Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Granola Girl

I have never loved granola, but again, I have never made my own... until today.

4 cups of rolled oats (not instant, this newbie assumes)
1 cup of coconut flakes
1/2 cup almonds - sliced, chopped, whole - whatever you have
1/2 cup cashews
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
in smaller bowl, combine first:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

mix all ingredients together, spread out on baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
Bake at 375, stirring every 8-10 minutes. Bake 25 minutes total.

once completely cooled, stir in
2 cups of dried fruit.
I used dried blueberries, cranberries, figs and mangoes.
use what you like.

I am now a granola girl.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Petite Lasagnas

Petite Lasagnas

Can you tell that I have a new cupcake pan I've been dying to use? Its silicone! Inspiring enough for even me, the silent sister in this blog duo, to write about it.

I made these lasagnas for Jake tonight. He really liked them. The great thing about these is that it only took me 15 minutes to throw together and can be doubled, tripled, halved, and changed like crazy.

I made six lasagnas using the following recipe:
1/4 cup ricotta
1 egg
1 clove garlic
2 tsp basil, divided
1/2 cup pasta sauce
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 white onion, chopped
Shredded mozzarella cheese
12 small round won ton wrappers

In a pan cook the turkey, onion, 1 tsp. basil, salt, pepper, and clove of garlic.
In a bowl mix the ricotta, egg, remaining basil, salt and pepper.
Line cupcake pan with won ton wrappers. Fill with meat, a spoonful of pasta sauce, and a sprinkle of cheese. Top with another won ton wrapper. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the wrapper, top with another spoonful of pasta sauce and another sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

We each ate two and were pretty full. Jake liked that he didn't have to get a sloppy slice out of a pan and I liked that the wrappers tasted just like noodles.

I see this recipe as more of a guideline than directions. It would be fun to fit in another layer, make my own tomato sauce, or try a different shape of wrappers. On an lazy day a canned meat sauce could be used instead of cooking the meat filling. I think I am going to try to adapt this to make a veggie lasagna... It has endless possibilities!

Rainbow Cupcakes

Since it is my spring break I thought I would try out a few recipes. These rainbow cupcakes are on the lighter side of cupcakes, since the recipe doesn't call for eggs or oil. I made these two days ago and just took a picture of the remaining ones.

This recipe is pretty simple:

1 box white cake mix
1 can of clear soda (sprite, ginger ale, anything you can see through. I used sprite)
food coloring

Mix together and divide into several bowls. I spooned out equal parts into 5 bowls. I used food coloring to die each bowl a different color--purple, red, blue, green, and yellow. If you have more colors you want to use then you can divide it up even more. I wish I would have done a bowl of orange batter as well.
Put one spoonful of each color into the cupcake liners. It will look a lot like playdough. I was able to fill 24 cupcake liners ( my spoonfuls were very small).

Bake 15 minutes.
It will still look a lot like playdough.
I frosted mine with rainbow chip. Super fun!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crispy chicken salad

Crispy chicken -- where do you get crispy chicken?

1) I wouldn't say no to a store bought breaded chicken patty
2) breaded chicken fingers
or 3) the homemade route -- take 4 thawed, boneless skinless chicken breasts, dip in melted stick of butter, bread with crushed corn flakes and bake @350 for 45 minutes in a sprayed baking dish.

okay, so you get 2 or three servings of chicken... and continue.

Crispy chicken
1 English cucumber, seeded and sliced finely
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 cup grape tomatoes
3/4 cup crispy french fried onions (just like the kind on green bean casserole)
2 stalks of romaine lettuce, washed and cut to bite size leaves

serve with peppercorn ranch dressing.


Finally, a homemade salad dressing that I would take to a luncheon if given the opportunity.

2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground salt
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp dried oregano

mix ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly combined

add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, whisk in until dressing is thick and yummy.

Salad ideas?

1 bosc pear
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 finely chopped red onion

kalamata olives
feta cheese

stuffed mushrooms

I love stuffed mushrooms, and more than that, I love easy stuffed mushrooms. This particular recipe is vegetarian friendly, no meat means less cooking! (please refer to my previous rant about eggplant) Stuffed Mushrooms are mostly viewed as a hearty, rich appetizer, but these ones are a little lighter and still delicious.

18 mushroom caps (baby bellas {portabellas} are best, but white or button mushrooms are great too)

1 box stuffing mix (I like chicken)- prepared according to package directions
1 small white onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
stems from your mushrooms, chopped to same size.
1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock reserved.

1/2 cup mozzerella cheese, shredded, parmesean would do wonders too.

In a large sautee pan, cook onion, pepper, and mushrooms in the olive oil. Cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or unitl onion is translucent. Mix in stuffing, be sure that your mixture is moist, if not add chicken stock.

spoon 2 tablespoons of stuffing into each mushroom cap, you can cook these in muffin tins, or in a cake pan, or on a half baking sheet, whatever you please.
Top with 1 tsp of cheese.
Bake at 350 for 12 - 15 minutes. Mushrooms should be dark and soft.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

potato pancakes

I really love leftovers, as does the rest of my family. Living with my father, you would never know what to do with the extra leftovers, because they never last more than a day or two. Sometimes, we are presented with difficult leftovers, like mashed potatoes, that just can't be microwaved to their former glory. Enter: Potato Pancakes.

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes.
4 cups shredded hash browns, thawed. (I microwaved them for two minutes in my mixing bowl)
3 eggs
1/2 white onion, grated.
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup canola oil

1 tbsp additional salt

mix together potatoes, onion, eggs, and seasoning. Mix well, it should be fairly soft, but don't be alarmed!

meanwhile.... heat oil in large skillet.

spread bread crumbs and cheese mixture onto large dinner place. Spoon 1/4 cup of potato mixture onto crumbs, and cover completely. Push down lightly to form a patty, and gently lift with spatula into heated oil.

On medium high heat, cook pancakes for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden crust forms. Transfer to plate with paper towels to drain excess oil, sprinkle lightly with salt.

serve hot, some people find the need to add a condiment, I just don't know why, but go ahead, get the ketchup. (or applesauce if you want to be fancy)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Brazilian Lemonade

* 4 brazilian lemons or 4 limes, washed
* 6 cups water
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
* 14 ice cubes, plus more for serving

1. 1 Divide all ingredients half. Cut off ends of each lime and cut each into 8 wedges.
2. 2 Place one half of the ingredients in a blender & blend for 20 seconds - NO LONGER! Strain, to remove peel then pour onto a pitcher.
3. 3 Blend & strain the remaining half of the ingredients & add pitcher.
4. 4 Mix well & serve immediately over ice.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Pancake to end all pancakes

My brother and I once had a conversation about the cakey consistency of some pancakes, and how we both had a distaste for them. Consequently, I have fostered a love for diner pancakes that I have never been able to recreate at home... until today.
This is for you Taylor.

2 cups bisquick
2 cups milk
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon juice
(thanks to the melt-in-your-mouth recipe on the back of the box)
2 tbsp melted butter

Whisk all ingredients together, as little as possible. Over mixed pancake batter is none too happy. Spoon onto a hot griddle (hot? what does that mean? not 400 degrees, but 350. Make sure it is preheated and greased before you spoon your first flapjack, it makes all of the difference)

When to flip - I am only giving this information because I am not gifted at knowing when to flip, and have had ugly pancakes for years. The pancake should bubble and the edges should look dry (not the shiny wet of the batter in the bowl). Flipping too early will cause your pancake to break in half or worse, it will be pale (gasp!)
Be patient, give it at least 60 seconds before you check.

Pancakes really are wonderful things, my Saturday mornings just improved.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Corn Bread

Found this recipe with Grandma, it is light, fluffy, and healthier than other recipes.

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl, whisk the yogurt, egg and oil, and then gently fold into flour mixture.

Transfer into greased 8X8 pan, bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.