Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
We will be moving to a hotel in a couple of days and then we will be flying to Phoenix on September 7. We are going to visit family and take a trip to Disneyland before finally heading to El Paso, Texas - our new home for at least 2 years. I am not ready to say goodbye to Germany after 7 years, but it is getting closer to that time. YIKES!
Anyway.... I saw this recipe on Nancy's blog, The Dogs Eat The Crumbs, and knew that I would have to make it ASAP. It was so good and we all loved it. I will definately be making it again soon!
Baked Penne with Zucchini, Corn, and Basil
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 lb. penne
6 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
Kernels cut from 2 ears of corn
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 zucchini, about 2 lb. total, cut into half-moons
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Tbs. sliced garlic
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Preheat an oven to 400ºF.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold running water. Set aside. In a 12-inch nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the corn, season with salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
Return the pan to medium-high heat and warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Working in batches, add the zucchini, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add to the bowl with the corn. Repeat with the remaining zucchini, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Set the pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, 1 tsp. salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced and the sauce is fairly thick, about 3 minutes more.
Add the pasta, tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano to the bowl with the vegetables and stir to combine. Transfer to the fry pan and sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I love making muffins for breakfast, so I was excited about this weeks SMS recipe choice. I can't say that I've ever had a peach muffin, but I really enjoyed it. These muffins were fluffy and incredibly delicious!
Thanks to JoVann of The Givens Chronicles for picking a winner! The recipe can be found at her blog.
Friday, August 28, 2009
2 TBSP basil
Make a paste out of spices and 1/4 cup olive oil. Spread on chicken. Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in skillet and cook chicken until juices run clear.
Baked Lemon Spaghetti
8 oz spaghetti
Cook spaghetti to al dente. Drain and place in 2 qt casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Melt butter in saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in sour cream, zest, and lemon juice. Mix well. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with parsley, parmesan, salt, and pepper.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I am always on the lookout for more Asian style meals and when I saw that Katy had posted this on her blog, Food for a Hungry Soul, I was excited. This was easy to make and oh so delicious! I have never had Mongolian Beef before, but Nathan said this is how it was supposed to taste. It was so good that Nathan and I ate the leftovers cold from the fridge just an hour and a half after dinner. I can't wait to make it again!
P. F. Chang's® Mongolian Beef
Recipe from Meemo's Kitchen
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 pound flank steak (to make slicing easier, put the beef in the freezer for 30-45 minutes to freeze slightly)
1/4 cup cornstarch
4-6 large green onions
For the sauce:
Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add ginger and garlic to the pan. Quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches. If your oil is too hot, this may splatter, so be careful. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then bring the heat up to medium heat and allow the sauce to boil for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
Slice the slightly frozen flank steak against the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts.
Coat the steak pieces with a very thin coating of the cornstarch on both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
Heat one cup of oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat until it's hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. Stir the meat so that it cooks evenly. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon or a spider to take the meat out and onto paper towels.
Pour the oil out of the wok or skillet. Put the pan back over the heat, add the meat back into the wok or skillet and simmer for one minute. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring. Add the green onions. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate. Leave the excess sauce behind in the pan.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful
of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos
Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite
Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.
A Dobos Torta is a five layer sponge cake filled with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel. The Dobos Torta can vary in the number of layers, too. If you check out the Daring Baker blogroll, I'm sure you'll see an amazing variety.
I ended up baking the cake in an 8x8 pan and then cutting that into 9 squares. I then cut each square in half and made three 6 layer tortes. I decided against making the caramel for the top layer of the cake. Instead, I used caramel sauce I had in the fridge. It made things much easier, plus I needed to use the caramel sauce before we move!
The cake was good, but it didn't stand out for me. I think the appeal of this cake comes from the layers and the fact that it looks pretty when sliced. (Nathan said it looks like a Kit-Kat cake!)There was nothing bad about the cake, but also nothing spectacular. Who knows, maybe spreading the top layer with caramel would've made a difference, but I don't think it could possibly make that big of a difference.
As always, check out the DB Blogroll! :)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite meats to serve for dinner. I have been making this recipe for almost two years now, and I love using the tenderloin this way. I usually serve a crusty baguette on the side and it makes for a perfect dinner.
Tuscan Pork Stew
2 TBSP olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp rosemary
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrot slices
½ cup chicken broth
2 cans (15-19 oz) Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) Italian style diced tomatoes
1.25 lbs pork tenderloin, sliced
In saucepan, heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and rosemary. Cover and cook until onion is tender. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more. Stir in carrots through tomatoes; cook until tender. Remove 1 cup bean mixture and puree until smooth. Add back to saucepan. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Add pork and cook. Serve bean mixture over sliced pork.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
This isn't really a recipe, but it was good! I am still trying to incorporate more fish into our meal plan and this was a great way to trick myself into eating fish. I grilled the tilapia on the stove, then broke it up and mixed in a packet of taco seasoning. I could barely tell it was fish, so that was a big positive for me! Of course, if you actually like fish, you could use a stronger fish for these tacos, but the tilapia worked for me!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
This bread took a little longer than normal to mix up because of the apples. This banana bread is filled with apples that have been cooked in butter and brown sugar. You know, extra sugar and butter is only going to make something better. ;)
I loved the apples in this bread, and the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves were nice. It had a little more spice than most banana breads I've had, but I actually really enjoyed it.
Thanks to Joy of Hot Oven, Warm Heart for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Mmmmm... pancakes! One of my favorite breakfasts! I'm sure no one is really surprised that I like pancakes, though. I much prefer sweets for breakfast than anything else. Don't get me wrong, I like savory breakfasts, too, but show me a scone, muffin, waffle, or pancake and I will come running! :)
These pancakes were fantastic! I loved the texture the oats provided and the cinnamon flavor was wonderful. Another hit for Everday Food!
Cinnamon Oat Pancakes
2 cups flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a food processor, combine flour through cinnamon plus 1 cup of oats. Puls to coarsely grind oats. In a large bowl, mix together milk, eggs, and oil. Add in dry ingredients plus remaining 1 cup of oats. Whisk just until moistened.
Cook on hot griddle. Serve with butter and maple syrup or topped with bananas and powdered sugar.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
2 cups grated raw carrot (about 2-3 peeled carrots)
1 large apple, peeled and grated
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup coconut (divided)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
It is kind of crazy to me how many recipes I end up making from Everday Food and even crazier how every single one of them turns out great. I received a subscription last year for my birthday and I know I will be renewing it when the time comes. I am so happy when I find a recipes that not only sound great, but turn out great, too.
This soup is one of those recipes. We loved it and will make it again and again. Enjoy!
Tortilla Soup with Black Beans
1 TBSP olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 package (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
1 cup water
Salt and pepper
1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus more for serving
1 TBSP fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Cook garlic and chili powder for 1 minute. Add tomatoes through water; season with salt and pepper.
Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Add tortilla chips and cook until softened; about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
Serve soup with lime wedges and additional tortilla chips.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I love my crockpot. Nothing is easier than throwing dinner in first thing in the morning and having it ready for you in the evening. Plus, there is the added bonus that your house gets to smell yummy all day! This meal was so good (even though I forgot the sesame seeds and lime) and I will definately make it again. You could also add some red pepper flakes (as Nathan did) for some added kick.
Crockpot Indonesian Peanut Butter Chicken
Recipe from Crockpot 365
Enough chicken parts to feed a family of 4 (I used boneless skinless tenders)
2 T soy sauce
2chopped cloves of garlic
1 1/2 t sesame oil
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 t ground ginger
garnish with sesame seeds and lime wedges; optional
Put the peanut butter into your crockpot and turn it to high so it can begin to melt. Add the other sauce ingredients and stir to mix. Add chicken; toss to coat.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5. This is done when the chicken is cooked through and has reached desired tenderness.
If your crockpot isn't at least 2/3 full, keep an eye on it so the peanut butter doesn't burn. You may need to stir a few times.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Nathan's favorite cookie is White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies. When I saw these bars on Lori's blog, I knew I had to try them. They were so easy to throw together considering you mix it up in one pan. The recipe says to use an electric mixer, but I did it all by hand and the bars turned out great. They tasted great, too! If you are ever in the mood for a white chocolate/macadamia nut combo and don't want to take the time to make cookies, give these a try. You'll be glad you did!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
The Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe choice this week was Hazelnut Truffles. They were very easy to make. Just melt chocolate, add cream and ground hazelnuts, refrigerate, and form into balls. Not time consuming, not difficult. I LOVE recipes like this!
The only problem for me came from eating them. They are good, but way too rich for my liking. Which is weird, because I would definately consider myself a chocoholic. Plus, Nutella is my favorite food in the entire world, so I thought a Hazelnut Truffle would be right up my alley.
Oh well... not every recipe can be a favorite. But, if you are in the mood for amazingly yummy, rich chocolate, make these.
Thanks to Annie of Living Life Foodcariously for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I mentioned on my blogiversary that I joined another baking group and I am thrilled that today is the post date for the inaugural month of the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club. The group was started by none other than the cupcake queen herself... Betty of Eat My Cupcake.
The first recipe chosen was Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes. I can't say that I was super thrilled about the choice. Something you may not know about me is that caramel is my arch nemesis in the kitchen. I LOVE caramel. Any way you make it, I want it. But, I always have a problem making it. It never quite turns out the way it is meant to. I don't know what I am doing wrong, but I seriously suck at making caramel!
This time I thought would be different. I stayed by the caramels side just waiting for it to reach the right temperature. It was getting close, so I walked away to get the cream. Man, those last 10 degrees went fast, because in the time it took me to grab the cream, the caramel was hotter than it needed to be. It still tasted wonderful and was great, but once I filled the cupcakes with it, it kind of turned into a Rolo like candy. That's not a bad thing, but I was hoping for runnier caramel.
Overall, it was a great cupcake, though. The cake itself was delicious, the frosting was yummy, and the salt added a whole different dimension. We really enjoyed these cupcakes!
Thanks, Betty, for starting this fun group! Can't wait to see what we bake up next month!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Have you ever sat down and tried to write up 15+ posts in one day? It's kind of crazy. I have a hard time thinking of what to write for one post most of the time, let alone multiple posts. I am definately a better cook/baker than I am a writer!
But, I am way backed up on posts and my draft folder is overflowing. If I wait until after the move to get these posts up, I may forget what is what. So, here I am, trying to get as many drafts scheduled for posting as I can.
What does that mean for you? A lot of yummy recipes with VERY minimal writing. I hope you can forgive me! ;)
These scones were fantastic and I loved the bits of apple in them. So moist and yummy. Granted, I have yet to meet a scone that I didn't like!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Let me start off by telling you how yummy these teeny, tiny brownies are. They are SO delicious! They are so good, in fact, that I had to make two batches back to back because the first one was inhaled so quickly that I didn't have time to dip them in white chocolate or take photos. Seriously, I think the entire recipe was gone in about 1 hour. The second batch lasted long enough for dipping and a quick photo, but then were gone relatively quickly after that.
Since we had them both ways, I can tell you that they are excellent with or without the white chocolate. The hint of orange in the brownies is amazing, not overpowering at all. Plus, these brownies can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and the baking time in minimal since they are so small. Give them a shot... I'd be willing to bet you will enjoy them!
Thanks to Jayma of Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen for hosting this week. We loved these!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Parents Magazine May 2009
4 Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
4 slices White Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
4 baby spinach leaves
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Raspberry vinaigrette, for dipping
Flatten chicken breast halves to 1/4-1/2" thickness. Cut in half crosswise so that you have 4 pieces and season with salt and pepper.
Spray grill pan with cooking spray and grill roll halves, cut side down, for 1-2 minutes, until toasted; set aside. Add chicken and cook for 8-10 minutes.
Assemble rolls with chicken, slice of cheese, and spinach. Top with cucumber and serve with vinaigrette.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I almost completely forgot that it's Tuesday! It's only 10:30 AM, so it's not too bad, but still. :) I was sitting here clearing out my Google reader when I saw TWD posts. Oops! And to make matters worse, I COMPLETELY forgot to take a picture. I gave the loaf to a friend and I am just now realizing that I didn't take a picture. This is not my day, is it?
At least I baked it, though. To be honest, I have finished all my TWD and SMS recipes for the month because my kitchen is being packed up on Monday. So, now to write up these posts so I don't lose track of days!
I cut this recipe in half and baked it in a loaf pan. It was incredibly moist and very banana-y. Everyone who ate it enjoyed it, so that is a good thing.
Make sure you check out the TWD blogroll to see pictures of this yummy cake and you can find the recipe at Mary's fantastic blog, The Food Librarian.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Just a quick post to announce the winner of the Tastebook giveaway. The winner is Tina who said "Sounds like fun! Hope to make one even if I don't win. Love the blog and have used several of the recipes in our house." Tina, I hope you have fun creating your Tastebook! I just need your email address so that I can get your gift certificate sent.
Thanks again for everyone who entered and thanks for all the wonderful support!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
This weeks Sweet Melissa Sunday recipe was Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies. You can't go wrong with a peanut butter cookie!
These cookies were chewy and oh so delicious. Great peanut butter flavor and they had the classic criss-cross pattern on top. They looked like the perfect peanut butter cookie. I also added chocolate chunks to half of the dough because I just couldn't resist the PB&Chocolate combination.
I accidentally deleted the plain cookies from my memory card (OOPS!). All I have is the chocolate version, which isn't so bad to look at.
Thanks to Stephanie of Ice Cream Before Dinner for choosing this winner!
On a side note, you have until midnight EST to enter my giveaway! Leave a comment HERE to enter. :)