Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Peanut Butter Pie

YUM, YUM, YUM!!!! I can't wait to make this again!~Jaime

Ingredients (makes 2 pies):
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup natural, reduced fat creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 (14oz) can fat free sweetened condensed milk
12 oz frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
2 (6oz) chocolate graham cracker crusts
chocolate syrup

1. Combined powdered sugar, peanut butter, and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add milk; beat until combined. Fold in whipped topping.
Divide mixture evenly between crusts. Freeze for at least 8 hours. Cut into wedges and drizzle with chocolate (the recipe says to just refrigerate it but we liked it frozen better).

White Chicken Chili

This is one of our favorite soups in our house. I serve it with garlic bagel chips and salsa jack cheese.~Jaime

2-3 skinless chicken breasts
½ large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5oz can chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp red pepper sauce
2 cans (15oz) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15oz) white hominy corn, drained
3 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Mix onion, garlic, broth, cumin, oregano, and peppers sauce in a slow cooker, add chicken-cover and cook on low heat 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender
Stir in beans, corn, lime juice and cilantro, cover and cook on low heat 45 minutes
Serve with bagel chips and salsa cheese

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grilled Tuna Rolls

Jessie found this food blog and sent it to me, so I wanted to try out a new recipe from it. I made Grilled Tuna Rolls and they were delicious!- Becky

1 pound very fresh tuna steak, 1-inch thick (I bought fresh tuna steaks from Costco and used 2 filtes- they were probably closer to 2 inches thick)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lime, zest grated
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder (I didn't use this)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
5 dashes hot sauce (I used Frank's red hot)
1 firm, ripe Hass avocado, medium-diced (I used 2 avos b/c I think I had a little more than 1 lb of fish)
1/4 red onion, chopped (I used closer to 1/2 c)
1 tablespoon minced scallion, white and green parts
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
9 hot dog rolls, grilled or toasted
1 bunch baby arugula, washed and spun dry

Heat a charcoal grill with hot coals. Brush the grill with oil.

Brush both sides of the tuna with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook the tuna over the medium hot on the grill for 5-7 minutes on each side. This will cook it all the way through. The original recipe called for 2 1/2 min. on each side. Allow to cool and cut into cubes.

(If you don’t want to heat a grill, you can sear the tuna in a dry saute pan over high heat. Heat the pan for 2 minutes, add the tuna steaks and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side until seared on the outside and still raw inside).

For the dressing, whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lime zest, lime juice, wasabi powder, soy sauce, hot sauce, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Toss the avocado in the dressing and then add the tuna, red onion, scallion, and sesame seeds. Line the rolls with arugula leaves, fill with the tuna mixture, and serve.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Steak Chili with fajita seasoning

I found this in an issue of Cuisine at Home that Jessie passed on. You can make this in the crock pot or on the stove and it is so tasty! I'll add at least one more can of beans next time, but there will definitely be a next time! - Angela

For the Fajita Seasoning:
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Chili:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 lbs flat iron steaks, trimmed, cubed, and seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup tequila or 1 water
6 cups diced tomatoes, or 2 cans diced tomatoes (28 oz. each)
2 green bell peppers (2 cups)
1 white onion, diced (2 cups)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons flour
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I will use 2-3 cans next time)
2 tablespoons lime juice

Stir together the ingredients for the fajita seasoning and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown half of the meat in the oil and transfer to a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker. Brown the remaining meat in the remaining oil and transfer to the slow cooker. Deglaze pot with tequila or water, scraping up the flavor bits stuck to the pan and add to the slow cooker.

Add tomatoes, bell peppers, diced onion, minced garlic, and the fajita seasoning to the slow cooker. Stir in beef stock and flour. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Stir in beans and lime juice just before serving. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro, avocado, and jalapenos.


These blondies from The New Best Recipe (can you tell I like that cookbook?) are delicious. How could they not be with that much butter? -Emilie

A note from Cooks Illustrated: Be very careful not to overbake the blondies; they dry out easily and will turn hard. Start checking the oven a couple of minutes before they will be done.

1 cup pecans or walnuts (4 ounces)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on large rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer nuts to cutting board to cool; chop coarsely and set aside.

While nuts toast, cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet (if using extra-wide foil, fold second sheet lengthwise to 12-inch width). Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in chocolate and nuts and turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.

Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes; do not overbake. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lemon Pound Cake with Candied Lemon Slices

If you are like me and love anything with lemons it in you will LOVE this recipe! ~Jaime

Pound Cake (makes 2 cakes):
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 by 4 inch loaf pans and set aside. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and lemon zest; set aside.
2. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until lightly fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla. With mixer on low, alternate adding flour mixture in three parts and sour cream in two; beginning and ending with the flour.
3. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Meanwhile make Candied Lemon Slices.
4. When cakes are done remove; while they're still in the pans use a wooden skewer or large toothpick to poke holes in top. Setting aside 1/4 cup of the lemon syrup, pour remaining syrup over cakes. Let cool in pans 2 hours. Remove from pans and place, right side up, on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Brush cakes all over with remaining reserved syrup.
5. Prepare lemon glaze; pour over cakes (still on cooling rack), letting it drip down the sides. Garnish with Candied Lemon Slices.

Candied Lemon Slices:
1 cup sugar
2 lemons, sliced 1/8 in thick or thinner, seeds removed
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

1. In a medium saucepan, combined sugar and 1 cup of water; bring to a boil, stiffing to dissolve sugar. Add lemons slices and simmer very gently over low heat, swirling pan occasionally until slices are opaque throughout 20-30 minutes (I would do 30-40 minutes). With a slotted spoon, transfer slices to a sheet of wax paper; set aside. Add juice to pan, stir and set aside. This makes the lemon syrup.

Lemon Glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. If glaze is too thick add up to 2 more Tbsp of juice. Glaze should be pourable but thick.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Couscous Poppyseed Salad

This recipe is so easy and delicious it has moved to the top of my list of salad recipes. My sister-in-law who introduced it to me throws in romaine lettuce, but I think I prefer it without. It literally takes minutes to throw together. -Emilie

1 orange pepper chopped
1 cup cashew pieces
1 cup Craisins
10 oz. couscous
1 mango, chopped
1/2 bottle Poppyseed dressing (such as Brianna's)

Prepare couscous as directed on package then bring to room temperature. Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chicken Tagine

The unexpected combination of flavors in this dish are delicious! It's one of our favorites. -Angela

Makes 4 servings

2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into three pieces (I cut the pieces smaller)
1/4 cup all-purpose
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used powder)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 - 1/2 cup green olives
2 tsp grated lemon zest (I used lemon juice)
3- inch cinnamon stick

Marinate the chicken in the lemon juice for at least 30 minutes. Remove chicken and discard marinade. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, black and red peppers, and turmeric. Dredge the chicken through the flour mixture, lightly coating both sides, and set aside.

In a large, deep nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the onion, ginger and garlic to pan. Saute 5 minutes, or until tender. Return the chicken to pan. Add the broth, olives, lemon zest and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, or until chicken is tender. (I've never gone past 45 minutes). Discard cinnamon sticks and serve with rice.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Herbed Tomato Soup

Oh wow! Are your tomatoes ripe? This Martha Stewart recipe given to me by Beth (who also has yummy recipes on her blog) is incredible. If it was quicker to make I would eat it for lunch every day of my life. My picture didn't turn out, so sorry to Martha for stealing her beautifully presented soup picture. We served it with homemade croutons instead of crostini. Also, rather than discard the solids we added some tomato paste and a dash of sugar and pureed it into a yummy sauce for our spaghetti squash. -Emilie

Ingredients - Makes about 8 cups
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
12 large garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh lovage, or celery leaves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse salt 6 pounds tomatoes, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery, parsley, lovage, and salt. Cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until tomatoes are soft and mixture is slightly reduced, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in basil; cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pass soup through the medium plate of a food mill set over a large bowl; discard solids. Reheat; serve with croutons.

Homemade Croutons
Toss torn up bread with olive oil, herbs de provence, and garlic salt and bake at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes until brown.

I save all the heels of my bread and any other extra bread in a ziplock in the freezer and when the bag is full we make a delicious batch of croutons. It is a great money saver and delicious way to use up every single piece of bread!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beef and Broccoli

A yummy alternative to going out to Thai food!-Jaime

8 oz. thin spaghetti
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
1 Tbsp ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz sirloin steak, sliced
3 Tbsp beef broth
3 tsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp toy sauce
3 Tbsp oyster sauce

1. Cook spaghetti-drain and toss with sesame oil
2. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat, add broccoli and onion and cook 3 minutes-add ginger and garlic and cook 30 seconds-add steak and cook until done
3. Mix broth, sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce in small bowl
4. Combine noodles and meat mixture-add sauce and cook 1 to 2 minutes until heated through

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sesame Noodle Salad

This recipe is from The New Best Recipe Cookbook I received from Jessie for my birthday this year. It is an amazing cookbook and I tried this recipe from it on the night Saisha was born. Since Jessie loves a good noodle salad I figured she would approve of this recipe on such an important day! - Emilie

1/4 c sesame seeds
1/4 c chunky peanut butter
2 garlic cloves, pressed/minced
1 T ginger, minced
5 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 t hot pepper sauce
2 T lightly packed brown sugar
hot water
12 oz dried spaghetti (I used buckwheat soba noodles)
1 t sesame chili oil
olive oil
1 1/4 lb chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
4 scallions
1 medium carrot (peeled, grated)
1 medium bell pepper (seeded, chopped)
1 cucumber (seeded, chopped)

Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until light brown (10 min.). Puree seeds with peanut butter,garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, and brown sugar.Add enough hot water until the sauce is the consistency of heavy cream, 4 T.

Cook spaghetti until tender (substitute 1 lb fresh Chinese egg noodles, if available), drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Toss noodles with sesame chili oil and enough olive oil until noodles are evenly coated.

Broil chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side. Rest breasts for 5 minutes, then shred (with fingers or two forks) until they are in bite-sized pieces. Add chicken, scallions, carrot, bell pepper, cucumber and sauce to noodles, toss to coat. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bites Hiatus

Saisha Jane is arriving on Friday!!! Lovely friends have signed up to bring meals for about a month so I won't be in the kitchen for awhile. I've asked a couple friends to do some "guest posts" while I'm down for the count so look for their recipes soon!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Carmel Apple Layer Cake

I don't know what I was thinking, making a cake from scratch 2 days before giving birth but all the work was worth it! The cake was really moist (probably from the applesauce) and the frosting was delish! My pictures didn't turn out so I use the one from the Rachael Ray recipe.

2-1/4 cups flour
1-1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 sticks (1 pound) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 crisp apples (about 1 pound), such as gala, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup store-bought caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Using an electric mixer, combine the flour, 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, the baking powder and salt. Mix in 2 sticks butter at low speed until the mixture is crumbly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, 1/2 cup cream, applesauce and vanilla. Mix into the flour-butter mixture at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to release the layers, invert onto the rack and let cool completely.

In a medium skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add the apple slices and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender and the juice is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons cream and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 2 sticks butter and the confectioners' sugar until light and creamy. With the mixer on low, slowly mix in the caramel sauce.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate; spread the apple filling evenly on top, then cover with the remaining cake layer. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, cover the top and sides of the cake with the caramel frosting, swirling the top to make a decorative pattern.

Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp

These shrimp really surprised us. I chose the recipe because it was fast but totally didn't expect it to be so fantastic. Besides coconut shrimp, this is my new favorite way to make shrimp!

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons), rinds reserved and sliced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
11/2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 pound (about 30) medium to large shrimp, peeled, heads (optional) and tails on
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
Baguette, for serving


Heat a 12-inch skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add butter, and cook until melted and foamy. Add garlic, rosemary, and lemon juice and rinds. Stir in Worcestershire and hot sauces, and bring to a simmer.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook until pink and firm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with pepper. Serve with baguette.


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