Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Single Serving Blueberry or Apple Pie

When you have cravings for pie but don't want to go into the effort of making an entire pie...this was a perfect treat!

Blueberry Filling
2-1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries

Apple Filling
1 apple, peeled, cored, diced small
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Crust
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoon butter, chilled - plus 1 additional tablespoon butter, chopped to dot on top of filling
2 teaspoon ice water

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine filling ingredients for either apple or blueberry. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt.
Using a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water and stir to form dough.
Split into 2 sections, one slightly smaller then the other. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle for both.
Fit the crust into the pan (I used a 2 cup glass pyrex).
Pour in filling and dot with butter. Cover with remaing dough.
Bake for 20-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown

Friday, September 23, 2016

Argentinian Beef Empanadas

Like all dumplings these are a labor of love! This took a while but the end product?! Flaky, light, and delish!!! I will be making these again. They freeze/reheat well too! I used the tomato sauce can with both ends cut off as my cookie cutter.

Argentinian Beef Empanadas
Adapted from: Turntable Kitchen
Makes approximately two dozen small empanadas

For the dough:
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 stick of cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg
1/3 cup of ice water
1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar

For the filling:
1/2 pound of lean ground beef
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoon of capers, finely chopped
olive oil
1 hard-boiled egg, roughly chopped
1 cup of chopped, canned tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

1 egg, gently beaten with a fork (for the egg wash)

1. Sift flour(s) along with the salt into a large bowl. Use a pastry blender to work in the butter until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal and has only a few remaining small lumps of butter. You can also do this with your fingers by rubbing the butter into the flour.
2. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg, water and vinegar together with a fork. Stir it into the dry mixture until it’s just incorporated.
3. Flour your hands and shape the dough into a ball. Place it on a lightly floured surface and use a light hand to knead it gently a few times before forming it into a flattened ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
4. To make the filling, heat approximately two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about five minutes (until it begins to soften). Add the pepper and continue cooking for another five minutes or so. Adjust the heat so that you do not burn the onion. Next, add the diced tomatoes with their juices and let cook for a few minutes.
5. Add the beef, crumbling it with your fingers. Stir in the spices, capers, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the beef has browned. Stir, occasionally, so that the meat cooks evenly. Stir in the egg and dial down the heat to its lowest point.
6. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick (you can split the ball into several pieces, working with only a small piece of it at a time). Cut out roughly 4 inch round circles in the dough. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the center and fold the circle into a half moon. Use more or less filling, depending on the size of your circles. Pinch and fold the edges to seal them and place the formed empanada onto a prepared baking sheet. Continue to do this with the remaining dough and filling.
7. Once you’ve formed all of your empanadas, brush them with the egg wash. Bake the empanadas for approximately 25 minutes (until golden brown). You can freeze formed empanadas in a freezer bag and also refrigerate uneaten empanadas. They’ll last (and be pretty tasty!) for several days.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

This was incredible!! It did take a bit longer then expected because roasting the veggies takes a while. But this would be awesome for veggies that are starting to turn or if you were hanging out one day with a bit of the extra time. I would probably roast the veggies one day and then assemble/cook the next day.

Picture didn't come out so well because I didn't wait for it to slightly cool before cutting :)

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Serves 5-6

Ingredients:
1 large red pepper, chopped, seeds removed
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup corn
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, minced (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups red enchilada sauce (canned el paso)
9-10 small corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (Mexican cheese)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and onion on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Season with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables for 30-40 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove vegetables from oven and let cool to room temperature. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease an 8x8 square baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine roasted vegetables, black beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro. Stir and season with salt and pepper.

3. Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortillas, to completely cover the bottom of the pan. You might have to cut the tortillas to make them fit. Top with 1/3 of the vegetable/bean mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, enchilada sauce, vegetables/beans, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, enchilada sauce, vegetables/beans, and cheese. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the pan.

4. Bake enchiladas for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the enchiladas are bubbling. Remove enchiladas from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue

Super easy recipe with hardly any prep!! I discovered this recipe when we were going to an impromptu cookout and I didn't have anything to make! I googled to see what I could make with frozen chicken breast and this did not disappoint! I have added this to our meal rotation to change up the pulled pork.

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue
adapted from:All Recipes

Ingredients
6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 12 oz bottle BBQ sauce
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions
In slow cooker, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Add chicken and stir around a bit.
Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

I'm trying to use my crockpot more (and not just for beef stew/pulled pork) and this has been so popular in my house! I've made it 3 times and it is still requested! I serve it with roasted veggies and white rice or buttered noodles! I doubled the sauce and then stored the extra in the fridge for the next time. I will say we are a bunch of big eaters, this recipe says it should serve 6 but we find 4 servings and then still have room for dessert.

Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Adapted from: Food52
Serves 3- 4

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or poultry seasoning or sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Mix together the seasonings : sage, salt, pepper and garlic, and rub over the tenderloin.
  • Place 1/2 cup water in slow cooker, followed by the tenderloin, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  • 1 hour before the roast is finished, mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan : brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, and soy sauce.
  • Heat over medium and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
  • Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. (For a more caramelized crust, remove from crock pot and place on aluminum lined sheet pan, glaze, and set under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, until bubbly and caramelized. Repeat 2 to 3 more times until desired crust is achieved.)
  • Serve with remaining glaze on the side

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Two Step Slow Cooked French Dip with Au Jus

This was so easy! I also used my bread maker so we would have some fresh bread! This is a meal that A will often get at fancy steak places so I figured I'd try making it at home. I also want to use my slow cooker for more then pulled pork and beef stew.

I used chuck roast which can also be used in beef stew and it comes in a family pack from Wegman's. Other sites recommend using Sirloin because it is less greasy.

These can be served as sliders, on hoagie rolls, or on french bread. I used my bread maker to serve it with fresh bread!

2 Step Slow Cooked French Dip with Au Jus
adapted from All Recipes

3 lbs beef - chuck roast
1 can beef broth
1/2 bottle of dark beer
1 packet onion soup mix
1 pinch rosemary and thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp browning sauce
1 onion, sliced
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and then set for 7 hours on low. 
  2. Slice beef and then put back into the juice until ready to serve on crusty bread. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Chickpea Curry

Quick and easy meatless meal for you!

Chickpea Curry
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 3

2 cups Rice
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 whole Large Onion, Diced Fine
Salt And Pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Curry Powder, Any Variety
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 cup Vegetable Stock
2 cans Chickpeas, Drained And Rinsed
1 can (13.5 Ounce) Coconut Milk
2 cups shelled edamame
1 Tablespoon Honey, More To Taste
1 Tablespoon Sriracha Or Hot Sauce (more To Taste)
Lime Wedges, For Serving (optional)
Cilantro Leaves, For Garnish

Cook rice according to the package instructions.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes, until the onions are soft and starting to turn golden. 
Sprinkle in the curry powder and garlic and stir, cooking for another minute or so. 
Pour in the vegetable stock and stir to scrape up all the brown bits in the pan. 
Add the edamame, coconut milk, honey and a squirt of sriracha. 
Bring to a boil, add the chickpeas, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. 
Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, honey, or Sriracha (or lime juice, if using.)
Serve the curry over the rice. Garnish with the cilantro.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice
Adapted from Culinary Hill
Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS:
2 Cups basmati or long-grain rice
2 ¼ Teaspoons salt, divided
1 bay leaf
1 Teaspoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:
To cook long-grain rice in a rice-cooker, add rice, water (according to manufacturer's instructions), 2 tsp salt, bay leaf, and oil. Close rice cooker, plug in, and turn on. Cook according to manufacturer's instructions.
When the rice is finished, remove bay leaf. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice. Add additional salt to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Scones

I had a dream I was drinking black tea and eating a scone. Which must be a sign that I needed to try and make some scones!! Apparently scones are very basic but sound fancy and intimidating.

This was a fantastic basic recipe that could be adapted for many different flavors. You could add different dried fruits. I've included the footnote that is from the All Recipes site.

There are quite a few steps...but don't worry! It really comes together nicely and these scones were elegant, flaky, and so tasty!!

Would I make them again? Yes. Would I only make them on special occasions? Probably. While they weren't a ton of work - they are rather unhealthy with all the butter and sugar and I probably shouldn't eat them all the time!

Scones
Adapted from: All Recipes
Makes 8 scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoons, very cold right from the fridge
1/2 cup raisins (or dried currants), optional
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg

Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a food processor: mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add sliced butter. Pulse until texture of coarse sand.
  • In a small bowl, whisk yogurt and egg until smooth.
  • Add wet mix into food processor and pulse until starting to combined.
  • Put on the counter, lightly floured, and start to knead. The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.
  • Pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. 
  • Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a Silpat lined cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart. 
  • Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Footnotes
Cranberry-Orange Scones
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding a generous teaspoon of finely grated orange rind (zest) to the dry ingredients and substituting dried cranberries for the raisins.
Lemon-Blueberry Scones
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding a generous teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind (zest) to the dry ingredients and substituting dried blueberries for the raisins.
Cherry-Almond Scones
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding 1/2 tsp. almond extract to the sour cream mixture and substituting dried cherries for the raisins.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Fluffy Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

There is so much to celebrate right now. It is finally spring (although it hasn't stopped raining and was 45F yesterday), so much fresh fruit and veggies at the grocery store, AND my beautiful kitchen remodel has finished!! We now have gorgeous counter tops and large to the ceiling cabinets! We even added recessed lighting instead of one florescent light in the middle of the kitchen!! Let us all just agree that it is a glorious day. I am so giddy to start cooking again in this lovely lovely space!

I have a few recipes that I haven't had time to post so lets start with these fluffy Blueberry Muffins! I've been craving blueberries so I decided to make some muffins this morning! Of course I didn't have all the correct ingredients so I've adapted it from the original recipe provided by King Arthur Flour. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

I used silicon baking cups instead of paper or greasing the muffin tins. The muffins popped out of the silicon cups easily.
I used frozen blueberries.
I used Almond Milk with a squeeze of Lemon Juice.
I omitted the sugar topping.

And before you poo-poo these healthy (ish) muffins...they were so light and perfect for breakfast! 

Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yield: 18 muffins

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup oats (or sub with additional flour)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (or a little more if you want them sweeter)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (heaping) blueberries, fresh or frozen (or other berries/diced apples)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or plain (not Greek) yogurt; or 1 ½ Almond Milk + 1 tbsp (ish) of lemon juice
cinnamon-sugar or coarse white sparkling sugar for topping, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the cups of a standard muffin pan; or line with paper baking cups, and grease the paper cups.
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients, including the blueberries.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, lemon juice, and milk/yogurt, and oil.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just to combine.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them 3/4 full.
Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with coarse sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
Remove the muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes (or when they're cool enough to handle) transfer them to a rack to cool. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Store leftovers loosely wrapped at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cream of Chicken Wild Rice Soup

I'm on a Panera kick and I'm crazy about their Chicken and Wild Rice Soup! Even though it is May, it has been rainy and cold for so many days here and I love soup anytime... so I began checking out recipes for a tasty Chicken and Wild Rice soup! Unfortunately, most soups required a can of cream of chicken soup - and I do avoid using those types of additions.

Um, this tastes just like a chicken and rice stew or even a chowder! It is so rich! Crusty bread is a must have to enjoy this soup! 

I used Rice Select Royal Blend which is a blend of Texmati white, brown wild & red rice. But I think that any rice could work.

I can't get over how EASY it was to assembly. I'm talking about maybe 5 minutes of prep work and then another 5 to make the roux. Happy eating!

Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Adapted from: Pinch of Yum
Serves: 10

1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 pound chicken breasts (2-3 chicken breast)
2 cups mirepoix (chopped celery, carrots, and onions)
6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (blend of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, and marjoram)
½ cup butter
¾ cup flour
2 cups whole milk
a few tablespoons white wine (optional)
up to 2 cups additional milk or water

Place the uncooked wild rice, raw chicken, mirepoix, chicken broth, and poultry seasoning in a crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. The chicken should be cooked through and the rice should be soft.

Remove the chicken breasts and using two forks, shred the chicken. Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and let the mixture bubble for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the whole milk until a thick, creamy mixture forms.

Add this to the crockpot and stir to combine. Add extra water or milk to adjust the consistency as you like it. Season with additional salt and pepper.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Soft Ginger Cookies

As part of my bridal shower gift people gave me one of their favorite recipes! This is my Auntie Janet's cookie recipe. I made them bite sized but they are great as large cookies too! I would describe them as a soft ginger snap. They are easy to make ahead and travel easily.

These are perfect with a nice cup of tea!


Soft Ginger Cookies
makes 24

2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350F
Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
In large mixing bowl beat butter on low until softened. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.
Add egg and molasses, beat well.
Stir dry ingredients into beaten mixture.
Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls.
Roll in the 2 tbsp sugar and place on a cookie sheet.
Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown and puffed.
Let stand for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

BBQ Chicken

Catching up on some posts with this snowy snowy weather!!

BBQ  was a crowd pleasing surprise! I baked the chicken in the oven as we are having a big snow storm but the kids asked for me to make it again! Yay! I couldn't find my brine recipe I used over the summer so I made this one up. When you brine chicken it will keep it more moist especially when it needs to cook for a while, this made such a difference!

Normally I'm all about my silpat mat, but for this it didn't work as planned and I'd recommend using tin foil to line your cookie sheet instead.

I served this with our other family favorites: White Rice and Oven Roasted Broccoli!

BBQ Chicken
Brine
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup apple juice
1 cup warm water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce

4 Chicken breasts, cleaned and butterflied
BBQ Sauce

Combine all the ingredients for the brine. Soak the chicken for 2-4 hours. I let the chicken defrost while it soaked in the brine.

Grill Directions
Preheat grill on high
Remove chicken from brine and shake to remove some of the water.

Oven Directions
Preheat oven 400F.
Remove chicken from brine and shake to remove some of the water.
Place chicken on foil lined cookie sheet.
Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, cover in bbq sauce, bake 7 more minutes.
Remove from oven, flip, cover in bbq sauce, bake 7 more minutes
Continue until chicken is cooked thru
When chicken is cooked, one file time... flip, cover in bbq sauce, broil on high for about 5 minutes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Butter Spritz Cookies

Catching up from my holiday baking... My brother and his girlfriend got me a cookie press a couple years ago and I've been wanting to try it but it seems so intimidating!! These cookies were tedious but very pretty! I'll make these again but they are special occasion cookies and not ones I'd want to make every day.

Don't bother using your nice silpats or new nonstick pans. Our old burnt cookie sheets worked best for this! It took some practice but by the end the dough was the right temperature and the cookies were coming out smoothly.

These were dainty and light cookies that can be changed for the holiday based on the sprinkles you use!

Pressed Sugar Cookies
adapted from Williams - Sonoma
makes 100ish cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Colored sugars or icings for decorating

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Using a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla and salt and continue beating until well mixed. Using a spoon, stir in the flour until blended. Let chill about 30 minutes.

Pack the cookie dough into a cookie press according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fit with the desired-shaped cookie plate and press the dough out onto ungreased baking sheets (count to 5 and pick straight up), spacing the cookies 1 inch apart. Cover with sprinkles.

Bake until the cookies are light golden, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool. Decorate with icings as desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.