi-tasking.

I made it fairly close to the recipe linked from above.  I omitted the frying step and cooked the breasts on a grate over a pan.  I think that next time I will do a quick brown in oil in a skillet...just to make it look a bit more appetizing.  That's probably worth a few extra calories; however, we LOVED this.  All three of us loved this, so I will be making it again.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Asian Cabbage Mango Salad


The recipe and idea are from skinnytaste.com
I added a bit more cilantro and topped it with some chopped peanuts and used chives instead of scallions since there was a big pot of chives in my garden.   So this is what I made:
Salad:
3 cups shredded cabbage/carrot mix from Sendiks
1 mango, mine was pretty ripe
handful of chopped cilantro
bunch of chives
Dressing:
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tbsp  sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil

Garnish:
sesame seeds
chopped peanuts

We had this on the night Paul was grilling his birthday meat.  He made his famous grilled potatoes with feta cheese.   Those potatoes are so good, but it's best that I don't know the portion of butter and olive oil. 

We ended up with quite a bit of red meat from Paul's purchase of a partial cow from someone at work.  We aren't huge red meat eaters and ended up with a bit more than I thought we were getting.  When Paul's friend Jon was over today I tried to divy up the meat a bit more....but he wasn't having any more.  I guess you can look forward to a few more red meat posts in the future on this blog.

The red meat story....a friend of a friend is starting a Kobe beef business in Wisconsin with his website-less farm being named Hunter's Ridge.   I did grow up with my parents piecing out a cow that was purchased and allowed to graze at their friend's farm.  And Paul's family often buys a fraction of a cow as well.  We're just not huge beef eaters, so a tiny bit goes a long way at this house.   Make that...I'm not a huge beef eater...and I plan the menu, so we don't eat too much beef.  Since we received a fraction of a fraction of the cow,  the best compromise for me to be agreeable to this( I was afraid..and I mean afraid...that Paul would purchase some crazy large amount of meat).  And summer is coming, so some burgers will be welcomed.

We also have a friend who peddles her father's grass fed beef. I have gotten some beef sticks from her for Paul's great pheasant hunting adventure, but I haven't purchased any other since we don't tend to consume large amounts of red meat.  But, good for her...and her dad...for working on the small rancher beef.  That would be Novy Farms for all you Californians:)  Oh, and that website applies if you're out of California as well!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Meal Planning...for real

Get ready...for the next week.  That's the thing...if there's a week when the meals aren't the best...or the plan isn't the best....there's an opportunity to improve.  Last week I was a rockstar with the meals and am hoping for a repeat; however, one never knows:)

We had an old favorite the other night, macaroni and cheese.  Another favorite will make an appearance as well, fish tacos.  Paul has been requesting a birthday dinner with grilled meat being the main feature, so that is a start on a meal.  He always looks a bit befuddled when I suggest other things to go with the grilled hunk of meat since that is a meal in itself to him.  I will try skinnytaste's coleslaw and preventionrd's chicken on a bed of arugula as well as  her Asian crockpot chicken recipe.

It seems like my recipes haven't been very original lately; however, that is helpful for me to get through this spring season when there isn't much delicious produce.  I'm excited for the upcoming season with mounds of fresh produce waiting for some creativity on my part.  I think it's coming soon.  I picked through the fruit at the grocery store and got a bit for the week as well as a few vegetables.  Sushi Saturday may become a routine since we have made some for lunch the past few weeks.  It's healthy and not too difficult (we keep it simple). 

So...we will see how it goes....
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tamale Pie


Tamale Pie
Umm...yea....think I have been watching a bit too much Rick Bayless on public television lately.  He was making tamales the other night which is something I have attempted once.  Yep, it was so labor intensive I didn't think I would ever try again.  I will admit that I am reconsidering this and may make them in the future; however, I sure am not going to make them during the week!  I have used a few different recipes for tamale pie over the years but couldn't find the one I had used, so a bit of web surfing got me to this spot.  And this one.... tamale casserole uses the crockpot.  So putting these together, along with a couple other recipes and the ingredients I have, here's what I made:

1 lb ground turkey breast, cooked in a skillet until no longer pink
Add (homemade taco seasoning)
1 T minced onion powder
2 t  Penzeys 33rd and Galena seasoning
1t garlic powder
1 t cornstarch
1 t cumin
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 c water
Add one red bell pepper, chopped and 1/4 bag frozen corn.
The entire batch was put into a ziploc bag and frozen.  Ready for easy to assemble dinner in a slow cooker.It defrosted in the refrigerator overnight and put in the crockpot in the morning along with a can of kidney beans.
Topping:
1 egg
3/4 c cornmeal
1 c milk
Mix together and put on top of meat mixture.
Cook on low for 10 hours or so.  Serve with salsa.
This wasn't a meal everyone raved about and feels like it would be awesome once a week; however, it was a perfectly good dinner that can be repeated occasionally.

It's messy to pull out of the crockpot...but tastes good.  It hasn't curtailed my craving for a "real" tamale though, so maybe I'll have to try assembling some when I have a free afternoon.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Getting Ready for the Week Ahead and Looking Back

I started this post...then saved the draft...and came back to it when the week was done.  That's the reason for the odd title.

Whenever things don't go smoothly, I always think it can be helped with a bit more organization.  Being organized...and taking the time to do that upfront seems to pay off for me with decreased stress during the week.

I like to use the weekend to get a bit ahead on things....meals planned, groceries purchased, house cleaned (lowering standards helps with this as well). I'm off work on Wednesdays so it gives me a bit of time to regroup (and wash sheets), so I know that day is coming too. Busy weekends sometimes get in the way of that ideal of organization; however, I can usually find a tiny bit of time to pull it together.

Lemon biscotti was the "something fun" for the menu this week.  

Like I have mentioned in previous posts, I make a menu for the next grouping of days and start from there.  Typically the items requiring the fresher ingredients are in the earlier part of the week.  I made sushi the day I bought most of the ingredients.  Arugula pizza...early part of the week.  Stir fry (or some such vegetable user recipe) is usually an end of the week/clean out the fridge meal.  Crockpot can be just about any night since we get home late from swim practice most evenings.  Roasting sweet potatoes and bacon for pasta....hmmm...that would be a Saturday or Sunday meal.

Although I don't mind the feeling of trying to throw together a dinner at the last minute (and find the pantry challenge a bit of fun on occasion), I do like to have a plan ahead of time.  It just helps the week feel a bit better to me by not trying to think of a dinner plan at 7 or even 8pm!  I try not to be so rigid I can't go with a spontaneous moment; however, with homework and music practice and swimming, that isn't too likely anyway.

What really happened was that I made the tamale pie filling and froze it in a ziploc.  That way I would have something ready for the end of the week but wouldn't be watching produce wilt before my eyes.  I also realized that the mushrooms for stir fry weren't going to make it toward the latter part of the week.  So, I took some ground pork out of the freezer and cooked that along with multiple veggies and froze that whole bag for egg rolls(see picture below).  Both of those things took off a bit of pressure with fresh vegetables going bad.  I feel like I have failed when I have to throw an ingredient; and having the ziploc ready to go gets me a bit ahead another day. Umm...that would be a win/win.

Saturday was the sweet potato/bacon pasta and Sunday was the arugula pizza.  That meant Monday we were having the Buffalo Chicken soup.  That was planned as a birthday meal for Paul.  I suspect he'll want to grill some hunk of meat next weekend, so we'll do that celebration later.

Tuesday...on the Tuesdays that Eleanor swims morning only I have time to put together a nicer dinner after her violin lesson.  Some weeks she swims both morning and afternoon (or maybe even just afternoon on rare weeks), so I need something that can be pulled together quickly.  This was a quick cooking Tuesday, so I pulled out that eggroll filling from the freezer before leaving for work.

The items that are the ones requiring me to go to the grocery store are coffee and fruit.  When we run out of fruit...we need groceries.  I can usually pinch hit a dinner from items I already have either ingredients in the pantry or something in the depths of the freezer Coffee...yea....must have that.  I keep an emergency one pot stash hidden...just in case.  I guess it's like the reserve toilet paper roll I have too.  Can't run out of either of those things.

Time to get ready for another week!
 
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Pull Apart Cinnamon Bread

 OMG!  Is this stuff delicious or what?!!
 Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
The above recipe was the guideline I used for making this.  I had seen a recipe that was similar somewhere in cyberspace but wasn't able to find it the day I was ready to tackle this challenge.  Cool...that helped me find my way to this one. I wasn't able to link to the one from the link above to see how it compares to my version.  I had to change it up a tiny bit.  Joy of Baking says not to decrease the sugar; however, that would have been just a bit too sweet for us...so I decreased it to 2/3 c.  Thinking maybe even 1/2 c next time.  A lot of the sugar fell off when I was stacking the rectangles.  I put it on the top of the loaf to use it, but I really think even a bit less wouldn't have decreased the sweet flavor too much. I did opt for skim milk instead of whole milk.  There's a fine line between cutting a few calories (hey, why not?) and taking away the joy of eating something decadent; but, I think I achieved it with the recipe below.  The tricky part is portion size with this...just that yummy!

Dough:
2 3/4 cups plus a bit more all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 T unsalted butter
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling:
2/3 cup granulated sugar(think I'll go with 1/2 c next time)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Mix above. 

1-2 T unsalted butter, melted

Combine 2 c flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl.  
Heat milk, butter and water in a pan until butter is just melted.  Let it cool for a couple minutes, add the vanilla and stir into the flour mixture.  I used the mixer and incorporated it with a dough hook. Add 2 eggs and stir.  Add the additional 3/4 c flour and stir until a soft and slightly sticky dough forms.  Place in a greased bowl and let rise for an hour or so.  Mine rose while I drove to the Y, did body pump, chatted with friends, and drove home ie. more than an hour.
Punch down the dough and incorporate a bit more flour into it.  Let rise another 5 or 10 minutes....the time to make the filling.
Roll into a 12' by 20' rectangle and brush with melted butter (that's the butter listed in the filling ingredients) and sprinkle with the filling ingredients.   Slice into 6 long rectangles and stack them.  Then slice the long rectangle into 6 somewhat equal stacks.  Place into a greased loaf pan like the pages of a book.  Joy of Baking has some awesome pictures on this.   It does need to rise again.  I put mine (covered) in the fridge at this point and ran a few errands stopping home to take it out to rise when I had an hour or so of errands left.  Came home and turned the oven to 350 degrees and baked it for 35 minutes or so.  My plan was to have this as a warm treat for Eleanor after school.  She had some in the car on the way to practice, but, since we pass our house on the drive, she ran in for another piece.  When we got home from practice the first thing Paul said was, "that's about the best thing ever".  It's really good.

the dough after rising

rectangle ready for sugar

stacks of sugary dough

sweet goodness


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Rolls

The plan was stir fry but the vegetables didn't know that they were supposed to hold off on wilting until they became stir fry.  I just knew that they wouldn't make it to the end of the week, so I pulled some ground pork out of the freezer and added the vegetables, a bit of minced ginger and minced garlic.  As "glug" of soy sauce was stirred in this mixture.   The whole batch was frozen and pulled out a couple days later...and morphed into spring rolls/egg rolls.

I guess it's all about keeping good and usable ingredients in the pantry since I had the spring roll wrappers on a shelf.  They keep nearly indefinitely, so I don't feel the pressure to get them used.  Along with the ground pork in the freezer....dinner in a pinch.

This one probably doesn't go in the repeat pile.  It was OK...but spring roll wrappers baked...hmmm...more like tough and crispy.  On a more positive note, the dipping sauce was good to eat and quick to make. 
Dipping Sauce 

My dinners were so good earlier this week that it's probably good to lower the bar a bit so everyone in this house doesn't have such high expectations every night:)

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Chowder

Buffalo Chicken Chowder

I lied.  Well, when I typed that I was tired of Buffalo chicken flavors I meant it....just that it has since turned into a lie.  I'm ready after finding this recipe on the prevention rd website.  Hmmm...this should be a good thing to make on a busy Monday that happens to be Paul's birthday. I need something that he will like yet can be made easily for a busy weeknight.

My adaptation was to mix all the liquids together and pour all put approximately 1 c into the crockpot.  I then added the flour to the remaining liquid, stirred, and poured it in the rest of the ingredients.  Seemed like it save a bit of pouring and transferring. I didn't have celery seed but found celery salt in my pantry, so I used that instead and omitted the salt.

Here's my version:
4 1/2 cups (about 2 large) yukon potatoes,cubed
1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
1/2+ onion, roughly chopped
1+ cup (about 4 stalks) celery, chopped
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
2/3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup wing sauce
---------
Garnish with:
blue cheese crumbles
celery stalks, cut in half
drizzle with wing sauce

I chopped the chicken, celery, and onion the day before and threw it in a ziploc.  Chop potatoes and add to slow cooker.  Add ziploc ingredients, celery salt, pepper, thyme, and red pepper flakes.
In a large measuring cup mix together half and half, broth, and wing sauce.  Pour all but 1 c or so into the crockpot (this does not need to be accurate).  Add flour to remaining liquid and mix well. 

Crockpot (like how that's a verb?) on low for 12 hours or so and serve with crusty bread.

Umm...Paul was a bit disappointed to be having a crockpot meal on his birthday.  But, this was good, so I guess it was alright that it was quick and easy for a birthday dinner. 

After having a bit of time off work and an even longer bit of time off swimming, I knew day one wouldn't leave much time for cooking.  It's tricky after a break since I have to remember all the things I do to get ready in the morning like pack lunches and make a Dutch Baby for breakfast.  Along with showering, getting dressed, and packing for the Y, that was all I could manage even with getting up 15 minutes earlier than I usually do.

It seems like a good dinner on Sunday night and Monday night will set the tone for the week.  I think it's going to be a good one....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lemon Biscotti


Guess it must be the season.  I'm thinking about all the lemons on my sister's tree about this time of year.  Bags and bags of fresh, just picked lemons needing to be used.  This year I'm in Wisconsin with expensive lemons that need to be used sparingly. 

I was in the mood to have a sweet treat available for the week and it's just that time of year when thoughts are turning to lemons.  Biscotti...don't know why I'm thinking about it.  But lemon biscotti.....  sometimes it's just what is needed to get through the afternoon workout. Not bad for breakfast with a cup of tea either.

This is a bit of a made up lemon ginger recipe.
  •  2 1/2 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • zest from one lemon
  • juice from one lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 T minced ginger
Combine dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients and mix well.  Form into log shapes and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so.  Let cool for 10 minutes or so and slice into logs.  Bake an additional 20 minutes with the cookies standing on end. 

I think next time I'll go with the juice from 2 lemons or put a glaze on them with lemon juice.  Just needing them to be a bit more lemon-y.
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Smoothie

orange juice
1/2 mango
3 strawberries
2 T home made yogurt
1/2 t matcha powder

Whipped all with the immersion blender....great way to start the day!
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Friday, April 13, 2012

The Week Ahead....or How to Get Some Fruits and Veggies in Your Diet

Being away from home usually means a decrease in consumption of fruits and vegetables, for me anyway.  It's been a week of healthy-lite while being away from my very own kitchen.  Don't get me wrong, we had great food where we were...just a bit more restaurant fare than usual including a little diner in rural North Dakota.
 I suspect we're all feeling that way since Eleanor really loaded up on the broccoli at the grocery store today and roasted a big batch for herself when she got home.  The veggie deprivement does help a bit with the meal planning for the week for all of us.  Large batches of fruits and veggies, especially challenging at this time of year are making a big appearance on the menu here in the next few days.

Here's what I have for the remaining weekend and the start of next week.
I'm making some homemade yogurt while typing this ( a serious multi-tasker, I am).  I had been feeling a bit confident, and my last batch of yogurt humbled me a bit.  I had quite a few batches turn out before hitting the one that didn't, so this is my first attempt since failure.  I was very careful this time:)
I made a batch of granola today as well as recovery bars.  I made sushi for dinner (more on that later). 
The plan is:
(in no particular order.  Well, it's probably in order from the ingredients most likely to spoil to the ingredients less likely to spoil)
  • Sweet Potato Bacon Pasta
  • Arugula Pizza
Both of the above are previous posts. 
  • stir fry
  • Buffalo chicken soup in the crockpot
  • Athenian orzo
  • tamale pie
Sushi....yum.  Even for the " raw fish scared" I would recommend making your own.  I just made vegetable rolls...no raw fish here.  Although I did use some of the fake-crab on this round.  I posted in the past with how we did this...basically that's what I did this time too.  We were fortunate to actually find United Noodles in Minneapolis to get some of the things for sushi!  Hmm...back to my rave about ethnic grocery stores.  We found a fun Indian and Asian market in Fargo last week.  Yep, North Dakota has an ethnic grocery store that is not German or Norwegian.  That one even sells Coach purses!  Paul had gotten some information on United Noodles, so we stopped there on our return to Milwaukee trip.   Even though it is not very far from our old neighborhood, it's a bit tricky to find since it's tucked away in the middle of a block.  It was amazing!  We got a few things, so I can post about a number of them later.  Nori for the sushi...the mock crab (says for sushi on the label) which really was the perfect circumference and length for sushi, and rice vinegar.  The other items I got at our Sendik's store...carrots, red bell pepper, and cucumber.  I had sushi rice in the pantry from our last experiment being sushi chefs. 

My cart at Sendik's this afternoon was loaded with produce...which is a bit tough to do this time of year.  Strawberries, mangoes (the very sweet kind for sticky rice), a personal watermelon, grapefruit, lemons, limes, sweet potatoes, arugula, carrots, broccoli, celery, potatoes.  bell peppers, and an avocado.  Whew, I think I'll be ready for this week. 

It's back to the usual work schedule and swimming schedule, so I will need some quick things to pull together also.  And some leftovers for lunches.  We'll start with what I planned above and see how far that gets us this week.

Not too long too long until I can enjoy my sushi tonight.


Watch for some posts about all the new things I'm trying this week!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sale Marino

What could be easier than roasted vegetables?
Ummm...not much.
This was a good way to finish up the odds and ends in the refrigerator before leaving for a couple days (hey...don't try to burglarize the place...we're back by the time this posts). This is always my go to idea with an abundance of vegetables...high oven temperature, chopped vegetables, dash of olive oil, and a bit of salt.  Sometimes over pasta....sometimes eaten before they can be transferred out of the baking dish.

I just discovered something that makes these even better.....Sale Marino.   My parents brought some back from their recent Sicily trip.  I may be a bit biased due to this being the land of my people and all.  But, it's so different from the salty stuff found in the grocery store.  It just made these vegetables even better!

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Pumpkin Bread


Using skinnytaste's pumpkin bread recipe as a guide.... trying to use the last of the pumpkin butter since the pumpkin "season" is nearly done.  I made half her recipe and omitted the spices since I was using pumpkin butter. I substituted chocolate chips for the pumpkin seeds since my mission was to clean out some things I already had.
  • 3/4 cups pumpkin butter
  • 3/4cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  •  1/2  tsp vanilla extract
  • baking spray
  • 3 T mini chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients.  Bake 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
 
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers


Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
Well, maybe these aren't really "burgers" but instead a healthy meal on a bun!

I changed it up a bit and added some chopped fresh cilantro and omitted the oregano (just to match the ingredients I had already).  I omitted the sunflower seeds as well.  They were a bit crumbly for the flip halfway through cooking (oops....forgot the oil), but it seemed OK to me...just made them more crumbly than pattied.

The Mexican flavors in this were screaming for a margarita! Yes, screaming for a margarita with fresh squeezed lime juice (limes are quite a deal at ethnic grocery stores).  Rick Bayless recipes for margaritas are the margarita version and the martini version.  In the past I have blogged about the martini version; but tonight I'm raving about the margarita version.  Roasted vegetables were a good side with these patties as well. Have I mentioned the margarita?  The only thing that would have made the margarita a bit better would be sitting outside...even on our patio would have been good.  But, since I'm dreaming I'll go big and say it would have been awesome on a beach.  With someone serving it to me:)

I think that Swiss cheese and barbecue sauce on just about anything would taste good.  And anything with one of these margaritas would taste good.  But, the patties (I think) would stand on their own as well. The long ingredient list was a bit daunting....but well worth the measuring. We loved these. 


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Friday, April 6, 2012

Thai Green Curry


Ah...the trip to the Asian grocery store resulted in a can of green Thai curry paste, something that I like to buy while I'm there along with a can of the red version and a can of the yellow version.  There are recipes on the internet (and other places I would guess), but I do like to have some for a convenient meal.  There's nothing like opening a can of the curry paste, a can of coconut milk and throwing a few other items to cook in the sauce for an easy and delicious dinner. 

Avoid this if you don't like spicy!  Added to the curry paste and coconut milk.....pork and potatoes, and lots of Thai basil.
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Thursday, April 5, 2012