Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bean Cuisine's White Bean Provencal Soup Mix

I NEVER use a soup mix - meaning I can't remember the last time I did. I got this as a gift more than a year ago and found it in my Kitchn Cure - knowing I need to use it up. So, I bought some chicken and decided to go for it.

This makes a TON, so I'm sharing it and will have it for a while. That is good because it is cheap, flavorful, healthy, and perfect for Fall. I love how easy it is to shred the chicken once is has poached in the liquid. So very good.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Menu Week: Nov 2 (with fun dessert giveaway

Well, by the time Monday rolls around, we will be in the month of November. Wow - this year only has 2 months left. Seemed like only yesterday I was sitting in my apt wondering if I would get through all the cookbooks, but excited to try them all out.
Here we go. Everything I am making takes mostly what is in my kitchen already. That is very nice on the check book again:
Leftover chicken orzo soup
Leftover panko pork chop with spaghetti squash (1 serving left)
Salad - probably with roasted sweet potatoes on top
Apple Muffins and Pumpkin Muffins (from Taste of Home)
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies (from blog world)
Hummus - a new recipe from An American Feast
Soft-boiled eggs with toast fingers (from Sara Foster's Casual Cooking)
Cranberry-Apple Cobbler with Cinnamon Biscuits (from Southern Living's Best of 2004)
****** First person in Louisville that contacts me gets this dessert. The whole thing! Let me know who wants it and when this week you want it. (If it turns out, if not, I'll make you something else that does turn out)
Sweet Potato Apple Bake (from blog world)
White Bean Tuscan Soup with Chicken

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vegan Pumpkin Vanilla Cinnamon Pancakes

I have a new friend in the food blog world - and she lives right here in Louisville! I finally get to meet her tomorrow night but she has already provided a really yummy and healthy recipe. I altered it a little - but these are really yummy. The only thing I would change next time would be to add more pumpkin pie spice to add more flavor.

Vegan Pumpkin Vanilla Cinnamon Pancakes (makes 8-10)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cups vanilla soy milk
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon corn oil

Mix dry, mix wet. Combine the two. Mix well. Heat griddle over medium. Spray with pam. I used about 1/4 (scant) cup of mix to each pancake. Cook till bubbly then flip. Right before I flipped them, I added a sprinkle of cinnamon chips. Yummy!
These are only about 120 calories for 2 pancakes. So good for breakfast. We'll see how filling the are in the morning.
Thanks Sarah!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Menu Week: October 26 (Last week of October)

This month has flown by - I think November will fly by as well (at least I hope it will get here quickly).
Leftovers this week - not eating out a lot. Trying to save some money and clean out the cupboards, not having to buy a lot at the grocery store. Better for the checkbook! And I don't have a lot of time to cook this week so I'll need stuff easily warmed up in microwaves.
Leftovers: (Most of these recipes can be found on the blog)
Panko Mustard Porkchops
Spaghetti Squash
Chicken Orzo Soup
Spicy Adzuki Bean and Sweet Potato Soup
Pumpkin Orange Cranberry Bran Muffins
Butternut Squash Waffles

Recipes (Cookbook) of the week will be an apple thing and a pumpkin thing out of Taste of Home's Complete Guide to Baking Mom got me a few years ago.
Thursday night I think I'm hitting a local coffee place with a new food blogging local friend. Saturday is the UF/UGA game and I haven't decided what I'm having in celebration of that. Sunday I may jet down to North End before I head to the Charlie Brown Christmas Exhibit at Slugger Field.

Pumpkin Orange Cranberry Bran Muffins

These are actually better than I thought they would be. Great variety of flavors that all work very well together. I got the original recipe from Craving Greens, a healthy blog I read. i changed some things. I love that these are so healthy and good for you with minimal fat. I also love the fact that they are moist - most bran muffins are very dry with limited flavor.

1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup crushed All-Bran cereal
2 eggs
3/4 cup cup ff buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ground ginger
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I loved the light texture provided by this)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 cup Trader Joes Orange-Dried Cranberries
1/8 cup pepitas

Mix wet (pumpkin through ginger). Combine dry (through cloves). Mix just until combined. Fold in cranberries. Put in 12 muffin tins that have been lightly sprayed with pam. Sprinkle some pepitas on top. (These add great crunch for texture change when they are done). Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy.
140 calories, 2 fat, 4.5 fiber

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

So, it is fall and there are plenty of variety of squashes in the grocery stores. I had my first taste of this one as a side dish at J. Alexander's here in Louisville 2 years ago. It was very good. Almost so good you wouldn't ever miss spaghetti again. Almost.
I finally made one today. It was very easy and yummy and versatile.

To roast. Preheat oven to 400. Fill a 9x13 pan with about 1/2 inch of water.

Cut squash in half. Scoop out all the goo and seeds. Drizzle with evoo and s/p. Place cut side down in pan. Cook about 40 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Take out.

Let cool so you can handle it. Flip over. Take a fork and scrape out all the inside. It is so easy (about 5 seconds) and yummy. Very mild - tastes like summer squash. 1 cup of spaghetti squash has 50 calories.

I had mine with a little parmesan and some heirlook tomatoes from Trader Joes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Panko Baked Pork Chops (Progresso Giveaway)

Hey folks! Its time for my first giveaway. See the end of this post for details. I made some delicious pork chops tonight just in time for a night of college football.

These pork chops were crispy and light (with the Progresso Panko Crumbs). I also didn't use any eggs so I saved on fat. These were healthy, juicy, and delicious!

1/2 cup ff plain yogurt
2 T light sour cream
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 T stone ground mustard
1 lb center cut pork chops (4 4 oz)

Salt and pepper chops. Mix all together. Coat chicken - then coat with panko bread crumbs. Cook for about 50 minutes (40 minutes covered, 10 uncovered) on 400.

OK - all the stuff in the picture is what you get! I enjoyed the chicken stop in a soup earlier in the week. I was very excited to get my first giveway thanks to and I look forward to many more.
So, here is how you enter: tell me in the comments your favorite panko coating recipe or Progresso Soup (maybe you don't like to cook that much!). Progresso Soups are really yummy! Contest will end on Wednesday night, October 28th, 11pm EST. Happy cooking!

Roasted Mashed Banana Squash

A few weeks ago I bought a new type of squash when I was out apple picking with Cynthia. I finally tried it. I was going to try it roasted - savory. But, I didn't think it really had a lot of flavor, so I ended up mashing it - thinking it will be a great side dish with some pork chops. Turned out well.

1/2 large banana squash, seeded
Olive oil
Kosher salt
2 T unsweetened coconut milk

I wouldn't peel the squash till after it is roasted and cooled. Much easier. Lay out the sliced squash on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sage and drizzle with evoo. Bake in a 425 oven about 25 minutes or until you can easily poke a fork through them. Let cool so you can mash them out of the peel. Mash with a fork or potato masher. Add salt and coconut milk. Mash all together. Eat.Great way to get in another type of fall/winter squash.

Spicy Adzuki Bean Soup

I had some leftover adzuki beans to use. And I have a fresh batch of freshly harvested sweet potatoes from my cousin's farm in AL. And I had some spinach that was desparately seeking usage! Progresso had sent me some of their chicken broth to use. And I had a can of coconut milk that had been sitting in my cupboard and thanks to Kitchen cure, I'm trying to use it up! So, here goes... (the outcome was better than I thought).
I got my inspiration from this dish - and it is fairly healthy and tasty (better than I thought it would be).

1 T canola oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/4 cup cooked adzuki beans
1 cup chopped carrots
32 0z reduced sodium chicken broth
1 inch (or more) grated fresh ginger
1 T light sesame oil (just helps with sodium content)
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups fresh spinach leaves (1/2 bag)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Heat oil - and cook onion and garlic. Add sweet potatoes and carrots for a few minutes. Add in chicken broth through pepper. Let simmer for about 25 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are done. Mix in spinach till wilted. Remove from heat. Add in coconut milk. Serve!

This should have some bite to it and be sweet at the same time. Good for cool fall nights.

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Its hard work coming up with a really great balanced chocolate chip cookie. I have mixed several recipes and trying to find the perfect one. For me, this is it. Slight crunch on the outside, very nice chew on the inside, balanced because of the different sugars and different chocolates. These were all enjoyed last night at a birthday party. The mixture of the m&ms in these were a request from the birthday boy!

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I do this first so it adequate time to cool)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (for chew)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (for depth of flavor)
1/3 scant cup of white sugar (just because!)
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 T vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup plus 2 T bread flour
1/4 heaping tsp salt
1/4 heaping tsp baking soda
3/4 cup semi sweet (or mini baking m&ms)
3/4 cup dark chocolate (I used girardhelli in this batch)

Cream together the butter through the vanilla till light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Mix together dry. Add just until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips. Do not overmix. Bake at 350 for about 11 minutes - don't overcook. I get about 30 cookies out of this - depending on the size.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

W-S Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies (2009.40a)

I loved working at W-S for the holidays. Couple of reasons: getting to know non-believers and building a relationship with them and the incredible discount (40%). That is how I stocked my kitchen! I also used the money one year to take a trip to Thailand with my church.
This cookbook has not been the best one though. I loaned this book to a friend last year and she didn't have much success with the pumpkin recipes. I tried it last night - again, not much success. It is the Pumpkin cookbook. At least I got it on sale!

8 oz canned pumpkin
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup superfine sugar (put regular sugar - heaping 1/2 cup - in food processor and grind till fine)
1 egg
1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup self-rising flour
5 oz white chocolate (I upped it from 3.5) chips

Cream wet. Add in oats and flour. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes on greased cookie sheet. Let cool.

I liked the combination of the white chocolate and pumpkin, but I just didn't like the final product. Oh, well.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Butternut Squash Waffles (2009.40) - Updated

Wow - this year is going by quickly. I took the squash waffle recipe in Joy of Cooking and made them butternut squash recipes. These will be for breakfast. Should have put more cinnamon in them - or maybe a tad more sugar. I think they will be good with maple or honey on top or cool whip and craisins. We shall see. They will go in the freezer for a quick breakfast.
Update: I have had these the past two mornings (when my oatmeal ran out) - I have topped them with a little TJ Pumpkin Butter, cool whip (1st day), 365 Grade B Maple Syrup, and (today) some Nature's Path Pumpkin Flex Granola for some added crunch. So yummy
The batter is definitely more liquid than I thought but they turned out good - although could stand more flavor.

1/2 cup squash puree (butternut or sweet potato)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup skim milk
2 T applesauce (instead of butter)
1 cup whole wheat flour (instead of regular)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 T sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg (more, or maybe a little of both)

Stir altogether. Cook according to waffle maker. I got 7 square.

Menu Week: Oct 19

This week is definitely eating healthy, better, and less food than last week. While it was fun having my parents in town and eating out more often than usual - it doesn't do too good for the scale. Thankful this week gets back to normal!
Monday night I have a new friend over for soup, salad, and bread.
Friday night I get to bake some chocolate-y for a friend's bday grill out.
For me the rest of the week: leftovers (3 soups, baked oatmeal, turkey enchiladas), salads, fruit. This week's recipe is coming from Joy of Cooking - Sweet Potato Waffles (I'll make them with some cooked butternut squash I have leftover).
The picture is of me putting together some Chicken Orzo soup. Didn't really measure anything - but its really yummy (using leftovers). And its good for cool nights or for lunch in a cold office!

Taste of Louisville: Irish Rover

I had heard much about this restaurant from friends and knew I needed to try it. My Dad likes Irish food and music so I wanted to take them there when they visited this week. It wasn't very loud on a rainy Wednesday night - we sat in the bar just because it was closest to the door.
I liked the decor and our waitress.
The bread was normal - nothing to waste calories on (but I did).
Dad got the Salmon Au Gratin - it was ok (yes, I had a bite). I got the Guiness Beef Stew - best and we all had some of that. Mom got the Lamb Cabbage Rolls (served with mashed taters). The mashed potatoes were definitely yummier than the rolls.
She had one of her rolls for breakfast on Friday. Dad had some leftover beef stew on Thursday for lunch.
We also shared the Bread Pudding for dessert. I thought it was too clumpy and not enough taste for bread pudding. Oh well.
So, it won't be a favorite restaurant of mine, nor will I probably go again. The prices were very good and the decor and wait staff were all nice.

Cranberry Shortbread Bars

These are great! I love the Joy of Baking website - can't go wrong with things on there. I had to take a dessert for a potluck after church in Cincinnati. Last year I took an apple cake. I wanted to go with something more portable and still fall-y. These were just the thing. My Dad liked them too and took one for the road.
Last year a friend of mine gave me 2 bags of cranberries so I had these in my freezer. Perfect. Just thaw and bake.
Mom and I had fun with these. I made the filling, she creamed the shortbread.

8 oz fresh cranberries (thawed if frozen) - 2/3 of a bag really or 2 1/4 cups
2/3 cup sugar
3 T water
2 cups flour
2 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla.

Boil first three together till thick - about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Cream the rest.
Press 2/3 of the dough into a greased 9x9 pan. Pour filling on top leaving a little room around the edges. Crumble up the remaining dough on top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Cool a bit. Cut into 16 squares. Let cool completely.
YUM! The tart and the creamy not-too-heavy shortbread are a perfect combination!

Pumpkin Spice Cake (2009.39)

My Mom was in town and she helped me make this week's recipe. It came out of an older cookbook that she had found at a yard sale or book sale or something. Its called The Spice Cookbook. What do I like about it is the old pencil drawings and much information about so many spices.
What I didn't like about it was this cake (not really). I made it for a cake walk. I used the Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting from last month's red velvet cupcakes. This cake was a little dense and dry for my liking. I did however like the flavor of it - thought the spice level was good. The only thing we changed in this recipe was the mace for nutmeg (this was not worth buying a whole jar of mace).

Made 1 9x13 cake

2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 t baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
1 tsp ginger

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup pumpkin
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk

Sift first ingredients together. Add in shortening and pumpkin. Add eggs and milk at end. Pour into greased cake pan(s). 375 for about 30 minutes or until done (depending on what pan you use).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kitchen's Cure

Wow - if you are anything like me, there is so much food in your kitchen, food you never use, old stuff, etc. Well, The Kitchn is sponsoring/hosting a 4 week Kitchen Cure. I'm definitely taking it. I'll be taking pictures of before and after. The first week starts today. An assisngment is given each Friday - and you have all week to complete it.
Mom and I have been doing a good job of cleaning out some by eating leftovers instead of eating out all the time while she has been here.
But - much more to go. Like, leaking jars of homemade strawberry jam - gotta clean out that fridge!
So - go join! Your kitchen and the health of you and your family will improve by the end of the 4 weeks!

Cinnamon Butternut Squash Muffins

Do you want a slight change from pumpkin? Are you looking for new ways to use up that beautiful squash that you got from the market?
Erin at 5$ Dinners made these. I had a squash so I wanted to make them. I halved the recipe and lessened the sugar and changed the topping. These had a great yellow-ish color and weren't overly sweet. Nice and mild and fluffy.
Butternut Squash on Foodista

Cinnamon Butternut Squash Muffins (10 regular size)

1/2 banana, mashed
1/2 cup cooked butternut squash, pureed (I cubed and peeled it, roasted it, and pureed it)
2 eggs
1/6 cup applesauce
2 T white sugar
3 Tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour

Mix wet. Add dry. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until done (in greased muffin tins).
Let cool
Drizzle a bit of honey over top (not necessary, but needs a sweet touch to it!)
1 T honey

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mushroom Turkey Enchiladas

My friend Sarah made these for me many years ago while we were both in seminary (now, we both work for seminaries). They were scrumptious! I love Mexican food, so anytime I can make something "mexican-y" at home and have it taste good and be somewhat healthy, I do.
Well, I forgot the printed recipe at work and I had to do it quick, so didn't have time to walk back over and get the recipe. So, I just did it for memory and changed it up a bit!

8 whole wheat tortillas
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 large onion
1/3 cup chicken broth (or water)
1 12 oz jar salsa
2 cups 2% mexican cheese
8 oz light sour cream
1 can healthy choice cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup water

Cook turkey and drain. Saute mushrooms and onion in broth and evoo. Add salsa. Add turkey back to pan. Warm through. Put about 1/3 cup filling in each tortilla. Roll. Lay flap side down in pan (I used 2 8x8 pans, but 1 9x13 will work too, slightly sprayed with Pam).
Mix sour cream, soup, water, and pepper. Pour over the top of tortillas. Top with cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes till cheese is melted and rest is heated through.
These are yummy, creamy, healthy(sorta), and filling. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Baked Oatmeal

My parents are coming in town later this week and my Dad especially loves oatmeal (so do I). I wanted to make a baked oatmeal so we could just have it ready to warm up in the mornings. I found a recipe that I changed some (to make lighter).
I tasted this once it came out of the oven - it was good. Very warm and filling. It will definitely taste better when I serve it with milk or fat free cool whip (that's how my Mom will eat it).
Here you go: (2 qt casserole or 9x9 square pan, greased)

2 3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup craisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt (maybe a little less)

1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
3 cups water
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix the dry. Add the wet. Cook at 350 for 45 or so minutes. Till its not wiggly when you pull it out of the oven.
Serve warm with milk or cool whip...
Serves 8.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Homemade Bagels

I saw these on a friend's blog - with her darling boys helping in the kitchen - and I thought - how fun, I want to try. And, my next door neighbor wanted to help today. So, we made bagels. 12 to be exact. 4 kinds: plain, poppy seed, cinnamon raisin (my fave), and cranberry vanilla.
These were easier than I thought, but time consuming. Definitely something I'll do again! Things are a good bit better when fresh and homemade. Thanks Joy!

1 1/2 cups warm water (112-115 degrees F)
2 tablespoons dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
4 1/4 cups bread flour
8 cups of water, for boiling
1 egg white, lightly beaten

mix ins: poppy seeds, cinnamon, raisins, etc.

Mix water, yeast, and sugar - let sit till foamy - 3 minutes. In large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour and salt - add in the yeast mixture. Knead on floured surface for about 5 minutes, gradually adding in other 2 1/4 cups flour. (I had to add about 1/4 cup more water to make the dough turn out smooth). Put in greased bowl and let rise, covered (30-60 minutes depending on house temperature). Punch down. Separate into 12 bagels (small) or 8 large. Add mix ins. Shape in bagels. Let rest about 10 minutes, covered.
Boil water and let the bagels boil for about 45 seconds each, flipping once. Drain on cooling rack.

Brush on egg white (so they glisten) - I then put the poppy seeds on top of those.

Let bake about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Mine didn't take as long. So, turn them once during cooking and monitor them.
The cinnamon raisin ones were so good. I took a bit and told my friend - they taste like a bagel! Understatement of the day. Now, if I could only have the recipe for Panera's gingerbread bagel!

Thanks Joy!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Larabar: Ginger Snap

One of the few protein/healthy/quick snack bars I like is Larabar. They have good flavor, and they don't taste like cardboard. I found a new flavor - YUM. Perfect for fall! Today on my picnic with Cynthia I had this yummy little sucker!
Pieces of almond, spicy mix of ginger and cinnamon, perfect balance. 220 calories. Very transportable.
Larabar folks - do you need me to sample some more - or give some away. I'll be a spokesperson. My next new one to try that is sitting on my counter is the Coconut Cream Pie one. Can't wait!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Snack Cake

Cookie Madness always is baking some good things. Not good for my hips though. These are actually both! I altered this a little and cut down the recipe. Here we go:

3 T applesauce
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/6 cup water
7/8 cup flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Mix all together. Greased 8x8 pan.

4 oz 1/3 less fat softened cream cheese
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla
1/2 egg

Mix all this together. Swirl on top. Bake at 350 till done - about 25 minutes.

This is a great little snack cake. Not too sweet and definitely sweetened a little with the cream cheese. Tastes like spice cake. It would be great served cold.

Makes 16 bars.

About 100 calories each square.

Apple Cider Muffins

Hubers has amazing apple cider. I've never tasted better. I could drink it by the gallon, although that wouldn't really be good for me. I had a sample this morning and bought a 1/2 gallon for baking and drinking (mixed in with my chai tea). And I bought tons of Stayman Winesap apples. Perfect mix for apple cider muffins from Serious Eats. I did change these some and the baking time and finished product was a bit off, but still a good fall muffin - not too sweet.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup applesauce
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 scant cup apple cider
3/4 cup light sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 apples, grated

Mix all through eggs. Add in dry. Add in cider and sour cream, mixing well after each addition. Add in vanilla. Fold in apples. Bake at 350 in greased muffins tins. These don't rise much so you can fill the muffin liner pretty near the top. Bake for about 30-32 minutes till done. I got 24 muffins out of these.
Not highly sweet, very simple, good for having company or as a side dish to breakfast.

Fall Granola

I love granola. This is my second favorite! :) It is very yummy and very fall-y. I got the original recipe from Peabody. I've made a few changes - it was great and healthy. Thanks!

3 cups oats (rolled, not instant)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
2 T flax seeds
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 T canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup grade B medium maple syrup
1/3 cup dried apples
1/3 cup craisins

Mix all up to salt. Mix oil through syrup. Mix together - spread out on greased pan. Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take out and put in apples and craisins. Cook for another 5 or so minutes, until lightly browned. Don't burn! :) And it burns easily!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Few of my Favorite Things: Peanut Butter to Cheese to anything inbetween.

Right now:
1. Ginger Cookies and Pumpkin Muffins - I like trying new recipes and seeing what I get, and sharing them with others. I love the spice and slight sweetness of them.
2. Peanut Butter and Co's Dark Chocolate Dreams. I find it at Wal-Mart and Whole Foods. $3.69 a jar here, well worth it, lower in fat and calories than regular peanut butter. Amazing stuff. Dipped by the spoonful in my mouth or on a sandwich with homemade orange marmalade or on a ginger cookie.
3. Skippy's Natural Creamy peanut butter. The only reason I have other stuff in my pantry is for baking. I only take my homemade pbjs with this now! Funny how I've gotten pickier as I've gotten older.
4. Thanks to a friend, a new cheese: Seaside Cheddar - amazing. Like a creamy parmesan, not quite as salty. I will be heading to Whole Foods to get some.
5. Soups. It is that time of year - cold nights (and the heat not turned on yet) makes me want to hold a warm bowl of steaming goodness in my hands).

Menu Week: October 12 (and wknd)

Wow - busy week, with parents in town this week, it will be fun cooking and going out.

Monday: leftovers (I have taco soup, African Sweet Potato Soup)
Tuesday: Turkey Enchiladas (thanks Sarah), mexican salad (thanks Brownie), and homemade Applesauce (for friends who just had a new baby)
Wednesday: Lunch with parents (leftovers) and dinner is at Irish Rover
Thursay: Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal from a new blog (probably with some changes), tomato greens soup and pineapple corn muffins for lunch, and dinner at the Brown Hotel for a conference for work with my mother.
Friday: Lunch at Lotsa Pasta (my mom's fave restaurant in Louisville), and Grape Leaf for dinner.
Saturday: Lunch at Asahi, Dinner at Montgomery Inn's Boathouse in Cinci.

We will also be making: homemade bagels for the first time, a pumpkin spice cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, cranberry bars from Joy of Baking for lunch on Sunday afternoon at the church, and probably many other things since my Mom and I like to cook!

This wknd I am going apple picking. So, I'll be making lots of yummy things: fall granola, applesauce, quick apple bread, pumpkin oatmeal muffins. Oh, how I love fall!

African Sweet Potato Soup with Azuki Beans (2009.38b)

This soup is just ok. I have only really gotten one good recipe out of this cookbook. It was one of the cookbooks of the week - Cooking Light Slow Cooker. I wanted to try this recipe because my brother and sister in law are serving in Ghana, Africa right now - and it is sweet potato season - so I try to do new things with them.
I'll eat it up, wouldn't share it with anyone, may even stick it in my blender and puree it to have a smooth soup. But, this is what I learn when going through cookbooks - not every recipe is a winner.

Layer everything in a slow cooker as listed:
1 onion, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cup cooked small red beans (I used Azuki beans, which I found in the Whole Food bulk aisle, they tasted like black eyed peas when cooked, looking forward to my leftovers)
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can diced tomatoes (I used italian diced tomatoes because its I had, couldn't taste a difference)
1 small can diced chilis

Cook on low for 8 hours. When done, take out a cup of the liquid and mix with:
3 T creamy peanut butter

Toss back in. Stir. Eat. Garnish with chopped peanuts and limes if you want.
It will be good on a cold fall evening, though - anything warm and out of a bowl.

About 200 calories per cup without peanuts on top.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Currant Muffins (2009.38)

This week's recipe is brought to you by 500 Fabulous Cakes and More. I am trying new pumpkin recipes. This definitely won't go on top of the list, but they were good - and I made them healthy.

2/3 cup applesauce (instead of butter)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (instead of all regular)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup currants

Mix all - I actually just used a spoon and a bowl. Fold in currants. 400, greased muffin tins - cook for about 15-17 minutes till they spring back when poked. Makes 12.
150 calories, .6 fat, 1.5 fiber - not bad at all.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Weekend Fall Baking/Cooking Adventures

I am excited about this weekend. This is the start of much fall baking over the next week. Here is the line up for the Friday-Friday:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bagels (thanks Joy)
Fall Granola
Applesauce (first of many batches)
Dried Apples
Pumpkin Muffins
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Ginger Cookies
Apple Butter
Pumpkin Bread
Cinnamon Raisin Bread (thanks Mollie)

And then cooking:
Egg White omelettes
Turkey Enchiladas
Mexican Salad
African Sweet Potato Red Bean Soup
Tomato Soup with Greens
Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

How fun is this! :) One of the perks to living in the north. One, I said. Pictures will be coming!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Menu Week: Oct 5

This will be a rather normal week - with good things on the menu this week!

Taco Soup - corn muffins
Chicken Salad
Balsamic Roasted Chicken on mixed greens
Creamy Mac and Cheese - Cooking Light Recipe
Somewhere for lunch with Brandi on Friday
Recipe of the week will be a pumpkin muffin.
Hummus, carrots, crackers
Black Bean Chilaquiles
Corn tostada with egg - from Foster's Market.
Going apple picking on Saturday - so I'll definitely be making something apple-y for dinner on Saturday night while I watch the LSU/UF game. We'll see.

Happy eating everyone!

Black Pepper Buttermilk Biscuits

I found this recipe a few months ago in a restaurant section of Bon Appetit. This week I was looking through my torn out recipes and wanted to make them.
These turned out great, and were very easy. I loved the pepper on them because it made them savory. I got more than 12, but then I forgot the shorten the time. I would probably cook them 1 minute less than I did - but these were so yummy.

4 cups all purpose flour (King Arthur's is amazing for breads)
4 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks chilled, cubed unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup chilled lowfat buttermilk
1 egg white
black pepper

In food processor (or with 2 forks or pastry cutter), cut in butter into flour and powder, soda, and salt. You should get crumbles. Add in buttermilk. Mix. Dump out on lightly floured area. Knead for a little bit. Pat out till about 3/4 inch thick. Using biscuit cutter cut out biscuits. Rework dough to get more biscuits. I got 19. Put on lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg white for shine. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes.

And remember - these are very yummy!

Taco Soup

I know most people have a taco soup recipe. I usually am like my mother and make it differently each time. But, I thought I made a pretty good pot last night - so I thought I would share the recipe. It was perfect for a cool night with a movie and a friend. (and corn muffins - recipe coming)

1 lb ground turkey
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pack low sodium taco seasoning mix
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 regular can rotel
24 oz low sodium chicken broth
1 can no salt added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can no salt added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 ear of corn, shucked

Cook turley and peppers and onions. Sprinkle with half of taco seasoning. Put all rest and cooked turkey and peppers in dutch oven with rest of seasoning. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve topped with mexican cheese (and other things if you would like).

Corn muffins: 1 Jiffy Corn muffin mix. 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple with juice. Mix. Cook as directed. These are sweet and only 2 WW points! Much better than the 5 if you make them with egg and oil. These turn out more moist then the regular way.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Miss Whites Molasses Cookies

My friend Tasya passed a recipe down to me yesterday after I had a first not so batch of molasses cookies. I mean, don't get me wrong, they were ok. But these were what molasses cookies should be - yummy!
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup applesauce (instead of all oil)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp salt (lowered from 1/4)
2 1/4 cup flour
raw sugar for dusting

Mix all. 375. 7-9 minutes. Enjoy!