Recent Recipes

Hellraising Halloween Party

Comments (1) | Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last night we hosted a Halloween party for a few of our closest friends.  It was a great time and we had a lot of fun planning and preparing for the party.  We had a bit of a Hellraiser theme to the party, especially in the decorations.  We had planned to watch Hellraiser, but we ended not ever putting in the movie.  It was fun regardless and we wanted to share both some photos of the party and our menu.  To check out some of the crafts in more detail visit Cassie's craft blog.

This is a bit of our set up before we got all the food out on the table.
You can see the cupcake flags and dish I.D. tags in this photo with the food.
Chips and salsa
assorted cheeses and crackers

Main dish:
Skyline Chili w/ a toppings bar

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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.

Jason was Hunter S. Thompson and our friend was his attorney.
Our dog, Bruno, was dressed as Zeus.  He was the cutest little Zeus ever.
This is Cassie with her brother.  He was Thor and she was Athena.

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Picadillo Tacos

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. 

Adapted from  EatingWell.com
Serves 4 

2 eggs, hard boiled and sliced (optional, but highly recommended)
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c. scallions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 t. chili powder
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
3/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. cayennne pepper
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. pitted green olives, chopped
2 T. tomato paste
1 c. water
1/2 t. ground black pepper
8 corn tortillas, warmed
pico de gallo
light sour cream

1) Cook meat in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, until it is no longer pink.  Drain the fat from the meat and set it aside.  

2) Heat the oil in the skillet and add the onion, scallions and garlic.  Cook, stirring often, until softened about 2-3 minutes.  Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne.  Cook until it is fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the raisins, olives, tomato paste, water and return the meat to the pan, stirring.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Season with pepper.
3) To serve place a layer of picadillo on each tortilla, garnish with a few egg slices and then top with your favorite taco toppings. 

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Honey Mustard Glazed Oven Fries

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.

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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.

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High Protein Waffles

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
non-stick spray

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. 

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Skyline Chili

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.   

Skyline Chili
Adapted from Food.com
Makes 6-8 servings
1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onions
2 c. beef stock
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 T. chili powder
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. cocoa powder
1 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. salt
1/2 - 1 t. cayenne pepper
1/8 t. ground allspice
1/8 t. ground cloves
1 bay leaf

1 1lb. whole wheat Spaghetti 

chopped onions
shredded cheddar cheese

1)Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat.  Drain the fat from the ground beef and add it to the crockpot with all the remaining ingredients through the bayleaf and turn on low for 8 hours.  

2) When chili is almost done, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the whole wheat spaghetti and cook until al dente.  

3) Serve chili over whole wheat spaghetti lightly topped with cheddar cheese and onions.  Enjoy!

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Black Bean, Chicken and Roasted Pepper Stew

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. 

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Doro W'et

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.    

Doro W'et
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.

Doro We't:
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.

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Egg Nests

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.

Egg Nests
Got the idea from the blog Clean Eating Machines
2 Servings
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)
4 eggs
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.

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Shrimp Chili Cornbread Casserole

Comments (0) | Sunday, October 3, 2010

The weather is starting to turn colder (or at least it should be) and that means warmer and more heartier meals are on the menu.  Here in Denver we are having an uncharacteristically warm autumn, but that hasn't stopped the two of us from craving some good autumn food.  Chili is one thing that we tend to enjoy in many different forms (vegetarian, spicy, green, Cincinnati style, etc.).  When we saw this shrimp chili with a cornbread topping we knew we would have to give it a try.  First we had never had shrimp chili and second it was just genius to combine chili and cornbread into one wonderful dish.  This dish was very flavorful and satisfying and will definitely be on the menu again.  Heck we may just used the cornbread topping on other batches of chili that we make this year too.  Again I say whoever came up with this idea is genius.

Shrimp Chili Cornbread Casserole
Adapted from Eating Well

Shrimp Chili:
2 t. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 1/2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 T. cumin
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
28 oz. can of no salt added diced tomatoes
1 1/2 lb. raw shrimp
1/2 c. cilantro

Cornbread Topping:
1 c. yellow cornmeal
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2/4 c. milk
1/4 c. canola oil
l large egg
1 T. honey

1) To prepare the filling heat 2 t. of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until softened.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.  Stir in zucchini and cook for about 3 more minutes.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and 1 t. salt cooking for 20 more seconds.  Pour in the tomatoes and their juice, bring to a simmer.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the shirmp and cilantro.  Pour into a 9 x 13 baking pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3) To prepare the cornbread topping whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and 1/2 t. salt in a large bowl.  Whisk milk, 1/4 c. oil, egg and honey in a medium bowl until smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Drop by heaping tablespoons over the shrimp mixture.

4) Bake the casserole, uncovered for 40-45 minutes, until the top is browned and the filling is bubbling.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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