Thursday, December 31, 2009

CEiMB: No Bake Lemon Bars




This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly was chosen by Amy of Playing House. She chose for us to make the No Bake Lemon Bars from So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week by Ellie Krieger. I love anything lemon, and this recipe looked easy and quick, so I was looking forward to trying this recipe.

I really liked the flavor of these bars, they were creamy and tart. I had added the zest of the whole lemon, not just a teaspoon to amp up the lemon flavor, and I am glad that I did. My only complaint is that even though these are "No bake" lemon bars, I would suggest baking the crust to get it to set up more. My crust was very crumbly, and it kind of fell apart when I was removing the bars from the pan. Other than that, this was an easy, tasty treat!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baked Shrimp Scampi



I wanted to make something special this past week for dinner, and I came across a recipe for Baked Shrimp Scampi from The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. There was only going to be two of us enjoying this dish, so I cut the recipe in half. Per reviewers' suggestions, I also cut down on the amount of butter called for in the recipe, and increased the amount of crushed red pepper to give the recipe a bit more heat. You can always decrease amount of, or eliminate all together, the crushed red pepper if you don't like things spicy. I think this dish is easy to put together, and it cooks in just minutes. I did choose to place my shrimp under the broiler for just a few minutes to make the buttery breadcrumb mixture bubbly and golden brown. I would definitely make it again, it is great for a special dinner.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients

  • 1 pounds large shrimp, tail on, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

If needed, peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper until combined.

Starting from the outer edge of a small gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1-2 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 2-3

Thursday, December 17, 2009

CEiMB: Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs




This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly is from Tessa of Handle the Heat. She chose for us to make the Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. I was really looking forward to this dish. I loved the flavor combination of the mustard sauce. I didn't have any dried marjoram on had, so I added a tablespoon of chopped fresh dill to the sauce. I also lightly seasoned the chicken thighs with salt and pepper before adding the sauce on top.

This dish couldn't have been any easier to throw together. It literally took me five minutes to whip up the sauce and get the chicken in the oven. My chicken was done in about 5o minutes, and the mustard sauce made a nice "crust" on top of the chicken. The chicken was moist and flavorful, this dish will definitely make in into the weeknight rotation. So easy and delicious.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


I had some leftover pumpkin from Thanksgiving, and I was thinking about what I could make with it, when I came across this recipe from the Taste of Home website. I altered the recipe a bit by decreasing the amount of sugar, and increasing some of the spices in the recipe. The original recipe states that this recipe makes 24 muffins, I had enough left over to also make a miniture Pumpkin Chocolate Chip loaf. In other words, this recipe makes a lot of muffins, so if you only want a dozen or so, I would recommend halving the recipe. The pumpkin in these muffins is very subtle, so are the spices, but they are definitely there, and it works well with the chocolate chips. Speaking of chocolate chips, these muffins are chock full of them. I could barely test to see if the muffins were done without poking into a chip. These were moist and rich, and I would make them again. Next time, however, I might add in extra pumpkin and decrease the amount of oil in the recipe to get a more prominent pumpkin flavor.



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 cups canola oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
  • Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yield: about 2 dozen muffins.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes


Per my co-worker's request, I decided to make her miniature cherry cheesecakes for her birthday lunch. I adapted these cheesecakes from this recipe over at the Martha Stewart website. This recipe is super simple to throw together, and they come together in no time. I made these the night before because they are supposed to set up in the refrigerator overnight. I think these are great for an office or holiday party. Note: It is very important that your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature. I took my cream cheese out in the morning, and let it sit on the counter all day until I made the cheesecakes in the evening. The eggs took less time, I only let them sit out for about 30 minutes prior to making the cheesecakes.

Miniature Cherry Cheesecakes
makes 14-16


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened (two 8 oz. packages cream cheese)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 can of cherry pie filling (21 oz)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Mix graham cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl. Stir in butter. Press 1 tablespoon of mixture in bottom of each cup. Bake until set, about 7 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then vanilla. With mixer running, add eggs slowly, scraping down side of bowl. Add sour cream and salt. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling almost to the tops.
  3. Bake until sides are set but centers are wobbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Wrap tins tightly with plastic, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Spoon about 3-4 cherries from the pie filing onto each cheesecake. Cheesecakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

CEiMB: Confetti Chili




This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly is from Lauren of I'll Eat You. She chose for us to make Confetti Chili from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. I hadn't made chili yet, and since it is finally getting cold around here, I was looking forward to this making this. The recipe on the Food Network is slightly different than the recipe in the book. Basically, instead of one of the cans of beans, 1 1/2 cups of corn was added to the chili instead. I like the idea of corn in chili because it adds some nice sweetness to balance the heat. I used black beans and pinto beans, because I like the texture and flavor of those beans better than kidney beans. I also added 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika, and one clove of minced garlic to the chili. I really think those additions boosted the flavor of the chili considerably. I didn't have a red bell pepper on hand, but I did have some poblanos from my garden that I had roasted and frozen this summer, so I used that instead.

I really liked this chili. There is a nice smokiness to it due to the chipotle pepper and the smoked paprika, and a slight bit of heat. Next time, I might add some jalapeno or some cayenne pepper to boost the heat a little. The carrots and and corn balance the smokiness and the heat by adding sweetness. Overall it is a very balanced dish. Black beans and pinto beans have much better texture and flavor than kidney beans, and I think I will use both of them chilis I make in the future. Another good recipe from Ellie.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Easy Beef and Scallion Cheese Ball




One of our family's favorite appetizers that we always make around the holidays is this Easy Beef and Scallion Cheese Ball. It only has three ingredients, but it tastes great, and it practically disappears as soon as it is put out. It goes great with crackers and vegetables, and I can't wait to make it again for Christmas. It's by no means low fat, but hey, it's Thanksgiving. :)


Easy Beef and Scallion Cheese Ball

2-8 oz blocks of cream cheese
2-2 0z packages of chipped beef (I used Buddig Beef), chopped, 2 tablespoons reserved
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sliced scallions, divided


Combine the cream cheese, the chipped beef, and 1/4 cup of the scallions in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer beat the mixture until it is well combined the and beef has been minced into smaller pieces. Place in plastic wrap or a covered bowl until ready to be served.

For serving, place the cheese ball on the serving platter and shape into ball. I usually place plastic wrap over the cheese ball while doing this, so my hands don't get covered in cream cheese (and the guests probably appreciate that as well). Take the reserved chipped beef and scallions and sprinkle over the cheese ball, pressing gently into the cheese ball, so they adhere properly.

Serve with crackers (Wheat Thins are the best in my opinion), as well as vegetables such as baby carrots and celery. Enjoy!


A few other pictures from Thanksgiving:

My niece Julia with her Great Grandmother (my Grandmother) and her dad (my brother) enjoying her first Thanksgiving.



And our beautifully decorated Thanksgiving table (my Mom always does such a wonderful job).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CEiMB: Cranberry French Toast Bake



This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly is from Liz of The Not So Skinny Kitchen. She chose for us to make Peach French Toast Bake from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. Since I had a lot of cranberries left over from my Cranberry Orange Applesauce, and since cranberries are more in season than peaches, I decided to make my French toast bake with them instead.

I made a few additions and substitutions since I was using cranberries instead of peaches. Since cranberries are much tarter than peaches I added an additional tablespoon of brown sugar to the egg mixture and an additional 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the cranberry topping. I substituted orange juice for the lemon juice in the recipe, and added the zest of half an orange to the egg mixture. Based on the reviews on the Food Network, I added some spices to the egg mixture as well. I added 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.

This dish was incredibly easy to throw together, and you can make it the night before, and bake it off in the morning for a quick breakfast. I actually only let mine rest in the refrigerator for about 4 hours, but that seemed to be plenty of time for the bread to soak up the egg mixture. My French toast took about 50 minutes to bake. The orange flavor went well with the tart cranberries, which were still quite tart, but when I drizzled maple syrup over the top, it was a nice combination of sweet and sour. This recipe is very versatile, I would like to try it with blueberries and almonds or plums and crystallized ginger. There are really a lot of combinations that would work well with the French toast, but I think it is really important to add a lot of flavors to the egg mixture or the French toast will probably come off as a little bland.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cranberry Orange Applesauce


I was trying to think of an easy side dish for a fall meal, when I came across a recipe for Cranberry Applesauce over at Simply Recipes. I changed the recipe a little bit by reducing the sugar in the recipe and adding some orange juice and zest. This recipe was very easy to throw together, you simply just throw everything into a pot and let things simmer until until the apples are soft. The sauce has a great sweet-tart flavor to it. It would make a great side dish for roast pork or a Thanksgiving meal.


Cranberry Orange Applesauce

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 pounds of peeled, cored, roughly chopped (Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp)
  • 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • the zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


-Place all of the ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a
simmer and cover. Cook about 20 minutes, or until the apples can easily be mashed.

-Remove from heat. Mash the apples and cranberries with a potato masher to desired
consistency

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CEiMB: Pumpkin Pie Muffins



This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly is from Oddball Oven Mitt. She chose for us to bake the Pumpkin Pie Muffins from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. These are quick and easy to put together, and you don't even need an electric mixer.

After reading the reviews on the Food Network website, I decided to add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the batter to increase the spiciness. I also substituted 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup for 1 1/2 tablespoons of the molasses because some reviewers said that the molasses was overpowering, and I think the combination of the two gave a great flavor to the muffins. I didn't have any pumpkin seeds on hand, but I did have some chocolate covered sunflower seeds, so I sprinkled them on top instead. The batter actually could make about 13 or 14 muffins if you fill them 2/3 the way full like the recipe suggests. I just decided to fill my muffin cups to the top because I don't mind if the puff out over the top of pan.

The muffins were light and more "cake-like" than "muffin-like", and adding the extra spices really helped, i think. The pumpkin flavor wasn't as prominent as I would have liked, but they were still delicious, more like a spice cake. I would make these again, maybe next time I will add some chopped apples or pears to the batter, I think both of those would make great additions.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CEiMB: Easy Chicken-Mushroom Quesadilla



This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly is from Marthe of Culinary Delights She chose for us to make the Easy Chicken-Mushroom Quesadillas from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. This recipe is extremely easy to throw together because the ingredients cook quickly, perfect for a weeknight meal. The filling is very flavorful and doesn't seem heavy at all. I am always looking for new combinations of veggies and meats to throw into a quesadilla, and I will be making this again.

I made a few substitutions to the recipe. I added some frozen corn and cilantro to the filling, and I substituted scallions for the onion in the recipe. Instead of the white button mushrooms, I used cremini because I think they have more flavor. Check out the other bloggers at Craving Ellie in My Belly to see their creations!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Smoky Black Beans and Corn


I am always looking for quick and easy side dishes. I love black bean and corn salsa, so I thought I would make something similar with a little more body as a side dish for some chipotle chicken skewers I got from Trader Joe's. This dish is easy to throw together, and you can do almost anything you want to it to suit your tastes. You can stir in some cheese and cilantro, or add mor spice by including jalapenos or minced chipotle peppers from a can (in this case, I just use the adobo sauce from the can, but I have added the chipotle pepper as well to increase the spiciness). It is really simple to make this side dish your own.


Smoky Black Beans and Corn
serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Goya Adobo with cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers
  • 1 1/3 cups corn, fresh or frozen (If frozen, don't thaw)

  • Heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat, add the onion and poblano pepper, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute about 1 minute longer.
  • Add the black beans and the water, smashing some of the black beans with a spoon or the back of a spatula to thicken the sauce.
  • Mix in the Goya seasoning, cumin, and adobo sauce. Reduce the heat to a low and allow the sauce to thicken and the beans to heat through, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the corn, and continue to cook until the corn is warmed through, add more Goya seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

CEiMB: Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese


I haven't been able to post a Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe in a few weeks. First I was on vacation (see below), then two days after I got home my brother and sister-in-law welcomed a baby girl into this world (also see below). It is their first child, and I am now an aunt! Between all of that and trying to catch up on things at work, I haven't been able to blog as much as I normally do. So I was glad to get back to with this recipe for Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. This particular recipe was chosen by Leslie of Lethally Delicious.

I am really glad she chose this recipe because it is quite different from the way I usually make grilled cheese. I like my grilled cheese the way I had it as a child, two slices of Kraft singles sandwiched between two slices of white bread slathered with butter. Serve that up with some Campbell's tomato soup, and I am happy. However, I was glad to get a chance to try something different. This sandwich combines two different cheeses (I used colby and pepper jack), with caramelized onions and tomatoes. It really is a great combination, the spicy cheese with the sweet onions and juicy tomato. It is a quick and easy snack, and I would definitely make it again

Badlands National Park


Devil's Tower National Monument

Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone National Park


Sunset in Montana

and...my beautiful niece Julia Marie

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting




I was deciding on what to make for a coworker's birthday when I came across this recipe for Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting. I am a huge fan of the food blog smitten kitchen, in my opinion, it is one of the best food blogs out there. Deb always makes interesting and delicious-looking dishes, and the food photography is just beautiful. I hope that one day when I have more time (and better lighting and a better camera), that I can take pictures and create recipes that are half as good as hers.

Anyway, these cupcakes are fairly easy to put together, you simply sift the dry ingredients together, cream the butter and sugar, add the wet ingredients, then incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. It is a pretty standard recipe for a cake. The cupcake is light and fluffy and Deb recommended cutting the peaches into pretty small pieces, so they wouldn't sink to the bottom of the cupcake. I really appreciated that tip, and the peaches were nicely incorporated throughout the whole cupcake. I typically make a cream cheese icing with just powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. This recipe uses brown sugar as well as powdered sugar. In order to get the icing to set up a bit better, cornstarch is added to the icing.

Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, sour cream or full-fat yogurt (I used low-fat buttermilk)
  • 3 large peaches, peeled, cored, and chopped smallish (about a 1/3-inch dice)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake wrappers

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition, and then the vanilla. Gently mix in the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt. Mix in the dry ingredients, until just incorporated and fold in the peaches.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for five minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar, breaking up the clumps of brown sugar. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla, beat until frosting is smooth and light. Chill the bowl in the refrigerator until it thickens back up a bit, about 30 minutes, then spread or dollop on cooled cupcakes.


Notes: These cupcakes were very light, and the little bits of peaches throughout each cupcake is really delicious. I would use this batter again with other fruits like apples, plums, or berries. The brown sugar icing was good, but it didn't add anything to the typical cream cheese icing for me, next time I will stick to my original recipe or add some peach puree to the icing to enhance the peach flavor. I recommend checking out the smitten kitchen blog. It really is one of the best out there.

Also, I had A LOT of frosting left over, to the point that I could have probably halved the recipe and still had enough to frost the cupcakes. I don't like a lot of frosting on my cupcakes, so that is probably why.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Creamy Polenta with Smoked Sausage and Summer Vegetables





My garden is at the point where I am picking many tomatoes and peppers every week, so I wanted to come up with something quick where I could use up a mixture of these vegetables. Based on the ingredients in my pantry, and refrigerator, I came up with this quick meal of cheesy polenta with sauteed vegetables and smoked turkey sausage. This meal came together very quickly, which makes it perfect for a weeknight. The polenta was creamy, and the goat cheese added a nice bite to it. The summer vegetables added a sweetness to balance the cheesy polenta and the salty sausage. This is the first time I tried something like this, but I will be making it again



Ingredients:

Polenta:
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 1/2 oz soft goat cheese

Smoked Sausage and Summer Vegetables:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced peppers (I used one Anaheim and one jalapeno pepper, but red or green bell pepper would work as well)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • 8 oz. smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1 inch slices
Directions:

For the polenta:

Bring the water and salt to a boil, and slowly whisk in the polenta, add the pinch of sugar. Bring the mixture back to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the polenta is soft and creamy, about 10 to 15 minutes, whisking frequently. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter and goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the smoked sausage and vegetables:

Heat one tablespoon of olive olive over medium heat, then saute the onion and peppers until soft, but not browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and corn and heat through, season lightly with salt and pepper (the smoked sausage and polenta will be salty, so be careful not to over season), about 3-5 minutes more. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add the second table of olive oil to the same pan and cook the smoked sausage until it is browned on both sides, and 5 minutes total. Add the vegetables back to the pan to rewarm them.

To serve: whisk the polenta in case it has started to set up, then divide the polenta into four bowls and top with 1/4 of the sausage/vegetable mixture. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TWD: Applesauce Spice Bars




This week's Tuesdays with Dorie is from Karen of Something Sweet by Karen. She chose for us to bake the Applesauce Spice Bars from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. You can find the recipe here. It is a simple recipe, and the perfect snack to get ready for Fall. I could smell the cinnamon throughout the house while the bars were baking. The only substitutions I made to the recipe is that I used nutmeg and ginger instead of the allspice, since I didn't have any on hand at the time. Also, I left out the raisins because I didn't have them as well. I wouldn't recommend making this recipe all the time because it does have a lot of butter and sugar in it, but every once in a while, it makes a nice treat.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CEiMB: Stuffed Turkey Burgers




This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly is from Peggy of Pantry Revisited. She chose for us to make the Stuffed Turkey Burgers from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. This is a pretty simple recipe, in which the burger is stuffed with roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese. I was in the mood for something a little spicier, so I decided to make some changes to the recipe to give it a southwest flavor.

Additions that I made to the ground turkey meat:
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Goya Adobo with cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
juice from 1/2 lime
3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced


I also swapped out the roasted red peppers for some roasted Anaheim peppers from my garden, and used shredded colby jack cheese in place of the mozzarella. Instead of broiling or grilling, I sprayed a pan with non-stick spray and seared the burgers over medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side, then I finished the burgers off in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. The burgers turned out nicely browned, juicy, and cooked all the way through.


These burgers were spicy and had a great flavor. I would definitely make these again. I topped mine with some baby spinach and a juicy tomato. This was a great summer dinner.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TWD: Brownie Buttons


So after a long hiatus, I am finally back to being able to post another Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. This week's recipe is from Jayma of Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen. She chose for us to bake the Brownie Buttons from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. You can find the recipe here. This recipe is very simple to put together. You simply melt the chocolate with the butter and sugar, than once it is cool, you stir in the vanilla, egg, and flour. Everything is done in one pot. I didn't have any white chocolate on hand to dip the brownie buttons in like the recipe suggests, but just a sprinkling of powdered sugar worked as well. A nice, tasty, little treat. Too bad I keep wanting to pop a few in my mouth every time I walk in the kitchen.

Monday, August 10, 2009

French Potato Salad


I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law this weekend, and I wanted to serve a potato salad, but most potato salads are covered in mayonnaise (which I like), but I wanted to keep things a bit lighter because I was preparing a lot of other dishes. I decided to make a French Potato Salad that I saw prepared by the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. The potato salad is dressed with a light vinaigrette and a bunch of fresh herbs. I added some fresh green beans from my garden as well. It is easy to prepare (you can make it the night before you plan on serving it), and it tastes great. If you are in the mood for a different type of potato salad, I highly recommend this one.


French Potato Salad
serves 4 to 6
  • 1 pound small white boiling potatoes, cut into bite size pieces (I used fingerling potatoes)
  • 1 pound small red boiling potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh green beans cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves

Drop the white and red potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are still firm, but easily pierced with a fork. In the last five minutes of cooking, add the green beans to the pot so they will cook through as well Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes and green beans to allow them to steam for 5 more minutes. Place in a medium bowl, and toss gently with the chicken stock. Allow the liquid to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.

Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CEIMB: Cobb Salad




This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly is from by Gabi from The Feast Within. The recipe can be found on the Food Network Website. It was easy to put together, and I substituted a few things I had on hand for the vegetables on top. Instead of avocado and watercress, I used celery, shredded carrots, and red cabbage. The star of this salad, however, is the dressing. It is really delicious. I would definitely use it again when making a salad. Another good one from Ellie.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans


I was browsing through my copy of Everyday Food: Great Food Fast when I came across this recipe. It combines pasta, potatoes, and great beans, then tosses them with basil pesto. I had all of the ingredients on hand, and it was super simple to put together. I had some fresh green beans that I picked from my garden today, and they were so tender. This is the first time that I have planted them, and I don't know if I can go back to store bought. I had never tried pasta and potatoes together (I don't know why, starch mixed with starch, sounds like something I would love), but they really go well together. The pasta was al dente and the potatoes I used were really creamy. I would definitely recommend this recipe. I added some fresh mozzarella and some crushed red pepper to perk it up a bit, and it tasted great.


Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans
Serves 4

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 2 waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (I used about 4 medium-sized red potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 ounces short tubular pasta like cavatappi, penne, or rotini
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto (I used Buitoni brand pesto)
  • fresh mozzarella, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes; place in a large pot of water; bring to a boil.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 8 ounces short tubular pasta; return to a boil; cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add 8 ounces trimmed and halved green beans. Return to a boil; cook until vegetables are tender and pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes.
  4. Drain; toss with 1/2 cup pesto; season with salt and crushed pepper. Stir in mozzarella and serve warm or at room temperature.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

CEiMB: Shrimp Roll



This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly
is from MacDuff of Lonely Sidecar. MacDuff chose for us to make a web-based recipe, Lobster or Shrimp Rolls, by Ellie Krieger. This is a healthier version of the standard Lobster Roll. The recipe stated that you could use shrimp in place of the lobster. I happened to have some cooked shrimp on hand, so I went with that option. This recipe is a lighter version of the traditional roll because it substitutes some of the mayonnaise with non-fat Greek yogurt. I used a fat-free version from FAGE Yogurt. Other than that, the recipe is pretty standard, there is lemon and scallions, but I also added some fresh dill and fresh parsley. I thought the Shrimp Roll tasted pretty good. The yogurt didn't seem to take away from the flavor too much, and I definitely think that the addition of the fresh herbs really helped brighten up the flavor as well. If I made this again, I would probably use lobster. I think what was missing for me was the sweetness that the lobster would have added to the mix. The shrimp isn't as sweet as lobster, and the lobster would have added a nice balance to the tanginess of the lemon juice and the yogurt.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

CEiMB: Breakfast Cookies



This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly
is from Natalie of What's For Supper? She chose for us to bake a web-based recipe, Breakfast Cookies, by Ellie Krieger. These cookies have a bit of everything in them, oats, cereal, dried fruit, and nuts. I took some liberties with the recipe and made quite a few substitutions. Instead of bran flakes I used Kashi's Oat Flakes with Wild Blueberry Clusters. To go with the cereal, I used dried wild blueberries instead of the raisins called for in the original recipe. I didn't have any walnuts on hand, but I did have almonds, so I used them because I love the combination of blueberries and almonds.

These cookies smelled great while they were baking, and had a great cake-like texture to them. I think it's because the recipe only has a small amount of butter in it, instead, the recipe called for canola oil. They tasted great. The blueberries went really well with the almonds, and the cereal added a nice crunch. I can't wait to eat more tomorrow morning!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

CEiMB: Vegetable Cheese Strata

This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly is from Jenn of A Mid-Life Culinary Adventure she chose for us to make Vegetable Cheese Strata from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. I was excited to try this recipe. The ingredients broccoli, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, two types of cheeses all sounded delicious. Unfortunately, I have been extremely busy, and the recipe calls for the strata to sit overnight in the refrigerator to allow time for the bread to absorb the egg mixture. So tomorrow morning, I will have beautiful picture of my strata to post. I only made a few substitutions, I used scallions instead of onions, and and like Leslie over at Lethally Delicious, I threw in some spinach as well. I can't wait to see how this turns out tomorrow!

The next day...



The strata looked just gorgeous when it came out of the oven. It puffed up nicely, and was golden brown. I baked mine for 70 minutes, and added a little bit of extra mozzarella on top during the last 10 minutes. I forgot to mention yesterday, that I halved the recipe, and used a 9x6 pan. I also wasn't exactly precise when measuring the vegetables, so mine is full of them, which I love. And the taste? I really loved it. The cheese and veggies go great with the eggs, and the sun-dried tomatoes add just a hint of sweetness. I will definitely make this one again. I am so glad I have joined this group. The first two recipes I have made have been excellent, and I can't wait to keep trying more!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CEiMB: Double Chocolate Pudding



I have joined a new group of talented bloggers! Much like Tuesdays with Dorie, each week, a member of the group picks one recipe from the cookbook, and everyone in the group makes and blogs about that recipe. This group is called Craving Ellie in My Belly, the cookbook from which we are cooking is called The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger.




Ellie is a Food Network chef and a dietitian. I have often watched her show, Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger, and I am excited about trying a lot of the recipes in her cookbook.

This week's recipe pick is from Tessa of Handle the Heat. She chose for us to bake the Double Chocolate Pudding Pie from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. Since it was just me who would be enjoying this dessert I took a suggestion from the Craving Ellie in My Belly website and decided to just make the pudding and not the whole pie. I halved the recipe and the pudding fit perfectly in two small bowls. Other than that, I stuck to the recipe exactly. After the pudding had cooled in the refrigerator, I topped it with whipped cream and crushed graham crackers. You can find the recipe here.

It is called Double Chocolate Pudding because it contains both cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, and I think that it really adds to the deep flavor of the pudding. Instead of relying on heavy cream to thicken the pudding, Ellie's recipe uses two thickeners, cornstarch and gelatin, which makes the pudding thick enough for a pie, but perhaps a bit too thick for pudding alone. This is a really rich pudding, it is hard to believe that it is made with skim milk. I really liked this recipe, next time, I might add some instant coffee to the pudding to make it have a mocha flavor. I look forward to upcoming recipes!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

TWD: Parisian Apple Tartlets



This week's Tuesdays with Dorie is from Jessica of My Baking Heart. She chose for us to bake the Parisian Apple Tartlets from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. You can find the recipe here. I knew that when this recipe was picked that I was going to participate this week. This recipe couldn't be simpler. It only contains four ingredients, puff pastry, apples, brown sugar, and butter. All you do is place the apples on the puff pastry, sprinkle brown sugar on top, dot with butter, and pop in the oven. I sprinkled a little cinnamon on top to give it a little spice, but other than that, I didn't make any other substitutions. My pastry took a bit longer than the recipe called for, about 30 minutes, but it was well worth the wait. These pastries are tart and sweet (I used Gala apples), and very buttery. I think this would be an elegant but easy dessert to serve to guests. I definitely will be making this again, I would love to try it with pears, plums, or peaches.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Shell Pasta Salad with Cheese and Peas


I am always looking for new pasta salad recipes, so when I came across this recipe from Pillsbury, I thought it would be a good side dish for a recent family get-together. I changed some of the ingredients from the original recipe, but for the most part, it is pretty similar. Overall, I think this is a good dish for a gathering or picnic. The sweet peas balance out the saltiness of the chunks of cheese, and the addition of honey mustard is a nice twist to a traditional mayonnaise based pasta salad.


Shell Pasta Salad with Peas and Cheese
from Pillsbury.com

serves 8-10

For the Salad:
  • 8 oz. (2 cup) uncooked small shell pasta
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 6 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, cubed (1 1/2 cups)
For the Dressing:
  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sweet honey mustard
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on your seasoning preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley.
Directions:
  • Cook pasta in a post of boiling salted water to al dente as directed on the package, adding peas during last 3 minutes of cooking time. Drain and rinse with cool water. (Usually I do not like to rinse my pasta, but it does get rather sticky when it cools if you do not rinse it.)
  • In medium bowl, combine cooked pasta and peas, and all remaining salad ingredients.
  • In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; blend well. Add to salad and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TWD: Cinnamon Squares



This week's Tuesdays with Dorie is from Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures. She chose for us to bake the Cinnamon Squares from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe can be found here. I was excited to try these. The recipe is extremely easy to put together, and I really like the combination of chocolate and cinnamon. Usually I make quite few substitutions to these recipes to put my own spin on them, but this one I kept simple. The only think I changed was substitute skim milk for the whole milk because that is all I had on hand. I figured it wouldn't make much of a difference given all the butter that was in the recipe. The whole house filled up with the smell of cinnamon. The cake took about 50 minutes to bake.

I halved the recipe for the icing and only spread a thin layer of it over the cake, because I didn't want the cake to be too sweet or the chocolate to be the dominating flavor. I think this cake tasted great. I might reduce some of the sugar in the batter next time because it still was rather sweet, but not too bad. This cake goes great with coffee or milk. Another great recipe from Dorie! Be sure to check out the blogroll to see what other bloggers did.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Crab Salad in Phyllo Cups


For my cousin's bridal shower, I decided to make a simple crab salad. To dress it up a bit, I served it in these miniature phyllo cups. I used a mixture of real crab meat and imitation crab meat, just because real crab meat is so expensive where I am from. This was easy to put together, and was a big hit at the party.


Crab Salad in Phyllo Dough Tartlettes
makes about 65-70 appetizers

Ingredients
  • 8 oz crab meat (I used back fin meat)
  • 16 oz imitation crab meat, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 stalk of celery, minced
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons (or more if you like) Old Bay Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • Approximately 70 miniature phyllo dough cups

Directions
  • In one bowl, combine the crab meat and the imitation crab meat.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, celery, green onions, lemon juice, milk, Old Bay, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce over the crab meat, and gently mix. Try and fold the sauce into the crab meat as to not break up the pieces of crab meat. Overmixing can result in a "pasty" salad.
  • Spoon the salad into the phyllo cups and serve immediately. I probably fit about 2 teaspoons into each cup.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

TWD: Fresh Mango Bread




This week's Tuesdays with Dorie is from Kelly of Baking with the Boys . She chose for us to bake the Fresh Mango Bread from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe can be found here. I have never been a huge fan of mangoes. Either I get one, and it's not ripe enough and too sour, or it just seems to have an "off" flavor for me. Nevertheless, I still keep tasting them, hoping that one day I will find that "magic" mango that will turn things around for me. So I was excited to try the Fresh Mango Bread. It's a pretty simple recipe, you don't even have to use a mixer, just a whisk and a wooden spoon. The dough is a little thick, but it eventually came together.

I made a few substitutions/alterations to the original recipe.
  • I decreased the amount of white sugar from 1 cup to 1/2 cup. It just seemed like too much for me, and it would make the bread too sweet.
  • I decreased the amount of ginger from 1 1/2 teaspoons to 1 teaspoon.
  • I didn't have any golden raisins so I chopped up 1/2 cup of dried apricots and used them instead.
  • I didn't use one loaf pan, I used 4 mini-loaf pans.
  • I used the leftover lime zest and lime juice and made a glaze with powdered sugar to spread over the bread.
  • Since I used mini-loaf pans, I decreased the baking time to 40 minutes.
The bread was really tasty. The bread was sweet and the apricots went well with the mangos, which have a really nice flavor when baked in the bread. The glaze was a great addition. The tartness of the glaze balanced out the sweetness of the bread. The Black and White Banana Loaf is still my favorite quick bread we have made so far though, but if I had some mangoes on hand, I would definitely make it again. Be sure the check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll to see what other members did with their recipes.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Orange Creamsicle Cake




For Mother's Day, my mom requested that I make a cake that tasted similar to one she gets at a local BBQ restaurant. It tastes similar to a Creamsicle, basically an orange and vanilla cake. These cakes have also been called poke cakes, or Jello cakes, or refrigerator cakes. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, and it seemed like a good choice. I made a few changes, because it seemed that the cake might be too sweet with some of the components. Fortunately, the cake turned out really well, and was a big hit on Mother's Day. It looked great with the streaks of orange running through the cake.

Orange Creamsicle Cake
serves 12
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages orange flavored gelatin mix, divided
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, water and oil. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Using a meat fork or large skewer, poke holes in cake. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, dissolve one package of gelatin in boiling water. Stir in cold water. Slowly pour over cake. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, vanilla, pudding mix and remaining gelatin; beat on low for 2 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes; fold in whipped topping. Frost cake. Refrigerate leftovers.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lemon and Blueberry Upside-down Cake



Happy Easter everyone! Last year I made this Lemon and Blueberry Upside-down Cake from Bon Appetit magazine. It was such a hit, that it was requested that I make it again this year. It really is a fantastic cake. The lemons and blueberries go well together, and I love anything that has almond paste in the recipe. I reduced the amount of butter and sugar in the topping because last year, it ran all over the place, and I had to mop some of it up with paper towels. I also upped the amount of lemon zest called for in the recipe to give it a more lemony flavor. This is one of my favorites!

Lemon and Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

8 servings

Bon Appétit | April 2006


Blueberry topping

  • 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Lemon-almond butter cake
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces almond paste (scant 1/2 cup), broken into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  • Whipped Cream (optional)

For blueberry topping:


Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine brown sugar and butter in 8-inch-diameter cake pan (I used a cast iron skillet) with 2-inch-high sides (preferably nonstick). Place cake pan over medium heat and whisk constantly until butter and sugar melt and mixture is smooth and bubbling. Using pot holders, remove pan from heat; cool 15 minutes. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Combine almond paste, sugar, and lemon peel in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until almond paste is broken into very small pieces, about 1 minute. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until mixture is smooth and scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well and scraping sides of bowl after each addition. Add flour mixture and beat just until batter is smooth. Spoon batter in dollops over blueberries in pan; spread evenly with offset spatula to smooth.

Bake cake until deep golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 43 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 1 minute. Run small knife around cake to loosen. Place large platter atop pan. Using oven mitts or potholders and using both hands, hold platter and cake pan firmly together and invert; shake gently, allowing cake to settle on platter. Cool at least 20 minutes.

Garnish cake with lemon slices and lemon peel curls, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature with additional blueberries and Lemon Whipped Cream.


For lemon-almond butter cake:

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Combine almond paste, sugar, and lemon peel in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until almond paste is broken into very small pieces, about 1 minute. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until mixture is smooth and scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well and scraping sides of bowl after each addition. Add flour mixture and beat just until batter is smooth. Spoon batter in dollops over blueberries in pan; spread evenly with offset spatula to smooth.

Bake cake until deep golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 43 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 1 minute. Run small knife around cake to loosen. Place large platter atop pan. Using oven mitts or potholders and using both hands, hold platter and cake pan firmly together and invert; shake gently, allowing cake to settle on platter. Cool at least 20 minutes.

Garnish cake with lemon slices and lemon peel curls, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature with Whipped Cream.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

TWD: Blueberry Crumb Cake



This week's Tuesdays with Dorie is from Sihan of Befuddlement. She chose for us to bake the Blueberry Crumb Cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe can be found here. It's a simple cake to put together. I made a few substitutions, first, I used plain nonfat yogurt instead of buttermilk because I had that on hand. I substituted one of the cups of flour in the cake with whole wheat pastry flour. Also, I used cinnamon almonds in the crumb mixture instead of walnuts.

I really liked this one. The crumb topping forms a nice crust on top of the cake, and the cake underneath is light and moist. The cake is chock full of berries, and I bet that it will taste even better tomorrow. I will definitely make this again. I think that this cake would also taste great with cranberries, huckleberries, or cherries.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Easy Roasted Potatoes



This is one of my favorite side dishes. It is extremely simple, and it tastes great. Any potato would probably work in this recipe, but I like to use fingerling or small new potatoes. They are not as starchy as other types of potatoes and remain creamy on the inside while the outside develops a crispy crust. I am just posting the simple base recipe for roasted potatoes, but you can also mix things up by adding smoked paprika, parmesan cheese, or herbs such as rosemary and thyme. They are all wonderful variations on a great dish.


Easy Roasted Potatoes
serves 3-4

  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet and scatter the garlic cloves amongst them. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to evenly coat every piece with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread the potatoes back out into a single layer. Place the potatoes in the oven and roast until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside, but give easily on the inside when pierced with a fork, about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.