Thursday, September 30, 2010

Black Bean Veggie Casserole

Quick, easy, and delicious dinner!

Black Bean Veggie Casserole
Recipe slightly adapted from Keep'n The Faith

1/2 zucchini, diced small
1/2 red bell peppper, diced small
1 can black beans
1 can tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
2 TBSP cilantro
9 corn tortillas (give or take a few; depends on how you layer it)
1 cup grated cheese

Cook vegies in pan for a few minutes. Mix in beans, tomatoes, cumin, and cilantro. Layer tortillas, veggie mixture, and cheese in 8" square pan. Bake at 350 until cheese is bubbly. Serve with sour cream.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nutella and Banana Oatmeal

So I'm pretty sure I could find a use for Nutella in just about anything. Okay, maybe not dinner, but give me some time and I'm sure I could figure it out! :)

This isn't really a recipe so much as a fantastic breakfast idea. Make yourself a bowl of oatmeal and top it with about 1 TBSP of Nutella and some banana slices. You can either eat it by taking a bit of Nutella with each bite or mix it up and enjoy a chocolatey bowl of oatmeal. Come on... you know you want to try it!

Have a great Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TWD: Tarte Fine

Dessert doesn't get much easier than this. 4 ingredients (I skipped the apricot jam glaze)- Puff pastry, apples, egg wash, and a little bit of sugar on top. Bake, eat, enjoy!

Thanks to Leslie of Lethally Delicious for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog or on page 315 of Baking:From My Home To Yours.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Decorated Sugar Cookies

The Daring Bakers were challenged to make and decorate sugar cookies this month. If you have read this blog for a while, you know that I make sugar cookies often and love doing so. Every year for my children's birthdays I make a number cookie (the number being their age that year) and a cookie that goes along with the theme of the party.

Part of this challenge was to make cookies that represented September. It could be whatever September means to us. My birthday (along with about a million other family/friend birthdays!) is in September, so I decided to go with cupcake cookies.

Of course, I didn't get a picture with the full cookie (OOPS!), but you can look here, here, and here for other cookies I have done.

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Apple Pie Oatmeal

The weather is cooling (well, at breakfast it is in the 70s... no need to pay attention that it is still hitting 90 later in the day!) so that means it is time for oatmeal! I love to play around with different flavors in my oatmeal and these apples were the perfect topping!

This is a delicious way to start your fall days, so break out the apples and oatmeal and enjoy!

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Oatmeal (cooked to your liking)

1 TBSP butter
1 apple, diced
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Grated fresh ginger
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg

Saute apples in butter until softened. Add remaining ingredients. Serve over apples.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nutella Brownie Cups

Are there people in the world who don't like Nutella? I know people who don't like chocolate (or one person, specifically... Ingrid, you are my special non-chocolate friend!), but does Nutella fall into that category? I can't imagine anyone not liking Nutella, but then again, I have an over-the-top obsession for it!

I can and will put Nutella on everything and that is why I try to put some time in between jars. I can't be the person who always has Nutella in the house or else I will always use it. These brownies are the perfect example of that. Sure, a brownie on its own is chocolate perfection. Add a spoonful of Nutella to the center of it before baking and it becomes heavenly perfection.

And no worries (or worry away if you are a Nutella lover!), I only have a few tablespoons left in the jar, so with the exception of one more post I have in the works, it will be awhile until Nutella fever hits the blog again. Unless, of course, the recipe Megan teased me with, is completely irresistable! :)


Nutella Brownie Cups

1/2 cup butter
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8 muffin cups.

Melt butter and chocolate together in double boiler. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add flour and mix to combine.

Divide batter between 8 mufifn cups. Spoon 1 TBSP Nutella in center of each cup.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in brownie portion comes out mostly clean.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Huli-Huli Chicken

I have been making this chicken for years and have always done it in the oven. I don't know why I never passed it over to Nathan to grill but the other night I finally did. While it is fantastic in the oven, it takes on a whole new life on the grill.

Whether you make this in the oven or on the grill, I hope you'll give it a try... It's a winner!

Huli-Huli Chicken

1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 TBSP sherry
1 tsp fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
chicken pieces

Mix all ingredients (minus chicken). Broil or grill chicken 6-8 minutes on each side. Baste chicken with sauce and continue to broil or grill until done.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TWD: Coffee Break Muffins

Up until about 2 years ago, I couldn't stand coffee. I didn't like the smell and definately didn't like the taste. I'm not sure what changed it for me, but now I start out every morning with a cup of coffee (or two... or three... you know how it is!). I still am learning to like the coffee flavor in things other than coffee, but it is sometimes hit or miss for me.

Luckily, these muffins were a hit! Nathan and I really enjoyed them. I could taste the coffee, but it wasn't overpowering. I actually enjoyed the coffee flavor in it and would make these again.

Thanks to Rhiani of Chocoholic Anonymous for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog or on page 15 of Baking: From My Home To Yours.

Monday, September 20, 2010

CIA Homeschool: Batard (Whole Wheat Lean Dough)

Go ahead.... I'll give you a minute to pick your jaw up off the ground. You probably thought that I had given up on my CIA project since it has been about 3 months since I have posted something. I really haven't forgotten, but out of all the things I do for this blog, CIA Homeschool kinda gets pushed to the back burner since there are no posting dates/rules/minimum posting requirements. I am slowly hacking away at the list and hope to not have 3 more months pass before I post again!

This bread is a great one to come back with. This is one of the best homemade wheat breads I have ever had. It was so soft and so delicious. The loaf was gone pretty quickly (not sure it even lasted 2 hours!) and I will definately be making it again!

List of Recipes to be made from CIA book

Yeast Raised Breads and Rolls

Boule (White Wheat Lean Dough)
Split Loaf (Lean Dough with Pate Fermente)
Batard (Whole Wheat Lean Dough)
Baguette (Lean Dough with Poolish)
Soft Roll Dough (Knot Rolls & Parker House Rolls)
Brioche a Tete
Challah (6 Braid)
Coffee Cake (Twisted)
Pita Bread
Apple Fritters
Berliners (Jelly Doughnuts)
Yeast Raised Doughnuts

Yeast Doughs (Not listed above)

Prosciutto and Provolone Dough
Tomato Dough
Roasted Potato Dough
Apple and Walnut Sourdough

Quick Breads and Cakes

Ginger Cake
Buttermilk Biscuits
Bran Muffins
Lemon Buttermilk Cake
Polenta Cake
Devil’s Food Cake
Chocolate XS
Carrot Cake
Chocolate Souffle Cake
Patterned Jaconde Sponge
Walnut Cheesecake


Mudslide Cookies
Sand Cookies
Orange Coconut Macaroons
Fudge Brownies
Pecan Diamonds (Short Dough)
Mirror Cookies (1-2-3 Cookie Dough)
Citrus Crisps
Zedern Brot
Vanilla Kipferl
Checkerboard Cookies
Vanilla Pretzels
Langues-de-Chat Sandwiches
Frangipane Cake (Made into Petit Fours)

Custards, Creams, Mousses, and Souffles

Crème Brulee
Pots de Crème
Vanilla Pudding
Lemon Curd
Chocolate Mousse
Bavarian Cream
Raspberry Souffle

Frozen Desserts

Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream
Lemon Frozen Yogurt
Orange Sorbet
Vanilla Bean Sherbet
Fresh Ginger Granita
Praline Parfait
Frozen Lemon Savarin

Pies, Tarts, and Fruit Desserts

Blueberry Pie
Warm Apple Charlottes
Lemon Fantasy Tart
Zesty Lime Tart
Cheese Tart
Cranberry Pecan Tart
Apple Strudel

Filled and Assembled Cakes and Tortes

Bavarian Cream Torte
Charlotte Russe
Black Forest Cake
Opera Torte
Orange Mousseline Torte

Individual Pastries

Lemon Curd Tartlets
Pecan Cranberry Tartlets
Strip Tartlets
Pecan Passions
Classic Napoleons
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bombes
White and Dark Chocolate Mousse in Glasses
Chocolate Eclairs
Bear Claws

Plated Desserts

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Crepes
Brown Sugar Roasted Pear
Funnel Cake with Maple Syrup and Summer Fruit Sauces

Chocolates and Confections

Milk Chocolate Truffles
Candied Orange Peel
Soft Caramels
Hard Candies
Nuss Bonbon


TBD (Trying to pick a cake with gumpaste, modeling chocolate, and possibly pulled sugar)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Feta, Olives, and Tomato Pasta

Feta has got to be the best cheese in the history of cheeses. I love it in just about anything and it was fantastic in this dish. This pasta was quick, easy, and full of flavor. A perfect dinner for a busy weeknight since it only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish!

Also, I had to share something that I am super giddy about! I have been blogging for over 2 years now and I wanted a hard copy of my blog in case of a web crash and so I would have it forever! I went through and my first year came in yesterday! (I had to break it up and put only 1 year in each book... the first book is 364 pages!) I love the quality of the book and I am so excited to get year 2 edited and ready to order!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Feta, Olives, and Tomato Pasta
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP butter
1/2 red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black olives
1 pint cherry or grape toma­toes
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups feta
Juice from half of a lemon
1 box pasta (any shape you want - I used campanelle)

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, saute onion and garlic in oil and butter until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, olives, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and chicken broth and cook until tomatoes soften.

Toss together pasta, tomato mixture, feta, and lemon juice.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chocolate Waffles

I realize the picture doesn't really show the waffles so much but I had to share the recipe because they were so good!

Yesterday was my birthday and my 5 year old daughter asked if she could pretty please make me a chocolate waffle cake for my birthday. Of course I agreed and, with the help of my husband and my 2 year old son, she created a beautiful waffle cake for me.

I did sneak a taste of the plain waffle and it was fantastic! Definately a recipe that will be made again!


Chocolate Waffles

Recipe from Annie Eats

1½ cups (7 oz.) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. (1¾ oz.) sugar
½ cup (1½ oz.) cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
3 large eggs, beaten
4 tbsp. butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
¾ cup mini chocolate chips
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Preheat the oven to 200˚ F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Whisk to blend. In another bowl combine the eggs, butter, vanilla and buttermilk. Whisk to blend well. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.

Fill the waffle iron with batter and cook until the waffle is crisp and completely cooked. Transfer finished waffles to the preheated oven and repeat until all the batter has been used. Serve immediately with fresh berries and whipped cream.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Everyone knows that I am not a huge seafood fan. I don't know if it is all mental or if I just don't like the taste, but needless to say, I don't eat it often. My family, on the other hand, would eat seafood every day if they could. Anya told me last night at dinner that her favorite meat was salmon. That girl would eat fish breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let her!

In order to get a seafood fix, Nathan and Anya love to go to Red Lobster. (I don't know if Eric cares about the food so much or if he just likes looking at the live lobsters!) They go crazy and eat a ton of crab legs and I usually order a salad and go crazy on the biscuits. They are so delicious and I won't say how many I end up eating but know that it is more than my share! :)

The other day I decide to do a search for a copycat recipe and these taste IDENTICAL to the ones at Red Lobster. It probably isn't a good thing that I can make these at home now because I may just eat them all the time!

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix
¾ cup cold whole milk
4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

Brush on Top:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
½ teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and ¼ teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

3. Drop approximately ¼-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop.

4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

5. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter is a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Use up all of the butter. Makes one dozen biscuits.

Monday, September 13, 2010

PB & Nutella Bars

Megan from My Baking Adventures is one of my favorite bloggers. Her blog posts are always entertaining and the food she makes is amazing. She posted about these PB & Nutella bars over a year ago and I bookmarked the recipe. Of course, shortly after she posted these, we had our international move and they were lost in my files. Lucky for me, she posted them again last week (she posted the original recipe, PB&J bars). She mentioned in that post that Nutella is a great substitute for the jelly and I knew that these weren't going to get lost in the files again!

Holy moly are they delicious! Rich, but so delicious! I thought I could steal another little bite after finishing my piece and ended up with a bit of a stomachache. The stomachache was definately worth the extra bite, but just be warned that they are rich. :)

Enjoy, although if you like PB & Nutella, I know you will!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
adapted from Ina Garten

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups creamy peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) raspberry jam or other jam (or NUTELLA)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; it will spread in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

My five year old daughter, Anya, is our fearless eater. She loves trying new things and lives by the "one bite" rule. She will take at least one bite of anything to see if she likes it. When she was 2 1/2 she would eat calamari and call it noodles. Her favorite all time food is crab legs and this is her requested "special dinner". She even likes to try combinations of things that we would all think was gross. Her most infamous combination was a frosted donut with peas for sprinkles. :) She says she wants to be a chef and open her own restaurant when she is older (in addition to being a ballerina and an astronaut), so I guess she is just working on her palate!

With extra paprika... YUM!

Now that she has started kindergarten, I try to give her different things for lunch because she is definately that child that doesn't want the same thing every day. (I make her bento boxes, which she LOVES!) When I saw this pasta salad at Cassie Craves, I knew I would be making it for Anya's lunch. She adores deviled eggs (we have to seriously limit her when they are around) so I knew this pasta salad would be right up her alley.

It didn't disappoint and is incredibly delicious. It tastes exactly like a deviled egg but with the yummy addition of elbow noodles.


Deviled Egg Pasta Salad
Recipe from Cassie Craves

1 pound elbow macaroni
3 cups Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup dill pickle relish (depending on how pickle-y you like it)

1. Cook pasta according to directions on box; drain. Rinse in cold water and drain again.

2. While pasta is cooking, whisk together Miracle Whip, mustard, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

3. Gently fold pasta, eggs, and relish into the sauce. Taste for seasoning; re-season as necessary. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and refrigerate until serving (it’s best the next day).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Orzo with Chicken and Feta

This is an updated version of the chicken and rice dish most of us remember from when we were younger. Instead of chicken, rice, and cream of mushroom soup, this dish has chicken, orzo, sun dried tomatoes, and delicious feta. It tastes so good and is definately comfort food. It doesn't photograph well, but not many casseroles do!

I hope you'll give this one a try... we loved it!

Orzo with Chicken and Feta
Recipe from ...And a Cookie for Dessert

1 lb orzo
1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
6 oz feta or goat cheese, crumbled
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Juice of half a lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
3/4 cup Panko

Preheat oven to 400. Add orzo, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, lemon juice and feta to a 2.5 - 3 quart baking dish. Bring chicken broth, water, 1 tbsp butter, salt and pepper to a boil on the stove. Pour into baking dish, stirring slightly to mix. Bake for 30 minutes.

Mix Parmesan and Panko. Melt remaining 1 tbsp butter and mix into Parmesan and Panko mixture. Sprinkle mixture on top of orzo dish and and bake for 7-10 minutes more until bubbly. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TWD: Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

I am trying to figure out something original for this post but I am having a hard time. The problem is that I LOVE peanut butter cookies and it is really hard to me to dislike one. Of course, if one of super crunchy, I probably wouldn't care for it too much. But this PB cookie was soft, delicious, and full of peanut buttery flavor. Another winner for Dorie!

Thanks to Jasmine of Jasmine Cuisine for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Chicken Teriyaki Burgers

Here is a delicious "burger" alternative if you are looking for something a little different than the normal beef pattie. The chicken is marinated in teriyaki sauce and then grilled along with some slices of pineapple. Layer it all on a bun with tomato and lettuce and you are in chicken burger heaven!

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Chicken Teriyaki Burgers
Recipe from Hold the Onions

4 chicken breasts
1 C. teriyaki sauce
4 slices pineapple
4 slices tomato
4 leaves lettuce
4 T. mayonnaise

Marinate the chicken in the teriyaki sauce in the fridge for a few hours. Grill the chicken and pineapple. Assemble sandwiches.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bacon Scones

Out of all the scones I've made, I am pretty sure this is my first savory scone. It is filled with bacon, onions, and cheddar cheese. They were fantastic and we all loved them. They were great by themselves but would also be a great on the side of some eggs.

Have a great weekend!

Bacon Scones
Taste of Home

1 3/4 cups flour

2 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

6 TBSP butter

2 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Cut butter into mixture. In a small bowl, combine milk and eggs. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in onion, cheese, and two thirds of the bacon.

Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and pat into a 7 1/2" circle. Cut into 8 wedges but do not seperate. Sprinkle with remaining bacon.

Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cinnamon Bread

September is here and while it is still in the 90s here in El Paso, fall is coming and I am so excited! I can smell the spice breads and pumpkin recipes... they are on the way!

This cinnamon bread was calling my name and I was not disappointed. It is a mix between a quick bread and a yeast bread. There is yeast in the dough and it rises for an hour before mixing in the remaining ingredients and baking. I didn't read the recipe (major rule broken!) and accidentally mixed in the baking powder in the beginning but the bread still turned out great.


Easy Cinnamon Bread
Taste of Home

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup cinnamon chips

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, and salt. In a seperate bowl, whisk together milk, butter, and egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture;beat until smooth. Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Stir baking powder and cinnamon chips into batter. Spoon into greased loaf pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool bread 5 minutes before removing from pan.

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