Comments (1) | Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Tahini is a wonderful thing. It is tasty and can really be used to make a lot of yummy dishes. Our problem with tahini is that it can be relatively expensive and it always seems to spoil before we can use it all. That means that we tend to very rarely purchase it. The other day while on her way to work Cassie caught the tail end of an interview on National Public Radio with a chef who had a new book coming out. She was talking about some of her favorite holiday dishes in this new book. Unfortunately Cassie did not catch who the chef was or what her new book was called, but she did catch her speaking about making hummus with peanut butter in place of tahini. Peanut butter is a staple in our home and we always have some spare peanut butter around so we decided to make some hummus for a healthy snack on Christmas Eve. We never got around to making it Christmas eve, but we did make it the day after Christmas and it was wonderful. There isn't a huge difference from hummus with tahini, but it gives it a bit of a peanuty hint of flavor. We both really enjoyed it.
Comments (0) | Sunday, December 26, 2010
Buttermilk biscuits are a comfort food that we haven't indulged in recently. We like biscuits a lot, but since they aren't normally the picture of healthy food we tend to only have them on special occasions. Well we recently had one such special occasion...Christmas. We decided to make some buttermilk biscuits for Christmas morning this year, but instead of using normal all purpose flour we decided to go ahead and try our hand at making them whole wheat as we both just enjoy whole wheat stuff so much more these days.
We selected whole white wheat flour since it tends to be more mild and palatable than a lot of normal (or red) whole wheat flours. We also thought it would be mild in flavor to let the buttermilk and buttery flavors shine through. We certainly weren't disappointed. What resulted was a warm and flaky biscuit that had a great soft texture, but the heartiness of whole grain.
Comments (0) | Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Back in September we told you the story of Our Soup. A dish that came about one night while scrounging in the cabinets to see what we had. Well this pasta dish's beginnings were created in much the same way. Since we have added on and perfected the mix, but we like to think of this (and frequently call it) Our Pasta. It is an easy, but delicious meal and adds a bit of a kick to regular spaghetti. We have used various forms of protein in this spaghetti and can be made with just about anything. In this recipe we use Chicken Italian Sausages, but you can also use beans, tofu, ground meat, chicken breasts, etc. or you can just omit them totally.
Comments (0) | Monday, December 20, 2010
Did you read that full title? If not you should definitely go back and read it again. The title tells you all you need to know about this recipe to know it is going to be amazing. Let's see...chocolate...check. Peanut butter...check. Double chocolate...check. Salted...check. Yup pretty much the best cookies ever. These cookies also made it in to our holiday cookie packages this year.
Adapted from Food 52 found via Brown Eyed Baker
1 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. creamy all natural peanut butter
2/3 c. sucanat
1/3 c. evaporated cane juice
2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
coarse sea salt or kosher salt for sprinkling
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2) In a medium bowl whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
3) In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer) cream together the butter, peanut butter, sucanat and evaporated cane juice. Add each egg one at a time and let mix until well incorporated.. Add the vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients a little at a time until they are well incorporated. Using a spoon stir in the chocolate chips and the peanuts.
4) Form 2 inch balls of dough and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle a small amount of salt on top of each cookie and bake for 12-14 minutes until the outside edges begin to set, but the insides are still soft. Cool cookies completely before serving.
Comments (0) | Sunday, December 19, 2010
Tons of people like avocados. Avocados are rich and delicious and just a truly satisfying food. There are few people that you meet that don't like avocados. Then just occasionally you meet someone that loves avocados that it borders on obsession. That just might be Cassie. She could eat avocados at every meal and any recipe that features a lot of avocados she automatically wants to try it. It doesn't matter what the recipe is. I can be a breakfast, lunch or dinner...or a dessert. When we found this recipe for Avocado Cream Cheese cookies Cassie knew they were going to have to make them. The result of these cookies were a nice creamy tasting cookie with a light citrus and poppy flavors. They are a great cookie and I am sure that even people who aren't avocado enthusiasts like us will like them too. We included these yummy little treats into our holiday cookie packages this year.
Avocado Cream Cheese Cookies
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum found via Angie's Recipes
7 T. butter, softened
1/2 avocado, mashed
5 oz. cream cheese, softened
120 g.evaporated cane juice or sucanat
2 t. lemon juice
1 T. poppy seeds
230 g. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2) In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer) cream together the butter, avocado, cream cheese and sugar. Add the lemon juice and the poppy seeds and continue to mix until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3) In a separate bowl whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour and the baking soda. Add the flour mixture in with the rest of the ingredients. Work in small batches adding a little at a time mixing until it is well incorporated and then adding a little more.
4) Roll the dough into 1 1/2 to 2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. You should be able to put them fairly close together as these cookies don't spread much. Bake them in the oven for about 13-16 minutes until they being to turn a light gold color. Let the cookies cook completely on a rack.
Comments (0) | Saturday, December 11, 2010
We admit that for the most part it tends to take us awhile to blog about meals. Sometimes it will be weeks or months after we actually have the meal before we actually blog about it. Not the case with this meal. We were both just so excited about it and enjoyed it so much we wanted to get it up on the blog ASAP. This meal came to be (at least for us) because of a huge hankering for chile rellenos. We both just love Mexican food and we wanted to find a somewhat healthy recipe for them rather than cheese laden deep fried version that you normally get in restaurants here. So we headed over to our old reliable source for delicious yet healthy recipes, Eating Well. There we found this casserole that isn't only healthy and delicious, but it is ridiculously easy. It takes just a few minutes to whip up before you pop it in the oven. This meal is definitely going into our regular rotation from now on.
Comments (0) | Wednesday, December 8, 2010
During her undergrad degree Cassie minored in Spanish. When she had the opportunity to study in Spain for two summers she jumped at the chance. She spent the summer of 2001 and 2002 in Madrid living it up, perfecting her conversational Spanish and having fun...and doing some studying too. As previously mentioned Cassie is a reformed picky eater. The first time there she wasn't too fond of the food offered, but during her second trip she gained a big appreciation for the wonderful flavors of Spanish cooking. One of her favorite things to do during her second trip was to go to Tapas bars. It was great to get a variety of delicious little plates of food.
Comments (0) | Monday, December 6, 2010
Cassie is a reformed picky eater. She used to not like anything. With some challenging from Jason she has come to realize that not only does she not hate most of the foods she was so sure of before, she really likes most of them. For the longest time mushrooms were solidly on the hate list. In fact it wasn't until pretty recently that she has finally has eased up on the mushroom hate and decided to give them a genuine try. So until recently our diets have been pretty devoid of mushrooms, but now we are certainly making up for some lost time.
As part of her Impressive Dinner, Cassie made Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer. These were really simple to make and turned out really delicious. They were a great way to start out the meal.
Adapted from Epicurious.com
3 slices sprouted grain or whole grain sandwich bread
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
20 large cremini mushrooms + about 4 or 5 more
2 T. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tear bread into large pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse in the processor until you have breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper till they are well coated. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and place in the oven to cook for 6-8 minutes. Transfer them back to a bowl.
2) Meanwhile, wash and remove the stems from all the mushrooms. Separate the 20 you will make into stuffed mushrooms from the extra. Put those 20 in a baking dish cap side down and bake about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
3) While the mushrooms are baking chop the remaining extra mushrooms into a fine dice. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the chopped mushrooms, onion, celery, garlic and oregano. Saute till the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let the vegetables cool slightly and then toss them with the breadcrumbs, Gorgonzola cheese and parsley.
4) Turn the mushroom caps in the baking dish stem side up and pack the empty space with the breadcrumb and vegetable mixture. Bake in the oven for another 20 or so minutes until the filling is golden brown. Serve warm.
Comments (0) | Sunday, December 5, 2010
A few weeks ago Jason had a great idea. We would take turns and make to plan, shop for and cook multi-course "Impressive" meal for the other. It was a challenge, but not necessarily a competition. Just a chance to do something nice for the other person and a way to celebrate the holidays. Cassie went first. She had about a week to plan her meal and then had a full day to prepare it (although she only needed about half of it). One of her methods of approach for this impressive meal was to push herself outside her comfort zone to make a truly impressive meal. While everything turned out wonderfully she definitely decided that she won't make a meal of that proportion without help again. The menu included the following.
Comments (0) | Saturday, December 4, 2010
It's Hanukkah and that can mean only one thing. A whole lot of good food. Not just any food either, fried food! You eat fried foods on Hanukkah to celebrate the miracle of the oil. For many that means latkes, but another traditional Hanukkah food is sufaganiyot, or jelly filled donuts. Donuts were never a tradition in Cassie's family, but when we heard they were a traditional food we felt that they deserved to be part of a new tradition for the family. So this year we gathered the ingredients and set about making some delicious donuts. Theses were really easy to make and fun to do at the same time.
Adapted from Epicurious.com
Makes 12 donuts
1 T. active dry yeast
4 T. evaporated cane juice, divided
3/4 c. warm water
2 1/2 c. all purpose flower
pinch of salt
1 t.ground cinnamon
2 eggs, seperated
2 T. butter, softened
Apricot preserves (or any flavor you want)
organic powdered sugar
vegetable oil for frying
1) Mix the yeast, 2 T. of the cane juice and the water. Sit to the side and let it proof for a few minutes. It should bubble. If it doesn't your yeast is not active and you will need to get some more.
2) Sift the flour and mix it with 2 T. cane juice, cinnamon, and salt. Then add the egg yolks and the yeast mixture. Mix well until combined. Knead the dough to form a ball and then add the butter and knead until it is well incorporated into the dough. Place in a bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight.
3) In the morning remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about half an hour. Then roll it out till it is about 1/8 inch thick. Take a juice glass or a any 2 inch circular cookie cutter and cut out 24 rounds. Place a 1/2 t. of fruit preserves on 12 of the rounds. Take the remaining 12 rounds and place them on top of the rounds with the preserves. Using your thumb and forefinger crimp the edges of the rounds together very well and then seal them with egg whites.
4) Cover the completed sufganiyot with a towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
5) In a medium sauce pan heat about 2 inches of oil over medium heat. Test the oil by throwing a small bit of bread into the pot. When it bubbles your oil is ready. Fry your donuts in small batches. Make sure the oil doesn't get too hot. You don't want to be left with doughy insides and burnt outsides. You should fry the donuts about 3-4 minutes total flipping midway through. Place them on a plate with paper towels to drain. When they have drained roll the sufganiyo in the powdered sugar to add a thin coating. Serve either warm or room temperature. Enjoy!
Comments (0) | Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Recently both of us have gotten into clean eating. Clean eating is a pretty simple concept. You eat "real" natural food ingredients in a minimally processed state and you eat several (5-6) well balanced meals everyday. On top of all this you reduce the amount of saturated fat and sugar in your diet. It can be difficult to tackle some of the changes initially, but in our opinion it is well worth it. It leaves you feeling energized and properly nourished.
To begin researching clean eating Cassie read the book The Eat Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno. It is a really quick read and she highly recommends the book to anyone interested in eating more healthfully. The book also has about 30 or so recipes included in it in the back. This is where we found the recipe for the noodle bowl. To be honest the recipe was a little poorly conceived ( for example called for way too small of a pot and we had to move the meal to a bigger pot twice), but in the end we felt like it was a good starting point for the dish and I think we ironed out most of the kinks in the recipe below.
Comments (0) | Monday, November 29, 2010
Just recently Cassie's grandma celebrated her 81st birthday. As a way to celebrate and to give a gift to the woman who has everything we decided to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Grandma has always been crystal clear that she LOVES cookies and that chocolate chip is her absolute favorite cookie. The choice was an easy one and the morning before her birthday celebration we went to work crafting some extra special cookies just for her. Cassie even hand made the box that they are in. If you are interested in learning how to make a gift box yourself check out her craft blog.
We found this recipe from another blog and it looked too good to not try. The results were fantastic. They will definitely be our go to chocolate chip cookie recipe from now on. The cookies were soft and chewy and really packed with chocolatey goodness.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Baking Illustrated found via Annie's Eats
Comments (0) | Friday, November 19, 2010
One thing people find hard to believe is that the two of us have managed to live without a functioning microwave for over 2 and a half years now. While microwaves are truly a convenient invention neither of us feel particularly inclined to remedy our situation any time soon. In all honesty we do have a microwave. There it sat, above our stove, when we purchased our house, but we soon found out that it was not a functioning appliance (ahhh the joys of buying a foreclosed home). We haven't gotten around to replacing it as we have had many other priorities to take care of in our now cozy little home. So there it sits and it makes a wonderful timer. We do plan to replace it one of these days, but we are leaning more towards replacing it with a range hood rather than another over the stove microwave when we do that. The more you live without a microwave the more you realize how it really isn't all that hard to live without one.
So why the heck are we talking about microwaves? Well the recipe we are sharing today actually has a step with some microwaving in it. These usually aren't a big deal and are easily adapted (as was this recipe), but there are some that tend to just throw us for a bit of a loop. Creating a double boiler of water and a glass bowl on the stove to melt stuff can be quite a pain in the rear. Sure it isn't that hard, but occasionally (just occasionally), life really would be simpler with one, but we still will probably be one of those crazy households without for a very long time. So...anyway if you want to revert heating the bean mixture in this recipe back to the microwave then more power to you.
Black Bean and Salmon Toastada
Adapted from EatingWell.com
Makes 4 servings
8 6-inch corn tortillas
non stick canola cooking spray
1/2 T. canola oil
6 oz. salmon fillet
1 avocado, diced
4 T. pickled jalapenos, mince
3 T. pickled jalapeno juice reserved
2 c. purple cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
2 T. chopped cilantro
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed
3 T. sour cream
2 T. prepared salsa
2 scallions, chopped
Lime wedges, optional (but highly recommended)
1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange corn tortillas on 2 baking sheets in a single layer. Spray each side of the tortillas with canola spray. Bake for 12-14 minutes, flipping once and rotating the baking sheets midway through, until light brown.
2) Meanwhile, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook salmon fillet about 6 minutes per side till it is cooked through. When it is done flake the meat.
3) In a food processor, process beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions until smooth. Heat these over medium heat in a small sauce pan for about 5-8 minutes until warm.
4) Combine the salmon, avocado and jalapeno in a bowl. Combine the cabbage, carrot, jalapeno pickling juice, and cilantro in another bowl.
5) Spread each tortilla with an 1/8 of the bean mixture. Add an 1/8 of the salmon mixture and then top with an 1/8 of the cabbage mixture. Serve immediately.
Comments (0) | Thursday, November 18, 2010
When we started out to make these we were supposed to be having stuffed zucchini, but we soon realized we had a problem. We had the tiniest zucchini on the planet. This is what happens when Jason shops for zucchini. He always grabs super tiny ones. As we amassed the stuff we were supposed to actually stuff into this tiny zucchini onto the counter we realized...this isn't gonna work. So, being the resourceful people that we are we decided to make stuffed bell pepper instead. Regardless of the mix up it was a great dish with lots of flavor and made eating those veggies to be truly enjoyable. Plus...bonus, these are really easy to make.
The recipe for this wonderful side dish came from kind of a funny place...a calendar. Way back at the beginning of 2010 our Grocery store, Natural Grocers, was giving out free calendars. We didn't yet have a 2010 calendar so we snatched one up and brought it home. It was filled with a new recipe card every month and a coupon. Hooray. Many many months passed and neither of us spent much time paying attention to our calendar as it was hanging in our spare room next to the very rarely used treadmill. That was all until a few weeks ago when Cassie injured her knee and was unable to go running outside and had to settle for walking slowly on the treadmill. As she passed to tedious time her gaze shifted from the wall in front of her to the October page of the calendar to her right. She was looking at the recipe and decided that it looked pretty good and it needed to make an appearance on our menu sometime soon. Boy are we glad it did too. This may become one of our new favorite ways to eat a load of vegetables.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Adapted from our Natural Grocers 2010 calendar
1 medium green bell pepper
1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini or summer squash, diced
1 large tomato, diced
4 scallions sliced
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg, gently whisked
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice green bell pepper in half from top to bottom, remove the seeds and the stem and set aside.
2) In a skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and red bell pepper to the skillet and saute for about 7-10 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the zucchini, tomato and scallions and saute another 3-5 minutes.
3) Meanwhile in a medium bowl mix together Parmesan, red pepper flakes, bread crumbs and salt and pepper. Stir till they are well combined and then add the egg. Mix well into the breadcrumb and cheese mixture until incorporated. After the vegetables are done add them to the bowl with the other ingredients and mix well until they are well coated.
4) Fill the green bell pepper halves with the vegetable mixture and place in a non stick oven dish. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the tops of the stuffed peppers are golden brown. Serve hot.
Comments (0) | Thursday, November 11, 2010
Here we go with another sweet potato recipe. What did I say before? We just can't get enough of these things. They are so great for the cold fall weather. We found this recipe and couldn't wait to make it. Not only was it delicious looking, but it also included fresh rosemary which we happened to have on hand and wanted to use up before it dried out. The recipe can take some time, but it is definitely worth it. It is perfect for a hearty Sunday night meal. We really enjoyed the flavor of the squash, caramelized onion and feta all together. It really created a satisfying meal. We added bacon to the pie because, well honestly, because we are both a bit of bacon fanatics. It added another layer of flavor and was a really good addition, but certainly isn't necessary to the overall pie and would be perfectly delicious left vegetarian.
Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Feta Pie
Adapted from Christine's Recipes
Makes 4 generous main dish servings or 6 side dish servings
8 oz. whole wheat pastry flour
4 oz. chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 T. cold water
15 oz. butternut squash,diced
7 oz. sweet potato, diced
6 cloves garlic unpeeled
3 T. olive oil, divided
3 oz. feta cheese
2 small red onions, thinly sliced
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. sucanat
2 t. finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 egg, whisked
To make the pastry:
1) Place the flour and butter into the food processor and pulse until well combined and crumble. Add the cold water and pulse again until the dough begins to come together.
2) Knead the dough into a circular disc shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until you are ready to use it.
To make the pie:
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the squash, sweet potatoes, and garlic cloves into a baking dish and toss with 1 1/2 T. of olive oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the mixture is tender. Remove from the oven.
2) Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan. Cook the onions over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. Add the vinegar and the sucanat and cook for another 12 minutes until the onions are caramelized.
3) Squeeze the roasted garlic out of their husks and discard the husks. Return the garlic to the roasted vegetables. Add the onions, rosemary, feta, salt, pepper and bacon (if using) into the roasted vegetables.
4) On parchment paper roll the pastry till it is about a 11 inch circle. Heap the vegetable mixture in the center of the pie leaving a 1 1/2 inch border of crust. You may have some filling left over. Fold the edges of the pastry up pleating it as you go. Brush the crust with the whisked egg.
5) Bake for 25-30 minutes on 400 until the crust is golden. Serve immediately.
Comments (0) |
We have been on a pretty big sweet potato kick lately. It is a fairly new found love as Cassie is a reformed picky eater and was pretty sure she didn't like sweet potatoes for the longest time. It is pretty amazing how she has gone from not liking anything to now liking just about everything.
Anyway, back to sweet potatoes and this stew...We found this recipe and it looked like a really easy, but hearty dish for a fall evening. It is filling and warm, but still healthy and not too heavy. We substituted red wine and red wine vinegar for white wine and white wine vinegar because that is what we had in the house and they both added a great full flavor to the meal.
Adapted from Eatingwell.com
4 bone in chicken thighs with the skins removed and trimmed of fat
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, cut into spears
1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
6 large shallots, peeled and halved
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 c. dry red wine
2 t. chopped fresh rosemary
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 1/2 T. red wine-vinegar
1 c. low sodium chicken broth
1) Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and stir to combine.
2) Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the bones from the chicken if desired and serve warm over vegetables.
Comments (2) | Thursday, November 4, 2010
As we've posted before, pizza is probably our favorite thing to cook. When we have dinner guests, especially for the first time, we usually bust out the old reliable pizza, because almost everyone likes it, you can feed quite a few people for very little money, and a well planned and executed pizza is just impressive. Not everyone is as crazy as we are about pizza, and a lot of people would consider what we put on them to be unacceptable, not because it's not good, but because it sounds sort of bizarre. We usually save our pizza experiments for when we're not expecting anyone over, so as not to offend anyone with our sometimes crazy notions. A few weekends back we experimented with bacon, fig and balsamic vinegar. It was absolutely fantastic, so we thought we'd share.
Toppings (for 2 pies):
10 fresh figs
7 or 8 large mushrooms
4 strips of bacon, cooked
Begin by following our basic pizza recipe for the crust and sauce. Thinly slice the figs, onion, and mushrooms. Leave the basil leaves whole and crumble up or slice the bacon. Place half the cheese on the pizzas, then the toppings, and then the rest of the cheese. Drizzle a little vinegar over each of the pizzas and put them in the oven. Cook for 12 minutes at 450 degrees or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
Comments (0) | Wednesday, November 3, 2010
We are big fans of savory and sweet mixed together. We are always combining things like fruit and cheese, salt and chocolate, etc. When we saw this recipe for chocolate bacon cupcakes we knew that this was a recipe we just had to try. Chocolate and bacon are two of our favorite foods so mixing them together sounded like genius. The we decided to add peanut butter frosting into the mix and it sent these cupcakes to a whole different level of amazing. Both of us agree that these are by far our favorite cupcakes that we have ever had. We will be making these again and again and again. We served these at our Halloween Party and they were a huge crowd pleaser. Everyone was a little hesitant at first, but once they tried them every single one of our guests raved about them.
Comments (0) | Monday, November 1, 2010
We made these for our Halloween Party this week and they were so good. We will definitely be making these again. The sweet onion with the rosemary were a great combination and these are probably going to show up on our Thanksgiving menu this year.
Comments (1) | Sunday, October 31, 2010
There will be additional recipes posted later in the week to fill out the rest of the menu so please check back.
Other than that we will leave you with just a few photos from the party.
Comments (2) | Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Picadillo is a traditional Latin American dish using ground meat. It has some wonderful spices and excellent flavor combinations in the dish. We discovered it several months ago and since it has become a staple meal in our house. We tend to make picadillo tacos rather than "normal" ground beef tacos with spice packets. This way we have a lot more control about what spices we use and how much sodium goes into the dish. Also the flavors just beat any taco seasoning packet hands down. The sweetness of the raisins and the cinnamon mixed with the spice of the chili powder and cayenne are perfect. As always we opted to up the amount of cayenne that we use in the picadillo. What can we say? We like spicy food.
Comments (0) | Sunday, October 24, 2010
When we were on vacation in Texas this summer we were staying at a friend's house. One night while we were sitting around talking he had an episode of Grill It with Bobby Flay playing in the background. Cassie always has an issue of paying full attention to either a conversation or the show playing when the T.V. is on, so her focus was swinging randomly between the two. When Bobby Flay started talking about some sweet potato fries her attention was caught for the time being and she watched the recipe. That night we ran to the grocery store and got the ingredients to make these fries for dinner.
Now months and months later armed with only a faint memory of the recipe we decided to go ahead and try to recreate them at home using our oven rather than the grill. The grill would have been great, but we only have a cast iron grill pan and no large outdoor grill. We were not up to trying to grill these. We would have had to work in small batches and it would have taken WAY too long. So we adapted this recipe for the oven and I think we did a pretty good job recreating it. The flavors that caught us the first time around were all there again and it was much easier to do.
Honey Mustard Glazed Oven Fries
Adapted from Grill It with Bobby Flay
2 medium sweet potatoes scrubbed and cut into thin wedges
1 T. canola oil
1-2 T. McCormick Grill Mates Cinnamon Chipotle Rub (or any other chipotle cinnamon mixture you can find/make)
4 T. dijon mustard
2 T. honey
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly brush the sweet potatoes with canola oil and line them up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the cinnamon chipotle rub over the fries, making sure they have a nice thin coat.
2) Bake the fries in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix the dijon mustard and the honey. Remove from the fries from the oven and brush both sides of the fries with the mustard mixture. Return to the oven to bake approximately another 15 minutes until slightly crispy and the glaze is nicely browned.
Comments (1) |
Snickerdoodles are one of those cookies that are easily forgotten about. They aren't super fancy or chocolatey, but they are just down right good. Nothing is more satisfying and nostalgic than eating a warm and buttery snickerdoodle. Plus who doesn't like cookies that are coated in cinnamon and sugar.
Adapted From The Novice Chef
2 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1 c.. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. evaporated cane juice
2 large eggs
1 T. vanilla extract
For the topping:
1/2 c. evaporated cane juice
3 T. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Cream the evaporated cane juice and butter until they are smooth. Add the eggs and the vanilla paste. Add the baking powder, salt and whole wheat pastry flour.
3) Roll the dough into 1.5-2 inch balls. Mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl and roll each dough ball into the topping mixture. Place the balls on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a glass to press each ball flat. Press the cookies thinner if you like them crispier or leave them about 1/4 inch thick for thicker softer cookies. Bake for 8-9 minutes.
Comments (0) |
For about 3 or 4 years now we have been eating roughly the same breakfast every weekday. Toast with peanut butter. There have been a few times where we have experimented, but it always comes back to toast with peanut butter. We decided recently to start playing around with some different breakfast recipes that were easy, tasty and healthy. We found these protein waffles and they are great to make ahead of time and put in the freezer. Every morning we can just pop one into the toaster and TADA, waffles for breakfast. You can top them with whatever you want, but of course we have taken to topping them with peanut butter and just a drizzle of honey. What can we say? We are creatures of habit (that and we are pretty giant peanut butter fans). This recipe makes 10 4" waffles. We usually just double the batch and we have enough to get us through 2 weeks. The waffles are made using a base of beans and oats. You would never know though. They taste great and are very hearty. They aren't a whole lot different than regular waffles.
High Protein Waffles
Adapted from NutritionMD.org
1/2 c. dry cannellini, white kidney, or great Northern beans
2 1/4 c. water
1 3/4 c. old-fashioned oats
2 T. sugar or 1 T. agave nectar
3/4 t. whole flaxseeds
1 T. baking powder
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. salt
5 scoops of plain protein powder
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1) The night before you make the waffles soak beans in cold water so that it covers the beans completely.
2) Drain the beans and discard the soaking water. Place all ingredients through the whole wheat pastry flour in a blender or a food processor and blend until the beans and the oats are smooth.
3) Heat waffle iron. Once it is heated spray the iron with non stick spray and then add 1/3 c. of batter to each 4" waffle spot in the iron. Let cook for 8-9 minutes until fully cooked. If the waffle iron is difficult to open then let the waffles cook for another minute or too.
Note: If you plan on freezing the waffles let them cool completely then place them in a zippered freezer bag to freeze. They need to be cooked at a medium setting in the toaster.
Comments (0) | Monday, October 18, 2010
A few months ago Cassie participated in a swap with some online friends. You were supposed to pick some local stuff from your area and send it out to your swap partner so they could learn about and get a feel for where you live. Cassie's swap buddy was from Cincinnati. We received a lot of really great stuff, but one of the things that we enjoyed most was a few cans of Skyline Chili. We are both really big chili fans and we really enjoyed the twist of seasonings in the chili. After some hunting on the internet we were able to find a good copycat recipe and with some more tweaking of our own we were able to make it easier and a little healthier, but still really delicious. We decided to make this meal for the first time to break our fast on Yom Kippur. We didn't want something that was going to be really involved while we were really hungry. We figured something we could just throw in the crockpot in the morning when we weren't too incredibly hungry yet would be ideal. This chili was very easy to adapt to the crockpot.
Comments (0) | Wednesday, October 13, 2010
We found this recipe one day when browsing on Annie Eats. It looked like such a hearty and warming meal perfect for the cooling fall weather. It is full of delicious and healthy ingredients and really leaves you feeling satisfied after the meal. As always we added a little extra spice to this. We forgot to buy the green chilis and the flavor of the stew was still amazing, but we still included them in the recipe because we feel they would still be a good addition and add even more flavor.
Black Bean, Chicken and Roasted Pepper Stew
From Kayln's Kitchen found via Annie Eats
2 T. olive oil, divided
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 15 oz. cans black beans drained
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2-3 bell peppers, roasted and cut into strips (we used yellow)
1 4oz. can diced green chilis
2 c. reduced sodium chicken stock
2 T. cumin
1 t. cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1)In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat 1 T. of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook stirring until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2) Heat the remaining T. of olive oil. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
3)Mix in the black beans, diced tomatoes, bell peppers, green chilis, stock, cumin, and cayenne. Return the chicken to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
4) Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh cilantro.
Comments (0) | Sunday, October 10, 2010
Doro W'et is an spicy Ethiopian chicken stew. It is a very good and filling meal. We stumbled across it one day while looking in our cookbook "A World of Curries" by Dave Dewitt and Arthur Pais. We have made this several times in the past, but seemed to have forgotten about it recently. That was until Cassie started looking at the round 2 entries for Project Food Blog on FoodBuzz. In those entries she saw several entries for this dish and our hunger for it was rekindled. The original recipe calls for bone in chicken pieces, but we have made it with both bone in and boneless chicken and we feel like the recipe really works best with boneless chicken. It is just easier to eat so we noted this in the recipe below. The recipe for berbere below makes about 1.5 cups worth. You only need 1/4 c. for the stew, but this will keep well in the refrigerator for about a month and can be used in other curries.
Adapted from "A World of Curries" by Dave Dewitt and Arthur Pais
1 t. ground cardamom
2 t. cumin seeds
1/2 t. coriander seeds
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t. whole black peppercorns
1/2 t. fenugreek seeds
1 small onion, coarsley chopped
4 cloves garlic peeled
1 c. water
14 small dried hot red chiles, seeds and stems removed
1 T. cayenne
2 T. paprika
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
3 T. dry red wine
3 T. vegetable oil
1) Toast the cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, peppercorns and fenugreek in a hot skillet, shaking constantly, for a couple of minutes, untl they start to toast and gain aroma. Grind the spices to form a powder.
2) Combine the onion, galric and 1/2 c. water in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the toasted spice powder, chiles, cayenne, paprika, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Continue to blend. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 c. water, wine and oil and blend until smooth.
3) Place sauce n a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes to blend falvors and thicken.
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken (breasts or thighs will work)
3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large onion, chopped
2 c. garlic peeled and minced
2 T. butter
1/4 c. berbere
2 T. paprika
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. ground cardamom
1/4 t. nutmeg
2 c. water
4 hard-boiled eggs, left whole
1) Cut chicken into small bite sized pieces. Rub the chicken with the lemon juice and let it marinate, covered, for 30 minutes at room temperature.
2) Saute the onion and the garlic in the butter until browned. Add the berbere, paprika and remaining spices, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
3) Add the chicken with its marinade to the pan and toss to coat. Stir in enough of the 2 c. water to form a thick sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
4) Using a fork poke holes all over the eggs, then add them to the stew. Cover again and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve the Doro W'et over a piece of crusty bread.
Comments (0) | Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Egg nests is one of our favorite meals. It is delicious, easy, super healthy and you feel great after you eat it. We frequently make these for breakfast on Saturday mornings. They are a great way to use up any leftover veggies in your fridge from the previous week. You saute veggies in a pan and then make small wells and crack eggs into those and the eggs cook and adhere to the vegetables making them into a nest around the egg. The recipe below is just what we happened to use the day we took this picture, but really the possibilities are endless. You can use any type of green, add any vegetables that you want and try any combination of spices that you desire.
Got the idea from the blog Clean Eating Machines
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 head kale, washed and chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeded or not depending on your preference)
2 T. Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1) heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the zucchini and saute for about 2 more minutes. Add the kale and saute until wilted.
2) your vegetables should cover the entire bottom of the pan. Make four wells in the vegetable and crack an egg into each well. Cover the pan and let the eggs cook until they have cooked through, about 4 minutes. They should still be slightly soft to the touch. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.