Saturday, June 30, 2012

Morning Glory Muffins

These feel like they should be good for you because they are full of apples, carrots and raisins but they have a lot of sugar.  But that is the reason they are DELICIOUS! Some reviewers said they substituted 1c. honey for the sugar. I might try that next time.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots
1 apple - peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup raisins
1 egg
2 egg whites
1/2 cup apple butter (I used spiced pear sauce or you could also use applesauce)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ (I didn't use)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil 18 muffin cups, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, apple butter, oil and vanilla.
In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in carrots, apples and raisins. Stir in apple butter mixture until just moistened. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.
In a small bowl, combine walnuts and wheat germ; sprinkle over the muffin tops.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed.

Mexican Fried Chicken

I have had this recipe for over a year and kept passing it up because frying chicken just sounded like a lot of work.  Well, the wait was worth it.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good.

3/4 cup Mexican honey, plus some for drizzling (I just used regular honey)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Chicken Pieces (I used Tenders)
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying, such as soy or canola
4 extra-large egg whites
3/4 cup cornmeal or fine breadcrumbs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ancho or medium-heat chili powder
1/2 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 lime, cut into wedges, for garnish

Mix honey and vinegar in a bowl and add chicken. Toss to coat and marinate 4 hours. Drain chicken pieces on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Heat 3 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Oil should reach between 350°F and 375°F for frying.

Beat egg whites in a shallow dish. Combine cornmeal or breadcrumbs with flour, baking powder and spices.

Coat the chicken pieces in the egg whites then toss in the flour mixture. Fry in small batches, 12-14 minutes per batch, until deep golden and juices run clear. Season hot chicken with a little extra salt as they come out.

Serve with lime wedges, honey for drizzling and assorted hot sauces.

Chicken Souvlaki

Super simple recipe to make when you've got nothing in the house except frozen chicken breasts! Serve with rice and roasted veggies- I chose Brussels sprouts.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces 
3 or 4 lemons, juiced
¼ olive oil
5 garlic cloves, quartered and smashed a bit with the side of a large knife
2 t dried oregano
2-3 T fresh oregano, minced (I just used more dried)
½ t garlic salt
Salt and pepper

In the morning
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or ziploc bag and let marinate all day (stirring or shaking up from time to time if you think about it).

In the evening
Soak skewers in water for 20 minutes so they don’t burn on the grill. Put chicken pieces on skewers and grill on the BBQ for 10-15 minutes.

Soba Bowls

The original recipe calls for lots of unusual (expensive) mushrooms so I just got crimini.

About 3/4 pound crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 medium leeks, trimmed and cut into matchsticks, washed and well drained
2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and grated (I just used 1/2 t dried)
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 red Fresno chili pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced (looks like a red jalapeno)
Salt and black pepper
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
4 to 6 tablespoons Tamari sauce, to taste (or soy sauce)
1/4 pound enoki mushrooms, separated
1 package soba or 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
Chopped shiso leaf or cilantro, for garnish
Chopped scallion greens, for garnish

Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add mushrooms. Brown mushrooms until nutty and fragrant then add vegetable matchsticks, ginger, garlic and chili; season lightly with salt and liberally with black pepper. Stir-fry a minute or 2 then add stock and bring soup to a boil. Season with 4-6 tablespoons of Tamari. Add soba or spaghetti and cook to just tender.

Using tongs, fill bowls with noodles, mushrooms and vegetables. Ladle broth over top and garnish. Serve with chopsticks and a large spoon for slurping.

Eileen's FAMOUS rice krispy treats

I dream about Eileen's rice krispy treats.  They are soft, and gooey and irresistible.  We've all had stale, crunchy, dry rice krispy treats but hers are amazing every time.  Turns out her secret is more butter and marshmallows than the original recipe.  Go figure!  Mark and I shared about a 3x3 spare of this pan with the kids and ate the rest in 2 days.

4 tablespoons butter
1 package miniature Kraft marshmallows (don't use generic)
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (generic ok)

In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 90 seconds. (Microwave cooking time may vary) Stir until smooth. Add rice krispies and stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. 

Chinese Peanut Noodle Salad

My friend Chrissie recommended a great cookbook that I've been getting a lot of tasty recipes from- West Coast Cooking by Greg Atkinson.  This was great for a community group bbq.

For the Noodles
8 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
12 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles (I found them at Thriftway)
1 pound broccoli florets, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 bunch green onions

For the Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1-inch piece ginger root, grated
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2/3 cup smooth organic peanut butter

1. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a heavy, 6- to 8-quart pot. Add the noodles. When the noodles have been cooking for 5 minutes, add the broccoli florets. By the time the noodles are tender, the broccoli should be bright green and almost tender too. Drain the noodles and broccoli through a colander and spread them out on a baking sheet to cool.

2. Make the peanut sauce. Put the water, vinegar, ginger, and garlic in a blender and purée until the ginger and garlic are liquefied, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and peanut buter and blend again until smooth and creamy.

3. Transfer the cooled noodles and broccoli to a large salad bowl. Cut the red pepper into julienne strips and toss with the noodles. Toss the salad with the peanut sauce and top the salad with the chopped peanuts, cilantro, and green onions. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Indian Spiced Braised Chicken

My sister's friend Elizabeth James e-mailed me to tell me she reads Bites and wanted to pass on a recipe she knew I would love from Martha's Everyday Food.  It totally makes my day to hear from people that read Bites and I LOVE getting new recipe recommendations.  This was so fantastic.  It requires planning ahead because it needs to cook for 2 hours but shhhh...don't tell my son obsessed with fire safety...I left the house with the oven on.  I did put it on a timer so it would shut off in case we couldn't get back in time :) Plus, another recipe to use your homemade yogurt in!

1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 medium onion, small diced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS grated ginger
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
course salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt (8 oz)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp garam masala

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Stir together chicken, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, coriander and cayenne; season liberally with salt and pepper. I used my dutch oven, but any heavy, oven-proof dish should work.
3. Stir in 1.5 cups of water.
4. Cover; bake until chicken is tender – approximately 2 hours.
5. Stir in yogurt and garam masala.
6. Top with chopped cilantro.

Great price on shredded coconut

For the longest time I didn't think I liked coconut.  One day my husband said to me, "How can you love german chocolate cake and coconut shrimp and not like coconut?"  Hmmmm...I guess I actually love coconut!  So, over the past few years I have embraced my love for coconut and have used it in many recipes.  So, I was excited to see this great price on shredded coconut on amazon.  It's 12 (8 oz.) bags of shredded coconut for only $20.15 (if you chose the subscribe and save option).  That's only $1.68 per bag!  Perfect for splitting with a friend! CLICK HERE to go to amazon.

Here are some of my favorite coconut recipes:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quinoa Muffins

Next time I make these muffins I will cook the quinoa a little bit longer.  I just did 11min and it was still on the crunchy side.  Still tasty though!

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 13 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush a standard 12-cup muffin pan with oil; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins, and 2 cups cooked quinoa; reserve any leftover quinoa for another use.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined; divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pan Roasted Salmon

I tend to overcook salmon to make sure it's done.  I followed the times on this recipe exactly and ended up with cooked-through and still moist salmon.  Serve over garlic sauteed spinach.

4 6-oz. salmon fillets, skinned
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine brown sugar, salt and spices for the salmon in a small bowl.  Rub spice mixture on the top side (non-skin) of the salmon fillets.

Sear fillets, rub-side down, in oil in a large oven-proof non-stick skillet over high heat.  When the fish releases easily and rub side is browned, about 2 minutes, flip fillets and transfer pan to the oven.

Roast fillets until they flake easily with a fork, about 5-6 minutes.

Tex-Mex Wonton Cups

You know how every wonton wrapper pack seems to have about 4 times as many wrappers as you need for a recipe?  Well, they freeze great.  I had half a pack in the freezer from a recipe I made months ago and so I had an excuse to make this great appetizer!

24 wonton wrappers
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz corn, frozen or fresh (simply thaw if frozen)
2 tomatoes, diced and deseeded
1/4 cup jalapeno peppers, diced
2 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Avocado, diced (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F
Gently press wonton wrappers into each cup of a mini muffin tin
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the avocado and salsa
Spoon the mixture into each wonton cup
Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until some of the wonton tips are golden brown!

No Knead Bread

This bread is super-duper simple to make and only takes about half a day to rise.  It is especially yummy as toast and in a grilled cheese!

What You Need
3 cups white flour OR bread flour
3/4 teaspoon yeast (tape the rest of the yeast packet to save for another time)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups slightly warm water

Large bowl
Plastic wrap
Spray oil OR olive oil
Oven-safe pot with lid OR Dutch oven (should be at least 4 quarts in size)

1. Gather your ingredients!

2. A note on the yeast: The original No-Knead Bread recipe specifies instant yeast. You can use pretty much any yeast you have on hand; I have used both Quick-Rise yeast and instant active yeast. Technically these shouldn't be exchanged for each other (see this post for more info on yeast). But don't let confusion about yeast stand in the way of making this bread; just use whatever you have got. It will turn out fine.

3. Add your flour to the bowl.

4. Add the yeast and salt and stir thoroughly.

5. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of barely warm (tepid) water.

6. Pour into the bowl and stir thoroughly.

7. The dough will look rough and shaggy.

8. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray, or, if you do not have cooking spray, lightly oil the top of the dough with olive oil. Spread a thin layer over top with a paper towel, then turn the dough in the bowl so the whole ball of dough is coated with the oil.

9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

10. Throw a towel over top of the bowl and set it in a warm corner. Leave it alone for 6 to 8 hours.

11. After at least 6 hours have passed the dough will have risen and will look rather bubbly and stretched out.

12. Lightly oil the countertop and turn the dough out onto it, folding it over on itself at least once.

13. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit for another hour.

14. About 20 minutes before the hour is up, turn on the oven to 450°F. Place an oven-safe Dutch oven or pot in the oven.

15. The dough will have risen and nearly doubled in size.

16. Quickly shape the dough into a round ball (see this video for basic instructions) and drop it into the pot. Even if you can't get it into a good ball, that's OK. Just try to roughly shape it.

17. Optional: Slash or cut the top of the dough with kitchen shears or a sharp knife.

18. Place the lid on the pot and put it in the oven.

19. Bake for 30 minutes.

20. Remove the lid from the pot.

21. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

22. You can be extra-sure that the bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the top or side reads 210°F.

23. Remove the bread from the oven. If you wish to keep it warm for serving, you can wrap it in a clean kitchen towel.

Salsa Verde Turkey Burgers

Another burger recipe that had enough flavor, Mark wasn't missing the beef.

1 pound ground turkey
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup salsa verde
4 slices pepperjack cheese
1 avocado (pitted and scooped)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic (grated)
4 buns/rolls
green tomatoes (sliced) or pickled green tomatoes (sliced)
cilantro (optional)

1. Mix the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs and salsa verde in a bowl.
2. Form 4 patties and place them on a broiling pan.
3. Broil until cooked, about 10-15 minutes.
4. Place the cheese slices on the patties and broil until melted, about 1 minute.
5. Mix the avocado, mayonnaise and garlic and mash the avocado to the desired consistency.
6. Serve the burger in a bun with the avocado mayonnaise, cilantro and sliced green tomatoes.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip

A very spicy, creamy dip recipe that was devoured in minutes.

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup FRANK'S® REDHOT® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or FRANK'S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can (12.5 oz. each) SWANSON® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained

HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.
MIX in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken.
BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Sour Cream Bran Muffins

This bran muffin recipe was incredibly moist.  Other reviewers called these the Rolls Royce of bran muffins and I agree.  So light and fluffy!

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened or 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup raisins, cranberries, or other diced dried fruit
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup miller’s bran (I used oat bran)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter or oil and the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy (will be far less light or fluffy if oil is used), beat in the egg, the sour cream or yogurt, and the molasses, and stir in the raisins or other dried fruit. In a bowl whisk together the flour, the baking soda, the salt, the cinnamon (optional) and the bran, add the mixture to the sour cream mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter will be lumpy.) Spoon the batter into 12 well-buttered 1/3-cup muffin tins and bake the muffins in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sugar Cookie Bars

Very dangerous recipe.  Impossible to eat a reasonable amount.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
4. Add the vanilla to the creamed mixture and then slowly add the dry ingredients.
5. Press into a greased 13 x 18 inch pan and bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes.
6. Cool and frost (see directions below).

Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons of milk
food coloring (optional)
sprinkles (optional)

1. In a mixing bowl, beat the shortening and butter until creamy.
2. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar.
3. Gradually add the 5 tablespoons of milk until you reach your desired constancy.
4. For the sprinkles, I found that they rolled all over the place.  To help this, place a sheet of plastic wrap over the frosted sugar cookies and gently press the sprinkles into the frosting.
5. Chill and cut.

Arugula Corn Salad with Bacon

A fantastic summer salad recipe!

4 large ears of corn (I just used 1 c. frozen corn kernels, defrosted and 1/4 c. roasted corn kernels, defrosted)
2 cups of chopped arugula (about one bunch)
4 strips of bacon, cooked, chopped (I used 6)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Cook the corn ears, in their husks, either on the grill for a smokey flavor, or by steaming in a large covered stock pot with an inch of boiling water at the bottom of the pot, for 12-15 minutes. Let the corn cool (can run under cold water to speed up the cooling), remove the husks and silk. I recommend cooking the corn in the husks for the added flavor that the husks impart. If you boil or steam the corn ears after you've already husked them, or if you cook them in the microwave, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.

2 To remove the kernels from the cobs, stand a corn cob vertically over a large, shallow bowl. Use a sharp knife to make long, downward strokes, removing the kernels from the cob, as you work your way around the cob. Note: it may help to work over a low table, to be in a better ergonomic position to cut the cobs this way.
3 In a medium sized bowl, mix together the corn, chopped arugula, bacon, and onions. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and cumin. Mix dressing into salad just before serving. Taste and add more vinegar if necessary to balance the sweetness of the corn.


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