Dec 3, 2010

Iced Anise Cookies



These are an Italian Anise cookie and are customary around Christmas. I thought they were really good and in the future I will try them with other extracts like lemon and vanilla. They have a cake like texture and are actually quite small, like bite-sized cookies. They look beautiful with the colored sprinkles on them. I thought of little twinkling Christmas lights and among the other cookies on the exchange table these cookies looked really bright and colorful. 

Anise, is a tricky flavoring. People either love it or  hate "strongly dislike" it. I love it, for those of you that don't know...anise tastes similar to black licorice. Even if you don't like licorice you should really give these little gems a try. Don't worry it isn't like eating a piece of black licorice, more like eating a cookie that has been hanging around black licorice all day. 

Of all the cookies I brought these were the only ones that I took a few home. I made between 4-5 dozen so the fact that I went home with about 6 cookies isn't that big of deal. I knew that this cookie wasn't for everyone, but I'm glad I brought something a little different and unusual. I love to surprise all the ladies in my recipe group with a burst of flavor for their taste buds.

Let me know if you try these cookies and what you think about them. Oh, if you use salted butter in any of the cookie recipes just decrease the amount of salt in the cookies by about 1/4 teaspoon, otherwise, they might be too salty.

Iced Anise Cookies
adapted slightly from Cookie Madness
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon anise extract
2 3/4 cups flour (12.5 oz)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
Icing:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons milk plus extra if needed
1  teaspoon anise extract
Multi-Colored Sprinkles
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick foil.
Beat the sugar, melted butter, eggs, milk and anise extract together using low speed of a hand-held mixer.
Thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the batter and stir just until blended.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoons, shaping a little to form nice rounds, 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets and bake on center rack for 10 to 14 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are light golden. Cool on wire racks.
Make icing. Mix the sugar and melted butter together until the sugar is moist. Add the milk and beat well until smooth. Beat in the anise extract. It should be thick but pourable. Place a piece of paper towel under your cooling rack so that the glaze can drip through, then spoon it gently over the cookies.
Sprinkle with candy sprinkles.
Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

Lime Stars



These lime stars are amazing. They are slightly crisp on the edges and really chewy. They have a LOT  of lime flavor. They cookies use both zest and juice in dough. I really liked how they tasted like summer, they were so fresh tasting among all the dense, rich, filling flavors of winter/Christmas. Plus, limes are in season now so they are inexpensive and have a ton of flavor.

This is a Martha Stewart recipe and you can cut out the cookies in any shape that you want. WARNING: This cookie dough is really soft! Please be aware that you may have to put it in the freezer often. You roll the dough between layers of parchment. I found that after rolling the dough out I placed it back in the freezer for a few minutes and then cut the stars on the parchment, I then removed the scraps of dough and left the stars in the original places that I cut them and put that piece of parchment on a cookie sheet and into the oven.

I'm not going to lie...the dough was a little tricky to work with and more than once I became frustrated. However, upon tasting the final result I can honestly say that I would make these again in a heartbeat. They are so goooooood. I love citrus/lime flavors and I felt that these cookies were a home-run. Apparently all the other cookie eaters at the exchange did as well because I made a double batch of these and I didn't even get one at the cookie exchange.


INGREDIENTS

Makes about 2 dozen.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest, plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes total)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Put granulated sugar and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed 1 minute. Add butter, and mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla and lime juice. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, halve the dough. Flatten each half into a 10-inch disk, and wrap each in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Working with 1 half at a time, roll out dough on parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes from dough with a 3-inch flower-shape cookie cutter. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cut a hole in center of each with a 1-inch round cutter. Repeat with remaining disk. Wrap scraps in plastic. Freeze 30 minutes; re-roll, and cut.
  5. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over cookies. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.


Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies (Chocolate Peppermint Sandwiches)

I brought these cookies to a cookie swap. It just so happened that THREE other people brought chocolate peppermint cookies as well. These were delicious even amongst the other chocolate peppermint cookies.
I used Dutch-processed cocoa so my cookies were dark in color and really had a deep chocolate flavor. The peppermint buttercream was so good, I had to stop myself from eating it with a spoon. I rolled my cookies in candy cane pieces, but if I was going to make these again I don't think I would go to the hassle. The candy cane pieces looked pretty, but were kind of a pain (they wouldn't stick on the frosting very well) and didn't add anything to the overall taste of the cookie.  Also, I added a lot more powdered sugar to my filling. I felt that the filling as written was a little greasy, so I added a cup or so more of powdered sugar. It ended up being a creamy dreamy peppermint filling. Yummy.



adapted slightly from Bon Appétit 

Yield: Makes about 18 sandwich cookie

Ingredients 

Cookies
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg

Filling
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (I used 2+ cups)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 drops (or more) red food coloring

1/2 cup crushed red-and-white-striped candy canes or hard peppermint candies (about 4 ounces)
preparation
For cookies:
Whisk flour, cocoa, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg. Add dry ingredients; beat until blended. Refrigerate dough 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out dough by level tablespoonfuls, then roll into smooth balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Using bottom of glass or hands, flatten each ball to 2-inch round (edges will crack). Bake until cookies no longer look wet and small indentation appears when tops of cookies are lightly touched with fingers, about 11 minutes (do not overbake or cookies will become too crisp). Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer chocolate cookies to racks and cool completely.

For filling:
Using electric mixer, beat powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl until well blended. Add peppermint extract and 2 drops food coloring. Beat until light pink and well blended, adding more food coloring by dropfuls if darker pink color is desired. Spread 2 generous teaspoons filling evenly over flat side of 1 cookie to edges; top with another cookie, flat side down, pressing gently to adhere. Repeat with remaining cookies and peppermint filling.
Place crushed candy canes on plate. Roll edges of cookie sandwiches in crushed candies (candies will adhere to filling). (Cookie sandwiches can be made ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.)

Nov 7, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

recipe from Pam Elder

3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup slice carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup wild rice
1/3 cup sliced leeks or green onions
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1/8 teaspoon so it wouldn't be to spicy for people)
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup half and half

1 1/2 cups chicken cooked and cubed (I use rotisserie chicken when I'm in a hurry)

In a large saucepan, mix ingredients broth through pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover, simmer 50 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and stir in the flour, then stir in the half and half a little at a time until mixture is smooth. Cook and stir until bubbly. Cook and stir 1 more minute. Then slowly add roux to the rice mixture making sure to stir constantly. Stir in the chicken and heat through.

Make approximately 4 main dish servings

Black Bean Soup

This soup is wonderful! I hope you enjoy it. It is pretty inexpensive and you must use the garnishes!


recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Makes About 9 Cups
Dried beans tend to cook unevenly, so be sure to taste several beans to determine their doneness in step 1. For efficiency, you can prepare the soup ingredients while the beans simmer and the garnishes while the soup simmers. Though you do not need to offer all of the garnishes listed below, do choose at least a couple; garnishes are essential for this soup as they add not only flavor but texture and color as well. Leftover soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 or 4 days; reheat it in a saucepan over medium heat until hot, stirring in additional chicken broth if it has thickened beyond your liking.

Beans
1pound dried black beans (2 cups), rinsed and picked over
5ounces ham steak , trimmed of rind (about 3/4 of a small ham steak)
2bay leaves
5cups water
1/8teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon table salt
Soup
3tablespoons olive oil
2large onions , chopped fine or processed in food processor
1large carrot , chopped fine or processed in food processor
3ribs celery , chopped fine or processed in food processor
1/2teaspoon table salt
5 - 6medium cloves garlic , minced
1/2teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2tablespoons ground cumin
6cups low-sodium chicken broth
2tablespoons cornstarch
2tablespoon water
2tablespoons lime juice , from 1 to 2 limes
Garnishes
lime wedges
minced fresh cilantro leaves
red onion , finely diced
avocado , diced medium
sour cream (or plain yogurt)


DIRECTIONS


  1. FOR THE BEANS: Place beans, ham, bay, water, and baking soda in large saucepan with  lid. Boil over medium-high heat; remove any foam that rises to the surface. Stir in salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer briskly until beans are tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours (if necessary, add another 1 cup water and continue to simmer until beans are tender); do not drain beans. Discard bay leaves. Remove ham steak (ham steak darkens to color of beans), cut into small cubes, and set aside.
  2. FOR THE SOUP: Heat oil in large pot; add onions, carrot, celery, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, pepper flakes, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in beans, bean cooking liquid, and chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.
  3. TO FINISH THE SOUP: Ladle 1 1/2 cups beans and 2 cups liquid into food processor or blender, process until smooth, and return to pot. Stir together cornstarch and cold water in small bowl until combined, then gradually stir in the cornstarch mixture into soup; bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, to fully thicken. Off heat, stir in lime juice and reserved ham; ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately, passing garnishes separately.

Zesty Cranberry Soup


Recipe from Staff Meals from Chanterelle

This easy, light dessert soup is a staff natural in the fall when cranberries are plentiful and festive feeligns are running high. We like its tart-sweet flavor and usually serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or lemon or orange sherbet mid-bowl.

1 cinnamon stick (about 3 inches)
6 whole cloves
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled
4 long strips of lemon zest, 1/2 inch wide (peeled using a vegetable peeler)

Tie the above ingredients into a piece of cheescloth. Or place in the pot and make sure to remove then before straining mixture.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 packages (12 oz each) fresh or frozen cranberries
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste 

Place sugar, spice bundle, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar.

Add the cranberries and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the berries begin to burst, 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat; you don't want the soup to get too thick.

Let the berries sit for 15 minutes, then strain them through a fine mesh sieve (strainer) into a medium bowl. Press down on the berries as you strain them to release all their juices. Discard the pressed berries (Bean and I actually have been stirring the berries into homemade plain yogurt as a treat!).

You should have about 3 cups of "juice", taste and add fresh lemon juice a tablespoon at a time to get just the right balance of flavors. Cover the bowl and refrigerate to chill the cranberry soup.

When you're ready to serve, pour the soup into shallow bowls (this soup is rich) and float ice cream or sherbet in the middle.

Enjoy!

Nov 2, 2010

APPLE- WALNUT SALAD W/ CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE

I've been making a wonderful salad. I have used the basic cranberry vinaigrette and served it over spinach, apples and candied walnuts. Also mixed greens and pears with blue cheese and I've also made the salad as is. This is a really versatile salad with an essence of fall. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!


APPLE- WALNUT SALAD W/ CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE


¼ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
10 cups mixed baby greens
2 medium red delicious or honeycrisp apples, cored & thinly sliced
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted


1. Puree cranberries in processor until smooth. Add vinegar, onion, sugar and mustard and process until well blended. With processor running, gradually add oil and process until well blended. Transfer to medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature and whisk before using).
2. Combine greens and apples in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve, passing remaining dressing separately.

Servings: 6

Cooking Tips
*If you would prefer a cleaner look to your salad, try looking for white balsamic vinegar. The original version, although it slightly coats the apples with the brown balsamic, is still very yummy.
*Add a crumbled cheese- goat or blue, if desired.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit

Aug 17, 2010

Layered Greek Dip

I really love the flavors of Greek food and this dip has them all. I was pleasantly surprised that so many people enjoyed this dip at the party I went to. It is fresh tasting and the cucumbers and tomatoes add a nice crunch. I made this dish using fresh local organic tomatoes, and they were incredible. I've been so happy with the recipes I've been making lately. I need to make sure to take pictures so that you'll have something see and salivate over.

Layered Greek Dip

adapted from RecipeGirl.com

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (strained Greek yogurt works as well)
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups prepared hummus (I used Cedars brand for Recipe Group night)
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 cup finely chopped tomato
½ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (reduced fat is fine)
1/3 cup sliced green onions
pita chips 


Directions
1. In medium mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and garlic with rubber spatula until smooth and well-combined.

2. Spread cream cheese mixture into deep 9-inch pie plate or platter. Spread hummus on top of cream cheese layer. Sprinkle on cucumber, then tomato, olives, feta, and green onions.

3. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips.


Servings: 16
Yield: About 2 1/2 cups of dip

Orange Bars

These bars remind me of an orange roll with cream cheese frosting. The texture is more dense like a brownie than tender like a cake. The orange makes them really fresh tasting and a little goes a long way! These are really sweet so be sure to cut them into small squares.


Orange Bars


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
zest from 1 orange

1 recipe Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.


Whisk together flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl beat with a mixer butter, eggs, orange extract and orange zest after combined beat in flour mixer until well blended.Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown (mine was done at 25 min) and set. Remove from oven, allow to cool and pierce entire cake with a fork. Spread the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting over completely cooled brownies. Cut into squares.

ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (low fat is fine)
4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar (or to taste can add up to 3/4 cup more)
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons real orange juice

In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together with a hand-held electric mixer. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until it is all combined and smooth. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Spread over bars.

I only used about 3/4 of the frosting on the bars. It just seemed like too much frosting [*gasp* if you can have such a thing].

Bruschetta with Peach Salsa and Melted Brie

This recipe is excellent. I really enjoy it with ripe peaches, but I've made it this last time with okay peaches and it was still really good.  I'm a big fan of Brie and I find when you combine it with fresh bread from Russo's and  ripe juicy fruit it becomes an addiction. I have been making this at least every other week since peaches came into season. Try it...I dare  ya!


  • 2 cups chopped peeled peaches (about 4)
  • 1 finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (to taste depending on sweetness of peaches)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 French bread baguette, (8-ounce) cut into 24 slices
  • 4 ounces chilled Brie cheese, cut into 24 pieces


Preheat broiler.
Combine first 7 ingredients; set aside.

Arrange bread slices in an even layer on a baking sheet. Top each bread slice with 1 piece of cheese; broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts and bread is toasted. Remove pan from oven. Top each bread slice with about 1 1/2 tablespoons salsa; serve immediately.


recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

Jul 15, 2010

Homemade Yogurt



I made organic yogurt and I didn't even buy a new appliance. I made it in my slow-cooker (Crock-pot) by combining a few different recipes that I found from other sources. Yummy! Bean has been eating it non-stop. It is plain, but you can flavor it with blended fruit, whole fruit, granola, maple syrup, jam or whatever you want!

It is thinner than commercial yogurt because it doesn't have the stabilizers and gelatin that commercial yogurt has. However, we like it thicker so I just let it strain overnight in a fine mesh sieve lined with coffee filters. It ends up being as thick as sour cream. If you don't want it that thick, don't let it drain as long.

I recommend trying whole milk yogurt first because it is easier to do and thickens a little more than the low-fat variety I've been making lately. Just think you don't need to buy whole milk Yo-Baby yogurts because you can make your own and save a bundle of money!

1 half gallon of milk (I used organic, you may want to try whole if it is your first time)
1/2 cup organic plain yogurt with no stabilizers (don't use a flavored yogurt)
1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered fat free milk (you need more of this if you are making a yogurt with less fat)

Pour milk into a slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours. Then turn you slow-cooker off, make sure it is not on warm. Let the mixture sit for 3 hours. Then remove 2 cups of warm milk and place into a bowl, stir yogurt and powdered milk into the bowl with warm milk. Pour mixture back into the warm slow-cooker and stir a few times to mix. Place lid back on and wrap the entire slow-cooker in a heavy bath towel. Move slow-cooker to an area of your counter that will not get bumped or moved for at least 8 hours. After at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours remove the towel and lid from your slow-cooker and you will have yogurt!

After 8 hours the yogurt will get slightly thicker and will continue to get more and more sour. If I let mine sit overnight sometimes it will be 10 hours before I can get to it in the morning, I haven't noticed it being that much more sour than an 8 hour yogurt.

As the mixture cools in the refrigerator it thickens a little more. If you want it thicker, more like greek yogurt,  pour it in a colander or fine mesh sieve, lined with coffee filters or cheese cloth and strain until you achieve the desired consistency. (Make sure to strain over a bowl as a lot of the whey comes out)

**One last note if you are using fat free milk you may need to add gelatin to the mixture in order for it to get thick enough. Just add one packet of plain gelatin to the warm milk, yogurt, and powdered milk mixture.

Quinoa and Avocado Salad


adapted slightly from Deborah Madison

This is Cale's new favorite quinoa salad. It is wonderful! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


  • 3 tablespoons raisins (preferably a mix of dark and golden)
  • 2 tablespoons dried apricots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed well
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados (6 to 7 oz. each), pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 medium scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped toasted almonds
  • Freshly ground black pepper
     

     In a medium bowl, soak the raisins and apricots in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (The outer germ rings of the grain will remain chewy and white. Some germ rings may separate from the grain and will look like white squiggles.) Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn it out onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze 1 Tbs. juice. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, and 1/4 tsp. salt. In a large bowl, toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa, raisins, apricots, avocado, scallions, and almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.    

Achiote Chicken Salad



This salad was really good. Cale and I both really enjoyed the flavors and the crunchiness! The marinade for the chicken was a little more effort, but it makes a lot and stores in the fridge for  a couple weeks. I adapted this recipe slightly from the Z'tejas recipe.


  • Marinade
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 ounces Achiote, powder (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • ½ c. Orange juice
  • ½ c. White vinegar
  • 1 t. Black pepper, ground
  • 1 t. All spice, ground
  • approximately 1 head garlic
  • 1 T. Paprika
  • 1 T. Kosher Salt
  • ½ T. Oregano, ground
  • 4-6 Chicken breast with skin

  • Chopped Salad:
  • 1 small head Lettuce; shredded 1/8"
  • 1/2 small head Red Cabbage; shredded
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 ears Sweet corn, steamed and cut from cob
  • 1/4 Queso Fresco, or  Cotija cheese if you can find it
  • 1 can Black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds, toasted in 350º oven for 8-10 minutes

  • Dressing recipe:
  • 1 cup Favorite ranch dressing
  • ¼  cup Balsamic vinegar
     
     Combine all ingredients for marinade, except chicken, in a blender and blend until smooth and combined. Pour over chicken and let marinate for 3 -24 hours. 
     
     Grill chicken and let rest before slicing and placing on top of chopped salad.

    Combine salad ingredients in a bowl and toss or separate onto individual plates as I did above. 

    Mix the dressing and serve on the side.

T


Jul 11, 2010

Marinade for Beef

Recently I tried this marinade and Cale and I loved it! I grilled up cheap steaks that had been marinating in this overnight and they were really good. Hopefully, you like it as much as we did.

1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (sambal chili sauce can be used as well)
1 small ead of garlic, minced or pressed (about 1/4 cup pressed garlic)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder

Mix all ingredients and marinate beef for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours. I haven't tested it longer than 48 hours so I'm not sure how it would be. Bon Apetit.

Basic Chicken Marinade

I really love this basic marinade. I use it all the time. I use it with salad recipes that call for chicken or just simple grilled chicken for dinner. It is really quick and I always have the ingredients on hand.

1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar or agave
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 medium garlic cloves. minced or pressed
2 tablespoons of water

Whisk together all ingredients and place in a zip-lock bag with chicken. Marinate chicken for 30 minutes turning half way through. Do not marinate longer than 1 hour as the lemon juice will change the texture of the chicken.

Jul 8, 2010

Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust


This tart recipe came from Eating Well. It is delicious and I served it to my recipe club and they all enjoyed it.

  • Crust
  • ½ cup walnuts, lightly toasted (see Tip)
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Note)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Filling
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably grade B, divided
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 325°F.
Coarsely chop walnuts in a food processor. Add graham cracker crumbs and process until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
Whisk egg white in a medium bowl until frothy. Add the crumb mixture, butter, oil and salt; toss to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and slightly darker around the edges, about 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
To prepare filling: Beat cream cheese, sour cream and 1/4 cup maple syrup in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. When the crust is cool, spread the filling evenly into it, being careful not to break up the delicate crust. Arrange blueberries on the filling, pressing lightly so they set in. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup over the berries. Chill for at least 1 hour to firm up.




Trellis Salad



I love this salad. It is served at Thanksgiving Point in their Trellis Cafe and it is wonderful. It is the perfect salad for summer--light, lots of fresh berries and delicious!
I don't always add the oranges and it is still delicious.

Raspberry Vinaigrette


½ c. Raspberries fresh (if using frozen, thaw first)
¼ c. Red wine or raspberry vinegar
¼ c. Sugar
1 small shallot, diced
½ t. Thyme
1/2 c. Vegetable oil
¼ c. Olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a mixing bowl combine raspberries, sugar, vinegar, shallot, thyme. Using a wire whisk, mix well breaking up the raspberries. Slowly add oil and emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.


Salad

2 c. Mesclun greens mixed
½ c. Toasted pecan pieces
3 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented
1 c. Assorted berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
Sliced brie

Plating

Mix the vinaigrette with greens and separate onto 4 plates. Arrange berries, oranges, brie, and pecans on top of greens.

Jun 23, 2010

Shrimp, Watercress, and Millet Salad

Shrimp, Watercress, and Millet Salad


Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: Serves 4-6


1/2 cup millet*
2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 to 2 lemons
1 teaspoon kosher salt
7 1/2 cups loosely packed stemmed watercress (about 2 bunches)
1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion,
1 cup roasted shrimp


1. In a small saucepan, bring millet, 1 tsp. olive oil, and 1 1/2 cups salted water or chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Make sure shell is removed from shrimp then toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast shrimp at 450º for 3-6 minutes depending on size until shrimp is pink on the outside and opaque inside. Place aside to cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, zest 1 1/2 tsp. peel and 3 1/2 tbsp. juice from 1 to 2 lemons. In a small bowl, whisk together zest and juice, remaining 2 tbsp. oil, and the salt.

3. Put millet in a serving bowl. Pour in dressing and toss gently. Add watercress, mint, onion, and shrimp, and toss gently to mix.

*Buy in boxes or in bulk at well-stocked groceries and natural-foods stores.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.



CALORIES 179 (47% from fat); FAT 9.3g (sat 1.4g); CHOLESTEROL 69mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14g; SODIUM 325mg; PROTEIN 11g; FIBER 4.6g

Apple Waffles



adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz

These are yummy any time of year, but especially good during the fall when you can feel at one with the foliage. It's like Apple Pie without all the hassle. Roll out of bed, invite your friends over and make them feel loved.

Ingredients
1 large or two small apples (I use granny smith), grated

Dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Wet ingredients:
1 cup applejuice
3/4 cup soymilk
1/3 cup applesauce
2 tablepoons corn oil (canola or veg oil will do)
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Preheat waffle iron.

Sift together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a medium bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients (including sugar) until well combined. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly blend in the wet ingredients until combined. Fold in the grated apple.

Make your waffles according to manufacturers directions. I use a belgian waffle iron and 1 cup of batter per waffle works for me, but you should consult your directions. For crispier waffles, let cook 30 seconds to a minute longer than the directions suggest.

Mixed Berry Compote


Adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz


Ingredients

1 pound frozen mixed berries, partially thawed
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (You could use cornstarch, but it will make it a little cloudy)
1/2 cup Xagave
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
In the sauce pan, off the heat, toss the berries with the arrowroot until it is dissolved. This takes about 5 minutes, mix occasionally.

Over medium heat, cook until moisture is released and blueberries are warm. Add maple syrup and vanilla, heat 5 more minutes, until sauce thickens a bit.

Serve warm!

Lemon Corn Waffles with Mixed Berry Compote



Lemon Corn Waffles w/ Mixed Berry Compote
adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz


Ingredients
Dry ingredients
1 1/4 cups +2 Tablespoons flour (I used 2 cups of Multi Grain Mix)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cornmeal

Wet ingredients
1/4 cup corn oil (veg or canola oil will do)
2 cups soy milk (I use regular milk most times)
1/4 cup soy yogurt (I also use regular yogurt sometimes)
zest and juice from 2 lemons
1/4 cup sugar (I use Xagave)

Directions
Preheat waffle iron.

Wisk the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a medium bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients (including sugar and lemon juice/zest) until well combined. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly blend in the wet ingredients until combined.

Make your waffles according to manufacturers directions. I use a belgian waffle iron and 1 cup of batter per waffle works for me.

Serve with mixed berry compote or pure maple syrup.

Jun 15, 2010

Tex Mex Salad

Ingredients:
1 cup Newman's Own Olive Oil/Vinegar Dressing
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 ounces can green chiles, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups cooked rice, white or brown
2 cans whole corn, drained
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Directions:
Mix all of the ingredients together, except the tomatoes. Cover and refrigerate up to one day. Add tomatoes and mix when serving. Serve on bed of lettuce.

Fresh Corn Salad with Black Beans and Tomatoes

    This is the perfect barbecue dish. It goes with everything and tastes of summer.


Fresh Corn Salad
source: Cook's Country


Serves 8

Sweet summer corn is the star here, so don’t try using either frozen or canned corn. If you like your corn salad spicy, include some of the jalapeño seeds.


Dressing
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon
red wine vinegar
1 jalapeno chile , stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 clove garlic , minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon
table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Salad
8 ears fresh corn , husks and silks removed
1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans , rinsed
6 scallions , sliced thin
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Table salt and ground black pepper

1. For the dressing: Shake all of the dressing ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid.
2. Cook the corn in 6 quarts boiling water until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Cut the kernels from each cob into a large mixing bowl using a paring knife. Add the tomatoes, beans, scallions, cilantro, and dressing and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
To Make Ahead
This salad can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated a day in advance. Before serving, bring to room temperature and freshen with a squeeze of lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.