Monday, March 28, 2011

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Hearty, moist and delicious! I love how the sugar sprinkled on top gives it a little crunch. This is definitely another blueberry recipe to bring up with us when we finally make it to Maine... I'm excited to try this again with fresh blueberries once they're in season.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
Courtesy of Cooking Light


1 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
2.33 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 large eggs
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin pan with muffin cups or lightly coat with cooking spray.

Place oats in a food processor; pulse 5 to 6 times or until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl.

Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to oats; stir well. Make a well in center of mixture.

Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients (through eggs). Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist.

Toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour, and gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into muffin pan; sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vegetable Pork Soup

Well... This wasn't awful, but it definitely wasn't my favorite thing I've made recently. And the beer you choose really makes a difference. I think the beer I chose made it taste funny, and while I liked how it smelled while it was cooking, I absolutely hated how it smelled when it was done. Which didn't make eating it very enjoyable. I don't think I'll be making this again...

Vegetable Pork Soup
Courtesy of Taste of Home


1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 can (12 ounces) light or nonalcoholic beer
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Sprinkle pork with garlic powder. In a large skillet, brown pork in oil; drain.

Transfer to a 4-quart slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender. Discard bay leaves.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glazed Cornmeal Cookies

These are a lot of fun. They were fun to make and had a great savory-sweet quality that the cornmeal provided.

Glazed Cornmeal Cookies
Courtesy of Martha Stewart


2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 drops food coloring

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar on medium-high until creamy, 3 minutes. Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until combined. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine.

Place 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl; roll dough into 1-inch balls and coat with sugar. Transfer to two parchment-lined baking sheets. With the bottom of a glass, flatten balls to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Press a 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter into each (do not cut through). Bake until cookies are golden at edges, 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on wire racks.

In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 3/4 teaspoons cold water. Whisk in food coloring. With a small spoon, spread glaze inside heart. Let set 15 minutes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

ChocoToffee Chip Cookies

I tweaked a chocolate chip cookie recipe I found and, voilà!, these were born. They are my second instance of successful chocolate chip cookies, in that they didn't totally deflate after I took them out of the oven, so woohoo! I also love that they have a bit of a savory-sweet element because of the mild saltiness that the toffee bits provide.

ChocoToffee Chip Cookies


3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (6 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits

Heat oven to 375°F.

Combine shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits.

Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls (or by using a small ice cream scoop) 3 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Luscious Lemon Bars

This was my first attempt at lemon bars. And only the second time I'd ever had them. I liked them, and they seemed to go over well at Jonathan's game night with his friends (there's a lonely one still sitting on the plate today, which I will happily have later on with my afternoon coffee).

They could not have been easier to make, so I have a feeling they will be a go-to when I'm having a craving for something sweet and have some lemons in the house.

Luscious Lemon Bars
Courtesy of Southern Living


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Powdered sugar

Combine 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly. Firmly press mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.

Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl; whisk in 2 cups sugar and lemon juice. Combine remaining 1/4 cup flour and baking powder; whisk into egg mixture. Pour batter over crust.

Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until set. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars, and sprinkle evenly with additional powdered sugar.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Vegetable Korma

Not bad. Jonathan liked it, but I definitely thought it needed some salt. I don't think I'll be adding it to my normal rotation, but it's worth a try if you like Indian food.

Vegetable Korma
Courtesy of Cooking Light

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 (12-ounce) baking potato, peeled and diced
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
3 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in tomato paste and next 4 ingredients (through cinnamon); sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in edamame and potato. Combine chicken broth, flour, and milk, stirring until smooth. Add broth mixture to pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 3 cups cauliflower, and simmer for 9 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve over white rice.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bobby's Goulash

Yum. I loved goulash when I was little, and now I've passed that love on to my boy. He was already asking for seconds two bites into the bowl I fixed for him. And he told me that Daddy had to make sure to bring some to work for lunch tomorrow. Score.

What I changed from the original recipe was to use all ground turkey. And I did kind of fudge the House Seasoning mixture they have in the original recipe instead of make the whole lot of it. My end result needed a little extra salt. I've adjusted everything accordingly below.

Bobby's Goulash
A variation on this recipe from Paula Deen


2 (20-ounce) packages ground turkey
2 large onions, chopped
3 cups water
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 garlic powder
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 cups dried elbow macaroni

In a Dutch oven, sauté the ground turkey over medium-high heat, until no pink remains. Break up meat while sautéing; spoon off any grease. Add the onions to the pot and saute until they are tender about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

I think, before this recipe, I had only had butter pecan ice cream once in my life. As I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before, chocolate is usually my go-to flavor when dessert is involved, and I'm not usually a big fan of nuts, so butter pecan was never on my ice cream radar. But Jonathan loves butter pecan ice cream, and it was his birthday this week, so butter pecan it was. And it was really good. I'm looking forward to having more tonight after the kids go to bed.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Courtesy of Gourmet

2 cups pecans (1/2 lb), finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt (fleur de sel makes this especially delicious)
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Toast pecans in a shallow baking pan in middle of oven until fragrant and a shade darker, 7 to 8 minutes. Add butter and salt to hot pecans and toss until butter is melted, then cool pecans completely (they will absorb butter).

Whisk together brown sugar and cornstarch, then add eggs, whisking until combined. Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, then add to egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly, and transfer custard to saucepan.

Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170 to 175°F on an instant-read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes (do not let boil).

Immediately pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla, then cool, stirring occasionally. Chill custard, its surface covered with wax paper, until cold, at least 3 hours.

Freeze custard in ice cream maker until almost firm. Stir together ice cream and pecans in a bowl, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spicy Asian Chicken with Brussels Sprouts

This is a tasty homemade dish if you're feeling like Chinese take-out but want to have more control over the calories, fat, etc.

Spicy Asian Chicken with Brussels Sprouts
Courtesy of Real Simple

1 cup long-grain white rice
1 large egg
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced (2 large)
3 tablespooons canola oil, plus more, if necessary
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg. Place the cornstarch in another large bowl. Add the chicken to the egg and toss to coat. A few pieces at a time, lift the chicken out of the egg and coat in the cornstarch, tapping off the excess; transfer to a plate.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. In 2 batches, cook the chicken, turning occasionally, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes (add more oil for the second batch, if necessary); transfer to a plate.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, ginger, and garlic and cook, tossing occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and ¾ cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are crisp-tender and the liquid begins to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Return the chicken to the skillet, along with the chili, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the sesame oil and scallions. Serve over the rice and sprinkle with the peanuts.