Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chipotle Lime Shrimp

Wow, is it already Thursday? My, this week has flown by. We are still having 80 degree weather here and although I am liking it, I am really anxious for fall. I have many many things lined up to bake that are fall-inspired and I can't wait to share them with you all. However, it is not quite fall and the recipe I have to share today is more summer-inspired.

We had a family barbecue the other day and kind of made this shrimp on the go. I didn't want to have to go out once to the grocery store and then again to pick up my husband from work and drive to my in-laws. So, I picked up the frozen shrimp and let them thaw on the way there, then threw them in the marinade once we got there. Everything was very easy and fast to throw together.

Almost anything on the grill is wonderful, in my opinion, and these shrimp were no exception. There's just a little heat with the chipotle and the cilantro and lime just make the flavor pop even more. Don't put your grills away quite yet, give these a try. You can eat them with a side of pasta salad or throw them in some soft tacos with some beans and corn and Spanish Rice. Your tummy will thank you!

Chipotle Lime Shrimp
1 chipotle chili in adobo; chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 lime (juice and zest)
2 Tbsp. cilantro; chopped
1 pound shrimp; peeled and deveined

Mix the chipotle, olive oil, cumin, brown sugar, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl and and let marinate for 20 minutes. Skewer the shrimp. Oil up the grill and grill the shrimp until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.

SOURCE:My Baking Addiction

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Before I being raving about these cookies, I have to tell you about the comment my husband made the other day. I was walking outside to photograph something, well food, for a post. My husband just laughed and said I should change the title of my blog to Blue Plate Special because everything I photograph is on a blue plate. He's so clever; I loved it but still think I'll be sticking to this one. You're still going to see everything photographed on a blue plate because that's pretty much all we have that looks decent. Maybe one of these days I'll branch out.

Anyway, on to these cookies. Have I told you how much I love lemon anything? Lemon desserts are probably my number 1 (aside from chocolate, that is). I don't make a whole lot of cookies but these were different enough and tempting enough that I wanted to give them a try. They were the perfect balance of sweet and tart for me. They were nice and chewy but a little crisp on top from being rolled in sugar. I served them with some homemade lemon ice cream and made ice cream sandwich cookies. They were divine. Go ahead, treat yourself.

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lemon
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 large or 2 small lemons)
1/3 cup sugar for rolling cookies

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy (3-5 minutes). Beat in egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients.

Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll the top side in sugar. Place on cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Makes approximately 24-30 cookies.

SOURCE:Adapted from My Baking Addiction via Meet Me In The Kitchen

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes

I have actually had this recipe for a while and made these little cakes last year. However, I tucked the recipe away and completely forgot about it until last weekend. My friends and I were having a girls night and I invited them over for dessert afterwards. As I was trying to decide what to make for everyone, this recipe popped into my head and I was glad to make it again.

I absolutely love the chocolate and orange combination, especially when it's dark chocolate, and knew with that I would immediately love these cakes; I was right. These cakes are very moist and I think have the perfect balance of orange and chocolate flavor. While I have made these into mini cakes, you could certainly bake them in any cake pan.

For the cakes:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. grated orange zest (2 oranges)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1 orange)
3 oz. buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

For the syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1 orange)

For the ganache:
4 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12 cavity mini bundt pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Mix in the orange zest.

In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl or large liquid measuring cup, combine the orange juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl of the mixer and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Add the liquid ingredients, mixing until blended. Add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 18-22 minutes (you will have to watch carefully as ovens and altitudes are different) or until a toothpick inserted in one of the cakes comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the molds for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice just until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cakes from the pans, place them on a wire rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the tops of the cakes. Allow to cool completely.

To make the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Dip the tops of the cooled cakes in the ganache and allow to set.

SOURCE:Adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Ina Garten.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Corn and Basil Cakes

This picture sure doesn't do these cakes justice. I think this is the first savory pancake I have ever made and I am so pleased with how they turned out. They were even well received by my family. I can't get enough of fresh basil. I love it. It is so perfect in the summer and you can throw it into a ton of things. It has such a fresh and vibrant taste. Fresh corn is another thing I love during the summertime. I think I may even like eating it raw better than cooked! Corn and basil is the perfect pairing for these pancakes, but it can really lend itself to many other flavors as well, like chives, garlic, caramelized onion, sun-dried tomato, black beans and cilantro, the possibilities are many.

I served these little cakes with a dollop of sour cream, sliced garden tomatoes and bacon (gasp!). I haven't cooked bacon in quite a while so my family was loving it. I made these my main dish and just used a little bacon on the side but you could serve these as a side with some grilled chicken or steak as well.

I know the summer is winding down, but if you find yourself with some fresh corn on your hands, give these a try.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 large ears;) or thawed frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Whisk flour, milk, eggs, oil, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in corn and basil.

Heat griddle over medium heat until hot (but not smoking). Cook 4 cakes at a time, using about 1/4 cup batter for each, making them about 3 inches wide. Cook until the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter, making about 8 cakes total. Reduce the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

SOURCE:Adapted from Eating Well via Meet Me In The Kitchen

This recipe linked to Potluck Sunday @ Mommy's Kitchen

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cooking Class: Homemade Yogurt

A while back it wouldn't have even occurred to me to make yogurt. I know that my dad has done it for years but I just thought it was just going to be one of those things that I would get to, ya know, "later." Well, recently I have taken to making my own granola for breakfast. And where there's granola, inevitably, there's yogurt.

As I started buying yogurt to go with my deliciously fresh homemade granola, I realized how artificial it tasted. It's got added sugar and flavor and wasn't something I wanted to keep feeding my family. So, I went back to a recipe I printed and used a couple of years ago, called my dad for some extra tips and I stood armed to make yogurt again.

I couldn't believe how easy it was. It's not even really a recipe, it's basically just a method. The end result is just delicious. It tastes so clean and fresh because there's nothing artificial in it.

What you'll need:
Heavy pot
large bowl
milk (don't use less than 2% or you'll have to add thickeners)
3 Tbsp. starter-store bought plain yogurt with live, active cultures
2 quart jars, sterilized (you could use several pint jars as well; glass or plastic work fine)
heating pad

Step 1

Heat 1 quart of milk to 185° F. There isn't really a need to stir. The milk will scald a little and there will be some that gets stuck on the bottom of the pot. Just leave it, don't scrape it off.

Step 2

Remove from heat and allow to cool between 105° F and 115° F. I let it cool in a separate bowl, you can let it cool in the same pot you heated it in but it may take a little longer. As you can see I'm using a probe thermometer (digital) and a candy thermometer just to see the difference; I'm sure whatever you have will work fine.

Step 3
Once it's between 105° F and 115° F, add your yogurt starter and stir it in until it's incorporated. Then, pour the mixture into your sterilized quart jars (I kept mine in the same bowl, but it's probably better if you put it into smaller containers). Cover the containers with lids, place them over a heating pad and cover tightly with some towels. You can either stick the thermometer just right inside under the towel or, if you have a probe, you can stick it in the yogurt. Monitor the temperature to make sure the heat stays at about 110° F, and adjust, if necessary. If you don't have a heating pad, you stick the yogurt in a picnic cooler and wrap it in a towel.

Step 4
The yogurt will take several hours to incubate. Check it after 3-4 hours to see if it's thickened yet. Note: Your yogurt will not be as thick as what you get at the store, don't expect it to be solid.

When the yogurt curd has formed, you will notice that the whey will have pooled a little on the top. You can stir some or all of it in, as it is very healthy for you. Store your yogurt in the fridge.

Enjoy your yogurt with fresh fruit, a little sweetener, applesauce and cinnamon or more savory like a tzatziki sauce.

If you want thick yogurt, like Greek-style, you can let it sit in some cheesecloth over a colander for several hours. Don't throw the whey out! Here are some cool uses for it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gingersnap Nectarine Tart

I spied this recipe a while ago and have been wanting to make it ever since. I almost made it on several occasions but never ended up finding the mascarpone cheese it calls for. I know I live a little off the beaten path, but I didn't think it was THAT far off! Anyway, I eventually found out my local grocery indeed carried it, they were just out the times I was looking for it before. Mascarpone cheese is Italian cream cheese. It's thick and very creamy but not tangy like cream cheese. This was my the first recipe I have used it in and I was really excited to try it.

We shared this dessert with our friends and we all thought it was great. I liked using the gingersnap cookies for the crust because it's different than a typical graham crust and I also really like ginger. I think the stronger taste of the ginger also contrasts nicely with the creaminess of the filling and the sweetness of the nectarines.

This recipe calls for crystallized ginger, which I happen to have on hand because I make these muffins. I know it's not a very common ingredient and I'm sure if you leave it out you will still have good results. If the candied ginger is not your thing, you could try shaving a little fresh ginger into the filling (not sure if I would try ground ginger though).

You'll want to make this several hours ahead of time so the crust and the filling have time to chill and all the flavors have a chance to get comfy with each other. It's best to let it chill overnight.

For the crust:
34 gingersnap cookies, coarsely broken (about 9 ounces; about 3 1/4 cups)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 8-ounce container *mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

For the topping:
4 to 5 small nectarines, halved, pitted, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup peach jam, warmed
gingersnap cookie crumbles

Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind gingersnaps in a food processor. Add butter and blend until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press mixture over bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Place tart pan on a cookie sheet. Bake crust until color darkens, pressing sides with back of spoon if beginning to slide, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Beat first 6 ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in crystallized ginger. Spread filling in prepared crust. Cover loosely and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Overlap nectarine slices atop filling in concentric circles. Brush with jam. Sprinkle with gingersnap cookie crumbles. Serve, or refrigerate up to 6 hours.

*Look here for a mascarpone cheese substitute.

SOURCE:Smitten Kitchen, originally from Bon Appetit

This recipe linked to And Baby Makes Five.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes with Pumpkin Maple Syrup

Some of you may know that I'm a breakfast-a-holic and a pancake fiend. I have at least 3-4 pancake recipes that I rotate through on a regular basis. I'm all about a good (and healthy) breakfast any day of the week, not just on the weekends. We hardly ever eat cold cereal anymore, much to my husband's chagrin I'm sure. My kids don't complain though. I think they love pancakes almost as much as I do.

A while back I found a can of pumpkin in my pantry. I had bought it last year sometime and still hadn't used it. Seeing it reminded me of fall. I love fall, it's my favorite season. I also love just about anything pumpkin. I have made pumpkin pancakes before and they always turned out gooey and a little unappetizing because of the texture. I wasn't sure you could even make a pumpkin pancake that wasn't gooey. That's until I got this recipe from my sister. The pancakes turn out nice and fluffy and, most importantly, they are not soggy or gooey. The pumpkin maple syrup is wonderful with it as well and just intensifies that pumpkin pie flavor.

I know I'm jumping the gun a little on fall, but when the weather turns, make room for these pancakes in your breakfast rotation. You won't be sorry.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 T vegetable oil
2 T vinegar

In a medium bowl, mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. In a separate bow combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. Let batter rest for a few minutes while griddle warms up!

Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Brown on both sides and serve hot with Pumpkin Maple Syrup.

Pumpkin Maple Syrup
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup maple syrup
cinnamon, to taste

Here's some links to my favorite pancakes:
Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes
Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
"Favorite" Pancakes
Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

This recipe linked to Potluck Sunday @ Mommy's Kitchen and This Week's Cravings @ Mom's Crazy Cooking.

If you have a favorite pancake recipe, please share! You can either link up below or add it in the comments.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Wow, this ice cream is amazing! This summer I have made ice cream more times than I ever have and it's been fun experimenting. Some have been good, others didn't really float my boat or anything. Until this ice cream, the chocolate coconut ice cream I made a while back totally blew my mind. While I still think that one will continue to be my favorite, mainly because it's chocolate, this one totally blows my mind as well. It tastes just like cheesecake and is so rich and creamy, not icy like some others I've made. I love that it has the cheesecake layers instead of just mixing it all in together. I made this for a family gathering so we all got just a taste. We'll for sure make this again, but I might have to share or I may end up eating the whole thing!

For the berry layer:
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cups mixed berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
1 Tbsp lemon juice

For the graham cracker layer:
2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

For the ice cream base:
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups sour cream
12 oz cream cheese (1 1/2 bars)
1/3 fresh lemon juice (about 1-2 lemons, depending on the size)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine berry mixture in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened. Refrigerate until chilled. (I did this step the night before so everything would be chilled and ready to put into the ice cream maker.)

Combine graham cracker mixture and pat onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned; cool completely. Crumble and set aside.

For ice cream, beat cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and then beat in the sour cream followed by the cream.

Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and mix until thick and smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Freeze in ice cream machine according to machine directions.
In a freezer safe container, layer ice cream, blueberry mixture, and graham cracker mixture 3 times then swirl with a knife. Cover and freeze until firm.

SOURCE:Adapted from Cooking with Christine

Linked to...
Sweets For A Saturday @ Sweet As Sugar Cookies
Sweet Indulgences Sunday @ A Well-Seasoned Life

Sunday, September 5, 2010

White Corn Soup with Poblano Cream

Sunday Soup

So simple, but absolutely divine! Although summer is winding down, we are still getting corn from our local farmer's stands. We just love fresh corn. It's not summer without it! I picked up a huge bag of corn the other day at a farmer's stand and couldn't wait to try this soup. If you like corn on the cob, you will love this. It's topped with some spicy poblano cream for some depth of flavor and a little kick, as well as a little cilantro to give your taste buds a whirl! Wow, I couldn't get enough of it. You can eat this soup hot, warm or cold.

1 Poblano Pepper
4 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
6 cups fresh white corn kernels (from about 10 ears, reserve 2 or 3 cobs)
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and Black Pepper
Cilantro Leaves, for serving

Heat broiler. On a broiler proof baking sheet, broil the pepper, turning occasionally, until charred, 8 to 12 minutes. Wrap in a paper towel or place in a paper bag with top closed. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use a paper towel to remove the skin. Remove the seeds. (You may want to use gloves here. I didn't and my hands were burning for several hours.)

In a blender, puree the pepper with 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth and heavy cream; transfer to a bowl.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a extra large sauce pan or soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until tender 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and do not allow the onion to brown.

Add the corn and 2 or 3 of the cobs snapped in half, the rest of the broth, sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove and discard the cobs. Use a handheld immersion blender puree about 2/3 of the soup leaving some of the corn for texture, if desired. Alternately, puree the soup in batches in a blender.

Serve the soup hot, lukewarm or cold with a dollop/drizzle of the poblano cream and cilantro leaves.

SOURCE:Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

Friday, September 3, 2010

Whole Wheat Zucchini Parm Pizza

I wish I had all these zucchini recipes last year when I actually had zucchini in my garden. Sadly to say much went to waste because we didn't eat it fast enough and got tired of it. Zucchini is so versatile, there are endless possibilities.

This is a great little pizza and super easy to throw together. I thought the taste would be mediocre at best but I was wrong. Between the parmesan and the garlic seasoning, the taste was wonderful! I loved it.

1 recipe Perfect Pizza Crust (substituting at least half of the flour for whole wheat flour)
2 small zucchini, sliced thin
oilve oil
Johnny's Garlic Bread Seasoning (Costco)
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Make pizza crust according to directions. After you spread it out on a pizza pan or stone, brush or drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with the Johnny's seasoning. Lay out zucchini on top of the dough then top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.

Bake at 425° F for about 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Menu

Fall is in the air, I can feel it. We've had some teasers here and there over the past 2 weeks with some cool weather and it has totally thrown me into fall mode. It has me thinking soup and everything pumpkin! Before summer started I started doing Sunday Soup every week and I think this is the month to bring it back! I think I'll try doing a little link party so you can link up your favorite soups too. So, be thinking of something to share this month. I love seeing what other people come up with.

I'm excited about my menu this month. I still have a lot of fresh things because I will still be receiving my CSA produce and hitting up the farmer's market but I'm transitioning into some fall-friendly foods as well.

Mango Chicken Salad
Chopped Barbecue Chicken Salad
Garlic Ranch Pizza
Orzo with Roasted Veggies
Creamless Tomato Soup w/ grilled cheese sandwiches
Bean Curry w/ Coconut Rice

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese w/ cauliflower
Corn and Basil Cakes w/ sliced garden tomatoes
Thai Steak Salad
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup w/ breadsticks
Couscous salad with Feta and Chickpeas

Brown Sugar Bourbon pork, Mexican Cornbread & Smashed Pinto Beans
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Orzo w/ Spinach and Pine nuts, Corn on the Cob
Red Curry Coconut Noodles & peas
White Chicken Chili w/ corn tortillas

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Strips w/ salad & Oven-Roasted Corn in Chili Coconut Milk
Garden Spaghetti w/ garlic bread
Curried Lentil & Couscous Salad
Savory Crepes (filling to be determined) & Veggie
Split Pea Soup w/ Smoked Sausage and greens

Other things I'll be making:
Homemade Yogurt
Carrot Spice Muffins
Pumpkin Pancakes w/ Pumpkin Maple Syrup
Pumpkin Apple Butter Muffins
Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake w/ Buttermilk Ice Cream
Maple-Almond Granola
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...