Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sea Bass marinade

The joke at my house is, better enjoy what your eating now cause you probably won't get it again. I've vowed to start writing what I do down as I cook. Unfortunately, I tend to write recipes down on scrap paper and I find them stuffed into drawers, on my desk, in my briefcase etc. This is one I found on my desk today.

1/4 cup Mayonaise
1 clove minced Garlic
1t Dijon Mustard
1/2 t dried Mustard
1/2 a fresh lime squeezed
salt and pepper
Sea Bass
Mix this all together and slather all over the fish and let sit for about a half hour in the refrigerator

Monday, December 19, 2011

Vegetarian Mincemeat

3 large Granny Smith Apples
2 Oranges
2 Lemons
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves
1 c butter
12 oz golden raisins
12 oz jumbo black raisins
12 oz red raisins
1/2 c almonds, chopped
6 T brandy (I used Kirsh)

Mix together the raisins, sugar and spices. Core and chop apples, but do not peel them. Add the apples, chopped almonds and butter to the raisins. Zest and juice the lemons and oranges and add that. Cover and let stand overnight, stirring periodically.

Preheat the over to 225F. Stir the mixture one last time and roast for 2 hours. Take out, stir and let cool. You can stir it periodically while it cools. When cool, stir in the brandy. Store in jars.

Once the mince was done, I made these pies. This might be the best dessert I've ever made. The fruit caramelized on the top and they were amazing cooled a little bit out of the oven. I froze them and they are even good warmed up a little in the microwave.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pecan Coconut Torte

I got this recipe from my brother, who always makes the most amazingly bad for you desserts. It's so good! I love pecan pie, but this tops any pecan pie I've ever eaten.

1/2 c brown sugar
1 c old fashioned rolled oats
1 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 c cooled melted butter

Stir together the sugar, oats, baking powder & salt. Add the butter. Mix well. Pat into the bottom and 1/2" up the sides of a 9" spring form pan. Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes. Cool.

1/3 c honey
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1/4 c heavy cream
1 c old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c flaked coconut
1 1/4 c chopped pecans

Combine the honey, sugar & butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until smooth. Stir in the cream. In a bowl, mix the oats, coconut, pecans and a pinch of salt. Poor the butter mixture over the oat mixture and mix well. Poor into the cooled shell. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden. The middle will still look wet until it cools. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan. Let cool completely.

If you'd like, melt 1 oz semi sweet chocolate with 1 t butter and drizzle over the top.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stuffed Roasted Chicken

This was invented at the grocery store as I wandered around. By placing the stuffing under the skin it infuses flavor and keeps the chicken moist. The whole creative process makes me happy. I love putting on some music and going to town in the kitchen. I do have the advantage of having a wonderful herb garden pretty much year round here in California. I put the Chicken on a bed of red bliss potatoes cut in half instead of a roasting rack. Unfortunately we dug in and I forgot to get a picture.

1 4-5 lb Roasting Chicken
1 Large Shallot
10 oz Sliced Mushrooms
2 Green Onions
1T Butter
4 Cranks of the pepper mill
1t Salt
1t Honey
3oz Blue cheese
1 Lemon
4 Rosemary Sprigs (2 will go inside the chicken cavity)
1/4 cup Basil
6 Thyme sprigs
3 Oregano sprigs
Red Bliss Potato's cut in half, enough to fill the bottom of the pan, amount will depend on their size

Chop shallot and green onion, roughly chop mushrooms. Place butter in pan on medium heat and add shallot, green onion and mushrooms saute until tender. Add salt and pepper, zest the lemon, and place half of the juice into the pan. Add chopped basil, 2 sprigs rosemary, thyme and oregano. Taste and if too sour adjust with honey. Crumble blue cheese into the mix. Goat cheese would probably work also.

Prepare the chicken taking out any gibblets from the cavity. Salt and pepper the cavity, fold wings under the chicken, carefully separate the skin from the meat at the neck of the chicken, try not to rip the skin, you want to get into the leg and thigh cavities you may have to break the connective tissue to do this.

Preheat oven to 400. Stuff the chicken by taking small amounts of the stuffing and pushing it under the skin, you can easily move the stuffing down the chicken into the legs and thighs by manipulating the skin. The stuffing should be distributed evenly under the skin. Stuff 2 springs of rosemary and the other half of the lemon into the chicken cavity. Tie the legs together. Place cut potatoes in pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast for 15 minutes then turn down the oven to 325 and continue roasting for about another hour and a half to 2 hours. Baste with pan juices occasionally. I've found that the skin will brown faster with the stuffing under it so be prepared to place foil over the parts that are brown. The meat temp should be about 180 when done.

I made gravy with the pan juices by taking out all but about a tablespoon of fat, added 1T flour and mixed until smooth over medium heat. I then added about a cup of unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk which is what I had and stired until smooth.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oatmeal Carbonara

This was something I did when trying to get more protein in my diet and it was really good. The idea came from pasta carbonara. If you make a bigger pot of oatmeal you could definitely add more eggs. You can use all water or all milk but I find just the little bit makes for a richer tasting oatmeal. For every 1/4c of steel cut oatmeal you need 1c of liquid.

Steel cut Oatmeal Carbonara (one serving)
¼ c Steel cut oatmeal
¾ cup water
¼ cup milk
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
Pancetta or bacon
Optional: cheese

Place the oatmeal, water, milk and salt in a saucepan bring to boil then turn down to simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. In the mean time, cube bacon or pancetta and cook until crispy. When the oatmeal is almost together, crack 1 egg into the hot mixture and stir until cooked. Take the second egg and add just the white and stir until cooked. If you want to go lower calorie just use the egg whites. You may add cheese if you’d like. Place in a serving bowl and top with cooked chopped bacon.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oven Pancake

This is something I ate for breakfast as a kid. It's as amazing today as it was then. It's best topped with maple syrup or lingonberries. Don't know what those are? Then you're missing out. Google them!

4 eggs
2 c milk (canned coconut milk also works)
2 T butter
1 1/4 c flour
2 t sugar (optional)
1/2 t salt

Beat the eggs. Add the milk and then the dry ingredients.
Heat your oven to 425 and put your baking dish in it with the butter. Melt the butter. Once melted, pour the batter into your dish, over the butter, and return to oven. Bake about 30-40 minutes. The baking time will really be dependent on how deep the batter is. Once the pancake is puffed and golden brown it's done.

It's better to have this in a large dish so that the batter is spread out and not deep. The crispy crust that forms on the top is the best part, and having a larger dish means more crisp. Also, having a smaller dish means a much longer baking time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Orange Chickpea Pumpkin Quinoa

I barely changed anything from this recipe. It reminded me a lot of orange chicken from an asian restaurant.

1 c quinoa
1 1/2 c vegetable or chicken stock
2 oranges
1/4 can pumpkin puree
2 cans chickpeas
2 shallot bulbs
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
Fresh sage leaves

Rinse the quinoa. Heat the stock and add the quinoa once boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.

Cut one orange in wedges. Drain and rinse the cans of chickpeas. Peel and slice the shallots. Mix the oranges, chick peas, and shallots in a baking dish and toss with olive oil. Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes until the chickpeas are crispy.

Juice the other orange into the 1/2 c balsamic. Reduce on the stove until you have about 1/4 a cup. Once done, crush a couple sage leaves and throw them into the balsamic for a few seconds. You want a subtle sage taste and letting it soak in the warm vinegar for longer will make it too potent.

Once the quinoa is done, fold the pumpkin puree and chickpea mixture into it. Serve with a drizzle of the balsamic vinegar.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Grilled Tofu

I've grilled tofu in the past, but I haven't done it in a long time. I believe the key to a good grilled tofu is getting a bunch of the water out of it before putting it on the grill. I always use firm or extra firm tofu in water for grilling. I served tonight's tofu with marinated grilled portabella mushrooms, polenta and broccoli.

1 Block of extra firm or firm tofu in water

Drain the tofu. Cut in half so you have 2 thinner sections. Place those sections on a cutting board with a towel above and below them. Put either a couple books or a cookie sheet with a bowl of water on the tofu. Let the tofu sit for at least 20 minutes so that a lot of the moisture is pressed out of it.

Mae Ploy sauce
Hoisin Sauce
Fresh Ginger
Fresh Garlic
Olive Oil
Rice Wine Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar
lime juice

Mix the marinade together. Brush on top of the tofu once it is done pressing. Let the tofu marinade for at least an hour.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout "Gratin"

I based my recipe from this recipe. I'm sure the original is amazing, but I didn't want to use cream because of the kids and I wanted something a little healthier. This recipe could easily be made vegan by using some brewers yeast instead of the parmesan cheese, but I would go easy on the yeast.

1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts, cut into fourths
1 1/2 lbs cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 1/2 c almond milk
1 c chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water and bullion. I'm sure some wine would be good too
1 to 2 T sweet sherry
1 T fresh sage, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
 parmesan cheese
corn starch
1 T butter

Grease a 13x9" pan and heat oven to 375.

Put 1/2 of the brussels sprouts and cauliflower in the pan. Sprinkle a little parmesan over them, some pepper and the butter sliced into small pieces. Add the other half of the veggies and sprinkle again.

In a pot, bring the broth, almond milk, sherry, & sage to a boil. Thicken with a little corn starch mixed with water. I think I used about 2 T.

Pour the hot mixture over the veggies. Cover and cook for 40 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 more.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pumkin Muffins - Wheat Free

I originally came up with this recipe when my brother lived with us and he found out he couldn't eat wheat. They are something I still make today because I love them. They are pretty solid and don't raise like most muffins, but they are still really good. I never put the full amount of sugar in them and often make them with no sugar. They aren't sweet with no sugar, but are still good.

4.5 T milled flax seed
6 T water
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c oil
3/4 c pumpkin puree
3/4 c brown sugar (optional)
1 t vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon (I usually add extra, up to 2 t)
1 t pumkin pie spice (or just a blend of cloves, nutmeg, & allspice)
1 c oatmeal (ground)
1 c cornmeal
1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
pinch salt

Blend the flax and water together with a hand blender, add oil, applesauce & pumpkin. Mix well. Add in brown sugar (if using), vanilla, cinnamon, & pie spice. Blend. Mix in the cornmeal, ground oats, baking soda, baking powder & salt. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350. Makes 8 muffins.

Rice and Black Bean Casserole

Yet another meal that I don't have a picture of, but it's another thing we love.

This is one of my favorite meals. It's simple, nutritious and the rice and beans can be made ahead. If you do make them ahead, you can reheat them before putting it in the oven so it doesn't take as long to cook.

Soak 1 or 2 cups of dried beans overnight or soak in hot water for an hour and drain. Cook beans in enough water to cover them. Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, about 1/4 c soy sauce, 1/2 t beef or vegetable bullion, 1/8 t baking soda, & 1 handful of cilantro (optional) . The baking soda keeps the nice black color to your beans. Cook at a low boil until the beans are tender. Make sure you check more than one bean as they can cook differently. Drain when done and discard the garlic and cilantro.

Cook brown rice with the ration of rice to water noted on the package. Add 3 whole cloves and 1 or 2 bay leaves to the water after you add the rice. When done, discard the cloves and bay leaves.

Mince 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, add about 1/4 t sea salt, 1 (12 oz) pkg of soft silken tofu, chili powder, paprika, cumin to taste. Puree with a hand blender until smooth.

You can saute any veggies (i.e. zucchini, red peppers, shredded carrots, corn) to add into the center.

Layer beans and rice with veggies in the middle. Top with the tofu layer. Bake 350 until warmed through. If the beans and rice are cold, you may need to put foil over the tofu layer so it doesn't dry out. If desired, top with cheese for the last few minutes of baking. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and/or sour cream.

Zucchini Soup

This soup is amazing! It's so simple and everyone in the house loves it. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture, but trust me on how great it is.

2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 3/4 lbs zucchini, sliced
4 c chicken or vegetable stock
2 T chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground pepper

Saute the onions in butter and olive oil until translucent and soft. Add the zucchini and saute for a few more minutes. Add the broth and oregano. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the zucchini is soft. Puree the soup with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

We all love this soup that we were first introduced to by my sister when we were visiting in December. I had a bunch of zucchini sitting around that needed to be used tonight and this was the first thing that popped into my mind. The kids loved this as much now as they did the first time they had it.

Breakfast Oatmeal Bake

I got the original recipe for this here. As always, I had to change it. I didn't want the sugar, wanted a little extra protein and found that the 20 minute baking time seemed low. I used rolled oats that were less processed and a little thicker, so that may be why I had to cook it longer.

2 c rolled oats
1t baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c milk (i use almond)
1 t vanilla extract
1/4t almond extract
1 large banana sliced
1 pear chopped
Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and ground cloves
Mix the wet ingredients, add the dry and mix. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes in an 8x8" pan. I lined mine with parchment, which made it really easy to get out.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Blog Fail

Yep, I get a big fat FAIL for this blog. I'm great at keeping my other one going. My problem with this one is that I don't usually measure while I cook. Trying to go back later and figure out how much of each thing I used is just a PITA. So, I'm going to try to start posting again, but I won't necessarily have ingredient amounts. You can decide how much of each thing you want :) If I put baking things up, then they'll have at least most of the measurements because that's one thing I do measure.