Archive for August, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie – Chocolate Banded Ice Cream Torte

August 27, 2008

No TWD for me this week. I still don’t own a springform pan and couldn’t imagine trying to fit yet another pan in my already overflowing kitchen.

To see the recipe, visit Amy at Food, Family, and Fun.


Tuesdays with Dorie – Granola Grabbers

August 19, 2008

Cookies!! Tuesdays with Dorie finally got to make cookies this week! Woo! Thanks to Michelle of Bad Girl Baking for picking this fabulous recipe.

Okay, so the recipe calls for store bought granola. I am:

  • Not a fan of store bought granola.
  • Too cheap to buy granola.
  • Too lazy to go to the store just for granola.

So I used regular ol’ fashioned oats. I can’t offer a comparision since I haven’t tried these cookies with granola, but the oats turned out GREAT. I also used a mix of dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries since I’m not a fan of raisins. Oh, and I left out peanuts since we have a toddler who hasn’t been introduced to peanuts yet. Like I said, these were awesome. Even my husband, who is SO not a granola type, loved them. I made these a couple weeks ago and he’s already asked me to make them again!

To get the recipe, visit Michelle or go buy Dorie’s book!

Blueberry Rhubarb Muffins.

August 19, 2008

Remember that rhubarb kick I was on? Well, I made these blueberry rhubarb muffins during that time and then forgot about them until I was looking through my photos.

The original recipe came from Taste of Home and called for strawberries, not blueberries. But me, the girl who always have blueberries in the freezer, threw those in instead. The recipe also called for a nut topping but I just sprinkled some brown sugar on top and called it a day.

They turned out great. I love that rhubarb almost melts into baked good. And I was really shocked at how well the blueberries and rhubarb worked together. The brown sugar on top became crunchy and delicious. Yum!

Blueberry Rhubarb Muffins
adapted from: Taste of Home

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup diced rhubarb

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold butter

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries and rhubarb. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Chipotle Chicken Burrito.

August 17, 2008

The original recipe, in Food & Wine, is called Lucinda’s Chipotle Chicken Burrito but since I don’t really know Lucinda I’m not calling it that. But whoever Lucinda is, she really knows her burritos.

These were the most involved burritos ever. Normally when we do burritos, my husband is in charge and he just browns up some ground beef with taco seasoning and calls it a day. I felt like I was in the kitchen for hours making these. But you know what? They were worth it.

The chipotle didn’t add a lot of spice, mainly just smoke. But it totally made the burritos. Without it, they would have been boring.

Chipotle Chicken Burrito
from: Food & Wine magazine

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 medium onion, quartered, plus 1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice 3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 large chipotle in adobo, stemmed, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons canned chopped green chiles, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons water
Four 12-inch flour tortillas, warmed
6 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
One 15-ounce can black beans—drained, rinsed and patted dry
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup prepared pico de gallo salsa
1 small Hass avocado—halved, peeled and cut lengthwise into 12 slices

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken thighs, quartered onion, garlic and bay leaves. Add enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is fork tender, 1 hour. Remove the chicken and shred it into bite-size pieces. Transfer the chicken to a medium bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil. Add the diced onion and brown sugar and cook over moderately high heat until the onion is golden brown, 10 minutes. Add the chipotle, adobo sauce and tomatoes and simmer over moderately low heat until thickened, 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over the shredded chicken and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a blender, combine the sour cream with the green chiles and water and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle the tortillas owith the cheese. Spoon the chicken mixture down the center of the tortillas. Top the chicken with the black beans, lettuce, salsa, avocado and green-chile sour cream. Bring the sides of the tortillas toward the center of the filling. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the filling and continue to roll until the burrito closes. Serve immediately.

Crockpot Falafel.

August 17, 2008

Oh yes, another crockpot meal. And once again, the recipe comes from A Year of Crockpotting.

I must admit that I had my doubt about this recipe. Wouldn’t the falafel become mushy sitting in an oily crockpot all day? Nope, not at all. They became crisp on the outside, even on top, just like falafel you’d get at a restaurant.

The kid and I loved these. Husband, not so much. He had never had falafel before these and he just thought they were plain weird. That’s fine though. More for me. I always do meatless lunches when the husband is working so these are going into my regular rotation.

A little advice though: DON’T try to flip them. Like I said, I doubted they would brown so I attempted to flip one of them and it fell apart completely. Just trust me when I say that it will become brown.

Crockpot Falafel
from: A Year of Crockpotting

1 15oz can garbanzo beans
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
1 egg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs 
2 T olive oil
Drain garbanzo beans. Dump them into a mixing bowl and smash them with a fork. Set aside.
Get out your blender or food processor. Blend together all of the spices, the onion, the garlic, the egg, and the lemon juice.
Pour on top of your smashed garbanzo beans. Use your fork to mix together, and add the breadcrumbs slowly until the mixture is wet and sticky but can be formed into balls nicely. I needed 3/4 of a cup of breadcrumbs.
Pour 2 T of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert.
Form squished golf-ball sized patties of falafel. Dip each side into the olive oil and then nestle into your crockpot. It’s okay if they overlap or are on top of each other.
Cook on high for 2-5 hours. Ours cooked on high for 3.5 hours–you will know that the falafels are done when they turn brownish-golden. You can flip them halfway through the cooking time if you feel like it, but they will brown on top even without flipping.

Beer Braised Beef.

August 15, 2008

Continuing in my quest to find good crockpot meals… we had beer braised beef recently. I threw this together with things I had in the fridge and it turned out really well. Although, I’m not sure you can call it braised since it was made in the crockpot. I’m doing it anyway. So there. 😉

Can I talk about my love of stew meat? I know it’s not the best cut of meat but it’s just so easy. Plus, if you cook it in the crockpot it becomes amazingly tender and pretty much falls apart. Mmm. That’s what I used in this recipe and I can almost guarantee I have some in the freezer at all times. It doesn’t get any simpler than the stew meat.

But like I said, this turned out much better than I expected. I served it over rice and the juice made the rice delicious. I’m so glad that I wrote this down as I was going because I definitely want to make it again sometime.

Crockpot Beer Braised Beef

2 strips of bacon
1 pound stew meat
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Place bacon on a cooling rack and then on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool slightly and crumble.

Place stew meat and crumbled bacon in crockpot. Put onion, garlic, beer, soy sauce, Worchestershire, and thyme on top of meat crockpot. Stir to combine. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Serve over rice or pasta.

Yogurt Pops.

August 14, 2008

If there’s one thing my child inherited from his dad, it’s a love of ice cream. My husband has been known to go through an entire carton of ice cream in 24 hours. And given the chance, I’m sure the kid would do it too. So this week I decided to try making some healthy popsicles for the two of them.

This was my first try and they turned out great. The kid LOVES them. And I don’t feel guilty giving it to him since it’s just yogurt and banana.

Yogurt Pops

1 small container any flavor yogurt (I used mixed berry for these)
1 banana, diced
squirt of lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in blended. Once the mixture is smooth, fill 4 popsicle molds 3/4 of the way up. Freeze completely.

If you have trouble removing the popsicles from the mold, allow the mold to sit in a bowl of hot weather for just a few seconds.

Caramel Banana Cupcakes.

August 13, 2008

Today my husband is having some of his buddies over for a “OMG-I-haven’t-see-you-in-so-long” get together. We used to host a lot of parties but we’ve been so busy lately that our friends have gotten neglected. In preparation for this party, I decided to make some cupcakes.

This recipe actually comes from Rachael Ray’s magazine. I buy her magazine almost every month because it’s fun to read. I hardly ever try her recipes though because they’re just… umm, weird. However, since Rachael constantly reminds us on her shows that she’s not a baker I figured someone else came up with this recipe. I must be right because these are fabulous cupcakes.

The recipe in the magazine calls for a buttercream but I went with cream cheese because buttercream is not my friend.

Caramel Banana Cupcakes
adapted from: Everyday with Rachael Ray

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3 large egg whites
5.5 ounces bag soft caramels
1 cup powdered sugar
1 block cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Line 18 cups of 2 standard 12-cup muffin pans with baking liners. In a large bowl, beat 1 stick butter with 1 cup sugar until fluffy.  Add 3/4 cup bananas, the baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Beat until smooth. Still in 1 cup flour. Mix in 6 tablespoons milk and the remaining 3/4 cup flour until smooth.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually mix in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar at high speed until stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain.

Spoon the batter into the prepated muffin pans, filling each 3/4 of the way. Cut 9 caramels in half and submerge half a piece into each muffin cup of batter. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook the remaining caramels, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup banana, and 1/4 teaspoon salt over medium heat, stirring, until the caramels are melted.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Add in caramel mixture. Add the powdered sugar slowly until comletely mixed in. Refrigerate until cool. Spread on cupcakes.

Tuesdays with Dorie – Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

August 13, 2008

It’s time for Tuesdays with Dorie time again!

This week Dolores of Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity chose Dorie‘s blueberry sour cream ice cream. I got my ice cream maker back in June and ever since then I’ve been hoping that someone would choose this recipe. It sounded amazing.

It ended up being the prettiest ice cream I’ve ever seen. Just look at that color! You can’t buy ice cream that looks like that. The taste, however, was a little disappointing. The sour cream was too much. It overpowered the blueberries and that’s not cool. My husband described it as weird but he ate it anyway, so I guess it wasn’t all that bad.

If you’d like the recipe, check out Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity and be sure you visit the blogroll.

Corniest Corn Muffins.

August 12, 2008

I don’t think it’s any surprise when I say that Dorie’s book has become my go-to when it comes to baking. Whenever I get the urge to bake something, it’s the first book I flip through. Even though I probably shouldn’t since TWD will eventually bake all the recipes. Oh well, Dorie’s recipes are worth baking twice.

Recently I wanted cornbread, and you guessed it, I turned to Dorie for help. I made Dorie’s corn and pepper muffins not long ago and we loved them so I had hopes for these. Ehh. I guess they’re good for basic cornbread but nothing amazing. I had a problem with them being too dry just like my corn and pepper muffins so I’m not sure what’s going on there. Maybe it has to do with the crazy Alabama weather? Who knows.

These are good muffins, but I’ll add a few things next time. Maybe some cheese. Mmm. That would be heavenly.

Corniest Corn Muffins
from: Baking: From My Home to Yours

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
6 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons corn oil
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup corn kernels (add up to 1/3 cup more if you’d like), fresh, frozen or canned (in which case they should be drained and patted dry)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter or spray the 12 muffin molds in a regular-size muffin tin, or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.

Working in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a large glass measuring cup with a spout or in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg and yolk. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – the batter will be lumpy and that’s just the way it should be. Stir in the corn kernels. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.

Slide the pan into the oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Pull the pan from the oven and carefully lift each muffin out of its mold and onto a rack to cool.