Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pumpkin Smoothies


How is it possible that I have a pumpkin recipe on my food blog before my friend Angela the pumpkin queen?? I must be excited for fall! These were really refreshing.

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup canned pumpkin, chilled
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar (I left this out and it was plenty sweet)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen
Dash of ground cinnamon (optional)

Preparation
Combine yogurt and next 8 ingredients (through banana) in a blender, and process until smooth. Garnish with dash of ground cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.

Veggie Tacos


Thank you Carol for this awesome recipe! You know a recipe is amazing when it's vegetarian and Mark says, "Did I mention these are awesome?"

Olive oil
1 cup of roughly chopped zucchini or summer squash (1-2 zucchini or squash, depending on the size)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 large fresh mild green chile (Anaheim or Hatch), seeds and stem discarded, chopped
1/2 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, seeds and stem discarded, minced (or more, if you desire more heat)
Salt
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of ground oregano
1 small to medium tomato, chopped
4 corn tortillas (I used flour)
4 slices cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crumbled Mexican cotija cheese (optional)
A few sprigs of fresh cilantro, chopped (okay to include the stems, if small)
Avocado

METHOD
1 Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the zucchini, onions, garlic, green chiles, and jalapeño to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and cumin. Stir to coat the vegetables with the oil in the pan. Spread the veggies out in the pan and then stir only occasionally, until they are all lightly browned. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and oregano, lower the heat to low. Let gently cook for several minutes while warm the tortillas in the microwave.

2 Open the tacos and spoon some of the cooked veggie filling into them. Sprinkle on chopped cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

Yum! This recipe tastes like fall!!

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin and oil. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dutch Oven Week

Next week is going to be Dutch Oven Week. I'm going to make a recipe in the dutch oven every day to show you what these babies can do! I'll do pork, beef, chicken, dessert and bread. If you don't have a dutch oven yourself, the one in the picture above is the one I have- 6.5 qt Tramotina. It was reviewed in Cook's Illustrated as a "Best Buy" and I bought mine at Walmart! I've been really happy with the quality.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chile and Lime Steak Tortas


My sister passed on this great recipe. Next time I will use a more tender cut of steak.

Juice of one lime
1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound skirt steak, cut into 3- to 4-in.-wide strips if needed
8 small dinner rolls, split
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1 avocado, sliced thinly
2 cans (4 oz. each) sliced jalapeños, drained
About 1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

Preparation
1. Mix lime juice, chile powder, oil, and salt in a medium bowl. Add steak, turning to coat evenly with marinade. Chill at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

2. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°). Cook steak, covered, turning once, until grill marks appear and steak is slightly pink in the center, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes, then slice thinly to fit in rolls.

3. Open rolls and sprinkle each with about 2 tbsp. cheese. Grill rolls, cut sides up and covered, until crisp and cheese starts to melt, about 1 minute.

4. Fill rolls with steak, avocado, half the jalapeños, and a drizzle of crema. Serve with remaining jalapeños on the side.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Asian Ribs


I'm all about doing ribs in the crockpot. So why not try them asian style??

The recipe below is the rib recipe and then I combined: 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, 2 T soy sauce, and 1 t Asian sriracha hot chili sauce to make a sauce to dipping sauce.

Ribs:
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot pepper sauce
12 boneless country-style pork ribs

Stir together the brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic, ginger, and Sriracha in the crock of a slow cooker. Add the ribs; cover and refrigerate. Allow ribs to marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
Before cooking, drain marinade and discard. Cook on Low for 9 hours. Drain cooked meat and shred, using 2 forks.

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the beauty products giveaway is...Becky Crowl! I know, I know it seems unfair to pick my own sister but her picture was the best! She got bonus points for making TWO five star Bites recipes for the picture- creamy taquitos and cornbread salad.

Focaccia Bread

Mark said, "This is like bread from a restaurant!" It was awesome right out of the oven. Let me tell you how amazing this would be as a pizza crust. MMMMMM

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Chocolate Bavarian Torte

I've been looking for an excuse to make this cake. My sister's birthday fit the bill! I need to change the lineup in my top 5 desserts because this is definitely moving in. It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!

Devil's food cake mix (not the kind with pudding)
1 package 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pint heavy whipping cream, whipped
2 Tablespoons chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips

Make the cake according to box directions. Cook in 2 round pans. While the cake is cooling, make the cream:
Whip the Heavy Whipping Cream and then set it aside. Combine the SOFTENED cream cheese, brown sugar, salt and vanilla until fluffy. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Cut each cooled cake in half. String or dental floss helps with this. Layer the cake and the cream mixture, starting with cake and ending with cream. Top with chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips. Wrap sides in plastic wrap to prevent cake from drying out. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

CSN Product Review

I'm SO excited to get to do a product review for CSN Stores! You guys probably remember that I was contacted last month by a representative from CSN Stores who graciously donated a gift card to one of my readers. Now I have been asked to do a review on one of their millions of products. The hard part now is figuring out what I want to review. They seriously carry everything! As I was looking around the different sites, I saw that they carry modern bedding like the Glenna Jean Sweet Potato crib bedding set (in the picture above) which we have in our nursery.

How many nerd points would I get if I chose this soup can rack? I seriously would love this to organize the millions of black bean, chicken broth and diced tomato cans I have in my pantry.

Another item at the top of my wish list is a nice thermos for hot cocoa. Leaves have already started changing around here which means fun/cold outdoor activities like the Greenlake Luminary Walk and the Zoo Lights are right around the corner. I remember wanting a thermos a few different times last year. I was excited to see they have my favorite color- red!

I'll let you guys know soon what I choose!

Hummus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This was another eat-from-the-pantry meal and it was so so good! We served it to new friends so I have to admit I was too embarrassed to take a picture of the chicken so Rachael Ray's picture will have to do!

One 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and wrung out
2/3 cup hummus
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted (I used chopped pecans)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied by your butcher and pounded 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
4 tablespoons butter

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, hummus, pine nuts and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.

Season the chicken with salt and place one-quarter of the hummus mixture on the right side of each breast. Fold the left side over the mixture. Using toothpicks, close the open sides.

Place the flour in a wide, shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs in another bowl and place the panko in a third bowl. Coat the stuffed chicken with the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the chicken in the egg, then coat with the panko.

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until the foaming stops. Add the chicken and cook, turning once and adjusting the heat as necessary, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes. Discard the toothpicks and slice each breast into pieces.

Blackberry Buckle


We recently picked a ton of blackberries and so I started looking around for recipes to use them up in. I found this recipe and I wasn't quite sure what a buckle was but it looked yummy. Turns out a buckle is similar to a coffee cake (at least this recipe was). Vanilla Bean ice cream is a mandatory sidekick for this dessert.

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter

In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition.
Spread into a greased 9-in. square baking dish. Toss the blackberries with lemon juice; sprinkle over batter. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar and flour; cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over berries.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tunisian Couscous Salad with Grilled Sausage

This was one of the recipes we made with the ingredients already in our house. I gave it four stars because it was really good but Mark would give it five because he thought it was out of this world!

5 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/3 cups couscous
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup tomato juice (I just used the juice from a can of diced tomatoes)
1 cup water
1 pound mild or hot Italian sausages or a combination
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tomato, diced (I only had canned)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS
In a large frying pan with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic, couscous, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the couscous starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato juice and water. Bring to a simmer. Cover, remove from the heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Transfer the couscous to a platter or a large glass or stainless-steel bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, light the grill or heat the broiler. Coat the sausages with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil. Grill or broil the sausages, turning occasionally, until completely cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. When the sausages are cool enough to handle, cut them into thin slices.
Toss the cooled couscous with the lemon juice, the remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the tomato. Top with the sliced sausages and the cilantro.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Giveaway: Beauty products worth over $75


The last giveaway was so fun that I decided to make up my own! Pictured above is a large amount of products that can be yours: razors, toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, etc

To Enter: In the next two weeks, make a 5 star recipe from Bites and e-mail me a picture at: jessieheaviland at gmail dot com. The most creative, eye-appealing presentation wins! The contest will end at 8am PST on Sunday 9/19 (domestic entries only). I'm so excited to see what you guys will make!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cilantro Pesto


This week is officially clean-out-the-fridge week. We're saving up and cleaning up for our vacation next week so Mark and I sat down today and planned meals only from ingredients we have in the house. The first meal is cilantro pesto with shrimp over spaghetti. I made this pesto about a month ago when I had WAY too much cilantro in the house. I froze the pesto in an ice cube tray and then popped them into a ziplock once they were frozen. I really liked the kick of the pesto. If I remember correctly back to when I made this, I don't think I had a serrano pepper so I used a seeded jalapeno.

2 cups, packed, of cilantro, large stems removed
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon chopped and seeded serrano chile
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

METHOD
In a food processor, pulse the cilantro, almonds, onion, chile, and salt until well blended. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream.
Add more oil as needed for your use.
Makes about 1 cup.
Whatever you don't use, you can freeze. Line a ice cube tray with plastic wrap and fill in the individual cube spaces with the pesto. Freeze and remove from the ice tray, put in a sealed freezer bag for future use.

PB&B Cookies

I LOOOOVE desserts with banana and so these were right up my alley. My mother-in-law also gave a big thumbs up.

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons mashed ripe banana
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon salt at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gradually mix in 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar and beat until thick and glossy, about 2 minutes. Fold in the peanut butter until just blended.

Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop, place 16 mounds of the cookie mixture evenly on each prepared cookie sheet. Bake, switching and rotating the sheets halfway, until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly on the sheets, then, using a metal spatula, transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the remaining 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the banana and lemon juice.

Spread the banana frosting on the cooled cookies and sprinkle the peanuts on top.

Golden Eggs

My mother-in-law got me a signed copy of this book from a book signing she went to and I've enjoyed it so much. My Life From Scratch is a memoir but has a bunch of great recipes in it. She makes these goodies in egg molds for Easter but they can be made in any baking dish- I used muffin tins. I found this video of her making them to be really helpful- especially when it came to how to cream the sugar and butter. I don't think I've ever whipped things long enough. These are dangerously good. They are a cupcake meets a snickerdoodle meets a doughnut. Next time I think I will just dunk/dredge the tops of the cupcakes.

For the Cake:
Nonstick baking spray
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups nonfat buttermilk
For dipping the eggs:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed together in a small shallow bowl

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray your molds with nonstick spray (You can use a muffin pan or any other small baking molds.)
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with either the paddle or the whisk attachment, whip the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This can take up to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of your butter. As you’re whipping away, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated into the sugar. You can’t make magic without a lot of patience. So keep whipping and keep scraping.

Add the eggs one at a time, whipping after each one until the egg is fully incorporated into the batter. Scrape down the bowl every now and again as well. Add the vanilla. Once all the eggs are incorporated, alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, mixing slowly. After they are well incorporated but not overbeaten, take a rubber spatula and fold the batter a few times to make sure everything is evenly distributed and the batter is smooth. Distribute the batter into your molds, filling each cavity a little less than halfway.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Baking time varies depending on the size of your mold, so check for a very light golden brown color and make sure the cake springs back when you touch it. Unmold your little cakes and while they are still warm, dunk them quickly in the melted butter, then dredge them in the cinnamon and sugar. One warning: people are going to call you a stinking liar. They will not believe that these precious morsels aren’t fried like a donut. But that’s the cost of making magic.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp


Not to be confused with these grilled shrimp, these are SPICY grilled shrimp :) What can we say? We love grilled shrimp!

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon Asian chile paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 wooden skewers, soaked in water

Whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, parsley, hot sauce, minced garlic, ketchup, chile sauce, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Set aside about 1/3 of this marinade to use while grilling.
Place the shrimp in a large, resealable plastic bag. Pour in the remaining marinade and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 2 minutes per side until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Balsamic-Rosemary Grilled Pork Tenderloin


My mother-in-law Jane put this recipe in my birthday cookbook. I made it while she was visiting and she confessed that she had actually never made it before but thought it looked good. I love that she is so honest! Turns out, she did pick a great recipe!

4 Tbs balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp crushed garlic
3 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
3 Tbs chopped green onions
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbs cracked black pepper
1 Tbs sea salt
2 lbs pork tenderloin

1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziploc baggie. Add tenderloin and massage to work marinade into meat. Refrigerate in marinade for at least 6 hours.
2. When ready to grill, take ziploc out of refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling. Preheat grill to medium-high. When ready to grill, oil the grate and wipe down to remove any residue so grates are clean. Remove pork from marinade and arrange on grill. Brown on all sides and cook through (firm to the touch), 8 to 12 minutes total, or until internal temperature in center reaches 150°F.
3. Remove tenderloin from grill and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Marrakech Chicken Skewers


My mother-in-law Jane also sent me the cookbook Flying Pans. There are some interesting recipes in there like Wattleseed Rubbed Ostrich Fan Filet, Ahi Tuna Lollipop, Cremini Stuffed Squid Torpedos. This chicken tender recipe seemed more up our alley...

12 6-inch bamboo skewers
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T freshly grated ginger (I used 1t dried)
1T chopped cilantro
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t cumin
1T minced garlic
1/4 olive oil
1/2 c minced white onion
1/4 c lemon juice
1t chile paste (I used Asian chile sauce)
1/4 t sea salt
1T toasted sesame seeds (I forgot these- oops!)

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour prior to use. Cut each chicken breast into 3 equally sized strips. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except sesame seeds) and add chicken. Combine well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. Thread chicken onto skewers and grill over medium for 2 minutes on each side or until done. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and more cilantro if you want.

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