Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas

There is absolutely nothing spicy about this. And the other flavors really weren't interesting enough for me to make this again. It's not bad, it's just not terribly exciting. Eh. It was worth a shot.

Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas
Courtesy of Cooking Light


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
1 tablespoon ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend) or garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
6 cups escarole, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup roasted whole almonds, coarsely chopped
4 cups hot cooked couscous

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove garlic from pan using a slotted spoon; discard or reserve for another use. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (through cinnamon stick) to pan; sauté for 7 minutes or until the onion is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup water, rind, juice, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in escarole; simmer for 1 minute or until escarole wilts. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cilantro and mint; top with almonds. Serve over couscous.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

This is the first pudding I've ever made. And it was delicious, if I do say so myself. The caramelized walnuts are especially incredible.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding
Courtesy of Cooking Light


1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking spray
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Dash of salt
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine milk and egg, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Combine pumpkin and the next 4 ingredients (through ground nutmeg) in a bowl, stirring well. Slowly add pumpkin mixture to milk mixture, whisking constantly. Place pan over low heat, and cook for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly (do not boil). Divide pudding evenly among 4 dessert bowls, and cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Chill.

Line a baking sheet with foil, and coat foil with cooking spray. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, walnuts, and a dash of salt in a small nonstick skillet; cook over low heat until sugar dissolves and is golden (about 3 minutes), stirring frequently to coat nuts. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet, and cool completely. Coarsely chop nuts.

Place cream in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons whipped cream and about 1 tablespoon nuts.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another successful chocolate chip cookie! Woot! I have new baking soda, which always seems to do the trick when it comes to avoiding getting flat cookies (at least for me).

I had some help making these since I was inspired to find this recipe after Jillie pretended to make them for one of her stuffed animal's birthday party. She's quite the cook and baker in her little world, and I'm enjoying starting to teach her how to do it in real life.

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Courtesy of allrecipes.com


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate (I used mini chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Autumn Sausage Casserole

This is a recipe that was originally meant to be cooked on the stovetop and then in the oven. And then it was turned into a crockpot meal because Stephanie O'Dea decided to cook in her crockpot every day for an entire year. But really, it should be cooked in the original way. It just doesn't really work in the crockpot. It was sticking so much to the crockpot insert that I stopped cooking it halfway into the cook time (which was fine because pretty much everything was cooked already, the crockpot time was really only meant to soften up the fruit and veggies). I'll make it again, but probably as a side dish next time. It's so reminiscent of stuffing/dressing that I'm not sure it would fly again as a main course (the husband isn't a giant fan of casseroles as it is... maybe I'll make it when he's away on business...).

Autumn Sausage Casserole
A variation on this recipe from Taste of Home


1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
3 cups cooked long grain rice
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, cook the sausage, apple, onion and celery over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Apple Butter Muffins

Holy cow, these are good. Flavorful. Light but satisfying. I used my favorite slow-cooking apple butter in the recipe. I love the lemon flavor that balances so beautifully with all the spices in the apple butter.

Apple Butter Muffins
Courtesy of Food.com


1 3/4 cups unbleached flour or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum-free if available)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup apple butter (homemade if available)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
Sugar, to sprinkle

In a small mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg to the sugar mixture; beat well. Beat in the apple butter and vanilla.

Stir lemon juice into the evaporated milk. Beating at low speed, alternately add the flour and the milk mixtures to the apple butter mixture until just combined.

Grease or line with baking papers. Fill each cup 2/3 full. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

This is a decent homemade option to make your own version of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. I've gotten so used to drinking my coffee with no sugar that it tasted pretty sweet to me, but the nice thing about having made this syrup is that I can add as much or as little as I want. And if I want a little autumnal sweet treat with my afternoon coffee, I'm set!

The picture doesn't really show much of the actual recipe since the syrup is mixed in with my normal coffee with half-and-half. But I get to show off one of my favorite mugs, made by the lovely Shawna Pincus.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup
Courtesy of Sugar Crafter


1 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or 3 cinnamon sticks)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

In a small sauce pan, combine all of the ingredients. Simmer over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Do not allow to boil.

Let the syrup cool to lukewarm, and then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove some of the grittiness from the spices. Pour the syrup into a bottle or jar. Store the jar in the refrigerator, and use within a month. If the remaining spices settle to the bottom, just give the syrup a quick stir before you use it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chipotle Bean Burritos

This is a very easy and tasty recipe. If you want to stretch it, you can make some rice to add to the burritos. Or some guacamole. Even though I made it on a nice cool day, this is definitely a perfect Summer dish since it doesn't require a lot of time using the stove.

Chipotle Bean Burritos
Courtesy of Cooking Light


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained
3 tablespoons refrigerated fresh salsa
6 (10-inch) reduced-fat flour tortillas (such as Mission)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 3)
1 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
6 tablespoons light sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in chile powder and salt; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salsa. Partially mash bean mixture with a fork.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into center of each tortilla. Top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons cheese, 1/4 cup tomato, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 tablespoon onions, and 1 tablespoon sour cream; roll up.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cincinatti Chili

This is such a nostalgic recipe. It's my mom's recipe that she used to make on chilly weekend afternoons. I would smell her cooking this dish and hear the sounds of an Eagles game on the kitchen tv. I really don't think I had a proper appreciation for this dish until I made it. There are so many wonderful flavors that go into it. And it seems to work well with ground pork as well as ground hamburger (if you follow my blog, you'll notice that we don't eat a lot of red meat, so I decided to make that substitution). Thanks, Mom, for sharing your recipe with me!

Cincinatti Chili
Courtesy of Hallie Vasell


2 pounds ground pork
2 chopped onions
1 quart water
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon red pepper
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ ounce unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Hot sauce, to taste
1 pound spaghetti
Toppings (cheddar cheese, beans, chopped onions)

In a large pot, combine pork, onions, and water. Bring to a boil, breaking up pork. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients (except spaghetti and toppings), stir to combine, and simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours, until thickened. Refrigerate overnight.

Cook spaghetti. To serve, put spaghetti on each plate. Cover with heated Cincinnati chili. Sprinkle with lots of shredded cheddar cheese. This forms a traditional “3 way”. If you want a “4 way”, add a layer of hot beans under the cheese. For a “5 way”, add a layer of hot beans and fresh chopped onions under the cheese.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice

This was totally delicious. I did end up overcooking the meatballs slightly because of some organization issues that led to putting the meatballs in really hot oil in a really hot pan. It didn't make a difference though. The flavors were wonderful. And I especially liked the added flavor squeezing the lime slices over both the meatballs and the rice gave the dish.

The kids weren't crazy about this dish since the meatballs had a bit of kick to them. But if you like more spice, I read in the reviews of this recipe that people had found that adding some ginger to the meatballs worked really well. I'll probably try it next time.

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice
Courtesy of Martha Stewart


Coarse salt
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 carrot, shredded
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 1/2 pounds ground dark-meat turkey or ground pork
3 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 teaspoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons hot-pepper sauce (preferably Sriracha)
4 teaspoons sugar
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Lime wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups salted water to a boil. Add rice, stir, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and top with carrot. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes, then stir in carrot and fluff rice with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons water. Let stand 5 minutes. Add turkey, scallion whites, cilantro, fish sauce, hot-pepper sauce, sugar, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Gently mix to combine and form into 12 meatballs.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high. In batches, brown meatballs on all sides, 10 minutes total (add up to 1 teaspoon oil as needed). Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 10 minutes. Serve meatballs with rice, scallion greens, and lime wedges.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

I used to love the Mother's Iced Oatmeal Cookies when I was little. So when I saw this recipe, I had to give it a try. And it is definitely a wonderful (though chewier and a bit healthier) homemade version, which I am happily serving as an after-school snack this week.

I realized that I didn't have enough butter after I had come home from already running errands and mixing together the dry ingredients. So I found out online that 3/4 cup of canola oil can be substituted for every cup of butter a recipe calls for. I don't know how much of a difference the butter would have made, but I'll probably try the recipe with butter next time (as long as I remember to properly account for my ingredients before going grocery shopping).

I also only noticed the note that you should use less kosher salt in the cookie dough if you're using the Morton brand (which is what I have) once I had put the first pans of cookies in the oven, so I just tried to make up for the extra salt by not adding the recommended salt to the icing. The batch I made was a bit salty, but not horribly so. I think I'll manage to eat them. It's always such a hardship to have delicious snacks in the house.

Oh, and make sure when you're rotating the cookie sheets that you don't accidentally tilt the sheet too far, managing the tip the contents of the sheet into the oven, and in your rush to pick the sheet back up, touch it without using an oven mitt. OUCH.

Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Courtesy of smitten kitchen


Parchment paper or butter for baking sheets
2 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour*
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt**
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
5 to 6 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt**

Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Rub two baking sheets with butter. In a food processor, grind 1/2 cup of oats to a fine powder, then add remaining oats and grind them all together until it resembles coarse meal, with only a few large flakes remaining.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back any bits of grains or other ingredients that remain in the sifter. In a small bowl, whisk butter and eggs until combined. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Scoop balls of dough about 2 to 3 tablespoons in size (I used a #40 cookie scoop, which scooped 2 tablespoon-sized balls) onto cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. When tops are evenly brown, take them out and transfer them to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Let cookies cool completely before icing.

In a bowl, whisk icing ingredients together until smooth. It should have a honey-like consistency. Drizzle the frosting over the cookies. Let the frosting set for 30 minutes before eating. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

* The original recipe replaced this volume with a multigrain flour mix that worked out to 1/2 cup barley flour + 1/4 cup millet flour + 1/4 cup rye flour. If you have any of these flours, swap them in and reduce the volume of all-purpose.

** Saltiness of kosher salt varies by brand. I’d recommend 2 teaspoons if you use Diamond kosher salt, and about half as much if you use Morton kosher salt or another brand.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Homemade Dinner Rolls

I liked these a lot. They ended up looking like giant dinner roll muffins, which is not a bad thing. But I know I could make smaller rolls and stretch the recipe by using two muffin pans instead of one.

I definitely needed more flour to make the dough elastic enough to knead properly, but even when it was more elastic, it was still pretty crazy sticky. It ended up working really well, but I was nervous along the way.

It wasn't suggested in the recipe, but I added fleur de sel to the top of the rolls since I love salted rolls.

Homemade Dinner Rolls
Courtesy of Tanya Holland


1 (1/4-ounce) package dry active yeast
1 cup warm water, about 110°F
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk, scalded but cooled to warm
4 ounces melted butter, plus 2 ounces
5 cups flour, plus more, as needed
6-cup, 3-inch muffin tin pan

In a standing mixing bowl with dough hook, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let sit until lightly foamy, then stir in sugar and add egg, salt, warm milk, and 4 ounces of butter. Slowly add 5 cups flour, adding more as needed to make an elastic dough. Mix well, then roll out to floured surface and knead dough for about 5 minutes.

Place dough in buttered bowl, cover with towel, and set in a warm place to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Lightly oil the muffin pan. Punch down dough and form dough into 1-inch balls. Place 3 balls in each muffin tin. Fill muffin pan, cover with towel, and allow to rise an additional 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Brush with remaining melted butter. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Salted Caramel Brownies

These are ridiculously delicious. I may have to try just one more in order to decide if they're my favorite brownies ever...

Salted Caramel Brownies
Courtesy of Cooking Light


3 19/50 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk, divided
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To prepare brownies, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through baking powder) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add butter mixture to flour mixture; stir to combine. Scrape batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare topping, melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; stir with a whisk until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cooled brownies. Let stand 20 minutes or until set.

Combine 2 tablespoons milk and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds or until melted, stirring after 20 seconds. Stir just until smooth; drizzle over caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt; let stand until set. Cut into squares.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tomato, Broccoli & Mozzarella Pasta Casserole

This was okay. Nothing super crazy awesome, but a good option if you're going to a potluck and want to make sure you have an option that will appeal to a broad audience.

Tomato, Broccoli & Mozzarella Pasta Casserole
Courtesy of the kitchn


12 ounces farfalle pasta (also known as bowtie)
1 pound broccoli florets, frozen or fresh
3 large ripe tomatoes, divided
3/4 pound onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, very finely minced
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
3/4 cup chopped basil leaves, divided
1/2 pound fresh full-fat mozzarella, divided
3 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese (4% milkfat or greater)
1 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, divided
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Heat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish with olive oil. Heat a large pot of water to boiling and salt generously. Add the farfalle and cook for 11 minutes or until barely al dente. Drain and return to the pot.

Steam the broccoli in the microwave or in a steamer basket on the stovetop, just until tender. Drain thoroughly and chop roughly into bite-sized florets. Toss with the cooked pasta. Chop two of the tomatoes into rough pieces, and add them to the pasta. Stir in the chopped onion and minced garlic, along with the drained chickpeas, and 1/2 cup of the chopped basil. Tear about 2/3 of the fresh mozzarella into thumbnail-sized chunks and fold this into the pasta mixture.

Whisk the eggs with the cottage cheese and lemon juice. Stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Stir this liquid into the pasta mixture until well combined. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Spread the pasta in the prepared baking dish. Slice the remaining tomato into half-moons and arrange on top of the pasta. Tear the rest of the mozarella into bits and scatter between the rows of tomato slices. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese on top, and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the cheese on top has melted and the casserole is bubbling. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the remaining chopped basil over top. Let stand for a few more minutes before serving.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala

I'm not sure exactly what's in "non-skinny" chicken tikka masala, but this seemed like a decent version of this dish. Any time I can find homemade versions of Indian (and other varied ethnic) dishes that I can introduce to my 6-year-old and that he ends up liking, the more excited I get about being able to go out to Indian (and other varied ethnic) restaurants as a family. Then again, if I keep finding such good recipes for these dishes, we'll probably just end up eating more often at Mom's Diner. A little more work for me, but a lot cheaper and healthier, no?

Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala
Courtesy of Gina's Skinny Recipes


2 tsp canola oil or you could use butter
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
4 ounces (1/2 cup) fat free yogurt
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
Salt to taste
16 ounces (2 boneless) chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
4 tablespoon fresh cilantro (or to taste)

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden. Add the crushed ginger, stir for a few minutes then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add cumin, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and salt; mix well until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, yogurt and milk. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked through. Add a generous amount of chopped cilantro and serve with basmati rice or naan.

Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars

These are okay. Not too sweet, not too tart. But also not my favorite snack.

The only thing I did differently was use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars
A variation on this recipe from Cooking Light


4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons orange juice
Cooking spray

1 1/3 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325°F.

To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare filling, combine cranberries, sour cream, granulated sugar, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling. Bake at 325°F for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Alton Brown does it again. This is supposed to have pumpkin seeds in it, but I couldn't find any this early in the season. It also calls for fresh pumpkin, so once I process pumpkins this year, I will have both the elements I was missing from this try. But even without the seeds and with canned pumpkin (a 14.5-ounce can), it was delicious.

Pumpkin Bread
Courtesy of Alton Brown


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups shredded fresh pumpkin
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and fold in the shredded pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. Once the ingredients are all incorporated pour into a non- stick 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan. If your pan is not non- stick coat it with butter and flour.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At this point a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. For muffins temperature should also be 325°F, but bake for 30 minutes.

Black Bean Hummus

Another successful lunchbox option for my big 1st grade boy. I can't believe he'll be in full-day school as of tomorrow. When I think about how his little sister will be in the same preschool class this year that he was in 3 years ago (?!), I can't believe how quickly time is going. These last few years have gone by in the blink.

*sniff* Now that I've gotten that out of my system... This is a really delicious version of hummus. One that I think I prefer to the more traditional kind that's made with chickpeas and tahini. I love black beans, so I shouldn't be surprised.

I did tweak the garlic in this recipe a bit. I've noticed that the raw garlic in other hummus gives me heartburn/reflux, so I used some garlic powder instead. Here's hoping it works... I also doubled the recipe in order to use a full can of black beans. Deliciousness.

Black Bean Hummus
A variation on this recipe from Melissa d'Arabian


1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until almost smooth. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cinnamon Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie

This was so good, it prompted Jonathan to break out in song. Specifically, the part of Sleigh Ride that talks about the coffee and pumpkin pie. I'm sure it will show up at at least one of our holiday meals this year. It's such an awesome twist on the usual pumpkin pie. The only thing I did differently was use my go-to pie crust rather than a store-bought one.

Cinnamon Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie
Courtesy of Cooking Light


3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury) (or one homemade pie crust)
Cooking spray

1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup regular oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 to 3 teaspoons water

Preheat oven to 375°F.

To prepare filling, combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

To prepare crust, roll dough to an 11-inch circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute.

To prepare streusel, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon ginger) in a bowl. Cut in butter with a fork or fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle with water, tossing with a fork just until lightly moistened.

Pour pumpkin mixture into crust; sprinkle with streusel. Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on a wire rack.