fireun: (Default)
My squash cup runneth over. My CSA was magnificent in making sure its members were well stocked with storage vegetables- root veggies and winter squash. So I find myself seeking out ways to work with new (to me) and interesting foods. Again, part of the reason I joined the CSA.

The noble spaghetti squash. Solid. Probably would work well as a bludgeoning tool. Also, goes damn well with a garlic butter sauce, Parmesan cheese, and mushrooms.

1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley, basil, or Italian herb blend
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
one bag of frozen or one package of fresh mixed mushrooms

Bake the spaghetti squash for an hour at 375, just until you can easily pierce it with a knife. Let it cool. While it is cooling, melt the butter, add in garlic, salt, herbs, and mushrooms, saute until the mushroom water has reduced down, keep on low as you deal with the now cooled down squash.

Slice the squash open, length-wise, and scrape out the seeds. Use a fork to then scrape away the squash- it should easily form strands. If the strands seem reluctant to form, put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. The squash should have texture though, a slight crunch. It should not be mushy.

Add the squash in with the butter-seasonings-mushrooms, stir together. Turn off heat and stir in parmesan cheese.

Top with a little more cheese or salt (garlic salt is a magnificent thing to have on hand) to taste when served.
fireun: (coffee)
Apple Cranberry Crisp
Base Recipe from Whole Foods
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=815

3 to 4 medium to large crisp red apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (frozen are nice and convenient, and you can get two batches out of one bag)
1/2 cup apple juice (I used cider)
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (I used wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
2 cups granola

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine apples and cranberries and pour into an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together apple juice, flour and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over the fruit. Sprinkle granola evenly over the fruit and lightly press down. Bake until hot and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.

*Instead of using pumpkin pie spice you can simply mix nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. I didn't measure, technically, but it was probably about 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. It flavors the crisp beautifully.

No added sugar, but still delightfully sweet from the natural sugars in the fruit. Have fun with the granola- I am particularly fond of hemp/flax granola, so that is what I used. I would assume some of the flavored, like maple or apple cinnamon, would add a neat kick to the finished product. The house smelled amazing while this was baking, and it is insanely easy to throw together.

fireun: (Default)
 We had a bake sale for Life Long Tails last Saturday, and as I was looking for one last thing to make (cookies were cooling, but I just wasn't done baking yet) I came across a quart of strawberries and decided I wanted to bake something using that ingredient. 

A staple cookbook when I was growing up was Applehood and Motherpie: Handpicked Recipes from Upstate New York and, having received a copy from my Vati for Christmas last, decided to see what strawberry recipes it contained. Strawberry bread called to me. And I am glad it did. Delicious, almost light loaf (I made it without the suggested topping) that is unique and very appropriate to the season.

3 cups mashed strawberries
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
4 well beaten eggs
 
For Topping
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
 
Mash strawberries. Drain 1/2 cup strawberry juice from mashed strawberries if you are making the topping and set aside for use later. In another bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Make a hole in the center of the mixture. Add mashed strawberries, oil, and eggs. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined. Poour into 2 greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50- 60 minutes.
 
For topping
mix together reserved strawberry juice and softened cream cheese. Blend until smooth. Drizzle over top of bread.
 
May I suggest this makes excellent cupcakes/muffins as well. I ended up making one loaf and one dozen muffins. Muffins cook for about 15- 20 minutes.
fireun: (coffee)
Earl Grey Cupcakes with Ganache (Original Source: Cupcakes Galore, altered slightly)
Yields 12

2/3 cup whole milk
2 tsps loose or 2 tea bags Earl Grey tea
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2tsps baking powder
1tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs


1. In a small pan, heat milk with tea. Bring to a boil (stirring constantly) and then remove from heat and let steep until milk is cool to the touch, about 30 minutes. Filter the tea or remove tea bags and set liquid aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
4. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternately beat in dry ingredients and milk. 
5. Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.

Chocolate Earl Grey Ganache

6 ounces good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsps loose or 2 tea bags Earl Grey tea

1. Combine cream and tea in a small pan and slowly bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let tea steep in cream for at least 30 minutes.
2. Boil mixture once again, strain/remove tea bags. In a small pan combine cream with chocolate and butter over low heat until chocolate starts to melt. Remove from heat. Stir briskly until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Put ganache in the refrigerator until it is thick enough (but not too thick!) to spread over cupcakes. 

I have not taste tested them yet, but they smell delicious.

EDIT- THEY ARE FREAKING DELICIOUS. Earl Gray taste is subtle, up until you swallow and then that is the overwhelming flavor and it is perfect and awesome.

Muffins!

Dec. 2nd, 2010 01:19 pm
fireun: (me!)
 Yesterday's baking. Both recipes are ridiculously easy and utterly delicious.

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tspbaking powder
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Melt butter and honey together

Mix dry ingredients, Beat together and add wet ingredients (apart from berries). Stir gently until moist. Add berries and stir. 

Grease muffin cups, fill until 2/3 full. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes


Honey Apple Bran Muffins

1/2 cup diced apple
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup raw, unprocessed bran
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/3 cup honey
3 tbs butter

Melt honey and butter together. Mix dry ingredients. Beat together and add wet (apart from apples).  Stir gently until moist. Add apples and stir until mixed.

Grease muffin cups, fill 2/3 full. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
fireun: (coffee)
 recipe pillaged from a fantastic cookbook called 'The Enchanted Broccoli Forest' by Mollie Katzen,. The whole cookbook is fantastic, delicious love. I made these yesterday and the house not only smelled amazing, the muffins were culinary happiness.

6 tbs honey
4 tbs butter
1 cup yogurt (I used Stonyfield Farm fat free vanilla)
1 large egg
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp fresh grated lemon rind
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
a few dashes of nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Optional- 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Melt the butter and honey together over medium heat. Remove from heat
Beat together yogurt, egg, lemon juice and rind. Add honey/butter mixture. Mix well.
Sift together dry ingredients. Slowly add to wet. 

Butter or spray muffin pan with nonstick baking spray. Bake at 375F for approximately 20-25 minutes. 

I baked for 25 minutes and mine were a bit browner than I would have liked. I would suggest checking at 20 minutes- if the tops are starting to get golden, consider them done.

[livejournal.com profile] djkc  suggests adding a bit more lemon juice as the lemon flavor was faint. It was noticeable, but if you want more of a lemony kick, add another tablespoon or two of juice.

These are light, fluffy muffins. I heartily approve. As written, muffins are 143 calories each.
fireun: (milly)
 From the lovely cookbook [livejournal.com profile] libwitch  helped make me for Yule a little while ago. Everything in parentheses are my alterations/adjustments. I tried to make this a tad healthier :) 

1 Package crescent rolls (I used low fat)
2 lb hamburger (or Morningstar Farms/Boca crumbles)
1 package taco seasoning (may I heartily suggest Ortega's chipolte flavored seasoning? adds a super kick to the bake)
1 bottle taco sauce (I used Ortega mild)
A few tablespoons of sour cream (low fat or fat free, just enough to spread across the casserole)
1 1/2 to 2 cup mozzarella cheese (part skim worked)
1 1/2 to 2 cup cheddar cheese (low fat again)
~8 oz crushed tortilla chips

Cook hamburger and drain fat (or heat boca). Add taco seasoning and taco sauce. If using meat, simmer for 10-15 minutes. For boca, just stir it up. Line 9 x 13 (lightly greased) pan with crescent rolls laid flat. Spread hamburger/boca mixture over rolls. Spread on sour cream. Sprinkle on cheeses. Sprinkle crushed chips over top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This is seriously delicious. 
fireun: (coffee)
 continuing my experimentation with local fresh fruit. I love plums, but have never really thought to bake with them. Either color of plums will work for this. The smell of it cooking was absolutely divine.


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sliced fresh plums

for topping-
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup water

Heat oven to 375 degrees F
Lightly grease 2 quart casserole pan

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in flour and baking powder, alternating with milk. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into greased casserole pan. Spoon fruit over batter. Mix cinnamon and sugar for topping. Sprinkle over fruit. Pour water over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes.
fireun: (coffee)
 Easiest recipe ever, and pretty healthy muffins. I tried substituting yogurt for the usual vegetable oil this morning, and the vanilla with the blueberry was excellent. Muffins were still moist. I use Stonyfield Farm yogurt.



1 Egg
1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt 
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries 


Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spray bottoms of muffin pan or use paper cup liners


Beat egg until foamy, beat in milk and yogurt. Add baking powder, sugar, then flour. Stir until well mixed, fold in blueberries.

Using a tablespoon, scoop batter into muffin pan, about one very full tablespoon per muffin. 

Bake 18-20 minutes, muffins will be lightly golden.

EDIT- I have been merrily informed that these are 1 Point muffins if you do the whole Weight Watchers thing. So, huzzah for yogurt instead of oil.
fireun: (fai)
2 1/2 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pastry for a 2 crust pie
~ 2 tbsp butter

The best way to take all the work out of making a pie...buy them premade in the frozen section. This is especially nice for hot days when you dont want the oven on long enough to cook both crust and pie. I have an excellent crust recipe if folks want it, but for this one I went premade.


Combine blueberries, sugar, tapioca, and cinnamon in a large bowl. toss lightly to mix.
Pour into frozen crust.
Sprinkle with chunks of the hard butter. Do not melt it.
Take second crust, remove carefully from foil pan and place over top of filled crust. Pinch down the edges, making sure they do pinch together or you will get leaks all over. Cut top crust in a few places.
Bake at 425 for 40 minutes or until crust is just getting overdone along the very edge and the rest is a nice golden brown.

This was ridiculously easy and smells like heaven as it bakes.
You can adjust the sugar on this one to taste. You can add as much as 1 1/4 cup sugar but that gets a little sweet. Feel free to use less!
fireun: (Default)
tonights experiment was a success! Looking for some delicious side dishes?

Potato Wedges

4 medium baking potatoes, cut into wedges
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

heat oven to 425
cut potatoes into small wedges (I cut them in half, and then made wedges out of each half)
mix spices
lightly spray cooking sheet with nonstick cooking spray
place potatoes onto sheet, and spray lightly with cooking spray (this can be skipped if one is being health conscious)
sprinkle seasoning mix evenly over potatoes
bake 25-30 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.

Baked Asparagus

spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray
place asparagus on sheet
spray lightly with cooking spray
season with Dinosaur BBQ Cajun Foreplay spice rub (or any rub that is a good mix of salt, garlic,, paprika, onion, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and a little sugar)
bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes or until asparagus starts to get discolored
sprinkle with lemon juice
fireun: (Default)
Recipe from Nana Olmstead

3 ripe bananas (wait until they are getting kinda sketchy but not until they are black. The more...ripe they are the stronger the flavor in the bread)
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
1/2-3/4 cups sugar (recipe calls for 3/4, I only use 1/2 as bananas are sweet enough for me)
1 tsp baking soda
optional- 2 tbsp butter

In a large bowl mash bananas (I use a potato masher. It works amazingly well) In a separate bowl, beat eggs until light, add to bananas and mix. Mix in sugar. Add baking soda and then stir in flour. Batter should be gooey. 

grease loaf pan with baking spray- especially corners or loaf will stick.

Optional- melt 2 tbsp butter and coat top of batter in loaf pan. Baking with the butter on top makes a delicious 'crust' for the loaf.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Check loaf with a toothpick/knife. If it does not come out clean, cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Do not overcook or loaf will dry out.

April's additions to Nana's recipe-

I sometimes add a cup of chocolate chips. delicious. You can also add a cup of walnuts, if that is your thing.
You can also make using 1/2 tsp vanilla for a little extra flavor.

For a delicious way to eat slices of banana bread- butter slice lightly and grill until lightly brown. Crispy, buttery, and warm. It doesn't get much better.

It is also delicious sliced thin and toasted. with butter, of course.
fireun: (Default)
 (promise this isnt turning into a food blog. just been in a cooking mood the last few days!)


anyone else addicted to the biscuits at Red Lobster? These are easy and taste real damn similar.

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp dried minced onion
2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 tsp garlic powder

combine Bisquick, cheese, and onion. Stir in milk until a soft dough forms. Stir for about 30 seconds longer. Drop by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes, or until biscuits are a golden brown. Combine garlic and butter and brush/dribble over biscuits.

Less butter for the topping, reduced fat cheddar, and heart healthy bisquick will all help this be less painfully decadent while still being tasty.
fireun: (Default)
 

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, room temperature (microwave for 40 seconds at 60% power if you are like me and never have soft butter on hand. or plan baking ahead)
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp mint extract
1 bag (11.5oz) milk or dark chocolate chips (i usually use Ghiradelli milk chocolate)

cream butter and sugars
Add beaten egg and mint
add baking soda, add flour one cup at a time to make sure it all gets evenly mixed
add chocolate chips
refrigerate for one hour.

bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees. cookies should be slightly golden brown around the edges. if you like crispier cookies, add on a few minutes :)

devour.
fireun: (kakashi ninja!)
from the cookbook Serve It Forth, a wonderful collection of some authors favorite recipes. This recipe comes from Peter L. Manly, and was one of my staples when I used to have the gaming group over in college. I had forgotten about this one until my sis asked for it a few days ago. I used to double the recipe and use a 9x13 pan when feeding a large D&D group. They are damn filling though, so if you arent feeding hordes, stick with the single dose. They are no bake, which makes them all the better.

1 c butter
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 slightly beaten egg
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1 c grated coconut
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp vanilla pudding mix
1-2 c confectioners sugar
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
cook in saucepan until blended- half the butter, all of the sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Add egg and cook 5 minutes, stirring occassionally. Slowly add graham cracker crumbs, coconut. when cool enough press with hands into 9inch square pan (double recipe if using 9x13). Let sit for 15 minutes.
cream remaining butter until soft and fluffy. slowly add milk and pudding mix, when they are blended add preferred amount of confectioners sugar and mix until smooth (use enough to sweeten it, but too much and you lose the flavor) Spread over first layer and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
melt chocolate for top layer. add a little water if necessary to make it spreadable. Spread as top layer and chill, preferable overnight so everything can set. Score the top layer or it can be hard to cut when set.

(the cookbook is brilliant. anyone who likes to putter around the kitchen honestly should snag a copy. it has everything, and the way the recipes are written...lets say each author added their own unique voice to their submissions. I spent a lot of time just flipping through and reading this one. I have had it 13 years, and I still find a new recipe to try every now and then, something that had been overlooked before, or some wonderfully written directions that make me laugh, and then want to try the recipe out. this is a fun cookbook)
fireun: (me!)
Some of my best holiday memories are of making these with my Nana and my Marmy. They are very sweet, but probably the coolest 'cookies' ever.

Cathedral Windows
recipe from Nana Olmstead

1 bag of chocolate chips
1/4 cup margarine
2 eggs
1 bag colored mini marshmallows
1 bag powdered/confectioners sugar
Tinfoil


Over low heat, melt chocolate chips and margarine until smooth. Remove from heat. Beat eggs until well beaten and add to chocolate mixture. Mix until well combined and smooth.

Add mini marshmallows, stir until well coated.

Tear 3 sheets of tinfoil, about 1 1/2 feet each. Sprinkle with a lot of powdered sugar, about 2 cups for each sheet. (Most of this doesnt make it into the actual cookies. It is more to keep the chocolate from sticking to the tinfoil than anything else. All extra gets shaken off when you pull the roll before you cut individual cookies)

Divide chocolate mixture evenly between three sheets.

Roll in sugar until a firm roll is formed. If the chocolate does not firm up easily for you, you can roll the tinfoil sheet tightly around the chocolate and form a roll that way, but make sure the powdered sugar still coats the chocolate thoroughly.

Refrigerate overnight.

Remove from foil and slice. The slices can be as thick or thin as you desire. This is a sweet treat, so thinner is better unless you have a real sweet tooth.

The colored marshmallows framed by the chocolate are what give the finished product the stained glass cathedral window look. They are very fun to make with friends or kids, and it is a recipe that is sure to be new to almost everyone.
fireun: (devil)
 this is the only thing with pumpkin I managed to convince [livejournal.com profile] artaddict to like. Posting it here for her reference, and anyone else feel free to snag. they are utterly divine.

Pumpkin Bars
 
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, clove
1 cup oil
15oz can of pumpkin
4 eggs
 
Combine in a bowl until well blended and moist.
Bake at 350 in a 9x13 pan for ~30 minutes. Check with a toothpick (toothpick should come out clean when you poke the middle of the pan)
 
Frosting
 
2 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
1/3 cup margarine- softened
30oz cream cheese- softened
1 tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla
 
combine until smooth, spread over cooled bars.
 
refrigerate.


for the frosting- cream cheese is a pain to deal with. i stir it into submission before adding any of the other ingredients. If you want more of a cream cheese taste, add the powdered sugar slowly and sweeten to taste. I almost never use much more than a cup, cup and a half.
fireun: (coffee)
today's kitchen experiment? success!

Strawberry muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup yogurt (Stonyfield Farm whole milk vanilla works wonders. and is delicious)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 375(F)

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl
Mix wet ingredients, apart from strawberries, in another bowl
toss strawberries into flour mixture
Add wet mixture into flour/strawberry mixture and stir

Now, you can either make 12 muffins or you can grease a loaf pan and make a loaf of delicious bread.
 
Muffins should take 20-25 minutes to bake.
Bread took about 35 minutes.

Top should be golden brown and firm. do test with a knife/toothpick/chopstick to make sure bread is cooked all the way through if you go that road. the top will look like it is done about 10 minutes before the bread is cooked through.

bread has a delicious 'crust' on top. it is a light treat. not sweet. if you prefer sweet, you could probably use frosting of some sort on the cupcakes/bread. or use more berries and a little more sugar. i wouldnt add more than 1/8 cup more sugar.

Eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven. the berries taste amazing all warm and gooey in the bread.
fireun: (Default)
todays experiment...success.

1 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour

Pour molasses into saucepan. bring to a boil. add baking soda. let foam. pour into a large bowl. add butter, sugar, eggs, spices, and vanilla. mix well. add flour one cup at a time. drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

seriously, easiest cookies ever.
and my house now smells DELICIOUS.
fireun: (Default)
it felt and smelled like fall as i was walking home from work. so you all get a recipe. recipe given to me by [livejournal.com profile] libwitch   in a Yule present cookbook, so smother her in love if you like it as much as i do.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup applesauce (get the kind with cinnamon!)
2 eggs
1 cup (8oz) solid packed pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon (i added a little extra)

add or leave out as your taste runs-
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 cup orange juice

preheat oven to 350 F. lightly grease 9x5x3 loaf pan. Beat sugar, margarine, and applesauce until creamy and light (about 5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat. add pumpkin and mix until smooth. (it is possible to do this by hand. i did)
combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. stir into pumpkin mixture and mix until smooth.

add any of the raisins, orange rind, and orange juice as you are inclined. (i left out the raisins and it was still delicious)

bake for about an hour. test with a toothpick at the hour mark, bake for 5 more minutes or so if it does not come out clean.

then i would suggest hiding the bread from any family or housemates. i think mine survived about 12 hours.
and i only got a piece or two.
it was tragic.

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