Thursday, March 24, 2011

CEiMB: Blueberry Coffee Cake

This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe was picked by Bri of Yoshi vs. Motherhood.  She chose for us to make Ellie's Blueberry Coffee Cake.  The recipe can be found on the Food Network's website.  Ellie made this recipe healthier by swapping out some of the butter with canola oil and using non-fat yogurt to make the cake very moist.  I used vanilla non-fat yogurt and sliced almonds in place of the walnuts.  I really liked the mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and almonds that are both layered in the middle of the cake and sprinkled on top.  It made the whole house smell like cinnamon toast when it was baking.

I liked this coffee cake, it wasn't overly sweet and the cinnamon sugar on top gave it a crisp crunch.  It definitely tastes healthier (i.e. not rich and buttery), but it still is very moist and tasty.  I enjoyed it very much and I think it would also go well with other berries as well as apples and pears or stone fruits such as peaches and plums.  Bri also mentioned that it will last quite a bit of time after baking (up to 5 days) and it tastes best when reheated for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave.  Thanks Bri for a good pick, and be sure to check out the blogroll to see what others did with their recipes.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Nutella Rice Krispies Treats

I love Nutella.  For those who don't know, it is basically smooth hazelnut butter with cocoa added to it.  It is delectable, and when I saw this recipe for Nutella Rice Krispie Treats over at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy, I knew I had to make them. 

This bars are very easy to make, just like the original Rice Krispies Treats, but with the addition of Nutella.  It makes the bars a bit richer, a bit chewier, and ultimately more delicious. 

Keep in mind, when you add the Nutella to the melted marshmallows and melted butter, it makes the marshmallows harder to stir than the typical recipe, and you need to make sure the Nutella is incorporated into the marshmallows before you add the Rice Krispies.  Also, the original recipe calls for you to use a 9 x13-inch pan, but I like my Rice Krispies Treats to be thick, so I use an 8 x 8-inch pan, and I just cut smaller squares than I would when using a 9 x 13-inch pan.  This results in a denser, chewier treat, but you can use either pan you like.

Nutella Rice Krispies Treats

Makes one 9 x 13 or one 8 x 8 inch pan

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 package (10 oz.) regular marshmallows 
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal 
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Stir in Nutella until fully incorporated. 
  • Add cereal. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until they are well coated with the Nutella/marshmallow mixture.  It helps to spray a little nonstick cooking spray on the spoon to keep it from sticking.
  • Using a sheet of wax paper, evenly press mixture into a 13 x 9-inch or 8 x 8-inch pan.  (I just coated my fingers with a little non-stick spray and used them to press down the treats.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Salmon Piccata with Roasted Broccoli

I wanted to post this recipe earlier, but a trip to beautiful Banff, Alberta (see pictures below), and an unexpected surgery prevented me from doing that.  This recipe is one of my favorite, and although I usually use it with chicken, which is what the original recipe calls for, I made it with salmon this time, and it is equally, if not more delicious.  

This is a basic recipe for Salmon Picatta in which salmon fillets are dredged in flour, then sauteed in butter and olive oil on the stove top until crisp and golden brown.  A sauce is then made in the same pan with broth, lemon juice, capers and parsley.  I love capers, anytime I see a recipe with them in it, I always take notice.  I recommend this recipe with salmon or chicken, whichever you prefer.  I then served the salmon with lemon chive fettuccine and roasted broccoli.  I also included the recipe for the roasted broccoli with the recipe for the Salmon Picatta.

Salmon Piccata

  • 4 Salmon (about 4-5 oz each) fillets, skin on
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge salmon in flour and shake off excess.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the salmon, skin side down, to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes. When salmon is browned, flip and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily for a fork. Remove and transfer to plate. 

Into the pan add the lemon juice, chicken stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the salmon to the pan (skin side up) and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove salmon to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously, add the parsley and whisk into sauce. Pour sauce over salmon and serve with lemon wedges and roasted broccoli (see recipe below)

Roasted Broccoli

  • 4-6 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees,  spread broccoli florets onto a non-stick baking pan.  Drizzle the olive oil over the broccoli and toss the florets in the olive oil.  Spread the broccoli back into an even layer on the baking sheet.  Season with salt and crushed red pepper (depending on your spice tolerance you may want to only use a pinch or so, it is up to you).

Roast the broccoli in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the broccoli is tender with crispy brown edges.  About halfway through, toss the broccoli with a spatula and again spread back out onto an even layer on the baking sheet.  This is to prevent over or uneven browning as well as to prevent the broccoli from sticking to the pan. Serve along side the salmon.

This is a great technique that works with so many different vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, brussels sprouts, the list is endless.