Sunday, November 24, 2013

Alert the Media...I Baked Something!

Hello good people. How goes it?  
I actually made a creation I wanted to take a picture of. Alas my camera was dead, so this is a cell phone pic.

I found it on Pinterest, wasn't really too hard to make.  Here's the tutorial if you'd like to give it a try.  The hardest part was looking for black shoestring licorice, which I failed to find. So tried just cutting up the chocolate Twizzlers.  Not the greatest solution, but it worked.  

In other news...I've completely turned into a Doctor Who fan girl. Anyone else into Doctor Who? I hope so because aside from my family who is trapped with me, I can't find anyone else to talk to about it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blueberry Shortbread Bars

I know, I's been a while.  I'm just not sure what's up with me.  I still like to cook; I definitely still like to eat.  I certainly miss interacting with all my nice blogger friends.  I'm just lacking something.  Some spark; some driving force.  But I'm certainly not going to beat myself up about it.  I'm told I need to eat less protein, some small kidney issue.  Is there protein in blueberries?  I hope not!  

I love love love blueberries, but they can be just so expensive.  But I splurged today so I could make these delicious shortbread bars for me and my berry-loving son.  These are perfect...not too sweet.  Really lets the blueberries shine.  The recipe calls for chinese five spice, which seemed a bit odd to me.  So I just used nutmeg and added some lemon zest to the dough.  These are perfect with a big glass of iced tea.  

Here's the recipe from Allrecipes

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon ice water, or more if
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place butter cubes in the freezer for 15 minutes.
2.Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Sprinkle in Chinese five-spice powder.
3.Cut in frozen butter using a pastry cutter until the butter pieces are about the size of peas. Mix in egg yolk and continue cutting in until thoroughly combined. Drizzle in ice water and stir to combine. The dough should just come together when pinched between your fingers.
4.Pour about 3/4 of the crumb mixture into an ungreased 9x9-inch baking dish. Press the mixture down firmly using the back of a spoon. Spread blueberries in one layer and sprinkle with remaining crumbly dough.
5.Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden and sides are crisp and browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

So, what's been going on with all of you?  My son graduated eight grade yesterday...on to high school, wow!  My daughter made it through 6th grade, although it was quite a struggle sometimes.  (I have to sing "just keep swimming" in my head quite a bit!)   Planning a couple of camping trips in this summer, and recently celebrated my 16th anniversary in the crazy little town of Jerome, Arizona.  

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sweet Potato Hash with Onions and Feta

This easy veggie dish is one of my most recent Pinterest finds.  Roasting the sweet potatoes this way really brings out their deliciousness on a whole new level.  (although to be honest, I think I used yams)

The whole family approves...I think I've made it 2 or 3 times in the past couple of weeks.  You could absolutely leave off the feta, but it's really nice on there.  

Here's the recipe for you, that comes from Diethood

  • Butter for pan
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 3 yellow onions, sliced  (I only used one)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2-cup to 1-cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Preheat oven to 450.
  • Butter a large baking pan or dish and set aside.
  • Add the chopped sweet potatoes, onions, and olive oil in a bowl and mix.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and oregano; mix together and place the sweet potatoes on prepared baking dish in a single layer.
  • Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking, and cook until potatoes are fork tender.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with feta cheese.
  • Serve.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups

I love all things lasagna, in just about any shape or form.  And this version proved to be wonderfully delicious.  I always like finding dinner ideas that don't have meat in them, and I didn't hear any complaints about it at all.

I had to skimp on the basil a bit because when I went outside to get the basil, I found that the frost had gotten it..darn it all!  But it was still quite flavorful, and I loved the homemade marinara that goes with it.

And that broccoli sitting all innocent-like over that is Ina Garten's roasted broccoli.  If you've never tried her version do yourself a favor and do so as soon as possible.  Makes me eat broccoli like I'm popping m&m's...seriously!

Here's the lasagna recipe from Cooking Classy

  • 8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 14 oz freshly shredded, low-moisture part skim Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup freshly, finely shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/4 oz)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 - 4 medium Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/6 inch thick slices)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, recipe follows
  • Simple Marinara Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to directions listed on package to al dente. Drain pasta (DO NOT rinse with water) and align lasagna noodles in a single layer on a large sheet of parchment or wax paper.
  • For filling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese and egg white until well blended. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Mix in 12 oz. of the Mozzarella cheese and season with black pepper to taste (I wouldn't recommend seasoning with salt just because the cheeses already have plenty of salt).
  • Place 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle and spread into an even layer, going from one end of the lasagna to the other. Align 4 thin tomato slices over cheese mixture then sprinkle fresh basil over top. Snugly roll lasagna noodles to opposite end. Spread about 1/4 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Align lasagna roll ups, seam side down in dish. Top each roll up with about 2 Tbsp of the pasta sauce (covering edges of pasta so they don't dry out while baking). Sprinkle top with remaining 2 oz. shredded Mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven, plate pasta and garnish with plenty of basil ribbons. Serve warm.
  • Simple Marinara Sauce
  • Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions to hot oil and saute about 3 minutes until soft, adding garlic during last minute of sauteing. Pour in crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and allow sauce to cook for about 25 - 30 minutes (which will allow some of the water in crushed tomatoes to evaporate) while you prepare pasta and lasagna filling (you can freeze or refrigerate left over sauce in a small airtight container for later use, adding fresh basil if desired).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

So, I've been having hip pain...quite a bit.  I ignored it/dealt with it for almost a year but finally decided to mention it to the doc.  He suggests I may be carrying a bit too much weight around on my aging joints (no way!).  So it pleases me to find a recipe such as this that brings a big a whole lot of deliciousness with a bit less naughtiness. 

These brownie were SO easy to make, and really delicious.  In fact my daughter set aside 3 pieces to take to school and share with her friends.  I like that there is no flour and no oil in them either.  

Here's the recipe...hope you get the chance to make them.

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies (from Sally's Baking Addiction)
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
  • 6 oz. low fat vanilla yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup skim milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar (or Splenda)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 8×8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Place all of the ingredients except for the peanut butter into a blender or food processor.  For easier blending, place the liquid ingredients into the blender first. Blend until mix is smooth and oats are ground up. You will have to stop the blender and scrape down the sides a few times.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish.  Batter will be thin.  Microwave peanut butter for about 30 seconds. Drop melted peanut butter by spoonfuls onto the batter, swirling gently with a knife to create a marbled effect. (Try not to overmix!)
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Brownies will be extra fudgy, so be sure to wait until COMPLETELY cooled.
Cut into 12 squares and enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Irish Lemon Pudding

So, are you tired of winter?  Are you ready for Jack Frost to take a long walk off a short pier?  Then make yourself a big ol' batch of this lemon pudding and pretend that the sun is smiling down on you.
Personally I'm not sick of winter at all. But I'm in Phoenix and I'm tickled it will be 29 tonight!

I saw this treasure while perusing Pinterest, and added it to my to do list.  Since my friend gave me 2 lemons on Sunday, I knew it was meant to be.  It has a very simple ingredient list, and I have no idea why it's "Irish".  There is no whisky or leprechauns in it.  

Here is the recipe found at The Baker Upstairs.  She doubles her recipe and puts it in a springform pan so it will be pretty.  I'm way too lazy for that, so I just put it in a casserole dish.

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup flour
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the egg yolks one by one, then add the flour. Add the lemon zest and juice, followed by the milk, and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold gently into the lemon mixture until incorporated. Pour into a 8-9 inch pie pan or cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until very lightly browned and set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with freshly whipped cream.

BTW...I made myself a Facebook page.  I have no idea what I'm doing there. Come join me if you like :)