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.