Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Note: These were rich and heavy, but they would not swirl for me as described in the original recipe. Oh well, they were still delicious.

Ingredients
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter (melted)
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup walnuts (chopped)
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl mix together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs (one at a time). Add in the flour mixture, a little at a time and stir until the batter is evenly moistened. Divide the batter in half evenly into 2 separate bowls.

In one of the bowls blend in the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. In the second bowl of batter stir in pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Spread ½ of the chocolate batter mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Pour ½ of the pumpkin batter mixture over that. Repeat the layers, ending with a pumpkin layer. Drag a kitchen knife or spatula through the layers in a swirling motion creating a marble appearance.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares.


source: http://blogchef.net/pumpkin-brownies-recipe/

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cheese Bread

Note: This was delicious and dense. Don't even bother trying to butter it, though, it certainly doesn't need it!

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

4 ounces of cheddar cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes

1 ¼ cups milk

¾ cup sour cream

3 tablespoon butter melted

1 egg, lightly beaten


Directions
Heat oven to 350. Generously grease a 9×5 loaf pan with oil. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Carefully stir in cheese cubes until cheese is well coated. In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients. Fold the milk mixture into the flour/cheese mixture. Stir just until combined, do not over stir. The mixture will be thick. Pour/spread into greased loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Let cool one hour before slicing and serving.

source: http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2009/10/easy-homemade-cheese-bread.html

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Emeril's Creamed Spinach

Note: This was so good. No need to change anything!

Ingredients

2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and tough stems removed*
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream

*Substitute 2 packages of frozen, plain spinach if you want

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a large spoon to release as much water as possible. Finely chop and set aside. (If you are using frozen spinach, just cook to package directions and drain like above.)

1) Melt the butter in medium saute pan over medium-high heat.

2) Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3) Add the spinach and cook, stirring, just until the liquid is released.

4) Add the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook until the cream is reduced by half, about 4 minutes.

5)Remove from the heat and serve immediately.


source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/creamed-spinach-recipe2/index.html

Instant Apple Oatmeal Mix

Note: I halved this recipe from the original over at Stop and Smell the Chocolates (which she got from a cookbook, but credit where credit is due!). When I'm done, it fits in a small oat container and then I just make more when it gets emptied.

Ingredients
3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apples
1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer (use vanilla flavored for an extra kick!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons salt

Directions
Combine ingredients in large bowl. Store in airtight container. For breakfast: Place 1/2 cup oatmeal mix into bowl, add 1/2 cup water, and microwave for 1 minute on high. Let stand for 1 minutes to thicken; stir again.

source: http://stopnsmellthechocolates.blogspot.com/2009/03/works-for-me-wednesday-instant-oatmeal.html

Monday, November 9, 2009

Catherine's Chili

Note: The key to this recipe is to simmer as long as you have time for to let the flavors meld together. Surprisingly, the oregano and the cumin are what really add to the "kick" of this, so if you want more or less spice, those are the ingredients to adjust. If you want to adjust to your own tastes, add 1/2 tsp at a time, stir, let simmer for 5 minutes and taste. Repeat as necessary. You will need your largest pot! This serves about 8 hungry people. Serve over rice & top with cheese & sour cream (or however you like).

Ingredients
- 3 15oz cans of beans or equivalent (Suggestions: Kidney, Black, Pinto, Navy)
- 1 lb of ground beef, turkey, or loose sausage, browned
- 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped (I use the kind in a jar)
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 2 tsp oregano or "Italian seasonings blend"
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (optional - or 1 tsp onion powder)
- 1/2 - 1 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
- cornstarch, flour, or masa flour to thicken

Directions
- Open all your cans (beans & tomoatoes) and empty them into a stock pot
- Add your cooked meat, stir and set the temperature to medium-high
- While you are waiting for the mixture to start bubbling, add your spices, onion, and pepper; stir.
- After it starts bubbling, turn it down to low or medium-low so that it just simmers.
- Simmer for 1hour or longer, stirring every 15 minutes so it does not burn or stick.
- Before serving, you can add your thickener if you like.
For cornstarch: add 1 tbsp of cornstarch to half a cup of water and stir until dissolved, then stir into the chili, wait 5 minutes and test. Repeat until desired consistency is reached.
For flour: No need to ad to water first, just add 1 tbsp of flour at a time to your chili, stir, wait 5 minutes and test. Repeat until desired consistency is reached.

source: my own recipe

Friday, September 25, 2009

Beer Bread

Note: I modified this recipe from one that used self-rising flour, so that is why the amount of baking powder is so strange. This bread is deliciously sweet! Almost reminded me of a cornbread that way. I used an oatmeal stout that was slightly out of date, so it didn't rise much for me. But it was dense and delicious! Even Mike devoured his share. You could use any beer that you like, but I don't think a "lite" beer would be very good. See how much we devoured it? This is the tiny piece that was left when we were done with dinner.

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

12 oz of your favorite beer

1/4 cup of melted butter

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2) Combine dry ingredients.

3) Stir in the beer until fully incorporated.

4) Pour batter into a GREASED loaf pan

5) Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

6) Pull the bread out of the oven and pour the melted butter over top.

7) Bake for another 15 minutes.

8) Remove from the oven and cool before slicing.

source: about.com (?)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hoisin Chicken Stir Fry

Note: Oops! No picture again. This was great because I just used the vegetables I had on hand - broccoli, peppers, and pea pods, but you use anything like. Also, I used pre-cooked chicken so that sped up the cooking time significantly. It had an adequate amount of sauce for Mike. This was about 4 servings.

Ingredients
3-4 cups vegetables, cooked
1-2 cups pre-cooked chicken, cubed
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. water
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tsp. cider vinegar
3 tsp. hoisin sauce
4 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. instant chicken bouillon granules

Directions
1) Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add garlic, chicken, and vegetables with a small amount of oil. Saute until warm.
2) Add water, cornstarch, cider vinegar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and chicken bouillon to a small bowl. Mix well.
3) Slowly pour the liquid mixture over the meat and vegetables. Cook to desired consistency.
4) Serve over white rice


source: http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1639,146186-250192,00.html

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Generic Fruit or Veggie Muffin Recipe

Note: I made these twice using a cup of natural pumpkin puree and I found that they didn't have as much flavor as the other pumpkin muffins that I make. However, this recipe has a lot less ingredients, a lot less sugar, and is really easy to throw together! Unfortunately, I didn't even think to take a picture.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
3 T canola oil
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mashed or grated fruit or veggie
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar and mashed fruit or veggie. Whisk. Mix well.
3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix until it forms into batter. Add nuts if you like.
4. Pour into muffin cups.
5. Mini muffins: Bake 8-10 minutes. Regular muffins: Bake 15-2o minutes. Tops will turn golden. 6. Cool on cooling rack and then serve.


source: http://www.5dollardinners.com/2008/12/fruit-and-veggie-muffin-recipe.html

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oatmeal Fruit Bars

Note: Yum!

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 cup oats (quick or regular)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup Butter
Fruit Jam

Directions

1) Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2) Cut in butter until combined.

3) Reserve out 1/2 cup of mixture.

4) Press the rest firmly into an 8X8 pan.

5) Spread on a thin layer of fruit jam & sprinkle reserved oat mixture on top. Be careful not to get jam on the sides of the pan.

6) Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

7) Let cool & cut into bars. (You will probably need to use a sharp knife.)

source:
http://www.frugalupstate.com/2009/05/recipe-oatmeal-fruit-bars.html

Orange Chicken Stir-fry

Note: Mike thinks that this recipe could use some crushed pineapple (or perhaps tidbits). I'll definitely try putting some in next time I make this. Oh, and there WILL be a next time - this was excellent. It was not too sweet, and it was a nice light meal.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. oil
1 lb chicken breast, cut into strips or small pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2-3 cups of cooked "stir-fry" vegetables (suggestions: peas, carrots, beans, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts)
1/2 cup cashew pieces (optional)
1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained (optional)


Directions

1) Meanwhile, Heat oil in heavy skillet or wok at about medium.

2) Add chicken, salt and pepper (careful of splashing oil!). Stir fry until chicken is cooked, 3-4 minutes.

3) Combine orange juice, honey, and cornstarch in small bowl.

4) Add orange juice mixture to chicken in skillet or wok along with vegetables/pineapple.

5) Stir fry 2-4 minutes until sauce thickens.

6) Serve over hot cooked rice or noodles. Garnish with cashew pieces.


source:
http://busycooks.about.com/od/chickenrecipe1/r/honeyorchicken.htm

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nasty Granola Bars

I made these:
http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/04/homemade-granola-bars/
last night and this morning I took them out of the fridge, tried them, and promptly threw the entire thing in the trash. They were oily, gummy, and over all disgusting.

I would like to try the dried fruit version he suggests, however, I will be adding that to my own tried-and-true recipes.

And any Mark Bitten recipes will now be taken with a grain of salt.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Breakfast Cookies

Note: Mike LOVED these - I believe the words "awesome" and "delicious" were used. I wasn't all that impressed, but they are good. The original recipe called for whole wheat flour, which I never buy, so this recipe is edited to reflect my substitution. Also, these did not spread at all.

Ingredients
1 ripe banana, mashed
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup water
1 egg
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup wheat germ
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats (quick or regular)
½ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, whatever you like!)
1 cup raisins (or dried cranberries, or chocolate chips)

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2) In a mixing bowl, mash the banana. Mix in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, water and egg. Stir until creamy.

3) In a seperate bowl, mix the flour, wheat germ, baking soda and salt. Mix thoroughly and add to the wet mixture. Stir until combined.

4) Add the oats, nuts, and dried fruit. Stir until combined.

5) On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop by heaping tablespoon. These will not spread, so form the cookies if you want them to have a uniform shape.

6) Bake for 12 to 16 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Serve at any time of the day!

source: http://gardendiva.today.com/2009/03/21/breakfast-cookies/

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ham and Bean Soup

Note: This turned out quite well. I made a bunch of changes from the allrecipes recipe that is linked below as my original "source". I was really amazed at the flavor of the broth considering I just started with water and a bone! Total cook time - 2:30 hours.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound dry Navy beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 ham bone, with some meat on it
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 3 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chopped ham (less if your ham bone has lots of meat left on it)
  • ground pepper

Directions
Rinse the beans, sorting out any broken or discolored ones. In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt (optional) and the beans and remove from heat. Let beans sit in the hot water for at least 60 minutes.


After soaking, return the pot to high heat and place the ham bone, carrots, celery, onion, and seasonings in the pot. Stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 more minutes.


Remove ham bone, take off any usable meat, and discard the bone. Stir in the chopped ham and simmer for 30 more minutes. Season with ground pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves before serving.



source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Basic-Ham-and-Bean-Soup/Detail.aspx

Monday, February 23, 2009

Crunchy Granola Bars


Note: I hate to even say it, but I liked the way these came out even better than Alton's! Sorry, Mr. Brown. I left mine out in the open for a few days, though, and you could probably chip a tooth with them. But they are still fabulous. Don't forget to put them in an air-tight container!

Ingredients
2 cups oats ("old fashioned" is best, but anything you have around will work)
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup nuts, in small pieces
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup dried fruit

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2) Mix oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and nuts on a cookie sheet (one with sides). Toast them in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes.

3) Line a 13x11 casserole dish with Reynolds Release foil. This stuff is amazing. You will be so happy.

4) Bring brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt to a simmer in a saucepan large enough to hold the oats mixture. Stir constantly.

5) When oat mixture is finished toasting and liquid mixture is fully incorporated, mix together very thoroughly.

6) Put the mixture into the foil-lined casserole dish, and spread it evenly in the pan. Place another piece of release foil on top of the granola. Pressing hard, compact the granola until there is no "give" anymore. You might need to use pot holders because the mixture will still be hot.

7) Let stand for 2-3 hours or until granola is completely cooled.

8) Turn the granola onto a large cutting board, peeling away the release foil. Cut as desired and store in a air-tight container.

source: http://www.joyfulabode.com/2008/04/11/homemade-granola-bar-recipe-no-high-fructose-corn-syrup-in-these-bars/

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Easy-Peasy Peppermint Bark


Note: If you've ever bought Peppermint Bark in the store before, you are going to be mad at yourself when you see how EASY and INEXPENSIVE this recipe is! So easy. SO EASY. Also, for the love of Pete, go buy some Reynolds "Release" (non-stick) foil. It's a bit more expensive than regular foil, but it was well worth the price to me since it made this recipe so easy to do.

Ingredients
16oz White Chocolate, slivers or pieces*
1/2 tsp of peppermint extract or oil
5 large peppermint candy canes (or the equivalent), smashed**

*My grocery store sells 16oz blocks of chocolate in the bulk section, so I bought one and shaved it into small pieces using a large knife. If you can't find a block of chocolate, use white chocolate chips, or whatever you can find. The higher quality, the better, though.

** I removed the wrappers from the mini candy canes that I used, put them in a bag, and put that bag in another bag. Then I used a hammer to smash them up. My downstairs-neighbors probably think I'm crazy, because I was doing it on the floor in the middle of the kitchen.

Directions

1) Line a pan (one with edges) with release foil.

2) Melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler or a fondue pot stirring frequently. When it is mostly liquid, stir constantly.

3) When all chocolate is completely melted, mix in peppermint extract/oil. Mix well.

4) Turn off the heat, and stir in peppermint pieces.

5) When peppermint pieces are incorporated, pour mixture onto the lined pan. Use a rubber/silicon scrapper to spread out the chocolate mixture. It might not cover the entire pan, but just spread it out as much as you can.

6) Stick the whole thing in the refrigerator to cool for about 10 minutes. Lick all the utensils clean.

7) Remove pan from refrigerator and break chocolate into pieces. Store in an airtight container until served.

Variation: Use regular chocolate/dark chocolate, use almond extract (1tsp) and almond pieces instead of peppermint. YUM!

source: My brain! I made this up after reading a lot of "recipes" online that I just didn't like very much.