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oven pancake1After picking five quarts of black raspberries on Wednesday at Mitchell’s Farm in Plain City, I needed some recipes for fresh raspberries. I’ve been wanting to try an oven pancake, and I found a recipe on Cooking Light’s website. 

 The recipe is simple and easy to make. The munchkin is just beginning to want to help me cook, and this is a great recipe for her to help. I measure, and she dumps all the ingredients in the bowl. 

 The pancake was light and delicate. The munchkin loved it with the raspberries and powdered sugar.

I also liked this recipe because it didn’t require me to stand at the stove and flip pancakes. We got to eat our pancake at the same time instead of me standing up to flip more pancakes every few minutes.

Oven Puffed Pancake with Raspberries

Ingredients:

1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
1/3  cup  soy milk
2  tablespoons  granulated sugar
3  large eggs
Cooking spray or butter
1  cup  fresh raspberries
1  teaspoon  powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, soy milk, granulated sugar, and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour mixture into a medium nonstick skillet or nine inch pie plate coated with cooking spray or grease the pan with butter. Wrap handle of pan with foil.

3. Bake at 425° for 15 to 18 minutes or until puffy and golden. Top with raspberries; sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

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pasta saladI love pasta salad in the summer, and this pasta salad is light and refreshing  – not a heavy, mayonnaisey salad.  Perfect for when you don’t want to heat up the house cooking.

I love recipes that I can make when my daughter is at her dad’s or sleeping.  That way I can focus on her when she is at home and awake, and not worry about cooking. This recipe is perfect for that. I throw together the veggies, pasta and nuts ahead of time and then keep in the refrigerator until we’re ready to eat.

Tomato and Broccoli Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1 head broccoli, cut into tiny pieces
8 ounces whole whole pasta
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup pine nuts
fresh basil – as much or as little as you like
Parmesan cheese
olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette – I use Paul Newman’s dressing, which is great

1. Boil a large pot of water. When water is boiling, add broccoli and cook for three minutes. Scoop the broccoli out of water with a slotted spoon. Put broccoli into a bowl of ice water. Remove broccoli from water and pat dry with paper towels. Place into a large bowl. Cook pasta in the boiling water. Cook according to directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.

2. While pasta is cooking, slice cherry tomatoes in half and chop basil into thin strips. (I use kitchen shears and cut the basil into tiny pieces.)  Add tomatoes, basil and pine nuts to broccoli. When pasta is finished cooking, rinse in cold water and drain well. Add to veggies and nuts. Chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.

3. Right before serving, toss pasta with dressing and cheese.

Notes: I add dressing and cheese to individual servings. I usually use about one tablespoon of dressing per serving. The salad keeps undressed in the fridge for a few days.

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muffinsA few weeks ago we went to the zoo with some friends and I wanted to make an easy, portable breakfast.

I found this new muffin and tried it since it is strawberry season. These muffins are good, and everyone liked them, including my two-year old. Because of the yogurt, they are dense muffins. I love the big chucks of strawberry in them. They lasted a few days in an air-tight container.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup butter, melt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped strawberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degress.
2. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar and baking soda. In another bowl, mix eggs, yogurt, butter, and vanilla. Toss the strawberries into the flour mixture.
3. Spoon batter into greased muffins tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Makes 12 muffins.

The original recipe came Stonyfiend Farm.

Notes: Don’t try to substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the whole wheat and white flour. I tried it, and it didn’t work.

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food-matters1

After reading Mark Bittman‘s book Food Matters, which is a good book, I tried his recipe for whole wheat bread. This recipe is the first yeast bread I have made in the oven. I have always been very imitidated about making yeast bread at home.

But this recipe is simple and easy. The baking bread smells amazing, and the bread is delicious. It is a dense, heavy loaf.

It’s a cool recipe too because the munchkin can help with it. She sprinkles on the cornmeal after the dough is in the loaf pan. She calls it sprinkles and is so proud that she helps. This is the first recipe she has helped me with, and I am excited that she likes working in the kitchen.

Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients:
3 cups of whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
cornmeal for dusting the top of the bread

1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended. The dough should be wet and sticky, but not liquid. You can add more water if it seems dry. I usually add up to 1/4 cup of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for between 12 and 24 hours. (I always let mine sit for 24 hours because my house is always chilly.)

2. Grease the metal bread pan with some of the oil. Put the dough in the bread pan and use a rubber spatula to settle it evenly. Brush the dough with the remaining oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise again for about an hour or two.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes until it is golden and sounds hollow when you tap on it. Immediately turn out the loaf out of the pan onto a cooling rack and let it cool before slicing.

Notes: You must you a metal bread pan for this recipe. I tried to use a glass pan about four times and the loaf would never release from the pan. First time I use a metal pan, the bread comes out perfectly. Lesson learned!

[Photo Credit: Book]

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earth2Happy Earth Day! Since today is Earth Day, I thought I would post my new favorite vegetarian recipe. This recipe is easy and healthy. My daughter loves anything with black beans and corn, so she liked this recipe.

If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, it is a great grain. I buy mine from Whole Foods. It is a chewy grain that takes on the flavors you add to it. I had to try a few recipes before I found one that I liked. Just make sure that you rise the quinoa thoroughly before using it. You also want to make sure the strainer that you rise it in has a few fine mesh or the quinoa will fall right through it.

Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.

2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Notes: This recipe reheats well, so it is good for left-overs. I also add hot sauce to my serving, which is fanatastic.

The original recipe came from AllRecipes.com.

[Photo: Earth]

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I love trying new recipes. Last week I was feeling ambitious and made the Cook’s Illustrated The Best New Recipes macaroni and cheese recipe. It was good, but not my favorite. This winter, I’ve even made macaroni and cheese in the crock-pot because it was so easy. Again, it was OK, but not great.

This recipe is my favorite. It’s easy, delicious, and the munchkin loves it.

Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cups uncooked mini penne pasta (or other small pasta shape)
1 and 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 and 1/2 cups sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
24 ounces cheddar cheese

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Transfer to a 13×9 inch pan and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes until golden and crusty.

Notes: I used reduced fat sour cream and cottage cheese and whole wheat pasta. This recipe makes a ton of food. I always cut the recipe in half when making it for the munchkin and I unless we are having people over to help us eat it.

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opt-valentines-day-candy-hWant to make some decadent cookies for Valentine’s Day? Then, these chewy, rich cookies are for you.

These cookies are amazing! They are for people who like chocolate and are definitely the best cookies that I have ever made. 

I made a practice batch Sunday, and my friends and neighbor who ate them, all loved them. They make a perfect, homemade Valentine’s Day present. 

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee or expresso powder
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 and 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips 

1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Begin with 1 minute of cooking time at 50% power. Stir after the minute. Continue cooking for one minute at a time and stirring until the chocolate is smooth. 

3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla lightly with a fork. Sprinkle the coffee powder to dissolve and set aside.

4. With a hand mixer at medium speed, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 5 seconds. Beat in sugars until combined, about 45 seconds. The mixture will look granular. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the egg mixture until incorporated, about 45 seconds. Then add the chocolate and beat until just combined, about 45 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer at slow speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Don’t over mix. Add 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir until incorporated. 

5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until the consistency is scoopable and fudge-like, about 20 to 30 minutes. 

6. Adjust the racks to the upper- and lower- middle positions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop dough onto the baking sheets with an ice cream or cookie scoop. Place the cookies about 1 and 1/2 inches apart. 

7. Bake until the edges of the cookies have just begun to set and the centers are still very soft, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies for 10 minutes on the sheets, slide the parchment paper onto the wire racks, and cool to room temperature. Cover cooled cookie sheets with parchment paper and repeat the baking process. 

The recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated The New Best Recipe cookbook – an awesome cookbook!

[Photo credit: Candy]

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